Your Future Awaits

January 5, 2013 in Uncategorized



I love this sign

That my kids made for me

To start off the New Year!!


My kids know

That 30 Seconds




Because they were there by my side

When I followed the 30 seconds to Victory Plan

That my brother, Lee , gave me

A plan that said

Start with 30 Seconds

And go from there


When I  stood up for the first time

To do my first 30 seconds

The kids were there

And we checked off

That victory Box




I cannot even tell you

How many times before that

I had tried to exercise

And failed

When I could barely walk

I just felt hopeless

What exercise program exists at MY level?



But my brother‘s plan

Changed that for me

Finally I had a plan at MY level

And I had someone giving me permission

To count that



In your head you might think

30 Seconds?


That does NOT count!

That is not enough!


But shockingly

In only two months time

I had gone from barely being able to walk

To pacing the hallway

To counting mailboxes

Counting houses

And then around the block



For  the first time in a decade

I was making progress

I could finally feel that sense of accomplishment

Instead of failure

I could finally see HOPE coming my way


I like looking back

And seeing that it worked

That 30 Seconds worked!!

But what I really love

Is seeing hope finally emerging

From the dusty recesses of my heart

Where it had been abandoned for so long


Pictures of 30 Seconds in Action






From 30 seconds of walking


To 30 seconds of swimming



Those 30 seconds led me to this moment




In the past, I might have thought

That’s not a good picture of me

I’m so big!

But what I see there


Being comfortable

Being at peace

And don’t we ALL deserve some of that?



3o Seconds led me

To the Riverwalk


When Amanda came to visit

Because now I could handle it



Fitting through this small door!!



Even the confidence

To be a little silly

And just have fun!!

Despite my size



30 Seconds gave me

My first taste of victory

It grew my confidence


Here is a picture of  me

Very close to the start of this journey

I was heading out the door

To do one of my 30 Second Victory Walks


The pain was still there

All the time

Hence the face

And please ignore the messy bathroom



It’s so hard to clean

When you are obese

Because you can’t bend down

You can barely breathe

You are weak all the time

It’s amazing the innumerable tasks

That become a nightmare for you


If you were too weak to clean your house

Because you had a disease

People would understand

They would have compassion for you

Maybe they would even send someone to your house

To help clean it


But if you’re  too weak to clean your house

Because you’re obese

Well that’s just your fault

And now they have one more thing

To hold against you

One more thing

To despise you for


Sometimes 30 seconds is YOUR marathon

But if you just keep going

No matter what

Just keep getting up

And doing what you can do

You’ll find your life changing




You’ll find yourself

Finally feeling successful!

Finally feeling victorious!

And all it took

Was 30 Seconds at a time





You will never feel like THIS again



Because now you will know

That you CAN

If you just start

With 30 Seconds at a time

And keep going

A little bit more each day



Amanda took this picture of me

When she came to visit

Back in March 2011

It was my first time fitting

On the Riverboat


But this picture

Was so unflattering

That Amanda

Being the good friend that she is

Decided not to even show it to me

She did not want me to see this

And then get depressed

Because this is what I looked like



So to see this

Might have made me think….

“What’s the point??”

“I still am huge”

“I will always be huge”


She held onto that picture

Until now

Because now I can handle it


But this is what I want to say

It’s a VERY unflattering picture

Every single thing about it

Screams “DELETE!!!!”

Even the way I’ve got my hand perched on my hip!

Oh my…


And you could call it a bad angle

Or you could attribute it

To the fact

That I always look better standing up

As opposed to sitting down


Because when I sit down

It just all pools up around you

Something pops up here

Another thing pops out there

Oh there’s a lot of poppin’

When you’re obese!


Try as you might to get things

Tucked in where they belong

Sitting down is just unforgiving

Nothing you tucked

Or crammed

Or jammed in

Is going to stay positioned

When you sit


I mean that’s just the truth


I’ve always been appalled by the way I look in a picture

When I’m sitting down

Because if you’re standing up

You’ve got a fighting chance

But when you sit down

Gravity takes what you’ve got

And spreads it all out around you


The reality was this

I was chipping away


100 Pounds were gone

That is something to be proud of


Had I seen that picture

Back then

She’s right

I would have flipped


But now when I see it

It’s ok

Because that woman

Is doing her best

That woman

Is walking 30 seconds at a time

And she’s finally learning



So I’m posting it

Because that was a fun day for me

Despite what that picture looks like

And I deserve to have every bit of that memory

No matter what


Beauty really is more than the surface

And it’s time we start allowing ourselves

To enjoy our life

No matter what the picture says


It doesn’t define us

Overweight, obese, super obese



And that is something

I’ve learned along the way


crop holly boat



300 Pounds

Is a lot to lose

And I had to learn

To stop being so hard on myself

To stop analyzing my every imperfection

Because it might be hard for you to believe

But that was the best I could do



And what people see on the outside

Does not always reflect

What is happening on the inside


Do you think the people that passed by me that day

And saw me sitting there

Thought for one second


“That woman is working out every single day”

“That woman has lost 100 pounds”

“That woman is going to make sacrifices today”

“She’s a healthy eater”


Of course not!

