JOHNTJ1   65,428
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10,000 Things......

Monday, August 16, 2010

I was up early this morning. Joan and I drove back from Wisconsin after a very nice weekend with family, both in Chicago for a wedding and in Milwaukee for a bit of a family reunion. Because I took Friday and Monday off the rest of my week is brutal. Sparing you the details I’ll say this; each day starts very early and ends very late.

I was thinking about that while I was waiting for Joan in the car. She was saying good bye to my sister and I just wanted to get moving. I decided to check the email on the Blackberry while I was waiting. I saw a friend’s name that I hadn’t heard from in like forever. I opened the email and this is what it said:

"Isn't it rather mind-numbing, John, that for everyone, always and forever, they have 10,000 more things to be thrilled about, than not. U R Blessed.”

I didn’t feel blessed right then and there. I felt tired and wished the eight hour car ride home was more of a click my heels and I’d be relaxing in my recliner. I did what John always does, I felt sorry for myself. I was tired and didn’t really want to even think about Tuesday. Poor John.

"Isn't it rather mind-numbing, John, that for everyone, always and forever, they have 10,000 more things to be thrilled about, than not. U R Blessed.”

My sister, Mary, is a cancer survivor. She’s been cancer free for ten years. I hold my breath every time she goes in for a checkup. Prior to that she had a very difficult time conceiving. She had four miscarriages before my niece and god daughter Melissa was born. Mary is one of the kindest and most generous people I know. She has time for everyone.

My brother-in-law Mike lost an eye in a hunting accident when he was ten. Later as a volunteer fire fighter he witnessed a man being electrocuted in a live power line. He was powerless to help because of the high voltage. His daughter was married Saturday evening and I don’t know if there was a happier guy on the planet that night. He’s sixty and a runner and told me when I run in my first 5k he will run with me.

"Isn't it rather mind-numbing, John, that for everyone, always and forever, they have 10,000 more things to be thrilled about, than not. U R Blessed.”

Then there are you. Maybe you are one of the four hundred plus people here I have added as a Spark friend. I do not have adequate words to say what you mean to me. I read what you write, or the stories of your effort and your successes and all I can say is that I am honored to be your friend. Sometimes I cry when I read how happy you are because you have kicked an obstacle to the curb and are doing the most amazing happy dance.

There are things I don’t even realize in my life that are such blessings. I over look them in my haste to pursue my own agendas in life. I get in one of those funks and I shake my hands at the heavens and blame everything and everybody for my woes whether they are real or imagined. I do not see those blessings.

Could we start a list, me and you? I will keep track. Send me a blessing in your life or have another Spark Friend send it to me. I will compile a list and when we reach ten thousand I will figure out a way to publish them so the whole world will have ten thousand blessing to identify with. They don’t have to be Spark Friends blessings. They can be family members, or co-workers or anyone you know. We can create a list of hope for some people whose faith may be running low.

Will you help?

"Isn't it rather mind-numbing, John, that for everyone, always and forever, they have 10,000 more things to be thrilled about, than not. U R Blessed.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XENA47 11/9/2010 12:46PM

    I am blessed to be able to pursue the kind of work I love while my husband supports the household. emoticon

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FAYEBAYE 8/28/2010 11:56PM

    I am blessed to have people that I don't even know care about my well being and to provide me with the encouragement to be better every day.

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ASANTIAGO2 8/25/2010 4:46PM

  I am blessed to be able to grow more spiritually and as a person each day.

