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Taking Stock and Listening

Friday, April 22, 2011

If I took the time to listen to what Iím saying on a regular basis I just might find out a bit more about what makes me tick. But, like many people I am a bit scared to understand myself. That would mean Iíd have to do something and Lord knows we canít have that, can we? Iím not talking about therapy, self-help books, DVDís or the like. Iím talking about listening to myself talk.

I had coffee with a friend yesterday and he told me about someone he worked with. He said he noticed they began every sentence with a negative statement. It was like the glass was half empty before he even started. As we talked more he said this person was a ďreal downer to work with. ď Nothing was ever good enough and nothing was ever right. It was like E-yore from Winnie The Pooh walking around all day going ďPoor meÖ..Ē

I took that thought with me yesterday and did some serious contemplation. I was surprised by what I found out about myself. when I am feeling a bit anxious, maybe a little insecure or unhappy I filter that through my thoughts and ultimately what I say. Nothing is ever good enough. If I eat outside my calorie range I pull out the whip and begin to scourge myself and when thatís not good enough Iíll include you. Whatís the old saying? ďMisery loves company.Ē After a awhile I donít even notice Iím doing it. It becomes part of my routine. Oh I may disguise it as sarcasm, or humor, because, donít you know, thatís just the way I am.

Itís just another excuse for me to stay stuck. If I see my world as being hopeless, helpless and futile, then I might as well punch my ticket for pity-party-central and flop back on the couch. I can convince myself of anything, if I try hard enough. Living in balance, spiritually, mentally and physically is easy on a good day. Those days when everything goes right, itís pretty easy to be upbeat and positive.

The reason Iím over weight is my own doing. Itís not a character flaw. I donít deserve to be singled out for punishment either by myself or others. Yeah, there are cruel people in this world and some days I believe I can tell you where every one of them lives. There is nothing wrong with me. But inside of me, that voice, that self-talk, reminds me that there is. I never want to be alone so as soon as I begin to believe there is something wrong with me, I will find something wrong with you! My words come from my thoughts. When I perceive myself in a negative way, thatís what you are going to hear. When I see myself in a positive light or accept me for where I am at right now, then I can begin to see the rays of sunshine poking through the clouds. Then, not only am I okay, but so are you! Hooray!!!!

I know where I am ďsupposed to be.Ē Itís not always where I am at right now and sometimes it seems so far away, but I wonít ever get there until I learn to love me and be at peace with the current me and please oh please John, quit beating up for stuff the rest of the world never, ever notices. Thatís ground zero, the here and now. An honest assessment of me and my journey means I can start to contruct goals that will help me get to where I want to go.

Kermit the Frog said, ďItís not easy being green.Ē I donít think any of this is easy. I think it requires hard work, diligence and beginning to appreciate yourself. Then and only then can I appreciate someone else.

Whatís that you say? Youíre all alone? Look around you, there are millions on either side of you who are ready to lend a hand. I know, most of them are my good friends.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNLIKELY 4/26/2011 9:15AM

  Negativity stinks. Darn the negativity, don't let the negativity get you down! emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 4/23/2011 10:24PM

    The reflection that occurs after reading your blogs is very good for my soul. Thank you.

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CARTOONB 4/22/2011 10:22PM

    Hmmm...I'm good today, so it must be a good day for you! I get where you're coming from. Hope you get where you want to go.

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EGR2BEME 4/22/2011 6:26PM

    Hi John, just stopping by to say hello! You have friends out here that you may not even know that you have! I look forward to reading your very thoughtful blogs. What I love in you is the awareness and when I catch a glimpse of that in myself it feels so good! Being able to recognize and admit something that we need to work on, is half the battle.

Loved your last comments..." Whatís that you say? Youíre all alone? Look around you, there are millions on either side of you who are ready to lend a hand. I know, most of them are my good friends."

Thanks so much for taking the time to blog...you are reaching so many of us!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend with your family!

Ellen
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EGR2BEME 4/22/2011 6:26PM

    Hi John, just stopping by to say hello! You have friends out here that you may not even know that you have! I look forward to reading your very thoughtful blogs. What I love in you is the awareness and when I catch a glimpse of that in myself it feels so good! Being able to recognize and admit something that we need to work on, is half the battle.

Loved your last comments..." Whatís that you say? Youíre all alone? Look around you, there are millions on either side of you who are ready to lend a hand. I know, most of them are my good friends."

Thanks so much for taking the time to blog...you are reaching so many of us!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend with your family!

Ellen
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SHERRYJVP 4/22/2011 3:33PM

    I always love what you have to say..This is something I need to work on. I bet most of us do.

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GEEMAWEST 4/22/2011 2:00PM

    I agree with you! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 4/22/2011 12:19PM

    We go as far as we think, therefore think big

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NJMATTICE 4/22/2011 11:41AM

    You do hold yourself to a high standard, my friend. But, on the other hand, aiming high gets you higher than if you don't aim at all. Just keep working to frame it in the positive, as I know you do. Have a spiritually satisfying Good Friday and a very blessed Easter my friend!
Love,
Nancy

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KKINNEA 4/22/2011 10:56AM

    Excellent points as usual John!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/22/2011 10:48AM

    Out of the heart, the mouth speaks--listening to our own words is frighteningly revealing, isn't it? We don't realize what a negative person we are some days until we pay attention to what we are saying out loud and to ourselves. The most revealing is when we speak without stopping to think or 'frame' our words. Ouch; did I just say that? You are right, this is not easy; but it is worth it, because we are worth it.

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SUSANSERENE 4/22/2011 10:41AM

    What a thought-provoking and honest blog, John. You speak your truth from your heart, my friend, and I know that your words apply to me and I'm betting to so many others. One of my biggest challenges has been to be gentle with myself and while I'm still working on that I am more aware of my own feelings and how most of my former concerns were for things that others never even were aware of.

