My Victory List

April 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

I wanted to share a tool with you that I began using right after I had weight loss surgery.

It’s my Victory List !!

Basically the victory list is just a checklist of things to do each day.

Every time you put that check in the box you can claim victory over that area in your life!

I know it seems extremely simple and it is

So simple in fact that at 417 pounds I was able to do it.

You see in the past I would go on a diet and they would tell me I needed to walk at least 2 miles and possibly do several other workout routines in addition to a detailed list of food and recipes.

When you’re 417 pounds and you have little to no hope that a diet will work

And little to no confidence that you will stay on the diet in the first place

Then becoming overwhelmed is VERY easy

And all of these things overwhelmed me before I even got off the couch

And I couldn’t get off the couch anyway without assistance

And I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes which didn’t matter because I couldn’t fit my feet IN shoes anyway

So my brother designed a fail proof plan that was so simple even I could do it

And he called it the Victory List because each check in the box was a victory

No matter how small the task.  If I did it, I could claim victory!

I remember when I first saw this list

I thought…whatever…this isn’t going to help me

But I was wrong

Every day that I accomplished these tasks was another day that I proved to myself I CAN DO THIS

The confidence begins to grow as you go from defeated to victorious each and every day!

Here is the Victory List my brother gave me 9 months ago when I first started on this journey

As As you can see, my exercise plan was comprised of mainly 3 things:
      The  Outside Walk:  This was where I started counting mailboxes.  The first day I just went from my front door to my OWN mailbox.  The next day I went to my neighbors and back.  And every day after that I would add one more mailbox.
       The Leslie Walk:  This was where I started doing the Leslie Sansone 1 Mile Walk.  She has a TON of walking videos so you never get bored.  I started with only 30 seconds.  THAT’S IT!  30 seconds.  It took longer for me to get that DVD out of the packaging and into my DVD player and run through the legal warnings than it did for my first 30 Second workout.  But guess what?? Same victory! 30 seconds or 3 miles.  It doesn’t matter.  I did what I set out to do.  I checked off the box.  I win!  Then every day I would add another 30 seconds.  The next day–another 30 seconds.  I never got overwhelmed because knowing I only had to an extra 30 seconds felt very do-able.  And surprisingly it wasn’t too very long before I was at that 1 mile marker!  And before long I was walking 5 miles!
       The Walmart Walk:  My brother mapped out my local Walmart.  From the moment I got out of the car I had a map of where every single bench or place to sit was along the way.  Initially I would go from my car to the bench that is sitting right outside the entrance.  And TRUST ME.  That felt like a marathon.  But 3 days a week, I would go there with the intention of making it to the next bench.  I will never forget how far it was from that bench at the entrance all the way to the back of the store where the shoe department was.  That was where I had to go to in order to get to the next bench!  In the beginning, I had the shopping cart with me to lean against but as time went on I became stronger.  The day I made it all the way around all of Walmart without sitting on a bench AND without a shopping cart was still to this day one of the biggest victories I’ve had so far!
      It is so hard for me to believe that a simple list with simple goals could actually produce amazing results.
       I think  sometimes we overwhelm ourselves thinking that if we can’t hit the gates running….if we can’t do a 5K right off the bat….then what’s the point??
       If I can’t do what she can do or he can do or that person can do then why do anything at all?
        We may not realize that we are trapped in perfectionism.  Thinking if we can’t do it perfectly then we won’t do it. PERIOD.
        For many years I felt that if I could not walk at least a mile then my pathetic attempts were pointless
        But my brother helped me change my perspective.  Suddenly EVERY SINGLE SECOND counted.
        Because each one was a victory!!
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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

If Only She Were Thinner April 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm

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If Only She Were Thinner April 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

1-2-3-4, This is what we're fighting for! 5-6-7-8, Victory to celebrate! Woo Hoo!!

Sorry. Was doing a little victory cheer for you!!

– Dawn


JRD April 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Holly, this is a super idea! This is why I use stickers to reward myself for exercise – everytime I move my body, I get a sticker. I walk one way to work – STICKER. I walk both ways – TWO STICKERS! I do yoga – Sticker! Sometimes I earn 2 or 3 a day, sometimes none, but at the end of the month, I can see in stickers how many times I moved my body. And it's really inspiring. Also, I really love stickers – it's my inner five year old! Hugs lady!


Lori April 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

so wonderful to remember my hopelessness as well…wonderful? huh? Yes, only because of the small victories and steps along the way that have brought me to where I am today. Thanks Holly for reminding me of my Hope!!


Cee April 5, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I love your list! What a great visual way to stay on track day after day. Such great accomplishments too :).


Tina @ The Bandit Girl April 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

You are so right!!! I really needed this message today. I was mad because even riding my bike today my knee started hurting and my husband said I needed to take it easy. I said no way…but really…what am I trying to prove? The pressure I was putting on myself had more to do with feeling like a normal person when I need to realize that I'm not normal yet. I am hauling 100 extra pounds up my killer hill and I need to be careful and think long term. I am off to create my own victory list!!! thank you for your inspiration!


~TMcGee~ April 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm

This is awesome. 🙂 Also, I've thought this before but never said so..your brother sounds like a great brother to have and I'm so glad he accomplished what he did with his own weight loss. It's always great to have family supporting you and it sounds like he's an awesome person to have in your corner.


Anonymous April 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm

loved this post! Love your writing.


