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.
Monday, October 04, 2010
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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:
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
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.
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.
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