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Who Inspires You?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Who inspires you? Have you ever taken the time to tell them what their effort, hard work and inspiration means to you? I know I am really guilty of riding someone elseís coat tails and never letting them know what a huge difference they have made in my life. I guess in some respects its human nature. We plod along, supporting one another and we get so caught up in getting from point A to point B that we forget about everyone standing along the side of the road cheering ďGo, John!!!Ē

While I was suffering from the evil and nasty intestinal disruption last week and rendered inert for a few days I had a chance to catch up on some blogs. My schedule being what it is, I feel bad that I donít have time to read and respond to everything Iíd like to. The flu gave me a chance to catch up and to let some people know how much their good example played into my success. A lot of those people wrote back and told me how much it meant to them to know someone; anyone out here was inspired by their hard work. They told me it made it worth it and made them bear down a bit harder.

It is hard work, you know? No matter how much we try to gussy it up and make it a kumbaya moment it is plain old hard work. Itís those days we crawl out of bed and go to the gym even though we want a latte, the morning paper and Matt Lauer. Itís eating the salad instead of the Big Mac. No one sees those small insignificant moments but you and I. No one is standing there yellingĒ way to goĒ and if you have been at this long enough you know that those dull, gray, get up out of bed days and fight the good fight days, can be a royal pain. But then, like at the end of a bad storm, there is this amazing rainbow. Someone, completely and totally unexpectedly sends you a kind word or lets you know they are so motivated by your success and maybe ya smile or maybe you get a slight catch in your throat, but when ya walk away from the screen you walk a bit lighter and the load isnít as heavy. Amazing isnít it?

I bring this up in part because of all the many Spark friends I have who are AFK for good. I know, I know, itís your responsibility and no one can walk the walk for you but you. I wonder sometimes how maybe if Iíd taken a few minutes out of my day to say ďHey dude or dudette, hang in there. Iím with ya,Ē that it might have made a difference.

Health is a balance. Itís not just about looking good and feeling good, it is about who you are. I have a guy who lives in my neighborhood who could be a poster child for athleticism. He is about forty five and he turns head when he runs or cycles by. He is also a grade A, number one jerk!! He will not speak to other people and if he does his words are usually dripping with some sort of negative vibration. I asked him once where he got his running shoes and he told me ďto figure it out myself like everyone else does.Ē Thatís not being healthy thatís just being in good physical shape!!

Real and lasting health comes from being balanced. Who inspires you? What Spark friend, who would turn a gazillion (A gazillion is a whole lot, LOL) shades of red if they knew they were your hero, helps you make it through your day. Take ninety seconds and shoot them a Spark Mail and let them know. You would be surprised at how many people were on the verge of walking away from this commitment when out of the clear blue someone told them how much they mattered. Itís one of the reasons I carry the names of Spark friends in my pocket when I run. It makes the load a bit lighter.

Simply put you and I cannot become an inspiration to anyone else until we are inspired by someone else. I know I am and I get more and more inspired each and every day by you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STORMTMB 10/7/2010 4:27PM

    I have found a couple of people here who have done almost exactly what I'm trying to do. They inspire me and I follow their blogs as well as yours.

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SANDYK4BAMA 10/7/2010 11:22AM

    Tell that JERK to get out of your neighborhood - he doesn't DESERVE to share the same sidewalks with you! And you can also tell him you are a hero to a bunch of people, and we won't HAVE it! ;) You can tell himn I said it if ya want to! :) -cause you are definitely one of my HEROS!

I've had the bug also, been on the couch for about 3 days - soooo glad that's over! Today is my first whole day of "real" solid food, so hopefully I won't have a relapse! I got some Cultrelle at the drug store and it seemed to really help my uhhemmm--gastro tract.

Thank you so much for your blogs! They mean to much to so many of us! We are so glad to have you to teach us how to fight the good fight and run the good race, and heck - even just to get ouf of bed some mornings, because we know, you're facing it all head-on, so we better to, else we might turn into one of those "other jerks..."

