The (Partial) Results Are In…

So I stepped on a scale today. For the first time in a long time.


Well, you’ve heard about Forty by Forty, and if all goes well, you’ll continue to hear more about it.

But, this is a milestone day of sorts. Forty by Forty started officially November 1, 2007, when I turned 38. The goal was to start a life-changing approach to eating and exercise that would help me to my goal of losing forty pounds by my fourtieth birthday. Not a quick fix. A (hopefully) life-long change. Slow and steady, so to speak.

I resisted getting on a scale throughout this process because I didn’t want to get locked on numbers. If there were results, they would be evident, and they are. It’s so cool when people say, “are you losing weight?” or when I buy pants two sizes smaller than when I started.

I also didn’t get on a scale when I started, partly because we don’t own one. But, I can tell you within 10 pounds of where I’m pretty sure I started this process. That’s going off a last doctor’s appointment and even knowing that I gained weight since then, because I had to buy larger pants.

Things have definitely changed. I like salad now. For real. I mean, actually really enjoy it. I’ve bought an elliptical machine because the exercise thing was the hardest component to get going and still isn’t anywhere near where it should be. I’ve bought smaller pants. Tee shirts that didn’t fit me like I would hope now fit me pretty well.

I’m just thinking about stuff a lot more than I ever have. And that feels good. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I can see the results.

And now, it’s time to share them. Because you guys have been here the entire way offering your encouragement and support along the way. And that has been beyond valuable. It really has.

To mark the occasion, Anna actually brought her scale into work today. She mentioned it yesterday and I thought she was joking, but when I got here today, there it was on my desk with a note that said, “I bet you’re more than half way there.” So, I took my shoes off, stepped on, looked down and was …. shocked.

As I said, I’m confident within 10 pounds of where I started…so if you go right in the middle of that number, then so far, I’m down 27.5 pounds.

Can you believe that? How crazy is that?! How good is that?!

That’s 70 percent to my goal in six months!

It’s fabulous, but it’s also motivation. Motivation to get to my goal within a year. But, more importantly, motivation to keep up the work that I’ve done so far and make sure that I maintain. That, quite honestly, is my biggest fear — maintaining.

But, I gotta tell you, seeing that number — a place I can’t even remember being at — feels pretty damn good.

Dear Aidan

Dear Aidan.

I’m sure you must be tired today. I know I am. And I’m fairly confident your Mom is, too.

Waking up at 2:30 a.m. will do that to you (and us).

Having bad dreams suck. I remember that feeling. But, not going back to sleep isn’t the way to get over the fear. And, because Erin’s room is in between your’s and our’s, we had no choice but to get up each time you called for Mom. The last thing we needed was two kids wide awake at 3 a.m.!

Mom did the best she could, and then I took my turn (and hopefully giving Mom the chance to get back to sleep for a bit). Heck, I thought taking you down to watch Barney would put you to sleep. But, it didn’t. Then, when Mom climbed into your bed (since we are trying like heck not to have you come into ours…we just don’t want to start that), she wasn’t sure if you fell asleep again or not, but she knows she did for just a bit.

I could see the tired in your eyes as we were going to school, and I certainly hope you’re taking a nap this afternoon at Mimi and Papa’s.

I wish I was taking one now, too.

We love you, bud. More than you’ll ever probably know. And as much as it can be aggravating, the constant questions and other things of late are relatively easy to handle. It’s the 2:30 a.m. wake-up calls that Mom and I can do without. Especially Mom. Be sure to give her a big hug today when she picks you up.



Since We Last Met…

Well, even though I say I Got Nothin’, it certainly seems like that’s hardly the case. Here’s a recap:

I haven’t touched the elliptical in almost a week. But, it’s not because I have decided that I hate it. No, it’s because our basement has been torn apart to (hopefully) solve our semi-annual water issue. If I can ever figure out the picture thing, I’ll show you visuals. Basically, an internal sub-floor drain was put in. What does that mean? Jackhammers and dust. Lots of dust. Just in time though, apparently, because it’s pouring out. Hopefully this brings the much needed peace of mind.

I will get on a scale before Thursday. April 30th marks the end of six months of Forty by Forty, so I think it’s time to get a number and see where we are.

Do you know how many calories are in Girl Scout cookies? Lots. To think, I used to grab three or four — at a time.  And, if that alone doesn’t show you how I’m trying to change, picture this one:

We’re driving home from somewhere on Saturday, Erin’s asleep, Aidan’s awake. I pull into the grocery store lot. Renee’s wondering what for. I tell her I’ve got a salad craving for lunch and I want to try the store’s salad bar. That it would take me less than five minutes in and out. The result? The best salad bar I’ve encountered anywhere. Who knew?!

