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Stumbles Lead To New Steps

Monday, October 17, 2011


2

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 11/5/2011 2:48PM

    That's what I'm doing...starting again...and again....

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RSTENNER 10/18/2011 2:10PM

    John,
You are the best, you really motivate me to get with it again. I did manage to lose 2# this week, who would of thought that going to the Y 3 times a week would make something happen? I've lost 6# in the last 3 weeks after many months of doing nothing, so I'm on track again. Conferences are a tough one, usually when I would have one, the walking we do counteracts the over eating. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! You just have a great week! emoticon

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NASFKAB 10/18/2011 10:46AM

  Have a good week friend

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CANDOK1260 10/17/2011 10:28PM

    I agree with you portion control is the answer. great blog love it.

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GEEMAWEST 10/17/2011 1:04PM

    I totally agree with everything you said. Also, been there and done that. It's true, we never stop learning.
Have a great week, my friend! emoticon

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SNOWANGELDIVA 10/17/2011 12:42PM

    Your open window made we want to jump up and close it...it's so chilly here I assume it's chilly all over. emoticon
All those meals at the convention and minimal to no veggies...that is sad.
The gurus are mythical beings...or freaks. (I may come back and edit this later ;)
AMEN to portion control with healthy grazing...!!
I would love to control the world, but, I'm pretty sure y'all would get fed up with the techno music and glitter ~ just sayin'....
Gettin' back on the saddle.
Let's RIDE!!!
How appropriate..."Look it's getting light out!"...It's dawn of a new day, brother!

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TRISTAROSE 10/17/2011 9:59AM

    Loved your Vlog John .... I have stumbled long enough and have started over today!
Thanks for letting me hang with you and I always enjoy your words of wisdom.
Have a great week!

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WENDYSPARKS 10/17/2011 8:54AM

    I loved your vidio blog! I need to start over today and renew myself. Had a rough weekend. Enjoy the week! See you around Spark.

Wendy
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MIZZSB 10/17/2011 8:47AM

    i just love the last part about hanging with you....

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Please Dont Wait Eight Years to View This.........

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Musings, Ramblings and a bit of music

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HDHAWK 10/15/2011 11:31PM

    Congrats on the 14 lbs John! I know all that "crap" too. I just need to do it!

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FLGIRL1234 10/15/2011 3:46PM

    Your a riot! I loved this! Keep on doing what your doing. It's working.

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SILLYHP1953 10/15/2011 2:40PM

    It is quite a relief to quit trying to be perfect and just learn to love life and ourselves the way we are. Of course I'm not perfect at that! Perfect imperfection...good concept!

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BTINTERNET 10/14/2011 5:35PM

    I love your v'logs. Thanks for the reminders! Hope you had a great Friday!

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NASFKAB 10/14/2011 12:20AM

  Loved it

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CMA444 10/13/2011 8:32PM

    Remember "Progress not Perfection." We aren't perfect. We are not ever going to be perfect. We can do just the best that we can with what we are given and choose to accept. Live life for what it is and not what it should be. Accept those things that challenge us and embrace them with all of our beings. I know skinny people who have issues with compulsive overeating just like those of us who are heavier. emoticon

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MIZZSB 10/13/2011 1:22PM

    thanks John!!
we intend to forgot to live our lives NOW and not in 10 years... lets have some fun.. lets laugh about things, be silly, dance to the music..

Those are things i am learning, it is hard as i always want to be perfect in everything i do but i can t.. have a great thursday!!

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GIRANIMAL 10/13/2011 12:56PM

    "Perfect imperfection." Love it. As an editor, I frequently say things like, "If you're going to be wrong, at least do it consistently!" LOL Geeez, where is THAT kind of thinking getting me?

Congrats for your loss, but more for the insight you're gaining. Beautiful. Like you.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 10/13/2011 12:23PM

    It has been a bit! Lovin' the banjo ~ FUN!!
Paying for perfection...not down here...no not available down here...I am an interval perfectionist 45 second interval ~ I LOVE THAT!

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS on your -14lbs, John, I am SOO proud of you!
YES, I LOVE my SparkFriends. The knowledge...had that...it's the fellows with the same journey to travel I needed.

Have a Woo Hoo, Thursday!!


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Even The Pain

Monday, October 10, 2011

I take a step forward and the pain radiates through my hip and buttock. My leg bends a bit. I feel my shoulders tense. My torso grows rigid and my anxiety level starts to creep higher. My hands clench the handle of the grocery cart. It comes and goes and thanks to a really good chiropractor, after one week of work it’s “going.” I tried to push ahead but I was too tense. Inside a small voice directed me. “Even the pain…..” it said. I did an emotional “huh?” “Resist nothing, even the pain.”

While standing in the meat aisle at Kroger, I closed my eyes, relaxed my jaw, and took a few deep breaths. I let the pain rise up, through and out of me. After a moment or so, I took a tentative step forward. My leg was weak but there was no pain. I thought about this off and on the rest of the day. It’s not just the aches, pains and physical injuries that hold us back, it’s the mental and emotional pain I am often really scared to deal with. I stuff it back down deep because the accusatory fingers pointing back at me are too much to bear. So like my leg and back pain I muster all the forces I can to fight it.

