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Six Months of Sparking

Thursday, June 17, 2010

If you had told me six months ago that my life would have changed this dramatically in a short period of time I might have suggested you get yourself drug screened. Yes, the weight loss is wonderful, super and all those other fantabulous modifiers, but the real change I have seen is the beginning of and continued development of the real and authentic me. As I peel back the layers I am finding all sorts of treats and have met all sorts of friends. My attitude towards many things has changed but more importantly my behavior is changing.

I find my way to the gym six days out of seven. Iíd like to tell you that itís the same time every day but itís not. I go when I have time and itís not unusual for me to be there three times during the course of a day to get my allotted work out in. I have to admit that ninety percent of the time I look forward to exercising and the other ten percent of the time I am glad I went after I finish even though I am kicking and screaming all the way there.

I have started to run. Well, it resembles running. I never dreamed six months ago I would do anything more than trot to the fridge. I would have laughed. Reading some your blogs inspired me and I began C25K training. I have completed weeks one and two and Iíll admit here that I had to do them both twice. I am now on week three and I actually ran farther Sunday and Tuesday than I ever have in my life. That is something I am starting to look forward to also.

People who know me stop me and gush about how good I look and while I admit itís a really good feeling I canít help but feel a bit disconcerted at times. Those people, who want to be my buddy, didnít look at me twice seventy one pounds ago. Thatís not right. You wonít convince me otherwise. My appearance is different I agree but I am still the same child of God. What I have learned is to be more open and more sensitive to people. I have learned to stop for a moment everyday and reach out to someone who may never have had anyone reach out to them before.

Six months ago I knew Joan and the kids loved me I didnít know I would find so many genuine and wonderful friends like I have found here. So many of you, young, and old and in between have been so supportive of me and so open to help. I have to laugh at times because when I reach a milestone I think ďOMG, I have to call *Your Name Here* and tell them my good newsÖÖĒ You are that real and important to me. I am closer to some of you than others but if we have crossed paths here, you have taught me something and I am applying it in my life. Never under estimate the power of a smile, a song or a poem.

Six months ago I thought I was starting another diet and today I realize I am in the middle of an experience that will only end when I am called home to spread the Spark for all eternity.

The tale of the tape says seventy one point eight pounds. There is no way to measure the internal growth and enormous wisdom I have learned from each of you. I am so happy to be part of your family and so honored that you share part of yourself with me on a daily basis.

I am excited about the next six months. I can only imagine what I will learn, who I will meet, and as Dr Seuss said ďOh the places youíll go and the people youíll meet.Ē

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAWAIILINDA 6/20/2010 10:07PM

    Congratulations, thank you for sharing your journey with us!

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MMS354 6/20/2010 4:59PM

    Thank you, John, for your words of wisdom and inspiration. You welcomed me to SP when I started 3 weeks ago and I appreciate your words every day. Have a great day and congrats on your amazing success!


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AZCUPCAKE 6/18/2010 8:04PM

    Well said as usual, John! It is a bit frustrating when people treat you differently when you have lost weight .... do they think you are some new, ACCEPTABLE version of the old, UNACCEPTABLE you?! I tend to feel resentment towards those people. I am trying hard to modify my vision towards them, but it is hard. The whole experience really DOES make one more aware of how superficial the world can be. Your progress and continued success is amazing! But you have always been JOHN, and I can't imagine your "inside" changing EVER! Your heart and soul are both JUST RIGHT, and ALWAYS HAVE BEEN! emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 6/18/2010 6:38PM

    Well i am one, who beyond words, is extremely grateful to have you as my spark we travel our spark journey together towards whole health! emoticon

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KLEONIKI 6/18/2010 5:51PM

    It is all about changing.
I have been talking the day before to some friends about SP.
I told them of my dreams to have a spark team in Thessaloniki , of us sharing activities, of all the wonderful things i have too found here in Spark , of how change was just a "blog" away hand in hand with true heroes like you my dear John!
Spend a smiling Father's day with your beloved ones!!

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SUNSHYNDREAMER 6/17/2010 11:59PM

    God Bless you! Reading your blog today blessed me beyond words. I am just starting my journey and am just 3 1/2 weeks in to my lifestyle change. I have lost 13 lbs. in the last 3 weeks and reading where you came from and where you are now speaks amazing wonders of what you have allowed God to change in your heart through your journey, I can only hope and pray that I can be a similar inspiration to others as I continue mine.

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PENNYAN45 6/17/2010 7:13PM

    I am in complete agreement with you about the effect of SP!!

The transformation is amazing for any of us who embrace this site and the many resources and friends that it offers.

I have been here for 5 months - and envision SP being a part of my life for years to come -- long after I have reached goal weight.

Some of my friends here will become friends in real life too - because I plan to interact with them outside of this site.

I am happy for you - and for me - that SP has become an important part of our lives.

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MINENA1 6/17/2010 3:51PM

    emoticon You're awesome!!! I'm so happy to be SP friends with you! Your presence on here is always a joy!

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KSGROTHE 6/17/2010 3:06PM

    emoticon John, for all you've accomplished in only Six Months! It's hard for me to believe that you've done so much in such a short amount of time, too.

My journey is taking me longer - I've been a member of SP for 3 years! But I feel like I'm moving in the right direction, even if I do take little side trips along the way.

Your blogs are inspiring a lot of people, so emoticon for sharing!

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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MARCYNA 6/17/2010 2:58PM

    Maybe it's obvious but I'm starting to see the extra pounds we've stored as blessings in disguise.
We are learning to be more open & sensitive to all people, I am thinking about people in need for example, I think our mission should be reaching out for those in need - my temporary being broke taught me another good lesson lately emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/17/2010 3:16:18 PM

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    That's a lot of weight gone, John. Your transformation in pictures is amazing.

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JUDIL62 6/17/2010 1:23PM

    Keep up the good work, and as always thank you for the inspiring blogs.


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WISEONE68 6/17/2010 12:44PM

    Oh, you had me at "my life would have changed this dramatically in a short period of time I might have suggested you get yourself drug screened"...but, when you mentioned Oh, The Places You Will Go...I love me some Theodor Seuss Geisel!!!

Great Blog--to reflect on where you have been and come in the past 6 months is pretty "eye-opening" huh?? You are doing so well--not just weight loss--but, finding WHO YOU ARE!! I experienced a similar "awakening"...I like me...that has not always been so.

And, you are the bomb (I know, old expression, but I love it, too!!)!!!!! You rock!! Keep going...and going...and infinity (or, eternity) and beyond!!!!!!


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BECCALYNN75 6/17/2010 12:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

Having you as a friend along my SP journey has been a great blessing.


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NJMATTICE 6/17/2010 10:03AM

    Sounds good over there in Kentucky. The comment that struck a chord with me is the distrust of people who have developed an interest in thinner John. I need to look at the Nancy who would cut off her nose to spite her face on that "justice issue". For as long as I can remember, "people should love me just the way I am" has been a mantra that I have carried with me. An excuse to dig my heels in and refuse to change. Thanks for giving me "my work" for the day. Continued success to you, John. The vision of you out there running makes me smile in a very proud and positive way. I am proud of you. Have a great Thursday and hope your tooth business get sorted out.
(Prodigal Nancy who has returned and has feasted on the fatted calf)

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    Wow. Congratulations on coming so far! This post inspired me to keep working so that in 6 months I can look back on real accomplishment like yours!

