Archive for June, 2013

June 27, 2013

It’s been crazy for sure.

While I typed my last post, my daughter, Jo Jo was admitted to the hospital for the beginning of labor. Her am-bionic fluid was low, so they planned on her going into the hospital this past Monday.  She’s going to have a baby now….so we thought.

She goes into the hospital and is no where near being ready to deliver. She is having some slight contractions. They decide to give her some meds to help induce labor. Every four hours.

After about 4 doses (16 hours), she is having painful contractions, but only dilated two, and she is not enjoying herself. Finally, the doc decides that they need to check her am-bionic fluids and if it’s normal, they’ll send her home. Meanwhile, Haniah is inside her kicking the crap out of her.

Her level dropped even lower, and Haniah was losing weight in the womb. The doctor broke her water and gave her a different medicine. The doctor said go home and sleep and come back in the morning (it was 6 p.m., that being 25 hours after she was admitted).

We decide, Bonnie and I, that since Luke, Amanda, and Ben were with her, we’d head back up around 4 a.m.  Well, then we decided 3. Then midnight. Then at 9:45 the phone rings and it’s Ben. Jo Jo is in labor and we need to get up there.

We get there and get to see her, then wait in the waiting room. We’re going to have a baby. While waiting there, one of the scariest moments of my life happened.

While waiting, we hear on the overhead “Code Blue in the Birthing area”. All of a sudden, doctors and nurses come running into the nursing area. We didn’t know what was going on. They said again, “Code blue in the Birthing area, room 3”. Jo Jo was in room 1.

Our relief was mixed with sadness for the other baby. A family is outside the birthing area  crying, saying “no, no”. Doctors and nurses come out to talk with them. The baby had stopped breathing. 

I asked the baby’s name, Aubriella, and sent a quick email for our prayer list. God had us there to intercede. They life flighted the baby to Pittsburgh. We don’t know the outcome, but God got prayers out pretty quick.

At 11:50 p.m., we got the call from Josh that Haniah Nadine was born at 11:20 p.m. That little girl changed my name from Joe and Dad to Grandpa! I love her.

Life is so precious. It’s truly a gift from God. That’s why I don’t get the abortion debate. If it’s a baby, then there’s no question. It’s murder.

I realized that through all that happened through the life flight of the Aubriella, that we can’t take anything for granted. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. That’s why I want to get in shape. With James Gandolfini dying at age 51, it reminded me of why I want to lose weight. I’m rapidly approaching 58 with a grandchild (and hopefully others to come). My dad lived to be 90, with 85 of them being good. My mother lived to be 68, with the last few being after a stroke.

I don’t want a stroke or heart attack. I want a healthy life.

I realized while waiting for my granddaughter to come, that I was falling into, what my wife likes to call, “default”. It’s old habits. 

Eating junk for convenience (although I scored a major victory choosing the chicken breast sandwich over the burger or hot dog), and tried to eat Subway when possible. No Planet Fitness at all, missed work Tues. and Weds., no work out today. 

I have to prepare for a memorial service for my friend Bobby, who died last Saturday. It will be held this Saturday (in two days). Bobby will be remembered, and God will be honored.

So with all this being said, my weight this morning was 266.4, which I didn’t think was horrible considering how this week has been. Gained 2.4 which isn’t good, but it’s not as horrible as it could have been. No exercise, lack of water, and poor eating. But now it’s time to move on. 

We can do this. And I’m a grandpa.

When I’m 64
June 25, 2013

Well, it’s been a month since I started blogging “My Walk To 199” I’ve been on a roller coaster for the past month.

Those of you that have been following know about my friend Bobby dying of cancer. Well he passed away on 6/22, my 28th wedding anniversary. I guess it’s one way that Bobby will always be a part of my life.

We had talked, Bobby and I, about being old men walking the mountains of Haiti. Now it won’t happen. But God has a plan, always has, and has called Bob home. It makes me very sad and it makes me realize that I cannot ever, and I mean EVER, figure God out.

We believed that Bobby would be healed, and God took him home. We believed that Bobby would live in Haiti and be our missionary. We believed that Bobby would build a house in Haiti on property of our friend Buetto. But God has other plans. Truly, the Scripture that says, “My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts” certainly is ringing in my ears. Bobby is at peace. I’ll get there.

It’s been a rollercoaster weight wise also. So many up and downs, but with all the stress it’s still good.
Today’s weight? 264.0. A nine pound loss in a month. Thank The Lord.

Stones in the Road
June 21, 2013

Well, it’s one of those days.

We all have them, and if anyone is honest that is on a journey like this, it can be discouraging. I thought I was doing pretty well, and have found that since my last post I am up 2 pounds. This is discouraging.

