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" I'm Fixing A Hole..........."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For whatever reason, there are days I find myself thinking about donuts. There is no particular shape, flavor or sizeÖÖ.. Just donuts. I donít crave them; I just often have an image in my mind. Iím glad I do. I had one of those ďAh-HaĒ moments late last night, lying there in bed, pondering a donutÖÖÖ It was the hole. The empty space in the middle of the donut that needs to be filled. Itís why I over eat.

There is an empty space inside of me that needs to be filled and when that evil little voice inside of me decides itís time to point it out; I try to fill it with food. Emptiness leads to a bit of anxiety, worry or panicÖÖÖ you choose oneÖÖÖ.. And that leads to me finding something, anything to fill the void and silence the little voice. A good friend calls them ďmind monkeys.Ē Kat says that they canít stand to see her at peace and they bother her at the most inopportune times demanding her attention. I have mind monkeys also. When I donít pay them enough attention, they start banging on the cage and find a way to grab my attention. Just like the hole in the donut. It needs to be filled. I grab something to eat. Thatís when the cycle starts

I donít have to go into great detail because you have something similar to my donut hole. There is a space, a void and emptiness we donít want to talk about. Itís no one elseís business. We believe that rigidly following a food plan and exercising like a demon will produce some sort of serenity and stability. We hurt and we ache and shed tears and we do it all in solitude. I believe that by denying it, well, then, it will go away. If I allow you to see my vulnerability, if I dare ask you for help then I am not only exposing myself but I am reminding you, that you, have a donut hole also.

So we run. We run away from the people, the experiences, the relationships and the very things that would help fill that hole. We continue to believe that food and unhealthy behavior will fill out holes up because we truest nothing and no one else. Everyone finds their own path and their own vehicle to traverse that path. But I believe itís important to find a way, a belief, a practice in our lives that fills the void we now fill with food.

The first step to healing that hole or void comes with the admission that it exists. It doesnít mean the mind monkeys win. It means a large weight has been removed and we can look at healthy ways and methods to nourish our souls. I think, itís called balance, and Iím starting to see without it, that hole will always be there.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLEY81 4/25/2011 3:18PM

    I'm in the midst of a donut hole myself. Part of this journey is discovering that hole and acknowledging how we may be able to fill it up with healthy and happy habits.

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CIVIAV 4/24/2011 1:22PM

    Amen!

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G293537 4/21/2011 7:35AM

    Both the donut hole and mind monkeys are great analogies! Have them both, fight the mind monkeys the best I can and try to if not solve the hole, at least understand it so I can better cope. Thank you for sharing.

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DWILCZKO 4/21/2011 12:12AM

  so true!

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EMPTRS 4/20/2011 2:55PM

    SO insightful!!! AND true!!! My mind monkeys often try to take control...I am working on fighting back!

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MCHILSTR 4/19/2011 10:08AM

  I love your blogs - and appreciate your authenticity!

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CALLIKIA 4/19/2011 8:44AM

    You are completely and 100% on the money here. We've got to find other things, HEALTHY things, to fill that hole. What has a donut ever done for me anyhow?

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ERIN4771 4/19/2011 6:53AM

    it's funny...i like long johns as well, so by filling my donut hole, i can still have what i like, right emoticon......
great blog, and great analogy...i never really thought of the donut that way, but i think you nailed it for sure!!
thanks for sharing!!

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REJ7777 4/19/2011 6:48AM

    What an insightful blog! You had me laughing about donut thoughts at the beginning of the blog, but by the end I was reflecting on that existential void that's almost impossible to describe but that unconsciously controls so much of our lives.

Mind monkeys driving me to eat. emoticon I'm going to be on the alert for those!

In the end, food doesn't fill the void either.

As St. Augustine said: "God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you." emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/19/2011 6:50:15 AM

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EMTFF376 4/14/2011 11:17AM

    Good morning spark friend!

I would love to know what flavor my donut hole is. :) I hope some day to come to that revelation and move forward.

Thanks again for making me think! :)

Big hugs,
Janette


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TIME4AFITME 4/14/2011 10:43AM

    great blog as always!

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CARTOONB 4/14/2011 12:02AM

    Mind monkeys? I like it! Very good imagery. I hope you figure out a way to shut those monkeys down. And I don't mean by feeding them donuts!

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1FUNNYGRANNY 4/13/2011 11:33PM

    This is a great blog. I can definitely relate to it. I love donuts in any shape, flavor or form.
emoticon emoticon Have a couple on me.

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DAD2GETFIT 4/13/2011 9:08PM

    Great blog as always! There is a lot of truth in what you say. Balance in all things is always my goal. I don't always achieve it, but it is the goal.

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SPARKLISE 4/13/2011 8:59PM

    Everyone of us has a hole that needs to be filled-everyone of us fills it differently. All of us at sparkpeople need to learn how to fill it with something different than food. You're on the right path.Keep up the good work-that's what it's all about! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLISE 4/13/2011 8:59PM

    Everyone of us has a hole that needs to be filled-everyone of us fills it differently. All of us at sparkpeople need to learn how to fill it with something different than food. You're on the right path.Keep up the good work-that's what it's all about! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 4/13/2011 7:30PM

    Superb.....
I love your wisdom that you share...there is something for everyone in your blogs......

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BLESSED2BEME 4/13/2011 3:52PM

    I really like that you used the word "balance". That has been my word for this year. Finding "balance" in everything about my life. I'm a "all or nothing" kind of person and I am looking for a balance between "all" healthy or "no" health. I never thought about the hole I'm trying to fill or avoid though. Thanks!

