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Finding My Own Confidence 11 Months of Spark

Monday, November 15, 2010

I’m starting a seminar for a client in Nashville tomorrow afternoon and I was finalizing everything with the event planner for the hotel the other day. Before we hung up she said to me “I don’t know if I could do what you do. You must have had an awful lot of confidence in yourself.” I chuckled a bit and said “Well it’s either confidence or ignorance. Some days I’m not sure which.”

I thought about that conversation a lot this weekend. I asked myself how many times I began a sentence like she did. “I could never…..” My answer was: A Lot!!! It got to the point where I actually took out a legal pad and as watched the NFL yesterday I would write them down. The list was large and to tag it with the title of impressive would be, well sort of odd, ya know? Many of the things on that list were things I had long ago accomplished but at one point in time felt that there was “no way,” I could ever do them at all. Some of the things on the list were current things, things that I wasn’t even aware of. Bad habits of sorts that crept into my life and derailed my performance sat there looking at me.

Building your confidence is an ongoing, full time job. It is easy when there are a string of victories. We can conquer the world. It gets harder and then darn near impossible when things aren’t going the way we think they are supposed to. We attack, mostly ourselves and our beliefs when we gain a pound here or there or we eat something we believe might slow down out progress. I am finding that I have to look at work on the things in my life that give me the strength to endure, even during those times of self-doubt. I am learning I can do anything I CHOOSE to do and that choice is an important part of building my confidence. I am learning that the only person I am in COMPETITION with is ME. It matters greatly how I stck up against my own goals and expectations but the minute I start comparing me to you? ---- Well I have big issues. I never will be you and you never will be me. I am learning that often it means JUMPING IN the deep end of the pool and finding the swim to the other side isn’t as hard as I might make it.

It comes down to belieiving in me, my plan and ability to get there. You may get there ahead of me but that just means there is one more person to cheer for me when I arrive. I’ve been here eleven months today. I’ve accomplished a lot and hope to accomplish a lot more!!!

Confidence is another word for SELF TALK. So as I write this morning I am asking myself what kinds of things am I saying.

“I am worth it. I deserve it. I am who I hang around with.”

Good start John, good start.

“I know I can, I know I can.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHERINEL66 11/16/2010 4:03PM

    This is a great blog! And you're so right that working on yourself IS a fulltime job. When people ask me my "secret" to weight loss, I always tell them that it's the part time job that I had to make time for in my life .. and work around all the prep, shopping, food prep, working out, etc etc ... all those "secret" ingredients that combine to make hard work and dedication to the journey!

Congrats on your 11 month spark-iversary!

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WISEONE68 11/16/2010 9:05AM

    GREAT start, John, GREAT start!!! You have such a gift of putting into words what so many people are in need of hearing (reading)!! That is why I like Spark so much--cuz' we are around others who feel similar feelings, go through similar trials, and experience similar doubts/frustrations.

You hit the nail on the head when you said, "I am who I hang out with!!" I went shopping the other day to buy some new clothes--not yet the size I want to be--but, I wanted to look professional, well-dressed (even, sexy). I am who I hang out with--if I am not putting all the effort in that I should be, then I need to change!!!!!

You are still an inspiration to me, Friend!! I am proud to know you and call you Friend. Thanks for the insight--AGAIN--into this journey we all share--becoming the healthy person God wants us to be!!!!


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JUDIL62 11/16/2010 8:26AM

    Somehow you always write about what I need to hear. Thank you for being a great SparkFriend!


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MYRNACARRIER 11/15/2010 11:10PM

    CHOICE, I love that sentence "I am learning that I can do anything I CHOOSE to do.
I think I will make that my mantra. Sticky note on my bathroom mirror.
I am worth it. I deserve it and I am who I hang around with.
Thanks, JOhn emoticon

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2BEATIT1 11/15/2010 10:15PM

    John you are amazing.
I truly believe God is using you to help all of us to keep going when we take 1 step forward and 2 steps back.
Thanks for the reminder that even when we 'blow' it, we can start again.
God bless

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SPARKENISTA 11/15/2010 9:04PM

    In "Little House on the Prairie" Laura's father, Charles, once said,"The fool didn't know it couldn't be he went ahead and did it...!" Yet, somehow, I don't t think that's you.

We joined during the same week. All along you have striven to keep your structure in your nutrition program, your exercise program and your blogging. You have gotten what you have deserved for a year of plugging away and keeping your goals in mind. I understand that it hasn't always been easy or perfect. But it was more than good enough.
emoticon on a great and courageous year!!!


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TIME4AFITME 11/15/2010 8:04PM

    Great blog! Thx

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/15/2010 3:37PM

    You should have had my dad, John. I was never allowed to say I could not do something because if I did my dad's hair would stand on end and he would prove to me that I could. Maybe it's why I tend to think given enough time and motivation I can do anything. Care to walk on water with me, John? LOL.

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JPRICE217 11/15/2010 3:36PM

    emoticonfor a emoticonblog I am worth it!!!! And you are worth it!!!!

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WORKINGSTIFF 11/15/2010 3:13PM

    Sometimes it's best to do things out of ignorance, because if we really thought it through all the way, we'd never attempt some things!

Please enjoy this quote:
"Your opponent, in the end, is never really the player on the other side of the net, or the swimmer in the next lane, or the team on the other side of the field, or even the bar you must high-jump. Your opponent is yourself, your negative internal voices, your level of determination." Grace Lichtenstein

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GEEMAWEST 11/15/2010 12:52PM

    You sound just like my DH. And that's a good thing. emoticon

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LUVMYK9S 11/15/2010 12:24PM

    Thanks for the great blog! I've also told myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to but sometimes I do need to be reminded. I need to remind myself that I AM worth it and that I DO deserve it! Congratulations on 11 months with Spark and all of your accomplishments!

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ASHLEYRAMSEY 11/15/2010 11:52AM

    how inspiring is this?! Thank you for posting this! I think that making a list is a fantastic idea, and may make one myself very soon. Congrats on 11 months!

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MSSUNBUG 11/15/2010 11:14AM

    I often talk about my chiropractor as my chiropractor/spritual advisor. The man dropped 100 pounds and has kept it off for over five years. The way he did it is by repeating to himself, OUTLOUD, continuously, "I am lean, I am lean, I am lean." I'll confess that it took me a long time to buy into the power of positive thinking and affirmations. But I too find that things are usually not nearly as hard as I make them--and I too have a long list of things I once said were impossible that I've achieved (and then some!).

You're right that confidence is an every-day commitment. It's something we can choose to build for ourselves--or choose NOT to build for ourselves. I, much like you, choose to do my part to build it.

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WANDAH3 11/15/2010 10:17AM

    Congratulations John.

Love the blog, words have such power and we often are our own sabateurs without giving it a second thought just by the choice of words we use in our conversations.

Choosing to be in competition with others, will often lead to someone feeling defeated. I loved the fact that you were able to put it into the context of " You may get there ahead of me but that just means there is one more person to cheer for me when I arrive"

Have a wonderful day,Hugs,

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HDHAWK 11/15/2010 9:16AM

    Congrats on 11 months at spark! We all have the struggles and the "I don't think I cans". Making a list is a great idea!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 11/15/2010 9:03AM

    I like the idea of having more people there to cheer for me when I arrive. It puts a delicious spin on being at the back of the pack! LOL

Have a great day John!

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JUSTLYLE 11/15/2010 8:28AM

    Great blog again John. Congrats on the 11 months. We all need to give ourselves a talkin too occasionally. Yes we are Worthy, and by golly we are going to do something about it!

Skeeter emoticon

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MARCYNA 11/15/2010 8:22AM

    This is one of these moments "when things aren’t going the way we think they are supposed to" and it's hard for me to regain self confidence emoticon emoticon
Thanks for sharing, you're helping me a lot..... emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/15/2010 8:24:44 AM

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JUSTMOLLY13 11/15/2010 8:04AM

    I love this part, and never thought of it this way

"It comes down to believing in me, my plan and ability to get there. You may get there ahead of me but that just means there is one more person to cheer for me when I arrive".

how true when you said i'm in competition with me!!.......

congratulations on your 11 month anniversary john!! AWESOME!!
love the blog!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/15/2010 8:05:05 AM

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Running and Life

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I have been running since May 11, 2010

I started off inspired by a Spark friend who was running the Indianapolis half marathon while I was walking in a 5K walk here in town. Her enthusiasm, her commitment and her support was more than enough to inspire me to begin the running process. A few days later I started the C25K process.

I was skeptical. I looked in the mirror and despite my success all I saw was a fifty seven, year old, obese man who now decided it was time to act like he was twenty seven. Honestly, the thing that kept me motivated those first few weeks wasn’t my desire to run or any lofty or altruistic ideal. It was the fact that I had paid slightly over two hundred dollars for running shoes and I couldn’t see giving up after making that sort of investment.

I broke through the day I “found my stride” and it became comfortable for me to run. The same Spark friend who inspired me to run wrote me a quick note and told me that “I was a runner now.” I grinned.

I received lots of support both from my family and my friends here. My son Paul became my running coach. My personal trainer, Jen ran with me a few times and according to the people at the gym was more excited than I was the day I ran my first 5K. That was Saturday, September 25, just four short months after I began running. I didn’t set any land speed records --- I still don’t. During that time I had received a lot of encouragement from people who had run at one time and no longer could because of illness or injury. They were equally inspiring. A Spark friend who had run for a long time gave me two pieces of advice that I won’t ever forget:

“Run the race you trained to run.”

“Enjoy yourself.”

I give you that bit of a back story because yesterday, around noon, I ran five miles for the very first time. I would like to tell you it was full of inspiration and cheering and me being really happy. It was the worst run of my short running life. I gave up counting after the tenth time I decided I was going to stop running, throw my shoes in the garbage, quit the gym and go live under a rock. Everything hurt and I wasn’t motivated, not in the slightest. I never did get into any sort of rhythm.

“Routines are a nice starting point, but we need to be adaptable. We need strong yet flexible airplanes to fly on this journey, because one thing for sure is that it lasts FOREVER. How can we build better airplanes that fly through the storms of "real life" -- not a routine that only works in an ideal world?”

That quote is on my desk blotter. It’s from CATHERINEL66’s blog from a few weeks ago. You can read the whole blog at:

For about a mile that’s all I kept repeating in my head. “Fly the blanket-blank plane through the storm John.” I’d like to tell you it inspired me, it just kept me moving forward. I thought about all my friends who’d love to be there right next to me but couldn’t. I thought about how I was being a whiney little boy and I put one foot in front of the other. The route I ran took me from door to door at my gym. It was 5.1 miles. At 5.08 miles about two hundred yards from the finish my body told me “Stop John, or I’ll stop you.” I always try to listen to my body.

There was nothing really inspirational about what I did. Many of you run five miles in your sleep and a lot quicker than I ever dreamed of doing. I almost didn’t start yesterday. I had to force myself to do it. Running is like life. No matter how many different ways you cut it, it’s a lot of hard work, which pays off if you stick with it. You have really great moments that come after a lot of indecision, defeat and obstacles.

My body is sore from my gluts to my ankles. I took the garbage out earlier today and I saw three people run by my drive way. I smiled that kind of smile you often reserve only for yourself. I ache, but I’ll be out there with them Monday morning.

It’s like Springsteen says “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKNLOVE 11/15/2010 8:57PM

    Awesome john! You are always so inspiring! Keep up the good work & run the race to win the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus! You are doing that & doing that well I might add! Thanks for shining your light bright enough for the rest of us to follow! Blessings to you my friend!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/15/2010 3:36AM

    I am SO proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's so exhilirating right??? Wait till you run 6. I literally couldn't BELIEVE I had just done that!

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/14/2010 3:54PM

    You've come a LONG way in a short period of time.


You would be some sort of robot-weirdo if you didn't have days where you "hated" your run (or another form of exercise).

You are doing GREAT! emoticon on 5 miles!!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/14/2010 3:34PM

    I finished my second 5K race this morning, I ran the entire course this time ... I can identify with this, "I ache, but I’ll be out there with them Monday morning." I'll run again tomorrow!

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WANDAH3 11/14/2010 11:30AM

    What I love John about what you share in your never give up!
Oh sure, you might falter and stumble...but you never give up!

Comment edited on: 11/14/2010 11:30:56 AM

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GEEMAWEST 11/13/2010 8:56PM

    I think that any run is a good run. Just look at how far you've come in a year's time.

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CATHERINEL66 11/13/2010 2:59PM

    Hey John, I'm so glad that you found my "fly the airplane through the storm" blog to be useful to you!

I'm suffering from severe running envy (not to mention SHOE envy) right now. Funny, when you can't run at all, even a bad run sounds great :)

Now we've both done 5 milers! I can't wait to see what's next!!

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PRINCESSNURSE 11/13/2010 1:45PM

    See...I was right....You ARE a runner! You have discovered the secret--it is all about perserverence and mental toughness. You inspire me :-) WTG on your 5 miles!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/13/2010 1:29PM

    No wonder you are running, John. Those fancy shoes almost require it. LOL. You are doing great. Congrats!!

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JUDIL62 11/13/2010 12:31PM

    Very inspiring. You give me hope that one day I'll be able to be a runner too!

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/13/2010 12:26PM

    You pushed through and did it, that's what matters; sometimes that's ALL we can do in running and in life, keep pushing through the voice in our head that screams "What do you think you're doing here?" The only really bad run is the one we don't do; keep running, John, and keep flying your plane through the storms.

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DEE797 11/13/2010 11:59AM

    Even though your body tried to talk yourself out of finishing YOU DID IT! We all have days where we don't want to exercise for whatever reason, but you pushed through and accomplished what you set out to do. That is emoticon

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MISTYRIVER64 11/13/2010 10:33AM

    What a great accomplishment - and those sore muscles are just little reminders that you worked your whole body (actually they're like little congratulatory slaps on the back) YOU DID IT! YOU MADE IT! YOU DID GREAT!

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DDHEART 11/13/2010 10:18AM

    Well John you have just passed another milestone....the one where you have a bad run....It HAPPENS...yeah it's like life, we do have bad life, it doesn't end goes on and there will be more good days, some not great and some that are superb in every way! My last training run was superb and then yesterday and today, I am finding it hard to motivate myself to go out...go figure...well maybe it's the body saying it needs a little more time to get used to what we're asking of it. You have come a very long way...deserve a good pat on the back (not so hard to jolt the sore muscles!!!) Enjoy your runs when you can and when you can't remember that the next run can be better!

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MARCYNA 11/13/2010 10:01AM

    Great!!!Just love it, must try the attitude emoticon
PS After all the sore stuff, you wll feel like a new-

Comment edited on: 11/13/2010 10:03:11 AM

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HDHAWK 11/13/2010 9:53AM

    John, we all have workouts like your run yesterday, but we have many more where we DO enjoy them, we ARE inspired, and feel like we're in the zone. Chalk it up to one of those days and give yourself a big cheer emoticon for finishing in spite of it! emoticon I'm proud of you!

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The Emotional Eater In Me

Friday, November 12, 2010

I don’t know about you but frustration, anger, envy ---- all those emotions we subscribe to “other people” have always been a thorn in my side when it comes to emotional eating. We don’t like to talk about our sordid journeys to the refrigerator or Coldstone when our world comes unraveled or when we don’t live up to one another’s expectations. I have read all the strategies and yet there are days I find myself perched on the precipice of pecan pie hell, just waiting for an opportunity to dive in.

It may sound awfully arrogant of me to say that my own blog inspired me yesterday. The good Lord knows there are enough other inspirations here but the whole notion of how hard I try to be something I am not most days struck me as a major road block.

“Here’s a thought, John. Why don’t you concentrate on the talents you have and develop them!!!”

What a novel idea!! At best I find myself mimicking other people and then head for a plate of chocolate chip cookies when I don’t achieve the lofty heights they do. Naturally I blame it on my own lack of self-worth and value. I mean if YOU can do it why can’t I? Get my drift here?

I never stop to think there are lots of things I do well and that if I took the time to first of all locate them beneath all this self-loathing and bitterness because I don’t weight 150 pounds and have a full head of hair I might begin to assert my own value and worth to not only myself but to the world.

When I choose to concentrate on my talents and on the things I do well, my self-esteem goes through the roof. The moment I try to be YOU, and I fail, it crashes into the basement. I head for my drug of choice which is food. It comforts me until I look at my belly and the cycle begins again.

Most of us have been taught to be somewhat self-deprecating and develop this “I’m not that good!!!” mentality. The word we use is humility. If you look at the root of that word, humility, it means “to be truthful.” Following the self-oppressing logic that we apply only to ourselves we are saying the truth is that we are not worth it.


The truth is you and I have all kinds of talents and they are not found on the Spark Page of IAMSKINNYAND URNOT. They are found within your heart, your mind and your soul. They were given to you at your creation and they are yours and yours alone.

So please put down the donut, stop feeling sorry for yourself, walk out the front door and inspire yourself today. When all is said and done the best person in the world for you to hang around with in this ever loving world is you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 11/14/2010 7:33AM

    emoticononce again John a great blog and an eye opener. emoticon

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SARAHTAIT 11/13/2010 1:01PM

    Thanks for then inspiration!

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SARAHTAIT 11/13/2010 1:01PM

    Thanks for then inspiration!

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SARAHTAIT 11/13/2010 1:01PM

    Thanks for then inspiration!

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AZCUPCAKE 11/13/2010 11:09AM

    Thanks for helping me put the box of Cap'n Crunch cereal down. I suffer from the same tormented way of thinking whenever I compare myself to others (which can happen about 1,399 times a day while I am awake!). You are absolutely right, once again. I crown you King of Common Sense and Logic!! emoticon

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2BEATIT1 11/13/2010 10:29AM

    John you are such an inspiration to all of us to keep going no matter what.

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MARCYNA 11/13/2010 9:49AM

    I see many talents in you. I could write a long list but you're so insightful I'm sure you don't need to know, you know already.
If you were one of my students, I'd say I see a very talented boy, full of potential, who is - maybe - a bit ashamed of using it.
USE IT- BELIEVE IT must become our motto emoticon emoticon

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GRANDKATZ 11/13/2010 9:39AM

    At times, taking it out of one's head and writing it down to see it clarifies the emotional issues.... or so I have found.

emoticon emoticon

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2BEATIT1 11/12/2010 6:03PM

    Thanks for sharing John.

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KSGROTHE 11/12/2010 5:51PM

    emoticon for another great blog! I struggle a *lot* with comparing myself to others and feeling like I don't measure up. I'm working on this, but it's a difficult habit to break.

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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HDHAWK 11/12/2010 4:44PM

    Excellent blog and so very true!

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LOOKY-LOU 11/12/2010 1:22PM

    "there are days I find myself perched on the precipice of pecan pie hell, just waiting for an opportunity to dive in."

Okay, that gave me the BEST visual...and how true!!!

I love that you put my feelings into words...

Thanks for an amazing blog John!

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BECCALYNN75 11/12/2010 1:16PM

    OK, OK, LOL Seriously, THANK YOU! I needed that, especially the last part about walk out the front door. I've committed to start C25K Monday, but may need that push out the door!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 11/12/2010 12:20PM

    YES! " own blog inspired me yesterday."
John, look within to find your own beauty and strengths, we are all unique!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 11/12/2010 12:06PM

    there is a famous speach where a part of it says "it is not so much that we are afraid to fail but more that we are afraid to succeed that holds us back."who else will blow our own trumpet if not have löots of good of them being is writing awesome blogs.keep up the good work you are an inspiration to us all.

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GIRANIMAL 11/12/2010 11:35AM

    Oh man, ain't this the truth? When I went through a long depressive state after my mother died and I hated my job, etc., I would often chastise myself for feeling so bleak. "Other people have it worse. I can walk and breath. What am I whining about?" That sorta thing. And a very good friend of mine always had to keep snapping me back with the reminder that I am NOT everyone else and my feelings are valid.

And it worked. If I could stop to think about me and my circumstances only as they related to ME and MY life -- not compared with everyone else -- it really changed my perspective.


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DEE797 11/12/2010 10:59AM

    I love reading your blogs..they are the highlight of my day. You definitely have a way with words. Thanks for sharing with us.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/12/2010 10:30AM

    Oh wow!! Pecan Pie Hell???? Your idea of Hell is a lot better than mine. I might be willing to risk a trip there, John. You've set off a fantasy for me. I'm in pecan pie hell totally surrounded by pecan pie and have no fork. I hate to be sticky but I guess I'll have to be. LOL. emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/12/2010 10:29AM

    Good morning, John!

You are a very talented writer -- and reading your blog is a highlight of my morning.

Now, I'm going to get "old-school" on you:
Go and re-read your "special me" list!!! NOW!!!


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NANCY15TOGOAL 11/12/2010 10:25AM

  One of your talents is writing - great blog. Thanks.

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SMOCKON 11/12/2010 10:13AM

    Great blog! And for the record, I had to go back to a photo to see how much hair you have. The thing I DID know about you is that you have intensely blue eyes. Isn't it funny that we see only our imperfections and believe that's what other people see too?

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WANDAH3 11/12/2010 10:01AM

    Yay, and it's Fabulous opportunity for you to toot your own horn and let the world know just how fabulous you are.

Have an awesome day,

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PINETREEGIRL 11/12/2010 9:27AM

    I think that yourself is the best person you could possibly be inspired by!

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NACHOSMAMA 11/12/2010 8:59AM

    AMEN. The answer is never out there (someone else's abilities/accomplishments), it's always inside us (What have I done well in the past; what can I do today?).

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JUSTLYLE 11/12/2010 8:45AM

    You made many great points John, good reading. You have good way of putting my thoughts on paper. This Life Style Journey continues and we are a on board.

Skeeter emoticon

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I'm Not FAT!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We had to stand in line at Target for a while last night. Someone was waiting for a price check. It gave me an opportunity to look at the magazine rack to my immediate left. Slick and glossy covers stared back at me offering me advice on every aspect of my life. By the way, did you know your breasts were crying out for attention? I didn’t.

Two things caught my eye. The first was how sleek and svelte everyone, male and female looked. I am not sure I could look like that if I devoted all day and all night to getting there. The second thing I noticed was how many times the word “FAT” was used. It was used just as I printed it, in upper case letters screaming derision and shame. I even sucked my gut in a bit so no one would notice.

I am not FAT

We have made lots of progress in our society as it relates to how we treat and view each other. We have created a process were the use derogatory terms for gender, age, national origin, religion and sexual preference have become unacceptable and rightfully so. We seem to believe it is still okay to refer to anyone who struggles with weight as FAT!!! It seems as if we’ve developed the logic that when we shame those of us who are over our ideal weight enough, well we’ll do something about it.

I am not FAT

Look at any book or publication (Including the holy grail of this web site, The Spark) and see the visual projections of the so called finished product. They are all sleek, slender, dressed well and have a blessed smile about their faces. They are the ideal. Now here’s the problem. There is no ideal.

From a very young age we are conditioned to believe that there is a preferred way to look. It’s so important that we are told our very success in life depends upon it. I’m not talking about being healthy. I’m talking about being attractive and so are they. The problem starts when you create a blanket definition for attractive. It just doesn’t work. What is attractive to me may not be attractive to you. Is it up to Vanity Fair to create a standard?

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I want to be healthy and happy. I want to reach my ideal weight and have all the factors that determine health for a person my age. I am also keenly aware that my obesity is my own responsibility, not the universes. If I choose to be overweight it is not society’s fault. It’s my own choice.

I am not FAT.

I believe the standard of health I achieve in my life has to do with a number of things least of all what the cover of Men’s Health tells me I am supposed to look like. I have watched people; some of them here at Spark, mortgage their health and souls to look like the magazine covers only to realize they can’t sustain that level of appearance.

It’s about health. I have some very tall friends and some very short friends and then there are people like myself who God seems to have forgotten about the neck when he created us. He made up for it by giving me long legs. It is insane for me to compare my weight and health journey to my tall and short friends.

I am not FAT

There are lots of things in my life I need to change. I need to change them because I am worth the change, I deserve the change and I show up here most days to hang around with real people!!! (That would be you. You can take a bow now.) I need to eat better, exercise more and keep my eye on a healthy weight.

We reached the car and I told Joan everything I was thinking. As I started the engine I smirked a bit. She asked me why I had that look on my face.

“Suppose, “I said.” That a magazine published pictures of the ideal Caucasian, Hispanic and African American, and Asian person. What do you think the reaction would be?”

Something to think about

I am not FAT

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 11/14/2010 7:36AM

    I am not fat I am not fat I am not fat emoticon

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AZCUPCAKE 11/13/2010 11:06AM

    Thank you for saying what we all need to revisit in our heads on a daily basis. Perfection is NON-EXISTENT. There IS no such thing, no matter WHAT your race, hair color, weight, etc, etc! God bless you for continually reminding us what is REALLY important in life - having love, friends, family and our health (both physical and mental!) in BALANCE. emoticon

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MARCYNA 11/12/2010 12:56PM

    I'm not fat either emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/13/2010 9:55:50 AM

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GIRANIMAL 11/12/2010 11:54AM


I have to admit, I am majorly struggling with the idea of getting to that "ideal" weight too. According to the big Them, at 5' 2" and 134, I have another 10-15 pounds to go, and I really think my body is refusing! Granted, I have slacked here and there, or it could be a loooooong plateau, but overall, it seems to just be resisting. And I am really working to be OK with that! I feel damn good about the 65 pounds I've lost, yet I still scrutinize: I have flabby abs, I have flabby triceps, my thighs are still huge. GUH.

I showed a picture from this summer to a friend, because it honestly confounded me. I think I still look FAT! And he said, "no way. I mean, you're not skinny, but look! Your neck is tiny! I do not think 'fat' about this picture at all."

And I have to admit: I was hurt that he said I'm not skinny. He meant nothing bad by it, and in fact I don't really want to be "skinny" - just healthy and moderately fit - but we are so TRAINED to think skinny = perfection!

But that's part of the reason I am here on Spark: to re-learn what healthy means!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/11/2010 6:51PM



You're RIGHT. We DO take responsibility for our overweight BUT we are NOT getting suckered in their game of what they want us to look like and looking at ourselves negatively for it. We are NOT FAT!!!!!!



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CARTOONB 11/11/2010 5:40PM

    According to the "ideal" I am still about 15 - 20 pounds overweight. However, I am very happy with the way I look, the way I feel and the way my clothes fit. I probably *could* get to an ideal, but no one would like me...I mean NO ONE! LOL! Glad to see that you are paying attention to you and not some ideal.

This is me...taking a bow. Couldn't find a proper forward type one... emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/11/2010 2:33PM

    Me either. Men's Healh Magazine sucks, John. LOL. Speaking as an R.N. they are the pits. Not even good enough for me to wipe my butt on. We don't need this trash rag to tell us how to live. We are on our way to good health and good looks.

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DEE797 11/11/2010 2:07PM

    Thanks so much for this blog, it was what I needed to hear today. Wishing you continued success on your journey! emoticon

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JURI62 11/11/2010 11:36AM

    I am not FAT either! Thanks for a great blog.

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HLPRATT 11/11/2010 10:46AM

    There is so much prejudice against "fat". I see it so much in the medical community too. It certainly needs to be about health- not sizes.

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WANDAH3 11/11/2010 10:36AM

    John...thank you for your blog.

Have a wonderfully blessed day,

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/11/2010 10:26AM

    So right, John. It's about health, not about some unrealistic 'ideal' set by someone else. That's why I have a hard time deciding what I 'should' weigh when I lose the weight I need to; I'm not at all sure that it will be what the various charts tell me. Right now I'm healthier than I've been in years; I do want to lose more weight and will continue to work towards that, but I'm not obsessing about it. Healthy is way more important.

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 11/11/2010 10:08AM


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TWENKY215 11/11/2010 9:55AM

    Yeah I know exactly how you feel. I feel this way every dang time I try and order clothes from the internet shops or catalogs. I wonder why the "PLUS" size stores send you pictures of clothes that you should buy with a size 2 model wearing them? That is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Plus size people wear clothes, do they think that the women are not pretty enough to sale to women the same size? emoticon

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STARGLADE 11/11/2010 9:54AM

    Excellent blog, John.

My older bonus daughter, who's 13 and in 8th grade, had a doctor's appt last week. When she got on the scale, her mother told me, her face fell; she turned to her mom and mouthed "I'm fat." This, because the scale read 113 lbs.

She is NOT FAT. She is very short for her age group (not even five feet tall), and she carries weight around her middle (genetically predisposed to it, one look at both sides of her family tells that story--even the "thin" ones have a belly), but she is of a healthy weight for her age and height. I was pleased that her mother brought that up with the pediatrician at the end of the appointment when invited to do so. Perhaps hearing it from her doctor will help her "get it," that we're not being kind when we tell her she's not fat--we're being truthful. She said, "Tell that to the girls in my class who weigh, like, 80 pounds." Her dr said (according to her mother, anyway--and I'm inclined to believe her, I've met the dr myself), "They're unhealthy. They shouldn't be that thin, it's not good for them. Don't listen to them. I know it's hard, and it hurts, but you are not fat."

Here's hoping. Thanks for this perspective. It's a good one.

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MSSUNBUG 11/11/2010 9:52AM

    This is so true. It's about health, about being well.

I agree with you that the way we talk about people of size presently is disconcerting. ESPECIALLY considering many of us who are or have been of size are struggling with some serious emotional "stuff" that has contributed to our weight. When would it ever be apporpriate to point a blaming or critical finger at someone who is struggling?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

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GEEMAWEST 11/11/2010 9:50AM

    Bravo John!! Well said.

And BTW, I already knew that my breasts need attention, but I figure I'm not going to worry about it until they hit my knees.

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DOLLBABE56 11/11/2010 9:43AM

    You know? I really needed this blog right now. Perspective is a great thing.

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CHILDOFGOD4LIFE 11/11/2010 8:41AM

    Amen, Brother. it is so sad how society tries to push all of these "beautiful", "sexy", stunning"s on us and tries to make us feel we are so unworthy of love and attention. It has been with us since the beginning of time (look at stories in the Bible such as how David was drawn to Basheba and how she left her husband for David. Satan has planted those lies about physical beauty, wealth, etc. being the most important thing about a person. When we look at the rich and famous (beautiful) people, we can see so much brokeness that the world does not see.
If we ever were thinner, we cannot dream of going back and looking like we did 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years ago. We have to rejoice in a happy healthy body, that when we look in the mirror, we can thank God and say, "job well done."

Have a very Blessed day.
Carol from Ohio

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MNOT2THICK 11/11/2010 8:21AM

    emoticon Well said.

