Out of the Pit

August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I used to sprain my ankle on a regular basis

And by that I mean it was literally something we could almost put on the calendar

As a repeating activity

Once when we lived in Alaska

I fractured the bone in my foot

By getting out of bed

Yep–that’s how I did it

Not throwing the ball around in the backyard with my kids

Or playing leapfrog

Or running

I didn’t even do it with some fabulous story of slipping on the ice

Although I did do plenty of that in Alaska

But no….alas….I have no great story for this

Other than the fact that I decided to get out of bed

And I was obese

The weight of ME fractured my foot

But it wasn’t the last time

Once after we had moved to San Antonio

After my husband had left me

Some friends had come to visit me

And as they pulled away in their car, I stood on the front step to wave goodbye

They drove down the street to turn around in the circle

And by the time they got back to driving past my house again

I was laid out on the front step


Laid out there helpless

I had fractured my foot AGAIN

Doing what..you ask?


Yep…that’s it

I was upright one minute

And on the floor the next

As my foot just buckled under my weight

Just standing on my foot was enough to get the job done

It’s really hard for a doctor to know what to do with you

When the problem with your foot


The reason you keep fracturing your foot

Is simply because you are standing on it

Have you ever fallen into a pit?

Not a literal one

But a figurative pit…a spiritual pit….an emotional pit

And now there you are

80 feet in with no way out

I watched this show on Netflix with my kids

It’s called “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”

The whole show is about these people

Who get themselves into unbelievable circumstances

Sometimes through no fault of their own

Like a plane crash

But sometimes they were on a risky adventure

And then it just all caves in on them

Like climber Jim Davidson

Whose story we watched

Here’s a clip

And if you’re wondering whether he got out

Well…he did

But not before he had to overcome the most frightening experience of his life

Weighing 417 pounds

Is a lot like falling in a pit

Except the difference

Is that I didn’t really FALL in

Like Jim Davidson did


With both feet

How you ask?

Oh I’ll tell you….because it took some time

A lot of late night trips to McDonalds and Taco Bell

A lot of days laying on the couch

When Jim Davidson fell into that pit

He had to make a decision

Would he just give up?

Would he lay down and die?

Or would he try to crawl out?

The odds were stacked against him

The clip did NOT show his friend

The one who fell down in the crevace with him

And died

Leaving him totally alone

Not only that

His friend was the more experienced climber of the two

How afraid was he?

How depressed was he?

How alone was he?

And yet….he did it

He climbed out of there

And he survived

If you’ve ever felt defeated by your weight

Defeated by failed diets

Defeated by life

Then you probably have a lot in common with me

Because I gave up

I threw in the towel

I decided to wait for death

In fact, that was ALL I had to look forward to

Because life was pain

Physical pain

Emotional Pain

I loved my kids but I also felt they were better off without me

That’s not something I just say

That’s something I believed

Deep down in my heart

I believed that


I wish I could have been like Jim Davidson

Who figured out how to climb out of that pit


But that just wasn’t me

If I had fallen in that pit

I would have layed down and died

Because in my absolute heart of hearts

I believed that I could NEVER climb out on my own

And that even if I could

The world was better off without me in it

Taking up space

Taking up an inordinate amount of space

Taking up 7 times the amount of space as anyone else

Because I couldn’t go ANYWHERE and fit

Not school plays

Or school award ceremonies

Not gymnastics lessons

Or baseball games


Not in chairs

Not in seatbelts

And when I tried to fit

I broke them

I broke toilet seats

I broke chairs

I even broke a BENCH that belonged to my kitchen table


Do you know how hard it is to break a BENCH?

If I had been Jim Davidson

I would have just given up

At the rate that I was gaining weight

I would be 500 pounds by now

I worked it out on the calculator

Guesstimating how much I was gaining each year

But because my brother had the courage to get weight loss surgery

And because he showed me how to take baby steps out of the pit

I am here today

Sometimes when I just really sit here and ponder that

Really let it sink in

I can’t even believe it

I know how hard it is to be stuck in that pit

To feel totally alone

Totally helpless

Totally worthless


You need to read those words again


Today I got an email from someone

Someone who is exactly where I was one year ago

Someone whose husband left them

Someone who feels alone

Someone who truly is stuck in a pit

And doesn’t know how to get out

Last week I got another email

From someone who feels the same way

I get those emails a lot lately

From people who are stuck in the same pit I was

And they want so desperately to crawl out

I want them to know that there is hope

There are people out there who care


Know that

Believe it

I promise you this

I was dead

And now I’m alive (Colossians 2:13)

My life was over

And now it’s renewed (Ephesians 2:3)

So if my life was already over

If it was already finished

If the credits were already rolling

And now I’ve been given a second chance

What then would be my purpose for being here?

To be a mother to my kids….YES!

But more than that….

