Our Great Escape

October 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


One of my favorite movies

Is Shawshank Redemption

Source: impawards.com via Holly on Pinterest



Andy is in prison

There is no hope for him

He will never see the outside of the prison walls

His fate is sealed

But somehow he holds onto hope


It’s so easy from within those walls

To give up hope

To surrender

When you see no way out

When you look around you

And all you can see is the mountain

That you can never climb

The bars of your cell

Locking you in?


That’s how I lived for years

Inside the prison of my own body

Trapped and hopeless


I had tried to escape

Too many times before

Too many diets to count

Too many attempts

There was nothing left to do

But accept my fate

Like a prisoner who resigns himself

To a life behind bars


The obese are prisoners

Their own body the prison cell in which they live

Do we dare to hope?

That one day we could make our great escape?

Because it takes believing

Believing that there is a chance

That hope is out there


Hope is what you need

What you must hold onto

You will need it to survive the dark days of obesity

When your knees and your back are breaking you down

When your mind is losing the battle against the food

And you’ve finished out a day having made no progress

When you’ve eaten once again

When you’ve laid in the bed instead of exercising

When all around you is nothing but the sting of failure

And the relentless darkness that says you will never change

You will never overcome

That’s when you must hold onto hope

A hope that says

Tomorrow is another day

Another chance to start again

Hope that maybe tomorrow

Can be the day you will win the battle in your mind

The day you you will get out of bed and try again

That you will find a light at the end of that tunnel


There is a scene in Shawshank Redemption

Where they discuss hope

Andy says to his fellow prisoners

That we must remember

That while we are surrounded by our prison walls

We must cling to hope

But Red disagrees

Saying that hope is a dangerous thing

(Warning: Some profanity)


Hope is dangerous?

Yes–it can often feel that way

It can often feel like this

Because why have hope

If you will never escape

Why have hope

If your situation is hopeless


What if you have tried and failed a thousand times?

What if the walls surrounding you are just too hard to climb?

Is it worth it to have hope?

Knowing that you can never climb the walls of your prison?


Do you think you’ll ever get out of here?” Andy asks

Because Andy has a dream

He has a dream that one day he will escape


I had a dream too

A dream that I could sleep in my bed one day

Without suffocating under my own weight

That I could play at the park with my kids

Go down the slide


Be the Mom I always wanted to be

Buckle my seatbelt

Tie my shoes

Walk down a mall without having a heart attack

Was that too much to ask?

It seems simple enough, right?


Not for someone like me

Not for a prisoner inside their own body

Is it just a pipe dream?

A pointless fantasy?

Because the world is out there

And we’re in here



I’ve had people ask me

How did I make the choice

The choice to have surgery

Because it came with risks

All surgery does

But when you’re 417 pounds

And you lay down on a surgery table

There’s always a chance you may never get up again

When you do something drastic

Like have 85% of your stomach removed

That’s a serious decision

Especially when you know

That after it’s all said and done

You’ll still have to fight your way out


The battle will still rage on in your mind

Because they took out part of your stomach

Not your brain

You still want the food

You still have to fight


But I made that decision

The decision to have the surgery

For one simple reason

The same reason that Andy told Red



I was tired of dying

I was ready to live

Many of us feel like we’ve made mistakes

And we’ve paid for them a hundred times over

By living out our prison sentence

Every day of our life

That we’re trapped in these bodies

But what can we do about it?

We’ve tried so many times

The walls are too high

The prison is too guarded

There is no escape


But Andy got out of Shawshank

In a way no one expected

Not overnight

Not with one giant display of fireworks

Not even by scaling the walls


Andy did something

That no one ever thought he could do

He dug his way out

A little bit at a time

With a pick axe

Every single day

He chipped away

A little bit more

Until he tunneled his way out

Who would have ever thought

That he could do it?

