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Where It Begins and Where It Ends

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I always use the same ice breaker with every class I conduct. I ask people to write down the two most popular title sections they notice when they walk into a book store. Seventy five percent have no clue and are amazed when I tell them those titles are “Self Help” and “Dieting.” (Just as an aside I find it amazing that the section on “relationships” is a measly two book shelves while the section on “Sex” spans an entire wall!!) Everyone, including your truly, seems to have an opinion on health, whether it be spiritual, emotional or physical. I ask the class why there are so many titles, so many approaches and opinions. It’s because there are so many of us.

I can’t count the times in my life that I’ve run out and purchased the “latest and greatest” book title that was guaranteed to solve all my woes and even possibly help me grow a bit of hair to boot. I can’t count the times I’ve been really disappointed in the results. Whether it’s a thirty day plan to change a behavior or a life time commitment to eating nuts and berries, I always end up disappointed in the results. As brilliant as I am, it took a really long time to figure out why. It starts and ends with me.

Everyone has their own path to finding fulfillment in their own lives and that journey starts and end within ourselves. A close friend shared something with me a few days ago. He’d read it in a magazine. It simply said “What other people think of you is really none of your business.” At first I was a bit shocked, alarmed and confused all at the same time. Hadn’t I been taught that other people’s opinions of me are what REALLY count? Shouldn’t I be speaking, teaching or writing so that I gain notice, attention or support? This short sentence literally turned my whole world upside down. What had I been struggling for my entire life time? (Honestly, if he weren’t such a good friend I would have put my fingers in my ears and began singing “I can’t hear you, I’m not even listening.”)

For two days my world was upside down and inside out. Last night I lay in bed, thanking God for the return of AC when a few short words entered my mind, “It starts and ends with you.” Beyond me there is nothing finite I can really grasp. My experience is mine and yours is yours. We are all fruit. I’m an orange, you’re a banana. (Please don’t tell me we can make fruit salad, please!!!) There are things I do, think or say that will fit well in your life and vice versa. For the most part my life experience will teach me so much more than anything I can watch on TV or read in a book.

I’ll keep sharing me. I’ll keep sharing my path with you and slowly but surely even though you have a right to think what you choose, when the day ends its none of my business. If I believe in me and what I profess, I’ll continue to live it in a way that helps me make this planet a better place to live in.

My list of wisdom gets a bit longer all the time and I worry that when I indeed finish my book it will be eight or nine volumes. For what its worth:

“You are who you hang around with”

“You deserve to be happy, healthy and successful”

“I am worth all of the effort I put into myself”

“I am what I believe I am”

“It starts and ends with me.”

You too. Be blessed today in whatever way you choose to be blessed.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 10:42AM

    I had a similar reaction the first time I heard that expression "what other people think of me is none of my business". Now it's one of my favorites. It sure does take some getting used to, though.

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ANNE-ELIZ 8/11/2011 1:15PM

    The statement about other people's opinions about us being none of our business, like all truisms is only partially true. I don't think that we can or should live without any regard to what other people think, but the point the speaker is probably making is that we can't let those opinions be the sole guide to our actions.

People have many thoughts and opinions about other people and many other things and those opinions change regularly. We have no control over what other people think of us and if we spend our lives trying to have everyone think well of us we will inevitably fail and exhaust ourselves in the process.

The only opinion that should count is one's own, based on the values and principles one has examined and holds most dear.

You are right about the fact that the proposition runs counter to everything many, if not most, of us have been taught and have believed with every fiber of our being! It is very difficult to unlearn.
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Comment edited on: 8/11/2011 1:19:40 PM

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SPEEDY143 8/5/2011 2:45PM

    Amen to that... the buck has always stopped with me and you're right... not everyone likes pineapple emoticon

emoticonblog... I'll be popping in again emoticon

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ESILBO 8/5/2011 1:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
LISE

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TRISTAROSE 8/5/2011 8:12AM

    Love reading your blogs ... This is so true!

emoticon emoticon

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CIVIAV 8/5/2011 7:39AM

    Amen John!

But I think I am a kiwi not a banana!

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NASFKAB 8/5/2011 12:33AM

  So true thanks

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GIRANIMAL 8/4/2011 10:37PM

    I've actually heard that before. And funny, recently I found a similar note I wrote to myself long ago and yet still manage to forget far too often: "What other people do is none of my business." That's big for me, since my problem also is in worrying so much about other people's lives (family and friends) that I run out of energy to focus on my own. Avoidance? At least partially, I'm certain.

It sure does start and end with me. Thanks, John!



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ALLISON145 8/4/2011 9:27PM

    Honestly, I think that's why I'm getting closer and closer to goal this time around... I've been doing it my way. I quit trying to impress everybody else or become some stellar super-quick loss success story and accepted that it's OK that I am lucky to lose about 1.2 pounds a week. I still wish that I was a 2 or 3 pound loser sometimes when I'm reading a blog post that says someone "gained 10 pounds but dropped 7 the first week back." The big difference is that I let myself be wistful for a moment and then I keep doing what *I* do. For me. By me.

You're right - it does start and end with me.

-Allison

Comment edited on: 8/4/2011 9:27:08 PM

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LYNMEINDERS 8/4/2011 9:20PM

    Your friend is very wise....it really is none of our business what others think of us.....
I remember when I first heard that and thought about it and I have used it a lot when trying to move people I deal with who get stuck with this one about what others think of them and basing their existence around "people pleasing"..

