JOHNTJ1   65,654
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Day 9: Unwrapping & Uncovering

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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"

"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.

Where am I going with this? My good friend CARTOONB said this to me in a blog comment last week:

"If hungry ain't the problem, food won't fix it. Sucks...but it's true."


I trust my intuition and when something stings a bit or sorta exposes me then I'm pretty sure its valid. For two days I thought about what she said and then another friend commented to me

"You know all my problems started when I joined Spark People."

And suddenly................ it all made sense.

It's more than diet and exercise. It's about that dad gummed internal gyroscope of ours that guides and directs us. We can blame mom and dad, spouse partner or kid. We can rationalize that this what God wants for us; to suffer and be in a state of chronic agony. Some of us even blmae God, dont we?

Yes, all my problems began close to 5 years ago when I created this account and began this journey. I lost weight, gained weight, experienced the thrill of exercise victory and the agony of defeat. But what I am learning now is that being true to yourself, authentic and creative in your own life can be just as agonizing as training for a 5k.

"If hungry ain't the problem, food won't fix it. Sucks...but it's true."

Thank you Barb............. seriously, thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINEBWD 7/30/2014 12:24PM

    emoticon Barb

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CARTOONB 7/30/2014 11:55AM

    You're welcome. That's what friends are for.

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SDEHNKE 7/30/2014 11:44AM

    Truth! emoticon


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KABMPH 7/30/2014 11:27AM

    Wow, those are very wise words from CARTOONB.

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REGILIEH 7/30/2014 11:23AM


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DOLLIE6 7/30/2014 10:58AM

    So true and so simple. We do try to make life and everything in it difficult, don't we?

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SANDRALEET 7/30/2014 10:42AM

    Life style not all or nothing We are balanced not bad or good

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MORTICIAADDAMS 7/30/2014 10:24AM

    While most of us would cringe at the thought of being an alcoholic, gambler, or drug addict we seem to accept the fact that being addicted to food is okay and even normal. It isn't. I was thin for 46 years and what I remember most about it was being busy with life and not concerned with food. I ate when my stomach screamed and, although I didn't eat things I hated, I wasn't especially particular about having a ultimate sensory experience while I ate. I was filling the tank. I wasn't planning, thinking, contemplating my next meal. Getting back to that point is the challenge.

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LISALOOPNER 7/30/2014 10:23AM

    First of all I'm stealing this quote "If hungry ain't the problem, food won't fix it. Sucks...but it's true."

Second of all I too never ask for help and I am a founding member of the "I'm fine" club.

And lastly I have only been married for 23 years and I attribute that to me working a lot of hours and I have no energy to

Great post you are an excellent writer. Good luck on your journey.


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PEGGY11 7/30/2014 10:13AM

    I just love that phrase.

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CHARITYAK 7/30/2014 10:11AM

    Fantastic insight!

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Day 8: Sustaining

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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.

Then you realize you have to begin again.

You do the happy dance for a moment or two and then its back to basics.

I know............ it's why diet's don't work.

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 always the danger of doing the math in your head and the voice saying:

'5 pounds per week at X amount of weeks equals......"

I have to lose weight to hang on to the slim margin of health that I have. I have been fortunate until now only running into normal stuff that happens as you age. This isnt negotiable so as Jesus once instructed the lame man "Pick up your pallet and walk."

Life goes on

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARTOONB 7/29/2014 11:12PM

    Wait...are you saying that we have to do this EVERY day for the rest of our lives?!?!?!?

Oh yeah, that sounds about right. Better make sure the changes are something we can live with, huh?

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CHRISTINEBWD 7/29/2014 8:46PM

    I am rooting for you John! emoticon

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LOVINGKATE 7/29/2014 5:14PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 7/29/2014 3:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WORLDSERIES11 7/29/2014 1:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/29/2014 1:08PM

  its one day at a time one step at a time

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KABMPH 7/29/2014 11:42AM

    Keep on keepin on, my friend!

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CATHYHASSPARK 7/29/2014 11:25AM

    In Other words John you are telling me to stop wallowing in despair over a gain and pullup my big girl panties and move forward and move on, and be nice to myself, okay I will!!! Thanks for the reminder my friend!! emoticon

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ATGOALWT 7/29/2014 11:15AM

  I was guilty of rewarding myself (with higher calorie food) with a big daily weigh in loss. For me I had to stop weighing daily and now weigh monthly.

That saying on your blog is my favorite saying.


