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One Day At A Time

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Joan is on vacation this week so we are headed to Louisville this morning and will not return until late afternoon or early this evening. I will be AFK.

I did want to share my progress with you, though. I reached 75% of my goals yesterday.

My exercise goal was 50 minutes. I exceeded that goal. I exercised 80 minutes. This included a walk and a personal training session. I was/am pleased.

I met my nutritional goal too. My largest meal of the day was breakfast and, in a good way, everything went downhill from there. I am finding that if I plan one meal ahead and enter it in the food tracker it gives me a sense of stability, Call me crazy!!!

Finally, I didnít eat or drink anything after 6 pm for the second day in a row. This is my weakest area. I am a ďnight nibbler.Ē I have to balance this a bit and maybe you guys can help. I woke up this morning feeling a little weak. I needed to eat right away. I was a bit light headed and my stomach felt a bit off. Once I ate I was okay.

The goal I didnít reach, again, for the second day in a row was the goal of relaxing/meditating. I ran out of time. Gotta work on that one.

Three out of four isnít bad. I thought of something my dad used to say as it relates to being perfect:

ďThe day you finally become perfect is the day you need to start looking for the angels to come and get you!!Ē

Be blessed today

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 12/5/2010 2:20PM

    I think the goals you've set are nice and balanced- hows the meditation going?

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MSSUNBUG 12/2/2010 3:21PM

    Sounds like a successful day. Maybe you might consider a planned, light snack after dinner? To me, the planned piece is the key...

Love that saying from your dad!

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CATHERINEL66 12/2/2010 11:35AM

    You know what I think is EVEN BETTER than 3 outta 4, or even 4 outta 4? What's better YET is that you keep in going. That's the big message that I'm seeing. You haven't thrown in the towel, or said "oh, this isn't working" or just wandered off. Nope, you've taken the airplane in for maintenance as needed, looked at some re-gearing options, LOL, and are making it better all the time.

You rock, buddy!! Keep on flyin'! I'm impressed and proud of you.

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/2/2010 10:23AM


Three out of four is pretty darn good!!!

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TRUE-NESS 12/1/2010 10:47PM

    Congrats on the successes today! On the last goal that you did not reach....try the Morning, BEFORE you get started with your day. If your goal was to do it in the evening, then try a BATH, rather than a shower. Baths can be very relaxing and you can meditate. I have some of my best prayer times with God in the shower or tub. Maybe it's more of a girlie thing to take a bath with candles surrounding the tub but it's very relaxing. Try it. :-)

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LOVEZ2SEW 12/1/2010 10:41PM

  Totally awesome! I'm a night nibbler too --gotta stop that! Hope you have a great time in Louisville! Love your positive energy!


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    It sounds like you were experiencing hypoglycemia. I believe in controlled snacks because otherwise you are going 12 plus hours with no food in your system. Not a good plan.

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HDHAWK 12/1/2010 6:07PM

    A little protein in the evening wouldn't hurt. You're doing great!

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GIRANIMAL 12/1/2010 1:39PM

    Awesome job! Three out of four is darn good, my friend, especially after only two days.

If you're crazy, then I am certifiable -- I had my entire day of food pre-tracked by 9:30 a.m.! It just takes the "can I eat this? will I blow it?" pressure off. I don't do it every day, but when I can, I do. It also helps make up for my abysmal weekend tracking record in my mind. emoticon

I read recently that a small complex carb snack before bedtime is a good way to stave off the morning crash. For example, even just a half cup (or less) of brown rice. I often use BTINTERNET's suggestion of a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick too.

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BTINTERNET 12/1/2010 12:08PM

    Nice job!

As to the night-time nibbling, what about some tea or something? Or plan a small nutritious *if you need it* snack (a string cheese, a celery & pb, etc.) I know, I know - eating at night is generally bad, but it also depends on your system and how it handles 12 hours without food. (I can't eat for an hour after I take morning meds, so I plan to eat dinner a little later - it probably doesn't aid my weight loss, but it's a long journey and that way I don't feel like crud in the morning!)

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/1/2010 10:49AM

    You did great hitting three out of four goals; letting go of the need to be 'perfect' in all things is part of the process. We still aim high (after all, if our goals are too easy to hit, they're not going to stretch us!), but we can't beat ourselves up when we miss one or two. I am working through that, too, trying to find the balance between high goals and unrealistic expectations.

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LOOKY-LOU 12/1/2010 10:47AM

    I too am a night time nibbler! If the hours between dinner and bed (oh and potato chips) did not exist...I think I could easily be at goal weight!

I do best when I just don't eat at night...having a hot cup of tea or decaf helps me, chewing gum and drinking water while watching TV also helps... are also eating a light dinner..and I don't know that BOTH no nighttime snacking and a light dinner is going to work...think about how few calories that would be.

How about planning a bedtime snack...not a feast, but a healthy snack to sustain you until morning. Try to have it and then "close" the kitchen.

Good luck!

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SMOCKON 12/1/2010 9:34AM

    I am a night eater, too. Always have been. It's genetic, I think, because my mom is also that way. I just figure in some popcorn at night. I enter it in the tracker when I'm putting in breakfast. That way I know I have enough calories reserved for it. Somehow, knowing that I have that snack coming helps me get through dinner without overeating.

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WORKINGSTIFF 12/1/2010 8:57AM

    Right on for your dad! He's so correct. Great job John-and have a groovy day!