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SPHAPPYHIKER 4/13/2011 3:47PM

    This is a wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing. I was just talking to a friend of mine about this, having this empty feeling.. no happiness or joy deep within, like something is lacking. She forwarded me this link. There are many times I think I am the only one who has these feelings. I really need to write it down and on here I feel like I am telling the whole world. I know step one is admitting it and I am finding out the rest. I need to find the truth and the truth will set me free. That truth for me is Jesus. I need to quit believing in lies that I have succumbed myself to believe in for so many years.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 4/13/2011 3:38PM

    I needed to read this today. One thing that is helping me is a "Happy Jar" I've started. I got a big plastic jar and use it to save happy memories or thoughts. I write them on a small piece of paper, including my feelings at the moment and why I feel that way, date it, fold it, and drop it into the jar. I've started grabbing a handful to read when the "empty hole syndrome" appears and it does help!
Stay positive.
Sheila

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MIZZSB 4/13/2011 1:42PM

    AGAIN great blog and one i can so relate too...

Thanks so much for putting my thoughts into writing....

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DEBRITA01 4/13/2011 1:28PM

    emoticonLoved the blog and can relate...thanks for sharing it!

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1WOMANCRUSADE 4/13/2011 12:46PM

    Great job bringing that voice out into the open. I have the voice and the hole too. Lets not let it rule us. Lets never forget its there. Lets try laughing at it. Put a funny hat on it or toilet paper it. Good blog!

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NASFKAB 4/13/2011 12:44PM

  How true we all have ours. Thanks

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LINDAJ0621 4/13/2011 12:19PM

    WOW!!! I think I am speechless for a change! You are right...there is a void, an emptiness somewhere and I think it has been there a very long time. Very thought-provoking blog!

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LADYLAUGHS247 4/13/2011 11:59AM

  I think I eat because that is easier that trying to let someone in. Often I find myself reaching for food when I'm hurt or feel misunderstood. The problem is I have many people in my life which can translate into many episodes of hurt feelings which can morph into eating binges.
But food also make me feel bad - just in a different way. So I'm taking charge, and letting people know when I feel misunderstood or hurt. It's risky and takes a lot more effort, but it helps with my balance and shrinks that hole.

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KKINNEA 4/13/2011 11:29AM

    JTJ1, you always get right at the heart of a matter!

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ANGELSANDYBABY 4/13/2011 11:29AM

    Wow..Great blog! Thanks!

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WANNABELESS1 4/13/2011 10:54AM

    Great blog. Its amazing, I deal with the donut thing too. This helps me to think about it in another way.

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/13/2011 10:49AM

    I am glad that you are striving for balance.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/13/2011 10:44AM

    I'm fortunate to not be an emotional eater. I don't have a hole to fill. I just love the taste of good food.

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GEEMAWEST 4/13/2011 10:36AM

    Always learning, always growing.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/13/2011 10:26AM

    Well said. We are al trying to fill a void, but food is not what we need to fill it up with.

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MARCYNA 4/13/2011 9:13AM

    Hey,I'm so glad you're identifying and solving problem areas on your weight loss journey !!!
I have no problems with any particular food except ice-creams, so I allow myself the smallest edition of a cone max. once a week...what worries me the most are unhealthy relationships that fill the 'donut hole' but I think it's another story, thanks for this awareness blog emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/13/2011 9:17:57 AM

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FREECLOUD 4/13/2011 9:12AM

    I like the donut analogy - makes perfect sense. I learned somewhere on this journey that I had to love myself to be successful. Amazing that it took over 40 years to figure that out. We often think that putting ourselves in the forefront of our mind is selfish...but if you can't love yourself, then that balance is pretty elusive.

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SCHNEBL 4/13/2011 9:00AM

    Very well said....and so true. Working on some balance myself.

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ANANGELMOM 4/13/2011 8:51AM

    Ironic. I've recently discovered my own void and my need to fill it. Thanks for this post!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/13/2011 8:43AM

    There is a book called Love Hunger that helped me recognize that . . . we are hungry for love, and the only way we know to fill that hunger is with food. The book helped me recognize it, by the way, but it didn't help me resolve things entirely. I'm still working on it, and I realize now I probably will be for the rest of my life.

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MOMGABE 4/13/2011 8:38AM

    Thanks for the insightful blog. This is a topic I need to spend sometime thinking about.

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MOMMYBYCHOICE 4/13/2011 8:29AM

    wow that is something for me to really think about.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 4/13/2011 8:16AM

    I took a class a couple years ago and that was the most shocking thing I learned. Not only did I have an empty place inside me, not only was I shoveling food in it as fast as I could, but the emptiness was growing, not filling up. That was my ah ha moment. It was the day I began to tell food no.

Thanks for this blog, John!

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AMYGIRL1972 4/13/2011 8:13AM

    Very nice blog...makes sence.

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HDHAWK 4/13/2011 8:10AM

    I think it's the only way to ever lose the weight and keep it off. That's not to say I've mastered it. I'm still a work in progress.

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Living A Succesful Life

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I created this as a vehicle for some training I am preparing to do for one of my clients. You may share but with my permission.

Seven Steps for A Successful Life

1. Take one hundred percent responsibility for your life and your actions.

2. Make sure you communicate clearly what it is you want in all circumstances.

3. You wonít be respected until you learn to respect.

4. If you donít believe itís going to work, why should anyone else?

5. If you donít believe in you, why should anyone else?

6. The ďvery bestĒ is where we should begin a journey, not end it!

7. When you have balance in your life you have a better chance of reaching your goals and objectives.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBIE1414 5/4/2011 8:53AM

    Awesome blog:)

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SHELLEY81 5/3/2011 7:58AM

    Fabulous!

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KIN59VARA 5/3/2011 7:13AM

    Great advice

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JUKEBOX2 4/17/2011 8:15PM

    Excellent ... thank you!

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JENN03275 4/16/2011 10:30AM

    This is such a great blog! I try and live by these standards every day. Though there are days that I do stumble and feel as though I am a sinking ship. Thank you for these wonderful words to live by.

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LILOATS 4/15/2011 1:14PM

    Great List to Live by. Thanks for sharing.

TONI

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NOMORESTALLING 4/15/2011 9:29AM

    John,
these are absolutely positive links to success. Thank you so much for posting these. Would you do the team the honour of sharing it with them?
Create a new topic and post them for all to see. We all need these in our life!
emoticon

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HVILLECAT 4/15/2011 6:40AM

    Fantastic post. Thanks

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WSPDAVE 4/15/2011 1:00AM

    Fabulous list, thanks for creating it.

