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C25K or "Run John, Run"

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Every time I get close to a milestone in C25K training I get scared.... Not anxious, not nervous, down right scared. Most of it comes from this massive fear of not being able to do it. Today was my thirds day of week six. Time to run twenty five minutes and/or two miles. I was determined I would do both. I had never run that far in my life. There were these voices saying "Why did you wait until you were fifty six to do all this?" I always tell those voices that they are asking a really good question.

Okay so here is the final result:

2 miles in 25:05.

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I pushed very hard the last tenth of a mile to get in at twenty five minutes or less but to no avail.

I want to thank those of you who encouraged me and inspired me to do this. I read the blogs of those who went from the couch to 5K and more and I get so so so amped up and I RAN TWO MILES.

It's a milestone for sure and I am crazy happy. Back to reality. Pushing the last tenth of a mile sort of caused my tummy to cramp in a major fashion and for about ten minutes we thought breakfast might put in a second appearance. Joan said something about the kitchen floor and the turkey breast she had defrosting in the sink and I been married long enough to know my wisest course was to close my eyes and pray really hard.

Thanks again for all your encouragement. I am on track to run my first 5K sometimes in September.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRIS76 8/3/2010 11:26AM

    Great job! I think you did fantastic and those 5 seconds... P-SHAW! YOU DID IT in my book!

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KATJAMN 8/3/2010 10:50AM

    GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!
AHHHH.... I WILL DO THIS.. I WILL I WILL I WILL!!! LOL



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DANAB1106 8/2/2010 11:02AM

    I am so glad you are doing this! It is on my things to look into, so to know that you are doing it helps-I sound like a stalker! heehe...you know what I mean!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/2/2010 8:23AM

    I remember exactly how this felt. Each new milestone was terrifying: I was sure I'd fail. And now I'm training for a marathon. Go figure! I can't wait to hear how you enjoy that 5k! emoticon emoticon

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JPRICE217 8/2/2010 8:12AM

    emoticon

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WISEONE68 8/1/2010 7:15PM

    Since I cannot run any longer (degenerative back problem--no more high-impact workouts!)...I will live vicariously through you. I wanted to do a 15K in September, and I was a bit bummed...but, I thought--just roll with it. Set new goals...

And, I came here and found that...even when I am not doing my best...by friends are succeeding and I need to be happy for them!! You go, John!!

I love the Forrest Gump reference "Run, John, Run"--I pictured how Forrest's leg splints started to fall off as he ran faster and faster---well look at what is falling off of you:

weight, inhibitions, old "thought" patterns (i.e. "i'm not a runner), and you are reaching your goals. just FAB-U-LOUS!!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/1/2010 2:02PM

    emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 8/1/2010 5:31AM

    emoticon So very impressive. There's no 'you can do it' here...you ARE doing it!!!!!!!

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BOURNBABE 7/31/2010 11:45PM

    Very cool! By the way, if you find in cooler weather let me have some down here will you? emoticon

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STORMTMB 7/31/2010 10:27PM

    Keep up the great work, John! We're all rooting for you! emoticon emoticon

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BAM0827 7/31/2010 6:34PM

    Good for you. You reinforce that we are able to do so much more than we think we can. Congrats on pushing yourself.

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CARTOONB 7/31/2010 5:47PM

    Great job! Woo Hoo and all that! You are doing great!

BTW...love how you said breakfast was going to make a "second appearance." LOL! Totally know how that goes!

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ELYMWX 7/31/2010 3:53PM

    Well done!

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SLY_REDUX 7/31/2010 3:07PM

    I need to read these kinds of things. Someday, this will be me.

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LUVMYK9S 7/31/2010 3:00PM

    emoticon

What an inspiration! I can't even run a block and can't even imagine running 2 miles! WOW!

You met your goal! Goes to show what perseverance and determination can do!



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VTORIA3 7/31/2010 2:54PM

    John, you are doing really great. Congrats on your progress to date. Keep up the fantastic work!

