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Resist Nothing

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I lie in bed last night and I began wondering about all the things I won’t think about. Maybe you know what I’m talking about? They are the thoughts that usually end with “But that’s the past and the past is the past.” Or “Let’s not go there……….. Boy I really messed that one up……………Lets think happy thoughts!” So I stuff them down, forget about them, move on to something else because they are things about me and my life that I’d rather not think about or remember. Then I notice my jaw clench. My legs get a bit tight and I toss to the left and turn to the right. “Happy thoughts, John, happy thoughts.”

Two dear friends recommended the same book to me in the course of three or four weeks. You don’t have to hit me over the head………… Well maybe you do but not really often. The book: A Course In Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. The book came in the mail Friday and I prepared to be inspired. I said inspired, right? I didn’t say disconcerted or mildly uncomfortable, right? Good, just checking. Her opening salvo goes like this: “Your body itself is completely neutral. It causes nothing; it is completely an effect not a cause.”

Okay Marianne, tell my back and shoulder that; could you please explain to me why my legs only work right about fifty percent of the time? My body is neutral? AL righty then………… Did I mention the part about being hit over the head with a hard and dense object? My chiropractor suggested increasing my meditation time to help relax my muscles and reduce the spasms in my lower back. I have practiced meditation or creative visualization or whatever term you choose since the late 1980’s. I teach it in some of my seminars and with a few coaching clients. What could I possibly learn that I didn’t already know?

Friday evening I stumbled upon a meditation called “Resting In The Source.” It’s from a group called Meditation Oasis run by Mary and Richard Maddux. I’ll tell ya it’s a long one………. Close to twenty six minutes and the first time I went through it I got really confused. I just couldn’t figure out what I should be focusing on. That ever happen to you?

Last night, while relaxing and getting into the right place and space a small voice whispered in my heart, “Resist nothing.” As I listened to Mary’s gentle voice in my head phones I began to have a kinds of feelings, some pleasant, some not, bubble up. I unclenched my jaw, followed her instructions and let those thoughts pass through me. I had an image that I was lying at the bottom of a pool and these thoughts and feelings were bubbles floating out of me and to the surface. As they left my body and mind they were replaced by the love and light of my source. I didn’t shoot up and dance or scream. I simply drifted into an amazing calm. That’s when I put it all together.

As long as I allow them to do so, my thoughts, feelings and beliefs about myself and this world I live in, will hold me prisoner. They will always have me coming up short, they will place value on the meaningless and subtlety hold me back from living within my true self.

I woke up this morning as was conscious of what I felt. Some thoughts were pleasing and some not. My first inclination was to quickly brush away the “bad” ones and replace them with something more pleasant. I didn’t. I unlocked my jaw and just let them float though and by me and I sorta waved at them. Then I got brave. There are two things from long ago I could kick myself in the butt for doing. I try not to think about them. What is you knew? You might hate me, or think less of me or OMG………….” This morning I didn’t let that happen. I let them rise one at a time and just felt them pass through me. In my mind I kept repeating ‘resist nothing.”

I’d like to tell you they were gentle bubbles that went up and away. It was more like large chunks of the Titanic broke away and bobbed up and down really hard. The feelings were so massive and dense that they not only overwhelmed me but frightened me. They hung there, dense, nasty and full of accusation. Eventually they floated away, out of my emotional field of vision and they were replaced by a huge void. The void is neither good nor bad, only a void.

We all have those holes. Those things we rid ourselves of only to find something missing. In truth we are looking for our Source. Refer to it as God, as The Universe as Your Source. The older I get the more I realize finding it, not naming it is what’s important. If it seeks to control you, if it puts restrictions upon your spirit and uses guilt to inspire you then it is not your source. It is your minds creation.

A worthy goal, to resist nothing that floats before me. From now on I blog from the seat of my soul. Come with me?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNMEINDERS 10/18/2011 4:55AM

    Looking forward to the journey with you

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SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:35PM

    Oh...my...God.

I missed my morning meditation this morning, but I will meditate when I get home from work. You described your transcendence quite well, and you'll have many more of them!!

I think I'll have to pull out my copy of ACIWL and begin it again; I kind of got stuck on the 4th or 5th exercise.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 2:36PM

    I uncovered all my deep dark secrets and expunged my past long ago and found that it was very liberating. I shared it with everyone. There were no more thoughts to punish me. It was all out in the open. And I found it didn't make me vulnerable like I feared it would but I was actually stronger. I tell everyone I'm as pure as the driven snow now. Nothing to hide. What you see is what you get. I'm free to be me.

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CATHERINEL66 10/10/2011 2:07PM

    This is awesome, John. One of the hardest things I've ever done is to stop resisting. Life in general, but some specific "hard" experiences or feelings that I've worked pretty darned hard at avoiding and tamping down for the last few decades.

There was something I was reading awhile ago, about letting go of the old feelings and limitations. It essentially begged the question -- what would you feel like if you were not scared, afraid, concerned, etc etc. And if you could just feel the things resisted.

