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It's Okay............

Friday, August 12, 2011

It’s okay to admit it. You’ll have lots of company when you do and you’ll find you are not alone. Some days I’m leading the pack. Go ahead!!!

Accountability sucks.

It neatly and succinctly points out all of our soft and weak spots and I have never been able to write a story, poem, or song that sings the praises of accountability. I’ve never heard anyone whisper behind my back “Did you know he’s REALLY accountable?” It sucks. Every morning you get out of bed and you look out over your day and you either sigh or grunt. Accountability can be like a hundred pound stone in your back pack. It weighs you down. It makes you stumble and fall. No one is ever praised for being accountable. Has your boss ever called you into their office and told you that you are an accountable person? Usually we are told the exact opposite; we need to become more accountable for our thoughts words and actions.

It sucks. It sucks because we know those talking heads and speaking points so neatly displayed on a Power Point presentation are absolutely right. We falter, we fail, we get lost because we rarely hold ourselves accountable. Maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe you are great at holding yourself accountable. If so, could you write and tell me how you do it, long term?

With accountability comes goal setting. In all honesty I approach goal setting as a “set it and forget it,” endeavor. I look at all the amazing and marvelous goals I’ve set for myself and all the goals I’ve given up on because of………. Well go ahead and fill in the blank. I’ve got a million reasons/slash excuses.

So here is what I’ve learned in convincing myself I am worth all this emotional and physical pain I am enduring: World peace goals don’t work. Everyone want world peace, but how do you get it? Everyone wants to be healthy, slender and active……….

I’m reverting to simplicity. I’ll weigh myself on Monday’s My first very reachable and accountable goal is to lose ten pounds. That’s it for right now. I believe I can even find a silver accountability lining in losing ten pounds. It sort of takes the heat off. I AM worth the effort that’s required to do so. So like it or not, here we go once again in fond, fond hope of getting the scale moving in the right direction.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 11:09AM

    So that's what I do with goals...set it and forget it!!! Thank you for explaining that! I, too, am getting back on track, one day at a time.

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TNANCE3 9/6/2011 1:32PM

    I believe in you, John. I know you can do this. I just wish I could convince myself that I can do it. Not doing too good at that lately. Haven't convinced myself that I am worth the effort, either. I am doing some soul searching and working on getting myself psyched up to try again to get healthier and lose about 80 pounds. I just can't seem to stick with anything and am so tired of failing. Keep the faith, stay accountable to God and yourself, if no one else. Take care of yourself, too.
Teresa emoticon

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SILVERWITCH59 8/15/2011 8:15PM


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SUPREME5 8/14/2011 12:29PM


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HKARLSSON 8/13/2011 10:00PM

    You have been peeking inside my head again. Maybe I'll just make myself accountable for losing ONE pound. That's about all the motivation I can muster right now, and it sure is hard to get rid of even ONE of those little suckers for very long.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 8/13/2011 8:04PM

    emoticonYou are worth it!!!

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NASFKAB 8/13/2011 1:34AM

  Great blog

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CARTOONB 8/12/2011 10:40PM

    Being held accountable usually means taking the blame. Not a good thing!

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LYNMEINDERS 8/12/2011 10:10PM

    I agree with you John...accounability does comes back to bite us and bites us hard....

You can so loose 10 pounds.....get started and it will surprise you......right there with you

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    Oh thoughts are provoked! I just started back in the public schools where accountability is King and I have to remind myself that we are not dealing with a machine we are dealing with a living organism who despite our best intentions will fail sometimes due to circumstances beyond its control...not sure this is a good analogy but...I'm human. Hmmmmmm.

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MIZZSB 8/12/2011 4:04PM

    very cool!!
you can do this, 1 step at a time....

We are here for you!!

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OUTDOORSDC 8/12/2011 3:57PM

    I see you pop up on my news feed almost every day. Even on the days when I'm not here, I'm sure you're still popping up on the news feed. That seems like the most important type of accountability.

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HONORINGGOD 8/12/2011 3:14PM

    Proud of you And your worth it.

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/12/2011 1:17PM

    When you find that silver accountability lining in losing ten pounds- thow it out here, my is lost.

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KKINNEA 8/12/2011 12:51PM

    Can't tell you how to be accountable over the long-term since I keep resetting myself.

Simplicity is the answer as far as I'm concerned!!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/12/2011 12:06PM

    I'm about 98% at holding myself accountable. I think it has something to do with how I was raised. My father never allowed me to say I could not do something as he would prove to me I could. LOL. So I do what I have to do almost all the time but I can still cause a lot of damage in that 2% of unaccountability. LOL. If I agree to do something to someone else it will get done and I need to do the same with myself.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/12/2011 11:43AM

    One small step, one small goal at a time. That's really the only way to do it, John; those big, huge, grand goals I've set? Yeah, they do nothing to motivate me and get me moving in the right direction. It's the small ones, the 'maybe I have some hope of getting there' goals that keep me going. And you're right--accountability sucks, but you are worth the effort.

