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A Manifesto of Sorts: I'll Always Be What I Be

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Every morning, when I look in the mirror itís always the same me. I may change the way I style my hair or its coloring. I may shave my beard and only grow back a mustache, trade my glasses for contact lenses but when I look really hard itís still John.

I would rob a bank for sweets. Serve me anything with bread in it or around it and Iíll knock you away from the table. Put me in a cheese shop and Iím in heaven and you can make the experience even more of a pleasure if I have a good cold stein of beer in my hand. I donít mean lite beer either!!! I have a foolish belief that if I sweat enough I can counteract my food addictions and that if I donít get on the scale I wonít gain any weight. I could go on and on but you get my point.

Iím no scientist but it many ways you and I were hard wired at birth. The tendencies I have physical and emotional are what make me the adorable person I have become. (Sorta) In short,Ē I is what I is.Ē It doesnít mean I allow those things to run amok in my life, it means I acknowledge they are present and deal with them, honestly and openly. It means I acknowledge, often very painfully that I am always going to have to run like He^^ when I see or smell a donut shop. It means that I may have to talk myself to the gym every lousy day of the week because I know I make excuses not to go work out. I canít surgically alter my psyche. Itís how I was born.

However, when I look in the mirror I see so much more. I see a guy who has some very special people in his life, both real and virtual who are here to help him when he begins to give in to those cravings and desires. They are the folks he hangs with. They accept him good or bad for who he is.

I know I am worth the agony and yeah friend you know as well as I do itís agony, of walking through a dietary mind field every day and asking yourself ďIf Iím not on a diet, why the He^^ does it feel like I am on one.Ē Itís looking in the mirror and counting the things Iíve accomplished in my life and know the depth and emotion they bring me far outweigh my addictions.

I know that just like anyone ever created in the totality of history that I deserve happiness and health and prosperity no matter what my parents, ex-girlfriends, co-workers or anyone else who spews negativity ever told me. No matter how heinous I believe my past actions may have been, right now, in the here and now, I deserve all the good things everyone else does.

When I look in the mirror, I believe what I see, the things Iím proud of and the things I need to work upon. After I post this Iíll make a smoothie with frozen fruit, frozen bananas, cinnamon and fresh spinach. I really want a plate of pancakes, greasy eggs and bacon. Iíll always want that. Iím not going to punish myself. Today Iíll make the choice to inhale the smoothie and head for my gym. I canít tell you what Iíll do tomorrow. I just may make up that plate of pancakes. I probably wonít, but if I do, when I look in my mirror later on that day, I know Iíll still be loved by you and by me. You donít love me because of what I eat or donít eat; you love me for my heart and soul, just like I love you for the very same reasons. There are times Iíll slip and fall and I trust you wonít lose the look of encouragement you always give me. I promise you from the bottom of my heart, I wonít ever stop encouraging, and supporting you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAWRALOO 4/1/2011 3:57PM

    I firmly believe the word diet is a four letter word, but you're right...if I'm not on a diet, why do I feel like I am? lol

I love your honesty. It makes me remind myself I'm not perfect, nor will I ever be...and I want to be? If I were...what would I have to work towards?

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GIRANIMAL 3/31/2011 2:54PM

    I fell on a dietary landmine Saturday. Frozen pizza, four (non-light) beers, far too much cheese and caramel popcorn and a cupcake that seemed like heaven but must not have been because dear BF looked at me peculiarly and said, "Honey, they are not that good," when I lamented wanting a second. And he's a bigger chocolate fiend than I am. Talk about perspective. Suddenly I realized that I do actually binge now and again, and that it was a probably subconscious middle finger to all the new changes my chiropractor has suggested for me that I KNOW are good for me.

So I felt pretty crappy Sunday, both from the beer and the regret of my loss on control.

But it helped teach me that sugar really is a trigger for me. So I finally switched this week to stevia in my 6:30 a.m. coffee. And you know what? I can feel the difference in my brain after just two days.

So Monday I started the new regimen - with a lot of the same resentment you have for the gym and doughnut shops - and knew that my dear BF and you guys still love me. And that it was OK. Because I am not ACTUALLY what I eat, as great a metaphor as that is.


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TRACEY5280 3/31/2011 1:23PM

    As we won't stop supporting and encouraging you. I find if I can steer clear of my addictions for a while - alcohol, chocolate, bread - I'm ok. I seem to want them just a bit less. It's that steering clear!

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LYNMEINDERS 3/31/2011 3:49AM

    The clean your plate club was paramount when i was growing up so something got really rewired or screwed up for me along the

John...I just love reading your blogs...there is so many motivating and encouraging things for me to think about in them...

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MYSTERY4EVER 3/30/2011 10:55PM

    I don't know if we are hard wired, but we are certainly acculturated. "Clean your plate." "I'll be hurt if you don't eat this." And on and on. Food as acceptance. It is a struggle to hear new messages, but I am trying and from your blogs it seems that you are trying too. That is all we can do. Try and pick ourselves up and try again. Great blog.

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HDHAWK 3/30/2011 7:27PM

    You and I seem to have the same types of foods we need to avoid!

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PGNBRI 3/30/2011 6:33PM


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    I fell yesterday and landed on a landmine but just like you and everyone else who makes it in this diet war I'm right back here today.

