At the end of the month, Anna and I will be flying down to Cancun to join the extended Watkins clan for our family reunion. I don’t think the whole clan has gathered in quite some time. The last gathering might have been back in the mid-Eighties. I know I haven’t seen two of my three cousins in more than 10 years.

I set a goal for myself: I will weigh 175 lbs or less by the reunion. Every Saturday is my official weigh-in. Today the scale registered 178.2 lbs. Just three pounds short of my goal with exactly four weeks left before the reunion.

We went shopping last weekend. After roaming around the Hudson Valley Mall with Anna – very patiently, I might add – we stopped in JC Penney’s on our way out. While there, I tried on a pair of size 32 jeans, which fit just perfectly. Because I keep shrinking out of all the new clothes I buy, we decided to wait until closer to the reunion before purchasing yet another pair of new jeans.

It was so cool to find that I’m now able to wear jeans with a 32 inch waist. Of course I know that Levi’s are cut with extra room in the waist. But I’ve used my jeans as a gauge for as long as I can remember. In fact, the depression I felt when I had to start buying 38s was just huge (as was I, I suppose).

It’s time to put the next stake in the ground: On the first day of Summer next year, I will weigh 160 lbs or less.

Now I know this may be impossible given my general build. The weight tables I’ve seen indicate someone my age should top out at only 158 lbs. Although I know the authors of those tables try to take into account the varieties of physique, I find it hard to believe that I even could weigh that little. And in any account, 160 is a nice round number.

This may seem like an ambitious goal, but the reality is I only need to lose 18 pounds to hit this target. That translates into less than 3 pounds shed each month – an easily attainable goal.