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Making Adjustments

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JURI62 9/9/2010 10:52AM

    Enjoy the Ride (or run as the case may be)!

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LUNDIEP 9/9/2010 9:32AM

    I had the exact same thing happen. Weight was up, but measurements were down!

Love the "4 things" idea. Sounds like a good thing to "steal". :)

Have a wonderful week!

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MARCYNA 9/8/2010 9:06AM

    I haven't lost weight for months but I am not really worried as all my clothes are loose and my muscles are stronger, maybe it's true also for you and also stress may be a factor, anyway I'm sure it'll work for your best emoticon emoticon

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ROGUE_RUNNER 9/8/2010 8:54AM

    I love that Alabama song - Im going to go listen to it right now :o) Oh yay!!! We both came up with 4 things to re-focus!! It works - Ive seen the scale move :o)

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WANDAH3 9/8/2010 7:20AM

    If the clothes are fitting better and you are following the routine you have set for yourself...why are you allowing the scales to dictate how well you are doing???? Stress does have a lot with the fluctuation of our weight...are you sleeping well, that also plays a part...but seriously, the scales are only one means of relating how well we are doing.
Thinking of you and trusting that you are choosing healthy choices. Relax and enjoy the time of celebration.


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BTINTERNET 9/7/2010 11:34PM

    The planning sounds good, and you should enjoy the time too!

We'll be rooting for you and we'll miss you! Have fun!

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AQUABUNNY 9/7/2010 11:05PM

    Actually, you said your clothes fit better now even though the scale said you gained 9 lbs...... maybe you've gained a little muscle weight?
My chiropractor doctor told me this last week when I was complaining about the scale moving so slowly:

"Hey, don't worry about that so much. The scale tells you a weight, but it doesn't tell you WHAT that weight actually IS."

Sounds to me like you're doing fine--beautiful pool by the way!

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HDHAWK 9/7/2010 9:42PM

    I completely understand the wedding stress as mine was Sat. I'm taking a few days to "catch my breath" as you mentioned and then I have to get busy again. I did the best I could to not be stressed and above all I let myself enjoy the special day. You do the same at your son's wedding. You have a great plan ready to go and after the wedding you will reach all your goals. I have no doubt!

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/7/2010 8:16PM

    John, great plan; the most important thing to do is remember to HAVE FUN and ENJOY the time while practicing moderation on the food front. Your son only gets married once; this lifestyle change can accommodate the celebration that goes on at a time like this. It's not letting a celebration turn into an excuse for excess that is key, and I don't think you're at risk of that because you have a plan. Looking forward to hearing how it went when you get back! Oh, and scales do lie sometimes . . . but it's good to take stock on what we've been doing when the scale does not want to cooperate.


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RACINGSLUG 9/7/2010 7:26PM

    You seem like just the nicest guy. Planning for a wedding is no joke, it was four years ago but I remember the stress well. I really admire your willingness to stick to a healthy and sensible plan while still allowing yourself to enjoy this wonderful occasion for your family.

And I love that song by Alabama!

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MKPRINCESS007 9/7/2010 6:17PM

    Oh heck yes, you got it!!!!!!!!!! I love the fact that you are so rational about are going to be busy, you are coming up to a life changing event, and you are not going to deny yourself the joy of champagne or a moderate indulgence. Yes, you can run anywhere. And you will. PLAN YOUR WORK AND WORK YOUR PLAN! Love it!
Oh, and with that pool........I would be swimming laps! If I don't see ya for a bit, I will know that you have got this under control. All good!

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JPRICE217 9/7/2010 4:45PM

    GOOD PLANE Just keep on keeping on

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LEANJEAN6 9/7/2010 3:38PM

    Gee--- Enjoy the wedding---- So happy that you are doing Spark--I find that just staying consistent, with keeping yer calories in the range, and exercise, and eventually things will happen---- Can you trust me??--LOL---

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GAILTHEGUARD 9/7/2010 3:30PM

  If you fall and skin your knee, just get back up and start over, it will all be ok! emoticon

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KSGROTHE 9/7/2010 3:24PM

    You have a very sensible plan! emoticon

Enjoy your son's wedding, and take care of yourself! emoticon

- Karen

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MSSUNBUG 9/7/2010 3:20PM

    You've done the one thing you CAN do--made a plan, set an intention. I find when bigger events crop up (um, hello wedding!) I am more tempted to stray from my typical routine or can easily brush things aside and say, "Eh, tomorrow!" Stay in touch with you. Remember that every choice that you make is an opportunity to bring you closer or further to/from the person you want to be, or the life you want for yourself. I already know your head is in the "right" space, but I offer this up as something that helps me.

Congratulations to you and your family for such a happy occasion to celebrate. My wish for you is that you enjoy every moment of it, stay fully present through it, and have a great time. Catch you on the flip side!

Lovely pool!

Sending love, peace, and other good things,

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STORMTMB 9/7/2010 2:18PM

    John, I hope you enjoy the time with your family at the wedding. Just take one day, one hour, one minute at a time. You're going in to it with a plan and you'll do great. I'm assuming that your knee is doing better since you got through your run and didn't mention pain. I'm glad for you about that. Have fun.

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CATHERINEL66 9/7/2010 1:19PM

    Good for you for setting some do-able goals for the next 2 weeks. I know they'll help keep you centered so you're not feeling off kilter.

I've got some travel coming up, starting tomorrow morning. It's funny, I spent 3 miles this morning bitching and moaning in my own head about work stuff, everything I have to do, and my mother ... until I finally got over it!

I've still got a big to-do list, and some food anxiety about 2 days in Williamsburg and 3 days at the yoga ashram (vegetarian meals included) ... but what I CAN do is keep hitting my workout goals and be reasonable on food. And yep, I'm taking my laptop too!