It's an awesome stayement...thankyou for shring this and reminding me of it....

Blessings John....
You are certainly worth all the effort you put into youself and no one can do it for you but you.....give yourself the very best that you have to give.....

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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/4/2011 2:49PM

    emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/4/2011 1:30PM

    "Everyone has their own path to finding fulfillment in their own lives and that journey starts and end within ourselves." That is the real secret of success, John--realizing that it starts and ends within us. What other people think of us really is none of our business, but for those of us who have always been people pleasers, that's a hard pill to swallow!

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RUN4FOOD 8/4/2011 1:07PM

    Thanks for your blog. I too have read many books. The prologue of the book makes many promises. The book is very interesting, but when I finish it I'm still the same me that started reading the book.
You share more wisdom. Maybe someday I'll learn to apply some of your ideas to my life and see a big change.

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RUN4FOOD 8/4/2011 1:01PM

    Thanks for your blog. I too have read many books. The prologue of the book makes many promises. The book is very interesting, but when I finish it I'm still the same me that started reading the book.
You share more wisdom. Maybe someday I'll learn to apply some of your ideas to my life and see a big change.

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KAT573 8/4/2011 12:55PM

    It is true that we must 'die' so that we might truly 'live'!
Keep on keeping on!
HUGS emoticon

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SPARKLISE 8/4/2011 12:09PM

    WOW! Truly?
I too have bought so many books that I regret every cent.
I too have bought into the promise that it would "change your life!" It changed my wallet size and my feeling good about myself because after I gave up,i always felt like a failure.
I think that we follow people with success because we want them to illuminate the spark in us without too much effort from us.
We want to learn their secret ,and we applaud when they talk about their effort-but do we really know what they are going through? No. Just like nobody knows what i'm really going through.
I am the only one who can make a difference in my life-isn't that great?
Great blog again.
And I would buy your book! emoticon

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HDHAWK 8/4/2011 11:26AM

    I think we people pleasers really struggle with this one. We're way too focused on what other people think of us. How many times have I done something because I think it will make people like me? It's a tough one, that's for sure.

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MARCYNA 8/4/2011 11:26AM

    I think it's liberating. What really matters is what we think of ourselves...not what others think. We might be flattered by thier opinion but really it's not at all important.
John, you have always so many fresh ideas and I'd love to be in that class...what a wonderful life experience it would be!!! emoticon

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GOOFIERNU 8/4/2011 10:57AM

    “It starts and ends with you.”
I'm going to embrace this today. Soak in it, ponder it, write about it... make it a part of ME.
Thank you for this golden nugget.
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PGNBRI 8/4/2011 10:50AM

    Food for thought.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 8/4/2011 10:44AM

  I think once we can get this one thing settled in our head.. our life will begin to turn around.. I spent far too many years believing the lies of others and once I decided I was worth it and what others thought of my had little to do with me but more to do with them.. I have missed your wisdom John, I am glad to be back..We are worth it.... emoticon

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KKINNEA 8/4/2011 10:11AM

    That is an interesting though - I'm going to ponder it.

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FROGGERHKC 8/4/2011 9:43AM

    Another great one! Thanks for sharing!
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ERLYWA 8/4/2011 9:22AM

    Absolutely incredible blog!! My Dad had that saying on his wall for years, and it always gave me a jolt for the longest time too, until I really figured out what it was saying.

Thanks for a great blog!

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JOURNEYTO60 8/4/2011 9:15AM

    emoticon and inspiring! Thanks for posting!

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INBRAZILFORNOW 8/4/2011 8:55AM

    I am what I believe I am. I believe I am on the right track. I believe I am doing what it takes to serve others. I believe I am a good wife, family member, and community member.

Wow! That's powerful - thank you for giving me this chance to post this! You're awesome. But only if you think you are!


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TWO-TOO-MUCH 8/4/2011 8:44AM

    "Everyone has their own path to finding fulfillment in their own lives and that journey starts and end within ourselves. "

Love this! Great motivation for the day ahead. :)

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WALKNLOVE 8/4/2011 8:22AM

    And our lives start & end with GOD in them too....that truly, in the scheme of things, is all that matters. And truthfully the only person's opinion of us that really counts is GOD. Who cares what anyone else thinks?(I know, we do, but we shouldn't.) I didn't know you were writing a book, but you really should and I will be one of the first in line to buy it!Thanks for sharing your wisdom...it is a gift you have been blessed with. Have a "God-filled" day...those are always the best! It's always a joy when we can hear him speak into lives! emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 8/4/2011 8:04AM

    Very wise words you have shared John. Although, like you, it will take a bit to get my head around it. Thank you.


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MADKAPKID 8/4/2011 7:58AM

    John you are a wise sage....thank you for sharing. And, I agree. The journey and choices I make...well, they begin and they end with me! ( well with each of us ) Through sparks and spark friends like you....I do believe "I AM" worth it and I "CAN" do it. I "DO deserve happiness. Thank you for your words of wisdom ...have a joy filled day, Karen emoticon

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A Spark Friends Advice

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A year ago I was preparing to run my first 5K. I had the date circled on the calendar and as it got closer I became more nervous. It was something I’d never done before. I had no frame of reference for this sort of experience and John doesn’t like things like that. He needs to know, LOL!!! As I trained I realized that my problems were more emotional than physical. I’d psyched myself out. So I do what I always do when I find myself backed in a corner, (They are mostly of my own making.) I prayed.