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RONDAJONES 7/31/2010 2:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GREAT JOB JOHN!!!! That lousy 5 seconds...that will be put to shame the next time you do 2 miles in 25 minutes!! That was just you 'holding back' a little...but MISTER...you DID NOT FAIL! So proud of you!!!

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DOLLBABE56 7/31/2010 2:01PM

    OH WOW John. That's great. You keep on inspiring me to stick with it. You have come such a long way, haven't you? It's wonderful.

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CINDYC53 7/31/2010 2:00PM

    Wow! This was a really great blog for me to read because I just re-started my C25K program two days ago, so tonight will be Day 2 for me! When I did it before in late winter, I was in school and working and I kind of modified my own program, which mainly entailed me doing interval runs but not building up much. This time I'm going to follow the program - but I'm 57 and I have those same fears you expressed:

What if I can't do the "next" thing??

But look at YOU!! You started from Day One just like I'm doing, and you are in Week 6 and RUNNING TWO MILES - in a great time!! Fantastic!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!


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BECCALYNN75 7/31/2010 1:51PM

    emoticon Run John Run!
Too funny because I'm watching Forrest Gump right now!
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HDHAWK 7/31/2010 1:48PM

    emoticon John!

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HONORINGGOD 7/31/2010 1:30PM

    "i'm proud of you &your worth it"words to remember &i hope you remember ,to remember. iyou are always a inspiration to me &so many others God bless your journey to the new you ,your brother in Christ ,john emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/31/2010 1:31:08 PM

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LOOKY-LOU 7/31/2010 1:03PM

    You ROCK emoticon

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PRINCESSNURSE 7/31/2010 12:58PM

    Way to go John--I KNEW you could do it!

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BEANPOD77 7/31/2010 12:52PM

    Way to go John! Excellent! You will be amazed how quickly your body adjusts and before you know it..25 min runs will be your norm.. I am not too many weeks ahead of you in the couch to 5K. I still amaze myself every time I finish a 30 min. stretch. I am not consistently hitting 5K in that 30 min, but I know it WILL come.
I am cheering you all the way..Maybe one day we can run 5k "together" ..let me know the day to plan to , and I will do the same. It would be kinda fun to know that someone else, somewhere, was running the same time...Sound like a plan??

emoticon Either way ..A big congrats!!

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ELIZABETH525 7/31/2010 12:52PM

    Just keep working and you will shave that 5 seconds off. Don't you remember when you first started this, I am pretty sure I remember you writing about running 20 or 30 feet before stopping..or as you said..something that kinda looked like running. You know you will achieve it, sooner than you expect.

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Shiny Happy People: A Positive View on Things

Friday, July 30, 2010

If you are tired hearing about me saying “You are who you hang around with…..” you may move on to another blog. I won’t be upset. (Well maybe just a little bit)

I got a spark Mail this morning that had positive energy flowing out of it before I opened it up. Now I would like to tell you I bounce out of bed in the morning singing and dancing around the house in some sort of euphoria, but I don’t. Most mornings I have to will myself to smile. I have been working on this. My days go so much better when I hit the floor in a good mood full of anticipation for what’s ahead.

But I digress. My friend was just full of good news today and you could feel the excitement oozing through the mail. It was infectious. I smiled when I read it and responded in kind. As I got up from my chair I noticed that I was humming and there was a bit of a spring in my step and my outlook for the day was a bit brighter. Thank you dear friend.

The gifts we give each other are often very intangible. They come packaged with good news, or a silly joke or simply a smile. How valuable and powerful they are. They can cause us to turn on a dime and our outlook on life suddenly changes for the better.

It tells me us we have so much more value than we can ever imagine. Our silliness, our goofiness and our good news can be the elixir someone needs to get up and go. I learned today to never discount or undervalue the gifts and talents of the people in your life. Those gifts may come in different packages but they are gifts none-the-less.

You are who you hang around with. Positive people, breed positive results and the next thing you know, we are infecting the world.

Be someone’s reason to smile today. Go ahead, it won’t hurt ya.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPALMER15 8/1/2010 8:28PM

    Awesome blog!

