Let’s Go You Can Do This! C’mon! You Are Gonna Give Me 5 More!

With enough time, money, and sweat, can you achieve an ideal body? The author answers that all-too-burning question.

  1. In exactly four weeks I will turn 50 years old. Looking down the barrel of that mythic half-century mark, the one that comes with a humbling letter from the AARP, I find I’m less troubled by it than I am by another number—the one on my driver’s license, the one I haven’t weighed for at least a decade (or, to be honest, since college). That number is 135. On the rare occasions I get on the scale, my weight tends to hover around 150, which for a woman of five feet ten is hardly cause for alarm. Still, while I eat pretty clean, my belly’s no washboard; though I walk Runyon Canyon with regularity, I’ve got more “back” than I once had; I lift weights twice a week, or try to, but often the most strenuous workout my biceps get is lifting a glass of Sancerre. Suddenly it occurs to me that it’s now or never. An idea starts to take hold: Be ten pounds lighter by the Big 5-0. If 50 is the new 40, why not turn 150 into 140, too? I imagine a fitness blitz that will melt away my fat pads like Dorothy obliterated the Wicked Witch. We’re not talking Biggest Loser here but rather My Dream Body—the body I fantasize I can have if, like movie stars and athletes, I consider fitness part of my job. Maybe if I literally work my ass off for 28 straight days, I can attain the ideal that has eluded me. You can’t control the years, but can you control the pounds? I’m about to find out.


    The Stats

    The measuring tape is lassoed around my thighs: 21 inches. Hips: 41.25. Biceps: 10.75. Shoulders: ...