JOHNTJ1's SparkPeople Blog JOHNTJ1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The Whispering of the Wind <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. <BR> And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12 <BR> <BR> It's easy to get sucked in. Okay, I'll qualify that statement. <BR> <BR> It's easy for me to get sucked in. <BR> <BR> I am always evaluating myself - Looking to the left and right at what everyone else is doing, comparing myself, having a dozen anxi... Mon, 21 Mar 2016 20:03:18 EST Longevity & Perseverance Thank you for the prayers and kind words about my mom. I'll keep you posted. <BR> <BR> A friend wrote me recently that she, her sister and her dad were embarking on a month long trip via Route 66 to the Grand Canyon and then returning home to Indiana by following the US border to Texas and then home. She promised to send me a link to the blog she planned to write. <BR> <BR> I didn't know, until I read the first posting, that her dad is 93, soon to be 94. This trip is special to him. He sa... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 08:05:22 EST My Mom You look at the calendar and you realize it has been 4 days since you last tracked ANYTHING here and part of you is amazed that it has been that long. <BR> <BR> In two weeks my mom will turn 85. She is confined to a wheel chair, has a permanent catheter, and lives with both macular degeneration and Alzheimer's. <BR> <BR> This past week her face began to swell on one side and she started running a low grade fever. She has some infections in her mouth ....... of an unknown origin. <BR> <... Sun, 7 Feb 2016 09:08:30 EST Tomorrow is always another day I grew up a fan of Jack Nicklaus. I believe he was the best golfer who ever played the game. <BR> <BR> I read a book he authored one time on how he excelled at golf. He said that when he made a errant shot he allowed himself a few seconds to fret and fume. Then he put it behind him. There was always another shot awaiting him as he walked down the fairway. <BR> <BR> I've had a crummy nutritional week. <BR> <BR> I am not blaming anyone. When the grand kids show up it seems common sense ch... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 16:49:49 EST Day 29: Gone Fishin' Grand kids are visiting today and tomorrow. <BR> <BR> See ya'll Monday <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> Sat, 30 Jan 2016 18:52:07 EST Day 28: The Chicken or the Pig? Ever look to your left, your right, up and down and all around for someone, anyone to support you, stand beside you, guide you or assist you? <BR> <BR> Ever find yourself alone? <BR> <BR> It's not a great feeling is it? <BR> <BR> We believe, at times, that people are here to help us to understand us and to lend a hand and when they don't, when they disappoint and abandon us, we wonder why. <BR> <BR> I joined a professional networking group in December. Membership is by invitation only... Thu, 28 Jan 2016 13:34:00 EST Day 27: What Are You Worth I had the privilege of spending an amazing 90 minutes with a new client yesterday evening. She'd studied at Oxford in England, been a broadcaster on National Public Radio in the USA and was an accomplished musician and writer. <BR> <BR> So why did she need a career coach? <BR> <BR> It seems that for the past 15 years or so she would bounce from one job to another and could never find that "one thing" that fulfilled her. As she told me everything she'd done in her life I responded by telli... Wed, 27 Jan 2016 07:53:46 EST Day 26: My Motivation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Someone asked yesterday if I had any positive motivation in my journey. I do. <BR> <BR> That picture is the wallpaper on both my computers and my smart phone. It's a reminder of what hard work, and perseverance can do for you. <BR> <BR> When I want to step off the treadmill 5 minutes early, it's my reminder of what I can accomplish if I am devoted. <BR> <BR> When I try to rationalize e... Tue, 26 Jan 2016 07:46:12 EST Day 26: Knowing Yourself Some of the responses I get to my blog(s) suggest I concentrate to much on the negative and that I'm too hard on myself. <BR> <BR> I beg to differ, respectfully. <BR> <BR> My current situation - morbid obesity and all its associated conditions are a result of making poor choices. If I don't keep that negative activity front and center, I'll find a way to rationalize eating something that only hurts me. <BR> <BR> I don't believe I'm negative. If I were I'd have left here after I failed f... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 07:39:44 EST Day 24 and 25: Closed Until Further Notice I have partnered with a really nasty virus and it is laying me low. I tried to muddle through yesterday but today I am going to lie on the couch, watch football, and drink warm beverages. <BR> <BR> Feeling miserable would be a step up. <BR> <BR> I'll catch up soon........... I promise Sun, 24 Jan 2016 12:20:34 EST Day 22 & 23: Blame The Snow on Me I know you may find this hard to believe but I can be a handful at times! - Crabby, whiny.... all that stuff. <BR> <BR> I have been REALLY busy lately, so busy in face that I haven't had time to sit down and plan and reflect and just take a day to get everything together. <BR> <BR> Sigh <BR> <BR> So yesterday as I am driving down the road, muttering to the angels and saints, someone got through to the patron saint of challenging weather and suggested that they dump enough snow around me... Fri, 22 Jan 2016 09:15:06 EST Day 21: Giants (They might be.........) I am a fan and devotee of Joyce Meyer. <BR> <BR> The other day she asked us if we had Giants in our lives. Then she answered her own question: Yes we all do. <BR> <BR> Those giants are our personal obstacles that keep us from growing into everything we, and God, I might add, want us to be. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I wrote about living in the right now and accepting those "giants" for who and what they are. I have a few, lol. The one that can undo everything I've accomplished in every area of ... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 08:26:12 EST Day 20: Right Now!! The voice on the other end of the phone sounded defeated. <BR> <BR> "Can we do lunch one day this week?" <BR> <BR> Darian had been a client when she started her small business close to a year ago. We'd kept in touch and I was really happy to see she'd gotten off to a great start in her new business and life. <BR> <BR> The long and short of it was she was feeling completely overwhelmed. <BR> <BR> She wasnt going to the gym - Not that anything like that has ever happened to us. <BR> <BR... Tue, 19 Jan 2016 16:24:32 EST Day 19: Blue Monday? I'm pedaling the exercise bike at the gym early this morning and I'm watching the news at the same time! Right at the end of the broadcast the announcer tells us that today has been designated as Blue Monday. <BR> <BR> Whoever spends their time studying these sorts of things has determined that today January 18, 2016 is the most depressing day of the year. <BR> <BR> The sad thing (no pun intended) is that God knows how many people are going to be unhappy today simply because someone told ... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 11:07:25 EST Day 15, 16, 17, & 18: Making Adjustments The good news is I lost 1.4 pounds this past week. <BR> <BR> I'm not quite sure how that happened but i am glad it did. <BR> <BR> Since last I posted, which was the middle of last wek here is a recap: <BR> <BR> A small electrical fire <BR> The washing machine expired <BR> Satellite TV quit working and no one could figure out why and then a miraculous return - all on its own. <BR> <BR> I already had a full schedule so waiting on electricians, repair and delivery people meant I wasn't ... Sun, 17 Jan 2016 11:41:02 EST Day 14: Gray Days A quick update for you: Everything went well yesterday. I ate a baked potato and a roast beef sandwich - naked for lunch. I was able to make it home in time for supper so I had my own food available. <BR> <BR> Now..... on with the show. <BR> <BR> It's not the peaks and valleys that get me its those gray days. The ones that are neither inspiring nor depressing. They are just "days." <BR> <BR> I am learning those days are the most important to my over all success. When I create a solid fou... Wed, 13 Jan 2016 07:48:57 EST Day 12: Think Smarter Don't Work Harder If you've read some of my previous postings you know this week is going to be a real challenge for me not only from an exercise situation - So far, so good. 3 days in, 3 days on target - but also from a caloric situation. <BR> <BR> Most of my meals will be on the go and no I can't pack a lunch or dinner. That would be nice but it wont work in these situations. <BR> <BR> What to do, what to do. <BR> <BR> This summer I worked with a nutritionist for a month. She'd gotten laid off from her... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 08:38:13 EST Day 13: Being Selfish I would like to see my grand kids graduate from college. I’d like to be there and be able to stand up and cheer for them and do it without assistance. <BR> <BR> I want to enjoy the trip to the United Kingdom that Joan and I are going to make one day. I’d like to putter around the ruins of castles and cheer long and loud when I finally, finally get to Old Trafford and to watch Manchester United play. <BR> <BR> Good reasons for sure. <BR> <BR> The MAIN reason is because I deserve to be he... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:06:42 EST Day 12: Flexibility I have a killer week ahead of me. <BR> <BR> My schedule is full from sun up to sundown. <BR> <BR> I prefer to exercise early in the day. First I am an early riser. Second there are less excuses at 5 AM then there are at 5 PM. The sorta "Let's do this" approach. <BR> <BR> The big question though, is: How committed am I to being healthy, balanced and successful? <BR> <BR> Excuses are like elbows my dad was fond of saying. Everyone has them. (I sorta cleaned that one up folks.) It would ... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 10:02:32 EST Day 11 Accountability Day #1 Today was my second weigh-in of 2016. <BR> <BR> I set my baseline last Saturday. Gotta tell ya it was a bit disheartening. <BR> <BR> Do you recall the old saying "What gets checked on get's done?" <BR> <BR> Well........... I hadn't "checked" in a few months and my first reaction was "No, this can't be right!!!" <BR> <BR> Have you ever moved the scale around the room hoping that the number would change in your favor? <BR> <BR> So I set out a few attainable goals last Saturday. Things th... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 11:57:33 EST Day 10: Respect Yourself The Staples Singers crooned it back in the late 1970's: <BR> <BR> "If you don't respect yourself ain't no one gonna a give cahoot." <BR> <BR> I was talking with someone last night whose been through some tough times in the past three years. They are finally starting to see some success. As we talked I sensed they were being very self depricating in how they looked at themselves. <BR> <BR> After a bit I looked over and asked: <BR> <BR> "Did you ever sit back and think "Wow, it was tough ... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 07:10:43 EST Day 9: Good Enough I work in an industry that eternally contradicts itself. <BR> <BR> As a career coach my role is often to poke, prod and motivate people into looking at their lives and careers and creating strategies for improvement. <BR> <BR> Mostly everyone I work with wants to be a Bill Gate or Carly Fiorella when all is said and done. <BR> <BR> Sometimes it's just not possible and people don't care to hear that from me. Sometimes we reach a point where our tools and talents won't take us any farther... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 07:03:41 EST Day 8: Planning "Excuses are like elbows. Everybody has one." (Or two I might add.) <BR> <BR> My grandpa used to say that. I've found it's really easy to throw my hands up in the air and shrug my shoulders and look frustrated because my day didn't come together the way I wanted it to come together. <BR> <BR> I read somewhere that when we take the time to plan and then physically check those items off a list it gives us a positive endorphin rush that motivates and encourages us to do more and more. I can ... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 08:26:45 EST Day 7: Creating a Foundation When I looked at the clock it was 4:23 AM <BR> <BR> I hadn't slept much. That veggie salad with balsamic dressing had I had for supper Monday night had been fighting a war inside of me since about 2:30. I just couldn't get comfortable. <BR> <BR> "I guess I should take today off." <BR> <BR> "You took Saturday off, remember? You went to see the grand kids." <BR> <BR> "I'll go later this morning, right now I need to sleep." <BR> <BR> "You're pretty much booked all day today, remember?" <... Tue, 5 Jan 2016 09:16:17 EST Day 6: The "G" Word If you are like me, you're inbox has been flooded with emails promising that if you just followed the writers easy-peasey-lemon-squeezy process, you will reach all of your goals lickety split. The sun will shine, the birds will chirp and the bee's will buzz and you'll be the next latest and greatest. (I might even grow some hair!!) <BR> <BR> Okay, you get the picture. <BR> <BR> Show of hands here: How many of you chafe, just a bit when someone, anyone, other than yourself asks you to make ... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 11:12:11 EST Day 5: My Attitude I have a confession to make. <BR> <BR> I do not bounce out of bed every morning ready to hit the gym, pool or walking track. Mostly i mutter a few epithets not appropriate for a family site. (It is reassuring to hear my bones creak - I know i'm alive!) <BR> <BR> I have to talk myself into it 4 days out of 5. Don't get me wrong I am always glad I went but there is that moment .............. <BR> <BR> It's like, "Who's gonna know?" <BR> <BR> For me those first 5 minutes of my day make all ... Sun, 3 Jan 2016 07:58:09 EST Day 4: Investments A good friend of mine sells insurance for a living. Every time we speak he uses the term "investment." <BR> <BR> I know lottsa other folks in the investment game. They ask us to look at the future and make a sacrifice to guarantee its security. <BR> <BR> I remember when Joan and I were first married and we started the process of saving for the kids future. I complained to my dad that things were bit tight. His answer was "Anything that is worthwhile is going to pinch a bit at first." <B... Sat, 2 Jan 2016 07:45:39 EST Day 3:Are We Ready? I started wondering if there was such a thing as a Failure Coach. <BR> <BR> We have coaches for everything else now-a-days. (No hate here. I’m one myself.) We have life coaches, business coaches, health coaches, success coaches……. <BR> <BR> I Googled it. There are no Failure Coaches. <BR> <BR> Sort of a negative way to start the new year, John? <BR> <BR> Not really. <BR> <BR> My successes are sweet, enjoyable, even memorable. But my failures? Ahhhhhhh my failures, if I make the choic... Fri, 1 Jan 2016 06:58:13 EST Day 2: Chhhanges (With apologies to David Bowie) Ever hit a brick wall? <BR> <BR> Ever hit a brick wall over and over and over until the tip of your allegorical nose was sore and you got angry...........Maybe even started throwing a hissy fit? Maybe a couple? <BR> <BR> It dawned on me this morning that the biggest changes aren't in what I do, but in what I perceive. When my activity lines up with my thoughts then, viola!!! <BR> <BR> Success <BR> <BR> Speak English John <BR> <BR> I can't exercise in my early 60's in the same way I did... Thu, 31 Dec 2015 08:29:26 EST Day 1: Let's Get It Started (with apologies to the Black Eyed Peas.) There's a sign hanging on the wall at my gym as you round the track on the first turn. It's a picture of a runner and below it is written: "Where you are now and where you want to be depends on what you do." <BR> <BR> I've been a member of spark for over 6 years now. I have had some spectacular victories: I came within 14 pounds of my goal weight which coincidentally would have been a 100 pound loss and some equally spectacular failures: injury, illness and regaining all but 11 pounds. <BR>... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 13:42:40 EST An Instrument of Your Peace I have a favor to ask. <BR> <BR> Would you share this posting? <BR> <BR> You see, while I normally put the "P" in positive I am growing weary of peoples attempts at humor at the expense of other people. <BR> <BR> I didn't know poverty, addiction, emotional illness and hopelessness were fodder for an acerbic tongue on social media. I'm speaking of the postings both written and in picture that poke fun at people who aren't, well lets be hones here, people who aren't like US. <BR> <BR> On t... Sat, 19 Dec 2015 08:49:32 EST If I Have the Eloquence of Men & Angels............ Having an adult child sharing the same living space with you, even in the best of circumstances, (And it is the best of circumstances) can be a challenge. <BR> <BR> I consider myself flexible and open and ready to adapt. <BR> <BR> I'm also aging which means the concrete of my habits, formed through life experience, is settling and hardening at a quicker pace than in the past. <BR> <BR> It's never anything big. <BR> <BR> Maggie and I both like Eggo Nutri-Grain Blueberry waffles for brea... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 08:39:48 EST Words of Wisdom Steve was one of the most unusual CEO's I'd ever met. <BR> <BR> You might have called him the "Reluctant CEO." <BR> <BR> He agreed to manage a company for a customer of his who'd been given the company in a divorce settlement. <BR> <BR> Steve was a jeweler - But he was a very wise man. <BR> <BR> I had the pleasure of working for him for close to 6 years as his HR director. <BR> <BR> When things would get rocky and rough and everyone was down because business was being, well business ... Thu, 15 Oct 2015 08:40:15 EST ".................And my life is very blessed." Tara Brach is the founder and senior teacher at The Insight Meditation Community in Washington D.C. I