I got in the pool!

April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m pretty sure anyone who is overweight can relate to the horrors of getting in a bathing suit

But the truth is that once you’ve weighed over 400 pounds you’ve aleady checked most of your pride at the door

You’ve already had to deal with multiple forms of humiliation such as breaking chairs, toilet seats and getting referred to the zoo for an MRI

So at that point….what’s left?

I’ll admit I wasn’t wild over the idea of getting in the pool and swimming

But if I can’t go walking for exercise because of my knee then I have to either find an alternative or quit

And I’m not going to quit

So if swimming is the best option for me right now then swimming it is!!

The last time I bought a bathing suit it was to sit in the backyard with my children while they played in the inflatable pool

Certainly not to be out in public

That bathing suit was a size 36

But the bathing suit I bought last week was a size 24

What a difference!

But I’m still big

I’m still not wild about going in public

But instead of focusing on that, we chose to focus on the positive

My best friend, Amanda, was there and all my kids

And you know what I realized?

There were steps!

For some reason I envisioned those metal ladders would be the only way to get in and out

That is just not something I can do at this stage

But there were steps ready to ease me into the pool

And my son like a little gentleman holding my hand as I went in

One step at a time


And isn’t that a lot like the weight loss journey?

You don’t have to dive in

You can take it one step at a time

Before I knew it was in the water!

And yes it was cold

And something I wasn’t used to

But when I started walking I wasn’t used to that either!

But over time I just kept at it and before long it was second nature

And I believe this will be too

I found out something else about the pool

I may weigh 272 pounds but when I”m in that pool


I can float!


I may look absolutely ridiculous to a bystander

But I feel like I’m floating on a cloud

And the kids loved every minute of it

I can carry my kids on my back in the pool!


That is something I could NEVER do on dry land!


I have cried more than a few times over the fact that I can’t carry my children

I could barely get off the couch

“Carry me Mama” is something that is hard to hear when you have to answer no

Because you weigh so much that you can barely walk yourself

But in the water I’m strong!

I can carry my babies!!

And for “dessert”

Amanda and I sat in the hot tub!


Do you know how long it’s been since I sat in a hot tub???

I do believe that just might be better than brownies

My kids, my best friend, a day at the pool and an evening in the hot tub

I may look like an obese woman in the water

But it’s how I feel that matters

I feel likeΒ a strong woman who can carry her children on her back

Who can play


Who can laugh


Who can LIVE

Unburdened by my weight

Unshackled from my insecurities

Ready to take on whatever waves may come my way

And oh by the way….

Guess who can fit in the pool chairs?


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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

~TMcGee~ April 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I probably sound like a broken record at this point lol but Holly, Holly, Holly πŸ˜€ you are seriously my hero (I've never claimed a hero before btw). And no, it's not just the fact that you rock this swimsuit..seriously, you look great in it. It's not that you overcame a fear, stepped out and put yourself in a situation that was uncomfortable (at first) for you. Do you know what got me? Made me choke up a bit…that photo with your son helping you down the steps. I'm not a palm reader or anything "mystical" like that but I would lay money down on the fact that your son is going to grow up to be a sweet and fantastic young man. That he will not only see beauty on the outside but he will know the value of a beautiful heart because his mother has one of the most beautiful hearts I've witnessed (even if only online) in my lifetime. As always your weight loss journey astounds me and keeps me going and gives me hope…but your role as a mom blesses me and it encourages me to want to be a better mom to my own. Much love. πŸ™‚


mommykinz April 10, 2012 at 4:21 am

Yeah Swimmer!! Well done – your kids look so happy to have you in the pool with them.
If you start swimming laps for exercise flippers make you feel soo fast and are fun to use when you get tired.
Soo proud.


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 April 10, 2012 at 4:22 am

Hmmm… did you bring your thermometer to test the temp of the hot tub? Or is that for the unbearable San Antonio heat? Now I'm confused… So glad you got in the pool! When you continue to build up your strength you can get those foam dumbells and you get an AWESOME water workout!