You've come so far on this journey, John. Every day is a fresh opportunity to learn even more about ourselves and about others. Sometimes it will be a "spot on" lesson and sometimes it will be something to ponder.

I'm so blessed to have found you and your blogs! I've learned from each recent one I've read and I'm grateful for your wisdom and your ability to share with us so clearly.

Happy Easter to you and your family!
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KIKOOMAGOO 4/22/2011 10:29AM

    Ahh coffee and friends! Two of my favorite things. I know Kermit takes great pride in the fact that he is green, and I never really could figure out if Eeyore cared that he was miserable- or did he just want his Hundred Acre Wood pals to acknowledge that he was miserable. I know some people who are happier being miserable and noticed! Since i only know the Sparkie you, i would not put you in the Eeyore group.
Kermit also makes a point to encourage others to be proud who have a distinct characteristic that may not be "the norm", or congratulate them on a job well done. That is the you I am proud to know.
Thanks for being who you are! I have no doubt that you are as much of gem in your real world as you are in SparkWorld.

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KAT573 4/22/2011 9:38AM

    You have described the Human Experience to a T, and highlighted why we need to exercise our spiritual and emotional strength just as much as we do our physical! Life IS a balancing act; Thanks John, for this wonderful summary of the human condition.I read this this morning; excerpted the parts I felt were SPOT on, and it is my core belief ; until I accept all parts of ME, my authenticity inthis world will remain stunted, and the gifts God has given will remain so as well:

We Grow in Darkness and in Light
-Marilyn Mason

"Every experience is a learning opportunity.
…We are always growing. Even when it feels like we are going backward, we are growing. (Like when) we’ve learned to recognize (situations and) relationships that aren’t good for us. That’s evidence of growth. Recognizing our slower pace signals our awareness, and that is growth too. (Taking the next step toward proactivity is the opportunity offered when this happens. Will we take it?)
Much of growth has come through the dark periods of our lives. The darkness and the light have much to teach us. Every moment is to be revered for its message.
-excerpted from ‚ÄúA Woman‚Äôs Spirit‚ÄĚ
parenthesis are my added comments

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Comment edited on: 4/22/2011 9:42:17 AM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/22/2011 9:38AM

    We all have the same struggles and thoughts and even though we're not alone in this, it sometimes still feels like it. It's good to be reminded we're not alone :)

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BRIGET66 4/22/2011 9:18AM

    We're all really alike, aren't we Jon?

The same feelings, the same doubts, our ups, our downs.

But isn't it wonderful to know we're not alone this time? I'm with ya on this Jon and I really believe you'll work through this and continue on your successful journey. (Need I remind you, You're halfway there!)

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Some days I, too, still struggle but I'm so much nicer to myself than I was in the past. But it's something I've just recently learned and it took 43 years to learn it. So treat yourself nice, you deserve it. And you've earned it.

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MARTELLA3 4/22/2011 9:15AM

    Our thoughts determine our emotions, not the reverse. It is easy to be negative and critical because we are flawed and sinful humans. The true victory is seeing past the flaws and loving ourselves and fellow travelers anyway.
Thanks for a timely blog!

Marty

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IREMEMBERME 4/22/2011 9:08AM

    Yet another well-written, thought-provoking, and inspiring blog post!

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NASFKAB 4/22/2011 9:01AM

  Thanks given lots of things to think about.

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Stumbling Upon Success

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Itís easy to get lost or as the saying goes, ďYou canít see the forest because of all the trees.Ē You get up in the morning and if youíre honest a plate of bacon and eggs sure would taste a whole lot better that a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. Some of us are running, cycling or lifting when the sun is still asleep, some rush to get it done at lunch and others push after work to get their exercise in. It becomes so much drudgery and monotony. There are small victories both in the gym and on the scale, but truth be told I often find myself asking myself ďOkay John, tell me again why youíre doing this?Ē Some days I just give up counting my aches and pains.

I took some time Sunday evening to clean out my Facebook message box. Some of my correspondence had been sitting there for over a year. One message came from a client who asked how much weight I had lost. I looked at the date. It was April 20, 2010. My answer was ďSixty eight pounds.Ē It took me a moment to realize it had been a year, Iíd lost sixty eight pounds and most importantly I had not regained my weight. Before you release the balloons, I still have close to fifty pounds I need to lose, but I have Never, let me repeat, NEVER kept that much weight off for that period of time. A small ďwowĒ came from someplace inside of me.

Starting in October, with my spectacular fall on the bridge during a 5K I have had one nagging physical issue after another. Currently I am battling a blister on the tip of a toe. Iím not sure how it got there but it hurts, it wonít pop, so it wonít heal. Did you ever try to effectively bandage a toe? For the longest time it has seemed like one long, painful journey, until I realized I am no longer on a diet, I am embracing a healthy life style change. I followed a process, hung around with good people, and believed in my value and worth. Yes, I get down, and I do get discouraged but I get those consistency awards every month because I am here every day. There are many of you who have gently guided, nudged and inspired me. I donít drop names simply because Iíd forget one or more, but so many of you have become good friends.

It snuck up on me like everything else does and for once the surprise was a pleasant one. I am proud, I deserve to be proud and I have taught myself that sticking with it will always produce good results. However, there is another old saying, ďWhat have you done for me lately?Ē I shared something I wrote for a client in a blog a few days and I am going to follow my own advice.

The ďvery bestĒ is where a journey should begin, not end!

When I was training for my first 5K I listened to a song by Jordan Sparks called Love is a Battlefield. I adopted a line from that song and made it a mantra of sorts: ďBetter go get your armor.Ē
Time to suit up.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/23/2011 10:16PM

    It's always been easier for me to see what I'm doing wrong than what I'm doing right, but we have to focus on the right things. Congratulations on keeping that weight off, it is a major accomplishment, along with losing it in the first place, of course!

