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Enjoying The Journey

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I woke up at three am this morning because I had a cramp in my left big toe. It hurt bad enough that I was fully awake. In five minutes the cramp was gone but I was still wide awake. I laid there for a bit letting all kinds of stuff float through my head. I am one of those people who if I cant find something to worry about, I worry!!! Damn, the luck that my life the past few weeks has been crisis and drama free. Given there was no trivial issue to obsess over I just laid there.

"You're fifty six years old and you have never read War and Peace"

That's the thought that stuck. I am an avid reader. It almost borders on obsession. If I am not currently reading a book I have issues. I'll read anything. My mother told me she believes it comes from how I was toilet trained. She sat me on the toilet with a book. But I never read War and Peace. Me being me, I decided that as soon as the library opened this morning I would check the book out and then when I woke up in the middle of the night the next time I could smugly cross that off the list of things I have done.

At breakfast this morning I shared my thoughts with my wife. She looked over her cup of coffee and said "Have you ever read any Tolstoy?"

"Nope" I responded.

"Maybe, you should start with one of his shorter works so you get used to his style of writing," she said. "I read War and Peace between my junior and senior years, it was a struggle.

Good advice, not only for Tolstoy, but for life. I think about all the times I plunged into something head long, trying to be bigger, better and faster than everyone else and ended up falling flat on my face.

Making transitions in life is hard enough, but when I choose not to enjoy those moments, when I choose not to savor very small victories I am not only unhappy John, but ultimately I'll fail to reach my goals.

My wife was right, reading War and Peace today would seem almost like a punishment. It dawned on me that I'd often looked at nutrition in the same way. "I'm On A Diet!!!" This automatically suggests some fatal character flaw.

I'm not on a diet. I am on a journey. I will enjoy the journey. I think this will be the hardest lesson of all for me to learn.

And............. my dear and precious friends, I thank you for your support

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 11/19/2010 1:09PM

    This tickles the fire out of me!!

I have my own weird paths to borrowed trouble. Imagining you lying awake feeling bad about yourself because you never read War and Peace is one of those through the back door reality slaps. I didn't see it coming. I was already laughing before I could get defensive when the light gravitated to my own behavior.

The baby steps conclusion is perfect!!!

BTW: I had my moment when I checked the book out of the library because I "should" too. I never made it very far.

Comment edited on: 11/19/2010 1:17:11 PM

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/25/2010 10:46AM

    This is an uplifting post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts (and the spark!).

I came across a quote yesterday:
"The longer the journey, the more there is to discover!"

The source wasn't credited. Just thought I would share.

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CMBELISLE 1/23/2010 2:34PM

    I like how you correlate the reading to the dieting, but I'm kinda stuck on the reading part. I too am an avid reader - there's a book on my stationary bike and a book on my nightstand. I used to keep a book in my car and wish one were there now. I hated reading when I was in school, so I missed most of the classics - the only one I actually liked was East of Eden by John Steinbeck and I did manage to get mostly through one or two books by William Faulkner. I even forced myself to read Wuthering Heights as an adult and still don't get the obsession some people have with it. On a certain level, I feel like I missed something, especially when another author refers to one of these classics, but I sometimes wonder if I am reading the "new" classics.

Anyway...Keep up the great work! This is definitely a journey of self-exploration and not a diet.

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SIERRA924 1/23/2010 11:19AM

    I love this blog!! I love reading too!

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FOCUSEDDIANE 1/23/2010 11:07AM

    Thank you for sharing this "spark". You remind me that, while the goal is important, the journey towards that goal deserves to be attended to. emoticon

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Success Sometimes Comes At The Oddest Times

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nashville, Tennessee is one of my favorite cities. I travel there on business frequently, being that it is only a two hour drive from home. I havent been their since I began the Spark journey a little over a month ago. As I pulled into the city it dawned on me that I had always arranged my day so I could go home for lunch and eat in an appropriate manner. Now I was miles from home and there were fast food restaurants everywhere!!!! This was getting sorta scary

My stop that day included lunch with two clients who had also become dear friends. Their place of business had a restaurant in it that quite simply is to die for. (If you eat there often enough I believe you will die. Your arteries will close up!!!) They met me at the door and we went in to eat. They began to remind me of the fresh pasta bar. Today's special was fettucini with chicken, shrimp and lobster, in a basil sauce with garlic. My salivary glands started yelling "Hey, remember us???" They did have a hot bar. Yesterdays feature was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. The old country song, "Someone help me I'm falling" started playing in my head.

But, ahhhhhhhhh ---- There was a menu. "Chicken, chicken, wheres the chicken?" I whispered to myself. No chicken. There was however a turkey club sandwich with cole slaw. It appeared that it would do the least amount of damage, annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, they served the mayo on the side. I ate half of it.