LuckyEight16 April 10, 2012 at 4:28 am

That is wonderful! So proud of you and you should be proud of yourself! You are absolutely right, this journey is one step at a time. It may start out small but before you know it all those little steps have added up to something big! Your children are adorable btw =)


Sheila April 10, 2012 at 4:41 am

That is wonderful Holly! You overcame a lot of fear and worry and look how much fun you had. Water aerobics class is calling your name…you can do it! I love ALL the pictures and my favorite is your son helping you down the steps and my next favorite are the huge grins on all of your kids faces, and my last favorite is you and Amanda lounging in the hot tub. Okay, okay, I loved all the pictures…made me feel like I was there too. πŸ™‚ I'm so proud of you!!! Great job!


Tina @ The Bandit Girl April 10, 2012 at 5:02 am

HOLLY! You are so great! I love your courage and your hutzpah! You make all my excuses fly out the window. I am so thankful for your blog and spirit.


vickyd April 10, 2012 at 5:27 am

What a wonderful day! I'm so proud of you for facing another one of your fears…you are such an inspiration!!!


Trish April 10, 2012 at 5:36 am

Yay!!!!!!! I am sooo happy for what you are accomplishing! it feels so good doesn't it!?


Robyn's Nest April 10, 2012 at 5:53 am

I am so proud of you, Holly. You did it, you conquered another fear. You shoudl be floating on cloud 9.


LoriBang April 10, 2012 at 6:05 am

You look great Holly! As far as the suit……..I have the SAME one! I was so thrilled to buy it! Mine is a size 20 compared to my 26/28 last time! Your pictures are awesome! I know that fear of the ladders. My aunt has a swimming pool which is great because its just family, but the ladders kept me from getting in. I always wondered if I would be able to get out. One of the last times I got in there about 5 years ago I struggled so much to pull myself up those damn silver ladders. The thought of my family having to help get me out was horrifying to me, so I didn't get in! Another fear of mine is getting on a jet ski, what if I fell off? I knew I'd never be able to pull myself back on, so I haven't done it. I'm going to this year! My legs are my biggest thing to get past. I have HUGE thighs! Your legs look awesome, mine………….YUCK! Now they are still huge and saggy! But its going to get better!


Caron April 10, 2012 at 6:05 am

Awesome. I love your positive attitude. πŸ™‚


Dairy Milk Queen April 10, 2012 at 6:15 am

I have just read your whole blog over two days. What an amazing story and what an amazing person you are. How God has blessed you, may He continue to help you in your journey.

You truly are inspirational!


Brenda April 10, 2012 at 6:16 am

Yeah Holly! I am proud of you. You faced your fear and conquered it.


Gilly April 10, 2012 at 6:41 am

Woohoo! Isn't is amazing when you cross a line into "I can do THIS now, TOO"-ville? I started out swimming as well…it was literally all I could do at first…and then I moved up to Zumba and BodyPump, and now I can walk 5k easily and regularly. But it started with swimming! I'm so happy for you, Holly! I just love your blog!


Debsdailylife April 10, 2012 at 6:45 am

YES!!!!!!! SO proud of you!! Conquering your fears!! Do you have a place where you can go to do this on a regular basis!? You go girl!!!!


Amanda April 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

This entry really made me smile. πŸ™‚ I'm very happy for you!


Rockin' Mama April 10, 2012 at 7:20 am

I have looked forward to this story and the pictures since you mentioned that you were getting in the pool on Easter, and everything was as awesome as I had hoped it would be! Congrats on reaching another milestone in your weight-loss journey, and on making each experience a celebration! Thanks for inviting all of us to the party; we're having a ball! Love to all, D


Anonymous April 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

Goosebumps! Great story and wonderfully written. Have fun with Amanda! Funny — I've never even REALLY met either of you and I am jealous that I'm not there hanging out. LOL Jess Jones


MandaPanda April 10, 2012 at 8:08 am

Wonderful, WONDERFUL NSV! You look so happy in those pictures!


