Find Your Greatness

August 1, 2012 in Uncategorized


I saw a Nike commercial during the Olympics

That was beyond awesome

The narrator says the following:


It’s just something we made up

Somehow we’ve come to believe that greatness is a gift reserved for a chosen few

For prodigies….for superstars

And the rest of us can only stand by watching

You can forget that

Greatness is not some rare DNA strand; It’s not some precious thing.

Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing.

We’re all capable of it.

All of us.

And while the narrator said these things

They did not show some super athlete running

Some Olympic superstar breaking a world record

Instead there was a young overweight boy in the distance

Jogging alone


Not quitting

Not giving up


When I saw this commercial

It reminded me of last summer

Exactly one year ago

I was 417 pounds

And I had started walking outside in the August Texas heat

I was sweating

I could barely breathe

My feet were so swollen they could only fit into flip flops

Every day I put on my size 5X dress and flip flops

And I went outside in the heat alone to count mailboxes

Doing a little bit more each day

Every time I did something I couldn’t do the day before

I discovered a little piece of greatness buried inside of me

Floating to the surface

When I finally  made it around the block

It was as if I had won a gold medal at the Olympics

For I had achieved what had been impossible just a few months earlier

My face got so red once that a car actually pulled over and asked me if I was ok

Another time, some man in a truck yelled out the window

“You’re too fat to be outside!!”

I could have quit when that happened

I could have  retreated into my house and let humiliation take over

I might never have walked outside again

But I chose to brush it off

I chose to ignore the negative

And feed the positive

And I kept going

If you ask me—that was greatness!

Because greatness to me

Is pushing past your comfort zones

Striving to give it your all

Not quitting when you want to

And not giving up when you fail

I could have quit with the heckler

I could have quit because it was hot

I could have quit because I was tired

But I didn’t

I kept going

I had bad days where I didn’t get up

Where I stayed in the bed and slept

I had days where I didn’t go as far as I could have

Where I let my mind get the best of me

I slipped in the mud once when it was raining and fell

What do you think that looks like to someone peering out their window?

A 400 pound woman falling in the mud?

And then taking 10 minutes to get back on her feet

Because pulling 400 pounds off the ground is not easy

But I got back up

And when I finally made it back on my feet

I didn’t turn around and go home

Use it as an excuse to quit and go back

I just kept walking

Mud and all

But even now

177 pounds later

I still have those days

Even those weeks

Where I let depression get the best of me

For the past 2 weeks

My kids were gone visiting their Dad

I missed them so much

My mind started winning the battle

The depression started gaining ground

I spent several days in a row laying in the bed watching Lifetime

And being catatonic

Does that look like greatness?

Staying in your nightgown all day staring at the LMN channel?

Letting your negative mindset take control?

We all struggle

We all have our ups and downs

But for me

Finding my greatness

Is about believing that in spite of my failures and screw ups

In spite of my shortcomings and mishaps

The possibilities are still endless for me

If I hold on to hope

And I just don’t quit

Sometimes we don’t realize

That the seeds of greatness are planted within us

Maybe we don’t see them

Because the mirror reflects obesity and wrinkles and sadness in our eyes

Because the scale screams numbers at us that are higher than we ever thought we’d see

But inside us are the seeds of greatness

And we were given a promise

That like the rain and snow

Will not return without having watered the earth

Neither will God’s promises return back to Him void and empty handed (Isaiah 55:11)

If He promises to give power to the weak (Isaiah 40:29)

If He promises that we can do all things through Him who gives us strength (Phillipians 4:13)

If He promises us overwhelming victory in our difficulties (Romans 8:37)

If He promises to give us a way out when we face brownies…I mean temptation! (1 Corinthians 10:13)

If He promises to help us rise up and soar like wings on eagles (Isaiah 40:31)

Then you can count on it

 My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow.
        It will not come back to me without results (Isaiah 55:10-12)

