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A Community of One

Monday, October 24, 2011

I woke up this morning and it dawned on me that I have been part of Spark People for almost two years. I came here to lose weight. I'd tried everything else, I figured what the heck......... This WAS FREE!!! I lost a ton of weight, I hurt my legs and my back, regained a lot of the weight I lost, got depressed, ate a ton of ice cream, got re inspired and hopefully am back on track. What I've learned here in two years could fill a book, so I'll make an effort to be succinct.

I have learned most importantly that I am a community of one, and so are you. There is no other body type, like yours. There is no mental and emotional way of processing life, its events and its twists and turns like yours. When we look at a picture we may both see a cow but yours is a solid color while mine may be mottled. I learned that reading all these amazing success stories people write about can be motivating and then they can be deflating at the same time. Each of those people found a key and a voice inside of me yelled "Hey wait for me," only to find out an exercise program or a particular food or lack of it, didn't fit my life style, body type or age. I experienced set backs and wondered if I was equal to Mr or Ms "I lost 150 pounds."

As obese people we are often self conscious about how we look. We find a community of people who have shared our pain and difficulties and we rejoice. We see their success and we so want to be loved and accepted that we will damn near kill ourselves in the process of getting there. Our need to finally be accepted and integrated is so strong that we would defy our otherwise reasonable mind to do so.

I have learned that I forgot to stand straight and tall all by myself. I learned I am a community of one. There is no one like me and no one should be. I learned acceptance from many of you. Many of you reached out and extended your hand in friendship and while I was worried and concerned and all those attributes us people pleasers have I learned to take that hand and squeeze it in return.

I learned vulnerability can be a really scary thing and each of us guards ourselves so tightly as not for the world to see the true self we fight to hide.
As I won ,then lost, then became relatively mundane I lost friends here. Apparently I was not inspiring enough. and please John quit writing about your setbacks. I guess it means John I'd have to face my own. Send me a happy face goodie and life will be great.

If I began to name the people who loved me, stuck with me, became real friends, even though we may never meet, I'd leave someone out.

I have learned that I am a community of one, special, unique and deserving of health. I've learned its a long journey and that journey never ends. I've learned health is a process.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 11/1/2011 1:29PM

    A blog is just that, your place, your victory, your struggle, whatever it may be. We come to read and on certain days we connect in thought and know we are not alone. Today, you struck a chord with me. I haven't been on my chat group for that very same reason. What do they "get" that I don't? It is a fluid journey and constantly changing. I think I'll just keep on going. Thanks John.

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WALKNLOVE 10/31/2011 7:53AM

    John, your story could have been my story today.BUT no matter what....we will NEVER EVER EVER give up! Thanks for being my spark friend in this journey!

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 10/28/2011 11:22AM

    Yes, a community of one. We wouldn't want you any other way, at least those that stick with you through thick and thin. We have to learn to love ourselves at whatever point in life we are and work with what we have and what we are given. No use trying to follow someone else's footsteps, that train has already gone. We can, though, walk with them and take the occasional siding that helps us through what we are dealing with. Their sidings will be different, because each of us are different. Embrace who you are, because deep down inside you are just a big, huggable teddy bear. That doesn't mean you should just slack off and accept that you cannot change, improve, revolt...whatever you decide. Just keep moving forward, looking back only makes you miss what might have been. If you look forward, you can envision what can be and shoot for it.
Keep up the good work and forget about those who cannot accept that you are human. Surround yourself with those who think positive and help you to do the same. All the rest can be left back at the ride YOUR train and keep chugging along.

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NASFKAB 10/27/2011 12:11AM

  Great blog as usual

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/26/2011 2:29PM

    Ultimately your focus should be about you, John, and mine should be about me. We can share our humanity but we are here to work on and improve ourselves. So you haven't failed anyone, including yourself. Life is full of ups and downs and you will be back up soon and the fair weather friends will be right back. Your real friends will still be here and you will have the confidence of having weathered another major storm. Bent but not broken.

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GIRANIMAL 10/26/2011 1:03PM


I don't have much more to say. You covered it all here splendidly. emoticon

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SPARKLISE 10/25/2011 10:09PM

    I too lost friends because I am not losing any more.
I'm behind in my e-mails(I gave up and came to read blogs),and I haven't written a blog in a while and I find nobody really checks.
But that's ok,because it comes down to me,and anyway,you guys aren't real,you're just cyber pixels. emoticon
You are aren't you? emoticon

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SILLYHP1953 10/25/2011 12:41PM

    Mundane? I think not. But you can feel relatively mundane and I can feel that you're not. That's what this community of one is all about, right?