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HDHAWK 8/12/2011 11:38AM

    I'm starting over in exactly the same way. I'm not going to try and do everything perfectly all at once. I'm going back to making improvements along the way and building consistency. We'll get there John, we've done it before!

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STILLPOINT 8/12/2011 11:30AM

    You are Worth the Effort that's required to do so! Awesome! 10 lb goal - perfect!

You WILL do it!


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The Other Side of the Coin

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

They say that Abraham Lincoln was often ridiculed about his physical appearance. So, often, in fact that he refused to ever look in a mirror for more than a few seconds. Throughout his political career his opponents used Lincoln’s physical stature as a campaign tool against him. One author went to the point when he described Lincoln as saying “there was no physical attribute about him, at all, that was appealing.” I read last night that Lincoln confided in his wife that those verbal barbs stung and hurt him, even when he used his famous humor to deflect them.

Later in life as president of the United States Lincoln became frustrated with a number of his commanders during the Civil War. He wrote scathing letters to them and then promptly slid them in his desk drawer, never to be mailed. When he removed an officer from command he did it privately, professionally and always found some facet of the man’s performance to praise, despite the fact the commander had not performed up to speed at all times.

Lincoln was criticized in the papers and in the halls of Congress for being too easy or soft on people. He was lambasted for letting his opponents off the hook without tearing them down. Lincoln as we say today “had been there, and done that.”

I thought about this while I drifted off to sleep last night. I thought about how I felt when people made remarks or comments about my weight or my build. I thought about how much it hurt me to hear those things, how it stung. I thought about how it felt to be on the outside looking in. I thought about Lincoln.

We don’t often subscribe those raw human emotions to our historical heroes. It shocked me a bit to read Lincoln was offended by those remarks. But I realized that if he hadn’t gone through those hurtful times he never would have grasped an understanding of what other people felt when in the same situation. It’s that part of Lincoln, the kind and wise leader, we always recall, never everything he went through to reach them. Those traits were only fashioned in a furnace of pain.

I don’t like it when people say thing about me that are mean or cruel, but maybe, moving forward, like Lincoln I’ll have an understanding of how what I say and do affect other people. I sure hope so.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 11:06AM

    We never know what people have been through to make them the way they are as adults...unless they have a biography!!

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NASFKAB 8/10/2011 12:44AM

  Glad you could understand the pain of being misunderstood.

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CARTOONB 8/9/2011 11:36PM

    Are you saying that you look like Lincoln? emoticon

I like the idea that there are reasons we go through the pains we go through...whatever they may be.

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WANDAH3 8/9/2011 8:18PM

    Love the blog John...truer words have not been spoken. By walking a mile in some else's moccasins a person gains a much better understanding.


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LYNMEINDERS 8/9/2011 7:07PM

    Awesome blog.....and very timely....
Have a leadership situation that needs dealing with and I will remember Lincoln when dealing with it....
Has given me a different prespective for sorting it....
Thanks John

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FROGGERHKC 8/9/2011 6:51PM

    Great blog, thanks for sharing!!! :)

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WALKIETALKIE 8/9/2011 6:11PM

    And its just as bad or worse when you say those things to yourself.
Great blog.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 8/9/2011 4:28PM

    When I see or hear someone do something that makes me feel bad, I often wonder if I have said or done the same thing. I try to make a pact with myself not to be that way, because I know how it has made me feel. We cannot change others, but we can be aware of how we are and we can change that if we are honest with ourselves.
You are a kind and generous person. Anyone that says negative things about you does not know you and they are the poor ones. I would rather be fat and nice than skinny and mean!
Keep it up!

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    We should all refrain from making hurtful comments period and focus on what is kind, good, etc.

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SPEEDY143 8/9/2011 1:57PM

    The political arena sure hasn't evolved much. And to think how dear Mr. Lincoln's face evokes such pride and love of country now it just makes you wonder. Agreed, the pain we suffer does make us stronger and verbal abuse may not always show on the outside but it does scar us inside. Wise words today... I'll be remembering them emoticon


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GETFIT2LIVE 8/9/2011 1:07PM

    It is truly hard to let things slide off us when people say mean or cruel things, but if we can take that and use it to inspire us to be kinder and more compassionate, then maybe it's not all bad. Thanks for the bit of history, I have always admired Lincoln and do even more now!

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GRACIOUSGRAPE 8/9/2011 12:29PM

    Thanks for sharing the history lesson about a different side of Lincoln than we normally hear about! We try very hard to let those hurtful things slide off our backs, but it does hurt and tears down a little bit of our self-esteem, if we let it. We do need to realize that our words do hurt people and tear them down. We need to build them up. I, too, am a people pleaser. However, we seem to be willing to say things to our family members that we wouldn't to others, knowing they will love us in spite of it. But we need to treat those closest to us the best, because they love us for who we are and accept us for who we are.