You know, I've been trying to feel those bad things and shockingly, no worlds have ended. LOL! I think I've spent more time and energy resisting over the decades than just getting busy and getting on with myself, LOL! No more. So, I join you -- in being yourself -- with no self-imposed limits (except calories :).

Love Meditation Oasis -- I've used their podcasts before. I'm almost 2 wks into my daily 31 Day Yoga (self) challenge, and I throw in some meditation. It's good. I don't know why I had to work so hard to embrace something I like so much, LOL.

And I'm glad you got the book. I kept reminding myself to send you mine, but looks like it already arrived. I've done all the exercises, some were fantastic, som I muddled through, but I sure did think about everything in there -- so if you ever want to connect on something, just shoot me an email.

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GEEMAWEST 10/10/2011 12:37PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 10/10/2011 12:36PM

    This reminds me of a book on mindful meditation for pain that I need to go back and read again. I was in the worst pain of my life when I first read it and I am quite sure I was too resistant to even absorb much of its message!

I also own A Course in Weight Loss. It's on the ever-expanding list!

You certainly have been on quite a road to discovery lately. I hope you're enjoying the journey. Remember, too, what Abraham says: Enjoy the contrast! I'm hanging onto that one a lot right now too.

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SPARKLISE 10/10/2011 10:07AM

    wow. Didn't expect that this morning! emoticon
I've never done meditation,but i always wanted to. Kind of scared! emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 10/10/2011 3:58AM

    Lovely!!!What a victory, thanks!!!! emoticon

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NASFKAB 10/10/2011 12:22AM

  Great blog

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MKPRINCESS007 10/9/2011 10:22AM

    John.......you are an incredible man. So many try to pretend those feelings don't exist. They stuff them down and try to extinguish them in so many unhealthy ways. Acknowledging these things only makes us stronger. If it is true that we all strive for self actualization, the pinnacle, the only way to do so is to trod through some pretty challenging stuff.

So proud of the journey that you take daily to reach inside your soul, sort through it, and bring you along to a better you. We could all use more of that, I am sure.

Love ya!
Karen

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IFATFIRST77 10/9/2011 9:41AM

    I'm just preparing a more relaxed meditation area this morning myself....It does wonders doesn't it?

Have a beautiful day emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 10/9/2011 9:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 10/9/2011 9:17AM

    Wow! I needed that. I swear you're inside my head sometimes John.

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My Wisdom?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I got more than one Spark mail asking me how I adjusted my meal plan last week to achieve an almost ten pound weight loss. For what it's worth here is some of my strategy:

1. I didn't try to lose weight I set up a plan to do what was right FOR ME. The "for me" part is really important. Our bodies all react differently to external stimulation. My lovely wife has stayed within ten pounds of the weight she was at when we married thirty eight years ago. Other than weight gained during pregnancies she pretty much stayed within that range. She "grazes." She eats five or so meals per day, all good for her and all the right portion size. I on the other hand am more successful when I eat three balance meals and a snack in mid afternoon. If you read CatherineL66 comment on my last blog you'll get my point. Find out what triggers or road blocks are there, for you!!!

2. If its in the house then you will eat it. I have a refrigerator in my office that could open a farmers market. It's stuffed with fruit and veggies. My favorite fruit is red grapes. Three or four times a day I pop a handful in my mouth. It takes care of the craving and after a few days I had to send myself a reminder to eat the grapes. I'm no doctor or dietitian but I m learning that balancing my blood sugar is a real key to appetite stability and maintaining some sort of control.

3. No big changes. I looked around and saw what was within arms length to help make me healthier. No new fad(s), no new equipment or program. I looked within to see whats inside of me to help me get back on track.

4. Life has enough stress when creating more of your own. Yesterday morning as my chiropractor was adjusting my back she asked me why my teeth were clenched. Didn't know they were. Her wisdom to me was that when we fight the healing process it takes longer to heal. That was quite a revelation. I am where I am today and all the frustration and anger wont change that situation. I can prepare for tomorrow but I can wave a wand and change today.

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who took time to respond and support me. I appreciate it more than you know.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:27PM

    Sounds like you have a good chiropractor and a good physical therapist. Thanks for reminding me I have a bunch of green grapes in the refrigerator.

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MIZZSB 10/9/2011 8:59AM

    thanks for your wisdom...!

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MARCYNA 10/7/2011 5:50AM

    Lovely, thanks emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/7/2011 5:36AM

    NEVER GIVING UP!

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NASFKAB 10/7/2011 12:21AM

  Good for you

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/6/2011 10:51PM

    I'm glad to see that you have cleaned the cobwebs out of your psyche and are back on track. Most of the dieting goes on in the mind. Once we get that underused organ on board other things fall into place. LOL.

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CARTOONB 10/6/2011 10:17PM

    Good for you. I'm glad to see that you're back on your track and doing what works for you.

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HDHAWK 10/6/2011 5:21PM

    If it's in the house you'll eat it. I have to learn to avoid all that "bad stuff" because everyone else in my family thinks they have to have it. Yes, they should change their habits and I don't buy it. I did it before and I'll do it again. Keep up the good work John! I need to try the grape idea. emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 10/6/2011 4:32PM

    Brilliant wisdom....thankyou so much for sharing it....

