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Glory Days

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My living room looks like a bomb went off in it. There is thirty six years worth of photographs strewn all over the place. Our middle child, Paul is getting married in September and his fiancé has requested a photographic history of his life. This meant, and I am not using literary exaggeration here friends, six huge Rubbermaid tubs that had been tucked away in various nooks and crannies were pulled out and the sorting process has began. Thirty six years of collected family history.

On the up side there was a lot of “Do you remember……..? And “OMG look how young we were.” It’s nice to walk down memory lane every now and then, just as long as you keep on moving. The word “journey” is a verb and it’s intended to inspire action.

One of the ways I often shoot myself in the foot is to try to go back to them “good old days.” Seeking happier times and all those mangled metaphors. The happiest time in my life should be right now. The “glory days” should be today. But as I looked over the mess in my living room and all the collected emotions associated with them I couldn’t help but realize that the past was often a larger part of my life than the present, whether it is through a positive or negative memory.

My journey towards health involves me creating happiness, health and abundance in my life today, not reflecting on past mistakes, bad decisions and failed relationships. They are important only from the perspective that they landed me at the place I am today. In twenty four hours today will be over and it will not come back no matter how hard I click my heels three times and will it to be so. So I must enjoy it, learn from it while it is here and then let go of it when it is gone.

I notice that when I get very close to reaching a goal or when I receive some sort of recognition or praise that I slowly want things to go back to the “good old days” where things were safe and predictable. They were also the days I was morbidly obese and extremely out of shape. Aches and pains abounded, but yeah, bring back the good old days and then I won’t have to deal with today’s challenge or an area I need to improve.

The glory days are safe because we are in charge of how we remember them. I can dredge them up when I want to create a safe buffer or wall between me and reality and then I can either complain and moan about them or get a dreamy smile on my face when I recall them.

Memories are good when they serve to inspire me. Joan showed me some pictures of one of my grandfathers and I remember how gentle he was, even though he died when I was eight. He had a great sense of humor and was always ready to laugh. He lived upstairs for us and the highlight of my day was to wait for him when he came home from work. When the weather was nice he would hold on to my hand and we would walk down the block to a tavern. He would order me an orange soda and a huge pretzel stick and I would spin around on the bar stool while he and his friends solved the world’s problems. When he finished his one beer we would walk home and eat dinner.

I take lots of walks with my granddaughter and we talk. I’m a lot younger than my grandfather was, but I was inspired by his patience and his kindness and I try to mirror that in my life.

“But John, back in the old day’s people prayed more!!! That’s what’s wrong with the world, people don’t pray!”

Then pray and be an example. Conjuring up some old memory from thirty years ago isn’t going to drive a single soul to their knees. The example I set in my life may cause someone to take notice of how I live my life and inquire about it, but moaning about the good old days only wastes time.

“Family values are dead.”

Then you and your family work hard to create those values in your home and let other people see what a wonderfully happy family you have. Don’t blame the political system, the educational system and any other excuse I can create.

Be a change agent.

Pining for the good old says isn’t going to make me healthier. My body reacts differently at fifty six then it did at twenty six. I can still be healthy and looking at old pictures of really thin John isn’t going to make me any thinner or any healthier.

The picture that inspires success for me is the one I take every morning when I stare in the mirror and realize that the very best me, on that very best day is standing right there.

So why ya sittin’ here? Go look at your best picture too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUZZY1TOO 5/21/2010 11:33AM

    Wow, what a wonderfully insightful Grandfather your granddaughter has. She's a very lucky little girl from the sounds of it.

Keep the gas tank filled and the laughter flowing and your journey will go smooth as sailing for you.

Thank you for that pick me up, I can always use one.


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MARCYNA 5/21/2010 10:54AM

    I totally agree emoticon emoticon

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KSGROTHE 5/20/2010 6:02PM

    emoticon for another emoticon blog!

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

Comment edited on: 5/20/2010 6:07:38 PM

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TRIPLE_EMME 5/20/2010 10:56AM

    This is a great blog, John!

emoticon on your son's upcoming marriage.

I think looking through old photos is a terrific experience (and also very cathartic).

I read your blog a day after you posted it. Funny thing, this is a topic that my husband and I were discussing on the way to lunch, together, yesterday.

Crazy coincidence!

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JURI62 5/20/2010 6:13AM

    Great blog! Thank you. I'm learning to "look back without staring"!

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OZARKMARY 5/19/2010 9:27PM

    Another great writing! Thanks! I just found a picture of my oldest daughter and myself, the week she turned 34. I was living a time of turmoil and had just quit eating, so the pounds fell off and I looked great. I never knew how much I lost or how much I weighed. Guess that shows what I mean by "turmoil" However, those pounds found me again and I am just now, ten yrs later, getting the weight off the healthy way. It's nice to look back, but the "now" is where I am and I'm lovin' it! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 5/19/2010 6:23PM

    John! emoticonon your son's upcoming marriage! It's great that you are getting a chance to review your history. In retrospect the "good old days" are always better than the reality. It's just human nature. Enjoy this time because these ARE the "good old days".

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JPRICE217 5/19/2010 4:19PM

    There are day I just want to run away from everything and everyone even myself. I need to work on taking more breaks.

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JPRICE217 5/19/2010 4:12PM

    Your right we can't live in the past but the past has what made us to be what we are today. Good or bad. Everyone needs to enjoy the time they are in .

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CMBELISLE 5/19/2010 12:52PM

    Good or bad, we can't live in the past. As I tell people, you have to enjoy the journey as much as you are looking forward to the destination. Thanks for the reminder.

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/19/2010 12:18PM

    Great thoughts, John. The past is just that--the past, over and done, good or bad. We can remember and learn from it, but we can't go back there. Too often we spend our lives dwelling on the past or worried about the future, and we miss out on the wonderfulness and the opportunities for joy in the present. I love your statement 'Be a change agent.' That is the way to make TODAY a glory day.


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AZCUPCAKE 5/19/2010 11:38AM

    What a concept -- to LIVE in the HERE AND NOW! I am right there with you -- we cannot live in the past! Oh, but it is so hard. BUT DOABLE.

I just had one of those trips down Memory Lane myself in looking at photos of my kids when they were toddlers.....I need to keep that wonderful time in its proper perspective, and not think that all of the "good days" are gone. Thank you for once again giving me a BRAIN TUNE-UP! I so appreciate you and your wonderful way of looking at life!! emoticon

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AMABILE75 5/19/2010 11:28AM

    I can't help but think of one of my favorite statements, so I'll share it with you now.

May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future. You deserve only the best. :) As you like to say... you are worth it.


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RHAL1462 5/19/2010 10:23AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/19/2010 10:19AM

  wonderful blog, I too have some wonderful memories of my Grandfather. The one thing I remember the most of him was the way he made me feel special. Not of what I was, but just because I was. Thank you for reminding me of his unconditional love this morning

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PSHANKEY 5/19/2010 8:56AM

    Great perspective on "glory days." I like the thought that today we are making future "glory days."

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PSHANKEY 5/19/2010 8:56AM

    Great perspective on "glory days." I like the thought that today we are making future "glory days."

