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My Mothers Prescription For Health

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Joan and I were cleaning out a closet the other day when we ran across a box of old photos. Most of them were from when we were both younger and I was much thinner. When we were married in 1974 I weighed one hundred fifty seven pounds. I was twenty years old almost twenty one. After we rearranged the closet I began thinking about the differences between now and then. Thatís when I recalled my momís diet and exercise regimen.

My mom and dad grew up during the Depression and while we never lacked for anything we lived as if poverty was knocking at the door. Honestly, until I went to college I thought everyone lived like we did. But I digress. I started thinking about how I ate then and how I eat now and a lot of the changes that have occurred not only in my life but in society in general.

We were allowed to drink soda twice a year Ė Christmas and July Fourth. There were four of us and we went to the liquor store with my dad and we each got to choose four bottles. That left eight slots and my dad filled them with white soda and sour mix to go with the bottle of brandy he got one a year for company. The rest of the year we drank milk and water. If it were really hot outside my mom might make a pitcher of Kool Aid. Soda was a treat and I donít drink it today at all, but it seems itís everywhere you turn.

The same held true for dessert. My mom baked cookies on Monday morning and put them in two jars. One jar always had peanut butter cookies and the other held either chocolate chip or sugar cookies. When we ate all the cookies we ate all the dessert for the week. On weekends my mom would make an apple pie every now and then and dessert for the most part was considered a real treat. We had butter at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. I thought everyone ate toast dry!!

If the weather was nice, this in my momís definition meant no rain or gale force winds and little or no chance of a blizzard, we were ushered outside. My mom hooked the door and if you wanted to come in you better be dying. In other words if we werenít in school, cleaning, or doing homework we were outside playing, in the fresh air, with balls, bats, jump ropes, bikes and all that other neat stuff we pay gyms to provide us with today. We would come in for lunch and then went outside again until dinner and then back out till the street lights came on. We walked everywhere that was walk able, which included going to see if a friend was available to play with you. Using the telephone to ďchatĒ was unheard of.

Donít misunderstand, I am not complaining, not one little bit. My life was pretty simple and I didnít know anything any different. With some common sense nutrition and a lot of sunshine and exercise I was healthy. My mom will be eighty next month and my dad eighty seven in July. They pretty much live the way they always did when we were growing up. Until my dadís macular degeneration got too bad they would walk to Mass every morning. Round trip that was two miles. With assistance, my dad still goes to water aerobics twice weekly. My mom attends all sorts of classes and even though she refuses to admit it she is an accomplished artist in the areas of painting, ceramics and knots and sews like no one else I know. She does use the internet and has a cell phone.

One of my goals for the next year is to simplify my life. The grocery store near out house is about as far as the one was when I was growing up. When we need milk, bread, or eggs I am going to start walking to get them. Itís the little things that push you over the top sometimes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPRICE217 1/28/2011 1:50PM

    Great blog. We all need to make our life more simmple. Enjoy.

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GOANNA2 1/28/2011 6:11AM

    What a wonderful blog John. Brought back many memories.
I am about your vintage and remember playing outside after
school and on weekends. We hardly ate meat, except Easter
and Christmas and the rest otf the year we ate a lot of fresh
vegetables and pulses. Soft drinks were unheard of.

I credit that for our good teeth today. I don't drive and am trying
to walk to the store and not relying on my son to drive me.
I remember the milk being delivered and also the ice to put in
the ice boxes. Life was simpler then and I am trying to live a
simpler way mainly because of circumstances but I, like you,
will try little steps to a healthier lifestyle.

You can do it emoticonBest of luck. It really is just putting
our mind to it and following through and like the ad says JUST DO ITI

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WALKNLOVE 1/24/2011 5:35PM

    You had a great lesson teacher at home. Most of the greatest lessons we learn in life are at home. So as you learned from your folks, our kids will learn from us.May all who come behind us find us faithful! As always, thanks for sharing! :) P.S.My grocery store isn't far've got me thinking!;)

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/24/2011 5:10PM

    I think thats great that you're going to do that. :-)

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AZCUPCAKE 1/24/2011 4:13PM

    You described my own childhood regarding the time you spent outside playing, visiting with friends, and not using the phone EVER, unless the grandparents wanted to hear their grandkids' voices between the holidays! What wonderful memories. We even hated to go inside to EAT, because that was cutting into our neighborhood playtime!! Every mom had a different way of calling their respective kids in for mealtimes, and those lunchtime meals NEVER included soda or desserts. Times sure are different these days.

I applaud you for your idea of walking to the grocery store for the essentials that are needed between the "big" shopping trips....I have been doing just that since last fall, when my son started taking my car to high school on early morning marching band practice days. Instead of buying another car, we decided to make this one-car-between-the-two-of-us thing work, and so far, it really has!!! I have found that time is relaxing and peaceful, AND I cannot just impulse-buy a carton of ice cream because I have to WALK it home, and it would probably be SOUP by the time I got home! Living in Phoenix (yes, even in January) has its advantages this way, haha! Thanks for another wonderful blog, John - it is always a pleasure reading about what is on your mind! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/24/2011 4:14:11 PM

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GIRANIMAL 1/24/2011 2:20PM

    Even I remember the part about being outside unless you were in school, cleaning or sick, and I am a bit younger than you. My elderly landlady laments all the time about how quiet the neighborhood is, how there used to be kids running around nearly all hours and people out on their porches. Seriously, when did this shift happen?

I think your plan to walk for groceries is a great one. I am happy to say we have broken our car habit except for things that require it -- laundry and larger shopping trips. Otherwise we walk or bike just about everywhere, and I am soooooo grateful to live in a city that allows it!

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/24/2011 10:03AM

    I really enjoyed reading this blog entry.

I was watching "Chicago: The Boomer Years" last night on PBS. Quite a few people that were interviewed talked about playing outside and coming home when the street lights came on.

I applaud you on your goal to live more simply. I wish you the best!


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CATHERINEL66 1/23/2011 10:40PM

    One of the big messages I'm getting right now is to "slow down". So I hear you with this!

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TIME4AFITME 1/23/2011 9:41PM

    Sounds nice really

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TRISH2229 1/23/2011 8:43PM

    I like this blog John. It encourages us all to reflect on our own childhoods. Yours sounds similar to mine except we always had dessert after dinner! Usually fruit or applesauce during the week. My folks also grew up in the Great Depression and are now in their eighties. Mom was a baker so we always had good stuff on the weekends and holidays. That's how I developed my love of baking. My motto in recent years has become - bake and take. I can bake it but then I have to take it out of the house and give it away. As you can imagine - my neighbors love it!

Its amazing your mother uses the internet! Good for her. I'm happy your folks are still able to exercise. Mine are mobile but have difficulty.

I too long for a simpler life. emoticon

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BTINTERNET 1/23/2011 7:26PM

    What a great retrospective. Yes, there are modern conveniences that are nice (like being able to blog with someone five states away!) but our family was much the same way - very much a Depression/wartime mentality on some levels, and with interesting benefits/side effects. I wish we lived in a walkable area - I think that's one of the horrible things about suburbia, and will definitely influence my next choice of home (if there is one).

Thanks for sharing (as always!)

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DOLLBABE56 1/23/2011 7:00PM

    I remember there was this metal box out front near the door. That is where the milkman delivered our milk in glass bottles and the cream at the top of the bottle was only for mom and dad. I believe we also got our butter from the milkman too.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 1/23/2011 6:05PM

  you are so right John.. I can really relate to the way things were back then.. I miss those simplier times.. I think the kids of today miss out on alot by sitting at the computer all dayshe says, as she sits at her computer all

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GEEMAWEST 1/23/2011 4:45PM

    This sure brought back some memories. We were also ushered outside to play daily. We lived in the L.A. area and even played outside in the warm rain. I never called my friends. Back then it cost for every call you made and the kids weren't allowed to use the phone at all. Now my grandkids want to call the kid that lives just 2 houses away to see if she can play. No Way!! Not in my house. Out you go kiddo.