A few days later my answer came in the form of a rather lengthy Spark Mail. My friend offered me two bits of wisdom. The first was “Run the race you trained to run.” Don’t let other people dictate how slowly or how fast you go. Don’t get caught up in all the emotion. Start that race knowing you have the confidence in yourself to finish the race. The second piece of advice was “To enjoy yourself.” I realized that all through my training period I had pushed and tugged and ran and sweated and rubbed cramped muscles………. Nowhere did I find a grin or a smile or simply breathing in the morning or evening air.

I took my friends advice then and it still resonates with me today. Anytime I’m faced with a challenge in life or an obstacle, my friend’s words ring in my ears. “Run the race you trained to run.” Have faith and confidence in your ability to reach your goals John and move forward and oh by the way…………. Enjoy the journey. Know that you possess the ability and desire to do whatever it you choose to do because you have been preparing for it all of your life. Don’t look to the left or the right and see what everyone else is doing. Do what you do best.

My granddaughter summed it up best when her class stood up to sing at her grand kindergarten finale: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Happiness is not reserved for the end of the journey it is part of the fuel that helps us make the trip. I have run in three 5K’s and I can tell you I ran pretty slow. It doesn’t matter. I can tell you every minute of each one of those experiences simply because I took my friends advice. I ran within myself and I had fun. It didn’t matter that there were turtles passing me. I had fun and the bonus was I improved my health.

My friends advice was simple: Be yourself. I am and so should you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 10:37AM

    I love your blogs...they make me smile and teary-eyed at the same time.

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NANASNOW 8/25/2011 4:51PM

    Thank ou for sharing your friend's wisdom.

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SPARKLISE 8/4/2011 12:00PM

    That friend had great wisdom! emoticon

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TERRIPAL1 8/4/2011 7:49AM

    emoticon emoticon!

Will do!!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/3/2011 11:25PM

    One of your best blogs. It's good to see you in this frame of mind.

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DAD2GETFIT 8/3/2011 7:59PM

    It's good advice. We all have to run our own races.

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LYNMEINDERS 8/3/2011 6:41AM

    Awesome wisdom and advice from your friend....
I am going to walk a 10k race on saturday and I am now walking it on my own....I am so going to enjoy it because my health is better this year than 2 years ago when i last did this race....
My daughter is running it and starts an hour after the walkers so I have set a goal that she will not pass me...that i will be at the finish line before she gets there....
I know I can do it and I will totally enjoy the surroundings on my way there.....

So I am going to run with your friends advice and enjoy the event.....

Comment edited on: 8/3/2011 6:42:11 AM

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/2/2011 5:39PM

    You are, as usual, right on emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 8/2/2011 4:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LEIGHWOMAN 8/2/2011 4:32PM

    Great advice!

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NJMATTICE 8/2/2011 3:21PM

    emoticon emoticon
How's that line from Desiderata go? "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." Your friends advice was great. Run your own race. Thanks for the positive reinforcement.
Love,
Nancy

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BRENDABUNNY 8/2/2011 2:15PM

    Wonderful blog John emoticon

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KKINNEA 8/2/2011 1:11PM

    Agree!

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SEATURTLE86 8/2/2011 12:37PM

    Nice blog! Great advice!

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JOANOFSPARK 8/2/2011 12:07PM

    emoticon emoticon great advice and great blog....I once read that it doesn't matter how slow you run the race, just as long as you get out there and do it......

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/2/2011 11:57AM

    That's the best advice I was ever given about running, and it does apply to pretty much everything else in life. Easy to forget, though; as my husband says, when you're up to your hips in alligators, it's hard to remember you came to drain the swamp!

emoticon

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CARTOONB 8/2/2011 11:52AM

    You are who you hang out with. Sounds like you hang with good folks.

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/2/2011 10:33AM

    You sure are surrounded by people with great wisdom

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GOOFIERNU 8/2/2011 10:18AM

    Yet ANOTHER post of wisdom. Thank you!

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MIZZSB 8/2/2011 10:18AM

    thanks John.. we are to focussed on the end of our journey but why not enjoy each day in this journey??

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SUSUSUZZZIE 8/2/2011 9:51AM

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing!
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CMBELISLE 8/2/2011 9:50AM

    I started the C25K program a little over a week ago. Last night, my daughter informed me that I should run in the 5K that is held in conjunction with her High School. I'm considering it and should be through the C25K program well before then. If all goes as planned, I'll run the race with my daughter, her boyfriend and possibly her boyfriend's dad. It will be interesting since I've never been able to run very far in my entire life, even when I was thin. I'll be remembering those words as I train and run. Thanks for sharing!

Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 9:51:07 AM

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NANCYLRAGS 8/2/2011 9:46AM

    Thanks, John, for sharing! A good lesson for me. emoticon

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NASFKAB 8/2/2011 9:37AM

  Great advice be MYSELF

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SHERRYJVP 8/2/2011 9:24AM

    LOL I wish I would challenge myself to run (hesitant at 52, to start) but I would be proud to be passed, even by a turtle, just to say I did it. Good for you, John.

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CIVIAV 8/2/2011 9:21AM

    Ah yes I've heard it said, be yourself, everyone else is already taken!