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LADY_KATHY 8/25/2010 8:55AM

    thanks for sharing this blog. I'm thankful for my Lord who is my strength.
•*´¨) †
¸.• ¸.•*´¨)¸.•*¨) †
(¸.• ♥ Kathy ♥

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TXGRANDMA 8/23/2010 11:03PM

    Such a great blog! What an inspiration and how true! Thanks for writing it! It makes me remember all of my blessings, of which I try to be mindful and Thank God every day. emoticon

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JEWITCH 8/23/2010 5:47PM

    Love your post and it is so true, if we all just look around we all can 10,000+ things we have been blessed with each day. From the round 17,280 breaths each day, to watching a butterfly flutter in the garden, to the hugs from family and friends. Sometimes we just need to slow down and observe what this wonderful world has to share with us to remember all the blessings that are in our lives and stop for a moment and say "THANKS!" and enjoy. Thank you for sharing with us and reminding us of all those blessings we sometimes just take for granted. I hope you have a beautiful week. Brightest blessings and warm hugs.

Comment edited on: 8/23/2010 5:54:05 PM

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ROCKINFOX 8/23/2010 12:53PM

    I have the most amazing friends that anyone could ever ask for, and I am truly blessed!

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SWTSUCCESS2012 8/23/2010 2:27AM

    What an awesome undertaking! I consider myself blessed for having found the love of my life 17 months ago. I never knew it was possible to feel so loved and I thank God every day. Thank you for your blog and God bless! emoticon

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DIANNARUCKER 8/22/2010 3:13PM

    Wow, what an awesome blog. I am blessed to have three healthy children who love me. Recently my two sons had a disagreement. They are 5 years apart and don't always see eye to eye. I told them I was very upset to know they weren't talking. Today the oldest called to tell me that they had mended their fences. Yes I am very blessed to see them grow and be able to figure things out for themselves.

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WALKNLOVE 8/22/2010 6:29AM

    I am blessed even beyond words!!!!!!! I count you as one of those blessings!

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    I have been blessed over and over again over the years. My husband has been had multiple heart attacks over the past 10 years. When the doctors gave him little chance of recovery. We were both blesses with him pulling through. His health has improved over the past couple of years. Even his doctors are some what amazed.


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JAMJOJAM 8/20/2010 2:01PM

    Thank you for the great reminder to count our blessings, all 10,000 of them. emoticon

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ISHIIGIRL 8/20/2010 1:23PM

    I am blessed with a great job that I generally love. I work for a company that is forward thinking, financially responsible, a nonprofit who believes in its employees to make a difference. I don't always appreciate these things. Thanks for the reminder.

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DARBYMCC 8/20/2010 12:13PM

  Like the others who have posted, I have a multitude of blessing, and your entry was a good reminder that they exist. I'm blessed with a happy, healthy 10 month old who is always happy to see me, a wonderful husband who works are to provide for us, loving family and friends. We have the things that we need and are able to afford many things that are just wants.

Truly Blessed

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DARBYMCC 8/20/2010 12:13PM

  Like the others who have posted, I have a multitude of blessing, and your entry was a good reminder that they exist. I'm blessed with a happy, healthy 10 month old who is always happy to see me, a wonderful husband who works are to provide for us, loving family and friends. We have the things that we need and are able to afford many things that are just wants.

Truly Blessed

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DARBYMCC 8/20/2010 12:12PM

  Like the others who have posted, I have a multitude of blessing, and your entry was a good reminder that they exist. I'm blessed with a happy, healthy 10 month old who is always happy to see me, a wonderful husband who works are to provide for us, loving family and friends. We have the things that we need and are able to afford many things that are just wants.

Truly Blessed

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DARBYMCC 8/20/2010 12:06PM

  Like the others who have posted, I have a multitude of blessing, and your entry was a good reminder that they exist. I'm blessed with a happy, healthy 10 month old who is always happy to see me, a wonderful husband who works are to provide for us, loving family and friends. We have the things that we need and are able to afford many things that are just wants.

Truly Blessed

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    What a wonderful blog! I am blessed to have wonderful people near to me that love me no matter what: my other half Jason and my best friend/older sister Jess (and her family-husband Kyle and my little munchkins Knick, Kaleb, and Kaleigh). I am also SO blessed to be able to coach other people and see them emerge as a person!

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WEMINICH 8/20/2010 11:03AM


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JECKIE 8/20/2010 10:39AM

    Wow. This post actually brought a physical reaction to me. What a simple, yet powerful, statement.

