The 40/40 Club: An Un-Proud Member

12/10/2010 By Shawn Burns

I was a pretty big guy for the majority of my 20’s. I quit smoking early in my 20’s, and then quit my mostly-outdoor job to go finish my B.A.’s in my mid-20’s, and I just packed on weight. I was sitting still for most of every day, and I wasn’t smoking while I did it. Every couple of years I’d drop ten pounds and then put it back on after congratulating myself about it.

After Erin was born I became single-minded about weight-loss. Having Emily home on maternity leave for six months and knowing I wasn’t going to be taking the 2007-2008 academic year off I had an incredible chance to develop a crazy routine/regimen that worked for me. I would go for long bike rides, eat basically nothing, and then do a crazy Tony Horton ab workout every night.

Over 6 months I dropped forty pounds.

Forty. I went from 240 to, for two brief days, 199. I maintained at around 200-205 for a while after that initial period, and I looked pretty damned good if I do say so myself. But then Emily went back to work and my long bike rides were over. I walked a lot, and with Erin on my back, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with my crazy appetite, which I had slowly regained after eating snowpeas and carrots for lunch every day for six months. By the next summer I was up again to around 220. At 225 I was in the 2009 Hot Blogger Calendar, so I couldn’t have been looking too bad. But then I was back in school, back at a desk, and it was game over.

By the time Adrian was born I was nearly back to my starting, slovenly weight. I dipped down a little bit at the beginning of 2010 as I started hiking with both kids, but I couldn’t keep that up during the hot summer months. So, here I am again.

Hello 40 pounds. I believe I’ve seen you somewhere before.

I just did a little checkup on myself. Back when I was still around 215 I was doing a lot of pushups. I kept trying to do more in a row every day and I got up to 78 or something one day but I’ve never been anywhere near that since. I think I had roughly the same count for situps. Today I managed a surprising 40 pushups, and a disappointing 40 situps.

I believe that a man who can do 100 pushups and 200 situps can change the world.

So whatever else I do from here out to change my body and my mind I want to hit those numbers. I don’t know what that guy will look like, or what he will weigh, but I think focusing on looks and weight is what got me in this mess in the first place. I want accomplishments. I want my body to be able to do something.

So, 100 pushups, 200 situps. That’s what I want. I am saying goodbye to the 40/40 club.

Is that too much to ask of myself? I don’t think so. I’m not trying to get Ryan Reynold’s abs or anything here. I just want to see what happens to my life if I can join the 100/200 club.

So, today it was 40/40. Tomorrow? We’ll see.