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/25/2011 8:47AM

    Yes, we must always remember that each of us is unique and a community of one...

Thanks for the inspiration, as always.

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LYNMEINDERS 10/25/2011 1:00AM

    You are an awesome perason and amn amazing writer....
you never fail to inspire me....
you are so right....
i am certainly a community of one and don't like when peoiple see through my facade cause I think my facade is a good one....
it is however every now and then someone breaks through which is actually great....whether i like it or not....
walking this journey with you's your journey and will take as long as it takes....
Thats one of the things that makes us unique....

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TRULYVISIBLE 10/25/2011 12:40AM

  You are a hell of a writer. That happens in the world of internet. People are here today and gone tomorrow. That is why I say I have internet friends and real life friends. Real life friends see more dimensions of you and in my opinion a stronger bond in formed.
David Viscott a well known psychologist now deceased said in the end we only have ourselves for the reasons you mentioned. We experience things unique onto ourselves. That is not a bad thing as long as you have a few close people in your life that will be there for you no matter what.

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CLOVER2 10/24/2011 11:47PM

    I have been inspired by your wisdom. That you share it with us is an incredible honor. And like others, setbacks are a part of being human and those who choose to turn their backs because you are in a rough patch, well they weren't very good SparkFriends now were they? I check your blogs regularly and I am always moved by them, like I said wisdom very profound.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARTOONB 10/24/2011 10:07PM

    I'm happy to know you and your community of one!

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1NEWPAM 10/24/2011 2:16PM

    Great blog, John. Please never quit writing about your setbacks. Those of us who also are human and have setbacks need to hear that others have them as well. I've been on here for a couple of years also, and I think I weigh more now than I did when I started. About 5 years ago, I lost 85 lbs and have gained back most of it. Such is life.

I think the important thing is not that I am perfection in loosing and maintaining that loss, but that I keep coming back and get and give support from people like you. I'll never reach perfection, but I'm learning every day, and I get so much more than weight loss advise from people like you. I'm a better person for having known you. Thank you

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ALLISON145 10/24/2011 1:17PM

    Admittedly I'm often a 'lurkey-lou' (get it? Haha!) but I always read your blogs and personally I find inspiration in the struggle. I have a hard time relating to people who lose 150 pounds by exercising twenty hours a week and never slipping up or even eating a cookie. It's the 'human' experiences shared by folks like you that keep me going and give me hope. Good on you John for getting back in the saddle. You've always stayed in the wagon, you just set the reigns down for a spell. :-)


Comment edited on: 10/24/2011 2:58:57 PM

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CMBELISLE 10/24/2011 12:39PM

    As they say, if your friends can't handle the down times, then they aren't really your friends. I don't always respond to your blogs and admit I don't always read them, but I do "check up" on you frequently. Nothing is simple and no two people will ever be the same, but we're all here for similar reasons - we want to be healthier - whether we lose weight or not. I've been on a plateau for over a year and I'd love to lose more weight, but right now I'm just happy that I'm pretty healthy - not perfect, but pretty good. Trying to do too much too fast either gets us hurt and/or burns us out, so I keep working at it slowly - one day at a time.

Hang in there - keep tracking and keep doing what you can - it may not be easy, but it is definitely worth it.

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KKINNEA 10/24/2011 12:22PM


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GOOFIERNU 10/24/2011 10:04AM

    Thanks for this today. I won't leave just because you've had set backs. Those are a part of life, and we all have to figure out how to deal with them. I do hope you're feeling some relief from your pain. emoticon

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SHERRYJVP 10/24/2011 9:58AM

    very good, very always.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/24/2011 9:58AM

    You may be a community of one, but you are not alone. Never forget that. emoticon

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JSPIN74 10/24/2011 9:45AM


have a great week & even better year 3!

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TRISTAROSE 10/24/2011 8:32AM

    Good words of wisdom.

"If it's to be, it's up to me"


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TERRIPAL1 10/24/2011 8:32AM

    Nice blog John , you're right we are all a community of one and only you can do it for you!