Hang in there and make the sparking work for 'real life' -- cuz we're all living it!

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DOLLBABE56 9/7/2010 1:18PM

    I'm happy to see you have a plan. You are going do great in spite of all the stress. You have refocused. Good for you. Oh, and btw - I love the pool....

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YOGINI_JACKIE 9/7/2010 1:06PM

    Oh yes, the pre-wedding stress is real. Pat is planning a bachelor party right now, and the groom called him YESTERDAY to say that the date he had planned for weeks no longer worked. The wedding is Oct 2--how is Pat supposed to plan a new party now? I was mad on his behalf. Pat is so even keeled about the whole thing, which I suppose is best.

I totally agree that you need to enjoy yourself and enjoy your journey! Nice pool. Can I jump in? :)

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Frustration.......... It must be going around.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

There is that old adage that says if "You fail to plan, then plan to fail." Sometimes, even when you do plan this thing called reality gets in your way and just messes up your entire universe.

I was scheduled to run today. Today is my long day, three to three and one half miles. I laid all my clothes out last night and was all psyched up. I rolled out of bed this morning and noticed a "twinge" in my left knee. Some of that is just part of being fifty seven, I know but it didn't get any better. It didn't get any worse, just not better. We needed ice for later today, so I walked up to the corner market and back. Knee still hurt.

Now I am getting mad. This hasn't been the best week for me and I am going to be traveling all next week so I set my running and personal training schedule to reflect the travel. Not running today messed all that up.

It's beautiful here this morning. I took my lap top and came out on the patio to write this. I haven't been able to do that since mid-May. I should be running!!! I am seething.

I'm not going to run. I mean, my heart is saying "go,go,go." My head knows otherwise. My heart and head are fighting and I am getting hit with all the BS they are tossing at each other. I know I cant control this. It is what it is, but gosh I have had enough failure this week!!

There I feel better. Thank you for loving me.

Joan says I can go shopping with her today for shoes, and fall mums.

Smile John, smile

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMJUSTDUCKIE 9/10/2010 7:26PM

    Smile, John, Smile -- LOVE IT!!!!!

Hope your knee is feeling better.

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SPARKENISTA 9/9/2010 9:24PM

    Long time no see! Hope you are well.

I know what you're talking about with the knee. I feel the same way, sometimes, not knowing whether to take the long walk or not. I've been reading what other Sparkers are telling you and they're right. A little rest can go a long way where inflammation is concerned.

Perhaps having a little chat with your doctor would be a good idea...

Very best,

BR> emoticon emoticon

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JUDIL62 9/8/2010 8:41AM

    Hang in there....Shoe and Mum shopping sounds fun to me:) Find the bright spot and you will feel better.

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SMOCKON 9/7/2010 2:20PM

    If your plans have to change for the worse today, they can also change for the better tomorrow! Maybe something will change in the rest of your week that will allow you an opportunity to get in that run, or at least some extra walking time?

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    The best laid plans of mice and men............................LOL. Some days it's just not going to happen. No need to torture a knee that is already mad.

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JURI62 9/5/2010 7:37PM

    Vent with us anytime. I'm glad you listened to your body.
Better one day off than an injury that sidelines you for longer.





R>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 9/5/2010 7:12PM

    Don't beat yourself up John. Maybe you need a day off. You know, give the body some rest. I know you didn't plan it but you may need to so you don't cause injury. If you aren't any better in a couple days "get thee to a doctor". Thinking good thoughts. emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 9/5/2010 5:10PM

    Ugh, I hear and echo the frustration here! It'll pass.

I know you're seeing the big picture and how far you've come (like not celebrating a reason NOT to run, LOL!). I get really irritated when my schedule gets sidetracked because for me it's all about the planning so I can fit fitness into life!

Hang in there. I'm sending your knee anti-inflammatory, healing vibes :)

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/5/2010 4:32PM

    You are wise to pay attention to what your body is telling you... things could have turned out really poorly if you didn't honor your intuition. Be extra kind to yourself, and we will still be here to support you!

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CARTOONB 9/5/2010 3:48PM

    You are listening to the correct body part(s)...brain and knee. Sorry that your plans have gone awry. Don't let it bring the whole week (or even whole day!) down.

Oooohhh! Shoe shopping! I wanna go! emoticon

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ADMULL100 9/5/2010 3:24PM

    Take a deep breath and take it easy. You will accomplish much more if you don't seriously hurt your knee. I'm praying for you. Be encouraged!!!! emoticon emoticon

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LUCYSRAIN 9/5/2010 2:44PM

    Deep breaths my

Ky weather cant be beat today! Maybe Gods purpose for you today is to slow down and just be. Hey shopping for Mums isn't all bad emoticon

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MARCYNA 9/5/2010 2:23PM

    I know what you mean...I've just been into a very annoying week and the worst is still to come,
I've just learnt my dance class is scheduled from 20.00 to 22.00 - which means I will not be able to attend it,it's wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too late at night!!!
I may turn to a professional course which is at 19.00-but it's so much beyond my level!!!!
I was going to cry when I read your blog.
I can only say:
"John, the Lord has a hand on our heads and He will find a solution."
Lots of love, emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/5/2010 2:24:31 PM

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/5/2010 1:50PM

    Bummer, plain and simple. But think back just a few months; could you have imagined before you started running that you would ever feel this way about having to miss a run? It just goes to show how much you have really changed. Take care of your knee and enjoy the time with your wife today; it will pay off in the long run.