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SKC

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WALKNLOVE 10/7/2010 7:15AM

    YOU, my dear spark friend, inspire me! So glad you are feeling better. I didn't know you were sick. Thanks for never giving up. And even though I am stuck at a stand still, I am not giving up. I keep going to the gym, am finishing physical therapy so I should hopefully soon be back up to speed, and I continue to try to watch what I eat. I will break thru this plateau and soon I will let you in on my breakthru. Take care Buddy! God Bless!

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DEBRITA01 10/6/2010 9:35PM

    Wow! I came upon your blog when I saw the title on my friend feed...seemed like a good one. So glad I read this because it spoke to me on so many different levels.

We are all in this together and the load is lightened by the support of caring friends. Sometimes we don't always tell those people how much they've touched and enriched our lives...good reminder. Sometimes we can lift ourselves higher by lifting up someone else...an unexpected bonus!

And, I loved the "not healthy, just in good physical shape" observation...so true. You have to pity people like that. They don't realize how ignorant and shallow they are.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...If you don't mind, I'm adding you as a friend so I can keep up with your blogs.

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REJ7777 10/6/2010 8:32PM

    Great blog! And, in passing, you are an inspiration to me. I find that you're honest and down-to-earth in your blogs. It IS hard work! And I find you credible because of your amazing accomplishments. You show that it's doable. Thank you!
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REJ7777 10/6/2010 8:32PM

    Have no idea why it posted 3 times. Hate when it does that! Sorry. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/6/2010 8:33:06 PM

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REJ7777 10/6/2010 8:32PM

    emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/6/2010 8:33:33 PM

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JENNY888 10/6/2010 2:42PM

    Your blogs are always an inspiration to me John. Keep up the great work. Spark without you would not be as nice a place.

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MYRNACARRIER 10/6/2010 2:07PM

    I read your blog everyday because I have subscribed to it.
It is the only blog I have subscribed to.
I very much enjoy the days that are up for you and feel the pain when you are down.
It is like all of our journeys.
As you have said many times you are the like the people you hang with.
Even though I don't respond that often I feel like I am hanging wth you and when I feel like nothing is happening and its just not working the way I would like I just have to read your blog to know that things happen when you are persistent.
Thank you, and keep on blogging I am sure that there are lots of people out there you are helping that you don't even realize. emoticon
Myrna

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/6/2010 1:45PM

    People like you inspire me. That's why I read a hundred or more blogs every day. To get inspiration and offer support.

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HDHAWK 10/6/2010 12:26PM

    There are several spark friends who make my journey easier and inspire me. The site as a whole is something I'd ever hate to lose. You, John, are one of those who inspires me. Thank you for that!

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TXNANA_4 10/6/2010 8:44AM

    Thanks for another good blog John. Your words inspire me and that is what I need! Have a wonderful day and God Bless! emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/6/2010 8:32AM

    You put it so well, there are a lot of those dark stormy days where you're not sure if there's anyone out there who understands because surely NO ONE in your TOWN seems to be doing what you're doing!!!! that's why sparkfriends are GOLD!

thanks for being mine and yeah you VERY MUCH inspire me i'll say it again. emoticon

hugs,

Dimitra :-)
liked the not healthy just in good physical shape thing emoticon

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KATRIONAH 10/6/2010 8:23AM

    John another good one. My journey is made a little easier by the support of my spark friends. It is comforting to know that others are traveling similar paths and that we can work together to make the journey more Joy-filled. Have a wonderful Wednesday, Karen emoticon

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JAE_HENNINGTON 10/6/2010 8:21AM

  I think I am inspired by others especially those who have to rise above great odds to do what they do even when it would be just as easy to give up

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/6/2010 8:14AM

    I love your blogs. You are one of the spakers that inspire me. Your kindness means a lot in a world that is full of mean people. Keep up the good work!

