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This, That and Oh Yeah........ The Other Thing

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sharing the fun and meaningless things about your life is part of creating the balance. I hope you werenít looking to be inspired today and it might be a big stretch to say you will be entertained; however, every now and then I like to write about nothing in particular. Itís my notion of fun. (Not much of a life I know. But on the bright side TMZ will never catch me in an after-hourís club with Lady GaGa)

I have had trouble sleeping lately. Iím a light sleeper to begin with so it doesnít take much to wake me up and keep me up. My doctor knows I will not take any pills. Matter of fact, I donít take anything stronger than extra strength Tylenol. One of my sons gave me a tea pot as a Christmas gift and I have been in seventh heaven since Saturday. There is nothing like a steaming hot cup of tea to set my mood straight. One of my DDIL told me that there was an herbal tea that relaxed you and helped you sleep. I purchased a box.

I enjoy my tea strong so I usually use two bags in a large earthenware cup I got at a vineyard in Weston, WVA. Itís balanced and weighted and stays warm. The tea I drank is called Sleepy Time and it has something in it called ďvalerianĒ Valerian is a natural herb the ancient Greeks and Romans used to relax themselves. (According to the boxÖ..) I have a few Spark friends in Italy and in Greece and now I know why they always look so well rested!!!

I brewed a cup, sat down and enjoyed. This was roughly seven thirty. At eight fifteen I was ready for bed. The angels rocked me to sleep. Joan came to bed around midnight and told me this morning I rolled over slightly and told her to be careful not to step on the elves. Al righty thenÖÖ (There should be one of those ďDo Not Operate Heavy MachineryĒ warnings on the side of the box)

I woke up about an hour ago feeling very refreshed but truth be told I could have slept another hour or so. Iím not foggy right now but I am not fully awake either. I did sleep well though. Tonight I think I will only use one tea bag for a full cup of water. I didnít really believe this stuff would work. Guess I was wrong.

The second story deals with publishing my blog yesterday. It took about ten attempts to get it published. Spark kept telling me to quit using profanity. Huh? Iím no saint; however I saw no profanity in my blog. I read and re read and tried to post. No luck. Then it I saw it. I removed a word. I was allowed to publish. I had an omelet for breakfast that had mushrooms in it. Specifically they were Sh@#ake mushrooms. Spark took exception with Sh@#ake. I had to laugh. That was a new one on me.

Be safe today my dear friends and enjoy your life. Itís the only on you have. Iím going to go stand in the backyard and let the wind blow in my face for a bit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTINTERNET 12/22/2010 7:37AM

    Ah Sleepy Time - I need to remember that too. And thanks for the giggle!

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CARTOONB 12/21/2010 10:37PM

    Even in your sleep, you care about other people. I'm sure the elves were very appreciative! LOL!

Good idea on cutting down to one bag...

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SPARKENISTA 12/21/2010 9:04PM

    Love this blog, John. Humor is definitely the spice of life--along with variety, of course.

Thank you so much for your comments on my blog. Somehow,I have the feeling that you see through me. I think my mother had two positive impulses toward me--one when she named me and one when she died.

But, as you say, nothing is an accident. The soul is always perfect, where the personality...not so much.

Speak to you soon. Best,


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GEEMAWEST 12/21/2010 6:41PM

    Maybe you were Santa Claus in a past life. emoticonToo Funny!
I have used Valerian Root capsules in the past for sleep. My doctor advised me to stop using it because there has not been enough research done on it. I think she is being over cautious, but decided to listen to her anyway. I use tylenol p.m. when I need it now, which is actually just tylenol with benadryl in it. Works wonders.

Sweet Dreams! emoticon

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ELYMWX 12/21/2010 1:07PM

    Thanks, John, I needed that!

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JENNY888 12/21/2010 12:15PM

    Thanks for reminding me what a great help Sleepy Time tea isn't. I used it before and found it worked. I'll have to get some more.

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ONTARIOWALKER63 12/21/2010 11:16AM

    sooo the elves are hangin out at your place.. I knew they were avoiding my place, and had to be hiding somewhere lol -- I always tell my husband that I look for Dishwashing Elves, that come in the middle of the night, and do the after dinner snack dishes .. so I won't have any to wake up to in the morning.. but those sneaky elves are hiding at your house! lol

I looove Sleepytime tea.. another one is RespirTea.. helps to open up your sinuses (sp?) when you have a cold, and helps you breathe through the night.

