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    JOHNTJ1   73,547
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints

Changing From The Inside Out

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Monday, April 19, 2010

I have been dieting most of my adult life. I used to say I had a moderate degree of success until it dawned on me this morning I was looking at things the wrong way. Most of my inspiration comes in the shower. There’s just something nice about a stream of hot water in the morning!

I was thinking back to the time when Joan and I were first married. I weighed one hundred sixty five pounds. The day I began Spark people, I weighed in at three hundred twenty six pounds. In thirty five years I had literally created two of me!!! (While I am always looking on the positive side of things, two of me in that respect wasn’t a good thing at all.)

I could detail every diet I tried but chances are you already know about them. You have “been there and done that” yourself. Chances are you know all too well about the “failure factor” and the internal shame and embarrassment that goes along with it.

“Just something else I failed at.” We mutter to ourselves. “Go away John!!!”

As I stood in front of the mirror grinning at myself I decided to play the word association game.

“Diet’ I said

“Punishment,” was the first word in to my head.

All of a sudden the grin left my face. A lot of us look at a diet as a punishment for being overweight or as the world likes to call it “fat.” When a punishment doesn’t work we punish ourselves more and we succeed less and pretty soon we are right back where we started, feeling crappy about ourselves and adding a new friend called ten to fifteen pounds. Then most of us just give up.

We try different tactics. There is our old friend called self denial and his cousin discipline. They move in for awhile, reek a bit of havoc and move out leaving their best friend known as low self esteem. At the end of the day we believe there is nothing we can do right and we resign ourselves to being overweight.
I think we got it all wrong. We have it all wrong because we work from the outside in, instead of working from the inside out. If Spark people has taught me anything that’s it. The more I concentrate on being a better me, the more I am willing to take care of “all of me.” It’s not a punishment it’s a project. It’s a project I find myself looking forward to.

Yeah, it’s about a food and exercise plan. Yup, you gotta have goals and you better have an action plan. But aren’t you worth it? Fiddlesticks on what mom, dad, an ex a current or all those unenlightened people in your life feel. Aren’t you worth it? Yes, you have, like me, most likely failed in the past. So?

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery and today is a gift.” That’s why it’s called the present! Embrace it!!!

Right now, stop what you are doing, get up and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. I’ll wait for you.

Ok good you are back. You and I need to do that as often as we can. We need to learn to be comfortable with this project we call ourselves. We need to laugh and grin and not be so gosh darned judgmental of ourselves. We need to hold small celebrations every time we notice a positive change in ourselves and when we start feeling ourselves slip find some support.

Most of the time we don’t honor ourselves because we don’t place a lot of value in ourselves. We blame everyone but ourselves. We see ourselves as weak willed, weak minded and weak kneed. We constantly bend to the whims of others and the pit gets deeper and deeper.

Here is a suggestion:

Find one thing, anything at all, to accomplish today. Maybe it’s starting that new exercise program you been putting off, maybe it’s walking an extra ten minutes this morning or this evening. It might be taking a sandwich and fruit to work instead of hitting the fast food joint.

It might be a lotta things………………

Write it down. You don’t need to write War and Peace.

“I made a healthy lunch today.”

“I rode my bike to the bank today instead of driving.”

“I cleaned my office.” (That one was for me guys lol)

Keep a list and look at it every day and all of a sudden one day you gotta block an hour out on your calendar to review all you accomplished. Suddenly you are a success.

Trust me it works. I believe in you, you believe in you. See, there are already two great things that have happened!!!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TANIALEEM 5/3/2010 7:12AM

  Thank you for your words of wisdom...just when I was starting to feel low...I read your inspiring story and now feel motivated. Thanks!:)

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DIANE929 5/3/2010 1:14AM

    THANK YOU....IT HELPED!!! emoticon

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 5/2/2010 11:39PM


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CHICAGOWINDY 5/2/2010 10:25PM

    Amazing blog... It's really true. We do need to work on ourselves, accept ourselves from the inside out. Then one day the outside will match what's within. Thanks for the words of wisdom John! Hope you have a great evening!

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    emoticon for this blog entry, John!