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WALKNLOVE 5/19/2010 8:33AM

    The glory days are today too....He came that we might have life and have it more everyday to it's fullest, love people, walk with God, dare to make change.Remember you are living the glory days. Thanks as always for sharing John! You are the bomb! :D

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TINK33 5/19/2010 8:26AM

    You have an amazing gift in your ability to put your thoughts and emotions into words and to INSPIRE! Thank you for that. This was a GREAT blog! Enjoy reminiscing and preparing for the wedding. . . .new memories, new pictures.

I had to laugh about the "tubs" of pictures. I too have several rubbermaid totes full of picutres and have vowed that I will start organizing those, so I don't have to be stressed out when graduations start happening in a couple years. :)

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DOLLBABE56 5/19/2010 8:23AM

    I agree. I've been realizing this over the past couple of weeks. Isn't it funny that we do have the power to change our perception of the good old days - not always a good thing - not always bad either.

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"Take A Break"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is anyone here an emotional eater like me? Do you let things build inside of you until you feel like the dam is getting ready to break? Then you grab your food of choice and OD on it?

There are some mornings I will lay in bed and review my plans for the day and I feel every fiber of my being begin to tighten. I am frustrated and even though it took me a really long time to figure it all out, I am defeated before I have done one thing.
I lie there and mutter something g like “I’ll bet skinny people don’t have these issues. They are so calm, so cool so collected. They handle everything so very well.”
I am bald. Oh, I have a bit of hair on the side and on the back but for the most part I am bald. Whenever I fall into this trap of misperception I say this “I’ll bet people with hair don’t have these issues. They are so calm, so cool, so collected.” Then I laugh
Misperceptions abound in every area of our lives and they are mostly our own creations.

Despite what conventional wisdom states I have found in my own life, that emotional eating is a symptom and not a disease. What happens when you treat symptoms? You get better for awhile but in the end you are right back where you started from, and you have become really frustrated. You question your own worth and value because no one in the entire universe has this problem but you and if they indeed do have this problem they cope with it much better than you do. So why even bother? Pass the butter please.

Time for a break.

No seriously, when I get to this point I take a break. If I can get up from my desk or kitchen table and physically go somewhere I do, but if I can’t I have located this amazingly powerful drug called my imagination and I simply create an opportunity to check out, put it in neutral, or whatever term you choose to use. This takes a bit of work and strategy and before I begin please understands this disclaimer. “I don’t always get it right.” It’s the reason most of my stress pools in my lower back and I am sent running for a seventy dollar massage!!

Misperceptions abound in every area of our lives and they are mostly our own creations.

“I don’t have time, John.” I used to think I didn’t have any time either until one day it dawned on me that every time I hit a red light and grit my teeth I have an opportunity to relax a bit for at least a minute. It’s an opportunity to have the entire chatter stop inside of my head. There are days I am so frustrated I will tell all those negative voices quite simply to “Shut Up!!!!”

I have found that turning off the chatter on the radio allows my mind time to disengage. I listen to soft, reflective music, either on a CD, my IPod or the radio and while I am driving it takes me away from the situation I am in. When I return from my internal journey I can see things just a bit clearer.

Maybe the car isn’t your place. I decided awhile back that I cared enough about me that I would create opportunity to remove myself from the fray and get some peace in my life. When I create those moments, I don’t emotionally over eat. I find I am a bit more balanced and focused.

Joan learned this years ago and part of the reason I write this paragraph is for younger parents. We have six children and they are all relatively close in age. When they were teeny tiny, Joan was a stay at home mom. Every afternoon, when I got home from work, after I checked the mail and stuff she would take an hour before dinner and do something, anything, everything, nothing or all of the above. Sometimes she took a walk, other times she went in our bedroom, closed the door and read, or watched TV. She disengaged.

I wrote a bit yesterday about being proactive and I guess it’s a nice way of saying you have to open your big mouth to get what you want. You are worth it, so am I. This journey towards health we on, requires a lot of attention to detail. Most of us have failed before and we are scared to admit we are afraid of failing again. That’s because we are not used to getting good things for ourselves.

Find a way, to take a break. Find a way to disengage, even if it’s for five minutes to start with. You are worth that investment and I promise you with all my heart it will pay a huge dividend.

Have a great Monday

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIEGLEN012 5/19/2010 4:59AM

    We totally agree...again. This is a must for me. When I was a child, my parents would pile my sister and I in the car and we would take a Sunday drive before a light supper and Lassie!!!!! We drove into the country and stopped along the side of the road to watch the farm animals play. It didn't take much money...gas was not what it is now...and we had time to talk and laugh and enjoy each others' company. A disengagement of the tasks of daily life. It was an excellent model.

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MARCYNA 5/19/2010 4:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IDALUKE 5/18/2010 3:14PM

    I always try to take breaks every two hrs. It keeps me from getting over tried. I usually take a 15 min walk around the building when I take a break. I feel so much better and my head is cleared again. God Bless have a great day

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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/18/2010 2:17PM

  I am learning to be kind to myself. Allowing myself to be where I am at any given time to not feel like I have to be perfect. Knowing somedays I will be able to do more than others. Celebrating each day at it comes and knowing at days end I have done the best I could

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NPA4LOSS 5/18/2010 12:08PM

    Since joining Sparks I have been rewarding myself with breaks. It has been the greatest thing I have ever done for myself. Just a short remark about being bald. I work at corrections agency. All but 2 of our officers are bald. Bald is very sexy as I am sure your wife will tell you. Take that off your negative list. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/18/2010 10:41AM

    I'm the queen of breaks. If I don't have them I get mean and sick. LOL.

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FANAMAMA 5/18/2010 9:25AM

    The key to what you say every day - I am worth it, you are worth it. Whatever the "it" is - alone time, effort, $$ for good sneakers, time to make healthy meals - whatever. I am worth it. I AM worth it. I am WORTH it. I am worth IT! I am worthy of it. Thank you God, I AM WORTH IT!

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GERPAT 5/18/2010 9:01AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog, misconceptions busted=returning to awareness....

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WANDAH3 5/18/2010 7:49AM

    I've been taking the time to reconnect with the earth...I'm learning to be a gardener and to grow some healthy food for my family in the process. It's my down time after a stressful day at work. It gives my eyes and my mind an opportunity to relax and let go of all the chatter.

Have an awesome day John,

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AMABILE75 5/18/2010 7:34AM

    Oh boy do I need this right now!!!


I'm trying! I try to do a little meditating to calm all those voices speaking at the same time in my head, but I just fall asleep. LOL. I suppose that is my body telling me I need sleep more right now. emoticon

I will remember it is ok to take a break. Thanks for the reminder my friend.


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GRAMHIFF 5/17/2010 11:26PM

    You are an amazing man your blogs are so trueto heart,You always make me think.I THANK YOU with all my emoticon you are an insperation in every way.I will find a way to disengage for a 5 time,yes we all need to do this,here are BIG emoticon for YOU and YOUR family. WITH LOVE PATTY

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HDHAWK 5/17/2010 11:11PM

    Thank you John! I'm going through a very stressful time right now, which will hopefully be over with soon. But, I'm not letting it send me into emotional eating this time. Progress, for now, at least.