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A10TIVTRTL 8/1/2010 11:31AM

    Great blog, John. I'm going to recommend it to my friends. Oh, and I've added you as a friend and subscribed to your blogs. Love your attitude!

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DEMURALIST 7/31/2010 5:09PM

    thanks, you were my reason to smile, just now!


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CARTOONB 7/31/2010 12:21AM

    Again...you said it!

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SLOLOSER 7/30/2010 7:59PM

    emoticon

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SLY_REDUX 7/30/2010 7:24PM

    I so agree!

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WILMABEAL 7/30/2010 5:55PM

    lol kinda sounds like me. I've been so excited! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/30/2010 5:58:03 PM

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/30/2010 3:38PM

    So true--I'd rather be spreading sunshine than clouds, there are enough of those that come along naturally! Thanks for making me smile today, John!

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DOLLBABE56 7/30/2010 3:23PM

    Thanks for the "positivity" (is that a word?) John.

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STORMTMB 7/30/2010 3:11PM

    Great reminder. Thanks, John. emoticon

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CINDYC53 7/30/2010 12:07PM

    Yup! So true. Thanks for the reminder!

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LUVMYK9S 7/30/2010 11:47AM

    emoticon

Awesome advice! Just one smile can turn even the gloomiest day around! You are one of those positive people and your blog always lifts my spirits!


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MYOWNHERO 7/30/2010 11:44AM

    Well said! Thanks for the good vibes :-)

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SHARON10002 7/30/2010 11:36AM

    emoticon message! emoticon for helping us to remember that we must be the light for others. Have a wonderful day! emoticon

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NJMATTICE 7/30/2010 10:43AM

    Thanks for the positive reinforcement. I was very happy to be back home to hang out with my shiny, happy, positive blogging friends. It makes a tremendous difference and is helping shake off the negativity that attached itself to me in my travels. Keep smiling my brother!
Love,
Nancy

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/30/2010 10:41AM

    Good advice. Every day you wake up has the potential to be a good day. Make it so. LOL.

Comment edited on: 7/30/2010 10:41:48 AM

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JENNY888 7/30/2010 10:32AM

    There is a lot of wisdom here. Great blog John.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/30/2010 10:19AM

  you are so right.. and i have been thinking along these lines myself... i need to find some very positive people to hang with.. thanks for the validation

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TIME4AFITME 7/30/2010 10:02AM

    emoticon

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MESEATURTLE 7/30/2010 9:57AM

    emoticon well said!!!

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MESEATURTLE 7/30/2010 9:57AM

    emoticon well said!!!

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MESEATURTLE 7/30/2010 9:57AM

    emoticon well said!!!

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CLOTHEDINLOVE 7/30/2010 9:54AM

    Awesome point. It's part of the reason I'm headed out of the office I'm in... the work brings me down! I need something more active and that helps people in a more tangible sense. It's also rough to be around so many people who aren't worried about their health in the least and bring in fattening "goodies" to share all the time!

I hope where I'm headed in life will bring more of those positive people into my life. Thank YOU for being one already. :)

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FITVALGAL 7/30/2010 9:34AM

    emoticon
Birds of a feather flock together: I choose to be positive so that positive people will choose to be around me.

"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." -Oprah Winfrey


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CROBINGO 7/30/2010 9:03AM

    So true! Also, I am pleased for you that you got such a nice email that really perked up your day!

(Disgustingly I AM one of those people that wake up immediately wide awake, excitedly go into the kitchen make my coffee, sit outside rain, heat or shine in the early morning hours of like 4-5 AM to great the day. BUT, then the real world enters in and life enters in and various large or small stresses of work and the day start weighing down my shoulders. It sounds like you go the other way. You wake up slowly and "fill your cup" with positive energy as the day goes on. That is pretty cool, actually!

