January 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Onederland is that magical place that many people talk about when losing weight

A destination many of us are trying to get to

A little place called “Under 200 pounds”


All along the way I’ve set goals for myself

Big goals that were more like milestones

And then small goals in between

These are the major milestone goals I set for myself


  1. To get under 400 pounds
  2. 100 pounds lost
  3. To get under 300 pounds
  4. 200 pounds lost
  5. Onederland….to get under 200 pounds
  6. Goal weight


Now in between all those goals

I set mini-goals

Chipping away…10 pounds at a time

So 19 months ago, I started this journey

And today I stepped on the scale and it said this




I kept looking at it in disbelief

I just never really thought I’d see that number

I hit 200 pounds when I was pregnant with Savannah back in 1996

And I never saw the 100’s again

Savannah is turning 17 years old next month

It took me close to 17 years to get back under 200 pounds

But I did it!!


I’m going to admit that I never really thought I ‘d get this far

When you’ve failed as many times as I have at losing weight

I think it’s understandable why it would be hard to believe it could happen

For close to 20 years I’ve been trying to lose weight

Trying and failing

It is just exhausting to get your hopes up and fail again

It’s discouraging to never be successful at any diet you try

I’d lose some weight and gain it all back

I never was able to stick to any diet longer than about 4 months max


When I had weight loss surgery, I hoped I would lose 100 pounds

Sure I started this blog and set a goal weight

“300 Pounds Down”

It sounded good and was a nice little faraway fantasy

And yes–I  felt sure I would lose some weight

How much I didn’t know

Just enough to be able to walk without significant pain would be nice, I thought

But deep down did I ever really believe I’d see Onederland?

I don’t think so


When I made it into the 200’s, I still struggled mentally to believe I was there

Savannah has pointed out to me numerous times that I always say I’m in the 300’s when I’m not

For example, when I was 223 I would tell her I’m 323

Just the other day I kept telling her I was 304 pounds

She kept saying “Mom you are in the 200’s not the 300’s”

Just this mental slip that would come out

I wonder if the same thing will happen now that I am in the 100’s


Today I went to Old Navy to try on clothes

I like to do this just to see where I’m at

I don’t buy them….I just try them on

Today I squeezed into a size 14

They didn’t fit because I had to break a sweat to get them on

I mean a full sweat!!!!

But I got them up, buttoned and zipped

They were very tight


And it’s like some strange surreal alternate fringe universe I’m living in


I started out around a size 36/38

Now I’m comfortably in a size 16

And you know what’s crazy?

My wedding dress was a size 16

So I’m now around the weight I was when I got married

That’s kind of nuts

And to think that in the coming months I will be in a size 14???

I remember being in high school and buying a size 14 pair of jeans


How is this possible?


I’ve been thinking lately about what is different this time

What is it that has allowed me to keep going

Keep moving forward even when it seems bleak


Why after 20 years am I finally seeing progress?


And I realized that a key part of that

Has been learning to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Because if there is ever a scripture that fits weight loss

It is THAT one!!

How many times do you do everything “right”

Eat within your calories

Work out

Check every box as “Mission Accomplished”

Only to see zero results?

Only to feel no progress?

It takes blind faith to keep going in those times


When the scale says you  have lost no weight two weeks in a row

You have to walk by faith and not by sight

Not by what you see on the scale

Not by the feelings of discouragement rising within

You have to ignore your feelings

Ignore the scale

And choose to believe that your actions DO make a difference

No matter what it might look like in that moment


When you are slower than everyone else

When a 75 year old man passes you on the walking trail

When you’ve been working for over a year and still seem to be the weakest person in the class

Yes even then–you have to just say “WHO CARES!!”

And keep going


20 years of diet failures might look on the surface like the last word

How can someone who failed so many times find any level of success?