Those were the days! emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 1/23/2011 4:44PM

    My life was similar to yours, too, and my love of books came from no tv in the house until I was 14. Walking where we wanted to go was normal, asking to be driven somewhere was unheard of. I'm not sure today's kids would know what to do outside if they were pushed out the door without their cellphones. We'd have to go with them and bring back some memories.

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AFRESHSTART2 1/23/2011 4:11PM

    emoticon blog!
Your blog took me right back to my childhood days. I enjoyed the stroll down 'Memory Lane'. My children and grandchildren(the older ones)like to refer to those days as the "back o' time" days to which I would remind them that back then people were more inventive, friendly and trustworthy, and also that there were fewer cases of obesity. As many of the posters below inferred, going back to basics(in some aspects) is a sure way of getting us back on the path to a healthier lifestyle.

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    I lived a much simpler life growing up too, though not as austere as you. I actually eat better now than I have ever eaten in my life and I rarely ever eat out unless I have too. Dessert here is fruit unless it's a holiday or birthday. I drink milk or decaffeinated tea or water. A sugar free soda rarely. No cookies in sight. LOL.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/23/2011 3:15PM

    Sounds so familiar, John! Simplifying life is one of my long-term goals as well. Too much stuff, too much busyness, too much of everything--it all adds up to slowly smother us the way weight has been doing for years. Your mother was and is a wise woman (look at her son!).

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HLPRATT 1/23/2011 2:52PM

    My parents also lived through the depression and one thing I learned was never to waste anything. To this day it pains me to throw away something that might still be usable. And I always cleaned my plate- because that was the right thing to do. It's amazing to me that the time period of the depression can reach so far into the future and affect future generations. And some of it the effects were for the better.

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HDHAWK 1/23/2011 2:39PM

    Sounds like my childhood. We were never inside, but always out playing some sort of game with friends.

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SARAWALKS 1/23/2011 2:08PM

    Oh yes, I remember those days! Only thing very different for me was, we lived out in the country and the only place I could walk on my own was to the neighbor's house, just out of sight of mine. But we did not drive to town (7 minutes away) more than a couple of times a week. My mom canned or froze everything we grew in the summer and fall and my dad hunted.

As an only child, I read a lot, didn't play outdoors as much as you, especially in the winter! Long distance phone calls meant something was wrong. A movie was a special special event! I did develop an addiction to homemade bread, which at first my mom would bake in a wood-burning stove. Homemade biscuits, batter bread (made in an iron pan with cracklings from fatback, the fatty part of the bacon that we avoid today). MMMMMHMMMM!

Some eating is healthier today, but people got much more exercise in the course of their ordinary days back then. I still remember how much work it took to wash the clothes in a wringer washer and hang them on the line (or around the dining room near the oil heater) to dry.

I've started walking to the grocery and to Lowe's and anywhere else within 3 miles of my house. It DOES make a huge difference. And I'm paying less for gas and for car insurance as a result!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/23/2011 2:09:37 PM

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JUNEAU2010 1/23/2011 2:06PM

    I like your plan of walking to the grocery store. I wish I could do that! There is a store very close to me, but my budget requires I shop in a different city, so it requires I drive....

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GRANDTO4 1/23/2011 12:11PM

  I am the same age, and my childhood was so similar! I remember sometimes having mustard sandwiches for lunch, because we were out of lunchmeat and peanut butter. Seemed normal to me. I recently showed my grown daughter a Better Homes and Gardens magazine from 1948. She was fascinated, and my 7 yr. old granddaughter could not imagine a world without TV, computers, microwaves and cell phones. My daughter was amazed at the amount of physical labor performed by "housewives". No wonder they were thinner then!

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DIASTER 1/23/2011 12:07PM

  How spoiled we have become in this society. You brought back so many memories. We always walked to and from school, the library, and the grocery store. We did not pay the gym for that privilege. McDonalds was for a special occasion , and they only had one size of

hamburgers and fries. Have you yet discovered that we spend so much time gathering "stuff"then as we get older we are spending time getting rid of the same stuff. Agree that we would all probably be happier with a simpler life style

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JENNY888 1/23/2011 11:53AM

    I enjoyed you talking about staying out until the street lights came on. That was the policy in my home also. This brought back memories.

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TEDYBEAR2838 1/23/2011 11:20AM

    So, true. WE all need to get back to the basics AND treating others as we would like to be treated.


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DEBRITA01 1/23/2011 11:04AM

    A good blog about living life more simple. In our over-indulgent world, maybe we need to get back to basics...we'd be healthier.

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Finding My Default Setting

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I was lying in bed around four this morning and the thought struck me that I really wonder how many times I get off course because I confuse who I am with what I do? I think it happens a lot. I rolled over on my back and started to ďdefineĒ me and I realized after a few minutes the picture I painted had a lot to do with things ďI did.Ē For example, how often do I say, ďIím a writer,Ē Iím a coach,Ē or ďIím a runner.Ē All of these things define me through things I do and ultimately lead me to comparing my activity to other peopleís activities and accomplishments. Inevitably I will always find someone who is better, quicker or brighter and the negative destruction begins. I donít know if it ever happens to you. It sort of crept up on me, gradually, through my life. My value, my sense of worth, all built on a stack of activity and accomplishments. I look around at other people and use them as a yard stick or ruler.

So where is my ďdefault setting.Ē Who am I versus what I do? It took me a few minutes to come up with it, distill it down into words that were ďinactive.Ē (Thatís a difficult thing to do when you are programmed towards using ďaction wordsĒ all the time.)

I am a child of God. I was created in His image and likeness. I am a reflection of God. I was created, good and pure and holy in the truest sense of the word. God loves me unlike anyone else in this universe, galaxy or world can love me and for Him, my existence is good enough. When I embrace that definition, which isnít really all that often to be quite frank, the energy I produce radiates and mirrors that love and reflects it to other people. When I accept other people, donít judge, donít compare and simply allow myself to love and be loved. Thatís my default setting.

You may refer to God in other terms, formats or conditions; I donít think it bothers him/her. I think the main concern is that we find our way back to who we really are. All the other stuff may be fun, enjoyable and teach us some sort of life lesson, but I think if I set my sights on just being me, Iíll have enough to do. It almost sounds like itís not enough doesnít it? Itís almost like that voice inside of you says ďThatís it?Ē Itís hard to accept help and love from other people. I felt really weird the other day after I wrote what I call my ďmeltdown blogĒ and I received this outpouring of support, affection and love. Part of me said ďStay away, Iím not used to this happening.Ē Another part said ďThese people must think Iím really messed up.Ē

The Miracle inside of me rises to the surface occasionally and I get a glimpse of who I really am in the eyes of my Creator. There are times we are called to take and times we are called to give and times we are called to be and bask in Divine love however we define it. I laughed a bit as I rolled over. How do you put into words that you have a goal of running a 10K in ten weeks and allowing God to show you who you really are.

I drifted off to sleep until the dogs came in at five, whimpering to go out and eat. Joan rolled over and reminded me it was my turn. I didnít think it would do any good to let her know Iíd just discovered I canít be defined by my activity. She usually has a good comeback.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZCUPCAKE 1/24/2011 4:19PM

    Wow. You really provided us with some amazing food for thought with this blog. I thank you with all my heart for that. There are times when a person's self-worth is WAY TOO TIED UP IN how much money they make or what their "title" is - I know I fall victim to that way of thinking too often, and end up discounting myself because I feel like I can never measure up to those who make a bigger "splash" in the pond. Thank you for the reminder of our worth in God's eyes. Nothing could be more important than that!!! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 1/24/2011 2:06PM

    It's still amazing to me how everything you have to say is a great reminder for me. And that applies to when you're feeling "off" or "on," so no more of this malarkey about us thinking you're "messed up." emoticon

There's a school of thought that says our job is not to know the "how" or "why," but only the "what." You've identified "what" you are so gracefully here -- a gift from your Creator -- and that lets "how" that manifests and "why" just flow. Good job, dear friend! Now, next time I get all ridiculously judgmental and identify myself as an editor, a friend, a girlfriend, etc., can you just forward this to me? Yeah, thanks. emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 1/23/2011 10:36PM

    This weekend I was listening to the Dalai Lama's Art of Happiness audiobook and writing down some notes and thoughts.