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DOLLBABE56 6/17/2010 9:55AM

    Well first of all, HAPPY 6 MONTH ANNIVERSARY! You've come a long way baby!

I really admire all that you have accomplished. Not just the pounds lost, but all the exercise. And now running. Some days it's all I can do to get motivated to leave the house and walk my dog, Poppet. And yet somehow I do. By the way, how on earth do you manage to run in this oppressive heat?

Have a super day. emoticon

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FUZZY1TOO 6/17/2010 9:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

John, you always seem to know how to put into words what I am thinking. Maybe we're twins separated at birth? emoticon Thank you for baring your soul to us and letting us know that we are not alone........just remember that you are not alone, either.

Have a great day!


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KIMH239 6/17/2010 9:49AM

    This was a fabulous blog! I love your writing. It was so heart felt. Sometimes, that is hard to get acrossed with the written word.

I have never been VERY overweight....just 20 lbs. here or there overweight. So I can't say that I ever experienced what you have with other people not paying close attention or talking to you prior to your recent weight loss but I see how that can be somewhat disappointing. Human nature and stereotypes are so hard to understand really. How does this happen??

Anyway.....I love your attitude and your dedication to a new lifestyle and I wish you only the best on your journey!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/17/2010 9:41AM

    John, you are so right--the tale of the tape and the scale can't begin to tell the whole story of what this journey has been like. When I get discouraged because the scale isn't moving as fast as I would like, all I have to do is reflect on the OTHER changes that I have experienced since starting on this Spark adventure to know that my life is being transformed through the things I have learned and the people I have 'met' here. You're one of the ones who has had a profound influence on my journey--thanks for sharing yours with all of us. Keep running--I'm now finally on week 4, it DOES get better and easier!


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STORMTMB 6/17/2010 9:30AM

    "Those people, who want to be my buddy, didnít look at me twice seventy one pounds ago. Thatís not right. You wonít convince me otherwise. My appearance is different I agree but I am still the same child of God."

I've felt this way many times. I plan to one day be "half of me." I suspect then I will have a few offers for dates and possibly more "friends." My response will be the same as yours. It hurts when people are so shallow. I've learned from experience that we must see the inside of people, not just the outside.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 6/17/2010 9:28AM

  I have been thinking about these very things, success is not really measured by the end result but the small everyday victories that can only be seen by ourselves.
Your mention of people wanting to be your friend just because somehow you are more acceptable by being thinner is a real sticking point for me. No matter how hard we try we just can't seem to get past the fact that because someone is thin it somehow makes us a better person. It is sad really, sad really for the person who makes that judgement. We miss out on the joy of meeting some really neat people simply by not taking the time to get to know someone.

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JPRICE217 6/17/2010 8:53AM

    It is amazing when e look back we can see ho much we have accomplished that we do not see on a daily bases emoticon

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FROGGERHKC 6/17/2010 8:45AM

    Isn't it amazing what we can accomplish if we put our minds to it? LOL! Congrats on all of your hard work, and best of luck to you as you continue on your journey!

I just started C25K this morning... week 1 day 1... my butt and legs already feel it! Haha...

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The Struggle

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

If this was easy, anyone could do it.

Itís why dieting doesnít work. Someone lures you in with promises of an overnight life style change and glossy pictures of people who donít exist to begin with and suddenly we are all sixteen again. Well we are until reality sets in and whatís going on inside of us, the anxiety, the struggle and some days plain old pain, doesnít match the glossy pictures. We get tired of the same repetitive behavior with little to no results and we do what we are often want to do, we blame ourselves. There must be some sort of fatal character flaw within us because Lord knows all those people got skinny in a hurry and here we sit waddling through life.

If this was easy anyone could do it.

We have a lot of choices to make every day. Temptation is a big one. Most of us love eating and love good food and unfortunately the food we have come to love doesnít always have our best interest at heart. We struggle between the apple and the piece of pie. We pray, we talk to friends and somehow we endure. Yeah, we stumble and fall but we get up and keep moving forward.

Itís the hard choice of getting off the couch and going to the gym or running or the difficult task of fighting the millions of excuses our minds create not to exercise. We huff and puff, put ice packs on our aching joints and promise ourselves we will never do this again.

We overcome our fear, our anxiety and we work out along side people who appear to resemble machines. Sometimes we get discouraged but every day we go back.

If this were easy anyone could do it.

Itís not. Nothing worthwhile ever is. Nothing that has meaning and value ever comes without a price. The price we pay for our hard work, our sweat and often our tears is the knowledge that we remain part of a group of people who triumphed over adversity and setbacks.

Not everyone can do this, just me and you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 6/19/2010 6:15PM

    Well said, John,

It's not usually what we are eating, but what is eating us. Together we can do what we cannot do alone. Rock on, Brother!

Be well,

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WALKNLOVE 6/18/2010 6:46PM

    ...just need to keep our eyes focused on the prize!!!

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TERESAAVIL 6/16/2010 10:15PM

  It's not easy but thanks for the reminder that we're all working toward the same goal. Yes we can do it!

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STOLTZY64 6/16/2010 8:39PM

    And...when we reach our goals, remember the struggle makes us appreciate the success all the much more!

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WANDAH3 6/16/2010 7:40PM

    Life is all about choices. We can choose to eat healthy, exercise and fill our spirit with positiveness or we can choose to continue to become a more obese society with ailments and drugs being our way of life, always feeling that life sucks!


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GIRANIMAL 6/16/2010 4:56PM

    Thank you for this reminder when I am feeling kinda slippery as I inch closer to my goal weight.

It's not easy, but we can do it!

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DIASTER 6/16/2010 4:20PM

  Sure would be easier if we could stop at one piece of pie, but no, have to keep going back for just one more sliver. Would love to know why it is so easy for some and why some of us can control it most of the time but wham when we can't and it leads to total meltdown for a few days, there has to be more to this than willpower, or the fact that we are nuts. If only the not so healthy stuff tasted as good as the healthy or what we presume to be healthy it would be so much easier.
Keep up your wonderful motivational blogs, know we can all accomplish our goals, its just not exactly a straight shot for most.

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    Thank goodness I don't have to choose between the apple and the pie. I may have problems with that. LOL. I have plenty of apples here but no pie. LOL. I have to avoid temptation.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 6/16/2010 1:29PM

    Thank you for reminding me that I am not the only one who prefers apple pie over apples! It is all in the choices we make and our attitude.
I often wonder how many of the get-skinny-quick people are still skinny?! The ones that actually exist and are not just paper dolls.
Good blog. You always manage to put my day in perspective or help me to find an answer to a question that is bothering me. Hang in there! Remember, you are always in good company.


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JPRICE217 6/16/2010 1:24PM

    As always a great blog that fits me to a tee. Yes we can do it slow and steady is my new way of thinking about weight lose. emoticon

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SUSIEMILO 6/16/2010 1:12PM

    You nailed it with this one! Nothing worth having ever comes easy.
But it CAN be done. One choice (baby steps) at a time.
And by having worked this hard to get to the goal, we not only appreciate the achievement far more than someone using a 'quick fix' -- but we will work a lot harder and be extra diligent to make sure that it doesn't come back on.
It's a life-style change.
People who lose it quickly with pills, starvation, fad diets, or surgery don't seem to get it that as soon as they return to their previous style of eating, it will all come right back.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
A change in our lifestyle is what is needed -- for the rest of our lives! Sometimes it's hard for me to get my head around that. Kind of like trying to see how long eternity is....
But it has to be that way, because reverting back to unhealthy eating and an inactive lifestyle will produce.... the same results.

