Step By Step
June 1, 2016

So I’ve been going back and forth regarding what to do about this weight issue. Part of me REALLY cares and other times not so much. Part of me thinks I’d like to continue this walk to 199 and another part thinks that as long as my numbers are good, what’s the difference.

Well, I’m back at it again, giving it another shot. Weight was 268.0 today, I’ve been worse, but been better. I think I mentioned I’ve had some issues with my shoulder and am getting treatment for that. I used that as an excuse not to walk. Like I need an excuse.

I’ve discovered that mileage and time was stressing me out when I walked. It was not fun. I would walk so fast (at least fast for me) and it was difficult to talk with Bonnie, who was faster than me, because of being out of breath. So, we decided to walk at a “decent” pace, which I recommend. Also, the mileage thing has been replaced in regards to goals. When we walk we go from 2.25 to 3+ miles, but what I’ve been doing, although I still use the “Map My Walk” app, I have found that there is an app on my I-Phone that counts my steps.

Now I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I’m a pastor/counselor. I spend much time sitting in counseling and preparing my sermons, so activity isn’t the foremost of my existence. So I walk. Now I’m told that a person needs 10,000 steps a day. For a sedentary guy like me, it might as well be a million. So I had set goals of 7000 to start with and am up to 8000, and if the walking continues, should get to 9-10,000 easily. When I don’t walk, well, here’s some stats.

Without my taking a walk, here are some days totals of steps in a day: 3,045; 1,686; 2,823, 2,402, etc. No wonder the weight doesn’t come off. But on a day like today (5/31) where I walked 2.29 miles, I achieved 9,152 steps and that was with me working today counseling! So, I’m trying to go with taking steps, walking toward that 199, step by step, day by day. Because I don’t walk daily like I was, I’m sore and weak.

I realized that Christianity is like this. Sometimes, a few days may go by without my devotions, so then I spend 2-3 hours to make up for it. Well, that’s not good.

Christianity needs to be a walk, a daily walk with Christ. Not a sprint then three days off. Some of the days it feels like I walked 2000 steps with Christ, then do a 10,000 step day, then the next day or two under 4000. So I’ve decided to come to Christ step by step also. It’s the only way to get strength. If not, then I get sore and weak.

So those trying to lose weight, take it step by step. And those who are walking with Christ, walk Him step by step also. It’s easier to keep up with Him when you’re walking with Him daily.

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He Ain’t Heavy……Well, Yeah, He Is
March 16, 2016

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So I went to the doctor’s last Friday for a follow up appointment from when I had my urinary tract infection. Listen to this wonderful story about my health insurance.

Before I took the insurance, we called to see if our doctor was covered, and was told she was. I then asked what hospital I was to use, as my doctor is associated with the one at the end of my street, called Sharon Regional. So they said it wasn’t on the list, but I was “probably” covered. I don’t trust any of them.

Let me back up. In February, I ended going in to see an associate of my doctor, as my doctor wasn’t in, and told him my complaints. He gives me a urine test and says there is an infection. Antibiotics and if there are still problems then I should go to the ER.

That night, I couldn’t breathe. Bonnie was at work, she calls the insurance and says what’s going on and what hospital should I go to. The lady said Sharon Regional wasn’t covered and I had to go to UPMC (which I preferred as I believe it’s a better hospital. I’m so glad Bonnie called, because this gets better). So off I go and all sorts of tests, x-rays, etc., and I go home.

Now I like my doctor and I’m deciding do I find a doc associated with UPMC? After all, if I’m hospitalized, she can’t come see me. So, as I like the doctor, I’m keeping her.

Ok, back to the present. Before I go to the doctor’s on Friday, Bonnie opens the mail and we get a bill for my urine test. My doctor’s associate, apparently, sent it in for testing TO SHARON REGIONAL, and I got a bill for $500! I’m going to sell my urine if it’s that valuable! Chanel No. 5, look out.

Now my doctor who I saw last Friday is a sweetheart. I like her personality and her medical skills. So she tells me my blood work is good and I’m in “great shape”. (I love this doctor). Other than my sugar which was 8 on my hemoglobin A1C. It should be 6 or lower. So, back to walking and watching what I eat. I also have a cyst on my kidney that they will monitor.