Steph April 10, 2012 at 8:15 am

All I can say is WOW…You are truly an inspiration. I just found your blog today (Thanks, Gilly!) and this was exactly what I needed to read today to really reaffirm my need to refocus. I am truly happy for you! πŸ™‚



FreeJulie April 10, 2012 at 8:24 am

Ack! I'll admit I have to be careful about reading your blog at work, Holly! You have such a way of making me cry when I read it, sometimes I'm almost afraid to open it up. πŸ™‚

Very, very, very proud of you.


Helen April 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

Such an inspiration, and you look completely amazing! x


Reggie April 10, 2012 at 8:48 am

A water baby has been born, and her name is Heather :o)


❀❀ Dawn (Lay Down My Idols) ❀❀ April 10, 2012 at 8:55 am

Awesome, awesome! You know what I think when I see an overweight person at the beach or swimming with their kids? I think AWESOME AWESOME, I'm so glad that they aren't on the sidelines missing out on life! And even though I feel self-conscious on the beach being under 200 lbs. I admire those who don't let it stop them, and I press ahead to not let it stop me either! And I think that my kids understand the complexity of obesity more now that I have met and learned from others who have battled this with me.
((( hugs ))) You. Are. Gorgeous!


Laryssa April 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

Yay!! Amanda is da bomb!! πŸ™‚ I'm looking forward to hearing about your continued pool exercising now that you've taken that first step.


If Only She Were Thinner April 10, 2012 at 9:22 am

YAY! The smile on your face says 10x more words than what you wrote. I love it!!!


Darlin1 April 10, 2012 at 9:33 am

Oh Holly…I'm so proud of you….you look great! I'm a swimmer because of many health issues ….and it's one of the best things that ever happened to me! Keep up the the good work!



Band Geek April 10, 2012 at 11:11 am

Good for you Holly! And I must say, your swim suit is cute and quite flattering. It really highlights the ta-tas, in a good way!


Rae Rae J April 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

Amazing! You rock!! πŸ˜€


Sarah April 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Wow Holly. What an amazing achievement. Looks like you had a great time. xx


Chandra April 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Holly! You are so amazing! I wish you could see inside my heart how much you inspire me; I wish you could be here at my table to see how much you touch me because I cry at many of your posts.

I love this. Tears of joy today, for you and for everyone who has stood up and taken control of their lives!

You have no idea how much less of a whiny baby I have been since reading your blog.

You have no idea how much more I am pulling up my bootstraps and kicking myself in the butt because of you.

I used to run. I used to like it. I was addicted to it, like a drug, I would get agitated if I couldn't fit in my run.

I think about this ALL the time. I usually whine about how I don't have time, place, I'm embarrassed to run because I'm so out of shape, my treadmill is broken (true, but nothing is wrong with the local track!)

Reading you has brought me to the realization that I am in control of all of this and I need to stop being a lazy baby about my life.

Last week I started running again! I ran 3 days. My addiction is returning; I get the "itch".

You get a lot of the credit for this. You are an uplifting, inspirational person. You show everyone the truth and let us into your life in a way that not only makes us cheer for you, it makes us cheer for ourselves.

Thank you.


spatters3 April 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

You look totally awesome, your children look super happy, and my gosh, so do you! I love water!


Staci's Slimdown April 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Girrrrlllll, and you had me worried about seeing you in a swimsuit! You look great! πŸ™‚ I love the way I feel in the water, too! You can be superwoman without a care in the world. Shoot, I can carry around my husband in the pool! Haha. It's so great that you and the pool broke the ice so now you can hang out more. You and the kids are gonna have the BEST summer!


JRD April 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Holly, I am BEYOND happy for you!! I love the relationship you have with your bestie, and I am so proud of you for overcoming your discomfort and getting in the pool! You may find it's your absolute new favorite thing to do! I am so in love with my new yoga regime – you may find you will be doing stuff you never, ever thought you'd be able to do!! Huge hugs to you, love…keep up your awesome work!!!