Big Dave

We're In It For The Finish

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LYNMEINDERS 4/13/2011 7:27PM

    Awesome ...thankyou so much for this

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THOMS1 4/13/2011 9:22AM

    Great Post and I thank you. emoticon

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MARCYNA 4/13/2011 9:01AM

    Wow, great...I'm still looking for balance, thanks for reminding me emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 4/13/2011 7:55AM

    Great words from a great guy! :) Thanks for sharing your insight! Your client will appreciate it! (As do we! ) Have a great day John!

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NASFKAB 4/13/2011 12:26AM

  You are so tight thanks for sharing these tips

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MELLYBEANS0919 4/12/2011 9:44PM

    Right on.

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JUNEAU2010 4/12/2011 9:38PM

    I really like this!
I need to read it over and over for a while!

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2011DIET4ME 4/12/2011 9:25PM

    Wow - excellent blog - - if you don't mind - I'll print it as a reminder to myself - THANK YOU!!!! emoticon

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HDHAWK 4/12/2011 9:22PM

    Excellent!

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/12/2011 7:52PM

    Thanks John, copy, print and on the fridge!! :0)

xoxox

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FROGGERHKC 4/12/2011 6:50PM

    Great post!!
emoticon emoticon

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GOANNA2 4/12/2011 5:55PM

    You are so right.
Thanks for posting emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/12/2011 5:32PM

    Thanks. I will use it for my teams.

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SILLYHP1953 4/12/2011 4:19PM

    Thank you! I will share this with my mind and heart and soul and I think I have your permission for that!!
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DDOORN 4/12/2011 1:36PM

    All critical points...but for me BALANCE between myself and others...THAT is the cutting edge for myself!

Don

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CARTOONB 4/12/2011 12:41PM

    I especially like #1.

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GEEMAWEST 4/12/2011 12:38PM

    emoticon

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KAZINMICH 4/12/2011 11:59AM

    Excellent! I got tired of the doctors trying to find a reason, which encouraged me to just eat whatever as long as I stayed in a certain range. Well, since adopting the same steps you outlined, I'm much happier, more motivated, and losing weight. The past 2 weeks have been very difficult and I haven't been making time to exercise, and I haven't been eating as properly as I want to. Thank you for making me take ownership of myself and my life again. Great timing! :) Happy Day to you!

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NJMATTICE 4/12/2011 11:48AM

    All good advice. I'm missing something about make meaningful connections with your fellow human beings and don't forget to laugh a lot. Be joyful in all you do.

Living joyfully is living successfully in my book.

Have a joy-filled Tuesday, John and keep doing what your doing.

Love,
Nancy

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KKINNEA 4/12/2011 10:57AM

    These are great steps!

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LIZABETT 4/12/2011 10:00AM

    I especially like the 1st Step, John. Takes the blame off everyone and everything else and places it exactly where it belongs. The others are good, but it starts with the first one. emoticon

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FREECLOUD 4/12/2011 9:57AM

    I especially appreciate #7. It usually takes a lot of adjustment on our part to reach that balance, but the rewards are so worth the journey. That's something to you can't *explain* to someone - they have to experience it to appreciate it.

Love your blogs!

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IMIN2GENES 4/12/2011 9:32AM

    Great words to live by! Thanks for sharing.
Chris

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Messy Art

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Joan and I were cleaning out a closet a few weeks ago when we ran across some ďkid art.Ē We have six, all grown now, four boys and two girls, ages twenty four through thirty five. In a large plastic tub we found a bunch of memories. Joan sorted it and was going to give some of it to them on their next visit. A couple of them scrunched their faces and made remarks like ďGosh, I never colored in the lines,Ē or ďBoy I sure was a messy painter!Ē Itís funny in a way. I donít think Joan and I ever saw it that way. Instead of messy art we saw priceless treasure and I would hazard a guess that when their kids are old enough they will see the same thing.

I bring this up because as I looked at their gifts and their own reaction to them many years later; I thought about how I do the same thing with myself. People say all sorts of wonderful things about me, compliment me, shower me with praise and I only see the muffin top (Yes, ladies, men have muffin tops also!) when I look in the mirror. Where you see a warm smile, I see the need for a beard and moustache trim. You applaud me for my courage for battling through injury and disappointment, tell me I inspire you and I only see a wimp who could be doing more and wonders why anyone listens to anything he says.

As I was dressing this morning it dawned on me that in the eighteen months or so I have been part of this experience, no one has ever been critical of how I look, or whether I lost or gained weight on a given week. No one has ever questioned my commitment when I havenít reached a goal. Where I have hung my head at times I was only greeted by big hugs when I raised my eyes. Where I felt like a failure when I couldnít reach a goal, all I saw where thumbs up emoticons and words of encouragement. No one ever commented that I was coloring outside the lines!!! Oh, donít get me wrong. Iíve received plenty of well-deserved advice on how to break the mold of my own self defeat or tendency to be a people pleaser. It has always been given privately and with encouragement. Itís always been an offer to help not hurt.

Other folks donít see the messy art work, they just see the precious package it came wrapped in. It would do me well to look at myself the same way. There are smudges, there are rips and wrinkles, but splashed on the canvas of my life there is this priceless and precious beauty no one but I can attain.

The same holds true for you. It really does. Look at yourself the way I see you and imagine this really big smile of love and gratitude on my face.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 4/14/2011 1:37PM

    Yes. Yes. Even our clumsiest attempts for doing good are precious in the Lord's Eyes!!!!
You go, boy emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/14/2011 1:38:59 PM

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LYNMEINDERS 4/13/2011 7:25PM

    Amen & A,men to this blog.....

I do the same thing with myself....I don't see in the mirror the same person that all my students see or that someone else sees....it is fascinating that we have that in us and it is so so hard to eradicate......
Maybe I need to change the mirror I look in....
the one I looked in yesterday when i bought a new top had me looking awesome, however my one in the same top, didn't have me looking so awesome this morning......
Fascinating...

thankyou for allowing me to see this.....am going to mwork on changing this....