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HDHAWK 8/9/2011 11:30AM

    Great food for thought. Then we people pleasers have to remember not to care so much about what other people think about us. Easier said than done!

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MOMONTHERUN1 8/9/2011 10:24AM

    As always a great blog and thanks for sharing!


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KKINNEA 8/9/2011 10:14AM

    Great blog, I needed these reminders today.

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SUSANS_TURN 8/9/2011 9:25AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing that!

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CMA444 8/9/2011 9:17AM

    Remember the phrase "Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me."? I call BS on that statement right now. :) Words do hurt. Even if we don't let that person know that we are hurt, they still sting down deep. Great blog John!

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SHERRYJVP 8/9/2011 9:17AM

    very enlightening. thanks for sharing. I am reminded that I may need to watch what I say.

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MADKAPKID 8/9/2011 9:05AM

    John...words can STING worse than a slap in the face. People don't think about it often. Look at the comedians today that tear people apart over wieght issues....and they say its only done in fun. NO one takes them seriosuly. WELL.....the people they are making fun of do. I agree.....thinking of what we say ...before saying it is a good thing. I like today's blog a lot. Have a joy filled day, Karen emoticon

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GRAMLORI 8/9/2011 8:45AM

    Thank you. We can never be reminded enough about that. One of my favorite sayings is:

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Thanks John. Have a blessed Tuesday!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 8/9/2011 8:42AM

  you are full of such great insights and wisdom.. thank you for sharing yourself with us...

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/9/2011 8:32AM

    I loved reading this. Lincoln has always been a favorite of mine. Maybe all the tough things I'm going thru right now are to help me be compassionate when I meet someone who is struggling.

Great blog John.


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With A Thud

Monday, August 08, 2011

It crept up on me this year. I guess the older you get the more you have on your mind and then suddenly one day there is a clue and you feel a bit cheated. You really wish someone had been giving you an update on a regular basis, like those apps you can get for your phone that tell you about bad weather or your bank balance. It came crashing down with a large “thud” last week when I went to Wal-Mart to buy pool chemicals. After playing a cross between Where’s Waldo and Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego, I found them tucked away in a corner near the lawn and garden department. It was just yesterday, wasn’t it, that they had their own aisle, festooned with all sorts of floaties and the like? Now the chlorine tablets were consigned to a bottom shelf in a dark corner.

Our neighbor, Vanessa, has been going back and forth for the last week or so and has that determined look on her face when she waves as she motors past. She teaches English at one of our middle schools. It’s a good sign things are gearing up when I see her running errands. School starts tomorrow.

I’ve been so busy fighting disaster and trying to stay above water that I almost missed the sign my birthday sent. It can really be a challenge when you were born in the hottest month of the year. Your gatherings are around the pool and you pray it doesn’t rain. No one feels much like eating so you put in a DVD and everyone watches a movie.

It was cooler this morning and I watched the buses make their practice runs on my street. Tomorrow there will be kids huddled on corners, parents snapping photos of the Sammy or Sally’s first day ever. College football begins in earnest and the NFL begins preseason play on Saturday.

Wasn’t it just yesterday we were buying sunscreen and insect repellent? Hadn’t we just aired out the tent and made sure there were no rips and tears before we set off on a season of camping? Gosh, I just opened the pool last week, didn’t I and why were we having such a big barbecue only a few days after the Fourth of July?

Summer slipped through my fingers again. Like a friend you plan on calling for weeks and weeks, summer left without a forwarding address. Oh, it’s no cooler, and I’m not breaking out the fall and winter clothes just yet, but all the events that mark her slow withdrawal are clamoring for my attention. I think about my summer “to-do” list and vow that next year I’ll complete it.

Thank goodness there is always a next year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 10:59AM

    I remember my grandmother telling me that the older you get the faster time goes. I'm probably about the age she was when she told me that. Didn't understand it back then but sure do now.

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REJ7777 8/11/2011 6:20AM

    I've been feeling the same thing. Where did the Summer GO?!

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RACINGSLUG 8/9/2011 5:27PM

    I know time flies, but I can't say I'm sorry to see the end of summer. This one's been grueling!

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MOMONTHERUN1 8/9/2011 10:26AM

    I think that older I get the faster the whole year goes by.

My son doesn't go back to school until Sept. 6th, but I wish that Michigan would start going 10 out of the 12 months.

We've enjoyed our summer, but didn't go to too many places becuase I need to save money for my Half Marathon in February.

Have a great day John!!!


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WANDAH3 8/9/2011 7:34AM

    Wow, school starts early in your part of the world. The kids here don't go back for another couple of weeks. But then again, your part of the world probably gets out earlier so it all equals out.