I have felt so incredibly blessed this year to have my amazing sisters and my new nephew to love and cherish. THIS is what life is about!

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WINNINGWALK 8/20/2010 9:40AM

    I am just so thankful that I am relatively healthy and have four good working limbs. When I go to a clinic or a hospital -- it just reminds me again how very, very blessed I am with the "basics" that we so often take for granted!

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SKINNYMINNIE25 8/20/2010 9:05AM

    My life is one big children, my spouse, my job and Real Love.

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RACHEAL01 8/20/2010 7:37AM

    Thanks John your blog certainly puts things into perspective. I was feeling sorry for myself that i didn't have enough free time to do things with - but I think i should be grateful that i have a secure job that pays enough to keep us fed and a roof over our heads and still have a bit left over for us. I'm grateful and blessed that i have a loving partner & family who accept me for myself - and a dog that loves to sleep on my feet and keep me warm. Thank you.

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GRAMMACATHY 8/20/2010 3:01AM

    The obvious blessings of course are my family and friends. Two less obvious blessings are the beautiful sunrises out my window and the monthly full moon which also rises behind the hills with an amazing yellow orange glow in the Autumn months.

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CATHRINE2010 8/19/2010 8:59PM

    I am very blessed to have a great business and a wonderful understanding Husband and family. I am also blessed to have put God in charge of my life so I don't have to worry about anything. emoticon

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PRINCESSNURSE 8/19/2010 5:57PM

    John---I have too many blessings to count---my growing relationship with God, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my job, my brain that can think, my feet that can run and of course I am thankful each and every morning for my first cup of coffee-lol. I am a nurse and recently contracted Hepatitis C from a needle stick from an infected patient. It was very upsetting (and still is) BUT after several days of emotional turmoil I realized that I never question the many many blessings I have so I will choose not to question this situation. I will instead choose to use it to better myself and look for the unexpected blessings that will result for it

PS~ :-) Great Blog!

Comment edited on: 8/20/2010 8:33:56 AM

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    I have so many blessing it is hard to know what to write. My grandson would have to be at the top of my list though...he is pure joy and makes my mother, his great grandma so happy.
God bless you for such an inspiring blog.

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JAYJAY44 8/19/2010 4:47PM

    What a wonderful blog! I am blessed to have lived long enough to have discovered family members that I never knew existed!

A few days ago I returned from my 2nd family reunion that my sister and I hosted and while it was a lot of work, I'm still on a "high" because of its success!

Discovering new family members was like discovering new life. I saw myself in so many of their faces! We're all colors of the rainbow with some of the same traits and I embraced them with all my heart and I thanked God for bringing them into my life to share a part of themselves with me!

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MESEATURTLE 8/19/2010 6:39AM

    What a wonderful blog!!!I better get going as i have to make my list!!

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JESSICA0431 8/18/2010 9:02PM

    This is one of the best I have ever read here on Spark...

I pRAiSe GoD for a body that can run, jump, sweat, taste, sleep comfortably, move, love, feel, cry, walk, skip, RUN!!!

(I can NOT wait for the book)

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MARCYNA 8/18/2010 2:59PM

    Having YOU as a friend, that's my blessing!!!!!!!!!!!

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SMOCKON 8/18/2010 2:26PM

    I am blessed with two healthy, wonderful daughters who make me laugh every day. I am blessed with a faithful, loving husband who is a great father to our daughters. I am blessed with a steady job that allows us to have everything we need and many of the things we want. I am blessed with a loving and close extended family. I am blessed to live in a country where peace is the norm and not the moments of silence between bombings and gunfire.

