Get a taste

August 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had a conversation with an old friend the other day

Someone I hadn’t spoken to in over 15 years

And they had recently read my blog

As we caught up on one another’s life

This person made an observation

You aren’t the person I remember“, they said

How so…I asked?

Well….the person I remember was confident

Self assured

Independent

But that person I see sitting on the couch in the picture looks miserable

What happened to you?

 Well isn’t that the question of the year?

The question for all time?

HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME

You see the person they remembered

Was a young 21 year old college girl

And they’re right

She was healthy

In shape

Confident

Self Assured

Independent

Do you know that once upon a time

Back in college

I had 3 different men vying for my attention

Back then I was in high demand

I seemed to have a high value

If that’s how you assess your value

But  I chose the one

Who would leave me 11 years later

All alone

But long before he left me

I had left myself

Given up on myself

Given up my independence

My self confidence

My ability to make decisions

Even to drive the car long distances

By the time he walked out the door

I was just a shell of who I used to be

I could barely drive a car without having a panic attack

Too many years of not being allowed to drive

I didn’t know how to balance a checkbook

Or even open a checking account

I didn’t know how to do anything

Except that which I was told to do

Oh I knew how to follow

But I sure didn’t know how to lead

And then suddenly I was the leader

Literally overnight

But when he passed the torch

And made me the leader of this household

He didn’t give a grand speech about how I could do it on my own

About how I had what it took to handle it

Instead I was told

The exact opposite

Pack your bags and go home to your mother

Rent a U-haul and leave this state

You can’t take care of anybody on your own

Look at you

You can’t even take care of yourself

How are you going to take care of 4 kids alone

And manage a house?

You can’t even drive on the highway without having a panic attack

And you’re so fat I can’t even stand to have sex with you

Haven’t you even noticed??

I have to go elsewhere for that

That’s a conversation I will NEVER forget

NEVER

At the time

I weighed 280 pounds

But soon it would be much more

Because I was done trying

That hit me like a knife

Plunged deep within my heart

Embarrassing humiliation beyond words

I only share it with you now because maybe someone out there has experienced the same thing

The same knife through the heart

As I sat on the couch in the living room looking at my husband of 11 years

Holding our baby in my lap

He asked me with a smirk on his face

If I had noticed our diminishing sex life

Because he wanted me to recognize

He was getting it elsewhere

The smile on his face was something I’ll never forget

Like he was proud of himself

If you saw the picture of her—which I unfortunately did

You would know why

Young and thin

And he wanted me to know it

Every last detail

One more twist of the knife

Maybe I hadn’t noticed

Somewhere in between moving and changing diapers and late night feedings

And washing dishes and doing laundry and homeschooling

And cooking and writing my thesis for Graduate school

I guess I missed it

So he told me point blank

YOU’RE TOO FAT

YOU ARE UNDESIRABLE TO ME

I DON’T WANT YOU ANYMORE

I’M LEAVING

As you know the story by now

I tried desperately to get him back

But it was pointless

One night a few weeks later

I will never forget

Tears falling from his face

As he stood on our front porch

And told me

“Do you know how much it hurts me that I can’t be with my kids? That I can’t live with them anymore?”

And why?

“It’s because of YOU.  Because YOU are who you are”

I was no where near the size I eventually became

I was 280 pounds

Yes I was big

And I knew that

But this sealed the deal

And when the judge banged the gavel down on that table one October day in 2006

And said “DIVORCED”

I knew….that was it

I had failed my children

I had failed my husband

And I was NOBODY anymore

Not an Army Wife

Not a wife of any kind

Just a failure

At least that’s what I believed about myself at the time

Later that day, my husband

Or newly ex-husband of only 2 hours called to ask me how it went

How our divorce went

You know…like….

How was the movie?

How was your lunch?

How was your day?

How was OUR DIVORCE?

Ironic, huh?

Because he didn’t show up to our divorce

Just me, my lawyer, and the judge

How do you think it went??”, I asked

But I answered…

Gee I don’t know

My life is over

I have two babies in diapers crying for bottles

A preschooler I’m trying to potty train

And a 4th grader who wants to know why Daddy won’t tell us where he lives now

But how was YOUR day?

And he told me again how depressed he was

That it had come to this

That I was NOBODY

That I had failed him

Failed our family

Failed our children

FAILURE

Stamp it

Inscribe it on my forehead

Because I’m finished

And what was the point in living?

Oh that’s right….

I have four kids to take care of

So in the meantime

I’LL EAT

EVERYTHING

EVERYTHING

EVERYTHING

Because I’m too disgusting to love anyway, right?

