JMERLAU's SparkPeople Blog JMERLAU's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community WHAT IF I QUIT??? February 12th, 2014 <BR> I heard something this morning that really hit me square in the mouth. <BR> I've been on my health journey for just over 4 years now and it's been an incredible journey in so many ways. There have been frustrating times along the way, I'm not gonna lie about it, I like to #bereal. <BR> Most of my journey has been VERY driven. When I was in my weight loss phase, every pound I lost was a driving factor. Every single new habit I formed was a driving factor. As I lost... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 15:58:40 EST The Marathon is not about the race... September 4th, 2013 <BR> <BR> “The Marathon is not about the race … <BR> <BR> It’s about commitment…it’s not about instant gratification, it’s about endurance. It’s not about the thrill, it’s about passion. To run a marathon, you need to not only commit to the sport, you need to commit to yourself. In short, to run a marathon, you need to be a runner.” <BR> <BR> December 29th, 2009 I made a decision to take my life back from obesity. I also made the decision that day to finish the Dal... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 18:37:23 EST FIT to FAT to FIT /One Man's Journey from Fit to Fat--and Back Again <BR> <BR> Allow me to start by saying this: I love sharing my story with the hope of inspiring others to take their lives back. It is my hope that by continuing to share my story that I can help even ONE person see there is hope to change their life. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Growing up, I was not an athlete. <BR> <BR> I did wrestle for a number of years, but I was more of a band... Tue, 13 Aug 2013 21:56:30 EST My Next Major Challenge HI Everybody, <BR> <BR> Today is Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 and I am excited and nervous all at the same time. <BR> <BR> Many of you know who follow me that I have ran two marathons to date, both have been the Dallas Marathon in 2011 and 2012. I ran my FIRST marathon in the pouring down rain and 40 degree weather. I was injured, but I finished it! The say I started my journey in 2009, I made the statement that I would run that marathon in 2011 and I did it. I set the goal, then made it h... Wed, 7 Aug 2013 09:54:44 EST Where Do I Start... <link><BR>do-i-start/ </link> Thu, 20 Jun 2013 17:54:34 EST can calm the stress of the day This morning I got an early morning call from work that totally disrupted my day!! <BR> <BR> I was about to start my Friday morning YOGA session and had to nix that so I could take care of work related issues (I do IT work). Completely rattled my morning. <BR> <BR> morning Shakeology settled my nerves and provided me what my body needed to handle the stress of the day! <BR> <BR> 1 scoop chocolate shakeology <BR> 1 banana <BR> 1 table spoon natural honey <BR> ice <BR> 1 cup w... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 10:46:02 EST Be Still.... Posted on my personal blog originally, but thought I needed to share this here as well. <BR> <BR> Today I was reminded again how much I love to run. <BR> <BR> Today is National Running Day, of course I had to run this morning. I ran with my music low and only one ear piece in. Hearing the birds sing. Hearing the crickets. The occasional car. Feeling my heart beat. Wiping the sweat from my eyes. Firing my glutes to push up the hills. Simply feeling alive was amazing <BR> <BR> Two songs stoo... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 10:42:44 EST 2013 Oklahoma City Half Marathon <link><BR>klahoma-city-memorial-half-marathon/ </link> Sat, 4 May 2013 09:00:13 EST Fairview Half Marathon Blog <link><BR>airview-half-marathon-3-for-the-year/ </link> Sun, 7 Apr 2013 16:07:04 EST 2013 Dallas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Recap March 24th, 2013 <BR> Dallas Texas <BR> Rock ¡Vn- Roll Series <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I¡¦ll start by saying that I LOVE the half marathon distance. Ok, now that that is out of my system, I can more on with this blog. <BR> <BR> I hadn¡¦t been training in the running department as much as normal since the first of the year. My wife and I had been doing Les Mills Combat since the first of the year. That is a great program that develo... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 22:26:43 EST Fat aren't welcome here! Originally posted on my personal blog site:<BR>uy-you-arent-welcome-here/ <BR> <BR> <BR> March 6th 2013 <BR> <BR> I have NO IDEA WHY, but my former self is talking to me today! <BR> <BR> He is telling me that I need to go eat everything I can. <BR> He is telling me that I am going to gain every pound back. <BR> He is telling me that I am a slacker. <BR> <BR> I'll be perfectly honest as I have been my entire journey. This is sort of freaking me... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 11:21:01 EST 2013 Hot Chocolate 15K report Posted on my personal blog, but wanted to share <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ot-chocolate-15k/ </link> <BR> <BR> 2013 Hot Chocolate 15k <BR> Posted on February 9, 2013 <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today was the Hot Chocolate 15K, my first 15K of the 2013. <BR> <BR> My week leading up to this race has been interesting. Ifm on call at work, which means I work a crazy schedule from 9-2 in the office, then... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 07:20:18 EST A Realization from the Blindside Originally posted on my personal blog <link> </link> <BR> <BR> January 26th, 2013 <BR> <BR> I had a realization today that honestly sort hit me on the blind side. That realization was this: <BR> <BR> "we really are an obese nation" <BR> <BR> Ok, I knew that. But for some reason it hit me today, of all places at Walmart. Standing in line to check out I looked around and just sort of got sad for a moment. 4 of every 5 people were obese. <BR> <BR> I know it's a very per... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 22:33:43 EST Success Factor #1 I wrote this originally over a year ago, but is STILL very relevant today! I will post Success Factors 2 and 3 in the coming weeks <BR> <BR> Wake up to what you're really eating <BR> How many calories do you eat in a day? <BR> <BR> Did you stay within your recommended calorie range? <BR> <BR> When did you last look at a label to know what is in the food you're buying? <BR> <BR> Do you know what your BMR calorie burn is for a typical day? <BR> <BR> You aren't sure about any of those answ... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 06:38:52 EST TODAY is that day! I wrote this a year ago....but it's still VERY relevant today! Yes this is a repost, but I KNOW there are STILL folks out there who are waiting for THAT DAY! Make that day TODAY! <BR> <BR> <BR> THIS is a very special day! <BR> <BR> There has been much discussion about this day and we weren't sure it would ever get here. However, I've checked and I've double-checked the calendar and TODAY is THAT DAY! Oh sure, there will be some who aren't as happy about this day as others. I mean, if ... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 07:11:46 EST 2012 running stats 2012 final stats…..the races are from memory, there were probably more. <BR> <BR> Count: 164 Activities <BR> Distance: 964.40 mi <BR> Time: 149:49:28 h:m:s <BR> Elevation Gain: 14,080 ft <BR> Avg Speed: 6.4 mph <BR> Avg HR: 155 bpm <BR> Avg Run Cadence: 82 spm <BR> Calories: 119,378 C <BR> Avg Distance: 5.88 mi <BR> <BR> I lost my thumb drive that had my race schedule, pictures and my life on it.. :-( …..but I think there were <BR> 1 full marathon <BR> 5 half marathons <BR> 2 – ... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 13:00:31 EST Steps in the right direction This was originally posted on my personal blog, but felt I needed to share <BR> <link><BR>in-the-right-direction/ </link> <BR> <BR> Steps in the right direction <BR> <BR> Dec 28th, 2012 <BR> <BR> Today is my 3rd anniversary of the day I start my journey. I posted a before/after picture on FB with the hopes of motivating others. I got a couple questions in my inbox today that I felt were blog worthy. I’m sure there were others who thought about the... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 08:34:06 EST Spark Radio Interview - SO MUCH FUN This was SO MUCH FUN!! <BR> <BR> I got to be on SparkRadio with Lily and Karen, such great gals and I had a blast! <BR> <BR> I got to share a little of my story and part of my life with them in the process. This is something that I would love to do again! Check it out with the link below. It's only 8 minutes. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>arkPeopleRadio/2012/SP_122412_04.mp3 </link> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:20:29 EST Excited/Scared all at the same time Originally posted on my Personal Blog <BR> <link><BR>dscared-all-at-the-same-time/ </link> <BR> <BR> December 26th, 2012 <BR> <BR> I started a new job today with DR Horton Homes. Really it’s the same job I’ve done for more than a decade, on steroids. I’ve been primarily an email engineer, until now. Now I get to put my hands in all sorts of servers, apps, platforms, etc and get my hands as dirty as I want……………..well, as dirty as my keyboard will ge... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 20:30:40 EST 2 year maintenance video December 10th, 2012 was my 2 year anniversary of hitting my 100 pounds lost mark. I made this video in celebration of that!! <BR> <BR> My hope is that you will find this video inspiring or give you HOPE, and all that comes with that. NO matter where you are in your journey, NEVER GIVE UP! It is a daily struggle, some days are better than others, but it is a struggle. Is it worth the struggle, YES!! Living FULLY ALIVE is SO much better than what I experienced the 10 or 12 years before I ... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 06:45:16 EST 2012 Dallas Marathon - The Recap Originally posted to my personal blog at <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> December 9th, 2012 <BR> Dallas, Texas <BR> <BR> This weekend didn’t quite start the way I’d planned my 2nd marathon, I was thrown a curve ball as I call it, but that’s ok. Thursday, December 6th, 2012 I had an issue at work and was awake and working for 27 hours or so, that just flat drained my body. The adrenaline I had running throu... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 22:43:00 EST 2 years in maintenance!!! Today is December 10th, 2010 <BR> <BR> Today marks two years since I hit the 100 pounds lost mark and I have maintained that within my 7 pound allowance either way. <BR> <BR> I continue to care about the foods that go in my body. <BR> I continue to challenge myself physically. <BR> I continue to challenge others to take their life back! <BR> <BR> To those who struggle, I say, YOU CAN DO IT! One meal at a time, one BITE at a time if that's what it requires. Is it difficult, yes, but it'... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 14:55:23 EST 10 minutes a day challenge Yesterday(11.24.2012) I posted a video blog that contains my thoughts on society’s acceptance of the ‘holiday 10 pounds.’ That video can be found here:<BR>&feature=plcp <BR> <BR> I still say that is NOT acceptable and completely UNNECESSARY, period. I want to take this challenge one step further. How am I going to take this one step further you ask, well, I’m glad you did. <BR> <BR> I believe that there are two important steps that we can ALL... Sun, 25 Nov 2012 13:46:17 EST NO MORE....No more Holiday 10 pounds This was originally posted on my YouTube Channel and I plan to do more of this thru the end of the year. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>deos?flow=grid&view=0 </link> Sat, 24 Nov 2012 11:56:04 EST AllState 13.1 Marathon Series - my 7th Half Marathon October 17th, 2012 <BR> AllState 13.1 Marathon Series <BR> Dallas Texas <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I’d heard a lot about this race and it got great reviews from last year here in Dallas. I had it on the calendar forever, just wasn’t sure I really wanted to do it, THEN I saw that part of this course is the same at the Dallas Marathon course so I signed up! I’m so glad I did too. <BR> Temperatures dropping and I’m in a panic as to how t... Wed, 14 Nov 2012 21:49:21 EST Thought for the day... Don't quit until you have NOTHING left <BR> <BR> in life <BR> in family <BR> in relationships <BR> in business <BR> in work <BR> in health <BR> in fitness <BR> in school <BR> <BR> Don't quit until you have NOTHING left Thu, 8 Nov 2012 09:11:23 EST "Almost" As I'm working to avoid the "negative" today, I'm listening to positive video's on YouTube. <BR> <BR> Art Williams and his 'Just Do It' speech is a favorite for me, I listen to it often and it fires me up! Below is a small portion of the speech that I listened to over and over this morning and I wanted to share. <BR> <BR> Almost everybody in America "almost" does enough to win <BR> they "almost" get there <BR> they "almost" over the hump <BR> they "almost" have it going <BR> they "almost" ... Wed, 7 Nov 2012 09:35:58 EST Capital to Coast Relay - 223 miles, 2 vans, 12 runners = GREAT TIME Originally posted on my personal blog: <BR> <BR> Capital to Coast relay - the longest relay in Texas <BR> <BR> I’m not even sure where to begin this blog to be honest. It all started around February 2012. I think it was Lynette who brought up the idea, then we brought John Hulsey into the mix and made him Team Captain. Before we knew it, we had more than enough ready to run the Capitol to Coast relay, the longest relay in Texas. The Facebook group was created and the ... Fri, 12 Oct 2012 12:52:03 EST Capital to Coast Journey Begins I originally posted this on my personal Blog site: but wanted to share with my SparkPeeps! <BR> <BR> October 4th, 2012 <BR> <BR> Ever felt like a 7 year old child on the night before Christmas?? Of course you have at least once in your life, right?! The excitement, anticipation, the build up, the 'unknown', all wound up in one little package that is about to burst. <BR> <BR> THAT is exactly how I feel today!! <BR> <BR> Today begins the journey that really started some... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 08:58:25 EST WAKE UP Hey there Friends....I made a video that I can't post here for some reason?!?! I mean, I could but I would be sideways and that's just silly! HA <BR> <BR> Check out the message at the following location: <BR> <link><BR>feature=plcp </link> <BR> <BR> This is on my newly created youtube channel. <BR> <BR> I hope you enjoy this message. Sun, 23 Sep 2012 09:02:04 EST 2011 Year in Review Video This is my 2011 year in review video. <BR> <BR> I've had this nearly done for MONTHS and finally took a few minutes to put the final touches on it. <BR> <BR> I hope you enjoy it. Fri, 21 Sep 2012 14:18:36 EST The Body Beast I spent the afternoon in training, very cool stuff. <BR> <BR> After the training, the TRAINING began. The BodyBeast is a brand new BeachBody series and I was lucky enough to be there today when Sagi Kalev, the creator of The BodyBeast took the stage to lead a 45 minute workout. <BR> <BR> GOOD STUFF!! All we used was a towel and partner. AMAZING what can be done what kind of a strength exercise we can get out of this setup! LOVED every minute of it, although my arms are worn out. <BR> ... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 21:49:07 EST When to eat? I had the following email in my Inbox this morning: <BR> <BR> “When is the best time to eat? I don't have a problem with eating, but I don't know when the best time to eat. Like before a work out or after for the best results possible. Also when is the best time to work out? Early morning, late at night, mid-day, or just whenever fits your schedule? Let me know what you think.” <BR> <BR> As I started my response, I realized this was something that I needed to share. <BR> <BR> Here is my re... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 11:20:02 EST BeYourOwnSuperHero......isn't that right Nicholas Tuesday July 17th, 2012 was SUPERHERO night at VBS. <BR> <BR> There were superhero's of ALL kind. <BR> <BR> SOME of us learned from good friends to BE OUR OWN SUPER HERO! <BR> <BR> Here we have a photo of Nicholas being himself: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I think we can all's pretty dawg gone super <BR> <BR> SO....when I thought of SuperHeros, I thought of my brother and his tag line <BR> #BeYourOwnSuperHero <BR> <BR> ....I d... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 15:25:08 EST 3 year Anniversary - a very special race (Too Hot to Handle) Too Hot to Handle <BR> July 15th, 2012 <BR> White Rock Lake, Dallas TX <BR> Norbuck Park <BR> <BR> <BR> This is a special race for me! Three years ago today I ran my very first 5K road race, EVER! I remember that day pretty well. I met some special friends that day, I¡¦d lost 88 pounds at the time and my time was 32:04. This was an emotional day for me honestly. The memories of the first race and every race since then were flooding my brain throughout the run. I had my run meter conn... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 15:49:37 EST Quick Update on my Wife being Hospitalized Hey Friends.....THANK YOU for those who are praying for my wife!! <BR> <BR> I wanted to take a quick minute to tell you what's happening. <BR> <BR> She got bit by SOMETHING?!?! We think it was a spider as she was doing a fitness walk in an unfamilar area last Thursday. We are now over a week into the battle and 4 days in the hospital for serious antibiotics. (it was not a brown recluse spider though) <BR> <BR> She is doing better one day at a time and with any hope at all, today I will ... Sun, 1 Jul 2012 09:07:30 EST Revisiting my Journey - with a few pics I was asked recently to complete a questionaire to which I was very happy to do. What I didn't expect was the journey it took me on as I worked through the questions and formulated my responses accordingly. This was honestly fairly tough to get through at times and took me several weeks to complete.(partly due to life in general though) <BR> <BR> As I read and re-read and re-re-read this, I felt like this was worth sharing. This isn't an easy journey, the struggles are tough, but you can... Fri, 22 Jun 2012 16:34:16 EST DRC Bloomin 4 mile race report - with pics June 2nd, 2012 <BR> White Rock Lake, Dallas TX <BR> Dallas Running Club <BR> Bloomin 4 Mile <BR> <BR> I don't run many shorter distances but I was really looking forward to this run! <BR> <BR> I was up at 4:45am ( I know, I slept in, slacker! :-) ) to start getting ready and get my body to move and groove a little. I started the day on my PVC roller, I love what that thing does for me. I went through my normal stretches to get my low back, hammies, quads and calves somewhat functional(so... Mon, 4 Jun 2012 21:54:06 EST Gotcha Day Letter to Emily 5-13-2012 Posted to my personal blog but wanted to share <BR> <BR> 11 years ago today, we were in China on one of the most important mission of our lives. <BR> <BR> We were on a mission to bring you home! Very excited, very scared, very nervous, but we were there and ready for our family to start growing. Little did we know all the changes that would really begin that day. <BR> <BR> We were blessed with an amazing little girl that day. She was scared, unsure what was happening and very curious ab... Wed, 16 May 2012 10:00:30 EST Gotcha Day letter to Sydney This was originally posted on my personal external blog, but wanted to share. <BR> <BR> 7 years ago God gave us you <BR> Your eyes so bright <BR> Your smile so sweet <BR> I'm so very thankful that God gave us you! <BR> <BR> Sydney - it's hard to believe that it's been 7 years already. It seems like only yesterday that we arrived in