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Patience and My Inner Voice

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If I ever begin to believe that I have run out of ways to improve myself I always know there is one issue in my life that will be there until the day I die. That issue is being patient. It’s a virtue, did you know that? That’s what I have been told all my life. It sort of makes it seem like if you are impatient well, then it’s a fatal character flaw. It seems that only the saintly and holy practice patience.

I think being an overweight person just makes me even more impatient, especially when I started to see very positive changes in my body, my mind and my health. It’s as if I wanted to wake up the next morning and have “all this done with.” When I drop a size of pants or shirt I expect that next week I will drop another, and so on. Instead of being patient, allowing my body to adjust to its new environment I push myself harder. That creates stress, and stress means I have a half pound gain that leaves me scratching my head. “Work harder,” I mutter.

If you follow my blog you know I began personal training last week. It has exceeded my expectations. Trainer Jen kicks my butt for an hour, smiles and pats me on my shoulder and sends me on my way. It’s a good butt kicking for sure, but at the end of an hour I have my money’s worth. I began this new phase of Project John (Not to be confused with Project Runway or The Rachel Zoe Project.) dead in the middle of my C25K training. I am running 2.5 miles three times a week and struggling to adapt to my trainers way of doing things. To make a long story short I hadn’t run since last Tuesday. My body went on strike. I did other cardio between my training sessions but I was feeling really “antsy.” I had invested all this time into C25K and now I had painted myself into a corner. Things needed to change or I could see a donut or two, or twelve in my future.

I had a good training session Monday and yesterday I was going to run for the first time in a week. I wasn’t looking forward to gutting out the 2.5 miles. I was sore. As I changed in the locker room that little inner voice spoke. “Why don’t you just run a mile today? No sense getting sick.” Did I tell you it was 102 here yesterday? I could live with that. I went upstairs and as I warmed up and then began to run a plan unfolded in my mind. “A mile today, a mile and a half on Thursday, two miles on Saturday or Sunday.” Then I’d be back on track. I finished my workout and I was satisfied with what I did.

Here’s my point. I listened to my best advisor, me. It is so easy to look to the left and right and begin to compare yourself with everyone around you. I have followed some of you as you went from being basically inert, to being athlete/warrior/heroes. You inspire me, but I am not you. My journey will curve to the left when yours curved to the right and even though you and I have the word “challenge” in common, those challenges are all different. Don’t get me wrong, I rejoice at your success, but the minute I compare my progress to yours or anyone else’s, I run off the road and into the ditch.

I am learning to listen to that voice deep inside of me. Sometimes it whips me hard and sometimes it pulls in the reigns to slow me down. If I really believe I am worth it, then I believe I deserve success and I will make the investment to be patient and wait for it to come to me some days.

As I write this I am listening to some music. The words that just ran across my ears were “Be careful. Be gently to yourself, coz’ no one else will. It’s a point of pride.” (Be Careful by Mutual Admiration Society)That voice deep inside of you is yours and yours alone. I am learning to have the faith to listen to it because when I do good things happen.

You are who you hang around with. Can you think of a better buddy or friend than yourself?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 8/13/2010 6:00AM

    your right patients is a virtue. One that I need more of great blog

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SNORRIS40 8/12/2010 5:54AM

    Again, you have reached out with your thoughts, that somehow sum up what I am thinking or going through. I too, am on the "left hand path", and you know what, It is OK! I will never be a warrior athlete, but I look and feel better than I did 6 months ago and know I will be even better in another 6 months.
Thanks again John for such an insightful blog.

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ANNE-ELIZ 8/12/2010 12:56AM

    One of the few rules in the support groups that I lead for people with MS (which I think would be applicable for any group) is not to "compare suffering". So, for example if someone brings up an issue, he or she has no need to feel apologetic about "complaining about" something that might "less serious" than a problem someone else might have or conversely someone else is not allowed to disparage another's concerns because his or her situation is worse. (i.e. Joe might not want to talk about his concerns about loss of balance when Jane can no longer transfer independently from wheelchair to bed, nor can Jane imply or say that Joe has no right to his feelings because her difficulty is worse.)

I think the same thing applies here, in terms of how we need to approach whatever challenge we face.

For example, my ability to tolerate weight bearing exercise varies widely from day to day and even hour to hour, depending on a number of factors. I could take that as an excuse to do as little exercise as possible (and have!). Through trial and error (lots of error!), I've found out that I can do cardio in the pool and do walking indoors, with lots of breaks and the A/C blasting. Now I know that to whatever extent I can do either of those things on any given day, I need to do it and attempt to increase the duration, if possible.

The only person who can know if I'm doing as much as I can, is me and sometimes I'm wrong. I not only need patience, but honesty with myself.

The hard part is dealing with the process and not getting so tied up with the end results, because it ain't over 'til it's over!

Thanks, John, for posting your musings and insights and helping me sort out my own.

Comment edited on: 8/12/2010 1:00:55 AM

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CLOVER2 8/11/2010 11:50PM

    Thank you, once again. Lately I've found that my patience with myself has pretty much reached an all time low...(why can't I just get past all these things and just get ON with my life, just what is wrong with me!) Just reading your blogs helps me at least try to put things into perspective.

