Setbacks

March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

I started walking at 417 pounds.

30 seconds at a time.

Then I started going one mailbox a day. My next door neighbors.  And then the next house–the elderly man who always goes out early and picks up everyone’s newspaper and throws them up closer to the house.  He’s nice.

And then the next house.  Where the handyman guy lives.  The one who can fix everything!  And then the next house where I met a woman who was recently diagnosed with diabetes and taking care of her elderly mother.  And she took an interest in me and started walking about 3 houses with me and then went back to take care of her mom.

Then I made it 4 houses down.  The army guy.  The one who said he was “impressed” with ME?  The Army guy in fantastic shape impressed with me? Really?

And then I made it to the 5th house where the elderly couple lives who walk every morning and pass me on the road.

Until 5 months in when I started passing them.

And they were happy about it.  Cheering me on in fact.

And then the next house.  Where the lady in the scooter lives.  The one whose husband died last year and she now is alone.  No one comes by to visit.  And she loves 7 UP.

So now I visit.  And I bring 7 UP.

The 7th house?  That lady has cancer.  She lost all her hair.  But she comes out when she sees me walking . She comes out to tell me “you can do it” even though SHE Is the one doing it.  The one beating the odds.

You see these are all the people I’ve met in my neighborhood as I’ve walked 135 pounds off my body. And they’ve become like a little family to me.  My cheerleaders.

I almost didn’t walk. I felt stupid. I couldn’t even wear shoes because my feet were too swollen.  I wore a size 12 in ladies and they didn’t make them higher than that.  I walked in flip flops and a big dress.  I worried what people would think.  But I went anyway.

Then something happened. People started coming out of their houses.  They started taking some kind of personal interest in what was happening.

“How much weight now??” they would ask.

Somehow it became a neighborhood watch!! Some would walk along with me for a few houses before saying goodbye.

Then I made it further. Down to my children’s school.  And then to the flagpole.

From 30 seconds to 5 miles!!

As I walked, people started honking.

I’m not talking about that man who honked at me the first week.  When I weighed 417 pounds.

The one who said “You’re too fat to be outside. Go in the house!”

No I’m talking about the supporters.  They would honk and wave and yell “GO GET IT!!” out the window.

And if I missed a day they would say “Where were you?”

I lived in this neighborhood six years and I didn’t know anyone.  Because I got in my car which was parked in the garage to drive out.  And when I came home I drove back into the garage, shut the garage door, and went inside.  Rarely did you ever see me.

And now I’m out there.  Walking . Every day.  And then jogging!

The day I started jogging, they all got excited.

 Oh my..  Was that a day of celebration in my neighborhood!

And suddenly I know everyone.  And I don’t just know their names.

 I know THEIR LIVES.

Then something happened.  My knee started hurting.  But I kept going. And it didn’t let up.

It got worse.

And worse.

I went to an orthopedic surgeon.  I told him my symptoms.  He said “It’s probably a meniscus tear”

We did an MRI on Friday.  Today I got the results.

This is the conversation I had with my orthopedic surgeon.
________________________________________________

Him: “So I have bad news. You have a meniscus tear like we thought. It’s small.  But that’s not causing the real pain  That’s not the real problem.  You have arthritis.  All over your left knee cap.  I could scope your knee. Try to repair the tear. But the truth is—the arthritis is the problem. And we can’t fix that”

Me: Great. So I did this all for nothing.  NOTHING.  I lost 135 pounds so I can walk without pain. WITHOUT PAIN.  And now you’re telling me I’m going to have pain regardless.  No matter what I do.

Him: Well some. Yes.  But I can give you a steroid shot.  And the more weight you lose the better it will be. So keep losing weight.  But you can’t walk anymore. No more walking or jogging.

ME: I tried to go walking last week.  1 Mile.  My knee got so bad I could  barely walk at all for 3 days.

Him: I told you not to walk.

Me: I know but I did anyway.

Him: I told you not to.  But keep losing weight.  It will help with the pain.

