The Story and How It Goes
August 13, 2017

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Sooooo, I’ve been busy. LOL.

It’s been quite a while since I blogged. But here’s what is happening.

I have been enrolled in a pilot program from UPMC for people with various ailments (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure) to teach proper eating and appropriate replacements for foods not so good for you. The purpose is to see how people’s blood numbers can change for the better by proper eating and live a healthy life.

This is how it works. They send you 3 meals for two people, (Bonnie is in the program also,  she’s healthier than me but also a cancer survivor, praise God) every Monday, with all the fixin’s and the recipes for the week. Then for three dinners, you eat what they send you. The rest of the meals are on you. But they give you a goal for the week.

For example, the first week is to divide your plate into four sections: protein (so far that can be meat), grains, fruits, vegetables. So that is the focus for week one. For week two it’s focusing on including different vegetables into your diet. This will go on like this for 16 weeks with different goals.

This is a great program and we both want to do well because this program could save lives and relieve the need for pharmaceuticals.  We are both very excited. It’s not a diet, it’s a changing of eating. A changing of living. The first thing Bonnie and I noticed were “portions”. They’re small in regards to protein, but not small with healthy veggies and fruit.

I realized that my portions prior to this could feed a small African village. I had been exercising but never losing weight, and it was because of portions and crappy food selections. And the change in all this has been easy.

Today is Day 12 and I’ve lost 12 pounds! That excites me. I no longer drink anything but water. I thought not having pop (soda) or diet pop (soda) would be difficult, but it isn’t at all. It’s not even a challenge, or even an “urge”. We don’t drink alcohol, so that’s not a problem. No sweets either, and there’s no temptation. Bonnie had a zucchini brownie she made that was very good, and satisfied the cravings for sweets, which have been minimal since I started this. I’ve had issues that my blood pressure is TOO LOW! That has never happened. This trend will quite possibly result in less medicines or getting off the medicines all together. That’s the plan.

Also, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (please feel free to do so) you’ll notice I am at Buhl Park a lot. Bonnie and I walk three miles at least 5 days a week and usually 6 days. This also is what is helping I’m sure. We are both just so excited with this and our kids are behind us 100% and are very supportive. They will glean off of us for the recipes.

I love that this isn’t a diet, but a changing of eating. The nutritionist asked me what my goals were and I told her I just wanted tools. Tools on what to eat, tools on how to cook, and tools on how to adjust my mindset.  They give me these.

This program has been an answer to prayer, as we both asked the Lord to help us learn what to do right when it comes to eating. And this program does just that. We eat much less meat (If you’ve never watched the documentary “What The Health”, you should). People are giving me advice, but all I know is that what I am doing is working.

Now, I take no credit for this, but give the glory to God. I don’t buy into this “self love” thing, I do this for my love of God. I’m a miserable sinner and God loves me, so I don’t need to love myself, because there is nothing lovable about me. It’s ridiculous, because that is the problem with most of the world, “Look at me”. I prefer to point to God. That’s why I won’t post pictures to say “Look at me”. I took one of those “before” pictures, but that if for my own chuckling. It was pretty repulsive.

I won’t post my weight, maybe when I get down to where I want to be. I will post my progress (you know, up a pound or down a pound). I won’t post recipes or “plans” other than diet and exercise is the answer. I’m 61 and never been so excited. I will be encouraging others to take control with God’s help. If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, hit me up on Social Media and we can talk.

My life is a vacation. I have everything I need with Bonnie, kids and grandbabies. I am happy. And if losing weight makes be around longer, I’m for it. Because my bucket list only has one thing on it.

I want to dance at my grandchildren’s, all my grandchildren’s, weddings.

I covet your prayers.

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Melancholy Man
January 15, 2015

This year I turn 60.  6-0, sixty, LX, however you want to put it. It’s nuts.

I waste a lot of time. Games, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Watching continual ESPN SportsCenter, watching lousy football (Browns and the University of Michigan), and it’s going all too fast.

I keep listening to Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s song, “Wasted On The Way”, and it makes me melancholy. Melancholy that I’ve wasted too much time. Too many dreams and not enough pursuit of them. Too many ideas and not enough elbow grease to make them happen. At times melancholy is good. Because it makes you look at reality.

I am so much more than half way home (I don’t expect to live until 120 years old). I am aware of my mortality. But I think melancholy can make you better, if you just visit it and don’t build a house there. It’s a wake up, a “hey, this game ain’t over yet”. As Bob Dylan sang, “It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there”.

So I’m excited now. The weight “is what it is”. It may go down, it may go up. It may stay the same. I could pull a Chris Christy or Rex Ryan and get “THE” operation, but they tell me I’m not big enough. My options then are to lose weight or put on another 50 pounds. I opt for the latter, but Bonnie won’t let me.

I’m not focused on it anymore.

No matter what, God is good. I’m excited. I want to use my time better. I deactivated my Facebook account, and may also get rid of Instagram and Twitter. Baby steps, children, baby steps. I need to focus on the good things in life, and there are many. I need to focus more on the Word of God. I need to stop looking at others and their successes and begin to understand that if I haven’t reached what others have done (financially, physically, emotionally) that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve failed. It means I’m not them.

I’ve eliminated a lot of stress from my life by eliminating a lot of stressful people from my life. I have to take care of me. And if other people have their feelings hurt, well, sorry. Sorry, your feelings are hurt but not sorry of my decisions. Your hurt feelings don’t get to me anymore. I’m moving on.

So it’s 9 months until 60.  Bring it on, because, honestly, I never thought I’d live this long.

 

For What It’s Worth
January 29, 2014

“There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear”.

Yeah, somethings up and I don’t know what it is.