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LUCYSRAIN 6/16/2010 11:40AM

    Thanks John,

Who would have thunk that there were so many challenges is this change we are forging together....

Sometimes the fear and anxiety paralyze me until I read from somewhere that we are all facing the same silly self defeating feelings!

We CAN do this....every one of us!

One day at a time emoticon emoticon

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GERIKRAGH 6/16/2010 11:14AM

    I loved the blog, but I'm just not there yet!

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JURI62 6/16/2010 10:59AM

    We do it because WE ARE WORTH IT!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/16/2010 10:25AM

    Yep! It's not easy, but we can do this, because we are not doing it alone. Discovering that others just like us are struggling through and making the effort as well helps us keep working at it one more day, getting up one more time when we fall. Thanks . . .


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HLPRATT 6/16/2010 9:52AM

    You're right it is hard and an everyday struggle but I think anyone can do this. (We are all stronger than we realize) Alot of people don't want to struggle and just don't care and I guess that okay too

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JAE_HENNINGTON 6/16/2010 9:52AM

  as always,right on... thank you for sharing your insights

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STORMTMB 6/16/2010 9:23AM

    We also have to remind ourselves that we didn't get "this" way over night either. Our bond is strong as we make this journey together. It IS a journey not an overnight, quick fix. We will make the best choices we can today and tomorrow we'll get up and do it all again. I think a friend of mine likes to say, "Because we are worth it."

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LIZBUCK1 6/16/2010 9:20AM

    Yes, John, you're right, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. How many of us have been seduced into a quick fix diet program only to find that, of course, it doesn't work - we knew that really didn't we?
Lets keep on keeping on and we'll get there in the end. See you at the finish line!

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JUDIL62 6/16/2010 9:13AM


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JERIBERI1 6/16/2010 9:12AM

    Fantastic blog!! No, it's not easy. But we CAN do it, and we DO do it. Every day we make the choice. Sometimes we make the wrong choice, but if we turn it back around the following day, we're good.


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CINDYMCD1 6/16/2010 9:07AM

    That's right!

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KRISSYSWIM16 6/16/2010 8:54AM

    LOVE this blog! even the "machines" have off days and we CAN do this. We just have to get back up each and every time we fall!

WE CAN DO THIS!! emoticon

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MARCYNA 6/16/2010 8:41AM

    Sometimes temptations are even subtler...power, money and whatever else, I guess they aim at our weakest points...
I'm so grateful Heavens gives us Grace enough to withstand emoticon

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HONORINGGOD 6/16/2010 7:54AM

    we gotta keep on keeping on emoticon

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KLEONIKI 6/16/2010 7:44AM

There is a continuous war between our childish DESIRE for a fairytale - quickfix
the bitter sweet awareness that it takes a life to "live your life" ,
always better for yourself and for your Others with no place to reach at ,
but with only a ROAD TO WALK, and PLEASURE comes from the gracefulness of your steps and the tuning of them to those around you..!!
Thank you dear John for inspiring us!
Keep on keeping on!

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DOLLBABE56 6/16/2010 7:34AM

    You are so right. It's been very difficult for me lately, unfortunately. It took me getting sick a couple of days to get me to realize it's time to get back in focus.

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WIGIME 6/16/2010 7:32AM

    I totally agree. Well Said!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Because We Deserve It

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDYLIN90 4/20/2011 12:42AM

    Powerful words; thanks for posting.

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SUEB54 9/8/2010 10:17PM

    Powerful words! Thank you. Sometimes we need to hear that and be reminded that we ARE worth it. Thank you again!

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MSJAYY 6/27/2010 6:44AM

  Great blog! So very true - we tend to talk ourselves out of so many things/opportunities. I'm learning to tell that voice in my head to simply be quiet.

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CATHRINE2010 6/23/2010 9:10AM

    Wow what a wonderful thing to say!!! Thank You. Have a wonderful spark filled day yourself!!! Again Thanks!!

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SARAHCAT24 6/22/2010 5:12PM

    Thank you. I really needed to hear that.

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MAMA_PICANTE 6/22/2010 12:53AM

    WOW! Thanks for your insiring thoughts! As I listened to you, I heard what has went on inside myself for so many years! I have been told all of my life that I an not worthy, and all the othere stuff thats said with that kind of statement. I have allowed those thoughts to rule my life and and make me feel like a nobody that deserves nothing good in llife. Thanks for opening a little window within me that can allow me to heal!

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GOODYBAR58 6/21/2010 9:09PM

    Wow! Thank you for the reminder!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANDIASCAN 6/21/2010 5:01PM


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TIME2BLOOM4ME 6/21/2010 1:45PM

    Good job

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INTOTHESOUTH 6/21/2010 10:42AM

    'You are worth it." This should be everyone's personal mantra. Thank you for reminding us. Thank you for sharing.

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 6/21/2010 7:27AM

Your insightful comments have inspired me greatly at a time when I needed to hear those very things. Thank you so very much for sharing. emoticon

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MESEATURTLE 6/21/2010 2:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSYSHELLC 6/20/2010 10:31PM

    Thank you, John, for feuling my spark today and reminding me that I am worth it!

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SLIMFIT57 6/20/2010 10:28PM


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BGOOCH56 6/20/2010 7:57PM

    Thanks John you hit it right on. Excellent post. I look forward to hearing from you agian.


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LAVENDERLILY 6/20/2010 5:49PM

    Thanks for talking to me. What a great Blog!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 6/20/2010 2:40PM


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MOM2PACO 6/20/2010 12:43PM

    Amazing - thank you so very much! Very inspiring video!

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L*I*T*A* 6/20/2010 11:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTINEIH 6/20/2010 9:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LUCYSRAIN 6/20/2010 2:14AM

    Great Job John!

You always seem to get to the heart of the matter...

Thank You!

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NANHBH 6/20/2010 1:36AM


Great blog! We ARE worth it, and we DO it! It IS my right! Thanks for the reminder.


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SICKOFME3 6/19/2010 7:55PM

    emoticonJohn thank you so much for you blog. I just ran the one from 6/15 and it gave me so much help. As I'm sure others have told you, "I've said that" "I've felt that way", but it's nice to actually hear it anyway. I'm just starting this journey (again) at the age of 58 and being well over 100 lbs overweight. You made me laugh. A very good suggestion too. I hope you don't mind but I will be saying to that very nasty voice I hear all in my head: "Leave me alone!" Thanks again, John emoticon

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GRENEYEDBLOND 6/19/2010 3:19PM

    You inspired me to keep going. I feel bad when I go to the gym & leave my husband at home. I deserve to be able to go to the gym & I am going to do this. Thanks for the wise words.

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METALLICAT1 6/19/2010 1:25PM

    THanks John. You made me smile and also think. Yes I deserve to be healthy, yest I can try to do things even though some people don't think I can. I only have one person to prove things to and that's ME. Poop on the others, I'M #1!

Take care and thanks again!