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HDHAWK 10/24/2011 8:23AM

    Support and accountability really does help, but at the end of the day I still have to eat the right food and move. I'm finally learning to do what works for me instead of trying to copy what worked for someone else. I can gain useful info from others, but I still have to come up with a plan that fits me and my lifestyle. Happy Monday!

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WIGIME 10/24/2011 8:19AM

    I agree and to sum it up: 'You are you' and it doesn't get any simpler than that.

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NASFKAB 10/24/2011 8:17AM

  Thoughtful log thanks

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Looking For What's Right

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The average salary in the National Basketball Association last year was 5.5 million dollars. Many made less, but many made more. Of the four major sports, baseball, basketball, football and hockey, basket all players are paid the most on average. They currently are in the midst of a labor dispute to improve their station in life. The people that own professional basketball teams are claiming they are going to go broke. It’s turned into a “he said, she said” sort of issue. The end result is no basketball. Enter Bryant Gumble.

Gumbel is a sports and news anchor. His credentials are impressive. He began his career hosting NFL Live on NBC and graduated to being a host of the Today show. From there he went to HBO where he now hosts a show called Real Sports. I have always found Gumbel to be thoughtful, intelligent and provoking. Until yesterday. Yesterday Gumbel compared NBA commissioner David Stern to a “plantation overseer.” The inference is obvious. A majority of NBA players’ are African American as is Gumbel. I can’t get my hands around multi-millionaires being compared to slaves. If that is slavery I know a lot of folks that would gladly take their jobs.

I can get my hands around real and true discrimination. It indeed exists. Many people are denied housing, jobs and education because of the color of their skin, their gender, their nationality, their religion, their sexual orientation or a disability. Our world’s cities are crowded with people who are denied basic civil rights and adequate medical care. The color of your skin still goes a long way in determining what people thing about you. Many people fall in love with each other and aren’t allowed to marry or enjoy benefits married couples enjoy because they don’t fit someone’s notion of what marriage is or should be. Women are still treated as if they are second class citizens in what we tout as the most enlightened nation in the world. We live in a world where many people will go to bed hungry, without jobs and without homes tonight and someone has the nerve to tell me the highest paid sports group in America is being treated like slaves? Do we stereotype, of course we do. Most basketball players are perceived as dope smoking, gun toting gang members. I don’t think that’s right either. The average American made 27,000 dollars last year. Many Americans exist below the poverty level.

We don’t want to look at any of those things. We’d rather buy our NFL Sunday ticket, our NBA League Pass and sit in front of our televisions and grow numb to what’s going on in our own neighborhoods. We look to the talking heads, on the right, left or in the middle to define life for us as a society. They know best or so we seem to think. I am as guilty of this group think as anyone else. I’d rather push the growing reality that we are living on a sinking ship somewhere into the back of mind and blame someone else’s misfortune on a racial, ethnic or gender stereotype. I can take consolation that as a friend once said “I’m 18, free and white.” I excuse away another’s suffering and misery because they don’t fit the profile.

Racism and discrimination in this global community is alive and well but not in the NBA. While Gumbel’s assertions were ludicrous I owe him a debt of thanks. It made me realize just how long I’d dozed off from the real issues in our communities and world, the equality of EVERYONE, not a pampered few. This blog may cost me a few friends. It may create a bit of backlash. I can’t seem to find a way to care about any of that. We live in a politically correct; don’t offend anyone world and we have become so scared of what’s right and what’s wrong that we simply shut up.

5.5 million dollar a year in wages and your being treated like a slave…………… Really?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACEY5280 11/1/2011 1:32PM

    Bravo! I hadn't heard that comment. Wow.

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1NEWPAM 10/24/2011 1:53AM

    Wow. I hadn't heard this comment. I, too, am surprised at Bryant Gumball. I thought more of him than this. Too bad. He certainly has the right to express his opinion, but I am disappointed. I thought he was bigger than that. Bummer. Good blog, John.

Comment edited on: 10/24/2011 2:00:38 AM

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SHELLYKOCH1 10/23/2011 8:21PM

    Great job in speaking on a topic that is too often over looked.

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TRULYVISIBLE 10/23/2011 7:00PM

  This is a great blog and I have so much respect for you for speaking your mind. I agree it is ludicrous to compare it to slavery. But that comment probable got him quoted more than once in national newspapers and magazines. As they say in Hollywood, there is no such thing as bad publicity. That I find unfortunate.

