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Imagine...........

Friday, May 21, 2010


2

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 10/7/2012 10:34AM

  thanks for posting this

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EDWINA172 5/23/2010 9:40PM

    John! Thank you. This was just what I needed today! Love the video format. I really felt like you were talking to me. Its A Wonderful Life is one of my favorite movies. Many times, I've contemplated the same question Jimmy' Stewart's character faced in the movie. Please do more video blogs. I felt so good listening to you. Kind of like my own personal therapy session. I want to share this with some of my clients. You're the best!

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KATIEGLEN012 5/21/2010 7:43PM

    I have been sad lately that stuff is going on in my life and I haven't been here much so I miss some of your blogs. I feel like the woman at the bus stop...I like 'seeing' you around. It comforts me. I depend on you. Consistency is good for us. Never underestimate your presence!!!!!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/21/2010 12:04PM

    John, thank you for the reminder and the encouragement. Makes me think of my father-in-law; he was a quiet man who never thought he made much of an impact on the world, but his funeral was packed with people who had been touched deeply by his life. I know I have been touched by yours; thanks for being a part of my success!

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MISSROCKABILLY 5/21/2010 11:45AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us John! This really touched me today--I was even teary-eyed at parts. Thank you for always being so supportive and encouraging, I'll keep on doing the same for you and my other spark friends.

You have a fantastic Friday as well!

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JENNY888 5/21/2010 11:41AM

    Thank you for the reminder of how the small things like saying hi to someone every day can have so much impact. Great blog!

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AZCUPCAKE 5/21/2010 11:04AM

    John, I give you special thanks today for your video blog. I celebrate having a friend like you in my life, who is always encouraging and positive and offering ways of looking at the glass as HALF FULL that I never would have thought about. You make such a difference in MY life. I am glad you know your SparkPals are there for you, too! Have a wonderful weekend! emoticon

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BRYLIA 5/21/2010 10:46AM

    Gosh, I love that movie...its one of my favorites. It truly is a wonderful life and I enjoyed your reaffirmation of the words that I just said to a freind this morning during our morning walk about taking care of "me" so that "I" can take care of others. Being a type "A" perfectionist attitude, I so appreciate the reminder that it is OK not to be perfect, matter fact non of us are! LOL So many times you just hit things right on the nail. I am so proud of your weight loss accomplishment. Keep up your amazing attitude and focus on accomplishing small things like one more step, one more pushup etc etc and you will surely reach your goals. God bless! Lisa

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GERPAT 5/21/2010 10:28AM

    I stumbled on your blog through AMABILE75 on my friend feed. I really enjoyed listening to your message, it was a nice way to start my morning. Congrats on your progress too! Have a wonderful Friday....

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SUZANDALE 5/21/2010 10:18AM

    Wow, John!! You made me feel good today!! Thank you so much for every thing you do here!! Believe me, you are a great inspiration! And I appreciate it very much!!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/21/2010 10:14AM

  everyday in everyway we are impacting lives of others that we may not even realize are watching or listening... it is up to each of us to figure out what kind of impact we want to make... Thank you John for your wise words

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LINDALOSER40 5/21/2010 10:13AM

    Your blog is the second one I've watched since I've been on Sparkpeople. You have really encouraged me and I thank you for caring about other people. I want to put you as my friend, because I feel like you are. God Bless You!
Linda emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 5/21/2010 10:03AM

    John, this is the first time that I've been able to successfully watch your vlog!

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I got all teary eyed at parts. You left me with such a feeling of goodness and inspiration. I really just want to hug you.

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emoticon to you on your training, too!


Have yourself a terrific Friday!


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ROSE5328 5/21/2010 8:53AM

    This brought me to tears! Thank you!

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DOLLBABE56 5/21/2010 8:46AM

    I have to say that I get so much out of these weekly video blogs. Now, that's not to say I don't get a lot out of all of your blogs. There is just something about seeing and hearing your encouragement that gives that feeling of yes, I CAN do this. Yes, John is truly my friend.

Thanks John emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/21/2010 8:46:39 AM

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TINK33 5/21/2010 8:45AM

    You are simply a phenomenal human being! Thanks for this. What a great way to start my Friday!

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MICKEYMAX 5/21/2010 8:31AM

    You say it very well, John. We are definitely on the same wavelength this morning. I'm glad you shared. Thanks!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 5/21/2010 8:19AM

    That's one of my favorite movies too. I enjoy our morning visit! emoticon

I hope you have a great weekend.