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ELSKAS 10/6/2010 8:03AM

    Although I think it's important to be inspired by others, I believe i have to be inspired by myself to reach higher. Great post!

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"Do I Need A Mentor?" It Just Might Help

Monday, October 04, 2010


Also available on youtube at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQg5n9qXU
MY

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 10/8/2010 7:42AM

    John thank you for the great blog. You are right we all do need a mentor and we need to be a mentor.

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MARCYNA 10/6/2010 9:53AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IZZYAGGY2009 10/5/2010 10:08PM

    Really some great wisdom, in that advice. Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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REJ7777 10/4/2010 11:30PM

    It's always saddened me when people become inactive on SP, especially when they had become SP motivators. It makes you wonder where they are now.

I have a good mentor. She encourages me when I need support, but she's not afraid to give me a swift kick in the rear end when I need one! I wouldn't be where I am without her support! emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 10/4/2010 6:18PM

    John-- emoticon for your comment on my blog. I'm sure you know that it's always easier to take care of someone else than it is to take care of yourself. As a professional counselor, you know that your objectivity is the most important tool in your arsenal.

Having said that, I must say that I had never thought of my parenting in exactly the way you did. Of course, I had to problem-solve to make sure that all the pieces of my son's life were in place. However, I never thought of it as problem-solving. I thought of them as life. I thought of them as not negotiable.

I have to say that you are more of an expert at parenting than I--you have eight times more practice. So you would know.

Isn't it funny (not the ha-ha kind) that I never thought that way about the pieces of my life. In that regard, I am sure I am Everywoman/man. But that doesn't mean it's okay. Part of this exercise called life is becoming increasingly self-aware which also makes you more other-aware.

I think it's also very interesting that in this blog, while you throw out a valuable thought/tool you are also self-protective in asking people not to ask you to be a mentor by telling them that you are a professional who gets paid for that and that you are already doing it gratis for some people on the site.

In any case, I am up and running for the 90- (now 89-day) Push. I am glad to be back in your sphere of influence. We'll keep each other in our radar and see how to project that forward to a successful goal--to be followed by another goal?

Best,

Merry/Spr
kenista



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ANEPANALIPTI 10/4/2010 2:31PM

    I've looked through mine and thought the SAME thing about how a lot of them are gone.

SO agreed on the "she'll let me eat the cookie" and having friends who would be like: "uh, don't really see why that would be an issue/problem/hard for you"

and I JUST realized it, it took me a few moments but YUP you remind me of tom hanks a bit. :-)

Dimitra

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STORMTMB 10/4/2010 2:22PM

    While I don't have a mentor here, I have one in life and he's the absolute best. We've had this relationship for 23 years, so I totally agree with what you're saying. It's so nice to have someone for advice who has already been through it all. And, darn it, he's always right - especially when it's not what I want to hear.

I just made a spreadsheet to keep track of my next 89 days!!! I'm gonna push to the end of the year. Looking forward to it.

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ISHIIGIRL 10/4/2010 2:20PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Its very true you get better results if you are supported and a mentor is a great support system. It should be a secret of success!

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KATRIONAH 10/4/2010 2:16PM

    John, This is a great idea! A person who can have your back..... is in the program so know the ups and downs....and someone who can objectively listen and help. I know there are days I could really use one. Thank you for the idea.....and I hope you have a joy-filled day....Share your smile, Karen emoticon

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90 Day Push

Sunday, October 03, 2010

How much of an investment are you ready to make in you?

Thatís the question I asked myself when LAWRALOO invited me to participate in the 90 Day Push Team. Time flies quickly when you are having fun and her invitation forced me to realize that 2010 with all its victories and all its minor setbacks would soon be over.

Where would I be when we dropped all the balloons and streamers on December 31? How many goals would I have reached and what would I look like? I get caught up in the day-to-day like everyone else. Making sure I log my food, do my cardio and show up for my personal training sessions sometimes seems like it thatís about all I can handle until I stop, take a deep breath and realize that I canít see the forest because of all the trees!!