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CARTOONB 3/30/2011 2:36PM

    I'll here to catch you, should you fall. And to kick you in the butt to get you moving again.

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KSGROTHE 3/30/2011 1:49PM

    This is a great and timely blog for me. I can relate to so much of it, and I need to read and reread the next to last paragraph, I think.
emoticon for sharing!

- Karen

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REJ7777 3/30/2011 1:31PM

    I love your blogs, because you're so honest about your struggles. I can relate to them. Your blogs usually make me smile and challenge me to *work my plan* in spite of the struggles.

"The tendencies I have physical and emotional are what make me the adorable person I have become. " I agree. emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 3/30/2011 1:13PM

    So...we accept the good, the bad, and the ugly and love ourselves anyway. You have a much better way of saying that, making it sound like I can do it. And that smoothie was sounding good until you added spinach. I like spinach, I just wasn't expecting that after all the fruit. Does a regular blender work for all that? I hate to admit it, but I've never made a smoothie. I think it might be time.

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/30/2011 1:13PM

    Yes, we do seem to be hard wired from birth; I'll always be a chocolate lover (the only time my mom craved chocolate was when she was pregnant with me, so it's from BEFORE birth with me!); however, I'm learning how to keep it from pulling me into See's every time I walk by. This is a long journey with lots of ups and downs, but we are worth the effort. You are loved--period, no strings attached. Knowing that helps me keep plugging along, and I hope it does the same for you.

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BRIGET66 3/30/2011 1:00PM

You look in your mirror and see John. Today, I read your blog and saw me. Thanks for saying what I can't and for motivating me anew every time I read you.
As always, your Blog was great. Almost as great as YOU!

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KELLY40222 3/30/2011 12:35PM

    I definitely agree that we are hard wired from birth! There are days when I truly feel like I am fighting against nature when my craving are so ravenous. Thank you for the great blog!

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LINDAJ0621 3/30/2011 12:16PM

    Another great blog, John! You hit home with so much you have to say and express yourself in ways I wish I could. I know I will also have to stuggle each and every day with this addiction of mine. My hope is I will win on more days than I lose!!! Just be there for me (virtually) when I can't resist those frozen Margharita's this summer!!!

emoticon emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 3/30/2011 11:59AM

    What a great blog! Thank you so much.

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ALLISON145 3/30/2011 11:50AM

    Great blog. I have recently admitted that I feel like I'm dieting too. I just do. If I ever figure out how to change my psyche I'll let you know! I'm definitely a sweets girl for now though. Yum!


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EMTFF376 3/30/2011 11:32AM

    very much looking forward to this weekend...maybe a run and a beer instead of a run and a salad. :)


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GEEMAWEST 3/30/2011 9:36AM

    I love you for being you. And I will love you more if you take me to the cheese shop with you.
emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 3/30/2011 9:13AM

    Very true,,,and, by the way, your addictions are all mine - plus one or two I cannot talk of in public, too embarassing emoticon emoticon emoticon
hugs hugs hugs

Comment edited on: 3/30/2011 9:13:46 AM

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MOMGABE 3/30/2011 8:54AM

    Great blog, John. I too believe that certain foods are my drug of choice. I can acknowledge my addiction and learn to live with it or I can let it control me. I'm in the fight today.

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MSSUNBUG 3/30/2011 8:24AM

    Not surprisingly, this resonates this morning. :-)

Thanks for posting this.

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NJMATTICE 3/30/2011 8:06AM

    I like your version of the "Popeye Thesis". ("I am what I am and that's all thats I am, I'm Popeye the Sailor Man TOOT TOOT") Knowing yourself and getting in line with what you truly want outta your unique (yet, very easily related to)experience. Go get 'em Popeye! (John) Enjoy that energy boosting smoothie and quality time with the "Missus" at the gym. Have a great day. You are off to a great start. Thanks for the thoughts!

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WIGIME 3/30/2011 7:43AM

    Thanks so much for this Blog John, you have really touched my heart.

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OUTDOORSDC 3/30/2011 7:28AM

    So, so true. Thanks for the hope this morning, John.

From: Another Emotional Eater

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 3/30/2011 7:13AM

    Thanks John. Good blog...and I, too, is what I is. Long journey and one that must be thought about every day. None of us is perfect and it is good to know that you will keep on caring!

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NASFKAB 3/30/2011 7:04AM

  We are always for you. Keep it up. Its tough but that's how it has to be most of the time

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Spark Rally

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hi Guys

I'm writing to you to let you know there is a Spark Rally being held in the Cincinatti, Ohio area on the day and time I've included below. All and any information you may require is listed there.

A really cool side benifit is that you'd get to spend a whole day with me. That in itself is worth the trip. We only have 29 placers left!!!

I really hope to see you.


Florence KY/ Cincinnati area Mini Convention May 21, 2011 (Saturday)
drinks and snacks provided

29 seats remain as of March 27. Final Rally Sale! Tickets $9.99 each.

EVENTS include a live web conference with Sparkguy himself and a party Coach Nicole is attending!