I can't believe where the summer (did we have one?) has gone. I'm looking at my garden and realizing that so much needs to be done with canning/preserving in the next couple of weeks. Time to start thinking about next year's garden *grin*

Have a great day and PS...Happy Birthday.


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LYNMEINDERS 8/9/2011 3:21AM

    Your not the only one who experienced summer slipping through this year.....
my summer fully slipped through....don't think I really saw it apart from the beautiful weather while we were on holiday.....
And yes....It is great that there is always next year.....
Unfortunately a lot of those have slipped through on me as well....

Trust you are going well and all is good in your world.....

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NASFKAB 8/9/2011 12:30AM

  Interesting blog

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CARTOONB 8/8/2011 11:22PM

    It didn't get warm here until July, so fall can't start until November. Right?

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SUSUSUZZZIE 8/8/2011 11:14PM

    I've been having similar thoughts about the end of summer, though as Irish said... we haven't had but a few real summer days.

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RUN4FOOD 8/8/2011 5:34PM

    In Houston we are really ready for some sore of change. This summer has been and continues to be extremely hot and extremely dry. The national weather guys are saying it will likely be under this dry pattern until the spring of 2012. We already have lots of trees that are dying. I work just across from the largest park in Houston and it's tough to look out and see all the brown trees. Thanks for the heads up on summer being over. We usually get lots of notice since we normally plan on our first cool day being mid October. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 8/8/2011 4:52PM

    Yep, the older I get the faster summer hauls on through!

Still on my to-do list for next summer -- and yes *sigh* they will probably still be there next summer -- are going swimming at least once, and buying (and using) derby skates! And flying the BF's pirate kite. And at least one picnic!

Geez, where the heck DOES summer go when you have to work and do laundry and buy groceries and act like an adult?! emoticon

Ah well, we did barbecue more this year than in years past. Yum. emoticon

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QUIKSYLVER 8/8/2011 3:29PM

    Super fast summer! But I am READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!! emoticon Go, Boise State!!

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MIZZSB 8/8/2011 2:23PM

    i hear you John.. cant believe its already august either.
schools dont start untill September 5th over here so the schools still have their summer break. But in a few months we have thanksgiving, xmas, sinterklaas.. time flies!!!

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ANATASHIKI 8/8/2011 2:10PM

    my summer to do list is surviving while everyone else is leaving for vacation , I still have a month until I can relax and think to leave myself . so , as usually , I 'm happy that the summer is over . but I know what you mean , I get this feeling every end of the year.but this year seems a little different though emoticon

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HDHAWK 8/8/2011 1:01PM

    Same thing for me. I thought I'd have some fun after teaching summer school and taking classes all of June. I'm not sure what I've been doing, but I go back to school on Monday. No classes next summer. I'm already planning for it to be different (hopefully)! I've been saying this for years!

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KKINNEA 8/8/2011 12:32PM

    Agree. Whenever the MN State Fair commercials start playing, I always feel bittersweet about the end of summer.

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RUNNERGIRL60 8/8/2011 11:51AM

    It has been fast! But im still count aug as summer I need to do some fun things yet!!! I don't have kids for school so im not done yet! I want to play more dad! Its not over please!!!!!!! Have a great one! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Out here in the Pacific NW we have yet to HAVE summer... we've had a few summery days but mostly overcast and cloudy... UGHHH

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    My summer was stolen as well. LOL. But I am getting a head start on Fall. LOL.

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AKATUJE 8/8/2011 10:08AM

    That was WAAAAAAAAAAAY too fast!! Our kids still have a month at home!!! And the weather has been really mild this summer, so i am still enjoying it...

Yes, thank God there is next year...

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-AIMIE- 8/8/2011 9:25AM

    My birthday is next Tuesday and we are on like day 60 of triple digit weather here in Southern Oklahoma so I completely understand. I can't wait for Fall...bring on the pumpkins, changing leaves, hot apple cider, and sweaters!!!

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JOURNEYTO60 8/8/2011 9:22AM

    I am a teacher and looking forward to the routines that start again in the fall. But, you are correct, the summer was so welome and now it seems to be over and I also wonder if it got by me without my really savoring it. Let's welcome the fall and live in the season!

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SHERRYJVP 8/8/2011 8:52AM

    I love getting a fresh start with the next seasons routine. I already have a new organzing plan.

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KATHRYN1955 8/8/2011 8:52AM

    Our "summer" doesn't end until after the Labour Day weekend (that's when the kids go back to school). And I must admit that I always breathe a sigh of relief even though I don't have school-age children anymore. It seems that order and routine is restored once again. There is nothing quite like that smell of autumn in the air. I am moving all the summer items on my "to do" list to the fall when it is cooler!
Take care,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MKPRINCESS007 8/8/2011 8:39AM

    Oh no, John..........don't be making me think summer is over.........I am having too much fun! No seriously, I refuse to acknowledge it until there are leaves all over the ground and DS has to hit the books again (not for another month here) so I will keep living in my happy place until then............. :)

Have a great day,

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 8/8/2011 8:36AM

    This is exactly how I feel. I haven't done one summery thing. How can that be? Ugh!

