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Where Is Your Treasure?

Monday, June 27, 2011

I did something last night I havenít done in ages. I took a nice warm bath. Oh, I know its June, and its warm but I soaked there for a half hour or so just reading. Iím reading a book on wellness through balance in your life. One of the points the author made was that youíd be surprised how our choice of food determines our attitude and your outlook on life. I put the book down after a bit and sat there staring at my toes. I had a bible verse scroll through my mind

ďWherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.Ē

It didnít take real long to figure out the answer. All I had to do was look at my belly. Itís food, followed by money, followed by an overwhelming desire to be accepted and recognized by every human being I meet. Thatís where I devote most of my energy. These thoughts come for a reason. They offer me a choice. They offer me an opportunity to stop abusing my body and to embrace a healthier way of living.

Food is my main issue but I know people who can easily substitute food with many other things. Did you know you can become obsessed with exercising to the point where it consumes your entire life and then subsequently ruins it? My daughter Kate has a friend whose husband became so obsessed with a popular exercise program on DVD to the point where it their marriage to unravel. Iím sure other factors were at play but there are people that have to be exercising all the time.

No one likes to read this stuff, heck I donít enjoy telling you that most days Iím thinking about my next meal fifteen minutes after I eat my last one. Iím not proud of the fact that I worry constantly about money or being accepted or not having enough friends. You can fill in the blank with your stuff and logically I guess we could just sit around bemoaning our fate.

I went to bed determined to figure this out before I fell asleep. One thing I noticed about my ďtreasureĒ is that there was no mention of helping, serving or being present to other people. It was a ďme, me, meĒ thing. I laid there and realized I can be awfully selfish at times. Maybe, just maybe, if I opened up a bit more to other people and invested my energy in becoming a servant rather than worrying about getting the best caloric bang for my buck off my next meal, I might slowly begin to change my perspective and balance my wellness.

ďWherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.Ē

Those of us who are overweight know that we got that way because we devote a lot of time to not only eating but eating the wrong foods. Threaten to remove my treasure and you have quite a fight on your hands, my friend!!! Itís why a diet doesnít work. It doesnít change our focus. It doesnít teach us to look for a healthier and more balanced treasure in our lives. It can become a self-destructive monster.

So this morning I begin another journey towards my own wellness. It will come from thinking less of me and more of those around me. Isnít that really balance anyway? When Iím healthy all eight cylinders fire in order to keep me moving forward.

Care to join me?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HDHAWK 7/1/2011 7:51PM

    I just finished "Excuses Begone" and one of the important points about getting what we really want is to serve others. I'm right there with you.

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NASFKAB 6/28/2011 6:54AM


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LYNMEINDERS 6/27/2011 11:51PM

    Amen & Amen to this....

Crazy...these are all things i easily we forget what we know when we don't want to do something about changing....

the other fascinating thing that i have thought about reading your blog is that finally having gotten to my goal doesn't mean I can go back to my old ways...thats what has always tripped me up before when I have been in this place....this whole "where your treasure is there your heart will be also" takes in an aweful lot of how we I think anyways....still have things to work on and change....

Thanks heaps for making me think....I promise also i will act in the thoughts otherwise I am wasting energy thinking them.....

Comment edited on: 6/27/2011 11:54:36 PM

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DAD2GETFIT 6/27/2011 8:28PM


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GIRANIMAL 6/27/2011 2:28PM

    I do care to join you, but at the moment I am sort of flabbergasted by the fact your personal summation -- "Iím thinking about my next meal fifteen minutes after I eat my last one. Iím not proud of the fact that I worry constantly about money or being accepted or not having enough friends." -- is me to a super-scary T!

My problem with stepping outside of myself to find happiness is that I have often made myself so exhausted by being engulfed in my own stuff that I am too tired to give anymore. This is horrible selfish but true! And it's unfortunate because I do know that the feeling of wholeness I am always chasing does indeed often come from service to others.

Lots to think about here, brother.

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LORSI2000 6/27/2011 1:53PM

    Sign me up!


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JENNY888 6/27/2011 12:00PM

    Excellent, thought provoking blog. I'll have to think on this one for awhile.

