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Public reply to an email from a member.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I received an email this week from someone who has been visiting my site since 2004. When I wrote back to the author I didn’t specifically address his concern, and instead asked if I could discuss what he said in one of my blogs. He agreed, with the restriction that I don’t mention his name or forum username.

The individual who wrote to me said that despite daily visits to JSF and the JSF Forums over the past 6+ years he was still struggling to reach his goals. He’d lose a little fat, become complacent, stop working out entirely and fall back into old habits. Eventually, after undoing the work he’d done, he’d force himself to get back to a solid diet and training program. He informed me that he’d repeated this cycle so many times that he lost count.

The author then went on to tell me that he had no interest in biking, and that my blogs that talked about biking were “…making it almost impossible to get back on track.”

Sorry, my friend, the problem is not me or what I choose to write about in my daily blogs. I could make the subject of every single blog I write about fat loss, motivation and weight training and I 100% guarantee that you’ll continue the cycle you’ve established for yourself over the past 6+ years. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m saying it because it’s true. You’re not taking responsibility for your own actions, and I really dislike that.

So, let’s be productive here: How do you break out of that kind of pattern? It’s actually pretty simple. You’ve got to be passionate about what you do. One thing about me that I’m sure comes across in my blogs is that I’m fiercely passionate about everything I choose to do. I don’t care if I’m losing fat, gaining muscle, mountain biking, taking photographs, building a house, building a pond or cleaning the damn garage: I sink my teeth into each and every thing I do, and I try to love every minute of it.

I know this is a cliche, but I believe it with every fiber of my being: life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Be creative, find ways to make fitness fun and exciting. Enjoy the ride. And please don’t blame other people if you can’t figure it out. Sure, we all need a little boost from time to time, but if your progress stops and starts with these blogs then you’ve got some serious thinking to do.

John Stone Fitness Comments

11 Responses to “Public reply to an email from a member.”
  1. I understand the guy’s point, but I disagree with him. I bet a lot of us find a lot of inspiration from the fat loss/weight training posts, and the daily posts can be helpful for those of us who have trouble maintaining a disciplined attitude towards a healthy lifestyle. “Hey, John’s really working hard on that bulk/cut; I want to keep up with him!”

    But this is **John’s** blog. He’s going to write about what he finds interesting and relevant. And I’ve always found John’s passion about everything he does to be enjoyable reading.

    Maybe the e-mail author could try to look at the bigger picture and just try to absorb some of John’s attitude about life. I know I have, even though my interests aren’t exactly the same as his.

    Throwing a bone to the e-mail author–here’s a suggestion: come up with some long-term goals and put them on paper or in a spreadsheet. Like: run a marathon, or enter a body-building contest, or just get to X bodyfat/resting heart rate/something. Good luck to you.

    As jmgf wrote: Well said, John.

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    • Your third paragraph hit the nail right on the head. That’s what I think people can and should take away from my blogs. I write almost 365 blogs per year, and I can’t author non-stop articles about fat loss–my life is not that one-dimensional, and this blog is a reflection of my life.

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  2. The part about visiting for the longest time (I think I’m from 2004 as well back on the old twowiresthin) and failing to make a transformation could apply to me as well. But what I’ve done is looked for a physical activity I have PASSION for. It took years of trying random things but I finally found Judo…Suddenly, VOILĂ€ I’m making positive changes to support my new passion.

    I think if your goal is just to get fit you’ll never make it. You need a reason why you need to be fit…at least for me. John you’ve been a tremendous inspiration for years but inspiration alone doesn’t make transformations. You have to DO it which is all about yourself.

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  3. I have also been visiting this site for a long time (about 8 years), and for all that time the inspiration has been there. But it`s only now I`ve started taking action and getting my act together and taking care of my body. And I`ve never once thought it was anybody else`s fault than my own. Until i discovered this site, i thought i was genetically predisposed to always having a body like… well John Stones on 06.01.2003. When i saw that it was possible to do something about it, there was really no excuses.

    From what i could see from the the description of the guys problem, fatigue sets in pretty quickly and he gets bored with working out and eating healthy. He gets tired of the means necessary for the end. I think in this case the means have to BE the end. From just the short time I`ve started working out and eating healthy I`ve found out that working out is a great opportunity to listen to music on my droid, which is something i never have time for. And i`m discovering new and more healthy foods to eat. I`m also starting to think it would be fun to be able to run a marathon or compete in a long distance cycling race. All these other factors make it more interesting, and make it a more passionate activity for me. If i was only interested in the six-pack (which i hope to have one day), I would also get pretty bored.
    I hope he gets the inspiration back to get back on track with hopefully a different attitude.

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  4. I hope the guy finds what inspires him and makes his transformation.

    I find the various activities John does interesting. Whether its biking, building that pond thing thing in the back yard, playing guitar, building the movie studio with a snack bar or talking about his automatic weapons. The weight lifting only ones, I was getting bored with. Even the Sunday ones I gloss over now since its mostly stats.

    It’s like what is this guy gonna do next. Sky diving while riding his bike and firing off his ak-47?

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  5. It HAS to come from within. Looking to other people to supply your motivation will ALWAYS result in failure. My advice to that person would be to use that disappointment he/she feels to fuel future progress. If you want to avoid that horrible feeling of failure and disappointment, then you know what you have to do. Part of being disciplined is dragging yourself to the gym even when you don’t feel like it, and sticking to your diet even when it isn’t terribly appealing to do so. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

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  6. I’m also a long time visitor for six or seven years now. Not daily, but I come here to get inspired by what you have done. My recent burst is due to running my third marathon after a five year break. I come here among other reasons to check my stats against yours using my ironman watch, myotape, and skin fold caliper recommended here.

    I’d like to weigh in and comment that I will probably never ride a mountain bike clip less or not for anything other than a casual ride. I wouldn’t even go out of my way to read an article on them anywhere else. But here, I read every sentence. I open up the expanded pictures of the shoes to inspect them for the details you mention and read through the comments to see if there is agreement on your choice even though I know I will never buy them.

    I do this for exactly the reasons you mention. You are passionate about it, honest about your mistakes, learn from them and try again.

    For the author of the email, if he has been reading this blog every day for years then the knowledge of how to transform is there. The critical ingredient is action and the author needs to identify how to inspire it in himself. Jdb-34 is right about mentioning goal setting as motivation. Marathons work for me for now. Biking does it for you now. The email author needs to find his.

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  7. I feel for the guy. I’ve been reading John’s posts since Jan 2004, I’ve had a lot of success with fat loss, first inspired by John. And I’ve also had a pretty up and down journey these last 7 years. When I would be doing well, I’d be on the site all the time, then when I would fall off the wagon, I would avoid the site completely. But after those first couple years I learned to stop trying to steal motivation from John. It was probably when you went through that extended injured period with your shoulder, John.

    Hopefully the guy will learn to balance motivation, sure take some inspiration from others, but quickly you need to replenish the motivation yourself regardless of what is happening around you. There will never be a shortage of obstacles in the path of reaching your goals.

    The true treasure that john has built here, is in the data that he has already produced and maintains a record of here. Documenting his amazing journey in such detail that even the most skeptical, hesitant people are faced for once in their lives of having all of their questions answered. There is no mystery behind what he has done. It’s all laid out. And that doesn’t even include the amazing Forum that John established and policed to make it a haven on the internet. So it is really sad that someone can still find fault with what John has provided here.

    But I feel for the guy, I know how hard it is, and don’t give up.

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