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_AIYANNA_ 8/8/2011 8:36AM

    These are the things that depress my hubby especially as regards our children. What I say to him, though is that there's no point in worrying about how time flies, just make sure you make the most of it when you can.

Here in Greece we still have another 2 or 3 months of summer heat-wise and I must admit I'm looking forward to it being over. It's no fun being stuck in the house all day :(

Elen xxx

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JECKIE 8/8/2011 8:28AM

    YAY FALL!!!! :)

I won't miss summer. Oh, I know I shouldn't rush time, and winter will be here all too soon, but there is nothing I love more than pulling on the sweaters, watching football and eating apple pie. I love fall more than chocolate. lol

Today, though, while it may only be 79 degrees, it's clearly still summer. In that "I'll make you grow gills it's so humid" kind of way.

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WENDYSPARKS 8/8/2011 8:27AM

    Yes summer has gone way tooo fast!!!!

Wendy emoticon

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I'm A Perfect Example of Why Spark People Works

Friday, August 05, 2011

You will not find any before or after photo’s here, nor will you find secrets to success. If you have any to share, secrets that is, I am open and willing to listen to them. Most of what I’ve done has crashed and burned. Oh there have been a few moments of enlightenment and many, many good friends, but if you came here to find a magic potion, I apologize. You can close your browser window and move on to something you may deem a bit more fruitful. This isn’t a rant or a cry for help. It’s not even a “poor me.” It’s the best testimonial of why Spark People works. It’s because I am living proof.

When I joined Spark no one made me any guarantees or promises. There was no “quick start” program. There was “fitter and healthier me” in thirty days. No one tried to sell me anything. I was, however, fed a steady diet of support and common sense. Along the way I have made some really good friends, some young, some old and some in the middle. I’ve found that these folks endure the same challenges I do; they do not live in The Magic Kingdom and I have yet to meet the perfect person. At least I know I’m not.

I began my journey here at Spark weighing three hundred twenty six pounds. That was in December of 2009. By May of 2010 I weighed two hundred sixty pounds, by July one of that year I was down to two hundred fifty. I was a rock star!!! As quickly as it started, it stopped. I hit the dreaded plateau. So being the amazingly intelligent person I was I worked harder and exercised longer. Thanks to Spark People I discovered the C25K program. I ran my first 5K in September of 2010. It wasn’t enough. I had to run more often and much longer. I saw people running five miles and decided it had to be me. Never mind that they’d been running a year or more!!

I started to yo-yo. I’d gain five lose three, gain eight lose six. In late October I made a spectacular fall during a 5K that took the skin off my knee very close to my knee cap. It took three months to heal. I gained a bit more weight. I started running again in late December. I ran about a half mile and as I planted my left foot on the track I felt a pain shoot up my knee. The doctor said it was similar to an injury a thoroughbred horse receives when they plant their foot the wrong way. I was just glad they didn’t shoot me.

My PT gave up on me. She’s in business to make money and the results weren’t headed in the right direction. I still love her like a sister and daughter and I understand. Instead of resting and accepting the fact that a fifty seven year old heals slower than twenty seven year old does I decided it was time to train for my first triathlon. (No fool like an old one, right?”) That led me to spinning class. Not wanting to ease into things I decided that I would take three classes a week. The end result was an aggravated preexisting back condition that I didn’t know existed causing a slight bulge between my L2 and L3 vertebrae. I have a hard time walking more than one hundred yards and if I see a set of steps I almost cry. My legs are stiff.

While all this drama is going on guess what happens? I am slowly regaining most of my weight. As I write this morning I weigh two hundred ninety four pounds and yes I am scared. But I’m here. That’s why I’m a living testament to the effectiveness of Spark People. Every morning, right after I say my prayers and balance my check book I log on to Spark. I get up early to read blogs, tips, share with my friends and gain a bit more confidence each and every day. Have I thought about quitting Spark, sure have, about a hundred times a week? Honestly I embarrassed to have lost all that I gained in success. Being a terminally ill people leaser I worried that my one thousand plus Spark friends would drift away.

I’m not going anywhere. I will not give up. It may take a long time but I will regain my balance and equilibrium and I will solve the riddles and dilemmas. I may have regained most of my weight and be unable to exercise much right now but I look back and I know that it was all of my own doing. I threw caution to the wind and over did it!!

Before I joined Spark People I would have simply walked away and been bitter. This is not a cry for help or sympathy. In many ways I write or say what most people think and won’t say for whatever reason. I’ll get this and if you are feeling a little blue or down or defeated today well guess what? So am I!!! But ya know what?