Even with one teabag, it's less then an hour and I'm snoozing away :D

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/21/2010 11:07AM

    Sleep Time tea is wonderful, I need to get more--thanks for reminding me! I'm glad it worked so well for you; good sleep is SO restorative. I've had that happen with publishing my blog a time or two also; took me FOREVER to figure out what on earth was 'profanity' in there (yeah, I use it SO much of that in my writing). Had to laugh when I finally figured out the problem word and changed it. Enjoy your day, my friend!

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SARAWALKS 12/21/2010 10:51AM


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CBLANK20091 12/21/2010 10:48AM

  Thank your for sharing and making me giggle today.
I think Don't step on the elves is going to be repeated over and over today emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/21/2010 10:32AM

    There are two "i"s in those kind of mushrooms . . . wonder if that would work?

Sure hope that you don't plan to blog about your small dog of the sh@#t'su variety!!

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/21/2010 10:19AM

    Between not stepping on elves and sh@#take mushrooms...
Thank you for a much needed giggle!!!


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ANEPANALIPTI 12/21/2010 10:18AM

    LOL. I love tea too, I'm going to make some right now! :D

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STEELKICKIN 12/21/2010 9:58AM

    A few years ago I had a similar experience with Sleepy Time tea because I am a true insomniac. I was all excited because a friend had recommended it to me and her word was golden my book. That evening I took a relaxing bath, drank my tea and went to bed. I quickly fell into a slumber. Apparently, it was around 2 a.m. when I shook my husband awake and told him the water heater had fallen over and water was spurting everywhere. I gave him a minor heart attack but he relaxed when everything seemed fine. It wasn't much longer after that that I shook him awake and asked him, "DID YOU SEE THAT??" Somewhat grumpy at that point he screeched, "WHAT??" I pointed above the door frame and said, "That eight-point buck just ran across the ceiling and went into our bathroom!"

Needless to say, Brian has not allowed me to drink that tea again. I hope you have better luck tonight. Be careful or TMZ just MIGHT find you in a club with Lady GaGa after all!

Comment edited on: 12/21/2010 10:00:07 AM

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WALKAWAY 12/21/2010 9:51AM

    emoticon Love it. Great way to start the day. emoticon

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SWEETNEENI 12/21/2010 9:37AM

    " careful not to step on the elves."


LOL Thanks for the chuckle!

Comment edited on: 12/21/2010 9:37:34 AM

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AKATUJE 12/21/2010 9:24AM

    I love that tea, and chamomile too. Your blog made me laugh today... The part about rolling over and saying 'be careful not to step on the elves'.....

Have a great day John!!!

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HDHAWK 12/21/2010 9:21AM

    I've been having the same sleeping problems lately, and wouldn't you know it, my personal trainer told me to try tea also. I haven't gotten it yet, but will today when I'm out and about. I'm glad it worked for you.

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CHELSEAANNE8 12/21/2010 9:21AM

    It is a fun blog. Thanks for sharing about your sleep break through (I understand sleep problems) and I have also had problems with posting my blogs if things aren't just right. Have a wonderful Christmas week! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Chelsea in FL emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 12/21/2010 9:19AM

    Yes that tea is good. Chamomile tea works as well for me anyway. Glad you got some rest!

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WENDYSPARKS 12/21/2010 9:16AM

    I enjoy a nice hot cup of herbal tea...I like sleepy time...and chamomile tea. Enjoy the day!

Wendy emoticon

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SAPPHIRE983 12/21/2010 9:13AM

    Your writing is so calm, amusing, and easy to read! Thanks for the stories! It was fun to read to start my day. I hope you have a good one!

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DONNAGOWAN 12/21/2010 9:12AM


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Lessons Learned, Year 2 Day 1

Monday, December 20, 2010

It makes you draw a really deep breath when you look at your weight ticker and it reads ďzero.Ē In actuality it screams it at you. Suddenly you are just a bit more aware of what goes into your mouth, a bit more aware say then you were yesterday when all you had to do was convince yourself that the cookie or candy bar or fully loaded pizza wouldnít hurt you ďthat much.Ē After all you are a success. Your weight ticker proves it. People visit your Spark page and tell you what an inspiration you are. Go ahead, eat the peanut cluster. It wonít hurt you. Youíre a success.

