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Blessed Failure

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My nephew Jim called last night. He’s Joan’s oldest sister’s oldest child. His dad died about ten years ago or so and since then whenever he has “issues” he calls me. His dad and I were close and I don’t think there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. He died suddenly of heart attack. Jim is getting married for the first time at age forty. The hardest thing for me to swallow at age fifty seven is that I have a forty year old nephew. (I guess it could be worse. I do have a sixteen year old great niece, LOL.)

His bride to be has two children, both boys, both teenagers, from a previous marriage, and the biological dad is not in the picture because he chooses not to be. Predictably, both boys don’t care for Jim and the fact he is marrying mom and they are, to use the appropriate parlance of today’s vocabulary “acting out.” Jim is at a loss on how to handle all of this so he called me. As he stated a couple of times during the call he believes I am “wise.” Given that the last six weeks of my life have been one little failure after another I didn’t correct him with any false humility. Towards the end of our discussion Jim seemed a bit despondent. He was hoping to be perfect and it just wasn’t working out the way he thought it would.

“You’re so wise,” he started. “All this stuff comes so easy to you.”

I reminded him that the only way we gain any wisdom at all is through failure. He seemed incredulous. He had a hard time believing I had ever failed at anything or made the wrong decision. I told him I had; more times than I cared to think about and if I had any insight at all into anything it was because I failed so often in reaching out for that ever so elusive success. We wished each other a good evening and hung up. I sat in my chair and started thinking about the real wisdom of what I said. It HAS been a rough last few weeks but I am starting to see the horizon and the sun is shining. I made a few bad choices. (One involved an illicit relationship with a pan of brownies.)Every time I made a poor choice, I regrouped and went back to the process that has been successful for me in the past, but a bit wiser because of my failure.

I have hated the gym, my trainer and my running buddies for a little over a month now. I wondered why I couldn’t click my heels three times and be thin and svelte and all those other alien terms. I cussed and fussed and carried on….. This morning I sit here with a goofy grin. My granddaughter throws herself on the floor and pitches a fit, so to speak. I just did it in a much more sophisticated manner. I got mad at me, and as a wise Spark friend told me once “Nuthin’ changes till somethin’ changes.”

I owe a lot to many of you. There have been so many “I love you’s” and so many “hang in there’s,” that I felt encouraged to move on. I am back on track. I’m a bit bruised and bumped and certainly a bit wiser. There is a real blessing in failure. My trainer reminded me that in exercise terms a muscle never, ever gets stronger until it reaches the point of failure.

Just like me and you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELYMWX 11/28/2010 12:18PM

    Many, many years ago (I think I was 12 or 13) I got a poster with a number of funny computer and engineering quotes. Yes I was a geek even then. Most were fun and/or silly, but there was one that really struck me as profoundly significant: "Good judgment from experience, while experience comes from bad judgment." That one's stuck with me for a long, long time.

Another one that has really stuck is Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics: Things get worse under pressure. But that's another story.

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JUST_TRI_IT 11/28/2010 11:23AM

    "My trainer reminded me that in exercise terms a muscle never, ever gets stronger until it reaches the point of failure. "

Hmmmm. That is like us all... the human muscle :)

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/28/2010 11:16AM

    Wow, that was powerful.

Failures are to be welcomed because of how much we learn about ourselves through them.

We got this. emoticon


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FLORIDASUN 11/28/2010 7:30AM

    Yep...your nephew has it are a WISE man! He's lucky to have you in his world. And don't EVER give up on yourself. When people give you those compliments know that they are TRUE...put them in your pocket and refer to them when the going gets rough....if other's see that goodness in must recognize it in yourself...that's the real challenge! emoticon

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DOCYJK 11/26/2010 2:00PM

    Thanks for the great inspiration about getting back on track!!! emoticon

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SARAWALKS 11/25/2010 7:00AM

    YES. YES. YES.
So never fear to fail!
Thanks, John, and I hope you have a lovely illicit relationship with some pumpkin pie today! (or a similar sweetie pie!)
Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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REJ7777 11/25/2010 6:10AM

    emoticon emoticon
Happy Thanksgiving!