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AKATUJE 12/1/2010 8:48AM

    You know John, you remind me so much of David, as in King David in the Bible. You are so honest and open, and real. And i love that about you.

emoticon on your progress so far. keep at it, you shall get there. My small group leader says to take even 2 minutes to be still. Maybe you can start with 2, and build it up to the 15 you desire. God is your strength and He will help you.

I love that saying by your dad!!!! We shall find perfection in heaven. For now, let us be happy with progress.

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ATREAT4ME 12/1/2010 8:42AM

    Excellent work and excellent progress in two days time! WTG John!

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MARCYNA 12/1/2010 8:38AM

    Wow, this blog is so much YOU....I don't wanna be perfect after all I'm happy being imperfect emoticon
Blessings 2U

Comment edited on: 12/1/2010 8:38:44 AM

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Progress Versus Perfection

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One thing Iíve discovered on this journey is that I have this nasty streak of perfection inside of me that automatically quits and gives up if something is not done right the first time, bigger and better than anyone else, or accomplished quicker than the blink of an eye. I set four goals for myself to get back on track. I was successful in two of four, or fifty percent. Initially I was disappointed.

The two goals I met were making sure my larger meals were earlier in the day and that I didnít eat after six pm last night. The payoff was I slept better than I have in a while and I am setting myself up a reminder that doing these two things produces a really positive pay off.

The two areas where I fell short were my exercise and my quiet time or meditation time. I have set a goal of doing fifty minutes of cardio a day. This is an increase of ten minutes per day over my previous efforts. I only exercised for thirty minutes yesterday leaving me a twenty minute deficit. Granted that workout was a two mile run, warm up and cool down and it raised my heart rateÖÖÖÖ.. butÖÖÖ.. This darned thing called work got in my way!!! Likewise I had set aside fifteen minutes to be quiet or as the Psalm says ďBe still and know that I am God.Ē The phone rang and the next thing you know it was time for dinner. I wanted yesterday to be perfect. I wanted to get off on the right foot.

I lay in bed last night and reviewed the day. I hit the mark fifty percent of the time and I felt good about what I did. If you averaged out my exercise for Sunday and Monday it was at fifty four minutes, four minutes a day over my goal. I am on target, even though I missed it Monday. I got up this morning and took advantage of a half hour of free time and went and walked at the gym.

Hereís my point. Progress isnít always perfect. As long as I am moving forward and hitting the mark most days then I am encouraged. One of the largest stressors I have in my life is the stress to be perfect, be better and be number one. I am finding that not being perfect is like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders.

Today is a new day and with it comes a strategy to make sure I hit at least seventy five percent of my goals. One hundred percent would be great but if all I do is reach three of four Iíll be happy.

Thatís what its all about aint it? Being happy?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 12/5/2010 2:22PM

    Wow, how did I miss this. That is an AMAZING concept.

Progress, not perfection.

I think, I was just redefining perfection to equal progress when I adopted this and didn't let it really SINK IN that progress isn't always perfect.

LOL I'm working on it. emoticon

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MARCYNA 12/1/2010 6:55AM

    I'm Perfectionism stricken as well.
I choose Happiness though.
This is a linfelong journey and we're not Superman or Superwoman.
You're entitled to Grace and nobody's going to take it away from you - it's got your name on it emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/1/2010 6:56:36 AM

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ATREAT4ME 11/30/2010 10:47PM

    Happy. That's a mighty fine goal. Keep working on that. I don't know of one perfect person who is happy. But I know a lot of happy imperfect people. I like your goal of 75 and I think you can do it! I'll be eager to read your update tomorrow!

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CARTOONB 11/30/2010 10:24PM

    I'm very disappointed to learn that you are not perfect! emoticon

No...wait...I knew that and still want to be your friend. emoticon Good to see that you still want to be your friend too.

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BRAINYBLONDE5 11/30/2010 6:00PM

  perfection is impossible happiness is achieveable! i am proud you made 2/4 goals! that in itself IS an accomplishment!! keep up the good work :D

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KSGROTHE 11/30/2010 5:28PM

    I just caught up on your blogs from the last few days. You have been doing a lot of soul-searching, and I appreciate that you have shared your thoughts and struggles with us! I have been beating myself up and feeling down about my lack of discipline with my eating. I did fine on Thanksgiving day, I did well even, but since then my eating has been a bit out of control. I seem to be doing fine with the exercising, but not with the nutrition part of this journey. It is always a struggle for me.

I look forward to hearing more about your progress without perfection. Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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BTINTERNET 11/30/2010 5:09PM

    It's back to another airplane analogy - point it in the right direction and constant course correction. You're headed in the right direction, and 50% is pretty durn good!

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CHILDOFGOD4LIFE 11/30/2010 4:57PM

    John, You hit it right on the mark. There will be days that we do not give it 100% for one reason or another, but if we just hang in there and do what we are able to do without slacking, we will eventually hit the mark! And oh, yes, Be still, and know that I am God is one of my favorite verses! Sometimes I do my best workouts when I am having my alone times with God.

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CHILDOFGOD4LIFE 11/30/2010 4:57PM

    John, You hit it right on the mark. There will be days that we do not give it 100% for one reason or another, but if we just hang in there and do what we are able to do without slacking, we will eventually hit the mark! And oh, yes, Be still, and know that I am God is one of my favorite verses! Sometimes I do my best workouts when I am having my alone times with God.