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LAURIE-RN 4/22/2011 7:12AM

    The best part about writing things down is that you have an objective record of the event or progress. Congratulations on the sustained 60# loss. That is wonderful! Yes, you still have some weight to lose, but you are over 1/2 way there. Keep it up, one day at at time. emoticon emoticon

Laurie emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/22/2011 7:13:05 AM

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ANEPANALIPTI 4/22/2011 6:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Whether you like it or not those are balloons FOR YOU!!! GOODNESS john!!! Whether you had 0 pounds to go or 150 left to go, those 68 are a HUGE accomplishment in themselves! Each one took courage, facing something, going out of your comfort zone, finding new mediums, right???

YOU GOT THIS. DONT FORGET YOUR AWESOMENESS. ;-)

V

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RUNNERGIRL60 4/22/2011 2:23AM

    Hi John, First A BIG WOW!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
It is so nice to have those great surprises! The ups and downs can be hard and at times discouraging but you have shown us all how to over come that with your words of support!! When you feel down or blue or think your having a bad day just go through your words and listen to your great support to everyone. Keep up your successful and strong journey. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT!!!! GO FOR IT!!!!!
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2011DIET4ME 4/21/2011 9:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUSANSERENE 4/21/2011 11:23AM

    John, I am just getting to know you but your success this past year with keeping that weight off is a tribute to your determination to succeed. A lifestyle change is essential and it appears that you have emotionally accomplished that and I congratulate you!

I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. You've already inspired me and helped me to see that with proper planning, sticking with that plan and never looking back that I, too, can succeed.

((hugs)) and blessings to you today!
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NAMAARI 4/21/2011 8:36AM

    VERY encouraging! Keep sustaining, John!

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EMTFF376 4/21/2011 7:41AM

    Good morning John,

I will still release balloons. Too bad. :)

Tangent:
I had a very interesting conversation with my friend's 12 year old last night. I asked her about running cross country. She started running last year. Rather than telling me about how well she runs or if she likes it or not, she focused on telling me about her worst race that she finished 4th from last, she was sick, it was over 100 degrees, blah blah blah. At what age are we programmed to focus on the negative?? I said, Jill, do you normally train when you are sick and its that hot? No, okay, chalk it up to a training race and leave it at that.

I know I'm just as guilty focusing on the negatives and not the positives, but it shocked me someone so young was already talking themselves down. Her first YEAR running and she was posting 8 minute miles! I've NEVER run an 8 min/mile... but I'm working on it. :)

So, I guess what my tangent is trying to say is, while you may remind me that you still have 50 pounds to lose, I am still SO PROUD OF YOU for losing and keeping off the other 68. You're more than half way there. :)

Here's to success! emoticon

Love,
Janette


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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/20/2011 11:39PM

    I feel excitement when I read your blog, I can feel how you feel...

So proud, and this will keep the fire burning...


On this journey together with you,

with admiration and respect,

Yours truly

Dutchie

xoxox



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GIRANIMAL 4/20/2011 11:33PM

    LOL - Pat Benetar was the first person to come to my mind too! emoticon

Congrats on your SUSTAINED loss, dear friend. Doesn't it feel great to know that this time -- the smart, healthy, respectful-of-yourself way -- it's gone for GOOD?! emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 4/20/2011 9:03PM

    I thought Pat Benatar sang Love is a Battlefield. I guess I'm showing my age. LOL

You're doing great!! Keep it up!!
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USFBULL 4/20/2011 8:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sometimes when we look about it is truly awesome how far along the journey we have come. Think of all the new good habits and the new thinking that goes along with the new habits. Can you believe how much negative thinking has gotten dumped. Now keeping it dumped is starting to happen. Does that mean that we have arrived..... I hope not because the journey is starting to get fun. I sure did not think that would happen when I started this journey. Keep Sparking my friend, this Journey Rocks and the melodies keep changing and getting better. Woohoo!! emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 4/20/2011 7:39PM

    Good blog, John. And no, you are not on a diet. You are just living your life. And why keep going in this particular direction? Well, what would be the option?

I *heart* you on the injuries and issues. As you know, that was my unfolding drama from November onward until the last month. Now, I'm realizing that since I'm physically more or less mostly whole, I need to PRESS myself to get as much exercise scheduled back in to my schedule as I used to have.

Yep, who was it that thought YOU could get up early before you had a work travel day and get to the gym. That was me! And I am putting myself back on that schedule, not because I've gained weight but because it's my life (and I have developed the vanity of having a firm body). So, please stop by and push me a little in the right direction now and then! Make sure I meet my own high standards, LOL!

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COUCHDIVA333 4/20/2011 7:28PM

    THANK YOU!! i was sitting here struggling with weather or not i was going to make it the gym and you have inspired me to get off my butt tonight. THANK YOU!!

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QUIKSYLVER 4/20/2011 6:29PM

    You always write such good blogs that inspire! Keep it up!

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CARTOONB 4/20/2011 5:25PM

    I got to see her perform that song live! Great performance!

Congratulations on both keeping the weight off and making it a lifestyle. You rock!

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CANNIE50 4/20/2011 4:06PM

    Great blog, as usual. Here is some "toe advice". I have had some painful toe issues so I can relate. Hot spot blisters are worse than actual blisters. You could try some "new skin" (am not sure if I am spelling it right but you can ask at a pharmacy). It is a solution you paint on, much like nail polish, and yes, a bit like armor for your tender toes. There are also toe caps, funny little rubbery things you slip on. Finally, a good running shoe store has lots of experience helping prevent or fix toe issues, and so does the Runners World.com website. Hope it heals soon. I hear you about the aches and pains. I had an aunt who used to say not to add them up because the list gets too long as we get older. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 4/20/2011 3:05PM

    Once again thanks so much. Your words and actions inspire me so often. I commend you on the job you are doing and how often you don't give up. I have to get back to doing my best again, suit up with my workout clothes! Thanks

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BLESSED2BEME 4/20/2011 2:51PM

    One of my favorite things about you is that even when you are very proud of your success, you are humble about it. That is a terrific quality. We can shout our successes and still be humble! Thank you John for sharing with us so much of you!