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EDWINA172 9/5/2010 1:11PM

    I have to say that I agree completely with STORMTMB. Whenever something happens to change my plans, that is the first thought that comes to mind. God is intervening. When I'm stuck behind someone who is driving 10 mph under the speed limit, I think, "God does not want me to be where I plan to be for a reason. I will trust Him." You never know, you may be delayed to avoid an accident. You may be meant to meet up with someone you would have otherwise missed.
When I can't run, I become frustrated (and I know that you are frustrated), but you have to give your body the rest it deserves, right?!

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EDWINA172 9/5/2010 1:11PM

    I have to say that I agree completely with STORMTMB. Whenever something happens to change my plans, that is the first thought that comes to mind. God is intervening. When I'm stuck behind someone who is driving 10 mph under the speed limit, I think, "God does not want me to be where I plan to be for a reason. I will trust Him." You never know, you may be delayed to avoid an accident. You may be meant to meet up with someone you would have otherwise missed.
When I can't run, I become frustrated (and I know that you are frustrated), but you have to give your body the rest it deserves, right?!

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AQUABUNNY 9/5/2010 12:03PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your knee, John--just take care of it, enjoy a little shopping for shoes and mums with Joan, and take care of YOU as much as you can, and I hope and am crossing my fingers that it is better tomorrow. It IS very frustrating when you can't work out when you really want to. And I know it is even harder now that your body is used to it and craving it. Best wishes--keep us posted!!!

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STARGLADE 9/5/2010 11:49AM

    I feel your pain, so to speak.

Sometimes hindsight's the only thing that lets us see clearly. In a few days or a week, you could well find yourself nodding, saying "Yep, that's why I wasn't supposed to run on that Sunday."

Enjoy the patio time with your laptop!

(I don't take my husband shopping, I know better.)


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CAHUNO2 9/5/2010 11:35AM

    Sorry! But I know what the aches are. I have them during exercise and when my knee hurts for over a few minutes I drag out the old knee brace. I've had this for about 20 years but I do baby it. I even wore my brace a few times when I was showing dogs!

Good Luck with the knee!! emoticon

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STORMTMB 9/5/2010 11:35AM

    I would say that God has intervened and there is a reason you shouldn't run today. I know all too well about plans being messed up due to things out of my control. You may never understand why... just look for an alternate workout method today and enjoy the time with your lovely wife. I'll remind you of the phrase that I hate the most... "Patience is a virtue!"

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DEE797 9/5/2010 11:20AM

    Your body is saying rest and that overrides your head at the moment. Your body will thank you later.

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MKPRINCESS007 9/5/2010 11:17AM

    Oh damn.........not fair. Ok, so let's put it in perspective. One or two days of rest can make a WORLD of difference in a knee that is screaming for some love. And, of course you know, that running on a bum knee is a recipe for problems. So, you are a wise man. I had a friend many years ago, where I worked and she was a rather philosophical sort (surprise I would hang with someone like that :). She used to say, when traffic prevented us from getting somewhere on time, or something would happen to change our plans, she would say "We are not meant to do this today.......we are being kept from something (difficult, unpleasant, unsafe, etc). I really took her words to heart, and think of that often when things don't "go my way". It helps me, hope it helps you too. Big hugs!

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BOURNBABE 9/5/2010 11:12AM


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KAT573 9/5/2010 11:11AM

    I am glad you feel better! Venting is important too! It helps to get us to the next step, so keep on keeping ON! emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/5/2010 11:09AM

    Saying a prayer right now for God's healing touch on your knee, and His peace for your heart & mind!

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How I Plan To Use Embarassment As A Motivator

Friday, September 03, 2010

Available on YouTube @

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIZZ617 1/8/2012 11:48AM

    I think we all need to be Gibbsed every once in a while lol I know I do

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KELLEA927 9/7/2010 7:16PM

    Good wake up call for you John and remember this is a lifetime commitment here. So now you know how easy it is to go off track. Use that information to help make you stronger.

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EDWINA172 9/6/2010 8:50AM

    I'm glad that you posted this. We will hold you accountable! Track your food! You keep a check book register, don't you? What's more important? Money or your health? You can't out train a bad diet! Get the junk food/empty calories out of the house. Don't use your granddaughter as an excuse to buy the junk. She doesn't need donuts either. Apples with peanut butter are a good snack for her. Fruit can be fun! Be a man of your word, John. You NEED to be healthy for you and the family. Someone is counting on loving you for a very long time. Don't let them down.

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    I have hit the 9 month mark and can feel myself backsliding...... I am so frustrated that I have not had any time for my routine this week b/c others are so dependent on me.
Tomorrow is the first time in a week that I will have time for me and me alone....... gym here I come!

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BSAGE47 9/4/2010 2:25PM

    John you are so honest and true. I wish I could know you in person. You motivate me and give me hope that my life will be normal with exercise and watching what I eat. I enjoy your vloggs.

You are so right that we need to learn from these embarrassments but I am trying to learn and not to criticize because to criticize disables me and make me back slide even more. My history is full of self-recrimination and I am trying to use an phrase that a friend gave me one day after a pep talk. "The only person you are hurting is yourself" . It is true all your negative thoughts are not hurting the person working out beside you, or your wife or kids. It is hurt you and you alone. I can see that you are using the information from your weigh-in and using it and not beating yourself up.

Great job, John. emoticon

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HDHAWK 9/4/2010 10:40AM

    You are great John! You motivate me daily. After my wedding today and the weekend festivities, I'm ready to start back on plan. I've definitely been sliding backwards for a while now, letting life get in my way. I do think we need a break from time to time, but we need to know how to stop it and not let it snowball. I know you'll start losing again. I have no doubt.