Event Timing:
7:30AM-9 Set up

9-9:30 Arrivals/registration/gift bags/ registration for prizes

9:30-11:30 Speakers and Questions ~Indygirl, Hoosiergirlindy, Sheenadee, Ksigma1222, Swbdot2, Quadcmom, Kathyjo56, and 3rdstring

11:30AM-1:00PM Lunch Break

1:00 PM-2:00 PM EARPS Presentation: Veganism/ Vegetarianism/ Flexitarianism

2:00 PM-4:00 PM Video Conference with Sparkguy
Discussion of The Spark led by Ksigma1222,
Questions and book signing.

4-5 Carol Lee Scott- Green/ Yoga class
Coach Stepf has canceled due to being in Honduras

5PM Door Prizes and Fitness Swap

Rally Tear Down
Party Set Up

6:30 PM Post Rally Party with Coach Nicole
*all events still subject to being changed or moved.


There will be fantastic prize drawings at the rally!

Win one of 15 copies of THE SPARK or a DVD

Win one of 5 signed copies of THE SPARK signed by Sparkguy himself

Location and Lodging:

The Venue for the Rally will be:

Microtel Florence KY by the Cincy Airport
7490 Woodspoint Dr
Florence, KY 41042 US
Phone: 859-746-8100

Tickets are $9.99.

Using DONATE on the EARPS.ORG (Our Sponsor) website to buy your tickets will give you an immediate receipt.

Go to
Use the DONATE button.
under special instructions, put the Spark names of those who the tickets are for.

If you prefer to send a check:

-Make checks payable to EARPS.
-Put for Spark Rally in memo section.
-Enclose note with usernames and names of people coming.
-Your canceled check will be your receipt and you will be sent one for tax purposes as well.
-You will be added to our RSVP list as soon as we receive your check and list of who is coming with usernames if they have them.

*Checks may not be cashed right away, as they collect donations and make single runs to the bank every so often. They will be cashed and receipts will be sent out, but possibly not in a timely fashion.

Mail to:
P.O. Box 736
Brownsburg, IN 46112

Money from tickets will be used for the expenses of the rally such as catering, snacks, ice, program and information printing, labels, and anything else you can imagine that goes with holding a rally for 100 people.

All left over money will be donated to the not for profit organization EARPS, Exotic Animal Rescue and Pet Sanctuary. EARPS rescues exotic animals, gives them needed medical treatment, fosters them and finds them forever homes. It is non profit 501c3 certified, so your ticket price and any donations will be tax deductible.

If you decide to donate more because you personally want to do so, still remember to put Spark Rally in your memo portion.

All Ticket Sales are final and non refundable, but you can sell/ give them to another member. Just notify me of any changes by Sparkmail. I can always get information for you if you need it.

As always, if you have any questions or need help, just Sparkmail me.

*Note: This is a SPARK member and EARPS sponsored event.

Microtel Florence KY/ cincy airport
7490 Woodspoint Dr
Florence, KY41042US
Phone: 859-746-8100

49.99 reg room
49.99 suite inc wet bar micro fridge bigger
AAA discount

PLEASE CALL and Reserve your room under the name SPARKPEOPLE to make sure you get your room for the discounted rate of $49.99. To reserve at the Microtel:
Call 859-746-8100/ Tell them you are with the Spark People Group. If you reserve a room at the Microtel, please Sparkmail me privately. I just need the name the reservation is under to get our group credited for the room. ~Indygirl


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 3/30/2011 1:33PM

    Have a great day! emoticon

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CAROLIAN 3/29/2011 2:32PM

    Hope you all have a great day lol emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 3/28/2011 4:23PM

    I would love to go. It's not very far from where I grew up and it would be fun to see everyone. Thinking.... how to make this work.... hmmmm......

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MARITIMER3 3/28/2011 2:38PM

    I didn't realize there were Spark Rally's. Much as I'd love to meet you, John, I'll have to wait for one in Southern Ontario. emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 3/27/2011 9:31PM

    I need one held over here on the east coast!!

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FORMYDARLINGS 3/27/2011 4:15PM

    It sounds wonderful but way too far away for me. Canada it is. LOL Have a great day,


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JUNEAU2010 3/27/2011 3:50PM

    I joined this team when the dates were announced but dropped out when I realized that money for the trip was not going to happen. I will be there vicariously...

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GEEMAWEST 3/27/2011 2:20PM

    Is this where you, Dutchie, Barb and I are suppose to meet up to do the tequila shots?

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DOLLBABE56 3/27/2011 1:37PM

    Awwww, wish I were able to go... hope you have fun.

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KELLY40222 3/27/2011 1:17PM

    Thanks for the info!

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WATERMELLEN 3/27/2011 11:21AM

    Too too cool!

I'm jealous!!

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CARTOONB 3/27/2011 10:49AM

    Just seeing you is worth any cost associated! Woo Hoo! Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. emoticon
I'm expecting pictures and blogs of the event!

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GREENCAT1 3/27/2011 10:47AM

    Thanks for the info, John!

Cathy emoticon

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It's Not What Happens, It's What You Do With It

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Iíve sat down to write this blog at least ten times in the past few days and I couldnít find adequate words to express my thoughts and feelings. Iím going to try one more time, LOL.

