Archive for March, 2012

Because you’re mine…..I walk the line.
March 28, 2012

Walking. Yes indeed I’m walking. (I’m a musical kind of guy. Sorry)

Since I got out of the hospital, it’s been in my best interest to walk every day. Going to Buhl Park is my funnest thing to do so far, so I walk. Somewhere, deep inside of me, I believe that my body is speaking to my soul and saying, “Hey, where did Joe go and who is this guy taking over his body?” “You’re eating salads and drinking almond milk?”

Kind of remarkable, this walking thing. I went this morning with my brother Jim, who is almost 70 and he can do laps around me. (I’m not implying he runs laps around me, he can walk further than me. Geesh, I’m not that fat.) Then I went this evening with Bonnie. Bonnie goes into “shopping mode” at the park. Faster than a speeding bullet, she kindly slows down for me. I found out something interesting in my walk with Bonnie tonight.

I watched the ducks and the swan on the pond at the park.The ducks and swan didn’t even look like they were moving. Their little feet were busy working feverishly underwater making them go. (Kind of reminds me of a time at a lake when I lived in Florida, where an alligator didn’t look like it was moving and I discovered as my feet dangled from the dock that it glided just 15 feet away from me.  Needless to say, I learned how to jog).

I then watched the birds, fighting like heck, flapping their wings, then just gliding. Ducks and swans paddle like crazy then get to float. Birds flap their little wings like it’s their job (well, basically, it is….that and targeting cars from 100 feet in the air), and then get to glide. Humans don’t.

We walk, and when we stop walking, we stop. We don’t move. Birds? Glide forever. Ducks? Float all day. But God made it for humans to walk or stop. That’s it. No gliding. Even when we reach the wheelchair stage, we roll or we stop. (There’s a picture of Bonnie behind my mother’s wheelchair at my wedding and I think, if they were alone, she would have pushed her down……well, that’s just conjecture at this point. I probably won’t let Bonnie push me in a wheelchair, though).

Anyways, God has not given us the option to glide. Or float. He gives us periods to rest, but mainly He’s called us to walk. He says in Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left; your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it'”

Basically, He says, “Hey, get moving, I’ll tell you which way to go,  I’ll let you know if you’re on the right path. Excuse me, you on the couch. Put down the donut and the remote. Yeah, it’s Me, God. GET UP!”

Bottom line, I guess is that there is no gliding… floating… magic carpet ride in this life. It’s a walk. It’s not a sprint. It’s a very long, hopefully long, walk. And you never know…you might just lose a couple pounds along the way!

Why I went to the hospital
March 23, 2012

I’m fat.

Well, maybe that’s not the simple answer, but partly that’s it. Been overweight most of my life except when I smoked and drank. The doctor told me when I was smoking, “I don’t care if you gain a hundred pounds, you’ll still be healthier than if you are a smoker”. The doctor lied.

I moved up to Pennsylvania weighing in at a svelt 157 pounds. I was a drinker and smoker, ran on the beaches of Florida where I used to live, was in great outside shape. Then I came to Christ, and quit all those bad habits and went back to my original habit which was overeating. My gosh, people, don’t judge me, I’m Italian. Pasta? Bread? Meatballs? Cheese? Heck yeah, that wasn’t my diet, it was my lifestyle.

I overindulge on everything, so food is socially acceptable, especially since I had become a Christian, and went along for the ride. After all, what’s a church function without desserts?

But I’ve had warnings of being overweight and the need to lose weight. My family, who loves me dearly, has told me that I need to be careful. I’m diabetic, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high weight, sleep apnia, (“and the beat goes on….the beat goes on”). You’d think, as I’m semi-intelligent that I would have come to my senses earlier. But, again, I’m Italian.

So we made diet changes: Whole wheat pasta (that sound you hear is my mother rolling over in her grave), whole wheat bread, very limited red meats, lots of salads, etc. Sounds great, and it is positive, lifestyle changes. But desserts…….

At my church when we have a dinner, I head right to the desserts. My church, although not large, has a lot, and I mean a lot, of good bakers. Cherry cheesecakes, brownies, muffins, oreo cakes, etc. Cookies? How many kinds do you want? Pies? Of course.

My mother was a Mistretta. All the Mistretta’s I know love desserts. Ok, not all, but most. Oh there are quite a few thin Mistretta’s, but you can count them on your fingers. I think they’re adopted. So weight is an issue.

Now, I went to the hospital because of high blood pressure. But that’s not the REASON I went to the hospital.

I went to the hospital because God has been trying to get my attention, and I semi-listened. You know fellas, like when your wife is talking to you and SportsCenter is on the TV. You listen to them, but don’t absorb it.

So, God, I am listening. I understand You have a plan for me and want me in better shape. You will not love me less if I’m fat, but there will be less of me to love if I’m skinnier. I have given you all of me, but you want less of me to be given on the OUTSIDE. You want all of me, without a doubt, so all of me You will have, but in a smaller package.

Since I moved up here over 26 years ago, I have proven the doctors’ wrong. I have gained over 100 pounds, and am not very healthy. I want to be healthy. I want to play with my grandkids if my children and their wife and husband cooperate and get me a couple. Or is God waiting on me to get in shape to enjoy them?

So what does it all mean, Basil? It means that with God’s help, I can lose 75 pounds. But God also has given me great friends, on FaceBook and not on Facebook, to help. I want your help. I want you to hold me accountable. When you see me, ask me, “Do you really need to have TWO cream filled donuts, Joe”? Ask me how my weight loss is coming. But most of all, pray for me. Pray that I don’t “diet”, but change my lifestyle of eating. I want to be healthy and harrass Red Sox and Steelers fans for a long time.

I hope you like my blog. If you do, share it. If you don’t, how about praying for me anyways? 

Thanks for listening/reading. There’ll be more to come later.