Right now, I'm about seven weeks out from 40 years old, give or take (March 18th, for those of you looking to buy me something). And today, I'm the LIGHTEST I've been in 12 years. 12 - 15 pounds heavier than my lightest weight as an adult (ah, pre-married Ted with your 25 year old metabolism - how I hate you). But a healthy weight. I've even been told I look "too skinny" at various points over the last year and a half.
But the thing is, like a lot of guys poised at the razor's edge of forty, I'm thinking a lot about the fact that I could be a whole lot healthier. Even if I'll never weigh as much as 25 year old Ted again, I'd like to know that after beating him in a foot race, I could celebrate by bench pressing him over my head.
I'm mostly in the best shape of my life. My current job has a gym, and I've been working out with various degrees of intensity over the last 3 years. My separation and subsequent divorce - and the resulting stress and broke-assedness therein - brought me down a total of twenty pounds. I hike, routinely bike the 10 + mile round trip to work in the summer, and can dance like Justin Beiber at an all night rave (without the benefit of either teen heartthrob hair or ecstasy). I have two children from my loins plus two bonus children, and my parenting philosophy is of the school of "run them into the ground then pour them into bed". In a stunning instance of irony, my 11 year old is a natural jock who has taught this ex-high school drama nerd how to throw a football with a not-entirely embarrassing spiral. On top of all that, the new love in my life has turned me into a fair weather vegetarian / pescetarian, and we enjoy cooking healthy meals for each other, like little valentines assembled from whole grains and vegetables.
That's the good stuff. On to the bad...
I'm a smoker. (See, I told you it was bad...) I smoked throughout my early twenties, then quit for years, then tried to reinvent myself as a social smoker as I came closer to exploring the passions in my life (an ill-advised stint as a stand up comic - "hey, great set - can I bum a smoke?", and as a freelancer for The A.V. Club, interviewing bands and DJs and such "hey, great set - can I bum a smoke?")
Also, I've struggled with an eating disorder (no forced vomiting, but not exactly straight up anorexia, either) since I started my fifth grade year after a summer of growth related weight loss and crash dieting.
Smoking and eating disorders go together like co-dependent marriage forged in Las Vegas, but I dove headlong into 2012, fully prepared to quit, aware that cigarettes for me have usually been about "looking cool" - and just typing that embarrasses me enough that I want to go out and punch an R.J. Reynold's CEO in the breadbox. However, with my decreased body weight, and extra working out and upping of weights in the gym to counteract any potential weight gain, my body has gone all wonky - and after ten days, the nic-fits got to be too much. At least, I like to blame it on all that - otherwise, I've got to cop to a lack of willpower...
Here's the thing: I've had enough. Enough of the hand-wringing, Enough of basing my successes on other people's failures, of being "good enough". I'm tired of eating healthy for a week, falling off the wagon for a weekend, then trying to short-cut my way back to "skinny" with cigarettes and crash-purges.
"Fortyfit" is all about success; it's the plan to get where I want to be (smoke free by Feb. 18th, and in the best shape of my life by 40). It's about "gaining" rather than "losing". It's a progress report on the journey to get there. It's a workout and diet and log. It's about realizing that the things you experience in life don't make you who you are - how you deal with them does.
It's a chronicle of the adventure, of the best days of my life...
Of the first day of the rest of my life.