Blessings...

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CHILOVERINAZ 4/13/2011 7:02PM

    My daughter is 23 and I still have a box of her artwork in my closet, I would like to think people see me the same why I see her art (mostly beautiful and very special) I'm struggling with a very large weight gain in a very short period of time, I am having a hard time finding anything to like about myself This blog helped a little it made me smile and find 1 good quality for today :)

Thank you

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DAWNEBLUNDA 4/12/2011 10:36PM

    The messy art of my 3 year old now graces the walls where the messy art of my now 20 year old used to hang. It is beautiful now as it was then. When my 20 year old moved out, we went through boxes of the priceless treasures I had saved. It was bittersweet.

And, again, you have a way of looking inside that I envy. I never thought of how to apply the majesty I see in those paintings, imperfect as they are, to myself.

Thank you...please don't stop writing. I need your insight to gain my own!

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DAD2GETFIT 4/12/2011 8:50PM

    Great blog. emoticon

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TRISHA603 4/12/2011 7:13PM

    Thanks for sucha lovely and uplifting blog today...indeed it is time to recognize the positives and not just focus on what's wrong with us....I needed to be reminded of that today!! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/12/2011 5:36PM

    It's a man thing, John. LOL. My hubby has it. My dad has it. Dad was a contractor and could walk into a palace, look around, and the first thing he would say....................."The molding is off an 1/16 of an inch around that window." LOL.

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SILLYHP1953 4/12/2011 3:58PM

    I went through a lot of my kid's artwork a few months ago, and had the same reaction as yours - priceless treasures. And yes, I am very critical of myself. Interesting....

Again, more food for thought/reflection.
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_AIYANNA_ 4/12/2011 2:24PM

    Thank you for another beautiful blog, John. I was really moved to tears by this :) It saddens me at times when I think that most of my Spark friends whom I'd really love to meet in person live half-way round the world from me :(

Take good care of yourself, my dear friend.

Elen xxx

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CHAITEAKITTY40 4/12/2011 2:10PM

    Thank you so much! This touched me where I am right now. Needed that message today.
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DDOORN 4/12/2011 1:35PM

    Another gem! Yes, to step aside and look at ourselves with as much love and acceptance as we offer others...what a challenge for myself as well!

Don

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MOMMYBYCHOICE 4/12/2011 12:59PM

    I love messy art,.......

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ANEPANALIPTI 4/12/2011 12:45PM

    this is the most beautiful blog ive ever read.

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GEEMAWEST 4/12/2011 12:41PM

    Good point, John. Very good point.

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THEMIGHTYLILLIE 4/12/2011 12:38PM

    Darn straight!!! Isn't it amazing how much of a kindred spirit you feel IMMEDIATELY for people on here?

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GIRANIMAL 4/12/2011 12:38PM

    Wow, I just had the conversation with a friend yesterday! I feel like I will have to work hard at accepting compliments for the rest of my life -- but it's OK, I'm worth it. emoticon

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KAZINMICH 4/12/2011 12:30PM

    Excellent blog with a great truth. The only way I was able to start accepting compliments without putting myself down, or beating myself up was to only allow myself to say, "thank you". That was my only response allowed. After a while the berating myself or thinking people are crazy started going away, and I started feeling proud and embracing myself. I know I'm still overweight, but I am changing, and I am learning and growing (emotionally/mentally while shrinking. lol). It's good.

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KKINNEA 4/12/2011 11:05AM

    These thoughts are great - so helpful for when we get down on ourselves.

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/12/2011 10:36AM

    emoticon

Three cheers to coloring out of the lines and messy art work!!!

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MISSROCKABILLY 4/12/2011 10:21AM

    Love this, John. Such a true and important message, for all of us.

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CORKY982 4/12/2011 9:55AM

  John - you are awesome.

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GRAMLORI 4/12/2011 9:53AM

    Isn't it even more awesome that God sees US that way! It's been said many a time....you can't love others till you love yourself! Very good illustration, John.....I will remember it! Thanks, and have a very BLESSED tuesday!!

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IMIN2GENES 4/12/2011 9:31AM

    Priceless words, John. Thank you!
Chris
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LADYLAUGHS247 4/12/2011 9:28AM

  I am my own masterpeice. But keep in mind that it's a work in progress. emoticon

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MEGA_MILES 4/12/2011 9:14AM

    Fabulously insightful. emoticon emoticon

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46SHADOW 4/12/2011 9:01AM

    This rings so true. Thanks for sharing.

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LINDSEYINAZ 4/12/2011 8:55AM

    What beautiful words!!

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TIME4AFITME 4/12/2011 8:45AM

    Your blogs always help keep me trying to reach my goal even though I am not doing well. Thank you emoticon

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AMYGIRL1972 4/12/2011 8:36AM

    Oh my goodness...that is so true. Thankyou...

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MIZZSB 4/12/2011 8:13AM

    thanks John.. that so sweet ....

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HONORINGGOD 4/12/2011 7:53AM

    emoticon

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Some Days

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some days, itís hard to get myself in the right frame of mind. Some days I donít want to log my food or take the extra fifteen minutes to prepare something good to eat rather than stop for fast food or hit a vending machine somewhere. Oh, I know, itís really cool to SAY all the right things, post all the ďthumbs upĒ emoticons but Good Lord some days it just doesnít seem worth the effort. Some days, despite all my hard work and positive thoughts I feel like a blimp in a parade and wonder if my clothes will ever fit right!! I wish I could go to bed some days and wake up with an email waiting for me that says ďItís over, you made it.Ē

What keeps me going?

In the past week or so I have experienced this tremendous outpouring of love, support and friendship via this Spark community. The response to three blogs I wrote last week, the Spark Mails, friend additions and Spark Goodies touched me so very deeply. The recovering people pleaser in me started to have an anxiety attack over not being able to respond to each and every person who took the time to share themselves and their thought with me. I mean, LOL, what if you didnít like me anymore? Please know I am very grateful. It answers the solitary question above.