Two weeks ago I wrenched my back to the point that I required some moderate to heavy physical therapy. I strained the sheathing that encases my sciatic nerve so when it hurts the nerve hurts. (If I understand everything they told me) My exercise has been confined to walking and a bit of recumbent cycling. The physical therapist is also a massage therapist and she has been nothing short of amazing. I am mostly pain free and when I do get a spasm I know what to do. During a massage session late last week she began to press her thumbs on the arches of my feet. I yelped and jumped and turned my head to give her a really dirty look. We finished and she asked me to take this big envelope back to my doctor. My doctor made those doctor noises and got those doctor looks and simply said ďYour running days are over. This is not negotiable.Ē

Iíll spare you the details, half of which I donít understand. Quite by accident the therapist discovers I have plantar fasciitis and not just a mild case either. It appears that a lot of my aches, pains and physical woes are tied in to a disintegration of that tendon. To be sure, my doctor has ordered some tests, but before I left her office she told me sheís dealt with this PT for years and she has learned to trust her opinions. Thatís the background.

I didnít write this for sympathy or for kind words of assurance. They are welcome, donít get me wrong. In many ways not being able to run is devastating, because in the short year I have been working at it I have come to love it. More than once in the past few days, and even as I sit here and write this, I have struggled to hold back my tears of frustration and anger. ButÖÖÖ.. As I often tell anyone who will listen ďYou can visit pity city, you just canít build a house there!Ē My feet and legs hurt and I am not going to end up damaging my body just so I can say ďIím a runner.Ē The intellectual part is easy, itís the emotional part that is ripping me apart.

So somewhere in the middle of the night I decided that itís not really what happens to us itís what we do with it. I am allowed to walk and I have been averaging about three miles daily. As soon as I get the ok I am going to start some yoga classes and I am going to talk to the spinning instructor at my gym next week to see when I can start working with him and what I need to do to prepare. My personal trainer has logged a lot of time with me the past two days, mostly via text message, and all I can say is you donít pay for the kind of support she has given me. The best advice I received came from her. ďNo matter what, do not lose your focus.Ē Thank you Jen. In two weeks I am registered for a core strengthening class and my doctor has given me a tentative green light to participate.

I wonít give up. Itís not an option. This has devastated me emotionally but I wonít give in to it. There are other things I can do and they will provide me with just as much benefit.

I ran three 5Kís. I ran five miles once without stopping. I did that. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that would happen!!! I am so darned proud of me and what I did.

It is time to move on, to cycle or spin or walk and along with it not forgetting why I am here to begin withÖÖÖÖ to enjoy my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGET66 3/30/2011 1:13PM

    Well John, I been out of the loop for a few days..had a nasty flu bug that about wiped me and my daughter out. So I missed this blog of yours.
I'm so sorry about the loss of your running. I tried running once with my was sooo HARD. We'd run, walk, run, walk. We kept finding trees to run to...then die til we got there..walk then go on only to pick another. But John, what a SUCESS you were! You did it! You were a runner! Now take that and apply it to that spinning class, that bike, those weights at the gym. (I'd LOVE to see you Zumbaing! You'd be Amazing there!!)
You've come so far if you're like any of us who used to HATE exercise only to find out we actually kinda LIKE It (love it even!)
You'll find something to replace running. And then look out world! (I might even be buying my first Zumba with John tape soon, eh?) emoticon

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TIME4AFITME 3/30/2011 11:56AM

    Sorry for you not be able to run anymore! emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/29/2011 1:32PM


I'm sorry for your loss.

I feel your pain. I truly do. I have plantar fasciitis, too. I trained for a marathon in a short amount of time -- all the mileage really took a toll on my body. After completing the marathon, I lost three toenails and discovered that I had plantar fasciitis. My marathon days are over.

I applaud you in working through your feelings and finding a new, healthy outlet.

Take good care of yourself.

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MAE5K11 3/29/2011 12:55PM

    I love your blog entries. Keep on pushing, you can do this!


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ANEPANALIPTI 3/29/2011 10:46AM

    life is full of unexpected things that happens this is but something to adjust do cause thats what we're always doing... adjusting to make things work for us right? stagnant and still in our habits is the road to disaster!

I believe ur going to have satisfying productive fun workouts even if it means running isn't one of them anymore! Im sorry though! :( Love,


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TRACEY5280 3/28/2011 10:43AM

    From the bit of your spirit I have glimpsed though your blogs, I am cofident you will find another venue. One thing that has amazed me is how many venues there are to get the heart level up and enjoy the activity. Yes, it stinks, but you will continue on. Life is just too precious.

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MARCYNA 3/28/2011 3:19AM

    Thanks for this blog. I really love to see you're getting stronger and stronger and, even if you love running, you will find so many ways to exercise....and I'm still hoping you'll be running again one day. Pray for this intention. Miracles occurr.
Love and many many hugs,

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MARATHONMOM26.2 3/28/2011 12:10AM

    I in no way mean to minimize your pain or your disappointment, but I'd like to say that there is life after running. About a year ago I had major foot surgery and my running days came to a screeching halt (after a stellar year+ with 2 marathons and 8 halfs). I was told no running for 18-24 months, if ever. I spent 6 weeks in bed, 6 months in a walking cast then crutches then a cane, and through it all I kept thinking of the day when i could exercise again. I took up swimming and cycling and 8 months post-op I participated in a tri as the swimming leg of the team. The following month I did another one, where I did both the bike and swim legs. My teammates did the running for me and while I was wistful I was grateful just to be able to get out there. I am now starting to walk again and am aiming for a race somewhere down the line... while I won't be able to even approach my previous times for that distance I plan to walk the best race I can, and you can too!