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AMABILE75 5/21/2010 8:06AM

    One of these days I'm going to get to see all of these video blogs I miss out on. emoticon

I hope you have a wonderful day my friend. Keep smiling.

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For My Friends, All of You!!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There are not a lot of benefits to spending half your life in your car. I guess the main was is you have a lot of time with you, and you get to know you really well if you have the courage to do so.

I have satellite radio so I have a lot of music to choose from and I do so like to flip around.

Anyways...........

I was driving home last night and an old Dionne Warwick song came on and I thought about all my friends and that includes you guys and so today in lieu of my wisdom I thought I would share hers:

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
In good times, in bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
Oh, that's what friends are for

Have a good Thursday

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DUTCHIEKIWI 5/23/2010 9:39PM

    Friends are the most important support team we need.

Keep smiling and shining my friend.

As for the harder days... I'll be there!!

Dutchie

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TRISH2229 5/22/2010 5:32PM

    I have always loved that song and haven't heard it in years. Thanks for posting it!

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TINKERBELL200 5/21/2010 9:54PM

    Thanks John-right back at you! Thank you for the encouraging blogs! You are doing awesome!
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Lynne

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KLEONIKI 5/21/2010 6:57PM

    love that song!
that was a perfect treat for me, thank you dear friend!
k.

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MARCYNA 5/21/2010 10:55AM

    I just love this!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/21/2010 10:16AM

    Have a wonderful week!!!

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CLOVER2 5/20/2010 9:06PM

    Thank you very much, your insight is always a highlight in my day. I look forward to your blogs every day to lift my spirit. emoticon

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JPRICE217 5/20/2010 2:59PM

    Great song. Me time is the best at times. emoticon

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OZARKMARY 5/20/2010 2:15PM

  Right back atcha, my Friend! Nice song

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AZCUPCAKE 5/20/2010 12:31PM

    You have really mastered the art of being a great friend yourself, we can only hope to emulate YOU in being good friends to YOU right back!! emoticon

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ANNE-ELIZ 5/20/2010 12:15PM

    Thanks for this blast from the past!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/20/2010 11:18AM

    Sometimes songs say it the best--thanks!

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AMYTATH 5/20/2010 9:52AM

    lol after 1750 miles in the car this weekend with a 2 1/2 year old...I want nothing to do with car time right now!!! hahaha BUT I do love that song!

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TINK33 5/20/2010 9:47AM

    Thank you John. Now I'm going to have that song in my head all day. :) I love car time - especially when I'm by myself. But, I have four kids - so the car time is the only quiet time I get. :)

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JUDIL62 5/20/2010 9:05AM

    Perfect! emoticon

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JAE_HENNINGTON 5/20/2010 9:01AM

  thanks John for always sharing yourself with your heart

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WALKNLOVE 5/20/2010 8:53AM

    That's what friends are for! You have the biggest heart!!!!!

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DOLLBABE56 5/20/2010 8:50AM

    Good song. Have a safe trip.

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YOYONOMORE1 5/20/2010 8:43AM

    That's a good song, I haven't heard it in a while, but when I started reading it came back to me. Thanks for sharing that John. Have a great day.

Hugs,
Shirl

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HEART4HOME 5/20/2010 8:39AM

    Thanks John, I so needed this today. You are a very special person emoticon

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FREDIA2 5/20/2010 8:09AM

    You always keep me smiling. You are so encouraging, special... emoticon

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AMABILE75 5/20/2010 7:47AM

    I always loved that song.

Thank you for sharing with us.
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JUSTFOXXY 5/20/2010 7:39AM

    Awww! You're a special guy. Thanks for the great music, great memories and great blogs.

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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.

Heather

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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 abundantly....today.Live 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
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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,
Hugs,
Wanda

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AMABILE75 5/18/2010 7:34AM

    Oh boy do I need this right now!!!

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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 min.me 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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Lynne

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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.

Love,
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

    emoticon

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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

etc......

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)...it'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

    emoticon

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

    emoticon

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

xxx

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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

    emoticon

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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!

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

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

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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 today...it 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!
emoticon
Lynne

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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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MORTICIAADDAMS 5/16/2010 2:03PM

    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.

Blessings!!!

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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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