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CINDYC53 8/11/2010 11:02PM

    Great blog! (Again!) You inspired me to re-start C25K two weeks ago. I did it for several weeks in the winter, but I kinda worked out my own plan, which just involved interval running that didn't get too challenging. Then I quit. So now I've just finished Week 2, but I did a kind of weak version of Day 3 last night because my right leg has been aching & I've been tired.
So, we'll see how it goes when I start Week 3 Day 1 tomorrow. Maybe I'll repeat Week 2? This latest blog from you reassured me that everyone else (even you!) isn't charging through every C25K barrier in record time.

Does that mean we're giving up?? NOOOO! Never!
And so can I, and every other spark person!

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DUTCHIEKIWI 8/11/2010 10:04PM

    I'm an impatient person....
over the years I have learned to admit my faults, and by golly I tell you, this world is most of the time too slow for me.

It's a pain, as I can even annoy myself, and that I reckon is a talent on it's own lol ;0)

My inner voice is my little secret...
No one can judge me if I'm being politically incorrect, judgemental, happy, sad, feisty, you name it....

During everyday life I have trouble sometimes to hold myself back a bit and not be TOO outspoken.

Some people like it when you call a spade a spade, but some people certainly can not handle it very well at all.

I'm working on that.

Inner voices are cool, I can tell myself anything, and make myself believe what I feel I NEED to believe to get to my goals.

Of course, sometimes I hold myself back, when I have one of those days or even weeks where I tell myself all the wrong things...

But it's all part of life, part of my journey.

It would be boring if I didn't have anything more to learn, and I'd probably drop dead if that days ever comes.... since I want to live for many many more years to come... I'd better keep going with my personal development ;0)

You're doing so very well, I for one am very proud of you!!

It's not easy, no matter what people say, it's not.
Change never is, but results are terrific!!

Keep it up, as I know you can do it!!

Love ya


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 8/11/2010 9:37PM

    Been struggling along those same lines lately. Didn't want to listen to that inner voice because I thought I wasn't doing what I should be doing. Now my body hurts so bad I can't hardly get out of bed. Thanks for reminding me about patience.

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CARTOONB 8/11/2010 9:27PM

    I'm listening to old sessions of the Biggest Loser Fan Podcast (Free!!) and they addressed the challenge issue in one of them. The host said that he doesn't want to have the same challenge as someone else because everyone has different goals, physical abilities, etc. It's okay to set the same date and to encourage each other, but no need to have the same challenge. Sounds like you already knew that tho. emoticon

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WILMABEAL 8/11/2010 3:29PM

    Great blog, You should really write a book!Get it on the shelf i'll buy one.LOL Way to go, John

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    I'm certainly not patient, thus not virtuous, but I do listen to my inner voice unless it's telling me to eat a half gallon of Ben and Jerrys. LOL.

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LUVMYK9S 8/11/2010 12:16PM

    Thanks John for the great blog! I am terrible about comparing myself to others, thank you for reminding me how truly self defeating that is. I often feel like a failure for not making progress as fast as others. While I am happy for their achievements, I am disappointed in myself. Patience is not a virtue I possess, however, I do realize that slow progress is better than no progress.

You are right, I need to stop comparing myself to others or I am just going to run off the road into the ditch! You have inspired me to follow my own path, wherever it may lead me.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/11/2010 11:21AM

    John, you seem to write about the very things I'm thinking about! I'm terrible about comparing myself to others and not being patient, but the only person I need to compare with is myself. Did you know that I started C25K in March and it took me until last week to finish it? Yeah, 9 weeks, right. I took at least two weeks for each of the first two or three weeks, then I saw how high my heart rate was, got scared by it, and stopped following the C25K plan to just run a little each day. After several weeks of not seeming to make any more progress, I started up on the C25K plan and finally pushed through the mental barriers that were stopping me. Sometimes the voice we hear is prompting us to do the right thing (like you), and sometimes it's telling us to quit; we have to listen to the right voice and do what is right for us.


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GIRANIMAL 8/11/2010 11:02AM

    Boy, patience really is front and center this week! I need hefty extra doses of it every day, and I am really working at making it a priority, both with others and with myself.

Thanks for the MUCH needed reminder to stop, stop, stop comparing myself to others. It really is a recipe for self-sabotage. When I force myself to stop the comparison game long enough to get a good look at my accomplishments, it becomes so apparent how AWESOME it is that I have lost 65 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. So what if that "in shape" is relative. So what if I can't be a runner or that I might always have flabby abs since my back injuries does not allow me to do crunches. So what if I'll never feel like an athlete -- or never WANT to feel like an athlete!

Losing 65 pounds and being in the best shape of MY life is amazing progress FOR ME.

Thanks as always, John!

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DOLLBABE56 8/11/2010 10:13AM

    I have to admit, I'm not very patient with myself either. I am trying to improve that. I understand what you are saying. I have more success when I "hang around" with myself. I have to do it for me. I have to learn to listen to my thoughts. Only I can do this - for me.

Good blog John.

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EDWINA172 8/11/2010 9:37AM

    I'm glad that you're listening to your inner voice of reason. I am also guilty of being without the virtue of patience. I have it with other people, not myself. I compare myself to others and fall short frequently. One of my mantras (especially when I'm running) is a line from the song -Sunscreen, by Baz Luhrmann. It goes, "the race is long but in the end its only with yourself." SO TRUE!
Have a great day my friend. Just try to be better than the you of yesterday.

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BAM0827 8/11/2010 9:19AM

    Reading along I nodded my head a few times and thought, yep that's me.

