JO*ANNE*IE
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THIS is what it is all about for me ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I have been working feverishly to answer the emails that came in during my absence -- ever mindful of the place I was back in 2002 -- when I was bankrupt emotionally -- spiritually -- physically ... Broken. Nothing worked -- least of all my 48 year old body which had given up, too, after way too many years of abuse... I am saddened that some of the people who left frantic SP mail and comments totaling in the hundreds, literally, over the course of 10 days had already chosen to give up, once again, as I did so many times before them ... And, just like them, I stared being fat and sick and tired in the face yet again, and IT won... This is why I am impassioned on what I call "My Life's Calling... My Life's work" ... This is why I do what I do. I am wise enough and old enough to know that I cannot save anyone from themselves -- nor would I because we all gotta do the hard work -- we all gotta walk our own path and be responsible and accountable for each and every step we take --- that's a Universal Law and I know it works. We gotta learn in the process of our own value and worth on the planet --- As I always say, it's a process, not an event. I want those brave souls who have committed themselves to a program of good health to know that they are the **rare gems** in all of this -- they are the less than 5% who will "lose weight and be successful." Everything is reduced to a friggin' statistic -- but you know what??? There's no easy or polite way to tell someone they're digging themselves to their grave with a fork and a spoon ..... Just like I was... Sadly, mine was dug back then, too -- and all that was missing was my headstone .... And no one cared -- least of all me ... How terribly, horribly sad... Tonight I found out there is someone whose name is Tami who chose to be powerful enough to turn down muffins and choc milk (see No-excuses' blog below) and, in so doing, chose to take back her life. I have never read an email which touched my heart more ... No one has ever written about me like that before and I was sorta taken by surprise.... You just don't realize the impact of your words.... Oh yeah!! And then Dave, in an effort to cheer my lilting spirits, sits down and reads some SPark stuff to me -- one in particular from my Soul Mate, fellow life Traveler and Forever Friend, Maureen -- My Darling Moe (MoeDancing) -- and her powerfully written blog entry of 01/20/08 discussing the yellow brick road called "life" and the absolute need to take time for one's Self -- to learn, to grow -- to HEAL -- to wear red ruby slippers -- to sing and dance in the rain -- in an effort to find out what we're truly made of -- Yes, Darling Moe -- THIS is the "MOE TIME" of which I speak... And we ALL need it on this journey (no one is exempt!) or the odyssey is hollow and meaningless -- and life becomes mean, unforgiving and cruel ... How do I know this??? Because I have walked -- and continue to walk -- this journey of a thousand steps ... and more!!! In many ways, my journey has just begun (which is another reason I lack the arrogance to rescue another from themselves... ). My tears tonight were tears of joy -- for all the Moe's, Tami's, Andreas, Helens, Heidis, Jonis, Bonnies and Abbies -- and the many others who dare to share their dreams with me; who dare to share their life stories and who choose -- Yes, consciously choose, to come out and play -- refusing to be invisible and refusing to hide anymore; Consciously, willingly letting go of the guilt and shame that defined us far too long ... And, in so doing, Daring to play life in a big way -- as we dare to reclaim our lives --- Dare to live not one more damned day drowning in self- hated and self-pity -- while living in the prison of our own making .... Daring to live an authentic, Divinely-Inspired, Joy-filled life of our own creation -- with huge hopes and sweet dreams that come true and goals beyond our wildest imagination -- all paved gloriously with yellow brick roads as we sing and dance while holding hands -- wearing our ruby red slippers!!!!

Yes .... THIS My, Friends', is My life's Calling ... My Life's Work.....

God Bless YOU ALL for creating me to be who I am for YOU..... I am humbled ... I am honored ... I am blessed ......
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The following are a blog dated 01/20/08 from Tami (No-Excuses) and comment from Abbie (01/21/08) ABBIEL02.