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TRACYDUKA 7/30/2010 8:57AM

    I completely agree. I've noticed that if I wanted to live a more positive life I needed to surround myself with more positive people. I have a friend...she was a reluctant friend. We laugh now about how we became such good friends, but really and truly I try to emulate this part of her. :) She is sunshine wrapped up in a 4'11" package. She was 16 when I met her, I was 21. And she was bubbly. Smiling and talking a thousand miles a minute and GUSHING happiness...and I was annoyed with it. UGH. I couldn't STAND being around someone that was that giddy ALL THE TIME! I was convinced that it wasn't sincere. Then one day she came to my house a few years later. She wasn't happy that day, and she needed a friend and she looked ME up. She told me of many bad things that had happened to her in her life. And trust me, hearing her tale made me cry. And though these bad things happened to her, she "faked it until it was real". So though it was her shield, she genuinely was happy in her life. And she's remained that way. And when I was going through the roughest time in my life, I was no one, I was a shell of a human and I knew I needed to become someone again. I thought of the people in my life and their attributes that I WANTED for myself and I thought of her ability to smile through it all. And her ability to provide sunshine to those around her. And I have tried my best to become as optimistic as she is. I'm not quite there, but I definitely shine this little light of mine.

I know that's a wee bit long winded. But it's true, you ARE the company you keep, so why keep company with those that are bad for you?

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AZCUPCAKE 7/30/2010 8:52AM

    Right on, John! There is no greater gift than when a loved one shares their good fortune, great news, or everyday happiness with me. Like the MasterCard commercial says: PRICELESS! A great attitude is positively contagious, and the more we can pass that on through our own positive attitudes, the better the world will be, one phone call, e-mail, or visit at a time!

Happy Friday, and here's to a positively wonderful weekend right around the corner! emoticon emoticon

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CAHUNO2 7/30/2010 8:49AM

    I think you are right!! emoticon emoticon

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Gratitude

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sometimes there are no profound words, no keen insights. Sometimes there is just a simple, but deep “thank you. “ Sometimes that “thank you” strikes at the core of who you are and like every tender and emotional moment in your life you find yourself struggling to fight back a small tear.

Sometimes you sit back in awe and amazement at the people you have come to call friends and are so very grateful for them. It is at those times that the only words that can form on your lips and in your heart are the words “thank you.”

Sometimes you hang your head just a bit because you should say thank you more often. Sometimes you are guilty of taking that friendship for granted and like so many other moments in our amazing lives you do not realize their value until they have long since passed you by. You smile ruefully as their faces pass through your mind. Do you think they ever knew how valuable and precious they were to you? Or, did you always “mean to say something” but never quite had the time or the words. The circumstance need not be tragic. Maybe a neighbor who listened over the fence moves to another city and then there is a huge void in your life and you never told them how much you looked forward to you chats. A co-worker receives a promotion and suddenly that standard, every day luncheons that were just part of your routine are gone. There’s a void.

You have hundreds of Spark Friends, you get tons of Spark Goodies, receive encouraging Spark Mails and you try to respond to as many as you can. You are grateful and thankful. Then you notice after a bit that some of your friends are gone. They no longer Spark for one reason or another and you feel a bit sad. Maybe you never told them how much they helped you by a few encouraging words. Maybe you never let them know that if they helped make a difference in your life they might make a difference in their own. Maybe you never said thank you from the bottom of your heart

Thank you

From the bottom of my heart.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 8/1/2010 2:16AM

    Thanks for being a Friend emoticon emoticon

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PANFRIEDTROUT 7/31/2010 11:29PM

    I thought I'd be reading a blog with a list of things for which you are grateful and I was preparing a mental checklist to see if I might not have thought of something that you did think of.

Only, this turns out to be a "list" of one and only one concern: friendship. And, outside of God & family, that's the most important item one could ever check off. Remembering to say thanks or I was thinking of you today or .... Whatever it is that lets the friend know that they have value to you just because they exist in your life; that you have known them.

Too often in my life, the very moments you speak of have passed me by and I have felt much guilt over it and moreso when I try to justify letting those opportunities slip.

Lately, I have been under a strong conviction to remedy this & it was only yesterday that I actually made an Appointment in my Planner to write or call one of my friends. I'm also adding it to my SparkPage as a goal for August; to take a few minutes 5 days each week to reach out.