How do I want the year to end for me? Whatís the main thing I want to accomplish between now and December 31 and am I ready to forgo all my excuses about the holidays and open houses and all the stuff that comes creeping up during November and December?

When I ran my first 5K last Saturday (See my blog ďWhat I Learned Going Up The HillĒ) I reached a make or break point. The last half mile of that race was straight up hill. Gut check time for John. Do I finish the race and live with this incredible sense of accomplishment or do I stop and walk the rest of the way because, well because itís just too darn hard to make it? Iíll spoil the ending for you. I made it up the hill and when I did I walked away knowing, not just believing, but knowing I could do anything I set my mind to.

That final hill was so steep that no one was on either side of it. If I had stopped to catch my breath or walk no one would have known. No one but me. On December 31, after you climbed that hill, after you decided on the one major thing you want to accomplish in the next ninety days the person cheering the loudest will be yourself.

This stuff is hard to do alone. Those of you who have been Sparking for any length of time know that, especially around the holidays. Temptation abounds!!! Yikes, here come all those Christmas cookies!! Thus the 90 Day Push. You are not alone. You will be supported by positive people who not only want to see themselves be successful but want you to reach your goals as well.

In the end itís up to you. It will be difficult at times. You will be tempted.

Are you worth it?

Do you deserve to be successful?

Who do you hang with?

When I answer those questions correctly and create a clear vision of where I want to go and what I want to do, I am encouraged by my final outcome. All the activity and effort will give me a goal.

So whatís your goal for the next ninety days and what are you willing to invest to reach it? For my part I want to turn to my left and right and know I am part of a group of positive, motivated people who will challenge and push me right along with them.

Hereís the team link:
http://www.sparkpeople.com
/myspark/groups_individual.asp?gid=46073

Maybe youíll choose not to join us and if you donít we will miss you but thatís cool. Think about the rest of the year though and how you plan to make it the best ever.........FOR YOU

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 10/7/2010 12:10PM

    Hi John!

This is a great blog!

Even though a few days have passed and it is now 85 days left for 2010, I'd like to join the 90 day push. My goal for the remainder of the year is to be active and get my fitness minutes.


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AKATUJE 10/6/2010 4:59PM

    Great blog as always!!!!

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TIME4AFITME 10/4/2010 9:41PM

    great blog! I need to think on that one.

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PSSN4FITNESS 10/4/2010 2:40PM

    What a great story and exactly what I needed to hear! I am facing my own hill at the end of the race right now. I am on to my last 10lbs and it is so tempting to just give up so close the to finish line. I am glad that you pushed through your 5K. The 90Day Push is a great idea! Press on and Press HARD!

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DEE797 10/4/2010 2:20PM

    Thanks for the reminder about planning ahead and where do I want to be by year's end. Think I will join up and find out.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/4/2010 12:28PM

    I joined but am not sure what goals I want to set. Have to think about that.

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WISEONE68 10/4/2010 9:49AM

    I joined and I am very excited to begin to ponder the goals and what I want to look like and think of on December 31, 2010!!!

As I say "good-bye" to this year...one of the goals is to say "good-bye" FOREVER to the pounds lost over the next two months as I attempt to reach weigh goal before November 30th!!!

thanks for your inspiration!!

Blessings emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 10/4/2010 7:42AM

    Wow---- It sounds good to me----- I will join in--

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DOLLBABE56 10/4/2010 7:08AM

    This is a wonderful idea and something I know is going to help me in so many ways.