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TINKERBELL200 5/17/2010 10:10PM

    Oh John this speaks to me today! Mondays are my most stressful day of the week! I can tend to do the same and stuff my face with whatever is available. I guess I need to find a way to disengage! Thanks for the tip! Great blog! As you know I always enjoy your blogs! Thank you!

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CARRAND 5/17/2010 9:42PM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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DIASTER 5/17/2010 8:12PM

  Have a hint about frustration at a long traffic light, taken from a sermon about patience. Say a prayer for the occupants of any chosen car stuck at the same light, takes your mind of the 4 min. long light, and does something nice for others .

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JURI62 5/17/2010 8:05PM

    Great blog! I just realized yesterday that I am still retreating to bathroom whenever I need to "regroup". This was a necessity as a single parent as it was the only place the kids wouldn't follow me, but my "baby" is soon to be 17 and I'm still hiding in the bathroom!!!

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GREENCAT1 5/17/2010 2:54PM

    I am an emotional eater also. I find that if I can "catch" myself before a binge, I can take 10 slow, deep belly breaths and it will snap me back to present. (Sort of like when the Dog Whisperer does the "tshh" thing!) Seriously, emotional eating is ALWAYS a symptom. It could be stress or it could be a deep trauma. Trying to think about WHY I want to eat that thing at this time and what it will do for me has helped me wipe away some cobwebs. This can be scary to do alone and I would encourage anyone that feels there may be deeper issues with their emotional eating to seek the help of a professional. John, I am glad that you get massages because I am a massage therapist. (I also have 6 children and can relate to Joan!)
Thanks for the blog.

Cathy emoticon

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JENMCALLISTER 5/17/2010 1:51PM

    Thanks for the great advice. Make sure you are eating some of your favorites in moderation. It will keep you from ODing when you finally give in.

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DANCEDAD67 5/17/2010 12:13PM

    Just an FYI - people with hair have problems too...LOL

Thank you for another inspirational blog. I am definitely an emotional eater, and it has been my biggest struggle the past two weeks as I've begun my journey on SparkPeople. Thank you for the ideas. I look forward to trying them out as I move ahead.

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JUDIL62 5/17/2010 12:02PM


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AZCUPCAKE 5/17/2010 11:30AM

    Great ideas from a great man. You deserve many accolades for having a strong marriage and six (!) children. I laughed when you wrote about how skinny people and people who have HAIR don't have your issues! I used to say the same thing, only it was, 'I'll bet all those people who don't have RED HAIR don't have as many issues as I have!' That sounds incredibly foolish when I read that back to myself. Thank you for making sense out of all the gobbledy-gook that clogs our brains! You provide the organically-safe version of Drain-O for our heads, John!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/17/2010 11:13AM

    Good advice, John. I'm realizing how much we have learned to use food as a distraction from something else, a way to avoid dealing with one thing or another. Emotional eating really is just a symptom; if we can stop before we start down that old, familiar road and take a break, we can change the pattern and ultimately change our lives.


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DOLLBABE56 5/17/2010 9:14AM

    I have quite a playlist I'm listening to this morning. Here is an example:

Losing Streak - EELS
You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate
Barbie Girl (ok, stop laughing!)
Boogie Shoes - K.C. and the Sunshine Band
Come Dancing - The Kinks
Get This Party Started - Pink
Stand - R.E.M.
Wild, Wild Life - Talking Heads
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred


I am determined to be in a good mood today!

Have a fun day!! emoticon

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CMBELISLE 5/17/2010 9:09AM

    You are so right about people treating the symptom and not the problem. Most of us are emotional eaters in one way or another, the difference being what triggers it. Sometimes, it is simply stress. Other times, it can be some deep childhood trauma. The deeper the problem, the less likely we are to take a close look at it.

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ROSE5328 5/17/2010 8:38AM

    I needed to hear this advice this morning! Thank you!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/17/2010 8:26AM

  great advice.... have a wonderful week

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WALKNLOVE 5/17/2010 8:25AM

    Music is a great way to disengage. It has a way of changing my mood almost instantly.Perky music...perky mood.Funny movie= laughter.Do whatever it takes and don't forget your biggest cheerleader who is right beside you in your journey...(and no, this time it's not your wife, although she is close behind :D)'s Jesus!And He longs for you to have the abundant life you seek! emoticon

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Five Months of Sparking: Patience, Being Proactive and Being Positive

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I caught the Spark five months ago this weekend. I have made many friends here and learned many things about myself and about my journey towards health. If I had to summarize what I have learned and continue to learn it would go something like this:

I am learning PATIENCE
When Joan and I were married in 1974 (Long before a lot of you were born!) I weighed one hundred sixty pounds. Thirty five years later the day I began to Spark I weighed three hundred twenty six pounds. In thirty five years I had doubled myself and not I a good way I might add. It took me thirty five years to create all those habits and strategies that allowed all that weight gain. It is going to take a bit longer than five months to create new behaviors that will reverse that trend. I know I am on the right path. I have lost right at sixty four pounds during that time. The last three weeks have caused me to scratch my head a bit - - - A two pound gain, a five pound loss and this week I stayed the same as the week before. I reminded myself that my body is going through a lot of changes, all of them good ones. It needs time to adjust and in order for that to happen I need to be patient.

I have found that looking at my goals rather than my progress helps me slow down, take deep breaths and remember why I am here. It also helps to celebrate what I have achieved and plan to achieve more. I am in the process of becoming healthy and a process is not a program! Programs start and end. This process will go on for the rest of my life. I am not going to fail. It’s no longer an option.

I am learning to be PROACTIVE
News flash Sparkies, no one takes care of you any better than you and if you sit in the corner and cry about the fact you are fat, well then you are going to get awfully lonely, if you are not already!!! I have to be my best advocate and I have to make sure I get the positive attention I deserve to help me become healthier tomorrow than I am today.

It means that I have to face the music about things other than diet and exercise that are holding me back. I have to face those obstacles and then find help by either over coming them or learning to deal with them. No more blaming the environment, my upbringing, my family, my friends, etc. As a matter of fact there is no more blaming period, especially of me. I am obese.

The question becomes “What am I going to do about it?”

I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help or guidance. When I want to know something about diet or exercise I write a blog that that basically says “Hey guys I want to know more about……..” And you all answer and then I know what my options are. The trainers at our gym know me as the guy who is now eternally saying, “I gots a question for you.” It may refer to how to use a piece of equipment or an exercise I can do to stretch an aching muscle or two. I want to know. Truth be known, some of them give me a five word answer and walk away but most of them take the time to help me because I am showing an interest in myself.

Despite what that bald headed charlatan on television may say it is all about you. The thing we have shoved food in for so long, that thing called a mouth? That mouth is for you to ask, wonder and learn with so you can be the wonderful you that you are.

(From time to time I wonder just how much I really fracture the English language.)

I am learning to be POSITIVE
The harder I work the more encouraged I become. The more of you I spend time with you the healthier my mind becomes. If you know me at all you know my mantra is “You are who you hang around with.” I hang around with courageous, committed, beautiful people who share my common goal: To be everything I can be.
Some days I look in the mirror and even though my mind sees a really slender me, the mirror doesn’t. It can get discouraging. I could give up or…………. I could say a prayer, read one of your really great blogs and find a friend who may need my help and assistance.