Me:Really?? How am I supposed to do that? I was walking 5 miles a day.  And I was losing a lot faster than I am now doing nothing.  And I was supposed to do a 5K this month and I couldn’t.  And my brother and I had plans to run a marathon in like 2 years from now. It was going to be us the former 400 pounders running a marathon. And I was going to run the Disney princess half marathon next summer. And now you’re telling me I can’t walk at all??

Him: You can swim instead.

Me: Excuse Me????

Him: Swim. It’s the best exercise for people with arthritis.  You can do water aerobics. You can do resistance with……

Me: (cutting him off) Are you kidding me with this, right now???  I mean look at me.   I am NOT swimming.

Him: Why?

Him: WHY?

ME: Because I will look RIDICULOUS. I’m NOT doing it.  That’s absurd.

Him: how much did you weigh when you started walking?

Me: 417

Him: You don’t think people were looking at you? Staring at you? Watching the 417 pound woman walking for exercise? That didn’t bother you?

Me: Yes it bothered me! Some man yelled out his window at me to go in the house because I was too fat to be outside.

Him: Did you quit?

Me: No.

Him: Ok then.  So why do you care what you look like in a bathing suit at 282.

Me: Because I do. It’s different.

Him: It’s NOT different. It’s the same. You didn’t care then because your life depended on it. And you knew it. You were dying and you were desperate.  And that outweighed your concern over what other people thought.  Because you cared more about living than their comments.  So what’s changed?

Me: I don’t know

Him: So you’re going to quit?

Me: Maybe.  What can I do? Your’e telling me I have arthritis.  That I can’t walk. That my dreams of the 5K and the marathon are gone.

Him: Make new dreams.

Me: NO

Him: I can’t believe you.  I can’t believe this.  You walk in my office and tell me you lost 135 pounds.  That you wanted to live for your kids.  That you were never going to quit.  That you walked in the Texas heat in JULY. That you started walking 30 seconds and made it to 5  miles.  But because you don’t want to get into a bathing suit you’re going to quit halfway to the finish line??

Me: Maybe

Him: Well GET OVER IT! So what if you have arthritis. So what? You can swim.  You are not a quittter.  You didn’t lose 135 pounds to be a quitter.  I don’t even know how at 417 pounds you got the courage to do what you did. The courage to have surgery and hope it would work.  The courage to walk outside in front of people but you did.  And now you’re going to give up over a bathing suit??

Me: I don’t know

Him: I’m giving you a steroid shot for pain.  And then you’re leaving my office and going to find a bathing suit. And you’re going to the pool .And you’re going to swim. And then you’re coming back in 3 weeks for another shot. Because that woman who came in my office has guts.  Go find them.

Me: FINE

Him: Roll up your pant leg.  This is going to hurt a bit

Me: WHAT’S NEW
____________________________________________

So fine.

 I have arthritis.

 I can’t walk.

  I’m not running a 5K.

 Or a Disney Princess half marathon.

 Or that long term dream of a full marathon with my brother who lost 250 pounds.

But I’m going to swim.

I don’t know where.  I don’t know when.  But it’s going to happen.
______________________________________

Tonight we went to CJ’s baseball practice.  And I was still sad.

I walked over to the path by myself and started kicking rocks. With my good leg 🙂

Charlotte (my 8 year old) walked over to me.

“What’s wrong Mom? I know something is”

“I have arthritis in my knee.  It can’t be fixed.  I can’t walk anymore”

“I’m sorry. You were getting really good at that Mom”

“Yeah but it’s over now.  I can’t do it.  No marathon for me.  The doctor said I have to learn to swim”

“Awesome!! I love swimming . We never get to go to the pool!”

“Yeah that’s true.  I guess we will now”

“Wow this is the best news ever!! Can I tell CJ??”

“Yeah I guess.” but then I started crying.  Because it’s just something else.  Just one more thing.

“Mom it’s ok.”

“I know. I just feel like all my dreams are over.  I was up to 5 miles.  From 30 seconds to 5 miles. And now it’s over”….more tears….