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SANDYK4BAMA 8/18/2010 2:11PM

    Well John, I'm in a funk today, and you have caused me to think of those 10,000 things. Here of some of mine: 1) I have a wonderful husband who loves me - and not only that, he SHOWS me. 2, 3)I have two (not just one) but 2 healthy beautiful, smart, kind, generous daughters. 4)I have a mariad of friends who help me heal my wounded heart on so many levels that I could never even begin to repay them for all they do for me (and you are one John). 5) My parents are still alive. 6) I have a great job in a company that I've wanted to work for for years. 7) I have a mini-van! (I love it too). 8) I have a soft comfy bed to lie my head in each night to rest. So many in the world do not have this blessing that God saw fit for me to have. Isn't it odd that He picks us - sinners that we are - and just let's us have these awesome things!? 9) I have a house that is big enough for me and my family, and also to move my mom in when she will FINALLY agree to. 10) I have been shown so much love in my life, that if I would just chose to, it would obliterate any hurt/pain that I've ever endured. That's just ten, but there are so many many more. To me, those are biggies.

Keep in my that you are one of MY blessngs and I am so very thankful that you are my SparkBuddy!

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MYTURN11 8/17/2010 11:27PM

    I am blessed that God put this amazing man in my life who is my husband and best friend. He is the world to me and I never take him for granted. Even though my screenname is myturn ~ it is really ourturn together. I love him so much and God knew I needed him.

I am a survivor of domestic violence from a previous marriage.


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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/17/2010 10:47PM

    I am blessed to have a family. I come from a very small family. My mom was very ill for 19 years and after I met my hubby and had a child she told my MIL that she could die in peace knowing that I would not be all alone in the world. She's been at peace since I was 46 years old. God chose to send me a wonderful hubby and my son and for that I am very blessed.

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GATOR12 8/17/2010 10:02PM

    So much to think about!! Surviving breast cancer 8 years now only the beginning. Thanks! Brenda

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TOTHEFUTURE1 8/17/2010 9:54PM

    My mother said "we are not a lucky family BUT at least we are not ARE NOT UNLUCKY FAMILY". She was a glass half full person

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ELLIE381 8/17/2010 8:32PM

    What a great blog. I have been blessed with many great things.
I hope our Grandchild who will be born in Dec/Jan will be as blessed as we have. Keep up the great work. emoticon

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INDEJAM09 8/17/2010 5:00PM


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LINDALOO80 8/17/2010 3:19PM

    A nice blog!
I am blessed with a wonderful family, a great husband, 2 daughters and an awesome dog, along with everyone else in my extended family.

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HEARTSTOPPER 8/17/2010 3:12PM

I am blessed with an amazing husband, I met him on this site actually:)


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ANGELBELIEVER 8/17/2010 2:41PM

    I am blessed with memories of my wonderful Mom who just died on Aug 6. I am blessed by my husband, my cat Thor, and all of my friends both on and off line. Thank you for this bog.Time can go so quickly as can lives. Everyday we have is a blessing.

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BKNOCK 8/17/2010 2:34PM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. I am blessed because I happened across your blog and it reminded me how blessed I am. Thank you very much!

I am blessed because I have a job and a family that loves me
I am blessed because I found Spark and I have shed 50 pounds so far.

Thanks again!

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AZCUPCAKE 8/17/2010 2:26PM

    I am blessed beyond measure, but my most precious top-of-the-heap blessings have to be my husband and two precious sons and a couple of very wonderful, I-talk-to-them-everyday friends. From there, I count my SparkPals, and our family's two dogs. I know what you mean -- that "feel sorry for myself" attitude can come on pretty darn fast, and it sometimes comes from out of nowhere, or so it seems! But you are correct when you say that such a feeling needs to be hog-tied and corralled just as quickly as possible, because it is usually standing RIGHT IN FRONT of something that is a billboard-sized BLESSING!! Thank you for reminding us that life isn't just a dress rehearsal; there is no "do-over." We should be grateful, thankful and joyful every minute we are awake for all of the good things we DO possess and all of the people who love us -- even when we don't necessarily DESERVE it, haha! Hope your eight-hour trip home was safe and UNeventful! Thank you, John! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/17/2010 2:26:38 PM

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FIRERY1 8/17/2010 2:15PM

    I am blessed with a kind and loving husband, and a son whom I treasure. I am blessed with a comfortable home, where I can sit outside and watch ducks and birds and other wildlife come and go, and where I have kind and considerate neighbors. I am blessed with a few wonderful long-term friends who take me as I am. And I am blessed to know my Lord and Savior, Jesus, who is with me through all of life's' trials and tribulations. These blessings, and so many more...