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SANDRALEET 7/29/2014 10:22AM

    My friend no one is perfect pick yourself up and go on If we think I slipped and that gives us to keep eating No a little slip dose not destroy our whole day

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SDEHNKE 7/29/2014 9:52AM

    Or as my doctor has told my husband "NOW is the time to take care of this before you suffer a catastrophic event. It's much harder to recover from a heart attack or stroke than it is to lose weight....assuming you survive". Unfortunately my husband still hasn't heeded his doctor's advice.


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    Very true. Those initial hefty weight losses are meant to inspire us, not meant for us to take them for granted.

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TEACHING1ST 7/29/2014 9:32AM

    True, true. Just take it one day at a time!

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MAGIK0731 7/29/2014 9:10AM


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Day 7 Challenges

Monday, July 28, 2014

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.)

I almost didnt go. See, I knew that as soon as we got there someone would shove a plate of goodies in my face and when I demurred they'd say "Aren't you feeling well?" At any rate, you know how the conversation goes........

Everyone has a weight loss strategy. Someone told me yesterday that if I sucked a whole lemon before every meal the weight would just drop off of me. Yeah, okay, that'll work. (Joan says I can be sour enough some mornings without the assistance of a lemon.)

I lingered in the background until DGD said "Pappy, wont you have any cake? I helped mom make it." And I did. Joan sliced it for me. (Can you say "transparent", LOL?) It was more than enough. I hadn't eaten any processed sugar in 7 days and I had a minor headache but other than that I was okay with it.

I passed on the other stuff, had a bottle of water and we went home. Challenge faced, challenge succeeded. I stayed on point and within my calorie limit.

Another reason to be healthy

That's me and the youngest grand child. He'll be a year old next month.

This morning was my weigh in day and I lost 5 pounds in the past week. Thank you for supporting me.

I love you all

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNOOPYLINKOS 7/29/2014 7:40AM

    Hit the repeat button! Cograts on the 5 pounds, and beautiful grandkids! emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/28/2014 8:47PM

    Awwww! You gotta have a piece of cake if DGD helped make it. Way to plan around it!

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TRAVELGRRL 7/28/2014 7:49PM

    You had a great week! Be accountable!! It really is important and helpful.

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/28/2014 7:28PM

    There is no better reason to take care of your health than to be there to enjoy an upcoming generation! Good job on the cake... not deprived, portion-controlled, and able to tell your GD how good it was. emoticon to her.

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AJDOVER1 7/28/2014 7:24PM

    Congratulations for staying on track! Joan is a keeper, you know!

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KENDRACARROLL 7/28/2014 4:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Great job!!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/28/2014 3:55PM

    A great week!

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WORLDSERIES11 7/28/2014 1:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHARITYAK 7/28/2014 1:40PM

    Social Eating challenge...You rocked it! Good job!

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CHRISTINEBWD 7/28/2014 1:38PM

    emoticon On the weight loss! Your DGS is darling!!!

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DEBRITA01 7/28/2014 1:15PM

    emoticon Perseverance pays off...nice loss! emoticon

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SDEHNKE 7/28/2014 11:02AM

    YAY! on the 5 pound weight loss. The way I look at it is: life is going to happen. There's going to be birthdays and holidays and anniversaries and I will enjoy them. This Sparklife has to be a way of life and as long as there is a downward trend in my weight (hopefully with maintenance someday) I am OK with that.

It looks like you have a lot to live for! emoticon


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BEATLETOT 7/28/2014 10:45AM

    Your grandson is so sweet! Congrats on the weight loss!

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NASFKAB 7/28/2014 10:34AM

  congrats on the weight loss you are doing great not eating too much

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EDWARDS1411 7/28/2014 10:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 7/28/2014 10:24AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEGGY11 7/28/2014 10:18AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss John. You worked hard enough for it.
As for the joint pain, with another blogger we have been discussing glucosomine and choindroitin with msm for joint pain. It is really helping me after just a little over a week. Have you tried it?

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EDLEAR 7/28/2014 9:16AM

    Good that you went, and went with a plan, and followed that plan.
Congrats on the 5#. Congrats on the no sugar! emoticon

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DRAGON-CHICK 7/28/2014 9:14AM

    Yay! Congrats! Bravo!!!


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SLIMMERJESSE 7/28/2014 9:13AM

    Woohoo! Good job!

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    Good job!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REGILIEH 7/28/2014 8:45AM


Your grandson is adorable!

