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Sometimes You Learn The Hard Way

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One of the benefits of being self employed is that you can set your own schedule. If you want to take a long weekend you can. It also means that after you have spent all day in the car you come home, change your clothes and go to a very late afternoon meeting because your client couldnt wait till the next day to hear information that is roughly a month old to begin with. But, I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

We were sitting around the conference room table waiting for a few more people to show up when one of the people said to me "Have you been working out more often?" I responded that I had.

From the far end of the table a voice said "Well whatever you are doing it isnt working. you're still fat." It got really quiet. I mean really quiet.

Finally I said 'Lets get started. After the meeting a few people stopped me on my way out the door with apologies and words of encouragement. Someones weight is a hard thing to talk about. Most of them told me that the person always acted like that and not be take it too personally.

I got in the car and headed home. I was tired to begin with and as I hard as I tried to put that behind me I couldnt. I was fighting tears and it really, really hurt.

I really believe that God watches over me. He has to.

Half way home I hear a little voice in my head. It asks me if I had ever been unkind to people and not really cared what their feelings were? I'll admit it took a few minutes for me to let that sink in, but the little voice was right. I don't always know the impact of my words.

The hard lesson I learned is that I plan on being really careful what I say to people in the future. A positive word can spur us on but a negative word can derail us. I almost found that out yesterday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINDAC20 2/4/2010 8:58AM

    What a cruel thing to say! I've had my own experiences with people in my work environment who belittled my efforts probably because of their own insecurities. You handled it with grace though and should be proud of yourself.

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PAWPER 2/2/2010 8:38PM

  John you know that guy probably is a miserable human being. Its a shame he had to take his nasty mouth out on you. At a time when you are trying so hard it really does hurt to hear negativity from others. I had a sign on my file cabinet that said "Be Nicer than Necessary". We all have to remember that a smile may be the only one a person sees that day so always smile and speak to others.

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WANDAH3 2/2/2010 5:48PM

    John, I'm very proud of you.

I'm a great believer that nothing happens without a purpose. From my point of view...that very negative comment was an opportunity for you to reevaluate how your words can affect others. Good for you for listening to your inner spirit. Hurtful words can really destroy someone. My prayers go out not only to you for strength and wisdom, but also to the person that utter those hurtful words. That they might know self love, cause it sounds a bit like they are really hurting inside too.

Once again I'm so proud of you for choosing to learn a valuable lesson.


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TRIPLE_EMME 2/2/2010 12:04PM

    I'm glad that you didn't let that negative comment derail you -- and that you turned it into something positive.


You are doing great, my friend.


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SAMGERBINE 2/2/2010 11:43AM

    Good for you making lemonade out of a sour lemon!

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CMBELISLE 2/2/2010 11:40AM

    I'm sorry you had to run across a person that is just plain mean, but I'm glad you shared your story with us. We know how much work you've put into this and we know how hard it is and we know how far you've come. Keep up the great work!

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TNTEACHER2 2/2/2010 10:29AM

    Now, John,
Why do you think the *()&$$% person made that comment? He noticed that you are thinner and more muscular! Since it was a work situation, no retort was appropriate, and you made none. In a social situation, you might have said something back, and everyone would have laughed. The nice response of others who were at the meeting should bouy you up. Don't let him get to you. You are doing marvelously well. Keep it up.

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HIGHLIFE73 2/2/2010 9:59AM

    Way to turn neg into positive. That is what we need to do with all things.

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CHANGEDIN09 2/2/2010 9:02AM

    Cant believe someone would say that. Look at your before can definitely tell you have lost weight. Keep up the good work. It's great that you turned his comment into a positive. This journey really is just taking One day at a time.

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KPDRMNG 2/2/2010 8:30AM

    emoticon On your weight loss! And also not feeding into that person's ugly comment! Love how you took the situation and turned it into something positive. Keep up the great work! emoticon emoticon

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    Words make the difference. At 300+ pounds my doctor told me "You can do this" referencing the needed weight loss. Four little words that made the difference. I often hung on to those words on the very difficult days when I didn't believe in myself.
Often words that sting us can motivate us as well. Let these words spur you on to showing that person YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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The Past Is Past

Monday, February 01, 2010

I drove over five hundred miles one way to see a band perform this weekend. They are not a band whose name you would recognize. I did it on a whim. Well okay, I planned it out for three weeks ahead of time but trust me I dont do things like that!!! Mostly I would sit around and regret what I didnt do. Then Id get sad and the angry and then the flood gates would open. Id remember every tiny mistake I ever made. Id recall every slight, every opportunity I missed and every relationship that went into the toilet because of my perceived inadequacy.

