Finally Doing My Part
April 1, 2017

 

OK.

So Bonnie said something totally profound to me. (She does that, quite a bit). She said, “Joe, you are totally happy with your health if you can take a pill to make it all better”. Ouch. Hurt like pricking my finger to take my blood readings.

She’s right.

I’ve been flirting with my diabetes, well, actually its a wild affair, for 18 years I think. It has been manageable by walking, kind of watching what I eat, and then just living life. Well, apparently, life has changed for me.

My readings have not been good for a while, going between 180-210, especially in the mornings. So the doctor increased my meformin from 500 twice a day to 1000 twice a day. I thought the increase would keep me at status quo. But oh no, not at all.

My next step is insulin. I told the doctor. Give me two weeks of diet and exercise and see if I can change this. So I’ve been working it. Like a champ.

Walking, more often than not, and eating much better. I’ve added color to my diet: peppers, veggies, all sorts of healthy things. Bonnie has been cooking a “Mediterranean Diet” from a book she got. Healthy choices, better choices. Couldn’t do this without her. Couldn’t do this without God. Who thought I could or would want to eat healthy?

Sugars are rarely in the 150’s mostly 1320’s-140’s, sometimes in the mornings, and dinner time around 97-120.  There is nothing to brag about so I’m not bragging, but finally the light has clicked on. I’m eating better, exercising a wee bit more, and avoiding sweets totally (although Bonnie made this black bean cake that’s a killer). Eating more veggies for sure, and healthier snacks.

I’m saying this to encourage others that may be going through this. It’s doable. Pray. Research. Change some habits.

I’m excited, down to 254, lowest I’ve been in at least 10 years, and its dropping off.

You can do it. Seriously, if I did it, so could you.

273.6/254.4

Saturday Nights
January 29, 2017

alcohol

 

I remember Saturday nights when I wore a younger man’s clothes. As I sit here at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night, I began thinking of those times.

EVERY Saturday night was a party night. Sometimes we didn’t go out until eleven p.m. and still it was a rowdy night. Let me tell you of those days.

Let’s start with the big one. Saturday, October 2, 1976. My best friend at the time was Chuck Jones (who I haven’t seen in 40 years. Funny how life does that.) My birthday was October 1st, his was October 3rd. We would both be 21. October 2nd was a Saturday, so it seemed the most logical day to celebrate.

My cousin Don Lacey, Chuck, and I decided to hit every bar in Sharon, Pennsylvania or maybe the Shenango Valley. Now, I’m going to tell you about this night, but I don’t remember all of it.

There were many bars in the valley at the time, and I don’t honestly remember where we started. Now, we weren’t rookies as we both started drinking on a weekly basis at the age of 13. We would go to the bars in Ohio every Saturday and they would serve us, usually, as we used fake ID’s to get in. Sometimes we would just get quarts of beer and ride around, or sit on the side of State Line Road  and listen to Yankees games on WGAR out of Schenectady, New York. Night time was the only time we could hear the games. But I digress.

We thought, rather foolishly, we would stop at every bar and have a shot and a beer. I never cared for alcohol, but beer was always good. Alcohol made me angry (except Rum) and beer made me “happy”.

We immediately realized that after the 5th or 6th bar, we had consumed a lot of alcohol. But there were so many bars left, we trudged on. A couple bars didn’t serve Chuck as it wasn’t officially his 21st birthday, which we thought was petty.  So we moved to the next bar.

It gets a bit fuzzy now, but somewhere along the line, Chuck was getting sick. We pulled off, actually, not too far from where I now live, so he could vomit. Don asked us if we wanted to quit and we said no.

Then, Chuck couldn’t walk. We were in the parking lot, and Don and I carried him. Unfortunately, we dropped him two times, with each time he hit his head on the pavement. We had to explain the excruciating headache he had the next morning to him.