5 pounds is a lot! Congrats!


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KABMPH 7/28/2014 8:20AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss!! Nothing like a 5-pounder to set your first week off on a good course.

It's always good to have a plan before going to parties. I often eat healthy before I go somewhere, then I'm not as tempted to graze. A small piece of cake on a 9th birthday celebration is an allowable use of calories, I think!

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SANDRALEET 7/28/2014 8:18AM

    Such a cute and loving little guy You are so lucky to have grand kids

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Day 6: It's Getting a Bit Easier

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I had a good day yesterday, busy but good.

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.

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. Sharing them with you creates another avenue of accountability for me. Knowing that I made the commitment to check in daily with you tells me I have to be accountable.

The excerpt below is from a news letter I get from one of my mentors Ms Stella Orange. It was so powerful that I had to share it with you.

"Just did a VIP day with a new client in the Writing Brigade yesterday.

Really impressive woman.

Mama bear.

She’s an exercise physiologist with a bone to pick with the softer side of weight loss.

“Stella, it’s science! No one is teaching the science!"

She believes in scales.
She believes in food tracking.
She believes in smaller portions.

The concern is, if she actually *said* this stuff in her marketing, that she would become wildly unpopular.

Friends, this is where you must go.

If you want to run a provocative business that doesn’t get drown out by the noise…

… you are going to have to say some things that not everyone resonates with.

And that’s actually a GOOD thing.

When did so many of us get so scared about saying what we really think?

I’ve got my theories (we were witches).

But darling, the time has come.

It is a different time.

You are a different person.

And you have come too far to sit on all the wisdom you have built up over your journey…

Without sharing it with other people.

As the poetess and author Audre Lorde wrote, “Your silence will not protect you.”

And as I say, “If they don’t like what you have to say, you don’t want to work with them, anyway.”

Nuff said.

Thank YOU for your honesty and your love

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINEBWD 7/28/2014 1:34PM

    emoticon And so it goes :)

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SNOOPYLINKOS 7/28/2014 7:33AM

    My Mom used to say "Like it or lump it, I'm going to tell you what I think, anyways!"

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TRISTAROSE 7/28/2014 5:13AM

    emoticon emoticon

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AJDOVER1 7/27/2014 10:40PM

    So glad to hear the day-to-day process is getting easier!

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REGILIEH 7/27/2014 5:10PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 7/27/2014 3:26PM

    I'll take clarity over fake agreement any day! We CAN do this John. And it's worth it. YOU are worth it! emoticon

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SANDRALEET 7/27/2014 3:06PM

    What warks for one may not wark for others

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ATGOALWT 7/27/2014 1:55PM

  I so agree with her about saying what you really think as long as we don't purposely hurt another person. We live in a society that's become overly politically correct to the point that we are not helpful to others, IMHO.

The philosophers and health care type people I follow and buy their books and attend their workshops are people who are not afraid to say what they think. They're not people pleasers but really have a message they stand by and either you agree or not agree with them.

I enjoy your blogs because they always make me think.

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    I hope the birthday party is fantastic!!

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PEGGY11 7/27/2014 12:11PM

    Enjoy the fun of the birthday party. Kids laughter can be so infectious.

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MISSPEACHES3 7/27/2014 11:31AM


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NASFKAB 7/27/2014 10:39AM

  keep on building your good points all the best stay focused

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DOTTIEJANE1 7/27/2014 10:19AM

    emoticon every choice that is made makes one stronger .

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SDEHNKE 7/27/2014 10:09AM

    The science of weight loss is easy. It's having the motivation to do it every day, day after day after day, that is hard.


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DEBRITA01 7/27/2014 9:55AM

    Keep building on those good days and stay strong. emoticon

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Day 5: Choices & The Voice In My Head

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Before I share my thoughts on yesterday let me clarify something I wrote yesterday.

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.

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 limited to salad and a whole bunch of stuff that wasn't in my best metabolic interest. I know what some of those food choices do to me physically and so I make every effort to avoid them.

Secondly, God rest his soul, my dad would have been 90 tomorrow and he told me something once that stuck with me most of my life: "If it doesnt pinch a little it's not worth it." I wish I'd have had more healthy options the first three days, but I didn't. Eating a pre-packaged salad wears not only on your tummy but on your soul. But ya know what? I survived and yeah one more salad would have made me gag.