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BRIGET66 4/20/2011 2:39PM

    It IS easy to forget how far we've come. I read something once and I wish I had written it down..but it went something like this...
'Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards'

Keep up on your journey Jon and keep sharing it with us!

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SHERRYJVP 4/20/2011 1:33PM

    I get so many great 'reminders' from many blogs. This blog is more..truly an inspiration. Thank you.

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SPARKLISE 4/20/2011 12:41PM

    That's what i like about the computer-it alows us to remember stuff we would otherwise forget. Cause we do forget! I do anyways! Just keeping that weight off and not let yourself gain back what you lost is a very big reason to release the balloons.And when you do lose the last 50,i hope i'm there to celebrate with you. Keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 4/20/2011 12:39PM

  Enjoy what you write very much. Keep it up

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KAZINMICH 4/20/2011 12:19PM

    I LOVE oatmeal for breakfast. LOL. I found BetterOats Strawberries & cream to be so delicious (I do not add milk) and pretty healthy, especially for something in a box!

Anywhoo, Keep the awesome blogs coming! I can relate, and they make me think. I appreciate your words and thoughts very much!

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/20/2011 12:12PM

    You have accomplished so much, John; you have much to be proud of, and you have helped many on their own journey by sharing here. Yes, the 'very best' is where a journey should begin, not end. Great advice to give and to take!

Funny, my husband has been having the same issue on a couple of his toes, too, now that we are running longer distances. In his case, it was a combination of toenails that were a little long and shoes that were not quite right for how he runs. Hope you find out what's causing your issue and get it resolved quickly!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 4/20/2011 12:10PM

    You do deserve to be proud, John. You have come a long way and are more active and so much healthier. Even if it takes you a long time to lose those last 50 pounds, you have made huge strides in your life. I am with you about the aches and pains but we keep going - we are survivors and fighters. Thanks for stating what so many of us have thought and felt. Poignant! emoticon emoticon

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LADYHAWKE12 4/20/2011 11:55AM

  CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have done a momentous thing! Lost the 68 and kept it off for a year! You give me hope. emoticon

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SNOWANGELDIVA 4/20/2011 11:34AM

    Amen! Armor up soldier!

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KIKOOMAGOO 4/20/2011 11:14AM

    I always look forward to your blogs! You are an amazing person with so much wisdom. Congratulations on your weight loss and maintenance. A year is a long time! It's 31,536,000 seconds! And every second counts.

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BLUEROSE73 4/20/2011 11:12AM

    Great blog. Can't wait to see the blog telling us you have not only reached your goal weight, but also telling us all you learned along the way.

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MIZZSB 4/20/2011 11:10AM

    i always burst the blister myself with a needle ..
put some desinfection on it and a bandage...

great blogs again..

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/20/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon on maintaing a 68 pound weight loss for a year!!! That is an emoticon success.

Too often, it's easy to get caught up in the number game and the end result, losing sight of the significant progress made along the way. I'm very happy that you took some time to reflect on your achievements!

I'm suiting up with you, my friend! We're in this journey together. emoticon

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Love,
Mel

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/20/2011 10:36AM

    I hope that toe heals quickly, John. And by the way, eggs are 100% healthy and one of your best choices for breakfast. They are allowed on almost all diets though some do restrict yolks to one or 2 a day. So feel free to indulge.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/20/2011 10:36AM

    I hope that toe heals quickly, John. And by the way, eggs are 100% healthy and one of your best choices for breakfast. They are allowed on almost all diets though some do restrict yolks to one or 2 a day. So feel free to indulge.

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IREMEMBERME 4/20/2011 10:19AM

    Wow!! I have never met you but you have a way of speaking right to me in your blogs. I feel like we are friends. I am very happy for your successes... I know the good stuff will just keep coming because I trust you will keep doing the work! Thanks for another great blog post!

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HAPPYSOUL91 4/20/2011 10:15AM

    Excellent blog, right from the heart and so many truths for me also.


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AMYGIRL1972 4/20/2011 9:42AM

    Wow, congrats to you for keeping the weight off for so long, and having such a great realization that you have done it. Weather you still have more weight to lose or not, its still great. Also a VERY good blog, i enjoyed it very much. Made me think a bit more positively about my weigh in this morning, been working out more in the last month in a half than ever was hopeing to finally reach a 10 lb loss this morning only to find i had gained 1 lb back...No matter though, i will not give up. Thanks again for such a great blog.

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GRAMLORI 4/20/2011 9:33AM

    I just used a quote for my status that is apapros:

"Never Quit. "Don't ever, ever quit. Recognize that stopping now, regrouping to try a new approach isn't quitting. If you quit you'll regret it forever."
~ Rudy Ruettiger


I gained a pound in the last 3 weeks. I am so frustrated, and like you, am battling a blister...mine popped but hasn't healed and broke open when I walked.....but, I'll just keep swimming till it does heal and then walk again. After all, I still have a lot more to lose, and I'm GOING TO do a triathlon with my son. Keep it going, John, we'll both make it. It sure was easier when we were 20, though!!