We’ll get this. Stay here, and work the process. I promise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 10:55AM

    I'd gotten way behind in reading blogs and am almost caught up...I saved yours until last...on purpose. I know what they mean to me, that I have to savor them, let the thoughts percolate. So now I have started reading your blogs, I was behind all the way to your August 1st one. Maybe I had to accept some things in my life, deal with some things, before being ready for your blogs. Your blogs make me think...make me feel. I'm ready again.

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MOMMYTO5CUTIES 8/19/2011 9:18PM

    You can do it!!!! Just keep working on it you know what you need to fix and it sounds like to me you are starting to take those steps :)

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WEIGHTWATCHER72 8/19/2011 12:05PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog! You are inspiring and help everyone realize that you should never give up!

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JENNSWIMS 8/18/2011 3:42AM

    I have no doubt that you can put a stop to the gains and get through rehab to feel better. You can do it!!

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LSPIZZA 8/17/2011 1:35PM

    Do hang in there!

I am glad you are still here.

I worry about injury all the time. I started my exercise journey to combat grief and depression and anxiety after I was widowed with young chikdren. I actually just did my first Triathlon about a week ago. And I am down a lot of pounds as a result.

But the real victory is the attitude. And you have it. Keep sparking!

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BARBIE779 8/15/2011 8:58PM

    Take it easy and remember this isn't a race. Hang in there and you'll make it.

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FARAWAY01 8/15/2011 4:15PM

    Hang in there and take it a bit slower next time around. You can do it! I'm back at SP after losing/gaining, so you're not alone in that.

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TRULYVISIBLE 8/15/2011 9:12AM

  Sounds like pool exercise would be perfect for you. No joint pain. You can even hold onto a noodle and just go across the pool till your body is feeling better. My biggest fear is gaining back what I have already lost. I know I will eventually get to my goal weight so no fear in that. Just fear in gaining it back. The more I am on Spark the less fear I have. It just might be that my yo yo days may be behind me. ( I hope) I see how my thinking is changing and my eating habits. Great honest blog, thanks.

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XIUXIE 8/15/2011 8:21AM

    There is a Samuel Beckett quote here that is applicable "Try. Fail. Try again. Fail better."

Weight loss and getting healthier is not going to be a simple straightforward thing. Most of us get of track, gain back weight, stop exercising because life gets in the way etc, etc. This is a process without a final ending. The best we can do is to try and to try again when we fail. It is hard but it gets easier along the way.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 8/15/2011 1:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THEIS58 8/14/2011 12:50AM

    Thanks for a dose of honesty about how difficult this can be emoticon

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WEKIMER 8/13/2011 9:40PM

    John, great blog. Great to hear your story. Sorry to hear about the injuries and how they can affect our life.
I too always start off with a bang and then a few days or weeks or months down the road, get side-lined.
But you're so right, we never stop, we never give up. Hope springs eternal. We will lose the weight, we will be healthy, and fit.
No matter how long it takes because we are worth it! kim

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FLA-1956 8/13/2011 6:13PM

  I think a lot of us feel as you do. Hang in there and know you have friends here that believe in you. emoticon

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CHICAGOMAN46 8/13/2011 12:18PM

  Hang in there and keep believing and keep working the best that you can. We all hit a bump in the road every now and then but with that comes a chance to really work hard and improve ourselves an individual.

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    I did not know are even more amzing than presumed!

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ANNE-ELIZ 8/12/2011 10:48AM

    So sorry that things have been hard! I know what tolls illness and or injury can take, not only on the weight loss but on your emotions as well.

All those little unhelpful voices both inside and outside your head that get to voicing their opinions...

I've been sidelined by a couple of illnesses and unable to do the activity and exercise that I had so slowly and carefully worked up to. I'm just now contemplating how to get back to doing something that won't start the whole cascade again.

You're such an asset to this community. Your honesty and ability to voice what we both know to be common experience, but that feels so isolating, is a great gift. The strength of this program and site is that it is a long term project and we're not alone.

Thank you. emoticon

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TRACEY5280 8/10/2011 2:47PM

    I get the wanting to start out too fast. It's a intentional mental thought to reign it in. I'm happy to see you're not giving up. Please don't ever.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 8/9/2011 4:37PM

    Life is a journey. There are many different roads and detours. Sounds like you are on one of the detours. I think I speak for a lot of people on here, we are glad that you haven't given up. We look forward to your advice, your wit and your will. You haven't let us down. Hopefully, we can help you turn this around too. Hopefully, we don't let you down. We are here for each other. Anything I can do, please tell me. Sometimes, kind words are needed. Other times we need a kick in the seat of the pants. Sometimes they come together. I would give you a kick, but it sounds like that wouldn't help your back, so, John, keep your chin up, your mind working on this puzzle and thank you for being you, no matter how big or small you are. Thank you. L.

