Whatcha Doin’ Wednesday

February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Whatcha Doin’ Wednesday is me giving you a snapshot of a week in my life.  From last Wednesday to this Wednesday.

What we’ve been up to
Where we’ve been going
What we’re listening to, reading, watching
You get the picture…
So here we go…
First I decided to get my hair cut and colored.

Now this is actually a very big deal because I have not been able to fit in a hairdresser’s chair in several years.

I used to have a hairdresser who I had been going to since 2006.  I gained over 100 pounds during that time and he was extremely accommodating .

He would make arrangements for me in advance to have a special chair brought in that did not have arms.

He also would do my hair at times when there were not very many people there so I would not feel so embarrassed.

Unfortunately, he moved away about 18 months ago.

After this, I just stopped getting my hair cut.

Recently, I began noticing that I could now squeeze into chairs.

I’m not saying it’s comfortable but I am able to at least get in.

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but a hairdresser’s chair can be especially difficult.  There is that step they always have hanging out there at the bottom which you have to maneuver around and as I’ve said before–there’s no maneuvering when you’re over 400 pounds.

There also isn’t a lot of space in the chair and it tends to push your forward.

If you’re extremely obese you can easily find yourself on the edge slipping off.

At one point in time I just gave up and decided that it was my destiny to become Rapunzel.

Not because I felt like a princess but because my hair would most likely never get cut again.  I should be happy my hair doesn’t grow any faster than it does.  

So here I was at the beginning of the week:

beforehair

Here is one of the chairs I had to squeeze into at the hairdresser.  As you can see, it has the dreaded arms that I have come to despise.  Those arms have made it virtually impossible for me to go many places in the last few years because they essentially say “You can be THIS big…and the rest of you…GET OUT”

hairdresserchair

It was a victorious day for me to fit in that chair.  I’m not going to lie.  It was still a tight fit but I was in.  For me to be able to make an appointment, walk in, and get my hair done without anyone having to accomodate me was just an unbelievable feeling.

They didn’t have to pull out a bench for me to sit on.  There was no drama involved.  Just me sitting in a chair getting my hair cut.  And yet it was one of the best days I’ve had in years!

Here I was a few hours later

eyebrows

When I got home, my oldest daughter (who is about to turn 16 in 4 days!!) said that it looked pretty darn good!

She added that it was high past time I got my eyebrows done.

Well lets’ just talk about THAT one for a second.

If I can’t fit in a hairdresser’s chair, how do you think I’m going to hop up and lay down on the table where they do your eyebrows?

Yeah right.

As a result of that, my eyebrows have resembled caterpillars for quite awhile.

Trust me–it’s been the least of my problems.

You get to 417 pounds–you’re not caring about your eyebrows.

But she decided it was time to get the job done and took it upon herself to complete the task.  I’m not going to say it wasn’t painful but I think she did a fantastic job.

You can decide.

hollyeyebrows

I sure do look much better in this picture, huh?

The wonders of a haircut, eyebrow plucking and some good make up!

There have been a lot of events going on at the school lately.

My two youngest had award ceremonies.

My son was also chosen to participate in Literacy Awareness night.

In the past, I have been either unable to attend these things or I would go and have to stand.

 Everything always takes place in the cafeteria.

You’re expected to sit on these teeny tiny benches that are attached to the tables.

I’m sure you’ve seen them.

The benches do NOT scoot out.  They are attached.

This presents the same dilemma as a booth.

An obese person cannot sit on this.

The best they can do is to sit facing the other direction with their back to the table.

Now this works for awhile even though it’s uncomfortable but when you’re 417 pounds–well it’s just not going to happen.

 I’d say this is pretty small for even a normal sized individual!  I measured them and they’re maybe 2 feet wide but barely.

bench

Do you know how awful it is to be a mother and not be able to attend important events?

Or to go and stand on your feet praying to God that they don’t buckle underneath you?

You’re probably thinking I could have asked someone to get me a chair right?

Well–there is no chair when you’re over 400 pounds that won’t break.

 So really…you’re just out of luck.

I missed a lot of events because of this.

When I think about it, I just want to cry from guilt.

But I can’t dwell on that.

I’m still barely on the bench…but I’m on it!!

literacy

What an awesome day!! Watching my kids and cheering them on!!

charaward2

cjaward2

cjreading

And this week we had another exciting thing happen .

Annabelle was chosen to sing a solo in Kids Choir.

She was so thrilled to get the chance to stand on stage with a microphone and sing a solo.

It was something she had auditioned for and been wanting to do for a long time.

Now was my chance to watch her perform.

Guess what?