My worldview doesn't accept "coincidence"; I felt like I was truly led here today to read what you had to say.

So my friend, let me just say, Thank YOU! emoticon


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WILMABEAL 7/30/2010 6:02PM

    VERY well written ,your very good with words, How true your blog is to the point! emoticon

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JPRICE217 7/30/2010 7:28AM

    emoticon emoticongreat blog you always make me stop and think send you my emoticon

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PUCCIOLA08 7/30/2010 2:21AM

    I love this, John. Thank you for making me smile at every blog you write, and thank you for getting the wheels turning in my mind. Thank you :)

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CINDYC53 7/29/2010 5:02PM

    Lovely. Of course, I had a small tear, too, reading it. It really is amazing how connected we can become to so many people around the world. Thanks for your blog!
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LUVMYK9S 7/29/2010 4:06PM

    emoticon for all of the insight and motivation of your blogs. YOU are a friend to ALL of us. I truly appreciate all that you do!


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GIRANIMAL 7/29/2010 2:36PM

    emoticon for all you are and all you do, my friend!

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/29/2010 1:36PM

    Thank YOU, John. I have been thinking about some of the Spark friends I made here when I first began this journey and wondering what happened to some that are no longer active. Makes me wonder if I had taken a minute more to say thanks for being there that it might have helped them keep going a little longer; we rarely get to see this side of heaven how our lives and our words help someone else, but we still should strive to live and speak in such a way that we are a blessing and not a curse to those around us. Thanks for being one of the blessings in my life, John.

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NJMATTICE 7/29/2010 11:51AM

    "I'm still here El Guapo."
(just checking to see if you get the somewhat obscure "Three Amigos" reference.)
Quit your crying and get back to work!
Love,
Nancy
ps you're welcome and keep up the good work.

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FROGGERHKC 7/29/2010 11:31AM

    emoticon emoticon
Great blog! :)

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BRYLIA 7/29/2010 11:26AM

    Thanks

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/29/2010 10:15AM

    I agree. When friends disappear it is sad but sometimes they return.

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JUSTLYLE 7/29/2010 9:56AM

    Another great blog John, always enjoy reading them.

And by the way, THANK YOU for all your words of wisdom.

Skeeter emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/29/2010 9:48AM

    I too am guilty of not saying thank you enough. I too have lost friends along the way. It is important to realize just how much our friends mean to us.
Thank you John.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/29/2010 9:38AM

    Thank you for this reminder. I appreciate you, John!

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SANDYK4BAMA 7/29/2010 9:36AM

    In case I forget, a big THANK YOU, John. You give me hope, endurance, and much much more, and always right when I need it. So again, thank you for being my SparkFriend! emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 7/29/2010 9:34AM

    I have had this experience much too often. Great blog, John.

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CAHUNO2 7/29/2010 9:27AM

    Yes. You nailed it again. emoticon

I do wonder what happened to old SP friends. emoticon

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MINENA1 7/29/2010 9:26AM

    emoticon emoticon THANK YOU!!

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TIME4AFITME 7/29/2010 9:20AM

    Thank you

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KAT573 7/29/2010 9:01AM

    Thank you, John! keep on keeping on!
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STORMTMB 7/29/2010 8:56AM

    It's never too soon to do a kindness because you never know when it will be too late.

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A "Me-Time" How To, A Guide To Relaxation Technique

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There’s that old saying that goes; “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.” Well, LOL, yesterday, at the end of my blog I offered to share with anyone who was interested in the process I used for relaxation during my “me time.” I thought I’d get two, maybe three responses at the most. So many of you were interested in what I did and how I did it that if I tried to answer all your Spark Mails it might be sometime Saturday before they all got answered.

I am going to try to explain what I do and how I do it. If you got an email from me please disregard it. This blog will go into much greater detail.