Zig Ziglar, the motivational speaker once said “You will get what you want when you help other people get what they want.” I believe that. I will find my happiness and my success through all the people in my life that are looking for the same things I am. If I started detailing everyone here at Spark who has helped me these past five months I would surely forget someone because there are thousands of you. Suffice to say, if you are reading this, you are one of my posse, LOL.

Finally, and this is just a recent revelation, my life is not ruled by a number on a scale. It is ruled by my desire to be happy and to spread that happiness to other people. My definition of success has always been “To help good people become better.”

I know include myself in that definition

You should also.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 5/20/2010 11:43AM


You know you are on the right track when you can keeping moving forward after a few weeks of unexpected and mind-boggling scale activity. That's why it is key not to be focused only on that number. Thanks for that reminder! (I've had a similar few yo-yo weeks.)

I am STILL, for so many years, learning patience and positivity too. They'll take us so far! I often marvel at how and why it can be so difficult to practice something so good for us.

Happy 5-month anniversary, and keep up the amazing Spark work!


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TRIPLE_EMME 5/20/2010 10:58AM


Happy 5 month Sparkversary!

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DUTCHIEKIWI 5/18/2010 1:26AM

    happy mini anniversary John ;0)

We lkearn more every time we spark around.

Glad to call you my friend!

Love Dutchie


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SING4MYFOOD 5/17/2010 11:35PM

    Thank you! This was forwarded to me too, & you have a lot of great things in this blog.

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PASTORWILEY62 5/17/2010 11:25PM

    Thank you this was actually forewarded to me and has helped me much thanks Pastor Brenda

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2BEATIT1 5/17/2010 11:13PM

    Your blog certainly is inspirational and encouraging to the rest of us who struggle.
Thanks for being vulnerable enough to be a help to others.
God bless you
2BEATIT1 emoticon

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JUDIL62 5/17/2010 12:04PM


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AZCUPCAKE 5/17/2010 11:17AM

    Golden, golden, golden!! Your words truly are worth their weight in gold. I LOVE the reference you make to a process not being a program, but a way to live the rest of your life. WOW. What a mind-boggling concept for those of us who just think that Point A hooks up to Point B and once you reach your "destination," then you can get off of the track and move in the same straight line while wandering around off-course! INSANITY!

All I can say is: Thank you for your eloquence in gently stating the OBVIOUS that is OBVIOUSLY not so easy to hear or follow for stubborn folk like me~! Slowly the scales (no pun intended!) are falling away from my eyes!

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MARCYNA 5/17/2010 3:57AM

    'Imagination is more important than knowledge'
A. Einstein
Keep on imagining that slender you!!!!
Love emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/17/2010 3:58:59 AM

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ANNASBF 5/17/2010 1:34AM

    I like your idea of taking responsibility for your weight, life, happiness... all that neat stuff... while pushing away the idea of holding yourself down with self-hatred, blame, and all those punishing ideas that become an excuse to open mouth insert food! Stop waiting for someone to find us worthy and do it for myself.. and pass it forward, too! Somebody wiser than me said that humility is the first step on the road to wisdom... and asking for help requires just that! Thanks for a very thought provoking blog!

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SPARKENISTA 5/16/2010 11:39PM

    You have done an amazing job over the last five months. If Zig Zigler is right, you are the man! emoticon

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ANNE-ELIZ 5/16/2010 10:32PM

    Yet another insightful blog!

Congratulations on five months! emoticon

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HAWAIILINDA 5/16/2010 9:51PM

    Congradulations on 5 mths of SP, the changes you have made and all that you have learned. Thank you for sharing it with us!

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SHEILAKHS1 5/16/2010 8:59PM

    i hope to someday be as positive as you i find it hard to find the good in me but i am trying hard to change that along with changing the rest of my lifestyle

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CARRAND 5/16/2010 8:51PM

    Great blog. I could echo many of your thoughts.

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JPRICE217 5/16/2010 7:08PM

    Good blog as always look forward to your blogs everyday and I am never disappointed. Thank you.

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LUCYSRAIN 5/16/2010 6:52PM

    Another Great Blog!


If you only know how much your words resonate with me!

Your making a difference...Congratulations on a successful 5 months!

emoticon emoticon


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ROTTLADY 5/16/2010 6:49PM

    Your weight loss for such a short time is impressive. It took me a year to take 70 pounds off. I knoow I am dealing with poor eating and stress eating demons and that I need to make change for life and to make healthy choices and to be smart and think before I eat. emoticon for sharing and for motivating us here at Spark.

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BEANPOD77 5/16/2010 6:15PM

    You continue to inspire..Thank you!

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RONDAJONES 5/16/2010 5:53PM

    John...I know you have helped me deal AND dig up a bunch of demons that need to be dealt with! Thanks..really, though, THANKS! The church sermon was just for me!

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TINKERBELL200 5/16/2010 5:15PM

    John, you have done such an awesome job in 5 months. It took me a 1 1/2 to lose 50 lbs. Keep doing what your doing...Never give up! Know that you are helping people and inspire them, just be blogging and being brutally honest with your struggles. You can do it!!
Thanks for sharing!

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JUST_TRI_IT 5/16/2010 3:43PM

    Amazing what five months can produce!!! Way to go John :

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    Thanks, John, I do. I dedicated my life to helping others long ago like you did. And I am truly happy. Peace and love.

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LORRAANN77 5/16/2010 1:46PM

    Right on! Great blog, thanking for sharing it with us here. Keep up the great work :)

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MAKULEWAHINE 5/16/2010 1:01PM

    What a great blog. I needed to read that this morning. Lots of stress and trying to ignore it instead of dealing with it. Sigh.

By the way, I think the English language is meant to be fractured. My mother was an English teacher in the land of pidgin English. Our favorite annoyance was to fracture as much of the language as possible. What IS important is that you put down your thoughts and revelations in a way that others can relate to them and learn and be supported by them. Thanks!

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SNORRIS40 5/16/2010 11:49AM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the first five months. I love reading your blogs because they are so positive and remind me to think of other aspects besides the "needle on the scale". I am honoured to have you as a Spark friend! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 5/16/2010 11:43AM

    Wow, I haven't heard the name Zig Ziglar in a long time! lol I'm right there with you John. Being positive and proactive take a lot of hard work. Sometimes I lose my way - but with friends like you and my other sparkers, I always find my way back.

Comment edited on: 5/16/2010 11:49:04 AM

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GEEMAWEST 5/16/2010 11:40AM

    Oops! double post, sorry.

Comment edited on: 5/16/2010 11:41:04 AM

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GEEMAWEST 5/16/2010 11:40AM

    Congrats on 5 months! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. You're helping a lot of folks with your wise words (fractured or not). LOL

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SAPPHIRE983 5/16/2010 11:23AM

    Yay! emoticon SP has taught many of us about ourselves and things we would have never found out without.

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DOLLIE6 5/16/2010 10:55AM

    I agree. Have a wonderful day.

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AKATUJE 5/16/2010 10:50AM

    emoticon on coming this far in five months!!! And emoticon as always, for a great blog. I really like the mantra.... You are who you hang with. Hanging with great people.... Something will rub off. You are one of those I love to hang out with, way too much wisdom!!!

