merrell weight-loss exercise shoes hiking climbing walking

These Shoes & 80 lbs Gone

The year was 2010 and the Christmas/New Year holidays had just ended.  With a steadfast resolution to lose weight still fresh in my mind and the gift of new walking shoes, my thoughts were a frenzy of hysteria, eager to begin my “healthy” lifestyle.  And that was about the extent of the excitement concerning these shoes.  For their first three years of existence, these shoes sat mostly in my closet.  I treated them more like a fashion accessory only to be worn with certain outfits, for specific occasions.  And let’s be honest, they aren’t bad looking but you’re not going to find them at Paris fashion week.  These shoes are meant to be worn, not admired.  These shoes are meant to get dirty, not collect dust.

merrell weight-loss exercise shoes hiking climbing walking
My old Merrell’s that almost didn’t make it for the photoshoot because of a bad little Boston Terrier!

Fast forward three years.  I was still overweight, still in need of exercise and these shoes had now been tucked away from memory.  Life had remained the same ol’ same ol’ until after years of testing, imaging, and false diagnoses, doctors were finally able to determine the cause of my many ailments.  Finding out my body had turned against me and was now threatening my very existence was a life altering moment that had me search for something, anything familiar.  In an ocean of chaos, you seek the ordinary.  Not out of denial, but from the need to have anything feel normal when your life is thrown into a terrifying reality.  It’s how we cope as humans.  For my own survival it was imperative I found a purpose, a reason to wake each morning and fight the good fight.

merrell weight-loss exercise shoes hiking climbing walking
The tread of my old Merrells worn off.

It was at this juncture when I found these shoes at the back of my closet, new and perfect.  It seemed trivial at first to even consider struggling to physically better myself considering the battle I now faced.  But the truth is, I was comfortable attempting to lose weight.  I had been attempting this impossible feat the majority of my adult life!  I was not only soothed in weight-loss mode, but dieting and exercise were the only familiar fragments of my life when everything else around me was foreign and scary.

merrell weight-loss exercise shoes hiking climbing walking
Bad little doodle caught in the act chewing my old Merrells!

Out of the closet, these shoes came in my pursuit of the usual.  For four years these shoes have carried me through marshes, across fields, and up mountains.  They’ve been devoured by mud, drowned in water and have pounded endless hours of pavement and never once were my feet sore or wet.  And for the first time in my life, I actually lost some serious weight (and for the record, my weight loss was not a result of my illness)!  But what left me the most surprised, was the invaluable gift these shoes gave to me.  A gift so unexpected and rare, I could never have known its worth until it was received.  Unbeknownst to me, as I walked, climbed and hiked, a flame within ignited and quickly grew to a roaring fire.  A desire so strong to keep moving, keep living, that I absolutely refused to allow any circumstance keep me from my salvation.  These shoes didn’t just deliver me from my weight-loss woes.  They freed my mind to the possibility that through God, the Universe or whatever higher deity you exalt, that anything is possible.

merrell weight-loss exercise shoes hiking climbing walking
My new Merrells!

After almost a decade it is time to retire a tried and true friend, these shoes.  My journey is far from over in both weight-loss and life, but these shoes have earned their rest.  So here’s to these shoes, Merrells to be exact, the 80 lbs they helped evaporate from body and limb but most importantly, to the candle of perseverance they lit within!

~ True North Nomad

What has helped you reach your weight loss goals? 

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40 thoughts on “These Shoes & 80 lbs Gone

  1. Congrats on losing those 80lbs, such an accomplishment and very inspiring. It can be so hard to finally make that leap towards a healthier version of yourself. I have also struggled with staying healthy for many years. My body has started failing me the last few years and I know if I don’t do something soon, it could become a serious health issue. I am finally starting to work towards a healthier me and hope to eventually shed the 50lbs I have packed on. Cheers to a healthier lifestyle and all the miles you’ll put on those new Merrell’s having new adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very inspirational post! I have just started my weight loss journey. I am looking for others to be inspired by and hoping to inspire others. 13 pounds lighter with a long road ahead, but determined to get there! Thanks again for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on the 13lbs! I, as well, have more to lose, but no reason not to celebrate the milestones right? Best of luck to you on your journey and thanks for dropping by!


  3. As usual, a very well written story – and one that I can relate to! I need to put my own hiking shoes back on and get moving. Not sure if all my current ailments are also just menopause (like you, the doctors seem to just want to put me in that category), but I’ll just keep trying to figure it out on my own. But I NEED those walks also to get my own SOUL back to something better! Thank you friend for being an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My first Merrells was an eye opener. I was never too happy with my choice of footware. The I tried on the slightly more expensive walking around style of Merrells and walked around for a bit. I was sold. Since then I’ve also purchased one of their hiking products. A perfect fit for me. Very happy with the shoes. Anyway thanks for sharing another of your stories with us, your very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Lily. I love this post. I was in a shop a little while back looking at beds and a helper said that the most important things you can buy are quality shoes and a quality bed…and yet we spend all of our money on expensive TVs, video games etc etc. Mark Knopfler does a fine song called “Quality Shoe” you might like to listen to, as an aside.

    Anyway, I too have been a buyer of Merrells for a long time now and cannot fault them as a rule. Different pairs have walked all over the world with me but I love the idea that they gain a core part of our lives…fascinating take on things. Thank you and keep up the roaming. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some how I deleted my own reply!! Any way, I agree Graham, beds and shoes are the most important. I’ll have to check out that song! Thanks again for dropping by and take care my friend!


  6. I love this true story of determination and never giving up Lily. It s so much like my own story and it is just what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much for sharing this and what an awesome accomplishment on your part and defying the odds with your persistence and the will to go on. My deepest respect and much love my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Good shoes are much worth and yours have great memories too 🙂
    To kick ourselves and come out walking, just walking – running isn’t necessary, can kick-start a new way of living. I love my walks, but have also been fighting with my health in same time. I hope soon to be able to walk long walks again.

    Liked by 2 people

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