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ZACHERYSMAMA 6/19/2010 12:33PM

    Thanks so much for being here and posting this great blog. We all deserve better we just have to remember to tell our selves that.
I will be checking back.
Thanks again

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M_E_L_I_S_A 6/19/2010 10:23AM

    emoticonfor such an inspiring blog. You brought tears to my eyes.....I always tell myself I'm not worth it. So thank you for telling me I am!

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JOURNEYOF3 6/19/2010 8:47AM

    This was wonderful! Thanks for posting this!

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CK1379 6/19/2010 8:29AM


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YAYAMEMA 6/19/2010 6:17AM

  Great blog I too think you are the one for Oprah!!!!

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SIRIRADHA 6/19/2010 2:45AM

    Your honesty and sincerity shine through. Lots of good solid reasoning in those seven minutes. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us!

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WALKNLOVE 6/18/2010 7:00PM

    So I think I'm going to call Oprah & tell her you are "the man"! ;)

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SPIRITCATCHER 6/18/2010 6:32PM

    Coming to terms with the "inner critic" is my daily struggle. When I hear the critic, I now say to myself, "I wouldn't let anyone else treat me like that so I am not letting you". Then I change the tone to something positive. You are so right! This is hard, we are worth it and we do deserve it and I think I am going to make that my new mantra over the voice of my inner critic. "I'm worth it and I deserve it"!

Thanks for your insight and sharing with us!


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    Great blog!

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ELLAPOR 6/18/2010 3:17PM

  I love your distinction between "I'm worth it" and "I deserve it." Thank you for sharing so much of yourself so honestly. And yes, we DO deserve it!

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POETGRL 6/18/2010 1:44PM

    Thank you so much for your honesty. You're right... this is hard, but worth it :)

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EFELL123 6/18/2010 12:27PM

    Thanks for taking the time to post this and be so inspirational to us. We're all worth it!

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MSWANDACHAN 6/18/2010 12:07PM

    Nice video blog.

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JIBBIE49 6/18/2010 12:05PM

    emoticonGlad to see your blog FEATURED today!!!

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JPRICE217 6/16/2010 2:33PM

    you are worth it and deserve it and so do I !!!!!! Great blog emoticon

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HONORINGGOD 6/16/2010 7:51AM

    emoticon as always

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JURI62 6/16/2010 6:38AM

    Well said, Thank you!

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MAWRTIAN 6/16/2010 12:33AM

    It is so great to be your friend John, thanks for this video blog!! I needed this so much!!

Margo emoticon

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LOVEMYBOY64 6/15/2010 11:47PM

    You always have the perfect words...thanks John emoticon

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CINDYC53 6/15/2010 8:04PM

    Great blog, John! You said what we all needed to hear - and you needed to hear, too :)) So grateful you are here...
emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 6/15/2010 7:12PM

    Have you posted it on youtube???

I'm trying I'm trying....

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HDHAWK 6/15/2010 4:46PM

    I'd love to see you on the new Oprah channel. You know we'd all be watching!

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KSGROTHE 6/15/2010 4:44PM

    emoticon video blog, John! I think your schedule for your blogs sounds very reasonable. I personally am not very good at posting a blog on a regular schedule, but usually only when I can think of something good to say.

This blog really hit home for me. I *know* that I am prone to sabotaging myself. I *know* I am usually the biggest obstacle to my own success. I am working on this, but it's very hard to overcome so many years of the negative thinking. I really need to work on this affirmation of "I deserve it".

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories. You're doing great! Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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DOLLIE6 6/15/2010 1:51PM

    Isn't nice that your wife thinks those nice things about you.
I love to hear a mate admire their mate.
You are so right in your train of thought.
Thanks for the blog.

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FANAMAMA 6/15/2010 12:58PM

    Thank you John, as always. I appreciate you.
I don't know if other people read the comments after your blogs like I do, but I want to reach out to those who feel others or circumstances are preventing them from taking care of themselves. I've been there and I speak from experience.
If somebody in your life is preventing you from making healthy choices, unless they are physically restraining you, the blame lies with you. NO BODY has that kind of power over you unless you give it to them. Take it back! You are strong. You are the master of your own destiny. As John says: You have the RIGHT to be healthy. The ONLY thing standing between you and your goal is YOU!

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Regaining My Focus

Monday, June 14, 2010

Losing your focus is like falling in darkness. You are not sure where the bottom is. So you float and you learn that the harder you try to focus the harder it becomes to do so. A friend points something out on your Spark Page and all of a sudden itís ďLet there be light.Ē Everything seems so clear. You are not quite sure how to get where you want to go but at least you know where you are going.

There is not a lot of balance in my life. Truth is known there never has been. Itís always been all or nothing with me and in most cases both. I plunge into something with a lot of energy and when I canít sustain the energy forever I give up. Itís why I am over weight. Itís why I feel I have to do it all. Itís this feeling of not being quite equal to everyone else. It means Iím a ďpeople pleaserĒ because I have to be better than you just to be equal to you. It means I set a lot of unrealistic expectations for myself and when I donít achieve them I give up. Itís why I lost my focus last week. I was asking myself to be perfect in a world where perfection is impossible. Excellence, yes. Perfection, simply a dream. Itís a dream I always thought was attainable because if I did what no one else did than maybe it would balance the scales.

What my friend wrote on my Spark Page about being a people pleaser removed the scales from my eyes. I saw what was motivating me and how I needed to change it. I need to develop a sense of balance.

For the remainder of last week thatís what I did. I looked at the three areas of my life that are important to me; the physical, the emotional and the spiritual and realized that if I didnít pay attention to all three equally, I would not be successful in doing anything positive.

Another Spark friend blogged about keeping an exercise journal. I went to Target and got a cheap calendar that I could carry with me. I wrote my exercise plan out for the week. Because of my travel schedule I was not able to exercise at all on Thursday. This was my first challenge. I had to deal with that. If I miss a day, no matter what anyone says, I feel like I have failed. Well, last Thursday there was no way I could exercise. I didnít and I told myself I had stuck with my plan, which made me a success.

Food was another issue. I had to eat three meals out last week. No way around it. The answer was fresh fish and veggies and yeah I had a piece of bread, LOL. I did make a meal plan, went to the grocery before I left town and packed enough of my own food to get me through the three days I was gone. Lotsí of water, lots Ďof un sweet ice tea. I planned and I prepared and I didnít have to be perfect, because I was prepared. I felt confident. End result was a six pound loss for the week.

I think a lot of that loss had to do with paying attention to the emotional part of me. I made sure I got enough rest. I realized that too much rest was just as bad as not getting enough rest. By getting eight hours sleep and the security of knowing I had created a good food and exercise plan a lot of the needless stress was gone and I could concentrate on, well, concentrate on being me.

The spiritual part of my life is the most important part of my life and probably the area I feel I fail at the most. I have a hard time talking about what I feel and what I believe because I have always been turned off by people who take God, open your mouth, and shove Him down your throat just so they can feel they did something good and put a gold star next to their name. I donít ever want to be like that.

I could write reams and not express it well, so I will share with you a line from a song I like. It goes: ďTake my life and let it be, a living prayer, my God, to thee.Ē

Thatís all I really want out of life if I am going to be honest. I want to love and be loved. I want to share and be shared with and the odd thing is that for the longest time I felt that if I shared all of who I really was with you, well you wouldnít like me. Itís that need to please. I do want to let you know everything God has done for me.

