Sugar (ba da da da da da) ah, honey honey
March 16, 2017

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Sugar Diabetes. Type II.

What a cute name for a horrible disease. And, to make it worse, a self inflicted disease.

My mother was a diabetic. Sugar diabetic. I remember when she found out and she had to give herself insulin shots. She was overweight, ate poorly, and didn’t exercise. She had a sweet tooth like nobody I ever met.

She always baked, if it wasn’t cookies, it was pie, or cakes (oh, her cakes), or bread. Didn’t know about carbs then and just learning about them now. I’m Italian, of course I eat carbs. I remember pasta every Sunday (and maybe another day during the week), homemade bread with butter. On Sunday, I’d take a chunk of bread and dip it in the sauce while she was cooking it. Delicious doesn’t even describe it. Taste buds heaven is more like it.

So when she got diabetes, she didn’t change her eating much. I remember us kids helping her give herself shots. Two, maybe three a day, I don’t remember. But she hated it. And I said that wasn’t going to happen to me. But it did.

I tease and say it’s all my mom’s fault, but it’s mine. Undisciplined eating, lack of exercise brought this all on. I’m angry at nobody, but disappointed in me. I have a wicked sweet tooth. I wish Dr. Voisey could remove it, but it’s genetic. My father, however rarely ate sweets until he got into his later years after retirement, then he loved pies.

I’ve been diagnosed with this for about 17 years, and have been on Metformin since then. Recently, my sugar has gotten worse. Winter lack of exercise (laziness), and eating horribly (undisciplined). I am the type that as long as meds take care of the issue, there’s no sense in me changing anything. Until now.

My old doctor told me there is never a reason to eat a donut. I disagreed and switched doctors. Seriously, I did. Now my new doctor wants to add a medicine as my sugar has been ranging in the 180-220 range. That is bad and can cause eye, kidney, and other problems. My mother had a stroke at 65 or so. I don’t want that.

I remember mom, God bless her, after her stroke. It affected her speech, her one leg, and one arm. She still loved her sweets. One time I’m in the living room and I hear the fridge door open up and  then she heads out the door. I watch her. She went to the back of the yard and ate a donut! She didn’t want to get caught.

I went to the heart doctor recently, and she had my weight from two years ago to present. It ranged from 255-260. I’m at 257 this morning. I imagine, I’ve learned to maintain my weight, but I’d really like to maintain around 200 or so.

This blog has been about walking to 199, but it has been a journey with a lot of pit stops. I do good for awhile, I don’t do good, I do great, I do lousy, you get it. Up five, down five. Like Joan Rivers said, “I’ve lost so much weight I should be a trinket on a charm bracelet”.

So, I think it’s time. I made a deal with my doctor. I asked her that if she would wait until I see her in two weeks to decide on a new medicine. If I can’t bring it down by diet and exercise then I’m open to whatever she wants. She loves the idea, so I have been trying. And when I’m good with this mentally, it’s easy. When I’m wishy washy, its hard.

My first day of work after my decision, I go on the adolescent units, and there is donuts. Now usually, I go open the box “just to look”, and usually I take one. This day, I decided to treat sweets like porn……I just can’t look at it.

With this being said: I’m on the treadmill at home (B….O…..R….I…..N…..G), have begun packing my lunch for work with healthy snacks, and attempting to eat snacks every 2-3 hours between meals.

It’s working. My sugar has been as low as 110, and only as high as 159. Not where it needs to be, but it’s on its way down. Bonnie has been phenomenal and I couldn’t do it without her. She prepares healthy things, new healthier recipes, and prays with me. How blessed to have someone, when she heard the news about new medicines, took me by the hands and sat me down, saying “That’s enough”, and prayed with me. Through tears. I think she wants me around.

God is bigger than any problem. Jesus has been my help in all my situations. He is my strength. Will I slip up at times? I’m sure I will, but I’m praying that I don’t. I’m praying that however long it takes, I will no longer need medicine for this, but only self discipline.

I’m very thankful for medicines, but, as Bonnie said, “That’s enough”. So I’m praying this journey is helpful for some and hopeful for many. I’m 61, and God has been faithful to me.