Biggest yep was comparing myself to others. It's hard to keep in mind, no one lives my life and vice versa, so results will never be the same.

I know you'll get back up to 2.5 in no time!

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/11/2010 9:16AM

    A great blog as always--I will think of this in times that require patience.


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CAHUNO2 8/11/2010 9:13AM

    You are right. There are times when pushing too hard can be bad. Earlier this summer I did it and it took weeks to really get back on track. I am listening to my body now emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/11/2010 9:07AM

    I've got to curb my desire to compare. It has run me in the ditch too. Thank you for this reminder!

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NJMATTICE 8/11/2010 8:45AM

    Thanks for sharing those insights. I'll stop comparing my journey to yours and put down the doughnut. Have a great day.
Nancy emoticon emoticon

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JUDIL62 8/11/2010 8:39AM

    Very true John. One of the greatest things I have learned on this website is that if I cheat, I am only cheating myself. I'll share a couple of quotes with you that I have hanging on my wall that I read every day:

"don't compare your life with others and don't judge them, you have no idea what their life is all about"

Another on that list is:

"no one is in charge of your happiness except you!"


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CHANGEDIN09 8/11/2010 8:39AM

    As usual , a great post. Good luck with the personal training. I know you'll see results.

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WISEONE68 8/11/2010 8:27AM

I agree--I can be my own best buddy. But, unfortunately, I can be my own worst enemy, too!! I think that there is a point in our journey when then "enemy" part is quieter (I don't think, at least for me, that it is ever truly silent) and the other voice becomes louder.

I also have a problem with patience. I have for years!! emoticon I used to pray for God to give me patience--well, be careful what you pray for--here I am at 42, and He is STILL teaching me patience!!

Your blogs are so inspiring as is your journey. The struggles you have, many of us can relate; the joys you share, we can celebrate with you. I don't know another way to describe it except: emoticon!!

Have a great day and safe trip to Louisville!!

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STORMTMB 8/11/2010 8:23AM

    We SHOULD be our own best friend, but speaking as a woman, many of us are harder on ourselves than on others. Not that it's right, but it's true. I don't get the feeling that men are as hard on themselves, but I'll let you speak to that. We need to learn to be better to ourselves!!!

Sounds like the new trainer is working out just fine. I'm happy for you!

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What I Have Learned in 57 Years

Friday, August 06, 2010

I have experienced fifty seven years of life as of today and if you don’t mind I’d like to share with you a few of the things I have learned.

1.If you really want to do something don’t put it off.
There are a lot of things in life I wish I had done. I made excuses not to do them and I packaged those excuses into valid reasons that no one would argue with. I didn’t have the money, or the kids were too young, or I was being selfish. The list goes on and on. When you do not do something your heart really desires the only result you end up with is deep regret. Regret turns to bitterness and that in turn means you gain weight.

Find a way to reach your goals. The result might not be immediate and you may have to make a few concessions along the way but when you reach that goal or dream I promise you that you will be the best you that you can be because you will look in the mirror and be authentic. You may have to do five other things first but don’t ever give up on your dreams.

If you wait for the ever elusive tomorrow trust me it will never arrive. As time goes on you will make more and more excuses and your dreams get farther and farther away until one day you don’t even recognize them. If you have to move heaven and earth to reach them then do so.

Remember, you are worth it and you deserve it and if you don’t believe in your own value why should the rest of us. Make a pest of yourself!!! LOL

2.Own Your Actions
No one is responsible for how I react to something other than me. Owning my actions doesn’t mean I am perfect, it means I am honest. If you’re scared say you’re scared. If you’re happy, share your joy. If you are not sure of what to do, where to go, or what to say, raise your hand high, admit it and I promise you, just like magic, all kinds of people will appear to help you. We enjoy being around people who are open and honest about themselves. It means they are real. It means they have all kinds of badges and medals and ribbons that show they are victors in the campaign of life. Be really leery and wary of someone who tells you they never had a problem or issue in their lives. There is no such thing as a perfect spouse, partner or friend and if anyone tells you otherwise they are lying more to themselves than they are lying to you. You will find you have more friends in life and will sleep peacefully when you begin to belive that the only person responsible for you is you.

3.You Are Who You Hang Around With
If I had a dollar for every person I assigned blame to for my failures in life I would be really rich. When you hang around with people who play the “blame game” you will also in short order. You will find a reason to take all the things you don’t like about yourself and make them someone else’s responsibility. Things are easier to live with that way, aren’t they?

Start hanging out with accountable people and you’ll be a bit uncomfortable for a while but you will start to grow in ways you never dreamed of. Look for people who appear to be “magic.” Usually they are.

4.Enjoy yourself
My oldest friend is eighty four and my youngest friend is nineteen. In between are a whole host of interesting and enjoyable people who make my life a snap shot done in Technicolor. Wherever you go, for the rest of your life, find a reason to learn something from every person you meet.

I guess there are a lot of other life rules along the way but I have found adhering to these four make me pretty happy. Just thought I'd share

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTINTERNET 8/12/2010 8:21PM

    Wow (again). As someone who "embraces cheerful bitterness" (not voluntarily), I need to keep these lessons in mind. Thanks.

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    Excellent blog! Happy Belated Birthday! :)

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SANDYK4BAMA 8/10/2010 9:25AM

    Love it John! I love ALL your insights! Thank you for sharing!!! emoticon

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ANNE-ELIZ 8/9/2010 5:39PM

    Always glad to read your insightful blog; this was the first of your fifty-eighth year.