One of the concepts that he spent a lot of time on was your true self, that divine being of light, and how we define our worth. The lesson trascends philosophical perspectives -- because the idea is that if you base your self worth on shakey ground (wealth, power, accomplishment) -- it will dissapear when the illusion of (wealth, power, accomplishment, or stuff) does away.

So, moving into the vision of that divine being of light, or child of God -- is something that none of us do enough. It's that time of prayer, connecting with our true self/God, that serves to broaden our perspectives, and lead us to what's really important in life. :)

Nice blog!

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SILLYHP1953 1/23/2011 4:36PM

    I enjoy your sense of humor, very dry. And the other day maybe everyone was thinking that we are all the same.

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ACIMPEGGY 1/23/2011 2:19PM

    Great blog, John!

Remember, honey, the Course teaches giving and receiving are the reason is when we give, we're really giving to ourselves.

Also, dear one, Spirit has no gender. Although, I admit, most of us refer to God as "Him."

Have a great week...I've decided to subscribe to your blogs. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/22/2011 10:56PM

    LOL. Men are so competitive!! It all boils down with being your own personal best and not comparing your self with others. You won't be Lance Armstrong or Bruce Jenner but you can be a terrific John.

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GEEMAWEST 1/22/2011 8:34PM

    You're a good man, Charlie Brown. emoticon

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TRACEY5280 1/22/2011 5:44PM

    Ah, makes me think of the verse - "Be Still". In the quiet hours of the morning is when clarity came. I love this blog on some many levels. It took a deep, intense, lying in fetal position meltdown for me to walk the path to learning just what it means to be loved as a precious child of God. It has freed me from so many fears and is truly living. The phrase that I heard during that time that has really stuck with me is "the only being that is perfect is God". Putting myself in pretty lofty company I was! Keep fighting the good fight. You're authenticity is refreshing and encouraging.

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/22/2011 5:36PM

    Absolutely beautiful. Agreed-100%! You know I didn't think you were messed up at all ,cause if you're messed up, I'm messed up, we're all messed up! :P



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TEDYBEAR2838 1/22/2011 4:59PM

    "God loves me unlike anyone else in this universe, galaxy or world can love me and for Him, my existence is good enough."

Well, it's time you thought about it more often!

Such a great blog. We all love you! and we're here to support you.


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NJMATTICE 1/22/2011 3:54PM

    Nice early morning thoughts. I like the purity and clarity. Must have come from being close in proximity to the Source. As I read, I felt that peace that comes from seeking out God's wisdom for your life. And I enjoyed the giggle that comes with the humility thought. I love when those bubble up. God has a divine sense of humor. Keep reminding yourself of who you really are and you'll be doing God' s good work. That will be a gift to us all!
Have a great Saturday.

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JENNY888 1/22/2011 3:17PM

    This is a very interesting concept John. I have been thinking more and more myself lately about who I really am. I like the "default" concept.

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SARAWALKS 1/22/2011 2:53PM

Anticipating retirement definitely gets you thinking about this!
I have many projects I want to do when i retire - but it's good to remember my projects aren't me, any more than my work is.
When you are single and live alone, it's so easy to become too wrapped up in your work and I have, many times, especially when i doubted my ability to earn a living as a musician.
Finding "me" in these circumstances can be tricky, and you have hit the nail right on the head.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/22/2011 1:23PM

    What a great discovery, John! We all need to find our 'default setting' and learn how to stop defining ourselves by what we do. We are, after all, human BEINGS and not human DOINGS. It's not that we can't or shouldn't strive to do things, but we must not define ourselves by those things. Well said!

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JUNEAU2010 1/22/2011 12:31PM

    I'll bet you and Joan share those comebacks! :)

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KELLY40222 1/22/2011 12:22PM

    John you have a great 'default setting'!

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HDHAWK 1/22/2011 11:06AM

    Well John, if you're really messed up by having a meltdown, then so am I. At least you're not alone! I know I define myself mostly by my job because that's where my passion is and what I know I'm good at. Wish I were that confident about other areas in my life.

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Finding A Bit of Insight or The "Ah-Ha" Moment

Friday, January 21, 2011

One of the reasons I decided to help people as a career is that I wanted them to see and believe you didnít need to be perfect to be successful. I am living proof of that, LOL. I wanted people to see that you could still have some bumps and bruises and still be happy and healthy. Recently, Iíve hit a few bumps myself, really big ones. The kind that jar your teeth. You have been there and done that and you know it is not a pleasant feeling. If you didnít read my blog two days ago, go back and read it. It pretty much summarizes how I felt and in many ways still feel. I just didnít know why, until this morning. Somewhere, somehow this light goes on in my head and while the gloomy clouds werenít whisked away at least I understand the ďwhy.Ē

First, the back story. (I always have a back story.) A good life coach has a coach of their own. Iím fortunate enough to work with someone who specializes in coaching coaches. We talk once a week for about an hour, mostly about how I am doing in making progress towards the goals I am working on. Itís a productivity session not a therapy session.

Back in December, my coach asked me what big change Iíd like to see in 2011. Thanks to some of you, who pointed a few things out to me along the way, I realized I have control issues. In other words in order to feel safe and secure I have to have a lot of control over my environment. Itís really silly if you think about it. Not much changes in reality, just inside of me when I try and control things. I have always had a fear of not having enough money. Itís one of those stay awake at night sort of things. My response to that misperception was to keep a tight fist on our expenses so I knew where every penny was. The problem is that my mind isnít a financial mind; it just likes to control things, LOL. Joan is much better at managing money.

I decided in early December that as of January 1 Joan would take over our finances. She was more than glad to do so. Initially I felt like a huge burden had been lifted off of me. Soon, I started feeling; well I started feeling ďweird.Ē I was nit picking about the way the house was kept, the way the dishes were stacked, what we were eating, when we were eating itÖÖ Now none of this dawned on me until this morning. I went to the grocery and had no cash. In the old days, that being last month, I always kept cash. Itís not that I canít have any, itís just that I got out of the habit of keeping money in my wallet. So I am grumbling and groaning as I drive to Kroger and it hits me. Whatís really upsetting me is the fact Iím no longer in control and the ďother John,Ē AKA my ego is revolting. I took away a precious part of the control freak that lives inside of me. He doesnít care for that at all and like a little kid throwing stones at you, he is acting out. He is throwing everything at me heís got and that means all my weaknesses magnified by ten.

If you want me to feel really insecure just attack the way I look or the fact that I am not perfect and never will be or make me feel alone. Can you say ďbasket case?Ē Part of me is rebelling against my desire to be healthy. The caterpillar doesnít want to be a butterfly; it wants to crawl on the ground. There is a huge battle inside of me.

That revelation brought about a modicum of peace. I cocked an eye skyward and one of the tings I really love about God is that He is God. There is never a lecture. He listens to me and then lets me know He is happy for me and we go on.

I react better and can plan better when I know what is going on. When I know the ďwhyĒ I can usually figure out how to deal with it. I know I have to quit dealing with it alone. Thatís another part of my journey. I have a tendency to want to do it all by myself.

The big change I see in me is that I want to tackle these issues. Being torn apart emotionally isnít a lot of fun, nor do I look forward to it. I only look forward to the end result. If you build your house on a foundation of stone, it can withstand just about anything.