And congratulations on all those years in marriage. I find that inspiring.... I just made 5.


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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/16/2010 10:44AM

  Your insights are always right on target and I thank you for sharing them with us and allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to help others... you are an inspiration to me. I look forward to your blogs every morning... have a beautiful Sunday

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Success and Recognition and When It's Worth It All

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You log your food, faithfully calculate your exercise program. You get enough rest, remain active and balance your caloric intake. You get on the scale once a day, once a week, or once a month. You measure your arms, your thighs and your waist. You do all this stuff faithfully and you start all over again tomorrow morning. It becomes routine and you learn that changing your life style means that what you do becomes part of your day and while you are happy and satisfied with all of your progress it can become, well it can become awfully ordinary.

Oh, you do not have to convince me of the benefits. I am well aware of them, but some days it just seems like, well there is a line from a movie of the same name and it says “What if this is a good as it gets?” Then you get surprised. When you least expect it, when you start to wonder………

The gym Joan and I belong to is part of our local hospital system. Appropriately enough it is called The Health Park. Besides the fact that its five minutes from our house it is a good facility staffed with good people. About a month ago they sent out one of those customer satisfaction surveys. I not only filled out the survey but stapled on an attachment. I told them how I felt that along with my family, my doctor and my friends they had played a real integral part in my journey. I detailed how they had helped.

Yesterday morning as I was feeling sorry for myself about God’s know what now, my phone rings. On the other end was the membership director of the Health Park. She told me how she had read my letter and was impressed with my journey. She went on to tell me that a few times a year they print a supplement that goes in our Sunday newspaper. They usually profile a member who has had some success. Would I like to be that member in June? I was speechless. She told me they would set up a photo shoot and arrange for a reporter to contact me for an interview.

“I don’t know you personally know you John,” she said. “But I understand from my staff you are quite an inspiration.”

I almost had to pull the car over to the side of the road. I started calling everyone I could think to call. I got home, changed clothes and did my C25K training and yeah I hurt a bit but I had this huge grin on my face. I WAS A SUCCESS.

I couldn’t help but think about a quote from a new friend here TRACEY5280. She wrote a response to my blog yesterday. She said “A quote I saw yesterday - "the bad news is that you are the problem, the good news is that you are the solution". That is so true.”

Amen. Enough said

Those days in the gym, passing up the cookies, cakes and pies, the sore joints? They suddenly became worth it all. I had achieved a success in my life and if I had one then I can have two and maybe three and then God knows how many. So I will hold this in my heart and I will enjoy it and I will realize that it is all worth it and it will carry me through until my next success, which I am coming to believe is right around the corner.
So is yours. When you least expect it.

I will publish the link to the article when it is published

Have a good Saturday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYNINJOY1 5/30/2010 3:07AM

    Fantastic. Loved your blog.

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WIGIME 5/21/2010 5:14AM

    How wonderful John! You must be so proud, congratulations and a big Woo Hoo!

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TRIPLE_EMME 5/20/2010 11:00AM


Please do publish the link when the article is published!


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GLENSGIRL40 5/19/2010 7:40AM

Sounds like "someone" knew you needed some inspiration...and you got it. Congratulations & enjoy every moment!

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DAVEW175 5/17/2010 6:27PM

    Congratulations John. I've just discovered your page and have really enjoyed reading your blog. Keep it up!

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WANDAH3 5/16/2010 10:23AM

    You are a success John...what a lovely tribute to all the hard work you are putting into becoming the healthy person that you desire to be. Congratulations.


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FERNASHES 5/16/2010 8:26AM

    You're a success story! That's got to feel awesome... and give a whole lot of motivation. Congratulations - and don't underestimate what you mean to others, too!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/16/2010 8:22AM

    How wonderful to get this recognition. I can just see you running with a grin on your face..... emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 5/16/2010 12:27AM

    This news has me smiling from ear to ear! How wonderfully fun! Won't it just be great to spread the news? Life can change, one ordinary day at a time.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRACEY5280 5/15/2010 10:42PM

    John, I am thrilled to read that others recognize the "spark" you bring to a journey traveled by so many! That is awesome! Can't wait to see the article :)

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JENMCALLISTER 5/15/2010 10:35PM

    Cool beans! There is nothing like someone taking notice of your accomplishments. Can't wait to see the article!!

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CATHERINEL66 5/15/2010 9:15PM

    Congrats!! Funny how YOU attracted this acknowledgement of your success to you by reaching out with that attachment ... you went the extra mile, and wow, instant karma came your way!

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JPRICE217 5/15/2010 8:52PM

    emoticon job it does not supprise me that they want to publish an artice abouy you . You are so good.

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HAWAIILINDA 5/15/2010 6:59PM

    Congratulations John, you are a success and an ispiration! I will look forward to reading the article when it is available. Way to go!

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JUST_TRI_IT 5/15/2010 6:42PM

    Congratulations John... Not only do you inspire us here on SP, but you are inspiring those in your own community. KEEP UP YOUR GREAT work.. (blogs, work outs, feeling good, listening to your wise wife, Joan LOL )

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WE_PA_FIT 5/15/2010 5:19PM

    and now you will continue to inspire so many more so they too can reach their success.

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HDHAWK 5/15/2010 4:45PM

    Congratulations John! You are so deserving! I think you are a success each and every day when you share your wonderful blogs with all of us! emoticon

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SAFFSTAR 5/15/2010 4:31PM

    Hi John, I'm so glad you're getting some of the recognition you deserve. I know that you get many, many comments on your blogs but I hope you realise just how much your words and progress truly inspire us, your readers. I registered on Spark because I want to nip my weight gain in the bud - I don't have a lot to lose or an important health issue pushing me to be better, I know that I could very easliy say, "Ah, forget it - I'll lose the weight for Christmas/my birthday/tomorrow-that-never-comes" but I'm sticking to this and you are a major contributor to that. I look forward to your blog every day and, every day, your words inspire me to move my ass and not reach for that chocolate. Thanks John, you are a star motivator and I'm so happy that you're undertanding that so many people around you see this xxx

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CMBELISLE 5/15/2010 4:31PM

    Congrats John! You totally deserve it. You have done great and you are such an inspiration to others.

Keep up the great work and have an awesome weekend.

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HONORINGGOD 5/15/2010 3:54PM

    john you have all ready inspired many of here at spart with your honestness . im glad you are being givensuch a great opportunity to spread the spark ,but 1st to give God the glory who has given us a 2nd ,3rd, 4th,chance to have a healthy life style .thank you for being a spark friend emoticon

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UNIBOK 5/15/2010 3:35PM

    Can't wait to see the article, John! What a terrific confirmation of your efforts and successes!

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ROSE5328 5/15/2010 3:34PM


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MARCYNA 5/15/2010 3:32PM

    Worth it all, worth it all.
One day we will receive the prize for all the good actions we've done and I think we'll be with a huge grin on our faces.
May you be Blessed emoticon

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    Congratulations. This is wonderful news. And you know what it means. There is no turning back for you ever. No giving up. Now you are an example to others - in print. Onward. LOL.