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CARTOONB 11/25/2010 12:10AM

    An illicit relationship with a pan of brownies. Oh how my head spins at the thought! emoticon emoticon

Good to hear that you are feeling it.

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TRENTDREAMER 11/24/2010 9:21PM

    "There is a real blessing in failure. My trainer reminded me that in exercise terms a muscle never, ever gets stronger until it reaches the point of failure. "
* Well put

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/24/2010 3:36PM

    Adversity and failure are character builders. We learn so much during these trying times.

I like to think I have a lot of character! emoticon

Here's a tidbit of advice to pass along to your nephew, Jim. It comes from my own personal experience. When my stepfather and my mother hooked up, I was a late teen. My biological father was out of the picture (and had been for a long time). I gave my stepfather a rough time in the beginning. We didn't get along very well and clashed quite a bit. Granted, I didn't live with the parental unit; so my situation is a bit different. But here is the part I wanted to share: One day we had a heart-to-heart talk about our relationship. We agreed to get to know each other and think of each other as friends. When we stopped trying to engage in the dynamic of parent-child, which felt rather forced and awkward; we found that we shared much in common and truly began to respect each other. We got along much better.

Yesterday, marked the two-year anniversary of my mother no longer speaking to me (for reasons still unknown to me). I miss my stepfather a lot. Over the past decade (or so), I found him to be a man that I admired, respected and truly valued as a part of my life.

Things didn't start off the best between us, but it did improve vastly.

Feel free to share what you want with Jim -- and he can contact me if he wants to talk further.

I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Thanksgiving!

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DIASTER 11/24/2010 1:28PM

  So John:
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
We all have so much to be thankful for, especially Spark People and all the love and encouragement that flow every day. It might be time to re-read the Spark book and get ourselves back on that ride that first started our journey. Let us all kick down that wall that we have hit and move forward. We do know it works, and just think how very thankful we will be next Thanksgiving celebrating our new healthy selves.
God Bless.
Thank You for making a difference in our lives and for making us aware of our excuses.

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CALLIKIA 11/24/2010 11:16AM

    Such great words! The biggest part of success is learning how to fail again and again.

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JUDIL62 11/24/2010 10:26AM

    So true! A huge part of why I know I will succeed this time is because I have learned so much from my past failures. The difficult thing for me being a mom of two teenage boys is letting them make their own mistakes.

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ATREAT4ME 11/24/2010 9:15AM

    What a great perspective. Thank you for sharing the efforts of your thoughtfulness and perspective. Your nephew is blessed to have such a great uncle and we are blessed to have a window into this amazing, loving relationship. Have a great holiday!

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HDHAWK 11/24/2010 9:03AM

    Oh so true. If we can learn something from each of our failures then they have some value. Tough to see that sometimes. My son (only one left at home) almost views my new husband as a "dad" because his is barely in the picture...only when it's convenient for him, which isn't often. Although my then fiance and I got along great, we had many bumps along the way once we moved in together and added kids to the mix. It's the hardest part. If your nephew can come to realize that no matter who was marrying their mom he wouldn't be a popular guy. This is about their pain and not really about him.

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SWEETNEENI 11/24/2010 9:01AM

    "My trainer reminded me that in exercise terms a muscle never, ever gets stronger until it reaches the point of failure."

Love it.


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MARCYNA 11/24/2010 8:33AM

    My dear, I know what you mean....failure's part of the journey and once we learn how to deal with it, we're unstoppable...good luck to nephew, he deserves a prize for his courage emoticon

Happy Thanksgiving, don't forget to SPARK emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/24/2010 8:34:14 AM

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4EVERFIT011 11/24/2010 8:30AM

    What a wonderful way to look at things. I will definitely keep this in mind as I stumble along on my way to success. Thank you for some added perspective. Happy Thanksgiving.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 11/24/2010 8:24AM

    Oh how I needed this today. I'll say a prayer for your nephew and his new family-to-be. That would be a hard thing to go thru.