“Mom.  God has a plan for you.  And THIS is in your plan, ok?? So that means He is going to make something good out of it”

Wow. Charlotte can be profound at times.

“Perseverance Mom.  I learned that word at school.  You have to persevere. You can’t give up.”

“But now that my knee might never get better I’m back to having you guys help me up the stairs and out of the chair sometimes.  I wanted those days to be over”

“Mom. Dont’ you know? We like helping you.  That’s our job.  You’re our mom”

Smile  Good tears.

Maybe it will be ok after all.

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie M. March 7, 2012 at 8:40 pm

IT WILL BE OK!!! I have a couple of bathing suits I have shrunk out of…want me to send you one? Email me your address…I had a 2 piece that I loved around 280 pounds (seriously! it's so much better than trying to pull on a one piece – NOT a bikini – full coverage). Email me your address…I'd be honored to share the experience with you.

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Staci's Slimdown March 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Boy that tidbit of info just really STINKS!!! I'm so sorry!! I still love your doctor, though. Hehe. You will love swimming! I get stared at when I swim. Want to know why? I don't wear a swimsuit. I don't feel that it's modest. I don't expect everyone else not to wear one, but that's my conviction. For the past 10 years, I let that stop me from my favorite activity – swimming. I just stopped going. Then my kids took an interest in swimming. The husband didn't want the girls being so naked either. LOL. This past summer, I found an alternative to a swimsuit. It's swimsuit material, but it's NOT a swimsuit. So we get looked at. OH WELL! I'm having a blast in the water and so are my kids!!! You will get looked at. WHO CARES! Do you know how many UGLY people I see when I go swimming. Haha. I'm talking about the ones who THINK they look good and wear a bikini but they have stuff hanging out all over and need a one piece. LOL. Your doctor is right. Who cares if you do get looked at or talked to rudely. You need the exercise. Water is great for arthritis and stuff. Our local gym offers water aerobics classes for seniors that are open to everyone. Those people have cataracts. They won't even know what you look like. LOL Juuuussst kidding! 🙂 So if I can be weird, you can be weird, too. BTW, in case you are interested in my suit, here: http://www.modestswimming.com/Styles.html
I bought the separate suit. I was worried how I would look because the model is skinny. She reassured me. I had to send it back twice to get the skirt length and leggings how I needed, but she was great and didn't charge me any extra to fix it either time. I love it. I got it when I weighed 216 and I actually feel pretty in it! I just tried it on now that I'm 194, and it still fits since it's stretchy and all! Love it! Maybe something like this would make you feel less self conscious.. or maybe it would make you feel more so!? LOL YOU CAN DO IT!

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Banded With Favor March 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

My Hubby and I laughed and cried together as I read this to him!!! Maybe it is time to believe God for a pool!!!;) Sorry for the bad news…that is discouraging, but God doesn't close a door unless he has already opened a new door or window!!! How exciting the new blessings God has waiting for you through that new door or window too!!!

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Anonymous March 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm

You can do it! Your doctor believes in you. Your children believe in you. Your neighbours believe in you. You just have to keep believing in yourself. So you won't run a marathon….maybe you'll swim one instead!

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mi49301 March 8, 2012 at 12:10 am

What I used in the pool: black leggings and or black bike shorts that come to my knees. I have used both, with a plus size swim top that covers the tum.. I have always felt great in that~ They will turn to gray after a few months in the choline though so by a couple of pairs when u find ones u like!

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Becky March 8, 2012 at 12:22 am

I'm in tears (particularly a bad week, but still you made me this time) I see you as a miracle, because my 210+ lbs body can't imagine to carry another of me on top of that and you did, and still managed to fight back. You are an inspiration to me.

Well… I can't walk either. I have to walk though to come to work. Down a hill, up a hill everyday. Sometimes my knees wanna just break down and get it over it. I try to take a cap for the hill sometimes, but not cheap and not even available most of the time.

Swimming… I have no time at all. I live in a big city with a population of 15 million. Get out of work at 7 pm, home at 8:30 pm. I have no pools anywhere close to home, and I don't even own a car, so can't imagine how I could manage that anyways.