My father, when he worked in the mill, used to have what they called “go to hell” days. Those are days when you just don’t feel like coming into work, so you call off. This appears to be one of those days with me. I called off today.

I find several things about me I don’t like. One, I love immediate results. Two, I am impatient. Three, when I’m tired, I am useless. Four, when I’m spiritually weak, shoot me.

I am tired. My friend Bobby is dying daily. I spend three or 4 (or some cases 8) hours with him a day. My eating is less, but I think that I am not eating enough, if that’s possible. Plus, I am exhausted.

I have eaten more today than I have in a long time. But I really enjoyed it, realizing we have days like that. I slept little, and was too tired for my Planet Fitness morning adventure. (Maybe a walk later?). Discouragement mixed with tiredness and sadness with my friend is a bad combination. Plus my spiritual body is not doing well, as I’m not feeding it like I should.

But it’s not hopeless. I realize I cannot do this all on my own, the Lord has to help me, so that in my weakness, He is made strong. I know there will be stones in the road that I’ll run into and throw me out of whack, but I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Pray for my friend Bobby. I’ve never had a friend die before. Parents? Yes. Relatives? Yes, but no friend. We went to Haiti together and he is still such an inspiration for me. Me, yes, pray. This sure is a long journey. Today’s weight: 266.4, up 2 but down 6.6 since May 24th.



Roller Coaster
June 18, 2013

Well, all righty then!

It has been a crazy 6 days since the last blog. I had one incident yesterday that I can’t comment on right now, but will soon. Extremely busy, crazy, you call it.

My PC died at home. Yep, so I’m trying to do things via phone or smoke signal or whatever works. Just an annoyance, nothing earth shattering. The guy from Haiti whose orphanage we support has come and gone. He is going back to a place that has no bathrooms, running water or electricity. I’m thinking my computer is not a huge issue.

It has been horrible trying not to eat non-healthy stuff. My son’s open house was the 14th, and really, ham, pasta, and grape salad? So I tried moderation. It worked in some areas, but in others, not so much. Then the 16th was Father’s Day. Some food there maybe? You bet. I’m a weak person, yet God helps me.

Cookies and cakes. It’s like porn, I just can’t look at it. It’s so tempting especially when I am tired or stressed or both. Then it becomes a game, like, “how many cookies can I shove in my mouth without puking” sort of thing. Gluttony, that’s all it is.

So I had not worked out from the 12th through the 16th. My major discovery is that if I do not get to Planet Fitness by 6 a.m., I will not go. It seems if I wait longer, I get busy “doing” things, and lose the day. Such was the case yesterday. But I did end up taking a nice walk with the family, but at my wife’s pace. She’s a walker, I tell you. I think from all the years of shopping. If you see her, do not get in the way.

We have a nice park called Buhl Park, named after a couple who donated all this land to the valley. Very family friendly and very peaceful. I like peaceful.

So, some days good, some days bad, but I’ve learned from my friend Emily to enjoy the bad days without guilt. I am finding that the “bad” days are becoming fewer and fewer and I become anxious to get back on track again. I’m learning that this is life: some good days and some bad days.

My friend Bobby is wasting away to nothing. Cancer throughput his body, dropping weight rapidly, but in good spirits. He is ready to be healed or go home to the Lord. He says that if God is through with him, then he’s ready to go home.

I wonder how we know when God is through with us? Is death the end result of us being finished, or do we bring our death because we refuse to do what he wants us to do and we never finish what He has for us? A question that Bobby will find out soon, unless the Lord intervenes. Pray for Bob.

I slept through my alarm today but got to work on time. I didn’t get Planet Fitness, so I guess it’s a walk in the park. If I go to Planet Fitness between 5-8, it’s jammed and I have about 2 hours there. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. So I go early, put in a bit over an hour, then off to work. This works for me, if I don’t sleep through the alarm.

I’ve been retaining water when I walk outside in the heat, so am taking a water pill. It’s amazing how it can look like I have Fred Flintstone ankles and then the water pill brings it to normal.

I am looking into juicing. Gathering info about it. If anyone has good recipes, e-mail them to me at or leave it on a comment here. I’m interested in learning new things.

Bottom line, I’ve had a roller coaster six days. Some good. Some bad. Bottom line the result is my weight this morning was 264.6! That’s a total loss of 8.4 pounds. I’m excited. (I know it’s like a pebble rolling off a mountain, but I’m pretty stoked.)

Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is with you. Thanks for taking time to read this.


The Long and Winding Road
June 12, 2013

Notice I use song titles a lot for my titles?