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RHONDA_11 9/4/2010 9:28AM

    I needed to hear that. If I am not careful, I am about to be headed backwards. emoticon

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CARTOONB 9/4/2010 12:40AM

    You know what to do. You know how to do it. Now you just have to do it...and I know you will! Setbacks are just set-backs...not time to stop. But, you know that. Do you want a hug or a kick in the butt? I can do either! emoticon

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DIASTER 9/3/2010 5:44PM

  OK John that's it.
Seems about the 9 month point after doing so well we hit the wall, oh we can do this, do not need to track food etc. and WHAM!!!!
Please get back on track, that is coming from someone that kept up the excuses and kept saying I will get back on track tomorrow, so today am 30# heaver I beg you stop now!!!
Start tracking right now, Do not let that toilet win.

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JPRICE217 9/3/2010 5:03PM

    John I have been there and done that. Tomorrow is a new day You must remember muscle weight more than fat and the way you have been working out and running you have got more muscle. And john you are great

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DOLLBABE56 9/3/2010 3:40PM

    Okay. So now you've had a wake up call. You are human. We are all human, and humans are not perfect. Start from here. You've had a let down. Okay. You can do this John, because you know you can. I know you can. It's so easy to slip back into old habits. And stress doesn't help - remember, you son is getting married in a couple weeks. Stress. You will manage this and over come it.

I know how you feel after exercise at our age. Achy. But boy do I ever feel great when I'm running. I feel free. Like a kid again. Then reality hits a little while after I'm done. lol

You are going to be okay John. You are worth it. "wink"

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MARCYNA 9/3/2010 3:16PM

    Well, embarassment can sometimes give way to more motivation if you consider it only a parenthsis before a period in which you'll be losing more & more weight..
Anyway I'm in a plateau right now and should be more embarassed than you,but I'm so faithful I'll make it in the long run.
This is like a University course not just a six months one. emoticon

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ISHIIGIRL 9/3/2010 2:16PM

    I think I felt just like you when I did my weigh in last week. You are right. Use this as an opportunity to get back on the wagon. Make sure you weigh in and track. Not tracking is the devil!! emoticon. And the scale is scary sometimes but it is a great feedback tool. Its all feedback so just get back out there and do what you know works! Losing weight is a process and keeping it off is a process as well. Staying the course isn't always easy but it is worth it!! emoticon

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YOGINI_JACKIE 9/3/2010 2:10PM

    A couple things. I haven't read through the other comments, but I'm assuming that some of the weight gain is part of the strength training. Sure, the desserts probably don't help, but don't beat yourself up.

You know what? This is why you're here. To live and to learn. Sometimes my runs are painful too, but they are SO worth it :D

And you deserve everything you could ever ask for. LOVE the end with the little wink ;)

Have a great weekend, John!

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BTINTERNET 9/3/2010 1:59PM

    You are definitely worth it John! Thanks for posting this! emoticon

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JENNY888 9/3/2010 1:27PM

    John, I have had this experience before also. Myself, I find, even better than tracking all food which I try to do, is to weigh in daily in the morning at the same time. What the scale says keeps me accountable. I know there are fluctuations but the trend is very clear.

On a positive note, you lost a pant size. That meant you lost inches. You have been doing a lot of physical exercise and I imagine you are gaining muscle. Muscle is heavier than flab.

I have to congratulate you on your honesty. This is a great gift to others here on Spark. I have seen others just stop talking about weight if they have a gain, or stop recorded it on their weight tracker hoping it will go away. You have taken the first step in reversing the trend. I know you will be successful at doing so.

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SMOCKON 9/3/2010 1:16PM

    Great blog, as always! Thanks for putting yourself out there to encourage others.

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DEE797 9/3/2010 12:54PM

    As usual John your blog hit a cord with me. I've done the same thing recently gained back the 8 lbs I had lost. Been exercising and then snacking or eating things just because. Time to get over the embarrassment as you said and get back to work. We all can do it! I also love NCIS and those Gibb smacks! LOL!

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DEWACHA 9/3/2010 12:06PM

    Hey to you John;
Sounds like you know what you need to do, and you know you can do it. You done an awesome job that required commitment and hard work, and yet you have been choosing to negate those wins. Maybe you could encourage healthy snacks - all round your home.

Life is choice, you have chosen the journey. Success is not measured by how many time you fall but how many times you get up!

In these next 3 busy weeks make time for YOU.


Good luck!

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ROGUE_RUNNER 9/3/2010 11:25AM

    Ok....FIrst of all - I am a big are awesome and your compliment on my vlog yesterday made me so happy - I am happy you are my friend as well!!

Second of all... Everything you said was right. No, you can't just give yourself whatever to eat because you are working out. I call it the "I deserve it effect" - we do all of the stuff ... and then when a treat comes along in front of us we tell ourselves "I deserve it". You have to still really watch that ..... BUT.......

That 9 pounds on the scale DOES NOT diminish the fact that you HAVE lost 2 pants DO feel better... you ARE getting compliments. Your overall health is the most important thing - the scale does not gauge ALL THINGS HEALTH!

So, I just wanted to let you know - you are doing incredible, you are feeling great, you are making progress, you ARE inspiring all of us who watch your vlogs. So keep it up! We all love an appropriate way ;o) LOL

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/3/2010 11:15AM

    Been here, done this... recently. Thanks for the reminder John, for me to use the embarrassment the right way. Hang in there!

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STORMTMB 9/3/2010 11:03AM

    Go for it, John! You know what you need to do. emoticon

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KATRIONAH 9/3/2010 10:57AM

    Your honesty is refreshing. and.....I guess I agree that embarrassment does not have to be bad. It worked for you as the wake up call. And, listening to you.....I identified with what you said.

and...I guess a gibbs slap wouldn't be too bad. LOVE that Mark Harmon. Tee hee hee

Its time for ME to practice what I preach.