I found something else though. There is this lady (Turkish) who does pilates work. She is an ex-model but still cute and very likable. The main thing is she does all the work on a yoga mat. So my knees don't even know what I'm doing 🙂 I did the workout only twice. It kicked my butt and couldn't even finish the whole thing. But it's good and there two different workouts I could go between. Now I need to just suck it up, forget how tired I am, how sleepy, forget about taking care of the apartment some days and do it, do it for myself.

You go swim,I'll the video. Because I know if you can go through all of that and survive, I can do it too. I can get rid of my excuses and do something for myself.

Thank you for sharing & big hugs ♥

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Joanna March 8, 2012 at 2:54 am

Let me share something with you that will hopefully lift your spirits. I have had arthritis in my knee since I suffered an injury when I was in high school. Several years later, when I was 300lbs, I found out I had arthritis in both knees – and was told the same thing.

I started doing other exercising – but I also kept walking. Just 15 minutes a day, at a very slow pace. Once I got down to around 240lbs, I realized I could go a lot further before my knee started hurting. So I started walking for 30 minutes. When I got down to 220, I was able to start jogging – with no pain.

What he says is right – the more weight you lose, the less pain you have. I have had arthritis for YEARS, and I've ran 4 5Ks. OK, so the first one had me on the couch for 3 days after because my knee pain was so bad – but I couldn't quit. I ran my last 5K last April – running 90% of the time.

I will admit that I've gained a lot of weight back. I'm back up to 240 – but I keep walking. Sunday, I walked 4.1 miles and had no knee pain. I was told it's because I've continued to strength train – and keep my knee strong.

Don't look at this condition as something that will prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. You can still run those 5ks, half marathons, and marathons. Believe me. You just need to find something else that will keep strengthening your knee – and eventually, you'll be able to do it. 🙂

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mommykinz March 8, 2012 at 4:13 am

I am soo impressed with your doctor. I don't like that he told you you can't walk, I think you will be able to at some point. But I love the bootcamp attitude he used to make you realize that you can do it.
I love to run, I had foot surgery and had to switch to swimming for several months until it healed. Swimming is so relaxing, and soo challenging. maybe this is the push you need to get you to your next weight goal. But I do understand how disappointed you are. Don't dump your goals- just move them aside for the moment. I really think you'll get back to them. Glucosomine Condroitin is fabulous for joints – I used it when my knees bothered me. Also Vitamin E protects the joints – often people with arthritis have low levels. Dont give up!!

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Amanda March 8, 2012 at 4:20 am

"You can do it!"- as Rob Schneider from SNL would say in some kind of foreign accent. (you know me and accents- I love them!) This is just the start of a new chapter and I will swim with you for sure when I come to visit. Who knows- you might have a champion swimmer in your midst. Charlotte might be a future Olympic Gold Medal winner. You just never know. As for bathing suits- you can get them to look just like shorts/capri's and a top. Gone are the days of skin tight things- people are getting back to the way bathing suits used to be in the 1920's. Now when you go to the beach most kids are in long sleeved bathing-suit shirts and long bathing-suit pants to help them block the sun's rays. Just imagine the tan you are going to have this summer- and hey, maybe your kids will want to join a swim team. Who knows! I know the arthritis is a total bummer-but this is just a bump in the road and every single pound you lose is another 4 pounds of pressure off of your knee. "You can do it! You can do it!"

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Dawnya March 8, 2012 at 5:02 am

You have amazing children. They got that way because they have an amazing mother. You will still be a success. It's hard to accept that your dreams have been dashed a little.

But that means it's time for a new dream. Maybe you can your brother can participate in some type of swimming competition.

I love that the Dr. kept pushing you. Because you are a woman with gusto. Now I want to go swimming…only problem…I can't swim.

Keep doing what is good for you Holly. You have a whole neighborhood and blog community cheering you on.