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LYNMEINDERS 10/23/2011 5:28AM

    Amen & Amen...brilliant

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GEEMAWEST 10/21/2011 10:47PM

    I could go on and on about this blog. We have some really nasty discrimination going on at my work place right now and it really ticks me off. I feel like I'm in middle school sometimes.

I am actually very surprised that Bryant Gumbel said that. I really thought her was better than that. Very disappointing.

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BTINTERNET 10/21/2011 7:11PM

    Well said, as always. I remember having similar thoughts when one of the Washington Redskins (I want to say it was Dexter Manley, but not 100% sure) allowed during strike negotiations as how he needed to make however-many-gajillion dollars it was *per game* because he had a standard of living to maintain.

I'm sure much of the rest of the world would love to have such problems. Thanks for the reminder to pay attention.

(And I'm with GIRANIMAL, I confess - I have less than no use for professional sports as they are played in America....)

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/21/2011 5:33PM

    I totally agree with you. The people on both side are ridiculous actually. The players are paid too much and the owners make too much money off of them. It's vulgar when you think that workers who save people's lives often work for $10 an hour. Sickening.

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VISHYT 10/21/2011 4:26PM

    Regarding the negotiations, I guess they are employing rhetoric instead of dialogue- they're not coming to any understanding, but trying to win at another's expense. However, I think that all employees have the right to negotiate their salary. Whatever they earn has to last them a lifetime, and big business certainly isn't losing out by paying them more. The CEOs are certainly earning millions, I would say.

As for the main point of your post, I agree! Discrimination and prejudice are unacceptable and symptomatic of ignorance. Ordinary people need to take a stand against it. Thanks for sharing your opinion and reminding people that we need to look around and be present, be mindful of what is happening in the Iives of those around us.

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CMBELISLE 10/21/2011 3:50PM

    Discrimination and bigotry work both ways - I would say that Bryant Gumble is a bigot. Many people are afraid of offending someone by calling out people who scream racial discrimination but are just as racist as those they accuse. Living in the South as I do, I find that there are lots of racists of all colors.

In the realm of politically correct (I'll probably piss off some people for what I'm about to say too) - I despise the terms African-American, Asian-American, or any other hyphenated American for those who are born in the United States. Why am I not English/Scottish/Irish/French-Ameri
can? In the United States, dual citizenship is not allowed after the age of 18 (if I remember my political science class correctly). The only African-Americans I know are my neighbor across the street who is blonde and blue-eyed with pale skin, and my co-worker who is pale-skinned with dark hair and eyes - they were actually born in Africa.

Comment edited on: 10/21/2011 3:51:02 PM

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GIRANIMAL 10/21/2011 11:43AM

    I think I've let on about my inherent dislike for professional sports before. FYI, this kind of thing is why. I just find it positively ludicrous that people get paid more than then GDP of some small nations to play a game, and then gripe about how unfairly they are treated. Therefore I have never been at all interested in paying them any attention or certainly my money.

Yes, this assertion has made many a rabid sports fan really angry! But oh each his own, except when making poorly constructed and inappropriate slavery references. There used to be something called sports "journalism," for crying out loud.

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CARTOONB 10/20/2011 10:57PM

    Tom from the Bob and Tom show has stated many times that the NBA would be much more entertaining to watch if they only paid the winning team. They'd certainly work harder for it! Or cheat more. emoticon

Good blog. Great reminders.

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NASFKAB 10/20/2011 8:10PM

  Thanks for putting things in perspective. There is all sorts of discrimination see it all the time

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GOOFIERNU 10/20/2011 6:31PM

    Way back when, I was trying to get a computer tech job. I walked in to the place, resume in hand, and the guys behind the counter said, "Oh, the position has been filled."
Two places did this. I had the hubby call them and they told him, "Oh, come on in, we'd LOVE to meet you!"
Just because I was blond and had boobs, they didn't want me working there.

"equality of EVERYONE" sure would be nice. (sigh...)

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ANATASHIKI 10/20/2011 4:27PM

    are you serious about women treated like second class citizens? it never happened to me here . it never happened to anyone I know. sure , women involved in politics would probably complain that there are too few women there , but that's because most women aren't interested.

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CIVIAV 10/20/2011 4:25PM

    No! But then politically correct is a very ugly place to live. I've never done it well and yet I cannot say I am numb, I am so upset I cannot bear it.
It will be interesting to see what happens as Bush enters Canada and whether we 'nice Canadians' follow politically correct or stand up and tell him it doesn't cut it!