It all came together yesterday morning. The dramatic way would be to say it happened at church. It didnít. It happened at the park while I was starting week three of C25K training. It was hot, I was aching and that nasty little voice inside of me kept telling me to quit. I would never be able to run a 5K. I tried to brush it way but it just wouldnít stop.

I got mad, really mad. I yelled at it to go away, to leave me alone that I didnít need it anymore and please donít come back. It was still hot, I still ached, but I ran farther yesterday that I have since I was a kid and I did it because I wanted to, not because anyone required me to.

My focus is returning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGLITTLEWOMAN 6/29/2010 10:33PM

    I cannot believe your blog is a repeat of what I have been struggling to put a fact to as well. Beautifully and poignantly phrased. Thank you.

We are on a parallel out there somewhere.

Comment edited on: 6/29/2010 10:34:02 PM

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TINKERBELL200 6/17/2010 10:03PM

    Awesome John! Good to know you got your focus back! I'm so glad you didn't give up! Your doing great! You are making positive changes and learning so much, about being healthy and it seems to me you are seeking and learning so much about yourself!
I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, people pleaser myself. I'm starting to lean, as I get older, to this is who I am, and not worry about what people think anymore I like to be around people who accept me for who I am. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. I say stupid things sometimes. But I have a good heart! I don't however like being around people who make me feel like I'm walking on egg shells, worried about who I am. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm learning how to be accepting of myself, and that's not a bad thing! My pastor's wife always says, "Where ever you go, there you are!" Isn't that a true statement!
Keep on keeping on my friend . You are learning and growing daily.

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JUDIL62 6/17/2010 1:29PM

    Wow, that blog really hit home with me. I share your "people pleasing" and "perfectionist" personality traits. I am getting better at not being a perfectionist and just this week I too realized that people pleasing doesn't work either.

My favorite statement is "Excellence not Perfection". Putting that one down as one of my mantras. You rock brother...keep on blogging please:)


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JPRICE217 6/16/2010 2:37PM

    emoticon back so happy to see you back bloging emoticon

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 6/16/2010 1:24PM

    emoticon Good to have you back. Sometimes a little bit of time taken to regroup is what we each need. Just glad that you were able to see that need and address it.
As for the having to be better to be equal...I think each of us holds back a portion of what we are in fear that others will not like us or will judge us. With God, we cannot hold that back...He sees all of us, every good or bad bit. He also tells us that he forgives us in such a way as the difference from the sunrise to the sunset, which will never meet. As I work on my own weight loss journey, I also work on who I am and who I want to be. I would love to be like God and be a very forgiving person. I am not there yet. I am also learning how to be a more giving person. I always fear that the recipient will think that what I have given is not enough or petty, so I hold back. We each have to come to know our own worth at some point and that seems to be hard. We tend to sway from one end of the spectrum to the other, overcompensating either way!
Guess that is enough said. Again, glad to have you back and glad to hear that you managed a great loss of 6 pounds for the week. Keep it up!

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DOLLIE6 6/15/2010 1:44PM

    Good for you. Keep on keeping on.

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WANDAH3 6/15/2010 7:33AM




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TNTEACHER2 6/14/2010 11:53PM

    Another great blog, John.

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SHERWOODCYCLER 6/14/2010 10:03PM

    Way to go. You are definitely figuring out what it takes to be "all for you" rather than all or nothing.

I am traveling two weeks in a row (this is week 2). But I jogged before I got on the plane today. And I ate a chicken caesar salad at the airport and a seafood spinach salad at the hotel. Plus a little cadbury chocolate, but hey, I'm w/in my calorie range. So I'm worth it.

Figuring out the combination of things that makes you spark and be successful is so important. Keep it up.

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SHER11 6/14/2010 9:29PM

    emoticon Back, I missed your blog.
I'm so happy you're here with us again

God Bless


Comment edited on: 6/14/2010 9:29:37 PM

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CATHERINEL66 6/14/2010 9:24PM

    Good job on packing your food for work travel. I lived vegan through a conference last week, thanks to a small fridge in the hotel room, and nearby local market! I ate out too, but super healthy stuff (which took some work to find!).

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DOLLBABE56 6/14/2010 8:29PM

    Happy to see you blogging again. I am also a people pleaser. emoticon

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STORMTMB 6/14/2010 4:00PM

    In one of her "rules," Regina Brett said "God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do."

I know you love God and seek Him for guidance in your life. You don't need to please the rest of us, just Him. Your focus needs to be on God and He will guide you through the rest. As you do that, we see your example and the Lord will shine through you.

BTW - I have already seen Him in you, my friend. emoticon

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HDHAWK 6/14/2010 3:23PM

    The harder you try to focus the harder it becomes. That's where I'm at right now. Seems like this journey is so easy some days it's ridiculous and other days the food wins.
People please, yes to that one too! This journey is for me to feel better about myself and be healthy. I've regained a lot of the weight I lost and am always thinking about how other people must see me as a failure. I'm sure they don't care as much as I think they do. I'm my own worst critic.
Congratulations on your 6 lb. loss for the week and setting a plan to make it happen. Most of all, congrats on finding some insight for yourself.

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    Once you love yourself the way you should everything else will fall into place. Pleasing others will not take on the importance it does now because no matter what happens you will still have someone who loves you. Love is not something to earn for good behavior. It should be unconditional. Thus we still feel the same about you whether you blow the entire week or not. I'm okay and you're okay. Always.

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KSGROTHE 6/14/2010 2:51PM

    emoticon on your in-depth evaluation of developing a sense of balance, on losing 6-lbs, on taking good care of your emotional self, and on continuing your C25K training even when you didn't want to!

You're thinking about a lot of the same things that I think about. Unfortunately, I often don't DO anything about what I'm thinking about.

Keep up the good work! You seem to be making so much progress in your personal journey!

- Karen

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AZCUPCAKE 6/14/2010 2:03PM

    Very proud of you for facing your demons and telling those little buggers to GO AWAY! You are being rewarded by your healthy weight loss and your overall metamorphosis!! I am glad you are in a good place in your head right now!!!! emoticon

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SHEILAKHS1 6/14/2010 1:31PM

    Thank You for another great blog...i have been trying hard to put my life into perspective and i along with you now realize i am a people pleaser i am more worried about what other people think than what i think myself and it drags me down but I am trying to work on that and with your blog you made me realize yet again that i am not alone in this journey

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PRINCESSNURSE 6/14/2010 1:06PM

    I finding running VERY empowering. It really has shown me how strong I am and given me the courage to stand up to some of my self doubt. I think God uses things to make us stronger. Perhaps God was using your run this week to teach you how strong you are :-)

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ALLISON145 6/14/2010 12:51PM

    This post really resonated with me, John. Before I can be really successful in losing weight on the long term, I need to come to grips with that fact that I cannot be perfect all the time, and that I do not need to overachieve just to be "as good as everyone else." Why do we have these embedded self esteem issues, I wonder? I had never drawn a parallel between my perfectionism/over-achiever and low self esteem until this very moment.


Wow. Thank you!


And Congratulations on an Awesome Week!!



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SPARKENISTA 6/14/2010 12:45PM

    Focus has always been an issue for me, as well. Getting the basics out of the way is definitely a way to improve focus. Kudos on your run!! You're getting younger every day!