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SAMDJS 6/27/2011 11:39AM

    Your blog spoke right to my heart and soul. I was just praying this morning about getting my priorities straight. I find myself constantly thinking about what I eat and how much I exercise for fear of gaining back even 1/2 a pound of what I've lost (I reached my goal and absolutely do not ever want to gain it back so now it seems I live in "fear" of that happening). I can't do anything without wondering how it will effect my weight.
I know I obsess and I hate it. My prayer was to take my mind off that and put it where it belongs...on Him and the wonderful blessings in my life. For some reason this is really hard for me to do....


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MARCYNA 6/27/2011 11:33AM

    Yes, I totally agree and i think we should all learn to fill the blank in a healthier way....otherwise we're stuck, obsessed with something that will never give us life..., with idols that will never fulfil our dreams

Comment edited on: 6/27/2011 11:34:35 AM

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DEE797 6/27/2011 11:07AM

    Another thought provoking blog. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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AKATUJE 6/27/2011 10:58AM

    There is always something fulfilling about doing something for someone with no strings attached. May God help us to turn outward more.

Thanks for sharing.

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KKINNEA 6/27/2011 10:25AM

    Well said and something to think about.

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C55R55 6/27/2011 8:57AM

  Thank you for a great reflection assignment! Having been highly influenced by the church, today I understand that my treasure has been highly invested in others and not in myself. My belly is the expression of that life. Today, I am working on living a new way and learning that there are new treasures to support who I am and validate me. Thanks John for your insightful writing.

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WORKINGSTIFF 6/27/2011 8:39AM

    Your blog brings to mind two quotes on my desk:
"Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure;
Where your treasure, there is your heart;
Where your heart, there your happiness." St. Augustine


"To live life well requires intense self-deception or deep courage." Father Lou Guntzelman

And isn't a compulsion or addiction simply another way of living in self-deception? The alternative is too hard for most people-the deep courage of introspection. Doesn't matter what the addiction is, be it food, money, drink, exercise, extreme martyrdom-it's all a way of avoiding looking at one's self with a critical eye. Avoidance of what is truly going on in one's life. It's kind of messy and painful to look deep inside sometimes.

Of course, looking inward doesn't have to be all negative. Take yourself for example: you believe what you do is focus on yourself, but your writing is so out there and helpful for others. You may not think much of it, but you are a true help to others. One of your treasures is to write and you are an inspiration to others.

I'm on board too! Balance is important in life.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/27/2011 8:13AM

    I'm ready to hop aboard! But I suspect that thinking about me, me, me is a good thing in some ways, if properly channeled.

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The Power of Sharing

Saturday, June 25, 2011

There is a simple yet powerful beauty that happens when we choose to share a part of ourselves with someone else and as we do so, we know there will never be any return to us other than the knowledge that we helped another. So strong is the power of sharing that I believe it has the power to heal the person who receives that out pouring of love.

Earlier this week I wrote a blog about remaining positive in the midst of all that was swirling around me. A Spark friend responded to that blog with a link to a video on YouTube. To say it blew me away is an understatement. I listened to it twice and would have listened more but I cried a bit harder each time I listened to it.

I wonít elaborate; give you my opinion, etc. This song stands on its own merit. I am happy to share it and grateful it was shared with me.

I hope you get as much from it as I did.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEACHBUMCRY 6/27/2011 1:43AM

    Thank you for sharing, I needed this reminder.

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NASFKAB 6/26/2011 9:01AM

  GReat blog

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/26/2011 12:57AM

    This song always touches my heart, thanks for sharing!

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    I gave it a listen and I can relate! :') THANK YOU for that! It touches a point where it is what I feel and am going through. Makes sense to ME.

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LUVMYK9S 6/25/2011 1:45PM

    Thanks for sharing this John!

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HDHAWK 6/25/2011 11:26AM

    Lovely, thank you!

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MIZZSB 6/25/2011 10:39AM

    thanks John!! I will listen to it as soon as possible...

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GRAMLORI 6/25/2011 10:06AM

    This hsa become one of my all time favorite songs, because I can relate to it soooo well. And I think that's the case for most people, too. Thank you for sharing the link, I immediately put it on my FaceBook page to share. Plus, I listened to the story behind it.....WOW.