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CHILDOFGOD4LIFE 11/30/2010 4:56PM

    John, You hit it right on the mark. There will be days that we do not give it 100% for one reason or another, but if we just hang in there and do what we are able to do without slacking, we will eventually hit the mark! And oh, yes, Be still, and know that I am God is one of my favorite verses! Sometimes I do my best workouts when I am having my alone times with God.

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HDHAWK 11/30/2010 4:46PM

    I have the same problem...make a new plan, start out gung ho, then something ruins the streak and I want to give up or at least start again on Monday. Just keep moving forward, perfect or not!

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SARAWALKS 11/30/2010 2:23PM

    "Progress isnít always perfect." I like that! I keep reminding myself of that too. I just upped my goals a bit, and yep, I am not always meeting them. But hey, what are they for? To inspire me, not to put me in the dumps!
"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, else what's a heaven for?"
I seem to remember Robert Browining said that once...

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GIRANIMAL 11/30/2010 1:13PM

    You ever notice how many of us are always chasing perfection? Kinda like rainbows. Pretty unattainable.

Unless you consider it this way: Understanding that progress is much more reasonable is kinda like the perfect revelation. emoticon

I'm proud of you. Good job!

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BKWHITE3 11/30/2010 12:27PM

    You are making progress. To be perfect in all things is too much stress to put on ourselves. Sometimes life gets in the way and we have to be flexible. Hope you have a good day today. Bonnie

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/30/2010 12:15PM

    Learning to be content with progress, not perfection, is one of the keys to making this a lifestyle, don't you think? I have the same nasty streak in me (I sometimes think God is talking to both of us about the same thing at the same time!), so I understand. Letting go of the need to be perfect, to always be the best, does indeed lift a huge weight off your shoulders. Keep pressing on, John. We always strive to do our best; if we have done that, at the end of the day we need to let go and know that it was enough.

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HLPRATT 11/30/2010 11:47AM

    Yes I think the quest to be perfect would be a huge stress in anyone's life. Just being able to say you are making progress and going in the right direction should be enough. You'll get there

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My Plan To Get Back On Track

Monday, November 29, 2010

This blog is not going to be fun or inspirational. It may even be a bit dark and a tad bit depressing. So if youíre looking for light and fluffy today this is not the place to be. If you are interested in reading about how I plan to get back on track, read on.

I realized yesterday how far off the path Iíd gotten. Iíd convinced myself that I could cheat a little bit here, a little more there and things would be just fine because after all I run three days a week, let my personal trainer push me to the brink of death two other days and Iím adding spinning and yoga to freshen things up. I forgotÖÖÖÖ Iím a Spark rock star. So I can put whatever I want in my mouth, smile big for the camera John and the weight will melt off. Yeah right. I have made no progress for close to three months. Iíve been treading water. Sixty four pounds and it stopped. It bothered me till Iíd get one of those sweet little Spark Goodies from someone who found my page and found me inspirational. Did I mention Iím a Spark rock star?

My pastor cut me to the quick yesterday morning. He made me realize just how far away from who and what I want to be Iíd gotten. It was much needed and Iím grateful but itís sort of like having a tooth pulled. You know it needs to come out but it still hurts to no end when it does.

I woke up at two thirty this morning and proceeded to have a full blown panic attack. I have been dealing with these for over twenty years and intellectually I know no real harm will come from them. Itís like riding out a really bad storm. You know it will end and youíll be exhausted. I also know that the fears that trigger and precipitate them arenít realistic and I can honestly tell you none of them have ever come to pass. They are just like throwing one more piece of wood on a roaring fire. The flames get larger. Last nightís theme was failure and stupidity and thatís the short version. I finally fell back to sleep only because once the storm is over you are exhausted and canít help but sleep. I never wake up feeling rested after having one of these episodes. I feel drugged and like I am walking through Jell-O. I feel disjointed and out of touch and quite honestly I am going through the motions today. In short, starting over, getting back to basics really sucks.

No one can do this but me. You can pray for me all you like, Iíll appreciate it and thank you. You can write to me and inspire me, and Iíll be grateful to you. But when all is said and done only I can do this. Itís just me and me and while I have faith in myself and know that eventually it will all work out I also am aware that going back to what worked and letting go of those bad habits that crept back in is difficult and not always welcome.
So here is my short list of new goals to help get me back on track.
1. I noticed that my daily cardio time has remained the same for a year, roughly forty minutes per day. That allows me to wimp out at times so I have raised it to fifty minutes. I can handle that and it will give me a bit of a jump start.

2. Things work much better for me when my caloric intake resembles a decrescendo. My largest meal is breakfast, then a smaller lunch and finally a light supper. Along with this I am wrestling the carb monster. If I have a secret affair itís with bread of all types. Suffice to say Iíll be in a foul mood for a few days as I rid my body of those sticky and icky carbs. I need to return to water and tea instead of diet coke.

3. No food after six in the evening or three hours before retiring, whichever comes first. This will help me sleep better.

4. Meditation is medication for the mind and soul. I convinced myself I was too busy to take that ten to twenty minutes per day to revitalize and rejuvenate and keep my center of balance in focus. Today we begin again, slowly, but refocusing on the John who walks in the light surrounded by a positive energy vortex.