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LAWRALOO 6/14/2010 12:40PM

    First off, way to go on the c25k program. I love it. :)

Your thoughts are always so honest and make me want to reevaluate what I'm doing. :) Thank you for putting your thoughts out there because you know what? We're all thinking them. 80% of us are too afraid to say how we really feel.

I wish I too could find that balance on a consistent basis. I have a hard time staying in between the lines. I'm either way far down or too far up.

Amazing amazing strides for a 6lb loss this week. Way to go.
I miss my 6lb loss weeks! lol
I'm super proud of you John. I love watching and hearing your journey. It makes me smile.

Keep it up. You know what you want in this journey and you're the only one who can give it to yourself.
You're made of amazing and you're a wonderful person.
You'll reach your goals because you're determined to do so. :)

Have a great week.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 6/14/2010 12:38PM

  I am glad you are back.. I knew given time you would figure it out... you have been missed emoticon

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EDWINA172 6/14/2010 12:36PM

    This could have been written by me. I believe that you are me, only in the male form. LOL! Thanks for sharing. Keep on writing.

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LUCYSRAIN 6/14/2010 12:25PM

    Hey John,

Welcome back, don't you ever worry about pleasing people here. You are a Wonderful Man full of Gods spirit and Grace. You are gifted with the ability to capture what so many of us feel and in doing that you remind us ALL of the importance of balance.

We all are creatures of habit, emotions can play havoc on balance when you become to critical of yourself or your journey here. We fall down we get up, I agree with your comments of pushing God down others throat, BUT acknowledging his presence for balance is so revelent....thats when all the threads begin to weave together emoticon


(I will be praying for your friend, I just heard the same about a friend here in Louisville)

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CMBELISLE 6/14/2010 12:13PM

    Sometimes it feels like balance is just out of our reach, but once we attain it (if only momentarily), it really gives us the warm fuzzies. I hope you can retain your balance.

As for your epiphany, I've rarely known anyone to have it happen in church. Often, they are surrounded by nature, which is where I consider God to be most prevalent.

Have a great week!

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JLUVSHIKIN 6/14/2010 11:40AM

    Well said! I enjoyed your blog; and I am glad that you are finding your focus! Congratulations!

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BECCALYNN75 6/14/2010 11:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUZANDALE 6/14/2010 11:05AM

    You made me cry John!! This described me and how I have felt for the last couple of weeks! We seem to be a lot alike is so many areas! I have been so busy trying to live up to every body else's expectations that I forgot what I am trying to do FOR ME!!! Thanks for the reminder!! And congrats for getting your focus back!!
emoticon emoticon

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JENNY888 6/14/2010 10:59AM

    We all have to take time to refocus from time to time. How smart of you to work on all three areas at once. Congratulations on the six pounds. If only I could lose like that. It is always slow for me. I love to see others do it though.

Comment edited on: 6/14/2010 11:05:31 AM

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KAT573 6/14/2010 10:30AM

    Life IS a balancing Act! We all have different beliefs and assumptions which drive us, and it is always good to stop and look at them every so often, cause they do change, or they need to change, and we lose our balance when we don't take that time. To me, walking with God IS finding that Balance and since it has to be done over and over and on and on, well, it just makes sense to keep on keeping on! I think we live Life to BECOME who we are, accepting all sides of us, the good, the bad and the ugly; when we try to ignore a part of us, we do indeed lose our balance, our richness, our authenticity and our integrity. There is no real development of compassion when that happens. Keep on Keeping ON! emoticon

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HLPRATT 6/14/2010 10:30AM

    You know, being a perfectionist can be a problem. Just keep moving in the right direction -which you are and don't worry about bumps along the way.

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/14/2010 9:40AM

    Well done, John! We HAVE to take time out to regain our balance and focus from time to time. I am a people pleaser as well (I suspect many of us here are), so I relate to so much of what you said. The spiritual part of life is extremely important to me as well, but I don't like how some use it as a club on others. I think St. Francis of Assisi had the best philosophy there: at all times preach the Gospel, when necessary use words.

YEAH for you at telling that voice to get out of there and pushing on; I've had to do that as well because a part of me still wants to say no way can I run. We are DOING it, though, so that voice is wrong.


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KLEONIKI 6/14/2010 9:34AM

    Such a well known motif this is to me, too!
And the answer is always the same "get on your feet and keep going" only that this repetitive mysterious lifesaver move happens somehow under the inspiration or support of one of my SP friends!
I will never stop saying the same thing: "this Spark place is a true mystic healing garden for us".
I am happy you did refocus again , dear John. You are far too precious for me/us (your Spark companions) to lose your way.. even for a bit.
And you know what? Losing focus for instance enables you to REDIFINE and REFRESH!!!

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YOYONOMORE1 6/14/2010 9:32AM

    Good morning John, can you guess, yes my interent is being nice to me this morning, woo hoo. All three areas are connected and make us who we are, so it is important to focus on all three. WTG on the 6 lbs. gone, woo hoo. I liked the way you put your blog together today. Have a great one.


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MARCYNA 6/14/2010 9:18AM

A perfect plan in three parts.
Definitely ,the HS will be on your side. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/14/2010 9:19:03 AM

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/14/2010 8:59AM

    Good for you John. I too struggle with the little mean voice and with trying to please people. When I began to stop the people-pleasing, some people couldn't handle that any more. My family of origin is struggling to learn to accept that I'm not always going to say yes all the time; not going to put my life on hold to make their lives better. Not up to me to take care of everyone else at the expense of me. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I work on it every day. Southern children (especially females) are raised with a different set of life skills, or so it seems to me.

I am proud of you for working past the words of the mean voice. It will only make us stronger once we defeat it. Keep going. I'm in your cheering section!

emoticon Go John!

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JENBEN2087 6/14/2010 8:52AM

    I feel this exact same way many times. Thanks for putting it into words and most importantly, action. With this kind of re-focus, you will reach your goals with less stress and more peace of mind.

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MINENA1 6/14/2010 8:47AM

    You are emoticon John!!

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KRISSYSWIM16 6/14/2010 8:46AM

    I am glad you are back! I am also so happy to see that you told those negative thoughts o get out of town! I know those feelings come and go, but you took control- be proud of yourself! and six lbs lost, you are amazing. Keep up the awesome work and remember to cut yourself some slack, you are doing awesome and you will continue* HAPPY MONDAY!

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Finding Focus

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. Thatís where I am at right now. The adjustment knob on the focus for my inner camera is stuck.

I havenít lost The Spark. I am more committed than ever to my nutrition, (I am no longer using the word ďdiet.Ē 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 donít 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 donít 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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKENISTA 6/12/2010 3:21PM

    We all need time to kick back and reflect. Getting some perspective will certainly help in the long run.


kenista emoticon

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MARCYNA 6/11/2010 6:00AM

    I'm just like you,hugs emoticon

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JLUVSHIKIN 6/10/2010 6:58PM

    Enjoy your rest.

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GIRANIMAL 6/10/2010 6:08PM

    No worries, John! All this wonderfulness can be overwhelming sometimes. I too sometimes slack and can't keep up and feel bad about it. But we all have "real" lives away from Spark and I figure we all are doing the best we can!

I finally got to this blog today, for example, because I realized I hadn't heard from you or checked up on you in a while.

So I am glad to hear you are stronger than ever in your commitments. You're such a fantastic Sparker, I'd hate to hear otherwise!