John, you are so good at sharing, and you open yourself up for us to see all of your good and bad times, and I just want to thank YOU for all that you've shared.

Keep it up, brother. The road is much easier with friends like you.

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JECKIE 6/25/2011 10:04AM

    Wow. Thanks so much for sharing this. I've been doing a lot of study lately on the concept that God never promised us a perfect life. He simply promised we would not walk it alone.

Raindrops, indeed.

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ACCTGMAMA 6/25/2011 9:39AM

    Thank you for the link!

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Getting Away For The Weekend

Friday, June 24, 2011

Joan and I will be away all day today and tommrow at The International Bluegrass Association ROMP festival.

Steve Martin performed last night and he was nothing short of amazing.

There are ten acts today and ten acts tommorow and we wont be back until late Saturday evening. Have a great weekend guys. I'm going to try to get some much needed relaxation.

I'm going to try to update some from my tablet. (If I can figure out how it works, lol)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 6/27/2011 6:29AM

    enjoy your weekend to the fullest.....

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TURBOADDICT444 6/25/2011 9:06AM

  Have a great time. I think people know how funny Steve Martin is but I don't know if people realize what an awesome musician he is too. Enjoy!

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NASFKAB 6/25/2011 7:06AM

  Enjoy it. Have fun

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CARTOONB 6/24/2011 9:44PM

    Have fun!

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HDHAWK 6/24/2011 5:51PM

    Sounds like a fantastic time John! You and Joan enjoy!

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    I love Steve Martin and he is amazing!!

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SPARKLISE 6/24/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MIZZSB 6/24/2011 1:09PM

    whats a tablet??

steve martin a musician?? never knew... have fun

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GIRANIMAL 6/24/2011 1:00PM


Have a much-deserved great time!

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SILLYHP1953 6/24/2011 12:48PM

    Wow...bluegrass! My ex-husband was a bluegrass musician and I loved it when they all came over to the house to practice in the living room. I know you will have a GREAT time this weekend.

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KKINNEA 6/24/2011 12:32PM

    Sounds like great fun - enjoy!!

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LORSI2000 6/24/2011 10:49AM

    At first I read, "I'm going to try to update some from my TOILET". Glad I gave that sentence a second read.

What a wonderful weekend you & Joan have planned! Enjoy!


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GEEMAWEST 6/24/2011 10:45AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I love Steve Martin, he's hilarious!

Enjoy & Relax!

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BALDWINJ_03 6/24/2011 10:11AM

    Have a fabulous weekend!!!

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GRAMLORI 6/24/2011 9:59AM

    How fun is that!!! Enjoy your "romping"!!!!

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PANFRIEDTROUT 6/24/2011 9:53AM

    what a fantabulous weekend!

Music Festival tickets = $75
Gas to get there = $20
Relaxing with Joan = ** priceless **

emoticon emoticon

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CIVIAV 6/24/2011 9:50AM

    Have a wonderful time!

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TIME4AFITME 6/24/2011 9:39AM

    Have a great time!

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MARTELLA3 6/24/2011 9:26AM

    What perfect timing for you! You need a break and what better than Bluegrass to make you move and forget your troubles.
Have a fabulous time!


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SNOOKUMS19 6/24/2011 9:14AM

    Enjoy your down time!

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Keeping Myself Positive

Thursday, June 23, 2011

When we were very young, around the ages of four or five, my mom and her sisters would visit my grandmother every Friday morning. They would sit around the kitchen table and talk while my cousins and I sat on the kitchen floor and played, or fought, depending on the day and our mood. Inevitably my mother or my aunts would lead the conversation towards some topic of woe. (I spent a long time wondering what a gall bladder really was.) My grandmother would either be cooking or sewing and without missing a stich or a beat she would always have the same comment regardless. ďThis too shall pass.Ē Iím sure my mom and my aunts didnít like hearing it any more than I like my reminding myself of it today.