And yet every single

One of those statements



But they only saw

What was on the outside

And sometimes the outside

And the inside

Don’t match


Many will pass you by in life

Write you off

Judge you and condemn you

For what they see

Just on the outside


But there is One

Who will never do that to you

And His Name is Healer

Healer of your heart

Your judged, condemned, and  broken heart

Judged by others

But most of all

Judged by YOURSELF


We have to live with ourselves

Every day

One person you will never escape



So set down the judgements

And pick up some compassion

For yourself

And then one day

You will find

That compassion will spread


You’ll see people in a different way

Because everyone has a story

Everyone has pain

And sometimes what we need

Is a little mercy

For others

A litle mercy



In time

You will start to reach your goals

Your life will change

Your body will change




Trust me

It will happen

It takes time

It takes patience

It takes giving yourself a chance

Giving yourself plenty of

Mercy and compassion

Each and every day


But you’ll find your way out

Of the darkness


And when you do

The light will shine down

So bright in your life

You’ll have to wear sunglasses



Because you’re so used to the dead of night

You’re so used to nothing but

Neverending darkness

That when the SON shines down

You won’t even know what to do


You’ll have to let your eyes adjust

But one day you’ll see

That the light is here

And it’s guiding you

Through those 30 seconds

Through those memories of a broken past

Through the pain


And that’s when you’ll know

That’s when you’ll FINALLY know








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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Lady Amanda January 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Love it! I am soo proud of you. I loved hearing you on the blogcast radio show last night on Huffington Post. You and Lee did a great job. I am soo proud of you plugging away every day – eating right and exercising- even though there have been a ton of ups and downs this past year- you have still stuck with it. You are inspiring me to get back to eating right again and finding some way to exercise every day. I have started using the Wii Fit again and have been forcing myself to go out and exercise. Can’t wait to see what this new year holds for all of us. Can’t wait to read the comments under your blog posts each day. I love hearing how everyone is doing. Happy New Year Again! It is going to be a great one!


Sheila January 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Beautiful post Holly! And I love that Amanda held onto the picture. It’s so interesting how angles can help or hurt a photo. Based on the earlier photo of you and Amanda (SAME DAY) you wouldn’t think that you are looking at the same person. I love seeing how far you have come, and love that you are such an inspiration to so many, me included!
Sheila recently posted..The Great PlanMy Profile


Darby January 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Another great post!! I get so excited when I see an email that you’ve written something new. Your writing is beautiful and eloquent. It is both motivational and a daily devotion. Those two go hand in hand. Thank you for putting it out there for all of us that need to hear it!


Joonbug January 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Wow. wow. wow. You are AWESOME in the truest sense of the word! Goosebumps!
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Rue January 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Love this post! Very inspirational and beautifully written.
I am in awe of your progress thus far and tenacity to have stuck with, even as you continue to do so.
Love the sign that your kids made too!:-)
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Drazil January 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm

That pic of you after the rain with wet hair is my absolute FAVE. Can’t wait to see what you achieve in 2013.


Pam January 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Once again, your blog has touched, my heart, my mind and my soul! You portray so vividly with your words all that we have been through on our journeys and I love it. I also see BIG things in your future. Probably a bad choice of adjectives–the word “BIG.” But you and your brother have hit upon a slogan “30 Seconds to Victory,” and both of you are living examples of what can be accomplished when you start with just those 30 seconds! I think you will be someone who will be very influential in the weight-loss and maintenance community when you hit your goal. I can see you on Dr. Oz, and The Doctors and in all the magazines and newspapers! You and your brother could start a business called “30 Seconds to Victory,” where you provide support to people who have had weight loss surgery. My daughter-in-law had the surgery and quickly lost 75 pounds, but then lost her motivation and regained all her weight. So I know that the surgery is just a tool–and you need so much more than that to lose the weight and KEEP IT OFF. You and your brother could be the two people who start a whole new aspect of the weight loss industry—SUPPORT AFTER SURGERY!
You have always been a beautiful person, but with your weight loss you are slowly revealing that beautiful physical person too!
I am so excited for you and I am looking forward to the day when I can say, “I knew Holly way back when….”
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Lisa January 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Fabulous post once again! Thanks for inspiring me. I think you and your brother should write a book: “The 30 Second Plan” !

P.S. I’m down 10 lbs.! 40 to go!


Amanda January 5, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Holly, Holly, Holly… are living in my head, lady! This post, it really spoke to me. I guess because I am my own harshest critic, and trust me, I’ve had plenty of critics, but I am the worst. My own worst enemy. Thank you for opening my eyes. And for putting into words, through this entire blog, what it truly feels like to live as a morbidly obese person. People have no idea what this hell is like, from others, from yourself, from just living day to day.

