I’m 195 pounds of flesh, bone, muscle and…sadly…a tad bit too much body fat hanging off my 6’2″ frame. I’m also 42, which is not an excuse, but an explanation.
You see, at 39 and 40 I worked hard and built myself into really good shape. A proper combination of height, weight and musculature. It took effort – especially after growing up as the “heavy kid” in school. I vividly remember when I was 12 or so and my Mom bought my first pair of jeans with the “husky” label in the waist band. Ugh.
Flash forward 30 years and at 40 I was a svelt 182 pounds. My size 34 Levis were loose around my waist at that time and I liked it. I liked me at 13 percent body fat. But is that realistic? I’m finding that just two years later, my goals should probably be reconfigured.
Even with regular fitness training including weights, cycling and running, I’m 15 pounds heavier and it shows! Sure, my diet isn’t as “clean” as I’d like it to be. Yes, I have an 8-5 job that keeps me glued to my desk chair five days a week. So the middle-age spread is upon me. Do I accept it? Or do I fight it?
I’m a fighter.
As I sign myself up for several triathlons this season and perform the training regimen that needs to be undertaken in order to complete said tris without totally embarrassing myself, I find I’m eagerly looking forward to the hour I spend each day in the gym or on the pavement. I have this innate desire to be leaner even if I can’t be that svelt 182 pound-13-percent-bodyfat guy again. Just to get where I can get from my personal effort – and, if I’m lucky, watch the chub melt from above my waist line and feel the firmness of my bicep or pectoral.
We live in a country where focus on body type is SO out there…so important. Ironically, America has also become one of the most obese nations on the planet. Slothy, lazy habits have replaced activities among our children and the best thing I can do as a Dad is serve as an example to my own two teens that no matter how old you get, it’s better to stay active and have fun doing it – so you can feel good about yourself and your accomplishements – and STILL enjoy the occasional plate of nachos when you feel like it.