Sunday, October 23, 2011

40 by 40

Last Thursday was my thirty-ninth birthday. I celebrated it with family and spent the day periodically checking in to facebook to find sweet birthday wishes from friends and loved ones. I felt incredibly lucky and happy and thankful.

But of course, thirty-nine means that the big 4-0 is next. Forty! Forty years old! Don't get me wrong; I'm not upset about it. Maybe a little stunned, but not upset. After all, as they say, it sure beats the alternative. But approaching my fortieth birthday has made me contemplative about some things.

I can remember thinking as a teenager that 40 sounded somehow better than 30. I still feel that way. I turned 30 about a month after having my third child--in four years. The first three years of that personal decade are a blur for me. About the time I started to recover, I had another baby. (She is making sure I don't recover from her.) What I suspected way back then has turned out to be true for me: the thirties are a very domestic decade. You have babies and take care of them. You work to keep track of your marriage. You struggle with varying levels of success to piece together some kind of social life. You work a lot. At least, that is how it has been for me. It's not all bad by any means, but it's exhausting and decidedly mom-ish.

But 40 is somehow more glamorous. Your kids have gotten older and at least partially independent. You have more time for yourself and your marriage. If you're lucky, you've found your groove with work and are challenged but not beaten down by it. Maybe you start writing again. You are fabulous. At least, that's how I hope and expect it will be for me.

The thing is, I don't feel so fabulous these days. Maybe some days, in some ways, but not truly deeply. And I almost hate to tell you this, because I know what you're going to say, but a lot of that lack of fabulosity has to do with my weight health. The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be. I am about 40 pounds overweight, and in the past year I've been placed on both blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. Not sexy. I'm not going to beat myself up over it (anymore), but I need to change it. So I'm going to.

I am letting you know, in the most public way available to me, that I am going to lose 40 pounds by my 40th birthday. I know, I know, that's a big goal, it won't be easy, baby steps, yada yada whatever. I'm telling you, this is what I am doing. This is happening.

Losing 40 pounds in one year means that I will need to lose three to four pounds a month. I plan to do this by exercising at least five days a week (as opposed to my current schedule of no days a week), cut down on portion sizes, cut back on red meat (what, I shouldn't eat it every day?), eat a lot more fruits and veggies, and most painfully, give up my one real vice. I will trade my giant morning iced (sugary) chai for a small hot tea with a tablespoon of agave nectar and a splash of milk, and then, in the spring, give up morning tea entirely. Probably. We'll see how things are going in the spring.

I thought about starting a new blog for this, but let's face it, it's not like I was doing anything else over here. I've been thinking a lot about blogging again anyway. There's a lot going on in the world and my life and I've got some things to say about all of that. So maybe sometimes I'll post about the progress I'm making or the struggles I'm facing with the whole 40 by 40 thing, and sometimes I'll post about why everyone else is so dumb. You know, like the good old days, only more fabulous.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to You

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~Lucille Ball

Happy birthday, beautiful girl.