JOHNTJ1's SparkPeople Blog JOHNTJ1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Our Daily Bread My brother and I spent 8 years of our lives as alter boys, serving Mass each morning. I surmise we prayed the Our Father over 3,000 times during that period. <BR> <BR> Since then it's something I simply say by rote each morning and evening. Sometimes I don't even listen to what I'm saying. In modern parlance it's become a mantra. <BR> <BR> Last night I was laying in bed worrying about something I cant even recall when I lapsed into that prayer. Nothing spectacular occurred until I reached t... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 08:04:22 EST Grow Where You Are Planted <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Our weather has been mercurial at best. Warm on day, cold the next. Not warm enough to turn on the AC and some mornings just cold enough to kick in the furnace. The trees and flowers don't mind. They just keep on a blooming. Somewhere in that thought there's a blog posting. <BR> <BR> I hadn't slept well in about 3 days. On top of the weather being fickle the birds like to wake Joan and I up around 4 AM and well t... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 09:14:12 EST His Final Words.......... I sat at Mass this morning listening to the Gospel being read. <BR> <BR> It's Palm Sunday and that means one of the four Passion Narratives. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan. Standing there for 20 minutes or so I get lost in my thoughts. <BR> <BR> But today something struck me that hasn't in all the years I've heard and read that gospel passage. <BR> <BR> It was Jesus final words before he commended his spirit to his Father in heaven. <BR> <BR> For a brief moment Jesus was scared. H... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:18:01 EST Living With the Everyday As i'm writing I can hear the birds singing to each other outside my office window - a sure harbinger of spring. <BR> <BR> It's hard to believe that just a week ago Joan and I were eating breakfast, listening to the weather and saying "Surely they're mistaken!" <BR> <BR> They weren't. We woke the next morning to 14 inches of snow and considered ourselves fortunate, 20 miles south it was close to two feet of snow. <BR> <BR> We dug out most of Thursday and I noted with a bit of humor that ... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 07:41:26 EST Finding Faith in the Every Day <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Winter showed itself this past week or so. From sleet to snow to freezing rain to sub zero temperatures, to more sleet and ice to more cold................. <BR> <BR> I sat on the couch looking out our double doors on to the deck. I have a clear view of the telephone wires that traverse the neighborhood easement. Some birds, about a dozen of them sat there, looking around at the snow and searching for some food. ... Sun, 1 Mar 2015 10:46:49 EST No Matter What Happens.......... "Trust In Time of Trouble." Did you ever feel compelled, almost pushed to share something and you didn't understand why? <BR> <BR> Yes, I know, the Holy Spirit and all that stuff........... I agree with you but sometimes, well sometimes it's just plain eerie. <BR> <BR> I keep a Bible in the restroom adjacent to my office. That way........... well TMI. But at least I get one daily Scripture reading to reflect on. <BR> <BR> I wasn't fully awake this morning and so when I reached into the magazine rack to grab the Bi... Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:51:01 EST Busy Is No Excuse It's been two weeks since I blogged and I apologize for that. There is this thing that's called life, more accurately called winter, tha seems to have gotten in my way. <BR> <BR> Quick recap and another gift for you. <BR> <BR> Drove 400 miles to celebrate my mom's 84th birthday in weather that changed every 10 minutes (No joke) She is an memory care facility and when Joan and I arrived we found out they had just put the facility on lock down because of the flu. So I stood in zero degree w... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 10:41:44 EST A Gift For You: Success or Failure What Scares You More? It's been awhile I know. I've been really busy with work related stuff so I apologize for my absences. <BR> <BR> I have a gift to share with you . Four colleagues of mine and myself recorded a YouTube video on our Fears, on Success and Failure's. No sales pitch, no hidden agenda's, nothing to follow up on. I run with these folks because, like me, they realize the most important thing you can do is give to other people freely so they can be happier and healthier. <BR> <BR> Be advised its a... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:41:37 EST If Only........... You know those adds on the side bar of your Spark Page? The ones that promise health, wealth and prosperity if you click and agree to get 10,000 emails a day until your spam folder yells "Enough!!!!" <BR> <BR> I usually don't pay much attention to them but this morning when I went to log my food and exercise I noticed an add for some sort of supplement or other. <BR> <BR> The man in the add was stripped to the waist all buff and stuff and his long hair flowed about his shoulders. <BR> <B... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:05:30 EST A Work Out Tip Maybe you have been one of them. (I know I have.) <BR> <BR> You exercise so vigorously that you can barely make it to your locker or your car. Sweat is pouring down your face and oozing out of every orifice of your body. <BR> <BR> You is a warrior. <BR> <BR> But, let me ask you something................ <BR> <BR> How do you feel three hours later? <BR> <BR> A trainer at my gym told me yesterday that the test of a good work out is to evaluate how you feel 3 hours after the workout. <B... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:56:10 EST Some Saturday Wisdom <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thought I'd share with my friends Sat, 24 Jan 2015 09:42:32 EST Could Someone Help Me Understand Okay, I'll admit there are lots of things I don't quite understand. <BR> <BR> What I mean is how some things suddenly rocket to the center of our universal attention as issues that have the fate of the world hanging in the balance. <BR> <BR> Under inflated footballs <BR> <BR> All I've heard about since Monday morning is how we need to convene a spacial session in Congress, re-institute the firing squad as a form of capital punishment; all because the New England Patriots let 2 psi out of... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:29:52 EST True Purpose: Update A few weeks ago I penned a log about a chance encounter with a friend at our gym and how he'd just found out his wife had cancer. <BR> <BR> I ran into him yesterday as I walked in the gym and he told me that they's just returned from Vanderbilt Medical Center. She has been given less that 6 months to live. <BR> <BR> I know miracles are possible but I ask you prat for John and his family that God grants them the strength for whatever lies ahead. <BR> <BR> Thanks guys Sun, 18 Jan 2015 12:15:50 EST Roadblocks & Obstacles <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I never knew how much my toes really mattered. <BR> <BR> Until I broke one. <BR> <BR> It's the toe next to the pinky toe on my right foot. <BR> <BR> I have no clue how it got broken. <BR> <BR> My doctor says it's what happens when you start getting old. <BR> <BR> It (was) all black and blue and swollen and it hurt like hell. <BR> <BR> I was able to get to the gym and in the pool on Thursday afternoon a... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 08:50:40 EST A 2 AM Conversation With God: "Why You're Here." It's maddening, really. <BR> <BR> No matter what time I go to bed, drink a warm beverage, meditate, shower, etc. --- I eventually wake up around 2 AM. <BR> <BR> I don't mean grumble, mumble, look at the clock and roll over. I mean "Oh it must be 2AM. I'm wide awake." <BR> <BR> I've surmised, in my more positive moments, that somewhere in heaven an angel looks up from a large book and hollers "Next!" That's supposed to be my cue. That's when God has time for me. <BR> <BR> So just a few ... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 09:13:16 EST Judge Ye Not.................. My niece shared this article on her Facebook page from the Huffington Post. <BR> <BR> I was so impressed with it I thought I'd share the link with you in place of a blog posting. It really says it all when it comes to weight loss, healthy eating and our perception of other people. <BR> <BR> The article is titled "To The Fit Woman at Marketplace Foods." <BR> <BR> Here it is <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>er/to-the-fit-woman-at-marketplace-foo<BR>ds... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 10:02:14 EST True Purpose <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yesterday was one of those "Go to the gym, you'll be glad you did." days. That's what I kept repeating over and over in my head. <BR> <BR> I climbed on the bike, snapped my ear buds in place, closed my eyes and prepared to gut it out for 30 minutes or so. <BR> <BR> I just didn't want to be there. I didn't really want to be anywhere. <BR> <BR> Riding the bike loosens my muscles and afterwards I'll walk or use ... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 15:22:48 EST Reflections On A Year Gone By If my credit card payment hadn't been due today I wouldn't have known it was December 31. When the alarm went off on my phone around 9 AM I did one of those "Oh gee. It's December 31." <BR> <BR> I'm not sure if that's good or bad but it is what it is. <BR> <BR> When Joan and I were much younger we'd go to the Men's Club dance at church and then a late night breakfast. The kids would take great delight in charging in the bedroom around 7:30 am yelling "Happy New Year!!!" <BR> <BR> This New... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 20:09:12 EST Deep Laughter (Especially at Yourself!!!) is a Good Way to Reduce Your Stress Level Be advised, some of you may consider this blog a tad bit risque or inappropriate.If you are offended or feel uncomfortable when someone writes or talks about sex, I'd suggest you hit the "back button." I wrote this blog because when I finished the experience I had in relation to it I was laughing so hard I was crying. So you have been advised --- ahead of time. <BR> <BR> As many people in my chosen profession I subscribe to a bunch of social media sites. One of those pages is called Skil... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 08:07:41 EST A Sacred Pause When I was a kid I hated Mass on Christmas Eve. At some point they would read what I called the "Begats" Gospel. It seemed like it took forever!! <BR> <BR> Huh? <BR> <BR> The passage is the first chapter of Matthews Gospel. It's official term is The Martyrology. It traces the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham up to Jesus father Joseph. In between you have your usual heavy hitters like David and Solomon, people who'd look impressive on anyone's family tree. Then you have a whole lot of people ... Wed, 24 Dec 2014 12:02:35 EST Why Wait? "Well I guess we should enjoy the next week or so." The first voice said with a hint of resignation. <BR> <BR> "Why is that?" Asked a second voice. <BR> <BR> "The New Years Resolution people will be here soon. This place will be a zoo." Answered the first. <BR> <BR> In the back ground the Greek chorus murmured their ascent. <BR> <BR> <BR> I was standing in front of my locker getting dressed after my morning workout and those voices migrated over the bank of lockers in front of me. <BR... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 09:11:18 EST Inspiration I ended my blog yesterday with an inspirational posting from Coach Jim Valvano over 20 years ago. Jim passed away three weeks after he gave this speech at the ESPY Awards where he was honored with the Arthur Ashe Award. <BR> <BR> I share this with you because it not only inspires me and motivates me <BR> <BR> Here is the link <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:55:44 EST Those Small Victories That Mean So Much. The regulars at my gym are pretty much used to my off beat behavior. I've been known to burst into song on the recumbent bike or do a dance on the elliptical. <BR> <BR> They've never seen me cry. <BR> <BR> I don't mean the "Sniffle, sniffle dab at your eyes with a tissue." <BR> <BR> I mean like full blown tears running down your face only instead of looking pain stricken you are smiling and talking to yourself while your Ipod is sorta blaring Jay-Z. <BR> <BR> That kind of crying. <... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:19:01 EST Absolutes? ---- There Aren't Any!!! "Ya know, it took me five years to realize their were no absolutes in living a healthy life style. That's sorta sad." <BR> <BR> "Well it could be," Joan said. "Or you could share that with other people just getting started and it might help them avoid the trap you fell into." <BR> <BR> She's always been a glass half full type of person. <BR> <BR> I'll admit it I am a "monkey see monkey do" sort of person. I'll latch on to something everyone else is doing and I'll use it until I realize i... Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:04:59 EST Celebrating 5 Years of Spark Today It's hard to believe it's been that long and on the other hand it seems like I've been here forever. <BR> <BR> I could go on and on about how many wonderful people I've met along the way but if you have been here for awhile, you know what I am saying. Each of you has developed special bonds, special relationships and lasting friendships even though you may never hug that person or share a cup of coffee with them. <BR> <BR> The beauty of Spark is that there is something on many different l... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 08:11:22 EST We Can Rationalize Anything, Can't We? If I told you I felt miserable for the past two days I'd be exaggerating. Miserable would be a step up for me. I'm not gonna go on and on about winter colds and flu. You know the drill. We all get them. We all struggle through them and most of us survive. <BR> <BR> I guess if you are reading this you've survived one, hey? <BR> <BR> But shortly after this virus way laid me my I started to rationalize. <BR> <BR> It's "Feed a cold and starve a fever," right? <BR> <BR> Unless you have a fev... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:30:07 EST It's In Our Hands I created this picture(?), graphic (?) motivator(?) for a small group I work with monthly to help develop their communication and networking skills. We are starting a new group in January so I put this together to help the group focus. <BR> <BR> I shared it with my Facebook friends yesterday so I thought I'd share it with my Spark friends today. <BR> <BR> Have a good weekend <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One more thing.............. Sat, 6 Dec 2014 07:43:18 EST Belated Thank You's and one of those I've been absent for about a week or so, and not by my own doing. My web site crashed. No, that's not right, crashed is too light a word. It expired with no notice. Being self employed I went in the bathroom and looked at my IT department in the mirror. The good thing about reconstructing my site is that I've been wanting to do it for about a year so maybe the crash was a divine nudge in that direction. It is leaner, meaner and easier to navigate and if you'd like the link you are gonna have ... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 08:17:23 EST On Being Thankful I'd like to tell you that I am grateful and thankful each and every day of my life for all the blessings I've received over the past 61.5 years but if I did I'd be telling you a bald faced lie. <BR> <BR> Maybe I should amend that statement and say that I'm not consciously grateful and thankful. It sorta hums in the back ground. I dont participate in those thankfulness challenges. I've always felt that if I have to think about 30 things I am thankful for I'd be making a third of them up ju... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:54:03 EST Right Here, Right Now "You are free to believe what you choose, and what you do attests to what you believe." <BR> <BR> Just between me, you and the gate post I hate reading that line. It pops up in my morning reading 3 or 4 times a year. Maybe Jesus said it better: <BR> <BR> "By their fruits you shall know them." <BR> <BR> Honestly when I read that I want to cringe. <BR> <BR> I had a good breakfast this morning: Egg white omelet with lo fat cheese and a waffle. Drank 2 bottles of water. Had just finished a... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:47:46 EST Wearing Blinders Do you know the reason they put blinders on race horses? It's so they don't become distracted or discouraged by the performance of the other horses on the track. They can only see their finish line and run towards it. <BR> <BR> Yes, I know, we're not animals but the process bears some examination. <BR> <BR> When you are at the gym do you ever find yourself looking at someone who seems to breeze effortlessly through their workout while you are wondering which part of your body may break a... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:38:30 EST