I’ve discovered something about me during this aging process. I’ve said this before, I don’t care much what other people think. They want me to get on the scale, and normally I empty pockets, wear shorts, no socks, take off coats, and trim my nails and eyebrows to get my weight taken and tell myself that the kidney cyst must weigh 5 pounds AT LEAST. Not anymore. Jeans, hoodie sweatshirt, socks, jacket, pockets full of keys and a wallet. It didn’t matter. I am what I am.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to try to lose weight, and normally I weigh myself in the morning with just my gutchies on (sorry for the visual there), and weigh myself before and after my shower and take my lowest number. However, I’m no longer stressing about it. I’ll try my best and weigh myself occasionally. I’ll exercise and attempt to lower my A1C, but that’s it. No fad diets, but will try to get off the diabetic med.

Now, I realize I am in “great shape” because of medicine. So I will try my best to get off the meds for blood pressure (maybe just quit following the Browns, that should lower it) and keep the cholesterol low. I’ve incorporated oatmeal with all natural peanut butter and add fruit. Actually, it’s my favorite meal, at least for now.

I want to be around for my grandchildren and dance at their weddings. (When I dance now, I realize I move like a drunk rhino or Elaine on Seinfeld). So I’m not making light of it. I want to encourage everyone to do what you can to lose the weight you need, strengthen the muscles you need, and don’t give up.

In the meantime, I cut my portions, have an occasional piece of Philadelphia Candies chocolate, share mini M&Ms with Haniah, but try to focus on more balanced meals. Ok, yesterday we had Olive Garden and I ate enough bread sticks to build Trump’s wall, but that wasn’t the norm. I wish it could be. When I’m home I eat wheat pasta, and I hear my mother’s voice saying, “Joey, I raised you better than that”. But, she died at 68 from complications from her diabetes and heart. So, Mama, I gotta do what I got to do. With the help of Christ, through prayer.

I hate on Facebook when people say, “I’m going to do this” or “I’m going to do that”. Just do it. After you’re done, let us know what you did. That’s my plan. An occasional update. Today I weigh 273.6, fully clothed, as I don’t want to have you visualize me, you know, the other way.

 

Stuck In The Middle With You
February 23, 2016

 

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It’s been awhile since I talked of my walk to 199. It’s been a very slow walk.

Last year this time, my numbers were awful. Sugar up, cholesterol up, liver function not good. I then proceeded to walk most of the summer, lost weight (I was 276, I think), dropped to 264 (I think). Got lazy at the end of summer (which was gorgeous, beautiful walking weather through December), and didn’t do much.

I ate horrible again, went for easy instead of nutritious. Weight remained steady, but found that I have little energy. Picked up walking again in January, as it’s been mild, but not at the pace I used to walk. Didn’t change eating, and here I am. Sugar is way up, liver number is up, and getting screened for prostate cancer, as I had a bad urinary infection and they want to check it all out.

Ever walk down the street and catch your reflection in the window or mirror and immediately become shocked? I did. Shocking isn’t the word. Devastated. From looking at my body from my view (head looking down), it’s not George Clooneyish, but it’s not that bad. But when I see it from the side, it’s pretty revealing.

Well, we know the battlefield is in the mind, and my mind is sort of there. Ok, if it’s a battlefield, then picture you’re in a fox hole with a gun, but not sure if you want to put in ammo to fight. Yeah, that’s about it.

With me, I go through periods of doing real well and then periods of real  bad. My cousin John put it best, “All diets work if you stay on them”. I’m not into dieting (obviously) but do need to better watch what I’m eating. The Fast metabolism diet worked, but if I didn’t stay on it, I blew up like the Hindenburg. (Too soon?).

My mother was a diabetic. I am so like her. She would eat a donut, then increase her insulin shot. I’m the same way (without the shot!). Her answer to everything was “Eat. You’re too skinny anyways”. Sweets! My motto has always been, “I’d rather eat cake than steak”.

So this blog isn’t to tell you, “I’ve got this. I’m going to do better. I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to, as Seinfeld says, “yada yada yada”. I’m just telling you this is where I’m at.

My frame of mind is good (well, come on, as good as it could get), and I’m not anxious or depressed. Just want to fill you in on what’s been going on. I’m not going to continually tell you my weight, but I will with my struggles, as it may be helpful to someone. So if I come to mind, please pray for me. God is so good.

So thanks for your faithfulness. Still planning on Walking to 199, but not sure if I may have to pick up the pace or not.

 

 

 

Old Friends
January 27, 2016

Reflective mood tonight. (Notice how I’m avoiding the weight issue? Yes, astute readers, you are). I was reflecting earlier today and re-reflecting tonight about Old Friends. Probably because of listening to Simon and Garfunkel.