PF is nothing to make fun of so I hope you heal, but in the meantime, set new goals and keep on going!

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LYNMEINDERS 3/27/2011 10:38PM

    At least you are able to walk...praise God...and while it is not running it is still outdoor exercise and just a slower form of

Am so pleased that at least now you know why you hurt and are able to sort it....yay....

I must thank you for your blogs....they are very inspiring and motivating for me.....

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SILLYHP1953 3/27/2011 9:35PM

    Thank God you can walk. I'm sorry you cannot run anymore. I've never run (for fun) so don't understand the love of it, BUT I LOVE to dance and if I was told I could never dance again....

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LINDAJ0621 3/27/2011 7:33PM

    I would like to think I have come to know the type of person you are from reading your blogs. The person I see is a winner in every aspect of the word. You have already started to think of ways to replace the loss of running in your life. That is exactly what we should all be doing when faced by another way around the obstacle and get to that goal! I know you will succeed.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SNOWANGELDIVA 3/27/2011 2:58PM

    John, Thank you for sharing your heart ache. I know this was no 'accident', that your fall was allowed to protect you from non-reversible damage. It doesn't take the sting away from your loss. I'm truly sorry for the loss of running in your life.

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ACIMPEGGY 3/27/2011 2:34PM

    You're right, honey, in the not giving up attitude! We, of course, are not bodies, but as long as we're in this world with egos...we have lessons to learn by using our bodies. That's what they're for: learning and communication.

It is devastating not being able to the short term. Maybe meditate on it? That's what I want to get back to - meditation.

I'm facing kinda the same thing if I get the new knees the drs want me to have. No more country dancing. Walking moderately is ok, but no long hikes or aerobic walking. Gosh. Hopefully my knees will be able to bend to the extent I'll be able to ride my dual action exercise bike.

We just gotta keep plugging along, tracking, supporting each other and Sparking away!!! emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 3/27/2011 2:18PM

    I know you're not looking for pity or sympathy or any of that stuff but I am sorry that you aren't able to do the thing you love to do anymore. However, I know that you are a strong man and will do what it take to not lose your focus.

Plantar fasciitis is quite painful, I speak from experience. Listen to the doctor and continue on your journey, even if you do have to take a little detour.

Hugs, Cheryl

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WANDAH3 3/27/2011 11:06AM

    John, I'm sorry that running is not something that you can do safely...on the plus side...yay, you can still do so much. Walking, cycling, yoga, dancing,and the list goes on. What a blessing you have...the ability to be active.


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CARTOONB 3/27/2011 10:57AM

    I'm sorry that you can't be a runner. You can still participate in 5k's and other races by walking. I know, it's not the same. You'll find a new love. Enjoy your visit to pity city but come back to us soon.

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MADKAPKID 3/27/2011 10:13AM

    John, my friend, I am sorry you won't be doing the exercise you have come to love for awhile. But, I love that you have turned it around and have already found some new things to try. That is why YOU are a winner. YOU will reach your goals no matter what! YOU are doing it! Have a joy fileld day, Karen emoticon

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CBLANK20091 3/27/2011 9:44AM

I am so very sorry to hear this. Hopefully you will learn to love spinning as much as you love running, and you will not be in as much pain as you are now. It's not the end, it's a new beginning my friend.

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NASFKAB 3/27/2011 9:42AM

  Sorry that you are losing something you loved doing but from the little i know of you from reading your blogs you will find something else. Its just some time before you reach your goals

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HDHAWK 3/27/2011 9:30AM

    I'm sorry for the loss of an exercise you love John. I know you well enough to know that when the initial disappointment passes, you'll find new ways to challenge yourself. It's only a matter of time before you reach your goals!

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AKATUJE 3/27/2011 9:27AM

    One of the songs on my running playlist has that message. You have been an inspiration for me to run.. I look at your picture and know that I too can do it. Even though I am sad that you will not be running again, I am happy and proud of you for what you have been able to accomplish. You take that determination with you, and the other sports you can do will open up a whole new world for you.

I pray that you will find joy and exhilaration in another sport... soon!!!

Best wishes, emoticon

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NJMATTICE 3/27/2011 9:10AM

    Sorry for the loss of your new found joy. There's a new joy just around the corner to be sure. I am a joyful swimmer! Keep up the good work. And thanks for working so hard at sharing your journey just as it is.

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KATHRYN1955 3/27/2011 9:10AM

    Any dreams of being a runner were dashed 4 years ago when I had a nasty break of my ankle and lower leg. However, I amaze myself at the progress I have made. With the encouragement of a wonderful trainer at the gym, there is no end to what I CAN do, even though running, skating and leaping from tall buildings are not in the cards. I even regained my much loved relationship with swimming, which I hadn't done for years.
Just remember that often in the face of hardship, something better than we ever dreamed of comes along.
Keep your focus!!

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_AIYANNA_ 3/27/2011 9:09AM

    Let me begin by saying I'm sorry for the news the doctor gave you. I know how much you love running, but I also know that you can and will excel at anything you decide to do next. I believe your attitude is admirable and you have every right to be proud of what you have accomplished so far.

