JOHNTJ1   68,005
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Changing Slowly

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I have gained so many wonderful Spark friends in the past seven week. I am so grateful for their encouragement and positive support. One of them gave me some advice last week that has stuck in my head and will not go away. That's a good thing!!! My friend told me to always remember that I wasn't on a diet, I was changing the way I lived.

I am one of those introspective, think about stuff for a long time and then be amazed by it all kinda person. As my week progressed I saw how diet and exercise arent the only areas of my life that need to evolve.

I woke up this morning after a late night. I laid in bed and part of me kept saying, "Get up and do your cardio!!!" The other part of me said "Relax, you have all day!!!" I'll admit I felt guilty laying there. I am one of those people who really believes that if you aint busy, you aint got no value. My problem has always been that when I am not busy I eat, then I get depressed then I eat more and well the whole day is shot. It took me a good half hour to reconcile with myself that it was okay to relax this morning, eat lunch with my parents and THEN work out.

So along with nutrition and exercise I am evolving in my efforts to relax and just enjoy whats in front of me. It's hard, but I am learning. I am learning that its a 100% effort that will make me a successful ,healthy, happy person. I am starting to form goals in my head I wouldn't have thought about seven weeks ago.

This morning i walked into the hotel buffett area with my fresh fruit and turkey breast. I had my own whole grain bread. It didnt bother me what anyone thought. I knew, I was being true, to me.

Sometimes it is the smallest things

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOYONOMORE1 1/31/2010 2:45PM

    You spent some quality family time, but stayed true to you. WTG.


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WANDAH3 1/31/2010 11:40AM

    Don't you just love those "ahhh" moments, when things just finally resonate within yourself and you realize that you are okay!

Here's a tidbit for you also....words have great power!
We are our own worst enemies with the language we use on ourselves. Take the words "lose" vs "eliminate". We say we have lost or we plan on losing or we are losing weight. "Lose" is something we hope to find again...voila! the weight has a way of coming back! Now try substituting the word "eliminate". "eliminate" means to get rid of. So when we "eliminate" things from our lives that no longer serve us....guess what? We've gotten rid of them!
Just my thoughts on the matter.

Have an awesome day,

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MARCYNA 1/31/2010 11:10AM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing!!!!
You're doing great,and something similar happened to me yesterday at the restaurant.
The waiter smiled as I ordered grilled lean meat,a salad and fresh pineapple as a dessert while everybody was having pizza plus very fattening desserts.
I just didn't care whatever he was thinking.
It's my journey to a better me.
And I need to think it all over again, just like you!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPENCERJAMES1 1/31/2010 10:26AM

  I am working on the "smallest steps".. and they are all forward..not backwards.. :) thanks.

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Fate Smiles On Me......... Once Again

Saturday, January 30, 2010

By the time we got ready to go yell surprise to my sister-in-law at the local pizza parlor, I was acting like I was about 12. I was hungry. I was tired and I was mad at the world because, well I was just mad at the world.

Things didnt get better, at first. The meal was "buffet." That means lottsa calories. All kinds of gooey pizza. As I walked though the line trying to figure what would do the least damage when I see this pizza piled high with lettuce and tomatoes. No cheese. Just lettuce, tomatoes, chicken and what I found to be barbecue sauce. It was cold. Even better the pieces were cut into two inch by two inch squares. So I snagged three pieces and sat down and felt a whole lot better. Instead of the four pitchers of beer I would have had in the past I had three or four glasses of unsweetened tea.

I had no cake. I wanted to, badly. But I felt so good inside I just wasn't going to blow it. I got up this morning, did my 40 minutes of cardio and had a breakfast of fresh fruit and whole grain toast.

Time to leave Chicago and head to Milwaukee, where we celebrate my brothers birthday, today.

Spread the Spark and if I can do it, well, so can you.

Thank you all so much for your support

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREDDY1232 1/31/2010 12:06PM

    You did a great job!! I would have been stuck when it came to the cake. But you resisted! I admire your tenacity !
Good Luck and keep up the good work!

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MARCYNA 1/31/2010 11:15AM

    Awesome, since I've started SP I've chosen pizza without cheese or at least with less cheese. It's working beautifully, all the little rolls of fat are just melting away almost effortlessly -almost, I really love cheese and I could live on sweets, but I chose to love myself more than them... emoticon emoticon

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NICKI2B 1/31/2010 8:33AM

    Good Job!!