I always thought I’d have boyhood friends forever. Just like the song “Old Friends/Bookends”.

Old friends
Old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blowin’ through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends

Old friends
Winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust
On the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy.

My buddy growing up, Keith, was my next door neighbor. Heck he was class president and I was vice-president of our class. Actually, before I got into counseling, I worked for him in his construction business. He lives in the area. We speak to each other twice a year. I call him on his birthday and he calls me on mine. Funny how that works.

I had a friend Chuck who I was real close with throughout high school. He introduced me to underage drinking. We went to concerts together, ball games, and drove around a lot just drinking and trying to tune in the New York Yankees on WGAR from Schenectady, NY. (If we found the right place at night, we could listen to the whole game). We spent so much time together. He’s in Chicago or somewhere. I was in his wedding, haven’t seen him or talked to him in over 35 years. Funny how that works.

I lamented not having that, but then realized I have four or five people in my life I would call close friends.

Lon is who I see more than the others. Him and Janet, I’ve known for about 20 years. I actually communicate more with them than with other friends. It’s a beautiful friendship, but it will change as eventually they move to North Carolina. Not soon, but soon enough. Funny how that works. I love him.

Jim has been my friend for 40 years. He lives in Florida. We lived together for awhile there. It seems that when we get together, it was like we were just with each other. We have had more experiences than you can imagine, and as he is a CEO of a non-profit organization, we’ll leave it at that. Concerts, parties, girlfriends, video games. We went through break ups with our girlfriends and more Tony’s pizza than you can shake a stick at. I love him.

Cindi, my cousin, who also lives in Florida. We have experienced so many things growing up, and it was always good to bounce things off her when girls drove me crazy.  I was the same to her. I spent summers at her house when she lived near by. So many stories, and we have verbally agreed not to blackmail each other. I love her.

Johnny, my cousin. He lives near by and we don’t see each other near enough. Nobody made me laugh like him, and my goal has and continues to be, to get him to pee his pants. He’s 60, so it shouldn’t be hard. His mom was like my second mother. He’s a chubber like me, and even now, deep down, though we struggled to lose weight by dieting and exercising together, we both hope the other stays fat. I love him.

Bonnie, my wife. We have been married over 30 years. We’ve known each other closer to 40. She knows everything about me. She is my biggest critic and my biggest fan. When I’m down, she builds me up. When I feel full of myself, she brings me down. She didn’t know me when I was going through my struggles, but has kept me from going back to them. My best friend. I am blessed. I love her.

The song continues:

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear

A time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.

But I can see myself at 70 sitting on a park bench with Bonnie or Jim or Cindi or Johnny. In fact I do that now because it’s actually “terribly strange” to be 60.

“Old Friends/Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel.

 

 

 

Sixty Eve
September 30, 2015

Tomorrow is a big one. I’ve had a lot, but not this big. Tomorrow, I turn 60.
Crazy, not sure how I got here. My goal was to be in my best shape ever at 60, better than I was at 50.
My blood work says I’ve done what I wanted to accomplish. Also, I wanted to be at 260 or below by October first, and as of today, I am exactly 260.0! Considering in March I was 279, and in June I was 277, I’m happy.
This walking has really gotten into my blood. I can’t wait for the walks, and although I prefer with Bonnie, I have no issue walking solo.
Sixty is weird. And I’m totally cool with it. I’m liking getting older, I’m liking how I feel, I’m liking how I look, and after 30 years, I’m still loving who I married. I’ve been married half my life. I don’t remember life without her. I don’t think I had a life before her.
The walking works. Maintaining a discipline of just being careful, but not giving up anything. I can still eat sweets, I can still eat pasta (real pasta, not the brown kind), I can drink a Coke, eat mashed potatoes, anything, but all of it in moderation.
That’s the key to everything, isn’t it? Moderation. I can overdo anything. Well, anything I like: food, games, football, anything. So, eventually, the light clicked on, and here I am. I am confident I will never see 270 again, if I keep doing what I’m doing. I can’t wait to say that about 260, but it will happen. Looking forward to 199.
Sorry, I can’t do the diet thing. I’m Italian. That diet stuff just goes against everything I’ve learned. Mangiare bere e divertirsi, which is “Eat, drink, and be merry” in Italian.
I figure I’m 2/3 done with life. My plan is 90. Hey, Ben doesn’t have kids yet and I have to make sure all my kids are raising my grandbabies right. God willing, I’m dancing at my grandkids weddings.
So on this Sixty Eve, I march on. Under the strength of Christ, the love of my wife, the encouragement from my kids, and the prayers of you, I will carry on. I want to encourage all who read this, that we need to embrace this life. No fear and no regrets.
Like Red Skelton said, (You youngsters can look him up), “Don’t take life too serious. You’ll never get out of it alive anyhow”.
Let’s do this.