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LUVMYK9S 8/17/2010 1:50PM

    I have been blessed with a wonderful son and husband.
I have been blessed with good friends.
I have been blessed to be working with rescuing dogs, they teach me what an amazing capacity for forgiveness and love they have.
I have been blessed with good health.

And there are so many more ... I try to find something to be grateful for each and every day!

Thank you!

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BLUEANGELLK 8/17/2010 1:04PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I have been blessed with a job that meets my needs and lets me do things for others.

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CMBELISLE 8/17/2010 12:34PM

    My blessing is that I am alive to be here for my great illnesses or anything, but I know children growing up without one or both of their parents. It is a blessing that I can be here for mine.

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TXNANA_4 8/17/2010 11:10AM

    My blessings are my 2 children. We've had some very hard times but we came through with he help of God. Another blessing is my husband. He's a wonderful man and adopted my 2 children. I have 2 wonderful grandkids and about to be blessed with a 3rd.
Thank you for your wonderful words. They are truly inspiring! emoticon

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BECCALYNN75 8/17/2010 11:07AM

    Just a few of my many, many, undeserved blessings

*My salvation
*My family
*My church family
*My health
*Spark People - this blog particularly today!

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Am Amazing Dinner

Friday, August 13, 2010


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVMYK9S 8/16/2010 11:02AM

    I love veggie pizza and that sounds wonderful! I have a friend that just eats the toppings off of pizza and leaves the crust! I'm not disciplined enough to do that, but I do go light on the cheese and order a thin crust rather than deep dish.

Goes to show that you can have your 'pie' and eat it too! Enjoy yourself and have a great trip!

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DOLLBABE56 8/16/2010 8:48AM

    Wow, that sounds like a great pizza - and I LOVE pizza. Glad you are having a wonderful time.

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TEACHING1ST 8/15/2010 12:19PM

    This sounds great, John! Hearing your voice, you remind me of a BIL who lives outside of Chicago! Enjoy the trip and be safe coming home.


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PENNYAN45 8/14/2010 9:39PM

    The pizza sounds phenomenal!! It's almost worth an airplane trip to Chicago to give it a try!

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BRYLIA 8/14/2010 11:24AM

    Sounds good!

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BTINTERNET 8/14/2010 10:06AM

    Oh that sounds delicious

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MKPRINCESS007 8/14/2010 10:03AM

    Way to go!!!!!!!!! Seriously, those Chicago deep dish pizzas are killer I hear, so I am proud of you that you were able to make a healthy choice! Sounds like the weekend if off to a great start. Enjoy!

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HDHAWK 8/14/2010 9:02AM

    Yummy! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/14/2010 1:10AM

    What an awesome way to have your cake, er, pizza and stay relatively healthy, too! That sounds like a wonderful pizza; have a great time!

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HONORINGGOD 8/13/2010 11:37PM

    emoticonyum God bless your weekend my friend

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GEEMAWEST 8/13/2010 8:43PM

    I love veggie pizza. Yours sounds delicious. Thanks for taking the time to share. Have fun the rest of the weekend.

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CHATERJOY 8/13/2010 8:29PM

    Hey back! Sounds good to me! Have fun!

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A Fun Filled Weekend

Friday, August 13, 2010

We are headed to Arlington Heights, Illinois today for a family wedding. Sunday we will travel north to Milwaukee to see my mom, dad and sisters. monday we come home. (Tuesday please be on the lookout for grumpy John!!!)

I'll be MIA until Monday evening. I hope everyone has a really great weekend and please remember that the very best coach/trainer/buddy you have is only as far away as your closest mirror. Believe in "the magic," and the tremendous beauty and potential inside of each of you. you guys are a large part of what gets me through all of this.