I used to wear it with pride, ya know, that I pushed myself so hard. I wasn’t always obese, in fact 12 yrs ago I was an athlete, a semi-professional rider and horse trainer, and I had a coach tell me “you know what I love about you, the harder I push you, the better you get”. I was proud that I always pushed myself to exceed beyond what was expected of me. I was very fit. My martial arts instructor constantly reminded me “you didn’t learn to walk in a day, be patient with yourself, you are doing great!” But that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to be the best, at everything, immediately, and even if I didn’t have the most raw talent or natural ability, my secret weapon was that I was convinced I could try harder, try longer, try MORE than anyone else. Somewhere along the line someone told me that the person who wins the gold is the person who wants it the most. And that stayed with me. All I had to do was want it the most, work for it the hardest, and I would be the best. My motto for YEARS was “If you have a pulse, you can try harder”. I actually lived like that, telling myself that it was my job to find out if it was humanly possible to be even better (stronger, faster, more accurate, etc). I was very successful, trained with and by some of the very best riders and trainers in the world, was made career offers, and had an amazing future ahead of me.

Then, for some really stupid reasons, I gave up all that and got married to a guy (who would eventually leave me with 2 very young kids, for someone else), stayed in an unhealthy marriage for several years, gained a few hundred pounds while I followed him and put my life on hold for his military career….and I became a master at despising myself, hating myself, and hiding from the world. My former drive and ambition was warped by depression, and bitterness, I guess, and turned into “nothing you do is good enough, you could have tried harder, done better, done more”.

The marriage ended. Eventually. After 7 moves in 12 yrs. I had some pretty intense counseling. I did get remarried. We bought a beautiful little abandoned farm that we are slowly rebuilding. My wonderful husband bought me a gorgeous horse, with world class potential, she really is stunning. And here I sit, over 400lbs. I have succeeded and exceeded at everything I have put effort into (sports, college, etc)….except weight loss. I try, and fail. And try. And fail. Over. And over. And over. And it kills me, literally. I have tried every diet known to man. I have lived through deployments where I existed for MONTHS on egg whites and sugar free jello, to lose paltry amounts of weight. I have extreme difficulty in losing weight, and gain it back (plus some) so fast I have been called a liar by personal trainers and nutritionists. My body hates me. And I hate it.

After years and years of avoiding doctors (I wont get started on military “healthcare” or their “doctors”) I finally have one that truly feels like an advocate. She is amazing, and she supports my plan to have WLS, if we can come up with the money, since our insurance has an exemption.

I want to live again. I feel like Scrooge, waking up Christmas morning, knowing he will never be the same. I want to live my whole life with compassion now, not despising fat people, or anyone, really. I want to help others, to be free and help others be free as well. I can love myself and others, no matter who is “best”, because true love is unconditional, like God’s love for me. The real winner is the one who understands what is truly important in life, and set’s their heart on those things.

God willing, we will be able to get the financing for me to get surgery, this spring.


Tracy Stevenson @ My Tiny Tank January 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Miss Holly you are so beautiful! I look forward to your blog each day. The pictures of your transformation are so inspiring, but most of all I love your stories. My favorite and I think of it all the time. Is the story about the woman in your neighborhood, who was inspired by YOU. Love that story!
Keep writing please 🙂
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Kristie Litwinski January 6, 2013 at 5:06 am

I had VSG on 10/22/12. I cannot tell you how much you help me with the “demons” in my head! Thank you and Happy New Year:)


G Cottle January 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Holly when I read your posts… I remember. I remember how some of those things felt. I remember those feelings of disappointment, mostly in myself. Your story always encourages me to keep going. I reached the 90 lb weight loss mark today. My husband has been told to find that tiara for me when I hit the 100 lb loss. I’ve got a ways to go. New challenges present themselves each day but you are right… Give me 30 seconds of the right attitude. 30 seconds of will power. 30 seconds of HOPE and I can accomplish my dreams. Thanks, Holly. You are an amazing voice for all of us struggling to be a better we in 2013.


Daphne @ Daphne Alive January 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

You hit the nail on the head again!

This weekend I went wedding dress shopping with my sister-in-law and I was surprised by how terrible I looked sitting down. I had this huge tire around my mid-section still (It’s bigger than my boobs!!). I felt so discouraged!

I just takes time!
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Dana (aka Smiley88) January 8, 2013 at 3:52 am

I just ‘discovered’ your blog today so I’m unfamiliar with the “30 second” plan except what I just read. But, I had my own “30 seconds” today… after dinner, while my husband was watching TV & I was on the computer, he asked me to make him a bowl of ice cream & get some cookies. As I did that, I SO wanted some ice cream… and cookies! But, I held strong… for 30 seconds… and that was about all it took for that urge to pass! When I saw him eating chips I had another strong desire, and that time it probably only took 5 seconds to get past it. Wow! Those teeny, tiny bits of time really can make a difference!

Thanks again for sharing your story!
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Torchiere March 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I check your blogs daily. Your writing style is witty, keep it up!


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