Your statement that the same thing doesn't work for everyone...we have to find what works for us....thats huge ....thenkyou....something i never thought of and yet to a degree I have...just didn't realize I had....lol


Thanks heaps for you always inspiring blogs....

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CATHERINEL66 10/6/2011 12:28PM

    When you mentioned about clenching your jaw, it reminded me of a post I was reading last night on a mindfulness blog. I'm a jaw clencher too, and also recently noticed that my shoulders want to slide up to my ears quite often instead of down on my back.

The blog post that made me go "aha" was about resistance. We put a lot of energy into resistance sometimes. Maybe it's resistance of what's good for us, or resistance of the final outcome of a situation or reality ... Resistance might take the form of clenching (shoulders and jaws) or a renegade mind that runs off in its own (negative) direction, or old habits that don't serve us. The resistance stands in the way of acceptance. Or rather, the acceptance sometimes comes after the resisting dies out.

I'm think now that I need to be more mindful in spotting the signs and symptoms of resisting in my thinking and my body. Resistance is futile (stealing that line!!). I'm going to try and reduce is, and let my body and mind put its good energy elsewhere. Sounds like that clenched jaw is better put to use eating grapes! LOL!

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BLACKROSE_222 10/6/2011 11:30AM

    Thanks for the tips, and I agree - everyone is different. Glad you found what is working for you!

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PGNBRI 10/6/2011 10:57AM

    You're so right when you say that the "FOR ME" was the important part! Learning that what works for others isn't necessarily the right choice for me has been so integral to my success!! Good for you!

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/6/2011 10:40AM

    I am so glad you are finding what works for you, John, and sharing the wisdom you are learning in the process! If I were going to write a book on weight loss, it would be very short: find what works for you and do it. When it stops working, adjust until you find what does again. We are unique, and while the general rules od weight loss (wat less, move more) apply to everyone, exactly what that looks like for each of us may be a little different, just as you and your wife are different in how you eat. Thanks for sharing!

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KKINNEA 10/6/2011 10:22AM

    These are great guidelines.

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IFATFIRST77 10/6/2011 10:16AM

    emoticon

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CIVIAV 10/6/2011 9:52AM

    The jaw clenching and tension in my muscles is something I re-notice on a regular basis. I have a suspicion my successes have lots to do with diminishing my 'resistance' to the way things are and the way I am...I am starting to like myself and accept my circumstances. When I resist, I believe I am holding on for dear life and that has me hold on to the weight or an outdated belief.

Bless you John. Your generosity is boundless!


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JILLTBNAGART 10/6/2011 9:46AM

    Losing weight is all about "me". Thanks for pointing this out!

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PARKERB2 10/6/2011 9:34AM

    Thanks for the insight. It's a lot about "me", more than we realize.

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Gone For Good, I Hope

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I hung around mostly in the back ground the past week. Part of it was fear, part panic and part realization that if I didn’t do something soon and quick, I would have regained ALL the weight I’d lost in the past two years. I’d ballooned to 303.8. My starting weight two years ago was 326.0. At my best point I’d weighed 251.0. I was within twenty five pounds of my initial goal weight.

It’s been difficult to exercise the past three months after I injured my back so I aestheticized myself with food. It would have been nice if it has been the right kind of food but alas it wasn’t. Mostly carbs and sugar, mostly all day every day, mostly seeing everything I’d worked for slip away. It was and is depressing, to say the least.

I was ashamed, LOL, to put my weight on the tracker two weeks ago. I was over 300 pounds again. Me, Mr. Freakin’ Spark. Talk about your downward spirals. So I took a mini break, got reorganized and dealt with reality.

Reality One……………. Right now any cardio is out of the question until I get my back straightened out. It is what it is and crying about it to anyone who will listen, accomplishes nothing. I have to concentrate on my intake.

Reality Two………….. A fruit and/or veggie at every meal really do help.

Reality Three………….. If you don’t track what goes in your mouth you won’t know what goes in your mouth.

In a nutshell I went back to what worked. When I weighed yesterday afternoon I had lost 9.6 pounds. Yes, I’m happy. Yes I’m motivated. Yes I am back on track.

It’s the day to day stuff, the often dull and boring stuff that gets us back on track. A huge thanks to those who have hung on with me. I love ya, I really do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:24PM

    Sometimes it is kind of amazing how the simple basics really do work. I'm glad you're back!

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NASFKAB 10/7/2011 12:18AM

  Congrats

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CATHERINEL66 10/6/2011 9:07AM

    Arrgh, I'm sorry to hear about the gain. I didn't realize that it was this much when I said you were worth your weight in gold, LOL (but ya still are, no matter what the scale says!).

My suggestion, other than to DO all the boring, daily, mundane things that helped you lose weight in the first place, which OF COURSE you are totally and completely capable of doing and deserving of ... is to take a step back and ask yourself what you're anethestizing (can not spell!). What is it that you don't want to feel? In that space in your head right before you do the unhealthy thing and embrace it -- what is there?

Then, go meditate, lay down or hum and FEEL IT. Feel what you were avoiding.