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CMA444 8/2/2011 9:14AM

    Great advice!

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JOURNEYTO60 8/2/2011 9:08AM

    Oh! I really needed to read this today! Thank you so much for posting. And, congratulations on the 5k's!

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DEE0973 8/2/2011 8:44AM

    Amen--thank you for the inspirational uplift this morning. Have a Blessed Day

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WALKNLOVE 8/2/2011 8:16AM

    Good words of advice this morning! Everyday is a battle, mostly with myself to just workout & eat the right things, so one day at a time, this little turtle will run the race.(Okay, maybe walk.HAHA, no matter just as long as I win....for me!And crossing the finish line, no matter when, is WINNING!)Have a great day John & thanks as always for sharing!

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ANDREWS_MOM 8/2/2011 8:16AM

    emoticon
Well Said!
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HDHAWK 8/2/2011 8:15AM

    "Don’t look to the left or the right and see what everyone else is doing. Do what you do best." This is advice I need to take!

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EDWINA172 8/2/2011 8:06AM

    I am blessed. It still surprises me that people actually listen to me. LOL! I don't even listen to my own advice John! This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. I laughted out loud at your words~"It didn't matter that there were turtles passing me."
Again, you have made my day!

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MOMMYBYCHOICE 8/2/2011 8:05AM

    what a great bit of advice to start the day. thanks

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CORKY982 8/2/2011 8:04AM

  This is true not just in racing, but in life. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 8/2/2011 7:51AM

    Love it! Perfect advice for this morning.

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MICKEYMAX 8/2/2011 7:50AM

    emoticon

Nicely said.

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NICHGATE 8/2/2011 7:50AM

    Very inspiring..I haven't set a goal to run a 5k or anything yet, my main goal is to just RUN a consistant mile...without stopping. I am getting there 1 lap at a time I guess..Congrats on the 5k's...that is awesome :)

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The Most Important Spark Lesson I've Learned

Monday, August 01, 2011

Sometimes I stand in line at the grocery store and while I’m waiting to check out I look at the magazine covers. It’s become a reflex action, hardly noticeable, but I find my hand going across my bald head feeling for something that resembles hair. My belly automatically sucks in a bit and I stand a little taller. I start to compare myself to the image staring back at me. As I load the groceries into the car I start making all sorts of mental resolutions and set some fantastic goals. I’ve compared myself to someone else and I’ve come up lacking. All the way home I curse my last bottle of beer and last carb loaded lunch. I rationalize that it’s all in my genes and that I am always going to be this way. I lock my jaw a bit more firmly. “I WILL do this!!!” And I do. At last count, to the best of my recollection, I’ve done these things eight or ten times in my adult life and each time I end up back in the same spot, heavier, less healthy and more frustrated. Want a laundry list of the things I’ve tried? I’ll skip that part because you’ve probably tried them also. It’s really frustrating isn’t it? You reach a success plateau, celebrate a bit and watch your success slowly unravel.

The answer came to me of in all places Sam’s Club yesterday morning. Joan gave me one of those “Wait here,” commands while she walked down an aisle to look at something. I was staring off into space when this massive revelation entered my mind. “You can’t change what you don’t believe in.” Most of my life I’ve been really good at “removing” things. Bad habits, weight control, you name it. I ferret those little buggers out and attack them head on. The missing integer has simply been taking a deep breath and accepting and loving myself just as I am, right now! If I never change another thing, never lose another ounce, never eat another healthy balanced meal or run a 5K, I’ll be the most wonderful and cherished person God created. We were born as we are and then as soon as we were able we began comparing and changing. We wanted to look more like……… We wanted to sound more like……………… It hardly ever worked.

I sit here today, overweight, in a bit of physical distress because of my back and legs and it dawns on me that maybe all of this happened because I am being shown that my worth and my value has nothing to do with a scale or how fast and far I run, but in accepting who and what I am right now, today, and loving me as is, no extended warranties, no promise of an updated model, just me as me to be loved and to love. It comes down to looking at me and accepting what’s in front of me, not running away, getting lost in magazine images but simply and purely loving me as I am. I cannot begin to create any sort of action plan until I dig deep and look at ALL that I am and accept and love me.

I’ve been Sparking for almost twenty months. This lesson is the most important one I’ve learned to date. Accept who I am, learn to love myself as I am, and then and only then can I see any real change. Once I know I am happy with me as I am, right now, only then can I create a vision of my future.

Many years ago, a wise man told me “Where you are is where you are supposed to be, right now” I didn’t understand that message until yesterday in Sam’s Club.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 10:35AM

    Yes, yes, yes! I firmly believe it...the doing of it is another thing. I'll practice looking in a mirror and telling myself I love me just as I am (reminds me of an old gospel song).

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MYOWNHERO 8/9/2011 12:10AM

    So true!

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GIRANIMAL 8/4/2011 10:23PM

    Wow. Too bad I am arriving late to this party emoticon because I sure do need to hear this! And embrace it. I am so obsessed these days with just a little bit further, a little bit more toned, a little bit more...whatever...even though deep down I do already know that the only thing I really need more of is acceptance. After all this weight lost, sometimes I actually feel less attractive. What the heck is THAT about?! It's about forgetting (OK, not actually knowing how) to love me for me, as I am. To actually celebrate my imperfections rather than constantly trying to "fix" them.