I’ve tried every single diet that I’ve ever heard of more than once

Read every book

Tried every pill

And ordered every late night infomercial product

And two decades in a row I just regained everything I lost

Plus more


But every time I screwed up, I thought the game was over

I let each mistake and failure define me

Now I know to keep pressing forward no matter what

And if I fail….to get back up

“Even though you fall seven times, God will help you to rise again” (Proverbs 24:16)


Why do we quit when we fail and screw up?

Why do we believe the lie that screwing up on our food means it’s over?

Or a week feeling depressed laying on the couch

Means we are losers who can never U-Turn our lives into victory?

So we aren’t perfect

We were never meant to be

And in those moments of self defeat

I know that I cannot pull myself out of it

I cannot break a binge mode

I cannot muster up the motivation to go to the gym

But GOD can!

And each time I ask Him to help me

He shows up!


Sometimes  I must wait

And suffer  through a slump

Sometimes I have to be patient

Keep knocking on His door and saying “Help!!”

But in the end, He will deliver me

And help me rise again!

If I just refuse to lose hope

He proves His promises are true!

That He will complete in me the good work that he started 19 months ago (Phillipians 1:6)


Don’t feel condemned or judged by anyone or anything

I screw up all the time

More times than I can count

I do things that are wrong even when I know what is right

And in spite of all that…God keeps giving me mercy and grace

And a new day to start fresh!


Forget the past and know your future

We are more than Conquerors..

We are Overcomers!


Getting to Onederland has been the trip of a lifetime

But the most important thing I’ve learned along the way

Has nothing to do with the food I eat

Or the workouts I do

The most important thing I’ve learned

Is very simply this

Don’t Give Up


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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Mari January 30, 2013 at 3:09 am

Congratulations on getting to this point. It’s a huge accomplishment and again I say – you are an inspiration. 🙂
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Tiffany January 30, 2013 at 3:20 am

WOW! What an adventure you have been through. Your story is extremely inspiring. Good luck at reaching your goal.


Rylie Ellen January 30, 2013 at 3:23 am

A huge congratulations! Having literally just posted my starting photo’s today, reading this has made me feel so incredibly optimistic. Keep up the amazing work!
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Michelle January 30, 2013 at 3:27 am

You are truly truly an inspiration. You fought the good fight of faith. You are a true warrior!!! I too had a problem getting to onederland but after 3 months of hard work i finally got there. I still have 40lbs to go to reach my goal and every time i wNt to give up i hear stories like yours. Thank you! Oh and p.s. old navy clothes run small. I wear a 14 at most department stores and clothing shops but when i go to oldnavy i have to get a 16 which depresses me. Try going to a store that has a real size 14


Pam January 30, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I agree with that opinion about Old Navy clothes running a little small. Try a 14 at another store–bet it will fit easily!!!
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Joonbug January 30, 2013 at 3:27 am

This is just beautiful. Brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing!
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Liz January 30, 2013 at 3:33 am

Amazing. I left onderland in 6th grade. I plan to get back there as an adult. You inspire me so much. Heartfelt congratulations too you!


Loretta January 30, 2013 at 3:45 am

“How many times do you do everything “right”…Eat within your calories…Work out…Check every box as “Mission Accomplished”…Only to see zero results?…Only to feel no progress?…It takes blind faith to keep going in those times…”

Wow. You have me in tears. This describes me lately. Even though I’ve lost a little over 100 lbs, I am still not even halfway there yet. And I’ve been stuck so long, it’s difficult to fight off discouragement. So thank you so much for reminding me to hold fast to God’s promises. That He IS faithful. To not go by how I feel, but to just do the right things even when I don’t see results. Thank you very very much.


Julie January 30, 2013 at 4:02 am

Congratulations Holly! That is fantastic! So thrilled for your results & inspired by your tenacity and faith! Wishing you continued success!!
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Marc January 30, 2013 at 4:08 am

Just Onederful:)
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Karin Canazzi January 30, 2013 at 4:13 am

So extremely excited for you-high five!
Now go grab a kid and ask them to give you a big hug from Karin
since I can’t do it in person!