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KIMHALLMARK 11/11/2010 8:13AM

    My youngest daughter (now 44 years) told me recently she liked that I was "fat" when she was little cuz I was soft and comfortable.

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HONORINGGOD 11/11/2010 8:09AM


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WISEONE68 11/11/2010 8:08AM

    GREAT (as usual) Blog, John. You are so right--that "ideal" has been around since I was little!! I guess, perhaps, it started with Twiggy, or maybe before that.
But, think about the Elizabeth Taylors, Marilyn Monroe, etc. There were not "thin" by today's standards, yet they were wonderful actresses/models, etc. in their own right.
Every once in a while I watch Tyra Banks' show "America's Next Top Model". It just KILLS me when they call a girl who is a size 10 or 12 (about what I am now) a PLUS SIZED model!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT?? A plus sized model??? What then are the larger, more "full-figured" women considered---AMAZON SIZED???? When we stop looking at these SKINNY women (and, I guess a few men, too)...then we will begin to see ourselves for what we are meant to be. HEALTHY--just as you put it--that could be a size 18 for some; size 10 for other; or, I guess, a size 0 (to me, that should mean the person does not exist--ZERO??!!).

Oh, and thanks for letting me know that "my breasts need attention!!" Too FUNNY!!! emoticon

Keep on doing what you are doing!! You are getting results and you are inspiring others!!

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Where Do I Focus My Energy?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYDOWNSOUTH 11/11/2010 8:22PM


That was my first video blog I have watched since joining spark, and I really enjoyed your message, your eloquent delivery and the positive energy you have thrown my way. Who would have thought that you could multiply the positive energy you are feeling by passing it forward. I look forward to followup videos.

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BTINTERNET 11/11/2010 8:58AM

    As always, terrific insights and lots to think about. We *do* put obstacles of our own making in our way. Thank you. Travel safe, John.

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CATHERINEL66 11/11/2010 6:41AM

    John, this is exactly how I think about energy and the power of thought. For years, I've embraced this, but with spark and a whole lot of thoughtful analysis, I've worked on getting better at where I put my energy too. Squandering on drama, things I can't control, or investing in why I can't (victim, poor me thinkin') is like throwing money/energy down the drain. We only have so much to go around and we TOTALLY choose what to do with it.

I choose to hang around with friends like you, buddy, and I'm privilaged to invest energy in your success. And I'm really proud of you getting up THAT early to get that run in before you got in the car. YOU ROCK. You're doing fantastic at blowing barriers to your success away and just catapulting right over them. Congrats to you on this achievement!

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HLPRATT 11/10/2010 12:50PM

    Loved it- and I like the car too for some quiet time. I see alot of mismanaging energy going on. Good for you to get up at 4:45 to run. It always envigorates me yet I find it hard to do. And I even wake up early.

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DEANNROSP 11/10/2010 11:24AM

    Great video blog. Thanks for sharing.

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JURI62 11/10/2010 6:16AM


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DEANNROSP 11/9/2010 10:36PM

    Darn it! I was looking forward to seeing your video but unfortunately it won't open on iPad. I'll have to Che k it out tomorrow when I'm at my real computer.

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MKPRINCESS007 11/9/2010 6:00PM

    So, John.......not sure how you do it, but you seem to reach the heart of the matter so often. The minute we decide that there is SOME way around that obstacle....over, under, around....the gates open and we find our way down the path. I, like you, have hit some road blocks. I lamented about them, and cried that they were there. But, when I truly went WITH MY INSTINCTS and ACTED toward a solution......well, you know the rest.

You bet we are real friends. You are true blue. :)

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/9/2010 5:09PM

    You got it John!!!!! I love the way you put it... it seems so obvious yet, i never thought about it...

"It means i've spent my energy" BRILLIANT!!! I LOVE It on "focusing energy"!!!!!!

I consider you my real friend too! emoticon



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MARCYNA 11/9/2010 3:51PM

    WoW...This was absolutely great, John....
The very moment I needed it, I read your blog.
I'll be praying & sending you positive thoughts!!!
PS I have had some jealousy feelings taking me where I shouldn't have and I've just realized how I wasted so much energy emoticon emoticon

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KML410 11/9/2010 8:58AM

    Once again another great blog. Thanks John for your thoughts. I will think about where I am focusing my energy. I too love the quiet of the car, thats where I do a lot of my thinking. I rarely play the radio when I'm in the car. The quiet time is when I think and pray. Have a great day looking forward to hearing from you again. emoticon

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