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40 Minus 100 March 8, 2012 at 5:23 am

Well, first of all, your doctor isn't GOD. He can not say "you will never" about anything. Only God knows the future. Secondly, YOU ROCK and YOU WILL ROCK SWIMMING, I have no doubt!!! (bonus – your daughter is watching and obviously learning so much from you! how wonderful!) 🙂

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Tina @ Blazin' Bandit Girl March 8, 2012 at 5:56 am

Holy shit! Go read my last post. You will see how much I needed your message today. My doc also told me to swim and I said ok (knowing in my mind there was NO WAY I would get my large ass in a bathing suit and start swimming.) I am so thankful for your blog. I am going to swim because of you. You are good to the core. One day, I will meet you. I hope to hug your stinkin' beautiful neck for inspiring me and shaking me up. God bless you!

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Jenny March 8, 2012 at 7:03 am

Thank you for sharing. This is a great post.
So blessed to have such awesome cheerleaders… add me to the list! Wishing you less and less pain as you swim off more weight.

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Jennifer Fink March 8, 2012 at 7:08 am

I found you via your comment on The Happiest Mom. I came over b/c I could relate — not with your weight struggles, but with all of the other losses. I too was married and homeschooling with four kids when my husband left. I too have been trying to pick up the pieces. And I too have been frustrated when it feels like I keep walking into walls. Today, your strength and determination — and the wisdom of your daughter's words — give me strength. Thank you, and good luck!

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Jennifer Fink March 8, 2012 at 7:11 am

I found you via your comment on The Happiest Mom, and I came over b/c I could relate — not with your weight struggles, but with the pain of trying to live and copes after loss. Like you, I was a married, homeschooling mom of four kids. Like you, I'm now a single mom of four who is simply trying to keep all the balls in the air. And like you, I frequently feel frustrated. Just when I feel like I have something figured out, another obstacles looms or my confidence fades and I get knocked back. Today, your strength and determination — and your daughter's words of wisdom — give me strength. Thank you, and good luck!

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Frickin' Fabulous at 40 March 8, 2012 at 7:17 am

You've inspired all of the people in your neighborhood and now it's your mission to move on to wherever your pool is and to tell your story there. This is an opportunity to touch and inspire more people and to be inspired by them.

Did your doctor recommend any supplements, like glucosamine or the Omega 3's? My parents take the Sam's Club Omega 3-6-9 and it helped my mother tremendously with the pain in her hip from arthritis. It had gotten so bad that she looked like she had scoliosis and she needed a cane to walk. She now stands upright and doesn't use the cane. It's something worth looking into.

nd another thing, do you ever see that inconsiderate nit-wit that heckled you that first week of walking? I wonder what he's thinking now. Somebody so unhappy with their own life they have to pull others down with them. What a shame.

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vickyd March 8, 2012 at 7:34 am

Almost 2 years ago, when I weighed 335 lbs, I was told that I had a torn meniscus that required surgery to repair. The surgeon also told me that I have arthritis in both knees. Once I recovered from surgery, I was told that the best exercises for me would be either swimming or using a stationary bike (which is what I chose) and started to work on losing weight. Like Joanna, I found that as I lost weight I could gradually start adding some weight bearing exercise…starting with walking gradually increasing distance being careful not to overdo it. As of today, I've lost 151 lbs and can walk, run and regularly attend Zumba classes.

I still have to listen to my body and make sure that I don't over-stress my knees (I'm very careful with lunges and squats) but my knees rarely hurt me these days. You will always have arthritis but as you continue to lose weight you will find that the pain lessens and you might be able to resume your walking schedule.

I know you feel defeated right now, but you are a strong woman and have an amazing support system (both at home and from your doctor)…YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

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lainef28 March 8, 2012 at 7:34 am

You need to go swim! They have so many plus size bathing suits out there now a days…..I weighed 336 before I had gastric sleeve surgery. I went swimming with my kids at that weight, my daughter has some weight issues too but I had to show her its ok and forget whatever anyone has to say about your size, I currently weigh 260, swimming has gotten easier but still not thrilled to be in a swim suit but I still go.