Iím healthier today than I was yesterday and Iíll be healthier tomorrow then I am today. Right now, thatís enough for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHERINEL66 1/23/2011 10:28PM

    I spend a lot of time humming mantras and zenlike statements in my head. Especially because I'm such a control freak and I have to wean myself off the crutch of the illusion. I work really hard to remind myself (as many times as needed, and I need to remind myself a LOT) -- that God is bigger than my issues, my fears and my compulsions. Whew. And that I gotta hand over all that negativity wound up with that control illusion, because after all, I HAVE to make room for more love, peace and joy in my life.

And my friend, I believe that you are doing the same thing on your path.

I am really impressed with you handing over the financial management to Joan. Way to go. I can't wait to see what you do with that extra energy you've just freed up!

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DUTCHIEKIWI 1/22/2011 5:15AM

  Being in control.....

Oh yes, I know how you feel, as I'm much the same even though I am the first to admit some things I'd better not be in control of ;0)

But letting go can be such a relief. It's a learning curb, and slowly but surely I suppose we all will get to the " insight" stage of our lives...

Maybe I make no sense... but then again.. I'm still searching too...



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CARTOONB 1/22/2011 12:06AM

    Letting go of the control is tough. Doubly so if you've got a Little John inside you throwing temper tantrums. I'm glad you've figured out at least part of the reason you're feeling off. Hope you get the rest of the way to "on" again.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/21/2011 11:10PM

    Maybe you and your wife can handle the finances together. It might give you some peace.

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JUNEAU2010 1/21/2011 7:05PM

    You could have written this blog about me. Wonderful insights!

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GRANDTO4 1/21/2011 6:55PM

  John, you're doing some great work on the control issues. You should be very proud of that! I was much more stubborn. It took losing my marriage, business, income, house, car and every dime before I listened to the voice that said "I am enough." I don't regret anything that has happened - God has blessed me so much - but sometimes I wish I had paid attention sooner!

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MYOWNHERO 1/21/2011 5:13PM

    Love that line "the caterpillar wants to crawl around on the ground". So true!

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HLPRATT 1/21/2011 12:09PM

    Since I work in the healthcare field, I see alot of people with control issues. They come in with notebooks and every illness and treatment outlined and generally years worth of history. In a way they are good patients because at least they are interested. But then you have to try to explain to them the limits of the tests and labs that we do. Also the fact that medicine can't fix everything and lots of uncertainities exist. I can just see their anxiety increase. It's not just medicine, it's life in general. It's always hard to give up our control.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/21/2011 12:07PM

    Yes, knowing what's really behind things helps a whole lot. It's tough to make changes when you don't know why you're doing something (at least I know it is for me!). There is a part of me that does not want to go along with this whole healthy living thing, but learning how to deal with that is part of the process, isn't it? I'm so glad you're figuring out what's going on behind the scenes, John; for some of us this is a long journey, and that is actually a good thing, because it gives us time to work through the internal stuff that is behind the way we've been living to make a permanent change. Keep going, sir; you're worth it!

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SILLYHP1953 1/21/2011 11:35AM

    I liked your sentence, "the big change I see in me is that I want to tackle these issues". That's where I am now, finally. I've been beating around the bush instead of jumping into the bush. I've been reading the books instead of doing the lessons inside. I"ve been replying to my friends blogs instead of writing my own. Your struggles and insights really help me sort through my own. Thank you.

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MYSTERY4EVER 1/21/2011 10:28AM

    Giving up control is always very hard. I sometimes think control goes along with perfectionism. We are so afraid to fail, we try to make the world around us be ordered to our sensibility. These are wonderful insights. How wonderful that you have a coach to help you through this.

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MISSROCKABILLY 1/21/2011 10:15AM

    "Iím healthier today than I was yesterday and Iíll be healthier tomorrow then I am today. Right now, thatís enough for me."

So true, and excellent motivation to keep moving forward, even if it's just a day or step at a time. You have come so far in the time you've been on spark, I know you will eventually get to where you want to be, and we are all here to help you get there.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 1/21/2011 10:07AM

  beautiful as always John and full of insights.. I really enjoy your blogs in all of them I find things I can relate to....we are alike in the fact sometimes we find ourselves off the beaten path but somehow we always find our way back....have a wonderful blessed day

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GEEMAWEST 1/21/2011 9:41AM

    You're definitely growing, John. And hopefully you'll never stop learning. I'm so happy to hear that you're on the upswing.
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SARAWALKS 1/21/2011 9:41AM

    What a blessing that you have Joan who is good at managing money!
That's one of my big fears too...not having enough money, running out of money when I am old and gray and decrepit, having to be alone in a nursing home with a lot of people that I don't like who don't like me...all the fears connect...
In grad school when I was really on the edge financially, I used to find money on the ground whenever I was really worried. Not a lot, but some...I think the most was a dollar bill...
I think it was God telling me, "I've got your back..."
Hard to believe that sometimes! emoticon

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Begining Anew

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A very long time ago a priest once told me ďGod creates from nothing and until we are nothing God cannot create.Ē I believe I felt the hand and breath of God yesterday not only through my despair but in the real out pouring of love I felt from each of you that took the time to write some words of encouragement. In that darkness I felt a bit of hope and then felt the clouds break up. I hit bottom.

I spent a better part of yesterday reflecting on what everyone had to say. Lots of wisdom there. I decided a few things:
Iím going to concentrate on being healthy. That means Iíll eat within my calorie limits, eat the food that promotes health exercise when I should. I believe that when I do those things, along with getting enough rest and spending time with me and for me, that the scale will reflect those commitments. Iím not fat, Iím not skinny Iím just John.

To that end I will believe I am worth it even on the days I donít feel that I am. It means I keep the afore mentioned commitments. It means, slowly but surely I am on my way back. I decided that looking healthy isnít always being healthy.

Thank you, each of you that took the time. Baby steps and one day at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 1/22/2011 5:30PM

    It is from hitting bottom that growth springs forth. You may be "just" John, but you're blossoming a bit more as each day passes.

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ZURDTA- 1/22/2011 10:12AM


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DUTCHIEKIWI 1/21/2011 2:12AM

  Iím not fat, Iím not skinny Iím just John.

That, is the best thing I've heard all day!!!

Thinking of you!!



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    Learn to love your self as you are, John. None of us are perfect and we all fall short sometimes. It doesn't make us unworthy or any less lovable.

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DEE797 1/20/2011 7:31PM

    WooHoo....John is back! emoticon emoticon

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JUNEAU2010 1/20/2011 7:15PM

    I am so glad to see this blog. I was concerned.

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HDHAWK 1/20/2011 7:14PM

    A lot of baby steps, but we still get to our goals eventually. Glad you're feeling better!

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KELLY40222 1/20/2011 4:46PM

    Glad to hear you are back in stride! Way to go John!


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MYOWNHERO 1/20/2011 3:05PM

    Amen and amen.
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NJMATTICE 1/20/2011 2:07PM


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DGILBRIDE1949 1/20/2011 1:00PM

    Welcome back! emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 1/20/2011 12:56PM

    I was really glad to read this blog today...yes, you are John and you are here.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 1/20/2011 12:43PM

  you are loved ..By God, by the Universe, and you are worthy...I knew you would find your way...much love and light to you my friend

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GIRANIMAL 1/20/2011 12:36PM

    There he is! emoticon

Welcome back, John! emoticon

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PRINCESSNURSE 1/20/2011 12:21PM

    emoticon Perservere!

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STEELKICKIN 1/20/2011 12:10PM

    That's the spirit. A determined and beautiful spirit indeed.

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/20/2011 12:04PM


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GETFIT2LIVE 1/20/2011 11:58AM

    Wise words from the priest; it's not so much that God breaks us down to nothing as He allows us to discover we are nothing without Him. One day at a time is good, and it's all we have, really, isn't it?

Yes, you are worth it, no matter what you feel like on any given day; thank you for reminding me that I am, too. Doing what you know your body needs (eating healthy, keeping reasonable portions, staying active) pays off in the long run, and it builds that healthy lifestyle we aspire to have. Thanks so much for sharing both the victories and the struggles; it helps us all to know that we can make it through the dark times, too, because we're not alone in them.