Pain of any sort suggests I did something wrong and being wrong implies I am guilty of something. Maybe I ate too much, didn’t study hard enough, forgot to stretch before I exercised and suddenly I am “less than.” I begin to compare myself to you and always fall short. “It’s just better to push it back down….. Better to pretend it never happened”

I never realized how often I think like this, how often my emotional pain suggests a feeling of inadequacy and instead of bringing it into the light of day and seeing it for what it is, I choose to ignore it. I treat it the same way I treat my physical pain, looking for some sort of ibuprofen to relieve it. The voice inside of me, my God, my source suggests I resist nothing, not even the pain. I won’t lie. That’s scary.

Be blessed this Monday

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/12/2011 3:37PM

    When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

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HAPPYSOUL91 10/11/2011 12:53PM

    You have insight to the problem. Emotional pain doesn't go away, it will hang on like a infected hang nail until you address it.

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NASFKAB 10/11/2011 12:08AM

  will try to go with the pain

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CARTOONB 10/10/2011 10:52PM

    You know, one of my issues (personal issue) is that I tend to think that if someone is sick or injured, they must be weak. I know that's not true, but I have to fight myself when I think it. Therefore, I cannot be sick. I cannot be injured. I cannot be weak. I'm not sure how I will handle it when it's my turn.

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/10/2011 10:15PM

    John-I have truly found inspiration from your last two blogs.

Resist nothing-or as I like to think about it in my own life, I need to humble myself.

Humility is not humiliation. It is as my dear little sister would say, "Giving it up to God." Whatever Higher Power one chooses to follow, there is a sort of peace in knowing that I control very little in life. Things happen and it's not anybody's fault, so to speak. It Just Is.

I believe that we should try to go with the flow, so to speak.

"Resistance is Futile!"



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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 2:40PM

    For most of us pain is not a permanent way of life. We get it every once in a while like a trial by far. I often think it's meant to teach us something and we have to search for the message which is often. Don't sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the good times. Don't waste precious time. Take care of yourself. Live a healthy life.

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TRACEY5280 10/10/2011 2:19PM

    When you said you relaxed, closed your eyes and let the pain rise up and out - I could picture that. I think this is definately something I'm going to try next time I reach for that comfort food - whatever it might be. Good blog. As always, thank you for sharing.

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CATHERINEL66 10/10/2011 2:13PM

    Aargh! I know this thinking very well. I am applauding you from the next imaginary aisle over for your courage in letting the pain flow -- onward, outward, and through you, back to the source. This is one of those energies that belongs to the Universe and not to you personally. I know that sounds very whoo-whoo, but still ... :)

I felt like this intensely over last fall and winter with injury/health issues -- to the point at times where I was actually enraged. After the abdominal surgery I had in February I woke up with anger and rage searing through me, along with the pain and confusion from it (and the drugs). Sounds crazy, but letting that go was huge for me. Pain seems as though it can easily illicit or trigger negative thinking, whether we turn it on ourselves or external targets.

Congrats to you on each step in your healing -- literally and in all ways. And may the healing be exactly that -- moving you closer and closer to the body that represents your highest good/best self :)

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GEEMAWEST 10/10/2011 12:40PM

    I do exactly the same thing. Blame myself. Thanks for pointing that out.

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JSPIN74 10/10/2011 11:23AM

    emoticon

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PGNBRI 10/10/2011 11:03AM

    I think you're going through some really powerful realizations lately John. And I want to thank you for sharing it with just and taking us along on the Journey.
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SPARKLISE 10/10/2011 10:10AM

    I know my bingeing is often due to not wanting to deal with those feelings.
Next time i'll try your method.
emoticon emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/10/2011 9:44AM

    Great food for thought today!

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HDHAWK 10/10/2011 9:44AM

    What great insight John!

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JECKIE 10/10/2011 9:06AM

    Great revelation! This is a technique that is often taught in pain management treatment, too. Resisting often leads to MORE pain, while accepting allows it to run its course and leave.

Great blog!

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ANATASHIKI 10/10/2011 9:05AM

    thanks for reminding me. I have no problem with the level of physical pain that I have now, I don't remember how it is a pain free day but I always forget to stop resisting the things I don't like, which of course make them stronger. I hope you get better soon

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CIVIAV 10/10/2011 8:34AM

    No resistance. Interesting line of thought and one that has worked wonders for me although I never thought of it this way.

Only thing I want to comment on is not to do too much stretching before you exercise. Warming up a bit first is best. I always do a few dynamic stretches like swinging my legs, knees up to meet my hands and side to side stretches. That gets my blood pumping for whatever is to come.

Have a pain free Monday!

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TEACHING1ST 10/10/2011 8:33AM

    Oh, John, I hope the back pain goes away...you seem to do a fabulous job understanding and working through the other kind! Sciatica (sp?) hurts terribly! Do be careful. I have had strep for several days and will go to Kroger's today to get ready for the school week---I'm so glad I have today off. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Mary

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MIZZSB 10/10/2011 8:23AM

    thanks John..
i can totally relate to the other kind of pain...
I am at home now in a cast with a broken toe and i am so frustrated about it.
Have a great monday!

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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
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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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