I know I am very very proud of you and especially proud to call you my friend : )

Take very good care of yourself xxx

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MSSUNBUG 3/27/2011 9:06AM

    You know I can relate to loving running yet being sidelined from it! When I was in that space, it opened up these lovely new doors for me--I became a yogi, a swimmer, and a cyclist--and REALLY became those things. I've gotten to develop a practice in several disciplines that allows me to keep pace with people who focus on only one of those sports. Without the injuries I had that kept me sidelined from running, I'd have NEVER broken my focus on running long enough to find those things or try my hand (or feet, ha) at them, and I would SO have missed out. In hindsight, what an absolute BLESSING.

PF is a runner's nightmare. My good friend in my training program is currently suffering from it. I'm surprised that the doctor appeared to suggest you'll never run again--unless I'm misreading that. PF IS, in fact, something that you can recover from in time and with the right PT and rest. If you want to run and that's where your heart is, you'll do it again. I have some suggestions, btw, about some running techniques you might look into in order to stay relatively injury-free when the time comes and when you're ready.

My deepest sympathies for the heartbreak of being turned away from a sport that's opened up a whole other world and identity for you. You're right--you HAVE accomplished a lot in your running so far, and I know in my heart that you'll do it again. I know this doesn't make it any easier though to stomach not being able to run NOW. I know this VERY well. I also know though that your athletic accomplishments are not all in the past tense.

And, on the other hand, biggest smiles and well wishes for you because the universe (or whatever/whomever you believe in) just opened a huge door for you with a world of other things for you to explore. It's almost like, "So you think you're a runner, John? Check out all these other opportunities and be sure." What a great opportunity for exploration in front of you! Have fun with it. Lean into it. Fold into the message and use it as a lens for understanding the FULL RANGE of your inner athlete!

Much love,

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DOLLBABE56 3/27/2011 9:02AM

    Yes, you should be proud that you have run 3 5k's!!! That is something I would love to say. That being said, now it's time to start a new challenge. Spinning sounds great. I'll bet you will love it! Your attitude is what will make it happen. You enjoy the challenge. So go and enjoy it. I'm happy you are my friend.

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EDWINA172 3/27/2011 8:52AM

    Thanks for posting this. I have a few clients who are going through similar situations. You will find your niche. There are many forms of exercise and it appears that you are already on your way to explore them. You have accomplished much. Be proud.

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LOSE4LIFE47 3/27/2011 8:50AM

    You have the right attitude. We have to look at positive things & not negative. Don't ever give up.

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Blocking The Sun or Getting In My Own Way. (Once Again)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I was poised to have a really good week. I was headed to Nashville on Monday and Tuesday to teach a seminar on communication issues. I havenít seen some of these people since before Christmas. I was excited about catching up with them. I have a new coaching client. I had my first meeting with them yesterday and I always enjoy getting to know people. Itís a new person with a fresh set of goals. It always energizes me. Later this afternoon I have a massage scheduled and tomorrow we help our youngest celebrate his twenty fourth birthday.
Then I decided to get in my own way. I donít know if it ever happens to you but with me I get this feeling of somewhere between being a super hero and God. Conventional wisdom gets lost in the shuffle along with nutrition and exercise. Forget about The Spark, The Scale and The Gym. You are John, you are on a roll and you can cut the heads off those dragons in short order, canít you? Sure you can, sure you can.

You have been a Sparkler for going on two years and havenít you lost a total of seventy one pounds? That little self-deceiving voice says ďTYVM logic and reason, Iíll take it from here.Ē You forget about that harmonic balance of body, mind and soul.


My largest issue is getting in my own way and sabotaging myself. Itís heading out of town without a good nutrition plan. Itís not planning my day so there is time for exercise in a surprisingly well equipped hotel gym. Itís cocking my head towards the sky and saying ďIíll take it from here.Ē Itís buying into all the myths and fallacies all over again.

Without balance in my life, without harmony, without the admission that I canít do this alone I am doomed to repeat the same behavior over and over again. It is no wonder when I step on the scale, that it didnít move from the past two weeks.

The good news is Iím here, again, today ready to begin again, ready to create more balance in my life and hopefully I am a bit wiser for the experience.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 3/28/2011 10:47AM

    Oh how I know that cocky feeling! And gained back 10 lbs! Working on getting back to what works, what I KNOW works, and living a healthy life. Thanks for that post.

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MARCYNA 3/28/2011 3:24AM

    Right attitude; right frame of mind; the force be with you!!!!! emoticon

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JPRICE217 3/27/2011 10:11AM

    I very good eye opener I do the same thing. O how I need o get back on track.

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ANEPANALIPTI 3/26/2011 3:50PM

    Recognizing the weakness, naming the achilles heel makes you stronger, because then you can work WITH it.

U can totally do this John. :-) I believe in you!!!!


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KC1948 3/26/2011 3:33PM

  Hi, JohnT. I never realized, until I read your post, that my grocery store alsohas two entrances: one by the fruits and veggies aisle; and one that goes by Starbucks, pastries, etc. Thanks for the honesty, inspiration, and insight.

