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.
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.
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.”