And consider (just consider!) something like A Course in Weight Loss or something like it to work through the issues that food covers up.

I worked through that book and did the suggested exercises (even the ones I thought were silly or didn't apply to me). It gave me a different perspective or lens through which I could view some of my behaviors and past "coping" or self destructive issues. I think that some of the connections that were made in my head created enough "aha" moments that NOW when I feel myself sliding away, down a slippery slope of chocolate frosting, I am a little more able to put the breaks on. Maybe a finger goes in the frosting, but I can stop the full blown, roll-around and get stuck in it sort of thing that may have happened in the past. It's been a help. I'd even give you my copy if you wanted it :)

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SPARKLISE 10/6/2011 8:16AM

    emoticon Glad you're back. emoticon

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IFATFIRST77 10/5/2011 9:11PM

    I love your honesty! I'm sure your back on the right track.. Good on yah for taking the needed time to recharge and regroup! Excellent approach!! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 10/5/2011 10:55AM

    Nice going, keep up the good work.
In my opinion the food tracker is the #1 tool and the first thing I concentrate on when I need to readjust. Wishing you well.

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LYNMEINDERS 10/5/2011 4:17AM

    It's awesome to see you back....
WOW....9.6lbs...your amazing....what a motivation to you....

I have ben eating according to Joel Fuhrmans programme and it is awesome.....
The daily balancing exercise and food team has a thread on it where I think you will find the programme that one of the leaders has put up for us.....
May be worth a try to see great results to get you really going and keep you motivated.....

Cheering you on....

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CARTOONB 10/4/2011 10:48PM

    Welcome back to the track...missed you!

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HDHAWK 10/4/2011 10:26PM

    I'm glad you're back on track and losing again John. I was hovering at 23 or so lbs. heavier than my lowest in July. Then I hurt my back and now, I'm 5 lbs higher than my heaviest weight. Instead of getting right back on track I let it all go to he**. Yes, sugar, all day every day. I can feel the "I'm sick of this" feeling creeping up, which is a good thing. I can't fathom why I wouldn't want to feel the way I did when I was thinner. There are too many reasons to list. Now, to just do it. I understand the feeling embarrassed, I do too. I have realized that anything I've been through, there are many people here who have been through the same and they really do understand. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 10/4/2011 8:59PM

    Was dropping by to check up on you.

We are pretty much in the same boat these days. Today I started Aquatic Physical Therapy. My back is really hurting tonight but I really enjoyed being in the pool. I am hoping that this is the thing that gets me over this dang back thing.

Always here for you. I hope you know that.
emoticonCheryl

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TEDYBEAR2838 10/4/2011 8:35PM

    Never be embarrassed around SP. We know the ups and downs or we would
not be here.

We are will you all the way, in the good times and in the bad.

You are a ROCK! emoticon

I said a prayer that your back will heal soon.

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/4/2011 6:11PM

    Reality sometimes is no fun, but it's where it's at. I'm sorry you have been through such a rough spell with your back; it makes it about 1000% harder when you can't do much of anything on the cardio side of the equation of this weight loss thing. You are getting a handle on all of that, though, and I'm proud of you for sticking with us and figuring out what you need to do. Don't ever give up, please promise me that, even if it's tough or the scale is going the wrong direction, okay? You're worth the effort; someone very wise told me that and I do believe it.

emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/4/2011 4:31PM

    Fantastic!! The "Good' John is back. LOL. You are on the right path. Just do what you can and take it a day at a time. No regrets. Impatient people like you and me are taught to be patient by "the powers that be". LOL. We are here to support you. We are not going anywhere.

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CIVIAV 10/4/2011 4:14PM

    Still believe you are Mr Freakin Spark. Yes you are.

a million emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 10/4/2011 3:28PM

    When things run amuck, going back to basic works all the time

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/4/2011 2:10PM

    And you are off! Yes, a phenomenal start. Isn't it great that we get as many chances as we need?
I've paid no attention to my weight lately,, relying entirely on exercise. No, that doesn't work either. You've inspired me - I will pay attention again.

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GIRANIMAL 10/4/2011 1:33PM

    I'm so proud of you for sticking with it and seeing results! Let's face it, it's sooo much easier to just give up -- that is, after all, how so many of us got here to begin with, and sometimes the rest of life feels hard enough.

Remember, this loss is a HUGE accomplishment considering all the pain you've been in and how much your activity has been restricted. Just imagine how unstoppable you'll be when you can get your body back under control!

Nice job, dear friend. Onward and upward! emoticon

emoticon

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RSTENNER 10/4/2011 11:15AM

    John, I love your posts, please always post the good, the bad, and the ugly! We all stumble along the way, up and down that scale, but we just can't give up or we will be 500#'s or more without hope. The old saying, if you don't use it, you lose it, well, anyone over 50 has to know that it's very true with the old body. We have to find the exercise that we can tolerate and just do it! Have a great week!

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GRAMLORI 10/4/2011 11:06AM

    Well, John, I am right there with you.....only I was hovering at 15 lbs gained back from 50. Not only do I have my lower back spasms to deal with when exercising, I pulled someting in my shoulder and cannot lift it over my head. I was thinking, "Really? You couldn't injure a joint that was already bad....ya had to go and hurt something new!"

