Saturday Musings (and an Update Before/During Pic)

May 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

I just thought I’d write a quick blog to say Happy Saturday and I love you all!!

I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has written me personally so many encouraging words

I am SO blessed to have you all in my life

Last night I was reading yet another email by someone who was telling me such encouraging things

And I thought to myself

WAKE UP, GIRL !!!!!!!!!!

YOU ARE BLESSED

HOW MANY PEOPLE GET THIS MUCH ENCOURAGEMENT??

Suddenly I realized how lucky I am to have so many people write to me and let me know they care

And I thought…..darn it you’ve been selfish!

Because what about people out there who don’t have a single person to encourage them???

I know what that feels like because it used to be me

Aside from my family—I just had no one

Because I never let people get close to me

Yes I know I spill my guts on a regular basis here in this blog

But doing it in real life to real people is a different story

Only now my blog and real life are blurring

And it’s making me have the freedom to just be ME

And realize for the first time that many people out there are ok with that

They are ok with me

Even the yucky parts!

The good, bad and the ugly

And shouldn’t we all be allowed that???

Because none of us are perfect

We all have our ups and downs

We all are riding this roller coaster of life

And aren’t we all just tired of the facade

Of pretending to have it SO together???

When I was 417 pounds and going in for weight loss surgery

I thought I might die on the table

I had been warned it could happen

I had my papers in order and I was ready to die

Because I knew I was dying anyway

From obesity related diseases and co-morbidities

This was my last chance

And in some ways, I feel that I did die on that surgery table

I died to my old life

Or at least I was WILLING to

I prayed that if God saved me…if he let me live through it….

If He helped me to break free and have a second chance

Then my life would belong to HIM

That He could use it as He wanted to

And that I would live an authentic life

Raw and unedited

Just be who I am and speak as much truth as possible

Even when the truth doesn’t make me shine

Even when the truth makes me look bad

Telling you all that I was drinking alcohol

Every day

That I went to a bar and sat there just to get attention from men

Just because I could

(Or did I tell you that part??)

Does that make me look good?

I don’t think so

Because I talk about my faith in God

And then I do things that often are opposite of that

And you know why?

Because I’m human

And I’m not perfect

And I’m still learning

It’s a process—all this sanctification

It is NOT overnight

In spite of what many Christians put out there for the world to see

The whole act that they’ve got it all together

That they never stumble and never fall

Well I wish I could be them but I am not

I am me

And all I can do is keep traveling the journey

And doing what I promised God I would do

Just tell the truth

Let it all hang out!!!!

And it has been scary to do that because I don’t want people to think I’m a hypocrite

Or a bad Mom

But I want God to use whatever He can out of my life to help people and give them hope

Which is kind of ironic

Because sometimes I am the one losing hope

Losing sight of His plan for my life

And when that happens

I now find that there are real people in this world reaching out to me

And they still care even when they know the good, bad and ugly

How amazing is that????

I want to tell you more but for today….I just needed to say that

I wanted to let you know that depression

That darkness

Had been brewing inside of me for months

A long time

Because coming off food LONG TERM

IS TOUGH

It was my crutch for years

Maybe my whole life

I’ve lost now 230 pounds and it’s amazing

But it’s weird

It’s weird to not have my crutch

Food was like the blankie I carried around as a 2 year old

Food was like the friend that always came when I called

Food was my husband when mine left

Food was my father when he moved out

Food was my grief counselor when Mom and Nana died

Food was my therapist when being a single Mom got hard

Food was my medication for anxiety and depression

And now it’s gone

Slowly I turned to alcohol

Not all at once

Just a glass of wine in the evening

No harm…right???

But I started to see it becoming an issue

And I ignored it

You know why?

