Wednesday, December 15, 2010
ďWhen I began my business ten years ago I searched for a motto or tag line that would describe what I did. I came up with "Helping Good People Become Better." It dawned on me this morning as I filled in my data here at Spark People that I had been really successful at doing that for everyone but myself. While I took the time to encourage, nurture and develop other people I let myself and my goals fall by the wayside. Something or someone else was always more important. I helped a lot of good people become better at my own expense.
It's hard to be appropriately selfish, to take the time for you. I'm going to start. Starting today, I am going to look at myself through the same prism I look at other people through. I'm a good person on the road to becoming better.Ē
That was my first blog here at Spark, one year ago today. Itís my first year Spark-Aversary. I reached my goal. I am wiser, healthier and happier that I was one year ago today. I weigh sixty five pounds less than I did a year ago. Iíve accumulated over sixteen thousand fitness minutes and along the way made over six hundred new friends. I reached my goal of helping a really good person --- me---- become a better one.
Okay, yesterday is history, over and done with.
I am not unhappy with my progress but I fell thirty five pound short of my initial goal. Iím not going to jump off a bridge or anything but I noticed recently that when I had a setback I would take solace in all the weight I had lost and sort of say ďits okay, John.Ē That has become a roadblock.
Sunday, when I weigh in I am resetting my weight ticker. It will reflect my new goal for the next year which will be a bit more than thirty five pounds. Iíll start all over again just like I did a year ago. Itís time I did that, I need the motivation. A year ago this whole thing scared me. This morning, starting over does the same thing, but in a much different way. Today I KNOW what I am capable of doing. The part that made me chuckle is when I thought about all the people who will visit my page and say; ďGee he really hast done anything, has he?Ē Thatís my ego messing with me.
There are those of you who love me and I want you to know I love you also. Itís not the greeting card store kind of love it is a true, deep abiding love that people have for each other when they have been able to share parts of themselves with each other and come away feeling better than they were before. That has meant more to me than any 5K or weight loss. It has been the highlight of my year.
I only have one regret. There are so many times I donít respond to all the Spark Mails, Goodies and Blog Comments you all leave for me. Iím not making excuses but I often run out of time and in her wisdom my dearest wife says ďYou are not spending the rest of your life in front of the computer!!!Ē Iím going to work on a way to get back to all of you.
Sunday afternoon, with not a lot to do, I went scanning my Spark friends, putting my cursor over their picture and I noticed so many are not currently active. I wish I could talk to them and ask them why. I get so caught up in my little group of buddies that I forget a year ago, on day one, a handful of people commented on my first blog and I remember thinking ďWow, someone knows Iím out here.Ē
Thanks you for being my friend.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I havenít been able to run for a week which in some respects seems like forever. I injured my leg, specifically my left knee, last Monday when I stepped wrong while running on the track. This is a really polite way of saying I run somewhat awkwardly at times. The doctor prescribed rest. Friday he told me I could walk and yesterday told me to simply listen to my body. I spent time on the dread mill, the elliptical and had a personal training session where all we worked on was upper body strength. All the time we were training I kept an eye on the folks running. I felt left out. I felt like the kid with the used bike in a room full of kids with brand new bikes. It could be a few weeks before I can begin running and the ortho guy suggested I begin slowly running a mile three times a week and building back up. If someone tells me how ďluckyĒ I was not to be hurt more seriously one more time, Iím going to spit!!
The point of this blog is not to vent, rant or illicit support. Itís not a ďcount your blessings.Ē (Even though I do!!) Itís to tell you that itís no big deal, really in the grand scheme of life. It is disappointing but the world hasnít ended yet. I am feeling inadequate and that feeling comes solely through my own choosing. I am choosing to feel less than all those folks motoring around the track so it gives me some sort of justification to feel sorry for myself. When I feel sorry for myself I now have the opportunity to pull out my address book dial 1-800-EMOTIONAL-EATER and say ďCome on over!!!Ē My feelings donít originate in my injury; they originate in my perception of myself.
Watch a professional athlete on the sidelines when they are out for the season. No one hovers around them with a box of Kleenex. Injuries are part of life and life, as you and I know, refuses to be predictable in any form or fashion. Injuries are like riding over a nail and blowing out a tire. You hadnít planned for it, it isnít expected and you sit by the side of the road waiting for a wrecker. All of that comes from how you really feel about yourself. If I view this as a setback, a bit of a flat tire, then in a few weeks we will start anew. If I donít it gives me reason to feel sorry for myself and cut a few corners. No one would blame me. I love to run, itís enjoyable but so is going to Disneyland. Iím not going to have a pity party because I canít catch a flight to LA tomorrow.
Our minds are amazing tools but in the end there is no getting around the fact they do what we tell them to do. I took a simple injury and turned it into a whole self-esteem issue because once again I was different that anyone else. If Iím not careful it could derail me.
Most of us grew up hearing about the three little pigs. Two built their houses from straw and sticks. The third built his house from brick. I suspect it took longer and cost more, but when the Big Bad Wolf aka known as lifeís miseries came a calliní the brick house stood firm. The other two collapsed and crumbled and never were heard from again.
Learning to be healthy isnít just about what goes in my mouth. In many ways thatís just a symptom. The disease is how I see and value myself. Itís easy to blame the past and people in it, but when I look to the left and right all I see is that I am surrounded by a lot of love and support. Whatís my excuse now?
Off to the dreadmill.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I took one of our daughters to work early, very early, this morning. It was cold and she doesnít like walking across a dark parking lot and thatís what dads are for. I had a chance to drive down a snow swept, empty road and look at all the Christmas lights. I got to drive slowly. It was beautiful.