I closed last night at work again and brought home some muffins and donuts for breakfast for my kids. I was very hungry by the time I got home (about 1:30 this morning) and was so ready to sit down with one of those chocolate chip muffins and a huge glass of chocolate milk. In the back of my mind though I was like, "you're gonna regret it"! I kept telling that little voice to shut up. I figured I would check my e-mail first. I had one saying I had a new comment on my spark page. So I read it and it hit home to me so much! It really made me feel so good about myself. Guess what? I went to bed WITHOUT that muffin and milk!! It felt so good to pass it up because I know if I would of ate it I would have felt so guilty. It was all thanks to JOANNIEB and her kind words and encouragement. I now know I can do this and I'm not sure why today is so different from yesterday but I just feel so much better about this. It's amazing what some encouragement from the beautiful people on here can do!! Thank you JOANNIEB! You are such a special person!!!
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.. and ABBIEL02's comment (Precious Abbie gave ME credit for HER hard work .. but that's how Spark folks are!!). Abbie -- it was ALL YOU! Congrats!!!

I am so sorry I never got the chance to thank you for such a sweet comment. It really means so much to me. I actually printed it out so I can see it everytime I go into the kitchen! Its silly but it really helps me make better choices! And to prove it, I lost 3lbs. last week! Thank you sooooo much for your support.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KEVINDHARE
    You are truly a blessing to lots of people, myself included. Your kind words and encouragement have helped more in the short time I have been acquainted with you than you will ever know. Your blogs are amazing and very inspiring. Thanks so much for everything, and congrats on your journey so far. You look amazing.
    3132 days ago
  • SNIX66
    I agree with Deb- you do have a knack for making a person feel
    warm and fuzzy.

    Thanks for your comment.

    And to answer your question-I am getting all geared up to start
    Medifast -Feb 1st.

    I have an assortment of drink flavors-just need to order some of the chicken soup.

    How long did you stay with the MedFast befoe you weaned onto whole food?

    I hope you are having a wonderful week.
    xo
    Dianna
    4224 days ago
  • SUNNY37
    I truly love and enjoy every word you write. Thank you for taking the time to supporting me during my time of need yesterday. Your virtual hug really touched my heart and helped me reclaim my gratitude. It was as though a power greater than myself was stroking me through the computer and like magic I was feeling love for myself again. Your words are special JOANNIEB!
    4227 days ago
  • IDIEHLAMB
    What a beautiful blog, I sit here with tears in my eyes. This journey is so much more than just the weight. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for always being a click away with more support than I could have ever dreamed of.

    Blessings to Joannie~

    Heidi
    4229 days ago
  • ABBIELO2
    Thank you so much for including and being there for me!! You really are the sweetest person I know! Not only do you make me want to reach my goals but you make me want to be a better person......more like you! You really have know idea how much you have changed my life and how much better you make me feel about myself! When I found you I was really in a sad place. How lucky I was to find you!! Sorry you kind of got the shaft!! LOL! Hugs and Kisses!! You have truly found your calling! We are all better people because of you!! - Abbie
    P.S. I will continue to pay it forward! I hope one day someone can look up to me as I do you!
    4230 days ago
  • DMDV99
    What an unbelievable knack you have for making others feel so special.....you are such a blessing to us all. I keep you in my thoughts throughout the day, as you are a strength that you don't even realize you have become.