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HDHAWK 10/20/2011 4:18PM

    Sign me up for that paycheck!

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SILLYHP1953 10/20/2011 4:09PM

    VERY well said!

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PGNBRI 10/20/2011 3:56PM

    Well Said!

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Ring, Ring........ "Who's On The Other End."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Do you remember when you HAD to answer the telephone to reveal who was calling you? Do you remember those “old days?” I think it was only about twenty years ago.

First came answering machines. Did you ever sit looking at your phone waiting for the message to kick in so you could decide whether you wanted to talk to the person on the other end? Even if ya didn’t, they’d still leave ya a voice mail message. Here comes built in reason number one for not returning the call: “One of the kids must have deleted the message before I could hear it!” The other party would laugh knowingly. They had used the same subterfuge themselves.

We used voice mail at work and if we wanted we could let a whole days’ worth of phone calls back up by simply hitting the little “ignore button” at the base of our phone. Caller ID made it even easier. Phone rings, number appears, little voice in John’s head goes “I don’t wanna talk to THEM.” We just ignore the incoming call. The caller decides if they want to play voice mail roulette and life goes on, no?

I bring this up because I have a client who is notorious for breaking appointments by not showing up and claiming she sent me a text message to cancel the appointment. This has happened more than once. I save my business text messages because I don’t always remember key facts or simply as a reminder. This person blames her carrier, vows to switch to whatever provider pops into her head, apologizes profusely and then I fume because I have an hour or so on my hands with nothing to do. I know what you are thinking, but I can’t dump her just yet, she’s paid in advance.

Yesterday I struck a blow on behalf of all of us who are fed up with this technological deceit. “Lauren, do you realize this is the fifth time in three weeks you’ve cancelled and blamed your cell phone provider for the message not being delivered?”

Lauren was incensed, to say the least. She demanded to speak to my boss. I told her she was speaking to him. Then I told her that I was considering this latest session she blew off as one to put in the books as completed and that if she didn’t start showing up I’d do the same with future visits. Lauren told me to go somewhere warm and hung up. Hanging up a cell phone just doesn’t have the effect slamming dow a receiver used to, does it?

I’m not sure what I accomplished here but I feel a lot better. BTW: If you ever call me I’ll answer. It’s my curious nature

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 11/5/2011 2:50PM

    Good for you!!

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GEEMAWEST 10/21/2011 10:43PM

    Good for you, you devil you. emoticon

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WALKNLOVE 10/21/2011 8:10AM

    Well, at least now she knows where you stand.She can either CALL you to make sure you get the message by actaully talking to you, or she will show up! Either way works.Time is money & your time is just as valuable as hers! Perhaps now she will be more considerate. Maybe she doesn't really have what it takes to make a committment to change, or maybe she is floundering and she just needs your help.And maybe this is just the reminder she needs to get her butt in gear. If only she really knew the true "gem" she has in you, she'd make sure she never missed!

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CMBELISLE 10/20/2011 12:05PM

    LOVE IT! It's called standing up for yourself and too many of us forget to do that. Our time is worth just as much as theirs.

On the other hand, I am guilty of not answering my phone because I know who is on the other end. Usually, it's because the other person is calling me instead of responding to my e-mail. If I had time to talk or if I didn't want a paper-trail of the conversation, I would have called.

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CARTOONB 10/19/2011 11:20PM

    Good for you. You stood up for yourself without being a jerk.

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DEE797 10/19/2011 6:36PM

    So glad you told her like it is. It's a waste of your time to prepare for meeting with her and then she doesn't show up time and time again. I love caller id by the way....LOL!

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HAPPYSOUL91 10/19/2011 4:12PM

    Good for you, this week we have had so many like this!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/19/2011 3:01PM

    Good for you, John! This woman needed a smack down. She's lucky it isn't me. I have the luxury of being able to be a lot more blunt. emoticon

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CATHERINEL66 10/19/2011 1:41PM

    I hate inconsiderate people. Well, at least, I dislike them strongly. Especially time wasters.

Good for you. I bet the scheduling issues will dissolve along with her pre-paid sessions. It's silly to treat adult clients like children, but necessary at times to push forward a level of professionalism.

