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I’m With Stupid – November 25, 2016

by Todd Hartley

Todd Hartley-smallThe other day, I was standing in front of a mirror with my shirt off — not deliberately, mind you. It’s not like I took my shirt off to go flex in front of a mirror. I just happened to be stepping out of the shower — and maybe the mirror was fogged up or something, but I actually thought I looked a little less flabby than I usually do.

Buoyed, I stepped on the scale hoping for glad tidings, and boy, was I wrong. Turns out I was near the high end of my range, which is typically from about 205 to 215 pounds, depending on how recently lunch or a good bowel movement has taken place. Here it was, a couple of days before the start of eating season and I was almost as fat as I get. I was in trouble.

So this is what I’ve decided to do: Bucking my usual trend of overeating and sitting around digesting this holiday season, I plan to get in shape. I’m going to resurrect the 30-day burpee challenge, which I made a half-hearted attempt at a couple of years ago, and see if I can get my weight below 200 pounds by Christmas.

Just so you know, there’s no way I’m getting below 200 pounds by Christmas. I just want to state that for the record before I go out and don’t do it. I should also probably state that there’s almost no chance of me completing the burpee challenge either. That’ll make my failure feel slightly less abject when it inevitably happens.

A burpee, in case you’re wondering, is an exercise move that involves dropping to the floor on your chest, pushing up with your arms as you bring your feet up beneath your shoulders, springing up from a squat and clapping your hands above your head as you jump. Your grandpa would call it a squat thrust. They’re a pain in the ass and they have the added benefit of making you look like an idiot.

With the 30-day burpee challenge, the idea is that you start off low, with a mere five burpees on the first day, and gradually increase your daily burpees so that by day 30 you do 100. That’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway. My experience was a little different.

The first time I tried the challenge, I made it up to 75 burpees in one day. Now, I don’t know if you’re supposed to do all the burpees at once, but I assure you I didn’t. I did them in seven and a half sets of 10 spaced out over the course of the day. Maybe some lunatics can do 75 in one set, but I am not them.

Still, I was impressed with myself for even making it that far, and I felt good, but the next day, when circumstances made it hard to squeeze in burpees, I did none and never looked back. That’s the thing about this kind of challenge, I think: After you miss a day, you’re done. It’s not like I was going to take a blissful day off and then get up and do 85 the next day. Please.

But this time around things are going to be different, by which I mean I won’t quit after the 75-burpee day. I promise to quit after a different day instead. The only question is how far will I make it. I’m going to do five burpees today to start things off, and there’s a pretty good chance that that’ll be the end of it. I know my track record, after all, but we’ll see.

As for the weight, there would be one really easy way to lose 15 pounds in the next month, as I’ve proven before: Eat and drink nothing but Larabars and fizzy water the whole time.

Yeah, somehow I don’t see that happening.

I can try to eat better and eat less, though — hell, if I have vegetables more than once it’ll qualify as eating better — but I need to begin with baby steps. For instance, I can start by not doing what I did the other day when I upgraded the fries that came with my cheeseburger from regular to chili-cheese. That’s got to count for something, right?

So will I do 100 burpees and lose 15 pounds? No. But if I stick with the challenge a few days and don’t smother everything in cream sauce and cheese, maybe I can avoid starting off 2017 as my fattest self.

Todd Hartley just hopes the burpees outnumber the burps. They probably won’t.

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11 2016

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