That he could chip away a little bit each day

Until he managed to tunnel his way out of that prison cell


No one would have ever believed it could happen

Because if they did

Each and every one of them

Would have been chipping away at their walls every day too


Andy must have felt discouraged at times

Spending all day in that prison


Spending his nights chipping away at a wall

Knowing the very idea of it was ridiculous

To believe that he could somehow truly ever make a dent

That he would ever really be able to tunnel his way out

That’s exactly how I feel about this journey

In the beginning it seemed hopeless

I was chipping away

But I still woke up obese

I still woke up trapped

I still woke up in pain

Why keep chipping away

If I see no progress?

Why deny myself the food I’m craving

Why walk outside in the heat counting mailboxes

When at the end of that day

I’m still 400 pounds?

I’m still obese?


When you’re super obese

When you weigh 417 pounds

You can lose 50 pounds

70 pounds

And no one even notices

That’s what happens when you’re super obese

You might have to lose 100 pounds

Before it even becomes noticeable

To the outside world

You can feel a difference

A tremendous difference

But to the world

Nothing has changed

My brother had warned me about this

And he was right

I remember the first time someone commented to me

That it looked like I might have lost weight

I had lost 102 pounds


That’s a lot of chipping

Before it even becomes noticeable to the world


How long did Andy have to chip away

Before he could see any progress?

Before it dawned on him

That this was working?


Don’t you imagine

That the further Andy got into the wall

The deeper he tunneled

The more his hope grew?



That what had at first seemed like a ridiculous idea

Was actually becoming a reality

This is what the weight loss journey is like

As time goes on

Something happens

You start to see the progress

And the hope inside you grows


I’m still obese

I’m still tunneling my way out

But I can see the light now

This past weekend I fit in a photo booth

With Charlotte and CJ


Fitting in a photo booth


It took a lot of chipping to get there

And it was worth EVERY SECOND

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now

Enough to look back

And scream to those still in their prison cells

Grab your pick axes !!!

There’s a light at the end of this thing !!!


Do you know how Andy escaped?

He had to crawl through 500 yards of sewage


500 yards of junk and gunk

That made him sick

Before he got to the rain

That would wash him clean

And that’s what we may have to do to

Because escaping from my prison of 417 pounds

Has forced me to crawl through more junk than I care to say

Memories of my past

My failed marriage

The loss of my mother

And my grandmother




And the lies that tell me I can’t do it

The sewage of life that weighs you down

And tells you


Prison was better than this!

At least they feed you there and let you outside once a day

It has to be better

Than chipping away day after day

And crawling through sewage!


But when you see the light at the end of that tunnel

When you start to taste freedom

That’s when you’ll know


We may have to crawl

Through some sewage in the pipes to get there

But we’re going to come out on the other side


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

adorkbl October 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Congrats on fitting in the photo booth!! How fun. Love the photos with your lil darlings. 🙂


Elizabeth October 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

photo booth pics – SO CUTE!!!!
Elizabeth recently posted..Perking up (I think)….My Profile


Sandy October 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Great post and also one of my favourite movies. I loved it and such a parallel with the struggles we go through in life. Me, a simple hope with losing weight was to look great at my daughter’s wedding. That happened last weekend. And you know what? I was smashing! It wasn’t the reason I chose to lose the weight, just a happy little victory. You too will leave all that sewage in the past and crawl out victorious. Besides a couple of good showers and some soap will wipe the smell away. You can do it. Never give up. I’m here to tell you that it is all so worth it. I still can’t stop smiling. So add to your list, that you will be a smashing Mother of the Bride at your daughter(s) wedding. Because I can already see the cute photos from the photobooth. Keep the cameras snapping!
Sandy recently posted..No Longer Updating this BlogMy Profile


Sandy October 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Whoops sorry. My website wasn’t updated to my new one. But the words are still the same. Hope you have a great week.
Sandy recently posted..The WeddingMy Profile


Mercy October 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

That is one of my favorite movies too. I love how he made such good use of his time that he was a rich man by the time he made it out. He made a life for himself and was ready for it by the time his exit was ready.