Happy Thanksgiving, John to you and yours.


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The Taking Side of Give and Take

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 11/28/2010 11:21AM

    What a timely message. Thank you, John ... Your final insight about control hits home.

Here's to giving and taking... in a balanced form :)

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FOURTHWALL2000 11/27/2010 7:15PM

    See, there you go giving again. emoticon

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FOURTHWALL2000 11/27/2010 7:14PM

    Thanks for posting this. You've given me food for thought. In as much as over-giving might be a form of control - not being willing to accept help is even more so. This is a truth I need to address with myself as I have a tendency to isolate myself and shut down. I never thought about those habits in terms of control before but a light bulb went on when I heard you say that. Thanks for helping me have this insight.

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SARAWALKS 11/25/2010 7:15AM

    emoticon You are so right, John! Been there, done that, thank God I didn't buy the T-shirt!
It is another form of control for sure. Giving keeps us on top, so to speak - whereas when we receive, we can't control how and what we receive. Plus we think we have to be grateful - whether we really are or not!
But even an imperfect gift is precious and everyone needs to learn to give and to take...part of the great letting-go that is life.
I have been forced to confront this by my job, which requires me to give and give and give. I have had to learn that my own sanity and ability to give when it is really needed - depends on my TAKING when I need to take. Taking others' help, even if they wouldn't do the job exactly as I would...learning that maybe I am not indispensable...woo woo woo!
Scary but wonderful. God bless your day and give you much to be thankful for!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/24/2010 4:30PM

    Yup...... me too. WOW, how can you be saying exactly what I feel!?!?? This is crazy that we have been through the same thing. GOSH ABSOLUTELY "Its another form of control"

Yup "didn't have any reason to" be upset...

it's all about the balance.

thanks john, from the bottom of my heart

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MSSUNBUG 11/24/2010 7:49AM

    This really struck a chord with me this morning. Balance, balance, balance indeed. I know you've heard me share before that I'm of the belief that my own (and many others') weight gain is directly connected to my people pleasing which is, by nature, all about give, give, give, and give--and NEVER taking. It took me a little while to get to that realization. The even BIGGER realization came when I learned that taking was something I had to WORK at doing, and doing with grace.

I'm not good at it, frankly. I get overwhelmed, my head fills with self-doubt (a la "if they only knew who I REALLY was," like you said), and I often just retreat. But if I don't take, I live a life completely out of balance--and, if not right away, then eventually it SHOWS. It shows in little ways, but in big ways too. It was certainly showing when my imbalance led me to weigh 280 pounds.

I've had the message fired at me from a lot of angles in the past two weeks--pause. update. reboot. soak it in. bask. catch up. TAKE it in. TAKE.

Today I practice taking by TAKING from you this wisdom that I'm going to carry with me through this holiday season (a giver's dream, the holidays!) in the hopes of achieving some better balance--and even more, in the hopes of enjoying BOTH sides of the equation--the give AND the take.

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GEEMAWEST 11/23/2010 9:48PM

    You and I are just too much alike. It's kind of scary. I didn't know that I had a long lost brother. Thanks for putting things in such a good perspective. My DH will appreciate it. LOL He is always trying to "give" by doing things for me and I have such a hard time accepting. I'll work on it.

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HDHAWK 11/23/2010 8:28PM

    There you go again John, figuring out another thing I need to hear. I so enjoy giving to others, but it's so difficult to take. I struggle with being independent and knowing I can take care of myself to accepting being taken care of at times. My new hubby enjoys doing things for me and that is very new to me. I have to remind myself to be accepting because he enjoys doing things for me as I do for him. Why should I take that away from him? It's tough sometimes!