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TINKERBELL200 6/10/2010 5:17PM

    John, I think that's an awesome idea! Your blogs bless us all, but if need a break take one. Spark was not meant to overwhelm you. You just need to prioritize and not get such a full plate of things to do! Like having a full plate of food! It's too much!!!
I'm glad you are seeking God for His guidance for your purpose! With Him you can never go wrong. I'll pray He gives you the answers you are looking for. He's never steered me wrong! God bless John! You are doing awesome!
emoticon emoticon

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BUGGYS 6/10/2010 4:23PM

    John, you have given us all so much and it is now the time for you! Sparking can be so time consuming and I understand why you feel you are going in really shouldn't feel guilty about what you are should rejoice in the fact that you have taught us and learned from us and because of that, you know what your journey has to be...pull back, take time, take care! emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/10/2010 4:06PM

    I get you on this. Trying to manage it all can be overwhelming. Take the time! It is about balance and we each have our own balance!

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AZCUPCAKE 6/10/2010 2:05PM

    Taking a week off makes sense, John. You give so much to others, and it is definitely time to focus on JOHN! I know all of your SparkPals want you to do what is best for you. Take care, and rest assured, no matter where your path takes you, you are in your friends' prayers. Godspeed! emoticon

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GRACENFAITH 6/10/2010 12:01PM

    Lord, you know our needs better than we do ourself. Be with my brother in Christ in this time. Let his eyes see clearly, his ears hear your words, and let him felt your presence so sweetly and has no doubt of your presence. All sins confused and forgiven, so this prayer can be hear clearly. In Jesus' name...amen.
emoticonWalking with God

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WALKNLOVE 6/10/2010 9:49AM

    May God give you the wisdom you seek.We will miss you! Big hugs!

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WANDAH3 6/10/2010 7:25AM

    We all need that time to withdraw, re-focus and re-charge our batteries. I understand.

Have a good week off, I look forward to reading your posts/blogs again.


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TRISH2229 6/9/2010 11:25PM

    Its good to take time to rejuvenate the spirit and focus on self. You give so much to all of us. Enjoy! emoticon

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 6/9/2010 4:22PM

    I have to admit, your blogs are almost addictive. For those of us who may be addicted to your daily musings, we will just have to get the syndicated version and re-visit your older posts to see what we may have missed at the first (or second or third) reading. That is much better than picturing you burning out on us!
Keep yourself well, there is only one of you.


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ALLISON145 6/9/2010 1:56PM

    Try hard not to feel pressured, ok? I know that I do not expect responses or goodies back or any of that when I give them to other people - I do it because I want to encourage and help them, not because I'm trying to get people to do things for me. I'd like to think (and I forcibly assume, I suppose) that everyone else is coming from the same place that I am and that they will not be offended if I don't reply immediately or even at all sometimes. My take is that everyone can give and receive support in varying amounts at different points... it's not tit for tat all the time, and it shouldn't be. Give what you can give, when you can give it, WITHOUT TAKING AWAY FROM YOUR OWN JOURNEY. Ok?

'Nuff said!



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TINK33 6/9/2010 10:55AM

    John, it's ok for you to do something for yourself. It's ok to not take care of everyone else - all the time. We love you because you are an inspiration, but you are not responsible for inspiring us - 24/7. You do the best you can and you hope that you help others in the process. That's the whole mission of a servant. My favorite saying is "I have to fill my pitcher, so I can fill all of the glasses in my life". You are wonderful and motivational and inspirational whether you write ever day, every week or every month - we'll take what we get - because we appreciate you - unconditionally!

Be good to yourself and take some time to fill your pitcher!

God Bless. . .


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MINENA1 6/9/2010 10:02AM

    We'll miss you! You're such a wonderful person! A ray of sunshine emoticon

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MARCYNA 6/9/2010 9:32AM

    I'll miss you, take care emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 6/9/2010 12:30AM

    You have been a blogging machine! I love reading them, sometimes they come out faster then I can read ;0)

Take a rest you so deserve it!

Don't feel obliged you have to blog every day, it seems like people of certain characters like us go through a patch of that.

Ya can't keep it up, it gets crazy. Spark is supposed to be a fun way to lose weight and get healthy, by not burning yourself out it will stay just that, fun!

You are loved and respected by so many, and I'm sure no one expects a reply to everything they post.

Rest easy, energize, come back when you are ready!

Love ya.



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IMJUSTDUCKIE 6/8/2010 11:20PM

    We'll miss you! Hurry back emoticon

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SHER11 6/8/2010 10:36PM


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GEEMAWEST 6/8/2010 10:33PM

    There is no way that everyone can reply to every response they get on blogs, their Sparkpage, etc. Just do what you can do and what is best for you. That's what's important.

I have noticed that a lot of people on this site have the same problem, me included. We are people pleasers. We want everyone to be happy and put our own needs last.

Good for you for taking notice of yourself!

Hugs, Cheryl

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MISHKALA 6/8/2010 8:22PM

    Ask and you shall receive!! God will certainly guide your way, all we have to do is take the time and listen. Looks like you're already doing God's work. God bless you on your journey. emoticon

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HDHAWK 6/8/2010 5:23PM

    Do what you need to do to stay on the healthy path John. It does take a lot of time. I finally made the decision to reduce the amount of teams I'm on. I'm on only a few and it has helped me to spend less time on the computer, but enough time that I still get to spread and receive the spark!

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KSGROTHE 6/8/2010 5:10PM

    John, you do what you need to do to find your focus and balance. I'm sure people understand and can sympathize. You know, I don't expect a response when I respond to your blogs. I mean, I don't post a comment to every blog I read, right? To be honest, I'm always a little surprised when people respond back to me after I post a comment on their blog.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Take care!

- Karen

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MYRNACARRIER 6/8/2010 2:50PM

    You are absolutely right to take this time to refocus.
I read your blog everyday and am often moved to tears by the insight you reveal to us. God has blessed you with that and will now prepare you for whatever it is he has planned for your future because you want to be availablefor him. God bless and we will be waiting to hear the rest of the story. emoticon emoticonfor now.

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THAMLEY 6/8/2010 2:00PM

    Committing to SP means you have made an effort to put yourself first. We all need to have our times of meditation and prayer. Taking this break is probably what you need to tame the amount of stress you're feeling and get your sense of empowerment back. Enjoy the time with yourself, we'll be waiting for you when you return. Meanwhile, check out a wonderful blog I read earlier today. It might start you in the right direction.

WillowWinds- Don't worry be Happy, Part two

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PUCCIOLA08 6/8/2010 1:38PM

    I'm sure everyone knows how you feel, I've been here 2 weeks and I already sort of feel like I'm going in a circle as well. But no one blames you for taking a week for yourself! Spark isnt meant to be a chore, and you certainly dont need any excuses why you'd want to take a blogging-break. Hope you have a nice weak, take all the time for yourself to regain your focus and we will all be here for you when you get back :)

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LUCYSRAIN 6/8/2010 1:06PM


It's good to hear you are listening to your needs and putting your relationship with our Holy Father first, that is so important!

You are a special person, you enlighten us with your words and you will be missed while away. Don't feel guilty for taking time out for you!

Bye the way, you have so many friends and people that read your wise optimistic words. Don't ever worry about replying to me, just reach out when YOU need to...

Much Love!


