Tuesday, June 08, 2010
One of the major issues in my life is that I try to do everything, usually all at once. That leads to a lot of stress which leads to anxiety, which leads to me being out of sorts. A better way of putting it is that I get out of focus. That’s where I am at right now. The adjustment knob on the focus for my inner camera is stuck.
I haven’t lost The Spark. I am more committed than ever to my nutrition, (I am no longer using the word “diet.” It has too much of a negative connotation to it.) and my exercise plan. As a matter of fact, thanks to a blog I read this weekend I am keeping an exercise calendar that I carry around with me to keep track of what I am doing and when. Really great idea. I am amazed at what this process can and will do for you when you allow it to. So rest assured I am not going anywhere.
I have a very strong spiritual belief that God has a purpose in life for each of us, each moment of the day. Part of my purpose and my life is being here with you. I need to learn from you and then I need to use my gifts and talents to share my path and journey with you in return. To be honest with you I am a bit over whelmed.
Between writing a blog, keeping up with the teams I am on and returning Spark Goodies you all send me I feel like I am spinning around in a circle. Then I feel guilty. I feel that if you took the time to acknowledge something I said then I should honor you by writing back or checking up on you periodically.
I don’t always get to post on my team message boards and I really miss reading about what some of my friends are doing. I am very blessed in the fact that I am self employed, so I can work my schedule in easily.
This journey is about my health and my health and well being is going to be my priority. I contemplated the idea of saying nothing at all but I don’t think that would be very fair. I am not going to blog for a week. I am going to take that time to reflect and to pray and ask God where He sees me serving Him best here at Spark. That may sound sorta corny to some of you, but I believe that I found all this for a reason. I want to make sure I am the best servant I can be.
As I said earlier I am not going away. I am more committed than ever. I am just not going to blog for a week and take the time to relax a bit and regain my focus.
I want to thank all of you for being such good friends. Without your love and support I would not have gotten this far. I look at this as parent of the process, part of learning to live with health.
Thank you for helping me.
Friday, June 04, 2010
If you cant view this blog here in spark this is the YouTube link where it is availible also
Thursday, June 03, 2010
I didn’t begin to get healthy until I came to the realization that I had to become my own advocate. No one else was going to take care of me but me!!! That’s hard for an overweight person to do sometimes. We look in the mirror and no matter how many positive mantras’ we repeat inside of our heads the mirror can be such a cruel mistress. We hear snickers and we take solace in the poor food of choice and just reinforce that whole “I am really worthless” image.
It’s hard to muster up enough energy and desire to start doing the things that will make a difference. I mean why even bother? We are fat now, we have always been fat and we are probably always going to be fat. We find ourselves rather disgusting don’t we?
We don’t share that thought with anyone because we know what people will say. They’ll tell us we are lovable and intelligent and we can “really do it” if we try. We know different, don’t we?
It’s a vicious and insidious cycle. How do we break it? Here’s one guys opinion:
First, you have already done the most important thing: You asked for help. You’re here at Spark and you join teams and get involved in challenges and write blogs and you stretch your hand out and ask to be supported. That was hard for me to do. It was hard for me to admit I didn’t have all the answers in the first place. Its how I got in the mess I was in, thinking I knew it all and could do it all on my own. I came to find out that instead of being superior, as I had convinced myself, I really acted that way because I felt insecure. My first month at Spark I was really intimidated and in the spirit of full disclosure some of you guys still intimidate me a bit because of how awesome you are. Silly isn’t it?
I ask for help and keep asking for help and when people ignore me or brush me off then I look for other people who will help. I won’t give up. Somewhere along the road I discovered what I have always preached: I am worth it. I am also pushy and loud and darned opinionated. As a client of mine once said “I am an acquired taste that is not for everyone.” But I am worth as much as anyone else, never more, but always as much. I quit wallowing in my own misery and decided that I have a lot to offer people and that deep down inside of me all I have ever really wanted to do is help people. So I decided to help me first. You can’t give what you do not have. I am falling in love with myself. It’s still a bit uncomfortable to say that, LOL, but I am getting more comfortable with it all the time.