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KELLY40222 11/23/2010 12:45PM

    Great vlog! I have never realized that I was denying someone the opportunity to be a "giver" because I chose not to be a "taker". You have given me so much to think about. Thank you!

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JPRICE217 11/23/2010 12:42PM

    John you are so right once again. I am a giver also and hate to take. So insightful. It is a controll thing.

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MSCOCOPUFFS01 11/23/2010 10:55AM

    another great vlog with great insight. I have a problem taking too but I was thinking about your other vlog and trust. I think at least 50 % of why I have trouble taking is because I don't trust the person to do whatever it is they are offering to do, right. Been trying to figure myself out and I think I'm doing a good job so far. You have helped. Thank you!

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BABYSOX 11/23/2010 10:31AM

    Very insightful. I agree that by accepting someone's help, it is allowing them to be a giver. So it can be good for us and for them.

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PLAYBLUES22 11/23/2010 9:51AM

    Sweetie, we are the type of people that don't know any other way of feeling good, it its just another form of addiction

Giving is what we do., taking ....well even though it is suppose to be balance, some times it would not even compare to what we do

I know we should learn to take, but just like the journey we are on, we have to come out of our comfort zone and do something different

If you come up with some better ways to help people like us, please,please do not hesitate to share

Ronnie emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 11/23/2010 9:03AM

    Balance! Yes this is something I struggle with. Thank you, John, for framing the issue so eloquently. It's great to see the other side of the equation.

I hope you have a blessed holiday and get some goodies your heart truly desires.

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Looking Through My Self Viewer

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some mornings I have enough to deal with and then, out of the clear blue, I have to take on being honest with myself. Is there no end, I ask you?

I read a blog this morning about self-image and how we aren’t always honest with ourselves about how we look. It was timely for me because I had a whole weekend of people who haven’t seen me in eight months or so going “Oh my gosh do you look good!!” or “I follow you on Facebook and my gosh I think its great someone your age has started running.” (I didn’t know being 57 qualified you for an assisted living facility.) The problem is, when I close my bathroom door and take a good look all I see is this obese man. It’s more than disheartening, it’s disgusting!!! That’s what I see. I don’t see the four pants sizes I have lost. I don’t see the sixty four pounds that took a lot of hard work. I see what’s left. I see the negative, the fat, the obese…………. Call it what you will.

I don’t think I will ever understand why some of you want to be my Spark friend. I mean I look at your pictures and see how fit and attractive you look and I do an OMG!!! I sneak a quick peak at me and almost need CPR from holding in my gut to look moderately presentable. I sat back in my chair and got ready because when I get this feeling I just know an inspiration, whether I want it or not, is looming on the horizon. “It’s why you haven’t put up a picture of yourself in forever,” the wonderful voice said. “It’s because you are ashamed.” A moment of thought………… I had to agree.

Oh great, I was feeling low enough as it was and now I have to tackle all this? Yeah I do. I mean I don’t but I do if I want to take the next step in a journey that doesn’t seem to want to end. I have had a bunch of stuff, none of it good; go through my head in the past thirty minutes or so. All of the silly beliefs I have about me and then the realization that along with being an emotional eater, an eternal people pleaser, and a control freak I discover that I suffer from massive inferiority about my appearance.

Be careful what you ask for John. Sixteen hours in the car in a three day period gives you a lot of time to reflect and pray. I asked for wisdom, strength and courage to keep on this journey. The answer I got was this small, yet strong voice saying: “You need to get out of your own way. We both can’t sit in the same seat and drive the car.”

I start a spinning class tomorrow night and a relaxation yoga class next Monday. I’m worried how I’ll look. It’s silly or is it? We all have demons inside of us, those pointy tailed imps that bedevil us and irritate us at a moment’s notice. They know exactly what button to push.