So knowing that we all have seeds of greatness

Planted within us

Waiting to be watered

It gives me hope for the future

And the ability to  forgive myself for the times I’ve failed to do my best

The wasted days I spent watching Lifetime  movies

Instead of working out

Greatness begins when after days of being catatonic

You find the strength to put down the remote control

And get up

And start again

So tomorrow I will get out of the bed

And I will put on my workout clothes

Lace up my tennis shoes

And  show up to my workout

Because  I have learned

That what that Nike commercial says is true

Greatness is not reserved for prodigies or superstars

It’s not some rare DNA strand that we don’t have

Maybe we can’t all be Olympic athletes

But we can achieve greatness

Sometimes greatness means getting out of the bed

And walking to the mailbox and back

Then going a little bit further the next day

Sometimes greatness means forgiving yourself for what didn’t get done today

And then trying again tomorrow

But when we get out there

And don’t give up

Don’t quit

Don’t let the voices in our head determine the steps our feet will take

That is greatness

And that is not reserved for only some people

You don’t have to sit on the sidelines

You can join the race

And you can be proud

That in spite of the obstacles

You walked up to the starting line

And you had the courage to begin a journey

A journey that will lead you to greatness


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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

jules August 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Chosing to ignore the negative and feed the positive is such an INCREDIBLE statement! Great post!


Sandy August 1, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Great commercial. You can find your greatness! Thanks for the reminder.


Joy August 2, 2012 at 12:16 am

Thanks for posting the commercial 🙂 It’s so true!! Look how far you have come! Amazing 🙂
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Jen B August 2, 2012 at 12:35 am

I love this commercial! From what I’ve heard, others are offended by it…not sure why.


Gi August 2, 2012 at 12:52 am

Wow thanks for posting this! So inspiring and encouraging.
I am glad that Nike have created such a wonderful add, this will defiantly be a source of inspiration for me in the future.
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Mari August 2, 2012 at 1:13 am

That is an awesome ad! It’s inspiring and so are you!
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suzanne August 2, 2012 at 2:15 am

What a wonderful inspiration both you and that add is!!
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Trish August 2, 2012 at 2:36 am

Yes! Yes! Yes!
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Linda Kuil August 2, 2012 at 8:47 am

Thankful that this commercial will help that boy find his greatness sooner than later. These commercials are so inspiring and thought-provoking. I will not be an Olympic athlete, but I can put the effort and dedication into what I DO have in my life. Thank you Holly!


Elizabeth August 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

I’m so glad you shared that commercial, I just shared it on facebook as well. It is one of the best commercials I’ve seen in a while! I love your insights Holly..You show struggle, inperfection, but also strength and perservance- qualities we all have but often try to hide so that people only see the good stuff. Thanks for being real! Hugs 🙂
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Amanda August 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

So inspiring…and I’m not talking about the ad. I’m talking about you. Every post you write inspires me and I’m sure many others. Your persistence at overcoming the obstacles set before you amazes me. Thanks for another dose! 🙂
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jennxaz August 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

even when we fail we get back up and try again…love that, so true sometimes life can beat you down but you got to get back up and give it another go—-you have done great things and have many more moments to give–hugs girl!


EmDub August 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I saw this commercial the other day and thought “I should do a blog post on that…sometime”! ha. So I’m glad you did one soon! Honestly I was looking for a post from you for several days, just can’t get enough Holly!

Do you remember the last Olympics when Phelps was all the rage and J-Lo was throwing a hissy fit because she wanted people to take note and recognize her because she ran a marathon or something 9 months after having twins? I won’t go into how much I hate people trying to get attention like that, but I feel it is in the same nature as your post. J-Lo obviously isn’t an Olympian, but she did the best she could with what she had.

We have to keep seeking our greatness out at the next mailbox, milestone, whatever. As one lady said to me last week “we have to just keep trying!” I know you were slightly disappointed with how you spent your time these past couple of days, but I think that you should also be a little bit happy that you could indulge that side that wants to veg out for a little bit. That’s all about finding the right balance. For me, unfortunately, I must have inner ear problems because my balance with that is definitely off! haha
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Merrily August 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

The commercial made me cry. So glad you came today. It’s probably the hardest time you’ll face, only because you had a little break and it feels like you’re starting over. But I watched you today. You still did more than your first day at CrossFit. Your strength and determination is such an inspiration to me. I wanted to quit today, but I’d look over at you and see your determination, and I knew I couldn’t quit, because you were not quitting. Thanks for being there to help me keep going. Love you Holly!
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Sarah August 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