Putting me first meant I made a few very tough personal decisions. I had belonged to our local YMCA for thirteen years. I was even on the Board of Directors at one point. Two of my favorite people of all time Nick and Terri Ann worked there as trainers and were really supportive of me. The facility was older; the equipment was not maintained properly and regularly. Nothing was being done to reverse that trend. As hard as it was for me I switched gyms. I switched the Y’s main competitor here in town. The proof is in the pudding. I am healthier, happier and the services available are superior for almost the same amount of money. I have taken a bit of heat for that decision especially when my new gym highlighted me in their June add as an example of someone who is creating a healthy life style. I had to ask myself a really important question: Do you want everyone to like you or do you want to be healthy? It would be nice if I had both but I think there is some humor in the fact that no one gave me a second look until I started losing weight. Now everyone wants to be my buddy!!
I am looking for a new doctor. When I saw my doctor last week about my blood pressure I made the remark that Joan had suggested I get it checked because it might be low I got a sarcastic response; “Who’s your doctor, me or your wife?” Duh, that one doesn’t deserve any more of an explanation.
I come first, so does my health and well being. I get a little shaky inside when I have to stand up for myself but it’s getting easier. It’s easier because of my family. There is Joan, the kids and my extended relatives and then there are you who make up the rest of my family. I could not do what I am doing without you, but more importantly all the support in the world has little to no value until I become my own advocate and if I need to fight for what is best for me.
I’m no more special than you, but you wanna know something? You are just as special as me, which means you are truly worth the effort
Be blessed and reach out to someone today.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Our son Paul is a runner. At age twenty seven he runs mini and half marathons, 5k’s and any sort of race they will let him run in. His wife runs with him. When he found out, as he put it, “I was serious about starting to run,” he told me I needed to go with him and see his “shoe guy.” As he explained it, “Dad you really don’t want some high school junior who works at Dick’s part time fitting you for running shoes.”
Okay. I’ll admit I have had a lot of new experiences in the past six months or so. There is this virtue and it’s called faith. Every now and then you have to swallow really hard, admit you don’t know something and lift a cocked eye towards heaven and trust a person who appears to know what he is talking about, even if you changed his diapers for a few years.
Saturday morning he showed up at our hotel and took me to the “shoe guy.” When we walked in the door a very athletic looking man about thirty greeted me and asked me my name.
“Why does he need to know my name?” I thought.
He needed to know my name because if you are going to spend two hours with someone calling me John works a lot better than “sir” or even “Hey you!”
He had me take off my shoes and socks and began to walk me through a process that measured both feet sitting and standing. He measures my arches. He smiled, got up and went behind a curtain. When he returned he held a box.
“I want you to put these on only so I can measure how you run.”
He proceeded to show me how to lace the shoes, put them on, tie them and make sure they were tight. He pointed to a treadmill by the store window and asked me to warm up for a minute or so and then jog for a minute or so. As he explained it, he would be videotaping my feet to see how I ran and how my feet fell when they hit the surface.
So here is fat old me in this store with all these very lean people making the earth shake for a few minutes. When I got off the treadmill, he smiled again and disappeared. He returned with six boxes of shoes and we went through the process of finding the right ones for me. He had me try on some amazing socks which felt like part of heaven had settled in my feet. He explained how the most important thing about these shoes was supporting my arches. He had me run more. When I picked a pair of shoes we moved on to inserts. This entailed another fifteen to twenty minutes of trying inserts in the shoes I purchased until I found the ones that supported me the best.
Total time: two hours.
“Jog up and down the street if you like,” he said.
I jogged to the corner and called Joan. The price for all of this was around two hundred dollars. You don’t stay married for thirty six years by just randomly spending that kind of money on shoes. She listened to me for a minute and said:
“Well, if you don’t get what you need, six months from now you’ll be sitting in an orthopedic surgeons office and the minimum we’ll be paying is the one thousand dollar deductible on our health insurance.”
Case closed. I purchased the shoes along with the amazing comfortable socks.
Other than wanting to tell you just how cool it was to buy the shoes and share my happiness with you there is a point in here somewhere.
