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Making it Happen: Getting Fit Before the New Year

It was never a question of being too heavy when I was young. I was always riding my bike, running around the neighborhood, swimming, playing ball and doing other typical calorie-churning kid things.

As I’ve gotten older, my lifestyle isn’t nearly as active. I work at a desk. I’m no longer the fit little kid. I’m the dad that sometimes has a hard time keeping up with the energy of his three active little ones. And that’s gotten me a little frustrated.

A few years ago, when my wife, Emi, had our first child, I realized I needed to make a change, so I started paying more attention to how much I was eating. I started exercising more. I dropped a lot of weight and I felt great.

But here we are again. Years have passed and the weight has come back on. My eating discipline has slackened, and quite frankly, it’s been years since I’ve been to a gym.

So here it is … by writing this, I am publicly challenging myself to get fit again. Without getting into too many specifics, I am setting a public goal of dropping 15 pounds by the end of the year. That’s about eight weeks. If I can lose two pounds a week, that’ll do it, and I can reevaluate and set new goals. But one step at a time.

This year, we moved to Seattle. It’s one of the fittest cities in the U.S., and offers all sorts of opportunities for physical activity. Emi is an avid runner, and has been urging me to come for runs with her, but I always had found excuses not to. Aside from the fact that I’ve never really enjoyed running (another excuse), I didn’t really want to. Emi Ponce de Souza, Magnolia Running, Puget Sound Jogging

No more excuses. I went and bought a pair of running shoes. I set up new running playlists. And for the past two days, I’ve gone for runs with Emi.

The point wasn’t to try to keep up with her (she’s a couple of weeks away from running a 13.1-mile half marathon). It was to push myself and to get back out there. To do something for my body. Yes, she ran circles around me. Yes, I felt it in every part of my body. My lungs were stinging. My hips and groin were a little sore. I practically crawled back to the house today. But I feel good about it.

We ran along Magnolia Blvd., a gorgeous stretch along the Puget Sound, with views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains to the west of the Sound. Late autumn yellow leaves swirled and covered the sidewalk for a stretch near Discovery Park. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.

Here are some things I’ll be doing over the next couple of months to drop some weight:

  • If I have a couple of cups of coffee a day, I can drink it black and lose the sugar.
  • There are tons of great microbreweries in Seattle. I’m going to limit myself and just have a couple of beers a week.
  • Keep notes on what I’m eating. We don’t do junk food in this house, and rarely eat out, so it’ll really be a focus on portions.
  • Maintain activity. I want to go for a run three times a week. If more, great, but at least that.

That seems like a good start. Look out for updates!