I’m already too undesirable

So what is another hundred pounds going to matter?

At least I know where Snickers and Reeses live

At least I know their address

At least they don’t tell me what a failure I am

And I won’t stop

EVER

Because no one cares anymore anyway, right??

He’s gone

I’m finished

I AM NOBODY ANYMORE

The hope was gone

He started his life anew

Scratch….let’s try this again….DO-OVER…

That’s  what it felt like he did

But I stayed right where he left me

In the same spot

Sleeping in the same bed

Wandering around this bedroom like it was a ghost town

Memories of my former life

And the anguish of believing that I was responsible for every day of pain my children felt

At having to live their life without their father in the house

Because I was a failure

Finally the day came that I decided to take a chance

To grab on to some small spark of hope

And let myself believe that maybe

Just maybe

I could be somebody

Because here’s the thing

I’ve already been a nobody

I was a nobody to him

I was no good

I was a failure

But that’s hard to live with

The truth is

We all want to be somebody

We all want to count

We want to believe that we’re not a total failure

That someone out there values us

I just didn’t believe that I was worth that

That I had any value at all

My kids told me repeatedly that I did

That I had meaning

That I had value

But deep down inside

I didn’t believe it

In fact, I felt I was more harm than good to them

In the way of what could have been

The happy family they could have had

If I hadn’t gained weight

And driven my husband away

I knew that I could NOT do it

I could not lose weight

I could not stop eating

But you know what surprised me?

That first step

That first 30 seconds of exercise

Because I did it

It doesn’t matter that it was 30 seconds

The point is….I accomplished it

And because of that

I began to believe that maybe

Just maybe

I could do another 30 seconds the next day

Every time I did a little bit more

Every time I didn’t give up

Didn’t quit

I got a taste of who I could be

There’s a song I hear on the radio lately

And it speaks volumes

It goes like this

“We all want to be somebody.  We just need a taste of who we are”

Because it’s in you

IT IS

You really can do this

Maybe not all at once

But little by little

YOU WILL GET THERE

Yesterday Diana told me to add weights to the bar

And I thought she was crazy

But I did it

I picked it up and I did it

I didn’t believe I could

But I did

Sometimes we just need a taste of who we are

Who we REALLY are

On the INSIDE

Not who someone told us we we were

Someone who told us we were a failure

Maybe the person who told you that was a friend

Or an ex-husband

Or YOU

But whoever it was

WAS WRONG

Because you aren’t a failure

That is not WHO you are

Who you are

Is loved  (John 3:16)

Special  (Ephesians 1:4-5)

Adored  (John 15:16)

And inside of you is

Strength   (Isaiah 41:10)

Potential   (Phillipians 4:13)

Possibilities  (Jeremiah 29:11)

And you don’t believe it now

But all you really need

Is just a taste of who you are  (Psalm 34:8)

Like 30 seconds of walking

It doesn’t matter how small the first step is

The point is that you took it

Because then you will know

YOU DID IT

And that’s what you needed

Just a taste of who you really are

That you have it in you

To push past the disbelief

And go for it

I knew that once about myself

Many long years ago

When I was that girl

My friend from college remembers

The friend who said they remembered me as someone else

Someone confident and self assured

But I had lost it

That belief in myself

Somewhere in the corners of my mind it was there

Shoved behind the humiliation, embarrassment, pain and failed attempts

It just took a little time to find it

But now I know the truth

That I am not NOBODY

I am not a failure

I am not unloved, unwanted, and undeserving

I can be somebody

And so can you

You already ARE somebody

You’re somebody to the One who holds the future in His hands

You’re already special

You’re already beautiful

You’re already capable

Just take that first step

And get a taste of who you are

 

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Anele @ Success Along the Weigh August 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

You are awesome and sadly the failure in the relationship is the one with such barbed words for everyone but himself. I’ve seen it up close with a family member. Some men don’t have enough guts to say something when they’re unhappy but boy they’ll be the first to tear their spouse down when they’re ready to get out. Lucky for you you’re strong and that is the perfect role model for your kids.
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Tess August 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Great entry, as usual! Thank you for sharing all of your memories and feelings with the world, it does make a difference to a lot of us, it does speak to us! People can be so mean, I can’t believe some of the things you were told in your life! But you are soooo STRONG!!! You swam through all the muck and garbage people threw at you and you survived!! You are thriving!! You are A PERSON!! Good for you, Holly, you are truly an inspiration to me!!! Love you!! 🙂

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alice August 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

My ex told me the same things……
But u are really great…….