To show others that there IS hope

Because I am no one special

I can promise you that

There is NOTHING in me special

That is not in YOU

I want nothing more than to give you a hand

And show you the way

Out of the pit

So believe it

The hope that is for me

Is also for you

Think of all the wonderful people surrounding you

They are out there

I used to pray that God would bring people into my life

People who would help me out of the pit

And He did

Read through the comments that people leave me sometimes

And you will find links to their blogs

Like Sheila

Or Staci

Or Trish

Or Linda

Or Tracy

I will spend another blog post linking more

Because they are out there

Supportive and encouraging people

Fighting their way out of the pit

Don’t believe the lie that says you are alone

Don’t believe the lie that says you are not worth it

Because one year ago I could not get out of a chair without 4 children’s assistance

And today I’ve lost 180 pounds

Today I had to do pull ups with these gymnastics rings at Crossfit



Yep—that’s what I look like doing pull ups

Not the most flattering picture of me, right?

And yet—I’m still throwing it up there

Because you know what?

That is what I look like

Pulling myself OUT OF THE PIT

The pit of despair

The pit of obesity

The pit of loneliness

Every time I pull up on those rings

I get stronger

And do you know why I do that every day?

Not just for me

But for my kids

I want them to know that they too can be strong

They can find strength within to pull themselves out of the pits of life

Here is my son

Doing the rings at gymnastics



And you know what I was doing while my son was pulling himself up on the rings?

I was sitting in a chair directly across from him taking the picture

A chair I could NEVER have fit into one year ago

You know those fold up chairs

Not too sturdy for someone over 400 pounds

These are things I can do now that I have lost 180 pounds

I can take my kids to gymnastics

Something they wanted to do for YEARS

But we couldn’t go

Because of ME

Because I didn’t fit


Not anymore

My babies started gymnastics two weeks ago

Here is Charlotte…..just hanging around 🙂

Here is CJ



I’m beyond ecstatic that I don’t have to hold my kids back from doing the things they wanted to do

The things they should have been able to do all along

But more than that

I’m in there with them

I’m participating in life

I’m on the rings too, you know?

Because one year ago I was here


And now I’m here



Still a work in progress right?

Oh you better believe it!

A big work in progress!!

But you know what??

I’ve had help crawling out of the pit

I still do

Because I’m still crawling out of it

80 feet is a loooong way down

But don’t worry

If I can do it….you can do it

And if you need help

Then don’t hesitate to call on the One who will never ignore you (Psalm 50:15)

Who will never forget you  (Isaiah 49:15)

He will open doors for you that no one can shut (Revelation 3:8)

He will spread hope where once was despair (Psalm 43:5)

You cannot imagine
What greatness and wonders
that God has in store for you  (1 Corinthians 2:8-10)

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh August 17, 2012 at 1:58 am

I’ve been there. I feel there emotionally during this plateau but yeah, that’s a great analogy. Congrats on crawling out of the pit. So much more awaits!
The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh recently posted..Sharing the song, tracking and calorie burnMy Profile


Staci August 17, 2012 at 3:23 am

Well, I am definitely in the pit right now to anyone who clicks on that link up there! 🙁 But I have plans in the making. I just canNOT quit. That’s the only part of the plan I know right now, but at least it’s circulating around in my head! I think the pic of you on the rings is pretty amazing, personally! I am woman, hear me roar type of photo! Haha
Staci recently posted..Trying to DecideMy Profile


Linda Kuil August 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

Your brother helped pull you up and out of your hopelessness and now, with your words, you are doing the same for people near and far. You are an inspiration and proof that it is never, EVER too late to love yourself. Baby steps is the BEST way to be successful at weight loss and you’re doing awesome!


Adelyn August 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

Oh Holly, how true it is! Being in the pit is the hardest place to be. I am fighting every day not to go back!

Thank you for this post. You are doing such amazing things and I love watching the impact it has on your kids, you, and the world.
Adelyn recently posted..Leaning InMy Profile


Trish August 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

Beautifully put Holly!! you nailed exactly how it feels. And our kids. Oh how I relate to the fact if holding them back because of my own limitations due to my own doing.

I am however learning to grab onto and embrace living with both hands…for me, my husband and my kids as well.

Thank you for mentioning me! You are too kind!! XO
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Linda Sherwood August 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

The really hard part is realizing that you are even in a pit. I was in denial about that for so long and so were many of the people around me. It is amazing that you are crawling out of that pit and bringing so many others with you just by using your words. 🙂
Linda Sherwood recently posted..Fat Friday Becomes Fit Friday!My Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

What a good point Linda. Sometimes we are in the pit for awhile before we even realize it!


Mark August 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Wonderful and brave post. Thank you. One of the most offensive things anyone has ever said to me, was, “You wouldn’t know. You’ve never suffered.” — NEVER judge another person’s pain. Having read your post my only response can be this: “May our Father bless you with a knowledge of His presence and comfort. And in His absence (always merely felt, NEVER actually true) may you diligently seek his Face, and persevere in wisdom as these times enhance your faith. May God meet the deep needs of your heart because ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” To you: Peace for today, and always.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Thank you so much Mark!! I really appreciate this!