I am not giving up. Iíve learned to much about me in the past eleven months to quit now. I wish I hadnít gotten so far off track, but I did and now itís time to keep flying the plane through the storm once again. Thank you for caring about me and for loving me and simply for being there. Iíll return the favor.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIPLE_EMME 12/2/2010 10:26AM

    It looks like you have a good, solid plan outlined.

Now, work your plan!


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KATJAMN 11/30/2010 11:01AM

    The important part of the story is, you are back. You have a plan and you know what works for you.
Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability.
You can do this, you already have achieved so very much, the rest is all about balance.

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ATREAT4ME 11/30/2010 9:30AM

    I applaud your frank assessment of your efforts. I will stand in solidarity with you. You wrote several things that echo my own feelings...

"Iíd convinced myself that I could cheat a little bit here, a little more there and things would be just fine because..."
"I've been treading water,"
"When it's said and done, only I can do this."
"I am not giving up. Iíve learned to much about me..."

It is quite a journey we're on. All I can say is thank you for sharing the work of self-assessment with us. I wish you the best in your plan to get back on track. I believe you will do it! I am grateful to have found your page, not because you're a star of any kind, but because of the honesty and integrity you bring to this effort. I aim for that!

Rock on, superstar! ;-)

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/30/2010 7:49AM

    I'm here for you EVERY STEP of the way, k??? emoticon


We ARE doing this. We are NOT gliding on our achievements thus far. We are pushing the envelope, acknowledging what's going on, that something needs to be dealt with, calling it by its real name, getting through it, standing up, brushing ourselves off and yeah, if we need to, Back. to. Basics. Whatever it takes.

Hey, how did yoga go?

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TRUE-NESS 11/30/2010 6:05AM

    That's a great plan. I need to piggy back on that plan too!

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AKATUJE 11/30/2010 4:33AM

    I agree with PP that you do not give yourself enough credit for all you have done. I thank God because your story just makes me keep going. Not only have you lost 64lbs, you have run 5k!! And you look great!!!

I think that sometimes, we let the numbers on the scale dictate whether we are making progress or not, which is just not right. I weighed the same when I was running 1 minute and when I was running 20 minutes. I let that get to me and I quit. And I still weigh the same emoticon You have learnt, done, achieved a lot, and you deserve a huge pat on the back.

I am sure you will get there, I believe in you, and do not forget for one moment that you are a Hero to so many here, myself included. All the very best wishes!!!!!!

Love and blessings!!!!!


emoticon emoticon

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SAMGERBINE 11/29/2010 11:08PM

    Its awesome that you're learning from things that are happening to you. It seems that some people (myself included) don't really do this. We tell ourselves that we don't know why we don't feel good, but we really do!

Way to go!

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LESLIES537 11/29/2010 10:53PM

    I wish you the best of luck and thank you for letting me know that I'm not alone. emoticon

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CARTOONB 11/29/2010 10:11PM

    Okay, so I'll pray for you and do what I can to support you. But I'm also going to pray for Joan...and hope she doesn't have to harm you while you get rid of the "sticky icky carbs"!

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MUFFINK9 11/29/2010 7:14PM

    Yes I have been in a complacent spot too and started coasting for 5 months! So I am fighting back by increasing cardio and learning to snowshoe. Good luck John!

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JAY75REY 11/29/2010 6:57PM

    Hey, join the club! I finally faced the scale and have actually gained 10 lbs after a long long plateau. S___! There's my tooth being pulled!

I'm not as motivated right now as you, but by reading about your specific steps, they all make sense and I'm glad I'm not alone in this struggle. I refuse to give up and gain all my weight back! I had gotten stuck at 40 lbs lost. I'm at about 30 lbs now with the gain, but that's ok. NO MAS!

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GEEMAWEST 11/29/2010 6:49PM

    Mind if I piggy back on your plan? It's just what I need to do too. And forget the "rock" part, you are a "Spark Star"!
emoticon emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 11/29/2010 6:34PM

I admire your persistence and your renewed schedule. However, you are running yourself down and are not giving yourself enough credit for losing 64 pounds!!

I get what you are saying about allowing bad habits to take hold again. However, your body is making a major adjustment. You have lost the major part of a person. Where are you counting your blessings and your achievements?

I'm all for the meditation. It is medication. It is also too easy to push aside. However, it is a huge tool for taking stock and "getting" what really counts. As I said before, prayer is us talking to G-d. Meditation is G-d talking to us.

I am sorry to hear about your anxiety attack. It is probably related to the negative self talk in which you are wallowing. You ARE a superstar. Don't forget that you have influenced and encouraged hundreds of people this year. I have seen your friends list. I am among those myself.

While self-evaluation is important, negating your accomplishments, of which there are many, is a big no-no. Is this the message you want to send? How about those of us who have not achieved all that you have? This week you told me to appreciate that I didn't gain weight. That helped me a lot.

I am confident that you are back on the horse and heading for the finish line!

You are my hero!



emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KLEONIKI 11/29/2010 5:06PM

Your plan sounds realistic and drastic; stick to it!
stay free to change it when you feel tired, disinterested or just blue..
I am grateful for those moments too, since almost all i have learned in life came from lost battles...or moments of hesitation..
I am ABSOLUTELY sure that
we keep on learning,
we keep on proceeding,
we keep on moving towards our secret unspoken unrevealed goals even when we seem stagnant and stuck...
Just give a name to this , just give a name to that obstacle in front and you will automatically lead it to retreat..