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GOLFCHICK2-0 1/20/2011 11:54AM

    Sometimes a person spends so much time holding everyone else up, that they drop themselves. Think about what you would say to another person who feels the way you do right now. Look in the mirror and say it to yourself.

There is a reason why there are almost 700 SparkFriends on your wall. It is your cheerful support and advise.

Keep on fighting. We'll be here to hold you up until you are ready to stand tall again.

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/20/2011 11:51AM


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MCDIDDLYD 1/20/2011 11:48AM

    Hi John, You have a great outlook on life and through the Lord be your side. You can do it! Sometimes I have to go to the Lord in prayer. You are right just take it one day at a time and you will get there. Be proud of yourself for you have made the frist step. I wish you all the best!


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BRYLIA 1/20/2011 11:44AM


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A Very Low Point

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

There are days when I feel like I am in a room that is very small and no matter in which direction I turn, my nose hits a wall. I am beyond being frustrated. I am beyond being angry. I donít care and it scares me. I have been here before. I have been within twenty pounds of an initial goal weight almost to the pound and everything stops. Then slowly and almost like some brand of torture the pounds slowly slip back on. Itís like there is this little voice inside of me that keeps saying ĎNader, nader, nader, you aint gonna make it.Ē I donít.
Since December 19, when I reset my weight ticker and decided upon a fresh approach I have gained ten pounds. Blame the holidays, injuries, and illness, whatever you choose it is starting all over again. I am so dam$ed angry. Iím not mad at the world Iím mad at me.

I feel like a fake, a phony and a fraud. I feel like the faster I run, the slower I go. I am not a motivator, a community team member or much of a Sparker anymore. I feel so alone. I took a few days off from blogging, tried to reestablish some perspective. I do believe that you are who you hang around with so I have concentrated on the blogs of those people who have really accomplished their goals trying to glean some spark to motivate me. Nothing, nada, zip.

I am scared. I am scared because I feel like I am holding sand in my hands and it slips through. I have completely lost my frame of reference, my focus and quite honestly what I am all about. Iím not blue or depressed, I am apathetic. I am scared because the apathy wonít leave.

I feel so alone and fragmented. I feel like I am on an island all by myself. Iíd like to cheer myself up, use my own words of wisdom on me but it just isnít working. Iíd like to find out whatís wrong and remove it. As honest as I can be with myself and with anyone else: I really wish I had a close friend, someone to talk to, to run with to complain and moan with, to maybe laugh and maybe cry some days. Joan and I are as close as close can be but we canít always be objective with each other.

Iíd like to end this on a really upbeat note but the closest I can get to that is to tell you I started Hal Higdonís 10K Training Program on Monday. It is a ten week progression that takes me exactly up to the date of my 10K. Running seems to be the only thing I can get a bit excited about.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZURDTA- 1/22/2011 10:01AM

    I know what you mean... good luck with your new training plan...

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DGILBRIDE1949 1/20/2011 12:58PM

    This is a place that we all have been to at one time or another, and it is not a fun place to be. But we are here to help you find your way back.

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STEELKICKIN 1/20/2011 11:44AM

    It looks like you have had a cross to bear as well. I think our human souls just get so tired of being in these bodies that doesn't want to cooperate with us. We have in our mind how we wish for things to be, how we want them to be and how they COULD be if we weren't limited by our human physical selves. That's the great thing about faith...for we know one day that it won't be a problem. These earthly struggles and limitations will be cast aside when we reach that Place where our Father is waiting for us. Where we cast off these "old rags" and run free in the true nature of ourselves.

For now, though, we have things to do. Someone told me that at my lowest point the other day. We have to take our few days to recuperate from the illnesses, the depression (and I have that, too) and pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. We have to look in the mirror and remind ourselves that God made us the way we are for His specific purpose, His plan. God doesn't make junk. He doesn't make mistakes. If I have lupus, it's because He wanted me to have it; more than likely to help someone else through it. The same goes for you. It's hard to accept these things, especially when we are uncomfortable and can't see the Light through the fog. (Do me a favor, when you have time, go to my team Victorious Secret and go to the Verse of the Week my latest entry.)

I will tell you this, John. You have touched my life through your writings more than you will ever know. This one especially. It just validates that you are a person who cares, loves, and is human like the rest of us. If you only KNEW how much you are loved and appreciated by us. It would set your mind on fire.

I hope that you are feeling better now. It touches me that you would come by to offer me encouragement and hope when you are in need of it yourself. That is evidence of your beautiful soul. That is evidence that God lives through you.

Comment edited on: 1/20/2011 11:46:08 AM

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RUNNER12COM 1/20/2011 11:21AM

    "I am not a motivator, a community team member or much of a Sparker anymore. I feel so alone."

Might I suggest that there may be a connection between these two sentences of yours?

Make it a point to read the message boards and post motivating responses to other people. Join community teams and get involved. Use the tools Spark has to connect you to other people fighting the same fight.

Deep down, you know you can do this. Don't give up on yourself!


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MARCYNA 1/20/2011 11:16AM

    If I tell you, sometimes we have to hit the bottom if we want to start everything afresh, maybe it will sound banal, but this is MY experience.
You NEED to feel zero % at times if you want to feel 100% at other times. The spark will be back. I promise. We'll all here for you, John. You will make it. emoticon

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TRACEY5280 1/20/2011 9:36AM

    I think you can see from the responses that you are NOT alone. I was cruising and almost there last October. After our son's wedding it's like I hit some kind of wall and put back 10 pounds in such an amazingly short time! Apathetic is a good word. That's exactly how I was feeling. Lock the hubs John and get back on the right track. Having a goal that is specific, as you do, will help. Keep your eyes on that 10k, train, be mindful of what you're eating, things will happen. Oh those walls! We're here for you.

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CDNTRIGIRL 1/20/2011 7:57AM

    Hey John, I feel your pain. I too have a bad case of "don't give a darn". Last year, I was at least on my way. This year, way behind.

However, I wanted you to know that your blog touched me. It was real emotions and I can relate. You helped at least one person ... me. You're not a fake. You're a human being with emotions and weight issues. They won't all go away in one day (or one good year, as I found out) but you're weight does not determine your worth! let me repeat that. You're weight does not determine your worth.

Your mind controls your body. Get it back in the game. Read other blogs, reach out, and run John run. I am back running too. It is very difficult after a long absence but the relief that comes from a run is a feeling that lasts all day.

Thanks for blogging John. YOU were just what I needed to read today. Blessings, Jennifer

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WATOGA17 1/20/2011 6:41AM


This scenario is unfortunately familiar to many of us. All I can say is, "Run, John, Run!" If that gives you joy and makes you excited, then do it, and do as much of it as you can. If it is food that is calling to you, it helps me to do three things: 1. plan out my food for the day as completely as possible and give myself lots of little snacks throughout the day so that I can look forward to them. 2. make sure that I have the healthy foods that I enjoy in the house where I can easily get to them. 3. realize that it only takes me 3-4 days of healthy eating to actually WANT to do that, so I just have to get through those first days.

You CAN do this. Your body knows what to do. Try to get your head going in a positive direction. emoticon

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SUNSHINEGAL5 1/20/2011 4:22AM

    John, its fantastic you have shared your thoughts and feelings, I'm sure you felt much better afterwards. We all feel like this at times, I know I have. Tomorrow is another day. I find it amazing that despite your inner turmoil you have signed up for a 10k training programme. How awesome is that and very positive. Great stuff and you will lose the last amount of weight. Sharing is the best you could have done today.

We are with you all the way


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L3DESIGNS 1/20/2011 4:21AM

    I can understand where you are at.... We can do this!