I am where I am supposed to be right now!

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SPARKLISE 8/4/2011 11:56AM

    I think deep down we all know this,but putting it into practice is very hard.
Because of the media,we always come short or lacking and want to or not,it gets in our psych and it's hard to do the opposite.
Not that it's impossible,but we have to be very vigilant.
Good blog. emoticon

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TEACHING1ST 8/3/2011 9:41PM

    I always look forward to your insights, John! You outdid yourself on this one!

Thanks for all your efforts---for yourself and for all of the rest of us.

Mary

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MMNICKS 8/3/2011 11:04AM

    Great blog, great revelation.

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GRAMLORI 8/3/2011 10:42AM

    Yep.

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AMABILE75 8/1/2011 10:38PM

    It sounds like your revelation is very similar to the one I had last night!! :-) I'll be here to hold your hand and tell you that I will be happy with ME right along with you. You are such a wonderful person, so amazing and inspirational. *HUGS*

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RUN4FOOD 8/1/2011 9:48PM

    You are full of great and inspiring thoughts.
6 years ago I accepted the fact that God loves me. If God loves me I can love me also.
That was the beginning of some great changes in my life. Still have a long way to go, but much growth has taken place.
Hope you can find that reason to believe in yourself, it will truly change your life.


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LINDAJ0621 8/1/2011 7:17PM

    Another great blog, John. I believe physical changes are just that...physical changes! I might feel physically better and have more stamina and hopefully live a longer, healthier life, but it doesn't change ME. I need to always love ME and my life NOW, regardless!

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CARTOONB 8/1/2011 7:03PM

    I love you just the way you are. Hope you do too. If not now, soon.

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SHERRYJVP 8/1/2011 6:00PM

    Great blog. When you love something you tend to take better care of it...so this is going to work. (and I bet Joan loves your head-I never thought bald was unattractive. I keep telling my hubbie that)

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/1/2011 3:49PM

    You are so right, so many of us don't value ourselves "Because"
we are overweight.....etc....etc ...etc...

God values ALL OF US!

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OUBACHE 8/1/2011 2:05PM

    This is a lesson that seems to have to be learned over and over and over, again. Why is it that it's so hard to learn to love ourselves, right where we are? Thanks for this timely reminder.

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AMBERADAMS1 8/1/2011 2:00PM

    I love this blog and could stand to learn this lesson myself!

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ANATASHIKI 8/1/2011 1:23PM

    I wish you good luck learning to love myself was the most difficult thing I did in my life. still working on it emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/1/2011 1:10PM

    Fantastic light bulb moment

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CCCARTER3 8/1/2011 12:49PM

    What a blessing you are to us.I really enjoied reading,so ture.Good leason for everyone.
TY
CC

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BLACKROSE_222 8/1/2011 12:12PM

    What a great lesson.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/1/2011 11:33AM

    It really is the most important lesson to learn, John--well said and well learned. I posted a picture that sums it up for me: "love your life. now. today. accept it, just as it is. so that the moments of happiness you have been waiting for do not pass you by. love your life today just as it is."

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HOTRODSANDY 8/1/2011 11:14AM

    Wonderful blog! I enjoyed reading it, my head nodding along in agreement! emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/1/2011 10:59AM

    Thank you for the blessing you brought my way this day! “You can’t change what you don’t believe in” is so true and we need to begin internalizing many more of these positive messages. May you continue to see these wonderful revelations!

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HDHAWK 8/1/2011 10:41AM

    Awesome blog. It's my biggest problem because I don't accept myself where I am right now. I can't get the "I'm not good enough until I lose weight" thing out of my head. It's probably the reason I'm back at my starting point. Thanks for the reminder.

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TIME4AMY 8/1/2011 10:08AM

    I'm in tears...

Why? Because as proud as I am for making a dent in my weight loss goal, I still have to focus more of my attention on being happy in my own skin.

I don't look at magazines, because I've yet to see a female...not so perfect and not airbrushed. The only thing I've viewed that is remotely close to being slightly "overweight" women, is my Lane Bryant flyer that I receive in the mail. Even those plus size models do not look "overweight" to me. They look healthy and beautiful. "I would be comfortable in those shoes", I think to myself. I honestly wish they would put some obese women in the flyer, who do not look as wonderful as the flyer portrays.

Although, would I really be content/happy in those shoes? Maybe so, after being in mine. I just remember being much smaller and unhappy. (What I wouldn't give to be the slightly overweight teen that I was...150lbs.) Funny how ungrateful we can be at the moment. At 280ish, that is now my long time goal. The thing that is too bad, is that I spent much of my teenage years, hating the way I looked. This, I realize, is an issue that needs to be repaired after years and years of thinking this way. I'm a firm believer in change = changing thoughts first...

Thank you for speaking your mind. It was just the thing I needed to hear today. emoticon

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CMA444 8/1/2011 10:06AM

    Well said! I can't agree more with you!

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TERRIPAL1 8/1/2011 10:00AM

    Wow John you always give me something to think about,even if I don't like it lol ! Meaning the hardest thing to do is accept ourselves as we are right now,but if you learned this lesson it means I need to learn it too!

Thanks emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/1/2011 9:57AM

    Once you learn to love yourself the world follows. I've noticed here that the prom king and queens are often overweight and sometimes even obese. We hold ourselves back by our own expectations. Aim high, work hard, and you will realize your dreams.

