Like any other married couple, Willie and Angela Gillis took vows at the altar. However, their vows didn’t stop there. After years of unhealthy eating habits, they both decided to take a vow to change their lifestyle. When Willie’s weight peaked at nearly 500 pounds – 492 pounds to be exact – he knew something had to be done. “I thought I was probably going to be dead before my goddaughter turned five,” Willie said. “I wanted to at least try to see if I could lose weight.”
According to Woman’s Day, Angela Gillis made a pact with her husband and they agreed to lose the weight together. “Willie came to me and said, ‘I don’t want to be this person anymore.’ So I said, ‘If you’re going to do it, I’m going to do it,'” Angela recalled. It all started with just five minutes a day on the treadmill. They also decided to cut out fast food and opt for home-cooked meals. With the help of the fitness app LoseIt, Willie and Angela were able to keep records of their calories and learn new healthy habits to incorporate into their daily lives.
“We started losing weight on January 6, 2011, and never stopped,” says Willie.
The more they worked at it, the more weight they shed. They went from five to ten minutes a day on the treadmill, gradually increasing the amount of time spent exercising. To their surprise, they found themselves picking up the pace. Before long, they were jogging.
“I wanted to go faster and faster,” she said. “Walking turned into jogging, and then I was like, Oh I can jog longer than I could before, and it kind of became my thing.”
The progression opened the door for another goal. Angela and Willie decided to step up to the challenge of running marathons. In 2012, Angela joined a running group and Willie soon followed. By 2013, just two years after they began their weight loss journey, they were ready for their first marathon. Although their first marathon was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, they decided to forge on anyway.
“But the next morning, I woke up and told Willie, ‘We’re still going to run our miles.’ So technically, my first marathon was running around Willie’s childhood neighborhood. Willie ran his 13.1, and then he followed me around in the car, helping me to finish all 26.2 miles.”
The Finish Line:
By 2016, the couple managed to shed a whopping 500 pounds combined. They’ve participated in more than 30 marathons. Angela and Willie are the true definition of relationship goals!