For me I have the fear of the ops… dying…
and tat love for food!!!!!
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Courtney August 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how that shift from young adulthood to true adulthood brings with it a lot of big decisions with increased consequences (both good and bad). Like you, I can look back and see this young woman in high school and college who felt like she had a world full of options. There have been good choices, bad ones, and good choices made for bad reasons in that time, and I feel a disconnect between that young woman and myself today.

I guess what I’m stumbling through saying is thank you for showing me that it is a process, possibly a long one, to rediscover our potential and worth. As I experience moments of hope and then longer ones of despair I easily believe the lie that when I’m “fixed” it will happen in an instant. Thanks for reminding me of the truth on this matter!
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Linda Kuil August 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Thankfully he didn’t stay when you begged him. He would have squashed what little remained of you. You wuldn’t be here, inspiring the rest of us with your strength and tenacity.

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Staci August 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Well you sure are popular in blogland! 🙂 You just keep posting things that ensure that I never let up on my hatred for your husband I’ve never met. Haha Oh, and your comment the other day – if you ever fly in to Nashville, TN, let me know!
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Merrily August 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

My heart breaks for you. I know that the enemy tried to rob from you during your divorce. He tried to destroy you. God is so good that He has pulled you from the pit and set you on solid ground. We need to have a chat about what comes next…. It’s been 10 years since my separation. I’ve walked in your shoes. You are on the right track, Holly! Keep going! You are an inspiration to so many. Let’s get together soon!!!
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Lori August 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Great insight and motivation, but I need to say one more thing. You did NOT drive your ex-husband away with your fat, or anything else for that matter. He was the one with issues. He used that as an excuse to justify his behavior. You did not make him do anything. Perhaps, his behaviors all along created the panic attacks and your need to overeat. Please don’t take any of the blame for his failures.
Lori

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 22, 2012 at 12:31 am

Thanks Lori!! Much to ponder on this and I really appreciate your insights!

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Sheila August 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm

You may have been a confident, self-assured YOUNG lady to this friend’s recollection, but I think even that younger version of yourself may pale in comparison to the woman you are today. Look how far you have come from the brink and back, and you had to learn to put one foot in front of the other. You are my hero Holly, and the woman you are today stands rebuilt one brick at time, painfully pushing yourself further than you ever thought you could go. Sky’s the limit girl!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 22, 2012 at 12:30 am

Can I put this on a magnet? I love it. Very inspiring words Sheila!! Thank you so much!

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Alicia@ eccccco friendly homemaking August 22, 2012 at 3:08 am

This is an awesome post!!!!

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Steelers6 August 22, 2012 at 3:19 am

Wow, sadly, he was pretty messed up
to put blame on YOU. Soo not your fault,
but so sad that people believe those lies
at such a fragile, vulnerable time. It
struck me as especially bizarre that he
came back crying about missing his kids
& still trying to blame you for one of
his poor choices. ?!? (like, “how
could you do this to me?”.
Beg pardon? You did that to YOURSELF.
That is what YOU chose. So sad.)

Soo glad the new (old?) strong,
confident Holly continues to emerge.
It’s like scales falling from your eyes,
cloudy vision getting clear, eh? Don’t
mess with independent Holly!

I can hear you roaring on the East Coast!
Chrissy

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Paula August 22, 2012 at 4:51 am

One day he will so regret the way he treated you and the way he treated those kids. I’m sure he is already finding fault with the other woman, because the fault lies in him. Your posts are a real inspiration to me.

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blackhuff August 22, 2012 at 7:36 am

This is terrible, terrible words you had to hear from your ex husband. Awful! I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. No one deserves that.
I’m a new reader of your blog and want to tell you that you are such a big inspiration to me and many more. Well done on this huge loss of weight so far. You’re doing so good.
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annamarie August 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

As far as I feel, your ex has a big problem and that is facing the fact that he cannot face the truth. Truth being is that he no longer wanted to be responsible for being a father, husband, etc. So therefore he need something or someone to blame and unfortunately it was you. I truly believe in karma and his day will come if it didn’t come already. All I can say is that you are shining and shining bright you are, from deep deep within. Thank you so much for your inspiration and motivation.