If you sit here today reading this you are what keeps me going. Your blood, sweat and tears, your devotion, your triumphs Ė all of it Ė is my main source of motivation each and every day. I cheer with each victory you have and I shed a bit of tear along with you when you have a setback. I donít think you realize how important your role is in my journey. I have known some of you for over a year and consider you as close to me as my family. Some of you are new friends and OMG, isnít it exciting to meet new people and learn new things. In a word I am blessed.

I am learning life is about balance. A key part of balance is gratitude. The more thankful I am the more I find I have to be thankful for and please realize that you are part of the reason that thankfulness grows each and every day. So when you have one of those ďsome daysĒ scroll through your friend feed, read a blog, send a Goodie, find some way to play a part in another Sparkers life, just as you have in mine and it will keep you going.

I promise!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 4/20/2011 5:54PM

    Great post thanks for sharing

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MCHILSTR 4/18/2011 10:38AM

  You are making a big difference in my weight loss journey - thank you! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/18/2011 10:39:47 AM

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LYNMEINDERS 4/13/2011 7:20PM

    You are superb...you have such insight and wisdom to what you write that helps all of us....how can it Not????/

I have someone I am jouenwyingb with where I live aho is a peopole pleaser and slowly slowly she is learning new keys.....

Blessings.....

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MOMMYBYCHOICE 4/12/2011 12:59PM

    keep bloggin'

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JONATION 4/12/2011 8:18AM

    I'll be thinking about you while on the road tonight.

Way to go! J

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MIZZSB 4/12/2011 2:30AM

    i dont know how you do it John but everytime you write a blog its like you write down my feelings and thougts for that day...

emoticon

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MAMAANGE 4/11/2011 10:24PM

    You are reading my mind! Thanks so much for your blog.

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CARTOONB 4/11/2011 10:11PM

    We were supposed to give you Goodies?!?! Dang it! I missed the memo! emoticon

You deserve everything you got! And I mean that in a good way. emoticon

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CANNIE50 4/11/2011 10:11PM

    "A key part of balance is gratitude." Amen to this - what a profound (and profoundly true) statement. PS You, and your wonderful blogs, are on my gratitude list. emoticon emoticon

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/11/2011 9:46PM

    For better and for worse, in sickness and health... I'll be here, and I'll be counting on you too!

xoxox

Dutchie

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SPARKLISE 4/11/2011 9:32PM

    you're right! Somedays it just doesn't seem worth to do the effort. But what else are we to do? Go back? Hope not. We need your honesty in our lives. Thanks. emoticon emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 4/11/2011 7:52PM

    Without sadness or challenges, we would never truly know happiness.

That's it John!

Love the way you can share yourself sooooooooo eloquently.

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JILL313 4/11/2011 7:48PM

    You sound like such a wonderful and caring friend and I know that's why everyone really rallys around you and supports your Healthy Journey. I say you've come a long way and all are so pleased and happy for you! Keep up the good work!!

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GEEMAWEST 4/11/2011 6:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BULGEBATTLER 4/11/2011 5:52PM

  I ponder the gray days and wonder? Would the good days seem as good if it weren't for the comparison and contrast of the days that aren't so good? Maybe that's part of the richness of life. It also demonstrates that I can handle whatever life throws at me.

Once again I find your blogs thought provoking which contributes very much to my life's tapestry.

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GOANNA2 4/11/2011 5:14PM

    My friends also are the ones that keep me on Spark.
Thanks for a great blog. emoticon

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DOLLIE6 4/11/2011 4:25PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It helps to read others are going through the same thing but they preserver so shall we all. We are linked and we must help each other keep from breaking the chain. Good for you John keep strong.

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FREE2LIVE311 4/11/2011 3:32PM

  Thanks John for being so honest, even when it hurts. I am fairly new here and you have encouraged and inspired me so much already. Thank You!!!

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/11/2011 3:19PM

    emoticon

I wish you a fantastic week, my friend!

Love,
Mel

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AMAJORXX 4/11/2011 3:16PM

    Great blog!

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CSERF09 4/11/2011 2:28PM

    Again another good blog. I am in the middle of struggling with the food logging, but keep telling myself that what I've done in the past is ok and that tomorrow is another new day. I find the small things that I've managed to do and keep up with to be proud of (water intake and no pop for starters). I agree with you about finding strength, motivation and support among the blogs, spark teams, and friends here on spark people.

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SMILEYBEE 4/11/2011 2:02PM

    You are a jewel! This makes me think of that Roberta Flack hit about "telling my whole life with his words" ... very cool! Thanks for your encouraging words!

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REJ7777 4/11/2011 1:33PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RIKKI572 4/11/2011 12:48PM

    Wonderfully said. Wishing you a great week!!

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SMOCKON 4/11/2011 11:38AM

    You'd think I would be jealous when my SparkFriends do well, but it's entirely the opposite. We never seem to be down on the same days. When I feel lost and a little hopeless, reading other people's blogs and responding to their status updates helps me get back on track. So thanks for sharing whatever is on your mind and going on with you, John.

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SILLYHP1953 4/11/2011 11:38AM

    You are so very, very right...and I sure have those days you talked about, too. My friends on here are what keeps me coming back and trying again and again when I don't feel like it.
emoticon

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NAMAARI 4/11/2011 11:36AM

    Well blogged.

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THEMIGHTYLILLIE 4/11/2011 11:23AM

    I feel the exact same way....having people to motivate and people you can look to FOR motivation changes our journey one that isn't only about us. There is something about holding someone else's hand through their struggle that gives us the ability to hold our own hand through our struggle.

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WORKINGSTIFF 4/11/2011 11:22AM

    A big thumbs up to you today John!

emoticon

Thank you for reminding us that:
1. Not everyone feels the overwhelming desire to jump out of bed and do what needs to be done. We're all human.
2. That without each other, some days it's hard. But that's why we're here-to lend each other a hand and a heart.
3. Gratitude is SOOOOO important!