I then was told that our final stop was at the Lube downtown, our usual stomping grounds. I was told that my friend Bill bought me a beer, and as I was talking to him, i apparently put my hand down to the side with the mug in my hand and spilled it on the floor. He said I looked at the mug and said, “Oh, that was quick. Guess I better go.”

And we did.

That was Saturday, October 2, 1976. At the time I thought it was fun.

But today is Saturday, January 28,2017. I think this Saturday was more fun.

I stayed home most of the day and read a book that’s been on my shelf for two years. It’s by Tim Keller called “Jesus The King”. Keller has become one of my favorite authors, and I actually got to meet him.

I helped Bonnie make three different soups for what we call our “Super Soup Sunday”, for church, held the Sunday between the Championship games and the Superbowl. Everyone makes a bunch of soup and desserts and crackers and breads and it’s a blast. Actually, she made the soups, I just cut up onions, carrots, etc. I really enjoyed working in the kitchen with her.

I had to pick something up at Jo Jo and Josh’s house and got to see Haniah. She cracks me up, and I love how she greets me. Enjoyed the visit there and came home. Because we were busy, we got a pizza from Francescos, my favorite quick Italian place.

I had ginger ale. No beer. No alcohol. Ginger ale.

I am so thankful that I no longer have to drink like that to have fun. I don’t have to get drunk to get away from my problems. I don’t have to get high, try to pick up a girl, or get into a fight for my entertainment. Jesus Christ took that desire from me. There is no other way I could stop drinking. It was Christ.

When my dad was my age, he was still a heavy drinker. He didn’t have Christ. Thankfully, I do.

Sitting at my computer, am I missing anything out there that would benefit my life? Nah, I’m good right here. I tell people that what I have, I could never give up. My life is very, very, good. Besides, I have church in the morning.

I don’t need a vacation. My life is a vacation, and it’s all because of Christ Jesus.

 

 

Gee, That Went Well
January 23, 2017

protest-signs_

 

Well here we are, 3 days into the new presidency and the country has gone mad. Wait, the world has gone mad. I’m 61, and I’ve never seen anything like this.

Protestors, which aren’t protestors when they don’t know what they are protesting about, are out on the streets because the democratic process of electing a president was upheld. Let that sink in.

There is nothing wrong in disliking your government. Jesus’ followers hated the government they had. They were under bondage. They were under oppression. They waited for a savior, someone to get them out from all of this. That is what they expected Jesus to do.

They wanted a revolution. Change things, and they were certain Jesus was the one that would change it all. He would restore a government for the Jews where they would rule. But that wasn’t why He came.

He paid taxes. Remember the story where He sent Peter fishing to get a coin from the fish’s mouth to pay? Or how about the time the Pharisees tried to trick Him about paying taxes, and Jesus’ response was “render unto Caesar what is Caesars and render unto God what is God’s”? (Mark 12:17)

Prior to Jesus coming to earth, there were many uprisings that were squelched by the Romans. Many times they tried to overthrow the government. But Jesus and His followers told them otherwise.

Paul said, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,“. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

He didn’t tell them to hold up signs, break windows (if they had windows there), call names, and swear at them. He didn’t say overthrow the government, punch people, assassinate them, or belittle them.

Romans 13:1 Paul says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

So God gives us the leaders we need. Some He uses to bless us and others to punish us. When He blesses us we thank Him, when He punishes us, we repent. The Old Testament is filled with those situations. So basically, when we fight against the government, we are fighting against God.

But people will continue to be people. They will continue to fight and all the things we shouldn’t. And that is where we rise up as a Chosen people to fight back with the best weapons that God has given us.

Pray.

 

 

If I Fell
January 11, 2014

So about four days ago, I fell down my basement steps. Yep, I did. Actually, not all the steps.

Have you ever gone down the steps and thought you were at the bottom step, but there was one more? Yeah, me too. I hit the ground knee first, ended up on the ground on my back, glasses one direction and phone the other. So, other than a hurt knee, daily headaches, and bruised ego (“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”), I’m ok, just sore. Real sore.