I use relaxation techniques to center myself and to get rid of the stress or negative feelings I may have about something or someone. I have found when I do this consistently that my emotional eating will dissipate. Different people use this technique for different reasons. I have a close friend who uses it as an opportunity to pray and discern God’s will in his life. Another friend uses it as a visualization tool to see himself doing the things he enjoys doing well. Regardless how you use it I will tell you this:

It’s not magic and it takes an investment of time. It can be frustrating at first but if you stick with it, I have found amazing results especially as it relates to calming and centering.

First get comfortable. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting up or lying down, just get comfortable. If you have to adjust during the relaxation don’t worry, the most important thing here is that you are comfortable. It’s self-defeating to try to relax when you are in pain or uncomfortable.

In order to get myself into a state of what’s called “complete physical relaxation” I use a yoga breathing technique. It involves taking a deep breath through your nose and counting “1-2-3-4-5” As you do this you should visualize filling your lungs from the bottom , through your rib cage and then to the top of your lungs. I try to visualize my lungs as a balloon filling up. Once filled up I hold the breath for a count of “1-2-3.” Then I slowly exhale through my mouth, counting “1-2-3-4-5” as I do. It’s in through your nose out through your mouth.

I use a track a friend gave me called Meditation Yoga – Sounds of Nature. I am not sure where you can obtain it but there is music and a person guides you through the relaxation process. If anyone knows how I could share this by uploading or any other process I’d be more than glad to do so.

This part takes the longest to master because as you concentrate on your breathing your body will begin to relax. In the beginning this takes the longest to accomplish. Just be patient. A lot of people give up after a few days because they aren’t seeing immediate results. It usually takes ten days at about ten minutes per day to get yourself totally relaxed.

One you are relaxed you can use this technique to do a number of things. Because I am an emotional eater and my moods, attitudes and feeling affect what I put in my mouth, I use this time to brush away any negative thoughts I might have about myself, other people or situations in my life. I may simply be stressed or over whelmed and I use it to decompress and relax. It does always give me a boost of energy and I often use it before I go to the gym or do my C25K.

Once relaxed, I stay in that state for twenty minutes. Don’t be daunted by this. I have been using this technique off and on for close to five years.

The music I use is as follows and it is available on ITunes:

Quietude by Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai from the album Migration
Winter Walk by David Nevue from the album Overcome
Ocean Shores from the album Ocean Dreams

Another option would be to use Pandora Radio on the internet. It is free and I sometimes use a station called New Age Mix. You can access Pandora Radio at www.pandora.com

Finally, I will see if I can do a video blog incorporating what I wrote about here and walk you through a meditation. I know you all don’t have access to video blogging so any other technological suggestions would be appreciated.

Hope this helped
.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JURI62 7/29/2010 7:38PM

    Thank you John! A video blog would be awesome!

Comment edited on: 7/29/2010 7:39:25 PM

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CINDYC53 7/29/2010 5:04PM

    This is great!! Very very helpful!!
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JPRICE217 7/28/2010 4:35PM

    emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/28/2010 2:21PM

    It's very similar to what I have done for many years except I was taught to combine the breathing with visualization and muscle relaxation.

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/28/2010 1:41PM

    Good info, John. Sometimes I will simply close my eyes, focus on making my breathing slow and deep, and repeat a phrase or a word silently such as 'I am loved' or 'Peace, be still.' Even a couple of moments of that will usually dramatically dissipate the stress I'm feeling. Looking forward to the video blog!

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KPDRMNG 7/28/2010 1:12PM

    thanks for sharing, I definely need to try it. I'm sooo stressed currently my hair is standing on ends. emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 7/28/2010 11:48AM

    I haven't done this in so long. I use it mostly at the end of a yoga session. I forget about doing it at other times of the day/night. Thanks for the reminder.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/28/2010 11:45AM

    Thanks for sharing this. I so need to incorporate this into my day. I'm working on it!

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STORMTMB 7/28/2010 11:34AM

    How interesting. Thanks for sharing. There may be something about this relaxation technique on YouTube already or maybe if you do a video you could post yours there.

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Creating Me Time and Restoring Balance

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I am an emotional eater. A lot of you reading this probably are too. Food is our drug of choice. Anxiety, depression, fear, any gamut of emotions sends us scampering towards a tube of cookie dough and we don’t quit eating until, exhausted and guilty, we sit in our chair, feeling worse than before we indulged. It’s a vicious cycle. It’s a self-defeating cycle. It can put up a wall so thick that we simply throw our hands up in disgust and walk away from all our health plans. We are addicted.
I spent yesterday reviewing my last month. What did I do well? Mostly that fell in the exercise category. Where did I slip? That one took a bit longer, LOL.

One thing I have incorporated into my regimen that has suffered recently is “me time.” Some folks may call it meditation or relaxation or creative visualization but regardless, I use it as an opportunity in the middle of my day to disengage from everything. My stressed out time is the middle of the afternoon. It’s the time when anxiety, boredom, weariness and a host of other emotions creep into my mind. To fight them off I eat. When I eat I feel guilty and when I feel guilty I eat more because what’s the use, right?

That’s the time I use for “me time.” This isn’t a planning or a goal setting activity. There is no thought process involved here. I am taking a break. It’s time to let everything good, everything bad and anything else drift away.

I had stopped using this balancing technique for over a month. So yesterday afternoon, I sat down, closed the door and dimmed the lights. I got comfortable, the position doesn’t matter. I know some people who do it lying down and some who do it sitting straight up in a chair. I have play some music that is soothing and relaxing and once, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. I let my body and my mind relax. I concentrate on my breathing. I slowly inhale through my nose, hold my breath for a second and then slowly exhale. The combination of the music and my breathing creates a deep relaxation that restores me.

Remember when you started Spark? Remember how you were asked to be active for ten minutes a day? What’s your activity level currently? I started my “me time” at ten minutes each day. It takes some getting used to just like walking, running or cycling does.

No one teaches us to relax. No one teaches us how to remove negative distractions from our lives. This technique allows me the time to purge those self-defeating and destructive thoughts from my mind. When I open my eyes I often find I have a new surge of energy that carries me through my day.

I was surprised to find that when I opened my eyes yesterday I had been relaxing for well over thirty minutes. It helps me create a much needed balance in my life.
I started this blog by talking about being an emotional eater. As I learn to balance my life I find that I have less of those episodes occurring. I get sloppy sometimes, but I think that’s different. My emotional eating has a lot of sources, LOL, and one of them is lack of balance.

Along with diet, exercise and rest it is important to me in maintaining that balance.
If you are interested in knowing more and what kind of music I listen to and the breathing technique I use send me a Spark Mail and I’ll be glad to share.

So many of you have helped me in so many ways, I am trying to return the favor.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAKALANI22 7/27/2010 10:05PM

    great blog. i definitely agree that it's important to have 'me time'. i honestly think it also helps our minds connect with our bodies to let it know, "hey, it's okay to release emotions as well as weight that does not serve us".

it's powerful and profound. i have also been slacking on this lately and will be going home tonight to practice a little 'me time'

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ALLISON145 7/27/2010 10:04PM

    I'm totally going to try this tomorrow, John! There's no reason I shouldn't be able to do this in my office for 10 minutes or so... I bet it makes me more productive the rest of the day.

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-Allison

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KATIEGLEN012 7/27/2010 9:56PM

    I am an emotional eater. And 'me time' is a must. I love the early morning. Just to start my day in the right frame of mind, but mid-afternoon is a tough eating time for me too. Hadn't thought of using my 'me time' there also. Might just have two 'me times' per day. I'll let you know how it goes.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/27/2010 6:38PM

    I have meditated for many years. It's very relaxing.

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NJMATTICE 7/27/2010 3:43PM

    Thanks for the positive reinforcement.

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LUVMYK9S 7/27/2010 2:09PM

    Thank you John! I definitely need to work in some 'me time'. Starting with 10 minutes a day, I think that is manageable.

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BECCALYNN75 7/27/2010 12:46PM

    Thanks John for another great blog!

I guess Focus & Balance are my goals for the week because the Lord keeps sending me those messages, from the sermon Sunday, my devotional reading and your blog.