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KATHRYN1955 3/26/2011 2:54PM

    It is indeed an ongoing struggle. There is a commercial out (I forget just what it is about) that says that you have to head into the wind if you want to get off the ground. I have just decided today to get back to Sparking in earnest. It is so easy to forget how far we have come and to focus only the negative. Also it is so easy to only focus on the scale/measurement portion of success instead of the more intangible measures like the support of wonderful friends and family, healthier lifestyle choices, new skills etc. Perhaps we are more afraid of success than failure (after all, we are used to failure!) and that is why we sabotage ourselves on a level that we can see and feel.
Anyway, hang in there, as you can see from all the responses, we are truly all in this together.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 3/26/2011 8:31AM

    TYVM? Anyways, isn't it funny how we think to ourselves, "you've got this, no problem", when that's what got us in this mess to begin with? HAHAHA We just have to laugh at ourselves sometimes.I KNOW I can't do it alone.I'm glad I have God on my journey to help me, or I would have given up along time ago. I am also thankful for friends like you who "keep it real". Thanks for sharing with us, and helping us keep it real as well, and let us know, that we are all in this together :)

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MARTHA503 3/26/2011 3:55AM

    Can totally relate. You, know 2 steps forward and 3 back; Thank god there's always the opportunity to start anew.

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GEEMAWEST 3/25/2011 10:15PM

    You're right on with this one, John. But then, of course, you usually are right on with all of your blogs.

And........I agree with Barb. emoticon

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CARTOONB 3/25/2011 9:57PM


I've found that when I don't plan, I do so much worse. I have my breakfast, snacks, and dinner planned for tomorrow. Must need ot get lunch planned so I can be in calorie range...on a weekend!

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LYNMEINDERS 3/25/2011 9:43PM

    I know exactly what you are saying here....

Everytime I succeed at this I sabotage myself.....working on changing it.....

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MADKAPKID 3/25/2011 4:23PM

    John, its step by step. Some days it may be a step back...but each NEW days offers us a chance to step on forward again. YOU have been doing well and have an amazing story to tell. YOU can do this. I know you will! Have a joy filled day, Karen

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DIASTER 3/25/2011 2:26PM

  Right on. You have the ability to put into words exactly the same things that are playing around in our brains.Wonder why we think we can just take over and do it our way when our way is what go us into this state in the first place.You seem able to hit it right on, could it be we all have the same general struggles with food choices and mental lapses? Or maybe we are just human

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REJ7777 3/25/2011 1:59PM

    We need to be ever vigilant! I started slipping a couple months ago, and regained 13 lbs. *Thinking* about exercising, rather than actually doing it. Eating trigger foods. I've been off target mentally. I think that what's different about this time, though, is that we catch ourselves before we slip too far. I've moved back from thinking to doing, and the scale has started moving back downward. I think there's a way in which this battle will be lifelong, and we can do it!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 3/25/2011 12:57PM

    You know, I still want to believe that one day you WILL be able to "take it from here." That's the point, isn't it? For living healthfully to become second nature. So perhaps balance and patience, dear friend.

Or maybe I am projecting. emoticon Either way, I know you'll work this out. You always do! (Actually, it sounds like you already have.)

Sorry so busy this week and just catching up -- miss you!

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ALLISON145 3/25/2011 12:14PM

    You can do it, John! Just don't give up!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/25/2011 12:05PM

    There will be those days and weeks for people who fall off the wagon but people who never quit never have to really fail. They just take longer to get to the finish line.

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LINDAJ0621 3/25/2011 11:48AM

    I think most of us here can relate, John. I know I spend a LOT of time getting in my own way..LOL. But, the winning part is knowing that and getting back on track. You are obviously a winner!!! Have a wonderful day!

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GETFIT2LIVE 3/25/2011 11:48AM

    Every day, every moment we have a chance to start again--which is a good thing, because I need lots of restarts along the way! Lack of planning is what trips me up over and over; you'd think I'd learn that and ALWAYS plan ahead, but no, I don't. Glad you're here, we need one another!!

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VMASSEY1 3/25/2011 11:35AM

    I know exactly what you mean. We will be going to Las Vegas at the end of April and I am wanting to stay with my plan. We do this every year and I always end up sabotaging myself before it is over. One year I was going to go to Curves every day we were there and it cost me 20 dollars to just go one way. Someone from the club brought me back to the hotel. The hotel has a gym and it cost 30 dollars a day to use it. I was going to walk and take the Duece and by the time I got to the bus stop I had already walked 1 mile. So I used that as my exercise because when I walked back that would be 2 miles. But yes we need to get back on the horse again and ride off into the --- wherever we need to be. But I know from whence you come. Good Blog. emoticon

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CHUEYSMOM 3/25/2011 10:39AM

    Been there done it! Took the is great to be able to start again each week. =)

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HLPRATT 3/25/2011 10:24AM

    I know exactly what you mean!

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SMOCKON 3/25/2011 10:24AM

    LOL! It's like my boss says (and I agree): God is my secret weapon. I'll handle it until something comes up that is totally beyond my abilities, and then I'll whip out God and let him take care of it. Reminds me of the George Lopez line: "Angie, I got theeeeeess!!" That line usually comes right before a disaster.

As always a great point, and one that hits me hard. Thanks!

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TRIPLE_EMME 3/25/2011 9:58AM

    I'm glad that you are here, again, today!

I wish you balance, my friend.

emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 3/25/2011 9:44AM

    I was reminded the other day that we are presented with the same lessons over and over again until we learn them.