    Thank you so much......
    Deb

    4231 days ago
  • MEJIASLADY
    Wow Joannie! You are so insightful, so inspiring, your spirit is so beautiful! thank you for taking the time to write such kind, wonderful words that inspire and motivate the rest of us, it means that much more because we know you walked the walk too.....youre amazing and I am priveledged to have found your sparkspage and for the chance to get to know you! I love you already! Have a wonderful day and be kind to yourself....God Bless ! Felicia
    4231 days ago
  • LIZACARTER
    WOW, you have reached another person this morning. I stood by and let my dh 'eat' himself into an early death, I refuse to let it happen to me. I, too, come to the boards and read when I feel like all hope is gone, and I always get the lift I need to keep me going. Success is just as contagious as failure--I choose to be successful!! Thanks for the encouraging thoughts, Liz
    4231 days ago
  • PIGLETSMALL
    Dear Joannie, you are such a beautiful person. Your blog has moved me to tears too! and I have to go to work. lol! You have such a beautiful, warm, loving, passionate, caring way about you. What a beautiful person you are, shining your light for others and helping to lead the way. Thank you so much for being there for me. I know it's not easy with so many emails to reply to, but you do! Thank you so much for being you! We all love you! Your amazing ability to write is inspirational and moving. I can imagine your story being told in a magazine one day! Thank you for lighting up my day! Have an awesome day, sweetie. Get well soon!
    4231 days ago
  • 2BMINNIEMUSH
    Joannie: wow. I really enjoyed reading your blog and being inspired again and that it's a journey. You have a gift with your words and your ability to reach so many people. I am so blessed to have in you in my life on my journey to live not to exist. I love my life is calling.. The man upstairs works through each one of us if we allow him and choose to listen and open our eyes. I feel like I have eyes of a newborn. What a spiritual awakening. I pray for a speedy recovery for you and this finds you doing well. I loved hearing from you as always. It really brightens my day and helps me to carry on. Also I love the new pics. You look fabulous and you know what I notice above all the most is how happy you look. I want to have that in my life and to be content and not restless. I know this will come in time as I continue on the journey. Like something I heard God just doesn't hand you the diploma we need to be in class and do the work to earn the diploma. God bless. I must turn in as I worked a double and actually wide awake but morning will come early with the munchkins rising and to get on with the day. hugs and more hugs Chris
    4231 days ago
  • GARDENERGAL
    Wow, what a beautiful, inspiring and heartwarming post... you really are one of the most incredible people I've ever met, have a true talent for touching just the right heartstrings to make others feel good about themselves. I'm honored to have you for a friend, and often go back to reread your Sparkpage as well as your comments on my blogs, SparkMail etc. Joanie, thanks for just being you. Love, Joni
    4231 days ago
  • GRAMMABENJI
    omg you give me goosebumps everytime I read something you have written. I wish I was that good with words. you look like you are doing well. Even tho I just met you I feel like you have been a friend of mine forever. you will forever inspire me and keep me motivated. have a wonderful evening.
    4231 days ago
  • ACACIA21
    well sweetie, it brought tears to my eyes too, and tho I have only just met you, you had a big impact on me as well.I had gone shopping, and couldn't find a dress for a big event last weekend. Hubby was a little aloof, and I was just feeling old, ugly,lumpy,and unloved. I know, poor me... but, I recieved an email from you telling me that I am gorgeous. God, I needed that!
    sniff* and it sounds so shallow, but your words gave me the pick up I needed to smile and use the treadmill! I also felt so welcomed by the Parrotheads, and I am sure it was based on their total faith in your word that I was a kindred spirit.thank you Joannie.
    michelle
    4231 days ago
  • NO-EXCUSES
    Well my dear you have done it once again. Here I am crying . I'm not sure if you have any idea how special you made me feel with this post. I have so much love for you and I've only just met you. You know, both of my parents have passed away. I just wonder if they saw me struggling with this and had a part in me finding you. You are such a positive and beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for taking the time to help me and for writing about me today. It made my whole day. On my hardest days I will return to your page to pick me up. You are an angel that I am so blessed to have found. I am off to school now and will write you more soon. Thank you once again for being you! I am sending all my love to you and I hope you are feeling better!!!
    4231 days ago
  • SPROUTING
    What a powerful and true entry Joannie! I am absent of words, but the tears in my eyes, the lump in my throat... I hope that speaks a thousand wow's to your beautiful soul.
    Many embraces!!!!
    Working on a new blog in a sec.
    Much love to you! You are so beautiful sittin' their recouping! I love the roses, they smell so peaceful!
    Love you dearly,
    Andee
    4231 days ago
  • BARBIEMOM2
    Joannie, its those little" kick in the butt" words that some people need to keep up with their fight and you of all people should know that. Yes it is one person's decision to make to better themselves,but like all of the temptations that are waiving their nasty butts in our faces,it's our loved ones that remind us what we fight for.It's obivous that your are a geniune jewel.And I'm not saying this because you're so pretty,I'm saying it because of all of the struggles that you've been through,how you've worked your ass (pardon my french but this is from the heart too)and now you find a way to share it with others to help them through their struggles..and what a struggle it is.And you know when to put it ever so gently for those who are really hurting.Just went through painful surgery and still find the efforts to to push someone along...or offer me a virtual shot of Cuervo. I myself am quite a luck gal to know you.Hopefully you'll return to your southern roots and we can share our charming accents and a cup of decaf with fat free milk of course.
    Much love my precious dear. ((((Hugs)))))))))
    4231 days ago
  • no profile photo LAUREN419
    Wow! What a wonderful and amazing blog entry. I couldn't agree with you more, people can be there to support us, but ultimately it is ourselves who need to make the decisions to be healthy- and stick to it! No one can hold our hands through it, and no one can do it for us- only we can do it. You are a truly valuable person, I am so blessed to have you as a sparkfriend. Words cannot describe the impact that you have on mine and others lives. Please get some rest and take care of yourself. I am here for you whenever you need. I left you my phone number in a message if y ou ever need to talk. *(If I don't pick up, leave a message, I screen my calls)*