One foot in front of the other I keep repeating “You are worth it, you deserve it and thank God I hang around with you guys.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1_AMAZING_WOMAN 11/24/2010 5:32PM

    When I get to goal I hope to be constantly appreciative of the fact that I made it to goal, and be able to ignore the wrinkly, saggy, aging skin. After all, I know I will still look great in clothing. But, realistically, I know there will be days that I don't appreciate where I have come from and what I have, cause I will yearn for what I can't have. That is life. I hope those days are few, and that most every day I will live in gratefulness for the opportunities for health that losing the weight gives me.


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RENA1965 11/24/2010 8:30AM

    JOHNTJ1 I have it the same way as you.. I have celebrated 7 years today doing this journey.. There are days too where I look in the mirror, but when I look where I started I don't feel so disheartened..
Make peace with your body, enjoy making eye candy food and be friends with your exercise..

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MSSUNBUG 11/24/2010 8:03AM

    Definitely relate here too. I wish I could say it gets easier, but after 120 pounds lost, I still look in the mirror and see the negative things... well, MOST of the time--thankfully not ALL. And it gets better and better.

I walked into my first yoga class back in April of this year and literally got the Look (yes, capital L) that I feared I would get. I felt awful about myself and could have turned around and left right then, but I didn't. Anyone who gives me a look because of my appearance has far bigger issues than I; it's always way more about THEM than it is about YOU, you know?

Sometimes it is difficult for me to pick out what might be beautiful about me. When I DO see it though, it's not coming from my hair or my face or my body, per se... it comes from my smile when I'm cracking up at my nephew's joke, the way I look when I've finished a tough run, a glance I catch of myself as I take a deep breath and remember to enjoy a moment. Looking in the mirror only allows for two dimensions--and beauty is SO three dimensional (well, at LEAST). Your beauty comes from your eyes when you laugh, from your arms in the sunlight in your post-run picture here on sp, from your expression when you eloquently share from a level most people just can't access, your own experience and journey. It's been my experience that the brain has some good lag time on the body. Give it time--it will catch up. In the meantime, you can borrow MY vision of you! :-)

THANK YOU for sharing what so many of us are thinking.

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GIRANIMAL 11/23/2010 6:07PM

    Man, I know how you feel. And these days (before today's recent scale freak-out) I am weighing in at a fairly consistent 135. And yet, I still see fat.

I'm serious. I know, it's sick.

I wish I had answers for you. I don't know how to fix it yet either. For now all I can offer is "I understand." For me, not being the only one makes me feel less crazy.

So here's to misery loving company, my dear friend! LOL We'll figure it out though. It really must be just another step is in this wild transformation process. Must, I say!

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ANNE-ELIZ 11/22/2010 11:45PM

    So many of us have that voice in our head...I think it's almost universal!

No matter how well others, or even we ourselves think or know we're doing, there's always that sneaky little voice ready to undermine it all! I call them the "Yeah, buts".

Yay! I lost another couple of pounds! Yeah, but you still have 40 to go...

Boy, you look good! Yeah, but you should see me in the morning...

That was so smart !(or That was a great job)! Yeah, but anyone could have done that!

So glad that you are keeping those Yeah, buts in their place by just keeping on !

emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 11/22/2010 10:28PM

    You do have a demon to confront, don't you. If it helps at all, I sometimes feel the same way. Not so much as I used to, but that demon rears his ugly head occasionally. And, again if it helps, I don't see an obese man. I see a man who is kind and confident and a great support to me. I appreciate you and am glad you are willing to be my friend.

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HDHAWK 11/22/2010 6:37PM

    How do you always know what I'm thinking, but don't have the guts to put into words. You're so wise and so giving to share these thoughts openly. Who wouldn't want to be your friend? I feel blessed to have found you here! You deserve all the kudos you got this weekend and more!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/22/2010 5:48PM

    PS. AGREED on the "starting at your age" thing. You're YOUNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/22/2010 5:47PM

    You know why I'm your friend John? Because you have been instrumental in my truly believing to my core that this is about SO much more than losing pounds.