I think we are all different people and if you are able to splurge every now and then I am genuinely happy for you. I know being an emotional eater who has some minor to moderate panic and anxiety issues that my long term health comes down to the choices I make as to what goes in my mouth.

I make bad choices. It is that simple. I choose things that will hurt me rather than help me and then wonder why I feel crummy or gain weight at the speed of light. Maybe you can have a burger and fries or a piece of cheese cake every now and then and maybe you can handle it just fine. I cannot and it is refreshing and redeeming inside of me to know that. When I change my choices then my life options change.

In a few weeks I'll be 61. Who are we kidding here. I've got maybe 20 years left and that's if I start taking better care of myself and quit making excuses. To me, an uneaten slab of pizza, a polite "no" to a tray of cookies, cakes or pies, is a great trade off when I can see one more sun rise, a grandchild take their first step or graduate from high school or college.

One of the voices in my head? It was Brandy Reid. You don't know her but she is a fitness instructor at my gym. A few years ago I took one of her classes and she asked us to hold a plank for 30 seconds. I made it okay until the last 10 seconds and then I sorta scooted my butt in the air to take the pressure off my back and abdomen. She crouched down next to me and whispered,

"The only person you are cheating John, is yourself."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SDEHNKE 7/27/2014 8:26AM

    I like a good salad, emphasis on the good. Of the pre-packaged salads about 80% of them would stimulate my gag reflex much sooner than 3 days of it. The only person you have to listen to is yourself. You know your body best and what it's going to take for you to continue this journey.

We're pulling for you,


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SANDRALEET 7/27/2014 7:02AM

    You can always eat a little of all food Just not the whole thing

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NASFKAB 7/27/2014 12:09AM

  all the best to making great choices

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CHRISTINEBWD 7/26/2014 9:54PM

    John you are doing great! It seems to me that you are thinking ahead and seeing yourself in your future. That is what is motivating me to do better in my life too! emoticon

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CARTOONB 7/26/2014 9:23PM

    Bad choices are soooo good in the moment. Here's to looking to the long term.

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KABMPH 7/26/2014 8:10PM

    I hesitated at your "gag reflex" comment too but also realized that the salad wasn't your making. I had salad for lunch 4 of the 5 workdays this past week. I made them myself and they were great -- tomatoes, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, cucumbers, and a Babybel. But you know what I had on Friday? Well, I got out of work early and went home for lunch. I made boxed mac'n'cheese and had a hot dog. And I ate the entire box of mac. (In my defense, I haven't had boxed mac in years. This was a box of special gluten-free mac that I picked up.) We all have our salad limits!!

You are only being honest with us here, and I appreciate it!

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    My problem is not the occasional piece of pizza or even a cookie, a hamburger, an order of fries, or a piece of cheesecake. It's that often I'm not eating a single piece of pizza. I'm eating a minimum of 2 servings. The same with the rest. If I would stick with serving sizes I would be okay but, let's face it, a serving of salad is a lot more volume than a serving of the others and my body likes to stay full. No one is binging on carrot and celery sticks. I relate to being a bear. A bear who is used to eating an entire salmon is not going to be satisfied eating a sardine. Maybe the best choice is to eat one piece of pizza and then fill up on salad.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/26/2014 5:42PM

    Why only 20 years? I'm 64 and I'm counting on more than that!
I also love salads. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 7/26/2014 4:58PM

    John, I think we all struggle to do what's good for us. Only the context of what we struggle with varies from one person to another. You struggle with food. I struggle with backing off enough on exercise. We all learn by first recognizing when we're making bad choices, and eventually, in fits and starts, making better choices.

You are in good company in this struggle. Even St. Paul had similar struggles, though he did not share the contextual details: "For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Romans 7:19, KJV)

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/26/2014 4:15PM

    "Know thyself" is the first step to learning to live as yourself, and in health. Wishing you well, doing what you have found you need to do. emoticon emoticon

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TRISTAROSE 7/26/2014 3:50PM


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PEGGY11 7/26/2014 2:44PM

    John, you need some low calorie treats to make you feel better.
sugar free pudding mix made with skim milk is rich and only about 30 calories for half cup. Stew rhubarb with Splenda and cinnamon. 13 calories per half cup.
On an individual angel food cake you can put half cup of stewed rhubarb or strawberries, half cup of pudding and two tbsp. of light cool whip, 30 calories. You have a nice large dessert for about 100 calories. and it isn't a salad. more filling too.

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/26/2014 2:24PM

    I really enjoy your blogs.

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