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/4/2010 6:12AM

    As I read your blog I'm listening to Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. emoticon Why did youtube recommend that after listening to Dean Martin I have no idea!!! Maybe it knows that I'm going to be in Chicago with my family for Christmas? THANKS JOHN! I'm IN! Even with the festivities and being away from routine and home, I'm IN! I'm not scared anymore! emoticon

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Dimitra

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JAKEANDNELLIE 10/4/2010 3:44AM

    I joined the team!
I felt much like you did - a deep sense of personal accomplishment - when I hiked a difficult trail earlier this week. It involved lots of climbing over boulders and through narrow places - I wasn't sure I could do it but I surprised myself!
Now, I'm going to find more ways to challenge myself. Who knows what will happen or where I'll be in the next 90 days - the adventure is just beginning!
Sheila

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MKPRINCESS007 10/3/2010 11:34PM

    I have been full of excuses.....none of them are good.
So, yeah, I am in! Thanks, my friend ! :)
I will kick you if you will kick me, ok? Ooops, I meant cheer me on! :)



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LAWRALOO 10/3/2010 11:33PM

    You should post this under a sticky in the forums! :)))

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LAWRALOO 10/3/2010 11:21PM

    Exactly my thoughts!
I don't want to get to January 2011 and THEN make a goal to lose the rest of my weight. Why not start now? And...there's no better way to do it than with positive motivating people all around me!

Game on :)

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STORMTMB 10/3/2010 10:35PM

    Thanks, John. I just joined - ready to make these last 3 months the best yet.

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MEREDIE02 10/3/2010 9:57PM

    I've joined up! I realized that I can meet my goal weight in that time. Knowing that it is in reach feels amazing. Here's to the next 90 days!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/3/2010 9:48PM

    I gained 10 pounds over the holidays last year and it is not going to happen this year. I am planning ahead.

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October Goals: Doing Things A Bit Bass Ackwards

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I have learned to rethink a lot of my traditional beliefs concerning health since I joined Spark a little over nine months ago. I used to be outcome oriented. Iíd set a goal and then stress out over how in the name of all that is holy I was going to reach it. Iíd want to lose a jillion pounds and Iíd get all worked up and not eat for a week, drop ten pounds, decide it wasnít worth it and inhale a fudge cakeÖÖÖ with fudge icing.

That was then, this is now.

My October goals are going to be activity oriented and that activity will lead me to reaching a monthly weight loss goal. After I write it down I am going to let go of it until October 31. Iíll weigh in weekly and all that other cool stuff but that goal will be the outcome of good activity(s)

Here we go:

I will eat within my calorie range and by doing so consume the ďrightĒ kinds of food. Lottsa fruit, lottsa veggies and just eating the common sense things I know I should eat. I am going to do this by planning better. Iím going to write my meals down for three days at a time. For me, any longer than that is foolish, because of my schedule.

Currently I am running three days per week. My runs are two mile, two and one half miles, and three miles. I am running a 5K next Saturday. I work with a personal trainer two days per week. During October I am going to add some swimming. This is part of a long term goal of doing a mini triathlon in June of 2011.

Downtime and rest are a large issue with me. I am eternally doing something. As I write this I am having a huge stress attack. I have the stomach flu and that means I am not running today. Even though I am not feeling very well there is this voice inside of me telling me not to wait until tomorrow, to do it right now!!! A friend gave me a tip. He told me to schedule my downtime just like I would schedule any other appointment. Good idea. I think Iíll use that one.
You are probably bored reading this as there are no other great revelations here. I meant for that to happen. All three of these things are reachable and attainable and when I do them and do them well I will:

Have lost 13 pounds for the month.

Party On.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 10/7/2010 12:12PM

    emoticon

Thanks for sharing your October goals. You will do it!

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SANDYK4BAMA 10/7/2010 11:27AM

    I think I need to make a 90-day plan too. I've been waaay too lax in this area of planning. I'm wid ya!

Go John!!
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LAWRALOO 10/3/2010 6:50PM

    How much is a jillion? ;)

A 13lb loss for the month is Egg-Zellent John!