And you fit into a photo booth? That must have felt amazing!
Mercy recently posted..Just Some InfoMy Profile


Courtney October 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Some words I definitely needed to hear today! Congratulations on fitting in the photo booth! Your children look thrilled to have you in there with them. 🙂
Courtney recently posted..Because Little Clothes Are FunMy Profile


Nikki Mohamed October 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I love you, Holli. You are so unlike me in that you can encourage me to push through all of the crap to accomplish what I want to…only you say it all flowery and diplomatically. 😉
Nikki Mohamed recently posted..VulnerabililtyMy Profile


Marc October 16, 2012 at 1:04 am

Bravo! One of your best!
Marc recently posted..Living life and loving itMy Profile


Lilian October 16, 2012 at 4:48 am

I just want to say that your blog is so inspiring to me and gives me hope whenever I feel at my lowest. I have a binge eating problem and I’ve been battling it since I was 15. I do feel like a prisoner in my own body and I can honestly say that I avoid the mirror like the plague now. It is so hard to try to lose weight when you feel low and ugly already – like you mentioned, why bother when you don’t feel like you deserve to be free? I lost control tonight and overate again. But after reading your post I feel like there might be hope at the tunnel just yet – so thank you. Please don’t stop writing 🙂


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Thank you Lillian! I too have been battling a binge eating problem for a long time. You are not alone. Many of us out here suffer with this issue. It is very discouraging and a battle inside our minds. I totally understand how you feel. One thing I want you to know is that you are not low or ugly AT ALL. Whatever you see in that mirror IS beautiful regardless. I know how you feel about the mirror and I understand but what we feel is not always reality. And you are NOT low or ugly. You are precious and treasured. I promise you that. No matter what you feel in the moments of binge eating there is still hope. I know this for a fact. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me this comment. You inspired me more than you know with your resolve to keep trying. We are in this together!!


Ducky October 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

Amazing the symbolism in that movie and how it is applicable to SO MANY situations in lives that have nothing to do with actually being in prison. Amazing even more how often that movie has surfaced in my life in that last month or so. I have been working in juvie…one of the worst detention centers in the state and when I leave each time, I leave drained of everything but the will to keep moving to where my car is parked. I am filled with lessons, perspective and a renewed sense of hope. Probably doesn’t make sense to anyone but me, nonetheless I am commenting 🙂 I can relate to your words.

Beautiful post!
Ducky recently posted..Stick It – by DuckMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Ok WOW!! I am so amazed by you. Going every day into a work environment that I know is difficult. Yet I know that you are helping the people there by inspiring them with hope. I learned a lot working with middle schoolers which by no means is the same thing. But yet I did learn many lessons and have a new perspective on many issues. I can only imagine that working in a detention center would be so tough and yet fill you with a different perspective on life. It does make sense to me that this would give you that insight. By the way, you looked gorgeous in those wedding pics!!!! You are really beautiful inside and out!


annamarie October 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Thank you for your post, at times I feel you are speaking just to me. After reading this, I feel that I need to grab that pick and just start chipping away again. Reading this has restored my HOPE.

Love the pictures of you and the children………..so cute.
annamarie recently posted..Day 229 Is the pace too slow ???My Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Oh thank you Annamarie!! How you’ve made my day with these words. I know we can tunnel out of this thing if we keep chipping away!!


Sheila October 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Another wonderful blog Holly! This is one of my favorite movies of all time, so thanks for the little clips I really enjoyed that. You are right that this weight-loss journey is much like going through 500 yards of sewage, and there are times when it would be easier to give up, but we keep going, one bite, one meal, one day at a time. And the results ARE worth it and we are worth the effort it takes to get to the end of the tunnel. Thanks for this blog, it’s a great one!
Sheila recently posted..Interesting Article and Quick UpdateMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 16, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Thank you Sheila!! I love this movie too. I think it is one of the movies that I can keep watching over and over again!! Thanks for always being an inspiration. I still have that letter you wrote on your blog. Printed on my fridge!!!


