2 Year Surgiversery/Surgiversary and Off The Rack

June 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

How does one spell the word many use to describe

The anniversary of their weight loss surgery?

I’ve seen it done both ways!

So I choose to use both!


One of my dreams and goals when I weighed 417 pounds

Was to be able to shop in Ann Taylor

And buy an outfit off the rack

This is just something I wanted to do


For whatever reason, Ann Taylor was THE store I wanted to shop in

And I always wondered what would it be like

To just stop in front of a store window

And see an outfit on a mannequin




Then say to yourself “I like that…”

And walk straight into the store

Find the dress

Find the SIZE you NEED

Try it on


No alterations needed

No special ordering MY size

No walking out feeling disappointed YET again

Just see it, find it, buy it


Of course I have to work overtime to afford Ann Taylor

But that’s another issue

The point is this

It was just something I wanted to do

Just because

I wanted the experience of walking into a store

Seeing something

And buying it off the rack


What would it be like???

What would it feel like to walk into most any section of the store


And have it fit

For me…a dream come true


I’ve barely bought any clothes as I’ve been losing weight

Except running through Walmart and picking up

The next jean size

The lower size in yoga pants

I’ve done little else but work, take care of the kids and exercise

I work from home so pajamas are all I need in reality

And I’ve spent so many years not being able to buy any clothes that fit

That I stopped caring in a way

Even if I ordered something, it didn’t really fit me

It was just hanging there like a curtain on me

But I did the best I could

I wanted to have that advantage of being able to dress in something nice

Yet I didn’t have the opportunity because of my size

Then I decided this weekend



Time for the big reward I’ve been waiting many years for

The day I take myself out shopping

And buy what I want

Straight off the rack

And I DID!!!!!


I took myself on a little shopping spree

Pre-planned with money I had saved up for a long time

It was something I wanted to do

When I hit my 2 year Anniversary

Of having weight loss surgery and starting this adventure

You see….about 2 years ago

I had weight loss surgery

And I started down a road that would take me further than I dreamed

It led me to giving up sugar and diet soda and Reeses peanut butter cups

It led me to walking and working out

And most importantly it led me OUT of the prison cell that my body had become


Here is the paper I saved from my hospital stay almost 2 years ago

July 1, 2011….Discharged into my new life





Where I started in July 2011










Here are a few pictures of me over the past 2 years





























Fitting in spaces!!!!





This shopping day was the culmination of much tears and sweat

Many days crying in pain over my legs hurting from the walk

Or blisters received from trekking outside

Days spent longing for an ice cream sundae

While receiving instead a salad and chicken!


This shopping trip was the realization of a dream attained

Through the help of many

You my blog readers

My friends and family who support me

My brother who showed me how to get started

My Crossfit friends who always encourage me whether I am there or not



They love to take pictures of you at Crossfit and here is one I absolutely HATED

I was doing these squats off the box…UGH….but as much as I hated it….it helped





God’s mercy and grace has kept me going when I wanted to quit

And my children who have never loved me more or less because of my size



But this day was MY day

And don’t we all just need one of THOSE????

I looked forward to this day for 2 full years

The day I could finally walk in the store

And buy something OFF THE RACK

And I enjoyed every minute of it


Because 2 years ago I weighed 417 pounds

I could barely walk

I was between a 5X and 6X

Pant size 38


And today I wear a 12/14

A medium or large depending on who makes the outfit

And I can walk into any store and find something

I’m no longer just a “Plus Size”


And with it comes freedom

The chains removed

It’s like unzipping your body and stepping out of it

So the real you can shine

And I’m not sure I fully believed it would happen

That it COULD happen

But here I am in less than 2 years

23 months to be exact

And I’ve attained most of my goals


I won’t stop

I will make new goals

I will keep going

Because this adventure is a roller coaster

With dips and turns

But it’s worth it


So if you’re out there

And you’re feeling like it will never happen

Like it will take too long

Like nothing can change

Trust me when I say to you



But it has to be done 30 seconds at a time

Little by little

With room for plenty of forgiveness when you screw up

What if on the days I ate Nestle Tollhouse cookies

Or a Whopper from Burger King

I decided to quit

Because I “screwed up” my diet with one meal?