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BLUEROSE73 10/19/2011 11:10AM

    good for you. I don't understand why so called adults don't get that there are consequences to their actions, or lack there of. She needed this message. Hope she grows up someday...

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PGNBRI 10/19/2011 11:09AM

    I think you were absolutely right to "charge" her for the missed visit! Many businesses will charge you for the visit if you don't cancel with at least 24 hours notice. And its the responsibility of the person cancelling to confirm that their cancellation was received. Cancelling by text is acceptable as long as you follow up if you don't receive a text back indicating that the message was received! Good for you. Don't let her take advantage of you!

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MRE1956 10/19/2011 9:06AM

    HAH, HAH! BUSTED! GUILTY as charged! May Karma continue to have it's way with that $#!@# "client"......if I were in your shoes I'd pretty much consider it an absolute blessing if she just dropped off the face of the earth!


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BLACKROSE_222 10/19/2011 9:06AM

    You absolutely did the right thing - obviously she would have just kept going. Oh well, at least she paid in advance... I just might not expect her for your next appointment.

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GRAMLORI 10/19/2011 9:03AM

    Some people just don't like it when you point out what really happened! Here on the Army post, they have a saying on many of the reader boards regarding medical appointments..."A missed appointment by you is a missed appointment by two." They keep track....two, maybe three, and you must seek your care elsewhere. It's a good way to keep people coming, I think.

Have a WooHoo Wednesday.....whatever that is!! lol

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JECKIE 10/19/2011 9:00AM

    That makes me crazy. Cell phones are pretty reliable these days, and it's rare that a message isn't delivered unless there's a major outage.

Good for you for standing up for yourself!

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NASFKAB 10/19/2011 8:56AM

  Good you stood up for yourself

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DESERTDREAMERS 10/19/2011 8:48AM

    Good for you for striking a blow against ill-manners! At my hospital, people who "no call - no show" find themselves dropped after 3 missed appointments.

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SHERRYJVP 10/19/2011 8:35AM

    good for you. It is disrespectful of you and your time. She should be charged for it. I don't know how to always send my messges apparently and think I have, and sometimes don't know how to retrieve them either.

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ANATASHIKI 10/19/2011 8:30AM

    nice!I love it! emoticon

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CMA444 10/19/2011 8:19AM

    When you do personal training at a gym, a lot of gyms require 24 hours notice of cancelation. If they don't get that notice the client loses a session (because it'll be marked as complete). Some trainers will over look that a time or too but not consistantly like that lady. Some people just don't understand that they are wasting someone else's time. It's like that other person's time is as valuable as their time. WRONG! So good thing you stood up for yourself.


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NANCYBOAT 10/19/2011 8:17AM

    Try to tell your kids there was no such thing as caller ID, call waiting or even answering machines back then and they look at you like you are crazy! Good for you on calling her out on it!

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HDHAWK 10/19/2011 8:15AM

    I'm just going to assume she paid you to "life coach" her. Obviously, she's getting out of it what she's putting into it. emoticon

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The Value of Friends

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My back and legs are healing. It's a slow process but it's a process that is moving forward. Each day I notice a change, sometimes slight, but a change none-the less. God blessed me with a good chiropractor. She listens to me, has tailored a program for my needs and is positive and encouraging. A good friend that I met here at Spark, asked her chiropractor for some guidelines for me in choosing one for myself. She didn't have to extend herself like that but that's what friends do. It's an unconscious act. It requires no thought. You are there for someone because that's what friends do. I realize in today's world its a bit arcane and old school given the "me first" attitude we see so much and before you relegate this act of kindness as being one old person to another.............. my friend is in her early thirties and could be my daughter. Friendship, real friendship flows like a stream, very natural and very healing and expecting nothing in return except the delight of the one who received it. But I digress.

My chiropractor told me to forget about running 5k's and concentrate on walking a half a block. She gave me a good talk yesterday about building my back and legs back slowly..... Five minutes a day on the elliptical and five minutes on the recumbent cycle. Walking is part of my regimen, three times a day. This will take time and if you know me patience isn't my middle name.