Cat B January 30, 2013 at 4:19 am

Congrats, that is incredible! Your story is very inspiring. Even having to lose close to 100 pounds is daunting, but you have done so much more. Clearly, it can be done!
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Steelers6 January 30, 2013 at 4:24 am

Rejoicing with you!! I didn’t realize this was
so close!
Funny how you get 300’s mixed up with
200’s….glad your dd sets ya straight. 🙂



Debby H January 30, 2013 at 4:32 am

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!! Thats amazing!!! Youre such an inspiration!
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CJN January 30, 2013 at 8:11 am

I stumbled upon your blog when searching for weightloss blogs. Your story really touched a chord. Its incredible, this journey of yours. I sat reading your old posts for hours. You are inspirational. 🙂

Congratulations on reaching the ‘onderland’ milestone 🙂


Karla January 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

I absolutely love your blog. You are a true inspiration to many. I am closing in on my onederland,as well and I truly can’t wait. So very proud of you and thank you for giving me the extra push to do more with every word you write!!


Joy January 30, 2013 at 9:19 am

Holly I am so proud of you!!!!! What a happy moment for you! It gives me hope that one day I will reach onderland :). I have never read the bible but some of the quotes you used hold true to your journey. Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment!


tz January 30, 2013 at 11:07 am

OMgosh — how wonderful, congratulations. And how much sweeter after 20 years of not so much diet failures, but diet trials 😀 You’re rockin’ this journey.
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Sarah January 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

Congratulations its a huge milestone for you! I cant wait to experience it myself. I was looking at your pictures on the side of before and after. I cant believe how much younger you look now. Your so pretty 🙂 Keep up good work.
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Linda Kuil January 30, 2013 at 11:59 am

WOO HOO HOLLY!! Welcome to One-derland!!
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Lady Amanda January 30, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Sooooo Excited for you!!! yay! Sooo awesome! You have worked soo hard and I am super duper proud of you!


calandra January 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

You are so inspiring!! Thanks so much for allowing God to use you in such an awesome way!! And congrats on making it to Onderland!!!


Michele Moore January 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

You hit the nail on the head. Don’t give up. If we won’t quit, we can’t lose. We WILL win. I needed some encouragement this morning. Thanks for that! Keep going. You’re winning!
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annamarie January 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Such wonderful or I should say “onederful” news. I am so happy for you. You are amazing, and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your progress with everyone.

The good lord is always with us no matter what.

May he continue to always bless you and your family.
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Lee Ann January 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I posted on your FB page, but when I read this yesterday (via phone) I totally jumped up and did the happy dance for you. You are such an inspiration (I say that all the time but it is true). Congrats to you!!
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Sheila January 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Look where dedication, hard-work and whole lotta faith can get you. Awesome news Holly!
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jennxaz January 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm

YAY!!!! congratulations! so happy for you Holly!


Pam January 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm

So thrilled for you Holly. As I told you, ONE-derland, to me, was a return to normalcy. I had not seen the 100’s come up on my scale for over 30 years, and just like you, the day the scale hit 199.8, I took a picture. It was a HUGE interim goal, the BIGGEST one I had–determined to get there before my 60th birthday. I made it two months early, and that day was almost as big as the day I hit my REAL goal.
Like you, I have wondered what made THIS time different. You decided it was the faith you possess in vast quantities. Maybe I have more faith than I know?
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Dawnya January 30, 2013 at 2:08 pm


I read this last night on my phone and couldn’t wait to log in today to comment. I’m so excited for you!! This journey is not an easy one…but you are doing it everyday by the grace of God and the support of your family. You are truly and inspiration. This post has given me the kick in the pants I needed. I’ll see you in onederland soon darling.

Keep up the great work!!!
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Beth January 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I don’t even know you and wish I could give you a giant hug right now!! Wow… that is fantastic. You go, girl!! WOO HOO!