Hope your birthday was everything you could want! Be sure to continue the celebration as long as possible... emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 8/9/2010 2:45PM

    Hi John, thanks for sharing, you brightened me up as I was a bit disappointed,,,,and emoticonHappy Birthday emoticon emoticon

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SMOCKON 8/9/2010 12:36PM

    Hope your birthday was great!

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    Happy Birthday :) You are a wise person and I'm glad to have read this!

I may even pass it on to my husband's parents. We went on vacation with them this past week, and I see regret turning to bitterness with them. Greg and I are really worried about their health and their seeming lack of motivation... we wonder what they are waiting for, because they always TALK about how they know it's a problem.... We are trying to figure out how to talk to them about it, maybe in a letter, because we wonder what it's going to take for them to quit "waiting" for things to get better on their own.

Thanks, John. You give me hope for them!

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JPRICE217 8/8/2010 9:18AM

    Happy birthday John, AS always a good blog and I agree with it all emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AKATUJE 8/7/2010 9:05AM

    Great blog as always!!!

Happy Belated Birthday!!! emoticon emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 8/7/2010 12:29AM

    ♫ ♪ ♫ happy birthday to youuuuuu ♪ ♫ ♪

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HDHAWK 8/6/2010 9:40PM

    Happy Birthday John! emoticonEnjoy it to the fullest! emoticonWishing you many more wonderful birthdays! emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 8/6/2010 9:21PM

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!! I love all of them, but Number 1 really sings to me. I forever give myself reasons for not doing things, both good and bad. I need to kick that to the curb and get for real.

Hope your day was fabulous!!!!!!!!!

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    Happy Birthday, Bucharoo!! Stop thinking so much and get partying. LOL. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TINKERBELL200 8/6/2010 6:40PM

    Oh so true John! Every last morsel of it! Thanks for sharing and a big,

emoticonHAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! emoticon

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BOURNBABE 8/6/2010 6:20PM

    Happy Birthday!
Great Blog!

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JERRI82 8/6/2010 4:04PM

    emoticonHAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.... emoticon
have a fabulous day!
jerri emoticon

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JENNY888 8/6/2010 4:03PM

    Such wisdom you have gained in your 57 years. Happy birthday!

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    What a fabulous blog!! Have to agree with it all. Happy Birthday to you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILMABEAL 8/6/2010 1:40PM

    Ilove blogs from the heart and mind! awsome blog John Happy Birthday! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEANPOD77 8/6/2010 1:09PM

    emoticon emoticon
Many Happy Returns John! Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom. I especially love "learn something from every person you meet"..a great way to approach life, and focus on the positives!
Hoping you have a wonderful celebration with family and friends!

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JUSTLYLE 8/6/2010 1:08PM

    Happy 57th. Birthday John, great blog on life's lessons. Have a Super Day!

Skeeter emoticon

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MINENA1 8/6/2010 1:01PM

    emoticonHAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN!! emoticon
I hope you have a fantastic day. God Bless you! emoticon

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JRIMM4 8/6/2010 12:38PM

    Truth in all its wonder.


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BECCALYNN75 8/6/2010 11:26AM

    emoticon Happy Birthday John! emoticon

I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more happy years to reach all your goals!

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LUVMYK9S 8/6/2010 11:14AM

    emoticon HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN! emoticon

Thank you for sharing those words of wisdom! Have a wonderful day and even better tomorrow!

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LOOKY-LOU 8/6/2010 11:05AM

    Happy Birthday...personal training, lunch and a massage....sounds like an awesome day! emoticon

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/6/2010 10:49AM

    All very wise words. And of course, Happy Birthday!!

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BRYLIA 8/6/2010 10:41AM

    Happy Birthday John emoticon emoticon

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    Great blog and Happy Birthday!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDWINA172 8/6/2010 9:42AM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thanks for the wise advice:)

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FUZZY1TOO 8/6/2010 9:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, to a very inspirational, motivational and caring man. With you walking alongside us in our journey, we are all richer people.
Thank you. From the bottom of all of our hearts.
Hope your day is everything you hoped for and more than you dreamed of!
emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/6/2010 9:35AM

    emoticon Happy Birthday! emoticon

How funny that it's your b-day but we're the one that received the gift! Thanks for you blog. Truer words were never spoken... er, uh, typed!


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GETFIT2LIVE 8/6/2010 9:28AM

    Very true!


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SHEALUNA 8/6/2010 9:17AM

    Fantastic! So thought provoking. Thanks for sharing and I wish you a very happy birthday with many more to come!

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HLPRATT 8/6/2010 9:15AM

    I love your blog John- Good thoughts for today!! And happy birthday emoticon

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STORMTMB 8/6/2010 9:13AM

    Happy Birthday, John! Have a great day!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTFOXXY 8/6/2010 9:12AM

    Ouch! and Thanks!

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CAHUNO2 8/6/2010 8:46AM

    True true true! And SP fits in very well with all 4!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 8/6/2010 8:29AM

    Wonderful observances! I especially connected with owning your actions (and reactions). Many wise people have said that we can't control the world and circumstances, but we totally control our reactions ... I work on that one daily (sometimes multiple times a day, LOL!). On good days, I'm diplomatic and amazing, and on bad days ... well, I have room to improve my patience :)

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MOMGABE 8/6/2010 8:28AM

    Happy Birthday. Thanks for your words of wisdom. I always find a golden nugget or two in your blogs. emoticon

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JOYCE561 8/6/2010 7:57AM

  A lot of good sound advice. Sounds like it could be your birthday so if it is HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many many more!

