Do you know how the word "milestone" originated? According to Wikipedia (I know, not the ultimate source, but still useful!) it came from the time of the Roman empire. Since early Romans traveled only short distances by foot each day, each milestone was important as it measured progress toward their goal of reaching the next city or town. Today, milestones are constructed to provide reference points along the road. They reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and indicate the distance remaining to a destination.
When I set out on this journey to find the New Angie...the one who I am convinced is inside me, fighting her way out...I weighed 328 pounds. I had no idea what goal I was aiming for, but knew that it was a far distance away! It was a huge milestone to cross down into the 200's again, one that I celebrated heartily! The 50 pound milestone was a big one, too. That number just seemed so significant to me, especially since as I've yo-yo dieted over the course of my adult life I've never even come close to that big of a loss. But then the weight loss slowed down. I hadn't changed anything in my lifestyle...or more specifically, hadn't undone any of the changes that I'd already made in diet and exercise. But I plateaued and stayed at that 50 pound loss for several months. While I was grateful that I didn't regain any weight, I knew I still had far to go. Fifty pounds wasn't enough. There was far more to lose and I just couldn't see how it was going to happen.
Then came the running shoes. On April 18th, I bought my first pair of real running shoes, and from that day forward, my life has truly changed for the better. This was my birthday present to myself...a few weeks early, but really right on time in so many ways. Prior to that point, all of my exercise had been done in the pool - some swimming, but mostly things like water aerobics, water running, and replicating some of the strength training I had done in physical therapy in the water. The water protected my painful knees as I worked out my body. But with a 50 pound weight loss behind me, I was ready to take my workout to land. My physical therapist, also named Angie (as all the cool people in life are!), convinced me that the change in exercise and routine would be more beneficial than harmful to my knees as it would kickstart my weight loss again. Yes, it would hurt...because, let's face it, even at 50 pounds down, at 278 pounds I was still an obese woman putting a great deal of stress on knee joints that are about worn out...but in the end, the weight loss working out at the gym would produce would be worth the pain if I could learn how to push past it Angie said.
On April 19th, Angie and I went to the gym for the first time. I was terrified to get on that treadmill and walk, much less run (which I DID accomplish, albeit for only a few seconds at a time!). I was certain that I was going to irreparably injure my knees. My only comfort was that Angie...my physical therapist, personal trainer, and friend...was right there and could treat me immediately when the knees collapsed! I was convinced that's how that workout was going to go down! Fortunately for us both, it didn't. I managed a half mile that day...in about 20 minutes or so. From then on, 3-4 times each week, I have gone to the gym and have progressed to the point where I can easily manage 2 miles on the treadmill in significantly less time. I even began to enjoy the benefits that bicycling brings to my knees. It's nothing for me to go 10-15 miles at a time on the stationary bike. My cardiovascular endurance has greatly improved, as has my knee strength. But the most significant indicator of improvement in me has been the one Angie told me would be worth it. I have lost more weight. Quickly.
By my 44th birthday, 11 days into the new "going to the gym" adventure, I weighed 265. For those keeping count, that was 13 pounds down in those 11 days! And then a few weeks later, I hit another big milestone...259 pounds. A 69 pound weight loss, and the first time I'd been in my 250's in at least 20 years, likely longer. And until today...exactly where I've stayed STUCK for weeks now! But no more.
This morning, I hit the next milestone. The waiting is over...I've pushed my way through to a 72 pound weight loss! This morning the scale read 256 pounds! I was concerned about what I could do to change up my routine and jumpstart my loss again like I did back in April, and now I'm just celebrating. My weight loss is still progressing.
I know I am FAR from done, but this milestone does for me what the Romans' did for them...it is a reference point along my road to the New Angie, assuring me I'm on the right path, and reminding me how far I've come...and how far I have yet to go to reach my goal. I hope you stay on the journey with me. Because I can GUARANTEE you, this is by far not the last of our milestones together!