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CATHERINEL66 8/9/2011 8:03AM

    I know I always say this -- but HANG IN THERE John. I think you'll find your way to a balance on nutrition and fitness if you keep giving yourself opportunities to be successful. Really. Whether it's spin, yoga or something else you start (slowly), I know you'll get there. And I think you can make the scale your friend (or not enemy) if you can use it as a tool to monitor the impact of the calories ... and find the point where you can eat well and not gain (and lose a few pounds).

I worked through a number of injuries, as you know, this year ... and now I have a new one. My new challenge is a potential injury to my income (restructuring at job), so I'm seeking a new one, and trying not to give in to freaking out, LOL. And also not picking up the bad habits again.

Hang in there!

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NASFKAB 8/8/2011 8:09AM

  Thanks for pointing out the truth

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ALLISON145 8/6/2011 3:45PM

    Becoming the "ultra mega quick success story" always hangs over us as a huge temptation, so it's great to see you 'keeping it real' and reminding us that we should keep our feet on the ground and our efforts moderate and above all consistent. Blogs like this one help to teach others that consistency is more important to the process than shooting up and flaming out. You have a great story to tell with all kinds of lessons to be learned - the question is whether you feel ready to apply those lessons for yourself now. Either way, thank you for sharing them with us!

You can do this. I know it - do you?



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JBARSTOW 8/6/2011 11:41AM

    Been doing a bit of bouncing on those numbers myself recently. This is a journey, and the road isn't a straight shot; it curves around and doubles back on itself at times, I'm finding.

Hang on in're gonna make it, so long as you don't quit trying!

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AKATUJE 8/6/2011 10:28AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 8/6/2011 4:26AM

    Yay...awesome blog John....
I am so pleased that you haven't quit even though I know you feel like it at glad you are still here with your wisdom and writing about your insight that heps us all.....


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CARTOONB 8/5/2011 9:26PM

    I'm one of the "young" friends, huh? emoticon's a downer for you. There is no "there" to be traveling toward. Once you hit a goal, there is another goal. Once you hit your desired weight, there's maintenance. You're not "done" until you die. How's that for motivation!? The good news? You get to make that journey with me and all of these other great folks you've met...and a few more you haven't met yet.

I, for one, am glad to have you join me on mine. emoticon

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MAGGIENCALI 8/5/2011 8:30PM

    Amen! I get that way from time to time. But I always come back and am better for it. This site has changed me. Great blog. emoticon

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BECKY3774 8/5/2011 6:36PM

    Thank you for your honesty. We have all been there. I lost eighty pounds over seven months, and then plateaued, and proceeded to gain back about twenty five of it over the next year or so....I figured that my clothes weren't changing sizes, I was good. Nevermind the fact that everything was so tight, I was beginning to look like a stuffed sausage!!! Luckily, I found spark before gaining back all eighty pounds....and I'm here with you now to learn how to conquer my food issues....are you game? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDY143 8/5/2011 2:58PM

    emoticonyou're human emoticonI just became your 1087th SparkFriend who's just as human as you and looking forward to ALL the joys and sorrows of living a full life because I don't intend to quit either emoticon


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WHIPPEACHZ 8/5/2011 2:56PM

    Yes! You have an awesome attitude. Yes you will get there ... maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even this year... but you will get there because you have learned the secret of positive thinking.

Thank you so much for posting this... awesome blog!

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GAL7288 8/5/2011 2:56PM

    I really think thats the attitude we should all have, there is never a clear path to take, every direction has potholes the important thing is to walk around them even if it takes longer! Thanks so much for posting. And we are here for you, no matter if you gain or loose weight cause we are all doing it, I'm guilty of it too.

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EILI359 8/5/2011 2:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIBAISREADY 8/5/2011 2:16PM

    Thanks for sharing your story... I truly enjoyed it! Oh how I can relate.. especially to that dreaded Plateau, the up and down, that's me right now as I type this words... I love the attitude... Keep pushing on and yep Sparkpeople is Amazing!

Best Wishes,

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZZSB 8/5/2011 2:10PM

    hang in there emoticon, we are in this together.


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DEBRITA01 8/5/2011 1:33PM

    We all have our ups & downs, losses & gains, but we're still here and that's the most important thing. No one except us to be the perfect Spark People but us. Try not to put any added pressure on yourself and keep your great attitude. Do what you can each day physically, keep eating healthy, and keep your head in the game, as you have been. Over time you will regain your physical strength and heal...and the pounds will follow. We 50+ SP know what you're dealing with and are here to support you. Hang in there! emoticon

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    Weight gain happens to most of us at some time or another. But if you never give up and if this new way of eating and exercising is really a way of life then there is no failure. Just set-backs that are learning experiences.