Sending many hugs.
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Amanda August 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Others have said it better than I can. As for YOU, you’re proving every day that you’re not a failure and every day I see a little bit of that confidence coming back. Every time you go to crossfit, I see it. Every time you sit in a chair and see you fit, I see it. Every time you go to a little league game, or the ER with your daughter, or to the river front with your kids, I see it. And someday you’ll see it too. 🙂
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molly August 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Gripping…I wonder how does your husband feel about you now? Are you ever in contact with him…for the sake of the children? Does he contribute to their welfare alt all? Not that it matters, but I just wonder if you have come to the place where you can forgive him? That is when true healing will begin for you. …give it to Jesus, the one who hears all our cries and cares for us. Trust Him. He is faithful.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Yes we are in contact and he does contribute a lot to the children’s lives financially and in other ways. We do have a very amicable relationship for the sake of the children. I have forgiven him and continue to forgive him all over again as needed 🙂 It is a process for sure. I have also asked for forgiveness from him for things I have said or done as I am not perfect either 🙂 While I share a lot about the past and how it has affected our present, it does not mean that I have not forgiven him. But rather that I am using it now as a lesson for life and to hopefully help others who have been down the same road. In fact, I will write more about this sometime. He actually knows that I talk/write about our history together and while I’m sure he doesn’t love it…he agrees with me that it brings purpose to the pain. I believe that God can use painful circumstances in our life to help others. But only if we share it. I am grateful to him that while it may be uncomfortable he agrees there is purpose to me sharing it. More on that one day! Thanks for asking!

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Lori August 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I love you, Holly. Thank you for sharing your life. And thank you for being YOU.

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Wendie Haynes August 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I am so glad you are finding yourself! It’s hard work, but so very worth it. Because like you’ve said, we are worth it!
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Sheila August 23, 2012 at 12:40 am

Of course you can use it on a magnet…what a lovely thought! Hugs!
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Pam August 23, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I was well over 300 lbs., and hubby didn’t leave me. I am one of the lucky ones. He loved me through thick and thin. I always worried he would leave though. I had no confidence.
As mean as your ex was to you, you are well rid of him. I know back then, when he left, you just felt like a failure. But look at you now girl–you’re SOMEBODY! And you’re inspiring all of us too while you’re changing your own life. I just hope somebody that ex of yours sees you, looking all skinny and sexy and regrets that he left. I think he got what he deserved–not to get to see his four beautiful kids every day. Not to get to see you become what you’re becoming. I guess things really do happen for a reason. He left and you got your life back!
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Gen November 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Shame on him!!!!!!!!
He did not, nor does not deserve you. A man who did not “allow” you to {insert event} did not deserve you. A man who would stoop so low and be so cruel did not deserve you.
In a way, I kinda feel bad for him. For one day, he will get what he does deserve. According to the Bible, what we sow, we reap. He’s sown a lot of bad…..
Please, do not EVERY believe the load of crap of worthless or useless or any other horrid adjective. It’s a way for someone (some, but not all) that has low self-esteem make themselves feel better.
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Natalie January 18, 2013 at 8:49 am

I think it’s amazing that after 11 years of being crushed by someone, it only took you 5 years to un-squish!
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monika January 23, 2013 at 7:15 am

Your an inspiration, because I feel like a total failure right now to my husband. You make me want to do this for me, but I’m scared and sad thinking that my husband should love me for who I am not what I look like, especially since I just had a baby. He has the perfect body, and me, I’m a whopping 240. I caught him emailing other women, and it broke me and I have felt that its not worth taking care of myself anymore. I feel like im unwanted. I’m going to start reminding myself that I’m worth it. Thank you so much, you don’t even know!

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Cat March 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm

So… Lemme get this straight…. ok so yeah 280 lbs is heavy… I think one of my boobs weight that much! The more I read about him the more I wish he experiences impotence and she leaves him for someone who doesn’t have a track record for using people and emotionally bankrupts them. I’m glad he’s out of your life now. You don’t need a cesspit like that bringing you down. Something I’m quickly learning in my own journeys is that rarely are you the sole cause for your downfall. Yes, you may have done the cooking, you may have been too scared to exercise… but as your husband, he should have supported you and encouraged you and been there for you as you had been for him.
I’m floating around 368lbs right now, staring at a hospital bed that in a few short years would have had my name on it. But my hub, who isn’t in the best shape either, is going to struggle with me dang it.
The best thing that man did for you was give you 4 beautiful children. And by them, you’ve done an extraordinary job being a mother to them. Your excellence shines in their actions words and deeds.
When you get down because of some memory of him, throw it out of your mind and scream “GOOD RIDDANCE!!” You are turning your life around from that pathetic excuse of a man’s emotional abuse. You are solidly in my book of Heroes, Holly. Never Give Up. Its because of your blog that I’m doing what I’m doing. My strength to keep going was inspired by you and what you’re doing.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 22, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Wow!! I want to cry . Thanks so much for leaving me this beautiful comment. I so appreciate you and I am enjoying reading your blog. I really am. Thanks so much for your kind words!

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Cat March 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I will simply add….

~hugs~
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