Comment edited on: 5/2/2010 8:56:51 PM

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NANCYCER 5/2/2010 8:21PM

  thanks, good outlooks are contagious

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BRASKIN 5/2/2010 8:07PM

  Great thinking and much appreciated. emoticon

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BIGDADDYSGIRL2 5/2/2010 8:03PM

  It helps me to put in perspective, that every mountain can be moved if only one pebble at a time, it will still move eventually, it all starts with one step at a time. Thanks for the inspiration.

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    What a great blog, so well thought out and an inspiration for us when we have a bad day, week, month, or year! It encourages all of us! Well done.

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SHMILY928 5/2/2010 7:02PM

    I can't believe how much I needed this today. I wasn't even sure it was worth getting online. You know? It was one of those days that I couldn't think of a reason to work on me. Why bother, right? I'll just fail again. Thank you for putting it in perspective (at least for today!). You may need to write this one frequently.

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JANIEWWJD 5/2/2010 6:50PM

    Hey thanks. You are very right!!!!!!!!!!!! God Bless You!!! emoticon emoticon

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  great job/outlook keep it up

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GLITTERFAIRY77 5/2/2010 4:56PM

  Thanks for this. You are SOOOOO very right!

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MISSM0929 5/2/2010 4:47PM

WOW - thank you so much for the pep talk. Very thought-provoking and encouraging!!!! I loved it!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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MASE72 5/2/2010 1:22PM

    what a Great Blog! emoticon emoticon

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CLOSER2MYHEART 5/2/2010 12:34PM

  I can relate to this! I have to agree with everyone that posted! Yes what an Inspiration.

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OFF_THE_CHARTS 5/2/2010 12:31PM

    Great blog - absolutely great!

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JUNEAU2010 5/2/2010 12:29PM

    Thanks for such an enlightening perspective! I have done some of these suggestions, but not put it together. I needed to read this today!

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BANKER-CHUCK 5/2/2010 12:12PM

    I can relate to your Blog. Very well put.

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DAWNDMOORE40 5/2/2010 11:09AM

    What an inspirational blog! You definately have put on your "armor" against an unhealthy lifestyle! I think the first and only way to achieve any type of goal is you have to have a plan and you have to execute it! I think you are doing a brillant job of that!
I have been on spark people for a month and a half now and I have went from 178 down to 153 and one thing I have definately learned is that you have to enjoy the baby steps, not beat yourself up when you don't have a perfect day and share the good news with others around you! We all need that extra support don't you think?
Hey if you want another spark buddy, then I could always use another one. Have a great day! Keep up the good work and always stay true to yourself! emoticon emoticon

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LASARRE 5/2/2010 10:56AM

    Everything you said is so true!

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PRESHA911 5/2/2010 10:41AM

    I think you just put into words what many people feel day after day. Thanks for doing it so eloquently.

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SWEET_DREAMS 5/2/2010 10:34AM

    Thank you for the reminder that we need to believe we are worth the effort living a healthy lifestyle requires.

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TAMSHAUMENO 5/2/2010 9:13AM


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VICTORY-LEE 5/2/2010 9:07AM

    Hey Hey!

Very good blog!! Keep up the excellent work u are doing!!

I am rooting for ya!

Have a really GREAT day!!

Lisa emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATIE33MAHALA 5/2/2010 9:06AM

    I love this blog!!! Thank you so much. You are right on the money with how you think. Thanks for the kick start this morning...

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SKINNYME815 5/2/2010 8:12AM

  What a way to keep yourself motivated, Thank you

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LLEEINIA 5/2/2010 7:34AM

    Thanks, you are an inspiration.

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CATTIANN 5/2/2010 7:14AM

    Thank you...keep thinking and writing!

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    Excellent blog...been down on myself lately, because my initial success with Spark People ...26 pounds lost...has changed to no weight loss in 2 months. Feeling like a failure again, instead of picking myself up and getting on with it. Thanks for the inspirational words!

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    Thankyou! Not only are your words extremely inspirational but you are also a gifted writer. So, a toast to you, your success, our success and your talent for putting feeling, expressions and emotions into words.