We hear the message of God and the Bible endlessly in different forms each Sunday; we learn the same subjects in school year after year; why should this be any different?

While it is something we will always need to work at, I believe eventually weight control will stop being the struggle it is now. Have faith!

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MARITIMER3 3/25/2011 9:37AM

    Hi John - I can so relate, and I'm sure everyone else reading today's blog can too! Your honesty is refreshing. We all set up situations to sabotage ourselves (or block the sun), but we often tend to make excuses... you tell it like it is.

You're back on track today. You are a success... you've lost 71 lbs. for goodness sake! I'm looking forward to hearing of the birthday celebrations. Have a great week-end.

Gail emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 3/25/2011 9:37AM

    It is rather easy to get humbled...and something I need to learn over and over. Humbleness.

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DOLLBABE56 3/25/2011 9:22AM

    here here!

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NASFKAB 3/25/2011 9:11AM

  Good comment you are so honest about what went wrong

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And Then I Thought Of YOU

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm a member of Optimists International. We gather each week and mostly we work on fund raising activities that benefit kids either though community involvement or through scholarships. At the end of the meeting we recite the Optimists Creed. It is based upon the poem written below. As we recited it yesterday I thought of YOU. You are the person who inspires me, motivates me and helps me along this sometimes steep and narrow path I climb. I thought I'd share it with you since the poem and you have so much value to my life and journey

Promise Yourself........

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something special in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

~ Christian D Larson
Your Forces and How to Use Them 1912

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 3/28/2011 10:51AM

    Thank you for posting this. I copied it and plan to carry it with me to refer to on those days...

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MIBELLALUNA 3/26/2011 1:24AM

    good one!!

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LYNMEINDERS 3/25/2011 9:38PM

    Love it....thankyou

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BRYLIA 3/25/2011 5:57PM

    I love that John. What a great organization to belong to(I hadn't heard of it before). Imagine what the world would be like if everyone followed that creed :)!

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GIRANIMAL 3/25/2011 2:38PM

    Talk about words to live by! Thanks for some extra inspiration at just the right moment - as always. emoticon

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DOLLBABE56 3/25/2011 8:18AM

    I need this today.

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MARTHA503 3/25/2011 4:50AM

    You did it again, JOHNTJ, Beautiful!

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ANEPANALIPTI 3/25/2011 4:35AM

    thats beautiful!!

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CARTOONB 3/24/2011 11:27PM

    I like it!

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CARTOONB 3/24/2011 11:27PM

    I like it!

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REJ7777 3/24/2011 10:23PM

    Great recommendations! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/24/2011 10:20PM

    My DH is an Optimist too -- and I've always thought this creed was very inspiring!! This is a remarkable group of people at SP and they do keep us optimistic!!

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GEEMAWEST 3/24/2011 9:02PM

    Would you mind sending me this everyday in an email for the rest of my life? OK, I was just askin'.

I will print it out and post it at work and at home.

Thanks Buddy!

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MKPRINCESS007 3/24/2011 8:23PM

    Love this, John! :)
I had heard of the Optimists before, but am so excited to see this creed. I need to print it out and put it up in my office.

you are the best!

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KELLY40222 3/24/2011 7:16PM

    This is a club we all need to join!

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MARATHONMOM26.2 3/24/2011 7:00PM

    I need to say this every morning so that I am focused for the day ahead. Thank you for sharing!

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MADKAPKID 3/24/2011 5:24PM

    Now this is Awesome! Thank you. Have a joy filled day, Karen emoticon

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DAWNEBLUNDA 3/24/2011 4:57PM

    Awesome post. You always have such good things to say! Will you loan my some of your creative, insightful nature? Thank you...I may just print this out and put it up in my kitchen. (Because, although I am an optimist, my lovely hubby, is kind of a pessimist!) Thanks! emoticon

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    What a great creed!! Love it.

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PGNBRI 3/24/2011 2:30PM

    Thanks John!

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JEWELS692 3/24/2011 12:45PM

    LOVE it this is the shot in the arm I needed today and also one I can pass on... Thanks emoticon

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MARITIMER3 3/24/2011 12:16PM

    Thank you, John. Wonderful creed to live by.

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JERIBERI1 3/24/2011 11:56AM

    That's a great creed! Thanks for sharing!

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MOM2MXKE 3/24/2011 11:55AM

    Thanks for sharing. Great poem and that is great that you are so involved with making a change. I admire you! Thank you(:

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SILLYHP1953 3/24/2011 11:25AM

    Are you serious? The Optimists Club is really a club of obtimists? I've heard of the Optimist Club, but never associated them with actually being optimists!! I know what club I want to join!!

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KATYMACK 3/24/2011 11:11AM

    Beautiful creed to live by. Thank you for sharing.

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MARCYNA 3/24/2011 10:36AM

    This is GREAT....I'll send it to my best friends, thanks John!!!! emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 3/24/2011 10:35AM

    I'll be posting this on my mirror. Thanks so much for the lift this morning!

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AKATUJE 3/24/2011 10:20AM

    How beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing!!

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THEFIRSTDAY 3/24/2011 10:01AM

    That was just what I needed to hear!

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THEFIRSTDAY 3/24/2011 10:00AM

    That was just what I needed to hear!

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NASFKAB 3/24/2011 9:58AM

  Thanks so much its beautiful

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