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TSISQUAUSDI 1/30/2010 9:03PM

    Awesome job, John!! You're doing great!

And just so you know, it wasn't "fate" or "luck" or anything but YOU doing a wonderful job of taking care of yourself. emoticon

All the things you've learned are becoming habits - Reach around and pat yourself on the back, because you deserve it! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/30/2010 9:06:56 PM

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CMBELISLE 1/30/2010 2:44PM

    Woo Hoo on dodging the buffet bombs. I really love staying in hotels that have good fitness facilities. They can really help out when you want to live a healthy life.

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/30/2010 11:33AM


You are making great choices. Keep up the good work!

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YOYONOMORE1 1/30/2010 10:42AM

    Good for you John. I thought maybe you'd find some healthier choices at the pizza place, excellent choices. Keep it up as you go to your next celebration. You can do it and you just proved it.


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EVILKLOWN 1/30/2010 9:55AM

    Way to GO!! Passing up pizza and beer ... tough one.

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A Good Motivator

Friday, January 29, 2010

First a very sincere thanks to those who responded to yesterdays posting. I really felt the support and the encouragement. I "felt the love."

Last night while I was drifting off to sleep I set two very long term goals for myself. I want to run in a 5k race and I want to ride in a century bike thingy. (LOL) They are a ways off, maybe a year or more but for the first time in a long time I am excited about something and it sure makes those early mornings on the treadmill seem a bit brighter.

Finally, my big motivator as I move into my family weekend. I normally weigh myself on Sunday. Since I wouldnt have access to a scale then I decided to weigh in this morning. That way I'd have some idea on much damage this weekend did when I returned. (Yes, I know. Always the optimist.) Lo and behold I lost 4.5 pounds since Sunday. I got on the scale three times to be sure!!!

So I am pretty motivated right now and you my Spark friends deserve some of the credit. The support you give me is amazing and I only hope to return the favor.

I'll have my lap top with me this weekend, as to keep track of my intake and out put.

I'll keep you posted.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 1/29/2010 10:15AM


Have a GREAT weekend!!!

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STAN5FAM 1/29/2010 10:00AM

    I just added you as a friend John. You are a great motivator! keep up the great work chiseling. Have a fabulous weekend.

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TSISQUAUSDI 1/29/2010 8:44AM

    I hope your weekend is wonderful, John! And I'll just bet you "Spark Goodie" that don't gain an ounce!


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ANNE7X7 1/29/2010 8:30AM

    That's awesome! Keep working hard, it's so worth it!! Good luck with the 5K!! I am running my first this year and I am so excited and nervous all at once!!


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SWEETNHOT 1/29/2010 8:14AM

    Keep it up! way to go.

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The Challenge Ahead

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tomorrow morning I venture into the world of the unhealthy. My wife and I begin a short winter vacation . Most people head south for such a venture but not us. We head north, where it's even colder.

One of my wifes dear sisters is celebrating a milestone birthday and her husband is having a surprise birthday party for her in a pizzeria located in Chicago. The only thing healthy in this restaurant is the first aid kit in the kitchen.

My brothers birthday is Saturday so its only a short treck to Milwaukee where he lives. Oh yeah, he's a gourmet cook. My mom will be there, along with my dad.

My mom will say something like "You're fat. Here honey I made your favorite cake." (Catholic guilt has nothing on Jewish guilt!!!)

Saturday evening we are going to hear a band in which my wifes niece plays. It is in a bar.

Sunday we will visit family and Monday I come home.

Here's my strategy:

1. I booked us into two hotels that have full fitness rooms. I packed a separate bag with my workout stuff and plan on continuing my forty minutes of cardio per day.

2. I already have a small grocery bag with food I can take with me. Stuff I can eat for lunch and breakfast.

3. I plan on scraping the toppings off the pizza and not eating the crust and I plan on telling the bartender I am the designated driver so please give me diet coke.

1. I am taking my lap top and plan on tracking food as best I can. I would appreciate little messages to help me be strong lol.

I am looking forward to this weekend. I get to see family and friends I have not seen in awhile. It's not just about the food and it never should have been. I can choose to dwell on how life isnt fair because I am fat or I can relax, enjoy the ride and forget about eating this weekend.