So, I asked God to show me what lessons I'm supposed to learn from all this. The first was a bitter one. A lot of folks I thought were friends - work out buddies, running buddies, even some very athletic Spark friends, have, as the kids say "ditched me." There is even some talk that I am "dogging it." That I'm hiding behind a minor injury because I'm not tough. I have to tell you that part has hurt. I walk or rather hobble into the gym and take ten minutes to walk fifty or sixty feet and people turn away. The trainers who were so supportive a year ago wouldn't know my name if I hung it on poster board around my neck. They are scared, we all are ya know. We are scared the worst could happen to us and if we ignore the worst it wont even come close. I've learned something from them. When I am in parking lot or a store and an older person or an injured person needs the right of way I sit back and let them take as much time as they need to navigate their way. I used to be very impatient, wondering why they wouldn't or couldn't move quicker. Now I know.......... they cant.

I learned the value of true friends. so many of you, in your own way kept at me even when I didn't want to be "kept at." some used humor, some used love and some placed a well deserved boot in my butt. To those who left me I understand, I really do. Until July I was the same way.

So thank you for sticking with me. It's helping my recovery in more ways then you will ever know.

Time to walk.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMOCKON 10/20/2011 10:42AM

    I let out a gigantic laugh when I read this! No, I wasn't laughing about your situation. I was laughing because I have managed to regain 1/3 of the weight I'd lost and have been hiding because I was doing so poorly. This morning, I got on the scale to see how bad it really was (bad) and decided that I was going to recommit myself to getting healthy. After logging into Spark and getting my login points, my VERY FIRST ACTION was to begin reading all of the blogs you posted while I was MIA.

I can't explain exactly how you inspire me, John, but you do. Yup, even when you're having to take it slowly!

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SILLYHP1953 10/19/2011 4:21PM

    I'm totally amazed and astounded that anyone would act this way. Do they not understand your immense wisdom and honesty and humor and plain old human value? I do not understand.

Wait. Maybe I do understand. Many years ago (MANY years ago) I used to go out dancing a lot, 3-4 times a week. I had a friend, even considered her a best friend, and she went dancing with me. When she slowed down going out dancing, our friendship slowed down, too. Now it is non-existent. This honesty and reflecting is not easy for me. Things like that have happened with other friends, too. So, it seems like our friends and acquaintances have different purposes in our lives, fit into different parts of our puzzle (life). Interesting.

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NASFKAB 10/19/2011 8:53AM

  You will recover John we are all there for you. Stay positive

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MARCYNA 10/19/2011 5:56AM

    Lovely, John, what a positive outlook on a difficult moment..anyway people who abandon you when you nee help the most were not real friends, were they????

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LYNMEINDERS 10/19/2011 3:52AM

    It is always the way is when you are down that you find out who your real friends sometime hurts....
however I know you will get back on top of things in time and I look forward to seeing that....slowly and can do it....

Comment edited on: 10/19/2011 3:53:14 AM

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ALLISON145 10/18/2011 8:33PM

    It's tough when 'friends' turn away when we need them most. I'm sorry you're experiencing that, John. Keep your chin up... You will recover fully, I know it!


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PRINCESSNURSE 10/18/2011 5:15PM

    Hang in there John :-)

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TRISTAROSE 10/18/2011 5:09PM

    One step at a time ...

emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 10/18/2011 5:05PM

    How sad that some people can't be supportive. I guess the lesson there is the one about who your true friends are. From one friend to another, you're making progress and that's what counts!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/18/2011 4:16PM

    Don't worry, John, you will be back to 100% and when you are those fair weather friends will show right back up. LOL. emoticon

They are the real weenies. They are afraid that illness and injury are contagious. You can recover from your injury but often the prejudice and stupidity they suffer from are permanent, especially if they choose for them to be.

You still have your true friends.

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EILI359 10/18/2011 2:11PM

    I'm glad to hear that you are slowly recovering John- take it steady though and look after yourself. We're all rooting for you hon emoticon emoticon

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LADYLAUGHS247 10/18/2011 1:29PM

  John - I haven't written in a while but I am always reading your posts. You are an inspiration.

I hope you do take this recovery slowly. There are so many things to enjoy that you won't notice if you are rushing. Live in the moment. And please take care of yourself.

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GEEMAWEST 10/18/2011 11:39AM

    WOW, John! I had no idea that you actually lost friends while you've been going through this tough time.

I'm still in the same boat with you. I have good days and bad days with my back. I am hoping that the aquatic therapy that I'm doing now is going to be the answer. We'll see.

Either way, I'm still here for you and have no plans of 'ditching' you.