Ok, this weight loss stuff is tough! I’ve been doing my morning workouts for over a week (with one day off). I find that the morning is the best way to get my workout in. It’s a simple thing, treadmilling for half hour. I’m burning about 200 calories. I am going to begin weight training also when I get this timing thing down, like how do I do this and still get to work on time.

The eating is pretty good. I’m really watching the sweet intake, as I worry about the diabetes. I would rather have cake than steak, and that’s my issue. (Ok, one of SEVERAL issues) So I’m avoiding this like the Department of Justice avoids the truth.

As stated earlier, I’m pretty much a stress eater. I’ve kind of been learning how to avoid doing that. I just avoid food when I’m stressed or try to eat fruit. But with diabetes, too much fruit isn’t good. A handful of almonds is what I try to do, or veggies. At work it’s a bit easier than at home. Easier access to junk, maybe?

My youngest, Ben, has graduated and his open house is in two days. I’m mentally preparing myself not to over do all the goodies, and stick to the veggies and avoid the sweets. Sweets is like porn to me. I just can’t look at it.

My good friend and the guy I went to Haiti with, Bobby Davis, has been given two months to live. That stinks even though I believe in God’s Providential will. It stresses me to see him like this, his body slowly decreasing due to cancer. He is six months older than me, and that is painful to watch and makes me think of my own mortality. I believe God can heal. That’s my prayer, although he is ready to meet God, face to face. How cool is that?

Two or three days ago, after walking a lot, my ankles were swelled up pretty badly. I ended up taking a water pill. Between that night and the next morning, I had gone down 10 pounds (I realize you are heavier in the evening). So I waited another day or two without taking the water pill. Today I am at 268.0. It’s working, but it’s a long and winding road.

Please pray, and be encouraged.

We Can Do Better Than This
June 5, 2013

Ok, it’s been about ten days since the last blog, and I’ve failed miserably in terms of weight loss. I stood on the scale (and I seriously hear my scale say, “hey, only one person at a time”) and it was 273.4, UP 2.4 pounds. (I feel like a short kid that always adds the “1/2 inch, like I’m 4 foot 11 AND A HALF). I’m using the tenths to make me feel better. You know, closer to 272 than 275.

So, how have the ten days been? Not so constructive until the last two days. Here’s the problem I run into.

Excuse #1 “I’m busy”. My schedule stinks, like not getting home until 7:30 last night and shoving a hotdog and a balogna sandwich down my throat and a 1/4 bag of peanuts. I was famished. Throughout the day I did good, but the long drought between lunch and dinner (5 1/2 hours) did me in. I was famished.

Excuse #2 “I’m tired”. I’m always tired. Rich Mullins said that if you’re not tired then you’re not a Christian. I’m thinking that is true. Trying to get 7 hours sleep is almost impossible, but I’ve come close the last two days. So rest is important.

Excuse #3 “I’m a stress eater”. I must be stressed A LOT. I find that I’ll grab something unhealthy when I am stressed. It’s easy, and usually, unhealthy.

Of course I realize that these are exactly as I labeled them: “Excuses”. That’s all they are. So I’ve decided to take a crazy step (actually, it was Bonnie’s idea).

We both decided that since our life is crazy, we hit the gym at 6 a.m. As my wife has always told me, “you need a plan”. So I’ve got part of a plan.

So the workout is good in the morning. Two days in a row, pretty excited. And I really like it. It’s a great day to start the day. But I have to get the eating thing better controlled. And since the morning was my “Jesus time” of reading, I need to do my reading in the evening.

Over Memorial Day weekend, we attended a birthday party and then a cookout the next day. Mentally, I was prepared for the challenge. Fruits and veggies was my plan. However, brownies and burgers won over. I don’t know how people do it over holidays and birthdays, but they do. I have to get mentally prepared earlier and realize that I will fall, but I will rise.

There is a quote from George Steinbrenner that says, “I have fallen. I have been wounded. I am hurt. But I will rise. I will fight again”. I have not given up. I will slay this Goliath.

I am inspired by four people.

First, Jesus. He is my reason for living, and I am determined to accomplish everything he has set for me to do. I will live a long healthy life, Lord willing, and tell the world about Him. I cannot do this without Him. I love Him.

Bonnie. She is my strength and encouragement. She is my best friend. She is out for my best interest. She is my love.

Haniah Fabian (and all future grand babies.) I want to play with her and all future grandchildren. I want to be healthy to do that. I love her already.

Emily Alexander. I have known Em forever, it seems. She lives in Las Vegas. I used to be her pastor and she is my friend. She is getting skinnier by the minute. If you want inspiration, follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Ok. Talk is cheap. Let’s do this.