You are starting all over, ground zero with nothing to hang your hat on but a lot of experience. You notice throughout the day how many bad habits have wormed their way back into your behavior. You expected a few but not as many as you found. It shocks you a bit. You didnít get lax you got lazy!!! You pick up The Spark and make sure you remember where the measuring cups and spoons are and oh my goodness you get fewer calories than you did yesterday!

You have a house full of people eating stuff you adore. You make an egg white omlet with mushrooms, tomatoes and onions. You eat a bagel thin. You are amazed to recall that butter does indeed have calories and yes John, you have to track them. At noon when the gym opens you excuse yourself from these wonderful and adorable folks and you brave a bitter wind to sweat like its August.

More than once today you ask yourself if this was a good idea or not. It means you have to take some risks, you have to accountable and you have to reach a whole new set of goals. But you also know you can do it because you did it once before. You reached a summit and you looked out over the world around you and you smiled because it felt so good.

Last year I came to understand I was worth so much, I deserved to be healthy and happy and I latched on to roughly a million new friends who confirmed I was who I hung around with.

I know what I can do because I know what I have done

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNIFER124 12/22/2010 2:46PM

    AWESOME!!! EXACTLY what i needed to hear today!!! congrats on your success and your lessons learned while on this journey~~

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/22/2010 2:42PM

    SUCH a perfect blog. Oh wait, anything you write rocks.

Thanks for teaching me we are who we are and there is perfection in our imperfection. I never believed it before how exhilarating and beautiful it is be HUMAN!

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JENNY888 12/21/2010 12:18PM

    I am going to adopt your technique of resetting the ticker to 0. I like the idea and think it will help me in the way you say it is helping you. As always, you are a great motivator John.

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JUNEAU2010 12/20/2010 3:38PM

I loved this blog!

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/20/2010 2:08PM

    You are off to amazing start!


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CARTOONB 12/20/2010 12:58PM

    I hadn't thought of it that way. Interesting take. And good job leaving the warmth of home and friends for the oppressing heat of the gym.

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SARAWALKS 12/20/2010 10:55AM

    emoticon and you will still have a WONDERFUL Christmas! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JPRICE217 12/20/2010 9:14AM

    Great blog a few day of slipping back is so hard to get back.

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MSSUNBUG 12/20/2010 9:02AM

    I know what you WILL do because I know what you've done. :-) It sounds like you're off to a great start.

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HDHAWK 12/20/2010 8:30AM

    I spent a great deal of time yesterday looking at my goals, reading, and giving lots of thought to my goals. I admire you for excusing yourself from company and getting your workout in. I'm not sure I'm there yet, but I'll continue to work towards it!

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MARCYNA 12/20/2010 8:29AM

    Today I went to buy some food and the sweets section was screaming at me...I almost cried but did not but any of them, just vegetables, salad, fresh fruit...anyway I'm so proud I am worth it and I'm so proud of you John,,,and how brave of you to restart the ticker emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/20/2010 8:32:00 AM

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DOLLBABE56 12/20/2010 7:16AM

    Right on John! I relate to so much of this blog. I've also been indulging too much. Every time I declare I'm going to "behave", I don't. I've got to find my resolve again. Your idea of starting over may just work. I'll let you know.

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KIMPOSSIBLE82 12/20/2010 6:57AM

    Loved this blog.

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SUNRISE14 12/20/2010 6:39AM

    emoticon emoticon I am sorta coming to the end of my journey with the weight loss thing. I would like to lose 10 more lbs but my physical condition may not allow it so i want to be happy for right now where i am but definatly don't want to gain any weight back. You have said it well. The hard part is to come and thats keep it off! emoticon

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BILL60 12/20/2010 6:35AM

    Well said. Now let's do it!!

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Hitting The Reset Button

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Since my anniversary blog a few days ago I have remained silent. I think itís good to pull back from time to time and reassess your goals, your progress, what works and what needs to be improved. I had a great first year here. My fitness level is through the roof compared to last year and I am a small child lighter. Iím really pleased. I basked in that glory for about an hour and then came to some decisions.