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Lori March 8, 2012 at 7:37 am

What a lovely transparent amazing piece of your story you shared….thank you for sharing.

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Reggie March 8, 2012 at 7:40 am

Holly you and your kids are so wonderful. Do not let the thought of swimming get you down. You have come so far to even consider it.

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Katie March 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

I think it is wonderful how your neighborhood started to support you, and cheering you on! The motivation and support had to feel so great! I also like your doc, who seems to also support you, and your dream. To be honest with you I actually like swimming better than do I walking and in the past have felt that it benefited me more to swim than walk, and besides I can also walk in the pool (well I can never walk a full length of the pool at the local YMCA because I'm too short haha). The pool is also a great place for ab exercises! Talk about resistance! I encourage you to try swimming! I don't think you'll be sorry. I know it's hard to give up on something that is working so well!

Now on to your daughter! Wow! From the mouths of babes! I held in my tears while reading that! If we could all just have faith like children! Sometimes God closes doors, but He always open new ones, it's up to us though to walk through them!

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Samantha March 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

This post is amazing. For varios reasons. I started out all "yay for you!!" then got all sad (and worried, my knee hurts, and I'm pissed cause "why else did i lose all this weight than to fell BETTER, not worse") .. and then YAY again. You're awesome, and so are your kids 🙂

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FreeJulie March 8, 2012 at 8:04 am

Wow – what an inspiring and motivational post! I'm sorry about the arthritis, but damn, girl, I just have to say you impress the hell out of me. Go swim!!!

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Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 8:46 am

I as well have Osteoarthritis in both knees but the right one is really bad for over 15 years. I am able to walk some, A 1/4 mile at a time before I have to sit but it won't stop me until I get to where you are. I started at 425lbs. and am only down to 390. All but 1 of my siblings have had a Knee replacement and have done very well, my mother had 2 replacements as well. I know mine are on the verge of being replaced as well but weight loss is the key. Swimming was also brought up to me only I have no pool in my area for 30 miles so it's not an option, YET, A YMCA is opening in a year or 2 in my town so the swimming will replace the walking for awhile anyhow. You keep up the chin and move forward anyway you can, and I will do the same…Good Luck…

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Brenda March 8, 2012 at 8:54 am

You are NOT a quitter. You are a fighter. Get in a pool. It is what I started with because of my hip. As I lost more and more weight I could add more weight bearing exercises. I will say that the pool burned a ton more calories! Make swimming your new dream. God has a special plan for a woman like you……..don't try to understand his plan right now, just go with it!

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Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

a friend sent me your blog as an email and I was moved to tears about when you mentioned the neighbor with cancer. you are an amazing woman!!! i am a mom, too, so the part about your dtr comforting you really touched me. you can do this!!!! i think you will walk again- you sound like a tough as nails fighter. very very proud of you!!

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-Sheila March 8, 2012 at 9:20 am

I think doctors need to be educated about what exercises a super morbidly obese person should be doing – NOT walking and certainly NOT jogging! Twenty years ago I lot 100 lbs by eating extremely low fat and walking for miles. The end result: I destroyed my feet and knees (have had 1 foot rebuilt (4 plates, 16 screws), and 3 total knee replacements) plus I decimated the protective sheathing on my tendons and had to have carpal tunnel release surgery on both wrists (low fat did that). Oh, and of course I gained it all back and MORE!

Right now, life is looking up for me. My knees are solid as a rock (literally 🙂 and now that I have the VSG tool, I really will lose weight. I am looking forward to being able to Zumba or play dodge ball or a thousand other things.

Anyhow, you are so strong and so blessed I know that you too will "persevere" and continue on your fabulous journey of weight loss.

And stop making me cry ! 🙂

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JRD March 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

Holly, you are amazing. I am proud of you, gurl. And what a wonderful daughter you have – and hey, you could think of it as super fun time spent with your kids at the pool – I used to love swimming as a kid…trust me, nobodies gonna be looking at you at the local pool! You're doing such good things for yourself, don't give up, not now! You're an inspiration.