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NJMATTICE 4/20/2011 9:32AM

    Jordin Sparks, eh? I'm intrigued and wondering what other music you are listening to, John. Just color me "intrigued". When I read "a plate of bacon and eggs would taste good." I said to myself "it does!" I switched to "The Atkins Nutritional Approach" a week and a half ago. I was struggling with cravings, so I had to go low carb and sugar free. So far I am pleased with the results.
Take care of those feet. They are good friends that take you places!
Happy Wednesday, John. Thanks for caring and sharing.
Love,
Nancy

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FREECLOUD 4/20/2011 9:18AM

    My favorite part - "{I} believed in my value and worth" Of all my own battles, this is my proudest conquer. Thanks for another thought-provoking blog, John!

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ANANGELMOM 4/20/2011 9:17AM

    Once again, great blog!

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SMOCKON 4/20/2011 9:16AM

    I don't think your blogs would have half the effect on me that they do if you weren't struggling through this journey. We all want to be the sleek, ultra beautiful, always-been-thin person, but Sparkers don't identify with that person. I can certainly identify with the ups and downs you encounter, and I'm incredibly inspired by your "get back to it" attitude. No pressure to do anything other than what you're doing--just a big thanks for your blogs!

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DEBBIEOLMOS57 4/20/2011 9:07AM

    good blog

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Putting Me First, Sometimes It's Even Hard To Write About

Monday, April 18, 2011

I had a really good weekend. My wife is a fireworks fanatic. Thatís not an exaggeration. We sat in thirty degree weather with light rain off and on for seven hours to watch forty minutes or so of fireworks. We werenít alone. There were close to five hundred thousand people with us. Thunder Over Louisville has become the signature event that opens The Kentucky Derby Festival every year. We are always there. Some of our kids, there are six, show up or drift in and out of the picture during the day and our darling granddaughter keeps you more than occupied. But thatís not why Iím writing today.

As I grow in awareness of myself, my body and my spirit, well, that awareness is not always pleasant. Sometimes that awareness causes me to take actions Iíd rather avoid all together. One of those actions is putting my health first. I thrive in an environment that is scheduled or at least predictable. When I am out of town I try to stay at hotels that have gyms or work out space. I always pack my gym clothes and usually my resistance bands. They fit nicely into suitcase. I perform some sort of activity, for fifty minutes every day. I take one day per week, usually Sundayís off. Friday and Saturday of this past week there wasnít time for me to exercise, or at least that was my excuse. The real reason was I didnít open my mouth and let the people I was traveling with know I needed to hit a tread mill or elliptical machine.

Iím not sure how you react to those sorts of things but I get really down, which leads to frustration which leads to me getting mad, usually at the world. Instead of opening my mouth Iíll find it more convenient to blame someone else. Thatís a lot easier than sticking up for me and the things that are important to me. Because I am a people pleaser, who is in recovery, I will wear myself thin making sure everyone else gets what they need and then I am so darned surprised that the world doesnít accommodate my feeling in return. When that happens you can usually find me locked in a closet eating food that isnít good for me. Iíll sit quietly and allow other people to do the things they want at my expense just so I can hear that voice in the distance cry ďPity, party of one, your table is available!Ē

I didnít get my exercise in this past weekend and it was everyone elseís fault. Late Saturday night I lie in bed and while I was fuming how I probably gained five million pounds over the weekend I decided that Sunday morning on the way home from Louisville Iíd wait for the right moment and say something. We were about half way home when Joan looked at me and thanked me for spending the weekend on a lawn chair. She knew it wasnít my most favorite thing in the world to do and I reminded her that itís not her favorite thing to watch cars go around in a circle at two hundred miles per hour on the last Sunday in May either. I seized my opening and told her that I know we had lots to do this past weekend and all but I really had wanted to get my workouts in and I wasnít really happy I hadnít. Iím not sure what I was expecting as a response but Joan looked over at me and simply said ďAll you had to do was say something and we could have adjusted our schedule a bit. What is it, fifty minutes a day?Ē Then she went back to reading her book.

There is a lot of wisdom in that one sentence, and not just because it came from my wife. I canít tell you how many times I put everything and everyone ahead of me and then become so darned surprised when things do not work out the way I want them to. Then Iím cranky and hard to get along with and the person I am the most angry at is me for allowing other peoples wishes and desires to come ahead of my own.

If my health is that important to me than it needs to come ahead of a lot of other things or at least be included in the things that are important in my day when I spend it with other people. Iím not talking about being boorish or offensive in how I present it to other people and Iím not saying my needs are above everyone elseís, but they are equal to everyoneís and the only way people know about it is if I tell them. Our worst fear and nightmares rarely come true. They are played out only in our minds.

Putting me first is healtrhy, no matter how uncomfortable its making me feel right now

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAD062010 4/28/2011 11:42AM

    Good Blog! Sometimes it is just about asking....

I find it difficult to confront people when they do something that upsets me. That is my weak point.

But good for you for realizing that you can and do deserve your workout time.

Go for it!

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RUNNER12COM 4/28/2011 11:12AM

    She's a smart woman, your wife. Sometimes, we can't expect people to read our minds.

Good on you for realizing this!

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SHELLEY81 4/28/2011 10:31AM

    I had a conversation with my husband this morning about working out while traveling. He is traveling for work this coming week and is concerned the "guys" will poke fun if he does some ST and running. I had to just look at him and say straight forward that it was up to him to fit it in. Yes, it can be uncomfy at times to want to do healthy things when the people we are with are not so into at the time. A reminder to ourselves to put ourselves first and know we are doing the best for ourselves is so important! Thanks for sharing!

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SILLYHP1953 4/23/2011 10:10PM

    I never feel alone when reading your blogs and it still amazes me that I'm not alone in this world filled with people...that other people feel the same way I do and act the same ways I do. Thank you for keeping on reminding me.

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HDHAWK 4/22/2011 4:27PM

    I could have written his myself. Isn't it amazing how we feel it's even an inconvenience to let our spouses know what we need? If we can't do that, how can we expect to let anyone else know. As always, spot on!