During the course of lunch one of the folks I was with leaned over and said "You really look good. What are you doing?" Her friends smiled and asked the same question. That's all it took. I launched into a journey through Sparkpeople.com and what it was, what it meant etc. They were writing all of this down.

One of them looked at me and said "What did you order for lunch?"

"Turkey club, with cole slaw"

"Change my order to that," she told the server. So did everyone else.

They promised to check out the web site and were very positive about the whole conversation. Other than being really proud I politely refused the peanut butter cheese cake for desert, here's my point:

Each of you who has been supportive of me, who has encouraged me and who has got on me when I needed it was there with me. That was our. I could not have done it without any of you. Each of you is important to me and I pray I do not forget that.

Once again, thank you. Have a memorable Friday.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 1/23/2010 9:19AM

    You've been rewarded for your being faithful.
Thanbks for reminding me to keep on being faithful.
Success is only a consequence.
If it comes, when it comes...
Love emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/23/2010 9:24:06 AM

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/22/2010 11:24AM

    emoticon to you on staying strong , focused and committed to your new lifestyle!

Awesome job on spreading the spark!!!

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LAWRALOO 1/22/2010 9:42AM

    Congrats on spreading the Spark.
Isn't it an amazing feeling when people ask what you're doing, you tell them and they WANT to hear it?
Good job on your travels!
I travel quite often for my work as well and it's soooo hard sometimes to make the right choices. Especially when I'm faced when food that I love and isn't available in my small town. :D

I've been making sandwiches at home, and packing snacks when I travel...
A. It saves me and my company money lol
B. It saves me when I'm faced with ALL fast food (airports are horrible for this) and I CAN'T eat something good for me.

Have a great weekend!

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MUSYCLAU 1/22/2010 8:27AM

    Congratulations! You really are spreading the spark!

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Ya Cant Give What You Aint Got"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I believe I have created every excuse possible as to why I am over weight. Write me and I'll send you all of them. I quit smoking five years ago and my body never adjusted. I travel for a living and am forced to unhealthy food. (I have pictures of the people that hold me down and force me to eat it!!!!) I am getting older and my metabolism is slowing down....... I can go on and on.

What I have had in the past five years is a lot of failure. I dont care how positive you think, how much you try to motivate yourself, failure compounded by excuses makes John an insecure individual. Yuck, what a mess.

All I had to do was look in the mirror and that would make me feel even worse. I am sure a lot of you have been there and know what I am talking about. You feel so gosh darned out of place that you want to hole up in a corner and cry.

Enough with the sadness John.

I read a book, actually listened to it on CD. It's called "Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting. In my listening/reading the author challenged us to an interesting exercise. Every day for thirty days write one really good, great, and wonderful thing about yourself. Take that one thing and throughout your day think about it.

Let me tell you its tough. Every morning I'd get stressed. What else is there about me that's good? I made it through and now part of my morning ritual is to read all thirty things, out loud, to myself. I put a little bit of background music to it. They are not all serious things. I have fun stuff about me also. I am a most excellent cook. I sing very well. I play a mean set of drums. By the end of the list I am inspiring me. Who is this really cool guy????

It increases my capacity to give to others but most importantly it increases my capacity to take. That's right, take. I have participated in things similar to spark.com in the past but not without the overwhelming support I receive from everyone I have gotten to know and will get to know. I cannot do this alone and neither can you. But if I dont feel good about me I am useless to you. and if I dont feel I am worth it all how in the name of all that is holy can I allow you to give to me?

One thing about you each day for thirty days. Very tough. At the end you start seeing all those wonderful things in other people.

Thank all of you for being who all of you are.

If you'd like my list to get an idea of what I am talking about let me know and I'll
Spark mail it to ya.

Have a good day. A good day is any day that you're alive.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 11/19/2010 12:42PM

    "But if I dont feel good about me I am useless to you. and if I dont feel I am worth it all how in the name of all that is holy can I allow you to give to me?"

You have said some profound things here. God is leading me this way too.

I'm squeezing through to victory and needed to be reminded today that I too and a "really cool guy"!!!

Thanks for the message.


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MARCYNA 1/23/2010 9:21AM

    I think you're a quite sensitive person. You can add it to you list. For free.
Bye, emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/21/2010 10:34AM

    Another GREAT blog entry!

I would like to do this exercise. Although, I have to admit, it seems a bit (OK, a lot) daunting to think of one different great thing about myself for thirty days.

Please email me your list if you don't mind. Thank you.

Thank YOU so much for sharing yourself and being a source of inspiration!