Lissa April 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm

this post made me smile ear to ear. i feel and share your excitement. it truly inspired me today and i think you are so brave to share this with the world. congrats on this milestone!


Former Life Girl April 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Congrats on taking the step. And on top of that, you found a cute swimsuit πŸ™‚


Banded With Favor April 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Holly!!! So so proud and excited for and of you!!! Your suit is fab, you look like you are having a wonderful time and you continue to inspire me and so many others!!! Amanda may be your angle but your blog and honest heart felt posts are angelic to many of us in blog land!!! So excited to see chapter two of your pool adventures!!!;)


Momee3021 April 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Holly – you are so awesome!

You made me cry when you said you couldn't carry your kids because you could barely carry yourself. I've had that same cry many times. You looked awesome and free in the pool and I hope you can carry that feeling with you whenever you have down moments.

Thank you so much for taking this journey and sharing it with us.


Nancy April 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

You so perfectly stated what so many of us, that are overweight, think and feel everyday. The humiliation, the pain and the emotional devastation of not being able to do something that should be so easy. Congratulation and thank you for being brave enough to share your journey. Your inspiration will surely save someone's life!


Morgan April 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm

That is so awesome!! Every time you write I just get a sense of joy from/for you.


Nanette N. April 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm

YES! I was so freaked out by working out when I began this weight loss thing at 368lbs that I started in the water. I didn’t want to blow out my knees, ankles, hips, back… It’s so lovely being able to workout “weightless” and it’s such a shame that the swim suit part is such a barrier for fat people. Swim and Aquacise is such a beneficial way to get a large body in motion. πŸ™‚

I’m glad you got to experience that joy with your kids and that you got to break down that barrier for yourself. I hope that you continue to swim and be active in the pool.

Most of all, I don’t think anyone judges us as harshly as we judge ourselves. I really don’t think that people see a fat person in a swim suit and think words like “obese” and stare to be rude… as much as “I’ve never seen someone so large in a bathing suit…” (which is a shame how often that is a barrier) or surprisingly enough, they don’t even notice because of their own body insecurities. And bestly, the ones that are sending you silent thoughts of support… usually they’re the majority. πŸ™‚


Anna Bana April 12, 2012 at 12:07 am

Yay!! So excited for you to overcome your fear and plunge right in! You look great, I love the suit, super cute! And the kids are just adorable. You can feel everyone’s excitement through the photos. And this is just the beginning of many more exciting things to come! I happened to think of another way you could get cardio the other day. Did the dr. say it would be ok for your knees to exercise on a recumbant bike? It’s the one where you sit with a backrest and your legs are in front of you, so there’s little pressure put on your knees. When I injured my knee in college that’s what they had me do PT on and still my go-to at the gym because it doesn’t bother it. There’s a couple that ride them all over Wilmington and have flags on the back so cars can see them. Anyway, just a thought. You’re doing great Holly, keep up the good work and happy swimming!


Drazil April 12, 2012 at 12:50 am

You look so happy…I love this post!


Andrea April 12, 2012 at 2:58 am

Love the new blog layout! Yay for getting in the pool!


Chetney April 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

Your courage is so contagious! I actually had a melt down a couple days ago because I bought a bikini and it really wasn’t made for me..at all. So I had to return, the whole time feeling like a failure. I’m going to follow your advice and focus on the positive…at least I can swim and have conquered so many battles! The bikini battle will just have to wait!


ash April 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

Just wandered onto your website and this is the first post i read!
Tears are streaming down my face. You are sucb a beautiful woman! You loom soook happy in the Water! Am looking forwed to hearing more on your Journey xx


me April 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I LOVE your bathing suit AND the fact that you posted pics of yourself in it. You are truly beautiful!!!!! Now I need to go find a good one fer me and make myself get out there in front of the world this summer!!!!!


Gen November 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

You look happy. When I first saw the “floating” pic, my first thought was that you look content.
Gen recently posted..Thankfulness Day 2My Profile


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