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LADYJEXIE 5/1/2010 10:50PM

    Thank you. just ... thank you.

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MCB3TH 5/1/2010 10:43PM

  I want to tell you I read your blog today and was agreeing, wholeheartedly, with everything you were saying. My head was nodding with each statement. It is very easy to us to put everyone and everything ahead of ourselves. This is very easy for me as I am a wife, mother of three boys (10-15), and I am a Registered Nurse in an ICU. I've just given given given until I don't have much more to give (but I still try to find it). It wasn't until a friend pointed me towards SparkPeople and then my husband investigating the site a lot more than I did when I told him about it - that I had my "Ah-ha!" moment. I have to take care of myself because without that - I won't be around to take care of my family or my patients. Thank you for Sharing!

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BLONDWUNN 5/1/2010 10:29PM

    It's interesting how you pointed out that the weight came gradually over 35 years. Not only do a person's metabolism slow as one ages, but also our diets have changed in America: larger portions with more processing, butter and sugar (and high fructose corn syrup-yikes). I'll also add those TV COMMERCIALS that make the worst foods look so appealing. I just want to make a few points to show that we are not to blame for ALL of the weight gain. I want to take some of the anger and disappointment off me, and give the food industry the blame it deserves. I wish you and your wife great happiness for your next 35 years!!

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CKACRES10 5/1/2010 9:55PM

  John, excellent suggestions..I'm gonna try this and see if I can turn myself around at how I view myself. Thanks for the thoughts!!! emoticon

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LEYETTE 5/1/2010 9:39PM

    I so needed this blog. emoticon emoticon

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WEBBIE7 5/1/2010 9:38PM

  This is really good; thanks.... :-)

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TIGGYWINKLE1 5/1/2010 8:09PM

    Thank you for making me look in the mirror. Yes and I did literally get up and go. I thought it silly at first - like I was just reading an article - no one actually said to me.... go and stand in front of the mirror. When I looked in that mirror I saw I have lost some weight - I did see that, but I also saw that... OK - I have come some way and I have a ways to go still, but I am ok with that. Then your idea of jotting down my "mini war and peace" - 1 liners in a book inspired me.
I now have my book in front of me and I will write in it. Thank you for your help and good luck on your journey - may you be half the man you are physically - but probably by the time you are done with your journey you will be double the man in your heart and mind.

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DALOV4U 5/1/2010 8:08PM

    I'm glad I read this today... really needed this share

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JULIETEXAS 5/1/2010 7:18PM

    emoticon for sharing!

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MCJULIEO 5/1/2010 5:30PM

    That was just what I needed to hear today... Thanks!

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GAILSFITNESS 5/1/2010 4:43PM

  accomplishing one thing as was suggested is the beginning of overcoming inertia and step by step from there. This way of just STARTING is the beginning of everything.

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    an excellent blog, thank you. good luck to you everyday on your journey that it will be as great a day of inspiration as your blog has been today. emoticon

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AEHEGE 5/1/2010 4:07PM

    Good thoughts of benefit to everyone.

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    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing. Little changes lead to more little changes add up to huge changes in the end. Especially in the confidence and self esteem departments! Best of luck to you on the building of your "small changes". emoticon

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SBASTIN34 5/1/2010 2:13PM

    Wow - Thank you!

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    Oh my gosh.....this made me cry. I needed the truth and you gave it to me. I did not get as big as you but my head was a confused about the idea of diet as punishment. In fact, I think it meant I was bad in some way. Today, fitness is meaning responsibility for my own health in three simple ways: food choices, daily exercise and positive thinking. I am willing to do all three and some days better than others and some days not any of them...and that is why I now know how I got up to 222 pounds....and what not taking care of the body, mind and soul meant. I applaud you. Your honesty is powerful and I so much appreciate you for putting it out such a direct and honest way. I am with you...every step of the and tomorrow and this minute.
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CYNTHIAHOARD 5/1/2010 1:50PM

    Good reminders!

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ROSEMARDORF 5/1/2010 1:38PM

  What a awesome blog!!! Thank you!! I need to remember every word you said!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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INKYINPA 5/1/2010 1:03PM

    AMEN!!! emoticon emoticon

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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