Life-changing Shoes?

Life-changing Shoes?

April 4, 2020 Bill 0

Life-changing shoes? Maybe. When I bought them, I weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 280 pounds. This morning, I weighed in at 216.6. That’s over 60 pounds of me, gone. Actually, I’ve been as high as 305 over the past few years. Pant size: 44. If we use that as a starting point, that’s over 85 pounds and 10 inches off my waist. None of my clothes fit any more.

People talk about their “weight loss journeys”. I hate that phrase. Don’t ask me to explain why, because I can’t. In the end, I have to admit it’s the most accurate descriptor. It is indeed a journey. If I had to pinpoint when mine started, I’d say it was an early October day in the burnt out meadows along the Simpson River in Kootenay National Park. If pressed, I could probably recall why I had ended up there that day, but it really doesn’t matter. That’s where I was.

It was a pretty typical autumn afternoon, a few random snow pellets; a few sunny breaks; a bit of bluster in the breeze. Chilly but pleasant enough given the right clothes. Mine was one of only 2 or 3 cars parked at the trailhead. There were a couple of instagrammers taking photos on the bridge. They said hello and asked me if there might be salmon in the river. Must have thought I looked like a fisherman. I said I wasn’t sure.

I’ve always enjoyed being outside, doing stuff. I’ve always thought of myself as a healthy, active, outdoorsy person. Lots of skiing, biking, hiking, golf. The past few years, my enjoyment of these things had diminished. Back pain. Knee pain. Gas, bloating, heartburn. Questionable mental health, an almost constant foul mood that I just couldn’t shake. Negativity. Bad posture. Shortness of breath. Unable to walk even 9 holes without needing a nap afterward. Living in fear. Above all else, the nagging voice that keeps saying “you’re not who you think you are. You never have been. You never will be”. You who have been there – you who ARE there – you know what I mean. Hostage to all those old habits.

I had recently purchased a new pair of Salomon Speedcross 4 shoes. When I first tried them on, I felt something. A spring in my step that had been missing for a long time. Insider secret – when you’re fat, your shoes break down fast. As a result, your feet hurt. All. The. Time. But somehow, in my new shoes, I felt different. Lighter. It had to be some sort of divine intervention because on that day, on the Simpson River Trail, I felt something I had not felt in a very long time – the simple joy of movement. Every fire needs a spark. I’m going to say my spark came disguised as a pair of shoes and the inexplicable pull of that particular place, at that particular time. Fate?

I certainly didn’t lose 60 pounds that day. Building a big fire from a tiny spark takes work, nurturing, if you will. So a few days later, I googled “healthy weight loss” and came across a program that has truly changed my life. It’s called Noom, and no, I can’t adequately explain it. Let’s just say it goes way beyond food. We talk about elephants. There are endless acronyms. Pop quizzes. You’re supposed to write things down. It teaches you how to feed not only your body, but also your mind and soul. It asks you to respond to tough questions about yourself. Challenges you to think about how you think. Break down your habits, understand them, and replace them with better ones. It has made me cry more than once. And it has very likely saved my life.Turns out losing weight is just a pleasant side-effect of discovering my true self. I’m far from done – in so many ways, I’m still just beginning, but excited at the same time to see where this new me can go. I’ve got a brand new pair of Speedcross 4’s to break in. Believe it or not, I’ve lost half a shoe size. This little note is part of my journey as I learn to be brave enough to just put it out there. I’m pretty guarded when it comes to stuff like this. Why does this seemingly come so easily to other people? No matter, here goes.