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NASFKAB 4/22/2011 9:04AM

  That's so right consider your own needs as well. We try to be people pleasers & hurt ourselves so much.

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GIRANIMAL 4/20/2011 11:29PM

    Boy, we recovering people pleasers sure have it rough, don't we?! LOL

I was just telling my BF today about how I do not want to be the only getting "screwed" once again this weekend, when Easter dinner ends up not getting onto his mother's table until 8 p.m. (or later) and I am the only one who has to wake up before the birds. And yet, I will go anyway because that's what's expected of me, the above scenario is exactly what will happen and I will be surly about it for like 3 days.

Joan's such a smart lady!! I can see why you married her. emoticon

My health is as important as my BF's mother's need to celebrate a holiday, and I need to find a way to start establishing those boundaries. Thank you, John!

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CATHERINEL66 4/20/2011 7:48PM

    Yep, I have to do this with work travel, work events that cut into my morning/evening, and also with friends/DH. I have found that it's a bit of "training" of yourself and the people around you. Mostly, when you don't say something, it's not that you get run over because the needs of other people or things are MORE important ... the real reason is that this can make a handy excuse, PLUS it's a little odd feeling when you're not used to being your own advocate -- that's me talking about me. I am an overachiever and will work myself to the bone.

So, I had to learn this one and it was uncomfortable. However, after making gentle yet firm comments (followed by action, like going to the gym), I've noticed that folks just expect this. I make the comment (oh, I would love to do XYZ all day -- I can do all that after I'm back from the gym) or (yesterday was a great day @ work, started early, went to a great event, bla bla, and this morning I'll be in a little later to make up that gym time). I also strategically mention that working out keeps me from being crabby. There is no one on staff at my work that will advocate in favor of me being crabby, nor will my DH :) That trains the folks around me, and then it also helps train myself to set the boundries and make the space to take good care of me.

You deserve it.

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GOOFIERNU 4/19/2011 5:55PM

    Oh my gosh, THANK YOU!!! (HUGS!!!) THANK YOU!!!!

I had an incident in the pool yesterday where I wanted to do laps, but the Zumba class wanted the lap area. I spoke up and the instructor moved the class, but one patron was VERY verbally abusive to me about it. I felt so horrible!!! Why should *I*, one person, be more important than that whole class? Doesn't matter that that time is the only time that works with my schedule... who am *I*??

I'm glad now that I spoke up and said I wanted the lap lanes. I also spoke with the gal at the front desk and she said that I belonged there just as much as those other people.

Thank you for your post. I AM important. I DO matter. And "you can't please all of the people all of the time"

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STIPER23 4/19/2011 2:43PM

    It sounds like your wife is wise and supportive. How great!

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SUSANSERENE 4/19/2011 1:27PM

    PROFOUND is a perfect description as MyGoldenBoys3 stated!! It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone in my habit of putting others first. I AM important and I WILL keep myself first.

Yay, John!! And thank your wife for so eloquently and simply reminding you that it's okay to put yourself first!! Surprise!!

Happy day!
emoticon

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2011DIET4ME 4/19/2011 1:11PM

    Hello John: I can definitely relate to what you said in this blog - - I too have tried to please everyone around me only to become angry and frustrated because I didn't get to do what I wanted or needed to do for myself instead - - -

I'm very glad you are becoming aware that YOU and YOUR needs are just as important as those you a trying so hard to accommodate for. . . . . . remember that if YOU don't take care of YOU - there's no one to blame but YOU!

My wake-up call to this came when I realized that if I don't take care of ME first - - ME/I will not be there to take of my family - specially my aging Mom...I'm now taking care of ME and I'm better able to take care of my family - - WIN - WIN situation emoticon

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KAKM61 4/19/2011 12:57PM

  And since you are important to your wife--and your children, and your friends--I bet that you will find that your health matters to them too, and that if you get up the strength to ask for what you need, they will be happy to support you. I'm really enjoying your blogs, and finding a lot of truth and wisdom therein.

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TRIPLE_EMME 4/19/2011 11:19AM

    I wish you much strength to weather through the uncomfortable feelings to strive towards putting your health first!

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QUIKSYLVER 4/19/2011 9:38AM

    Good blog! Thanks!

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LIZABETT 4/19/2011 9:24AM

    You're a good man, John. And you are getting it right little by little. Stay considerate of others, but include yourself in that also. I really like your blog. emoticon

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EMTFF376 4/19/2011 7:35AM

    Good morning John,

I'd rather talk to you in person now that I've met you, so I have nothing else to add here other than I hope you have a wonderful day and you are a great motivator for me! :)

(I didn't workout while I was away either... I need to get to it today)

Big hugs,
Janette


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MYGOLDENBOYS3 4/19/2011 7:12AM

    PROFOUND! Boy, this was also written about ME! I, too, am a people pleaser, and take much better care of others than myself. emoticon for writing/sharing this with us.

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HICKOK-HALEY 4/19/2011 2:32AM

    You will get it all worked out. emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 4/19/2011 12:19AM

    Time for you is healthy and it looks like you just need to ask!

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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/19/2011 12:09AM

    The amount of times we struggle and have arguments with that little voice in our mind that tells us what we should be doing, the right thing... and we keep trying to push it aside and come up with excuses....

You're wife was right!

Just sayin' ;0)

Dutchie

x

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CARTOONB 4/18/2011 11:23PM

    Sometimes the simplest lessons are the hardest to learn.

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JUNEAU2010 4/18/2011 11:20PM

    Right there with you, though not nearly as eloquently expressed.

