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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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MAGGIE805 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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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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    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.

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BRENDABUNNY 8/2/2011 2:15PM

    Wonderful blog John emoticon

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KKINNEA 8/2/2011 1:11PM


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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!


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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

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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    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


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.


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MMNICKS 8/3/2011 11:04AM

    Great blog, great revelation.


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GRAMLORI 8/3/2011 10:42AM


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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 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.

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

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

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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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