Believe them

April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Amanda and I were roommates in college.

I majored in Psychology and she majored in Sociology.

So you can imagine the interesting conversations we had.

And when we graduated from college the only place that wanted to hire us was Carmax to sell cars.

Part time.

I should have gone to graduate school right away like Mom wanted me to but instead I got married and started having babies.

Eventually I went back to school and I got my Masters degree in Education.

I got it online because we were moving every 2-3 years with the Army and this allowed me to take my program with me

I will never forget when we moved from New Mexico to Alaska.

A 2 week car trip with the kids and the dogs.

Trying to keep everyone happy while writing papers on my laptop and uploading them at night when we stopped at the hotel.

A few years later I was finishing up my graduate program and we were moving again

This time to Texas

Soon I would have my teaching degree which I had chosen partly because I figured wherever the Army moved us–I could always find a job.

Except that ironically when I finished my degree, he left.

Which meant I wasn’t moving around anymore anyway.

But that didn’t matter. I had the degree and no one can take that away.

Although some people have said it’s not a real degree because I got it online.

Even though it’s a real accredited educational institutution.

Just like the one I graduated from with my Bachelor’s degree.

And I really took all the classes. And wrote all the papers. And made all the powerpoints.

And I really wrote that 80 page thesis.

And I really did a semester of student teaching in a real classroom.

A classroom in Fairbanks, Alaska that I had to drive 30 miles in the ice and snow during the Alaska winters to get to

And I have a real teaching license from the state of Texas

So it’s real to me.

And Texas 🙂

And apparently it’s real to other people because I got hired to be a middle school English teacher at a private school shortly after we moved here.

I had actually applied to tons of schools but no one would hire me.

Maybe because I had no job experience at all because I’d been a stay at home mom for 10 years.

Maybe because I was obese and could barely fit in the chairs at most interviews.

And I’d moved around every 2-3 years with the military so everything on my resume looked scattered and unstable.

And I was a single Mom of 4 kids and half of them were not even school age.

And I had no family in town at all to help me if I needed it (which was always a question they asked)

So most employers viewed me as a risk.

Except for one.

Susan Oldfield.

I still remember that interview.

She asked me all the same questions the others had.

And I answered them in all the same way.

But instead of looking at me and saying

“You’re too risky. You have no job experience. You move around a lot. You have 4 kids who you take care of alone. We’re not taking the chance”

She said….

“You have some obstacles in front of you. You have been through a lot with your divorce and being out here all alone with the kids but I think you have what it takes to overcome. I think you are up for the challenge”

And I was so shocked that when she called me the next day to offer me the job I said

“But don’t you think I’m too risky? Don’t I have too many things going against me?”

And she said…

“No. You’ve got what it takes. Sure you’ve got some struggles but you’re not making excuses. And I know you can do it”

And then she added….

“I’ve been a single mom. SO I KNOW”

I have never forgotten my first real teaching job.

Or the woman that gave it to me.

Because she took a chance on me.

She saw the same exact thing that everyone else that had ever interviewed me saw.

Single Mom
History of moving every 2-3 years
Obese
No employment history
Online degree

But instead of responding as everyone else had responded, she responded in a completely opposite way.

She said “You’re strong. You’re capable. You can do this. You’re hired!”

And by doing that, she made me believe I COULD do it.

Sometimes you just need someone to believe in you.

To give you a chance.

To say you CAN do it.

And I truly believe that because she had been there–lived as a single Mom–she understood.

And that’s what makes the support of those who have gone before me so important in my weight loss journey.

Because when others look at you and you weigh 417 pounds.

And you can barely walk.

Or fit in a chair

Or tie your own shoes

They think “You’re done. It’s over. You’ve gone too far to ever make a comeback

And then someone who has been there says–

“I’ve been there. And it’s not easy but you can do it. Because I did it. So you can too”

It’s important to surround yourself with people who will say YOU CAN DO IT!

Because there are always going to be people who say NO YOU CAN’T!