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MARCYNA 11/29/2010 2:05PM

    Just LOVE your new background, John, you look wonderful!!!Thanks for being my hero emoticon emoticon
PS Secret affair too for me with any type of bread!!!

Comment edited on: 11/29/2010 2:16:21 PM

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_AIYANNA_ 11/29/2010 2:05PM

    Thank you for the kind comment on my page and for showing me the way to get back to where I was going. We can do it I know!!! I promise to sit down and prepare my plan tonight and to set it in motion first thing tomorrow.

Hugs xxx

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DEE797 11/29/2010 2:01PM

    John, wishing you all the best as you refocus on what matters most. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JRIMM4 11/29/2010 1:34PM

    Even those 'Rockstars' among us need to step back, regroup, and begin anew from time to time. Recogniging the need and taking the actions are what truly set the 'Rockstars' apart.


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LOTUSFLOWER 11/29/2010 1:31PM

    Wow, I have been struggling with this treading water myself for the past month or so. Thanks for posting your plan to get back on track, I found it very helpful.

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DEBRITA01 11/29/2010 1:17PM

    This seems to be a reocurrent theme with many blogs...must be the time of year or something. ..people riding the tide and realizing that they aren't really on included.

Wishing you luck as you recommit to you...You are right, John. WE are the only ones who can do this for OURSELVES. The love, care, and support of others is appreciated but it's ultimately up to us...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/29/2010 1:18:17 PM

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TEEKAY25 11/29/2010 1:12PM

    I am struggling with the same thing and this morning after my 4:15 am devotion reading about self-control and realized how easy it is to allow temptation to have a foot in the door; even when it has even the tiniest of foothold space it allows a whirlwind of discord to free flow in. Thanks for posting what I'm feeling, thanks resetting your small goals, you SP Rock Star emoticon emoticon (LOL), and thanks for being transparent and authentic!! It truly is a lifelong commitment to health and not a 6-month long or year-long deal.

Wishing you a beautiful day!

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BTINTERNET 11/29/2010 1:08PM

    This is a great refocusing list. Good luck!

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GIRANIMAL 11/29/2010 1:05PM

    Hiya, John! You're still a Spark rock star who "walks in the light surrounded by a positive energy vortex." (That made me smile inside and out.) I don't have to tell you this but I will anyway: these "setbacks," long or short, are part of the learning process. Behavior modification is hard. It's like learning to walk again, so of course you're going to stumble. It's the very thing that teaches us!

Thankfully, I've only had one true panic attack in my life (after my mother died) but it was enough. I really feel for you there.

But nice work coming up with a solid plan! The small increase in cardio alone will probably do you wonders. I'll be joining in you in trying to whip that carb monster back into submission! And seriously, one of these days I am going to remember to make the time to meditate. Because of course it's magical. Like I said, great plan!

You're gonna be back to the new John before you know it. And we'll be here with you no matter what!

Much love.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/29/2010 12:56PM

    Even rock stars can slip into old habits now and then. 'Cheating' is what has killed my weight loss efforts in the past--thinking I was doing so well I could afford to have a little of this, then a little of that. Before I knew it, I was back into old habits and had gained back everything I had lost. What a blessing to have your pastor's message give you a 'wake up' call before you got that far and help you get refocused again! You're right; no one can do this for you but you. Sounds like a solid plan to get back in the 'losing' column to me. You are a winner, John; you've been learning lessons that will stand you in good stead for sticking with a healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life. Keep flying your plane through the storm; there's blue skies ahead if you keep going.


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FUZZY1TOO 11/29/2010 12:36PM

    Hi John. There's no easy quip platitudes here....just a heartfelt thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone in this journey. I, too, have stalled for various reasons and have put off having that l'il talk with myself. I guess if you can have it, so can I!
Good luck getting back on that bike and hitting the trail's not always, but it is always worth it. Okay, I lied, that was a pretty easy quip platitude, wasn't it? emoticon
Have a great day and don't let those carbs bring you too close to a bear with a thorn in it's're better off without them anyway.

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The Book of Revelation and Why I Run

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I have been lost for close to three months. I have been wandering around in some sort of haze trying to grasp on to some sort of stability in this journey and it feels like I am missing it by about five seconds. Just about the time I think Iíve found it, ďpoofĒ itís gone. Itís frustrating and depressing. Itís made me wonder if itís all worth it. Maybe I should just go back to being unhealthy and undisciplined. I talked to a wise friend about this. She thought for a moment and said, ďThank God for everything. No matter how painful, or disheartening, thank Him. You are being taught a lesson.Ē So I did. As much as I felt like I was standing alone in a fog; every bad run I had, every painful workout every last stupid temptation to eat emotionally: I thanked Him, over and over. ďI know there is a lesson here.Ē

Joan and I went to church early this morning. Our pastor talked about the coming of Christmas. He told us he had a wish for us and he wanted to share a Scripture passage. It was from the book Revelation. ďÖBut I do have something against you! And it is this: You donít have as much love as you used to. Think about where you have fallen from and then turn back and do as you did at firstÖĒ (Revelation 2:4-5)

Most often my notion of God is one who comforts and cuddles. Thatís how He is supposed to teach me. He is not supposed to hit me over the head with a large piece of wood and stun me. Lesson learned.