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HISTOMOM 6/8/2010 11:47AM

    I know that God will guide you this coming week... I will miss your blogs...but I know that you will return knowing what it is that God wants for you. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/8/2010 11:48:27 AM

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    We all need a break sometime as the longer you are on sparkpeople the more it can consume you unless you set limits.

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GERIKRAGH 6/8/2010 10:36AM

    to be continued.................

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JAE_HENNINGTON 6/8/2010 10:13AM

  Well I will certainly miss reading your daily blogs but I do so understand also.. take time to just refocus and regroup and I will look forward to you returning ...take care my friend

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CLOTHEDINLOVE 6/8/2010 10:09AM

    Take care, and don't feel guilty. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else!

God will get us all through, in His own way. :)

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/8/2010 9:53AM

    Balance is key -- and God will lead you as you seek Him. I've cut back in many ways, and when I have a little extra time I might go check on someone I haven't heard from in a while. I like to encourage folks just getting started -- sometimes they need it far more than those of us who have been here a long time. Take care of yourself and your family - and then do whatever God prompts you to do on Spark. You're a blessing, and God will give each of us what we need to hear from Him (through you or someone else) just when we need it. God Bless You on your Journey to Health!!

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BECCALYNN75 6/8/2010 9:52AM

    Praying with you for God's guidance - for all of us!

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JCDROLSHAGEN 6/8/2010 9:51AM

Enjoy your break. You deserve it. Of all the people that I have met thru this forum, you have to be one of the busiest I have seen. Your progress with your plan is impressive and so is your contribution to the Spark site. This kind of dedication is something to which we all can aspire. So have fun and fine tune your focus.

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SUSIEMILO 6/8/2010 9:44AM

    I hear you, and I feel it also.
When I first started, I blogged daily, joined a bunch of teams, accumulated more friends than I had ever had in my life, and over time it built into such a commitment that I wasn't getting my fitness in because I was at the computer.
And like you, I felt bad when I couldn't get back to all the people who left a comment, goodie, etc.
But with some thought, I realized that I have to be a little bit selfish about this, and unfortunately, not everyone will get a comment back from me. But I have to put my journey first, and my well-being (mental and physical) are my priority. Because that's why I'm here in the first place.
I love all the new friends I've made, and there are a core group that I seek out daily. And there are others that I drop in on about once a week to see what they're up to. And there are others that I'm just grateful have stopped by with a comment.
I wish I had the time and mental stamina to keep up with everyone and return every comment/compliment/good wishes. It's just not possible to do that as well as get my chores done, go to work, sleep enough hours in the day, and get my fitness in.
Something had to give, and unfortunately, it had to be the time I spent on the computer.
Sure - I feel bad about it. But I felt worse when it was my own needs that I was neglecting.
There has to be balance.
You take the time you need to reflect on what adjustments you should make. Maybe you can still blog, but just once a week?
Maybe you could put out a statement (as a lot of my friends on here, as well as I have done) that you just need to cut back the amount of time spent on the computer, and apologies to all in advance for not getting back to each/every person who leaves a comment.
And think about it from the other side. When you leave a comment on someoene's page -- do you really EXPECT a return comment? That could cycle on into eternity....

If you think about it this way, it might help.
This is a community of eavesdroppers. Anyone can listen in, and leave their own comments.
If this were actually taking place - say at a wedding or something... You and one person are having a conversation. Someone walks by, hears it and chimes in with their comment. And you include them in the conversation. And a couple from over there come over and start talking about it also. And you also start talking to them, all the while trying not to ignore and leave out the original person you were talking to. And more come over and start joining in.... and pretty soon you're "committed" to carring on a personal and individual conversation with over 30 people at once!
How can that be done? It just can't. We aren't capable of it. (well - I'm not, anyway)
It's the same here. And it's too bad -- because ALL of these people are amazing and wonderful, and worthy, and supportive, and just good people. We hate to be rude, ungrateful, etc.
But we also have to remember our limits, as well as our original purpose for being here in the first place.

It's an awesome site, and an amazing tool.
But there needs to be balance in your life.
Anything --- even the very best of things --- is not good in excessive amounts.
And I have faith that you will find that balance in a way that makes you feel good, as well as your friends and followers on this site.

(no reply needed)

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MAWRTIAN 6/8/2010 9:31AM

    Thank you for this post John! I will be praying for you too. I hit a point on my journey where I feel like I needed to blog everyday and that is what I'm trying this week but I understand the need for quiet introspection.

Keep up the great work and we will be here when you get back!

margo emoticon

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SANDYK4BAMA 6/8/2010 9:23AM

    John you go ahead and take all the time you need! Your fans will wait patiently, and know that we are all there with you. Your health is the issue, and so is your comfort, your happiness; so don't let all this extra STUFF get in the way of that. We who are so inspired by you can re-read the other blogs that you have written in the past, and we will still be inspired - because that's who you are, it's what you do. However, sometimes we all need a little breather, some "ME" time, some space to regroup and circle the wagons. Don't ever feel guilty about that; and just speaking for myself, you don't have to respond to everything I send or write, I just want you to know that there are people out here who admire and care about you and your endeavors, and that is my real goal in sending/writing, not to make you have one more person to keep up with. Let us blow some sunshine up your skirt for a change! You so DESERVE it!

Love you to pieces John!
God Bless You!!!
emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CMBELISLE 6/8/2010 9:23AM

    No problem! I didn't know how you were keeping up with everything and not making yourself crazy. It's time for you to take some time for you - most definitely - and figure out where to go from here.

Take care!

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BRYLIA 6/8/2010 9:21AM

    John, Glad you let us know what was up. While I will miss your daily blogs, I think like usual, you are right on track. Put God first, pray for his will. I will do the same, adding a prayer for you. Glad to hear that you are keeping up a healthy lifestyle.
God Bless, Lisa

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GRANDTO4 6/8/2010 9:20AM

  I wholeheartedly agree with FANAMAMA - you need to do your best at your journey and we all need to do the same. We all need help sometimes, but we also need to be accountable and stand on our own two feet. I know I would not be the "courageous, independent, take charge woman" my mother and children just called me, if God had not put circumstances in my life that left me few options, other than to be that way! Given the choice, we would all take the easy road! Please do not feel guilty about nudging us all to independence!

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STORMTMB 6/8/2010 9:01AM

    Ask and He will answer. :-)

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FANAMAMA 6/8/2010 8:57AM

    This is GOOD John! God is calling you and you are listening. I am relieved you are well. May He bless this time of reflection and prayer. Enjoy your time with your Best Friend! He has your best interests at heart, always. Asking for His guidance is what He asks of us.
And don't you worry about the rest of us. This is YOUR journey, and you need to do what is best for YOU. As much as we will miss you, we will be fine.

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    Follow the Lord's will and the rest will fall into place! Praying for this time as you reflect and a gain a clear focus from Him! emoticon

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JPRICE217 6/8/2010 8:39AM

    emoticon for telling us that you are taking a week off was worried that you didn't blog yesterday. God will answer your request . Sure hope it is to continue to blogg because I sure do enjoy them. As I said before you are the best emoticon

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CINDYLUFUS 6/8/2010 8:32AM

    Thank you for all that you do, all the encouraging words and blogs. I believe we all need those reflection moments. I pray that God speaks to your heart and gives you direction.

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ADG8201 6/8/2010 8:27AM

  Thank you for this.

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