dgpI told my wife: “I’m not going to be one of those fat guys who drop their kid off at college.  We’ll see plenty of them on campus, but I will not be one of them.”

And so began my mental preparation for the expedition to lose 25+ pounds and get in shape for the fall 2014 freshmen orientation activities – wherever they might occur.

I made the above comment to my wife 18 months ago and since then have lost 15 pounds.  I have 10-14 more to go before I can get comfortable, but my 5’-9” frame and joints are much happier now.  I’ve plateaued a bit and know the path to the next 10-14 pounds will require far more discipline and toughness than it has taken me to lose the first 16 pounds.  As I’ve heard, the first pounds come off more easily than the latter ones do; in order to see real life-changing gains would require commitment, sacrifice and consistency.

Here are some things to know about me as I trek onward:  First, I’m 56 now and will be 57 in less than 6 months.  This blog is called 56forward because this is my starting point for the future I envision.

Secondly, I don’t want to lose the weight and gain strength so that I can take my shirt off, snap some photos and submit them to fitness magazines [not my style at all!].  I want to be the best I can be for my two daughters so that I can be an active part of their lives in the coming years.  And I want the remaining years I have with my wife (22+ years and counting) to be healthy ones together.

Thirdly, many of my peers have already put some/all of their children through college.  I am experiencing firsthand just now what it means to send a child — and soon another — to college.

Lastly, I thought that getting in better shape and preparing myself for a daughter at college would be enough, but I have something else going on.  I’m looking for work now after my job at one of the really big banks was eliminated recently.  No acrimony, no hard feelings; just a two-year assignment completed and now time to move on, do something new and different.  I am excited and worried at the same time.

So this blog will focus on my efforts to become healthier and fitter while I grapple with my first parental college voyage and a tricky job search.  If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me on these pages for what lies ahead!