JOHNTJ1   68,167
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
JOHNTJ1's Recent Blog Entries

And So We Begin......... With A "Thank You."

Friday, July 02, 2010

For some time now people who get to know me end up with one thing in common. They look me in the eye and say "You should write a book." This is usually followed by Joan elbowing me and saying something like "I've only been telling him that for thirty six years." My response has been the ever neutral "Yeah."

I believe I can write a book. Matter of fact, I believe I can write a darned good one. I just never knew where to start and how to pull all the ideas I had into cogent form. It was very frustrating to say the least. I had all of these feelings floating around about being successful.

I believe it is a God given right to be successful. Each of us chooses how to define success in our lives and if we are truly successful then we respect the guy sitting next to us and their definition of success. Honestly though? Most of us never make it. In my head I know why. I just couldnt get it out in an understandable format. Until yesterday.

I was trying to tie up everything I said in yesterdays blog so it just didnt "thud" to a conclusion.

".....but I really believe three things create a good foundation for our success.

You are worth more than you can ever imagine.

You deserve only the best and should not only expect it but in most cases demand it.

You really are who you hang around with."

There it was in a neat package. Everything I believe in wrapped up in a couple of sentences. It's the foundation for the book.

So along with many others in my life, especially Joan, and The Holy Spirit, I want to thank you for your inspiration and especially for your friendship.

I am not sure how long this will take to write or if anyone will even want to publish it. If nothing else it will be my "manifesto."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSSN4FITNESS 7/7/2010 6:54PM

    Wow! This is incredible. I am writing that down and taking note to look for your book when comes on shelves. You are truly an inspiration and deserve all the wonderful things that are going for you, because you are humble, giving, and you understand that everyone has their good and bads and you meet them without judgement. My heart is so warmed when I read this and your other posts. You have a wonderful gift and I am so happy that you have found the way to channel it!

Happy Writing!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANASNOW 7/6/2010 8:44PM

    Start writing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DUTCHIEKIWI 7/5/2010 12:33AM

    Great news, awesome to hear!

your mind is really getting into the groove and the book is going to become reality!
I applaud you!!!

There are many many people here that will write a great reference for any publisher to convince them your book WILL be a great success.

I for one will not only write but I'll call them too!!!

Try and stop me ;0)

You go John, there are no boundaries to what your book can and will achieve for others like me!

Love your work!!



Report Inappropriate Comment
TEACHING1ST 7/4/2010 4:45PM

    Put me on your list...I'll buy that book! You can do it and we'll all be so glad. Best of luck, but don't quit writing your blog in the meantime!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPRICE217 7/3/2010 1:48PM

    emoticon I do not have a doubt about it. You always have the best blogs

Report Inappropriate Comment
TINKERBELL200 7/3/2010 11:25AM

    emoticon idea John! I thought you were a writer when I first started reading your blogs! Maybe you missed part of your calling in life. You obviously like to help people, so what better way than writing a book! And you are so blessed to have Joan by your side, who as you said has been speaking this to you for years. She is an awesome support system for you, it sounds like whatever you decide to do. You have found a fine gem (Joan), that some people search a lifetime for.
So start writing!!! Go for it! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMJUSTDUCKIE 7/3/2010 10:41AM

    Funny, I just came across this article JUST BEFORE reading your blog.... Might be a "sign"....

Check them out, if they aren't useful, no worse for the wear, right?!

MP Morris Publishing - www morrispublishing . com

Report Inappropriate Comment
KLEONIKI 7/3/2010 9:17AM

    Good for you and for us if you write this book....
I have been told the same from my friends and family; the main thing that stops me (and jurts me a bit) is that i believe i had nothing new to add except maybe of a personal forme of expression which is merely formal and not substantial...
Everything is already said .One need only to learn how to decode them...
This , of course , is my personal point of view; i would embrace your effort of a book , my friend with all my love.
Good luck

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 7/3/2010 8:22AM

    Hi John, actually I have some advice for people who want to publish and I'll send them to you as soon as I find them...I certainly look forward to reading it emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SNORRIS40 7/3/2010 8:00AM

    Dittos on everyone else's comments. You are a fantastic writer and really hit the core of everyone else's feelings in your writings.
Best of Luck and looking forward to the Amazon pre-order! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNE-ELIZ 7/2/2010 11:19PM

    Blog; book; only two letters separate them! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RONDAJONES 7/2/2010 10:32PM

    John...I am pretty sure that you have a few hundred friends on here that would purchase a copy...I would!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 7/2/2010 10:29PM

    I wish you well.

You can always self-publish, too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 7/2/2010 8:55PM

    Start with your blogs... It's all there... It'll be a great book, dude. Now, go write it.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Best of luck with the book.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALLISON145 7/2/2010 5:26PM

    Very exciting news!!! We look forward to being your beta-readers!


Report Inappropriate Comment
KSGROTHE 7/2/2010 3:20PM

    Writing a book sounds like a great idea for you! emoticon on discovering a starting point!

By the way, if you find it hard to get it published, I believe there are ways to self-publish now thanks to the internet. My uncle did something like that with a biographical book he wrote about my grandma.

Good luck! emoticon

- Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
TNTEACHER2 7/2/2010 1:00PM

    You write great blogs--why not a book?

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECCALYNN75 7/2/2010 12:16PM

    Can't wait to read it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAE_HENNINGTON 7/2/2010 11:51AM

  When I first starting writing I was having trouble getting my thoughts on paper. Then I read this book, IF YOU CAN TALK YOU CAN WRITE..So now I just put my inner dialogue on paper and I have a lot of inner dialogue. I am so happy you have decided to write your book you have alot to offer others and we need more all the positive we can get. I have only one request when it is written and published I want an autographed copy. Have a great weekend John

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEEDTOLOSE100LB 7/2/2010 10:01AM

    I am betting your book will be a best-seller. Thank you for the continuing blogs...a dose of your writing always does me good for the day!


Report Inappropriate Comment
MAWRTIAN 7/2/2010 9:41AM

    Wow John! It is like you looked into my journal entry today and addressed my issues. I haven't been bloging much but I have still been writing for myself. As always your insights are great! Thanks!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 7/2/2010 9:29AM

    Fantastic John! I know there will be many people who want to read it, me included!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 7/2/2010 9:15AM

    ALL RIGHT, JOHN! Putting together your thoughts into a book will be such a good experience for you--you have so much good stuff to share. Writing somehow helps pull all those thoughts that have been rolling around inside together and brings clarity. I will be praying that you make the connections necessary to get that book written and out there so others can benefit from what you've learned. I know that I have already; I look forward to reading that book one day; if you need a proofreader at some point, let me know!


Report Inappropriate Comment
KAT573 7/2/2010 8:56AM

    I think as you actually work through the writing process, the finer points of how those things come to be from within, as well, rather than trying to pull them in from without, will become more evident and will feed your writing as it does your spirit. The richness and complexity of the process of growth is indeed difficult to perceive, let alone experience and more, nurture. For the very reasons you state. Have you ever read M.Scott Peck, M.D.? It was his writings that, in the end, led me to God. But it was his cogent style that helped me to understand why I had trouble nurturing myself, and therefore, what I needed to work on. Each of us has our own path to God, and I do believe there are basic underpinnings that are universal to us all. May your book help others to find their Way! keep on keeping ON! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSSUNBUG 7/2/2010 8:49AM

    As a doctoral student, writing is in my bones. :-) Regardless of the outcome (though I suspect the outcome could be good!), the process would be completely rewarding. Go forward! Trust in your great wisdom and the wisdom of the universe that is push, push, pushing you in that direction!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYUTMOST4HIM 7/2/2010 8:39AM

    GREAT!!! Can't tell you how many times I started my book!!! Like you, I figured if nothing else, my grandkids can read it!!! LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Things We Think Sometimes.......

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I hadnít been to a lunch meeting of the Optimists for over a month. Work kept me out of town. I was looking forward to seeing a lot of folks I had missed in that time. Everyone that greeted me congratulated me on my weight loss and the article they ran on me in our local paper about healthy life styles.

When I sat down to eat three or four people came over, sat down, looked at me earnestly, and said. ďYouíre cursed, you know that donít you?Ē

Yes I did. You see the last three people my gym featured in their articles not only gained all the weight they lost back they added about fifty percent. This is a small city and everyone knows everyone so people notice and BTW: People are cruel. Iím not going to detail some of their remarks but suffice to say I got scared.

See I am within twenty five pounds of my initial goal weight. I been batting around the same five pounds for a month and even though intellectually I know whatís going on I am still getting scared. Iím scared all the weight is hiding in my bedroom closet again and itís going to come creeping back on to me and Iíll be a Spark failure. Then no one will love me and BTW did I tell you Iíd be a failure?

I am really not sure what can make you more miserable, being fat or being thin? So I did some stuff that I know none of you have ever done, like eating below your calorie levels and amping up your cardio to burn a bit more. Anyone here ever get worried about eating and start cutting some really weird corners because you are scared that an extra bite of whole grain bread is going to add fifteen pounds to you? You may not have done it but a dollar to donuts you thought about it.

As a once famous bald headed female exercise leader said ďStop the Insanity.Ē

Suffice to say I was a basket case. It was like running a 5K in quicksand (Wonder if they have a podcast for that?) The harder I tried the more bogged down and anxious I got.

I went to a friendís Spark Page to thank them for something and I actually stopped for a minute and read it. (LOL) They had been someone I had admired for some time and have been successful in fighting the good fight. But I had never read what ďthey stood for.Ē Maybe it was because I had all kinds of time on my hands yesterday or maybe my guardian angel sent me there but as I scrolled down the page I saw this line:

ďEat to fuel my body and my life, not just be below my calorie range.Ē

ďOh wow!!! Someone actually had the same thoughts I did!!!Ē Weird as it may seem, I felt better and I had a lesson reinforced at the same time. Somewhere in the Bible it says ďNothing is new under the sun.Ē That one line made me feel like I wasnít alone. I smiled a bit and actually had a bit of a tear well up in my eye.

ďIím normal,Ē I whispered.

We think and do crazy things sometimes. Our fears get the best of us and once they latch on to us they are like a pit bull, they donít let go. Our fears are what drive us into doing silly stuff that only hurts us in the long run.

You guys may get really bored in hearing all this but I really believe three things create a good foundation for our success.

You are worth more than you can ever imagine.

You deserve only the best and should not only expect it but in most cases demand it.

You really are who you hang around with.

There are so many of you who have motivated and inspired me in so many ways and just like yesterday I am so grateful for it. I choose to hang around with really great folks and if you are reading this, you are one of them.

Time for breakfast.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSSN4FITNESS 7/7/2010 6:58PM

    I remember being that crazy person a couple months ago! Man, that plateau had me bugging! But, it is so great when you get your perspective back. That allows you to keep pressing forward and get balance in your life. Great Post and great words of wisdom!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 7/4/2010 2:33PM

    I'm a bit scared of people whose silly remarks made you feel like that, are you sure you want to see them again???You just don't need those stupid people's remarks, you only need to be around w/people who love you and see the best in you - sorry I know it's a bit blunt but I need to repeat this to myself first emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROSE5328 7/2/2010 8:23AM

    Thanks for reminding me that I'm normal!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KATIEGLEN012 7/2/2010 7:22AM

    John...fear is the enemy. We are who we hang out with...and you, my friend, are about to reverse the curse! Thank heaven! Look forward with joy and thank God for the health you can see.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PINETREEGIRL 7/2/2010 1:42AM

    Fuel yourself--fuel your body, fuel your dreams.
I relate to this blog well, because I chose SP as a way of trying to lose weight without deprivation. With deprivation, I am champion--I can make myself stop eating for months at a time. That tactic might not work as well since I stopped smoking, but...I was very good at it.
But being thin and being healthy, instead of being thin or healthy, is a new horizon. It's 10,000 times more challenging. And it will last longer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARTOONB 7/1/2010 10:11PM

    Yep! So, because you and I think alike (or have some of the same thoughts at least) that makes you normal?! I guess I'm normal too! LOL!!

I get the fear thing! The weight is lurking out there and it's going to jump back on as soon as I close my eyes! I don't know where mine is hiding tho...if it was the closet, I'd lock the door!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HONORINGGOD 7/1/2010 9:50PM

    we are not norman we are sons of the most high ,joint heirs with JESUS CHRIST .his promises goon for ever . im proud of you &your worth it . a wise man told me that emoticonyou. GOD BLESS YOU MY FRIEND emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLY_REDUX 7/1/2010 8:58PM

    Bless you, I'm NOT normal - but I've learned to make it work for me! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEEMAWEST 7/1/2010 8:16PM

    Thanks, John.

For your information, I never get tired of you telling me that I am worth more than I can ever imagine. I like hearing it and don't mind saying that sometimes I "need" to hear it because I am so hard on myself.

And BTW, you too are worth more than you can ever imagine.

Love, Cheryl

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUST_TRI_IT 7/1/2010 8:02PM

    Hmmm. They are optimists? I am not sure I'd belong to a group that seems to want to bring people down! Even if someone has a thought like that, why share it at all? Your town sounds like a town I work in... Lots of cruel people :(

Yes, we are in this together... and all those "unique" thoughts we have seem to land on familiar ears, don't' they! And we do feel a camaraderie when we voice our successes or scary thoughts and someone seems to connect. Rather nice!!

You will make it, John. You've learned too much to throw thinking out the window!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 7/1/2010 7:55PM

    BTW - those people don't sound much like optimists! more like pessimists!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 7/1/2010 7:54PM

    I'm pretty sure that I (and many others) told you 50 lbs ago that I'd love you regardless of the number on your scale. Pretty sure that your wife and kids love you too.

For whatever it's worth, my advice is to step away from the scale. If the number (those 5 lbs) is messing with your head, then walk away. Do the things you know are right and quit worrying about it. Let go and let God... go back to that voice that gives you such great advice.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KLEONIKI 7/1/2010 5:11PM

    My dear John!
We are all in the very same boat sailing in the very same waters...
Similar fears, thinking patterns,and feeling traps.
But also, we are part of the same struggling gang, fighting with similar dragons and our common place is our dream to become HEALTHY.
It is not only a weight matter it is all about doing THE RIGHT THING ,
change inside out FOR LIFE,
and especially do that TOGETHER..
Relax and enjoy the ride it is not a change for who witness it only
for who experience it..
Keep on going with this radiant smile of yours

Report Inappropriate Comment
JURI62 7/1/2010 4:37PM

    Small towns! Aren't they GRAND! Be careful what you focus on, our thoughts have a way of coming true!!! POsitive thinking promotes positive outcomes.
Thanks for another great blog.
Hugs and blessings, Judy

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNE-ELIZ 7/1/2010 4:08PM

    It is true that words have great power and you certainly experienced that power in both directions; the negative, posited by those "Optimists" and the positive, by the writer of the blog you mentioned as well as others here on the site.

Those words can engender fear or can give hope. They can be placebo or poison.

But those words need to be processed and evaluated by a human mind; your mind, which works very well! OK, you wrestled with the fear demon but emerged victorious, with a little help from your friends!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I'm going to have to slip you some ego boosting pills, John. LOL. When I hear people talk about gaining all the weight back and more I feel sorry for those unfortunate people but I don't relate to them. I don't consider myself in that group. I'm always in the 5-6% that loses what they want and keeps it off and I put you in that group too. Don't allow anyone else to put you in the other group. You don't belong there. You have been put in the group you belong in.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYAN45 7/1/2010 1:36PM

    If we take our time losing the weight - and make a lifestyle change that we will live with forever - then we will not gain the weight back.

There are many SPers who joined maintenance teams to insure that they did NOT gain the weight back.

Spark could be a part of your life for several more years - while you maintain your weight as well.

Congratulations on your loss so far - and for coming so close to your goal!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILAKHS1 7/1/2010 1:19PM

    John I love reading your blogs because all in all you make ME feel Normal as i struggle with this lifestyle every day
Thank you for always sharing

Report Inappropriate Comment
BBGOOGIN 7/1/2010 12:33PM

    Wow, John. I enjoyed your blog today and I'm really glad you were enabled to process that one through. That's the keeping power of God, that you didn't receive those cursed words as your own....

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy...." (Jude 1:24)

Report Inappropriate Comment
JLUVSHIKIN 7/1/2010 12:16PM

    Thanks for the post. Especially about the part, "I am normal" Sometimes it is hard to feel normal. Good to know that occasionally someone else feels the same way!

Great post. And by the way... you are only cursed if you allow it to be!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANDTO4 7/1/2010 12:11PM

  John, you are so far from "cursed", that comment was just laughable. I felt the same fear you mentioned, when after less than 24 hrs. in the hospital, no food for three days, and I was up in weight TEN pounds! My brain jumped straight to panic (and thoughts of doughnuts), until I talked some sense into myself. It took 2 1/2 weeks post-surgery to lose that ten pounds, but it's gone. Now I understand I need to have patience with my body; it's been through a lot, and is still kickin'. So what if I get where I'm going a few weeks later?? There's no way I can un-learn the tools I have learned on this site, and from great motivators like you!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    you can and are doing it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 7/1/2010 10:48AM

    You are not at ALL alone in your fears, my friend; you are indeed normal (but extraordinary, too). I have been very successful at losing weight before, but terrible at keeping it off. I've lost 40 pounds now, second best weight loss results to date, and a part of me is terrified that the weight is hiding under the bed, waiting for me to make one little slip and then it will jump back on me again with some extra, then I will be a failure (again) and not be loved . . . it is crazy-making and can lead to under eating, over working our bodies, or worse. Time to start believing in ourselves and keep those foundations for success in front of us; thanks for sharing, it DOES help to know we are not alone.


Report Inappropriate Comment
FANAMAMA 7/1/2010 10:47AM

    Ummm, didn't you say it was a gathering of OPTIMISTS?!?! They need to change their name!
Or make YOU their C.E.O.!
I think often people gain back the weight they lost because they got on the Express Weight Loss train, closed their eyes and held their breath until the reached their destination. It was simply a means to an end, and once they got there, they didn't really know what to do with themselves so they fell back into their old patterns. (Experience speaking here)
I prefer to think of our Spark journey as the slow but steady Scenic Journey Healthy Living train. We are generally making progress, taking the time to take a good hard look at the world around us and reordering our priorities so that we put being healthy (not skinny) FIRST. We go through valleys, some of them dark and cloudy, but we also go to the tops of the mountains where we can see for miles and dare to whisper, Life is Good!
After all you've already gone through, do you REALLY see yourself ever again sitting on the couch with a bag of chips in one hand and the remote in the other?

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANAMAMA 7/1/2010 10:47AM

    Ummm, didn't you say it was a gathering of OPTIMISTS?!?! They need to change their name!
Or make YOU their C.E.O.!
I think often people gain back the weight they lost because they got on the Express Weight Loss train, closed their eyes and held their breath until the reached their destination. It was simply a means to an end, and once they got there, they didn't really know what to do with themselves so they fell back into their old patterns. (Experience speaking here)
I prefer to think of our Spark journey as the slow but steady Scenic Journey Healthy Living train. We are generally making progress, taking the time to take a good hard look at the world around us and reordering our priorities so that we put being healthy (not skinny) FIRST. We go through valleys, some of them dark and cloudy, but we also go to the tops of the mountains where we can see for miles and dare to whisper, Life is Good!
After all you've already gone through, do you REALLY see yourself ever again sitting on the couch with a bag of chips in one hand and the remote in the other?

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMJUSTDUCKIE 7/1/2010 10:25AM

    John, my dear, it's mind over matter :) If you don't 'mind' it, it won't matter :) emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKNLOVE 7/1/2010 10:20AM

    So, I have been sick, more than not the past two weeks, haphazard at best on logging my food in to my nutrition planner, not able to work out much, if at all, and stepped on the scale yesterday to a 6 lb.weight gain! UGH!!! So, you better believe, my 1st thots are going in the wrong direction...what if you fail?
Well, here's a better question for both of us...What if we don't?(Under normal circumstances, I would expand on this, but the truth is I am tired.I need God's strength to get thru.I will let you ponder this question for yourself.Some of our answers will be the same & some will be different, but they will all lead us into clearer thinking!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDYK4BAMA 7/1/2010 10:16AM

    Oh John - you ARE SO worth it!!! And you are so NOT alone in your craziness. I get scared all the time too. Scared that I will meet my goal, scared that I won't, scared that I'm not losing fast enough, scared that it'll come back, scared-scared-scared.

But you know what? Our preacher taught on this one day in church. The Bible uses the word FEAR 365 times. That's one time for each day of the year, and you know what God says about it: "Fear Not." It's a simple thought really, but boy does the devil really throw that one at us!! After all, he knows all the tricks, and fear, oh boy, fear is one of his meanest and best tricks to keep us from God's blessings.

Keep in mind though, YOU are one of God's blessings too. And if you fall short, don't worry - all your buddies here at SparkWorld will help pick you up, we'll prop you up, and we'll shove you back into action if we have to - just like you'd do for us. None of us is perfect, and even though it seems like we live in a fishbowl sometimes, and EVERYbody is watching and waiting on us to fail, your true friends are not. We are cheering you on, we are on your side. Those other people, well hell, they just DON'T COUNT! Yea! And God is on your side too, he's the best cheerleader of them all. And also, I just bet - you're one of his FAVORITES! You're definitely one of mine! Keep up the good fight, after all, it's for you - not for THEM - whoever they are anyway...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALLISON145 7/1/2010 10:11AM

    I think those amazingly thoughtful people (ahem) who told you that would were doomed to fail actually just did you a favor and pointed out one of the ways that you can be an 'apostle.' It's now your calling to show everyone in your little town that exercising and eating right is NOT an automatic road to failure... that it IS worth it to try to take care of yourself. I think a lot of people never even get started for that very reason - they think they will go to all the trouble to lose the weight and then gain it right back. When (not if) you break your gym's curse and choose to take care of yourself like you would any loved one for the rest of your life, you will inspire others to take that first step.

And remember, even when you don't have faith in yourself, we have faith in you.



P.S. Please try not to worry too much about the scale right now - your body has been through a lot of changes so be kind to yourself and allow some time for adjustment. Just keep doing what you've been doing (nothing crazy) and things will start moving again. Honest!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2010 10:14:44 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPRICE217 7/1/2010 9:25AM

    John cursed? never! Great blog as always. We can and we will beat the odds

Report Inappropriate Comment
JERIBERI1 7/1/2010 8:35AM

    John, you definitely AREN'T cursed. Food is fuel for your body and life, just like your friend said. When I first started the SparkJourney, I, too, was obsessed with staying below my calorie range. Then my mind switched over to "healthy living," and what a difference it made!! It's all about being the best YOU you can be, and John, you are doing it!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 7/1/2010 8:13AM

    Can I ever relate to your blog. I was getting compliments all over the place about a year ago, bought all new clothes, and was feeling very confident. Then many things happened in my life and I let those derail my workouts and good eating. I gained most of the weight back and yes, feel like a spark failure. I seem to be the only one who thinks so. I'm way more critical of myself than anyone else is. I'm in the cycle of "almost" being back on plan, but not totally committed. Back and forth with good choices and bad. You are in good company here. I know many of us struggle with the same issue.
I had many comments from people when my weight was down about being too thin, etc. I haven't had any comments from them on gaining some back. That would be rude emoticon. Doesn't seem to be rude to make those comments when we're losing weight. Anyway, we have to do this for us no matter what other people think or say.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EDWINA172 7/1/2010 8:06AM

    Don't believe in the superstitious poo that your "friends" are telling you. Break the molds. We create our own future. I never get bored with your blogs. I love the fact that you put into print what I am thinking!

You may feel some comfort from one of my favorite quotes...

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A.Milne

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEANPOD77 7/1/2010 8:05AM

    John, I echo MickeyMax's comment..I literally find myself giving a little nod and saying "ya, that's true.." so many times as I read your blogs..Gives me another little boost to carry on..Thanks (yet again!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
WIGIME 7/1/2010 8:02AM

    Ah, don't you just love small towns?! John, I know you have it in you to be successful and you have come too far to let those last few pounds bluff you.

If it takes another month or 2 to lose them, so what? Life isn't perfect. As long as you have your eye on the prize, you'll get there. Of that I have no doubt!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CMBELISLE 7/1/2010 7:55AM

    I think in some ways we all fear putting it back on. Hopefully, that will make me more diligent in keeping it off this time. I think it's time someone broke the curse and I'm sure it will be you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MICKEYMAX 7/1/2010 7:50AM

    It's a bummer some folks could only focus on the negativity. John, I feel encouraged and uplifted every time I see/read one of your blogs. Keep up the good work. I remind myself every day that I am the one who decides what I do, and how I do it, not popular opinion. Just keep doing the good things for yourself and the rest will follow. You rock! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_COSMOPAULATAN_ 7/1/2010 7:40AM

    You aren't cursed unless you choose to be. You have GOT THIS!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Be Still and Know That I Am God

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It has always been my favorite quote and it has followed me around all my life. Every time I have hit a rough patch or havenít quite been able to discern something it sits there staring at me.

I had a tooth pulled Monday. Actually it had to be cut out because it had grown into my jaw and needless to say there was pain involved. Most people ask their oral surgeon about post operative care. My questions related to resuming my C25K training, using the elliptical and stationary bike and resuming weight training. Iíll give you the short answer. All I can do is walk until the stitches dissolve which should be by next Monday, hopefully. On the bright side I really didnít need the narcotics they prescribed. By this morning ibuprofen did the trick. But I am digressing here.

All I could do today was sit around. I have a hard time talking. I canít really exercise. Television is, well its television and I wasnít in the mood to read. I began to ask why as in tilting my head upward towards heaven and saying ďWhy?Ē

Be still and know that I am God.

Between me, you and the gate post that really irks me sometimes. I know it is necessary, but it still irks me. Some days I donít want God to be God. I want Him to be what I want Him to be, which is someone who gives me everything I ask for, immediately. The heck with lessons learned and creating foundations and all that rot. Hand it overÖÖÖÖ Now!!!

Be still and know that I am God.

I know why. I just donít like that I know why. God has to slow me down. If He didnít, then only He knows where Iíd be off to with my half baked ideas and plans. He asks me to rest, to relax and mostly He asks me to listen to what He has to say. He gives me all those opportunities to do those things and frankly, most times I pass. I can imagine Him sort of throwing His hands up, rubbing His chine and creating an impact tooth.

He sends me friends with ideas, advice and encouragement and He asks me to take the time to listen. I do, mostly. He asks me to take a deep breath and stand still for a bit so everything can be put into place for me to do my best and be my best.

When I was a kid I hated it when they read the Scripture From the beginning of Matthewsís gospel. It the one with all the ďbegets.Ē Goes from the beginning of time until the birth of Jesus. There are a bunch of names that no one can pronounce and it takes a long time to read. Oh sure there are your heavy hitters in there like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and Solomon. But there were also the people no one really knew. People like Azor and Zadok. You donít hear those names bandied around on Sunday morning
Azor and Zadok and a lot of others were people just like me and you; people who peered off into the fog trying to make sense of it all. Sprinkled in there with the kings and prophets were farmers, carpenters and shepherds; every day folks who struggled and wondered and got bored.

Imagine if it were possible for us to go back in time and tell them that they were a link to salvation. Some car wash dude, scraping gum off a fender wall is in the direct line of salvation history. He probably wouldnít believe you. I know I wouldnít.
I think, like all those folks in Matthews Gospel we arenít supposed to make sense of the whole of creation. We are supposed to have faith, to live good lives and to use every tool God gave us. Sometimes it means letting our engine idle while God directs traffic so we have the best and greatest opportunity to serve Him.

Some days, for me it means that even though I have been a ďgood boy,Ē by doing all my exercise, logging all my food and getting enough rest, the scale needle stays stuck, like some divine hand holds it in place. We are asked and called to believe and I think the most important lesson God gives us to believe in ourselves no matter how small or great the odds. To believe we are worth, we deserve it and we are loved. Some days nothing moves forward because we canít see those amazing things
Itís why we have to sit and nurse a pulled muscle or a broken digit. Itís why the very best thing really always isnít because in the Divine mystery there is something so much better out there for us.

Be still and know that I am God.

So I sit here, trying to make sense of it all. A sore jaw isnít much but I have come to learn that it and things like it can be the beginning of something awesome, wonderful and well, LOL, Divine.

Be still and know that I am God.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAT573 7/6/2010 11:03AM

    You said it, John:
"I think the most important lesson God gives us to believe in ourselves no matter how small or great the odds. To believe we are worth, we deserve it and we are loved. Some days nothing moves forward because we canÔŅĹt see those amazing things "

and when we stray too far, abominations can happen, like World Wars etc. It is a sobering thought, and being still and listening 'saves' us by keeping us centered in God.
Keep on Keeping ON!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TINKERBELL200 7/2/2010 10:36PM

    Loved the blog John! Sometimes we do just need to be still and know He is God! I love that scripture! Thank you for sharing. Hope you get to feeling better soon. An impacted tooth can literally be a pain!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/2/2010 10:38:06 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
GR8CATSBY 7/2/2010 6:49PM

    Wow - thanks for writing this! What a great reminder that there's a bigger picture. God is weaving a huge tapestry and someday we'll see all of it, but for now we only have a glimpse of a little piece.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AKATUJE 7/2/2010 2:09AM

    I love this verse!!! It has a way of stopping me in my tracks when i am going round and round trying to understand everything....and also when things get overwhelming!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAE_HENNINGTON 7/1/2010 6:08PM

  this was my mothers favorite scripture.. I read it to her as she lay dying. such a small scipture but the words are so powerful

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANAMAMA 6/30/2010 11:45PM

    LOVE this scripture. Say it outloud to myself when I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to be everything for everybody. Love it, love the blog, and love you friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARTOONB 6/30/2010 10:06PM

    Great blog. Something to truly ponder...when God makes me slow down too. Cos I'm not likely to do it on my own! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CINDYMCD1 6/30/2010 6:58PM

    Oh my gosh this is my fav too! I walked into a beautiful chuch in Mesa AZ one Sunday and a woman with the voice of an angel sang a song with this title and it was the most beautiful song I believe I had heard. It brought me to my knees and to tears!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEACHING1ST 6/30/2010 4:06PM

    I just came across this---I love the quote too and can relate to Matthew's 'long list of begetting!' I'm sorry you have to lay around but take quiet time out and know you'll be up and around soon. Glad you're not in too much pain, either. I was also thinking of the "interview with God" site that someone already mentioned!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DIASTER 6/30/2010 2:56PM

  Oh John I think I have the perfect message for you, you have been my inspiration forever, saved almost all your posts read them over when the food demons strikes. Please check out it is very special, speeks to the soul and heart, may contain your answer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLIE6 6/30/2010 2:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonIt will be better. Be brave.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RONDAJONES 6/30/2010 1:25PM

    At least God made you rest and "be bored" with a sore eating involved! LOL ;) Praying you get well soon. God actually had you pop into my mind during one of my "prayer sessions" yesterday. Must be something good about to happen! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECCALYNN75 6/30/2010 1:22PM

    HaHaHa - I so could have written this!
LOL But needed to hear it too!

"Between me, you and the gate post that really irks me sometimes. I know it is necessary, but it still irks me."

Report Inappropriate Comment
TXNANA_4 6/30/2010 11:07AM

    Thanks for such a wonderful blog today! We all need to remember to "Be Still"!

Hope you mend quickly! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARCYNA 6/30/2010 10:24AM

    As far as I'm concerned I have to trust him being broken-hearted...And - just like you, I always hated the series of names on the Scriptures....Hope your recovery is quick!!!!!. Take your time and know that He's with you.
love emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MINENA1 6/30/2010 10:21AM

    Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes I forget to "be still" & want to try to fix or hurry everything. Great blog! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 6/30/2010 10:09AM

    I think too many of us use our faith as an attempt to seize control of our lives not wanting to accept the fact that our destiny is not up to us. You can't control God and sometimes His answer to your requests are a flat no. In the long run He knows what is best and you just have to accept it. Sometimes later on you can appreciate the no when things are revealed and sometimes you never know. At any rate we are told to live by faith and be thankful in all things.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GERIKRAGH 6/30/2010 9:57AM

    Amen! Thank U. I needed this.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 6/30/2010 9:03AM

    Sometimes God whispers and we do stop to listen, other times He has to shout a bit to get our attention (or use an impacted tooth). I have often thought about all those people whose stories we don't get to read in scripture but are listed. In the world's eyes, they are nobodies--no book named after them, no movies made about their lives, nothing to remember they were here except that they are 'in the list' for some reason. Yet God knows their names and made sure they were mentioned, however briefly. He knows your name and mine and has written them on His heart; our job is to make sure His is written on our hearts as well by being still when He calls us to it. Thanks for sharing, John; I am sorry about your tooth, but I'm glad you were able to hear Him speak.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKNLOVE 6/30/2010 8:39AM

    Thanks I needed to hear that today. I too, am having a few days of rest & I don't like it. I find myself turning to comfort food because I am bored and can't exercise.HOW MUCH SENSE DOES THAT MAKE? Nothing like trying to sabotage our own efforts?! Just need to relax and spend a little time chiilin with the Father and listening as He speaks. As always, thanks for sharing! I really enjoy checking in!Often times, you write what seems to be going on in my head.No doubt we'd be good friends b/c we see things so much alike. Blessings to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSSUNBUG 6/30/2010 8:28AM

    I very much needed to hear this today--thanks for sharing so much hope and truly intelligent insight. I'm impressed (and I promise I'm not easy to impress, LOL).

This is very much the perspective I struggle and strive to take: that even though I've done things "right" and been on my bestest, sometimes things don't look as they "should" for good reason--because I'm being called upon to believe in something greater, to see something bigger, to widen the lens and put my gaze somewhere else. And as a definite HUMAN, sometimes it takes things simply not going my way--or at least the way I think they "should" go in order to get me to do that.

You said this: "I think, like all those folks in Matthews Gospel we arenít supposed to make sense of the whole of creation. We are supposed to have faith, to live good lives and to use every tool God gave us. Sometimes it means letting our engine idle while God directs traffic so we have the best and greatest opportunity to serve Him." Absolutely. Amen.

Thanks again for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KPDRMNG 6/30/2010 8:23AM

    Awesome - you have a great writing talent. Love reading your blogs & thank you for sharing!

Hope you heal quickly! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

The Main Thing........

Monday, June 28, 2010

It took me a few minutes to get it all straight in my head. Iím glad Mass lasts awhile. During the sermon our pastor talked about being on a weeklong youth retreat with one hundred eighth graders. He talked about how they played games and sports and had a lot of fun all day. The evenings he said were reserved for God.
ďThe main thing,Ē he said. ďIs to remember that the main thing is the main thing.Ē Itís really okay if you stop reading and take a few minutes to figure this out. I know it took me a few. Donít worry, this is not going to be a continuation of his sermon, LOL, Iím not that eloquent.

I thought about it and after a bit I thought how it applied to what we are about here at Spark. I can only speak for me, but my purpose in being here is to be healthier tomorrow than I am today. In order to do that I need the support of everyone who is willing to give it to me. Being healthier means I have a lot of choices I can make when it comes to what food goes in my mouth, the exercise I do and the teams and people here I associate with.

Last week while I was out doing my C25K training I jogged past a church that had a sign out front; on the sign was a saying that caught my eye:

ďIt wasnít the apple on the tree that caused the problem; it was the pair beneath the tree.Ē

Choices, LOL, from the beginning of time it has always been about choices. I canít say Iíve always made the best choices in my life. I was morbidly obese at one point in time. I am slowly cycling through obese on my way to simply being overweight. Thatís a choice I made.

I show up here every day on a regular basis and if I do nothing else I chart my food and exercise. At the end of some days I smile and at the end of other days I frown. The main thing is I am here. Itís my choice. I am challenged by many of you to grow in ways I never would have thought about even six months ago. It has opened a whole new world for me.

A healthier me is going to be a me who will be able to do everything he wants to and more importantly everything he is supposed to do. Being worth it and deserving it come with a price. It means that since I know what is expected of me, and how I should live, I have an obligation to pass that on to other people. Some days that can be a difficult choice. Some days I donít feel all ďSparkified.Ē Some days I feel like sitting in a corner and being smug and content. Some weeks if I gain weight I want to be left alone because it is so much easier to ignore the choices I made during the week. Or Maybe I was too tired to hit the gym one day. I donít always want to be reminded of that. Iíd rather sit here and let you think I am the guy who always makes the right choices. I always donít.

The good news is that since I have been here I see the meter trending more and more towards making those right choices on a regular basis. It is easy to forget what the main thing is all about. Itís about you being everything you were meant to be and that comes by choosing wisely.

The main thing has nothing to do with being perfect or being better than anyone else. It means knowing that when you have those glorious days when everything comes together for you that one day you will be able to share that vision with someone who, no matter how hard they are trying, just canít seem to make any progress. It means you will encourage and cajole and maybe sometimes even challenge someone else to be healthy.

ďThe main thing to remember is that main thing is the main thing.Ē If I donít, if I make all the wrong choices for me, and I never get the opportunity to go from disciple, one who learns, to apostle, one who teaches. The main thing is my health and my gratefulness to God for allowing me to find that health.

I am worth it, I do deserve it but really seeing and believing it in my life comes down to the choices I make. Thatís the main thing.

I made a choice to be your friend and you made a choice to be mine.

Thatís a pretty good start donít you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 6/29/2010 3:53AM

    Wow...if you met those kids, what would you tell them????? There's a GREAT motivator in you and I think you could give a message to younger people emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/29/2010 3:59:33 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNE-ELIZ 6/28/2010 11:25PM

    Yes, we did and yes, it is! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 6/28/2010 10:15PM

    It's easy to lose focus and we all need to remind ourselves why we are here on the most basic level.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 6/28/2010 9:46PM

    Sometimes it is hard to remember that there really is a main thing in our lives. Sometimes we all need reminding what that main thing is.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPRICE217 6/28/2010 7:31PM

    Just trying to keep the main thing the main thing, and it seems to be different all the times. Great blog great friend

Report Inappropriate Comment
JURI62 6/28/2010 6:59PM

    That's an awesome start! Thanks for the great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STORMTMB 6/28/2010 3:21PM

    You have a pretty smart Pastor - or quite possibly, you're tuned in to what God says to you (and him)! You make that happen by going to church regularly. You have the first main thing already taken care of!!

Now you're doing the next main thing. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful insights with us. It's good stuff, dude! Have a great day!


Comment edited on: 6/28/2010 3:33:37 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 6/28/2010 3:06PM

    Wonderful blog and wonderful friends here for sure!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEEDTOLOSE100LB 6/28/2010 2:21PM

    In my book, you are very eloquent. And, it is obvious that you are very kind and generous...qualities that make a good disciple and a wonderful apostle. Keep up the good work and continue to enjoy the journey you are on, even when you occasionally veer off track.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KSGROTHE 6/28/2010 2:03PM

    You know, I'm really glad I found your blog to read, that I made the choice to click the link in the "Best Blogs" DailySpark blog that day to discover who you are and what you write. Your blogs really make me think!

Choices really are the Main Thing, and I need to choose to remember that! I have not been making good food choices lately (well really, for a while now), and it makes me feel bad (guilty, mostly). I am still coming back to SP almost every day, tracking my food and exercising most days. But tracking isn't enough to make up for not making good food choices.

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
KLEONIKI 6/28/2010 11:45AM

    yes, it is!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALLISON145 6/28/2010 11:31AM

    You're already an apostle to me, John! Thank you for your blogs - sometimes they make me smile, sometimes they make me emotional, but they always make me think.


Report Inappropriate Comment
JAE_HENNINGTON 6/28/2010 11:29AM

  The main thing is...I am very blessed you have you as a friend at Sparks.. what a wonderful blessing to have in my corner..

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDIL62 6/28/2010 11:13AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
SUZANDALE 6/28/2010 11:09AM

    Very well said! And a good reminder of what is important!! Thanks John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSSUNBUG 6/28/2010 10:17AM

    Fabulous blog, thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRETTYBLKGYRL 6/28/2010 10:13AM

    "the main thing is the main thing" - I love it NUFF SAID!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKINFOX 6/28/2010 10:02AM

    I loved this blog!! It's all about making the right choices and learning from our choices each day. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAWRTIAN 6/28/2010 9:42AM

    My new mantra "The main thing is the main thing"!!!! Thanks John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 6/28/2010 9:40AM

    Funny, that sounds an awful lot like something my favorite pastor (who is now enjoying his reward with Jesus) said. So easy to lose sight of the main thing in the press of life. It really does come down to choices. I remember he told the story of counseling a man who had recently come to the Lord who was struggling. He had a habit of going to the bar and always ending up drunk, and he wanted to know what to do. The pastor's advice: don't go there any more! Thanks,John!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKNLOVE 6/28/2010 9:32AM

    It's kinda like keep our eyes focused on the prize! You are so right! Choices brought us here, and good choices keep us here...for ourselves, each other and for you and I, THE ONE who called us!

Report Inappropriate Comment


well done John

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRACYDUKA 6/28/2010 8:52AM

    Have you ever noticed that disciple and discipline are very closely related? I think that in order to be a good disciple, you must LEARN a lot of discipline. And when you get that down then you can be the teacher. That all comes with learning the right choices and exercising those choices instead of the alternative. You've given me lots to chew on, because I tend to have a hard time keeping my eye on the main thing because of all the shiny side things keep distracting me. :) I really like this blog. :) I love it when I'm forced to think about something. And that makes me evaluate things in my life and instigates change. :) You challenge me, and I need that. Thank you. :) And the best part is, you are just being you. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKLE1908 6/28/2010 8:51AM

    Excellent blog and a great IS all about choices!!!!

Keep up the great job you have been doing....

Report Inappropriate Comment
KOPSBABY 6/28/2010 8:51AM

    I try to remember, and sometimes I don't, that we have the choice each morning when we wake up to either be in a good mood or bad. It's the same with food, exercise and everything else in our lives. You make wonderful points and I will try to remember these too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MINENA1 6/28/2010 8:44AM

    emoticon I love that!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/28/2010 8:43AM

    I've often wondered why some of the teachings I received as a child did not include a workshop on choices. It took me a very long time to figure out that choices were responsible for the path that I was on. Some days it's hard to make the right choice, no matter how much you want to reach a goal. I think that takes discipline and that's what I'm focused on this month. Great blog!


Report Inappropriate Comment
CATHERINEL66 6/28/2010 8:22AM

    Right on target with the main thing ... keep making those better choices! We're getting better all the time (and skinnier!).

Report Inappropriate Comment

Sometimes It's All In Your Head

Friday, June 25, 2010

Availible on You Tube @

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNE-ELIZ 6/27/2010 10:04PM

    Hi John,

Others have spoken eloquently about the forgiveness aspect of your blog.