Yesterday I saw a new doc. Don't remember if you are prior military or not, but my PMD has changed more often then my hair style....and that's a lot! Anyway, she was very encouraging, and I've been depressed about the weight gain, about the pain, basically a 'poor lil me'....or, rather, 'poor fat me'........but I think I'm back on track with my thinking...no more 'stinkin thinkin'.....and I aim to go to the pool....even though I have to go off post and pay for one that's heated rather than the outdoor one that's free to use...too cold now, and I'm a wuss.....I aim to hit the pool for the next 4 days and at least one day on the weekend.

I raise my glass emoticonof water to you John! Have a great week.

Lori

Oh and FANTASTIC on the weight loss!! That's a great start!!!

Comment edited on: 10/4/2011 11:06:44 AM

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PGNBRI 10/4/2011 10:48AM

    emoticon

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TRACEY5280 10/4/2011 10:38AM

    I get this. My reality right now is back to basics. Basics work. Go John!

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BLUEROSE73 10/4/2011 10:23AM

    Good for you. It's hard when you suffer a setback like this. But I am so glad you found your way back on track. And are motivated to keep going again.

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KKINNEA 10/4/2011 10:02AM

    Glad you've got a plan to take you through healing your back!

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BLACKROSE_222 10/4/2011 9:43AM

    That is awesome that you are getting back in the game, again. Many of us here have been EXACTLY where you were... and not many of us are lucky enough to say we got back up again. You did. I'm so happy and proud of you, John.

One day and one step at a time, my friend.

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 10/4/2011 9:34AM

    Just remember, your Spark friends are not only here to listen, but to haul your butt up when you fall. Don't hide your imperfections, it is what makes you real..along with your great sense of humor and your honest take on everyday life. We cannot do this on our own, that is why Spark is so great. But, we cannot get help until we ask for it, even God expects us to ask for what we need and want. Here's to the next part of the journey! emoticon (what you expected a glass of bubbly...lol) Take care and keep up the good work.
Laurie

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LISA01605 10/4/2011 9:07AM

    It sounds cliche but the most important thing is not giving up. I almost gave up. I started at 254 in 2006 and got to low 190's in 2008. The beginning of 2011 I was back to 242. I was disgusted with myself and knew I had to make some major changes. In April 2011 I committed to eating right and exercising. Since then I have been doing a lot of reading and a lot of research into what the best eating and exercise plan is for me. I have tried a little of everything from Atkins to raw food. I am still working out the kinks. The important part is that I have greatly decreased processed food and refined sugar. In everything I have read that kind of food is discouraged. I am now back in the low 190's, after 6 months of committing to health. I have bad eating days. I am far from perfect but I am watching the scale and making sure it never gets too far out of hand. You can do it!! It takes dedication and a massive amount of will but you know that already.

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TRISTAROSE 10/4/2011 8:56AM

    So .... you had a moment and now you are back on track!

emoticon emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/4/2011 8:55AM

    I'm excited for your loss but get the depression of the gain too. I'm glad that things are going better for you. I know from experience that when your back hurts, everything hurts. Hang in there.

emoticon

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/4/2011 8:46AM

    John-as always, thanks for the outstanding honesty.

Being honest and accountable to one's self is the biggest step and hardest part of this journey.

Kudos on the weight loss. So sorry to hear about your back. Is any kind of water workout out of the question?

I'm sure with your attitude you will stay on track (and tracking!)

Take care!

Helen

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BEEJ728 10/4/2011 8:39AM

    I'm sorry to hear about your back. It takes awhile to get back to normal but you'll get there. I know because I broke mine about 15 years ago. Since then I've done a couple century rides on my bike. The most challenging thing for me was to be patient with my progress as I healed. Fortunately I had a great physical therapist who helped with that. Anyway, sounds like you're dealing with things well. Congrats on losing those pounds. Beej

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NUTSNUTSGETEM 10/4/2011 8:26AM

    It really does suck to have to deal with weight issues. You would think that after all of the hard work we put in to get down to a decent level, we'd be smart enough to keep it off. Personally, I get close, then I get comfortable. A compliment here or there about you look like you lost weight and phoosh, it's out the window. I'm at a plateau. You're re-committing. I'll try to help hold you accountable, give you a kick in the butt and keep you on track if you can try to do the same. Let's accomplish some goals and then NOT BE IDIOTS and keep it off!

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PATTILYNN224 10/4/2011 8:16AM

    Totally understand what you're going through. Glad you've shared the downs and the ups. Best wishes for a speedy recovery with your back.

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WALKNLOVE 10/4/2011 8:12AM

    I understad my friend! 1st I had tendonitis, and now a broken big toe! Frustrating...yes, but we can do what part we know does work...and I have been both lazy 7 stubborn about it! Tomorrow I start Weight Watchers again...it worked before & it will work again! it helps to have accountability, so I have asked a friend to go with me! John, you are so awesome to keep it real with us & that is what makes you so special! Glad for you that you are back on track! Hang in there! thoughts & prayers are with you & never ever forget...ALL things are possible w/ Christ & he will never leave or forsake you...so you know he is right there with you, walking you through it...and he hears our cries for help!

