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How Valuable Are You?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have been preparing to teach a seminar I haven’t taught in a while. The class is a group of young managers who have shown potential to develop with their company and ultimately fill senior level positions. The first question I ask them is what weight or value do they put on their jobs and how valuable do they see themselves to their company and its future. Typically their initial answers devalue their importance. They speak of being easily replaced.

I woke up thinking about that exercise this morning and I realized it applied to me as well. Like most other people I minimize my importance in this wonderful world. I don’t often think I make an impact. As I looked in the mirror I had one of those “Ah-Ha” moments. The effort I put into myself is in direct correlation to how valuable I perceive myself to be. If I felt the entire universe depended on my health and wellbeing to continue functioning, I would probably honor and value my body and health more than I do. The fog in my brain parted a bit and I realized the true indicator of my self-esteem and self-worth was right in front of me. I didn’t need any tapes, or books or DVD’s. I didn’t need to meditate every morning to find the hidden truth of the cosmos, its right there in my bathroom mirror. Every time I look at myself I am performing a quick evaluation of how I see myself. The days I feel good and confident it’s easy to stay with my food plan. Exercise is enjoyable. The moment my world is shaken well “hello donuts.” It’s as if I am saying “I’m really not worth it any way.”

What we eat, how we eat it and how much emphasis we place on our own health is in direct correlation to how we feel about ourselves. Believe it or not, that’s good news if you are reading this blog. It means every day you log on to Spark People and you do the things you know are going to produce positive results. I am sure there are other things you could be doing with your time, but you have placed so much value in yourself, you make the sacrifice because you know you are worth the pay off. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read by people just like you who spoke of the struggle and sweat and pray and hope. Without you, my daily journey is a tough one. Without knowing that you have the same doubts and fears I have on a regular basis, well, I’m not always sure I could continue. When you have doubts because the needle isn’t moving and you just blew it at your high school reunion, I can relate.

The real beauty that I see in you is that you persevere; you honor and value yourself as a human being and as valuable person in this world. No, like me you don’t think about it that often. Like me you don’t stop to think what this world, the community would be like without you. When I first joined
Spark there were a handful of people who bottle fed me through my first six months. All but one of those dear people is no longer here. Maybe they reached a goal and moved on, maybe they became discouraged and left or maybe they didn’t see their own worth and value to themselves, this community and this world.

Later today I plan on sending out some Goodies to the people in my life here at Spark who helped make a difference. Yes, in many respects my life is in a series of knots right now, but I’m here every day drawing strength from YOU. That’s how valuable you are. You are one of the many people who hold this fragile community together. You mean so much to me.

So……………… LOL…………………. Get up, go look in the mirror, RIGHT NOW, and see what I saw, the amazing, wonderful person looking back at you and remember that until you value yourself, love yourself and respect yourself…………. No one else will.

Finally…………. Thank someone for simply being there. Maybe they aren’t aware of how important they are to you. It will make their day. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKIETALKIE 7/24/2011 11:14AM

    Yes on a basic level we are the centers of our personal universes and sometimes a little house keeping and maintenance is in order.

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GIRANIMAL 7/21/2011 4:24PM


For being my friend, for being here for me in such a way that I know you are even if we haven't talked in a few days.

Thanks for finding the courage to share your innermost thoughts and feelings so that you may help so many others.

Now excuse me while I emoticon


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RUN4FOOD 7/21/2011 4:01PM

    I want to thank you for this blog and your previous blog: When You've Done Everything You Can Do..........
These two blogs together are the best two blogs I've read on SP.
Your thoughts have given me some personal insights I have been struggling with.
I want to give you my personal BEST BLOG AWARD.
emoticon emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 7/21/2011 8:38AM

    I feel invaluable & irreplaceable....and I already did tell my husband 1st thing this morning how much I loved & appreciated him....but I think I will make it my goal to see how many more people I can "appreciate" today! ;)

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CARTOONB 7/20/2011 11:50PM

    The world doesn't revolve around you? Is that what you're saying? LOL!

I love that analogy though...I would make much better choices if more were riding on them. But then, I guess more is, huh?

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SILLYHP1953 7/20/2011 4:20PM

    Thanks, John, for being there!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/20/2011 10:34AM

    Thank you, John for simply being there. Maybe you aren’t aware of how important you are to me. I feel encouraged by your journey. Knowing you "get it" means a lot to me.


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LYNMEINDERS 7/20/2011 6:42AM

    I fully agree with Marcyna....those managers are so so lucky to be on your seminar.....

You are a superb person and I love reading what you write each day.....Thankyou

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MARCYNA 7/20/2011 3:28AM

    I don't know how much I would give for being there on your seminar!!!These managers are so lucky, I've been learning so much from you on SP and I know it's all good stuff. If I value myself more, I owe it all to you...thanks for being there emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/20/2011 3:29:07 AM

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SUSUSUZZZIE 7/20/2011 12:08AM

    The title of your blog jumped out at me in my Friend Feed and I'm so glad that I stopped by. You can only imagine how meaningful your words are to me TODAY. Thank you!

Also, thanks for pointing out that all but one of your SP support are no longer here. I'm adding a new goal that I will still be here in 6 months and I will be here in a year and I will be here in 5 years. I know I need SP to keep me on my path, but I didn't really put together the long-term need until now.


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HONORINGGOD 7/19/2011 4:46PM


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ANDYINBC 7/19/2011 3:23PM

    Great blog! Your comments are definitely on track.

I agree, when we have higher self-esteems we do take better care of ourselves. Unfortunately, having a higher self-esteem can be a problem when we are unwilling to delegate responsibilities and then start to put job/responsibilities ahead of ourselves because we are erroneously believe we are the only ones capable of doing the job. This type of belief leads to a lack of balance in our lives, and that can lead to poor health as well.

You are right in saying, we all can make a difference in the world around us, our family, our neighborhood, job community and the spark community. We just have to be there and lend support. Today, you did that by posting a fantastic blog.


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BRENDABUNNY 7/19/2011 2:37PM

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog with all of us really are an inspiration to many here on often make me dig deep and think when i read your blogs so emoticon emoticonBrenda

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RUN4FOOD 7/19/2011 2:32PM

    Wow! Another very insightful blog. I somewhat agree with MORTICIAADDAMS in the sense that you obviously have a lot going for you. Wondering if you feel that way or if you still have some self doubts. I for one really appreciate your thoughts and your insights and hope to better apply them to my life.

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    Self esteem is not something I lack. Questioning who I am and my importance in the world is not something I've ever suffered from. It always surprises me to find you putting yourself in the "I'm nothing" group. You, the person who is counseling others on their own value to their company. Makes no sense, John. I've gotten every job I've ever applied for because I'm a good catch and I know it. So are you so you have no reason to ever doubt yourself. The world is filled with people who "can't". You're not one of them. You should never doubt your worth to the world. Every human has something they can teach, even people like Charlie Manson so don't doubt the worth of someone important like yourself. You just gave a seminar to a bunch of wanna-bes and can-bes. If you reached even a fourth of them then you made your mark in the world. Stop judging yourself on your weight. Give yourself the same gift you give to others.

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MIZZSB 7/19/2011 1:38PM

    WOW John.... i really needed to hear this!!

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ALLISON145 7/19/2011 1:28PM

    It's scary how often the seemingly mighty fall away from this site. I often wonder like you do if they just grew beyond it... I hope so. One point to mention is that some people seem to get so engrossed in helping others that they ignore their own journey and progress (or lack thereof). I've noticed that some of my best cheer leaders have tickers that don't move or move up. Everyone needs to put themselves and their journeys first!