That ad was amazing, and thank you for sharing this inspirational post. It came on a day I really needed it. I am feeling so defeated today, and even toyed with taking the second half of the day off work because I couldn’t keep the tears back. I am still at work and want to go home, but I will finish today and I won’t go home, curl up in my pjs and eat chocolate like I want to do.
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Maureen August 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Tears- for me, for you, for those of us who struggle and think greatness is out there – somewhere – in the distance. But certainly not here. Holly, you are beautiful, heart and soul! Thank you, thank you. You inspire all of us.
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Mimi@Irresistible Icing August 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I LOVE this!!!
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molly August 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I knew something was wrong. I hadn’t seen a post from you for quite a while, and I missed it…so I went to your site. There was a new post, just not sent yet. And wow!! What a post. Knocked my socks off…the most relevant slap in the face to one who makes soft choices all the time. Time to get up and get moving. Thank you so much for this post. It is so much more than words, and it gripped my soul today. Blessings.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Thanks Molly! That really mans a lot to me. Thanks so much for being here!


Kelly @CurvyFitGirl August 3, 2012 at 1:39 am

Every single one of us is capable of greatness, or doing something great. Something we ourselves do not believe we are even capable of doing. This was a beautiful post, Holly. You are great, and you do have greatness inside you.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Thanks Kelly! You are an inspiration to me!


kim August 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Hi Holly thanks for keeping on keeping on. You are such an inspiration to me and I have been missing your posts lately and hoping that you were ok. Our God is truly an awesome God who loves us with an unending love!!! I have been procrastinating getting on the treadmill again after two years but yesterday I decided I would and that I was going to do it Holly style and add one more minute per day and that by this time next year I would be amazed at how much I could accomplish on the treadmill. Your courage to get up and get out of bed inspires people Holly never forget this … that God has given you a ministry of healing for the hurting among us. Much love, Kim


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Thanks Kim!! I really appreciate that. You have no idea what it means. I did get myself out of the loop and let myself slide down the hill a bit. It really is so great to know I have people who notice when I’m not around and pull me back up out of my slump! I so appreciate you!


Sheila August 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for sharing that commercial (I have not seen it before) and as always your blog is so true and inspiring. You are doing so great, and I love how you are battling the demons, one at a time and winning. Hugs!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Thanks Sheila!


darlene August 7, 2012 at 1:20 am

Love that commercial! Great post too! You are a great inspiration! You really have achieved a personal greatness. Thank you for the reminder that we can all do the same!


Lorretta August 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

As I got up this morning, early, 4:30am, to get my workout in – I felt so defeated already. I had actually fallen asleep on our couch around 7:30 – 8:pm because I am so tired from getting up early to work out. I just didn’t feel like I could do a work out at all. I spoke to my friend, who calls me every morning to make sure I make it out of bed to work out. I told her – I can’t, I just can’t do it anymore! She talked to me for 20 minute about everyday stuff, got my mind of the negative, I did get my work out done – but it was really, really hard. Then I got to work and found this posted on my e-mail. What an inspiration! Yes, I have seen the commercial and actually cried. Good for that young man! If you can do it, he can do – hey, I can do it. Now I wish I was still at home instead of sitting at my desk for the whole day. I want to work out right now! Thank you!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm

That is so awesome Lorretta!!! I totally know what you mean about how hard it is to get up to do it. I was just talking to my Crossfit friend, Merrily, yesterday about this exact thing! She said the hardest part of the workout is just getting out of the bed and making it there. SO TRUE! Maybe we should start counting this as part of the workout…lol…b/c 90% of the battle is just getting up and starting!! I am so proud of you for doing it! You inspire me!!!


Angie Mizzell August 8, 2012 at 7:17 pm

You continue to inspire me. Greatness isn’t a DNA strand, but it is within you. I love your story and all you share with us.


Xavierism September 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Bon dia! You truly are inspirational. Just reading your posts inspire me to continue to strive to become a better version of myself. I’m dealing with plantar fasciitis and haven’t been able to run. I feel so defeated but now I’m determined to get better and get back to my running routine. Wishin’ you all the best & may God continue to bless you. Cheers & Much Love your way… ~Xavier~
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