The Fat Guy Returns
December 15, 2014

Wellllll, having lost almost all control, I have gained back most of my weight. I couldn’t afford to keep up with the “Fast Metabolism” diet. So I quit. Not liking it at all, but it brings up several things I’ve noticed about me, and maybe you notice it about yourself.
1. I self-destruct. I had hit about 247, and was the lowest I’ve been in quite awhile. So, being three pounds away from my lowest in forever, I self destruct. Let myself go back to old ways, weight creeping up 5 pounds, 10, 20, now 25. It’s almost like I REFUSE to succeed.
2. I fool myself. I keep saying I’m going to get back on it. I’m going to do this and do that, yada, yada, yada, and talk a great game. And do nothing. But in my mind, I’m Olympian.
3. It’s a mental challenge, not a physical one. In my mind I go back to how I lost the weight. And meditate on it for a few months…….then do nothing. Trying hard to get back to the mental part.
4. I’m all or nothing. If I can’t follow the eating and exercise plan COMPLETELY, then I don’t follow it at all. And I didn’t.
5. I get embarrassed. I don’t think I’ve gotten embarrassed in a long time, but this embarrasses me. It’s ridiculous, really. As the late Joan Rivers said, “I’ve lost so much weight I should be a charm on a charm bracelet”. It’s embarrassing for me, though, for a different reason. Not that the Fat Guy came back, but because I’m better than this.
6. I’m better than this. I settle for less instead of what’s best for me. Bad habits creep in and take my body hostage.  I submit and give them authority. As Stuart Smalley says, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”  Trying to remember that.
7. I still like me even though the Fat Guy returned. Somewhere along the way, how I look no longer affects the love I have for me.
8. Love is NOT giving in to every desire. Love is taking care of yourself. So, I’m learning a new “love”.
Thanks, I feel better.

One Year Later
May 23, 2014

It has been two months almost to the day since my last blog. Various reasons, but most importantly, I didn’t want to. How terrible is that? I was going along pretty good, then “Boom”, desire left me. Not just desire to write, but desire to set boundaries in my eating habits. Not sure why, but as that famous saying goes, “It is what it is”.

I was moving along famously, particularly following the Fast Metabolism Diet, and it was good. But it was expensive to follow it how it should be. I’m no doctor, lawyer, etc., just a poor little preacher, so as it started costing more and more, I decided to follow my own plan, which is really the Metabolism Diet with different types of food, or cheaper foods. Also, I got off the routine of eating snacks, sometimes going 8 hours between breakfast and dinner. I know that is not the way to lose weight. But I wasn’t focused.

And I fell into the trap of “No need to measure out a cup and a half of oatmeal, you can eye ball it”. Well, I think my portions got a bit out of control or I got one crazy eyeball. It’s being lazy. So as I was 247 two months ago, I am 255 this morning. Up 8 pounds.

I’ve found that I’m anal in some areas, (which I’m glad for this area),  so I went back and reviewed my “Walking To 199” statistics. It’s funny when you write things down, because in your head, you’ve done much better. So how did the walking go? I am so glad you asked.

Since today, the 23rd, is the one year mark, I discovered that I have walked, or have taken walks on 99 days.  I’ve walked 200.9 miles this past year. Some days I walked twice or three times in a day (rarely). Now, this doesn’t include walks on the beach with Bonnie, walking around Lake Eustis with my sister Kathy, walking at the Outlet Mall at Bonnie’s ridiculous pace , or other walks that I’ve forgotten to log, but there aren’t that many. So I’d say to be safe, the 99 serious walks is pretty accurate. I think that is lousy, especially when I live near this gorgeous park (Buhl Park) and belong to Planet Fitness, about three miles from my house.

I lost 10 days to a rib injury in August, took two weeks off over Thanksgiving, 25 days off over Christmas, and the entire month of April off. Why? Lazy or liking that Easter chocolate. So, like, I’m looking at this and thinking, “well that explains a lot”.

When I started this blog, I figured I’d be like the guy on YouTube who lost a zillion pounds in a year, had bloody nipples from running, etc. I guess my self motivation isn’t very motivating.

During this time, I went to North Carolina and later to Florida. Vacations are excuses to not exercise. I certainly did not, except for working out a day in North Carolina.