I read a blog here yesterday by STEELKICKIN titled What Really Matters To You? If you get a chance read it --- Good Stuff!! I thought about what she said as I drove this morning looking at all the pretty decorations. I felt peaceful and even uttered a small prayer of thanks for the splendor and the beauty. God is good. There is a section of road I traverse on a regular basis that is littered with empty store fronts, vacant lots and the like. I donít notice the people in the doorways when itís 75F and sunny. Itís a non-issue. This morning with the temperature gauge hovering around 0F, I looked at them huddled together, stomping their feet and trying to stay warm. The light changed and I pulled away.
What Really Matters To You? Where did that voice come from? What Really Matters To You? (I hate that voice!!!)
Those people huddled in the store front could give a hoot about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I doubt they spend a lot of time stressing over whether they are a size 6 or 8 or they dropped from a 40 to 38 in pants size. They worry about staying alive. They worry about feeding their kids and where they are going to sleep tonight and what comes next. I knowÖÖÖ.. We have read this all before. Itís the annual trip down guilt lane. I am not suggesting you give away everything you have and join them. I sincerely believe we are all on our own journeys and here to learn our own lessons. Here is what it means to me.
I spend a lot of time worrying about issues in my life that are superfluous. I have heat, I have food, I have a place to stay and transportation. I whine a lot about eating too many sweet and carbs and how my clothes fit and the like. I was blessed with all of these things and I take them for granted. I become smug and self-righteous when someone suggests I am smug and self-righteous. I do not want to hear this stuff!!! Acknowledging this means I have to do something and I surely canít imagine being faced with the possibility of extracting myself from my comfort zone and trying to make things better. The problem is just too large, right? I take a tag off the angel tree at church and feel so warm inside because Iím going to go to Wal-Mart and but a cheap coat and some crayons for a kid who has nothing color on and with to begin with. Itís not about them is it? Itís about me and how I feel. Got to feel good about what you are doing.
It hits me as I pull into the driveway. Itís become about feeling good. When I do life is grand, when I donít, I curse the fates and scurry about trying to recapture that artificial bliss. There is a real balance that is missing in my life. I choose to ignore the things that are unpleasant and gravitate towards the bright and shiny, until someone as wise as STEELKICKIN brings it to my attention. Iím not called to end poverty. That task would almost seem easy compared to the one that calls me to soften my heart to everyone and relinquish the selfish attitude Iíve built up. The balance of health comes from many areas. I can track my calories till the cows come home and diligently exercise; but until I create an unselfish balance in my life, I wonít really accomplish anything. Iíll go from being an overweight jerk to being a skinny one!!! Nothing but size will have changed. My heart must change and until it does, Iíll spinning my wheels just like I did in this mornings snow.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
At the end of my coaching certificatiion class Thursday our instructor read the following to us. It moved me and I thought I'd share.
ďOur deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.Ē
by Marianne Williamson from
A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Somewhere, someplace and somehow we got a notion in our head that asking other people for help is a fatal character flaw. Iím speaking mostly to my fellow people pleasers. The rest of you can read along.
We look in the mirror in the morning and we donít ever like what we see. I mean, if your mind set is to please others to gain approval, you have to be absolutely perfect in all you do just to be equal and on par with the rest of the world. I mean if you really were equal you wouldnít be overweight right? Thatís how we think a lot of times. Everyone else is stronger, more agile, smarter, and funnier. ÖÖ Everyone but me and you. We have to be perfect because for some odd reason when we were first created we had the misfortune of being placed on the reject pile and from then on someone or a group of someoneís reminded us we are different. We are ten points behind before the game even starts. So we trudge through our days and apply a heavy dose of emotional make up on our souls so that the world wonít see all our nasty little blemishes. We live in the age of self-reliance, beauty and the man or woman who braves the elements to find eternal victory against all odds and BTW if you donít measure up to that standard please go to the back of the line. We smile, put on the proverbial happy face and please oh please do not mention failure. Just look at all the shiny happy skinny people and dream. If you follow our plan, our prescription and our program you to will be shiny, happy and skinny.
Huge problem here, really huge problem. How many of us come from a core belief of self-love and self-worth? How many of those shiny happy skinny people is shiny and happy one year, two years or even five years from now. Shhhhhhh John donít bring THAT up!!! Diets fail and so do most alleged self-help programs because of the first word in it ---- self. We are taught to go it alone.
Yes, if you track your food and exercise regularly you will lose weight. You will reach a goal and you will celebrate. But if somewhere along the way you donít unlock the door of your own value and worth, it will all come creeping back on. We call it different names; a plateau is the most common. Itís the period of time when the light bulb should go on and tell me that hard work isnít enough. Running a 5K isnít going to give me self-love and self-esteem, losing sixty four pounds only proves I can control my input and extend my output. What they should do is validate something I already know.
I know that I donít eat the cookie because I am worth that effort. Iím a child of God. I walk away from situations that would otherwise trash my food plan because I am worth the bit of frustration and anger. I get over it. I am the reason I do this. Not my wife, my kids, my friends or even you. I love your love but Iím doing this for me.
I know that my rather large butt goes to the gym every day because I deserve to have that wonderful feeling inside of me I get from a workout. I deserve the best trainer, the best dietician and the best nutrition plan. I deserve it because I know my own value and worth. I love me.
I hang around with you. You motivate me, you inspire me and you cause me to look deep into myself and realize it is just not about what goes into my mouth but what goes into my head and heart also. I know that I cant do this alone no matter how wonderful I am.
Three things that when we master will assure you and I that any ďplanĒ we embrace will work. I have come to realize this plateau I am on is a period of time for to ask myself just how much I value me?
Hopefully a lot!!!
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