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DEUSMACHINA 1/20/2011 3:38AM

    I am in exactly the same place. I just don't care. I couldn't be bothered. I'm sick of it. It's all bad. I have no words of wisdom to offer, only companionship. I'm sure we'll get out of it eventually, and hopefully we can minimise the damage in the meantime. *hugs*

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PROT358 1/20/2011 12:26AM

    I identify with so much of what you have said. I am at the last 25 pounds. (I only need to lose 10 to be at a healthy BMI). In terms of weight loss, I have been losing and regaining the same four pounds since August. I'm a little embarrassed and disappointed with myself that I have been spinning my tires for so long. I want you to know you are NOT alone because lots of other people feel like they aren't living up to their expectations. Everyone else usually doesn't hold you to the same standard, so I do not think you are a failure. I think you are struggling to lose the last few pounds, which is very natural. The vulnerability in all your blogs, but this one in particular, really speak to me.

I will venture a guess as to part of our problem. What if our mental state, or self-doubt, is what is sabotaging us? How deep does the connection between the mind and the body run? At least in my own journey I wonder if my doubts and fears cause me to subconsciously self-sabotage, and I wonder if I could turn my head around straight if the body would follow suit. I don't have an answer yet, but as I have tried almost everything else this one seems to make sense. I hope you find your answers :)

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RJFERRARO315 1/20/2011 12:03AM

    Hey John,

You can do this. Today you are sharing it and that is powerful and motivating and downright HUGE. Sharing the frustration will go a long way in turning it around. I know...I've been there too.

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ACIMPEGGY 1/19/2011 10:43PM

    Honey, you CAN do this! You have been very successful. I'm sure you know that the hardest weight to lose is the last 10-20 pounds.

Look at what you're doing! A training program! Please be proud of yourself, as the rest of us are proud of you.

Oh, we've all been down...I stayed the same over the holidays...did not make my goal for the New Year. Many, in fact most, of us had difficulty.

Apathy is the pits! What can we do to get you excited, motivated again?

Have you tried to join any challenge teams? I'm going to send you another invitation. I DAR YOU to accept! emoticon

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CARTOONB 1/19/2011 10:37PM

    Apathy sucks. You need to realize that you are a motivator. You are a Sparker. You are a team leader. You're just in a low spot right now. We've all been there. And we've all climbed out. Sometimes it takes longer than other times. But you'll climb out. I'm not sure how. I'm not sure when. But you will.

I don't Nike if I can be that objective friend you need, but am willing to try. The good news is that you still get excited about running! That's something to hang on to! I'm with you!

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SILLYHP1953 1/19/2011 10:01PM

    Then run...put your new shoes on and run. You have expressed very well the emotions a lot of us have felt, do feel, will feel.

Perhaps this is your "dark night of the soul". When you get through it you will have changed as the caterpillar changes into the butterfly. Do not damage your chrysalis. Settle into the quiet, the darkness, allow the changes, prepare for the light. It will come.

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DUTCHIEKIWI 1/19/2011 9:17PM

  I read out loud... and hearing it in my own voice, I got goosebumps... as not long ago that was me. I feel it, I hear ya, I know what you are talking about.


I can not "pop" over, hug you, kick you or drag along in the right direction. But I can be here, anytime and I want you to know, you are NOT alone.


This journey has got it's ups and downs, and by golly those downs can really kick you to the curb.
You're in the curb my friend...

I'm reaching out my hand to you, grab it and give me a chance to be the drive you need. Right now I have enough drive for the both of us... next month it might be you who's hand I'll need.


You have amazed me, you have rocked the spark world of many many people.
And everyone that takes this journey seriously, that is giving it their all, knows even the best get knocked down...

but we get up again... that's what we do, together....

I gained too, December was naughty. I allowed myself, and now I know I shouldn't have. I thought it would be easy to pick up the healthy habits again... and I was wrong.

I know that now, I've learned that now.....

I told a friend today, I've got THAT feeling back...
Just this week, that feeling that is more valuable than gold and diamonds...
the feeling, I"m doing it!!! I'm changing.... I'm becoming a different person... I AM a different person.


The feeling you feel when you run a race, and you my friend know this better then me, I have not ran a race yet. But crossing that line, feeling that pride, the achievement....

Let's do this... get back on that wagon, take my hand....

ten pounds is nothing....

( I've got some Celtic Sea Salt for sale ;0)...)

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You wrote this amazing blog, because you know there is help out there and we are not letting our friends down.

Love ya John, let's get you out of that curb!!!



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CATHERINEL66 1/19/2011 8:55PM

    Hey John, I am right there with Princess Nurse (Laura) in saying keep on swimming. You and I have both watched each other go through "stuff" and still come out on the other side healthy and grounded.

Here's my suggestion: stop thinking about the 10 lbs. And then, with all that extra energy you're not beating yourself up with -- embrace the journey with all that John-like loving kindness. It's the journey - nutrition, fitness and managing your head (in however you do that - positive thinking, connecting to a higher power, meditation).

You've done incredible work and I know you're not done yet. Keep on going. Not because you're an inspiration for other people -- but because YOU deserve it. :)

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SUZYMOBILE 1/19/2011 8:49PM

    I don't know you, but there's one thing that rings out loud and clear from this blog: You need to keep on RUNNING! That's clearly the spark, for you, that you have to keep on fanning. Absolutely do NOT let that die out. And if you overdo and get injured, just slow your pace and do what you can. Running could be the thing that will pull you up out of your low point.

I know that my Spark routines are what's saving me at a difficult place in my life, but I'm not measuring why that's true with the scale. I'm measuring by how I feel.

Hang in there, and keep on running!

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PRINCESSNURSE 1/19/2011 8:40PM

    Hang in there John. I am right there with you some only advice is perservere. just do it. Or as Dory said in"Finding Nemo" just keep swimming, just keep swimming. The one thing I learned with my recent medical crisis is perserverence is a necessity to get through any bad time. You are stronger than you know and stronger then you give yourself credit for. God uses tough times to refine our faith and our character--perservere...don't quit before the blessing!

PS~I am VERY excited about your 10K plans---keep me posted on your progress


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HDHAWK 1/19/2011 7:17PM

    I can't think of any advice that hasn't already offered. All I can say is you are not even close to being alone in this feeling. I was within 5 lbs. of my goal weight and have gained all but a few pounds back. It was gradual and I started and stopped more times than I can count during the past year and a half. I was nearly in tears this weekend feeling exactly what you are. I had to sit down and really think about what the missing link is. I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but I'm working on it.
Most of all John, you've inspired me more times than I can count. We aren't all brave enough to actually write what you did today, but there will be many who can relate. Sometimes we just get tired of the work it takes to change our lives. Do what you need for you and I'll sign off like you do so many times.
Much love,

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KAKIPOPUP 1/19/2011 7:08PM

    Keep on running - do what you can -

I don't have any magic words - hang in there - you'll figure out what's up soon, and you will feel better - emoticon

You are not alone -

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ANEPANALIPTI 1/19/2011 6:56PM

    Wow. You have written something I never dared to, but could have. I am so proud of you. The thing about you, John, is that you are honest with yourself.. You're always honest with us. You are here to pick me up when I fall, and I AM HERE FOR YOU TOO!!! Send me a daily message, lets do this- NO. NOT the number on the scale. Throw the scale out of the metaphorical window. I mean, lets work towards feeling good about ourselves, worthy just for who we are, right now, instead of always having to please others because there's something wrong with us. No more!!! We will NOT be doing that anymore! Even if we never lose another pound and our journey on Spark is for only ONE THING, that is the thing it will be for.

BIG HUGS, and I expect messages before another blog like this (because I have been in this exact.same. position and ended up gaining a lot a lot of weight back because i felt so disconnected that none of the blogs I read did anything for me)


PS. Thanks for always making me laugh (LOL this is NOT in response to this blog, but just about you in general)

PPS. The 10K program? WAY TO GO for taking that on! You are going to rock it! Do you have a race date?

Comment edited on: 1/19/2011 6:57:11 PM

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MKPRINCESS007 1/19/2011 6:12PM

    Hey have gotten lots of good input here from people. You know I am not the type to blow smoke anywhere, so as always, I will just tell you from my heart. You are an awesome guy, but are human. This concept that we should be infalliable is our own worst enemy. You know it, and I know it.