It's about mental adaptation. Being brave enough to face yourself every day, deal with whats inside head on, and YOU do that better than anyone else I know.

As for the gut..... I'm your GUT BUDDY!!! I see it every day too and get shocked sometimes.

The great part? Poor guts.... they're shrinking even if its just by .001% of a centimeter every day, and they will be gone in a matter of time. THATS what you should be telling yourself every time you see it. Because IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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WORKINGSTIFF 11/22/2010 3:09PM

    Sometimes dealing with the mental aspect of weight loss is harder than the physical. We work hard at exercising and portion control, but mental control can be just as hard.

Being positive with ourselves after a lifetime of negativity doesn't always come easy, but it's just like working out. You have to do it over and over and over again in order for it to do you any good. Running may not be second nature to you now, but if you stay with it, it could. Talking in a positive manner to yourself is the same.

Becoming a runner doesn't happen easily or overnight. Seeing the good in you is the same. Keep at it, and it will happen. Will you backslide? Maybe. But you keep at it anyway.

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BTINTERNET 11/22/2010 3:04PM

    Your insights are so... poignant sometimes. What I love when I look at your pictures and your vlogs is the honesty and truth and joy you have.

And remember, no one looks good doing those upside-down yoga poses....

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MARCYNA 11/22/2010 2:54PM

    I am often scared of how I look, it's not just about the average quantity of my fat. It's the color of my hair, my skin, my eyes and all the rest that sometimes is my enemy. When I succeed in thanking for all my body parts, wow, they're all ok, but when I don't I'm in a mess....and I hate looking at myself , to say nothing of pictures...same old fear that never goes away, I even destroyed pics I saw myself ugly in. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/22/2010 3:02:44 PM

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EMTFF376 11/22/2010 1:58PM

    You know why I'm your Sparkfriend, John? Because I was there at the beginning of my journey (just like you were once) and what got me to where I am were motivational, positive people who encouraged me, loved me and supported me, no matter what. AND, I still need motivation, love, support and encouragement and you offer that too. Seems like an awfully good friendship to me!

I used to be the one that everybody had to wait for because I was so out of shape I could not keep up. When I say keep up, I mean keep up with the overweight guys! LOL. Now, I do the waiting sometimes and I am fine with that because I KNOW what its like to be in that position. My friends did not give up on me. I will not give up on you.

I'm still trying to convince myself that its a healthy person looking back in the mirror, not a fat one. :) I think to some extent it is a demon that plagues all of us.

I hope we all learn someday to see the beautiful person (inside and out!) that everyone else sees.

Have a great Monday!

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GEEMAWEST 11/22/2010 1:18PM

    Get out of my head, John!! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/22/2010 11:45AM

    How come your demons are so closely related to mine, or is it that they just jump back and forth between us?

People call me 'skinny' and telling me how great I look, but when I dare look closely in the mirror, all I can see is what's left to lose. The voice you heard has been talking to me as well. We do need to get out of our own way, and to just keep going, one step, one day at a time. I hope it helps to know you're not alone on the journey; I thank God for people like you who help me examine myself more closely and keep hanging in there. We will make it because we ARE worth it.

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TRIPLE_EMME 11/22/2010 10:47AM

    Thanks for another great blog!

I'm glad that you are trying spinning and relaxation classes. I think you are quite adventurous!

I can relate to your words. One of the reasons that don't have a photo of myself posted on my page is because I look at my pictures and hate the way that I look. I feel embarrassed and end up spending many hours combatting negative self-talk and trying to temper the critical lens in which I view myself.

We truly are all in this together.