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Robyn's Nest March 8, 2012 at 10:49 am

I had a torn meniscus last year. At the same time I was told I have arthrites in both knees. It hurt to walk.
I had surgery on the knee and some arthritis scraped out. Then I broke an ankle. Once I healed I had WLS.
My doctor said said no running or walking on hard surfaces.
I swim and I use an elliptical (it is hard at first but it is a great work out and easy on the knees).
I have only lost 60 pounds. But I no longer need those shots; the pain is under control.
I still don't run but I do the elliptical 5 days a week and I go to zumba. And I walk without pain most days. Even on steps!
Take your kids swimming and keep losing. I bet your pain will lessen and you will be able to do other exercises.
Maybe like your neighbors, there are people at the pool who need you for some reason too. Try it.
I will be here cheering you on.

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Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Girl, you have an awesome testimony! Look at the blessing in your children who you've raised in such a way that they knew to encourage you with love and God's word!

Sweetheart, buy some swim shorts and find a pool! Then when you're ready find a competitive swim competition and go for it!

I don't know you but I am so proud of your courage and your love for your family. That hasn't changed; your plan has. Keep going because there will be many more wonderful things for you to experience on your journey!

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Sarah March 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Oh Holly, my heart is aching for you. You have overcome so much. You have made some good friends while you walked and now you can make good friends while you swim. You can start at a few strokes, work up to a length, then two, then 10, then 20 then one day you will be able to swim a kilometre, without stopping (40 lengths of a 25 m pool).

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Justawallflower March 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Your doctors right, your too strong and you've come to far to quit now. You go buy a swim suit, and wear the heck out of it. And in six months replace it with a new one that is three sizes smaller! I know it sucks having to get new dreams, but you will excel!

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gabetoby March 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I love your neighborhood , It sounds very much like mine 🙂
I love ,love love your doc 🙂
Take your kids swimming, take them biking , pay no attention to the nay sayers

You have SOOOOOOOOOOO GOT THIS 🙂 ((HUGS))

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Jane March 8, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Okay, I'm with you on the "it sucks that you can't walk for exercise" any more. However, try to consider this, you can still walk down and chat with the neighbors, who are now your friends. Which is very cool, by the way. AND often changing exercise will give your weight loss an added boost. You walked at 400+ lbs. you can certain swim in the 200's. New plans and dreams will take you in a direction you didn't know you wanted until you get there. 🙂

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Jane March 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I get that it's lame that you can't walk for exercise anymore. However, maybe that quest has met your needs. You have way more friends and you know your neighbors now. Very cool! Also, I find that changing up my exercise helps keep me interested AND it gives my weight loss a boost. Think about it, you left the house and walked in flip flops and a big dress in the 400's in the July Texas heat and lets not forget the humidity! You can certain swim in the 200. It might just be the next big life changing thing. Look what the walk did for you. OOOOOOO I'm excited for you!

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Sheila March 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I'm sorry Holly. That sucks. Big time sucks. I do like your dr. though, and I like how he turned it around a made it a positive thing. You have come to far to quit now. Not only do you have an entire neighborhood cheering you on, you have a WHOLE heck of a lot of WL blogging friends cheering you on as well! Can't wait for your updates on swimming!

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Julie March 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

Holly, you are amazing. I hate swimming, I like playing but not swimming. When I hurt my leg last October I still wanted to go on and I did but it got worse. I had to swim for 2 months plus. Now I should still be swimming I did goo in the pool but I hate it. You will do great, you have determination and spirit and will learn.
I am loving your blog and your truths and more. Thank you for sharing.
Take care and have a blessed afternoon!!

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me March 10, 2012 at 5:06 am

Your blog is officially my very favorite!!!!! I can't believe how inspired and motivated I feel whenever I visit~THANK YOU for that! And swimmers are amazing athletes, as are YOU!!!!!