Because I wanted another crutch

That instant shot of help without needing patience

Without suffering in the short term

But that’s what feelings and stress are about

They are whirlwinds that blow through your life and they SUCK

But you can survive them if you stand your ground

And don’t reach for food or alcohol or whatever else gives you that instant high

Like sitting on a barstool at age almost 41 after losing 230 pounds

And having men you don’t  know tell you you’re beautiful

And suddenly find every thing you say amazing

Suddenly I’m intelligent and worthy to be spoken to

And it filled up my head with a high

Just like chocolate cake and ice cream

Just like Reeses and Twix bars

Just like a box of freshly made warm Krispy Kreme Donuts

It filled up my head with excitement and joy

Like a bottle of White Zinfandel

It swirled in my head and made me feel like I was worth something

It made me feel confident

And I haven’t felt that EVER

NOT EVER

But I’m done with it

I’m done with all of that

Because my confidence is not in food

It is not in alcohol

It is not in any specific man

It is not on a barstool

My confidence is in my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Who loves me REGARDLESS of my failings

No matter what I do

He is the One who never leaves

He is the One I can never push away

Even when I try

My confidence is in the Lord

 For the Lord will be your confidence–Proverbs 3:26

You are my hope, O Almighty LORD. You have been my confidence ever since I was young–Psalm 71:5 

 

I want you all to know

That things are getting better

MUCH BETTER

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel

And I know this

THE LIGHT WAS ALWAYS THERE

But I got blinded to it

It was not the light that left

It was I that left the light

This is our life

We will stumble and fall

But we will rise again

Because this is a battle and we will never fight it alone

Unless we choose to isolate ourselves from the One who fights for us

Isolate ourselves from our fellow soldiers (you) who fight with us

I don’t want to isolate anymore

I am beginning to see now

That my lack of friends was more about me

Than them

I can’t keep blaming it all on my weight

Yes it caused me to isolate

But there were people who reached out to me when I was over 400 pounds

And I was the one too scared to reach back

I don’t want to be scared anymore

Thank you all for helping me through this

I believe this is going to be a time I look back on and see growth

Real growth in my journey

Sometimes it is the worst times of our lives

That give us the biggest lessons

If that is the case

Then I’m a student right now

Taking the hardest class of my life

But I WILL pass

I WILL

Because I am equipped with what I need (Hebrews 13:20-21)

To make the grade

And it doesn’t matter if my grade is a D-

If I almost fail

If I almost don’t make it

Because in the end I WILL cross that finish line

Because God made me a promise 2 years ago

When I started this journey

He said:

He who began a good work in you will carry it through to completion  (Phillipians 1:6)

 

And God said that while I may stumble and fall

While I may barely pass the class

And make a D instead of an A

I am not judged by my performance

I am not judged by my mistakes

I am made perfect in His eyes by GRACE

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

And all I can say to that is

PHEW !!!!!!!!!!!

Because now you know me

And all my imperfections and flaws

So that is why I love Him

Because He loves me

Every screwed up and messed up part of me

And more than that

He tells me to come to Him when I am weary and burdened (Matthew 11:28-30)

So He can give me rest

So He can fill me with joy

So He can tell me the truth about ME

And the truth is this

I am not unloveable

I am not flawed

I am NOT fundamentally broken

I am simply human

I am simply a student of life

I am simply a woman on a journey

Who will never be perfect in my eyes

But will always be seen perfect through Him who saved me

He is the constant in my life

When everything else spins apart

The eternal God is your refuge,
    and his everlasting arms are under you.

Deuteronomy 33:27

 

And to know that I have a safety net

When I fall

Gives me hope for another day!

 

 

 

 

JULY 2011

Surgery Day—417 pounds

200VictoryFinalRun.019

 

MAY 2013–22 months later

187 pounds

(From Amanda’s House yesterday)

DSCN3278-1

 

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica D. May 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Amazing job!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Leigh Costa May 11, 2013 at 1:42 pm

You look awesome Holly! And so happy:) Congratulations!
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Angela May 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I’m glad things are going better for you!!! You look amazing! Great, great job!! Keep up the great work …physically and mentally. It’s all hard work.

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Cheryl May 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Holly, I can not add anything to what you said. You know the truth…and the truth sets you free. Just know that we pray for you and we believe God hears and answers our prayers. You are blessed!

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Traci May 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

you are an inspiration to me can not wait to see how far I go with my new life had my sleeve January 30th 2013 down 100lbs from July 2012 got me a fit bit yesterday excited to have the new tool!

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Michelle W. May 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm

It was so good to read this positive and upbeat post from you… because a positive post means that you’re finally starting to feel good again! God is good and although we all have our struggles and failures, you are open to His love and that’s what really matters.
You’re sounding and looking phenomenal~you’re right, there is light at the end of the tunnel~keep seeking out the light!