Amanda August 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

I needed this today.
Amanda recently posted..we had an adventure, and now I need a puppy to loveMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Love you Amanda!


jennxaz August 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm

You look just fabulous and I love the gym picks—you are rocking it!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thanks Jenn!


alice August 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I hope I can do tat too…
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

You can Alice!!


annamarie August 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm

What a wonderful and inspiring post. Thank you. So many of us are in a pit and also so many of us do not admit it. Unfortunately it is not possible to go back in time, I know how it feels to be that way with our children. For myself, I am looking forward to someday with grandchilden, to sit, play and possible run with them, which I couldn’t do with my own. Like they say, one inch at a time and we will be out of that horrible pit.

May God bless you and yours.
annamarie recently posted..Day 174 I think I am back in controlMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm

You’re so right Annamarie! One inch at a time will get us there. Now I have this picture of little inchworms in my mind hahaa!! But if we keep at it, we will get there!!


annamarie August 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Oh and I forgot to say that I love love the picture of you. You look beautiful and so pretty.
annamarie recently posted..Day 174 I think I am back in controlMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Thanks Annamarie!!


Lee Mitchell August 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm

You are awesome lady. A true inspiration not only to me but to your kids as well. I love reading where you are coming from on a daily basis. You write how I felt. And I know you speak for others as well. Keep going.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Lee!


Amanda August 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Wonderful post! Sometimes we need help to climb out. The show is called “I shouldn’t be Alive” because MOST people wouldn’t survive it. …just like his friend.
Amanda recently posted..The Chemical Side of FoodMy Profile


Amanda August 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I also wanted to add that the guy didn’t do it on his own. While not as experienced a climber, he had climbed before. He had learned how to use his tools and resources. That’s the help you’ve gotten…you’re learning to use your tool (the sleeve), your resources (the gym, blogging, etc.) to be successful! It’s still YOU.
Amanda recently posted..The Chemical Side of FoodMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

What a great point Amanda!!


Cindy August 17, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Hi Holly! Congratulations on reaching 180 pounds lost! Your blog is such an inspiration to me! I love the stories you tell, the analogies you make, etc. I’ve come to realize that your weight loss journey, combined with your story-telling ability is really your ministry to the world. Thank you for sharing this with us!!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Cindy! That means so much to me!!


Merrily August 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Holly, you inspire me. I didn’t know you when you started this battle, but I see who you are now, and I’m thrilled to workout along side you! Seeing you progress so quickly is certainly a joy to watch! Hearing how you fought to get out of the pit is certainly amazing. You are an inspiration to so many. You are helping change lives! THAT’S EXCITING!!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Merrily! Your encouragement has pushed me to the next level and made me realize I don’t have to stop where I am. I can keep achieving my goals. Thank you so much!!


Kelly @CurvyFitGirl August 18, 2012 at 1:44 am

Holly, you inspire me every single day! I wish you were going to Fitbloggin next month – would love to meet you one day. You are beautiful, and you are not alone. You are never alone.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Hey Kelly! I just heard about Fit Bloggin! It looks cool! I’m going to have to check it out!


Samantha Livingston August 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Holly, so glad you decided to come out of that pit. You have such an important voice. An inspiring one. And, by the way, you weren’t meant to “fit in” in this world. You were made for more! 🙂
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down August 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Oh I love what you said!! You make a great point. None of us really were made to “fit” into the world. We all have our own unique thing to offer. Thanks so much for reminding me of that!!


Patrick August 19, 2012 at 1:29 am

180 pounds down, Outstanding! you are Outstanding!
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Chandra August 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Holly, I don’t know how you do it. I’ve been in my own pit. No, I’ve never been 400 lbs., but what I’ve come to realize is that no matter what size the “fat suit” is, if you’re wearing one, the struggles are similar. My top weight was about 212 or 216, I can’t remember. Several years ago I got down to 147, and then eventually settled at 155. As you may remember, I lost my mom last year and put on about 7 to 10 pounds in the following months.

In February, I was delivered from addiction to smoking. I term it that way because that is exactly what happened. I am a long time on-and-off smoker, quitting for pregnancy and nursing, going back, quitting…etc. In February I was actually delivered from the addiction, there is no other way to put it. I was able to stop smoking and not have the desire to smoke, and it was simply through God’s grace. This was different than quitting….I have quit many times before.

Anyway, my body went C-R-A-Z-Y. In an effort to stave off further weight gain, I began really focusing on calorie tracking and started running again (after several years of not running!).

I started gaining weight!!!!

My adrenal system and hormone balance went nuts! I was exhausted and exhibiting all the signs of a thyroid problem or progesterone problem, however, my battles with doctors ended up in more frustration. For months I gained about a pound a week, while keeping my calorie count at 1200 and exercising regularly.

I was in a pit.

Do you know how hard it is to work at something and get nowhere?

That was my pit.

What I realized when reading this is, my pit may be a 30 pound pit, which is different from someone with a 300 pound pit or a 10 pound pit, but

a pit is a pit is a pit.

Thank you. You help me every single time I read you. Every single time.

I’m so happy for your success.

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