If you check out my Spark Page youíll notice my ticker says ďzero.Ē Thatís because I reset my weight goals. Iím not going to give myself a chance to fall back on past performance. When I weighed this morning I reset all my goals. They are ambitious. But I have to tell you, as I sat and adjusted them I got this really cool feeling in the pit of my stomach. I got excited. You see, I know what I can do, because I know what I have done. My original weight goal was to lose 100 pounds. I got 64% of the way there. It would be easy to just shoot for another 36 pounds and leave it there. The problem is Iíd still be overweight. My weight goal is set one pound below ďoverweight.Ē

Why am I excited? I know more than I did a year ago. Iím not saying this is going to be easy, but I know what to expect and plan for it. I have been down this road once and have been successful.

We had our family Christmas yesterday. The kids will be with spouses families and the like next Saturday so we had everyone over and did the gift exchange. Of course there was food!!! But I have to tell you I navigated that mine field really well. No sweets, no alcohol of any sort, no snack stuff. I did have some diet Mountain Dew. I had some ham, some turkey, a few boneless Buffalo wings and some fresh veggies. Actually I did most of the prep work while Joan did the cooking and I was way too busy to eat. The temptation was there but I have come to learn that I am way too valuable to trade in my self-esteem for a cookie.

Itís a new day, a new beginning and so if you donít mind Iím going to toddle off and just enjoy the nice feeling of excitement I have in my stomach. Pretty soon, there will be less of me to love.

I know what I can do, because I know what I have done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAGPIE74 1/2/2011 1:49PM

    Discovered your blog through a link on a friends blog. I'm glad I clicked on it and read. I had been thinking about doing a reset back to zero on my own ticker and your blog gives good weight to this decision.

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BOLLINGER25 12/26/2010 6:01PM

    Sounds like you did a really good job with the food. Good job! You have a great attitude, and i wish you all the best! I hope you have a wonderful 2011!

Comment edited on: 12/26/2010 6:02:03 PM

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SILLYHP1953 12/26/2010 5:54PM

    Excitment is a wonderful feeling...and you sure did manage the minefield quite well!

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/20/2010 2:56PM

    BEAUTIFUL. emoticon emoticon emoticon

oooh... you've planted more ideas in my head john about resetting the goals... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/20/2010 2:06PM

    Best wishes to you for a happy and healthy YEAR TWO!


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KATJAMN 12/20/2010 11:53AM

    I had been giving serious consderation to resetting my ticker and rearranging the goals. I think you have talked me into it. Although, I haven't come as far as you did in the past year, I think it will help me reestablish some of my habits that have fallen by the wayside.
Thank you for your blogs, as usual, you set the thinking in motion.

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LILIVW 12/20/2010 10:42AM

    Great job! You are geared up for another great and successful year!

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GAILSQUEST 12/20/2010 10:03AM

    Good job on your self control.I attended our churches Christmas dinner last night and I did pretty good.I did have a large serving of banana pudding with whipped cream.I could of done a lot worse. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Merry Christmas

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MONTANA_ED 12/20/2010 9:02AM

    Wow - what a great way to think and feel! You have come a long way and I think your outlook going forward is going to make things just a little easier. You are an inspiration to me and I thank you!


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSSUNBUG 12/20/2010 8:58AM

    I just love this blog, John. I especially loved, "I have come to learn that I am way too valuable to trade in my self-esteem for a cookie." That is, to me, precisely what it's about: seeing your value and recognizing that nothing is more important than honoring yourself.

I'm so glad to see your excitement and enthusiasm for what's ahead. I know it will be a great year for you.

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MARCYNA 12/20/2010 8:27AM

    Lovely lovely, hugging you whatever your size you're always wonderful emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 12/20/2010 1:14AM

    Good stuff John!! And amazing how you controlled your eating on your Christmas celebrations!! well done, my hat off for you.

I'm looking forward to the new year, with sparkfriends around me ready to kick some serious butt in 2011!

Love ya


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GEEMAWEST 12/20/2010 12:24AM

    Smart move, John. Getting a fresh start is a good thing.

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CARTOONB 12/19/2010 10:54PM

    Enjoy your toddling. And good luck on your new goals!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/19/2010 10:27PM

    You did great at your Xmas gathering. I hope I can do as well.

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TIME4AFITME 12/19/2010 5:00PM

    Sounds like a great idea...something I need to do as well

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LUCYJOY 12/19/2010 3:11PM

    I'd love to get to where I could not eat a cookie or the snack food at a holiday party. Sugar keeps defeating me.

Sounds like you are doing great. I reset my goals recently because I had lagged. It helped me get refocused.

Glad to hear you are doing so well. I read your blogs for motivation.