That it’s too hard for you

That you don’t have what it takes

But you can’t listen to them

You have to tune them out

Even if it means tuning out YOURSELF

Because sometimes YOU are the one saying all those things to yourself

Because that is often how it is for me

Sometimes I am my worst critic

But I have to choose to listen to the voices who say YOU CAN!

Just like the principal who hired me and gave me a chance when no one else would

Because she knew what it was like to be a single parent and have the chips stacked against you

But she also knew she had overcome the odds and this made her keenly aware of the fact that I could too!

And the people who are successfully fighting the weight loss battle know what it’s like to have the chips stacked against them…the potato chips and the chocolate chips!

And they have proven that you CAN win the fight

They’re all running the race with you saying “YOU CAN DO IT!”

Saying whoever you are–however far you’ve fallen—

You are strong. You are capable.

YOU CAN DO IT

So believe them.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Lady Amanda April 25, 2012 at 3:00 am

Awesome post!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

thanks!!!
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Faith April 25, 2012 at 3:48 am

I am so glad that Susan Oldfield saw what we get to see every time you post, Holly. 🙂 Great post (as usual)!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Thanks Faith!! And I feel the same way about you!!
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cee April 25, 2012 at 4:56 am

Love it! Are you still teaching there? What a great lady, she saw the potential, not the difficulties.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I am no longer teaching there but it definitely was where I belonged for that moment in time and I learned so much!!
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Lap band gal April 25, 2012 at 5:01 am

LOve this post!!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Thanks!
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Linda Kuil April 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

What’s that saying? Nothing worth getting comes easy? True dat!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

You said it!!
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Melissa April 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

this was a great post! i’m so glad she saw you and took a chance on you, but that you also took a chance on yourself to pursue a degree and go for it no matter what the obstacles!

life is ever changing and you are an inspiration!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

You are so right about this. Life is ever changing and we have to become adaptable! Thanks!!

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joy April 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Great post!! It will help many!!

Keep focused!!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Thanks Joy!

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me April 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Sadly, I have found it difficult to find people IRL that think I can do it. 🙁
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Well you have ME!! And a ton of other people online . I’ll be honest. I get most of my support online. My extended family is supportive but they don’t live around me. And I find it is the people who have really been there and are currently going through it that “get it”. Blogging is a great way to meet others walking the same path and to get encouragement. I appreciate you and support you all the way to the finish line!!
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ducky April 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm

having that support is one of the most incredible blessings ever. God is teaching me that and certainly the hard way. As I step over the cliff this week I know that one of two things will happen…I will learn how to fly or I will bounce :O)
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Heading to your blog right now to find out what the obstacle is. But I already know you’re going to FLY !!!
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Staci April 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Awwww, what a great story. It feels so good to be believed in! Our WW meeting tonight was about not mentally slamming ourselves. Be a friend to yourself. A true friend wouldn’t berate you when you fail, so why do we berate ourselves?? Believe in yourself and others will begin to, too! Love ya, girl.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I’m glad you are going to the WW meetings. They sound like they are VERY good. I’m not on WW but makes me want to go anyway just for the support and uplifting message!
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Barbara April 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Awesome post, Holly! It reminded me of the special people in my life who’ve believed in me. They’re few and far in between but I won’t ever forget who they are! I was a military spouse for 13 years . . . mine did pretty much the same thing yours did . . . walked out the door, after years of lying and cheating. He did me a huge favor by dumping me, although I regret that my children suffered with him AND without him. They deserved a loving father and got short-changed. We live and we learn!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Oh Barbara. I feel we have lived the same life!! I relate to so much of what you have said. I will admit that my ex-husband has always held up his end of the financial obligations and I count myself as blessed beyond measure for that b/c many people do not get that lucky. He sees the children as much as he can given that he is no longer stationed here. Those are the positive things I can say about the present. But as to the past–I have lived through it and survived it. And I know you and I are going to be stronger for it too!
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kim April 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Couldn’t agree with you more…it’s time to get the negative out and the positive in. Encouragement instead of discouragement. Awesome post today!! Losing weight is such a struggle…It’s nice to know you’re not alone. I am starting a blog myself and would love to ask you a few questions…if you have the time? could I send you an e-mail? If yes let me know where to send. Thanks 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Hi there! I’m not sure if I could help but I would definitely try!! My email is hollyjordanrose@yahoo.com Thanks!!