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MYADOG1 4/18/2011 9:07PM

    I am with you. Much easier to fume quietly than just speak up...speak up next time for all us people pleasers who are in recovery! emoticon

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DAD2GETFIT 4/18/2011 8:47PM

    Sometimes it is a challenge to find time for a workout, but then is the time to be creative. The resistance bands are great and as you already said travel well. They can be a great option for getting something in while you're waiting for the show to start etc.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/18/2011 7:15PM

    Everyone elses fault. Love it. LOL. I'm glad to see you called yourself on this one just like Joan did. It reeks of excuse. You and Joan have been married how many years and you know you could just say, "Hey, Sweetie, I hate to leave such good company but I need to get in 45 minutes of exercise. See ya in 45." Taking an extra day off is not the end of the world though unless it becomes a habit. There will be days when exercise is not going to happen but when it doesn't it should be a conscious decision you have made and not something that you think was thrust upon you. After all you can't break into a sweaty trot at a family funeral or wedding. LOL.

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WORKINGSTIFF 4/18/2011 3:40PM

    Hey John, guess what? Nobody is a mind reader-at least nobody I know. I'm not one because if I were, I'd have won the last big Mega Millions drawing...hee! hee!

Seriously, most people want to help other people out. Don't you find that to be true? Yes, there are the "pooh pooh people," but most people are fairly nice...just like you are. They won't attack you if you say you need time for a workout. If they do, then you need to change who you're hanging out with! Actually, you might be able to recruit some company in the process!

Even if you can't get the full 50 minutes in due to a busy schedule, I know you know that "some is better than none." 20-30 minutes might have to do some days. Or you might have to break that 50 minute workout into two 20 minute workouts. It doesn't have to be that way all the time, but there are days when life does seem to get in the way. It's ok to roll with it.

Try to look at your health through the long lens. We are all in it for "the long haul." You and I will be working out for years to come. Changing the schedule every once in a while doesn't have to mean total derailment.

And I'm with you on that-most things I fear or worry about simply never ever happen!
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Comment edited on: 4/18/2011 3:42:17 PM

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VIVIANJ5 4/18/2011 3:08PM

    John, this is something I have always had a hard time with, but my husband figured it out years ago. I used to get annoyed that, no matter what was planned, or who we were with, my husband would make sure to get his run in, day in, day out. He would try to make sure it inconvenienced as few people as possible, but he would make sure he ran, even if everyone else had to accomodate some changes in the schedule.

Why? Because he knew that he would have a hard time being the easygoing, pleasant guy everyone knew he was...if he didn't get his run! I used to think it was selfish: why should "we" have to modify things for "his" activity? Well, isn't that what families and friends do? We all make accommodations, and compromises to make each other happier, and why should one person's wishes count less than someone else's? Just because I never felt entitled to ask anyone to do that for me, doesn't mean he wasn't entitled to make sure his own needs were met.

Your wife made a wise observation, and we would all do well to listen to her! As I'm sure you do!

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BLESSED2BEME 4/18/2011 1:58PM

    Well said! I wish my husband would figure this out. He does the same thing and then is mad when he doesn't get the time he wants to do what he needs for his mental and physical health. I'm supposed to read his mind. I'm not saying I am any better than him but we have both been learnng how to better communicate with each other "our needs" so that we each get time for what we want for our overall health. Thanks for putting into words so well!

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DEBRITA01 4/18/2011 1:56PM

    Good blog ...and I can relate as I had a similar weekend. We can't expect others to know what we need or give it to us. We, recovering people-pleasers, need to be more vocally assertive. We are worth it!

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ANANGELMOM 4/18/2011 12:47PM

    This is so true. I love the way you just put out there what I (and I suspect, many) are feeling. You word things beautifully!

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GEEMAWEST 4/18/2011 12:26PM

    I do exactly the same thing, John. I walk around being mad (which is very unpleasant for everyone around me) and then I find out that if I just would have said something I could have done exactly what I wanted to.

I can't count how many times I've eaten food I didn't want to because that is what everyone else wanted. It's such an easy excuse to use.

I'm going to really work on this.

Thanks!

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CANNIE50 4/18/2011 12:00PM

    I have long scheduled in what I refer to as "nobody needs me" time. For me that time is from 5am to 7am. I get up slowly, get ready, and meet friends to exercise. No one else in my family gets up until 7am. Even the dog goes back to sleep because part of the rule is "no kids or dogs until after 7am". When I incorporated this into my life, the change in my mood and attitude towards them was immediately noticed (and remarked upon). I spend much of my day, and have spent most of my life, tending to others and putting their needs and wants ahead of my own, whether they asked me to or not. I used to try and carve out "me first" time at night but that usually involves not getting to bed early enough, and eating too much, and too much tv time so I made the radical shift from p.m. to a.m. and it was actually life-altering. Thanks again, for an honest, heart-felt blog. I blog as well and would love your feedback sometime but I know you are a very busy man and I will remain impressed by you whether you read my blog, or not emoticon

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RAINYFRIDAY 4/18/2011 11:32AM

    I'm pretty sure tons of folks are reading this right now saying..."How did he get in my head?!" I know that's how I feel. This is so easy to relate to! I hope that your new awareness allows you to take care of you the next time!

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BLACKROSE_222 4/18/2011 11:19AM

    I totally agree with you, and am completely guilty of this as well. I do this to my DH ALL the time - will not include him in my mental plans, and then am angry when I don't have time to do the one thing I want to do. This past vacation, he read my mind and knew this was going to happen - so he actually asked me what I wanted to do most. I was so shocked that I ACTUALLY answered him!

And we did it! Can you believe it? He didn't really enjoy it, but he at least came - and it was Amazing to do the one thing I wanted!