So, give yourself permission to feel what you feel. For the last three months of 2010, all I could do is survive. And I did. Now, the fact that RUNNING is what you are excited about, well rock on with that. I wish I could get excited about that. This whole idea that we are enslaved to perfection, to tracking every day, to maximum exercise every day. Well, in Utopia with no other priorities that might work. However, life is what it is. Strive for 80% of the time. Find your joy, John. It is missing, and maybe you should look for it. Instead of being the caregiver, you need someone to care for you. We are here for you, bottom line.

Oh, and those inspirational blogs? Well sometimes they make us feel like somehow we are failing, and that isn't always good. Sometimes, it takes the hard luck story to make me feel like I can do anything. Just sayin'..........luv ya!

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LLGALLAGHER 1/19/2011 4:17PM

    Hi, this is the first time I've run across your blog, and I just wanted to send along some encouragement.

And to say this (and if it doesn't apply, I apologize in advance): I would recommend that you see your doctor about your feelings. There may be a physical reason you are feeling so down, or you may be dealing with depression without realizing it. Either way, it would be a good idea get a check-up and talk to your doctor about your emotions.

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MYOWNHERO 1/19/2011 4:07PM

    You know the movie "Finding Nemo"? I often think of Dory when I feel this way. She says "Just keep swimming, swimming..."


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LUCYJOY 1/19/2011 3:53PM

    I'm not an upbeat or motivating person, so don't read my blogs-LOL. But, I will suggest that that aloneness likely IS your issue. Are you feeding it? I do-my lonliness likes chocolate.
Is that aloneness telling you you don't matter? Cause really, how well do we take care of things that don't matter?

Find a friend, join a club-look around. There are walking clubs, running clubs, mens groups, church bible groups-whatever you're into(provided you don't live in the middle of nowhere-it does exist-LOL)

It's also winter where I am. The lack of sun and cold is depression and a trauma trigger for me-it gets in my way. It likes warm food and carbs. Just mentioning that as sometimes, if you can find the issues and look it in the face, you can tell it to bug off.

Hope your motivation comes flying back soon and the 10 pounds takes a hike.

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DEE797 1/19/2011 3:26PM

    John, I don't know what the right words to say are. But know that you have been there for so many of us with your inspirational blogs and vlogs and WE LOVE YOU FOR IT! We are here for you as well. I'm glad you have started the 10K program, because exercise has a way of lifting that veil and making things brighter again. emoticon emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 1/19/2011 3:24PM

    Oh, John. WE LOVE YOU! You have been such an inspiration to us all. You are not letting us down. Been there done that, and might do it again. But know in your heart of hearts you have what it takes to get past this point. It's at a scary point, where you think you will not make it. Something from your past perhaps holding you back, thinking about the future perhaps and what it will be like at your goal.

When you head tells you 'stuff' that you don't want to hear, put out your hand and say 'STOP"~!

emoticon YOU ARE WORTH IT!

We all are.


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REALLY_ROBIN 1/19/2011 2:40PM

  Wow, wishing I could give you some words of wisdom. But I know it will pass...keep up that running and you will come out of this. My prayers are with you...Robin

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JUNEAU2010 1/19/2011 2:22PM

    I completely understand how the SP journey can be discouraging, disappointing, and drudgery. I hit a very long plateau and a bunch of shorter ones last year. The only thing I could do was keep plugging away. I joined plateau-busting team for a while, gained some support and inspiration and, eventually, things started moving in the right direction again. I am scarred and skittish - afraid that long plateau will return. But the only other alternative is to curl up like a roly poly bug, give up and resign myself to the ill health and pathetic lifestyle that I want to avoid!

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SARAWALKS 1/19/2011 1:46PM

    emoticon and prayers. Let God hug you too.

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GIRANIMAL 1/19/2011 1:02PM

    Well, this sucks. I am sorry to hear that you're feeling so defeated. I understand it well enough and it's a crappy place to be.

But no matter how frustrated or even apathetic you're feeling, please try to understand that you are nothing like a fake, phony or fraud. You're HUMAN. Remember that pesky little trait? We all stumble. It's the power of contrast -- or duality, if that term is clearer. You know this! Like, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone," or "you can't know joy without having known pain."

The journey toward health and personal growth of all kinds is a loooooooooong one, and sometimes it's easy to lose track of all the pieces over that period of time. So along comes a stumble to remind us. To teach us.

Sit with your apathy as long as you need to and get to know it -- but then reach for the best feeling thought you can find. I think you already have with remembering to highlight your training program. That's great news! Listen, this is not a contest, but I have to say, if you never ever lose another pound, your drive is far more "impressive" than mine. I've never run a mile in my life!

You've come so far. I'll tell you what good Spark Friends have told me: Do not let a tiny gain and some wavering motivation undo ALL your hard work. Go to the contrast! Compare what you've done already with where you think you're "failing" -- no contest. You're still a winner through and through.

I know pretty intimately this monster we call Perfection. I think he's being his a$$ self and trying to take you down again. But perfectionists like us are too darn perfect to fall for that crap!! LOL

You can do this, John. But like Mel said, take your time. This is not a race. Even your goal weight is not a real end! This really does have to be a lifestyle change for it work for us long term. I have at times (like now!) forgotten that too, so I can say it to you with experience to back me up now.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/19/2011 1:03:57 PM

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MOMGABE 1/19/2011 12:44PM

    This too shall pass. Hang in there. It is not required that you be a Spark motivator on a daily basis. It is okay to ask for help. emoticon emoticon

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SLIM.CHICK 1/19/2011 12:05PM

    ps Do not listen to your ego's "meaningless" thoughts. emoticon

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CMBELISLE 1/19/2011 11:48AM

    Sometimes we just have to force ourselves to do what we know works even when we just don't feel like it is working. Make sure you're exercising. Make sure you're eating right. Make sure you're drinking enough water. Sometimes the "spark" gets a little pale for a while, but pretty soon, it will burn brighter. You are not alone in this and sometimes you just need us to listen. You don't have to inspire us every day.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/19/2011 11:43AM

    I've just had this nagging gut feeling that something like this was going on for you, John. I'm sorry; I wish I had a magic wand to wave and fix things for you or some words of wisdom that would light the fuse again. I've been there SO many times, and I wouldn't be surprised to find myself there again. All I can say is don't give up, don't quit. You WILL get past this and find the spark again if you keep going. Send me a private note if you want to, I'm happy to listen even if I don't have any answers; sometimes just spilling it out to someone helps us work through what's really going on below the surface. Remember that you are loved, you are valuable, and you are worth the effort.


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SLIM.CHICK 1/19/2011 11:43AM

    Do not listen to your ego. You are a beautiful child of God.

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HAWTLIKEME 1/19/2011 11:36AM

    Apathy scares me more than anything. It IS so much better to get angry. Apathy breeds itself and the most important way to battle it is to find the source.

If you're disgusted with your latest results, that's one thing. This will pass once you find your way back to what was working for you or find new ways to push through the plateau. I have faith in that for sure. But if your apathy transfers to most other areas of your life and you've forgotten how to enjoy life, it may be time to see your doctor. Seasonal depression, among other possible conditions can be absolutely debillitating and there are times when, no matter how strong our character or resolve are, we need more than what we have to give ourselves. Watch for feelings of continued apathy, hopelessness, changes in appetite and sleep needs. Journal, journal, journal and, maybe talk to your doc. You just never know where your new source of inspiration and wellness will come from.

Be kind and patient with yourself. Get better!! We're counting on you.