I have fallen away, gradually cut corners and like the Scripture says I am not embracing my health (loving) as I did at first. I have lost three really valuable things: my focus, my balance and I am no longer centered. It is time to get back to work.

After church I took a long walk, about two miles, and regrouped. I uttered at least three or four prayers of thanks because I am starting to see why I was stagnant. When I got home I saw where my friend ANEPANALIPTI had written a blog this morning that cut to the core of my issues. While the jest of her blog talked about putting off dealing with thoughts and emotions, the lesson I walked away with was the part where she questioned the purpose of her running.

I sat back and asked myself that simple question, ďWhy do ya run, John?Ē It took me a few minutes to answer that question: I run for my health. End of discussion. NowÖÖÖÖÖ there are a lot of things that have gotten in the way of all that and sent me careening off course:
I do not run for time or distance. Iím slow, so what? I am running to make myself stronger and healthier and if I never shave another second off of my time I am still getting healthy and it does not diminish my value as a human being. I was getting caught up in comparing myself to other people and fighting against a standard I had no chance of reaching. Then my self-esteem hit the toilet. Focus gone!!!

I am not competing against, you, your friends or even myself. If it takes all day and all night to get it as long as I get results, does it matter? The very best run I ever had was in Nashville two weeks ago. It was a fall afternoon and the temperature was just right and I slugged along lost in the sunshine and it must have took me forever to run two miles but man, did I feel good. If you were running that day, you might have shot past me. I doubt I would have noticed. I need to get that feeling back.

I run to be healthy. I run to lose weight and when I put it in those terms, my focus started to sharpen. I may never run a half marathon, but who knows I might. Itís not important. I have been dreading my runs, putting them off and making excuses for the way I felt. I wasnít running for me.

What is important is what the Scripture stated: ďGet back to the start and do the things you were once doing.Ē

Between me and you, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Donít get me wrong. I may run further and faster one day, but it is not why Iím doing it. Iím doing it because

I am worth it and I deserve it and my health is what matters.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEIGHTOSUCCESS 11/29/2010 7:50PM

    I can honestly say this hit home for me. I love that.."Get back to the start and do the things you were once doing.Ē I need to apply that to more than one area in my life . Thanks for sharing this.

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DEE797 11/29/2010 1:56PM

    Such an inspiring blog. I haven't jogged or run in months since selling the treadmill as we were moving and no room for it. Time to get back to it. Wishing you continued success on your journey! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 11/29/2010 1:15PM

    Hmmm, could it be the time of year for all of us? I too had been in a terrible funk lately, and I am glad to report I've found some of my Spark again. Nothing as clear-cut and inspirational as your stories always are emoticon but I just forced myself to work out Thursday before all that eating, and I was surprised by how great it felt. How strong I felt. I forgot about that part. I missed it, and getting it back felt good.

emoticon opening your heart to hear the message that was sent for you. Sometimes that's the bigger battle.

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/29/2010 10:12AM

    Its a weight off my shoulders to hear you call me your friend, and for me to say the same thing!

emoticon Whenever you want to talk or need anything at all, I'm here. Know that!!!!


I like that... "not even against myself". You glean such an insight there, because even when we take the route of I'm only competing against myself, its easy to fall into the trap of "So I'm slower today = failure". NO. We run for health. We run to release stress. We run to learn how to just BE. It's kind of why I miss my treadmill in Chicago. It's in a room all by itself, and there I can just get my joy without having to be running next to anyone else or comparing myself to anyone else.

Thanks for this, I'm going to keep this perspective : " I am being taught a lesson. " This too shall pass...

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CARTOONB 11/28/2010 8:25PM

    Run, John! Run! Sounds like you found the reason again. I'm happy for you.

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SARAWALKS 11/28/2010 7:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/28/2010 7:33PM

    So happy that you added me as a friend -- so that these great blogs come up on my Friend Feed.

You've got it. And it's great to hear.

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KLEONIKI 11/28/2010 6:16PM

    My dear friend!
Somehow i am again tuned with your feelings..
I have ben in a loop myself too ..wondering and wandering..
So , once more your blog was sent in my aid and support.
You know something, dear friend?
Nevertheless our moments of sterile objection, questioning, frustration or our merely being tired,
i can feel it , there is no FALLING BACK ..
We have been blessed with a struggle , a ticket to a consciousness' trip towards CHANGE-LAND .
It has been a long way we have traveled

After reading your blog i kept on thinking again and again "why do we run" and what came to my mind was that :
because we have the experience of how good it is , we know it works in various ways, we grew loving ourselves in movement and once sipped the sweet pleasure of good sweat we embrace it in our lives. We concentrate - each one of us differently- in our runnings things much more serious than a simple race, half marathon, 5K, 10k... when i run my mind works so very sharply , deals with issues of the soul and heart and things begin to fall into place.
Moreover the simple fact that pleasure comes as a well deserved trophy after fighting good fight is a core issue.

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MYOWNHERO 11/28/2010 3:24PM

    You are speaking right to me! This is why I love SP so much.

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_AIYANNA_ 11/28/2010 3:20PM

    John, I can't thank you enough for sharing this. I too have lost my focus and my balance and it makes me angry with myself and scared. I promise you to try harder and not allow myself to give up.