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HAPPYSOUL91 7/19/2011 12:47PM

    Excellent, bet you are a great leader

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HOTRODSANDY 7/19/2011 11:29AM

    I bet your seminar for young managers is an awesome event!
I loved the message of your blog! I, like you, log onto spark and read the blogs to keep me motivated. In the first few weeks, I found this quote at the top of a page and had to copy it to my page: "by giving up on being healthy i am giving up on me and thats just not acceptable" copied from MICKIWILD. I thought at the time that the quote was about not giving up - but really it's that I have worth so I can't give up on myself! It just took me a while to see it.

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PGNBRI 7/19/2011 11:05AM


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SUSANS_TURN 7/19/2011 10:51AM

    You are such an amazingly insightful man. I'm so happy for you that you had that "aha" moment and even happier that you cared enough about all of us to share it! Thank you! emoticon

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GAL7288 7/19/2011 10:51AM

    You're right we never stop and place emphasize on who we are and how much we are worth. Thanks so much for posting, it sort of went with my own discovery of how I can not only change what I see outside but how I am also changing from the inside too! Have a wonderful day!

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GOOFIERNU 7/19/2011 10:40AM

    Another good one. As always, thank you. emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/19/2011 10:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KKINNEA 7/19/2011 10:26AM

    Great topic - you are so right about this!

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CINSROAD2HEALTH 7/19/2011 10:06AM

    Just a great blog John! It really opened my eyes & my heart to realize...if I don't love & respect me, how can anyone else?

Thanks for your wisdom, for your inspiration and for always sharing the best thoughts!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 7/19/2011 10:00AM

    Once again, you are an inspiration, John. Thank you - for being one of my "go-to" people when I need the motivation to keep going, even though the scale just doesn't seem to want to move at all. And, for the message, that "if it is to be, it is up to me."

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CMA444 7/19/2011 9:49AM

    Thank you John for your wisdom and courage to spill your guts for us all to see. It is truly appreciated and I always look forward to the message you send to us. It is always something that I need to hear and apply in my life!

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TRISTAROSE 7/19/2011 9:39AM

    emoticon Blog emoticon

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JECKIE 7/19/2011 9:34AM

    Awesome blog, John! I'm just coming out of a week of feeling worthless, and it's the great friends that helped pull me through reminding me that I AM worth something!

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NASFKAB 7/19/2011 9:26AM

  great blog as always, thoughtful & thought provoking thanks

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/19/2011 9:25AM

    A little apprehensive about what I might see in the mirror, but here I go! emoticon (is this a mirror?)

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KERLIN26 7/19/2011 9:14AM

  John, you are a constant inspiration. Thank you for your wisdom.

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SPARKLISE 7/19/2011 9:12AM

    emoticon What I needed to hear right now! emoticon

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WALKAWAY 7/19/2011 9:12AM

    Thank you John. I'm headed for the mirror.

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GRAMLORI 7/19/2011 9:02AM

    As usual, John, you hit the proverbial nail on the head! We are here, and gain strength from, each other. That's why I can say that, even though I have never met you--or many others--in person, my internet friends are TRUE friends. I can be bold enough to be myself. And find out that that's a good person to be. Thank YOU, too. You have a gift with words, and you use them well. Have a truly BLESSED day!

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MSPEACHYJONES 7/19/2011 8:59AM

    Lovely blog! Great message emoticon

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When You've Done Everything You Can Do..........

Monday, July 18, 2011

I thought about Doug Murphy this morning. When I worked for Doug he wasn’t much older than I was. We were both “children of the sixties,” and for the most part we got along with one another quite well. That’s not what I’ll remember about Doug. Doug had a unique ability to put any situation, especially the negative ones in perspective. Anytime our part of the operation would take a turn for the worse Doug would stand directly in front of me and ask one question, “Have you done everything you can possibly do to correct the problem?” When I’d answer that I had Doug would throw me two quarters and say, “Then I guess there’s not much more we can do is there? Go get us a Coke.” I realized then it was his way of motivating and affirming me all at the same time. After a while I learned to ask myself the same question long before Doug did. When I reached a final “yes,” I’d slip back into my routine and just keep plugging away. Doug’s advice is one of the reasons I became a successful manager and ultimately a successful person.

Doug never gave any great or grand speeches, never yelled and screamed, and his office was pretty dull and boring – No quotes or inspirational posters. He asked one thing and one thing only and that was the best you had to give on that given day. Some days it was more, some days it was less but all he wanted from you was the assurance you’d done everything you could do to make a situation better. I’ll admit that at times I came into work ready to coast through the day. There is only five years difference in age between our last four kids and only thirteen months difference between the last two. Some mornings my tank was empty before the day even started. Somehow though, I’d do what needed to be done, whether I really felt like it or not.

Doug crossed my mind this morning because his words came drifting up from the recesses of my mind. I was looking at my food and exercise trackers and I asked myself if I was doing everything I could to assure I am going to live a long and healthy life. The answer was no, I wasn’t. I get tired, discouraged, bored, frustrated and a host of other self-defeating emotions and I use them as a crutch. After all it is not my fault I have tendinitis in my hamstring muscles now is it? Any one going through all of these emotional issues would naturally turn to food, wouldn’t they? But rather than being harsh on myself, I remembered that Doug was never harsh or critical either. You see there WERE times I wasn’t doing everything I could do and he’d cause me to think. By the time he came back to talk to me I’d usually come up with a few activities to correct a negative situation. Doug taught me that when you have done everything you can do it’s ok to have that “emotional Coke” and quit beating yourself up. Life is simple, we find a good path of behavior, we develop good habits, we stick to them and after a while we find success. There are days, maybe even weeks or months where we find ourselves doing everything right and seeing everything turn out wrong!!!

Fruit and veggies aren’t always glamorous, exercise can be painful and boring and stepping on the scale can be like going to the gallows. They are all part of doing everything I can do. Some days it’s not fun and some days I feel like everything I touch falls apart on me. Yet most days I realize that all the effort I’m putting into myself right now is going to pay off big down the road.

Doug never talked to me or compared me to other supervisors. He knew I was more capable then some and less capable then others. What concerned him was my little piece of heaven I’d been given responsibility for. It’s hard some days to read a blog that trumpets and triumphs those folks who have happily reached a goal. It can be discouraging because we often don’t see the progress in ourselves. It’s really hard not to compare. So when you can look in the mirror and say you’ve done all you can, and nothing seems to gravitating in a positive way, take a really deep breath, relax and smile, success might be just over the hill.

Ask Doug Murphy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 7/21/2011 4:18PM

    Oh, John. Impeccable timing as usual.

This morning I caught a glimpse of a disturbing amount of cellulite-ridden back-of-the-thigh jiggle walking into work after getting off my bike. This on top of other sagginess that have had me frustrated. I started to get really down on myself: "Well, of course! You're slacking. You have the cardio down pat but your strength training and toning have been nonexistent lately." Etc., etc.

But as you know, I have been dealing with food, sleep and energy issues, and my doc and I agreed it would be best for a week or two to ditch the a.m. workout for some extra sleep.

So no, I am not a gym rat and I never will be. I am not as hardcore as oh-so-many people, but that is OK. Most days, I really am giving it my all. Just because my all falls short of other people's all, or because that all is not yielding the results I want when I want them, does not mean I am somehow less ... well, anything!

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SILLYHP1953 7/20/2011 4:17PM

    I need to get a lot better at the self-talk, the good self-talk. Thanks for sharing about Doug Murphy.

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CARTOONB 7/18/2011 11:29PM

    I like that. I'll have to remember it...especially when I'm working ou.

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HOTRODSANDY 7/18/2011 9:55PM

    Loved the blog! Sounds like he was an awesome man and great inspiration!

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RUN4FOOD 7/18/2011 9:40PM

    Great blog. Enjoyed reading and pondering it. Have to see ow I can better apply this to my life.

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MSSUNBUG 7/18/2011 9:34PM

    It's always amazing to me how out of touch with that very question I can be sometimes. When the answer to, "Have I done everything I can?" is no, I often find myself surprised to hear it (like recently). Being honest with yourself, cliche as it sounds, is the right start to changing this. I agree too, however, that if the answer is no, no good will come from beating ourselves up. Rather, it's always in our best interest to act from a place of compassion with ourselves.

