Forty by 40Posted: October 31, 2007
November 1. All Saint’s Day. The day after Halloween.
And my birthday.
Goodbye, 37. Hello, 38.
Time for a change.
Therefore, today marks the start of my “Forty by 40” campaign. The goal is simple. Lose forty pounds by my 40th birthday. That’s two years away. Twenty pounds a year.
Ambitious, but not over the top.
More than ambitious though. Pretty much mandatory.
Simply, I need to get myself in better shape. I need to exercise more. I need to eat better. I’ve got to start somewhere. And that somewhere is here and now.
Why? I mean, heck, I’ve been ‘husky’ ever since mom would take me back to school shopping. Always needed the ‘husky’ size pants. I’m a big guy. I’m not huge. And, I actually think I carry it well. I won’t tell you my weight here. Sorry, I won’t. But, let’s just say you’d be surprised. At least I think you would.
And now I want to surprise myself and work toward this goal.
I’ve done well with the more exercise in the past. When I’ve belonged to a gym, I’ve pretty much been a gym rat. There were two spans of at least two years apiece where I worked out five days a week, including three spinning classes per week. I loved it.
With two kids, life is a bit different. The gym isn’t easy. But I need to make time to be more active. More than time, I need to make the effort. I’m not joining the gym tomorrow, but I’m going to be conscious of certain things. I’m going to try this slowly but surely and hope to build the activity level up.
It’s the food, though, that I need to work on most. I love food. Love. Love. Love. And, again, I’m not going cold turkey to start. I’m going to try to be sensible. That means no heath bar muffin from the bakeshop at work after I’ve already had two english muffins at home. And, you know what I put on those english muffins? Butter. And peanut butter. It might well be the best tasting combination ever. But, yeah.
This means no stopping for vanilla shakes on the way home, just because. I’m sure my son will still get McDonald’s treats. Well, maybe I need to try that southwestern salad or something. And, when I go to lunch at one of our regular spots, it means that when I pass up the reuben and rock the salad, that I need to get the fat free dressing.
Again, my goal here isn’t cold turkey on anything. It’s to try and ease into this and slowly make some life adjustments. And for those around me daily, I need your help. I’m not going to give up an occasional treat, but Chelle, no more muffins from the bakeshop. Anna, no more slabs of cake. Molly, no more pop tarts or incredibly good potato chips.
My wife is making me a birthday cake. But she didn’t buy ice cream. We agreed that the cake is sort of mandatory, but we didn’t need the ice cream to go with it.
The bottom line in this: I will admit to being a bit scared. I’ve never said this to anyone. Never written it.
My dad passed at 65 from cancer. His passing never really made me think much about my own mortality, so to speak. But, my brother. Yeah. If you’ve been reading, you know he died suddenly at 45. From a heart attack. And he was in fairly good shape. You hear about stories like him all the time.
I don’t want to be one of those stories.
I’ve already lived more than half of my father’s life and even more of my brother’s life. That’s not enough. Not when I’m the dad of a three-and-a-half year old boy and a four-and-a-half month old girl. Not when I’m still a son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend and husband.
So, yeah. Forty by 40. Slow and steady. Ease into it. Small changes. Small steps. And while I need your help with this, the effort is mine. It has to be. Can’t be any other way.
The last thing I want is to let anyone down. Especially myself. The time for excuses is over. And putting this out there publicly is hopefully all the motivation I need to meet this challenge.
What else? I got nothin’.