JOHNTJ1   68,231
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

An angel of another sort knocked on my door around 8:30 yesterday morning. She worked at the hotel. She told me I had about a four hour window of opportunity to get home before the next arctic blast headed in. So I did. Sometimes God does not have to be subtle. I got home around 5:00, washed the car, it was a mess, went to the grocery, left my wife a note that I was going to the gym. Forty five minutes on the elliptical after seven hours in the car is, well lets say its interesting!!!

Later that night my wife and I were sitting at the kitchen table and talking about stuff. She remarked how committed I was to getting healthy "this time."(There have been a lot of "this times.") She asked what was different about Spark People from anything else. That's one of the easiest questions I ever answered!!!

"Really simple honey" I grinned "It's all the support I get from my Spark Friends."

I am overwhelmed and amazed at the support I get from the people I have come to know in the past two months. To say that each of you is a blessing to me is an understatement. To say I am grateful and thankful for your friendship and support, well there are not enough words.

One of my team leaders encourages me and challenges me on a daily basis to work harder and to exercise more. One team leader provides that most beautiful spiritual and emotional insight that makes me feel that I am really not crazy after all. Then there are the many Spark Friends I have made who are in the same boat I am in. They make me feel good to know this road I walk, I do not walk alone.

My journey towards health is invigorated by the selfless caring I see from other people here. Caring that is manifested in many different ways. I am humbled by your warmth and love.

A note of apology. So many people write to me every day and I do not always read every blog or respond. I feel bad. I am trying to do better.

Be blessed today as I am.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STORMTMB 2/12/2010 10:11AM

    You have such a great outlook that it's easy to talk to you!


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CROBINGO 2/12/2010 7:02AM

    So true! It sounds like your journey is going so well and is so strong by thw way! Congrats!

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WANDAH3 2/11/2010 8:41PM

    I agree with you John, the support, encouragement and friendship that we find on SP is such a blessing. Could we do this one our owe ? Maybe, but having others that are in the same boat sharing this journey to health, just makes the journey that much easier. God provides us with what we need and the people that will helps us when we truly seeks to change our lives.

Have an awesome day, glad to hear that you made it home safely.


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TRIPLE_EMME 2/11/2010 10:32AM

    I think that the support from Sparkfriends is one of the best components of SP.

You are doing amazing on your journey to live a a healthier life. Keep up the great work!

I find your blogs to be so inspirational and motivating. I truly love how you can transform something negative into a positive -- and then share that insight with everyone reading your blog. You are an alchemist. Your words have a much bigger impact than you can ever truly know.

Thank you!

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AMABILE75 2/11/2010 9:30AM

    I agree with you, the support here is wonderful. Such awesome people always willing to give encouragement when you are at your lowest or celebrate with you when you reach a goal!! emoticon emoticon

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CMBELISLE 2/11/2010 9:15AM

    Thanks to you for all your support as well. I even have your other blog as one of my "tabs" to check out when I have time and really enjoy your writing style, not to mention the subject matter. Writing is something I enjoy, but find inspiration difficult so the writing is sporadic. I find it impressive that someone can write anything on a regular basis.

If interested, I'd enjoy feedback on my writing - I have a lot of random stuff on my site, but it is a hobby and can be fun.

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1WALKINGMAN 2/11/2010 9:00AM

    Hey John, you are doing great and your efforts are an encouragement to more people than you know. The journey is ever on going. emoticon

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STAN5FAM 2/11/2010 8:41AM

    John you are amazing! And I will keep writing it over and over again. Keep up the great work. Sometimes you can't respond to everybody's blogs. SP would be a full time job. Have a fabulous day.

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Be Careful What You Ask For

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes." Zig Ziglar

My grandmother used to tell me that "God writes straight using crooked lines." I always thought that was a "nice thought" until this morning. I have no earthly idea when I am going to be able to get home. We got about two inches of snow last night here in sunny WVA. The problem is it rained all day yesterday and there is a nice sheet of ice beneath the snow.

My life is very neat and orderly, thank you very much!!! I live off a somewhat flexible schedule which does not include the possibility of being stuck in a hotel for two extra days. Its maddening.

So as I am sitting here this morning praying for a divine heat wave that would last long enough for me to get home. It dawned on me that I had sent some "other" prayers out there recently.

I had asked for time to be able to work on my "other blog.' I publish a leadership development blog weekly. At least I try to publish it weekly. I am trying to revise a seminar I teach based on recent participant evaluation to make it more topical and cut some time off of it. Then there is just "me" time.

So in His own unique way God said "You got it, John."