Adelyn January 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

So so wonderful! Not just getting to onederland, but stopping along the way to really think about HOW you got here!! Congrats!
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Jenn January 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm


Congratulations goes out to you! I have been reading your blog for about 8 months now and live in Canada.

I have been struggling with weight for over 10 years and when I turn on the computer and read your posts I get a lot of inspiration from what you write. So many things you have felt are exactly how I feel in life.

I prayed each week at church for 6 months for the courage to believe in faith and to have faith. I woke up on New Years Day this year and it was like a light switch went off – my journey started. In 4 weeks I have done what I never thought was possible and believe I am on a more positive road and cannot wait to hit Onederland some day again.

Thank you for sharing with the world all your trials and tribulations – you are truly a motivation Holly.

Thank you thank you!


Jeanette January 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Way to go Holly, I am so happy for you. Thank you for posting that song it really meant a lot to me when I listened to it. So proud of you.


Tess January 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm

NIIIICE!!!! Isn’t Onederland a great place to be?! 😀 Congrats!!


Amanda January 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm

How amazing for you! I am so happy to see that. 🙂
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Nancy January 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you!! All of your dedication, hard work, perseverance, faith, and positive attitude have paid off and continue to pay off. I was watching your weight ticker closely as it was moving closer and closer to Onederland and getting really excited for you to get below 200 pounds. And you did it!!

You really give me hope that I can get there too! After starting out at 353 pounds, losing 100 pounds since my WLS and 125.5 pounds total, I still have about 28 pounds to go to make it to Onederland. Your success is giving me more motivation that I can get there. Thanks, Holly!!


Kelliann January 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm

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Courtney January 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm

So incredibly happy for you!!!


Elizabeth January 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Congratulations!!!! I am so very happy for you!!!!!!


Lisa January 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm

It really is a great feeling! I had a goal of losing 50 pounds before I was in my brother’s wedding (I had 10 months to lose it) and I stepped on the scale to see 199 the day before the wedding. It was an AMAZING feeling!!!!
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Angela January 30, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I know we don’t know each other personally, but I am so proud of you. I am so incredibly happy for you. You have gone through so much on your journey and I love that you never give up. Keep at it! You are doing amazing!

You have been such an inspiration to me through my journey. I ready every blog you post. You inspire me not to give up, including on other stuff besides weight loss. Thank you for sharing your life with us in this blog. It has meant the world to me.



Valerie January 30, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Congratulations, Holly! You are an inspiration!


Ve January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Wow, congrats! Welcome to Onderland. What an awesome feeling! I sure hope you treat yourself to a pedicure or a new pair of jeans. You certainly deserve it.
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Jane January 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Congratulations Holly! You are truly an inspiration. Your blog means so much to me. Looking forward to the day you reach goal!


Lynn January 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm


I am so happy for you! I will be there one day…been trying to get back under 200 for 19 years now, ever since my daughter was born.

Keep up the great work~!~


Lisa January 30, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Terrific! Fabulous, amazing tenacity! God Is SO GREAT, isn’t HE!

Keep up the awesome work and thank you for inspiring us all!



Drazil January 30, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Congrats!!! So happy for you!


Ronda January 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Funny, I make the same mistake about the numbers. I’ll often think I’m 194 instead of 164, because the 190’s were so familar to me for so long!
In fact my hubby told me he weighs 190 and for a minute I thought we were at the same weight! Funny how the brain does that to us.
Congrats on another wonderful milestone in your life!
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Amanda January 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

WHOO HOOOO!!! Yeah, Holly! I am so happy for you!


Sandy January 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Congrats. It’s such a rush to see that one. So happy for you!
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Lynne January 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Congratulations!!! You’ve made me cry….again.