Have a terrific week!

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LADYLAUGHS247 4/11/2011 11:01AM

  Thanks John. I just want you to know that you are truly appreciated. I wish I were as eloquent as you. Alas, it is not meant to be. But my comments show my appreciation and your blogs let me know you care. So thanks.

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GIRANIMAL 4/11/2011 10:57AM

    I've also been happily surprised to discover that support and motivation engender reciprocal relationships. Thank goodness for each other on those days when we need an extra boost!

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MEGA_MILES 4/11/2011 10:29AM

    The secret to happiness is to enjoy the journey. Yes it's challenging, but it's also fun. Have some fun today. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/11/2011 10:30:20 AM

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MISSROCKABILLY 4/11/2011 9:58AM

    So, so true. Thank you, John, for posting this, and for just being you. I'm so happy to count you among my spark friends!

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GRAMLORI 4/11/2011 9:53AM

    You are so right! Starting my day with SP makes it more likely that I will stay on track.....so, most days, I do! Hang in there, John, we're with you!

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DDOORN 4/11/2011 9:52AM

    NOTHING compares to the boost from paying forward our SPARK!!

Very much agreed! :-)

Don

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HALFFAST 4/11/2011 9:49AM

    Another great post John! You always know exactly what to say, and how to say it :)

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LINDSEYINAZ 4/11/2011 9:34AM

    I agree that Spark is a major motivator for me as well. I also have an outpouring of support from my parents; my dad is tracking his food and exercising trying to lose weight as well. I haven't felt like giving up or going through the McDonald's drive-thru just yet, but I've definitely had days where I wasn't feeling very positive. It is hard to act super happy about this every day. But you're doing just awesome. I'm so glad I found your blog and you're my Spark Friend!

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PRINCESSNURSE 4/11/2011 9:01AM

    It's friends like you that make spark a great place!

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DMC10241 4/11/2011 9:00AM

    Great, great blog!

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MARYMO22 4/11/2011 8:32AM

    from one new friend - you're an inspiration and lets hope we continue to keep each other going

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WIGIME 4/11/2011 8:31AM

    John - Posting your blogs is enough to keep me happy. I always enjoy reading them and wish I had the same way with words.

You DON'T have to get back to me on this comment!

Have I great day and you are an inspiration to a lot of people (me included).

Thank you.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/11/2011 8:27AM

    It's friends like YOU that make all the difference to US. That's why we're here, to motivate each other and stick with it till we all get that email :)

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RUNWITHMICHELE 4/11/2011 8:20AM

    Finding you and your blogs last week was like finding medicine and motivation. It was exactly what I needed.

So again, Thank you, for well, being YOU!

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JECKIE 4/11/2011 8:20AM

    Those "some days" are why I post the thumbs up and all that! :) "Fake it 'til ya make it", right?

Keep it up!

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NJMATTICE 4/11/2011 8:03AM

    Have a great Monday and a successful week. Thanks for your commitment.
Love,
Nancy

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HDHAWK 4/11/2011 8:03AM

    I always love your honesty John. I've had more of those days lately than I care to admit, but with your help and so many other spark friends I keep putting one foot in front of the other. Have a great week!

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IMIN2GENES 4/11/2011 7:56AM

    Thank you! I couldn't have said it any better myself. I share many of your sentiments and Spark really has made a huge difference for me as well.

So, I say we keep right on motivating each other!
Chris
emoticon

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EDWINA172 4/11/2011 7:49AM

    WOW! Perfect timing on the blog. Today is one of those days for me. I just starting thinking, "I don't want to write in my food journal today." I was thinking of putting off my run today too. Thanks for the motivation my friend.

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HEALTHY4ME 4/11/2011 7:36AM

    I have to say you are what motivates me. I didn't bother to put in my breakfast as I don't know for sure how to count supper ( going to dads for fried .... fish) and who knows what else he can fry! LOL
Thanks and am so glad I found your blog cos now I have motivation when I need it!

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NASFKAB 4/11/2011 7:36AM

  Great blog as always thanks

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

After Each Dying Comes A Resurection: Learning To Listen To Myself

Thursday, April 07, 2011

All you have to do is look at the trees blossom and the flowers bloom to know that for death there is the potential for resurrection, whether you have a faith belief or not. Itís no by coincidence that the feast of Easter usually falls during the height of natures rebirth.

A fellow Sparker asked me why it was I got ďstuckĒ for close to a whole year. I had my hands poised above my key board to answer, when it dawned on me that not only was that a very good question but one that required some thought before I answered.

Let me do a quick recap. I joined Spark in December of 2009. By May of 2010 I had lost roughly seventy one pounds. About that time I started my C25K training. About that time I showed my first gain, when I weighed in one week. In the vernacular of my kids ďI freaked.Ē OMG I had a gain. Iíll tell you I felt guilty, terrible and all that not so very cool stuff. Yup, I know, everyone has a gain, even the cool kids, lol. For the rest of the summer I swapped anywhere from six to eight pounds. As of January 1, 2011, I had lost sixty eight pounds. If you read my Spark page you will see I reset my weight ticker and why I did so.

So why did I get stuck? The answer is simple but painful to admit. I lost faith in me. I got too good, too quick and when I didnít lose one hundred pounds in ten months I got scared. I hadnít taken the time to get comfy with my success. John was used to minor success, not the big time. John had been over weight for some time and now not only was he losing weight but he was running!!! OMG!!! The first time I had a gain; it was as if that small voice inside of me said ďSee, I told you that you couldnít do this John!!!Ē I panicked. I began trying to do all sorts of things I really wasnít comfortable with Ė exercising way too much, which caused me to hurt myself in both October and December. When that didnít work I decided starving myself might help to get me going. I was grasping at straws. If you had suggested standing on my head in pair of gym shorts on the busiest corner in town during rush hour would have helped, I probably would have done it. I could go on and on but you get my point. In short I found myself on a diet. My confidence was in the basement. I was tense, frustrated and felt like I was walking around in a fog. I didnít quit, I didnít leave I did something worse ---- I didnít care. I drifted along and quite honestly if it werenít for my wife, who has been well equipped with a large piece of wood by which to hit me over the head with for thirty seven years, and a few very close Spark friends I would have given up entirely.