And, who knew I’m an inspiration. I got a fabulous email from one of my regular readers and a member of my blog roll (but I’m not telling who!). She told me she was so inspired by what I’m trying to do with Forty by Forty that she’s going to try something similar, too. How cool is that? By no means am I truly an inspiration, but it’s cool to know that something I’m doing has made someone want to try the same thing.

Speaking of my blog roll, and this one’s for you, JenBun, the identity of my blog crush is no longer secret. All the kids in gym class, in the cafeteria and on the bus are talking. But, seriously, if you haven’t read this blog, check her out. Ask anyone who knows me, it’s hard to get me laugh out loud. But her words do that. And, when she’s serious, the words are deep and meaningful. And, as an added bonus, she likes the Sox, Pats and REM.

Other things to update you on…well, Erin got her first haircut a couple weeks ago. PIctures of that to come, too.

Aidan’s fourth birthday is coming soon, too. In fact, it’s May 8th. Four years. I can’t even believe it. He’s getting a tee ball set (with a real aluminum bat — yikes!) for his birthday. And a bike.

Then, just a month after that, we’ll celebrate Erin’s first.

Aidan made it through his first movie yesterday. Renee took him to see Horton Hears a Who. He came home and told me, “Dad, we didn’t bring home any popcorn for you. But it was good.”

I think that covers some immediate stuff for now. More to come. Thanks for hanging in there.

What else? I got nothin’.


Forty by Forty Frustration

That sound you here?

Yeah, that’s me. The winded me.

The first official workout on the elliptical just took place. And, let’s just say it beat me up. And, let’s just say it has opened my eyes up to the fact that I have a long way to go.

I know this. But it doesn’t make it easier. Not when I could barely make it 20 minutes on a machine that I used to go on for 40 minutes at a time without any trouble. But that was five years ago, when I was last exercising on a regular basis.

And, while there’s no doubt the Forty by Forty thing has been working for my waistline, there’s one very strong realization right now — it has done nothing for my cardiovascular health.

Which I knew. Which is why we bought the machine in the first place.

I mean, I’m realistic. I didn’t expect to jump on it and go crazy, but I did expect I would have an easier time than I did. And that’s what’s frustrating. That I let that part of me slip so much that I’ve now got to work incredibly hard to get it back.

But I will. I’m committed to this. I’m committed to making this a lifestyle change. When I used to be a gym rat, the cardio part was fun and, dare I say it, easy. The problem then? I still ate like crap so I never really lost much of anything.

And I never realized that. Until now. Now that I have proof of what better eating can do, I have to work harder to make the entire switch — of bringing the exercise level where it needs to be. Where it should be.

It’s only been about six months. This will be a journey. It has to be. It’s the only way I can make the changes I want to make. So, I have to be patient. Again, I know this. But it doesn’t always make it easier.

I will also get on a scale at some point by the end of the month, since that’ll mark the six months. I didn’t want to get on before and lock in on a number. I’m curious to where I’m at, but I know there has been change. My fear of the scale is being frustrated with the number or then trying so hard to reach the next number. That’s why I didn’t want to get on it. But, I think six months is a good time to check in, so to speak.

While tonight has been a bit frustrating, the overall fact is clear — I want to do this.

But, more importantly, I need to do this.

And I will.

Again with the Death

I’m going to a wake today.

And it’s going to be hard. Wakes are always hard. But especially when its at the same funeral home where you’ve been to your own father and brother’s wake. And where you said your last goodbye to your grandmother.

But, this isn’t about me. And I don’t mean it to be. I’m simply saying when I go there today, I will have a lot of thoughts on my mind.

This post, however, is about Charlie.

Charlie is the father of one of my oldest friends. He passed away Sunday, having fought a short battle with ALS.

My friend and I go back more than 30 years. Imagine that for a minute. Especially those of you who read me that aren’t 30 yet. It’s crazy. I’ve known Mark since first grade. I spent countless days at his house. Had more meals with his family than I could count. And Charlie was even my baseball coach for a time.

He served his community for years as a policeman. And I remember thinking, how can he be a cop, he’s too nice.

Our church used to have an annual summer festival. And you know where Charlie and his family were? Making fritters over in the corner. Every year. A festival wasn’t complete without a bag of Charlie’s fritters.