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SPARKENISTA 12/19/2010 2:10PM

    John--Sounds Great! I know that you can do this. BTW, you have lost more than a small child--definitely at least a medium-sized child!

I have grow this year, as well, but you have accomplished more concrete goals and have inspired hundreds. Good luck going forward, but please give yourself the credit you are so richly due--you MOTIVATOR!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 12/19/2010 1:37PM

    What an inspirational blog! I will give this some thought - resetting my goals. Perhaps that would be a good way to inject some more excitement and energy to the SP journey.

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SERENAJL 12/19/2010 12:12PM

    What a fantastic idea! Keep up the good work

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/19/2010 11:37AM

    Around the holidays, at the start of a new year, at your Sparkversary--those are all good times to stop and reevaluate where you are and where you want to go. We have to do that periodically. Well done on the holiday meals; I baked cookies with my daughter and grandson and had only one of my daughter's cookies, not a sample of every kind made, so I'm pleased with that. Merry Christmas, John; I'm looking forward to continuing the journey through the rest of this year and the year ahead with you!

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PANFRIEDTROUT 12/19/2010 11:24AM

    great blog John and the reasoning/logic is really solid! I'm glad you had a great 1st year and know that the coming year will also be really good for you. applied knowledge is power.

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KELLY40222 12/19/2010 10:39AM

    Wonderful blog John! I love the idea of hitting the 'reset' button. Surely it has to be mentally refreshing!

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HDHAWK 12/19/2010 10:19AM

    I'm in the reevaluating stage myself. Way to go on handling the family dinner yesterday. I'm hoping to do as well this week!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/19/2010 10:18AM

    Oh I like this! I definitely think reevaulation is necessary sometimes. I did the same thing, and am looking now how to hold myself accountable to it. You remain an inspiration John!

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SARAWALKS 12/19/2010 9:19AM

    A small child lighter! I just love that!
We all need a bit of reevaluating at this time of year. My goal weight is just below overweight as well, & even though it's not obvious to others, I can see & feel it. Thinking I'll revise down just a bit for the new year.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYN1955 12/19/2010 9:11AM

    Hitting the reset button sounds like a great idea. Although I have maintained a reasonable weight loss and am going to the gym 3 days a week, I feel like I am in limbo and am still 30 pounds away from a normal BMI. I am in the "good enough" phase, but know deep down I can do a lot better. I have been reading some inspiring blogs and thank-you for your words of encouragement....inpsiration leads to action.
Have a good Christmas season and 2011 will be the year for achieving our goals!!
Take care,
emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 12/19/2010 9:06AM

    John, I will be starting over too. I have already paid for & scheduled my 1st session with my personal trainer. I took the month of December off....and I mentally & physically gave myself time to "check out". What I realized is I MISS IT! I like the me who works out, who dropped a size, who feels & looks better. This is my journey & it is for me!!!!

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EDWINA172 12/19/2010 8:53AM

    Great idea! Have a nice weekend and Happy Holidays John.

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ANGELOO29 12/19/2010 8:46AM

    You are an inspiration! Have a great holiday :)

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My First (Of Many) Year At Spark. A One Year Blog

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.

Much Love

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSRAYE 12/20/2010 10:23AM

    My husband is kinda the same way as far as the computer. When I joined Spark just a few months ago, I got way more then I expected. I met a ton of people very quickly that are just like me and I became obsessed with SP! It seemed like there was always someone to message or comment on. I always had something to track. There is so much to do that you can literally spend your whole day on SP. Now, I'm not on as much as I would like to be but it's nice to know that when I am here, there is always love and support waiting for me.

Great job on your sucess so far and keep up your hardwork for next year! It's gonna be a great year!!!!

Stephanie R.

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MSSUNBUG 12/20/2010 9:00AM

    I had the same sadness today as I scanned over a few old pals here and noticed they were inactive. It's upsetting to see.

It's been a true pleasure to get to look in on your journey, John.

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/17/2010 5:49PM

    I am proud of you and happy I call you my friend. Here's to many more!!!

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ATREAT4ME 12/16/2010 10:38PM

    John, I love this post because I see it about becoming a better person/friend to oneself and therefore to others; I see the value of the journey -- working toward the destination and picking your own route -- but the value of the friendships cultivated along the way (to me) clearly transcends the face value. Nicely done. A great reflection of what the year brought you and the potential of the next one to bring similar priceless bounty to others. Thank you!