I have learned to appreciate and love the divine sense of humor. Within it there is always a lesson to be learned. The lesson for me is that if we truly choose to be vessels and servants to other people we go where we are sent and when we are sent there. Real faith isnt how much time you spend on your knees, its how much time you spend where you are sent even if it is a snow bound Holiday Inn Express in Weston, WVA

If you are interested in reading my "other" blog the web address is

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATNACGAL 2/11/2010 8:46AM

    our prayers are not always answered in the order we choose!

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WANDAH3 2/10/2010 5:24PM

    Thank you John for the great laugh. I'm so glad that God uses his sense of humour on others besides me!!!

Enjoy the time you "asked" for. lol

Drive safe on the way home.

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WORKINGSTIFF 2/10/2010 5:04PM

    It is said that man makes plans and God laughs.

True enough. With the right attitude (notice I didn't say positive) one can find the upside in most situations.

Glad you "found" the time you'd been wishing for.

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TOOFATPIA 2/10/2010 12:56PM

    I use to have a womans group. There was a woman who came to me and said I been praying and I thought that God would give me what I asked for. I told her God always answers prayer. He does usually give what you ask for but in his time not ours. She said she had been praying to get pregnant. She said she had had her 3rd miscarriage. I had to tell her God granted her prayers she didnt ask for a baby she asked for a pregnancy. I also told her that she needed to make sure that it was what her husband also wanted. She got iritated with me. I know God answers our prayers. He sometimes says no, yes, he has humor and sometimes has to teach lessons along the way

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CMBELISLE 2/10/2010 11:12AM

    For some reason a line from a song came to mind when I read your blog - "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just mind find, you get what you need."

If you are stuck for a few days, make sure you take full advantage of the hotel fitness facility. You never know, you might find something else you enjoy doing.

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/10/2010 10:39AM

    Nobody said that divine intervention didn't have a sense of sick humor! LOL Seriously, take advantage of your "gift."

Thanks for posting the link to your other blog; I'm going to check it out!

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STORMTMB 2/10/2010 9:29AM

    In addition to time to work on your blog, you might also be able to take advantage of their fitness room. I enjoy a change of scenery when I'm on the road and using the hotel equipment for a change of pace. You're right - be careful what you ask for!! Enjoy your day and be safe once you do get back on the road.


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JUSTLYLE 2/10/2010 8:15AM

    I did a bunch of things yesterday thinking we would be snowed in. Pleasently surprised when I woke up, school on and very little drifting.
Hope you get caught up on the work.
Go by Weston on our way to S # 1 and family in Apex N.C.

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TCLARK319 2/10/2010 7:57AM

    I always seem to wish for something then have to rephrase it to be more specific because there is that possibility that wish will come true. Good luck on your goals - safe trip home.

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ASH72461 2/10/2010 7:51AM

  i always said be careful what you ask for
you just might get it
and the snow won't last forever
be thamnkful you only got stuck in a motel
we had a truck blow up
2 cars stuck in the snow
and i had an allergic reaction to the antibotic for bronticus
so back to the hospital in all the confusion
but it will all get better
it always does soooner or later
i prefer sooner

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It is very cold and the rain is making it worse. The client I came to visit got some really bad news while we were eating lunch. It appears that his wife has lung cancer. He is within 11 months of retirement. As eloquent as I am and as much as I pride myself on always coming up with the right thing to say, I found myself at a loss. Sometime later this afternoon I recalled my short morning meditation from today:

The Divine Voice is not always expressed in words.
It is made known as a heart-consciousness.
"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

It is a not so subtle reminder how so very little I can control in my life. I can control my actions and by doing so the consequences of my actions. Everybody is in favor of doing God's will on a good day. On a rainy, snowy, "I just got terrible news, day," it is not so easy. I can only have faith.

I dragged my butt out of bed and spent 45 minutes on stationary bike here at the hotel. I walked into the breakfast area with my cloth grocery bag and my cooler full of my own food. The lady running the breakfast nook arched her eyebrows and gave me a dirty look. I could have eaten her cinnamon bun and something that appeared to be bacon. I choose to bring my own, fresh fruit and turkey breast with multi grain Italian bread (246 calories total)

I'll get up tomorrow and I'll climb on the bike and I'll complain and moan all the way down the elevator. And i'll do it Thursday and Friday and......

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMBELISLE 2/10/2010 10:22AM

    The hotel breakfast at my last conference wasn't a big problem for me because they had lots of fresh fruit, skim milk, whole grain breads and eggs cooked to order. They also had peanut butter as a protein choice.

On the other hand, the conference meals and snacks were a bit over the top with fat and sugars. I did manage to stay within calorie range each day, but my balances left a touch to be desired.

Good job on getting to the gym and making up for the unhealthy foods!