Thank you for your friendship and your support :)

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/28/2010 3:15PM

    Hang in there, John. If you read Scriptures you realize that the closer you get to what you want the harder the Devil tries to keep you from getting it. It sounds like you are close to a big blessing. Don't blow it. I'm betting on you and not the Devil.

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LOTUSFLOWER 11/28/2010 1:53PM

    I love this blog, thank you so much for writing it. It is so cool to see how scripture we read or hear is at just the right moment for us. A personal "e-mail" from God, so to say. This was very inspirational for me to read for I am a slow runner as well. But you are right, it doesn't matter how long it takes us to reach our goals, or cross that symbolic "finish line". It just matters that we do.

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GEEMAWEST 11/28/2010 1:44PM

    Great blog & great insight! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 11/28/2010 1:41PM

    Exactly. When I start getting caught up in worrying about my time or distance or anything besides the simple joy of running, doing it as part of my healthy lifestyle, it becomes a chore that I dread. It's the same with the rest of this journey; if I get caught up in setting deadlines for when I want to reach a certain weight, I get dissatisfied with my progress and discouraged because I'm not losing as fast as someone else. If I'm serious about this being a lifestyle, it doesn't matter how long it takes to get there as long as I keep making (slow) progress. Keep the faith, John; you are going to make it all the way. Let's learn to enjoy the journey.

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DDHEART 11/28/2010 12:58PM

    What a great thing when you can see the light! When we first start to run, I think it is easy to get caught up in the whole comparison thing...part of the reason new runners often push too fast too soon and get hurt...It sounds to me like running to get out and enjoy your surroundings is a key for to feel good, run to be in touch with nature and run to improve your health...whatever that means for you. I remember the first time I was able to run all the way up one of our steep hills here without thinking I would die...what a feeling! Now, I am sure there are people who might not have any trouble with that hill at all but I knew what a difference there was in my ability so for me it was like crossing the finish line in a big race. Keep your self examination going and you'll be fine!

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HDHAWK 11/28/2010 12:39PM

    emoticon Yes John, you are worth it!

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How Many of These Books Have You Read?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

How many of these books have you read? Recently the BBC published this list of books and suggested most people would have read no more than five of these in their lifetime.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the DíUrbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Travelerís Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hikerís Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26. Gilgamesh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelliís Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaidís Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jonesís Diary - Helen Fieldin g

69 Midnightís Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotteís Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespears

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PANFRIEDTROUT 12/5/2010 5:36PM

    wow ... I've actually read 49 of them! Altho why they included the Harry Potter series is beyond me ~ yes they're "current" but certainly not great or even good literature.

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MARCYNA 12/1/2010 8:21AM

    17, and I'm glad I stopped reading...I loved it too much and gave up sport emoticon

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LALAFLOWERS 11/30/2010 7:17PM

    28... and I have to admit that most of those were read before I was 18! I've been reading brain candy the last few years... light, fluffy, and without much substance! I've got to get back to some real reading!!!

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REEKU731 11/30/2010 7:02PM

    31!!! Room for improvement, but not as bad as it could be! Lots of these are on my eBook reader to read in the future already. Thanks for posting! This was fun!


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DEBBEM 11/30/2010 6:30PM


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SEATTLESIMS 11/30/2010 5:43PM

    28, and several on my nightstand to read or on my "to read" list.. I Will copy down for reference..

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KIMMAS82 11/30/2010 5:24PM

    Only 8!?!?!? Wow!! A lot of them are on my list though!!

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FINDINGMEIN2012 11/30/2010 5:14PM

    49. I'm surprised at how many I haven't read - lots for my "to read" list!

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EVRLNGFOO 11/30/2010 5:05PM

    28. though i think if you've read the hp series it should count as more than 1! i also (want to) believe that anyone who completed the required jr.high/middle school/high school english requirements should have read at least 5 of them, if not, i fear for the future of our children. i'm sure more than 5 i counted for me were required reading.

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QUEENJEANINE11 11/30/2010 4:54PM

    I love to read and sadly only read 16 of them.

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CREATINGAMANDA 11/30/2010 4:29PM

    24 - great list!

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-CORAL- 11/30/2010 3:15PM

    19. Great list. I printed it out to refer to.

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NEWYORKORCHIDS 11/30/2010 2:58PM

  32! That's 6 lifetimes. :-)

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_TRIXIE_ 11/30/2010 2:53PM

    21. Thanks for sharing this list! I need to keep a copy somewhere and come back to it!

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KJHOUSTON 11/30/2010 2:48PM


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JUSTKD 11/30/2010 1:57PM

    22...a lot of them are still on my "to read" list. I need to copy this. Good list.

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CHANTI84 11/30/2010 12:42PM

    I read 22, great List:)

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NEWJENN10 11/30/2010 11:48AM

    I've read 19 of them, some forced in school, but liked them once i started. I read as an excape and love it.

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SANDYK4BAMA 11/30/2010 11:43AM

    Only 16, and some of those I was MADE to read in college Lit. The Lovely Bones was one of my favs on this list, as was Gone with the Wind. I've read and watched that one so many times, I've lost count. The book is much better than the me anyway.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIKERBABE2BE 11/30/2010 11:39AM

    47...thanks for sharing. I'll have to find some of these.

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GODDESSELLIE07 11/30/2010 11:04AM

    11... not too good.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 11/30/2010 10:52AM

    I've read 34 of the works above. Thanks for the list. Lots to add to my goodreads list!