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/16/2010 5:38PM

    Congrats! I am sure you will rock next year in true rock star fashion. You have accomplished so much beyond the scale it is mindboggling - not the least of which is the amount of people you have inspired in your journey.

Thank you for being here. Cheers.


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EMTFF376 12/16/2010 11:12AM

    Happy belated Sparkiversary John! My gift to you is a raincheck (snowcheck) for a workout and lunch when we finally cross paths in Weston! :)

Congratulations on losing 65 in a year. That is a great achievement! I'm so proud of you.

I want to say more and comment on your whole blog, but I'm working and have limited time. I want you to know, though, I read each and every word of each and every blog of yours (unless you video blog!).

Hugs and congrats!

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DOLLBABE56 12/16/2010 9:11AM

    Happy "belated" anniversary, John. Your plan is a good one. I may borrow it.

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SPARKENISTA 12/15/2010 10:34PM

No, thank you, for being there. I know exactly what you mean about getting to know people on a deep level her at Spark. I think that when we put ourselves out there we are taking a risk and are vulnerable. That is a sure road to getting to know someone on a very deep level.

Good luck in your re-vamp of your goals. You have inspired hundreds of people and helped us on our path. I am so grateful.



emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/15/2010 9:22PM

    Congratulations on a very successful year. This year will be another.

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KSGROTHE 12/15/2010 8:32PM

    Happy emoticon, John!

I'm glad you've done so well over this year and also had some setbacks to blog about. I have been on Spark more than 3 years and have not lost as much weight as you have yet. I'm hoping that that "Fall 7 times [or 77] get up 8 [or 78]" principle works for me eventually. Reading your blogs about your mental struggles helps me realize that I'm not that unusual in my own struggles. I have a lot of things to work on, but I'm improving.

Keep up the good work! I have no doubt you can reach your goals in your next year on Spark! emoticon

- Karen

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WORKINGSTIFF 12/15/2010 1:57PM

    Way to go, John!

Happy Anniversary to you. You have come a long way this year-not just physically but mentally too!

Hope to read more great blogs from you in '11.


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SILLYHP1953 12/15/2010 1:49PM

    Happy Anniversary. I understand the time contraints of replying to our friends blogs, goodies, and mailings. My comments have become shorter lately unless something really strikes me and I haven't been able to reply back to comments all the time. SP is a BIG part of my life now, but it can't be my WHOLE life.

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PRINCESSNURSE 12/15/2010 1:41PM

    Thanks for being my sparkfriend! This is going to be an awesome year---I can't wait to see what we accomplish!

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KELLY40222 12/15/2010 11:48AM

    Congratulations, John on your 1 year Spark Anniversary!!! emoticon emoticon

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LOOKY-LOU 12/15/2010 11:35AM

    Happy Spark-aversary John. I wish you even more success in your second year.

Have an awesome day!

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/15/2010 11:25AM

    emoticon Happy emoticon!!!!

I wish you much success, health and happiness achieving your new goals!


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ISHIIGIRL 12/15/2010 11:15AM

    Congrats John. I periodically peruse my spark friends also. If I see they haven't been active for awhile I send them a quick Hi, how are you? How have you been? If I don't get a response within a few weeks, I delete them. I figure if they are ever active on the site again they can re-add me. Then I don't get discouraged when I see 100 people are my spark buddies but I only hear from a few. Just my two cents. You are a great motivator to many people just by being you and sometimes its ok if you stall in your journey, just proves you are human! Paige

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CARTOONB 12/15/2010 11:11AM

    Happy Sparkiversary!! You will reach your new goals, I'm sure of it!!! Your OLD friend....Barbara

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MAWRTIAN 12/15/2010 10:37AM

    HAPPY SPARKAVERSARY!!! Your blogs are great John, I'm usually a silent member here but I have gotten so much out of your reflections. Thank you.


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GETFIT2LIVE 12/15/2010 10:05AM

    Happy Spark-Aversary, John. I'm glad you're here; you have helped me more than you know. I am about a month away from my one year mark of using SP, so I have been thinking a lot about the difference this place and people like you have made in my life. Thanks for being a part of the transformational process for me!

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CBLANK20091 12/15/2010 10:04AM


A very,very Happy Sparkiversary!!


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HDHAWK 12/15/2010 10:02AM

    Happy emoticon! You do thank all your friends on a regular basis by sharing in your blogs with such honesty. We all have limited time so don't be too hard on yourself!

