New Me Journey — From a challenge to a lifestyle; the ultimate milestone

It started with a challenge.

It continues as a lifestyle.

As of this afternoon, 349 days after I weighed 282.4 pounds, 646 days since I weighed 301 pounds, I have reached the ultimate milestone.

My weight begins with the number 1.

In less than a year’s time, the New Me Journey is complete.

When I stepped on the scale today and saw what it said, I had to take a step back for a second. There’s no way it was right.

So I stepped on it once more. The number stayed the same.

I gave it another try, just to make sure it was accurate.

Third reading … no change at 199.2 pounds.

I’ve done it.

In 349 days, I’ve lost 83.2 pounds. In 646 days (since March 9, 2015), I’ve lost 101.8 pounds.

ONE HUNDRED ONE AND EIGHT-TENTHS POUNDS.

ONE THIRD OF MY BODY WEIGHT.

GONE.

To my runner friends … that feeling you get when you cross the finish line after your best run — and there is no greater feeling mentally — is what I experienced when I saw my weight.

Accomplished.

I wanted to dip below 200 by Thanksgiving, but I didn’t reach it. So I set another goal of getting there by Dec. 16 — two days from now. And I met it.

Looking back at the last 349 days, one word comes to mind: motivation.

Prior to 2016, I would lack motivation more than I would have it, and any attempt at becoming more physically fit and active was just a fad.

But this year was different.

Granted, there were still days I simply didn’t want to go to the gym or to run. When I pushed myself to get to the gym though, that after-workout feeling was worth the trouble.

Like athletes who hate to lose more than they love to win, I hate feeling disappointed by not working out more than I love the feeling following an exercise session. (I hope that makes sense).

On the contrary to lacking motivation, there were days during which I so desperately needed to exercise but simply did not have the time. It was a letdown mentally because I wasn’t able to feel the high of a good exercise.

And as I’ve told a number of people throughout my journey this last year who tell me they wish they were motivated like me, I respond in the same manner: it starts with one step.

In January, I took on step on a elliptical. A few months later, I took one step on a treadmill. Shortly thereafter, I took a step outside for a run.

Speed? Who cares. Distance? Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you — or I, or anyone — just continue to move forward. One step at a time.

Set goals and reach them.

Run a mile. Run for 10 minutes. Jump higher. Drop a pant size. Wear a smaller shirt. Need a tighter belt.

All of those are simple, achievable goals. But they cannot be reached without a start — that first step.

When I began this journey, I had no idea where it would take me. I never thought I’d become a runner, that running 3 miles would not be not as daunting as it once was or that I would actually have the desire to run a half marathon.

I never set an exact goal weight. I took it in chunks. Ten pounds, then 20 pounds, then 30 pounds, and so on. Then I wanted to get down to 230, and did. Then I wanted to get to 220, and crushed it.

Then I set my sights on dipping below 200.

Look at me now.

I set goals, and I reached them.

Same was true with running. One mile, then 2 miles, then a 5K and TWO 10Ks. All have been reached. Next order of business is my half marathon in May.

Another goal, another opportunity to reach it.

But like I have with each goal so far this year, I’m not just going to reach it — I’m going to crush it.

“How much weight do you want to lose?” is a question I get asked quite frequently. To be honest, there is no answer. I want to get to a weight with which I am comfortable in my skin (it was actually about 30 pounds ago, but the lower I get the better I feel about myself).

Plus, having lost more than 100 pounds already, I’m challenging myself to see how low I can go. The New Me Journey may be complete, but I’m not done.

One quick look at my body (a before/after photo will be posted at a later date when I can get the semantics figured out — I no longer have a tripod), I have more to go. It’s just a matter of if my body will let me. If it does? Great. If I’m not able to lose anymore, I won’t be disappointed because I’ve already lost a third of myself!

I’m not going to stop pushing myself.

It started with a challenge, and now it’s a lifestyle. A pretty damn good one, at that.

“Your only limit is you.”

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