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/15/2010 1:08PM

    Well done, John--congratulations! Yours is definitely a 'success story' that deserves to be heard by a wider audience; who knows who will see the story in the paper and think, if he could do it, maybe I can, too. Giving others hope and inspiring them to try once more or keep going is perhaps the best part of this journey; we do it for ourselves, but if we can help others along the way, it is so much more meaningful. I'll look forward to reading the article when it's published!


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GERIKRAGH 5/15/2010 12:36PM

    It's amazing what can happen when we least expect it. God finds a way to prop us up when we're feeling sorry for ourselves or are down.

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RENA1965 5/15/2010 11:45AM

    You rock! Keep at it..

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KLEONIKI 5/15/2010 11:43AM

    It is so nice and hopeful when one of us meets face to face with H.M. Recognition .
Of course it is better when this happens unexpectedly!
I am happy not that you are a success , dear friend
(we ve already known well that )
but because those around you FINALLY named you SUCCESSFUL.
Sometimes, even though we know it deep inside, even though we can figure it out by simple reasoning,
it is GOOD TO HEAR IT !!!
My warm congratulations for the smile you ve managed to add to this difficult journey!
Your blog came in a very lonesome moment of mine and built a new bridge of hope and expectation .Thank you for reminding me it is worth while waiting...

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ACTIVE_AT_60 5/15/2010 11:14AM

    You rock my man!!! Kudo's to you for taking the journey - for writing back - and with the article in the newspaper - you are paying it forward.

Keep up the good work!!!

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PRINCESSNURSE 5/15/2010 11:01AM

    Congratulations! It is a well deserved honor--you inspire me every day!

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SHEILAKHS1 5/15/2010 10:58AM

    Awesome JOHN !!! everyday you are my inspiration i read your blogs and get positive each and everyday even on the days i am feeling sorry for myself i know i can go to your page and brighten my day....thanks for being my motivator to keep myself moving forward

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DOLLIE6 5/15/2010 10:50AM

    Wow, congratulations. Now aren't you glad that you stuck to your plan. I love rewards. You never know when you are helping people are when you will be called on to help someone. If you had not stuck to your plan you would not be in the position you are in now helping people. It makes the rest of us want to stay on our program where we can be used however we are needed.
Don't you forget us when you get famous. Joke, Joke, I know you would not. Have a wonderful weekend.

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WEEZIE1122 5/15/2010 10:17AM

    I knew it! First it's the local paper, next thing you know, it's Oprah.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/15/2010 10:18:41 AM

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 5/15/2010 10:08AM


That's Amazing John!!! Way to go!! Your photo shoot should be interesting. If they'll allow you, you can ask for copy's of all the photos they take. Most papers will at least put them on a disk for you. Just a thought!!

As always Great Blog John!!


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VTORIA3 5/15/2010 10:04AM

    The recognition of you as an inspiration is well earned, John. You are reflecting and enjoying this journey, as you should. I am real proud of you John, as we fellow Sparkers know how hard it can be. Your success, and my happiness and pride for you, has me doing the "happy dance" right along with you. Your success, is our success, too, and you have made my day!

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ELIZABETH525 5/15/2010 9:50AM

    Awesome! You just joined the ranks of published success!!! Not many people get there! I hope one day I do so I can inspire others just like you have inspired all of us!

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AZCUPCAKE 5/15/2010 9:46AM

    Uh, oh -- we will have to learn to SHARE YOU with the "general public" once the Sunday supplement is published! Haha! Congratulations, John! You have earned this accolade! I am so happy that your light will be emanating from a new source!! Your wife is a remarkable person, too -- she is your number one shipmate on this journey of yours! Congratulations to Joan, too!!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/15/2010 9:44AM

  and why am I not are an inspiration to us and to all who are lucky enough to have you touch their lives. I am happy for you

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JCDROLSHAGEN 5/15/2010 9:41AM

    Congratulations. Glad to hear that you are passing on the Spark to your community. emoticon

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JENNY888 5/15/2010 9:40AM

    Congratulations on this success. You have developed these daily habits that you hardly have to think about any more because they are habits and part of your life. That is why you now can feel like "Is that all there is". The challenge is gone, but the new achievements are not. It's a success like this that makes it worth while at this point. These successes can be both unexpected like this one, or ones that we have set as new goals when we have met our old goals. emoticon emoticon for the post today.

As MUSTANG_SALLY2 said above, you are inspiring many more people than you even know by your blog posts here on Spark.

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ALLEY2231 5/15/2010 9:31AM

    How inspirational!!! Congrats!!! emoticon

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 5/15/2010 9:30AM

    Congratulations! Well done!

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DOLLBABE56 5/15/2010 9:26AM

    How wonderful John.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 5/15/2010 9:25AM

    Congratulations John. I am so excited for you. I hope you realize at least a small fraction of the people you are helping and encouraging with your blogs and your life. May God richly bless you today. Please ask your wife to give you a "thank you" hug from me. I am grateful for you!


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PRINCESSKIANE 5/15/2010 9:24AM

    emoticon emoticon thats awesome! good job!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Over Coming My Biggest Obstacle ---- ME

Friday, May 14, 2010

Many years ago, when I worked in Human Resources I used to comment t that the real good things we accomplished no one ever knew about. They were all confidential. I used to feel good whenever we were able to help someone. No one ever knew we did it.

I thought about that yesterday as I was driving around between appointments. I get a lot of private comments on my blog postings, stuff that’s not posted for the public to see. To be honest some of it tears my heart out.

People will write me and ask me to “reach out” to a Spark person they may know who is having difficulty in their lives or who may be burdened. They hope I can inspire them to possibly overcome some type of adversity in their lives. I am not telling you all of this so you will think I am some grand and wise person. I am telling you this by way of explanation. There are a lot of “someone’s “who helped me. Some of them are here at Spark and some of them are people I have known forever. All I can do is be me and share my story. I can only hope and pray that might help someone else the way the things I have learned have helped me.

Deep breath

In 1989 I was hospitalized for panic/anxiety disorder and mild depression. I had suffered from this affliction for around two years and was hospitalized because a group of well intentioned doctors had medicated me to the point of being a zombie-like person. Joan hit the roof, with the doctors, when we went to Wal-Mart one Saturday and I simply stood smiling at The Kraft American Cheese display.

Fortunately, we had a close friend who was a rehab counselor and Joan and I went to see him and ask him what to do. I kept having panic attacks and the doctors kept increasing my medication. Ever seen a zombie have a panic attack? Our friend put me in touch with a doctor who simply told me I was on the wrong medication. Okay no problem. Off the meds we come. Small snafu here. He told me that based on the combination of medication I was on, that in all likelihood I would have severe seizure coming off of the meds. So he put me in the hospital.

One of “those” hospitals.

I spent ten days in a detoxification ward and while I didn’t have any seizures I did have an amazing and fantastic experience. If you are familiar with detox, you are segregated and you eat, sleep and live with ten other people in the same boat you are in. I met some heroes. I met some people who had so much adversity in their lives and they were struggling hard to overcome it. I sat side by side with people who kept struggling with the same chemical dependency over and over and kept coming back for one more try to get healthy and whole. I felt a little small, actually. Some of these folks had been struggling with life and death issues for years and I was the victim of some doctor’s error. I learned three things while I was there and they have served me well for the rest of my life.