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WILLIAMV3 12/15/2010 9:52AM

    Happy Anniversary and Congratulations on your progress! emoticon

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ELYMWX 12/15/2010 9:42AM

    Congratulations, John on Year One, and good luck on Day One!

Even though you have spent the year focusing on making yourself better, you have still managed to help a lot of others' lives better too. Keep on Sparking.

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KATJAMN 12/15/2010 9:32AM

    Happy Spark-aversary. You have so much to be proud of, mostly that you are such an inspiration to so many, including me.

Keep going and next year will be even more rewarding for you.

It's hard getting back to everyone, relax.. just make sure you get back to me.. hahahaha!! Just kidding. Relax!

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PLAYBLUES22 12/15/2010 9:27AM

    Sweetie, good for you, one year on Sparks and you have accomplished so very much emoticon

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ARTHURTOM 12/15/2010 9:18AM


Keep on Sparkin'!

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MISSROCKABILLY 12/15/2010 9:17AM

    Congrats on your one year sparkversary! It has been such a great experience, sharing this past year with you through your blog, watching you learn, struggle, sometimes fall, get up, succeed, and grow! You are an incredible person, John, and I'm so glad that we are friends. I'm looking forward to another wonderful year!

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MARCYNA 12/15/2010 9:06AM

    Hey, it took me more than a month to find you on SP...I'm not as bright as I had thought,,,anyway I'm so glad I did.
You really helped me more than you could imagine, and yes, I like helping others and this is part of my job too.
I heard once a very wise person saying.:
"When you're stuck,when you can't find a solution to your problems, help others and Providence will help you"
This is basically why I think being generous works, by helping each other even when we're stuck we're helped in our turn emoticon

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HLPRATT 12/15/2010 8:57AM

    Like your wife I don't want to spend my life in front of the computer, so I don't utilize sparkpeople as much as I could. I like the idea of starting over with new goals for the new year. We all need a new start sometimes. I enjoy your blog John!

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JESPAH 12/15/2010 8:29AM

    Wow, someone knows I'm out here.

Lots of us know.

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SARAWALKS 12/15/2010 8:27AM

    emoticon on a whole year! emoticon
and not to worry about answering all of us!
We are only responsible for ourselves, not for everyone who comes into our orbit...
And the best way to help others is to stay on track oneself...
Then you can see what you are actually called to do.
emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 12/15/2010 8:20AM

    Happy emoticon

I love following along with you thru this journey we are on. You have encouraged me and uplifted me many times. I think of you as a gift from God.

I am proud of what you've accomplished and cannot wait to see what the next year holds for you. I too am ready to see what lies ahead.


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HONORINGGOD 12/15/2010 8:13AM

    emoticon emoticon you have been a encouragement for me my friend emoticon emoticonof the rest of our lives emoticon

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"If I'm So Lucky..........." or What Really Matters Part 2

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANEPANALIPTI 12/18/2010 6:33PM

    "we tell them what to do" Oh yes, so wise. A sparkfriend posted this quote as her status the other day and I have been reading it EVERY day.

""No one can depress you. No one can make you anxious. No one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you anything other than what you allow inside." - Unknown"

Listen to this:

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DGILBRIDE1949 12/16/2010 10:53AM

    You touched a nerve with me. I rode my bicycle for 13 was my only vehicle, and I loved it...13 years up and down the coast of Southern California....and a brief trip from Boston to New York...what memories.
Then I was hit by a car. Everyone said that I was lucky that wasn't hurt worse...just a broken shoulder and fractured hip....
I still ride, but not like I used to. I walk now. But every time I see a group of cyclists pass me, I get that same feeling of not belonging any more...
I guess the important thing is that I am still standing, just as you are. Walk, run, jog, is all important. And important enough not to give up!
We are here for you. And that's important, too!

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MARCYNA 12/15/2010 3:46AM

    This is great, going to the roots of the way we're feeling...Professional dancers, when they're hurt, keep on training the muscles which have not been hurt...I was wondering if this can apply also to the psychological issues I've been through in these days emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/15/2010 3:47:12 AM

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GO-LOEW 12/14/2010 11:34PM

    After reading your blog, I think you are well on the way to a successful recovery from your injury and to overcoming the "disease" that caused our overweight. I enjoy reading your blogs.