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STORMTMB 2/10/2010 9:34AM

    Oh yeah, you are taking advantage of the hotel fitness room. Yeah for you for 45 mins on the bike.

Best wishes in knowing what to say to your client. Sometimes less is more. He may want to talk or not. Maybe he'll want you to take his mind off the situation. Ya never know. Follow your gut.

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KATIEGLEN012 2/10/2010 5:39AM

    God chose you to be the one there. Be still and know that I am God. You were still and humble. You can only be a "help" in such times if you can stand the other's pain. We are to stay...and realize that our presence is required.

Do you ask God to use you in any way that He can? You must, cause He answers that prayer on a regular basis. Just as your blog indicates to me and others who read it "a calming presence"...your actions obviously match your words. God bless you for shouldering the discomfort of others.

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STAN5FAM 2/10/2010 5:25AM

    John you are amazing. Keep up the great effort. It is all about the follow through when taking care of ourselves.
Sometimes silence and being there is more supportive then words.

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LAWRALOO 2/10/2010 12:28AM

    Good for you for packing your own food.
I know how tough it is to travel and keep eating healthy and exercising!
Fantastic job for keeping it up while you're on the road.

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WANDAH3 2/9/2010 5:55PM

    Heart felt prayers going out. There is not real easy way to saying anything at a time like that. Taking God's guidance and just praying for them.


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TOOFATPIA 2/9/2010 5:39PM

I really like this and it is so hard to come up with words but sometimes when you cant it is not words that you need but just being there and helping with a comfort.
Keep up the good work

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In A Hurry..........

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sometimes honoring your commitments means you have to ask God to add another hour to you day. I am running behind this morning. i'll post more later.

Just letting everyone know I am alive

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMBELISLE 2/9/2010 1:21PM

    Stay safe - I understand the weather is pretty rough where you mentioned you were headed for the week.

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MARCYNA 2/9/2010 10:26AM

    Yes...I agree.
He can do everything after all, and I'm sure He will.
From your posts I guess you can be at this point the one I can ask for advice.
How do you think it's possible to change from 'poor' to 'peak performance' at work? Quantity is not the answer. Quality is, probabily. But HOW?
Have a nice day!!!!!!!! emoticon

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KATIEGLEN012 2/9/2010 8:06AM

    First things first.

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NWLIFESRC 2/9/2010 7:46AM

    Slow down smell the roses ha ha right.

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The Workout Blues

Monday, February 08, 2010

I tossed and turned last night. My legs were really sore from my cardio yesterday. That's not why I was tossing and turning. I kept going back in forth in my mind whether I should get out of bed and do my 45 minute work out in the morning. I had three dozen reasons why I shouldnt, the biggest being that as soon as I finish this blog posting I am headed to West Virginia for three days. That means an eight hour car ride and bad weather and well I just thought it prudent to lay in bed an extra hour to conserve my strength and all.

I could only find one reason to get out of bed at five am. I had made a commitment to do so, plain and simple. My legs were sore, my back ached a little bit and my mind kept coaxing me to lay in bed.

I got up at 5 and was in the gym by 5:20. I am fortunate that I only live three blocks away. I walked 2.5 miles around the track. It wasn't my strongest workout for sure but in some ways it was the very best one of my life. I didnt burn as many calories as I have in past workouts but I honored the commitment I made to myself. That means I honored me and my health.

I have a song on my I-Pod by Jay-Z. It's called "Who's Gonna Run This Town Tonite?" The question I had to ask myself last night was "Who's gonna run me?" Is it going to be me or my excuses. Today I won.

I'll be gone to Wednesday evening. I'll still post my vital stats and my blog. Have a blessed Monday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANDAH3 2/8/2010 5:24PM

    Drive safe! Love that you are taking your tape recorder with you and doing your bucket list at the same time! Super idea.

Congratulations on making yourself a priority. Woo hoo. Bet you weren't near as tired driving after getting your heart pumping.

Have a good few days, looking forward to your blogs when you get back.


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STAN5FAM 2/8/2010 2:26PM

    Congrats on keeping your commitment John! When I commit to morning workouts they get done. It's those later in the day workouts when other prioities win out and my work out becomes just a guilty thought. Have a safe trip!

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CMBELISLE 2/8/2010 1:17PM


Making promises is a big deal to me, especially with my children. So, why shouldn't a promise to yourself be just as important as one to a child?

emoticon pretty soon you'll be ready for that 5K.

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STORMTMB 2/8/2010 10:39AM

    Congrats on keeping your commitment. It will be easier next time because you did it this time.

Best wishes and travel safe,

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FOXEYES2 2/8/2010 8:11AM

  I am discovering that keeping my word to myself is just as important as keeping the promises I make to others. I think that it is a huge part of reaching my goals in this journey.

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