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HONORINGGOD 8/6/2010 7:50AM

    emoticonGod bless you john

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DOLLBABE56 8/6/2010 7:49AM

    Is it your birthday today? If so, Happy Birthday! emoticon
If not, well don't eat the cake! lol
Great advice.

Comment edited on: 8/6/2010 7:56:41 AM

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DWYER1952 8/6/2010 7:45AM


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There Is Only One You

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Availible on You Tube at:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRISH2229 8/8/2010 10:13PM

    Hi John, I'm beginning to wonder if you are a blogger hired by SP to keep us all on our toes! Nearly every blog you write/speak touches all of us in unique positive ways. You are quite amazing and always on time with your words of wisdom - I suspect one never gets tired of hearing that! For as much as you say fellow Sparkers give to you - you have to know we all value your presence here at Spark. I hope you're enjoying your personal trainer. Have a fabulous week!

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GESHANNON 8/6/2010 3:47PM

    Thank you so much,.,.I needed to hear !!

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SIUANE 8/6/2010 12:37PM

    What a wonderful blog. Thank you so much. emoticon

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/6/2010 6:45AM

    Oh, wow--this blog is EXACTLY what I needed! Your eloquent message is often missed in this all-too-competitive world.

Thank you :)

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JPRICE217 8/5/2010 2:04PM

    Great blog

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LUVMYK9S 8/5/2010 11:49AM

    Thank you John, awesome vlog! I never really thought of it as being jealous or envious, but but I guess it really is when I have these thoughts that I'm just not as good, or successful, or insightful, or talented, or whatever, as someone else. I am guilty of comparing myself to others and trying to be what they are. Thank you for opening my eyes and reminding me that there is only one me, and you are so right that I owe it to myself to be the best that I can be!

You've made my day and you've left me with a big smile on my face today!

Have a great day and even better tomorrow!


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MSSUNBUG 8/5/2010 9:51AM

    Thanks for sharing, John. I loved, "You serve a wonderfully great purpose--all by yourself." This was definitely something I needed to hear today! And later, "You owe it to yourself to be the best you you can be." It's true. For me, I often think I owe it to the fifteen-year-old who wanted to run but was told she couldn't, to the 21-year-old who wasted some magical years in a fat suit, holding herself back from fully participating in LIFE, looking instead towards a future when she imagined she'd be more deserving (read: THINNER) of a fun life. I owe it to them to be the best ME I can be--today.

It sounds like you have a fun day ahead. In general life today--AND on that golf course--just be the best YOU you can be. :-)

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DOLLBABE56 8/5/2010 7:40AM

    Your blog really gives all of us something to think about. I imagine that we all, at some point have experienced the jealousy-envy thing - it's part of being human. It's what we choose to do about it that is important. We can mope about it or we can decide to do something about it. I like what you suggest - imagining the world without us in it. If I weren't born: my daughter's would never exist. That's the worst thing I could ever imagine. Really brings everything into perspective. Thanks John!

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EDWINA172 8/5/2010 5:07AM

    I love the part about turning jealousy into motivation. I'm always trying to scramble to catch up to others' accomplishments. I don't measure up in my own eyes either. One of my favorite quotes is, "the race is long and in the end its only with yourself." That is one of my running mantras.
Thanks for sharing John.

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LIFEGENESIS 8/5/2010 4:18AM


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AQUABUNNY 8/5/2010 1:08AM

    John, I've been feeling really down and lousy about myself lately and you have NO idea how much I needed to hear your vlog tonight. All I can say is, THANK YOU SO MUCH! This made me feel so much better!

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    Thank you so much for this, John--it was definitely something I needed to hear today. I'm so glad that you are you and that we are friends, that's part of what makes spark such a positive and powerful place!

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DANAB1106 8/4/2010 11:51PM

    As usual that was an awesome blog! You Rock John!!! Thank you for all that you do!

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MSCOCOPUFFS01 8/4/2010 11:09PM

    awesome awesome awesome vlog john, very insightful! Thank you so much for sharing! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 8/4/2010 10:43PM

    I always enjoy your blogs!

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HONORINGGOD 8/4/2010 10:42PM

    thanks john emoticon

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SUNSET09 8/4/2010 9:11PM

  So be the best You, you can be! emoticon

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My Pants

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I am going to be out of town all day today and hadnt planned on blogging. After I showered this morning I decided I would see if a few of my "motivational pants" were close to fitting. They are the pants I shoot towards wearing as part of my journey. These are pant I have that have no comfort fitting waist in them. They are normal old Dockers. I slid a pair on I almost passed out. They not only fit but were a bit loose. I could have squeezed into the next size down with a bit of effort.

When I began Sparking 7.5 months ago I was wearing a Size 50 pant. The pants I put on this morning were a Size 42. (I have 40's, 38's and 36's hanging there also.)

Joan thought someone had died because all she heard coming out of the bedroom was "Oh My God!!!"

Feeling good about me is the most obvious payoff here. Once again, it is my feeling that support I get from everyone in my life has helped me get motivated to reach these goals on my way to being healthy. If you are reading this you are part of that process.