“Fail to plan. Plan to fail.” There are so many times in my life I have just lunged into things and wondered why I wasn’t successful at them. It was because I hadn’t prepared. Lack of preparation comes from wanting to change our current reality so quickly that we don’t have to admit parts of our lives are messed up. Instead, we push forward motivated by some false thought that we are different than everyone else. We can hit fast forward and get there quicker than everyone else.
We are not different. We are wonderful, marvelous, beautiful, loved and cherished by God, but we have to prepare for everything we do or we won’t succeed.
It’s why we measure our food, chart our exercise, step on the scale and take the tape to out hips, stomach and thighs. We are preparing. We are preparing for those wonderful moments we etched in our minds. They are our goals.
Buying the shoes was fun, but more importantly, as I tested them out when we got home, I found that one action increased my confidence and my ability to do something I was still a bit shaky about.
From time to time people will tell me I am a good writer. I have to smile because you don’t see how many times I hit the back space key or high light a whole paragraph to delete before I am satisfied with what I wrote. I am a terrible speller and have taken to writing my blogs in Microsoft Word and then pasting them here because Word automatically corrects so many spelling errors. Writing like running and many of the things that give you great satisfaction require preparation and the right tools in order to be successful.
Good health requires preparation. That’s why you and I are here. That’s why it’s more than a diet.
Have a blessed Wednesday.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
I had a crummy week last week. I am not asking for pity or sympathy or condolences. In some respects it was the best week I have had since joining Spark.
Let me say right off that I am very quick to give the credit for most of these insights to you who support me and have become my friends. So before we get started please stand up and take a bow.
Let me tell you what I learned:
Success is much more difficult to deal with than failure and……………. Ultimately if we don’t get used to being successful right now, bit by bit, when we reach all those wonderful goals we put on our collage, we will crash and burn because we will have no idea how to handle the success. We won’t be able to sustain it.
Success is a process not a destination. Vacation is a destination. We celebrate it, enjoy it, take pictures of it then pack up the car and head back to “our lives.” Success is a process that if done correctly allows us to become comfortable with a new environment.
Real success and our inability to prepare for it is why so many of us have failed at dieting. Dieting is a myth, a fable and a very cruel mistress. How many of you have participated in “fast start programs?” They are advertised as the ability to lose a chunk of weight in a hurry so we feel better about ourselves and can sustain the long and arduous dieting process. While the body drops a few inches and pounds, which are mostly water and someone cashes our check, we are fooled into believing we are a success. So we starve and we over exercise and we watch the scale needle start to move slower and slower and we arrive at our goal and nothing in our life has changed. Pass the mashed potatoes please and while you’re at it the butter.
A few months later we find ourselves sitting in the middle of an empty field called despair and we wonder what’s wrong with us? Why are we so flawed? We are not. Mostly we fool ourselves into believing the world is going to change its ways for us and that we are really going to look like the people on the cover of Vogue and Maxim.
Success is a process that is galvanized by failure. Yes, you read that correctly. I had so many failures last week that I’d be here all morning detailing them all. Suffice to say they taught me that there are going to be times that I have to bend a little so I don’t break in two. There are days I am not going to get all my exercise in because it’s ninety seven outside and there is not a tread mill in sight. I learned that it’s really bad for your spirit if you sit in a restaurant and curse the world because “you can’t have this or that.” You split a dessert with your wife because at that moment it’s the thing to do.
You learn to be comfortable with your successes. You learn that you are going to have weeks where your blood pressure bottoms out, you over eat a bit and aren’t able to get all your exercise in and that despite all these allegedly fatal character flaws you are still a very wonderful and lovable person!!!
You learn success is not an event to take a picture of but the sweet journey of your life time that should be savored and enjoyed. After all, your grand daughter isn’t going to be four forever and how often to you get to be thirty feet away from all The Kardashian sisters?
You learn from your friends here at Spark so that when you look to your left and your right you see them sweating and huffing and puffing like you are. You watch them stumble and trip and you stick out your hand to help them up because you know the minute you stumble and fall, they will stick their hands out for you. Once you understand that and hold it very close in your heart, then you have learned the meaning of success.
Lasting success is born of a hard night of the labor of our failures the ultimate will and desire to triumph over those failures, just like you do every day.
See, you are already a success.
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