I can do this. Romans 8:31- “ What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[a] against us?”

No one.

As I remember, I will continue to put my highest and current weight at the bottom.

Please pray for me.

 

273.6/257.4

Walking To 199
August 7, 2016

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As those that follow this blog know, this whole blog started with the intent to show this amazing progress I’d be making in my goal to get below 200 pounds. A lofty goal, realizing I needed to shed around 75 pounds to achieve this task. This is a long walk, apparently.

Over the months, and probably years, I’ve had ups and downs (puns intended) in the walk as well as in the blogging. My goal was to blog weekly, but it appears I’ve blogged weakly (another horrific pun. Sorry).

My blogs about weight seem self serving, so I’ve been thinking that maybe not so much about this struggle of losing weight should be focused on, but matters of life and sometimes death. Or sometimes just random thoughts rattling through this puny brain of mine.

With this being said, I feel that for me to say “I’m going to do this or that” to lose weight, whether its exercise or diet or whatever, is a lot of talk. I’m encouraged by some of you, and I thank you, and some of you are faithful followers whom I have shared my secrets and some humor. OK, I think its humor.

I will continue to blog, but because some have asked me how the weight is going, I will be listing my starting weight and my current weight at the end of the blog (starting weight/current weight). This, so those who are interested will note the progress, but not to bore others that have little interest in weight loss and may be a bit intrigued by my weirdness. (For example, the rule is “i before e except after c”. Except for the word “weird”. Weird is a weird word).

I may sometimes mention something about weight, but not to be a “wow, look how wonderful I am doing. Send me cookies”. I continue to hope that you find these entertaining, enlightening, or encouraging. There may be some Scriptural or spiritual references as Christ is the biggest part of my life, and I’m not ashamed of that.

I will try to be more regular (at my age, again, not easy) with the blogs to hopefully bring some joy in a dark time of history. Let me say that we have to stop the hate. The media wants us divided, black against white, gay against straight, Republican against Democrats, and so forth. Can’t we all get along?

Until then, I’ll just keep walking.

273.6/257.4

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.

 

Already Gone
March 1, 2016

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Not trying to copy Bob Dylan (as if I could do it justice), but time is ridiculously quick. As I type this, it’s the end of February, and I can’t believe it’s gone, even with an extra day.

I remember my dad used to tell me how fast it goes as you get older. And now February 2016 is gone.

It doesn’t seem long ago it was New Years Eve 2000, and we all feared the planes would fall from the sky, the computers would crash, we’d have no food, not water, no gasoline. And here we are 16 years later.

It’s funny how things go as time passes. I’m not going to have the body that my head said I could have when I gained weight back 30 years ago. Still overweight, but realizing that I won’t have the “beach body” I thought I’d have. It’s that realization that is overwhelming now. I can probably lose some weight, diet the right way and exercise, pray that God gives me the strength to do that. But “beach body”? Nah. Time went too fast.

I’ll never get good at the guitar. I’ve had a guitar for 15-20 years. Oh, I can pick a few songs, but not where I can look at the music and play any song. It was hard to reach some of the chords. I don’t even touch it now. I practiced some for a few years, said I’d pick it up again, but it won’t happen. Not that I’m old and going to die, but just because that desire has pretty much left me. Time went too fast.

I’ll never get Bonnie the house she deserved. We lived out in the country for 21 years, 4 acres of land. Always wanted to get her a wrap around porch. Put a rocking chair out there, sit back and drink coffee in the evening watching the sunset, and strum my guitar. Sort of like Andy Taylor in Mayberry. I live in the city now. That porch isn’t going to be built out in the country. Time went too fast.

I’ll never get to England. Always wanted to walk Abbey Road, check out where Apple Studios was, visit the Cavern, go to Liverpool. Oh, and some other non-Beatle things are there I hear. But I’m not going to spend money on that now. Time went too fast.

I’ll never learn Italian. Bought an Italian course, never kept up with it. It’s a hard thing to learn a second language. At least for me it is. It’s too much work for now, and seriously, what’s the point?  Time went too fast.