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EDWINA172 8/1/2011 9:47AM

    I needed to read this today. Also, a line from one of my favorite songs hit home when I read this~"Don't buy beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly." Its from the Sunscreen song. If you ever get a chance, listen to it. VERY wise words. Many of my favorite quotes are from that song. "The race is long but in the end its only with yourself."
Love you John!

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JOANOFSPARK 8/1/2011 9:47AM

    emoticon blog and so very true......if we don't believe in something, how are we going to change anything...and we have to start by loving ourselves just as we are with all our warts and wrinkles....and no matter how many lbs we have yet to lose.....as you said, many of us have 'been there, done that' in the past and kept gaining, losing and regaining, more and more each time.. We have to take a stand right here and now, that we love our bodies and ourselves....and even if we never lose another pound, we will still love ourselves....but, a funny thing happens once you do begin to show your body that you love it, those pounds begin to come off......slowly and surely.....because our attitudes and way of thinking are different....

thanks for an awesome blog......much needed words of wisdom.. emoticon

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 8/1/2011 9:35AM

    WONDERFUL blog!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your insights! And your wife reminds me of me! Wait here commands to my hubby! I laughed out loud on that one!!!! emoticon

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CINDYHOUGHTON 8/1/2011 9:28AM

    What a wonderful blog and so right you are. Good luck to you, with you!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/1/2011 9:20AM

    Words of wisdom eloquently shared - a lesson we all need to take into our hearts and minds.
Thank you for sharing.
Sheila

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WISEONE68 8/1/2011 9:19AM

    This is the best thing to EVER come out of Sam's Club!!! EVER! (in my humble opinion)

It is easy for me (us) to accept all the negative, "You're not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc." messages that we get every day...but, have someone tell us that I am nice, sweet, good, pretty...and then I have to disagree!!

Yes, we do have to accept ourselves as we are...right now...for that is how God intended it to be. However, Jesus met folks RIGHT WHERE THEY WERE, but He never left them the same way they were before the encounter. Thus, we will never be the same from day to day, hour to hour...and, that is the wonder of being human.

I got on the scale today...first time since May 1st. GOSH!! I was disappointed--gained 16.2 pounds in THREE months!! Is that possible? Of course it is. However, rather than focus on that, I just got off and said to myself "this week, I will start to do something to change".

You are a great inspiration to me (and others), John. You need to rest in the knowledge that your journey, no matter if you are in a valley or on a mountain, inspires others!! Let's continue to encourage each other and share our learnings along the way!!

Your Friend in Sparkland,
Erika emoticon

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-AIMIE- 8/1/2011 9:12AM

    I needed this today... thank you for sharing!

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DUKELETO 8/1/2011 9:11AM

    Awesome post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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GEMGLOW 8/1/2011 9:03AM

    Excellent blog...i re-read that part “You can’t change what you don’t believe in.” a few times....
my epiphany one was doing a music video(lol).."Be the change, you wanna see"..
Each decision on our journey's must be thought about and planned...(although some become second nature, in the beginning, we think about it first)...and you are right, loving your self as is, is the most important thing we can ever do...once we can accomplish that, we really can do almost anything :)

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KERLIN26 8/1/2011 9:00AM

  So true! Good for you. This is such a hard lesson for anyone to learn.

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ASHOAF1 8/1/2011 8:57AM

  Love your blog. What amazing words of wisdom. It is something I hadn't really thought about before, but reading your blog it was like being smacked by a 2x4 :). In the back of my mind was this voice saying, you will love yourself WHEN you drop those next 5lbs...but of course after those 5lbs are gone, the voice is back saying well...maybe you will love yourself MORE after the NEXT 5lbs. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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DRLERO 8/1/2011 8:57AM

    Wow, that was a major epiphany! We are always chasing what we want or want to be. Never happy with who we are or what we have. When you don't love yourself it is hard to want something good for yourself. Thanks for the thought!

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What If We Believed..........

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What if we believed……………..

We were perfect just the way God made us

We were loved unconditionally and without any expectation.

We were loved simply because we were created.

That we were wise

That we had the capability inside of us to be healthy and fit

That it didn’t really matter what we looked like

That running fast or jumping high or swinging weights didn’t make us any better, or any worse.

That it’s okay to fail every now and then

That it was perfectly fine that we learned a bit slower than the person next to us.

That the gifts, treasure and insights we possess made all the difference to those we live with and those we love.

What if we believed in us, you and in me, and what if we held that amazing belief we had in ourselves out like a beacon for others to see. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 8/2/2011 10:52AM

    This blog's made my day!!!My weak point, I really don't believe in myself as much as I should...... emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 11:37:58 AM

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SILLYHP1953 8/1/2011 7:53AM

    Amazing is hardly the word.

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LYNMEINDERS 8/1/2011 6:37AM

    OMGosh...it certainly would be absolutely amazing....what a big difference it would make to everyone....

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BLACKROSE_222 8/1/2011 1:07AM

    I love it - but I think you have just written a Beatles song. LOL. I'll have to start calling you "John L". :)

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GEEMAWEST 7/31/2011 11:11PM

    Maybe if I believed all that I wouldn't be in the funk I'm in right now. Guess I've got some things to work on.

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CARTOONB 7/31/2011 9:12PM

    Hmmmm....I don't know. Do you?