Have a happy and healthy holiday weekend..... Karen emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/3/2010 10:39AM

    John, you're right; embarrassment when used to our benefit is not a bad thing. If it makes us retreat from everyone and everything we were doing right, it's bad; if it helps motivate us to dig a little deeper, get a little more honest with ourselves and move forward, then it's good. I'm sure part of that gain is from building muscle (muscle DOES weigh more than fat, after all!), but that's not all of it . . . good to get a wake-up call before things get out of hand and take action. We all need that slap in the face from time to time!


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MICKEYMAX 9/3/2010 10:29AM

    Hey John,

I was very recently embarassed myself in this way --- I took off some weight with SP when I first job and nearly gained it all back. Yikes! That was my wake up call for many of the sae reasons as your own --- except I was nto doing the exercise too. It was a double whammy. I joined a BL challenge and I am back on track in the minus column. I have a ways to go, but I will get there. Thanks for your honest approach. :) You are a joy! Mary

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NJMATTICE 9/3/2010 10:28AM

    Thanks for the pep talk! Get that plan in order and get yourself back on track. You know you're worth it.
Happy holiday weekend to you. Celebrate in all the non-food ways!

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INTOTHESOUTH 9/3/2010 10:25AM

    Thank you John. Thank you for always being honest. I agree with you on embarrassment. Sometimes to kick myself into gear I need to be embarrassed. I need to remember when I could barely buckle the in flight seat belt. I need it. It is my Gibb's slap!

You are such an inspiration and I hope take that to heart.

Have a great weekend!

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SARAWALKS 9/3/2010 10:25AM

    Hoo hoo, I think you need Bruce Corwin's cat to be your personal trainer! His blog yesterday was SO funny and hit me so where I live...those cheez-its...that third glass of wine...those Cheerios before bedtime...
Ok, so you indulged a bit! But think of all the muscle you've built! And that will not leave as quickly as the calories will!
And they will! Because you will do what you need to do! emoticon
(love NCIS by the way) emoticon

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Sparking and Relationships

Thursday, September 02, 2010

For those of you who remember dial up internet days this story will have more meaning. Joan and I had a friend years ago whose husband traveled for a living. He would leave the house on Monday morning and return on Friday evening. Gloria met him at the airport every Friday night. It was, you might say, a ritual. One Friday Jim returned early and called home ---- busy signal. He waited a few minutes and tried again --- same result. It seemed that as Jim traveled Gloria got to spending much of her time on the internet, so much, so that she forgot to get Jim at the airport. Jim took a cab home. (I am not sure if they are still together or not, LOL.)

I bring this up because I read a blog yesterday about Sparking and relationships. The person who wrote it wondered if any other Sparkers partner, in this case, a spouse, was jealous, envious, or angry (You pick one.) of the amount of time they spent on Spark. They went on to say their spouse got upset by the amount of time they devoted to Sparking. I thought it was a great question. Here is my opinion.

Before I joined Spark I asked Joan to look at the web site and give me her opinion. I trust her opinion and even though this experience is free, it is an investment of time. In the ten months that I have been here Joan knows everything that “is going on” in my spark world. I refer too many of you by first name when we are talking and I share with her when one of you does something amazing or when you may need thoughts and prayers. Periodically she asks me how some of you are doing. In a nutshell I include her in what I am doing.
The second thing Joan has seen is results. She is as happy as I am that I have shed seventy four pounds in ten months, exercise six days a week, am running on a regular basis and eat healthy. The quality of our life has improved and I am more active which means I don’t simply sit on the couch and process carbs.

I think, at times, we have to ask ourselves why we Spark.

Is it to become healthier and happier or is it solely a social network? If Joan saw no change in me, if I had remained at three hundred plus pounds and sat at my computer Sparking a few hours per day for close to ten months her attitude might be a bit different. Don’t misunderstand me, without the social networking factor I don’t think I would have sustained the progress I made. I NEED to let you know my triumphs and my failures, but it’s not the sole reason I am here. I am here to get healthy and stay healthy.

I am very fortunate, Joan has encouraged me every step of the way. She has a Spark account but it is mostly to read my blogs and view my vlogs. Her insight into what I write and tape is very valuable to me. Her involvement has a lot to do with my success. I made the choice to include her and to communicate all things Spark with her. There are days she is more interested than others but she always listens and asks about many of you and your progress. She has not only seen the results in my physical form but we do more than we did a year ago because I want to do more.

I don’t always share, LOL. I get scared when I accomplish something because that fat person is still lurking in the back ground. I don’t always share with Joan because some nights I wake up and see fat old John standing at the foot of the bed. That will get better in time, just like I am.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDWINA172 9/5/2010 1:32PM

    I did note that some fellow Sparkfriends comment about their spouses saying they're on Spark too much. My husband receives Spark emails, but that is about it for him. He likes the daily exercise suggestions. I talk to him about my Sparkfriends also. He loves the fact that the teams/threads and Sparkfriends are so responsive and supportive to any questions I put out there. I also mention you by name. He knows who you are because I say, "You know, my friend John, from Sparkpeople....."
We are blessed to have understanding spouses. I believe that it helps that we include and inform them of what we are learning from each other.

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JPRICE217 9/3/2010 6:49PM

    my husband is very supportive of my weight lose and sparking I am blessed. can not emangen how it would be if he was upset about sparking

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KAT573 9/3/2010 10:09AM

    GREAT blog, John; I know I have to be vigilant in balancing my time on here and how I engage in the community and use the tools. And accept that is a basic truth of Life, regardless, in any venue, since Life IS a balancing act and never ends unless we stop growing.

