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Painful Wisdom

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

One of the trainers at my gym was interviewed in our local newspaper. A comment he made caught my eye; “No pain, no gain,” he said. “Went out with leg warmers, if it hurts stop exercising!”

I was standing at the door of the local immediate care facility very early this morning. I had a hard time sleeping. I was running yesterday afternoon, when I felt a pain in my left leg and glute. It hurt enough that I finished the lap I was running and headed for the shower. I wasn’t in agony but it hurt. I went to bed and tossed and turned. I got up at five and waited in the cold for the door to open. After about ten minutes of poking and prodding the doctor asked me a question. “You enjoy horse racing?” I nodded. “Well you basically did what a horse does when his hoof lands on the track the wrong way. The upper part of your leg went one way and the lower part of your leg went another. You are really lucky you didn’t hurt your knee.” The diagnosis was a pulled muscle and I was told to rest. It hurts to sit, to stand, to lie down or simply to exist. This pain qualifies as an official “pain in the butt.” However, I do not feel guilty or down, or bummed out. I have to rest so I can run another day. I do not like it. It’s disrupted my routine and rhythm; but it is not the first time it happened and it won’t be the last.

Wisdom comes from not always liking the circumstances we are in but dealing with them positively. Sitting here this morning I realized I haven’t had a day off in about two weeks anyway. The doctor told me to take it a day at a time. In relation to my health journey I am maturing. This isn’t even a setback, just something I have to deal with. I'm not pleased to be in pain but it is what it is.

It’s not my first 5K or a ten pound loss or a motivator’s award but to me it is just as important. It shows I am growing up as a healthy person. That pleases me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 12/8/2010 11:45PM

    Sounds like the trainer is an idiot. Better listen to your M.D. and your own instincts. There is nothing worth risking a permanent injury for. Yes, exercise may be uncomfortable at times but it should not be painful.

Comment edited on: 12/8/2010 11:46:12 PM

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/8/2010 2:06PM

    So glad you didn't do anything too bad to yourself, John. Very wise to have it checked out AND to take the doctor's advice. Part of this process is learning to listen to our bodies and then to pay attention to what it's saying.

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JPRICE217 12/8/2010 8:27AM

    Take care of yourself hope you get to feeling better real soon.

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CARTOONB 12/7/2010 10:26PM

    That's a hard thing to do...take it easy and heal. Good for you for approaching this in a healthy, positive way. Enjoy your time as a pain in the butt!

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HDHAWK 12/7/2010 9:19PM

    So sorry to hear about the muscle pull, but I know you'll weather it just like everything else that comes your way. I started my new ST routine today and only did 5 reps of push ups. My sprained thumb is healing, but it didn't like that exercise. I'm really learning to cut myself some slack. I did everything else, so what's the big deal. I used to think (a very short while ago) that doing that would put me behind and I would have to somehow make up what I missed. I'm focusing more on doing the best I can without having to get everything perfect. Think you did a blog on that not too long ago! emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/7/2010 5:25PM

    Awwwwww, YIKES!!!! You know you really are racking up the cool injury stories huh? ;-) Take this time for reflection you'll be back before you know it ! emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/7/2010 5:03PM

    So sorry to hear about your injury!

Take good care of yourself and hope you are enjoying your day of rest!

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WANDAH3 12/7/2010 4:48PM

    Sending healing thoughts your way. Good thing you are not a race horse that is badly hurt...they take them out a shoot them! *grin*


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CATHERINEL66 12/7/2010 4:42PM

    John, get better soon. Let me know if you need some recommendations for the Netflix instant shows!

Seriously I'm glad you got it checked out. Get better soon.

Can you do some foam roller work and roll out your butt and thighs? That would help because it stimulates the blood flow and circulation.

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GEEMAWEST 12/7/2010 2:40PM

    At least you caused your own pain in the butt instead of someone else causing it for you.
Hope you heal quickly! Enjoy the down time.

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CMBELISLE 12/7/2010 12:32PM

    I had a Yoga instructor who always started every class with, "No Pain, No Pain" as a reminder that if it hurts, stop.