Hope you get feeling better soon so you can prep your self mentally and physically for your 5k next weekend. I know you'll do great! emoticon

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ZURDTA- 10/3/2010 8:40AM

    I think activity based goals are much better! And yes, downtime is essential, esp when ill as you coudl end up being set back a lot further.

I haven't set any monthly goals myself, and I think I should follow your example and set some good activity based ones. Anything I lose will be a bonus for me!

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/3/2010 6:19AM

    I like it!!!!

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STORMTMB 10/2/2010 8:10PM

    Hey John, some of us stop by every day because you're a great guy and good friend - not just for the grand revelations! Good luck with your goals. Sounds like a great plan.

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REJ7777 10/2/2010 7:02PM

    emoticon

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MOTIVATIONFOUND 10/2/2010 6:17PM

    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I hope you're back to 100% very soon. Sounds like you have a great plan for October. You can definitely do it. :)

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HLPRATT 10/2/2010 4:49PM

    It's hard not to be goal oriented and not to be self critical. It's so important though to look at the big picture and understand your emotions. I like that scheduling down time I may give that a try

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/2/2010 3:36PM

    I might be interested in the fudge cake with fudge icing if it can be done low calorie, low carb, and low fat. emoticon

Great job on the weight loss!! Amazing!

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CATHERINEL66 10/2/2010 3:08PM

    Sounds great to me! If you take care of the fitness and nutrition, the weight takes care of itself!

I HAVE to plan rest days and down time ... otherwise I will just keep on going or stress when I'm not. It's particularly important in my head so I'm not stressing over it.

Looking forward to October progress with you!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/2/2010 12:26PM

    Umm...

"I used to be outcome oriented. Iíd set a goal and then stress out over how in the name of all that is holy I was going to reach it. Iíd want to lose a jillion pounds and Iíd get all worked up and not eat for a week, drop ten pounds, decide it wasnít worth it and inhale a fudge cakeÖÖÖ with fudge icing."

Yeah... I so relate friend. I still struggle with that. Sometimes. Which is better than all the time. Keep on inspiring us, John. You are amazing!


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MSSUNBUG 10/2/2010 11:32AM

    Sounds like some great goals. I too like to keep my goals active. I'm sorry to hear you have that nasty stomach bug that's going around. Do feel better!

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STARGLADE 10/2/2010 11:15AM

    Excellent idea, scheduling your downtime. When I had a fuller life (working 40+ hours, mother/wife, etc) I had to do the same thing. Being laid off for as long as I have been has shifted that somewhat. However--it's important to treat downtime equally importantly. If that means writing it into your calendar, then write it into your calendar. We NEED downtime, just like we NEED food, water, and exercise.

Good job, man. Keep it up!

Karen

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DOLLBABE56 10/2/2010 10:59AM

    This sounds like a good plan John. A "doable" plan. Give yourself time to feel better.

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CARTOONB 10/2/2010 10:58AM

    Great idea to goal your activities, not the result of those activities. I'll be rooting for you!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 10/2/2010 10:31AM

  I am thinking your friend gave you some very good advice.. schedule your down time.. I always think of it like this.. even Jesus needed to get away from the crowds and have quiet times.. if he needed to this being God.. make sense I would need to do this to.. You have a great weekend John.. rest and feel better emoticon

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ANNASBF 10/2/2010 10:14AM

    I'm thinking exercise and activity have become a strong habit.... which causes you stress when you can't do it... so it is the OTHER side of creating a new habit. That is what makes a habit work....for good or ill! All the things you mention... some pounds lost, running distances, and preparing to run a 5K... maybe you are taking your accomplishments for granted a little bit .... I'm reading this and feeling very happy for you with all your efforts. This is actually very -not boring- to me! The idea your friend gave you to schedule down time is a great thought... it also means to ACCEPT some down time... especially with an illness. I understand the fear that many express - once I sit down, or stop the the healthy thing I could fall down that spiral and never get up to do a dern thin! I don't think that is part of your makeup anymore...of course you are going to slip on a chocolate cake, but who wouldn't and as long as you get right back up...and use a napkin for your chocolate chin...I'd say let bygones be bygones and schedule the knowledge that you can count on yourself to begin again...and again...and so on. I hope the organizing you plan to do eases your mind during your illness. Take care.