I don’t want this to sound depressing or “woe is me”, like I’m old and ready to die, because I’m not. I suppose that if I desire, I can get back with the guitar or learn Italian. The key is “if I so desire”. The beach body and house with a wrap around porch in the country just ain’t going to happen. But see, it’s like John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Dylan is right on with this. Time flies, we grow old, our views change, and nothing stays the same. But like he says, “you better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone. Oh the times they are a changing”. Everything changes. But here’s the good news.

I am writing blogs. I am studying the Scriptures more than I ever have. I’m mentoring young guys at the church. I know God better than I ever have. I’ve learned how to pray, not how a book tells me to pray, but how God tells me to pray.

I play with my grand kids and spend more time with Bonnie and my kids. I enjoy the sunset and sunrise. I’ve rediscovered Buhl Park. I stop and smell the roses. I don’t drink, smoke cigarettes or pot. I remember “the night before”. I have deeper relationships with friends that are deeper than any I’ve ever had. I have a love for my wife that can’t compare to what it was 30 years ago or with any other type of love I’ve felt. Before I used to care what people thought of me. Today, it doesn’t matter.

I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff and discovered that most everything is small stuff. I don’t worry like I used to. I have learned to keep expectations low on people and high on God. I’ve learned to lean on Christ more and me less.

Actually, life is good right now. The past is the past and it’s already gone. But today? Man, I really am digging it. And tomorrow? Can’t wait……..but let’s not go so fast!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.)

How Deep Is Your Love?
February 22, 2014

Well another week has come and this Fast Metabolism Diet is fantastic. I’m at 252.4, loss of 20.6 pounds since I started this blog in May, but a loss of 30.6 since last March. Yeah, this diet and exercise is a great idea. I’d prefer a pill and a donut, but that’s not how it works. To think that I could be at 222 next year at this time blows me away. With God, all things are possible.

It’s been a unique week. I’m not hungry, eat more often, have exercised a bit less, and the weight keeps coming off. People are asking me, ‘how do you do it’? I tell them the basics of this eating plan, and they aren’t interested. I get it. I was there. But thank God, I’m not there now.

It’s work. It’s dedication. It’s, as I read in “In Pursuit of Holiness”, making your body your slave instead of your master. Your body tells you to stay in bed, but you master it by getting up and exercising. Your body tells you you’re too tired to read the Bible, but you tell your body you’re going to read. I totally get it when people don’t want to do it. Just hoping that it will drop off. That would be so nice. But it’s not realistic.

It helps that I’m not doing this alone. My wife, son, and daughter-in-law are doing it, which makes this a lot easier. My niece Barb has started all this. She’s lost 60 pounds in 6 months. It’s a healthy diet, and with the ladies doing the cooking and my wife Bonnie always looking after me, this is so doable. (Is that a word? do-able? It is now). It’s an exhilarating feeling to get control over something that has plagued me for years. The only time I was thin was when I was drinking and drugging. I quit that and the weight came back on.

However, God, the biblical God of the Bible, through His Son Jesus, delivered me from the drinking and drugging and is helping with this “Battle of the Bulge”.  It’s tough at times, but well worth it.

This winter has been wicked. For the first time in months I’m able to see my yard. I’ve also noticed since the snow has melted that my dog has been eating well. Time to clean that up. But back to winter, it’s here. March is around the corner, hopefully spring too. It just feels better when it’s warm.

So, what’s your battle? Alcohol? Drugs? Weight? Anger? Fear? It’s all beatable with God’s help. Pray and work. You have to face your fears. But sometimes we need a wake up call. A DUI arrest. A heart attack. A panic attack. Now’s the time. Fight this before a doctor tells you  that you need surgery or drugs to fix it. You can do it.

Seriously, if a stooge like me is able to battle this life long war, certainly you can. I’ve got faith in you. But more faith in God.

Weight: 252.4 (and dropping)

I’m A Loser
February 15, 2014

Well here it is, 1 a.m. (EST) and I just got back from the gym. Yep, dedicated? Nah, took a nap earlier and couldn’t fall asleep so I thought, ‘why not’.

I’ve been really pleased with the meal plan I’ve been following along with a bit of exercise. I have found that with this eating plan, my proportions have been WAY out of control. Apparently, I’m eating for two, so if nothing else, this plan is fabulous in teaching me how to be moderate.