The first was: “John quit being the victim.” Amazingly, when I got this through my thick skull my panic and anxiety attacks decreased dramatically. Yes, I had issues in my life that often went beyond my control and if you suffer from the same disorder you know what a royal pain a panic attack can be. I had to decide if it would control me or I would control it.

I was really no different than anyone else on the planet. I had issues. Playing the victim is an easy role. People feel sorry for us, they cut us a little bit of slack but one thing I found out was that while they are doing all this, they actually discount us and lose respect for us. Who’s inspired by someone sitting in the corner crying?
You may think I am being cruel. I am not. As they say “been there, done that and I got a major award to prove it.” Once all the drugs were out of my system my new doctor told me he didn’t believe in treating my disorder with medication unless it was completely debilitating. He told me “to go live my life and learn to cope with my issues.” I did and I have. I quit using it as an excuse to not get healthy and improve my life.

The second thing I learned is that you can be positive or you can be negative and it’s not going to change the situation you are in so you might as well be positive. I could sit here all day and tell you how I have turned really bad situations into really good ones, over time, by simply adjusting my outlook on life. There are people who hate to see me coming because I am always spreading sunshine. I just figure that there are enough people spreading gloom and doom, why shouldn’t I do just the opposite?

Third, if you have good friends, cherish them, feed them, water them and they will develop deep roots right alongside of you. During the ten days I was hospitalized I received one inquiry, other than Joan. It was from my best friend. She didn’t care what kind of hospital I was in or what I was in there for she only had one question, “What can I do?” She offered to help Joan out if she could and told me not to hesitate to call her no matter what time of the day or night.

Find a friend and be a friend. That’s the best advice I can give anyone.

I still have panic attacks. I live with them and I have learned some strategies to keep them at bay. They don’t rule my life. I overcame that obstacle and now I am dealing with my weight. I will overcome that obstacle too. I am not a victim, skinny, fat or otherwise. I am positive about my approach to this journey and truth be known I am enjoying it.

Finally I learned that if you want a lot of friends you have to be a friend. The first friend you need to make is you. You are your best friend. I’ll be there for you to cheer, to help, to guide and all that other neat stuff, but you and I will never stop playing the victim until we realize the issues we have in our lives and learn to first love ourselves. We need to see that all of this, good or bad is simply the life we live and it is indeed, what we make of it.

I could sit here until tomorrow making excuses for being overweight and unhealthy or I can, like the Nike commercial says “Just Do It.”

If I can do this, so can you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRENDY_28 6/15/2010 10:59PM

    thank you for sharing this. nice blog :)

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DARKTHOR 6/15/2010 7:37PM

    This was great and had a lot of messages that are good for me to be reminded about. Thanks for sharing.

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JCHRELLE_04 5/24/2010 7:00PM

    seems like everything I needed to hear, you said..
Thank you!

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JQZFY348 5/19/2010 9:09AM

  Thanks for Sharing. You are inspirational.

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SUSIE85251 5/19/2010 12:16AM

    I have dealt with panic attacks on and off, thankfully they are now mostly off now. I learned some deep breathing techniques and learned to feel the fear and do it any ways. It works for me most of the time.

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CINABEE 5/18/2010 8:23PM

    Really enjoyed readeing about you. It gave me a good kick in my rear. Thank you and good luck. I had several panic attacks too not fun. Life is what we make it be foe ourselfs.

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BLESSYOURUDY 5/18/2010 7:46PM


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MERALO 5/18/2010 9:49AM

    This is beautiful!

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SPARKANN 5/17/2010 11:33PM

    Thank you for sharing...

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 5/17/2010 8:33PM

    Thank you for sharing that with us. I am currently dealing with anxiety and some stressful life circumstances. I did some errands in town today and in watching other people it seems that everyone has somewhere to go and something to do. They have such PURPOSE. I am so in between right now, that I catch myself looking at everyone else as though they know something about life I don't know. You reminded me that we are all so much alike and can share much of the same pain. We just are used to masking it. Now when my stomach does that flip-floppy rolling thing I will tell myself that the dude at the 4-way stop could be dealing with it too. Big hugs to you!

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4DOGNIGHT 5/17/2010 5:13PM

    Good blog as usual! I take meds for depression and I feel like the cocktail of meds I am taking right now is working. i tried to reduce one in Jan uary this year and after one hellish month, decided it wasn't worth it. Now I feel great. Don't know when, if ever, I can get completely off but I'm happy for you. Doctors do over medicate, especially the elderly, like my 90 year old mom-in-law who takes a lot of pills but none are too strong and she is not taking heart or cholesterol meds which she took for years.

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MARIEPC 5/17/2010 4:53PM

    thank you so much for sharing your story, you are an inspiration we can all relate to.

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DANCEDAD67 5/17/2010 12:08PM

    Great blog! While I don't suffer from regular panic attacks, my children have been known to cause me to have them. I really appreciate your outlook because I try to have a similar one. So much of our society seems content to "be the victim," looking for someone or something to blame for their ills. Take responsibility and take action!

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CRAZETEACH 5/16/2010 12:19PM

    I am new here and this is the first blog I have read. WOW! Thank you!

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DIASTER 5/16/2010 9:41AM

  So now will you believe us when we tell you what an inspiration you are? That interview should prove how much your wisdom and common sense as well as your eloquent writing skills mean to us all. Thank you for your consistent encouragement.

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OZARKMARY 5/16/2010 6:35AM

    Awesome blog as always! You ROCK, John! emoticon

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HONORINGGOD 5/15/2010 11:14PM

    i hear you my friend &GOD bless you,i needed to read this

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JENMCALLISTER 5/15/2010 10:31PM

    John, I love this blog. It reminds me that no matter what life throws at you, you have to be strong and deal with it.

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  Honesty is truly a most attractive it on a woman or a man....and You...John are beautiful emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/15/2010 10:21:59 PM

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LOOKINGTOBEFIT 5/15/2010 10:15PM

    Thanks for such an awesome blog emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 5/15/2010 9:17PM

    Good job, John! I too have found the Dr's really go crazy prescribing for depression (and insomnia, in my case). Not to lessen anyone's issues, but I personally have found that vigorous exercise and pulling up my bootstraps to be preferable to meds ... unless the whole world is falling on my head at once, LOL!!

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BELLAMIMI1 5/15/2010 5:05PM


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CASSIOEPIA 5/15/2010 4:12PM

    Thank you for this blog today.

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JDMMAMMA 5/15/2010 3:51PM

    You're awesome! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REACHNDREAM 5/15/2010 2:19PM

    Powerful message here and very honestly put. Hoping you continue to JUST DO IT! You've been having great success. Keep up the super work and thanks for sharing such real and motivating life lessons.

Rise Above! emoticon

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SANDY000 5/15/2010 2:14PM

    Wow did I need that. I always say to others miracles happen every day you just have to keep your eyes open and take time to notice. You were my miracle today. I have never been the victim but had just recently begun to do so I will stop now. My mom,sister,grand-father etc.... all suffer from panic attacks luckily I have only had 2 in my 51 years and I never want to have another. Thank you Thank you Thank you for your post and the angel that lead me to read it today.