You are worth it and you deserve it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 8/17/2010 8:05AM

    Have a good visit with family and friend. Glad to have you back.

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TRISH2229 8/14/2010 4:44PM

    Have a good time!

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BRYLIA 8/14/2010 11:25AM

    Enjoy the family time together and have a terrific weekend!

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CARTOONB 8/13/2010 11:51PM

    Have a great weekend!

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    Enjoy your holiday!!

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AJDOVER1 8/13/2010 5:36PM

    Have a safe trip. We're all looking forward to your return.

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NANASNOW 8/13/2010 4:21PM

    Have a good weekend! Thank you for your kind words!!

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LUVMYK9S 8/13/2010 3:11PM

    Have a wonderful weekend with your family!

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MISSROCKABILLY 8/13/2010 12:31PM

    Have a wonderful time this weekend!

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MKPRINCESS007 8/13/2010 12:12PM

    Have a fabulous time! :) Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face!

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TXNANA_4 8/13/2010 11:19AM

    Have a fun weekend!

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HDHAWK 8/13/2010 10:14AM

    Enjoy every minute of your weekend!

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EGGENS 8/13/2010 10:04AM

    Have a great trip!

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GEEMAWEST 8/13/2010 9:47AM

    Have a great time. I'll try to avoid you on Tuesday. LOL

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STORMTMB 8/13/2010 9:42AM

    Have fun!

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MOMGABE 8/13/2010 9:38AM

    Thanks, John. Even when your blogs are short, you always throw in a golden nugget of truth.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/13/2010 9:27AM

    Enjoy your weekend!

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NJMATTICE 8/13/2010 8:51AM

    Safe trip!

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MICKEYMAX 8/13/2010 8:46AM

    Have a wonderful trip!

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TOTHEFUTURE1 8/13/2010 8:36AM

    Enjoy your weekend

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ECONLADY 8/13/2010 8:31AM

    Let us know how it turns out.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/13/2010 8:27AM

    emoticonfor the encouraging words, just what I needed to hear this morning. Enjoy your family time.

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Do You Believe In Magic?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Larry was waiting for me at the restaurant yesterday. He apologized for forgetting our appointment and asked me at least four times if I had told his boss, he’d forgotten about our meeting. When I told him I hadn’t he relaxes a bit but I still saw that impatient and frustrated look on his face. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I asked the all-important question: “How’s it going?”

Before I give you Larry’s answer I have to explain my process of working with people. I start out with weekly sessions, sometimes twice per week if necessary. As we move towards the end of our formal relationship I start to space the meetings out so that we meet every two weeks, every three weeks and then monthly. I use this process because I found out early on people can become dependent on the coach and then all we have done, when the day is finished is waste a lot of time and the client don’t feel like they have learned anything. Larry and I are meeting every three weeks.

Larry looked at me and said “This stuff doesn’t work.”

I’m used to this response. Imagine doing any sort of training and having your coach right alongside of you, all the time, telling you what to do and when to do it. Then the coach takes an extended coffee break and you are there all by yourself. A lot of people don’t like it.

“Larry,” I asked. “Do you believe in magic?”

Larry looked back at me and I wished I’d have snapped a picture of the look on his face. His short answer was ‘No.”

“Well it’s simple then,” I responded. “This stuff, as you put it, won’t work until you believe in magic.” I got up and excused myself to go to the restroom leaving Larry to ponder what I had just said. (Working with me is never, ever dull!!!)

When I returned I explained to Larry that the magic I referred to was the process where our belief becomes behavior. We can visualize things all we want and we can memorize mantra’s till the cows come mooing on home. None of it matters. It’s like looking at a plate of bacon and eggs: The chicken made a contribution, the pig made a commitment. Larry found out that simply repeating a bunch of inspirational lines over and over without putting them into practice is a recipe for failure.