Haven’t felt like blogging and haven’t felt like doing much of anything. It’s been well over two weeks, I think, since the last blog. I just got something going on, and I’m not sure what. But I do know, that it is going to be good.

I haven’t exercised since (let me check my notes) January 9th, and the desire to do so has evaporated like Obama’s approval rating. Not depressed (I gave myself the Beck Depression Inventory test, and I’m ok), just, I don’t know, I think I’m in transition.

I think I’m moving into a new area. Not sure exactly what but I’m moving on to something. So let me just ramble.

I’m finding out about God’s grace. I don’t quite have it all yet, but I’m getting it. There’s a lot of freedom, but it doesn’t give me license to continue to sin. So, with God’s grace, I’m getting closer to God.

Bonnie and I went and saw Beatlemania last week, and what great memories. They sounded just like the Beatles, and looked pretty close to them too. The guy looked and sounded just like McCartney. My favorite was always George Harrison, and this guy was fantastic with his guitar playing also. Great memories. Can’t believe 50 years ago they were on Ed Sullivan.

Bonnie and I have been going to the movies every week for the past 5-6 weeks. It’s our weekly date. We just saw “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. It’s a pretty interesting story of a guy who lived in his head, but then began to experience some great things by stepping out in real life.  It brought me to where I am tonight.

See, so many times I live in my head (don’t we all? Future plans, what you could do if you had the money, time, or courage). As I watched this movie and saw how he had taken the leap to fully go after something (meeting a photographer), I realized that my Christianity, my walk with Christ, has been mostly in my head. Oh, I’ve been faithful to Him more, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about trying harder.

I’m talking about giving it all. 100%. No holds barred. Diving in head first. Leaving it all out on the field. Not in a religious sort of way, but in a “loving Christ” kind of way. It’s easy to say you love God ( or anyone) but not as easy to walk it out, being faithful when you don’t want to be, not lashing out when you want to, taking the consequences of telling the truth. You get the picture.

So I’m studying more. I’m reading more. Books on Christian theology, novels by men who love Christ, and the Bible.  1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits little, but godliness is profitable unto all things”. So, I am not giving up on losing weight. I know I will get back to where I need to be mentally in regards to this, but there is such an excitement for falling deeper in love with Christ.

I know some of you think, “Oh great, a religious nut. I thought this was about weight loss”. Well, it’s both. Though I’m not religious (but possibly a nut), I am passionate for Christ. I fear many that read this say, “I’m a Christian”, and live lives the opposite of His teaching. I’m not talking perfection, but a move toward godliness.

I find I need to eliminate distractions. Ever see the commercial where these athletes are on the bus and crowds are yelling stuff at them? They slip on their headphones and it drowns out the distractions. That’s where I’m at. I’m putting the headphones on to block out the distractions.

What are the distractions? Social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even Pintrest. All these things are distractions that occupy too many large blocks of my time. Are they bad things? No, not in moderation. But they distract. I haven’t decided if I’m keeping them or if I will just casually use them, if I can do that. I have kind of an addictive personality.

So, sorry for the delay in blogging, but I guess I’m just trying to figure me out. Hope you stay along on the journey until I do, because, man, it’s gonna be awesome. Something is happening here. I’m excited to find it.

Weight 262.2 (Not bad for being a slouch this month).

Lazy Days
January 1, 2014

January 1, 2014

“Lazy Days”

Well Happy New Years to all of you. Hope you’re all safe and warm and are relishing in the fact that you are alive in 2014, because, seriously, haven’t you wondered how you’re still here? lol.

It has been a lazy few days since my last blog. After being so proud of myself that I made it through Christmas with no exercising and eating what I want, I stumbled (not drunkenly) into 2014 with a weight of 262.2. Not, and I repeat, not acceptable.

So do I complain? No. Here’s what I’ve come to in my old age (along with the realization that next year I will be 60 years old). When I decide to go off my strict eating and exercise pattern, I do so with absolutely no guilt. No anguish. No shame. I have learned that living life is exactly that: living life. And if I decide to eat what I want when I want, I do so with enjoyment. Actually, much enjoyment. But here’s the thing.

It’s for a short season, a brief time. Always focused on the goal of 199, I realize that I will take a detour on this road. But never follow the “other” road for a great length of time.

So enjoy.

I’ve also decided to cut back on Facebook, but to increase “My Walk To 199” blog and to utilize twitter. I think that this blog may be helpful and also it may reach a larger group that can benefit from it through Twitter. My goal in 2014 is to be less political, more spiritual, more health conscious, and more fun. Hard to imagine “spiritual” and “fun” in the same sentence, isn’t it?

I think Jesus had a great sense of humor. I think He enjoyed life to the fullest. I don’t think He got hung up on little things (like stores not being allowed to say “merry Christmas”), but focused on his message of reconciliation and love. I think He loved everyone, yet loved them enough to point out their need for a savior, and that He is that Savior.

I saw a poster years ago called “Jesus Laughing”, and it showed an average looking fellow who was in a full blown laugh. I think Jesus laughed, and Scriptures tell us that He wasn’t particularly striking so that people would not follow him because of his looks. He was an average looking man, yet fully God.

So that’s it. If on 1/1/14 I’m at 262.2, I truly plan to be in my 240’s by my trip to Florida in April. That will be totally up to me. I hope you are finding these helpful, the realness of this walk, with even my lazy days.

Feel free to follow me on Facebook (I’m the Joe Marzano whose picture is with me walking with my wife on the beach), Google+, or twitter. (@joemarzano3).

I’ve gotten some great comments and feedback from you all, and it is appreciated. Let’s do good in 2014. Let’s reach our full potential for what God has for us this year.

We got this. It’s going to be a good year. I got a Facebook friend request today.

From Jim Paynter.