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/2/2010 10:07AM

    My feelings too, John. My goals this month are focused on the things I am doing to keep on this healthy journey, not how much weight I want to lose. Scheduling down time is wise, otherwise it may not mappen. Feel better soon, though!

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NJMATTICE 10/2/2010 10:06AM

    Sounds like you are set for a fine and successful October. Get well soon.
Love,
Nancy

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HDHAWK 10/2/2010 10:04AM

    Nice plan for Oct. John. I too, am trying to rely less on the scale and more on how my clothes fit. I too, struggle with downtime. I always say I need more of it, yet when I get it, I don't always know what to do with it. I'm usually still doing something even when relaxing. I think it comes from years of running around, raising 3 kids, taking care of a home, and having a full time job. I'm working on it. I've made a list of the things I enjoy doing when I have down time so I don't find myself wandering around looking for something to eat at those times!

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MARCYNA 10/2/2010 10:00AM

    Scheduling downtime is great, we are not machines and we're programmed to have some rest.
I agree to you plan, it's sensible and attainable. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
PS I had the same attitude- outcome oriented- and by this time I'd have drowned all my worries in tons of ice-cream emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/2/2010 10:02:18 AM

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How I Am Learning To Let Go

Friday, October 01, 2010

I am not sure if what I heard was embarrassment, frustration, anger, or maybe a combination of all three, but the voice on the other end of the line was loaded with it. Gil called to tell me he had just terminated an employee of forty years for theft. After a long investigation it had been determined that the employee had been stealing material and using equipment for his personal use for many years.

ďI blame myself,Ē Gil beganĒ For being so trusting. ďI should have been more skeptical of people and maybe this wouldnít have happened!Ē

Gilís been with his company for close to thirty years. I asked him if this had ever happened before and he told me it hadnít.

ďSo,Ē I said. ďYou are going to completely scrap your belief system because of one occurrence?Ē

ďHe took advantage of me. Itís my fault.Ē

I bring this up because I received a few questions about yesterdayís blog. A few folks wondered how you let go and how you began to forgive. Really good question.

You begin by telling yourself you are going to stop blaming. Mostly you stop blaming yourself because once you get in the habit of unchaining yourself from the wall it becomes easier to unchain the rest of creation. If you are like me you wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and you begin thinking about all the missed opportunities, mistakes and really stupid decisions you made during your life. The more you think about them the angrier you get and when you run out of room inside of you to blame yourself, you start blaming other people. Maybe itís the DH or DW. Maybe its mom or dad or the boss. It doesnít matter; assign blame so you can get back to sleep.

The cycle is self-perpetuating. We blame ourselves and then in order to live with our less than enlightened decisions we come up with a justification for our actions and we cling tight to it. Usually those justifications involve other people.

Itís okay to be wrong. Itís okay to make mistakes, even if those mistakes are horrific and terrible. We all make them. What we have done is elevate mistakes to be synonymous with sin. And God knows we canít live with sin!! We have to drive our mistakes out with a whip a, chair and a gun. Next thing you know we are in the buffet line with all the other ďsinnersĒ and we are chowing down. Somehow it feels better when we eat. Then we look in the mirror and we say ďyikes!!!Ē We is fat!!! Who do we blame for that? Hmmmmmmmm I know Iíll blame me. Itís like a dog chasing itís tale.

I am not perfect, neither are you and I donít know that I know any perfect people. I do know some smart ones and they are the folks who begin with really tiny steps and say the first thing I am going to do is stop blaming me for my past. Itís done, over, kaput.
I realized a few months ago that if I didnít stop all the self-blaming I was doing Iíd never STAY healthy. Iíd eternally take weight off and put it back on because there would always be something or someone to blame. When I stop blaming myself I stop blaming other people because of the freedom I feel inside. Itís like a huge weight is lifted and I have space and time for all those wonderful, healthy activities.