Lisa October 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Hi Holli,
When I first happened on your blog a month ago or so, I thought, “wow, incredible HONEST writing”. Little did I know that your words would affect me so much. In the last 6 months, just as I was embarking on a “feel better” approach to life and finally tackling losing the 40 lbs. that I know are suffocating my life I : 1. Broke my foot and as I was finally getting better I went in for a ‘routine uterine biopsy’ only to have the doctor mess up and perforate my bladder a number of times during the procedure 2. End up in the hospital for a week with a catheter and lose half of my blood volume 3. Get out of the hospital and be ‘threatened’ by my employer that I could be held to ‘punitive action’ if I don’t have FMLA paperwork filed as soon as possible 4. Give in to depression 5. React out of anger and fear to those closest to me 5. Talk to God again – A LOT. 6. Read your current post. 7. Feel better…. thanks Holli. Once again you’ve proven that the written word is very powerful and can heal. Thanks for making me realize that everyone has down times and with The Lord’s help and guidance one can overcome even the worst obstacle. Glad to see that you are doing so well. And as always, you look beautiful!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

((Lisa)) You have been through SO MUCH!!! I can’t believe how much has happened to you in just the past 6 months. The fact that you are still here and still fighting proves you are an amazing and strong woman. I am so glad that you have survived all of these things and that you shared this testimony with everyone here. This is a lot to deal with. I am so amazed by your strong spirit to fight all these obstacles and keep going. I hope you come back and give an update on how you are doing. Are you all better now from the bladder issue?? Did you employer cover everything for you? Oh my gosh!! I can’t believe what you’ve been through! I am praying for you!


Lisa October 17, 2012 at 12:29 am

Thank you Holli so much for the kind words. Yes, after much prayer, things seem to be turning around. I have taken comfort in the fact that the devil must sense that I have an amazing future ahead of me. For this reason he wants to stop me in my tracks now before I get ‘there’. It’s kinda like in one of the Terminator movies where the evil Skynet sends the terminator back in time to halt any future success The Resistance might have. Sometimes when one hits a lot of problems one has to ask the right questions to get the right answers. I realize that a ‘happy Lisa’ is much more powerful to God than a ‘despondent and depressed Lisa’ could ever be… maybe that is the reason the enemy has been trying to throw his weight around in my neck of the woods lately. I like this sentence from
Psalm 118:17 – I will not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the LORD.

Amen Sister! Let’s be strong in The Lord and REALLY tell some beautiful stories of success!
Be Blessed (oh, wait a minute… you are!!)


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

What a perfect analogy with the Terminator movie! I like what you said about a happy Lisa being more powerful than a despondent one. Sometimes I forget to look at things that way and yet it’s SO true. How many times has the enemy used depression against us to not only affect our lives but the lives of those we may influence whether it be our children, co-workers or whoever crosses our path. This is so true. We think it just affects us but like you said…it strips us of our ability to make a difference to others. I do believe that it is meant to circumvent the plans God has for us. If the enemy can make us ineffective then he has won a battle. But not the war!!!! You are fighting and I am very inspired to read what you have overcome and how you are using this battle now to share with others that we can overcome the hard times!!


Lisa October 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks Holli!


Pam October 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Wonderful analogy. I LOVE this movie. It is one of the few that I will watch over and over again, everytime I see that it is on, I enjoy it that much. When my youngest son was in high school I helped him with a book report on Shawshank. We focused on the “hope” aspect of it too. Stephen King is known for writing tales of the supernatural. I find it interesting that, in my opinion, the two best movies they ever made from his stories, (The other being ‘Stand By Me’–from his story, “The Body”) are NOT supernatural tales, but rather stories of people in real circumstances in real life.

Andy’s Dufresne’s journey to dig his way out of prison is so very much like our journey to escape from our obesity. It seems impossible at first, because there’s so far to go, but if you stick with it and start seeing results, you begin to realize, maybe, just maybe it IS possible. I too lost over 100 pounds before people really started noticing. When I had lost 80 pounds, I went to a wedding, looking pretty good (I thought) in a new skirt and matching sweater vest. ONE person noticed. It was a young woman who was obese too. A month or so later, when I got to the 100 lbs. lost point I wore a pair of jeans to work. They were my first jeans in 30 years. People at work started noticing. I started out at 328 pounds. I had noticed the loss right along, but other people don’t see you as closely as you see yourself. It is a good feeling when people start noticing, isn’t it??? I still like it, and I have been at goal for 18 months now!
Pam recently posted..New….but same old….Driver’s LicenseMy Profile


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: