She cruises right through the stop sign with barely a pause. She's definitely on a mission.

Here I am, days from my 60th birthday, and my wife is so "intoxicated" that she does a rolling stop at the stop sign at the Holiday Inn Express. Her obsession is just there on the right.

It was about 7:30 last Sunday morning and the Midwest farm girl had come roaring out of my wife. She wanted some country ham, pecan pancakes and hot grits. She resisted the PowerBar I offered to save the hunger for her favorite breakfast.

By the time we drove out to Cracker Barrel in Marana, her "fuel" was the thought of the taste of that ham and grits.

I gave Debbie a complete pass on her food obsession as a reward for having survived a photo shoot we did for the "Healthiest Town in America" initiative.

In early December I made a pledge to be "Flat at 60." With the help of Oro Valley Fitness 24's Frank Sulzer, I also made a pledge to do a video diary of my progress.

D-Day is this Sunday and this past weekend we documented my progress.

It was quite an experience to have a professional photographer documenting what I have done. Debbie, as always, was the best partner I could hope for.

Next week we will show off some of the photos documenting my journey.

To give you an idea of what it's been like, I'll share with you what my daughter said when she saw me with my new body in my new workout clothes: "Wow! Dad's making a comeback!"

Debbie has already pledged to take the next year and concentrate on her waistline for her 60th birthday in May of next year. She is well on her way, having been there with me over the past five years.

As my birthday approaches, my daughter suggested that, now that she and her brother have their own places, maybe I should take a year to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I am amazed at the thought. Writing has become such a passion that I have dropped many other things so I can focus on that itch in my life.

We moved here in 1996 because we felt it was the best place in the world to raise our children.

Now, 16 years later, the best birthday present I can have is knowing that I still feel I am living in the best place on the planet for me.

Enjoy the journey,


E-mail Bob Oro at northwest@azstarnet.com