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GEEMAWEST 12/14/2010 11:26PM

    Ya, what Barb said. emoticon (FYI, this is spit)

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CARTOONB 12/14/2010 10:38PM

    You are lucky you weren't hurt worse.

Is there an emoticon for spit? emoticon

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WORKINGSTIFF 12/14/2010 3:10PM

    Oh, I'm sorry-are we who are up moving around, walking, running, jumping, cycling, etc. never supposed to get injured? I figured that it comes with the territory! I ended up in the ER getting staples in my head from a fall during a volleyball game!

The only way to live "injury free" would be to sit perfectly still-and watch life pass us by. Now that's a sad way to stay intact.

"Welcome to the club!" I say. It's a badge of honor (so to speak) to be able to say "I injured myself while out on a run..."

You may actually make some people envious! He's out running! Not something they think they can do!

You'll be back before you know it.

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REJ7777 12/14/2010 2:55PM

    You've made so much progress! You write, "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. " A year ago, you wouldn't have imagined being "jealous" of those who can run at the gym! Make sure to patiently care for your new bike (body) while it's in the repair shop!

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HDHAWK 12/14/2010 12:43PM

    Injuries stink because we have the thought (at least I do) that I'm finally doing this and now I can't! Considering you are a RUNNER with an injury doesn't mean you're not a runner anymore. You are in the runners group with a temporary setback. I'll bet if you asked most runners they've had the same setbacks. I'll never be in your cool runner's group because I dislike running and have no desire to ever do it. Sometimes I think I should give it a try, but then, why should I if I don't enjoy it.
Good luck with the dreadmill. That's where I'm at too. It's way too cold to be outside right now!

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/14/2010 12:21PM

    There's a song we used to sing in Sunday school growing up that I'm reminded of, about the wise man builds his house upon the rock while the foolish man builds his house upon the sand. Keep building your house on the rock, John, and whatever winds and rain may come, it will stand firm. That's what this journey is really all about--making sure we have a solid foundation that will withstand the storms of life.

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SILLYHP1953 12/14/2010 12:00PM

    I have a feeling reading your blogs is going to be a very thought-provoking activity...looking forward to it!

Thanks for befriending me.
emoticon Phyllis

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TRIPLE_EMME 12/14/2010 10:02AM


I truly appreciate that you share your struggles in your blog. Thanks for sharing that vulnerable part of yourself.

I'm proud of you for going off to the dreadmill.

In time, you will figure this all out!


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SARAWALKS 12/14/2010 9:16AM

    You rock, buddy! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 12/14/2010 9:04AM

    I could think of a 1001 cliches that might apply, but I won't.Ok, maybe I will a little. I love KAT573's quote here. So often we use adversity to throw in the towel.......oh look, I used a cliche! The truth is LIFE is as much adversity as it is joyful. If we "cash in our chips" (oh look another cliche! :) when the going gets tough, well then, I guess we are done in. Giving up is not an option. I don't think it is wrong to have a pity party once in a while. I mean, last time I checked, we are human. We don't get extra points for being stoic. Sometimes we need the pity party to get our heads together, and this is ok. That is how I use it, and I am damn proud of it! lol.

As always, continue being that shining star that you are. If you keep reaching for the moon, you will definitely land among the stars.

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ANEPANALIPTI 12/14/2010 8:50AM

    Rock the dreadmill John, YOU ROCK IT. You're a million percent right, its a symptom of the disease which is looking at ourselves in a negative lway! *scribbles furiously* Writing some of this stuff down!

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KAT573 12/14/2010 8:38AM

    John: I feel for you: I had to come to realize that what Robert Frost said was true for me, and what Scott Peck said was too:

The best way out is always through

And just as I have had to work incrementally and therefore, realistically,with an allowance of compassion, & with professional assistance, on my nutrition and my exercise, the same is also true where I cannot seem, by my own will alone, to move beyond a certain impasse emotionally. I had to reach a level of acceptance, to do that. And while that never ends, and must continually be defined, just as refinement in exercise and diet must be as Life changes, I believe you will find your way, if you can realize when you need to let go, and how you need to keep on keeping on.

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DAWNDMOORE40 12/14/2010 8:36AM

    emoticonblog! emoticonfor sharing your struggles and your successes with us! I know it can be difficult when your used to doing something, and then all the sudden you have to stop. Just do a little at a time, and don't get down on yourself because if you don't heal properly, you won't be good for anyone! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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