JOHNTJ1   67,341
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JOHNTJ1's Recent Blog Entries

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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You Can Feel Bad If It Makes You Feel Better

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am really proud of what I've accomplished in the past month or so. I am so proud that I feel guilty. While the exterior of me is gradually changing and I am becoming comfortable with changing the way I look at food and exercise I realized this morning that the inside portion of me, the you I really dont let a lot of people see has a very long way to go. In short, I dont feel like I deserve all this. I know the day will come when I have a setback, a day where I don't exercise or that I inhale 1/5 of all the Dunkin donuts known to man. That, I rationalize, I will deserve. That, too fail, is the pattern I have embraced.

With each successive day I get more scared. With each pound that drops, each piece of clothing that fits better encourages me and scares me at the same time. I am challenging myself in ways I have never done before and while I feel good about it this tiny voice keeps saying "Who do you think you are!!"

It's fresh ground and its virgin territory and somedays I just want to have one large, massive anxiety attack and get it over with.

I wont, I'll go the gym, i'll choose the fresh garden salad over the quarter pounder with cheese and I'll realize that one day the inside of me will indeed catch up with the outside of me and that I'll know in my heart, not just my head how special I really am.

Have a great day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TSISQUAUSDI 1/26/2010 9:18PM

    Hi, John! Most definitely you should feel proud! And yes, one day you might inhale more donuts than the local police department on break, but as long as you dust off the powdered sugar and get right back on your program, you're ahead!

But then again - You might not. You might have just one, savour every bite and stop! Life's like that, and you've discovered that you have power within you to make good choices - And you're doing just that!

Sometimes my mouth reacts like it has for what feels like a million years and I eat the wrong things, too, but it's not whether or not you slip - It's how you get back up that counts! Reach around and pat yourself on the back, my friend, and remember not to ever beat yourself up with that hand if you slip. You'll need it to help you up again! emoticon

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TIE_DYE00 1/26/2010 11:42AM

    You should also be proud of the fact that you can ignore that little voice that tells you "You will fail." You are doing great and should be proud of yourself without that guilt. Keep it up!! emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/26/2010 10:04AM

    Well, we can't be perfect all the time. I'm telling you this simply to remind you to be kind to yourself. We learn from our slips and falls, too.

If I (or another friend) stumbled along the way, I believe that you would offer a helping hand to pull me (or another) up from the ground. If I were to beat myself up for making a mistake, I do believe that you would speak kind words to me and encourage me to move ahead and not give up.

So, my friend, I challenge you to treat yourself the same way that you would treat me or another friend -- with kindness and compassion.

Every day (heck, every moment) is filled with potential for greatness. YOU are doing amazing on this journey. Focus on the present and try to chase the doubts of what the future may or may not bring from your mind. Those doubts are uninvited; go ahead, evict them.

Focus on what you have accomplished and the lifestyle changes that are part of you.


emoticon emoticon

P.S. You are special! If you need a reminder, I have a list of 32 traits that I can send you!


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A Milestone of Sorts

Monday, January 25, 2010

Most people are familiar with the story of Moses wandering in the desert for forty years looking for the Promised Land. What most people donít know is that the journey, on foot, from Point A to Point B takes approximately ten days. Moses never knew that and he wandered for forty years trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing and where he was supposed to be going. Sometimes it takes awhile for the light to go on. This story has retained its poignancy for me because in a larger sense I see all of us wandering. Most of us, me included, donít have a clue of where we are supposed to go or how we are supposed to get there.

I have reached twenty five percent of my weight loss goal as of yesterday. To say that I am amazed is an understatement. I have endured so many false starts in the past five years that most of the fight and enthusiasm had gone out of me. I stumbled up quite by accident when I was looking up nutritional values for some food I had just eaten. I figured I'd give it a try. I was so beaten down and so out of enthusiasm for most things in my life that I figured it wouldnt hurt.

Here is the most important thing I have learned so far: It's my journey but its a whole lot more difficult when I make it alone. In the past I figured I knew best and that because I am amazingly brilliant I could figure this stuff out on my own. All that got me was 326 pounds of fat and a lot of huffing and puffing every time i stood up or walked up a flight of stairs. I could go on and on but a lot of you have "been there and done that."

i have learned that isolating myself, refusing to admit my failures and not realizing my body works just the way everyone elses does has made me the unhealthy mess I was,

I owe lottsa thanks to lottsa people. My family has been unwavering in its support. The folks at the gym have been helpful and encouraging. you spark friends have made a difference even someone as eloquent as I have difficulty describing.

Thank you. I think any time we reach a goal, those of us who really believe in the process share in the victory

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TNTEACHER2 1/25/2010 11:50PM


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GETDONE 1/25/2010 4:41PM

    25% Great!!! emoticon emoticon

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LJRW170 1/25/2010 12:56PM

    Congratulations on your 25%!!! That's fantastic!

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/25/2010 10:52AM


I'm really happy for you!

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MISSYNROB 1/25/2010 9:55AM


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