50 Less By 50

They'll need to call the Fire Department to put out all the candles on my next birthday cake.

This year I will celebrate (or not) my half-century birthday.  That’s right, the big Five-0.  I’m not exactly thrilled about this.  I mean, there’s just something about that number. Maybe it is because I feel that if I’m turning 50, I should have a little better handle on life than I do.  Maybe it is because I kind of really liked my 40’s, except for the first half.  Maybe it is because the reality of my humanity and mortality is becoming more and more evident with each passing year. The number 50 seems a bit like a neon sign announcing the fact that my youth is fading rather than a simple marker along the roadside of life.

Whatever the reason, I’m simply not excited about this birthday.

In spite of my mental dread of this particular date on the calendar, it does serve as a perfect date for a deadline.  In January, a friend of mine mentioned that she wanted to lose 25 pounds by her birthday, which is late this month.  I realized that this is halfway to my own deadline both in terms of pounds lost and time passed since I started this quest to lose 50 pounds.  We decided to work together to hold each other accountable and keep each other motivated.  It also helped that we both were starting at pretty much the same starting weight.

That was way back in January of this year.

That was before all the excitement began.

My friend has consistently dropped weight each week.

At least I haven't put on the measly 7 pounds I lost while recovering from surgery.

I have dropped less consistently.  I am disappointed that I haven’t made better progress, but given all the wonderful, unexpected surprises and the way they’ve limited my ability to workout, I’m very pleased that I haven’t gained any of the weight back that I lost.

For the year so far, I’ve only lost 7 lbs.  I have 43 more pounds to go.  At this point, if I get within ten pounds of my goal by my birthday, I’ll be satisfied.  I won’t be finished with the goal to lose the total 50, but I will be okay with getting close by my birthday.

I’m not going use this space to log my calorie count or food intake.  I’m simply going to use it as a record of the number of pounds and inches I’ve managed to get rid of each week. It’s really merely a way to up the accountability for myself.  I haven’t even really figured out how I’m going to record the information here.  I guess I’ll figure it out as I go.

March 30, 2012

It is over halfway, chronologically, to my deadline.  I’m not halfway in my weight loss.  Four weeks out for surgery and recovery, kind of knocked the wind out of my sails a bit.  However, at this point, all that medical stuff should be mostly behind me and I’m going to begin making some real strides.  I’m going to start with setting weekly goals.  Smaller goals.  I am going to try to get as close to my goal as close to the deadline as possible.  By back to school time would be great!

April 30, 2012

This month was a mixed bag of success and failure regarding weight loss.  The scale simply has not budged.  It hasn’t moved upward, that’s a good thing.  It also hasn’t moved downward.  That’s the discouraging part.  I guess I shouldn’t be too disappointed, because after all, I only just got back to riding after my last surgery at the beginning of the month.  I was also only able to ride during the weekends, which significantly reduces time on the bike.  Further, I drank beer.  On the up side I have the following to be pleased with:

  • I logged 205 miles on the bike this month.  That’s a significant improvement over last month’s 129 miles, especially considering I started radiation treatments halfway through the month.
  • I have lost about a percentage point of body fat.  No pounds off though.
  • Things are looking better in various parts of my body.  I got organized and as I was cleaning things out I stumbled across a scrap of paper from June 25, 2011 where I had taken my measurements.  This was about two weeks after I really got serious about putting mileage on my bike last summer.  All the measurements are there so on April 25, 2012 I took some measurements just for fun, to see what, if any, changes had occurred.  I mean, I’m riding so much more than I did last year and my eating is decent (except for the beer).  Here is what the data showed:
    • I lost 3.5 inches from my waist since last June.
    • I lost 3.5 inches from my thighs.
    • I lost 1.5 inches off my chest. (I think this is due to surgery and not weight loss.  I could be wrong.)
    • I’ve lost an inch to an inch and a half off my hips.  (The first place you gain is the last you lose?)
Anyway, not a horrible month.  I actually managed to ride 100 miles during one weekend. We were able to do one group ride.  The group was a bit slow for us, so we decided to go up to the next group.  On that ride I had to drop because I was desperately sick with a head cold.  The pace of the group would have been perfect, if I wasn’t sick.  That was the last weekend of April, where I only rode 11 miles.  Like I said, April was a mixed bag.
By the weigh (hee! hee!), my friend met her weight loss goal.  She was more dedicated than I was. I’ve pretty much given up the idea that I’m going to lose the 50 by the time I turn 50.  However, I’m not giving up on losing the 50.  I just have some other hurdles to accomplish first. Getting through radiation treatments and NOT taking any more time off work is going to be a big challenge, but it is my goal.  On top of that, I still hope to ride every day I can.  My daughter got her driver’s license so that should ease the after work taxi mom duties.  If I can’t ride, maybe a few minutes at the gym on weights and cardio will work?  Here are the goals for May in bullet form:
  • Make it through radiation treatments and keep working.  My last day is scheduled to be June 5.  School ends June 7.
  • Ride every weekend.  Hopefully a goal of 300 miles is not unreasonable?
  • Ride at least an hour each day during the week.
  • Watch the diet.  More variety, fewer carbs, less beer.
  • If energy and time allows, get to the gym several times a week for some resistance training.
  • Sleep!
  • Drink water!
  • Observe the scale actually begin to show a decline in the number of pounds on my body.
I’m glad April is over.  Other than the riding, it was a really tough month. I’m looking forward to May.


  1. Getting past the idea of 50 can be challenging, but it’s only a number? At 50, you are beginning the second half of the best part of your life.

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