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Anonymous March 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Holly, you're an inspiration! When I was reading your blog I thought you also sounded sad at the loss of company from your neighbors. They sound like an awesome bunch of people! It's getting warmer out, why don't all of you get together for community picnics? A Fourth of July party? Easter egg hunt? A "grow your own garden" competition where the party is everyone cooking veggies and hanging out together? That way you can still feel connected to your neighborhood and wont feel so alone.

Also, don't despair over walking. As you lose weight the strain on your knees will lesson and you may be able to walk again. Don't lose hope! Until then, go swimming. I understand how scary it is to not want to be in a swimsuit in front of people. I weigh 275 pounds and also have a LOT of visible scarring on both legs due to an accident and surgery. Last year was the first time I dared to not wear pants, let alone a swimsuit! It was hard but so worth it. I got so involved in swimming that I didn't even notice if anybody stared at me. You'll do fine and your daughter has a point. You never know when something amazing will happen!

Good luck!

~Lyra

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Wishful Shrinking March 14, 2012 at 8:13 am

I LOVE your doctor. There are team triathlons and you could do the swim portion for your team. They have many distances… even ironman.. there are roads and goals for everyone!

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Teada April 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm

U are a incredible person I admire your outstanding faith I weigh 300 pounds and im 22 I never go anywe because people laughing (tear) im so tired of being like this please help me what made u do it my number,is 8148609414 if u get this could u pleaw give me a call im also sorry bout your knee a person like u god will heal it god bless and your family thanku

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AimeeWrites April 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

You DO it!

The knees keep me from running, too. You know what I started doing last summer? Rowing. As in, crew. Who knew that it puts absolutely no pressure on the knees? And that there are teams out there for us grown-ups? The point is, there’s always SOMETHING you can do.

How wise is your daughter? You are blessed and obviously an amazing example for her.
AimeeWrites recently posted..On Their Own BirthsMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

Oh my gosh! I actually used to row on a crew team in high school. It was only one season and I was in the worst boat lol BUT I did it to prove that I could. I wasn’t athletic but it was one of those situations where if you didn’t give up or quit they would put you on the team! And I survived. I always loook back on that now as an amazing experience and it never would have crossed my mind to do that again as an adult. What a great idea!!! You inspire me!

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AimeeWrites April 17, 2012 at 12:38 am

Yes, that’s it, exactly!! Two years ago, I wouldn’t have ever considered it. Now, I’m racing. I’ve never been athletic in my life. I still don’t call myself an athlete. Maybe one of these days, I’ll start to feel like one.

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Fee September 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

And I’m crying again… You have wonderful children!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Oh thank you so much Fee!!!

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Gen November 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I’ve been in the same boat, only my setback didn’t come in the form of a “cheerleader” doctor. A couple years ago I decided I was going to do the Couch to 5K program. I chose the website, read the instructions, and started week 1. This was after a week or 2 of already walking around my house….which is either the paved driveway or blocks that form a path. Week 2….that’s when my body decided NO. Shin splints hit so hard that I had to lean against the house until the pain from BOTH legs stopped enough to allow me to hobble my way upstairs. Oh….only way to get into my house is to climb a looooooong staircase (only 24 steps though). I rested the next day and tried it yet again. Yet again the same thing happened. I quit. Period. End of story. You see, “my” plan (key word) was to run the parameter of our base….about 6 miles (or 5K) before we left. When I realized that shin splints that bad would not allow it, I stopped any and all exercise. I didn’t go back to walking…nope.
I mentioned “my” plan. I have noticed that nearly every time I plan something, it’s almost a sure way to get a laugh out of God. I can almost picture Him laughing going, “Good one Gen!!!!!!!!!!! {deep breath} Now let me tell you what “I” have planned for you.”
Did I think that 2 years later my new goal (changed my terminology too 😉 )would be to WALK the parameter because a year ago I splintered my left leg and now have lots of metal (and an upcoming surgery to remove said metal…after the first of the year)? Not a chance. Life is not turning out how “I” planned it. ANY of it. However, I’m learning (not past tense since He’s still teaching me) that God’s plan for my life is a lot better if I give Him the reins and let Him lead. It’s hard though……
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