Monday, April 04, 2011
There are some mornings I crawl out of bed and as I look at myself in the mirror I tell myself I just canít do this anymore. I canít be bright and positive and upbeat and all those things that take so much effort some mornings. I look at my belly and even though all those fantastic measurement tools I have at my disposal tell me I am making progress, well friend, the progress isnít quick enough. It makes me want to go away, to quit, to give up, to convince myself that some people are supposed to be overweight. Itís in their genes!!! But I donít. I feel a bit ashamed, a little embarrassed that I have been stuck for what seems like forever now. I feel frustrated that I canít convince my body that it isnít twenty seven instead of fifty seven. I want to scream ďThe he** with all of this,Ē but I donít.
I come from a long line of cowards and quitters. I have been trained to live within my limitations and accept my fate as some sort of divine or cosmic punishment for past transgressions, sins and mistakes. Some days I feel like Iím not good enough to be around all these shiny happy people who are running, biking and swimming half way around the globe. I wanna crawl under the covers and block the sun. But I donít.
I have lost some friends recently and that makes me sad. Fellow soldiers on this journey towards health who became casualties of their own minds and beliefs. They quietly faded into the woodwork. They donít interact anymore. Like me they are embarrassed, angry and some days a bit scared. Like me they havenít learned how to deal with success on any level and they often feel foolish. So they quietly leave. I donít always notice right away. Then one day I wonder, ďWhat ever became ofÖÖÖÖĒ
Some have reached their goals and couldnít hang on and the pain is too great. Some have tried and tried and tried and just couldnít make it. So they leave. I wonít go anywhere. Iíll be dam&*d if I run myself off.
Iím not writing this to receive. Iím writing this to give. Somewhere, someone is going to read this and wonder how I knew you were just about ready to give up because you used all of the energy you believed was inside of you. Someone may pass this on to you and urge you to read it.
Donít leave, donít quit, donít give up. Iím here and so are, oh about a million other people and we have all felt the same things from time to time but we havenít given up. This march towards health and self-esteem isnít always the most exciting but in the end it is the most rewarding. This Spark process works. I am proof it works simply because I am still here. This ist a diet. Diets encourage failure. It is an incremental life change that isnít always fun.
Take a good look around you. There are millions of us that feel the same way you do every day. Do me a favor, please? If today was the day you were going to leave, quit or give up, postpone that decision for one more day, print this out, put it on your fridge and commit to taking care of today. When you get up tomorrow congratulate yourself for making it one more day. I promise you it will work.
I can never have enough friends
Saturday, April 02, 2011
A lot has been written about being successful. I believe in the end itís a matter of what works for you. If you have an opportunity to actually sit down and talk with someone who has walked the walk, who has struggled, sweated and shed more than just a few tears you walk away enriched and inspired.
I had an opportunity like that yesterday. I had lunch with a Spark friend, EMTFF376. I was nervous. Iím about half way to my goal and here is a person who has done some really inspiring things on her journey and quite honestly I was a bit afraid sheíd look at me and sorta grimace. The fear melted away about two seconds after she greeted me with what can best be described as an enormous bear hug. For the past six months we have been trying to arrange an opportunity to meet when I was in WVA but it always seemed like either her schedule or mine didnít allow it to happen. Yesterday it did. Wow, what an experience. I could prattle on and on about her accomplishments but take a look at her Spark page for yourself. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=E
Here is what I learned: We didnít talk a lot about diet or exercise, although it was sprinkled in the conversation. At one point she looked across the table and told me that the transformation begins inside of you and as you change the way you think, feel and behave you see the results externally. Iím paraphrasing here, but you get the intent. Real change comes when you have the courage to look at how you are acting or behaving and when you have the courage to look at yourself and not blink. Itís when you do the tough stuff even when you do not want to do it. She told me that she often takes her lunch break to run because itís the only time she has to exercise. For part of the year she works three jobs!! I learned that if you want to be successful you do the things you have to do to get there, and by the way; you do it with one of the most engaging smiles I have ever witnessed. When you change from the inside out you possess the ability to light up a room when you walk into it.