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KATJAMN 11/30/2010 10:50AM

    Only 7 of these, but lots and lots of books that didn't make this list.

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ELFITZPA 11/30/2010 9:51AM

    What a great list, I love books!! I'm around 40 or so and saw a lot of titles that I've been meaning to read. Thanks for sharing this list.

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BTINTERNET 11/30/2010 8:50AM

    I just love the fact that Swallows and Amazons is on here. :-)

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/30/2010 7:42AM

    Wait John, you're not going to tell us how many you've read?? ALL!?!?!?

I really like this list though I've read the tiny number of 9... I used to be an avid reader and then fell out of it, I'm going to keep this list!!!!!!!!

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AKATUJE 11/30/2010 3:01AM

    8..... Doing really badly.....

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*MADHU* 11/30/2010 2:30AM the list!

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DOLLBABE56 11/29/2010 9:05PM

    23 so far.

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ISHIIGIRL 11/29/2010 1:43PM

    58, thanks for sharing the list and now I have new ones on my list!

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GIRANIMAL 11/29/2010 1:21PM

    Interesting that 17 seems to be a common response here. emoticon

I've read that many. But I have 7 others on my shelves right now just waiting for me to get around to them, and many more that I've always wanted to get to.

Also, do you get extra points if you've read some (Anne of Green Gables) so many times you nearly have it memorized? emoticon

Fun -- thanks for sharing!

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777GRACE 11/29/2010 6:21AM

    do watching the movies count?
I have read the Bible many times over, does that count?

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MUSTBHEALTHY 11/29/2010 12:46AM

    17, not too bad.

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 11/28/2010 7:20PM

    71... so time to get busy reading!
Thanks for sharing that list.

Comment edited on: 11/28/2010 7:24:14 PM

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LOTUSFLOWER 11/28/2010 1:54PM

    I've read 41 of these. This was fun to do.

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LJOHN44 11/28/2010 12:23PM

    I just saw this list earlier this morning. I've read 34, there are some on there that I've attempted to read (Middlemarch and Ulysses) that I probably will never be able to get through and there are some on the list that I want to read but haven't gotten around to yet. I'm surprised that none of Anyn Rand's books made the list...

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RACINGSLUG 11/28/2010 9:32AM

    21 for me. Some of my favorites are on there... The Color Purple, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Hitchhikers, Heart of Darkness, Crime and Punishment... mostly I find the a lot of classics to be really tedious though. I love Dickens but I've yet to make it through a single one of his books.

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EDWINA172 11/28/2010 8:41AM

    WOW! What a great list. I've read 17 and want to read many more.

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ZURDTA- 11/28/2010 8:17AM

    Meh - I have actually read some of these. Elitist lists of novels - not my thing at all. No Pavese, Camus or Isherwood? Reading should not be about pretention - just about enjoying the written word. Me, I much prefer biographies and non-fiction books... however, I am delighted that Hitchikers' was included in the list - heh heh heh!

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FLORIDASUN 11/28/2010 7:15AM

    Yay...I've read 60 of the 100! Guess you can tell my mom was a historical librarian and I grew up without a television in our home until age 13! My mom said television rotted the brain and books fed the brain. But eventually my dad won out and a t.v. entered the home.

All in all....I think my mom may have been right! Most of these books were read through book clubs and for school assignments. And of course...The Little Prince...was a bedtime story book that my mom read to me! Sweet memories! Thanks for sharing the list...very eclectic! I like eclectic! emoticon emoticon

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DAVEINSEOUL 11/28/2010 6:11AM

    Well, I have read 17 - I guess I'm 'better than average'.

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ANDYINBC 11/28/2010 1:56AM

    Great list. I will have to work on finishing it. Only 12 of the 100.

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BTINTERNET 11/28/2010 1:45AM

    64, and I have always wondered about this list. Whole series versus single books, complete works versus single works, wtf is Dan Brown doing on the same list as 90% of the rest of these authors? I'll trade Firestar, she can have all the Dan Brown and I'll keep the Dumas. And random books by authors - why The Wasp Factory and not any of his other books? Just a very, very odd collection. Why Herbert and not Heinlein? Why Lewis twice and Tolkien twice, and Eddison not at all? *sigh*

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ANNE-ELIZ 11/28/2010 1:38AM

    71 here.

I find it curious that the Bible, the Complete Works of Shakespeare are each counted as single books as are The Life of Pi and The Little Prince and Charlotte's Web.


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FIRESTARINFINI 11/28/2010 12:24AM

    The Three Musketeers should not been there. What a horrible book.

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MKPRINCESS007 11/28/2010 12:18AM

    oops, forgot to say 33 was my number.........and let me just say that my most hated was MOBY DICK! Oh my gosh, pages and pages on the appearance of the whale! Cliff Notes, anyone?

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MKPRINCESS007 11/28/2010 12:15AM

    Are they for real? 5? Um, quite of few, as others have said were required reading in high school and then I minored in English so a bunch more in college.

Wonder where they got that statistic?

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AMBULATOR 11/27/2010 11:55PM

    15. Looks like I have some work to do.

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EUPHRATES 11/27/2010 11:46PM

    33 here.
And did you notice #33 and #36 are duplicates? :)

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HONORINGGOD 11/27/2010 10:30PM

    5 the bible is the best book ever written ,great author.amen

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