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GIRANIMAL 10/18/2011 11:32AM

    Man. That kind of "rejection" of course would hurt, and I'm sorry you've had to endure that while you're experiencing a legitimately rough (and painful!) time. But I think you're right -- they are scared. Scared that it could happen to them and scared to give an already-injured person the wrong advice. Or maybe just unfamiliar with such a situation and at a loss for words.

This is an extreme correlation, but some of my very best friends sort of "ditched me" when I needed them most, when my mom died. Not exactly, but there was a palpable distance, and it took me many months to realize they simply did not know how to act, what to say, and were just afraid of making it worse. Your trainers at least, I'd bet, are just not trained in persistent injury and just don't know what to do or say! And ignorance is hard to admit and face.

Annnnnnyway, I am SO GLAD you're getting some relief, no matter how slow the process. You know how much I understand.

Much love, dear friend!

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GOOFIERNU 10/18/2011 10:51AM

    Enjoy your walking.
No, I'm serious!
When my hip was acting up, I REVELED in the fact that I was upright.
Then I REVELED in the fact I could walk a block.
Then I REVELED in walking two blocks.
Then I REVELED that I could walk those two blocks with minimal pain.
And even though I was dealing with pain and going SOOOOO SLOW, I would look around. Watch the birds. Watch the clouds. Enjoy the earth, the leaves, the breeze. BREATHE.
I think the breathing is what healed me the fastest.

"When I am in parking lot or a store and an older person or an injured person needs the right of way I sit back and let them take as much time as they need to navigate their way. "
And you say you're impatient. PHOOEY. You're impatient with yourself but can give all the time in the world to a complete stranger.
Why treat them better than you treat yourself?
You DESERVE to treat yourself that good. You DESERVE to love yourself. Spend some loving patience on YOU.

Here's your boot. emoticon

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PGNBRI 10/18/2011 10:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/18/2011 10:40AM

    I am just glad that you have not given up on yourself, John. It would be so easy when you hurt that much to throw in the towel and quit, I know. I'm still in your corner rooting for you; whether you ever run a 5K again or not, you are a winner in my book. It is good to hear that you are seeing improvement bit by bit; keep hanging in thereand doing what you need to in order to take care of yourself. You are worth the effort!


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MISSROCKABILLY 10/18/2011 10:34AM

    Glad to hear that you are slowly recovering and building health!

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MOMONTHERUN1 10/18/2011 10:22AM

    Slow and steady wins the race John! You will heal and you will be able to get back into the race soon. Take this time to heal. Hang in there! emoticon


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JSPIN74 10/18/2011 10:06AM

    emoticon thx for the reminder about patience...that's one thing you certainly have had to "exercise" now...& i'm sure you're right (with it comes great lessons)

i'm glad you're healing & getting the care you need...the peer pressure of keeping up training & running 5K's is so something to push off & it's great that you're doing so.....

sounds like your physical & emotional circle are strong - good stuff emoticon

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CANDOK1260 10/18/2011 9:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/18/2011 9:09AM


Slow and steady wins the race. There is something to be learned in every experience if we CHOOSE to pay attention to what is going on or what's happening to us. I like how you say you have learned patience in dealing with others who are "old and slow" because now you are almost literally walking in their shoes.

Too bad more people can't take a step back (so to speak) and view the world through another's eyes.

You will find success because you are learning something new every day. And yes, so-called friends come and go...real friends are there through it all. These friends are rare and special. Take care!

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RUNNER12COM 10/18/2011 9:09AM

    Thanks for the reminder to be kind to those around me, those who may need an extra moment or two to do what I take for granted.

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EJHEINRICH1 10/18/2011 9:04AM

    Take small consistant steps and you will get there! We all have started and some of us have continued. Don't give up, be consistant. ;-)

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IMIN2GENES 10/18/2011 9:04AM

    I agree with Mustang_Sally. Hang in there John. It's tough on those of us who can't seem to slow down. LOL! But, take the time and do what you're body needs. It will repay you in the end. Take care and best wishes for speedy healing!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/18/2011 9:00AM

    Most of us have been where you are John. It's hard when you want to go and do and your body says, "no thanks." Hang in there. I'm cheering for you and hoping that your daily walks will be just the ticket for what you need. Sending lots of hugs! Take care!


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Stumbles Lead To New Steps

Monday, October 17, 2011


  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

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'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!

emoticon emoticon

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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.


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MIZZSB 10/17/2011 8:47AM

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


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