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Eleanor April 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Wow. You have no idea how much I needed to read this post. I just got out of school, and I am facing the same things. I even had the temp agency told me I was basically unemployable because I had too much knowledge for a regular office job (employers see it as someone ready to bail on them), and not enough experience for a computer networking job (my actual degree). And you’d think interviewers would understand that the economy is bad, and many companies have chosen to downsize….and usually last one hired is the first one let go.

So now I just need to find my Susan Oldfield. I am sure there is one around here somewhere….
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Oh Eleanor!! I lived this so I get it. I also was not hired for several jobs b/c I was ‘overqualified’ and they assumed as soon as I found a job in my field I would leave . It is so frustrating trying to get your foot in the door. I have NO doubt that God opened the door for me at this job though. Susan said that she had only put the opening up a few seconds before a fax came in with my resume. And I faxed my resume to them before I saw the opening for the exact teaching job i wanted!! I will be thinking of you b/c I know this is tough
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Jane April 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm

This is so great! Just when I need a Rah Rah! Thanks! As always beautifully written!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

thanks Jane! RAH!! Rah!!
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Nanette N. April 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm

absolutely beautiful. 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Thanks Nanette!
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Bozo April 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Great post! I love the lady who gave you your first job… more people should be like that – it would make such a difference in this world.

Congratulations on losing so much weight already :-)… I’m in the process of losing a lot of weight too and it’s going well. Can’t wait to finally reach my goal!

And finally, thanks for coming by my blog and noticing Bertie Wooster. I adore P.G. Wodehouse – and the BBC production of Jeeves and Wooster is fabulous!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Thanks! congrats on your weight loss!! I have the BBC production of Jeeves and Wooster and watch it all the time!!
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Lauri April 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Thanks! I needed that 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Thanks Lauri!
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Rae Rae J April 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm

You are such an amazing person. I gush about this every post but you are like my personal motivational speaker in a blog. I love it, keep it up, and YES YOU CAN (AND I CAN!) 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Thanks Rae Rae!! I really appreciate that! I know if we keep pushing through we will all get there!
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FormerLife Girl April 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Loved this post, especially the quote, ” …I think you have what it takes to overcome…” I think that phrase will need to be posted on my bathroom mirror 🙂
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Amanda April 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I think this is why so many of us are drawn to blogs. We can connect with people who are in the same boat or were in the same boat. We can see the same struggles, the same successes and know that the next success story could be ours. Great post!
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Chandra April 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

You are so right! It is funny how even some of the closest people to you might not be supportive. I have taught myself to acknowledge that their lack of faith in me is about them and not about me, but it is hard to do!

My biggest obstacle is myself, working on believing in myself. It’s a constant effort, but I can say I’m improving every day! My number one goal is to teach myself to fully embrace that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” as His word tells me.

XXOO
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Kiwigirl April 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Holly, you write beautifully. You really should think about writing a book someday – you have so many experiences and plenty of wisdom to share. Have you ever contacted Susan Oldfield and told her how much of a difference she made? If not – you should. I bet she has no idea what an impact she had on your life!
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Trece Wyman April 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. You will never know how very much it blessed and still blesses me.
Trece
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Fee September 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

It’s important to surround yourself with people who will say YOU CAN DO IT!

Because there are always going to be people who say NO YOU CAN’T!

Wow, those two sentences really mean so much!! Thanks.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Thanks Fee!! I totally agree with what you said b/c there will always be someone telling us we can’t. Sometimes that person is even our own self!!! But I know we can do this!

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