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BRYLIA 7/27/2010 11:39AM

    I remember using a relaxation techinque simular to what you described that I had learned in college but havenet used in many many years. I think it's time this comes out of the closet so to speak and get's put back into practice. Thanks for jogging my memory! Happy Exercising and Relaxation, my friend! emoticon

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JPRICE217 7/27/2010 11:10AM

    Great advice John. everyone needs me time and not to feel about it. I would like to know the music you listen to

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JENNY888 7/27/2010 10:46AM

    I'm with you on needing this "me time" in the afternoon. I am incorporating time to meditate and relax. It's my reward to myself not for what I have done, but what I will do afterwords.

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YOYONOMORE1 7/27/2010 10:24AM

    Hi John, yes that all around balance is so important but I think we all have times of forgetting that, glad you got it back. I am in a state of happiness as this is day 5 of my internet working right, can hardly believe it, 5 days in a row. Enjoy your day, your week and your "me time".

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Shirl

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RHONDA_11 7/27/2010 10:24AM

    I loved this! Thank you. I am going to add a meditative time to my afternoon and not just my morning meditation emoticon

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RACHELRB 7/27/2010 10:23AM

    Great words John. So many of us recognize the importance of taking the 'me' time. It's actually doing it that counts. I like how you found a way to do 10 minutes a day and gradually grow. Earlier this week I put on my weekly commitment list that I would give myself 5 minutes. I think if we can start there we are on our way emoticon All the best to you on your journey through life.

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CHRISSYVB 7/27/2010 10:14AM

    Thanks for a great blog as usual. I never believed in meditation until one day after yoga when the instructor told us all to do it. I thought it would be a waste of good exercise time but I did it like everyone else. WOW, I'm a believer now, I finished so refreshed and calm but with amazing energy. Anyone who is skeptical needs to give it a try. When you get it right, meditation is like nothing else.

Thanks!

Comment edited on: 7/27/2010 10:15:39 AM

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TIME4AFITME 7/27/2010 10:07AM

    Sounds great

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STORMTMB 7/27/2010 9:56AM

    Good for you, John. Enjoy!

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WALKAWAY 7/27/2010 9:51AM

    John, thanks for the great blog. I needed to do this yesterday. To take time away from a stressful situation and just "BREATHE." I didn't and came home last night wanting to eat everything within reach. I managed not to, but still felt on edge all evening.

I need to remember "More Me Time."

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WYNAMT 7/27/2010 9:39AM

    It is very important to take time for ourselves on this journey and beyond. Glad to hear you are bringing yourself back to center!

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DOLLBABE56 7/27/2010 9:34AM

    Great blog John. My "me time" is early-mid afternoon. Poppet (my dog) and I lie on the bed. I pet her (when she'll let me emoticon and close my eyes. I always feel better after we have "napped?/relaxed" for about 30 minutes.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 7/27/2010 9:29AM

  we all need these times of reflection, time to remember why we do what we do and times to remind ourselves we are worth it

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/27/2010 9:26AM

    What a good reminder, John! I used to do something like this as well and it has slipped in recent months. I think the Quakers call it 'centering' yourself; it's a way of restoring balance and peace in the midst to the center of your being in an often too busy, out of whack life. Thanks for sharing; we desperately need balance, and that is a great way to restore our spirits.

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ROCKINFOX 7/27/2010 9:23AM

    Relaxation is definitely important. This blog reminds me that I also need to take out some time for me. I need to start implementing this technique once again into my daily routine. Great blog!!!

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KAT573 7/27/2010 9:22AM

    This is a hard one for me too; especially since something more is pushing from the inside out so taking time to put up my duds and read has become a way of avoiding that push that needs to be answered. LOL and I know what that push is, too, and can think of several reasons why it will NOT be answered 'today'. None of them are excuses tho I try to make them be; they are reasons. rationalizations....hmmmmm not that far from excuses again, are we?

I am glad you have nailed this for you for this day. I think key is, I have to do it every day.....at least once. A worthy goal. Next in line is rewarding myself. emoticon

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