All my life I’ve been quitting because of that

Well I screwed it up now

Might as well give up

Might as well quit

Might as well eat

That’s what I’d say to myself

And it was a cycle

And then I stopped doing that

I started letting my journey have the freedom

To zig zag

Not a straight line

Not some perfect geometric distance from point A to Point B

But instead I allowed it to be whatever it WOULD be

With curves and U-Turns and broken dashes here and there

That’s what my journey looks like

Not perfect







I saw it

I found it

I tried it on










OK….these two items are not clothing but they would not have fit me when I weighed 417 pounds

My arms were too big for a purse to fit over my shoulder

And my face was so swollen that glasses of any kind were painful to wear

As they squeezed in on my face




A medium shirt I bought the other day

(Don’t look at my bathroom sink!!!)




This is a picture I took of my butt Β  LOL

I sometimes take pictures of myself from behind so I can see if my butt

Looks ANY smaller!!!

This is apparently the face I make when checking out my own butt

What can I say??



So I guess I’m excited about having my arms be small enough that a purse can fit over them

Vera Bradley to the rescue!




And now the big moment

I saw this outfit on a mannequin

And now I’m wearing it πŸ™‚

I asked everyone here and on twitter what kind of shoes I should wear with it

And I hope the ones I chose look ok!

I’m so NOT good at picking out clothes for myself!!!

IMG_0101-1 IMG_0099



Life is fun when you can buy clothes off the rack

When you can fit in a booth with your children

photo-466Β \







It may take some tough days

Some sweat and tears

But in the end

You will fit in that booth

You will buckle that seatbelt

You will tie your own shoes

And maybe….

You will find your life shining so bright

You may need sunglasses too





*** I know 2 years sounds like a long time to have to wait for this moment but isn’t “never” longer?

The key for me is the slow and steady race. Β One patient step at a time. Β 30 Seconds to Victory.

But it’s tough to wait. Β To wait for freedom. Β To wait for that day to come when you wake up and feel free.

To wait on food addiction to lift. Β To wait for sugar to remove itself from your system.

To wait….and wait…and wait….out the process of weight loss. Β But it’s in the waiting where we learn the most.

For those of you still waiting….

I dedicate this song to you πŸ™‚

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Kuil June 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

Love everything you picked out! And yes, forever is a much longer time to continue living in a body you find impossible to love or that is failing you. One moment at a time- it will pass whether you choose to do something positive or not. Choose progression not perfection, right? SO HAPPY FOR YOU!
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Darlene June 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Holly, every time I read your blog I have renewed hope. Thank you for sharing the depth of your life!


Lady Amanda June 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Love all of the pictures! Congrats on the new outfits! Lookin’ Good!


Crystal @ Serving Joyfully June 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I’ve been living with this spirit of defeat for so long, I don’t know what anything else would look like or feel like πŸ™ I’m celebrating with you though. I remember last summer when I was working out, and eating better, and I felt like I had conquered it. I reached my first goal and my reward for myself was new workout clothes. I stood in Wal-mart with tears in my eyes at the accomplishment! I can’t imagine all the victories you’ve had. Congrats to you, Holly!
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Kim June 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

As always, you look beautiful and such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are so brave.


16blessingsmom June 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Holly, I am so happy for you!!!!! I have been stuck/maintaining for a year, working hard not to gain any back but not losing any either, but I am so inspired by you! You look absolutely beautiful!!! I know what it is like to get out of those plus sizes, I wore them for 20+ years! Congrats on your shopping day, you totally deserved it! Thank you so much for sharing your ups and downs, lots of us really need the help and encouragement!!!



Dawnya June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Congratulations on your success. Keep doing what you are doing. You are an inspiration to so many…myself included.