I have also come to realize that while many of us start out using this as a 'weight-loss' site, most of us come to realize it is a Lifestyle change site, and so you and your spouse are spot-on in knowing what would be involved to engage as fully as you are ready to when you are ready to. I know not everyone is coming from the same place, and not everyone is traveling along the same paths. I remind myself to always share what I am or have been learning; share that freely,because I will never fully know where anyone else is coming from, or going to,and we all need support and love that will increase our chance of coming to realize what we are ready to, and for sure, every action affects those around us no matter what, providing an ongoing source for reflective evaluation in our own journey,

I am so glad Joan is such a strong part of your journey. emoticon emoticon

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NJMATTICE 9/3/2010 9:28AM

    I find that Sparking in itself has been a great tool to help with self discipline and balance in my life. It gives me the opportunity to see my tendencies for distraction from my goals by focusing on others and forgetting to do my work. My flesh and blood relationships are most important. The Spark relationships that I have made are friends that understand that. When I first started, I was needy and tried to be friends with everyone (people pleaser). Now I use Sparking tools to help me create my healthy lifestyle. Hanging out on the computer getting some warm fuzzies all day long is not part of my healthy lifestyle dream. But utilizing the tools, getting inspiration from the common struggles in a disciplined and balanced way is part of my healthy vision. THANKS JOHN! I am glad that I had time to stop by today. You deliver the good stuff. Now it's off to create some healthy balance in my life!

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KLEONIKI 9/3/2010 6:37AM

I have just finished quarreling with one of my close friends about it!
During my stay in Athens and looking after my ill mother, i had not the time to be very socially active and pick up the phone to speak in person or meet her even though she lives very near my house.
But SP was my almost only source of support and help(with no limitations of early morning hours or stuff..).
She got mad and jealous of all those "unknown virtual friends" as she called them...who were stealing our REAL friendship!!!
Explaining to her i realized that my SPing is more than a social network is a DOOR i keep open ;
A hope that variety and complexity of life will come and knock on my door ,
a reassuring feeling of belonging to a community full of differences and diversities and yet able for communication
a source of impersonal tools to make your life easier in becoming healthier...
i send her the link of a blog of mine to call her "enter" but her reaction was completely negative.Was a reaction that tasted of property and belonging....
I will keep on explaining though..


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KATRIONAH 9/3/2010 12:37AM

    As usual, love your blog. It was quite thought provoking. I am lucky cause my husband supports me in my spark adventure. He sees my need to become healthier and wants me to succeed.

As with any "thing" all needs to be kept in perspective. It shouldn't control our lives. Meaning, we need a balance between our online and offline living.

I do love reading blogs....sparking away . I find my sparks time really helps keep me motivated on my adventure. I really treasure my spark friends and feel blessed with all the support I find from them.

My off line time has changed since joining sparks. I am actually venturing out and moving around more. Getting out for fresh air and activities.

Like I said...for me its all in balance. Sometimes we have to work to get the balance right though. LOL

Have A wonderful weekend. Karen emoticon

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CATNAP45 9/2/2010 7:25PM

  I sometimes think too that even if you lose weight, that in itself can be threatening to a spouse. You're changing the rules. Insisting on time to exercise and spark. No longer sharing in late night snacks. Sometimes undergoing huge changes in appearance. All of that can be unsettling to another person.

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BTINTERNET 9/2/2010 2:20PM

    I saw the post that prompted this, and it (among other things) has had me thinking a lot lately. We're a two-WoW household, so we're very accustomed to socializing online (together and separately), but it also contributes to a very sedentary lifestyle. I wonder about the (inherent?) conflict between a desire to spend time online socializing, gaining support, reading articles, etc. in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle versus time spent actually going and doing it. Food for thought.

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CINDYC53 9/2/2010 1:23PM

    Yes - I sometimes think I may socialize a bit too much here, but it's been a really positive force in my life. I also fill my dh in on my spark friends' news! Thanks for your blog - good food for thought!

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ZURDTA- 9/2/2010 12:35PM

    My b/f has his own PC rituals and is just pleased that I am doing something to get healthy - even though that means sitting at the PC at times!!!

He used to do World of Warcraft ... but he got better and now just does Mafia Wars... anyone who knows about WoW will understand how much time that meant he was ONLINE!!!

Now we both potter doing our own thing for a bit... then get together and do the exercise and going out and stuff...

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/2/2010 11:57AM

    My hubby is a lot like Joan--he is very supportive and understands what SP has done for me. He's on SP mostly to track his own food, and he listens when I read him blogs that touch me (yours is one that often gets read aloud) or ones that I have written. It's a balancing act, to be sure; I don't want SP to take away from my relationship with him or anyone else important in my life, but I need the tools that are here and the community support that I find. Oh, and that happens for me too--some nights I see fat old Denise standing at the foot of the bed, but it's less and less often.


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MIBELLALUNA 9/2/2010 10:54AM

    Oh, this is a sticky subject in some ways. I used to journal and found out my DH had read some of them. Privacy has been a hot topic for me since childhood. I think every adult deserves a place to express themselves that doesn't necessarily include their spouse. My dh doesn't know exactly where I post things or what Vlogs I am making, but he knows it is a diet and exercise support community. I hear him mute the TV now and then when I am making a vlog and ask me later, were you talking on the phone about a dog? I think he is more concerned that we made end up with another foster animal.

AFter 30 years of marriage I guess we finally have gotten to the total trust stage and acknowledge we each need private time/space away from each other other people to talk to about some things and trust that it isn't a bad thing.
( give him time to watch inane shows like "American Pickers or Man vS Food" without feeling guilty! hah)

Comment edited on: 9/2/2010 11:03:02 AM

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GEEMAWEST 9/2/2010 10:35AM

    I also include my DH on what's going on. I feel like he knows some of my Sparkfriends fairly well because I talk about them all the time (especially a little Dutch girl I've gotten to know quite well).