I hope your week is starting well.

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GEEMAWEST 7/18/2011 8:08PM

    Doug was a very smart man.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/18/2011 5:10PM

    Like Doug without even meeting him...he is so right and I love his approach....
And it is so simple....
Have I done everything that is possible to do to reach this goal.....

Certainly a great question to ask ....

Will remind you of it from time to time while I am asking myself....

Love it....

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    I can certainly relate to this. It's the story of my life lately.

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ANATASHIKI 7/18/2011 3:39PM

    that's what i always try to do , everything that I can and after that I don't think about the finality anymore . it seems it's epidemic emoticon I just broke my toe yesterday, tried to run today and it bled again . so i'll be good and stick to pilates . and the water melon. good luck to you too and heal quick!

emoticon kori

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BLACKROSE_222 7/18/2011 3:33PM

    Awesome blog, and he sounds like a GREAT person to work with. Thanks for sharing.

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/18/2011 2:56PM

    What a gift to have someone in your life like that, John. Yes, when we truly have done all we can, we need to relax and know that it will be enough, even if it doesn't seem like it at the moment. Great lesson to keep in mind for so many things!

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SHERRYJVP 7/18/2011 2:52PM

    all that is so true and so nice to be reminded. This would be a great post regarding plateaus, too. Thanks.

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JENNY888 7/18/2011 2:36PM

    Great reading John.

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MIZZSB 7/18/2011 1:39PM

    great blog John, and definatly food for thought.
I get so discouraged by some stories here on SP as well..
people who lose 30-40 lbs within a few months... i get jealous and ask myself why them and not me?

Well a few things cross mind:

- i have been jo jo-ing all my life and been on to many diets
-they probarly never had been on a diet or exercise program so their bodies get this shock
- I am in for it for life and probarly think its a diet for a short term... so they can cut alot of kcal per week to lose 3-4 lbs each week.

I prefer to do it my way, its not that fast but i am getting there, al the lbs are gone and havent came back. At the moment i am not losing weight at all grr but i am losing inches....:)

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AKATUJE 7/18/2011 1:24PM

    When you've done all you can, just stand.... and keep ploughing ahead.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIRACLELOVE77 7/18/2011 1:04PM

    Thanks for sharing--GREAT blog. :)

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IRISHBEANERGAL 7/18/2011 12:53PM

    I had a "Doug Murphy" in my life, long ago, in my 20s. (ok not THAT long ago... I'm 46). He helped me be the success I am today. I may not be successful by societal pressures, but I am successful by my own measure, and that is good enough (most days).

Thanks for the reminder, John. I hope you found an exercise you can do while the hamstrings heal!

~Irish (aka The Incredible Shrinking Mom)

*July Mantra - plan to work and work your plan*

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IMIN2GENES 7/18/2011 12:37PM

    Great blog, John! Thanks!

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PGNBRI 7/18/2011 12:36PM

    Great Post!!

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GOOFIERNU 7/18/2011 12:22PM

    I needed this today. Thank you! emoticon

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LIZABETT 7/18/2011 12:22PM

    emoticon John, for the thoughtful blog. I'm learning that even when we do reach one goal we've worked hard for, there is no stopping place. There are still other goals out there to reach for. We can always be better than what we are...

You have had a good role model to help you keep going in the right direction. I'm finding good positive role models right here on SP---like you for instance.

emoticon John

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NUNZIATA43 7/18/2011 12:15PM

    WOW... right on the money! Just what I need to hear - THANK YOU for sharing from the heart. It's what's inside me also. Doug's words are so true. Need to remember that every day in everything I do! If I don't setup to do everything I possibly can, have to remember that I'm still a child of God and I'll be OK! Faith will carry me when I cannot! emoticon

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DEE797 7/18/2011 12:00PM

    Thanks John, I really needed to read this today. I've been struggling and no I haven't been doing all that I can to correct the situation. Thanks for the reminder.

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SANDYBRUNO 7/18/2011 11:54AM

    Thanks for sharing. I could definitely use this advice lately. emoticon emoticon

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CINSROAD2HEALTH 7/18/2011 11:54AM

    This is something that I am really going to bring into my current lifestyle. I've asked myself the very question that Doug asked you...and my answer is "no". Today, I'm going to work my tail off so at the end of the day, I can say "yes"...for today at least.

Thanks for sharing, I think more than a few of us can use a Doug Murphy in our lives.

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WALKWITME 7/18/2011 11:51AM

    emoticon Blog !

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/18/2011 11:50AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 7/18/2011 11:48AM

    That Mr. John is wonderful advice. Thanks!

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Thank You For The Love and Support and a Bit of an Update

Friday, July 15, 2011

I was overwhelmed in by all the love, support, encouragement and suggestions you sent my way yesterday. I started to respond to each of you individually and quite frankly got over whelmed by the responses. (I’m using over whelmed a lot, aren’t I?) So from the bottom of my heart I thank you and my aching legs thank you. I have come to believe that Spark People personifies the definition of perfect balance. When you need support and encouragement it is there for you to strengthen you, to help you get through your ordeal and usually it comes from people who have been where you are at. I see it as a give and take because I know that being part of this community means that I have a responsibility to support you when you need it. Lord knows the challenges and the Spark Points and all the other cool things are fun but I know in my heart, this journey may have ended after a short while if I hadn’t felt the encouragement of so many of you and from being inspired by many of your journeys. You, each of you are my heroes.

We are all about giving. That part comes easy. Admitting that we have weaknesses, that we contemplate failure, that we often need a life raft, that’s the difficult part. When I ask for your help it means I am open and vulnerable to you. It means you see me as I really am not how I create myself to be in your eyes. I believe it’s the healthiest thing I can do. I believe that asking for support, prayers, love, energy, call it what you choose, helps make me better and stronger. It is one of the four life principles that I cling to so strongly: “You are who you hang around with.”

I’ve undergone this amazing transformation since joining Spark. I’m not afraid to show you who I am. I’m not afraid to open up and say “I can’t do this alone. Can you help me please?” I am not perfect, never will be perfect and never want to be perfect. I want to be the very best John I can be. When I share my weakness with you it is not to suggest I’m going to give up, it’s acknowledging that I know where I can turn when I need strength. It’s a tip-of-the-hat to each of you because I respect you so much. I hope you feel the same way. I hope you feel that in me you have a safe haven when you need it. Someone who will understand and not judge.

When I am struggling with something or life’s thrown me a curve ball Joan often suggests I blog about it and see what suggestions you guys have. Please do not misconstrue my call for support as a signal that I am giving up. As long as I’m complaining I’m still breathing, as the saying goes. So thank each of you, very much. I am glad I have the weekend ahead of me. Many of you wrote long responses and made some reading suggestions that I want to look at and research.

Finally, I want to address one comment in particular because it really bothered me. Out of sixty eight responses I received one negative one. It began like this:” QUIT BELLYACHING! Think of the people who can't walk due to a spinal injury! Quit feeling sorry for yourself!”

I am not feeling sorry for myself, least I don’t think I am. I have experienced something that I’ve never experienced before and with the frustration I feel comes a bit of fear. I think part of being healthy is knowing when you need to let some emotion out before it eats away at you. I have always been an active person and being sidelined to this degree is something I’ve never gone through. Are there people in worse shape, you bet!!! I do not minimize anyone’s pain, suffering or challenge. We are here to learn, to grow, to share and to be healthy. Real honesty requires that I share the ten pound gain as openly as I share the ten pound loss. I don’t look at being honest as whining or complaining. Maybe the person who wrote that comment has a loved one who has a spinal cord injury or is disabled. Yes, I agree I will always have it better than many people, but it doesn’t take away from my frustration, only confronting that pain alleviates it.

Thanks for loving me, really, I mean it. If ya all were here ya’d get a big hug.