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SNOOPYLUV85 4/18/2011 11:16AM

    Thank you for sharing this. It actually describes me to a tee. You have hit such a nerve because I am just like you and this shed light to me that I am teaching my kids to do the same thing. Oh my goodness. You opened my eyes to something that really needs to change in my life. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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KAZINMICH 4/18/2011 11:11AM

    Excellent blog! So True! I have come to the same realization this year. I blame work for not leaving my desk for lunch, etc. I'm a fellow blamer trying to recover along with a recovering people pleaser as well. It's a difficult balance to find. I will find it too, and as this blog shows, you will to. Thank you for the reminder!

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NJMATTICE 4/18/2011 10:53AM

    Valuable lesson reinforced! Thanks
Love,
Nancy

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SMILEYBEE 4/18/2011 10:46AM

    This boils down to behaving in an assertive manner (rather than behaving passively, aggressively, or passive-aggressively). After hearing that lingo for years, it's finally starting to sink in with me. There is hope for us recovering people pleasers. emoticon

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KIKOOMAGOO 4/18/2011 10:45AM

    It's a very very hard thing to do. And I'm glad you took the time out of your day to write about it. Thank you!

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LADYLAUGHS247 4/18/2011 10:41AM

  Yeah, I'm working on that too. I have found that I will prioritize my workout if it's tied to something else. For instance, I have two workout buddies for Tues, Thurs and Fri. They don't let me forget or slack. I have a dog I have to walk at least a mile or he is impossible to put up with. Believe me when I say I'll walk just to calm him down a little. (But I've found I can push this chore off on my hubby - oops!) I also purchased a bike this weekend. Now my daughter wants to ride bikes together. I'm betting that will encourage me too.

Perhaps when you are in the position that you were in this weekend, you should consider a little different workout. Would a 20 min walk with a family member have helped you get a workout in? Maybe a game of tag with the granddaughter? Or something similar? Even a little exercise is better than none and might stave off the "grumpies" that occur. Just because it wasn't in a gym with resistance bands doesn't make it a missed workout. Just my two cents...

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SPARKENISTA 4/18/2011 10:18AM

    John--One of the things that I am struggling with is the balance of structured time vs. unstructured time. I could blame it on having a home-office, but frankly, when I ran a program (outside of my house) I had the same issue. So, I have to accept the reality that the issue is in me.

One of the things that I find is that once I set a priority (like placing myself first) everything else shakes out and forms around that priority. When I was doing therapy with severely disturbed mentally ill individuals, they usually started out with no appointments or expectations for themselves or from others and lived in an adult home.

What I discovered is that if they had a weekly appointment with me or a monthly appointment with a doctor, their whole lives began organizing around that appointment. The expectation is that they would bathe and dress appropriately (no small feat). They would have taken their meds and not taken any unsanctioned drugs or alcohol. They would be on time. Little by little, the expectations and their preparatory skills grew. If they were inappropriate or not compliant with one of the understood rules, they would get their appointment re-scheduled. (Since attention is a universal reward, they got none for inappropriate behavior. You don't know me. I'm a tough cookie.)

In the end, many were actually able to get and keep volunteer jobs and get the satisfaction of a job well done. While these people were very limited and this was probably their best level of functioning, given that they may have been hallucinatory and delusional even while on meds, for them it was the equivalent of getting the Nobel Peace Prize for someone with stronger emotional abilities.

So, what I am getting at with this long-winded answer is that if you place yourself first everything else will shake out around that. I know b/c the times I have done that it has worked. Unfortunately, I have a high rate of recidivism and revert to my old habits.

I'll make a deal with you. I will place myself first if you will do the same and and can support and track each other. I have a goal to go to sleep early enough to be up by six every morning and walk around the block three times b/f I sit down at the computer. I have a mental image of that but have not done it. That would be 3,000 steps or 1 mile.

How about if I challenge you to a contest--a friendly competition--starting Thursday b/c I have two Seders this week and they go late. I know you are way ahead of me b/c you wake up early anyway and work out.

Please let me know if you're game. Maybe we could start a new team--the "ME FIRST" Team. Let me know your thoughts about this.

Speak to you soon!

Best,

Merry

<
BR>
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRAMLORI 4/18/2011 9:54AM

    My DH is still trying to teach me the same thing. What a blessing to have a man who loves me enough to force me to do that sometimes.

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ZURDTA- 4/18/2011 9:51AM

    emoticon Doh! And she is so right!

But I know exactly what you mean, I am just like that! Getting het up and fretting just because I don't speak up for myself. I'm trying to speak up more though!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 4/18/2011 9:44AM

    This is something I'm struggling with too. When I go to visit my folks, I need to make my walk a priority, every day. So far, I'm still working on it. (I thought I really loved fireworks until I read about your wife's willingness to sit in THAT to see them. Now, I think I just kinda like them.) LOL

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DOOBIE893 4/18/2011 9:38AM

    WOW. You must be my long, lost brother. A light bulb moment for us both. Let's practice and schedule putting ourselves first. (one of my greatest challenges) Enjoy your SPARK journey.

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46SHADOW 4/18/2011 9:28AM

    i recognize so much of myself in your blogs. I find it helpful. Recovering people pleaser myself.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 4/18/2011 9:01AM

    That lightbulb goes of for all of us at some point. "if I only asked for..." Our families are very understanding and they want us to be healthy. Put yourself first, ask for what you want and tell them what you need, and I know it will work out.

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GETFIT2LIVE 4/18/2011 8:49AM

    You have a very wise wife, John. I need to listen to her, too, because I do exactly the same thing--fuss and fume because I didn't get to do what I needed or wanted. If I've never spoken up, though, how are they going to know? It's a 'duh' thing, but we do it to ourselves over and over again until we realize there really is a different option.

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JECKIE 4/18/2011 8:47AM

    Your wife is a very smart lady. She wants you to be happy and healthy too, so remember it's not a burden to ask for something like that! :)

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

" 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!

emoticon

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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.

emoticon

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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.

emoticon

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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!

emoticon

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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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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

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!!
emoticon

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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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