GDOG June 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Many Congratulations! I am so glad that you took the time to reward yourself for such a fabulous accomplishment. You are simply glowing in your new clothes πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!


Mary Ellen June 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Oh Holly–shopping at Ann Taylor was my dream too! I never even walked in the door for years because I knew everyone would be thinking that I shouldn’t be there since none of the clothes would fit me. Congratulations–you look beautiful! I don’t comment often but please know that you inspire me every day! You probably already know this but AT has great sales. I have found lots of good deals and walking in that door never gets old!


Mimi @ Irresistible Icing June 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Holly! What an incredible journey! You look amazing and should be so proud of how far you’ve come! Truly Irresistible!
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tucking_fwit June 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Very chic and glamorous. You look like one of those celebrities on a Paris, France weekend getaway. May I have your autograph?


Deb June 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Congrats Holly!!! A 2 yr surgiversary is awesome and you’ve done so well! You are an inspiration to so many others, esp. sleevers. And I bet that ex husband of yours is seething with jealousy. πŸ™‚


Pam June 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm

What an uplifting blog Holly! Yes two years is a long time to wait, but if you had done nothing two years ago–where would you be now? Would you be capable of walking at all anymore? Would you need a wheelchair or even oxygen to help you breath? I did a radio interview earlier this year, and the radio personality said to me, “You might not be alive now.” (if I hadn’t lose 175 pounds). I hesitated a moment and then agreed with her. It was something I thought a lot about later. We were literally digging our graves with our spoons, and we stopped! I’m proud of us and so so happy for the new life you have found!

All the clothes are beautiful. I’m getting ready to go downstairs and get some old big clothes sacked up and take them to the Salvation Army. I have hung on to them too long–they are clothes I bought on the way down–I already got rid of the 5X’s. I have bought so many new things, I need the space in my closet so it’s time to get rid of the old…
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Meg June 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm

You look absolutely amazing! So encouraging and uplifting to read your story. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚


Linda June 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm

This brings tears to my eyes!! You are truly beautiful.


Kati June 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Thank you for this post! I am about halfway to where I think I want to be; I am so ready to get to buy an off the rack outfit. Though, to be honest, I am just not sure what my ultimate goal is becasue I have never been close to it. I have a goal in mind, but I am not sure what my body will look like when I get there, so instead of just a weight number I have WHithouse Black Market for my goal store. You just gave me some more momentum to get to that day of shopping of me!!!

Love reading your blog! I am so proud of you.
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Jayne June 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Holly, one again your blog is such an encouragement to me. You ALWAYS put into words how I am feeling. If I could use one word to describe what you are to me it would be HOPE…….Thanks, Jayne <3


Lori June 3, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.

I think those glasses might be too big! LOL!!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down June 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I think you might be right about the glasses!!! ROFL


Faith June 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Love your photos, Holly, I always look forward to a post from you but especially ones with pictures of your progress (totally gives even more inspiration). And I have to say I ADORE your aviator sunglasses! I wish I had the face shape to pull them off but they look fantastic on you. πŸ™‚


Paula June 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm

You are amazing.. your new clothes are so flattering, and the shoes are perfect. I love the expression on your childrens’ faces in the pictures.. pride and love.

I am having a hard time after my vertical sleeve surgery.. have had 5 surgeries this year on my left hip, and I just make up excuses because I have “gone through so much.” I have to get a grip, and you may be the traction I need. God bless you even more..


Trish @I_am_Succeeding June 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm

I. LOVE. IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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fattyboombatty June 3, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Right on, this is so cool! So happy for you, good good good for you! you look ahhhhhmazing!!!
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Cindy June 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Love the excitement over reaching a very important milestone and goal!!!!


Staci June 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm

You are looking so hot girlfriend! You need a fan to go along with those sunglasses!!!! πŸ™‚
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Amanda June 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm

What a fun, exciting, thrilling post! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! Love the clothes, love the pictures, love the purse and glasses, lol. Love your attitude! As always, thanks for the encouragement!