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MISSYGEEN 5/15/2010 2:14PM

    There is no testimony without a test. You have passed your test and others get the benefit of hearing and learning from your story. Thank You.

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GRINDRODA 5/15/2010 1:54PM

    Thank you.

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MRSJERRYBUSH 5/15/2010 1:37PM

    Hi! Just stopping in to say, "Your blog inspired me in a big way." And from the comments I can see how you inspired others. Good work!

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YVONNESCH 5/15/2010 1:11PM

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I truly needed to read it. I am not addicted to medication...but I have been receiving bad medical reports. I've been just about out of my mind. The reportscame in 3's. However, I will not say (why me?)
I'm not having a pity party.

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KRISTY_704 5/15/2010 12:06PM

    Great blog!

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SHEARS2U 5/15/2010 11:41AM

    This blog really hit home for me. I am so glad that I stubbled acrossed this. I as well suffer from anxiety and meds scare me, I been on so many that were wrong for me. I am as well learning how to deal with them, and NOT let them run my life. Ur blog was inspirational and I cant wait to read more.

Thank you !!!

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ELLEBE725 5/15/2010 10:42AM

    Thank you so much for your blog and your honesty ... emoticon

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LINDABENEDICT 5/15/2010 9:41AM

    Great blog. Thank you so much for your honesty ! You are such an inspiration !

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AZCUPCAKE 5/15/2010 9:39AM

    John, you have quickly become my daily muti-vitamin of positivity and productivity. I couldn't agree with you more regarding the solution to a majority of life's problems and issues -- DEAL with them! JUST DO IT!

Major hugs sent to you this morning. Every day you put in writing a prescription for a better life -- drug-free! THAT, my friend, is PRICELESS.

To make a friend, be a friend. You sure have mastered that concept exceptionally well. Thank you for being my friend! emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 5/15/2010 7:09AM

No one develops the compassion you have without the "lessons" to learn it! While I am saddened by your trials, I also know that without them you would not be the you I know. All of us have issues. You accurately stated that our choice is not to be issue free, but to decide how we will deal with them...positively or negatively. I laughed when you said that some hate to see you come with all your positiveness. I remember my daughter coming home from high school one day and telling me about a hypothetical choice she had been offered in a class...she said that all she could think about was what I would have and all my positiveness!!!!! She was so annoyed with me and I wasn't even part of the session! I am happy to report she has worked hard at seeing the glass as half full!

I love how you are handling your life and not letting it handle you! Sure, we'll be better at it some days than others...but we definitely have the grit that will allow us to show up for our own lives!

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CARRAND 5/14/2010 8:40PM

    Thank you for sharing. I am so glad you got off the medications for panic disorder. I have panic attacks, too. They just come out of nowhere. Sometimes when they're really bad I take 1/2 a xanax, but no more. I saw one of my sisters get addicted to xanax because of panic attacks and I don't want to go there. Now that I understand more about panic attacks, I don't fear them, and that helps me cope. You positive attitude is really an inspiration.

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TINKERBELL200 5/14/2010 6:20PM

    Thank you John for sharing this and being so honest. I think it's awesome that you have shared this in hopes to help other people. I think it's great to share life experiences with people as you never know how it will help them in their own lives. We all go through stuff, make bad decisions, or even feel sorry for ourselves sometimes. Just knowing that someone has been through it and came out on the other side with victory in their life, can be comforting. Thank you for being so real! It's not always easy to share your past. I'm glad you got the heavy revey, not to be a victim anymore. That was a positive step in the right direction. It's our choice, we can be negative and miserable all the time, or be positive and not let the stuff we can't control, steal our joy! I'm glad you are on the positive side! There's always a positive side to every situation. Sometimes we just have to look for it!!!
Keep moving forward, and enjoy your journey. As you said, and Nike too,"Just Do It!"

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GIRANIMAL 5/14/2010 4:59PM

    John, thank you so much for sharing this difficult part of your life in hopes of helping others. That really is what it's all about, isn't it? I am often surprised by how much I am willing to share these days. I always think that if it can just help someone out, then it's all worth the potential uncomfortableness.

I was just about to "why me" about some recurring pain after a week in which it and time and energy have not been on my side. Thanks for the stop sign! You always have excellent timing. I love synchronicity, don't you? emoticon

Giant emoticon,


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BRENDABUNNY 5/14/2010 3:56PM

    you are very inspiring do you mind if i add you as one of my friends?..Brenda emoticon

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TRACEY5280 5/14/2010 3:06PM

I have only just discovered your blogs. You express yourself very well with the written word. You are dead on with your observation that we are our own biggest obstacles. A book that intrigues me that I've heard about and have yet to read is called "Get Out of Your Own Way". I too suffered (and I truly mean that description) from depression and anxiety. My path is a bit different as I need a small dosage of medication to balance things out. I can physically feel the change when I forget to take my pill and it's not one I want to go back to. Maybe some day I'll be able to go off but right now I am content being a calm, level headed person! A quote I saw yesterday - "the bad news is that you are the problem, the good news is that you are the solution". That is so true.
Thank you for sharing and being so transparent. It will help others who struggle in that deep pit.

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DOLLIE6 5/14/2010 2:54PM

    I love it, I love it, thank you for sharing you are always a blessing to me.

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NANASNOW 5/14/2010 2:28PM

    All I can say, WOW, you are so right on the money! Me is my problem too! You help me everyday.

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007JERSEYGIRL 5/14/2010 2:06PM

    Great blog. I appreciate your openness, thoughtfulness and insight. And I also agree with your conclusion to just do it!

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HAWAIILINDA 5/14/2010 1:36PM

    Yes another good post. You have great ideas of how to live life despite the difficulties.
I'm curious about what type of work you do now, you refer to your work some in your post but don't say what it is?
Thanks for all your good words/thoughts.

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NEWLIFE4ME09 5/14/2010 1:10PM

    Once again Thank you

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SHEILAKHS1 5/14/2010 1:01PM

    great things to think about here thanks again John

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BECCALYNN75 5/14/2010 12:29PM

    Your blogs always seem to touch me but this one almost brought tears. I only held them in because I'm at work and don't want to have to explain that to co-workers. I have issues with anxiety/panic attacks too and of course the weight too. I can't begin to express how I feel about this blog and "Thank You So Much" seems so little, but that's all I can say right now.

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JENNY888 5/14/2010 12:13PM


Your blog today will help many, some of them that you don't even know. I plan to share it with someone I know who has anxiety attacks. I hope what you have said here will help her.

Great blog. I now know why I came on Spark today. Thanks.

Comment edited on: 5/14/2010 12:17:35 PM

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CMBELISLE 5/14/2010 12:13PM

    My youngest (14) recently took a leadership class and one of the topics the speaker covered was friendship. It was interesting to hear my daughter talk about how it made her think about past friendships she had and how she realized that she had probably never been a real friend to those people. The speaker talked about how most people in today's society don't know how to form friendships and actually be a real friend to someone. He explained it by telling the students that a true friend is someone who comes to see you in the hospital when no one else does. On a certain level, it has made me question how good of a friend I have been to others in the past.

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