The most interesting thing with this is that when I’m done with my meal, I’m still a bit hungry. So I mumble and moan like the baby I can be, but realize that in 10-15 minutes after I’ve eaten, I’m pretty full. Plus two or three snacks in between and it makes for a pretty healthy lifestyle. Remember, this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle.

I don’t know what a “leek” is, but it’s tasty. Bonnie made some up in a soup and it’s good. I’ve had no wheat, dairy, and I’ve only had coffee two days in the last 12 days, and I honestly don’t miss it. I haven’t been totally good, however, and being the “naughty boy” I am, I splurged on a donut today. I know my doctor says there is never a reason to eat a donut, but I politely disagree with her. If she keeps it up, I may have to switch doctors. It’s a nice treat. There was a donut shop in LA called “The Donut Shop West”. It was in walking distance from where Luke lived. So, I’d exercise by taking a walk, get a dozen donuts, and walk back. Best donut ever. They would slice any donut you wanted length wise and then fill it with cream. Enough of this subject. It’s like porn, can’t even think about it.

I’ve found that if I go out of my prescribed food list, there is no guilt. I’ve learned to live life and enjoy it. I have changed my eating habits so much, thanks to my wife Bonnie and daughter-in-law Amanda. They make it easier. You almost have to be a magician to make some of the meals, but they do a great job. It’s a lot of work preparing all three meals instead of grabbing a sandwich or a pastry. I’m learning, though.

It can get quite expensive at times though. Living in Pennsylvania, in February, fresh fruit and veggies aren’t available, so the price is gouged by the markets, and we have to choose to buy it or eat snow. Living in California would make it easier.

I remember being out there and stopping at a roadside stand and they were selling strawberries. I stopped to pick some up (they were huge and delicious) and the guy was also selling “Bing” Cherries. Oh my gosh, I almost ate the whole bag myself. I absolutely love Bing Cherries, you know, the big purplish kind.  I love fresh fruit. And it’s a part of “The Fast Metabolism” diet. It’s really not a diet, but a new way of eating.

The guy selling them was Mexican, and me, knowing five words of Spanish, told him “Buenos Dias”. He replied back to me, “Buenos Dias”, then began speaking Spanish. I said, “Oh no Hablo Espanol”, then he spoke in perfect English. Taught this Northern boy something about trying to be cute.

My granddaughter, Haniah, was all dressed for Valentines Day and was as cute as can be. She’s part of the reason I am trying to exercise. I want to dance at her wedding, not have her push me around in a wheel chair. I gotta dance, but in a very masculine kind of way, sort of like Ellen.

The weather continues to be rock solid cold. Down south when they get two inches of snow, it becomes a state of emergency. Here when it’s two inches of snow, we call it Spring.

The cold weather and cloudy skies tend to keep you sluggish, so exercising is a chore. You just want to veg on the couch, a remote in one hand and a root beer in the other, and flip through all 500 channels on DirectTV, and realize that there is nothing to watch. One night I was up late, and they had a commercial selling sex toys. Yeah, sex toys. On TV. It’s the craziest thing I ever saw. Never knew so many instruments could go so many places, and they ship it to your door. This is what America has become? We’re a mess.

So, I’ve rambled enough, but here’s the good news. This eating healthy and exercise works. Don’t need a pill, operation, etc., just healthy eating and exercise. Ready for this? My weight this morning was 255.6! I have not seen that number in years. Since March, that puts me at a 30.4 pound weight loss. And I’m not done. I’m on my way, Lord willing, to 199. Hope to get there by February 2015. That’s the plan. I’ve discovered through this program that two things kill, absolutely KILL your metabolism. They are coffee and alcohol.

Please continue to pray for me. I’m on a good roll now, but those thoughts keep entering my head to chuck it all and just eat like I used to. I hope those days are done. Maybe not the days as much as that lifestyle is done. The Apostle Paul says we are new creations. I believe the old Joe has died, and the Christ in me will sustain me to finish the work He has started in me.

My prayer is for everyone who reads this to be encouraged. Become hopeful. Being able to seize each day and have control of it, not have it control you. We got this. It feels good to be a loser.

Weight: 255.6