Now it’s out the pool, ugh!!!! LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MKPRINCESS007 7/18/2011 6:23PM

    You betcha,John! Right back at cha! Clearly the naysayer doesn't know you...cause if they did, they would know how positive and inspirational you are! That being said, I have been told and I do believe it...if people say something negative to you, it is more about themselves than it is about you. Enough said. Have a great evening!

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/18/2011 1:21PM


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FROGGERHKC 7/16/2011 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUSANS_TURN 7/16/2011 8:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 7/16/2011 4:03AM

    It's a privilege to be able to support you when you need it....
You certainly support and encourage me with your blogs.....

And...I am disappointed in the person that told you to quit bellyaching.....
I certainly don't see a request for support in that category....

Prayers continuing for you and Joan

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CARTOONB 7/15/2011 10:25PM

    You're welcome. I'll always be here for you as I know you'll be here for me.

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LINDAJ0621 7/15/2011 6:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 7/15/2011 4:40PM

    You betcha, bro!

Thanks for trusting us enough to open up. That says something about us too. emoticon


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SILLYHP1953 7/15/2011 3:04PM

    I need to make one of my goals to reach the state of openness and honesty and caring that you have. I wonder if you still have any fear of being that open, and if you just do it anyway. I have been pretty open in my blogs, but I can't maintain it every day like you manage to. I feel like one of those flowers that closes it's pedals after I write one of those blogs. I am working on my fear, just not hard enough.

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REJ7777 7/15/2011 2:47PM

    emoticon Where would we be without our SparkFriends! emoticon

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JEM0622 7/15/2011 12:51PM

    I am sorry to hear you have these challenges before you. I am also sorry for the insensitive individual who posted like that to your blog! I haven't had the luck of speaking with you much before, but some of my SP friends know you well :) I achieved my weight loss goal and have been in an out of injury-ville since last May. It is frustrating. I've had 'moments' with food. What helped me not to have too many was to be a part of a group where I weighed in weekly. So I felt accountable to a team and its success, and not just sit and stew. I am currently in PT, and I am excited that they are going to get me on the elliptical and treadmill in my upcoming sessions. I will finally feel like I am exercising again. Definitely do whatever form of exercise is approved. It's an outlet for our angst and makes us feel productive! And helps with the calories in/calories out thing. I got uber diligent about food and formatted SP goals to indicate I was doing zero exercise but had weight loss goals. This worked like a charm! Something to consider. It's important for us to get things off our chest. It's important to be validated. So keep on keepin' on. Thinking lots of healing thoughts for you!

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KERLIN26 7/15/2011 12:24PM

  You're a great inspiration to me, John. I know you will overcome this soon!

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HDHAWK 7/15/2011 12:05PM

    Hugs back at ya'. I was told this morning, no weights and only non-strenuous walking for another week or two. Frustrated, yes! But, it does give me time to focus on the area that gives me the most trouble, nutrition. Pool? Yippee! emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 7/15/2011 11:52AM

    Glad you clarified, and thanks for the thank yous. We love you too, Little John. emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/15/2011 11:34AM

    oh , don't mind the negativity , and only one of those doesn't count much , does it? emoticon most people love to help or say a good word( it also makes you feel good about yourself emoticon , just self irony here ) you just have to ask and let's face it , it's logical our experiences would similar or at least close. and the only person who you owe honesty is yourself, you don't have to prove anything here. i hope you'll feel better soon
emoticon kori

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TRISTAROSE 7/15/2011 11:18AM


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GETFIT2LIVE 7/15/2011 11:03AM

    Big hug right back at you, John. I know you will make it through this; as long as you are still here, you are holding onto the rope. Might be with your fingernails on the knot, but you're holding on, and that is enough for now. Go learn to enjoy the pool; who knows, maybe you'll love it! I do wish people would hold the negative comments here, but not much that can be done about that. Know that you are loved and appreciated deeply!


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DEE797 7/15/2011 10:51AM

    So glad to see you feeling better today. Have fun in the pool. emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/15/2011 10:48AM

  Great blog as usual

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GEEMAWEST 7/15/2011 10:35AM

    Hug ya back! emoticon

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KKINNEA 7/15/2011 10:27AM

    Yay pool - think of it as your lifeline back to walking!

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GOOFIERNU 7/15/2011 10:19AM

    emoticonLooks like you're bouncing back. Glad to see it. emoticon

A couple times in the past few months, I've had to shout out for help. I love SP for that. It's nice to know there are people in the same boat willing to toss you a life preserver and then yank you back in the boat.

Sooo.... if you learn to swim, you'd be prepared to do a triathlon... hmmmm... emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 7/15/2011 10:16AM

    Thanks John emoticon

I loved your blog, I know if your complaining you're not giving up , of course not!!It's your feelings you have a right to them, we all do!!

I appreciate your honesty! I agree with you about the 1 response,but think of all the positive responses & support!!

AS far as I'm concerned if I read a blog & someone's asking for help & by dropping a line I can give it I will!!

Cause I'm not here to judge anyone's journey.I like everyone else have my own journey,& each step is important! emoticon

Enjoy your day & the pool. emoticon

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JSPIN74 7/15/2011 10:07AM

    :) emoticon

enjoy your swim!

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DOLLIE6 7/15/2011 9:51AM

    Thanks for the blog John. I love your honesty. I try to be so careful on here to tell the truth because I want to get better and truly the truth will set you free. I don't respond to a lot of things but I do a lot of reading and get encouraged. Just know you are admired and appreciated. emoticon

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MARCYNA 7/15/2011 9:48AM

    Hey John, your big hug is something which makes me smile through the clouds.
Love and hugs your way,
PS I can't stand negativity either.

Comment edited on: 7/15/2011 9:49:08 AM

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JECKIE 7/15/2011 9:40AM

    John, don't let the negativity get you down. There is alsays someone worse off, but it doesn't negate what we are going through because it's PERSONAL. That's something I really had to deal with when I traveled - I saw the poorest of the poor and for a while I was like "what right do I have to be upset by my own circumstances when they don't even have clean water?" But then I realized that we each have our challenges to bear and they may appear "less" than someone else's, but they're ours and that makes them important.

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I Need A Bit Of Support

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I don’t often find myself discouraged to the point that it affects my usually cheerful demeanor. Oh, I may complain and moan but inside of me I am eternally looking for the pony under the pile of manure. I am grateful and thankful for all I have. I believe in myself, I know what my value is and because I made a smart choice to include you as a friend. I hang around with most excellent people. I am a success in many aspects of my life and I count my blessings. I fail often but am not a failure. I get discouraged but usually put “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” on ITunes, listen to it a few times and wait for the clouds to clear. There is not a lot that slows me down. Maybe that’s the lesson I’m supposed to learn here.

About a month ago my legs began bothering me, more specifically, my hamstrings, then my gluts, then my quads and finally my knees. The pain got worse, stabilized, got worse, went away, came back and repeated the cycle. When I wasn’t in pain I had a hard time walking. My legs felt like someone poured concrete in them. If I walked on a flat surface or one that sloped I was fine. Anything slightly uphill resembled a crab walking. It sure isn’t fun. I normally walk two miles a day, and was spinning three times a week.

I’m not a huge fan of taking pills so for about three weeks, with my doctors support, I tried a number of things to alleviate the issue. Massage therapy was an option but not a cheap or painless one. If you have never had a myofascial release technique performed on you I’d recommend lots of Advil prior to having it done. I almost passed out. I applied ice, rested, didn’t do any walking, running, or cycling. I did upper body strength training but only those exercise I could do while seated.

All I kept hearing was “rest, rest, rest.” It’s the only cure.

So now I’m not exercising and since food is my drug of choice I start medicating my frustration with food. I gain 12.5 pound and feel like I’m the Goodyear Blimps twin brother. I’m totally frustrated. Try not being able to put your pants on without sitting down first. Yeah, I know there are folks worse off than me.