It dawned on me one morning that I had panicked and stopped listening to the one person who knows best about me ----- ME. When I panicked I began to try everything everyone else was doing and I stopped listening to my body. Now, itís not that I didnít receive some awfully good advice at times; itís just that some of it wasnít tailored for me. Imagine knocking on your neighborís door and asking to borrow clothes for a special occasion. Chances are they are not going to fit.
I am learning to listen to my body and to support and supply it with what it needs. I am learning to do that in a really healthy way. I am learning to balance my body, my mind and my spirit so that they can work in harmony with each other. I am becoming friends with myself. Like the buds on the trees I see each morning I am starting to see progress and my confidence in what is right for me is returning. I wonít bore you with the detail. If youíd like to know specifics shoot me a Spark Mail and Iíll share more.

Advice for ya? Sure, why not, LOL. Listen to yourself, your soul and your body and in the end truely believe that death is followed by resurrection.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TABIKATZZ 4/15/2011 3:15PM

    Great post and so very true!

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HARLOW10 4/13/2011 7:43PM

    Great post!

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MCHILSTR 4/12/2011 9:55AM

  Wonderful, Wise Words the "W" trifecta!

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CSERF09 4/12/2011 9:48AM

    Thanks for sharing! I'm going to take your last line and save it to read frequently. It says so much.

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WOLFKITTY 4/11/2011 12:45PM

    I find that listening to yourself and your body is integral to success!
Way to go!

Jocelyn

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CELIASYEAR 4/11/2011 12:13PM

    Amen brother! We are either our own best friend or worst enemy .... *sigh*

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PDLARR 4/11/2011 11:12AM

  I believe you have written what many of have done and you have inspired us to keep going. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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MTODRYK 4/11/2011 10:18AM

    This was great

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DDOORN 4/11/2011 9:51AM

    I know I (and I believe MANY who struggle with weight) have come to depend on so MANY external cues that one of the last and most difficult skills to develop is exactly as you describe: to "listen to yourself, your soul and your body"...such a tough thing to do after a lifetime of disengaging from ourselves the way one almost HAS to do in order to become morbidly obese!

Don

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CAMSMOM918 4/11/2011 8:45AM

    I am finally *listening* to my body and not blaming it. That's a big one for me . . . I work so hard, don't see results I should be seeing and beat myself up over it. Now I am finding there are may actually be other reasons for my "failure" and this is very hard for me to wrap my brain around.

Off to the doctor today to find more pieces to my puzzle.

Thanks!
Angela>

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2MCHCHKLIT 4/11/2011 1:11AM

    Oh. my goodness. This made me see what I have done to myself. As soon as people started noticing that I had lost weight, it triggered some strange reaction in me, causing me to gain it back and more. I definitely see myself in that line about the small voice inside saying, "See, I told you that you couldn't do this." I am still trying to find myself and the power to overcome that inner voice. This blog helps me. Thanks!

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LUCKYONE60 4/10/2011 11:27PM

    Ooooo, this strikes a cord with me for sure. Gonna have to let that one percolate for a while...Thanks for continuing to inspire us.

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BLUSTAR 4/10/2011 9:14PM

    keep up the great work..
Glenda

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TIME4AFITME 4/10/2011 8:38PM

    very motivating!

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BULGEBATTLER 4/10/2011 11:37AM

  Interesting blog. I admire your ability to be able to deal with yourself. I very much appreciate SP but have found that I get distracted by the many excellent ideas I find there but that causes me to lose sight of what works for me. As a result, I am not consistent in my efforts - firing off in all directions upon reading about something that really works for someone else. Like you, I need to learn about me - mind, body and spirit and build on that as the foundation, using info from others to compliment my health and wellness project, not just blindly following others erratically.

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46SHADOW 4/10/2011 9:06AM

    Very motivating1 Great blogs.

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FLUFFYFLOUNDER 4/10/2011 5:06AM

    emoticon blog!! Sometimes we forget to listen to our own good common sense..

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PAMMORSE 4/10/2011 5:00AM

    thank you! emoticon

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DBFBILLY 4/9/2011 11:19PM

    I can sooo relate to this blog..I totally understand where you are coming from...and I too am learning to listen to MYSELF and stand up for myself..

I'm adding you as a friend emoticon

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 4/9/2011 11:06PM

    You are wonderful! I laughed when I read about standing on your head! Because I would too! LOL

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SWEETMOMMY41 4/9/2011 11:05PM

  thanks for such an inspiring blog! have a terrific day!

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KRISTIARLINE 4/9/2011 10:47PM

    My goodness, that honesty. None of us like to truly look at ourselves in the mirror, but it is good to that every so often. Obesity thrives on denial, health must thrive on truth. Thank you for sharing.

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DOTTIEJANE1 4/9/2011 10:17PM

    Keep the faith i have in you .YOU are emoticon

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TRI_BABE 4/9/2011 9:59PM

    Keep on keepin' on. It's big to admit things and helps us move to the next level. Nice post. emoticon

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RUN2BEFREE 4/9/2011 9:02PM

    What an inspiring blog! Thanks for sharing your story!

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JULIACK 4/9/2011 5:37PM

    Your blog has inspired me. Thank you.

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TAKINBACKMYBODY 4/9/2011 5:12PM

    Enjoyed your blog - that is really great advice - listen to your body - what a concept!!! I've had similar struggles and frustrations - thanks for sharing!

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JPRICE217 4/9/2011 4:06PM

    I can relate I have had a gain and can not get motivated again Thank you for this blog.

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EMTFF376 4/9/2011 2:55PM

    Hey sparkpal, have faith in you. I do. :)

Virtual bear hug... like the one at CJs.
Janette

emoticon

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50PLUSBABY 4/9/2011 2:55PM

  I think you were in my bathroom this morning when I got on the scale and it showed a gain lol. I relate to that and thank you for sharing your struggles and motivating us to keep on going.