Faith January 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Holly! It seems I log in and get WOWed every time. 🙂 Congratulations, my friend, I am so so so proud of you for reaching this incredible milestone. I never doubted for one second that you would make it here (and I have never doubted that you will reach your ultimate goal). You are a stunning woman inside and out and I love reading these posts (even when I’m out of the loop for so long) and seeing your photos. You are an inspiration and I truly hope that I see your story in book form one day because I will so be buying it. 🙂 Much love!


peggi January 31, 2013 at 2:36 am

Wow, so exciting! You inspired me to become more healthy. I started walking with a friend and using My Fitness Pal to track calories. So far I have lost at least 12 pounds. I’m not sure because I didn’t weigh when I first started. Using My Fitness Pal help so much. I was amazed when I started tracking calories how many calories were in the foods I was eating. I have been eating more whole foods and cutting processed foods and sugar. Feel so much better.


Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking January 31, 2013 at 4:52 am

CONGRATULATIONS!! That is so awesome. What a journey you have been on. You really are an inspiration.
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kati January 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

A big congratulations! Thank you for sharing your road. It has helped me tremendously. Besos from Spain (soon moving to Texas).
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Kelly @CurvyFitGirl January 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I am so so so very proud of you Holly!!
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AimeeWrites February 1, 2013 at 1:09 am

Oh, Holly. I am so, so freaking, fantastically happy for you! I remember the feeling of hitting that in 2011…and now I’ve creeped back up over it. BUT. Here you are, being the most amazingly inspirational woman, reminding me why that’s okay, and why I will work harder to see it again…very soon. I love you for that…for how you take care of yourself, and put yourself out there for all of us to cheer. Thank you for letting us be a part of this journey!
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Julie February 1, 2013 at 1:47 am

Congratulations on Onderland! I’m back in the 200s after a fairly brief stay (a year or so). It’s been about 20 years since I’ve seen the 100s too.

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Missy February 1, 2013 at 2:06 am

Wow this post really spoke to me! It’s so so very true! I have spent the last 9 years trying to lose weight and failing. I always need to remind myself to keep pushing forward no matter what.


MandaPanda February 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Congratulations!!!! Well done! So proud of you!


Fee February 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Congrats at reaching Onderland! I am 32 pounds away and was joking with a friend of mine that I will have a parade to celebrate! Holly I have been reading your blog since before my WLS and every time I read it, you just give me so much inspiration. Thank you.


Wendie February 1, 2013 at 5:17 pm


I am a bit jealous, although I know I shouldn’t be. 🙂
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Staci February 2, 2013 at 6:13 am

I have been out of town but I saw this and had to comment and say CONGRATS! I can only imagine how exciting this is for you! I have been to Onderland just last year, but I have never worked so hard or lost so much to get there. So happy for you, Holly. Yay!
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Lorenda February 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Congratulations!!!! I was so excited when I saw the picture that shows on the home page!! You WILL continue to meet more and more goals!!
Last summer I bought a granola bar at a fundraiser for something, I don’t even remember what it was for. Anyway, all the items had some kind of “fortune”, similar to fortune cookies. The slip that was in mine said: “Nobody said it would be easy; they said it would be worth it”. I was in the next to last semester of college at the time, at the age of 50, and I kept that little paper to remind me that it would be worth it when I was done! I hope that you know that even though your journey has been the farthest thing from easy that it has been and will continue to be worth it!!


Beth M. February 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm

WOOOHHOOOOOOO!!!!! I am SO excited and happy for you!! Your blog touches so many of us, and inspires us, and I can’t express how happy I was to see you get this AWESOME reward. You’ve worked so hard, and you’re an inspiration to me. I’ve been stalled lately, and feeling grumpy that all my hard work isn’t being rewarded by lower numbers on the scale, and your post was just exactly what I needed today. I’m so grateful for your blog!



EmDub @ Faster in Water February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Congratulations girl! It’s been a pleasure following your journey. I have found myself saying/thinking “274” instead of ” 247″. lol these brains of ours!
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Annie November 29, 2014 at 12:01 am

So true honey! Well done for finding your ‘faith’ and sticking to the plan for so long – your hard work has paid off and is so inspiring. xx


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