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Kristy May 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm

You are an inspiration – being authentic even when it gets ugly or uncomfortable is something I respect. It makes you more identifiable. We all have our struggles. Good luck with yours xx

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Paige May 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thank you so much for being honest and sharing your true self with us. I am glad to hear you are feeling better. I can relate to so much of your feeling. I am praying for God to give me the strength to just be Me. I am also praying for you too, because life can feel so impossible sometimes. Keep your faith and keep getting back on the path when you stray. And thanks again for keeping it real!!!

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Robyn May 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Holly, You touch more lives than I think you can imagine. You do it by not pretending to be perfect. I know that I would not be able to relate to you if you were perfect.
I only know you through your blog but I find myself thinking about you and wishing sometimes that I had the right words to give to help you feel better.
You are a great mom. Being a great mom does not mean that you are allowed no one else in your life. You do not need to feel bad for liking attention from men. Maybe you really should not drink; I do not know. That is something you know best. But having a drink and enjoying yourself does not make you a bad mother or christian. Just please keep your heart open to the possibilities that god has for you. Maybe he doesn’t want you to be alone. After all, he sent the animals on the ark two by two.
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Cindy May 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

You look so wonderful Holly!!! I am so proud of you:) I was reflecting on a couple of Scriptures this morning, Whatsoever is true…..think on these things. I couldn’t get past the true part. I need to think on what is true, what the LORD has told me in His Word. If I spend time there in the truth, I don’t have time to spend muddling around in my thoughts that are too often negative and self-defeating and lies because they are contrary to God’s Word. The other was that self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. I do have self-control, I can do all things, I am a new creation, these are just a few of what I am….not because of me but because of Jesus. Put the past behind and look for what God is doing.

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Karen P May 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Holly, I”m glad you are working through what you need to work through. Important to sort it all out. There are times to support and times to be supported. There are times to teach or be taught. Take time that you need for the next steps.

Onward! Karen P
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Steelers6 May 11, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Wow, 230 pounds. !!

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Nicola May 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm

So pleased that you’re feeling better Holly, and you’re looking great!

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Linda May 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Holly,
So glad today is brighter as I had a feeling it would be :-). Isn’t it great you don’t have to be perfect? You are loved for your imperfections – for being you, as we all are. Thank you for sharing your life’s lessons Holly. I don’t know if you realize how much you are helping others (including me) but you are. Linda xo

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Jayne Thompson May 11, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Holly one more time THANK YOU for your honesty!!!!
You talk about how you feel deep down insude and I know I understand you because you talk about things the way I feel about so much in my life. I got sober in 1977 and gained a 100 pounds and on and on it goes and then 2 months ago I found your blog and I have put the sugar down and have lost 15 pounds and when I think I’m going crazy with all my feelings I read your blog and I know that I am not alone….you have been Jesus with skin on in my life… I don’t need your perfection. I need your transparency. Thank you.

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Tess May 12, 2013 at 12:59 am

Oh Holly, I’m sooooo glad to see this, AND YOU!!! What a great post. You are an amazing person. I hope you continue to feel better every day. God bless you, your family and friends, and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Trish @I_am_Succeeding May 12, 2013 at 12:59 am

Gorgeous, Gorgeous, Gorgeous!!!!
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Florence May 12, 2013 at 2:33 am

Wow! Wow! Wow! I am sitting here bawling because majority of the stuff you have laid out for all too see. Its me! I love you and thank you for being a blessing to me and so many others.

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joy May 12, 2013 at 4:10 am

Holly this is just amazing what you have accomplished!! I am truly happy for you 🙂 p.s what is your goal weight?? you must being close??
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joy May 12, 2013 at 4:12 am

duh?? I guess it would be 130 pounds lol hence your title. Sorry just got off 13 hours shift!
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Nikki Mohamed May 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Happy Mother’s Day, Holly!
I’m so proud of you. And congratulations on crushing that plateau. I’m still inspired by you….even if I’m not working on ME right now. (Busy moving back to TX–BUT I know that I’m ready to (in the words of Mister Mister) “Take On Me!” and I will get back to a healthy size and weight. I will devote all the time and energy that I must to this most important project. And like with you, God will provide all that I need in order to do it.