My point is this:

No matter how small a part you may believe you play in someone elses life, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, it may mean the world to them.

My pants and I thank you emoticon

"In all of creation, from the beginning of time until its end, there will only be one you. You cannot be replaced. If it were not for you then the world would most likely fall off its axis. As insignificant as we may feel at times,we have the tremendous responsibility to be the best us that we can be simply because the world is depending on us."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILMABEAL 8/6/2010 2:07PM

    You are doing awsome,I'm going to buy me a new pair of pants. lol, Just 2 sizes smaller so i don't get dicouraged by them. (great story)Thanks for the tip,If i inspire you well i'm so glad i do try to make people feel how i like to do inspire me,i need that Thanks so much! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANNE-ELIZ 8/6/2010 12:08AM

    What a brave thing to do to have "motivational pants"!

I've never bought anything that didn't fit me when I bought it, because I felt it was just a waste of money. I didn't have a real plan to lose the weight previously, even if I was on a "diet", so it seemed like a pipe dream.

I realize also that clothing was not a major motivator for me, but boy, recently, since Spark People, was it nice to see that the size I'd been buying was too big and then that the size below that was also too big...

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AZCUPCAKE 8/5/2010 6:19PM

    Congratulations, John! Your journey is so inspiring and your rewards are so well-deserved! I am smiling a big smile right now, and wish I could give you a giant pat on the back! WELL DONE! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDYK4BAMA 8/5/2010 9:12AM

    Awesome John!! I had that same feeling this week! I pulled out a size lower than I have been wearing, thinking I could probably wear them, but they'd probably still be uncomfortable (which I REFUSE to wear), and low and behold - they fit! And like yours, they not only fit, but they have a little breathing room in them! I was so happy I could have screamed, but my in-laws were in town and at my house, and no one would've heard me anyway. But another good thing - they left today, so once again, maybe I too can begin to exist again! Yea! My opinions and comments and all may start being noticed since I don't have so much competition! he he

U R emoticon!!! Thank you so much for your blogs and your all that you put into everything you write. I can't begin to tell you how much it all means to me! Keep up the GREAT work!
You are so WORTH IT!!!

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AQUABUNNY 8/5/2010 1:10AM

    That is great! Congrats on the good work!

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CARTOONB 8/4/2010 11:04PM

    Excellent!! Think of the "expanded" wardrobe you'll have as you continue to lose the weight! yay!!

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DUTCHIEKIWI 8/4/2010 10:53PM

    Oh how great it feels to slide your legs one by one in a pair of trousers you thought you would probbly never fit. Well done john!! Look forward to your cry outs when you get into the smaller and smaller and smallest ones!!



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JERIBERI1 8/4/2010 10:38PM

    Wow, Amazing!!!

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JPRICE217 8/4/2010 8:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIASTER 8/4/2010 5:28PM

Thank you for sharing. Believe all your followers are rejoicing right along with you. Bet you wanted to stand on the roof and tell the world but that is why we have this site to share these precious moments. emoticon

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CARTER3281 8/4/2010 5:17PM

    John that is so great. I know you have worked hard. emoticon

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SOUP_A_MODEL 8/4/2010 4:11PM

    Dude, that's awesome! ROCK THE HECK ON! Where are the big letter options on this thing...???? emoticon

Funny- my eyes were jumping around this entry when I first read it (tired, sorry...) and I read, "I slid a pair on I almost passed out." and it registered as, "I put them on and almost passed out." I thought you meant it the other way at first. I thought it was like one of my moti(vational) pairs of jeans, which make me pass out mostly because I can't breathe.


S'all good. I'll get there. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/4/2010 4:13:52 PM

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    It's always good to find a new wardrobe in your closet. emoticon

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You are doing great John, keep it up!!

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ALLISON145 8/4/2010 12:29PM

    Congratulations, John - how very exciting!!! I had a similar experience the other day - my "new" pants are 16's, and until I bought them about a month ago I had been wearing 18s that I didn't need to unbutton to pull off anymore (very baggy). Well I went to undress the other day wearing the 16's and pulled them off over my hips without unbuttoning without even thinking about it. You could have blown me over with a feather. LOL! Yay for our shrinking waistlines!!!



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LUVMYK9S 8/4/2010 11:35AM

    emoticon I'm doing a happy dance for you right now John!

I have motivational pants in my closet that I once could wear and I KNOW that I will get back in them! I've donated to Goodwill all of my clothes that have gotten too big because I am NOT going to ever need them again!

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STORMTMB 8/4/2010 11:32AM

    Yeah! Keep it up! Obviously you're losing inches even during the times when the scale doesn't budge. Congrats!

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WALKNLOVE 8/4/2010 11:31AM

    I think you are one of God's superheroes! :D LOL John, are one step closer! And God is doing amazing things in your life...inside and out!

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DEBBIEKAY1 8/4/2010 11:30AM

    emoticon you made my day by this...
"In all of creation, from the beginning of time until its end, there will only be one you. You cannot be replaced. If it were not for you then the world would most likely fall off its axis. As insignificant as we may feel at times,we have the tremendous responsibility to be the best us that we can be simply because the world is depending on us

and a BIG emoticonon your pants emoticon

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PSSN4FITNESS 8/4/2010 11:26AM

    This is so uplifting!!! To some it is just a pair of pants, but I know that feeling of triumph! Congratulations!
emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/4/2010 11:24AM

    Yay John! I'm doing my happy dance for you! I just went through my closet last week and had to get rid of a ton of things that are TOO BIG, and some that I kept because I hadn't worn them yet are borderline. Ain't it a wonderful thing? We do individually have to do the work, but it is a team success because like you, I wouldn't be where I am without my Spark Friends.