I can believe I need to exercise daily and in my head I know it is the best thing for me. Until that magical moment occurs, where I get off the couch and venture out into the world to begin sweating, exercise remains a concept that has no value or meaning to me. I stare down at my belly and see no change and proclaim, “This stuff doesn’t work.”

I believe that tracking my food intake and staying within my calorie limits will allow me reach my goal weight, but if I only do it three or four times a week the result will not be a positive one.

Yesterday morning I was combing my hair (Yeah, go ahead; “What hair?”) and I noticed the shirt I had on fit better. I could start to see some definition to my body. Three personal training sessions are showing a result. I am not going to lie to you. I am one sore dude when I finish and I have asked myself if this is really the best thing in the world for me. Already I am noticing little things. My shoulders and hips are looser. My arms and legs feel just a tad bit tighter. It’s the magic that happens when you transfer your beliefs into action. I ache a bit but Jen is teaching me to use muscle groups I didn’t even know were there.

I left Larry with the same questions I have come to ask myself every morning. I’d encourage you to give it a try. It helps me focus my day a bit better.

If I really believe I am worth the effort and that I deserve to lead a successful and fulfilling life, what am I doing to make it happen?

I ask myself this question every morning and it is teaching me to be accountable for what I do and how I do it. Every small success, no matter how tiny it may seem, encourages me to do more and be more.

This stuff, as Larry called it, is magic. The magic that is you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 8/13/2010 5:55AM

    I do believe in magic and this is a magic I can defiantly believe in

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KSGROTHE 8/12/2010 9:12PM

    emoticon for sharing yet another thought-provoking blog! I need to ask myself these same questions!

Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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BTINTERNET 8/12/2010 8:18PM

    What a great concept! emoticon

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CLOVER2 8/12/2010 7:11PM

    I could swear you must have read either my blog or my mind, reading your blog today is exactly what I couldn't figure out. I just haven't found the magic yet. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try!


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STORMTMB 8/12/2010 5:59PM

    That's magic that I can believe in.

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    Be sure and don't leave us hanging about Larry the magic guy. Hopefully he will get his stuff together and not be a weenie. At any rate, keep us posted. emoticon

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GREENFROGGIE9 8/12/2010 3:48PM

    I believe in magic!


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LUVMYK9S 8/12/2010 1:59PM

    What a great blog! Really makes me take a step back and take a look at myself, do I really believe in myself, do I really believe that I am worth the effort? Yes! Then what am I doing to make it happen? This is definitely something that I need to ask myself every day. Thank you John for giving me that 'spark'! You are magic!

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NJMATTICE 8/12/2010 10:30AM

    My favorite is the plate of bacon and eggs. Gave me a big smile and a nice "ah ha".
Have a great day my Sparking friend.

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FREDIA2 8/12/2010 10:23AM

    Another insightful look. I really "liked" this. Remember when Dorthy was to click those shoes ans say I think I can... She was told she had the magic within her all along. Don't we? If only we would use it. Thanks!!!

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DOLLBABE56 8/12/2010 10:01AM

    If I really believe I am worth the effort and that I deserve to lead a successful and fulfilling life, what am I doing to make it happen?

What an insightful question. One that is worthy of exploration. I will give it a go.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 8/12/2010 9:17AM

    Thanks--I really liked this, and these are words that so many people need to hear! Too many people think that there is a Staples "easy" button to press to reach their goals. True, it's much harder in reality, but that hard work is what makes it great!

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PANFRIEDTROUT 8/12/2010 8:40AM

    Last night, I wrote on my update status that I was "going to Aqua Aerobics as an act of disciplined self*love since I didn't really WANT to go".

Really telling was Tuesday's weigh in where I lost a pound & was surprised that I hadn't stayed the same or gone up ... a kind of "reverse magic" there, let me tell ya.

Anyway, the words you've written are pretty much what's been going through my head for almost a week now but it took until last night for me to DO something. Good to see it "in print" though; helps reinforce what I"m learning.

emoticon emoticon

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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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