When I walked away I felt focused. Nothing she told me was new but I got to hear it in real time from someone who has experienced everything I am experiencing. It carried me well through the rest of yesterday and into this morning. I have an eight hour car ride home tomorrow and it will give me lots of time to think.
If you have a chance to spend some time with a successful friend, take advantage of the opportunity. The benefit of being able to listen, question and feel reassured canít be measured. We all walk the same path here, some of us trot, some jog, some crawl, some run, but we are all pointed in the same direction. As I walked away from our meeting the lyrics of a song form The Muppet Movie crossed my mind: ďThereís not a word yet, for old friends whoíve just met.Ē
Thursday, March 31, 2011
I own you an apology. You have much more influence, control and power than I imagined. As a matter of fact, from what I understand, you have more power than any president in history.
I was eating dinner at the hotel tonight, alone and there was a table of four next to me. (Yes, I eaves dropped. I was bored!!!!) All four people had just returned from vacation and according to them they werenít able to do any of the things they wanted with their grandchildren because you have removed all of the funding.
One couple wanted to take their grandkids on a boat trip in the Everglades to see alligators and such but the trips had been cancelled because ďObama cut the funding.Ē The other couple had wanted to get geo-thermal heating system and the price had gone back up becauseÖÖÖÖ.. ďObama removed the incentives.Ē They were stuck buying a normal old furnace. It was your fault Mr. President!! They said if Donald Trump were president heíd fire everyone that ďdidnít do right.Ē This discussion went on for about twenty minutes and you had a direct bearing on all the woes of the world, all by yourself.
So I was wonderingÖÖÖÖ Could I blame being overweight and my poor eating habits on you? Forget the fact they existed long before you took office. It would be really convenient if I didnít have to take responsibility for myself and my actions. If I grabbed a cookie, why it would be your fault. A two pound gain? That no good president!!! It would make life a lot easier. I'd be responsible for nothing!!!
Okay calm down. Itís my attempt at satire. But ya know, it makes about as much sense as what those people sitting next to me were saying.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I stood in line at Walgreen's this evening for about twenty minutes waiting to pick up my blood pressure medication. That's not what made me mad.
Directly in front of me, in the long line was a young lady, who was ill. You could tell by the way she was standing and holding herself. I've felt that bad a time or two in my life and so have you, probably. You just want to take some medicine, curl up in bed and hope you get some relief. She handed the clerk her prescription and asked her to check the price. After a few seconds the clerk gave her an answer, which I couldnt maker out. The young lady answered. "I cant afford that I dont have insurance." She pulled her coat tight and walked away. The clerk rolled her eyes and said 'Whatever." Even that didnt make me mad. I thought it was a bit rude.
If I didnt have insurance my prescription would cost me two hundred dollars a month. I only pay thirty. If i didnt have health insurance I dont know what I'd due, maybe have a stroke and end up dead. It's not my decision. A pharmaceutical company decides who gets better and who doesnt. If you have a good job and lots of money or health insurance you stand a chance to beat your illness. If you dont, well I guess its back to the process of natural selection.
Please dont tell me about people taking responsibility for them selves. If you are a single mom, working two or three part time jobs with no insurance and you get sick but cant afford to pay for your prescription, you cant get better, which means you cant go to work, which means you may lose your job and then where are you?
This isnt a Democratic or Republican issue. It's not a religious issue it is a basic human dignity issue. When you stand shivering with fever in a Walgreen's and cant afford a prescription, there is a lot wrong with the society you live in.
Yes, there are people who cheat and take advantage of things. They all arent poor, homeless or unemployed. Many of them have six or seven figure incomes and display the same lack on integrity they accuse "those people" of having. This is about US, the human race.
When I got home I told Joan I probably should have paid for the girls prescription. She thought a minute and asked me if I planned to stay at Walgreen's all day and night helping people out. She's right. It would have only made me feel better about me. Right now, that would seem awfully selfish.
Okay John, you feel better now that you vented?
I hope you dont either
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.
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