JOHNTJ1's SparkPeople Blog JOHNTJ1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Staying the Same Isn't a Bad Thing I didn't lose any weight last week but I didn't gain any weight either. <BR> <BR> A few years ago this would have devastated me, but it dawned on me that I was looking at it through a "glass half empty" mind set. I did SOMETHING right this past week because if I hadn't been careful what went in my mouth or managed to do something that resembled exercising I would have gained weight. <BR> <BR> Patience is the most arduous virtue. I should know. It took me 61 years to even be in the same ro... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 09:44:33 EST Perceptions and My Health. It's a scary realization. <BR> <BR> It's the moment you discover that most of what goes on in your life is about 100 millimeters beyond your control. The things you spend your life working so hard, to lasso, hog tie and stow away have been and always will be elusive. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> No, I'm not advocating we give up or anything like that........... <BR> <BR> Our knowledge, especially our knowledge of ourselves is wh... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 09:16:33 EST Touching Base Hello all. Thank you for all the Goodies and the notes of concern. I am doing just fine, TYVM, lol. Busy but fine. So here is whats going on in my world. <BR> <BR> My Mom: If you've ever known someone with Alzheimer's then you know it is scary and painful to watch someone slowly slip away into a world you and I cannot fathom. Mom is down to 118 pounds, not eating because she is sleeping all day because her anxiety issues keep her up all night. They have switched meds but it takes 2-4 week... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 10:39:07 EST Precious Joys <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I woke up in a foul mood this morning. It was a culmination of all the small things building up inside of me and setting the stage for a rotten and foul morning. I wont go into detail, everyone has them. <BR> <BR> To top it off the fog was, as they say, as thick as pea soup. <BR> <BR> I ran to the store to pick up a few things so I could hit the ground running at 8. The problem was I'd misread the sale add and t... Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:42:08 EST Little Treasures It's hard to see my mom waste away. This was a strong creative woman who was an artist, in a number of mediums --- We grew up with a kiln in our basement and paints and swatches of cloth all over the house. Yet the gift I received from my mom, and both my parents for that matter , was her absolute and unequivocal faith in God and his ability to make any situation, no matter how bleak it seemed have a ray of hope and sunshine. <BR> <BR> I saw her 3 times this past weekend. She has roughly 15 ... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:46:00 EST There Is Always Hope Joan and I are visiting my mom in Wisconsin this weekend. It is hard to imagine and experience a woman who was so strong minded and creative, slowed by Alzheimer's. But as the 10th century mystic Meister Ekhart said "Oh the depths." <BR> <BR> We were leaving out hotel yesterday afternoon when a family of five started coming in the opposite way. I held the door for them and the mom, dad and two kids passed through without a thank you or even making eye contact. (I'm sorta used to this........... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 08:29:34 EST A Lesson In Perseverance My grand daughter ran in the state elementary school cross country meet this morning. She was in the top 3 finishers at her school so they put her on a bus and sent her 100 miles to the east to compete against a whole bunch of other kids in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. <BR> <BR> Yesterday at gymnastics practice she hit her shin against the balance beam and got a pretty nasty bruise, but she ran this morning. <BR> <BR> When I talked to her a few minutes ago she was disappointed that she didn't... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:16:34 EST This Is a Novel Approach........... I am not sure where I heard or read the following story but I thought it was worth sharing. <BR> <BR> There is a community of people in the South Pacific who handle mistakes made by a member by placing them in the center of the circle. Community members then take turns citing all the good and positive things the person has done in their life so they'll forget their mistakes and move on. <BR> <BR> Pretty cool, huh? Sun, 19 Oct 2014 18:23:08 EST I'm Tired of Failure, Aren't You? It's not what you think. <BR> <BR> Every time I open a social media platform any more I am bombarded with pictures, phrases and sayings about over coming my failures, moving on, fighting the good fight........... You get the picture. <BR> <BR> Failure, no matter how many ways you choose to slice the whole grain, low fat loaf of bread, is a negative term. We're coerced into believing it's almost some sort of noble virtue. When you suggest I've failed your suggesting a negative, a flaw or a... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:34:30 EST Life Is a Long Journey, Isn't It?: Where I've Been & Why I've Been There Did you ever accomplish something you were so darned proud of that you just couldn't wait to share it with the world? The hard work, the effort you invested in yourself and your goal just about made you burst at the seams? <BR> <BR> Deep inside you heard this voice chirping "I knew I could do this, I knew I could do this." To the world at large it might not have been anything significant but to you it was a culmination of something you always dreamed of. And you wished to share it, if for ... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:45:12 EST Need Additional Prayers Just about the time they got all settled at home and my grandson was happy to have both mom and dad home together on a Monday, my daughter-in-law received a phone call that her dad had been in an automobile accident in Indianapolis. He was driving from Louisville to Chicago to pick up his wife who was visiting relatives. He fell asleep while he was driving and cracked 3 ribs and fractured his sternum. Tim is 66 and is not in real good health to begin with. <BR> <BR> Your thoughts, prayers a... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:38:16 EST Update on My Grandson Son and daughter-in-law spent all of yesterday at the hospital. They decided around 10 AM to knock him out,do a control "pop" on his two blisters, medicate the wound sights really good and send him on his merry way. He had to wait until 4:30 pm to do so because of some emergency surgeries. <BR> <BR> There was no infection and his right hand was already beginning the healing process. They wrapped him up really good, sent him home and he has to go back later this week to have his dressings ch... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:05:34 EST Prayers For My Grandson I'd like to ask this community for prayers, intentions, healing love -- what ever you feel compelled to give, for my grandson Reid. <BR> <BR> He sustained 2cd degree burns to both palms at daycare yesterday. They had the kids outside and allegedly Reid stood up and leaned against a metal door the sun was reflecting on. Both palms are blistered and earlier today he was running a fever. <BR> <BR> The doctor says the burn patterns don't line up with the day care's story and he is reporting t... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 21:11:38 EST It's Not Just the NFL.......... Joan and I were watching the TV program, Hell's Kitchen the other night. If you are not familiar, Chef Gordon Ramsey picks about 20 chefs, verbally abuses them for 10 weeks or so and then who ever survives, gets to work for him. <BR> <BR> The definition of insanity? <BR> <BR> Ramsey throws food, pots, pans and anything he can get his hands on to show his displeasure. A lot of people think this is cute or funny. Some say it is all an act. Some justify Ramsey's actions and defend him buy sa... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 16:33:15 EST The Solution is Simple “What would you do if someone did that to me?” my daughter asked across the dinner table last night. <BR> <BR> “The emotional part of me would go find him and shoot him,” I said. “But then his troubles would be over and mine would be just beginning.” <BR> <BR> We were discussing the topic du jour, the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator recently and how the NFL “didn’t realize it was that serious until they saw the video.” Minimizing... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 08:58:42 EST The Beauty of Deadlines I don't care for them. I never have. I like roaming the wide open spaces and letting things happen as they happen. Throwing caution to the wind and all that stuff. But, I'd been fooling with the project I recently completed for close to 3 years and this little voice kept following me around telling me to finish it.Maybe nagging me would be a better choice of words? It wasn't that I'd lacked motivation or inspiration. Maybe, it was a deficit of perspiration? <BR> <BR> I have a friend who mak... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 11:56:19 EST Project Completed Many of you are aware that I've been MIA here at Spark for the past two weeks or so. I've been working on a project that's been one of those elusive priorities of mine for some time and I am pleased to announce that the project is complete. Once I set myself a deadline and made that deadline a public one, it pushed me towards getting finished. <BR> <BR> Well, we crossed our finish line around 6PM last night. I cant tell you the deep sense of satisfaction I felt when I was able to look at wh... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 08:35:09 EST Who's Number 1? I was looking through some of my old notebooks the other day and I ran across something someone told me a few years ago. They said that no matter what type of work you did, the most important aspect of your life was that you have to be your number one client. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I guess that sounded nice at the time because I wrote it down and forgot about it until now. <BR> <BR> I guess the world sees it as being elfish... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:56:19 EST "Where Have You Been" Busy, lol, which has been a good thing and a bad thing. <BR> <BR> My mothers condition continues to worsen. Her Alzheimer's is following a natural progression. The medication she was on caused her severe lower intestinal problems plus a severe skin rash, so it was removed about 3 months ago. During that time she has tried to get out of her bed and her wheel chair unassisted and fallen on the floor. They now have her on more monitors then they have at the Pentagon. Her doctor is trying a med... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:15:30 EST Sometimes I Think This is all I Need on My Bulletin Board <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thats a heck of a challenge, dont you think? Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:22:30 EST Anything You Set Your Mind Too This blog is part insight and part bragging. <BR> <BR> Grandfathers have a right to do those sorts of things. <BR> <BR> My 9 year old grand daughter was accepted into the youth choral group in the city she lives in. It's one of those deals where her mom got a call yesterday that said: "We have an opening. If she wants an audition she needs to be here at such-and-such a time. Her and 12 other children. <BR> <BR> My son called last night to tell us she was accepted. I was a it puzzled. I ... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:41:51 EST I Lost Track of the Day's.......... Perception I'm not going to number my blogs anymore. Once you get passed 5 or 6 you start losing track of the days............ <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Whats your first reaction to this picture? <BR> <BR> It's interesting that over 70% percent of the people who saw this photo initial reaction was a negative one - mine included. Maybe it was an illness or injury or death. A severe economic disaster? The hands are folded and the fingers poi... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:37:43 EST Easy Peasey Lemon Squeezey If it were that easy. <BR> <BR> Being healthy is hard work, especially in a day and time where it seems every thing you try to put in your mouth is processed, full of refined sugar or contains all sorts of chemicals that might give a world class spelling bee champion fits. <BR> <BR> I didn't even know what gluten was until a few years ago. <BR> <BR> Do you run, or walk or swim. do you lift weights or not? <BR> <BR> What about shoes? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.c... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 09:53:35 EST Day 19 Have a great one!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 09:11:04 EST Days 14 through 18: Not Sure Where the Time Went When I rolled over in bed this morning I asked Joan if it was Saturday. That's the kind of week it's been. Oh, dont get me wrong, there were no calamities or dire decisions to make. In a sense I almost wish there had been. It would have made it much easier to rationalize. It was simply a challenging week, <BR> <BR> (If you look in the dictionary under the word "life" I think that's how my week has been defined. ) <BR> <BR> For sure it's a journey and someday's that journey is much easier ... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 07:44:49 EST Day 13 Hot Fun in the Summertime We've had a busy summer and 2 of the main things on my to-do list have been my annual reorganization of the garage and storage shed. Joan refers to this as me pulling a garbage tote over and randomly throwing things away. So yesterday, after Mass, we agreed to a detente of sorts - We cleaned together. This was an exercise in teamwork, conflict resolution and recognition. The recognition portion of our activity is me watching for the tell-tale signs of Joan's growing frustration with my logic.... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 08:07:18 EST Days 11 and 12: Catching Up Didn't log into Spark yesterday except to track my food so I'll try to give you two days at once, lol. <BR> <BR> I did light house work on Friday in between appointments and phone calls. It helped my back tremendously. I really feel your prayers and support and it's part of the reason I believe in the Law of Attraction so strongly. <BR> <BR> Two weeks ago I shared that my business was down and it had me worried. since then the opportunities coming my way have been simply overwhelming. Now... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 09:24:03 EST Day 10.1 Clarifications Thanks for all the support and suggestions. Let me clarify something: <BR> <BR> I am not become instantly sedentary. I am moving around, walking, etc. What I am not doing is any aerobics. <BR> <BR> In my mind there is a huge difference between tweaks, twinges and soreness and pain. My pain last night and early this morning actually produced nausea. So I spent the day being active but when I'd move wrong and the pain would coarse through my back and legs I made sure I was near a chair. <BR... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:53:37 EST Day 10: Dealing With .......... Well Dealing With Life I'm a routine kinda guy. I am at my best and feel most comfortable and secure when I can see the landscape ahead of me. One of my mentors posted a question on Facebook: If you could be any animal what would you be? <BR> <BR> A giraffe. <BR> <BR> Giraffe's can see everything from way up there. It's why they look so serene when they are munching on those leaves. It's like they are saying "I got this." That's me, a giraffe <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:21:53 EST Day 9: Unwrapping & Uncovering I don't like asking for help. It makes me feel weak. When someone asked me what my formula for a successful 40 year marriage was I put it to them this way" <BR> <BR> "I've spent 40 years walking around in the basement muttering "shoot," walking around a bit more and muttering "shoot" again. Joan spent 40 years standing at the foot of the stairs asking "What can I do to help?" My answer usually has something to do with re positioning space and time. <BR> <BR> Where am I going with this? My ... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:08:24 EST Day 8: Sustaining There is always that tiny bit of let down. You focus on laying a good foundation and you work towards an initial goal and you attain it - In some cases even surpass that goal. <BR> <BR> Then you realize you have to begin again. <BR> <BR> You do the happy dance for a moment or two and then its back to basics. <BR> <BR> I know............ it's why diet's don't work. <BR> <BR> My goal was to lose 3 pounds last week. I thought that to be a realistic goal. I lost 5 pounds and yes there is ... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:09:45 EST Day 7 Challenges <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I looked forward to yesterday with a bittersweet attitude. Our oldest grand child turned 9 and we went to her pool party - a Harry Potter theme. Just between us, she has been around the longest and she has a special place in my heart. So the 4 hours in the car yesterday were just a minor annoyance. (That's why God made Ibuprofen.) <BR> <BR> I almost didnt go. See, I knew that as soon as we got there someone would... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:07:52 EST Day 6: It's Getting a Bit Easier <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I had a good day yesterday, busy but good. <BR> <BR> I stayed within my calorie limits and my challenge today is venturing out of my rabbit hole and attending DGD's birthday party. She will be 9 on Wednesday. <BR> <BR> It's getting a bit easier to cope with my renewed routine. It's good to share my thoughts, fears and dilemma's. It helps me to work through them when I type them and look at them on paper... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:39:35 EST Day 5: Choices & The Voice In My Head Before I share my thoughts on yesterday let me clarify something I wrote yesterday. <BR> <BR> I referenced the fact that "one more salad would engage my gag reflex." Someone pointed out that I'm acting like I am on a diet. <BR> <BR> Okay, two things. I would have used the same reference if we had been given the option of only eating my all time favorite food, which BTW is just about everything that isn't good for you. My choices for the first 3 days of this past week were severely limite... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:18:06 EST Day 5: Choosing To Stumble Rather Than Fall This whole week has been odd. Circumstances dictated that I was eating lunch in public the past 4 days. I wasn't able to pack a lunch and I did really well the first 3 days, choosing salads and water so I could keep my balance. <BR> <BR> Yesterday proved to be different. Not only was I eating lunch outside my home but dinner as well. I thought I'd be okay. While salads were almost making my gag reflex engage I could always eat another one and tackle dinner when dinner arrived. <BR> <BR> W... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:00:47 EST Day 4: Notes From Day 3 Wednesday Morning 8:00 AM <BR> I didn’t want to go to the gym today. When I got out of bed everything hurt. Maybe today would be a good day to just rest. I didn’t. Somehow I put myself into the car and pointed it toward the gym. After 45 minutes of various cardio exercise I was glad I came. I felt balanced and relaxed…………….. <BR> <BR> Wednesday Morning 10:30 AM <BR> 2014 hasn’t been the best business year. I made it through the recession relatively unscathed but in the past 14 months or so... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:15:15 EST Day 3: The Chair & Reality I do a lot of my work from my office. I spend time writing and filming webinars, Google+ Hangouts and things like that. But yesterday I ventured out to a seminar on radio marketing. A regional radio group is interested in doing some limited brand marketing with me and I was invited to an open house with a presentation on the values of radio and social media marketing. Remember I said it’s been awhile since I’d ventured into that public arena. The cool thing about my work is that I can interac... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:15:57 EST Day 2: It Doesnt Get Easier Does It? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I often resent having to deny myself. Every time I start over here at Spark there is a small degree of personal resentment. Sometimes I feel like my choices are being removed from me and I often feel the pressure, the strain and I resent it. <BR> <BR> It's the old "You cant have this." There is a wall or partition between me and everyone else. <BR> <BR> I kept track of when I wanted to eat emotionally yesterday... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:24:50 EST Turning A Page......... Starting Over Day 1 There is a line in a song that goes something like "And every time you fall it's only making your chin strong." I should be able to lift a building with mine. <BR> <BR> I quit drinking soda, mostly Diet Cokes roughly two months ago. In that time I have gained 16 pounds, which meant I went from being really obese to being really, really obese. I replaced one poison with another. I know it's my choice but as the scale inched upwards I became more full of despair. It was one of those "Sigh, wh... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 09:47:06 EST My Walk On Water "Walking on water is at times used as an example of an impossible task. The phrase is widely used to refer to the performance of extraordinary tasks, as in the titles of books that aim to show individuals how to break through their personal limitations and achieve dramatic success." Claire Sumerhill <BR> <BR> That is as good of a definition as I've found anywhere to describe it. It's my web address, and people ask me why that title? (No this isn't an attempt to sell you anything so those of... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 09:30:37 EST