Hiking/Park Day

January 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

The kids and I decided to head out to a park near the house on Sunday

You can hike different trails  that are all about 1 to 2 mile loops

The first time I ever went to this park was several few years ago

And it  was before I started losing weight

I had not hit my highest weight yet but walking was painful both in my feet and with breathing

I was trying my best to hang in there and do things regardless of how difficult it was

But we had to turn around and go back

I remember at the time being absolutely positive that we had walked at least 5 miles

As it turns out, we had gone maybe a quarter of a mile and  it was a horrible experience

We spent the rest of the time just trying to get me back to the car so I could calm my racing heart

And we went home determined to never ever do anything like that again!!


Now this same exact trail feels totally different!

We even jogged half of the loop!







The same loop that had almost killed me a few years ago

Now felt comfortable and dare I say…enjoyable?


For the first time I was able to notice my surroundings

It’s actually a pretty nice park with some great trails

I think I might even start going there regularly to work on jogging

There is plenty of shade with all the trees

Birds chirping and butterflies

I never even noticed that before!!

I was too knocked out by the pain in my feet or labored breathing

To even see the beauty surrounding me


How often in life does the physical pain of obesity overwhelm us?

How many times have I missed out on the beautiful things in life due to physical pain drowning it out?

It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you can barely breathe

It’s impossible to really enjoy the environment surrounding you when your feet are throbbing in pain with every step

But this how life often is for us

It could be physical pain or it could be emotional pain that keeps us from seeing what is out there

Pain used to be loudest voice in my life

But not anymore


Sometimes when I’m walking

Whether it’s for exercise

Or just in the grocery store

It will dawn on me once again

The absence of pain

The glorious, amazing, blessed absence of pain

I think a great many people in this world have absolutely no idea

How physically painful being morbidly obese really is

Losing weight is about so much more than fitting into a lower pant size

It’s about being healed from constant physical pain

That to me is better than any piece of clothing I might fit into!


So to hike with my kids

To run ahead of THEM instead of the other way around!

To NOT be the one saying “let’s turn back”

To actually find it enjoyable and be able to notice my surroundings

Instead of noticing my pain

It’s all one more miracle!


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie January 29, 2013 at 3:36 am

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Kati January 29, 2013 at 4:38 am

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! Thank you for sharing. I am new to reading about your journey. I appreciate your posts!
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Tori January 29, 2013 at 6:56 am

Wow, your journey is amazing and a motivation to watch. Bravo!
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Linda Kuil January 29, 2013 at 11:29 am

What was that abandoned building? It looked like the Alamo’s very little sister! Congratulations on conquering yet another obstacle!!
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Adelyn January 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

So happy for you!!

The other day the sweet man and sweet girl and I started running through the parking lot because it was so cold. They were holding hands and I was on the other side. Next thing I knew I was ahead and they had stopped to catch their breath. Amazing feeling….I am so right with you!
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Beth January 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I just wanted to say that you look beautiful in that first photo with your daughter. Congrats on a great day and some family fun with excercise!


Courtney January 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I’m excited for you that you’re (maybe?) catching the outdoor jogging bug. 🙂 I really think it makes all the difference in training. How’s that coming along by the way?


annamarie January 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I pray that someday I may say the same. I love nature and all that surrounds us. Enjoy it, embrace it every moment especially with your children.

thanks for sharing.
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Lady Amanda January 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Great pics! Love it!


Lee Ann January 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Way to go girl! So, So, So proud of you! Welcome to the world of being a jogger or (gasp) a runner!!
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Lori January 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Good for you!


Tasha Cantrell January 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Congratulations! Very much an inspiration!


Meta January 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm

So glad that you have gotten this far. Congrats.