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HONORINGGOD 11/22/2010 8:07AM

    God dod not start something &get bored with us .so we must do this onto the LORD. TRY TO SEE YOUR SELF AS he DOES AMEN HE SEE'S the begining &the end .you are worth iT!!! emoticon

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NIGHTOCUPS 11/22/2010 8:05AM

    You have no idea how much I can relate with what your feeling. It's so hard to accept what others see and be able to see it for yourself. Just keep repeating that mantra and it will help you beat those demons.

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ATREAT4ME 11/22/2010 7:56AM

    Are we twin siblings of different mothers? I 100% identify with what you wrote:

"emotional eater, an eternal people pleaser, and a control freak I discover that I suffer from massive inferiority about my appearance" and with your conclusion of getting out of my own way.

I hope you love the spinning class. For me, there is no faster way to burn through a bunch of calories than to get on my bicycle. Good luck!

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You Are Loved and Appreciated

Sunday, November 21, 2010

There are so many things in my life that I am grateful for. If you are reading this blog consider yourself one of those things!!! If it weren’t for the encouragement, the Goodies, the Spark mails and the affection each of us shows each other I believe this journey would be rougher than it is some days. I believe without the support of those who care and who believe in me this journey would be impossible.

I don’t always take the time to say thank you as properly as I should, so in a really feeble effort to acknowledge your love I am thanking each of you now for being my friend, supporting my efforts and encouraging me along the way. I don’t always have the chronological time to sit at my key board and respond to you one-on-one. Please know that my daily blogs are often that response. Because you have loved me I have grown and because I have grown I have thoughts, ideas, and experiences I want to share with you in return.

As sincerely as one can do through the written word you are appreciated, loved and prayed for on a regular basis. If I have lost touch with you please know it was not be design. One of my goals for 2011 is going to be to get a better handle on my time.

I do not have many friends that I can sit down with face-to-face and just chat with. Please know that all of you have filled that very large, cold void inside of me.

You Are Loved And Appreciated

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 11/22/2010 5:59PM

    Right back at you! :D

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BTINTERNET 11/22/2010 2:46PM

    You're welcome and you are much appreciated and loved too! You have been a real inspiration and motivation on both the weight loss journey and the life-changes surrounding it. Thank you!

And well-said; it is a little odd but excellent to find so many kindred souls here that one feels instantly close to.

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TEACHING1ST 11/22/2010 8:53AM

    I don't always leave you a message but YOU leave a special one with every post, John! Know that you have many, many appreciative friends here who are so thankful for what you freely give each day!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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ANNE-ELIZ 11/22/2010 1:38AM

    Thank you for all the caring you show day to day! emoticon

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CARTOONB 11/21/2010 2:02PM

    You're welcome. emoticon

And know that you are appreciated as well.

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GEEMAWEST 11/21/2010 1:48PM

    John, I always feel that you show your love and appreciation and I thank you for that.

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/21/2010 11:28AM

    John, thank you for always sharing so honestly and so well with us. I feel the same way; you are one of the many friends on SparkPeople for whom I am thankful. I honestly do not believe that I'd still be here and enjoying the success that I have without my Spark Friends; I don't get a chance to thank everyone individually nearly often enough either. So thank YOU for your friendship!

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2BEATIT1 11/21/2010 10:46AM

    That is what friendship is all about John.
Glad we can be there for you.....but......remember......YOU ARE ALSO THERE FOR US and encouraging us through your blogs.
God bless and have a great day.

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CBLANK20091 11/21/2010 10:24AM

  You are a true gift, and loved and appreciated. Your blogs inspire me to be a better person, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 11/21/2010 10:18AM

    You are the most gracious person.......truly. For me, whether you respond directly to every interaction we have matters little. Things you have said in the past resonate with me for a long time. That is the true art of friendship.

Know you are loved and appreciated as well.............

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MYTURN11 11/21/2010 10:13AM

    You are loved and appreciated so much - and I know that I do not reply to folks here on SP as often as I would like to - I miss many blogs and opportunities to send out thank you - there is just so much going on in my life right now, but I will try harder - perhaps through blogs as you have done.