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BRYLIA 1/19/2011 11:21AM

We all have moments like this in our lives, but I know that you already know it is your attitude that will make the difference where you go from here. I know this guy whose been quite inspirational to so many, I think you might even know him...his name is John. Go back to your blog Jan 18, 2010 and re-read. Forget the scale and just keep putting "one foot after the other". You know what to do, you've already done it, so just keep doing it and maybe change it up a little. Keep at it're doing a great job and your definately worth it. By the way, it seems to me that you have many friends that you can talk to!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 1/19/2011 11:05AM

  John, I understand your words all to well..I to have been there, I once lost 70lbs got to goal weight and became very scared.. people approached me if I went into a room they gravitated to me..everyone wanted to be my friend.. I was not ready, I realized I kept the weight on because it protected me from people and I could control how close people came to me being heavy. it is sad to say this but we just look at thin people differently than heavy point is this... I think even if we dont like to admit it there are other reasons why we over eat..our weight and love of food is rarely about the double cheeseburgers the 1/2 gallon of ice cream...its deeper than that..that is how I have approached my weight loss this time from the inside out.. I wish I had some magic pill or something so profound to say to you that would make everything better..this my friend has to come through you, you have the answer within.. you just have to uncover it.. may I suggest that you go and read some of your blogs.. you know, sometimes the motivational speaker has to talk to himself emoticon love and light to you my friend

Comment edited on: 1/19/2011 11:07:38 AM

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AMP6411 1/19/2011 10:51AM

    Sometimes I wonder what being successful would mean to me. What kind of an ego change that would befall me if I achieved my weight loss goals. Not unlike many traps people fall into, success is something that has to be anticipated, and managed once achieved. I will admit that I'm afraid of being successful. Its easier to expect less of yourself. But what would be the worst thing that would happen if you actually succeeded? What would be the best? Does the best thing outweigh the worst?

Why not try success and see how it suits you? You seem like someone who'd handle success quite well, if you give yourself a chance.

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/19/2011 10:39AM


Big emoticon to you.

This healthy journey that we have all set forth upon is not easy. We may have days, weeks, months where things seem to be going great. We have momentum that is building and we feel on top of the world. Then, something happens and we hit a stumbling block. And, we can stumble and falter for days, weeks, months.

The important thing to realize is that the stumbling block does not define us. (That block is different for everyone, but we all have it.)

We are on a journey to learn to live a healthy lifestyle. That journey takes time, patience and much self-acceptance. So many of us are battling habits and learned behavior that we have held onto for many, many years. So, we will stumble from time to time -- it's human nature.

We have to learn to focus on the journey and try to live each day in a healthy manner. Sparkpeople is giving us great tools and providing a great network of support.

So much of our progress will come from healing within ourselves. When those bad habits and behaviors get replaced by the healthy ones we are learning and living. It will most likely be a gradual process for most of us -- that will take time.

This healthy lifestyle is not a race or determined by a certain number of pounds to be lost. It is a lifestyle change that is an investment in one's self -- you can't put a time limit or monetary value on that.

We are lucky to all be here together and find strength, comfort, and support in one another.

I know how much my life has changed for the better by hanging with you. Now, you need to accept what a gift you truly are and embrace that.

I know that you can do this!


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COVINGTON69 1/19/2011 10:31AM

    I just wanted to tell you that you have motivated me with just simple notes at times and a smiling face. I feel your pain, I understand and its OK to feel this way. I read that somewhere. Just do the best you can, try some personal positive affirmations and remember you mean a lot to others!

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KELLY40222 1/19/2011 10:31AM

    John please hang in there. Please don't let the scale dictate how you feel and create frustration. Tomorrow will be a better day, with a clean slate. I reset my weight loss ticker also and have been looking at one long plateau ever since! Maybe its not good luck to do that? I'm trying to look at weight loss like the stock market- there are ups and downs but in the long run the payoff is wonderful. I may not be a friend who lives next door, but you can always feel free to talk to me and get things off of your chest.

~Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a beautiful butterfly~

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HLPRATT 1/19/2011 10:12AM

    You know John- we all fall short at times and slide back into old ways. Just don't despair so much you give up. Just get back in the training mode and back on the diet. Fight the apathy however you can. Friends can help but others things can too. Just hang in there. You have many spark friends!

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NJMATTICE 1/19/2011 10:07AM

    It IS a fearful place. Turning point. Go forward? or slip backwards? I am loathe to admit that too many times, I have taken the easy way out and let myself be defeated. Makes no sense. After much success I would let myself slide back to where I started. But this I do know, I would get all gung ho to lose weight and get in shape and it became the sole focus of my life. Then I found that the rest of the meaningful things in my life had disappeared. "Hey, wait a minute!" This time around, I am working very hard at building my healthy life brick by brick. Health and fitness need to be integrated into a full and meaningful, purposeful life. It's not easy. I have a short attention span and tunnel vision. But I am resolved to find balance. I'm attempting to learn to live life like a marathon runner instead of a sprinter. It takes time and training. Meaningful changes. One step at a time. Not very glamorous. It doesn't attract a lot of attention and accolades like "being a winner" does. But this time I'm doing it for me and I'm doing it my way You are certainly not alone, John. That doesn't take that lonely feeling away, but keep searching. You'll find the friend(s) that you need that understand and will travel along with you. Remember to really enjoy your day and all that is in it. Look at all that's right and get that positive focus back!

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GEEMAWEST 1/19/2011 9:51AM

    Dear John,

You have spent so much time motivating others that you tend to forget about yourself. If that was me writing this blog (and I've written ones much like it) you would be encouraging me and telling me not to give up and to quit being so hard on myself. So take your own advice. We all have times like this (at least most of us do). You are not superman and we do not expect you to be. This is just something you will work through and learn from. You can do it with all the support you will find here.

We love you, John. Let us be here for you. Please!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 1/19/2011 9:47AM

    Oh John, I hate that you have reached that place. I've been there so many times. Stop and concentrate on your hands for a min., yes, the sand might be slipping thru yours, but there are other hands beneath yours helping you help yourself. This journey we are on, is not about reaching a number. It's about living the best life possible. It's about serving our purpose and doing what we're here to do. I don't know why your scale shows a number you don't like but I know this. You are not alone. Look around, the island is inhabited by many of us. Yes, you feel alone at the moment, but we're here.

I am going to pray for a running buddy for you. Someone that you can go thru this journey with and while I'm at it, I'm going to ask for a buddy for myself. That way, when we feel lonely, we'll know just where to look to find the right person on our island to help us.

Warm wishes and hopeful prayers are on their way John. Hang in there!

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EMTFF376 1/19/2011 9:45AM


I can understand where you are. I've been there. I can't say I know exactly what you are going through, but it sounds very familiar.

I agree, maybe a non-weight goal is something to focus on. I am inspired by your 10k training. I am doing a mere 8k plan right now with goals of doing freeway to 10k after I finish.

Rather than watching the sand slip through your fingers, maybe its time to dust yourself off and focus on the things you do get excited about. I envy that you can enjoy running. There are days when I do, but for the most part, its a means to an end and a "break up the day" activity. That, and that I'm too darned lazy to load up my bike into the car to bring to work.

I know its easy to say "non-weight related goals". I am still OCD over the scale. I try not to obsess. I guess my suggestion would be, focus on what you've lost, not what you have gained. According to my scale, I've gained 6 pounds in less than 2 weeks... but I've still lost 70.

You are not alone. You will never be alone. You are going to make it. That little voice needs to find another hobby other than taunting you. (I have the same voice. Maybe our voices could go on a long trip together and not come back...).

You are your own worst critic. I am my own worst critic. I get mad at myself too. Last night, I ran. I did the math. I ran pretty slow for me. I had to force myself to say to myself "you ran 3 miles. You couldn't do that 5, 10, 15 years ago." I am in probably the best cardio shape of my life right now. I don't know your history, but I'd venture a guess that you are in close to the best shape you have been in quite a while. If you told me 10 years ago I was going to run a 10k, I'd laugh you out of the room... I'm contemplating a half marathon.

I wish I could give you a hug right now. I will add that to the raincheck list. Run, lunch, hug. Maybe not in that order. :)

I hope your Wednesday proves to be a turning point for the good.

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