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JNPMUDDIN 4/9/2011 2:00PM

    I read, I heard, I listened but then the questions come...what do ya do when for someone reason your body stops talkin to ya??? What do ya do when your insides are screamin' let me out for ya know what is on the outside doesn't match your insides.

I fear that even with the tiny weight I have lost I am still stuck and can't get over the hump.

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EMMAANDBRODY 4/9/2011 1:19PM

    I also have been stuck for the last month or so. I can feel myself sliding. Thanks for your post and motivation. I can do this.
emoticon emoticon

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CYNTHIAMEL12 4/9/2011 12:19PM

  I completely understand losing faith in yourself. I feel like I am struggling with that myself. I have a hard time sticking to things because I don't honestly believe that I can do it. I tell myself over and over again that I can take my life back, but I don't believe myself. I'm inspired by your ability to push through, hopefully in the near future I will be sharing a similar story. Keep it up!

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ALLISON145 4/9/2011 11:39AM

    I can really relate, John. I had lost almost 40 pounds last summer (finally got below 200!) and something just snapped when I had a small gain. Suddenly I was playing up and down with the same 10 pounds, and that lasted for 6 months. Looking back, I really feel like I needed to give myself that time to come to grips with the changes I'd made so far and gear up for the changes yet to come. I'm back on track now, and hoping I can make it another 40 pounds before I get sidelined again... but even if I don't, I'll know now what's happening and try to be more patient and kind to myself while it's happening. We tend to be so incredibly mean to ourselves when we don't meet our own expectations, don't we?

-Allison

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PUGLOVER1999 4/9/2011 10:39AM

    I agree! I enjoy your blogs! :)

Another truth I have recently been reminded of is that pride goes before a fall! I've gotten up and am pressing on with more humility. emoticon emoticon

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SLIMTHICK2 4/9/2011 10:29AM

    I have been stuck for the last couple of months and this blog has really encouraged me. Thanks for posting. emoticon

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KELLY40222 4/9/2011 10:25AM

    Thank you for sharing another wonderful blog!

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REDEYEMOM 4/9/2011 8:21AM

    This was a great post. Thanks for sharing!

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SUZWARNR 4/9/2011 7:12AM

    Something similar happened to me. I lost 96 pounds, got injured while exercising and lost my everything. I stopped exercising, stopped eating right and gained 10 pounds. I went up and down those 10 pounds for the next year. I was doing better last summer, but not well enough. Last fall, I cracked down, joined a gym, got a personal trainer, lost the 10 pounds and some more. I gained confidence, gym friends and a sense of peace within myself. I could not be happier! Good for you on coming back and doing what you need to do!

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MRSSCHENCK 4/9/2011 6:43AM

    Thanks for your blog. Very inspiring. I look forward to reading them. p.s.- your wife sounds like a lady after my own heart. I have a similar piece of wood for my husband. It's all splinters now, though! emoticon

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WADHA1973 4/9/2011 5:04AM

  thanx

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TNANCE3 4/8/2011 10:54PM

    I am new to your blogs, but I am getting so much out of them! Thank you for being an inspiration to those of us who are starting out (3 wks in) and have 80 pounds to lose. I really appreciate the kick in the back side from this one and your 4/4 blog. You are such a motivator! emoticon emoticon

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CANDOK1260 4/8/2011 10:40PM

    Listen to yourself, your soul and your body and in the end truly believe that death is followed by resurrection. Great advice thanks


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DAD2GETFIT 4/8/2011 9:41PM

    I worry about the same thing myself. I certainly have not been in the program that long and I haven't lost much yet, but the thought of losing momentum is a little scary. Personal successes like yours are what keeps me going during tough times. emoticon

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LISA01605 4/8/2011 1:36PM

    I completely agree. I lost 60 pounds and put 20 of it back on in 2009 and 20 back on in 2010. I had times when I would maintain and then others when I stopped caring and gained big. I was trying to lose weight the "right" way. The problem was I was getting overloaded with "plans" and lost track of what works for me. There is so much weight loss advice out there from professionals and I was trying to listen to them all simultaneously or try this plan one week and that the next, never giving anything enough time to take hold and show results. I finally decided I have to do what works for me. Maybe I'll blaze a new path and write a book as a weight loss professional (kidding, about the book part). For the past week I have been "all in" and I feel great. I am going back to basics and doing what I know works for me.

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TRANSFORMWE 4/8/2011 12:38PM

    Thanks for this, John. I really admire your insight. Much of what you write sounds like it could be written by me (well, except that I've plateaued way before losing 70 lbs, LOL). I especially like your realization that you were on "a diet" when you were in the grasping at straws phase. Good for you at re-learning to listen to your body.
Blessings!
Amy

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DGILBRIDE1949 4/8/2011 12:22PM

    Good blog! Thanks!

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SUNLIGHT3 4/8/2011 10:31AM

    I read 1cor. 6:19,20
I became humble if God should so honor me with a loss. Yes my faith knows now God honored me as I moved through out my day I was not hungry and I never worried how much I was eating I knew God had taken control of my life I am only the vessel of his grace and mercy. My body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and what I eat or drink is to be done to the glory of God. Yes I died yesterday to self and what I could do and was raised a new creature in Christ.

What an inspiration John love your writing.

Listen to yourself, your soul and your body and in the end truly believe that death is followed by resurrection.

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PATTILYNN224 4/8/2011 9:32AM

    Hey thanks for that! As I notice the resurrection of life coming with the spring in the buds on the trees and the tulips trying to pop their way up thru the last of the snow. I too am praying that I myself may rise up again this year and get back to being me - healthy and full of life.

Here's to Christ's resurrection and God's love for us! Happy Early Easter John and thank's again.

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MARVEEME 4/8/2011 8:36AM

    Resurrection or reinvention? I tend to give glory to God for the first, and he gives me what I need for the second.
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