When I get in the habit of not blaming I can learn to forgive, especially myself, for my mistakes. That makes it easier to forgive everyone around me and when I learn to do that I learn to let go of those things that hold me back.

I am who I hang around with. Hang with naysayers then youíll be a naysayer.
Gil probably didnít sleep too well last night.

Been there, done that.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/1/2010 2:50PM

    Poor Gil!!

I NEVER wake up in the middle of the night and think, "If only............" Mistakes are blessings. They are meant to teach you something. The mistakes I made in my life are some of the most pivotal moments in my life - life changing. I learned from them and grew and became the person I wanted to be because of them.

You need to tell Gil to embrace his mistakes as learning experiences. And you need to not fret over missed opportunities but celebrate the opportunities you did take. The good decisions you made. Living in the past is futile and wastes valuable time that you can be devoting to having a wonderful here and now. Who has time to look for a place to put blame? You have too many good things to do and so do I.

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CATHERINEL66 10/1/2010 1:30PM

    I heard this one loud and clear .... I think it all starts with ourselves. And the second I start blaming others, I take it as a big signal to look at the pot calling the kettle black (self projection!).

Good blog!

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CINDYHOUGHTON 10/1/2010 12:27PM

    I love what Joyce Meyer says: hurting people hurt people and we are always looking for where to place blame. Addicts don't begin to heal until they take responsibility for their own actions and neither do the rest of us. We cannot control anyone but ourselves;. Let's do the best we can to do so and pray for everyone else!Good blog!

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WISEONE68 10/1/2010 11:53AM

    Great blog, Friend!! Forgiveness is essential..as I said before, and will share till it doesn't make sense to me any longer...

"Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

When we don't forgive, we are only hurting ourselves and our relationship with the Lord!!!!

Have a great day!!!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/1/2010 11:43AM

    Thanks John. I'm working on it.

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ZURDTA- 10/1/2010 11:41AM

    True, John...

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/1/2010 11:08AM

    You are wise, John. Forgiveness is essential to our own freedom; we only tie ourselves up in knots and strengthen the chains that bind us to the wall when we choose to not forgive. Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a choice that we make, sometimes once but more often day by day, minute by minute.

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NJMATTICE 10/1/2010 9:47AM

    It's an important job to be at peace with ourselves. I find that there's little peace when you are attending to a fresh wound. It just plain hurts. Like a cut. You have to dance around a bit, blow on it, "ooh, ouch, ouch, sheesh, (whine, whine) shoot!" etc. Then when the initial pain gets under control, then you can get to the healing and forgiveness. You friend Gil is freshly wounded. Still dancing around. I hear his pain. Ouch! But blaming only helps us cling to the pain. Some of us seem to like pain. That way we have an excuse to use our medications. I'm learning to accept the pain for what it is, experience it, let it run it's course and then move on. Thanks for the thoughtful blog Mr. J.
Love,
Nancy

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AKATUJE 10/1/2010 9:31AM

    Somehow it is hardest to forgive me, but ia m learning slowly that God loves me and forgives me and practicing to let go of my mistakes. You are so right, they do chain us to a wall and keep us in the same nasty place. Out with my whip!!!

Blessings!!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 10/1/2010 9:26AM

  Oh my dear friend.. we always seem to be on the same page.. I have for awhile now ( ok a lifetime) been trying to let go and forgive those in the past who have hurt me and helped mold me .. I say I do.. but then have no desire to let them back in my life to do it again.. so is this true forgiveness or just something I do for self protection I am not sure...I am learning these life lessons and I am determined to keep on the road no matter how bumpy it gets... thank you for being a friend and being inspiring to us at Sparks

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