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WANNABTHIN02 1/21/2010 8:39AM

    Good Morning JOHNJT1

What a great blog. It really made me reflect on myself and how little self esteem I have.... I used to be very good at my job and 40 hours a week (we are our jobs). I probably am still very good at my job, but after being beat down at the same job for 10 years my self esteem meter is on empty. I have been off for a month and am having a very hard time thinking about going back. But today I am going to dig deep for a wonderful thing and maybe in a months time my meter with be half full. I'll settle for a quarter full. I'd like to see your list. Have a wonderful day. You must be a very awesome person because the blog is pretty awesome.. emoticon

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Helping Others ----- A Challenge

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What has touched me more than anything is the real compassion and genuine support everyone here shows each other. I think it's often over looked as a real tool towards healthy living - - - as important as diet and exercise. Extending myself to another person means, just for that one moment I am putting their needs ahead of mine. It doesnt have to be something huge. I have come to believe it is the very small things that fortify us and give us the strength to keep on going.

A few days ago, at the gym, I saw my very favorite stationary bike empty and crying out 'Here I am John, use me." Apparently it was crying to a lady much older than I because we arrived at the same time. She had a cane and moved slowly. I let here use the bike. I found something else to do for twenty minutes. While my thighs ached from the stairmaster my heart felt pretty good. I did something for someone else. It wasn't sending 10 million dollars to Haiti, or being a Mother Teresa look alike. It was a small thing in my daily life.

We insulate ourselves from other people. We are scared to share the real joy and beauty of who we are with other people. To me that is one of the most healthy strategies that exists. Simply be kind in thought, word and deed.

So many of you here have encouraged me this first month or so and I cannot express how grateful I am for it. I'd like to issue you a challenge. Along with your nutrition and fitness goals create a "niceness goal." Do something for someone else every day that doesnt seem really large but gets a smile from the person you do it for. Try try to make it a person you never seen before and may never see again.

I am smiling very big right now for all each of you has done for me. bless you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETDONE 1/20/2010 6:25PM

    Simply and beautifuly said--thank you much. emoticon

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CMBELISLE 1/20/2010 11:40AM

    You have a wonderful challenge here. I hope more people read your blog and join the challenge. I'll be working on it as a daily goal too!

Have a wonderful day and an insightful journey as you work your way toward your healthy lifestyle!

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/20/2010 9:39AM

    I stumbled upon your blog from reading my friend feed.

I'm glad that I found it! Your words struck a chord with me; I find your honesty refreshing. I feel that I've gained so much from SparkPeople; and that I'll never be able to fully show my appreciation. I fully accept your niceness challenge and will set a "niceness goal" for myself.

Be healthy!

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MARCYNA 1/20/2010 8:39AM

    Thanks for your reflection, actually I received so much since I've been part of SP - and I've been thinking how to give back what I've received - part of it, at least.
I'll try to set 'niceness goals' as part of my everyday plan, then we'll check the results together!!!
Thanks and blessings to you!!!
Love emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/20/2010 8:40:05 AM

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Only If I Have To......

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When the alarm went off I was already behind. Tat did not make for a cheerful mood. I tumbled around, showering, getting dressed, doing all the routine stuff thats part of everyones morning. Over in the corner, sitting quietly, was my gym bag. Like that commercial on TV I eard the little jingle; "I always feel like somebody's watching me...."
That part of my day had somehow slipped out of the equation. I'd like to tell you I raced to the corner and soothed my gym bags feelings. Actually Itried to kick the corner of the bed. Thank goodness I missed!!

"Just another something else!!!" I said

So I did what any rational person would do. I made a deal with my gym bag, even though in my mind I had a good excuse for not working out today. I decided I would keep it on the front seat of the car and I would work my measley forty minutes of cardio in there sometime today.

Yes, yes I should have a Plan B but somedays just figuring out Plan A takes all my energy.

Yes, yes I know i'll feel better once I do it and I'll reach a goal.

It's cold, its foggy and I'm a bit achy and my day is full. I'll do it, maybe not with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

Like the commercial says "Just Do It"

I'll keep ya'll posted

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TNTEACHER2 1/19/2010 8:08PM

    Good for you!

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JOHNTJ1 1/19/2010 5:25PM

    Done and Done lol

Succesfully completed our cardio program for today in spite of myself

Yay Me emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 1/19/2010 8:30AM

    You know that once you get going, you will feel so much better...so JUST DO IT!!

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CLSYLADY 1/19/2010 8:18AM

    I'll just say... YOU CAN DO IT! I know it gets frustrating and tiring and seems like there are more important things to do but... aren't you important as well? Make you a priority for today.. worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

YOU CAN DO IT!

emoticon

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LAURIE-RN 1/19/2010 8:02AM

    The first step is getting the gym bag to the car.....you can do it!

Laurie

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