The Kids Choir led the music for the younger children .

And that room has…you guessed it…NO chairs.

But they did have a few stools.

You know what’s worse than chairs with arms?

Stools.

You see, not only am I obese.  I’m short!

And to make it even better this is a tiny stool.

I wouldn’t have even dared to sit on it in the past.

 I’ve broken chairs before.  Sturdy chairs.

You know that scene from the movie “Shallow Hal” where she breaks the chair?

Well I’ve lived it.

 I’ve broken chairs.  I’ve broken toilet seats.  The list goes on.

It’s humiliating.  It’s horrific.  And the only reason I’m even admitting this now is because I know I’m not alone.

And I know that there are others who have experienced this.

And as horrible as that can be–there is hope.

This was the stool they had available if you wanted to sit down

tinystool

7 months ago, I would have had to miss watching my daughter sing because I was no longer able to handle standing on my feet and this stool had no chance going up against me!

But this is me on Saturday night–sittin’ on a stool!!

 It was still risky because I’m still obese.

However, I went for it and it worked!

My oldest daughter, Savannah, took a picture because she literally could not believe that I was able to sit on the stool!!

hollyonstool

Here’s Annabelle singing her solo in Kids Choir!!

They had a blast.  The Kids Choir is so much fun and they do a great job.

I’m so glad that she was able to do this and I was able to watch it.

Annabelle is the one in the middle.

She’s kind of tall for her age, right?

Don’t ask me where she got that from!!

She has to fight against the genetics to make that happen.

The other girls also did a fabulous job with their solos as well.  The whole Kids Choir is run so well.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

And I never would have seen it at all if not for the amazing changes taking place in my life.

annabellesinging

Here is video clip of them singing! She’s the one in the middle.

What a wonderful time this was for all of us. The music was uplifting and encouraging.  To be there in the midst of all the fun was great.  And the best part of all was the song they sang titled  “You Are Good!”.

And I’ll sing because You are good
And I’ll dance because You are good
You are good to me…to me…


I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 It’s exactly the way I feel about how blessed I have been that God opened doors for me to have this surgery and start on this journey to a healthier and happier life!

 Something else exciting happened this week.

 I was able to buy fuzzy pajama pants!

I know this may not sound like much but it sure is a big deal to me.

I’ve been eyeing these fuzzy pajama pants in Walmart for about 2 years.

I really wanted some but I was about 4 sizes larger than the largest size available.  

A 3X might as well have been a size 4.

I bought all my kids some and they love them.  For years I’ve looked at them longingly.

They’re so soft and warm!

Well guess who has fuzzy pajama pants now??!

I’m also wearing my Mandisa shirt which I manage to also fit into now.

The one that says “My mirror does not define me” 🙂

This is a great thing for me to remember because sometimes the mirror says very mean things!!

Like…”You’ve lost 130 pounds and you’re still that big??”  Well that’s just fine .

It’s true.  I’ve lost 130 pounds and I’m still obese.  And I’ll be obese in another 50 pounds from now too.

But I sat on a stool and watched my daughter sing.

And I sat in a hairdresser’s chair and got my hair cut.

And I’m wearing fuzzy pajama pants that I couldnt fit into 6 sizes ago.

So even if I have a long way still to go that’s ok with me.

I’ve learned it’s  not about how far I have to go.

 It’s about the journey along the way.

hollypajamapants

ourpajamas

And that brings us to today….

Charlotte had to stay after school for a project so afterwards I took her out to lunch for some one on one time.

When you have 4 kids, it’s hard to do that but I find that spending time with each of them individually wherever I can squeeze it in keeps each of our relationships on its own special path.

The big plate in the picture is mine .

And that’s what it looked like when I was DONE eating.

Going out to eat for me is more of a social event now than an eating event.

I had about 6-7  bites of the meat.  And I was very full.  The rest went in a take home box for the other kids to share.

mexicanwithcharlotte

I truly love my sleeve.  That’s the surgery that I had (gastric sleeve).

It’s amazing.

I still can barely believe that it’s me sitting there with all that food not needing to eat every last bite.

Not even being able to if I could.  My sleeve has changed my life.

And last but not least…this is me today…heading out the door in my new jeans.

Six sizes smaller than they used to be!  And I bought them from the Avenue.

A store I have never shopped in before now.

Most of my clothes were special ordered off the internet.  But not anymore!

hollybydoor

What a week we’ve had!

So now the only thing left to ask is….

Whatcha’ Doin?

That’s YOU!  Please fill me in on how your week is going.  I’ve been uplifted and encouraged by so many people who have left me comments or contacted me via email.

Some of them have had the surgery.

Some of them are thinking about it .

And some of them have no affiliation with the surgery at all.

Some struggle with their weight and are using other methods to lose it.

No matter what method we choose, we’re all on this journey together.

Trying to find our way out of the dark.  

Some people who have contacted me aren’t even overweight at  all.

They’re just people with compassionate hearts who may have struggled with other areas of life.

But they can identify with hardship.  They can identify with life being challenging.

So I ask you once again…Whatcha’ Doin?  I look forward to hearing all about it!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Fit to the Finish February 22, 2012 at 3:49 am

Love the hair, love the sitting on the stool, love your attitude! It is so great to be able to "fit in" to the normal-sized world. People who have never struggled with morbid obesity don't understand the chair/bench/booth problems. I do!! Congratulations.

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Lalena February 22, 2012 at 4:09 am

I've been wegged in chairs with arms before. I've had the sleeve done last November and went down from a BMI of 43 to now 37,5 so I'm a happy camper.
Congratz on your amazing weightloss and your journey to loose more. And I love your hair and eyebrows too 🙂

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Debbie February 22, 2012 at 10:06 am

I have had the sleeve also, love it. you look so beautiful keep up the GREAT work. Your family has got to be so proud of you. So are all of us. Your hair and eyebrows look grat also.

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Anonymous February 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

You are inspiring, I will be sleeved soon, and God open a door for me too. I recieve it.

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Mike Turner February 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Am so happy for you Holly you seem so much happier now then when I first meet you that is so great, and the new hair dew WOW!! you look awesome 😉

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Diane!! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog. I have SO enjoyed reading yours. If anyone else is reading this, I would like to suggest they hop over to your website and check it out. I saw the clip of you on the Dr.Oz show and some of the articles you wrote for his website. In fact, I just read the article you wrote about going to the dentist for the first time 8 years. Ok..I'm getting ready to take that plunge too so that spoke straight to my heart. Thanks again!

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Unknown February 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I first want to say way to go in getting your life back. I also am a fellow sleever but must comment on how inspiring you are. I loved seeing how happy you look in every picture on this posting. I haven't even read yet your past ones but wanted to let you know that you made me smile with the way you write your story and the pictures you showed. Love the one of all the pj pants 🙂 Just want to say keep up all of the great work your doing for yourself and your family and I will continue being inspired by you. Thanks for posting. Denise

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Andrea February 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Wow…love this! Congrats on all the NSVs!

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Anonymous February 23, 2012 at 5:29 am

I love your blog! I was sleeved June 2011 and I have lost 97 lbs. But like you I am still obese. I would like to lose at least another 100 lbs or more. Each day is a journey. And for those people that think weight loss surgery is easy they should think again. I have had a few milestones this week. I went for a followup with my surgeon on Monday. I had to get blood work done to check my iron and etc. I actually fit in the lab chair and the arm rest went all the way down on the front!!! WOO HOO. At my preop blood work the arm wouldnt fid over my stomach. The next thing I can't wait to try is fly. The last time I flew I had to have a belt extension. Keep up the good work and keep posting! Michelle

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Lori February 23, 2012 at 6:46 am

I've been sleeved as well…thanks for your blog.
You said…." I've learned it's not about how far I have to go. It's about the journey along the way."
I love this! Because, inevitably when I get " there" I still haven't arrived! At least this side of heaven… 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

Wow that is an awesome accomplishment Lalena!! That is really terrific. I am so excited for you. The sleeve has changed both of our lives!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thanks Debbie!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I am so happy for you. You have many wonderful days ahead!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Thank you Mike! I really appreciate all the uplifting and encouraging comments you give!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Thank you so much Denise. It's great to meet a fellow sleever! I appreciate your kind comments!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 12:01 pm

thanks Andrea!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Wow!! Congratulations on losing 97 lbs That is AMAZING! I totally agree with you. Weight loss surgery is not the easy way out. It's still work but at least now we have a fighting chance! Fitting in the lab chair is awesome. I have also been unable to fly. Wow you just named off so many things I can relate to!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down February 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

That's really true. There really is no 'end'. It's going to be a lifelong journey so we better learn to enjoy it!! Thank you Lori for your comment!

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Shell.C February 29, 2012 at 4:12 am

Hi Holly, I've been sleeved as well. The day of my surgery on 5th Dec 2011 I weighed 483lbs. Today i weigh 409lbs. I really enjoy reading your blogs as sometimes it can feel like I'm never going to get there. I've gotten stuck in chairs and broken them as well and i cant wait for the great feeling of being able to sit in one without worrying. Look forward to reading more from you.

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