We sat around the dinner table on New Year's day and shared our resolutions. The suggestion came from my 6 year old son Ben who is intent to eat healthier, be good for the entire year and collect all the Puffles and Penguins from the Disney store. One by one we revealed how we were going to try to be better in 2010.

Heather pledged to take time for herself, even if it's only five minutes, every day. Kathryn will attempt to challenge herself, mentally, physically or emotionally, at least once a week. Michael will endeavor to cook one outstanding vegetarian meal every seven days. Dylan, who had played a Mulligan on the first trip around the table, finally landed on eating less junk food, a process he started in 2009 choosing to boycott McDonald's after several viewings of Super Size Me -- the Morgan Spurlock film that changed the way we see and enjoy (or not) the Big Mac.

My resolutions, the basis for the Middle Age Bulge blog, I simplified by saying that I would "eat better" and "schedule exercise into my life".

For the record, and so there are no preconceived notions of what I'm trying do, I am not interested in turning into a middle age beefcake (is that the right term?), nor do I have aspirations of running a marathon -- although the idea and invitation was served up by my younger brother Greg who ran his first last year. Nope. I just want to be able to touch my toes, to get on my stainless steel super dooper weight scale and have it declare me "Healthy", to comfortably fit into my 36" waist dress pants, and maybe, possibly, potentially, not have to suck my gut in any more -- for the rest of my life. Whew! That's a tall order by any measure.

I think most importantly, I want to set myself up to be able to keep up with my kids, and one day, with my grand kids.

I look at my father and mother with admiration and inspiration. Dad will be 75 this summer, mom will be 67, and during the winter they shovel the entire block to help out all the "seniors" and those who don't have the time nor inclination to shovel. They walk everywhere and for all intents and purposes their bodies are 15 to 20 years younger than their birth certificates suggest.

When I'm deeply into my retirement I want to be able to climb mountains with my wife, to attack the steps of the Mayan pyramids with vigor and play a game of football with my grandchildren.

A sage therapist once told me to imagine the future, and then imagine being happy in that future. This journey is just a slight twist on that suggestion.

January 2, 2009 - 207.4 pounds (oops, take 2)


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