But I pushed through this, continued to do the treadmill, and watched my diet. Well until yesterday. We were celebrating anniversaries and I ate some pasta and didn’t exercise. So, yeah, took the day off. But today is a new day.

I’m finding that I’m not like those guys you see on the videos. The guys on You Tube where they lose 130 pounds in a year. These guys change their eating completely, exercise rigorously, and don’t take days off. I’m not like that, I guess. I am living life, but watching what I eat most of the time, and exercising more often than not. That, apparently, is my reality in this “Walking to 199”.

So, I haven’t lost 130 pounds, but since March I’ve lost 26. I was at 30, but put a couple pounds on. I still have two months until March and should lose thirty by then, again. But if I lose 30 pounds a year, I should hit 199 in 26 or 7 months. That works for me.

I’ve found I can maintain my weight, but I’m not at a weight I want to maintain. So I know when I get down to my weight that I will maintain it. I’m finding that diets don’t work, well, they do in the short term, but they don’t work as a lifestyle.

We head up to Erie today to visit Bonnie’s cousins (well, my cousins too by marriage), and we will probably eat. No, I know we will. So I will enjoy the day yet try to be careful. I will do the treadmill again as soon as I’m finished with this blog. I try to be consistent. At least fairly, consistent.

I’ve laid off the weight training for now, focusing on cardio and trying to focus on weight lost. I will focus on looking like the Hulk when I drop some more weight.  Beast mode can wait. I’ve realized that I can’t continue to enjoy cake or cookies more often than not, but just occasionally, like once a week or so, as a treat. I’m a cake eater, thanks Mom.

So, I want to encourage anyone else on this journey, whether it’s weight, addictions, whatever. Live life. Love life. Fight hard for what you want. Pray. Trust God.

Weight: 160.2

Yellow Pee
July 10, 2013

Life gives you various signs on how well you’re doing.

Pants don’t fit? You’ve gained a few pounds (or your spouse has shrunk them, which is my preferred excuse). People zone out when you’re speaking? You talk too much. Hair in your hairbrush? You’re going bald.

Since I’ve started this walk to 199, one tell tale sign of me not drinking enough water is “yellow pee”. If I come home from work at 4:30, and my pee is still yellow, then I’m not drinking enough water throughout the day.

I take a multivitamin and it’s like my urine glows in the dark. By 2 or three in the afternoon it should be clear. If it’s not, then it’s telling me I’m not keeping hydrated.

My guru, Emily Alexander (whom you REALLY NEED TO FOLLOW HER PAGE on Facebook, titled “Establishing Emily”), turned me on to an app to help me remember to drink enough water. The app is “iDrated”, and it’s 99 cents and well worth it. You plug in how much water you need for a day and it does the rest, even sends a message to your phone to remind you.

It would be so cool to have apps like that for other things in life, wouldn’t it? I’m going to invent some. “Call your mom” app, sends you messages to call your mom at whatever pace you want (daily, weekly, monthly).

For college kids, “Take a shower” app. A gentle reminder that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and that your peers will soon drag you into the shower and scrub you down with a vegetable cleaner.

For men, “The Non-ESPN” App. This one comes with an electric shock, to remind fellas to turn the TV to another station instead of watching the fourth repeat of “SportsCenter”. This could also be called the “Save Your Marriage” App.

Still plugging away at this weight thing. Not quitting, not frustrated, realizing this is a lifetime commitment. It’s a marathon race, not a sprint. I’m not going to sit here and eat rabbit food (lettuce and carrots) 24/7 to lose weight quickly. That will just cause me to gain weight when I go off it. This is a lifestyle.

Weight this morning: 265. Up one from a week ago, down 8 from May 24th.

 

I see the doctor on Monday for my six month check up. We’ll see what she says.