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WONDERJUL 7/31/2011 8:06PM

    Thank you for the reminder!

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PRINCESSNURSE 7/31/2011 4:59PM

    Amen!

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COOP9002 7/31/2011 4:56PM

    Good word.

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HOTRODSANDY 7/31/2011 2:48PM

    emoticon
Thank you! Loved reading this blog!

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NJMATTICE 7/31/2011 2:32PM

    Just think of all the free time we would have for good works!
Happy Sunday, John. Have a super duper week!
Love,
Nancy

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/31/2011 2:04PM

    I would be as happy as my dog is. emoticon

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SUSUSUZZZIE 7/31/2011 1:45PM

    It would be amazing! Thanks for the good food for thought!


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KLKHUMMINGBIRD 7/31/2011 1:18PM

  I enjoyed reading this. emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/31/2011 1:17PM

    Every bit of it is true and a given so we owe it to ourselves to believe it.

Comment edited on: 7/31/2011 1:18:10 PM

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PGNBRI 7/31/2011 12:52PM

    Yes, it would!

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RUN4FOOD 7/31/2011 12:37PM

    Thank you from one that has always thought of himself as unworthy and finding out recently that I truly am unworthy. I am unworthy of God's love, but he loves me anyway. That lesson started a great new life that is constantly getting better, aided now by your insights.
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MKPRINCESS007 7/31/2011 11:48AM

    Yes, John.....it definitely would be awesome! Glad I found your blog today before I closed my computer until this evening. I am starting fresh today.....Day 1. Husband on board to commit to a healthier lifestyle with me. Put my tracker back on my page, starting at 0. Buying a scale so my husband and I can' t live in denial anymore.

So, I believe your blog.......I believe that I need to let go of what is holding me back and recommit myself to living.

Thanks, my dear friend! :)

Karen

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BLESSED2BEME 7/31/2011 11:46AM

    Exactly what I want to believe...working more towards it everyday!

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JECKIE 7/31/2011 11:40AM

    emoticon

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GOOFIERNU 7/31/2011 11:40AM

    Thank you...

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/31/2011 11:25AM

    Your ability to make us stop and think about our own lives, is a
gift. I'm glad you are using it. emoticon

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MOM2NATURE 7/31/2011 11:23AM

    emoticon Well said!

emoticon for saying it so well! Have a GREAT week!

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TRISTAROSE 7/31/2011 11:12AM

    Yes it would be Amazing!! Great blog John and something to think about.

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TERRIPAL1 7/31/2011 10:38AM

    I like it I really like it!

Thanks !!

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EDWINA172 7/31/2011 10:25AM

    I've got to work on that for sure! In the end, when we look back on our lives, this blog is what we will know is true. Why do we wait until it too late? Lets love ourselves now. Thanks John. Happy Sunday:)

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HDHAWK 7/31/2011 10:09AM

    I needed to hear this today as I start over on my weight loss journey. emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/31/2011 9:52AM

    I'm still working on some points on that list ! emoticon

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MIMIDOT 7/31/2011 9:51AM

    Great blog! Thank you. Nice things to think about.

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JOANOFSPARK 7/31/2011 9:37AM

    emoticon fantastic words of wisdom..truer words were never spoken......What if......?? WE Can do it.....All we have to do is to BELIEVE!! :)

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SCHNEBL 7/31/2011 9:35AM

    Fabulous words....thank you!


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More On My Back and Legs

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My legs weren’t feeling any better, my attitude was in the toilet, I was able to do less and less and Joan gave me the option of either seeing another doctor or getting a good attorney!! Since my last visit to the doctor and the exhortation to rest, swim and apply cold packs to my thighs things hadn’t gotten any better. They hadn’t gotten any worse, but had stabilized to a dull ache and a lack of mobility. This, in turn, made John one very cranky person to be around. My whole lower body was stiff and sore.

My doctor is out of town so I went to an immediate care facility. I’d had good luck in the past with these folks and the PA on staff there is known to be thorough and easy to get along with. So I sat on an examination table, gave her my list of woes, she smiled and said “X-Rays” After bending my lower body into positions I don’t think it should be bent into she told me I had a slight bulge in the disc between my L2 and L3 vertebrae with a few tiny bone spurs thrown in to boot. All of my spinning and TRX training had aggravated the condition. Those vertebrae are responsible for providing feeling, etc. to the legs. I’m scratching my head because my back didn’t hurt.

She gave me a shot containing an anti-inflammatory and a prescription for muscle relaxers. She scheduled me for PT starting early next week and told me to walk as much as I can along with swimming. I popped a muscle relaxer before bed last night and woke up feeling relaxed LOL. Joan and I took a walk this morning and I walked about one half mile. That is the longest I’ve been able to walk in a month. The only area sore right now is the injection sight.

Her assessment is that my biking and spinning days are over because of the pressure it puts on my lower back. It felt good to be able to walk unencumbered this morning. As I write I feel pretty good. Just thought I’d share.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIKOOMAGOO 7/30/2011 10:33AM

    Sending prayers your way! so glad to read that you are having some relief from the pain, and are able to take your beloved walks again. Thanks for the smile!

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LORSI2000 7/30/2011 12:03AM

    emoticon

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HDHAWK 7/29/2011 3:13PM

    I'm glad you're feeling somewhat better and are able to start walking again. I took my first walk on Tues. since the pinched nerve in my back has healed. It felt pretty good and the scale certainly says I need it! One thing you can say about those muscle relaxers is that they provide a great night's sleep!