A lot’s happened since the last blog, which I’ll relay later. Got to meet dear friends that I haven’t seen in 35 years. The big one is I found Jim Paynter. Got to meet him and spend 5-6 hours with him which was totally a blessing for me. More about that later.

So here we are my friends. Sorry it’s been so long. Am I disappointed? Yeah, I wanted to lose more. Encouraged? Well, yeah, because I’m 18 pounds lighter since I started the walk, and 28 from March of 2013. But right now, I’m counting the 18 only. So, 18 in a year, which is 1.5 pounds a month. I can do better. My goal is to lose 24 pounds this year. That will put me at 232. And, I want to walk 200 days this year. That’s the plan.

The Lord will help me. He’s the only reason I’m back on track.

 

Born To Run
March 24, 2014

Ok, so it’s been over two weeks since my last blog. How fast time flies when you’re having fun.

I had about two weeks of maintaining my weight, not following the eating plan as strictly as I had and not exercising regularly, so I have figured out how to maintain. I don’t want to maintain at this weight, so I’ve been getting serious the past few days.

I’ve hit Planet Fitness regularly, and EVEN JOGGED. I don’t know the last time I ran, (I think when the buffet was closing in five minutes), so it felt good. Ok, not exactly run, but jog. Haven’t done that for a very long time. And when I was jogging, my friend Alec came over to talk to me, and I actually carried on a conversation WHILE jogging. THAT has been a very long time.

So I’m feeling good. People are starting to notice, and that’s cool, but the cooler thing is I feel so much better. Much more energy, and it’s actually funny. I’ve noticed that I actually run up the steps. This isn’t planned, just break out into a run. This is all crazy. I love it though. Makes me feel like a kid. A fat kid, but one that’s working it off.

My legs are a bit sore, but who’d thought I’d be running? Not me. So the focus is to walk, but I go and run a couple minutes, walk five or six, run a couple more, walk five or six, etc. It’s working as I’m burning over 300 calories on the treadmill, which excites me also.Not exactly Olympian is style or effort, but I never dreamed I’d have the energy to do this. Excite, yes, very much so thank you.

I believe there is a correlation between what’s going on physically and what’s going on spiritually. I’ve been digging into the Word and memorizing Scripture. That gets my spirit going and it carries over physically. It’s like I am a new person, almost like when I received Christ. I’m able to do things now that I couldn’t before.

Have you ever been losing weight and you step on the scale, and see numbers you haven’t seen for awhile, and you can’t believe it? So you step off and get back on. And it’s the same. Bonnie reminded me that ten years ago, when I followed Weight Watchers, that I was 243, the lowest I’ve been in 10 years. But I got tired of counting points, so i fell off and never tried to climb back on. But today I am at 247.4, a drop of 26.5 pounds since Feb. 3rd and 36 since March of 2013. I’ve gone, so far from size 48 pants to 42 and they’re getting baggy. I went from 18 1/2 size shirt to 17 1/2. This is exciting.

I’m enjoying eating for the first time in a long time. No guilt, no condemnation. I do the best I can, and I tell you, I’m good with this. I’ve discovered that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. I HAVE, thanks to Bonnie, been prepared for all the “goodies” in life and take no chances. I have my snacks, healthy snacks, around me constantly. It works.

So, what is your struggle? Are you still fighting it or have you thrown in the towel, like Roberto Duran, shouting, “No Mas”? Whatever you do, don’t quit. Ever. Take a time out, take a break, but don’t quit. Get rested, get back up. Keep your eye on the goal. It’s there. Seriously, if I can do this, you can.

Weight: 247.4

Angry Young Man
March 8, 2014

Well, another week under the belt (that’s a sick expression for a guy trying to lose weight).

It’s been a weird week, eating habits were out of whack (amazing how old habits can come back like a pimple). So, on the good side, I worked out 3 times this week. So that’s good. But the weight this morning is 149.4.  Up 1.4 pounds. (I was upset, until I remembered, “I’m in the 240’s).  So, I figure I’ll have weeks like that. Good advice from my son Ben and my good friend, Vinny in regards to weight training. I got this!

I’m really excited spiritually, which leads to excitement physically. If I’m good spiritually, I’m good physically. I’ve begun to memorize Scriptures, a hearty task I might add. I read this book by Jerry Bridges and he said about memorization, so I thought I’d try it. He said to figure an area you need to work on (I narrowed it down to 15), and came up with anger.