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MKPRINCESS007 10/4/2011 7:58AM

    You made me cry!!!!! John, I am unbelievably happy for you! Not just for the weight loss (although that rocks) but the fact that I feel the energy returning to your voice. You got down to biz, and made it happen. Those damn curve balls can just whiz right by your head now. NOTHING can stop a train! I know you can, I know you can, I know you can!

Love ya back and so happy to hear you've got it rolling again!

Karen

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SARAWALKS 10/4/2011 7:58AM

    "It’s the day to day stuff, the often dull and boring stuff that gets us back on track."

How true. I haven't done so well at hanging on and I've lost track of a lot of blogs over the summer but I saw this title and thought, "Gotta see what he means!"

So sorry to hear about your back issues. It's really tough when you can't do your usual exercise. But you will not give up, I feel sure of that! emoticon

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Finding Wisdom and Bliss

Monday, September 26, 2011

If we are not careful, wisdom and bliss will team up, hunt us down and infect us with their own unique brand of mirth. I’m not quite sure what will happen then but I can imagine, just from my limited exposure, it will be a good thing.

Last Thursday evening, a group of seventh and eighth graders proudly and with a perceptible amount of nervousness walked in front of sixty or so adults to sing a medley of tunes. They were our “entertainment” at the Optimist International Banquet. They smiled, rolled their eyes, wrung their hands and other wise did a really good job. During their last song I noticed a girl in the back row. She was tall, and her head poked up above her school chums. At one point in the song, as it grew towards a masterful crescendo she closed her eyes, threw back her head, and SANG!! The smile and expression on her face told the story. She had touched the fringe of bliss and just for that one, pure and sweet moment, everything was perfect. Lord, it touched my soul.

Yesterday I read a posting from a Spark friend who had taken a “break,” to reorganize, focus and other wise get her stuff together. She realized after a few days that she needed the love and support but had found she’d become caught up in what I call the Spark Rat Race. I’m paraphrasing what she wrote because I felt as if she had tapped into my soul.

How many of you feel guilty if you don’t respond to every blog posting, Spark Goodie, Spark Mail, or friend request? (Please visualize me raising my hand) How many of you rush to your PC every morning, log on to Spark, spin the wheel and swear to all that is holy, the points are rigged. (I had a friend who actually charted this on a Excel spreadsheet for a month and swears there is a conspiracy. I myself don’t think it’s fair that my streak of logging in was broken by the fact I was in a remote area fort one day and couldn’t log in!!!) Will you listen to me? Holy cow!! Lost somewhere in my desire to ascend the Spark ladder, accumulate fitness points and the scared and treasure Goodie points, I’ve stopped having fun. I came here to get healthy (Another word for bliss.) to reclaim some semblance of balance in my life and instead I seemed to have lost focus.

So my Spark friend touched a nerve or struck a chord inside of me. Many days I do all the right things for the wrong reasons. Many days I come here to feel secure and reassured and not to do the things that make me healthy. It’s all about perception and Thursday night the young lady, head thrown back, angelic smile on her face reminded me it’s all about seeking that pocket of bliss in our lives we so richly deserve. I do deserve to be happy and healthy. I am worth every bit of effort I put into myself, but it doesn’t matter much does it, if I am Spark Community Member of the year and my health suggests I am morbidly obese. Like my Spark friend suggested, sometimes we lose track and a slight pause helps us regain our bliss.

I am grateful for the wisdom and now if you’ll excuse me I am going to find a street corner to sing on so I can regenerate a bit of bliss.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:22PM

    Does the end justify the means? I don't think so, I think it's the journey, not the end that's important. I got caught up in all the sparking stuff, too, but have backed away, figuring out what's important (it's not points!), and am doing better. It's the community on here that keeps me coming back and keeps me going forward.

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LINDAJ0621 10/7/2011 5:38PM

    Wow....this is a timely topic for me! I have been having some struggles along these lines also. So, I took a break and had to decide if I actually wanted to continue here or not. I came to the conclusion that I DID want to stay at SP, but I have to be doing the things I want to do and NOT the things I feel obligated to do. And, I have to STOP feeling guilty about LIVING and not being on the computer all the time!
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NASFKAB 10/5/2011 12:27AM

  Great blog as usual

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SPARKLISE 9/28/2011 9:35PM

    SO true!
I get so stressed out if I get behind in sparks!
That is not what is supposed to happen!
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CATHERINEL66 9/28/2011 12:41PM

    Oh, can we have a video blog of you singing on the street corners? This I gotta see :) Just kidding :)

I couldn't agree more -- everyone has to find their groove.

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WORKINGSTIFF 9/27/2011 10:14PM

    OMG--who would have time to blog, respond, huddle, comment etc. etc. everyday?

I think the point of Spark is to be a part of the community, but to also get out in the world and live a great life. I'm sure Chris D. wouldn't want a whole community of online only participants.

Living in the real world and then bringing it to Spark is the great part of all of this. I enjoy reading about people running marathons, traveling, visiting relatives, etc.