    Get Better Soon Hun!

    You are a talented writer with a beautiful heart and a positive outlook on life. You can do ANYTHING your heart desires.

    God Bless You Gorgeous!

    Love,

    ~Lala
    4231 days ago
  • MOEDANCING
    Lovely One

    You left me speechless...can you imagine? Moi?... Words can not describe what you mean to me. You honor me, you humble me and this community is so lucky to have you with us.

    Your truth, your courage, your love and compassion...all infinite.

    No truer words have ever been written which leave all readers with hope.
    Hope my darlin... Hope

    These rubby reds are shining and a glowing...my heart belongs to you

    Your light shines like a beacon calling us home.

    LAAY
    Moe


    4232 days ago
  • WESTSLOPERUNNER
    Joannie,

    Your writing is simply beautiful. I do believe that you are gifted, not only in your writing but in your ability to motivate all of us. The amount of love and support that I have received from you, blows me away. The time and concern that it must take on your behalf - and then to know that I'm one in so many people who you do this for, is simply amazing. You, JoannieB are an amazing woman. This journey that you have taken DOES serve a purpose. The attitude that you have towards life is contagious! I am so happy to have found you, and your friendship. I truly count you as a blessing, and I especially count your blog this morning as a blessing to my day. I needed to hear this today - (I'll SPMAIL you later today)... we have to make these choices ourselves and we DO have that power. Thank you. Thank you for your strength, your encouragement, and most of all, for your love.
    4232 days ago
  • LIL_EZZY
    Sorry I also forgot to ask how you are going after the op. I hope you are well. Looking forward to talking to you again. Have a great week.
    4232 days ago
  • LIL_EZZY
    It is really strange that I just happened to stumble across your page and immediatley felt inspired by your story and it seems as though there are so many of others who feel the same way. You must have a gravitational pull that makes people fool good and your energy must rub off on us all alittle you seem to be a genuine caring person who really does find inspiration in others. Thankyou for taking the time to even reply or even care how it is I am doing you are a lovely human being. By the way I am doing really well still exercising like mad and eating really well haven't lost any weight as such but have lost centimetres from my thighs waist hips etc I also can feel within myself a change I feel more energetic and feel lot more toned.
    4232 days ago
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