I agree, if I was just sitting in front of the computer socializing DH might be concerned. There has to be that element of trust in a relationship for any of these types of sights. I have friends whose spouses have gotten jealous of time spent and friends made on Spark and it was not pretty.

However, the encouragement I get from friends like you is priceless and I wouldn't want to do without it.

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MARCYNA 9/2/2010 10:21AM

    Lovely, the way you handle all this with Joan. B/F an I often quarrel as I spend so much of my time on SP..but I need so much this tool and I guess I would have otherwise been sitting on the coach eating whatever available in the fridge so I guess this is a much better option - congrats to Joan she's a wise woman...I feel so silly but that's the way I am not so wise but improvements are on the way emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/2/2010 10:28:41 AM

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STORMTMB 9/2/2010 10:17AM

    What's so cool is that you and Joan are truly partners in your lives. You care about her opinion and ask for her input. As we know, Joan is a wise woman, but you are quite the dude for having so much love and respect for your wife. What a totally awesome marriage you have. It's beautiful to see!

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MSSUNBUG 9/2/2010 10:10AM

    I agree. This website is a great social networking tool--but only (to me) TRULY great if you're using it simultaneously as a support system for reaching your weight loss and fitness goals. I have a similarly wonderfully supportive husband who understands the time I spend here. Being in community with those who understand your struggle firsthand and who are working towards the same goals REALLY bolsters your success, keeps you on a daily basis in touch with your goals and lifestyle, and gives you the kind of support that even the most supportive and darling spouse can't always provide (if their struggle with food isn't the same). Plus, to me, I recognize that I won't get to keep this healthier life unless I give something of myself and my experience away every day. What a gift for ME to be able to do that!

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SARAWALKS 9/2/2010 10:06AM

    You are so wise, John! This is not a problem for me since I'm single, but the opposite temptation exists, to simply go into the virtual world and neglect friends and tasks needing done (I have this option since I set my own work schedule). Sharing is wonderful and it's marvelous that Joan understands and supports. Our health ultimately benefits everyone around us so it's a kind of ripple effect... emoticon

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ISHIIGIRL 9/2/2010 9:47AM

    I have to agree with you on all of this. My spouse is like your Joan. He has an account, I keep him up to date on what is going on, I tell him about my blogs and he lives vicariously through me. I wish he was more active, One of the reasons I added you as a friend is because I have read a few of your blogs to him and it has helped him tremendously in his own weight loss journey. He is going at a slow pace, but at least he is moving. I think if you are open about what you are doing and communicate to your partner Sparking can be a great benefit to your relationship. Have a great day! Love your blogs! Paige

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    Loved the anecdote about Jim and Gloria. ROFLMBO!!

Joan and you are a team and she knows it's everyone's best interest that you get fit and she trusts you. My husband trusts me as well but he is not interested in weight loss per se. He is satisfied as long as he is my priority and he is. If he wants my attention he gets it. It's all about balance in our lives.

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CAHUNO2 9/2/2010 9:21AM

    I don't spend as much time as I would like on SP. I put in time every morning but keep trying to get in the habit of doing the same every evening. My husband is very proud of me but we share a computer and sometimes I don't have it! emoticon

Your Joan sounds wonderful!


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DOLLBABE56 9/2/2010 8:53AM

    I think it is great that Joan is involved. She seems awesome! There are times, I must admit, that Mike wishes I didn't so much time at Spark, and rarely has commented so. He knows how much Spark has helped me and does support my involvement. I come here to keep myself accountable (to me). I do my tracking first, and having a few close friends here is the bonus I cherish.

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WALKNLOVE 9/2/2010 8:28AM

    John, I am not doing as much sparking as I once did.Truthfully, I wish I did more.One of my youth put me on fb, and well, it takes some of my spark time. I wish in some ways, my youth hadn't done that, but 2 good things came of it. One is I found my old youth pastor...what a blessing! Two is, I have ministered to my youth on some life changing issues.Other than that, I really could live without it. Of the two...sparkpeople would have mine and my husband's vote every time.Face it, it's a lot more positive! So, thanks for sharing.I agree we need to keep our spouses's don't be surprised if my sparking picks up....fb may have to wait!!!!!!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/2/2010 8:22AM

    I like the social side of Spark very much but I come to track my progress and THEN do the social stuff. It helps me stay focused to know exactly how I'm doing on my game plan.

I think the fact that your Joan feels included is the difference. If you were vegging out on spark instead of the couch with TV, what would be the point? The fact that your life is not more interactive with your sweetie is key. At least, that's how I see it!


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The Me I See, Is The Me I Be (The Written Version)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What do you see when you look in the mirror. I know what I am SUPPOSED to answer. I am SUPPOSED to answer that I see a wonderful, beautiful, child of God. But what do I REALLY see? Mostly I see the flaws, the bumps, the bruises, the hair loss, the wrinkles, the blemishes….. The list goes on and on. I guess it is why I am so very surprised when I notice something very good about me in the mirror.

While working with Jen on Monday, doing this balancing exercise that involved me lunging on a step board with a twelve pound bar on my back, I noticed my legs in the mirror. They really looked good. I mean way good. I mean OMG……… are those MY legs. You have done the same thing, no? You drop a jean size, a short size or a dress size and you are amazed. That’s YOUR body there!!! Instead of my awareness level being at a sort-of “Well with all the work you are doing, it stands to reason you would look good,” I let my jaw drop. I was amazed at my own worth and value. You may argue that I was “happy with….,” “impressed by……’” No I was amazed

My friend Girlanimal posted a blog a few days back addressing balance in her life and the need to rest at times. She set my pondering process into motion and I discovered that along with resting I needed to become aware of the real beauty of myself during that period of time. Yes, there is a beautiful John under this shrinking obesity, but there is a beautiful John within it as well. I don’t need to wait for the externals. Yup they are nice and I will take them any old day of the week but there is a beautiful John right here and right now
I know this never happens to you does it?