I’ve always had an anger problem. I tell everyone that I can beat anyone in a “chainsaw throw”. I’ve thrown mine many times, and with quite accuracy and a distance of many yards. There’s also the “lawnmower kick”, but that doesn’t make the lawnmower go  very far.  Then there’s the “rip up the outside Christmas lights”, where they become so tangled, you just start ripping them apart and then throwing them away. More expensive than tearing up a phone book.

So, anger it is. We all have issues, don’t we? Overeating, swearing, anger, lust, hate, bitterness, prejudices, being a Steelers fan. We all do. It’s funny how we can easily point the finger at someone else, but not take to heart what we do. I guess it’s that sinful, human, nature we inherited. Stupid Adam and Eve.

But it can be overcome. The problem is that nobody wants to fight for it. Nobody wants to change. We become used to it, befriend it, and declare, “It’s just how I am! My daddy was this way, his daddy was this way, so it’s in the genes.” But it doesn’t have to be. Scripture tells us, for those who believe, “sin shall not be master over you  because you are no longer under sin but under grace”. (Romans 6:14).   That’s pretty thrilling.

I used to be a drunk, but not anymore. I used to do drugs. But not anymore. It’s because of God’s mercy and grace, and that very grace that brought me out from under the stronghold.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m still an idiot. In many ways. Too many to list. But I find that I make smarter decisions, better choices. Because of God. Yet, I’m still fat.

But I’m defeating this giant of weight. It’s being knocked down. I no longer live to eat, but eat to live. It’s because we, if we’re believers, we are more than conquerors. Able to do all things.

So how you doing with your giants? You can slay it, you know. I believe it. Do you?

Weight 249.4

My Girl
March 1, 2014

In my “Walking To 199”, I am so blessed to have the helpmate God gave me, Bonnie Bateman Marzano. Without her help in helping me make smart choices, cooking, and encouraging, my walk would be a stand still. To her, “my girl”, I’m grateful. Eternally grateful.

This week has been amazing in that I find that I am able to do this new way of eating rather easily. It’s been a struggle at times when I get discouraged, particularly in the beginning of the week, and find my weight either is up a pound, or I am breaking even. But, in spite of discouragement, we push on. That’s what conquerors do, right?

I had a foot problem and haven’t walked at all this week. I’m not sure how I injured it, but it went from the middle of the ball of my foot, up my middle toe, then over the top of my foot to about the middle. I walked with a limp for a while, but it is getting better. I can probably walk, but am choosing to be wise and let it heal.

I’ve tried many things over many years to help me lose weight. Actually, I was rather thin, mid 150’s, when I moved back here from Florida in 1984. But I was a smoker, drinker, and druggie back then. I quit all that and food took over. I never was a good eater anyways. That’s the Mistretta side of the family. Cake eaters.

I’ve always loved sweets, and though the taste is what I liked, it was the convenience that was truly attractive. I was and still can be fairly lazy. So much easier to grab a donut, a pastry, a cookie, than take the time to cook something. It’s sad, but that’s how I’ve been. My whole life. Until now.

This Fast Metabolism Diet has changed my life. It’s changed the way I eat, the way I drink, the way I think. I’m a devout Christian, a pastor as you may or may not know, but there is a Zen saying that makes sense to me. It was “when the mind is ready a teacher appears”. That’s how this dieting thing went.

My mind was ready to lose weight. I had not wanted to diet, and the Fast Metabolism Diet isn’t really a diet, but it’s a way of life. Eating right, taking time to succeed, avoiding failure, giving myself a chance to succeed. Is it like that in your battle? You try to do what you know you need to do, whether it’s stop smoking, eating poorly, drinking excessively, or drugging. You think you can do this by tapering off.  You’re kidding yourself. you can’t. You need to change. You need to change drastically. You need to get radical.

If I can kill this Goliath of weight, then you can too. Whatever your Goliath is. You can do it. I do it with God’s help. You may choose not to use God for help, but it is truly a much harder road. Christ is my strength, a never ending source of help.

God uses people. God uses diets, books, music, to reach us, to help us, to motivate us. You don’t always have to be overweight. You don’t always have to be a smoker. You don’t always even have to be a thief. Pray. Ask God to inspire you.

I’m seeing crazy numbers on this scale. Remember this all started with me at 273. Actually, the doctor told me that last March I was 286.  Today’s number on the scale blew my socks off. This is working. You can beat your Goliath. Do it. I’ll be praying for you.

Weight: 248.0 (Isn’t that freakin’ crazy?I only have 49 pounds to go.)