Staci's Slimdown April 5, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I really love that you posted you started at 30 seconds. I'm trying to help my MIL get motivated that something is better than nothing at all. I always refer her to you. 🙂


Trish April 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

One step at a time and one foot in front of the other. I love it!!


Steelers6 April 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Loved all the comments, and wow, gotta love that brother! The list was just what you needed! My own journey started with telling myself only a few minutes with dumbbells and stuff, you can do a few minutes. And then results started to show…! Which inspired me to go a bit longer, until, I'm doing Jillian Michaels DVD's. Oh the pride, right Holly? You should be proud. 🙂

Thanks for sharing; it was a great read. Chrissy


spunkysuzi April 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm

What a fantastic idea!! I love that your brother was able to come up with such a great idea.
Have a great weekend 🙂


Nanette April 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I love it! This is really bite-sized dieting… not very intimidating. I love that you were able to find a system that worked for you. Do you still follow that system? Do you have a new victory list these days?


Darlin1 April 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Love your BROTHER….and YOU!


Crack You Whip April 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Getting ready to make my own list…this is super!


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 April 6, 2012 at 3:02 am

Awesome idea! We didn't start out on this earth speaking, using the toilet, walking, etc. We learned how to do everything, SLOWLY. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves as adults?


Diane Fit to the Finish April 6, 2012 at 4:28 am

What a wonderful idea! You are doing so great Holly at thinking through this whole weight loss process and finding ways to cement in your new lifestyle!


LuckyEight16 April 6, 2012 at 4:58 am

That is such a cool idea! I am totally stealing this idea and making my own =)


mommykinz April 6, 2012 at 5:00 am

Your brother is wonderful!
My mom loves Leslie!


mommykinz April 6, 2012 at 5:02 am

Your brother sounds fabulous
My mom introduced us to Leslie – her tapes are great


~Lori~ April 6, 2012 at 6:02 am

What a great post! And I'd have to agree…your brother sounds pretty amazing!


Terrie April 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

Sounds like you have a wonderful and supportive brother. How lucky you are!!

I think we get so caught up in the big picture that we forget to take things one step at a time, kind of like the old how do you eat and elephant joke. It is great that you were able break things down and take it one day at a time instead of getting bogged down by the process. You are so amazing and so inspirational.


Carrie - April 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

What a great idea and what an even greater brother.

You are an inspiration and so lucky in so many different ways.


MandaPanda April 6, 2012 at 8:05 am

What a great approach! And you're so lucky to have the support from your brother in this way. Hubby's guru has a saying – "Don't let perfection get in the way of really good." Seems appropriate 🙂


Former Life Girl April 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

That is such a great idea! I am definitely going to adapt. I pretty regularly make a to do list, and often vigorous, twice a day workouts are on the list. That leaves me defeated when I don't complete everything. This gives me a new perspective – to view each completed task as a victory, instead of wallowing in defeat when I don't complete my list perfectly.


Bill Dameron April 6, 2012 at 8:20 am

Holly, I can't imagine what it took to get off that couch and take control. Your brother sounds amazing and you are amazing. I feel silly worrying about a few pounds here and there. But, whether we are overweight, underweight or the perfect weight, we all have demons to battle and your victory list is the way to do that. I am so looking forward to future posts.


Joy April 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

You have a great brother!! Love the Victory List!!!

Keep focused!!


Amanda M. April 6, 2012 at 5:19 pm

That's a wonderful idea!


Anonymous April 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

this is so awesome. I just had my sleeve op.and i will use this idea. thanks was having problems sticking to exercise.u look great.i can't wait to get there.


Morgan April 8, 2012 at 3:06 am

I love this idea! I am a "lister" by nature and nothing feels so good as to mark something off the list! Thank you again for all the inspiration!


ReJoyce777 April 8, 2012 at 5:36 am

Love love love this idea!!! Ok, you and your brother are both amazing. (can I borrow him?) 🙂 For me, I set out these goals so I would not be so overwhelmed. 10% loss, to get my BMI below 40, to get out of size 20 something cloths, to get below 200, to hit 50 lbs lost. I achieved the 10% and BMI and sort of the other (depending on the cloths, I wear everything from 16 to 20…ha ha…whew) I am 9 lbs from my next goal. I chose these because I could see results quicker and I needed that to drive me. I love your list and am going to implement that into my goals as well to give me that sense of victory a lot sooner. Once again, thank you Holly….and thank your brother for me!!!!


Amy April 8, 2012 at 10:16 am

I love your victory list. That's a really nice way to keep yourself accountable! I think I might just make one of those…


Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking April 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Oh what a great idea. I think a person can get so much more done when they make a list!


Courtney C April 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

What a fantastic idea! I’m working on losing about 75 pounds right now after having my daughter 2 years ago and could use every good tidbit like this to combat my perfectionist and self-bullying tendencies. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey!

p.s. – I found you through Jess’s mommy blog in the comment section; you’re blog name is just too intriguing not to click to 😉


molly September 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thank you, Holly, for yet another great idea. I am reading “Made to Crave”, and will now go to work on my own ‘victory list’. Great information here, and I trust your judgement, because LOOK AT YOU!! Amazing testimony. You are so kind to share this life experience with us. Have a wonderful week! Blessings


Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Oh thanks Molly! Nothing has worked for me in my life before this. My brother created this program for himself when he first started and he’s lost over 250 pounds and just finished his 2nd Triathlon! And just like you said…I trusted his judgement because it worked for him so I knew it could work for me. And it has. Whenever I get off track I just go back to the beginning. It really works!! Hallelujah!! And God bless you so much for your kind words!


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