I’ve thought about it a lot, hesitated, made excuses, and today I’m going public with it. It’s scary like shit, but I guess that’s what commitment feels like. I thought commitment was easy for me until I tried it. Ok, so committing to sharing my life with Jeff was not a hard decision. Who could turn down a good-looking man who knows how to cook and is just an all-around sweetheart? Though today I want to write about a different kind of commitment. My commitment to, over the next six months, lose 20 pounds and regain access to my 32-inch waist pants. I want all of you to witness the process and help me stay with it. Together we can do it.

This is not as sudden a decision as it might seem. Jeff and I have talked and planned for a big family event this October since last fall and recently we set a date. Before you ask, yes we are getting married. In the excitement and happiness of it all, the idea of a photographer at the event took a while to scare me. Yes, we plan to cherish this moment for years to come, but will I cherish the look of me in years to come? So now is the time to do something about it. It is also the ideal opportunity to realign reality with my image of who I am. Not so long ago, people described me as “a tall drink of water”. While still tall at a little over 6 feet 2 inches the drink is quite a bit more substantial now. Enjoying home cooked meals and sharing ice cream in front of the TV with my honey added another 12 pounds or so over the last two years.

So while I still considered myself “a thin guy” despite what the scale said, my doctor started to make noises about watching out for my elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Damn, I really am getting older. I used to have really low blood pressure and had no idea what cholesterol was. This is changing now. As a start I took an inventory this morning: Weight 190 pounds. Body-mass-index (BMI) 24.5. With a BMI below 25 I’m not considered overweight but getting close. Then there’s the waist-to-hip ratio, a measure of how big a belly you carry around. That’s supposed to be below 0.92. My waist-to-hip ratio today is 0.98. If I lost about two and a half inches around the middle, I’d be there. But I have loftier goals.

This is where we are getting to my target weight. After all, if I go through the troubles of getting married, I might as well make sure I have plenty of time to enjoy it. So I decided to use the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company tables that list body weight for maximum longevity. The longer the better I always say. Adding an inch to my height, the tables are based on people wearing shoes, and subtracting 5 pounds for indoor clothing, my ideal (naked) body weight ranges from 162 to 177 pounds. The mid-point is at 170 pounds. Hence the title of the column.

I have six months to get there, much longer than any miracle diet would take. Though I’m not betting on miracles. I’ll stick with a plan of sensible eating and increased exercise. Death to office snacks! For motivation and background info, I have a copy of the Abs Diet on my desk. That’s my first line of attack. The second line of defense is all of you guys. I’ll write a weekly column every Friday on where I am. Stay tuned.

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