I can’t see your real beauty until I acknowledge my own. We are very comfortable with folks telling us we are smart, witty and charming but we get a bit anxious and feel queasy sometimes when they complement our physical attributes. We constantly compare ourselves to others and come up short.

Everyone here is old enough to recall the story of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Two pigs built houses from Straw and wood and when the wolf came calling they crumbled. The third pig built his house from stone and it with stood the storm. We put a lot of emphasis on diet and exercise, as we should, but if we are to find real balance in our lives shouldn’t we look at our own self-image?

I am coming to realize that I have failed to remain healthy in the past because I have not allowed my internal perception of me evolve along with all the external changes. I am wonderful, beautiful and I will work hard to realize that every day.

Care to join me?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIME4AFITME 9/2/2010 9:30PM

    Love that blog thx

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BSAGE47 9/2/2010 12:26PM

    John, you are so eloquent in your words and style and you end up hitting it right on the head. You are awesome. emoticon emoticon

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MIBELLALUNA 9/2/2010 11:02AM

    That is basically the message in "Women, Food and God..." That until we deal with the INNER and accept and love ourselves, all the dieting and exercise in the world isn't going to 'stick' with us and is the reason we yo-yo. I think we have to come to some realization that we are beautiful and worthy RIGHT NOW and the weight loss choices come from simply loving ourselves adn treating ourselves as we should, not to 'make ourselves' into something else. Or maybe that was some other book..haha

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MARCYNA 9/2/2010 10:34AM

    Hey, that's great.
I looked at myself at the dance studio mirror in London and saw someone who was NOT the fattest or the ugliest but whose body was astonishingly professional - made for dance.
Exactly what I wanted to look like, even if I have still some improvements to make.
We are becoming the persons we are meant to be. No more, no less. emoticon emoticon

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JURI62 9/2/2010 7:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TOTHEFUTURE1 9/1/2010 9:19PM

    Yes scary suppose we lost weight and our life didn't change

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BOBF15 9/1/2010 9:06PM

    A lot to chew on here, but the bottom line is balance. A false balance is an abomination to the Lord. Perspective requires standing back and then looking at ourself from the outside in. Seeing ourselves as God sees us requires bifocals, one is a critical look that is quite humbling and the other is a distant look that sees us yet future without imperfections.

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KATRIONAH 9/1/2010 7:13PM

    John, YOU have done it again. Your wisdom seems endless. You may have hit the nail on the head. I understand what you were saying. Even when I in my heart know that I am moving in a good direction. MY head isn't always sure. IT sees me as I was, not who I am becoming. Means I can be my own worst enemy if I a not careful. I know we as HUMAN BEINGS, usually judge ourselves harder than God will. NEW page in my book ought to be a new me.....better than ever!! Thank you for the blog....I really liked it. Karen emoticon

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LUCYSRAIN 9/1/2010 3:04PM

    Hey John..

You never fail to inspire me. It's funny how we all of a sudden notice that things are really changing on the outside! Only then are we able to see whats in the inside, we finally validate ourselves. I know I did the same thing!

You are a Wonderful person, A true gift to so Many of us here.

You need a big button saying I am Beautiful emoticon

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    You are looking good, John!! Keep it up.

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/1/2010 1:42PM

    It's the inside transformation that is the hardest and the most important if we want to make this truly a permanent lifestyle change . . .


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DEE797 9/1/2010 12:11PM

    Oh my, another one that hit the nail on the head for me. I struggle with this on a daily basis. Thanks again for posting something that I needed to hear.

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YOGINI_JACKIE 9/1/2010 9:44AM

    Again, exactly what I needed--it's like you're a mind reader, John! Last night I was watching TV with Pat and I found myself scrutinizing every character, observing that every one of them had clear skin.

WELL, most people who star on TV shows have clear skin. That's just sorta the way it is. I need to realize I am not alone in this battle. It doesn't mean it's not hard, but my face WILL clear up one day.

Sorry, enough about me. What a victory moment for you! Noticing your changing body in the mirror warrants a victory dance indeed. Congrats on all your progress, and here's to your continued success!

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STORMTMB 9/1/2010 9:37AM

    Yep, it's the hardest part. Good stuff, John. You are beautiful - inside and out.

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HDHAWK 9/1/2010 9:11AM

    Self image is the part I need to work on the most. I'm sure it's part of the reason I come very close to reaching my goals, but never quite get there. Others see it and I know it in my head. I'm working on figuring out how to really believe it.

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MOMTO3BOYZ2000 9/1/2010 8:38AM

    Thank you for your post. I really needed to hear it today. It is a constant struggle for me.

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JUDIL62 9/1/2010 8:35AM

    Strut those kickin' legs! I wrote a similar blog yesterday, check it out!

Keep up the good work.


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TNTEACHER2 9/1/2010 8:31AM

    If the W. KY group ever has a get together, I want to see those beautiful legs! LOL

Yes, you are correct, we need to remember who we are, not just what we look like. Marcy

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CINDYMCD1 9/1/2010 8:22AM

    Yes balance is key. I know people that appear totally perfectly beautiful on the outside and their inner selves our sad and pathetic.......Balance!

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DOLLBABE56 9/1/2010 8:14AM

    I have noticed this in myself. It is good on so many levels. I'm trying to spend some quality alone time with myself to quiet my mind. It is amazing how I feel afterwards. Sets the tone for the day.

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