CORAL SPRINGS, FLORIDA – Lose 20 pounds with Pizza doesn’t sound possible, but here in Broward County there is one man that dropped the weight.
My wife Randee and I are here in the Sunshine State and we are always surprised to meet a variety of people, mostly seniors who are active retirees.
While Randee enjoys shopping in the Coral Springs Mall I decided to walk laps around the mall. I noticed the same senior going from one end to the other. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to find out who this man was.
Turns out this 74 year old, youngster has been living in Florida for the past 36 years after moving from Newark, New Jersey.
“Things started getting bad, economically, in Newark over a period of years that I wasn’t able to buy my own house so I decided to move down here where housing was relatively inexpensive,” he said.
Come to find out I was talking with a Pizza man, whose name is, no pun intended, Lou Pizza.
“I’ve always had problems with my name,” he said. “It became so bad that I needed to be unlisted in the phone book as I would get calls at all times of the day and night from people wanting to place their order.”
Pizza worked 20 years at a bank in Jersey and another 17 years in the Broward School District as a maintenance man before going into semi retirement.
“I was working in an elementary school from grades K through 5 and the kids loved me, especially because of my name,” he said. “They would come running up to me and say, we’re going to eat you up.”
Pizza lives up to his name as he eats one each week and says that his weakness is his love for Italian food, especially the breads and pastas.
“My diet led to my being diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol and for many years my doctor tried to convince me to exercise more and take better care of what I eat,” Pizza said.
Pizza now walks six times per week around the inside of the Coral Springs Mall anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour each time and the results were amazing.
“I lost 20 pounds and the doctor said if I lose another 10 pounds I could get off all my medications,” Pizza said. “I’ve already had my meds reduced and I hate taking them, so I am motivated to lose those extra pounds.”
In the process of losing those 20 pounds he has gone from a size 40 inch waist to his current 37”.
“I feel a lot better now that the weight is down and I can now see the value of doing a regular walking routine,” he said.
Pizza has increased his intake of fruits and vegetables each day and he has limited the amount of potatoes that he eats.
“I now look at the way food is processed and I’m careful with the amount of processed foods that I eat,” he said.
On this day at the mall Pizza invited Randee and me to his home in Tamarac to see his collection of plates and LP records.
“I’ve been collecting plates since 1960,” he said. “I have collected all 50 states plates as well as movie stars and historical plates and have over 200 mounted on the wall.”
Pizza also opened a closet door where he had catalogued over 3,000 records with everything from opera to show tunes.
“I have no idea what this collection is worth, but it’s in the thousands,” he said.
It’s obvious that Pizza’s home is a treasure house of old memorabilia and almost every inch of wall space is taken.
“I can’t collect anything anymore as I don’t have any room left,” he said with a chuckle. “I also can’t think about moving as it would be almost impossible to get everything out of here and into a different house.”
Interesting enough is that this 74 year old man has only lived in four different houses in his entire life.
Besides taking better care of his health over the past year, Pizza also tries to take care of his neighbors. He will drive some of the elderly to their doctor appointments or to do their shopping.
“I try to make myself available to help the people around me as I’m fortunate enough to still have very good driving skills at my age.
Pizza will take care of four cars for ‘snow birds’ that come down from New York to spend the winters in Florida.
“They’ll fly me up to New York to drive their cars down to Florida during the winter, then I’ll drive their cars back to the New York during late spring and they’ll fly me back home to Florida.
The one way drive is 1,500 miles and Pizza will take two days to drive each vehicle in each direction.
“I like to drive and I enjoy helping my neighbors,” he said. “If I can continue to take care of my health I’ll be able to do those things for many years to come.”
And someday should you happen to see a happy, health senior citizen running around, Florida, New York, and Central Europe remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
Exercise and Eating Right while on Vacation
It might sound tough, but it really isn’t! Eating right and getting daily exercise while on vacation is something that is a must for the Big Dog and lovely wife Randee.
We’re here in Florida and each morning we’re out for an hour walk/run and then after dinner, around 7 pm we’re out again for another hour or more.
Last night was exceptionally spectacular, watching the sun disappear in an orange glow in the Western Hemisphere.
Florida is extremely hot and humid with numerous lighting storms and is a senior’s paradise haven for those that spent a lifetime in the frigid New England coast.
While on vacation we’re fortunate enough to be treated to the great home cooking at the Rosen Estate in Tamarac, Broward County. Last night we each had a large 8 oz helping of salmon, corn on the cob, asparagus and a nice tossed salad.
Or course no dinner is complete without a glass or two of merlot.
The major obstacle while in Florida is staying hydrated while on the go, but by carrying bottled water the problem is quickly solved.
While on vacation stay away from junk food and see the real area for where you are by getting out and walking – everywhere.