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TRACEY5280 9/27/2011 7:15PM

    I'm right there with you. I've stopped commenting, responding,etc. so much and stepped back to focus on me. It can bog you down and take away from where the true focus should be. Like in eating, exercise, and all that is good, it's a matter of balance.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2011 11:51AM

    I absolutely get it. We have enough to do without turning everything into another job and more work!! We need to enjoy the journey and if we aren't we need to assess our situation and regroup.

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LYNMEINDERS 9/27/2011 5:45AM

    Double Amen John

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STEELKICKIN 9/27/2011 12:41AM

    Amen, John. AMEN!!!!

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CARTOONB 9/26/2011 11:01PM

    The wheel IS rigged...and I'll figure out the pattern eventually! LOL! Great blog.

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GEEMAWEST 9/26/2011 8:48PM

    I am throwing my head back and singing as loud as I can. Even though I can't carry a tune. LOL

I really get where your spark friend is coming from. emoticon

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HDHAWK 9/26/2011 7:31PM

    Boy, can I ever relate to this one. Sometimes I do feel like I give too much time to spark because heaven forbid I miss something important!
A couple weeks ago I became a spark motivator and was almost embarrassed because I've gained back to 5 lbs. over my highest weight. I'm a faithful sparker, but I sure haven't been faithful to myself and my goals.


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IFATFIRST77 9/26/2011 7:05PM

    Interesting points to ponder for sure. emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 9/26/2011 4:44PM

    LOL -- I've been feeling guilty for like 5 days for not yet being able to respond to comments on my last blog. emoticon

I sure do feel at times like I have lost sight of my intentions -- as I mentioned to you recently, I discovered that I have been Eating By Numbers for quite some time now, and I am not quite sure yet how to break that habit yet. I want to say it's time to just stop tracking, but I sort of still need to because of my food issues, plus I want the "crutch" as I am starting to shift up to maintenance calorie range.

Anyway, the short version of that is I hear you, and fully encourage you finding your bliss in whatever way works best for you. If it's not chasing Spark points (which makes sense to me!) then so be it. This is your journey to better health, to the best John that John can be. Own it. Go sing your heart out! You sure do deserve it, dearest friend.

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HAPPYSOUL91 9/26/2011 1:18PM

    You just "bliss" away

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/26/2011 12:14PM

    It is soooo easy to get caught up in the Spark Rat Race without realizing it! I've had to back away from some teams and challenges because it was becoming too much, and I've definitely felt like a 'bad' Spark Friend when I don't respond to every comment, goodie, and message that comes. I love this site and my friends here, but I can't live here 24/7; that's not really living, is it? Go find your bliss, John; I'm gonna go find mine.

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KKINNEA 9/26/2011 11:22AM

    Great blog - I recognized myself in there. I need to get out of the rat race some!

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TEDYBEAR2838 9/26/2011 11:04AM

    blisfully bliss

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JECKIE 9/26/2011 10:20AM

    Right on! Here's to your bliss!

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GOOFIERNU 9/26/2011 10:09AM

    I just finished a necessary three day down time due to me (foolishly) injuring myself. I didn't track, I logged on, but didn't obsessively get all the points. I couldn't exercise, so didn't track that either... and when I COULDN'T, I realized how OCD I'd become with the whole point system. I would think, "Did I get every possible point I could???"

Time to back away from the Spark Site and actually go DO the exercises and stretches. Sitting here obtaining points isn't moving my butt and helping me get rid of these last 20 pounds.

Time to go find my bliss.

Thank you for this post!!!



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TERRIPAL1 9/26/2011 9:04AM

    Nice one,enjoy your bliss ! Enjoy the day & have some fun!

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Letting Life Come To You

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Awhile back someone crooned “The blues don’t care who’s got em’” I’d be lying if I told you I bounce out of bed each morning with a grin in my face and a song in my heart. Most days it’s a bit of a struggle. My mind fills up quickly with everything I need to do. I stretch, pop my pills, struggle into my clothes, head for the pool. It seems as if I’m marking time. Where’s the joy? What did I do to deserve all of this and why are all of these people putting such huge expectations on me? I am just one guy. What happened to the life I always dreamed of? Why can’t I track my food, spend six hours exercising, become Sparkie of the Year and sit at my PC all day sending out Goodies to everyone who crosses my path? You see, some days you just have to take what life gives you. It may be a gift card to the store of your dreams or it may be an expired coupon to McDonalds. It would be nice to accept it with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, but you and I both know, that doesn’t always happen.

Most days we just deal with life. We pay the bills, change the oil in the car, listen to a frustrated co-worker, clean up after spouses and kids and somehow hold it all together. We start our day with the best of intentions and suddenly everything comes unraveled. We scratch our heads, wipe away a tear and just keep moving onward and upward. No one will ever write our biographies. We’ll never be on The Today show. We, you and I, are quite simply the threads that hold life together. We are the “great unsung.” We are the people who set the example, not by loud words and clanging cymbals. We are the folks who lead by our lives, our love and our commitment. It’s not always fun.