Your blog has been like a lifeline to me, and I am proud to say that since the first week in March I have walked 6 days a week NO MATTER WHAT, and since April 1 I have lost 44 lbs. (about 200 to go)

I am supposed to have surgery on the 20th of this month, but thanks to you and your blog, I realize that I can start changing my life NOW!

Love ya girl, thank you so much! And yeah, you look super-fine πŸ˜‰


Nicola June 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Holly, you look absolutely amazing!!!! Your excitement and happiness in seeing and choosing and wearing your new clothes jumps out of every single photo and makes you glow (I loved the turquoise tie at the waist shirt in your last post too by the way, it DOES fit :-)) which is just wonderful to see. Many congratulations on your very hard earned reward that you worked and saved and planned for. Everyone who encounters you in your new outfits is going to see the beautiful, smart, kind and accomplished woman you have always been, no matter what your dress size was.


Jane June 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Wow, aren’t before and after photos fun??!!! You’re looking awesome. Way to go.


Martha Kaiser June 4, 2013 at 12:23 am

So incredibly awesome! I have lost 100 pounds and am my goal now and I think shopping in regular stores has been so fun (especially the same stores as my teenage daughter)! Congrats – you look amazing and the clothes you picked are super cute! Good for you for treating yourself to some awesome clothes!
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Dawn June 4, 2013 at 12:27 am

I was wondering what kind of work you do from home? I am a second grade teacher, preparing for WLS after school gets out in a few weeks. Awesome shopping!
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Lynn June 4, 2013 at 12:40 am

Congratulations ! You are an amazing inspiration.


RAP June 4, 2013 at 1:50 am

Thank you so much for sharing your victories and hope. Congratulations!


Rhonda W June 4, 2013 at 2:42 am

That outfit from Ann Taylor is smokin hot on you… Love love love it!


Joan June 4, 2013 at 3:05 am

So, so beautiful. Wow! And congratulations.


Sofie June 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Im always amazed by your journey. You put a tear in my eye because I see alot of my dreams coming true for you and you give me hope that one day I will be posting the off the rack pics too. You are an inspiration and I thank you for sharing it with all of us!


annamarie June 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm


I pray that someday I too will be able to experience that feeling.
Hope you don’t mind but I think the glasses are too big and they cover your pretty eyes. Through your eyes you can see your heart shine through. I am so happy for you.

Many hugs


D. Flores June 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I really enjoyed your blog. Thanks fo sharing. I am 314 lbs and I want to do what you have done. The problem for me s that I am terrified of the surgery. I am scared I will not wake up or that I will get an infection. The doctors are always saying that they would not operate me for other things but they encourage the surgery. So I don’t know what to make of it. But I wish I could do what you have done. I have lost 40 pounds in 4 months though. I guess I can be a little happy with that.


Kate June 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

I don’t get to stop by as often as I’d like but whenever I come to your blog I know I will leave feeling inspired and encouraged. Your story is absolutely incredible and as amazing as it is to see the transformation your body has gone through what I love most is seeing how much happier and alive you look now! I definitely teared up reading through this post and want to thank you for always being so uplifting even though I know it’s not always easy. You make it all seem worth it!
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JoAnn June 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm

You look so very, very pretty!


Nikki June 7, 2013 at 1:41 am

You are a true inspiration I am doing everything now to qualify for surgery so hopefully I am approved I weighed 416lbs and I lost a few pounds I am down to 398lbs every little bit counts and im trying little by little I am tired of my weight controlling everything I do so I thank you so much for writing this it really helped me so again THANK YOU!!! πŸ™‚



Leigh Costa June 9, 2013 at 1:38 am

You are gorgeous! Congratulations πŸ™‚
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Alison June 25, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Hi Holly! I haven’t read my blogs in a month or two, just catching up today. Immediately moved to tears by you yet again – you have a great way with words. I am so happy for you!
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