Have a wonderful blessed day emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ATREAT4ME 11/21/2010 9:00AM

    Ooops! Sorry for the double post.

Comment edited on: 11/21/2010 10:01:48 AM

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ATREAT4ME 11/21/2010 8:57AM

    Well said. You wrote how I feel about my 4-month journey on SparkPeople: without these friendships, this would be much more difficult. It is your tender heart and generous spirit that drew me to your page. Thank you, Friend.

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HDHAWK 11/21/2010 8:47AM

    You are loved and appreciated too John! My life is richer for having found you on Spark. Your blogs and encouragement provide much daily motivation. emoticon

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REJ7777 11/21/2010 8:19AM

    You are loved and appreciated too, SparkFriend! emoticon

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MARCYNA 11/21/2010 8:11AM

    I was thinking, what a gift has your frienship been for me!!! You are a lovable person and I think it's easy to appreciate you, you give 100% back emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/21/2010 8:22:04 AM

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Loving Life

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I have a tendency to quickly scan those mass emails we all get from well intentioned friends. I look at them and delete them. Rarely do I "pass it on to five friends." This morning was different. My friend Becky sent me what I posted below. Five years ago this month Becky lost her closest friend in a freak November tornado. I knew people who lived one hundred yards on either side of Becky's friend who came through unscathed. Since that time, no matter what the situation in my life whether it be a weather issue or a family illness issue I can count on a text message or phone call from Becky just to see "if we're okay." I see Becky maybe one a month. I consider her one of my closest friends. I hope this has the same effect on you it did on me.

"Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible..

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't.. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because People cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Tommy toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? ;And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 11/21/2010 9:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRENDABUNNY 11/20/2010 9:16PM

    very well said emoticon

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MARCYNA 11/20/2010 4:50PM

    Oh my, once again John, you made me think, every day's like a gift we can or cannot open. How incredible!!!!
PS Yes there's a phone call I'd like to have done before I die, what keeps me from doing it is that I'm almost sure the person on the other end of the line may disppoint me and reject me another time....fear of loving and being loved is absolutely part of the process emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/20/2010 5:08:03 PM

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OLSEN9310 11/20/2010 4:32PM

    I have read this before and it always hits home...I am guilty of many of these things....guess I better put my money where my mouth is!!!!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/20/2010 4:05PM

    Thanks John. Such an important reminder. :-) :-) :-)

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BTINTERNET 11/20/2010 2:59PM

    Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you, John.

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2BEATIT1 11/20/2010 2:31PM

Once again, you pulled at our heart strings. That message touched me. I love to entertain but I feel so embarrassed with my carpet. I guess I have to get past that and realize we don't have people into our home to show off what we have (or don't have) but for fellowship and ministry.
Thanks for sharing this person's story with us.
Be blessed

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MISSROCKABILLY 11/20/2010 11:02AM

    Such an important reminder!

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WANDAH3 11/20/2010 10:54AM

    John, thank you for this timely reminder. I've received this email also and it always seems to arrive at a moment in my life when I'm getting caught up in the chaos of "someday". Today I intend to live my life with out "should haves and somedays".
Thank you.

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CROBINGO 11/20/2010 9:32AM

    Excellent blog and reminder.

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TEACHING1ST 11/20/2010 9:08AM

    Thanks so much, John. You always start my day in a wonderful way! Happy Saturday to you and Joan.


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EMTFF376 11/20/2010 9:07AM

    I enjoy your blogs very much, John. I hope you are having a good weekend with your sister.

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ISHIIGIRL 11/20/2010 9:01AM

    Thanks, we need this reminder now and again. I am calling my Dad who I haven't talked to in weeks!

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YOYONOMORE1 11/20/2010 8:42AM

    Nice blog John and thanks for sharing.


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TEENY_BIKINI 11/20/2010 8:01AM

    Wow. That was beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.

What a gift.


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