I recalled training for my first 5K. Lord, I hated every moment of it. It sucked, I ached and running 3.2 miles seemed far away. I remember the first time I did it. Being the large ball of emotion that I am, I was crying. Poor Rebecca, the trainer on duty at my gym, didn’t know what to do so she hugged me. I remember the first race I ran and how the deep sense of accomplishment flowed through me as I crossed the finish line.

I hold those things in my heart and know that when I let life come to me, rather than trying to bat it away, that around a corner or over a bend, there is a cheering finish line waiting just for me.

Peace to you this day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 10/5/2011 12:25AM

  You are an inspiration to all of us

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SPARKLISE 9/24/2011 10:31AM

    And that is what life is made of.
I think there is a lot of hype about how you can be super positive and always in amazement of every little thing that is going on , always bright eyed and bushy tailed every minute of every day!
Sometimes you just do things because they have to get done- without pomp and fanfare.(Is that a saying? emoticon)
We might be the great unsung to the masses but not to our family.
Great blog John.
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JPRICE217 9/24/2011 10:09AM

    emoticonblog

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DUTCHIEKIWI 9/24/2011 1:47AM

    You are the one that somehow puts the words and feelings that I have in my heart and mind in writing. With goosebumps I read your feelings and how they are similar if not the same to mine. It's such a relief to read that I am not the only that has these feelings, and the having the knowledge there are people out there like you that understand how I feel without even having to say or explain everything, means a lot!

Next time you cross a finish line, any type of finish line, just know...
I might not be standing there in person, but I standing there waiting for you and applauding you with heart and soul.

I hear you, I feel you....

Let's make life our adventure that we share together, as together we are so much stronger!!

Love

Dutch
ie

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GIRANIMAL 9/23/2011 3:06PM

    Boy, this fits right in with my resounding life lesson of late: acceptance. I'm really working on remembering to let life come to me, accept it for what it is and do my best.

Peace to you, John!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 9/23/2011 11:57AM

    Bravo, brother.. you may not be on a 'Hollywood Hot List'; you're on mine. I adore your ability to write and allow me to sigh my frustrations in tandem with yours. The Today Show does not have my attention like my sparkling friend, John does.
May God Bless you with peace as well.

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LYNMEINDERS 9/23/2011 6:53AM

    Very inspirational...it is so easy to get caught up in the mundane that we miss the treasure in each day....
Thankyou

Comment edited on: 9/23/2011 6:54:14 AM

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MKPRINCESS007 9/22/2011 6:03PM

    John..........I so appreciate your down to earth, no holes barred look at life. Funny you should mention that "no one will write our biographies......No Today Show"......my son was showing me Google+ yesterday, and it is in Beta version at the moment. The suggestion is to follow "fun and interesting" people......examples being Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey, and some senator from somewhere. I thought "Why should I follow them? Will they EVER follow me?" and what makes them "fun and interesting"? Definitely an aha moment, cause we most certainly are blips on the radar. That being said, I so agree that we need to let life come to us. The best things that have ever happened to me have come when least expected. Being open to what life brings is what it is all about.

You rock, man!
Karen

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/22/2011 4:35PM

    Yep, the feast and famine, ebb and flow of life. But as you well know what makes the man is not how you handle the good times but how you ride out the bad and you will ride this one out and learn the lesson that this period of tribulation entails and be stronger than ever.

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CANDOK1260 9/22/2011 2:07PM

    love your blog but then always do

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CATHERINEL66 9/22/2011 1:29PM

    Such a sweet blog, John! Though I am shocked you hated every minute of the 5K training! What? How could you not be engulfed by positive endorphins? (tongue in cheek here). LOL! You LOVE working out, I just know you do :)

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WORKINGSTIFF 9/22/2011 12:37PM

    Life has a way of getting in the way...we live it as best we can, with some days being better than others. But! Every day we open our eyes is another chance that someone else did not get...



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TEDYBEAR2838 9/22/2011 12:17PM

    Hope to see us both at tha finish line!

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KKINNEA 9/22/2011 10:19AM

    Love it

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NJMATTICE 9/22/2011 10:04AM

    Happy Thursday, John. Life is good.
Love,
Nancy

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JSPIN74 9/22/2011 9:51AM

    emoticon so true! thanks for this & being one of the unsung along with us emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 9/22/2011 9:47AM

    Well said John .... I was feeling down on myself this morning, always second guessing what I have done and/or said. I need to look at the brighter side of life and not question and/or care what other people think of me as I am what I am. Thanks for a great blog!

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ANATASHIKI 9/22/2011 9:08AM

    emoticon I was thinking at exactly the same things today . I was sitting in a garden with a friend , relaxing with a coffee and suddenly thinking why can't we have this more often? why do we have to always run breathless after stupid things? why is everything so complicated? or is it just me being complicated? why can't my brain stop asking questions without answers ? so I decided to grab every little piece of happiness that was available and ignore the rest emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOHNMARTINMILES 9/22/2011 8:32AM

    Life brings us almost exactly what we expect. "I bargained with life for a penny and life offered me nothing more". You are right, live life as it comes and enjoy!

Make it a great day!

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