enjoy listening to her podcasts. They are full of wisdom and practical advice. <BR> <BR> The other day she was focusing on the habit of complaining. It's one habit we all share universally, whether we verbalize the compliant or simply think it. <BR> <BR> It's negative energy and we all know that even one, tiny speck of negative energy can lay to waste all sorts of good progress. <BR> <... Tue, 13 Oct 2015 08:32:14 EST Stuck!!!! Letting Your Body Catch Up With Itself Since the middle of May I've lost 30 pounds. The last "real loss" was a month ago. I'm tracking my food and exercise, watching my carbs - only the good ones. <BR> <BR> Spirit of full disclosure - I had a piece of cake on my birthday a few weeks ago. <BR> <BR> The needle will not move. Oh maybe an ounce here and there, back and forth. <BR> <BR> I feel good, sleep well, no stress. <BR> <BR> I've been here before. Here is what I've learned. <BR> <BR> "Stay the course, full steam ahead ... Sat, 22 Aug 2015 09:51:54 EST Angels At my darkest moment of despair, when I never thought I'd walk straight again much less run I wrote in pain and anger to this community via a blog posting. <BR> <BR> My dear friends reached out with love, comfort and exhortation to keep moving forward. <BR> <BR> Honestly a lot of it was "blah, blah, blah," to me at the time. <BR> <BR> Then I noticed. <BR> <BR> Tucked neatly at the bottom of the comment section was a link from a Sparker I'd not had the pleasure of meetings. She shared ... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 11:41:14 EST There Will Be Obstacles or If This Were Easy Anyone Could Do It. Confession time. <BR> <BR> When I first joined Spark People 6 years ago I fell prey to the glitz, glamour and glitter. I believed those blogs and message postings about the people who tracked every morsel of food that went in their mouth, exercised in the Subway on the way to work and the pounds literally massed in a puddle at their feet as they fell off before their very eyes. <BR> <BR> Keep reading. It's not a rant. It was my own decision to believe all that hype. I had a choice and whe... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 12:35:51 EST Size Does Matter Sorry, it's not what you think - No matter how many ways you spin it. <BR> <BR> One of the things I've discovered is that in many cases half a portion or even a quarter of a portion of a food serving will suffice and while I'm at it the Spark calorie and food calculator is an excellent tool for us to use to determine what goes down the old pie hole. <BR> <BR> So here is what I've done: <BR> <BR> I'm going to use peanut butter as an example because I love peanut butter. <BR> <BR> A ser... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:28:17 EST Those Silent and Supportive Friends of Ours I haven't survived close to 6 years here at Spark left to my own devices. If that were the case I would have driven off the cliff or into a ditch a long time ago and just given up on this mystical and magical journey towards health, balance and happiness. <BR> <BR> There are a core of people, some with me from the very beginning of this journey, some I met along the way, and well, they are still walking with me. <BR> <BR> I've had lunch with a couple of them and created what I hope are li... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 11:33:51 EST There is Less of Me to Love - But That's a Good Thing In the past month I've lost 21 pounds and am a eye lash under 300 pounds for the first time in over 4 years. <BR> <BR> I have been afraid to write this blog because I don't want to jinx myself (LOL) <BR> <BR> About a month ago I had someone referred to me who needed some career coaching That's part of my job. They had been laid off because of a downturn in business and needed some guidance as far as the next move. Their immediate problem was they had no money to pay me. <BR> <BR> I am al... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 11:02:46 EST Savor the Moment As my dad lie dying he pulled his oxygen mask off his face and pulled me close to him. <BR> <BR> On the cusp of 89 his heart was failing and his lungs were filling with fluid. In a labored voice he looked at me and said: <BR> <BR> "It's been a good long life, but gosh it's gone by so fast." <BR> <BR> He died the next day. <BR> <BR> My dad shared a lot of wisdom wit me over the years and gave me a lot of good advice but he waited until the last moment to share his best thoughts and perce... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 08:38:20 EST What Stands Between You and Success <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've begun to ask myself that question a lot recently. The answer I arrive at the most is what I think and what I believe about myself. <BR> <BR> That's a bitter pill to swallow. <BR> <BR> God, the Universe, life, puts challenges into our lives and we turn them into obstacles which rapidly become reasons which morph into excuses. <BR> <BR> I don't know about you but mine usually begin ... Sat, 30 May 2015 10:47:32 EST Some Food for Thought This made me think: <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Have a great Wednesday Wed, 27 May 2015 08:03:31 EST It's Amazing How Quickly People Change :) I lost my locker key at the gym this morning. It fell out of my pocket while I was walking. <BR> <BR> My phone kept sagging my pants down so I pulled it out to hold it. That's when the key fell out. I didn't realize it was gone until I went to fish it out of my pocket standing in front of my locker, sweat pouring off my head. <BR> <BR> Not a pretty sight. <BR> <BR> I ran (Well what passes as a run for me now days) upstairs and started looking. I saw Michael was sitting at the trainers d... Tue, 26 May 2015 09:15:44 EST Our TRUE Purpose <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Being of the Roman Catholic faith one of our practices is to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It used to be called Penance, but I think that scared a lotta people away so the Catholic Church got kinder and gentler. <BR> <BR> Anyways.......... <BR> <BR> I hadn't reconciled myself formally in quite some time. It was one of those things I just kept putting off and like lots of things... Thu, 21 May 2015 16:59:19 EST Did You Ever Wonder? I hopped in the car this morning on my way to an early morning network event and flipped on the radio. <BR> <BR> It was The Beatles!!!! --- "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" circa 1964; 51 years ago. <BR> <BR> I sang and bounced and generally looked deranged as I drove down the road. <BR> <BR> Then I started to wonder. Its been 51 years and we have certainly upped the anti, so to speak , when it comes to song lyrics. We've gone from the innocuous practice of hand holding to.......... <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 20 May 2015 12:55:43 EST Finding Nothing I was putting stuff up in my locker at the gym yesterday afternoon when someone whose locker is next to mine came around the corner. <BR> <BR> "Hey, how are you," I asked. I hadn't seen him in a month or so. <BR> <BR> "I'm fine," He responded. "How about you?" <BR> <BR> "I've got nothing to complain about." I answered <BR> <BR> "Yes you do. You just don't want to acknowledge that you do." <BR> <BR> I really don't have anything to complain about. My feet hit the ground this morning. I c... Mon, 18 May 2015 10:47:28 EST As It Really Is............. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I always take consolation in the fact that I have never given up. I may waver, I may drift and I may get a bit off kilter but something inside of me always takes a deep breath and plunges back in. <BR> <BR> Drink lottsa water, make healthy food choices and exercise. <BR> <BR> Track your food and exercise and above all be honest with yourself. <BR> <BR> Look, we can at whatever we want ... Sun, 17 May 2015 15:56:46 EST Pass This On if You Know Someone Who'd Benefit From This A friend of one of our son's took his own life Monday night. They had roomed together in college, Joan and I knew his mom, and his brothers and sisters knew my kids, etc. <BR> <BR> He was 31, well educated and was in the middle of a life journey that included a successful career. Everyone is shaking their heads and saying stuff like "He was such a good guy." or "He had everything going for him. I don't get it." <BR> <BR> No one knows the "why" <BR> <BR> No one bothered to ask him. <BR>... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 09:50:32 EST For Someone Who Needs It........... I was searching my computer for an errant file this morning when I ran accross a blog posting I'd written a few summers ago. <BR> <BR> A tiny voice inside of me said "Someone needs to read this today!" <BR> <BR> I know I did <BR> <BR> "Friday afternoon Joan informed me I was getting out of the house on Saturday. “You need a day,” she pronounced. I made plans to head east towards Louisville to see son Paul and help him overcome a weed eater issue he was having, visit Whole Foods, pick... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 08:06:52 EST