When I gained weight it was because I wasnt worthy of being skinny like the rest of the world. Id made too many mistakes. Id blown too many opportunities in life. I deserved all of this. I lived in the past and by doing that I missed a lot of really great things right here in front of me.
So this weekend, we got in the car. My wife said more than once Wow, we are really doing this? My children called to inquire if I was terminally ill and trying to complete some sort of bucket list. Nope, just living the life.

It dawned on me awhile back that all I have is the opportunity right here before me. There are people who hurt me in the past. There are situations I should have taken advantage of and never did. But its over, its done and I cant change that.

If you keep looking over your shoulder you get a really sore neck. I choose to look ahead. I choose to heal.

Do me a favor. Close your eyes right now and throw your past in the garbage. The only reason it continues to hurt us is because we let it. This journey towards health, this quest for an improved lifestyle can also be a very wonderful and beautiful healing. It starts by realizing the past is gone forever. Like an artist poised before a blank canvas, a dancer leaping onto an empty stage and a musician with a tune humming in his head, you and I heal each day and begin anew.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANDAH3 2/1/2010 5:28PM

    Fantastic! Way to go on choosing to live today. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn't ours yet, so why not be the best you can be today! Sounds like your family is behind you 100% with the changes you are choosing to make in your outlook. I'm a great believer that we should all have a bucket list. It's fun to look at every once in awhile and actually see the ones we can cross off as having been done!

Have an awesome day,

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WORKINGSTIFF 2/1/2010 10:59AM

    Good for you on doing the spontaneous (sort of) trip to see that band!

We get one go round in life (unless you're one of those people who believe that we come back again)so we each have to make the most of it.

A life lived in regret is no kind of life. You said it best that what is in the past is over and done with. All any of us can do is learn from it.

Kudos, bro!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2010 11:00:01 AM

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YOYONOMORE1 2/1/2010 10:30AM

    A big Amen, to that brother! Good for you! Great blog!


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TRIPLE_EMME 2/1/2010 10:28AM

    I'm glad that you share your insight with us. emoticon

I needed to read your words, this morning!

Have a beautiful day!

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BLUEGOOSE2 2/1/2010 8:40AM

  Thanks..... i needed that. emoticon

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CHAIRUL 2/1/2010 8:10AM

    As an artist myself, what you say rings very true for me personally but really,doesn't everyone have the same issues-especially if we are struggling with our weight?
All my best to you. Hope you had a great time at the concert. emoticon emoticon

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JILLNOL2911 2/1/2010 8:09AM

    Thank you for your wonderful insight. I try to live this way everyday but sometimes find myself going back into my old habits but I just let my thoughts come and go and I don't beat myself up for it.

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Changing Slowly

Sunday, January 31, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes it is the smallest things

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOYONOMORE1 1/31/2010 2:45PM

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


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WANDAH3 1/31/2010 11:40AM

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

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

Have an awesome day,

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MARCYNA 1/31/2010 11:10AM

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

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SPENCERJAMES1 1/31/2010 10:26AM

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

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you all so much for your support

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREDDY1232 1/31/2010 12:06PM

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

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MARCYNA 1/31/2010 11:15AM

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

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NICKI2B 1/31/2010 8:33AM

    Good Job!!

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TSISQUAUSDI 1/30/2010 9:03PM

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

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

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

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

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CMBELISLE 1/30/2010 2:44PM

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

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/30/2010 11:33AM


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

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YOYONOMORE1 1/30/2010 10:42AM

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


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EVILKLOWN 1/30/2010 9:55AM

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

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A Good Motivator

Friday, January 29, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

I'll keep you posted.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 1/29/2010 10:15AM


Have a GREAT weekend!!!

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STAN5FAM 1/29/2010 10:00AM

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

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TSISQUAUSDI 1/29/2010 8:44AM

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


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ANNE7X7 1/29/2010 8:30AM

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


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SWEETNHOT 1/29/2010 8:14AM

    Keep it up! way to go.

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