BTW, how's the book writing coming? emoticon


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BECCALYNN75 8/4/2010 11:16AM

    emoticon That has to be a great feeling! You've worked very hard for it.

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HDHAWK 8/4/2010 11:06AM

    What a great feeling John! emoticon emoticon

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IMJUSTDUCKIE 8/4/2010 11:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonI'm SO happy for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NJMATTICE 8/4/2010 10:24AM

    Motivational pants. I like it. I have them, but they are not intentional. I am going to set aside a portion of my closet to designate as the motivational section. Clear intention to help with my goals. Thanks for the clarity.
Have an awesome day floating around on that truimph!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 8/4/2010 10:11AM

  I think is one of the best feelings in the world.. to know without a doubt all your determination and hard work is paying off

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SMOCKON 8/4/2010 9:43AM

    Doing the Snoopy Happy Dance for you, John! That is fantastic news.

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RHAL1462 8/4/2010 9:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I have jeans that are the same motivators - it' s just too hot to think about wearing them so I have not tried them on yet.
Great job!

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FUZZY1TOO 8/4/2010 9:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/4/2010 9:24AM

    Nice job on the pants. I definitely laughed out loud picturing your wife panicking when she heard your jubilations from the next room. Keep it up!!

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FUNISSA 8/4/2010 9:19AM

    What an amazing feeling!! Great job!!!!!!!!!!!

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CAHUNO2 8/4/2010 9:15AM

    Boy I love the days when something like that happens - I cruise along the whole rest of the day! emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/4/2010 9:08AM

    emoticon Woohoo! emoticon

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MARCYNA 8/4/2010 9:06AM

    I'm so proud of you John, so very very proud of your success emoticon emoticon

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    Congratulations!!!!!!! You are awesome!!!!! emoticon

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TXNANA_4 8/4/2010 8:21AM

    emoticon emoticon

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EDWINA172 8/4/2010 8:20AM

    How awesome for you! I had goal pants once also. When they finally fit me, I cried. Its a great feeling! Have a wonderful day!

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BAM0827 8/4/2010 8:17AM

    Someone is going to be be-bopping around Louiseville with a big smile a size 40 pants today!! What a great way to start your day.

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MOMMABOF7 8/4/2010 7:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

What a great feeling!

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FUZZY1TOO 8/4/2010 7:51AM

Way to go!

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FROGGERHKC 8/4/2010 7:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Congratulations! You are doing wonderful! Keep up the awesome work! emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 8/4/2010 7:47AM

    OH WOW! What a GREAT feeling! Keep on truckin' John!

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Personal Training: Session 1

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

One thing I have learned for sure is that if you don’t move forward you are sure to slide backwards. I had reached a point in my exercise and fitness development where I felt I had hit a wall, reached a plateau, and was generally uninspired by my workouts. My C25K training provided me with motivation but I was only running three days a week and while I looked forward to the experience every time I looked in the mirror I saw a shrinking body that resembled a sack of potatoes. Everything just sorta hung, I really felt I had accomplished all I could on my own and not having a workout buddy I began contemplating working with a personal trainer.

My first consideration was cost. In a nutshell it’s not cheap. I opened my checkbook and looked at what I was spending monthly for Joan and me to eat out on those nights we were “just too tired to cook.” I was surprised how much money we were spending, even if it were just for two people. I decided that if we cut that in half it would generate a bit of revenue.

My next consideration was finding a trainer to meet my needs. I narrowed it down to four and after a lot of soul searching I picked Jen. Jen was a dance major in college and she also has my very direct, blunt approach to dealing with things. That’s not to say she isn’t friendly, but like me, she is not looking for another friend. I told her what I wanted and she told me what she could do, we shook hands and set a date to begin. That was yesterday.

I have to tell you I was nervous. I was afraid I was going to look silly and all those other silly thoughts that run through my head periodically. The first thing she did was go over what we would be doing, how she liked to do it and told me not to be bashful about asking questions. She told me if she was going to fast or to slow to please let her know. She made me feel comfortable and at ease. After the first set of exercises I was no longer nervous.

She worked my entire body. She used a series of exercises that included free weights, circuit machines and resistance bands. We finished with abdominals on the stability ball. Everything was predictable, which is what I like. I picked her primarily because of her background. I was looking to increase my flexibility and balance and add some tone to my shape.

I woke up this morning, “work out sore.” It’s a good feeling and it’s equal from top to bottom. I am not too sore so I will be able to do my C25K training later today. We are going to work together twice weekly, on Monday’s and Fridays. My sessions last approximately an hour.

It’s a good feeling to know I am working with someone who knows what they are doing. I told her when I hired her that she was the professional and I was going to trust her to construct a program that would meet my needs. If the first session was any indication I made the right choice.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 8/8/2010 9:22AM

    emoticonJohn something for me to consider

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AZCUPCAKE 8/5/2010 6:25PM

    Great decision! It sounds like Jen is going to get you focused and working all the right ways to help you reach your goal healthfully. Way to go!