My doctor and I caucused on Tuesday. I told her the holistic approach hadn’t really put a dent in the pain and lack of mobility. Off to an orthopedic man I went. The diagnosis is moderate to severe tendinitis of my hamstrings and because they are so weak it’s affecting my gluts, and knees and everything else. So he suggested an anti-inflammatory for a week or so and swimming. Fortunately we have a pool but guess who doesn’t know how to swim, LOL? He went on to tell me that I’d probably did a bit too much spinning and running for a fifty seven year old obese man. (Really, I love this guy because he has the same bluntness about him that I appreciate) So the muscle group has to heal and he said it’s not uncommon for it to take up to a year for this to happen.
I know there is a lesson here. I just wish it would reveal itself and I could get on with life. I’m cranky, crabby and impatient with life. Did I mention I’m eating everything in sight? I look out the window and see people running and I get bitter. I’d appreciate love in any way you choose to show it. Whether its prayer, energy or simply your support.

Thank you for letting me share me and thank you for being my friend. I value that most of all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EILI359 7/19/2011 2:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BTINTERNET 7/17/2011 5:02PM

    1) Ouchy-ouch-ouch!!!

2) Love you. Seriously.

3) Glad you at least have an answer.

*big hugs*

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SOUTHPONDCAMP 7/16/2011 4:23PM

    Time for swimming lessons! Plus learning something new is a nice distraction from the other aches and pains. Hope you heal quickly and get back onyor normal game.

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SAMDJS 7/16/2011 2:20PM

    I hope you get better soon! Hang in there, you'll be back to your old self sooner than you know. Just heed the doctors orders so the healing process doesn't slow down.
I will pray for you. That's the best medicine around!
As I read the other day, just remember...even in troubled times - God is still at work!

Take care

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KATHRYN1955 7/16/2011 11:35AM

    I had finally found an exercise that I liked (swimming) and I guess I got carried away with it. Shoulder and neck pain have morphed into lower back pain. Anti-inflammatories and tylenol have made me dopey and tired which leads to bad food choices. Along with extra company and preparing meals, I am definitely a cranky camper. So, I can really commiserate with your situation. It doesn't seem fair that our bodies (this one is 55 years old) should let us down when we are trying to do all this good stuff to improve them.
Anyway, as I have said (or rather Red Green has said!) before, keep your stick on the ice, we are all in this together.
I shall allow myself the luxury of wallowing for a spell, then I will get back into the game.
Take care and don't be too hard on yourself,
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/16/2011 11:36:10 AM

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SHANNJ77 7/16/2011 12:11AM

    emoticon and quick healing vibes for you! Hope you are feeling better in no time!

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TEENY_BIKINI 7/15/2011 11:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDWINA172 7/15/2011 9:55PM

    I can be crank, crabby and impatient with life too, especially when I don't get exercise. It seems that I've been reading a lot about people needing to rest and recover. Why is it that it took us forever to get hooked on exercise and when we're hooked, something happens and we have to rest? Look at the change in your mindset now. You are yearning to exercise! I'm glad that you realize that there is a lesson in this. Maybe your niche is just down an alternate route. Thanks for reaching out for help. Your posts help others realize that its ok to ask for help. Maybe the lesson isn't just for you? Have a great weekend my friend. As always, I am proud to know you.

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LINDAJ0621 7/15/2011 6:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/15/2011 5:09PM

    Missed this yesterday, and gotta say you aren't particularly whiny. Just sharing your frustration with us, which is exactly what you should do.
What a great opportunity to learn how to swim, though..... emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/15/2011 12:10PM

    I somehow missed this yesterday. As I mentioned in my comment on your other blog, I'm kind of in the same boat and so far medicating with food hasn't helped. It makes me even more frustrated so I guess it's time to try something else. I have to get my back healed in 4 weeks so I'm ready for school to start. The pool sounds wonderful and now you have a new project to take on, learning to swim.

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DAISY443 7/15/2011 9:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAMADWARF 7/15/2011 9:52AM

    SO frustrating isnt it? I totally get it. We are used to being able to do so much now that going back to a sedentary lifestyle is soo frustrating. I am proud of you for looking at all the options and trying to find something to help. I HATE being in pain and my back is acting up right now so I am really trying to rest.

Dont let the lack of being able to excercise hinder all the progress you have made. DO some upper body s/t, look up HEALTHY snacks and meals and make those instead of just eating crap. You can still stay on your healthy lifestyle whether you can run, walk or bicycle.

As for swimming, even if you get a floaty noodle or something and lay on it and kick, it will be good for you muscles and you will moving. It doesnt have to be the typical "Swim" moves.

John, one thing I know about you is how strong you are and what a positive person you are. I know you are in a little funk but I also know you will get past this. Just another bump in the road.

We are here for you!! Jan

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AKATUJE 7/15/2011 6:10AM

    John, you will get through this. When the door closed on running, you embraced something new. And you excelled. You can learn to swim, and do it well. You are an inspiration to so many of us. The quest for your health and weight loss and fitness must go on, regardless of what else is happening.

That said, you need to find a new drug of choice. Food is not your FRIEND!!! If you do not buy it you will not eat it. Teach your taste buds to adapt to more nutritious food. They are tiny tiny little things that should not be allowed to be your boss!!! And there in i think lies your challenge for the next few months. And you are bigger than that, you are more than the choices you have made, more than the sum of your past mistakes, more than the circumstances you face. YOU ARE!!!!

I will pray for you as often as i remember, for healing for your legs, and for the strength to make better choices re your food. You can lose weight even now. Challenge yourself to do it!!! I know you can!!!!

ps. I read that in the quest to lose weight, nutrition is more important than exercise. Also that you can eat your way out of any amount of exercise.

He who started this work in you is faithful, He will bring it to completion.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/15/2011 6:13:38 AM

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GEEMAWEST 7/14/2011 11:39PM


You are one of the strongest people I know. I mean that with the utmost respect.

You may not know how to swim but that doesn't mean you can't get relief from using the local pool. You don't have to go into the deep end, you can just go in the shallow end and walk back and forth. You get the exercise and don't feel the pain. We have a "warm" pool here that is only 5' deep. It is very therapeutic.

I know how painful the myofascial release exercises can be. They are using those on me for my back. But you can handle it. I know you can. Be strong but also give yourself a break. Rest when needed and if the pain is too great STOP!

Bottom Line: I am here to support you. No matter what.

Love and Hugs, G-Ma

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WALKIETALKIE 7/14/2011 11:17PM

    My daughter has some of the same kinds of problems that cause her no end of knee pain. She is on the hs track team and they also suggested rest and myofascial release exercises using hard foam rollers. She had me try it and tears sprung to my eyes the nano-second that my thigh hit the roller. Although, I must say that the more she and I did that exercise the less painful it got for us.

I also am a bike/walk/run addict due mostly to the fact that I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 21 years now and my doctor told me that swimming was the only exercise that I would ever be able to do. So my mature adult response was to immediately start hating swimming and hating my body for having the audacity of get in the way of my big life plans. I couldn't tell you what my plans were but still the nerve of my body to do something completely unplanned. I am only able to do what I do because I started by walking - a lot. And I have great prescription drugs that have basically stopped the progress of my condition.

Maybe at the time, it was God's way of telling a 27 year old head-strong woman to slow down and pay attention to what really matters at a time when He couldn't get my attention any other way. 2 decades later I'm still learning a lot about myself because of my RA. I'm pretty convinced at this point that I will get back in the pool one day soon. I'm just about done being mad at my body and the pool.

What I'd like to tell you is:
- Don't feel bad for treating pain. Don't be a "good and uncomplaining" pain patient. Your doctors cannot help you if they don't know it hurts. Take this piece of advice from a person that has a lot of experience in the pain department. When the pain gets ahead of you, its much harder to alleviate. Tell your doctors what's working what's not and let them know how active you want to be and what your weight loss goals are. It will really help them to help you. Also, make the effort to stay active and let them know about what you are doing.