Michele Moore January 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm

It does look like a beautiful park. I’m so happy for you and continued to be inspired by your success!
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Pam January 30, 2013 at 12:22 am

Oh Holly, I have walked in your shoes. I am you, 20 years ago I was anyway. Only it took me so many more years to come to the realization you came to a few short months ago that we had to CHANGE! Walking hurt so badly. And my life was so limited because I avoided walking at all costs. Hubby would drop me off at the door if we went anywhere. But we didn’t go many places anymore. And when I started walking down the road in front of my house, it hurt so much. My knees (which have knee-on-knee arthritis), my hips, my back just killed me! I was out of breath after a few feet, and every night when I started out, my first thought was, “I don’t think I can do it tonight,” and I would consider quitting for a moment. But I kept going. Not sure where that determination came from. I never had it before.

Today, like you, it is such a joy to be able to walk without pain. I was sure I would not only need knee replacements as my orthopedic doctor told me, but also hip replacements. Today my hips and back are fine–the knees still ache afterwards, but they support me fine as I walk! The knee joint replacements can wait a while I think.

Your walk/jog looks marvelous and you are so lucky to have such a beautiful park nearby. I stick mostly to walking down the country road in front of my house. I recently got a bike, second-hand, from my daughter-in-law. It’s a nice bike, a girl’s bike so I can get my arthritic knee over the bar, which even in the absence of that “boy’s” bar is still tough. But when I took off down the driveway Saturday afternoon, I coasted all the way down, and when it came time to start pedaling down the road–I couldn’t do it. I anticipated the pain in my right knee that I knew I would feel on that first cycle around, and JUST.COULD.NOT.DO.IT!

I pushed the bike back up the driveway. I felt and still feel like such a failure. I rode a bike before…..as recently as early last summer I think. But now….I couldn’t do it. But I’m not giving up. I’m going to try again, when we get another nice day. I refuse to give up. I know if I can endure that initial pain, it will lessen with each subsequent cycle around, and it will be fine. That’s how it was before when I rode the bike…..I don’t think my knee is that much worse now, less than a year later….but I seem to have lost my determination.

Wish me luck!
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Jane January 30, 2013 at 2:13 am

Yay for you, and your kids! AND I noticed you’re about to tip into One-derland! Yipee!


Tracy at www.MyTinyTank.net January 30, 2013 at 3:34 am

Hiking and walking and snow shoeing have become my favorite weekend things to do. I can remember when the idea of going for a walk was painful. It is such a victory. I can see you are enjoying every step.
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Nancy January 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm

That’s great!! I can so relate to your writing about the absence of pain and how amazing it is. When I was at or close to my highest weight, I fell and got small medial meniscus tears in my right knee (getting out of the pool after doing water aerobics, of all things). Several months later I stood up and twisted my knee wrong and got a significant medial meniscus tear in my left knee.

I wound up having knee surgery to remove the torn meniscus in my left knee. I was on crutches for about 4 months before that surgery and two months afterwards, and I was always in pain. About a year later, as my knee was causing me more and more pain, I finally had partial knee replacement surgery. The surgery eliminated the pain in my knee, but I still couldn’t walk very far without being exhausted. I also still couldn’t get up off of our really soft, cushiony couch or our recliner at home without the help of my husband or oldest daughter.

It wasn’t until I had gastric sleeve surgery last June and had lost a significant amount of weight, that I was finally able to get up off of our couch and recliner without help. And now I can walk significant distances without pain or exhaustion. It’s so wonderful!

Last night my youngest daughter, who is 8 years old, and I went to the mall. She wished they had carts so I could push her around in the stores because she was really tired. I realized that I wasn’t worried at all about walking all over the mall, from one end to the other and back again. Before my surgery, I would have moved the car rather than attempting to walk that far. Now I can do it easily.

And thanks to your blog, Holly, I am celebrating these successes and realizing how huge these accomplishments are for me! After your different discussions about the problems with fitting into chairs and booths and breaking chairs, I consciously celebrate when I fit into booths in restaurants easily, sit down in a chair that doesn’t look too sturdy and don’t worry I’ll break it, and get off of soft couches and chairs easily. I definitely thought of you when I walked around the mall so easily and had energy to spare. Thanks for all of the encouragement and positive perspective you share with all of us in your blog!


Ronda January 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

You are such an inspiration. You’re looking great!
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