It is good that you're taking it in stride too - no pun intended. Injuries are a part of life and how we handle them makes a big difference in our recovery.

Good luck - I'm glad you didn't do more damage - keep up the great work!

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CBLANK20091 12/7/2010 9:43AM

  I hope you get well real soon!!

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MYSTERY4EVER 12/7/2010 9:40AM

    Sorry to hear about your injury. I am dealing with a similar one right now. It is so hard not to exercise once it has become a part of daily life. Take care and rest up. I like your doctor's analogy. No fancy tests, just rest.

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TIME4AFITME 12/7/2010 9:35AM

    Sorry that you got hurt. Take care

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CATHYJR73 12/7/2010 9:03AM

    emoticonto hear about your injury but glad to see your positive attitude and see you working through it!! Keep up the great work and you will achieve your goals!!

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MARCYNA 12/7/2010 8:37AM

    Sorry for what happened you, I'm really sorry for this hurt.
The way you're accepting it all is marvellous, ain't it a sign you're becoming more & more the wonderful person you were supposed to be???
I'm really emoticonfor the pain hope the doc gave you some medication,,,anyway I'm glad it did not get any worse.

Comment edited on: 12/7/2010 8:38:00 AM

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I'm My Own Best Friend or

Monday, December 06, 2010

There was a fashion show in my living room yesterday afternoon. Both DD’s stopped by to share what they would be wearing during the holidays. I had the good sense to retreat downstairs and keep the NFL company for a while. When I did come upstairs I’d hear a variation of the following “How come it doesn’t look like it does on ……" Fill in the blank here with the names of people I am not aware of. I gathered up my back pack and headed to the gym. When I returned I met the DD’s and the DW walking out the door. “We have to return all of this. It’s not right.” I’ll have to admit to you I laughed a bit as I went inside the house. “Why buy it in the first place,” I thought.

Oh really?

It was too cold to walk outside this morning so I went to the gym. If you are not wide awake when you get there you will be after five minutes of listening to the 5:30AM spinning class instructor barking out orders to her attentive pupils. As I walked around the track I started to think I wasn’t a whole lot different than my daughters. I got caught up in all the hype and thought I was ready to spin. I am not. I will be in about thirty pounds, but I’m not today. If I did it today I would fail and who wants that? My personal trainer keeps dropping hints that I should start taking her power pump class. I will, when my body is ready. I audited that class one night. I am not ready and if I begin comparing myself to those sleek and svelte spinners and pumpers and not reach the mark………….. I have created a cocktail for disaster. I’m not knocking anyone who participates in those activities and I’m not slacking off either. They are GOALS. They are not within reach today, but my current activity is pointing me towards them, very soon.

It all goes back to wanting to eat lunch with the cool kids. We all hoped for an invitation to “the table.” Most of us never got it and then spent the rest of our adult lives trying to prove we deserved that lunch invitation. As I walked this morning I got a big old goofy grin inside. It took me forty years to realize I never wanted to sit there to begin with. I just wanted to be like everyone else. Just like my daughters trying to look like…………… I want to be accepted and loved.

I am my own best friend. I know me, I know what makes me tick, and I know what works and what doesn’t. I will never accept you until I accept me. When I look at you, those people I truly love I don’t see what you want to be; I see who you are. I see your humor, your kindness, your creativity, your passion for healthy living and exercise. I don’t see a well sculpted model in designer workout clothes. I see three dimensional human beings who break their foot getting dressed for work in the morning, who hurt their backs riding their bikes and who gain nine pounds in a week and can’t explain why. The cool kids don’t exist. They never, ever did. The cool kids were a creation of my mind and yours in an attempt to resolve our inadequacies. They were figments of people who wanted to spin at 5:30 AM and weren’t ready to do it just yet.

I made out a running timeline last night. It started on May 10 when I began C25K Training and ended on October 29 when I ran five miles for the very first time. In between there were some mile stones. I’m not finished, running is one thing I am doing and doing well, but it started with a thirty second run back in May. I looked at the time line and felt a sense of satisfaction.

Who wants a best friend that’s no fun to be around? It’s better for me to make this journey with myself knowing what I can do right now and what becomes a short or long term goal to work towards. Thanks for being part of my journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIVIAV 12/13/2010 9:31AM

    Your words reach me where it counts. I'm subscribing and look forward to getting to know you.

Thanks for your writing!

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/7/2010 5:02PM

    This was another great blog, John!

It is so true that we need to enjoy hanging around ourselves... after all, we are who we hang with... right?!!!


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CHASINGOLIVE 12/7/2010 2:54PM

    Just what I needed this afternoon - your blogs are awesome& so powerful!


Comment edited on: 12/7/2010 2:55:03 PM

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REJ7777 12/6/2010 10:11PM

    I'm 60 years old. It was really helpful for me to read this blog, so I can remember to celebrate my progress, rather than be frustrated by my limitations. I've got a goofy grin on my face too. emoticon

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HDHAWK 12/6/2010 7:14PM

    Another gem! Glad you escaped the "girl drama" of trying on all those clothes!

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/6/2010 6:26PM

    They were figments of people who wanted to spin at 5:30 AM and weren’t ready to do it just yet.

POWERFUL stuff here John!!!!!! emoticon


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GIRANIMAL 12/6/2010 12:38PM

    Hey, John! I am so glad you were able to assess and be proud of your accomplishments while not beating down on yourself about places to which you've not yet made it. You will go as far as your body and spirit will allow, when they are ready in unison.

And emoticon for that reminder! My latest low-grade worry has been that I can't seem to break this weight for many months, regardless of how closely I am following my program or not. Also that I may never progress athletically -- "why can't I be a runner? or a REAL cyclist?" -- despite the fact that I am still contending with flaring, long-term injury-related pain. I mean, let's be realistic! emoticon Regardless of where I think I want to be, I cannot ignore where I am -- just how far I've really come! -- in relation to where I was.

I sure am glad you've had the same very important truth renewed! emoticon

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MARCYNA 12/6/2010 12:16PM

    Thanks for being my marvellous friend, whatever your mood.
I think it's so wise learning to be our best friends and it takes time & effort. I am visiting gyms and looking forward to finding the Right One because I know that otherwise I may not attend it , I am not ready to attend I gym I don't feel at ease in.
emoticon emoticon

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BRYLIA 12/6/2010 11:34AM

    John, I love your blogs because they usually give me "food for thought" and most times put a smile on my face. Thanks for reminding us that we are all special and worth it. Anything we desire is achievable with faith, confidence and hard work! Keep up the good work doing what works and motivates you. I'd sit at your table anytime :)!! Have a great 4 days

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/6/2010 10:42AM

    I'm glad to see you standing firm and not allowing yourself to be pushed beyond your exercise limits. As an R.N. I can attest to the fact that it's a bad idea to push your body to places it does not want to go. You have to ease into this or often deal with a permanent injury.

I never buy anything I don't try on in the store. Sizes for women are all over the place.

Great blog, John, and it would be nice if some people reading it would also get the message. The real prize isn't eating with the cool kids but having the ability to eat at any table and with anyone you choose and that is completely attainable as you well know. - To be able to flow in and out of the local caste system with ease is something that almost anyone can do. I, and to a lesser extent my son and husband, all have that ability and it's not difficult to achieve. If you value your worth others will as well. People are attracted to confidence. I've noticed that many of the prom candidates in the paper these days are often fairly overweight so if we are allowing our weight to hold us back it is most likely of our own doing. Yes, as a culture we don't embrace fatness but we don't necessarily hate fat people who love themselves. We have met the enemy and it is often us. We often determine how others view us. If you think of yourself as fat and repulsive then others may join you. If you think of yourself as fat and lovable then you most likely will be accepted in return. When have you ever told a really wonderful overweight friend, "Gosh, I could really love you a lot better if you would lose 10 pounds?" Few of us want to be fat but many of us are and will always be. We have to love ourselves as we are, warts and all.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/6/2010 10:00AM

    I never wanted to sit at the cool table, I wanted to create my own table that was fun and didn't exclude people. I hated that left out feeling so I wanted to fight it. LOL

Being my own best friend is still a dream at this point. I would never speak to another friend the way I do to me, but I'm working on that.

Glad to know you are taking care of you and doing what's best for your body.


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FREDIA2 12/6/2010 9:41AM

    How insightful. The idea of the lunch table was great. In college you were a girlfriend for one of 3 reasons-you did laundry, you did homework or you were arm candy. I did the homework- occasionally the laundry.

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WANDAH3 12/6/2010 9:35AM

    Thanks, I needed these words this morning.


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MYSTERY4EVER 12/6/2010 9:26AM

    Great blog. I never thought about it in that way. I was a brain, never cool, never in the in-crowd. Despite many successes in life, that feeling of inadequacy has always been there. One more thing to work on as I change my lifestyle.

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WYNAMT 12/6/2010 9:03AM

    WOW, where does this stuff come from???!! You take a walk and all this insightfulness just pours out of you! I love that is does and love that you share it. It is making my journey easier. I look for things in my past that contribute to who i am and why food is an issue and don't seem to get far on my own. Then i read a blog like this and wow, things apply and open little cracks for me!

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CATHERINEL66 12/6/2010 8:54AM

    Thanks for the Monday morning blog, John! When you get to the spin class, I'll be there (3 dimensional with the foot) to cheer you on! (in spirit, not in the stalker way, LOL).

I think that they journey and appreciating how far you've come is HUGE. And also having the good sense to push yourself to do more, but at the same time, not push yourself over the edge!

Glad to see you keepin' on! Today is my first day of wearing "real" shoes to work and I'm hoping that I'm not overdoing it. Worst case, I end up shoe-less after our important guests depart about 1pm -- and go back to orthopedic friendly clogs tomorrow, LOL.

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Getting Square With Yourself

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Availible on YouTube @

This Vlog has visual aids..........Go Me!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 12/15/2010 9:28AM

    REWATCH much needed!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 12/8/2010 9:24AM

    John, you are a Genius!! Thank you so much for more brain food!!

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JPRICE217 12/8/2010 8:24AM

    emoticonJohn very thought provoking. We all need to be more postive and focus on our good instead of the bad. We all have good in us and need to add to it everyday.

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CARTOONB 12/5/2010 9:42PM

    I'm gonna fill my rectangle with fun activites and happy thoughts. Thanks for the idea!

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BTINTERNET 12/5/2010 3:50PM

    Thank you John!

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_AIYANNA_ 12/5/2010 3:13PM

    Thank you so much for this, John. I'm going to do this and I'll give you my feedback on it. I promise not to fill my square or my mouth with things that are bad for me :)

Love always xxx

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REJ7777 12/5/2010 2:50PM

    I've got my visual reminder on the frig.
And I plan to be conscious of what I fill up my "square" with! emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/5/2010 11:43AM

    Jooooooooooooooooooohn, you're looking thin!!!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm going to do it. I think its GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be rewatching this!

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MYOWNHERO 12/5/2010 11:41AM

    I love the paper with the square. I'm going to use your idea, too. Thanks.

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MARCYNA 12/5/2010 10:19AM

    I just love this blog!!!!
Thanks John!!!!!
My blank space is sometimes so small while fears & co are sooooooooo big. Luckily I've met you and people like you to help me enpowering myself - not only in my weight loss journey but also in my working career.
I'll give you a feedback on this experience.
I wanna do it!!!!
I wanna stay healthy, and I want YOU to stay healthy, too!!!! emoticon emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 12/5/2010 9:56AM

    John, your 3am musings and advice are as thought provoking as all the others...thanks for the insight you are willing to share. I tell my students that every day is a brand new chance to start over---why don't I give myself the same positive reinforcement? I'll use your visual and try to keep it balanced!


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.......What Works For Me. What Works For You?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I received A Spark Mail the other day from someone I don’t know real well. The jest of what they wrote was to ask me to quit writing blogs that were, as they put it, “downers.” They told me I had a “great responsibility to other people,” and that I should “lead and inspire, not make people dwell on their short comings.” In all honesty I had to grin, simply because if I only wrote when I was on top of the world you might only here from me about once every three months or so. I grinned because I understood. I used to strive to be on top of the world 24/7, and when I didn’t I just knew there was something I had to have done wrong. (It’s the people pleaser/control freak/emotional eater in me!!!) One thing I am learning is “what works for me.”

What works for me does not always, if ever, work for you and vice versa. It would be like you and I going shopping. You find a hat that looks really great on you and you receive a million compliments on how well it looks before you even reach the counter to pay for it. I automatically assume it is the hat to end all hats, I run back to grab one even though it doesn’t fit, it’s the wrong color and I can’t afford to pay the sale price. All I see is that it works for you.

My wife, Joan, has weighed approximately the same weight for thirty seven years. Yes, she put weight on during pregnancies and the like, but basically she is within ten pounds of what she weighed when we got married. Her health is excellent, her blood work superb. She is a meat and potatoes eater and drinks enough Diet Pepsi to make it worthwhile for me to own stock in the company. I eat like that and I put on fifteen pounds in thirty minutes.

When I start being someone else other than who I am, I am no longer John and to be quite honest with you I did that for a long time and found out I wasn’t really happy. I call it lying to myself. I want to be accepted and loved and cared for so much that I’ll do just about anything to achieve that, even if it is not right for me. That’s when everything heads south.

I write what I think and feel and it is not always warm and fuzzy because I don’t always feel warm and fuzzy. I write what I write for two reasons. The first reason is that when I see it, write and speak it I can make it a real part of my life and either add it or remove it. It’s the same reason I read what so many of you write, it inspires me. The second reason is I write to share my struggles because maybe someone else is struggling and they read what I write they will not feel so alone.

I have gone back to walking two miles every morning. I just feel better when I do and I get to insert my reflective time during the walk. I am reaching three or four goals and feel much better the rest of the day. I still run and work with Jen and do all the other exercise things I enjoy, but that two mile walk sets my day off right. It works for me.

Far too often I get caught up in comparing and analyzing what I read and see and wonder about. I’m finding out that being honest about me and my life is what works for me.

What works for you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 12/6/2010 12:45PM

    I am baffled by the idea that "having a responsibility to others" can mean anything but being true to yourself. Isn't THAT your responsibility to others (if there is one)? Sincerity and honesty?

I agree with my dear friend TRIPLE_EMME and the others, and I am glad you already know it to be true: Your blog is about you, and you shouldn't ever censor yourself. If any of us care to partake, we should just be grateful for the free admission to such a wonderfully insightful and creative show! (Psst: And I am!) emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SMOCKON 12/6/2010 11:34AM

    Perhaps you have a responsibility to other people, but your first responsibility is to yourself. Somewhere along the line, people like us so internalized the "think about other people" talk that we put everyone ahead of ourselves. You are so right that we need to love us because we're us and not because we're good spouses, parents, children, or workers. I think SparkPeople blogs are supposed to be a tool for the writer. If the blogs help others, so much the better, but that is secondary.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/5/2010 10:51PM

    I'm the original individualist. The person who walks to the tune of a different drummer. But you probably knew that already. emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/5/2010 2:17PM

    Hmmmmmmm I think you wouldn't be a person if you only wrote positive things. That would be you attempting to be the database of spark articles.

The spark articles are there for whoever wants to read them, I find you fascinating for alllllllll of you though. You're REAL!

(yeah my mouth dropped open when I read that someone asked you that, cause Ive gained so much from every single one of your blogs even the "downers"!)

emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/4/2010 9:11PM

    No need to change a thing -- just keep on keeping on: it's working for you AND it's often helpful for many of the rest of us.

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/4/2010 4:57PM

    John, you have such a good attitude about that mail, well intentioned as I am sure it was. When you share your struggles as well as your victories, that gives me permission to be honest, too, both with myself and with others. The hat analogy says it well. This is not a one-size-fits-all process; that's one of the things I love about this place, we are given the tools to find what works for us individually instead of a 'you must eat THIS and do THAT' prescription. Thanks for staying true to yourself and sharing the journey, ALL of the journey, with us.

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CATHERINEL66 12/4/2010 4:31PM

    I am really giggling to myself about the random email about your great responsibility to lead with positive optimism. LOL! I mean, if you can share all your rainbows and unicorns, that's great -- but I agree with you -- waiting on sunshine and optimism is about as effective as waiting for motivation. Neither are predictable, or often enough, and in the middle times and meanwhiles, we still need to do the right things!

Keep on blogging, buddy. I like them all.

And by all means, if that morning walk cranks you up - go forth and walk!

(personally, I just want to run until I keel over or my feet fall off, but given my foot, that might not take long :)

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/4/2010 4:03PM


I will chime in with the general sentiment *here* --
it is YOUR blog and you should write for YOU -- however, you desire.

If the person that sent you the email doesn't like the content of your blogs, they can choose not to read it.

I, for one, appreciate the genuineness of your writing.


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MKPRINCESS007 12/4/2010 3:52PM

    I continue to be amazed by life. The last time I checked, most of us are living in a glass house, so people should be careful how they throw those stones around. That being said, I try to understand that at alot of times, people can't reach within to find the drive, motivation, inspiration.......and make it someone else responsibility. Guess that is human nature.

I love your blogs, no matter what you write about. Why? Because they come from the heart.

End of story.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/4/2010 3:33PM

    You always seem to take negative feedback with a grain of salt and a grin on your face, not many people can do that. I find people who share their ups and downs more inspiring than those who act like cheerleaders to the world. I like the real, the raw version - it's what works for me.

Thanks John for not always being the cheerleader but rather the leader.

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A-STRONGER-ME 12/4/2010 2:52PM

    John, I don't know you. This is the only blog of yours I have ever read. I ran across it simply by accident.

YOU are RIGHT ON TARGET with this blog. That is what a blog is for - to express YOURSELF - NOT OTHERS.

Might I suggest to the person that sparked you - go read someone else's stuff and leave John alone!!!

YOU keep true to yourself and do what works!!

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SPARKENISTA 12/4/2010 2:42PM

    John--I admire your desire and ability to "put it out there" every day. I have tried and I know how hard it is. Whatever else, you are true to yourself. That is the reason that you have attracted the followers that you inspire every day.

I am all for happiness, glow and great times. However, life is not all about that. Others have written to me privately, as well, and "suggested" things that are not in their purview (read: none of their business) particularly about religion, believe it or not.

Please, stay true to yourself and continue to state frankly what's on your mind. Your commentator has the choice of not reading blogs s/he doesn't want to.

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KAT573 12/4/2010 2:18PM

    GREAT blog, John! I really really appreciated your points and agree wholeheartedly with them. Life is not a linear progression, and we are NOT ever going to be perfect but we can and will move forward when we continue to search out and face who we are and accept what WE each need, and that in and of itself gives courage to many others who are dealing with the same issues, and we are legion. LOL! It is the entire point of Life, IMHO, and I realize it is MY opinion. But I have found that the continual review of my actions and my thoughts helps me to be more honest, and in doing so, helps me to find Joy; not Happiness: JOY!
HUGS emoticon

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ZURDTA- 12/4/2010 2:15PM

    Blogging is supposed to be for YOU not other people. You are just a regular guy who is real and honest. And that's great.

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TIME4AFITME 12/4/2010 1:16PM

    I enjoy your blogs so thank you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/4/2010 1:17:06 PM

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 12/4/2010 12:44PM

    Well written blog and THANK YOU for sharing it! I think it is very important to be honest. We are here to help each other - through the good and bad. YES, continue to write what you feel. If someone doesn't like it, they don't need to read it!

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ATREAT4ME 12/4/2010 11:01AM

    Another excellent post. I have been following your posts for a short time but what drew me to them was the reflective nature of them. I love your label "people pleaser control freak" and I think I identify with it. But it almost sounds as an oxymoron. On the face of it, I always thought my people-pleasing was being out of control and when I stopped trying to do that, I was in full control-freak mode. But this idea that both are different sides of the same coin is really taking root in my mind.

I am not sure what works for me -- yet. I am discovering it, bit by bit. Daily exercise is key. I find that if I can get 60 to 90 minutes of activity in, then the food choices follow naturally. When I only get 30 to 45 minutes of activity, the food choices are more difficult.