The entire world cant stop living because I have decided to change my life style. I choose to be positive. I choose to look ahead and in my mind imagine how happy I will be Tuesday morning when I reflect on my victory. It's all a choice and the choice is mine.

I choose to be healthy.

I choose to be active.

I choose to be positive.

I choose to be the wonderful me I am

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSLEENY 1/28/2010 8:29PM

    Have a wonderful time! Your on the right track with planning. I have an Italian family. Talk about food guilt! Mothers were always throwing meatballs at us!

Enjoy your family. Can't wait to hear about it!

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CMBELISLE 1/28/2010 11:48AM

    Your strategy is awesome! The designated driver thing is a great way to keep from drinking, especially if you like to drink. Another thing to consider is dancing really does work some muscles. The hubby and I went to hear friends play a while back and my thighs were killing me the next day.

As for the pizza place - most have salads - with dressing on the side. That could help too.

Have a great time!

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CMR132 1/28/2010 10:49AM

    John- you got this!!! Its okay to indulge a little bit too! You can even eat a little before you go out so you will feel full and not eat as much. I hope you have a great time!!!

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YOYONOMORE1 1/28/2010 10:26AM

    John what a wonderful blog. You have your strategy planned out and it sounds like you have covered all the bases. You are so right, it shouldn't be about the food, it should be about family and enjoying your time with them. I have no doubt that you will be a successful sparker and carry through with your plan. Keep us posted on how you are doing and if you need backup and support just give us a holler.


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TRIPLE_EMME 1/28/2010 10:20AM

    Your battle plan sounds good!

I wish you the best of luck!!!


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CIANNER 1/28/2010 8:27AM

    I faced a similar challenge last weekend (out of town business meeting with working lunches)

I knew that in the past that such trips had torpedoed my healthy living efforts but I was determined this time not to let that happened.

I planned ahead like you're doing, visualizing different scenarios and how it would play out....and I DID IT. I didn't go into the weekend thinking I would "try" to do it, like you I was committed to doing it.


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A Most Valuable Lesson

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

First a thousand apologies for feeling sorry for myself all over this blog posting yesterday. i walked around half of yesterday feeling not good and not bad but odd. I did my cardio, but never quite got the rush I normally get from it. I felt like I was walking through jello most of the day.

Around lunch time it hit me. I have grown a lot on the outside in the past month or so. I have shaped up, toned up, slimmed down, developed better eating habits etc..............BUT the inside of me,where a lot of the perceptions, values and beliefsare, they have lagged far behind that external change. when I reached one of my milestones Sunday, the me I had neglected for awhile decided it was time to crawl back into his cave and pout a bit. He wasn't, as one of my close friends says "Ready for the big time."

I count this as one of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my life. I belive its why I have failed at my goals so often. I have paid so much attention to the exterior and failed to develop my internal self at an equal pace.

This means a whole new set of goals that match up the inside of me, with the outside of me. I am very grateful to those of you who shared their wisdon and insite with me yesterday and helped me reach this point

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TSISQUAUSDI 1/29/2010 9:23AM

    Hey, John - I can well understand. That "inner you" will take a bit of educating. We all have inner perceptions of ourselves, and sometimes we allow that little voice to derail our good feelings.

Be sure and get an arsenal of things to help that inner self catch up. I use motivational mp3 downloads ( has some good ones and they're inexpensive) to relax with, and I have audio versions of other positive materials, like "The Secret" and some of Wayne Dyer's audio books, on my mp3 player, to listen to when I walk. They really do help a lot, especially for those days when that "inner person" starts barking at your psyche!

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CMBELISLE 1/27/2010 11:37AM

    Hey - no apologies necessary - we all have not so great days.

Keep up all your great work - both physical and mental/emotional. With all your hard work, the inside will catch up with the outside.

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/27/2010 11:08AM

    I'm glad that you are discovering a lot about yourself during this journey.

I'm glad that you are paying attention to the inside and the outside.

Keep on going!!!

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MRSLEENY 1/27/2010 7:40AM

    Hi John, you should read some of my "feeling sorry for myself blogs". I find everyday I'm feeling something new. It hit home what you said about getting the outside all nice and fit, but the inside is still lagging behind. You are doing awesome! We are not on a tv show where it all has to come together real fast. This is for the long haul and we need to take time to be happy and healthy or the old bad habits will creep back in. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are worth it, because you are. emoticon

Good luck and keep blogging. I found it got me through a lot of bad times just writing it down.

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