And his family — there are six kids, my friend Mark is the youngest — always did things together. I’ll never forget being there one time in the late summer. There were dozens of ears of corn. They were shucked and then Charlie and family would cut the corn right off the cob and put it in bags to be frozen. It was something they did — together.

He was a huge Red Sox fan — and a baseball fan, in general. We could always talk about that. He gave of himself through numerous summers coaching Little League. At one point, I ended up on his team. Let’s just say two things about me: I was never a good baseball player and I’m quite possibly the slowest person you’ve ever met.

But whenever I got on base (and that was a rare occasion), I had the green light to steal from Charlie. Are you kidding me? But, you know what he realized? That it was fun. It was supposed to be fun. And he made it that way. I think I even batted lead off in a couple of games.

Charlie and his wife raised six great kids, and I’m fortunate to have one of them as one of my closest friends. We don’t see each other as often as we’d like. Kids birthday parties, that sort of thing. And, now, even wakes and funerals.

I look forward to seeing Charlie’s family today. Especially my friend Mark. I’ll tell him a story that I’ll remember between now and then. And we’ll both probably laugh.

But I especially look forward to seeing Charlie. One last time. To say a prayer for him. And to thank him for giving a slow fat kid the green light.

Another Aidanism

So Renee was going out last night — to see Michael Buble with some friends.

Aidan, Erin and I were outside, saying hello to Renee’s friend who was picking her up and then saying goodbye to both of them as they were off to the show.

Birds were chirping overhead as we were walking into the house, and without stopping or looking up or anything, Aidan says the following:

“Those birds are squeaky, Dad. They need oil.”

What else? I got nothin’.

Ugh. No, Make That Double Ugh.

I’m actually thinking triple ugh might be more appropriate.

I was fine with the double ugh. Then I signed in to do this post and wordpress has completely changed stuff around. Is this torture specifically for me? And, if so, why now?

I’m in a beyond funk — mostly work-related, for issues I won’t be going into here. I love what I do. I love where I do it. There are just issues. Issues that normally don’t affect me. This is how I know I’m affected, because stuff usually doesn’t bother me. Yet, now? It is.

The elliptical? It’s about half put together. Couldn’t do this without Renee at all. It takes two people to put together, but she’s the brains with that stuff (and lots of other stuff). The good news, we are just going one step at a time and haven’t even given each other a dirty look yet during the process.

Did I mention work stuff is driving me crazy?

My skinny pants look and feel good. So that’s cool. No pictures of my ass here, though. At least not yet.

The water in the basement problem? It should be solved the week of April 23rd. Wrote a huge check for a deposit yesterday and the job is scheduled. A lot of work to happen between now and then, but it will be worth it long term.

But, the way my luck is going — we’ll have 10 inches of rain between now and then.

I’m getting a cookie (or two) at lunch today. I deserve it.

And you, my readers, deserve better than this. But, today, there’s nothing else.

I got nothin’.


Hold tight Steph, Anna and company. I’ll answer your questions in another post, hopefully this weekend.

I can’t even fathom how time is flying right now. The whole Clydesdales thing took up so much time at work that I’ve spent the last few days digging out and doing the work I didn’t do for the last week. But, I’m still behind. Woefully behind. Oh well. Nothing I can do.

What I can do, though, is share some good news.

The elliptical has arrived — but it’s not together yet. No time. But, honest to God, it’s not going to sit in its box forever. It also says it could take two people up to two hours to put together. Anyone know a good divorce lawyer?! If there’s one thing Renee and I are not great at — it’s working together to put something together with directions. We’ll get through it though. I hope. 🙂

That’s not even the good news.

It feels really good when people tell me that I look good and that they definitely see that I’m losing weight. It might be painfully obvious to them as they watch me walk and hold my pants up at the same time for fear of their being a full moon in broad daylight. I’m just over five months into this Forty by Forty campaign and it’s working. And that feels good.

I haven’t stepped on a scale yet, but I’m guessing about 20 pounds. Why?

Well, and here’s the good news.

Know what I did tonight?

I went to Kohl’s and bought two pairs of pants. Now, what’s so special about buying two pairs of pants?

Simple. They are two sizes smaller than the pants I was wearing when Forty by Forty started. Can you believe it? I haven’t worn pants this size in, well, a long time. It feels good. It feels really good.

And, it’s motivation. My long term goal in my head was to get to the next size down from here. But I was like, wow, I’m not sure I could ever get there again. Guess what? I can get there.

And you know what?

I will.