Getting in touch with what I'm thinking/feeling is emerging as a key factor as well. Frankly, I have tried to avoid it for a long time and it simply makes me angry and that makes me eat. It takes a lot of time and effort for me to root through these things, so much like you, my activity serves as a good time to attempt this work.

In short, John, I am grateful to have found your posts. I become more enthused about my own journey as I read about yours and feel the light you're shining on your path illuminates part of mine as well. I am grateful for that and hope that one day I can do the same for someone else.

And this is not the people-pleaser side of me talking! ;-) Thank you.

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MYSTERY4EVER 12/4/2010 10:43AM

    I really think that this weight-loss journey is about being honest. It is important to be upbeat, but honesty about when you are having a problem is a way to connect with community and get support. Keep doing what you are doing.

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CARTOONB 12/4/2010 10:25AM

    The more I hear about Joan, the more I like her. I think I have Diet Pepsi running through my veins instead of blood! LOL!

What works for me? Protein. Planned meals. Almost daily exercise. Oh...and broccoli. emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 12/4/2010 10:14AM

    John, PLEASE continue to be you!! We love you, as Mr. Rogers used to say, 'Just the way you are.' What you have to say is what most of us need/want to hear and the delivery is just right. Congratulate Joan on keeping her weight steady. I was there once and want to be there again. So will you.

Happy Saturday,

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MARCYNA 12/4/2010 10:12AM

    Writing helps me a lot, trying to tell the truth, even when I feel sad and I want to quit SP & eat all the world's chocolate - I know it wouldn't work.
Blogging about how I feel helps a lot, and I think it also might help other people. Honesty is key and it keeps me away from Lindt & co. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/4/2010 10:14:24 AM

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JESPAH 12/4/2010 10:12AM


And, by the way, write what you want, when you want to. It's YOUR blog and belongs to YOU.

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CELLCHIC 12/4/2010 10:05AM


I think it is important in everyones journey to share the ups and downs. We are all human and WILL have downs. It is inevitable. I have never felt that your blogs were negative in anyway.

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HDHAWK 12/4/2010 10:00AM

    That's why I (and many others) love reading your blogs. They are honest and hit on exactly the same things we're all going through at one time or another. You're just willing to put it out there. I'm going to try that "being who I am" instead of pleasing everyone else and see where it gets me! emoticon

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    The hat analogy is superb! I think that's why you can find "evidence" to support whatever diet and exercise plan you want to support. It does work for some people, but may not work for you. What's more is that whatever works for you today may not work tomorrow. I guess that's what they call a plateau. That further adds to the frustration and complication of this. So then you have to change something or many things to find the next "what works for you".

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DOLLBABE56 12/4/2010 9:49AM

    Very well put. And just for the record, your ups and downs help me realize that hey - he's human just like me! :)

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DOCYJK 12/4/2010 9:49AM

    Keep doing what you're doing, John!!! I enjoy the fact that you're so honest, because it allows us each to recognize that each day isn't perfect and we all face challenges. While losing weight and getting healthy is an individual experience, we can certainly share our ups and downs as a team! And none of us owe anything to anyone else - isn't that the beauty of this forum?!? Be true to yourself, keep blogging as you do and I'll keep reading and responding too! Have a wonderful TODAY!!!

emoticon Yvonne

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SEDONACAT 12/4/2010 9:37AM

    Keep writing as you have been. It's YOUR blog, right? I enjoyed it but I have to say with a wicked grin on my face, it's nice to see a man not be able to eat certain things without putting on wt. when his wife can eat them. As a woman, it is the opposite for me and my DH. AAGGGHH!


Comment edited on: 12/4/2010 9:38:27 AM

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The Gift

Friday, December 03, 2010

The first time I became aware of it was in Los Angeles International Airport. I had some time between flights and I was browsing the gift store. It was with all the other refrigerator magnets. You’ve probably heard it and read it a million times:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today a gift.”