I consider myself to be about ninety percent positive all the time. I can usually handle what life throws at me and deal with or at least put a positive spin on it. Itís what keeps me moving forward. I mostly act like one of the twin brothers who rushed downstairs on Christmas morning only to find a large pile of horse manure. One brother slumped down dejectedly. The other raced towards the pile of manure and began throwing it up in the air. He was heard to say, ďThere has to be a pony under here somewhere.Ē

In the past eight months I have injured myself more creatively than anyone human being can quite imagine. From my wrist, to my knee to my IT Band to my quads, I have slowed down so much and have so much pain that there are days you really donít want to be around me. Iím angry and frustrated that I canít run right now. My quads are so tight that I can hardly walk. I feel like a failure, total and complete.

Most of it comes from the stress of now knowing that FEMA wonít reimburse me for any of the five grand I dropped on my lower level because my flood wasnít more than two acres. The rest of it comes from worrying about two of the kids being out of work right now. I still have minor night mares about the three flood events in April and May. Itís all created quite a perfect storm in my life.

I donít write this to vent or to garner sympathy or support. I write because this morning, when I was at my lowest, when I went to sit in the whirlpool at my gym and eased into seventy degree water, got out weighed myself and found Iíve gained ten pounds in the past three weeks, I was ready to throw in the towel. I was going to find a mountain top someplace and just spend the rest of my days cursing my fate.

So here I am sitting in front of my locker, tight as a piano wire feeling like I have let down everyone Iíve ever known, feeling like I donít have a friend in this world to talk with and I begin to cry. And with those tears comes a small beak in the clouds. I hear my grandma saying ďThis too shall pass.Ē I sit a bit longer and hear a much more reassuring voice speak to my heart. It says; ďBe still and know that I am God.Ē
Staying positive can be a bit^&. Retaining your faith often sucks really badly. It causes us to feel like we are on a roller coaster and when we look in the mirror we donít recognize ourselves at all. We feel disconnected and in a fog. Itís suddenly so silent and we canít find the map and we feel so bad inside and so frustrated that we canít find our way out. Then we hear those voices, like beacons and we pick our stuff up and move forward because deep down we do know:

This too shall pass.

Hold my hand. Iíll hold yours and somehow weíll get through all of this. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLISE 6/24/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BTINTERNET 6/24/2011 7:24AM

    Thank you for sharing this. (And these days, I can tell you all about the gall bladder...)


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MIZZSB 6/24/2011 2:20AM

    Dear friend!

Your blog really touched me! You are definatly NO FAILURE! You ARE a true inspiration to me. And you hit a sensitive chord with this blog. I lost myself the last week orso..

Just to let you know i am thinking of you emoticon

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 6/23/2011 11:57PM

    John, you always strike a chord with your blogs. I, too, have been lamenting my constant pain and inability to do the things I have always done, and my inability to lose weight at a quicker pace due to that pain. Yesterday my 3-year-old granddaughter sat on my lap and said, "Grandma, why is your tummy getting bigger?" It hit me between the eyes. I so wanted to exercise today, but instead took care of a sick 2-year-old grandson that wanted to cuddle. I use to walk 4-5 miles a day, now I struggle to make one, and that is at a much slower pace because of my constant limp. I use to love to dance, but can't do that anymore. Even though the weight goes up 2-3 pounds and down only 1 at a time, if I am lucky, I keep trying to the best of my ability. I am not at all happy with myself at this weight. It is too difficult to work around my weight, and I know that the weight is contributing to the pain of my bad ankle, as well as causing my knees to ache, especially when climbing stairs. But I can't give up - where will that get me? Staying at this place that I dislike! My mom always told me that God gave us challenges to test our faith and build character. She also told me that she feels I have had enough character building in my life and knows that I have a strong faith in order to get through everything I have dealt with already. My mom, who is the strongest woman I know, told me that she admired ME for my strength, tenacity, character, and faith! Like you and many others, we have been through a lot, but we don't give up. We may get knocked down occasionally, but we always get back up, are stronger in our resolve, and keep moving towards our goals, helping others along the way, because that is who we are! We find God deep within us to help get us through those challenges we face, then with His help, we get up, dust ourselves off, and start over again, and again, and again. I have the Serenity Prayer as a magnet on my fridge because it helped get me through a marriage to an abusive alcoholic (my family never thought I would make it out alive, and neither did I). We are here for you, John, to listen to you, provide a shoulder to cry on as well as to offer words of encouragement and support, and also our love. We are in this together - and we understand. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 6/23/2011 9:47PM

    Doesn't a good cry feel good? Consider you hand being held. I'm here for you.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/23/2011 7:52PM

    Life is a rollercoaster at times but like your Grandma saig....this will pass....
And....Be still and know that i am God.....perfect reassurance for you to keep going forward ...God is right there with you and will not leave you....
The toughest times in my journey and my life have been the times that have set me up for life.....