The issue around your knee injury and the need to take time off your regular exercise routine is something familiar to me.

This is something that I have had to deal with numerous times, both before my Spark People days and during them.

It is always disappointing and upsetting and somehow feels like failure.

You are right about being able to learn something in this situation as in all others. What you learn will be specific to your own situation and we know we can count on you to share it.

In the meantime, if you need any help or just a sounding board, I'm here.

Comment edited on: 6/27/2010 10:08:22 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEANPOD77 6/27/2010 1:46PM

    Great blog as always John..I like your "welcome a new member" challenge and will be sure to touch base with a new person 3 X per week.
Sorry to hear about your knee..I had a hamstring pull a few weeks back. It's tough, mentally, when you have finally made exercise a part of your routine, to only have it interrupted..Make sure you let it heal fully though, because you don't want to do any damage that will take longer..Best of luck and keep us posted.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JPRICE217 6/26/2010 11:38AM

    Great blog. WE not only need to forgive people but we need to forgive our self. Sorry about your knee. I have 4 stress fractures in my right foot with a cast on I can't walk or do much of anything. Need to learn to take it easy for a while.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KATIEGLEN012 6/25/2010 10:25PM

    Let go...let God. I must constantly remind myself of this. Human nature is not always lovely!'

Loved the ad! Great to say I know a real celebrity!

Take care of that'll be back to your old self in a jiffy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HDHAWK 6/25/2010 9:55PM

    Take care of the knee John! Have a great weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLBABE56 6/25/2010 4:53PM

    John, that is a great blog! Sorry about the knee though.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAE_HENNINGTON 6/25/2010 4:49PM

  deleted from a friend... say it isn't

found this from the daily om..said it better than I could. Great always, so glad we are friends

We Are All Mirrors for Each Other

When we look at other people, we see many of their qualities in innumerable and seemingly random combinations. However, the qualities that we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. "Like attracts like" is one of the spiritual laws of the universe. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like.

Because we are all mirrors for each other, looking at the people in your life can tell you a lot about yourself. Who you are can be laid bare to you through what you see in others. It is easy to see the traits you do not like in others. It is much more difficult to realize that you possess those same traits. Often, the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of others are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues.

When you come into contact with someone you admire, search your soul for similarly admirable traits. Likewise, when you meet someone exhibiting traits that you dislike, accept that you are looking at your reflection. Looking at yourself through your perception of others can be a humbling and eye-opening experience. You can also cultivate in you the traits and behaviors that you do like. Be loving and respectful to all people, and you will attract individuals that will love and respect you back. Nurture compassion and empathy and let the goodness you see in others be your mirror.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RONDAJONES 6/25/2010 2:49PM

    Not sure if you could hear me clapping for your article, but I did!

I love this blog. I have a mother and her parents (my grandparents) that do not talk anymore because of something that my grandfather said to my mom. He wasn't being mean...long story...but basically held up the truth for her to see and she didn't like it. My mom's brother...died with them not talking (and he wasn't talking to me due to associating with my mom and we were really close). Even though my grandfather is 86, health is declining FAST, and it has been over a year...she still refuses to call either of her parents. I know how UN-forgiveness can affect a person...even the people that are 'stuck in the middle'. Thanks John (and a few other comments from people) that pointed out that forgiveness is for YOUR benefit...not theirs.

I hope that your knee heals quickly...looks like a few of us need to start and injured group! I am still out with my foot/ankle/achille's tendon.

Happy weekend to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WISEONE68 6/25/2010 12:55PM

    A while back, a friend told me that UNFORGIVENESS is like "drinking poison and expecting the other person to die!"

Unforgiveness generally does NOT hurt the other person--the person who hurt ue, harmed me, or whatever. It HURTS ME. It hurts my relationship with God; with others; and, with myself!!!!!

Good blog, Friend!! Hope others who need the reminder/lesson find their way here. I love encouraging is one of my spiritual gifts (I put it on the list you suggested we put together last week--talents/gifts). I try to do my best at encouraging others here on Spark and in my "everyday" life, too.

(NOTE: I have been out of the gym since Monday due to a BAD back spasm at the gym on Monday. Doctor says Monday will be my day to's amazing that I am actually looking forward to Monday emoticon).

You are awesome, dude!! Way to go!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANAMAMA 6/25/2010 10:50AM

    Hi John! I wanted to touch base with you and ask if how the new schedule of taking the weekends off from blogging have helped you find more of a balance?
I will also wait, holding my breath, until you find a lesson in your injury. I sprained my ankle on 6/15 and haven't been able to do any cardio in all this time. It's making me crazy! I should learn from you and look for the lesson.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETFIT2LIVE 6/25/2010 10:43AM

    John, thanks for sharing this. One of the things I have learned is that the 'f' word, FORGIVENESS, is not something I need to do for the other person who has 'wronged' me in some way. It is for me, so that I can be free from the burden that holding bitterness and anger creates. God doesn't tell us to forgive to release the other person; He does it so that we can be released. The more I hang onto perceived injustices, the more I am bound up and crippled on the inside, and that often expresses itself in physical illness or addictions like food. Our desire to punish the other person for hurting us usually results in us punishing ourselves instead. Part of this journey is learning how to forgive--others AND ourselves--and move on.

Funny you should talk about how others encouraged you when you started on SP and about helping other newbies as they start. I was just thinking about that the other day and let someone else who was among the first to 'friend' me know how much that helped. I've been trying to pay it forward ever since because I wouldn't have made it this far without the support and encouragement of others who have been at this a little longer than me.

Sorry about your knee, hope the brace and rest helps it get better quickly. Running is completely addictive, so it's hard to take it easy when something happens, but you have to. Let it heal up completely and you'll be back on the road (literally!) to running soon. Nice picture in the ad, by the way!


Comment edited on: 6/25/2010 10:53:36 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENNY888 6/25/2010 10:23AM

    Those temporary annoyances with injuries are tough aren't they. It's hard to deviate from the pattern that we have learned. The great thing about it all is that we have learned hew habits and patterns and they have become part of our lives. I know you will find a way to get the exercise you need. Great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DANAB1106 6/25/2010 10:10AM

    Thank you for your blog. As a new girl videos like this really keep me going!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 Last Page