The question I ask myself periodically is the one that goes like this: “Do you believe it?” My honest answer, most days is a loud and resentful “NO.” I mean I believe it my head; it’s just my actions that lag far behind. The past two weeks have been different. I’ve realized that if I am going to do this thing, if I’m going to get healthy and stay healthy then I has to forget about all of yesterday’s mistakes and quit worrying so much about what tomorrow brings. It is time for a new me.
So as we prepare for the season where we give and give and give I’ve decided the most precious gift I can give to myself is the gift of living in today and today alone. It is not going to be easy. Old habits die hard and temptation runs strong. There is a voice that tells me to go back to being fat and miserable and get it over with for gosh sakes.

My gift to me is to live for today and experience all the joy and peace today brings to me. If I stress, if I worry, if I am anxious about tomorrow I miss seeing the very best part of today.

That part is you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 12/4/2010 3:26PM

    Yes I truly agree, the gift is being connected here and living this experience today...I've just tracked my food today and noticed I'm still keeping within my cal limits....ain't it wonderful???? emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/4/2010 3:26:43 PM

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DOCYJK 12/4/2010 9:21AM

    Very wise! Can't change the past and the future's not here yet, so you may as well live in today. Today you can have an impact!!! And doing anything towards your goals is a positive. No one else is judging you - just you! Stick with it - that's all we can do in TODAY!!! We deserve that gift!!!


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CARTOONB 12/3/2010 8:46PM

    Tall order! But I have a feeling you can do it Tucker! I'm rooting for you!

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GEEMAWEST 12/3/2010 8:16PM


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AKATUJE 12/3/2010 4:44PM

    thanks as always, for my daily dose for inspiration.

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/3/2010 4:34PM

    *shakes head* In Greece we have a compliment where we say: "You don't exist".

Meaning, there is no one else like you- John- DEN YPARHEIS!!!!!!


PS. Yes, I do Skype!!!!!! vanessa.bounas emoticon

Dimitra (Vanessa is my middle name, which my sister calls me and I love equally probably should have started spark with it but figure it would get confusing now, lol should you wish to call me Vanessa I wouldn't mind in the least, much easier to pronounce! emoticon)

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JAE_HENNINGTON 12/3/2010 1:13PM

  oh you are so are a gift to us at Sparks. Thank you for shining and reminding us we can shine to

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    I totally agree! Life is to short to waste ruing the past or making grandiose plans for the future that may never come to pass.

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/3/2010 11:20AM

    There is one more line to that saying, John:

. . . today is a gift, that's why it's called the PRESENT.

Make today an awesome gift to yourself by living in it fully and letting go of the pain from the past and the fear of the future. You deserve it; you're worth it. This is something I'm working on, too.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEE797 12/3/2010 11:11AM

    That truly is a gift you are giving yourself. Living in the here and now, I wish I did that more often. I'm always worried about what happened yesterday or might happen tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this with us. It was what I needed to hear today.

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WORKINGSTIFF 12/3/2010 10:45AM

    Probably one of the hardest things to do in life is to live in the moment-in the here and now. We tend to worry about what tomorrow will bring or hang onto problems from the past.

Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.

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CMBELISLE 12/3/2010 10:27AM

    We have to remember the past in order to learn from it, but that is all. We can't constantly worry about what we did yesterday and expect anything good to happen today.

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FUZZY1TOO 12/3/2010 10:12AM

    emoticon Sounds like you're giving yourself the best gift of all....the gift of a future. Congratulations on finding the right all you have to do is keep working at it so it stays a good fit.
emoticonI guess that's where we come in, eh? lol We all keep each other honest and on the right track. Thanks for being there for me, even when you don't realize how you might influence my day.
Have a good Friday and an awesome weekend!

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/3/2010 9:51AM


I needed to read your blog, this morning. Your words are helping me not beat up on myself for some crappy choices that I've made over the past week.

I will live in the present.


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LESLIES537 12/3/2010 9:27AM

    And that is truly the BEST gift you can give yourself! emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/3/2010 9:14AM

    I hear that voice too, that says "go back to being fat and miserable". It was less work than trying to be healthy and some days, I'm just as miserable. I refuse to give up though.

That is a very valuable gift you are giving yourself. Living for today is something I strive for but do not always succeed at. I can keep trying though.

Best wishes!

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