Praying for you

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    Through the toughest times in my life I have always lived by "What does not kill us makes us stronger"...many times I said "But God am I not strong enough already?" and then I realized that he really was the only one who knew how much I could handle.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 6/23/2011 5:25PM

    My mom and grandma both said that same thing, along with "Everything will look better in the morning." And you know what? They were right. Hang in have the kind of faith that will get you through...let God carry you right now. Sending warm thoughts and prayers your way.

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BETTY925 6/23/2011 5:14PM

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing from your heart. I completely understand...been there, done that! But because you have chosen to share, you have enriched others beyond measure, me being one of them. I, too, was about ready to "throw in the towel" but you have convinced me that, "I am worth it!!!" Thank you!

Keep it up! You CAN do it!

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GRACIE4ONE 6/23/2011 4:59PM

    My friend, thank you for reminding me that THIS TOO SHALL PASS! Just what I needed to hear!

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JUNEAU2010 6/23/2011 4:43PM

    Thanks for sharing. I was feeling blue about my own current physical challenges and this gave me hope.

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JENNY888 6/23/2011 4:36PM

    Together we can do this if we keep up the fight. I often have heard the saying "This too shall pass" and I love to hear "Be still and know that I am God". Another favorite saying of mine that was told to me by a very old lady with many afflictions who always seemed to remain positive. I asked her how she was that day and she told me, "only talk about the things that you can change and ignore the things that you can't." I think all three of these saying are related and some of the wisest sayings I know. Stay in there John and know how far you have come. Slowing down a little might be wise, but giving up is not.

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BRENDABUNNY 6/23/2011 3:35PM

    That is my all time favorite and reassuring saying"This too shall pass"..You are only human John and you always seem to pick yourself up and find that positive attitude that is inside you you are a wise man I can tell by your many blogs.
I sometimes too wonder what I do all this for becaus ethe scale seems to move soooo slow for me but I trudge along anyway and please know I'm by your side too emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LORSI2000 6/23/2011 3:17PM

    My mother says the same thing, followed with, "Keep your pretty chin up!" emoticon

...There may be a bald spot on my back hairline from having my chin up so dang high! :)

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NASFKAB 6/23/2011 3:10PM

  Your Grandma was right 100%

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KKINNEA 6/23/2011 2:45PM

    You've got it!

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    Bless you grandma. She was 100% right, John, and it all passes and isn't worth getting out of shape over. Good times, bad times, they will all come and you can't control it. Relax and ride the waves. Let it happen.

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MIRACLELOVE77 6/23/2011 2:16PM

    WONDERFUL blog. I loved your horse manure story too :) But know that you're not alone, know that you are in NO WAY a failure. The fact that you want to work out is great, and right now you just need to take it easy, stretch, and heal up. And God NEVER calls you a failure, he never thinks of you as anything less than his beautiful, wonderful child that brings him great joy. The fact that you are hanging in there and turning to HIM for comfort--can you imagine what a blessing that is to God? Remember that he never leaves you either, and his love never fails. I'm sure when you look back on this in a year, you'll see God's hand growing and carrying you through it all. Sending up a prayer for you.

Here's a song, maybe you know it, but it's a real encouragement in the hard times (her husband had cancer when she wrote it):

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GIRANIMAL 6/23/2011 1:58PM

    Whether you want the sympathy or not, you've got it, dearest friend, because boy, oh boy, do I know "disconnected and in a fog." And pain. It is just the worst.

My mother loved the phrase "this too shall pass." Funny, because she always sounded more like your mom and aunts in her complaints about money and ailments, etc. But then she would always sort of correct herself -- "but this too shall pass" -- and you could see the shift in her energy. It most often works for me now too.

As for those 10 pounds, could it be inflammation from your injuries and/or overall stress? Cortisol is a real bit^& too.