-Don't define yourself by your limitations. Look to others on this site that have had major successes despite debilitating injuries. I'm thinking particularly of Indygirl and how she designed a chair workout that helped to keep her in the game.

-When Plan A blows up, go to Plan B until that stops working. In the meantime, devise Plan C. You don't need to swim to get the benefit from the pool. Spend 30 to 45 minutes a day in the pool just doing stuff and I guarantee that you will get benefits. I spent a summer in college teaching swim lessons for 2 hours a day, not actually swimming, but showing little kids how to swim in the shallow end of the pool by holding them, holding onto the side and kicking, demonstrating arm motions. I lost weight just doing that. You also don't need expensive equipment to exercise in a pool. My Y used to teach a class where the women brought in empty plastic milk jugs and did all sorts of crazy things with them in the pool. Who knows, you could be on the verge of discovering some great new exercise craze for the pool. La-La-PoolZumba! You just have to be open to the opportunity - unlike myself - who was not. I may have just given away a bazillion dollar idea.

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CARTOONB 7/14/2011 11:11PM

    Dang! Resting is hard, but it sounds like you'd better do it. You'll get through this too". And probably be a better person for it. God does not give us more than we can handle, right?

I hope you find the pony and the pile is small.

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TRACEY5280 7/14/2011 10:15PM

    Tough and frustrating stuff. I know you can find options though, and who knows, maybe a new exercise that will stick and give you variety when you're healed and back to running. Many great suggestions here. There are so many things you can do in a pool. I don't swim either but have been toying with learning. I remember one of the contetants on BL that really couldn't do anything standing up for a long time, but boy they burned calories. I believe that you can and will do this. You da man!

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SUSANS_TURN 7/14/2011 8:54PM

    emoticon You can get through this John! I don't know the size of your pool but your should be able to walk around in it in a shallow area or even get one of those noodles to give you some buoyancy, just moving through the water, even though not swimming will give you exercise and if you can't eat in the pool!?! (I tried it when I was a dad still reminds me of what a miserable failure it was). You could also check out, if you go to the part, Seniors' Dance & Exercise, they have sitting bound exercise videos. I understand that it's not the level of exercise you are use to working at but at least until you heal, maybe there is something there that might interest you? My neighbor has problems walking and does chair bound exercises in the mornings with a program that runs on our local PBS station. I think I can remember her telling me that she even records it at times. Maybe you could check your local listings. Where there is a will there is a way John! You can do this! Hang in there!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALLISON145 7/14/2011 8:05PM

    Chin up, John. Be as kind and empathetic to yourself as you are to others. Hugs!


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WATERMELLEN 7/14/2011 7:51PM

    You give so many so much support, so when I see a shout out from you seeking support I sure want to respond.

Is this an opportunity to learn how to swim? Would someone in your family help you learn? Swimming does feel so awesome . . .

And sorry: here's the blunt part. You gotta track your nutrition and stick with it. "The Diet Solution" by Judith S. Beck is a book that really really helped me with this: and I commend it to you . . .

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SHERRYJVP 7/14/2011 7:36PM

    walk in the water, wiggle in the water, take an aerobics class..and until you get through this, find something to do with your hands. You WILL get through this. This will get better..and this is not the end of your journey. This is, like you said, a bump. A crappy bump. But you are always so inpirational..maybe reread some of your blogs. I love them. They have helped me many times.

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KSFITNESS1 7/14/2011 6:39PM

  I am relatively new to SP and just added you as a friend. I have been going through a "bump" in the road with old injuries flairing. It's so hard not to go backwards, which is what I did too. You are wise to have put this blog up for much great advice here and support. I hope that you are feeling a little less down today. Hang in there. Sending support your way, as I don't have any great advice to offer--just heartfelt support.

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LYNMEINDERS 7/14/2011 6:09PM

    It is really awesome that we can get things out to one another.....

I fully understand your frustration....I have tendonitis as well at present in the fromt of my leg down near ancle level...have had a week on anti-inflamitary pills and have pretty much rested it for the week and finished the pills and it sweeled up again and is now affecting my lower leg to my getting frustrated as well as I am only 3 weeks away from a 10k race that i am walking and I am determined to do it however have to get this sucker healed....and it is not going to heal any faster because I get frustrated and curse fact..I am sure it will take longer to spite
I too put on 2k's in the last week however have got back on track and think..."If I can't walk at present then the least i can do it eat appropriately".....that seems to be working for is also setting up my..."I don't actually need to eat that now" strategy as well.....

Thinking of you and Praying for you in this one...
I am of a simular agae to you and when we are making progress and we hit something like this wonder if it is worthwhile at our age to be bothering to get healthy and loose weight...
Well I know I think like that....however...I am going to hang in with what I can to the best of my ability each day and look for results through that....

Love & Prayers

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KT-NICHOLS-13 7/14/2011 6:02PM

    Can't swim? No worries. Search out a water aerobics class, you don't need to know how to swim. Can't swim? No worries. Tread water or hold onto the edge of the pool and kick like mad. Can't swim? No worries. If that fabulous granddaughter of yours can, take her to the pool and splash around with her.

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand where you are mentally and physically. That being said, I know you can find a way to turn this around and keep on keeping on. I've got nothing but love for ya John!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 7/14/2011 5:53PM

    Medicating with medicine and not with food is not an easy barrier to push past. I used food for pain maintenance and it is was very hard to keep food for only fuel.Have you tried a chiropractor? I found one that uses the Activator Method and it has alleviated a large percentage of the issue. It was an investment though.
I'll be praying for you.

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MKPRINCESS007 7/14/2011 5:33PM

    Oh John, you have been here for so many of are such an awesome sparkfriend! Time for you to get some much needed love and support!That being said...........

I know this hurts. Physically and Emotionally. It sucks. Really. I know you always try to find the bright side, but it is ok to be angry and bitter for a hot minute. It isn't good to always push it away, because I swear in me, when I do, it comes back stronger. Allow yourself some time to feel how you feel. You are human. Then, I agree with others sounds like a door is opening next to one that you feel just closed for a while. Use the pool! Either learn to swim or just consult an expert on the kinds of exercise you can do in the pool for results but no further damage. It could possibly be the best thing that has ever happened to you!

You know I am here for you!

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WALKAWAY 7/14/2011 5:08PM

    You are in my prayers John. And don't feel bad, I can't swim either. I think if I was close to a pool I would be checking out the water aerobics. And as many others have posted there are numerous things you can do from the shallow end.

I wish you God speed to a quick recovery and strength to take each day one at a time. I know that you can do it.


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GIRANIMAL 7/14/2011 4:25PM

    A year! Oh, John! That sounds daunting at best. And yes, injury and the subsequent muscle guarding are a vicious cycle -- I know. I still battle it, and I herniated this disc probably 7 or 8 years ago! The pain and frustration are very real and I'm sorry you seem destined to endure it.

I love the suggestions that this is an opportunity to learn to swim! Smart friends, you have. emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 7/14/2011 3:37PM

    Sounds to me like you have been given the perfect opportunity to learn to swim. It's a challenge, it's something new, and it's a great way to stop feeling down and start building yourself back up again.

So, what's stopping you from learning to swim?

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FREECANDY 7/14/2011 3:20PM

    Sorry you're in so much pain, both physical and mental. I highly recommend that you take advantage of the pool! Maybe you can find a learn to swim class for adults at the Y or something. Or truthfully, it's not all that hard to teach yourself. Watch a youtube video and get the idea, and then put it into action (of course, don't swim anywhere your feet can't touch the ground without someone there until you get the hang of it). What about a class like aqua aerobics?

I LOVE swimming and it's awesome non-impact exercise. It really works your muscles and burns a surprising number of calories.

Comment edited on: 7/14/2011 3:21:30 PM

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KIKOOMAGOO 7/14/2011 3:06PM

    Am adding my two cents... go to the pool! There are so many ways you can use the water (and not leave the shallow end). You seem like a person who thrives on learning so make a goal to learn new water activities that will build and maintain your muscles. I'm sure you can do it! and I'm positive there is someone at the pool who is wishing a new person would come in and be their student. You'll make someone's day/month/year! and be able to get through this.

The whole eating part - I'm still learning too. But I do know you can get a whole lot of munching satisfaction from carrots and celery and cherry tomatoes and almonds and cucumbers and peppers and radishes and you get the idea.

other things to do besides eat...
whittle wood, play an instrument, build a model plane/train/car/ and paint them, type more blogs, hug your wife, volunteer at a literacy program or library, make yourself a list of 50-100 things to do before you eat and post it where you can use it daily.

emoticon you are strong and


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JSPIN74 7/14/2011 3:05PM

    sorry ur feeling disheartened! but hey it's normal, normal, normal considering....

take the meds for a bit for some's not a sin! and if it will get you moving again isn't it worth it?

don't beat urself up for falling off the wagon a'll get back to your old self as long as you take care emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 7/14/2011 2:16PM

    John, my favorite way to show my friends support is thru a giant hug. I was wondering if Joan would agree to be my arms for this one?

I so get where you are coming from. My back has bothered me all week and the longer I have to sit still, the more aggravated I get. I wonder if my old couch potato self is shocked by that statement? Anyway, the food is not a fun issue. It has been my drug of choice for years. I too am craving my old fall backs. It's not easy to say no but I'm working on that.

Maybe this is God's way of saying, "John, you have some internal work to do. Take a break from the physical and let's you and Me figure out this food thing."

I took a class a few years ago and it was amazing. You can get the workbook on Amazon and if you do the home work, you will get so much info. about yourself that you will be shocked. The book is called "The Hunger Within : A Twelve Week Guided Journey from Compulsive Eating to Recovery". Amazon has used ones for $.01 but make sure that it's not written in. If you get it, you'll want to write in your own stuff.

I'm cheering for you John. Hang in there!


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SPARKLISE 7/14/2011 2:03PM

    Hey! Don't give up on yourself! emoticon
I hurt my back last week and it hurts all the way to my knee so i can't run anymore either and walking is kind of weird also.
I go see a physiotherapist that i pay to hurt me! emoticon
Everybody says"yeah,but it feels good after!" "Really? I haven't experienced that part yet!" emoticonI slept with a water bottle on my lower back last night.
I joined the gym yesterday where they have personal trainers that i don't have to pay extra, and i'm going to give that a try to make my back stronger and more limber.
I don't blame you to be discouraged because a year for healing sounds like a long time. I don't know how long it will take for my pain to go away since its a chronic back pain(but never this bad). It could be a year for me also but i try to concentrate on what i can do until it does go away.
I wish I had a pool! I have the ocean with lots of jelly-fishes! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 7/14/2011 2:00PM

    John, You can totally to this! You don't have to know how to swim to use the pool either. It's wonderful therapy and a good workout. I used to teach water aerobics. You can always stick to the shallow end and walk. Great resistance and almost no impact! Where there's a will, there's a way and I know you've got the will!

Take is easy. Rest. Try the pool - it won't bite! I'll be sending lots of positive vibes your way!

Comment edited on: 7/14/2011 2:00:26 PM

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DEE797 7/14/2011 1:57PM

    John....YOU CAN DO THIS! Just take your pills, rest, and you can always walk/jog in the pool. Or hold onto the sides and do exercises that way. Shadow boxing can also work your upper body, the contestants did a lot of that on the last Biggest Loser Season and it worked for them. Next thing is to track your food and drinks and watch those portion sizes. We are rootin' for you! emoticon

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JENNY888 7/14/2011 1:35PM

    You can do it John, I know you can. Get some pool noodles and swim with them. All you have to do is hang on to them or put them under your arms and paddle. It will help. You might look into taking a water aerobics class or two at a club to see what they are like. They can be really fun.

I am in much the same shape as you having gained about 12 pounds. I hate it also. I am working now to reverse this. You can too. Remember, we only have to take more steps forward than we take back to make progress.

You can do it!

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PANFRIEDTROUT 7/14/2011 1:27PM

    John, I understand full well the frustration & even anger at being hurt and the impatience that comes with it. I'm sorry that you're going through this.

Besides trying water aerobics & learning to swim, I thought the Yoga/Stretching idea was also good. You do have to be very careful though, in either case, because it's actually possible to overdo both of those.

I didn't see anyone recommend alternating ice/heat packs so you might ask your Doc about that. Also not mentioned were Isometric exercises. From what I understand, they don't build strength but they can help maintain (to some degree) your current level of muscle development. Again, something to confer with your Doctor about.

As for the eating thing, the next time you're tempted to put something in your mouth that you know to be self*destructive, pick up the phone & call a friend or family member. They don't need to know you're struggling (unless you want to tell them) but just have a brief, general chat with them. Go online to MSN and play a short game of whatever .... careful to set a time limit on that. Open up your Bible & start working on a verse or passage to memorize. What simple chore around the house or yard have you been putting off? Go do that instead.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZZSB 7/14/2011 1:16PM


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BECKY3774 7/14/2011 1:07PM

It may not be the choice that you'd like, but the swimming pool is an awesome place for you to work those muscles and not hurt them. I am here for you in whatever way that I can be, and if you need anything, don't be afraid to ask. I've also had problems this week with "overmedicating" myself with food due to stress. It's what we do. Let's work on correcting that pattern! emoticon emoticon emoticon

I too value yours and everyone elses friendships on spark, and I wouldn't want to live without them.

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ANATASHIKI 7/14/2011 1:01PM

    take the damned anti inflammatory(we're talking about non steroidal , right?) , rest and don't over eat anymore ! I don't think a week is enough , muscles and tendons lesions heal more difficult than bones . I also have serious leg pains and I was too lazy to search for some anti inflammatory drugs but I'll do it today. I 'll take a ton of them until i'll feel good . you don't have to swim in the pool , you can just stay on the side and do exercises in the water . if people in wheel chairs can find exercises to o to help them loose weight you can also do it. this is just a minor unpleasant thing , don't let yourself down ! and if you think I'm young and I don't know what I'm talking about , I do. I have chronic pain , weird unknown osteoarthritis and I know how it is to be unable to stand without swallowing a hand of pills . when you can't even walk you don't worry much about running. sorry if my tone was too harsh, just please , don't overeat anymore and take the medication you need . and give your body time to heal.

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CATHERINEL66 7/14/2011 12:48PM

    John, you can do this.

Stop that eating. "Medicate" yourself with something else. You already know about the world of positive options here, and all about diet/nutrition.

Get going on some new and different fitness and find your way. Get a swim coach THIS WEEK. You were spending $$ on a personal trainer before, now you need a specialist for the swim. And try to add on some other stuff that won't irritate the legs. Yoga.

Build up those weak muscles. You can find out how and get to it.

See, you're already too busy to be eating!

I know exactly how you feel -- I spent the majority of fall through winter of 2010/2011 being laid up -- first the broken foot and then the major surgery ... and if I could do it and not eat, I know you can too, buddy.


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SRHALLIN 7/14/2011 12:38PM

    Having spent a year and a half in a room that was 10' x 13' - and never wishing to return to one - let me say that I do understand how immobility affects the mind, the heart and the spirit. Cabin Fever is like the devil on your shoulder.

But, there is light, if you let it be. You do not have to sacrifice all of your hard-won progress to the emotional monster gnawing on you. You've got the heart of a warrior, or you wouldn't be able to fight so hard for good health. You would never have gotten to where you are in terms of your overall health.

Ok, you love to run, and you can't run. I empathize tremendously on that point. But, there are things that you *can* do. Public pools have instructors for swimming lessons. Or, perhaps you've got a family member who can help you learn. Regardless, you have the option of getting in the pool and holding on to the ledge while you smoothly move your legs back and forth. No impact, and it may just help you to loosen up those inflamed muscles.

You can continue to eat healthy foods and in healthy portions. You *will* still make progress that way. And you *will* feel like you are still fighting for the goals that you have set for yourself.

Warriors do not always get to choose the battleground or arena. But, they can always choose to fight for their objectives.

There are - at this moment - 37 responses to your request for support. You are *not* alone. You have an SP army here to help you rally your spirit to your cause. We believe in you, and you *know* you can achieve your goals.

The setback is temporary. The rewards for fighting through it will last you a lifetime.

Best wishes to you on your journey to good health and personal happiness.

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BRENDABUNNY 7/14/2011 12:36PM

    Thinking of you and sending specail thoughts & prayers emoticon emoticonBrenda

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BLACKROSE_222 7/14/2011 11:53AM

    I'm sorry about the pain and lack of motivation - but you are not a failure. This is just a road bump, that life has given you. You can only play the hand you have been dealt, and I know you can do this. Swimming is a great idea - would your wife be willing to help you with this? Or, worse case scenario, put on a lifejacket, and just move in the pool - at least it is exercise. emoticon

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JOANOFSPARK 7/14/2011 11:48AM

    emoticon emoticon I know it has to be frustrating since you have been so active, but from what I understand, (I have no pool near me) just getting in the water and doing water aerobics and moving around is very helpful. Just give it time and you will soon be healed and back out there doing what you love best. In the meantime, your body needs to heal and it is a good time to reflect. But don't give up and don't surrender to the munchies...Think positive... emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/14/2011 11:50:10 AM

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KERLIN26 7/14/2011 11:46AM

  I can't imagine how hard it is for you to be going through this. I will pray hard for a full and quick recovery. Perhaps God's plan here is for you to find another type of exercise that will be more beneficial? I don't know... Keep praying and it will all be revealed.

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/14/2011 11:38AM

    John, I am so sorry--I can only imagine how frustrating and discouraging this is for you! If you have the option of a pool, absolutely positively take advantage of it; you do not have to know how to swim to use it for water aerobics, water jogging, and just paddling around. Any movement in the water, ANY, will be better than nothing. And what better time to take some swimming lessons and learn to swim?

There IS a pony under there somewhere, we both know it; it just may take awhile to dig it out and believe it again. Don't let food become your friend again. This is only a phase, perhaps a long and painful one, but a phase nonetheless. You will get past it and come out stronger on the other side, I believe in you.


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DRAGONFLY79 7/14/2011 11:32AM

    Sending happy thoughts your way! Hope you are able to recover quickly - the water aerobics sounds like a fun challenge in the meantime. emoticon

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Two Small Words

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

They’re probably among the first ten words we learn. They are so much a part of our language and routine that we often forget their intent and meaning. Saying them can change a dull day into sunny one. Forgetting to say them can cause someone to unravel. These two small words have tremendous impact. They are “thank you.”

All this came home to me late yesterday afternoon. Around lunch time our thermostat decided to stop working. Normally this isn’t a big issue but the outside temperature was 99F. Fortunately it stuck in the on position and we had air. I was worried that without it ever shutting off my AC would go Ka-Ploiey! I called the people who installed and they told me it might be Thursday before they could get there. They’d see what they could do.

An hour later there was a knock on the front door. When I opened it I saw an elderly man in a work shirt. He smiled and said “I’ve come to fix your AC.” The thermostat is at the top of a flight of stairs and he told me he was sorry in advance if it took him a few minutes to reach it. He had arthritis and he didn’t move as quickly as he used to. After a half hour of testing and examining he said he’d have to replace the thermostat. When he was finished I said “Thank You.” He had saved me a major headache. A small grin turned into a huge smile. He went on to tell me that he was retired and they used him when they got backed up. I asked him how long he had worked there and he winked at me. “I own the place.” I laughed and so did he. The business was run by two of his sons and he helped out when he could. He walked in the basement and pointed out a few minor things about my AC I wasn’t aware of , fixed them, winked again and said “no charge.”

I walked with him to the front door and before he left he told me how nice it was to do work for someone that was thankful and grateful for the service. As I waved good bye it struck me how important that “thank you” was to both of us. That was on my mind the rest of the day.

There are times I forget to say it, to think it or believe in it. They are two very powerful words that when spoken in a sincere fashion can change someone’s life

Thank You

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOWANGELDIVA 7/14/2011 6:05PM

    That was awesome! Thank you for sharing your good spirited story.

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HANKENSTEIN 7/14/2011 6:00PM

    very true john. great reminder

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GIRANIMAL 7/14/2011 4:09PM

    Great reminder!

I always say hello and thank you to cashiers, bus drivers, etc. Sometimes I feel a little bad when they don't acknowledge it or don't seem to want to be bothered -- LOL -- but I always do it anyway. It just feels like the right, decent thing to do.

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SUSANSERENE 7/14/2011 10:56AM

    What a lovely reminder for ALL of us, John, and I'm so glad you shared!

I'm sure you made the AC man's day with your thanks, a reminder to him of why he originally opened the business and continues to take pride in it as his sons run it. It was his life's passion, I bet, and your kindness towards him is the icing on the cake!

Good for you, letting him know how much it meant to you to have him come out. Those two little words can carry such power and meaning, can't they. I'm proud of you!

Thank YOU for a great blog!

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LYNMEINDERS 7/14/2011 12:28AM

    Those are 2 very important and impacting words.......and we often forget to say them however it is great the change they make when we do,,,,


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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/13/2011 11:44PM

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful reminder of the power those two words contain!
Stay positive!

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TIME4AFITME 7/13/2011 10:07PM

    Thank you John for your blogs and for being you

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GEEMAWEST 7/13/2011 9:27PM


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CARTOONB 7/13/2011 9:02PM

    You're right. Those are two very important words. Thank you.

Oh...and you're welcome!

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KKINNEA 7/13/2011 3:57PM

    Thanks for this!

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SILLYHP1953 7/13/2011 3:52PM

    Now that's the kind of business I want to do business with!!! Can you imagine our world if everyone was like that. It must have been what John Lennon was singing about.

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AMORRISON19 7/13/2011 2:17PM

    Thank YOU for sharing! Your story brought tears to my eyes. So very true, and very touching!

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SHERRYJVP 7/13/2011 2:17PM

    It is such a thrill to find and do business with good people. And it does happen. THanks for the reminder. Hope you are having a great day!

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MIZZSB 7/13/2011 1:56PM

    oh John... THANK YOU!!!
you always touch me with your blogs...

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BLUEROSE73 7/13/2011 11:31AM

    Thank you for the reminder. And what a blessing to have this gentleman available to check out your problem for you on such short notice.

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HEALTHYME229 7/13/2011 11:23AM

    "Please" and "thank you" are such simple words, but they can have great power and influence. The simple gesture of respect can mean so much to the recipient. Thanks for the reminder.

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GOOFIERNU 7/13/2011 9:56AM

    emoticonfor this post! Those two words have been on my mind a lot lately.

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BLACKROSE_222 7/13/2011 9:35AM

    Good for you, and what a wonderful person to meet! I'm glad you had time to share and to think on these things. Thank You.

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/13/2011 9:17AM

    and...thank you for posting this, such a simple thing with a major impact.

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MSSUNBUG 7/13/2011 9:16AM

    So true. Thank YOU. :-)

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MIMIDOT 7/13/2011 9:15AM

    Thank you for the inspiring blog. It is so important to try to remember those two little words. I try very hard to, but we all forget. Thanks again and have a good day!

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    Yes, very powerful words. I loved reading your post.

Take Good Care & Thank You.

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HDHAWK 7/13/2011 9:12AM

    What a wonderful story. So important. Thank YOU John, for sharing it.

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