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WALKNLOVE 8/4/2010 11:34AM

    You are going to love this! I work out with a pt on M,W, and F. She is great! Just being there. keeps me accountable! Enjoy!

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PSSN4FITNESS 8/4/2010 11:30AM

    Great job! I have been considering hiring a personal trainer. I am glad that you found one that works for you!

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VTORIA3 8/3/2010 10:09PM

    John, I am so proud of you for finding out a way to sacrifice so that you could realize your goals. And, it is clear that you have a lovely wife who supports you, too. Embrace that, appreciate Joan's gift to you. It is wonderful to learn that you were completely satisfied with your training program and trainer. Good for you, friend. Keep up the good work!

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TRISH2229 8/3/2010 9:43PM

    I loved my trainer but then she moved! :( She was a runner! I learned so much about myself and my body from her. I never worked harder in my life than when I trained with her. I was sore every day. I need to go back to the gym. I keep telling myself this but haven't been motivated to go by myself. It would also mean I'd have to increase my caloric intake which is difficult for me to do. Good luck! Enjoy the burn! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    It sounds wonderful. I know this is just what you need.

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GEINAHG0757 8/3/2010 2:50PM

    Your fitness level will really take off to the next level now that you are working out with a trainer. You watch...I KNOW this to be true! (See my blog "What six months of strength training gets you...)


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SMOCKON 8/3/2010 2:04PM

    Sounds like a good match! I'm not there yet, and I'm glad you're leading the way. emoticon

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JENNY888 8/3/2010 2:02PM

    I'm glad the session went well for you.

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LUVMYK9S 8/3/2010 11:44AM

    emoticon on moving on to the next level and working with a personal trainer. I'm sure she will keep you motivated and moving towards your next goals.

I understand the feeling of nervousness in the beginning ... I was so nervous starting my first Zumba class that I nearly threw up! Thoughts of looking like a fool, not being able to keep up with the class, not being able to follow the steps, etc. But I am so glad that I pushed myself forward and went to the class! The instructor immediately made everyone feel at ease and the class was FUN! I was totally hooked after the first class!

Keep up the great work, you are so worth it!

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KATJAMN 8/3/2010 10:55AM

    good deal.. You are just cruising right a long..
So so so so so happy for you!

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MINENA1 8/3/2010 10:27AM

    Awesome!!! Great job moving on to the next level. WOO HOO!! I'm sure she's going to help you plenty. Good Luck John! You're doing fantastic!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/3/2010 10:22AM

    Finding the right trainer is worth every penny. I'm looking at our budget to see how I can squeeze out the money for seeing one at least once a week; I'm at the same stage, where I don't feel like I'm really making progress. Way to go in kicking it up a notch, John!

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CATHERINEL66 8/3/2010 10:15AM

    Great going on the new personal trainer. I see folks at the gym working out with them, and think it's really the way to go to develop a custom program. I bet you're going to get great results!!

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DOCYJK 8/3/2010 9:37AM

    Good for you for taking this next step! I'll be eager to hear how this works out for you in the long run!

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STORMTMB 8/3/2010 9:21AM

    Glad you did it. She's going to help you get to the next level!! Congrats on making a great decision.

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EDWINA172 8/3/2010 9:17AM

    I'm glad that you liked your session with the trainer. You are worth the time, money and sweat! Have a great week.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/3/2010 9:16AM

    I couldn't wait for you to post this blog! I don't know why, but the few times in my life when I've thought about working with a personal trainer, I've chickened out every time. I feel very intimidated by even the idea of working with someone. I think I'm afraid for someone to know what a big wimp I am! LOL

I wanted to know how it went with your session and am happy to see that things went well. I hope you will keep up up to date on how things progress. Meanwhile, I'LL work on this overwhelming fear of personal trainers! Ugh!


Comment edited on: 8/3/2010 9:17:16 AM

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JUDIL62 8/3/2010 8:53AM

    Excellent. Keep up the good work. I can relate to being "uninspired by my workouts". I'm hitting that place so this month in my goals I will add spinning and/or Zumba to my workouts.

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IN_IT_2_WIN_IT 8/3/2010 8:50AM

    I looked at the money I was spending eating out, drinking, etc and found it was far more than the monthly cost for a trainer. I decided to sign up for two sessions a week at my fitness club. I was paired up with Patrick, and he could not be a better fit. He works with me on nutrition, motivates me to keep going, encourages me and applauds my successes, and doesn't have a problem telling me when I am slacking off, pushes me to try new things. His philosophy is he will not ask a client to do anything he cannot or does not do, and backs it up by demonstrating every exercise and running along beside me.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/3/2010 8:41AM

    Nice! I love the "work out sore" feeling. Can't wait to hear your progress!

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DOLLBABE56 8/3/2010 8:39AM

    That's wonderful John! Sometimes all we need is guidance. Twice a week is perfect. Good luck to you!

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NJMATTICE 8/3/2010 8:39AM

    Sounds like a good match. I'm sure Jen will provide the boost to get things moving forward.
Have a great day, John and enjoy feeling every muscle that you have been reacquainted with, courtesy of your new trainer.

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AAAANNA 8/3/2010 8:35AM

    Sounds like you found the right trainer. Well done for stepping up and getting outside help, I´m sure that it wont be long with motivation like that before you reach your targets! emoticon

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TBONE13 8/3/2010 8:33AM

  Hey, I wish you great luck !!

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