Hang in there. Here, take my hand! emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 6/23/2011 1:45PM

    You touch so many people on here, and elsewhere, because I've shared a few of your blogs with my kids. I still call them kids even if my youngest is 25. Kids is easier to write than children.

Your grandmother had learned firsthand that things on this earth DO pass, she had the wisdom of her years of watching it happen. I'm glad you hear those voices when you need them.

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KENDRACARROLL 6/23/2011 1:23PM

    John, "this too shall pass" is the only thing that keeps me going right now as well.
I'll hold your hand, and together we'll soldier on...

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TIME4AFITME 6/23/2011 12:54PM

    emoticon Thx for the positive attitude so many times your blogs make me keep trying!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/23/2011 12:48PM

    My Dear Friend John, Although we don't know each other that well I hear you. I feel your sadness, rage, joy and faith. As I read your blog again I am left with tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and my thoughts are this ... You are blessed and a blessing! If I were standing toe to toe with you I'd huge you till your soul felt it. You are blessed and a blessing ...

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PUGLOVER1999 6/23/2011 12:16PM

    PS: I love your writing! You are talente!

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PUGLOVER1999 6/23/2011 12:15PM

    John, your blog brought tears to my eyes. I am so discouraged and full of feelings of failure and self-loathing this morning. I have been struggling with losing my last 5 pounds ... Oops --now it's my last 8 pounds -- and I have not had anything like the stress you described! I do not even have an excuse / a reason for overeating. I'm just self-indulgent, the very thing I want to die to!

I remind myself that Jesus took my sins (all of them, but I'm thinking particularly about self-indulgence) to the cross that I can live righteously (I'm thinking about self-discipline, an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit) ... and I'm STILL SELF-INDULGENT!

I've been thinking about being willing to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES and find my mind is willing but the body is weak. Or maybe it's actually the other way around ... my body is stronger (been exercising) and my mind is weak! Either way, I'm not feeling good about me today.

Isn't it wonderful that GOD IS FAITHFUL, even when we are not! He will never leave us or forsake us. I think I will spend some time counting my blessings ...starting with your blog that reminded me I'm not the only one who is struggling with mind and spirit wars. If we never struggled, we wouldn't build up those muscles ... physical and spiritual ones!

I'm rooting for you! I will pray for you (and me) too! emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/23/2011 12:15PM

    Your grandma was very wise, John, but you're right--staying positive and retaining your faith often feels absolutely rotten when life is conspiring against us. Some days throwing in the towel and giving up seems like the only reasonable option. Listen to your grandma, and most of all listen to God; He hasn't given up, so until He does, we can't either. I'll hold your hand if you will hold mine, too. Ask God what He wants to be to you right now, you might be surprised at the answer.


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GOOFIERNU 6/23/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon for your words and your positive attitude!

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HEALTHY4ME 6/23/2011 12:00PM

    Thanks John I will take your hand and you mine. I am off work right now cos of sciatica and the likes. I have been hurt so much in past 5years that hubby and I are thinking is it worth getting the dr on board to me taking early disability pension. We would have to sell the house ect. but do I want to work and continue hurting myself.
Then I get the woe is me, mainly cos I just don't know what would be best, it isn't cut and dried and easy even if we don't have enough $. there is also hubbys depression and all that has stopped his work early also. Then my dad who is becoming more needy as he ages and my mum passed 2 years ago this june. so not just a acase of take care of me only......
had a mini meltdown last night on spark, then did a bit of thinking and I too after a kick in the butt for a great spark friend realised yea I am not the only one, and as your wise grandma said this too shall pass. just wish I knew what to do in long term. lol

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SNOOKUMS19 6/23/2011 12:00PM

    My friend I understand your stress and disappointment. I had lost all my weight last year and maintained for 6 months. More time than I ever had at maintenance. In October I found myself in a stressful situation. I found the right resources, including Spark :). But by January I had gained every pound back. Through the crying and counciling I'm in an amazing place today. Friends here had told me that this will pass and I felt I would never be here. My faith as well carried me here and I did have moments that God showed himself to me and I knew I wasn't alone. Use your friends here to guide you. We are here. Take a breathe.

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Decisions and One Month Plus No Diet Soda

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making the best decision is tough enough, no? It often involves wringing our hands, tossing and turning at night and uttering a quick prayer in the hopes that we made the correct one. Did you ever think about the impact of your decisions? Ever wonder how the decision you make today will have an impact of next week, or even next month. What if we settled for looking at the next five days?

The donut or slab of pie that I contemplating eating right now will give me a bit of momentary satisfaction. Isnít that satisfaction often followed by some guilt of sorts? A bit of ďOMG I blew it.Ē A few days from now when I get on the scale and Iíve rationalized my way from one donut, to two or maybe three and I donít show a loss or ďOMG I gained weight this week.Ē Maybe I donít feel like going to the gym today. It makes it much easier not to go tomorrow and the next day and the next. Soon Iíve forgotten my way to the gym and my old buddy guilt hops in the seat right next to me and grin. I donít often weigh (No pun intended) the impact my decisions have for my future.

My mind is an amazing tool. It can rationalize anything and continue to rationalize anything as long as I allow to. So Iím committing to do two things, both of them have helped me to become diet soda free for over a month now. (I stopped marking the calendar about two weeks ago!!!) The first is looking at the impact of those moderate to important decisions I make in my life. What effect will they have on my immediate future? While they may give me a short term payoff is there a dead end road around the corner for me somewhere up ahead?

I know when I stay in my calorie limits, do my exercise regimen and get enough rest I feel confident and alert. Thatís a great feeling. Truth be told, itís a feeling I can have every day of the week if I make the right decision. Itís difficult for me. I often feel like ďGood JohnĒ is on one shoulder and ďBad JohnĒ on the other. Iíd like to tell you Iím successful one hundred percent of the time but Iím not.

I am get more effective. Iím doing so by remembering that I am really worth all those tough, ďin it for the long haulĒ decisions I make each day. I doing so with the knowledge that I deserve that positive payoff I get when I make the right decision. People often tell me they fall short of their goals because they are haunted by bad decisions. I believe I should be haunted by good ones; the good ones of me, doing whatís best for my own health. I do it because I am challenged by the most excellent, healthy, intelligent people I choose to hang around with. I see their success in life and I strive to mirror it with my own. Those people are , uhm, YOU!!! I have the knowledge that I am everything I really believe I am.

A BFF mailed me a wrist band. On it was written ďThoughts Become Things, Choose The Good Ones.Ē I look down at it a hundred times a day. This person, a healthy and successful Sparker shared part of their secret with me. When I choose to make the best decisions for me I get the best payoff.

There will always be a slice of pizza, a bag of chips or wedge of pie looming and lurking around the corner. Iíll always be faced with a new and possibly tougher decision. But really, you know as well as I do that those encounters make the end game, the sweet victory of health, so much more satisfying.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAWRALOO 6/24/2011 12:16AM

    I started my no soda pop kick on Monday!
Almost done with day 4 and honestly I thought it would be harder than it has been.

Way to go John! You're a rockstar!

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SILLYHP1953 6/23/2011 1:29PM

    I read this just in time to help me! I think I can manage to stay away from the snack machine at work today. I need to print out your blog and post it on my desk.

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BETTY925 6/23/2011 8:36AM

    Great blog! Very motivational! I needed to read this today!

I went a whole YEAR without diet soda and then dicided to have "just one" and I am back up to 2-3 daily. emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 6/23/2011 8:02AM

    It's good to know that I'm not alone with decision making or shall we say the struggle with food!! The good & bad John on your shoulders is so true!!

Thanks !! emoticon

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 6/23/2011 7:28AM

    Just read this today and must say it was needed as the stress is building in my life at the moment. Instant gratification does not always result in healthy decisions.

Comment edited on: 6/23/2011 7:29:06 AM

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CARTOONB 6/22/2011 9:40PM

    I've found that if I think about it, I make good decisions (usually). It's the thinking about it before I do it that's a challenge! I'll try to do better.

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KKINNEA 6/22/2011 11:32AM

    Well said!

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SNOOKUMS19 6/22/2011 9:26AM

    This is so true! Thanks for perspective on a rainy day when some comfort food would feel good. For a moment....

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PATTILYNN224 6/22/2011 7:59AM

    Thanks for writing this. It's going on the wall to remind me daily.

I hope you have a blessed day today as well!

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NASFKAB 6/21/2011 11:30PM

  Congrats on 1 month without soda. Great. keep it up

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    Congrats on the one month with no soda. I used to be a soda fiend and seldom have one any more.

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LYNMEINDERS 6/21/2011 7:13PM

    You never fail to remind me of things everytime you blog....
Thankyou yet again for a very timely reminder....
Crazy....I know all this stuff however it is easy to igore it....
This is the very stuff that prevents me from maintaining my achievement

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MKPRINCESS007 6/21/2011 4:38PM

    Awesome John! It is hard sometimes to shelve instant gratification, even if we know it is the best decision in the long run. I gave up soda like two years ago now, and when I occasionally drink it now, especially diet, it makes me feel awful and upsets my stomach. Proof positive that it really is nothing but liquid junk. So proud of you for making this great decision for your health.

Keep on rockin' it, my friend!


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MIZZSB 6/21/2011 3:25PM

    love your blog!

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JPRICE217 6/21/2011 1:50PM

    Great blog should have read it early went to pizza hut for lunch and pigged out. I see plenty of fruit and veggies the rest of the day.

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GIRANIMAL 6/21/2011 12:55PM
?productid=420 emoticon

I understand the struggle with immediate gratification vs. short-term or long-term consequences still! At least twice a week I still think, "Maybe I could have just one piece of bread/cookie/egg/bit of cake...then I'll know for sure if the gluten/egg/dairy are making me sick!" But then I might have to start my elimination diet over...etc., etc.

It's a constant struggle to do the "right" thing. But you're right -- as long as your eye is always on the prize of feeling better, stronger, healthier, more confident, you'll make the "right" choice more often than not.

And then it gets easier -- like your new diet-soda-free lifestyle! emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/21/2011 12:56:49 PM

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/21/2011 12:51PM

    Great wrist band. I especially like the quote....really worth all those tough, ďin it for the long haulĒ decisions

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PGNBRI 6/21/2011 11:17AM

    I need that wristband! Congrats on the diet soda! I knew you could do it!

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BLACKROSE_222 6/21/2011 9:55AM

    Great blog! I've seen a few people on here discussing the wristband idea... I like it.

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SPARKLISE 6/21/2011 9:38AM

    We all have a "bad" and a "good" on our shoulders and the one we listen to the most will be the one that decides our outcome. emoticon emoticon
So it's our choice to have a good life or a bad life. All those little decisions are very important but a lot of times we think them too small to matter.
Glad you brought this up.Maybe i needed that today! emoticon

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BEATLETOT 6/21/2011 8:59AM

    Good job on the diet soda!!! I went back to read some of your blogs about quitting. Did you get headaches? If I go a day without diet soda, I get headaches. It's the aspartame, not the caffeine, as I discovered when I first discovered the headaches and tried to combat them with regular soda.

I'd love to quit, but I'm really scared of the headaches! Maybe I should start over 4th of July weekend, since we get July 1 off work for Al Israa Wal Al Miraaj in addition to Monday the 4th. I can sleep my way through the first four days of it. Do you think they'll have subsided by then?

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KATHRYN1955 6/21/2011 8:58AM

    I think the trouble with a lot of those food decisions is that the negative effect is not immediate, but the 'positive' (sugar high, great taste etc.) is instant. It becomes a matter of constant vigilance and a lot of positive self-talk to reconcile the whole notion of instant vs. long-term gratification.
Congratulations on being diet-soda free!! For me, the diet soda only encourages the desire for more sugar.
Here's to healthy decisions!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 6/21/2011 8:58AM

    Another great blog, John! Thanks for providing me "food" for thought as I contemplate those decisions. Have been lax on the exercise lately and really need to make better decisions about how I use my time, making sure I plan some for myself so that I can get that exercise in with my busy schedule. But that is an excuse because EVERYONE is busy.

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NANCYBOAT 6/21/2011 8:56AM

    Great post!

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TOTHEFUTURE1 6/21/2011 8:50AM

    I love the wristband idea and should get myself one soon!

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