Comment edited on: 8/5/2011 1:33:58 PM

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ZURDTA- 8/5/2011 12:28PM

    emoticon similar thing is happening to me... but I too am still here, still learning, still trying, still making mistakes... but still learning from them, and still trying... etc...

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COUCHDIVA333 8/5/2011 12:18PM

    yep we are in this together. and we will get thru this.
hope you are healing well!

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_AIYANNA_ 8/5/2011 11:57AM

    John, thank you for writing this blog and for being the wonderful person that you are.

I know that given time your body will heal and that you'll get back on track. Focus on other aspects of getting healthier and please, please stay with us :)

Take good care, my friend :)

Elen xxx

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JENNY888 8/5/2011 11:52AM

    John this blog shows how much you inspire us even when you feel down. Your persistence will result in your winning again I know. Some of us instead of taking one small step back and two small steps forward try to take one giant step forward and end up taking a giant step back instead. I know. I did it also. Much for the same reasons as you. I know the feelings of defeat.

I also will not quit and will continue again, a little wiser this time, and take two small steps forward at a time. I will get at my goal a little later but with the wisdom from the past should get there.

I applaud you for coming out and saying what is going on. I see many that just sit at the same weight forever here on Spark. I thought they were just in a plateau, but have come to realize that the ticker does not ever go into the negative numbers. I'm not sure that is such a good idea. I think if I actually saw the minus on mine it would mean more.

After reading a blog of yours at the start of the year I reset my ticker so I would not be resting on past victories but showing actual progress like you said you did. I'm not so sure it was such a good idea. Watching the hard earned progress on the ticker fade away would have been a good thing. Instead things just stayed at zero.

I wish you the best of luck. If you need a real friend to talk to, not just one in a thousand, I am here.

I like SMOKON's advice above to concentrate on the food portion while waiting to heal. What great advice. When I am healing instead I concentrate on baking and cooking comfort food. I will now change my way of thinking in these times.

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NATTY0488 8/5/2011 11:48AM


Keep it up. You will get where you want with this attitude!

You're still a rock star!

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LUVMYK9S 8/5/2011 11:48AM

    I right there with you John! I'm not much of a motivator or inspiration, I'm at the same place with my weight as I was when I started Spark in 2009, but I keep plugging along. Although I have not been losing, I have not continued to gain weight, but I have learned a lot about myself and I know one day I will reach my goals.

Just keep Sparking!

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FROGGERHKC 8/5/2011 11:32AM

    "We’ll get this. Stay here, and work the process. I promise. "

You are so right! Everyone has bumps in the road. They key is to keep on going!

emoticon emoticon

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SUSANS_TURN 8/5/2011 11:31AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DANA564 8/5/2011 11:10AM

    Love your attitude! Being 50 myself I understand about injuries, slow healing, and setbacks. We are here to support each other through good times and bad, sometimes more bad than good. Like you, I'm taking one day at a time and I wish you luck and good health. God Bless.


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AMBERADAMS1 8/5/2011 11:09AM

    I'm amazed at how you can be down in the dumps and still write such a motivating blog! Your level of self-awareness amazes me. I wish I was that in touch with myself to figure out why I do the things I do. Hope things start looking up for you!

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SMOCKON 8/5/2011 11:02AM

    Don't waste time. I got off track with my exercise routine in December. Just when I was getting started again at the beginning of summer, I broke a toe. I couldn't exercise, so I ate. HELLO?? Because I couldn't burn calories, I added calories?? How did that help me?

While you're letting your body heal, give it good stuff and work on getting the food part under control. Then you're not wasting the time it takes you to heal.

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JANC7223 8/5/2011 10:51AM

    John, I love reading your blogs. You always seem to write something I need to hear when I need to read it. Glad you are staying here. Life definitely is fluid and it those who learn to take the good with the bad who truly succeed. You will suceed!

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KKINNEA 8/5/2011 10:22AM

    We're with you and cheering you on!

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KAT573 8/5/2011 10:20AM

    Great Blog, John; I do think recognizing, acknowledging and accepting and finding ways to adapt to the changes brought on by aging is one of the hardest but potentially greatest, Rites of Passage, on all levels. Persistance added in with these, will keep you heading in the right direction! I am so glad you are here!
Hugs emoticon

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ERLYWA 8/5/2011 10:14AM

    You are STILL a rockstar in MY book. Because a rockstar to me is the person who fights hard, never gives up, and is willing to take a long, painful look at their mistakes so as to learn from them and move on.

I know why you pushed forward even when your body was screaming to slow down. I am still recovering from a hip injury, which is my second injury in four months. All because I refused to listen to my physical therapist and strength train. No, I was stubborn and just went out and ran, ran, ran.

So I know how you're feeling and I am so glad that you put all this down for others to see. Your diligence and refusal to give up is inspiring! :)

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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.

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

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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.


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

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LYNMEINDERS 8/4/2011 9:20PM

    Your friend is very 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


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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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    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 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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