Much love to you, my friend.
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annamarie May 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Holly you are truly amazing. You have come such a long way and you should be mighty proud of YOURSELF. I continue to pray that you are happy and just enjoy life as it comes. You are blessed to have so many people/friends/love ones that are always here to support you as you have supported, inspire so many around you.

I hope that you enjoy your Mother’s Day.

May God Bless you.

Many hugs
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Michele Moore May 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm

You look wonderful. And I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better too. There is something so intoxicating about having someone tell you how special and beautiful and desirable you are. Just as intoxicating as eating a pan of brownies, or drinking that white zinfandel. One day, you will know when the time is right and when the man is right, and God will give you the grace to love and trust again. You continue to be an inspiration, because you continue to be transparent about your humanity. God continue to bless you!
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Jane May 13, 2013 at 12:57 am

Holly, soooo glad you are feeling better. I was worried about you. You are such an amazing woman. Glad I found your blog because you make me feel like I am not alone in the things that I feel & am afraid to express. Remember one thing – the will of God will never lead you where His Grace can’t keep you. Have a great week. Be Strong!

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jennxaz May 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm

beautiful post and awesome pics..you look happy and that makes me happy!

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Crystal @ Serving Joyfully May 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Beautiful! I’m restarting my own journey…after falling WAY off track and regaining everything I’d lost and surpassing my previous high weight 🙁 Please pray for me…

http://www.servingjoyfully.com/2013/05/10/not-a-failure/

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Lauren May 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Holly,
Thank you for keeping it real and being so honest even when it’s hard. When I read your blog or your FB posts, I don’t feel like I’m alone on this crazy mixed up journey called life after a sleeve. You are an amazing mom, woman, example, inspiration. I am so blessed that God brought you into my life, even virtually. My friends and family are truly wonderful people, but they just don’t “get it” the same way. I’m grateful to you and your blog and the FB groups, where folks actually “get it”. I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day with your kids. 🙂

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Danna May 13, 2013 at 6:23 pm

You look lovely. I hope you feel lovely too. I’m 140lbs down, hoping to go down 212lbs. I’m 14 months out from RNY. Please don’t let the choices of others, or your weight define your worth. You have done some really amazing things. You parent 4 children on your own (no easy task), you have gotten your education (no easy task), you work full time and manage your household (no easy task), you’ve lost more than 200lbs (hugely difficult task). Please be as proud of yourself and awed by these things as I am by you.

I hope and pray for wonderful things for you. Please believe, even if you have to tell youself daily, that you are worth it, you deserve it. You are a daughter of your heavenly father. You are made in the image of diety. Your heavenly father wants to bless you, every bit or more that you want to bless your own children, let him. Your heavenly father doesn’t make any one that is worthless or not good enough. No matter what the world has told you, your heavenly father doesn’t make junk.

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Chandra Britt May 17, 2013 at 2:03 am

It’s not often that I think of my Heavenly Mother, but right now, my soul can feel her surround me with the love, pride, and hope that she feels for me. It’s not something I’ve felt before, I don’t think, but it gives me comfort to know that my Heavenly Parents may be sitting together, watching what I will do next with my life. (Though I’m sure they already know. Parents know everything.)This is such a beautiful thought, and it doesn’t matter to me whether it is doctrine or not. It gives me hope and peace, and that is all I can ever ask for of anything in the church. That is why I love the gospel. There are lots of questions that we may never resolve, lots of things that don’t make a lot of sense to me. I don’t have any answers to most of my wonderings, but every so often I will happen upon a thought that makes my heart smile. The words you have shared made my heart smile. Thank you for that.
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Alison May 22, 2013 at 2:22 am

I just wanted to say thanks for posting this. Having started at 420 lbs and knowing how hard this journey is – I appreciate those that share their thoughts, feelings, and struggles. It helps make me feel not quite so alone. You are an amazing woman!

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Julia Heath May 31, 2013 at 7:14 am

i think you think too much. maybe ‘god’ is in your heart so instead of contemplating the universe, you should contimplate yourself. Don’t get bogged down in religious dogma or even christianity, just feel what is right and you will know.
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