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SPARKLISE 7/29/2011 10:13AM

    Glad you're getting back those legs! emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/29/2011 12:19AM

    Yippee!! I'm glad that you are feeling better. And I bet Joan is glad you're less cranky.

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DOLLBABE56 7/28/2011 9:06PM

    Thank goodness you went to another doctor. Let the recovering commence. :)

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LYNMEINDERS 7/28/2011 7:12PM

    Thats just so so awesome John....
I have discovered it sometimes pays to get a 2nd opinion....
I have the boss of the medical practise I go to and wow....has he stirred things along.....the previous DR missed the most important thing...I had Glandular fever ....he didn't even test for that when i saw him 2 years before....

Its amazing the difference a bit of thoroughness makes....

go you....
Enjoy being able to do more walking....

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/28/2011 4:22PM

    Sounds like you got a good diagnosis and are on your way to recovery. I'm only allowed to walk and it is enough according to most M.D.s. I walk a minimum now of 15,000 steps a day and I usually feel great. hugs!!

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MIZZSB 7/28/2011 2:41PM

    finally something good !!!
get those miles in my friend!

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RUN4FOOD 7/28/2011 1:59PM

    Sounds like you're doing the right things. Hope there's improvement soon. and you can get some exercise in again. Walking is a great exercise.
I appreciate how much you share and how many insights you have brought to my attention.
I'm going back and reading you past blogs. I'm finding some additional insights that are of great value.
Take care of yourself one day at a time.
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MARCYNA 7/28/2011 1:40PM

    You're in my prayers, just make sure you get on with cures & hope you can swim and it can help you with spine & legs emoticon
Lots of Love emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 7/28/2011 12:43PM

    Thanks for sharing. Definitely do what is best for you and your health.

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SILLYHP1953 7/28/2011 12:43PM

    I'm glad you listened to Joan and got some answers from the doctor! Physical therapy might just work wonders, too!
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PGNBRI 7/28/2011 12:17PM

    Glad she was able to help you! You'll obviously need to change what exercise you're doing, but it looks like you'll be back to regular exercise in no time!

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/28/2011 11:55AM

    So glad you were pain free after the walk

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NASFKAB 7/28/2011 11:50AM

  Glad you found what's wrong with you goos luck

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KERLIN26 7/28/2011 11:38AM

  Excellent, excellent news John! I, too, had a bulging L2 and 3 after my car accident as well as C5 and 6. I had C5 and 6 removed and a metal cage put in it's place (wouldn't recommend that). Muscle relaxers are a godsend too. The doctor you saw sounds great and I hope that the PT perscribed will help heal you! God bless!

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TEDYBEAR2838 7/28/2011 11:37AM

    PHew! I'm glad there is some relief. Just lay off
the spinning etc, at least for the time being.
You ability to get around is MUCH more important



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HIPPICHICK1 7/28/2011 11:33AM

    I'm having back issues right now too. It's affecting my left leg and so I know your pain. I also have a bone spur on my coccyx and arthritis...so yeah, I have an arthritic butt!
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We age, things wear out. It happens, but it isn't fun, is it?
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Good Luck with PT!

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TERRIPAL1 7/28/2011 11:24AM

    You must feel great walking hope you feel even better soon!!

Good Luck! emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 7/28/2011 11:13AM

    Follow doc's orders for now (and ice that injection site) but don't give up on the bike forever. Remember, I have a herniation at L5-S1, also with some bone spurs, and some compression at L4-L5, and eventually my PT OK'd the biking -- and it's now one of the best things for keeping connected core muscles that were once always sore (hip flexors, for once) in better shape! Just know you'll probably never be able to ride a road bike again, so get used to the idea of a mountain or hybrid, something that's far more upright, if you don't have one already.

Much love, bro!

Angie

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KKINNEA 7/28/2011 11:07AM

    Sorry about biking, looks like you must make friends with swimming! Glad to hear you've found a cause and can start making recovery progress.

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ANATASHIKI 7/28/2011 10:45AM

    do what's the best for your health . just walking is enough for exercise if you have consistency . i used to know a lady on spark who lost over 100 lb , I don't remember how many , just by walking and tracking her food .glad to hear you feel better

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MOMMY_MIMI 7/28/2011 10:03AM

    John, you are in my prayers. I'm glad the PA offered you some relief! Time to find a different mode of exercise....walking/swimming seem to be working for you. What about weights (at least for upper body)? Take care of you!

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CATHERINEL66 7/28/2011 9:59AM

    Argh!! Sorry to hear this. I hope once everything anti-inflames that the outlook looks a little more positive. I'm thankful to hear that you're up and walking and doing so relatively pain free.

Hang in there!

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/28/2011 9:51AM

    You have a wise wife, John (but you already knew that). I am so glad you got in and the PA was able to locate the real problem. I hope things continue to improve for you and the pain goes away entirely!

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MSSUNBUG 7/28/2011 9:50AM

    Wow, I'm sorry to hear this news. I AM glad, however, to hear you had a pain-free walk this morning. There are so many benefits to walking. I hope that with the pain managed, you're able to enjoy all of those.

Do take good care.

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FROGGERHKC 7/28/2011 9:49AM

    So glad you are feeling better!!!
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