Nanning China to meet face to face for the very first time. Those oh so curious big beautiful eyes will, I will never forget them. <BR> <BR> Your first words... Wed, 16 May 2012 09:58:53 EST The story behind the photo The story behind the photo <BR> <BR> I've had several questions about the new photo on my page so I thought I'd do a quick blog to explain how that came about. <BR> <BR> My wife works for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and both my daughters are patients at the hospital. Needless to say, we are passionate about TSRH. They do orthopedic care for Children, regardless of their ability to pay, this has been the policy for 90 years now. <BR> <BR> TSRH partners with Southwest Airline... Wed, 18 Apr 2012 10:45:21 EST DRC Tal Morrison 15K - race report Saturday April 7th, 2012 <BR> Dallas Running Club <BR> Tal Morrison Classic 15K <BR> White Rock Lake <BR> <BR> This was the funniest race I think I’ve ever run and there is a very good reason for that. <BR> I am a member of the Dallas Running Club due to the simple fact that I get 8 free races a year. These races are all at White Rock Lake, which is my favorite place to run in the area, basically it all works out perfectly. <BR> <BR> Recently I’ve not ran many DRC races due to my group t... Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:10:07 EST Rock n Roll Half Marathon - My 6th Half - lots of pics Date: March 25th, 2012 <BR> Event: Rock and Roll Marathon Series Dallas <BR> <BR> Race Length: Half Marathon – my 6th <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have to start this blog by going back to my training run on 3.18.2012. I did a 10 mile training run that was the worst run I’ve had in a very long time. I ran the service roads in my area, like I do a lot when I need a nice long run with some hills. I didn’t push my pace as it was probab... Thu, 29 Mar 2012 21:54:05 EST Lost 100 lbs and the benefits just keep coming.... I am feeling really blessed today and I wanted to share with you WHY that is the case. <BR> <BR> Yes – I’ve lost 100lbs (maintaining at a 96lbs loss right now) and the benefits just keep coming. That is STILL amazing for me to say that. I am now honored to have the opportunity to help others to the same thing. I’ve never considered myself as ‘FIT’, but I think the results below would qualify for that category. <BR> <BR> Recently I had to have some blood work done. I’ve not had any done... Wed, 21 Mar 2012 18:17:15 EST Question of the day Good Morning Spark Peeps! <BR> <BR> I've recently heard about Cetyl Myristoleate <BR> <BR> My question to you is: <BR> WHAT IS IT <BR> DO YOU USE IT <BR> HAVE YOU SEEN RESULTS <BR> <BR> Just curious and trying to educate myself more. <BR> <BR> Have a SPARKtastic day Tue, 13 Mar 2012 09:10:32 EST Question of the day "I'll never reach my destination....If I never try." <BR> <BR> That lyric struck me this morning. <BR> <BR> Destination, what is my destination, this is a journey, do I really have a destination??(This will haunt me all day as I work on my 1.5 year plan that I've been challenged to do) <BR> <BR> Curious for others views on that lyric.....what you think friends? Mon, 27 Feb 2012 08:59:06 EST More pictures from the Hot Chocolate 15K These are a few more pictures from the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K blog that is here <BR><BR>_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4734161 <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <i... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 08:30:46 EST Race Report - Hot Chocolate 5k/15K It's February 11th, 2012 <BR> Race DAY <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Hot Chocolate 5k/15K - The Sweetest race in Dallas <BR> Fair park <BR> <BR> We've had a VERY mild winter in Dallas, even wearing shorts and having 70+ degree weather this year. This morning it was 30 degrees, wind blowing felt like 20 something!! WHAT - where did winter come from and WHO invited it??? <BR> <BR> So I'm up at 4:15am starting to get ready for the race. Having... Sat, 11 Feb 2012 18:47:36 EST NO LIMITS My 12 year old daughter has said several times that she has no limits. She has said this in TV and Newspaper interviews, she has said this in Executive Board Rooms while giving speeches as an Ambassador for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. She really does believe this and you know what, the success she's had so far in life proven it. She is an amazing young lady! <BR> <BR> Can you imagine what could happen in YOUR life if you thought the same thing?? <BR> <BR> This picture is a snap shot th... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 10:55:24 EST PLEASE READ Incase you havn't heard.....OR you didn't already know.... <BR> <BR> SOMEBODY has a BIRTHDAY ON JAN. 13th. <BR> <BR> Click the link below and go wish him a Happy Birthday!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>NDIEGOJOHN </link> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 20:48:50 EST