Rules to Live By—Part One

July 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

What is the secret to success in weight loss?

We all want to know

And after having tried and failed for over 20 years at dieting

I’ve finally learned some things


Rule #1—Start trusting yourself

We’ve been programmed to go on auto pilot

To buy the next book

To sign up for the new program

To pick up our pamphlets and food diaries

Gather the allowed food list they give us

Follow the eating schedule they say

Work out the way this or that person says we should

We’ve been told for so long that we are doing it wrong

We believe it

Because we’ve failed so many times, right?

So what do we know?

Now we don’t trust ourselves

So we just walk into the diet center with our heads bowed

And hand over our minds

To be told what to do

Then  we become legalistic

And if we break one of their “rules”

We feel like we failed again

Even if it’s possible that their “Rules” didn’t fit what we needed

Because you’ll notice “diets” are different

Some will tell you to eat one way

And then another program will say something different

But the one thing I learned after 20 years of following other people’s rules

Was to start trusting myself

Listening to MY needs

And giving myself freedom to do what works for ME

Even if this or that “diet program” says it’s “wrong”

How wrong can it be if you’re losing weight and gaining freedom?

We don’t have to live in a one size fits all world

Because trust me

One size NEVER fit all

Any obese person can tell you that

And what works for you may not work for me

So give yourself the freedom to pick and choose

And believe in yourself again

No one knows you better than YOU

So trust yourself

You are in charge of this and no one else


Rule #2—Break the Rules

There are so many rules in dieting and weight loss

Don’t eat after this time

Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up

No carbs

No processed foods

Only do THIS or THAT

Guess what??

Break the rules if you need to

Think outside the box

Stop listening to every voice out there

And listen to YOU

You didn’t fail because you chose not to eat breakfast today

Even if someone out there tells you breakfast is the most important meal of the day

I rarely eat breakfast

I’m not hungry in the morning

I’ve always been that way

When I’m not on buckets of sugar, my natural appetite just doesn’t kick in right away

I’m not telling you that my way is “right”

I’m just telling you that I made a choice to break the “rules”

And allow myself to do what works for me

I drink coffee in the morning with a little bit of a vanilla shake poured in

But aside from that–I don’t eat in the morning

Because I learned if I eat too soon in the day

It awakens the sleeping giant

Once I start eating, it actually makes me hungrier

Because I wasn’t hungry to begin with and I ate anyway

So now food is on my mind

I decided to listen to myself

Do what works for me

And you know what?

The powers at be might tell me that’s WRONG

But 243 pounds later says to me….If I’m wrong–I don’t want to be right

So break a few rules

Color outside the lines

And be YOU


Rule #3–Be Willing to Fail

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear of failure

In fact, be willing to fail

So what if you can’t do it all?

So what if you’re not perfect?

Something is better than nothing!

I used to not even try to exercise

Because I could barely last 30 seconds into one video

Then I made a decision

I gave myself permission to fail

And I decided 30 seconds was enough

That’s where I started

Pacing the hallway

Just getting up and walking in place for a few seconds

And sitting back down

One day I decided to try and go to the next mailbox on my street

But I only made it halfway there before I had to turn back

It was only 10 feet away

And I couldn’t even do that

I failed

And that was fine

Because I TRIED

One day I got it in my head to keep going

And I did

Then I got so far I had to call a friend to come pick me up

Because I couldn’t make it back!!

I failed at my attempt if you want to look at it that way

But does it really matter?

Because I tried

I walked into Crossfit knowing I coudn’t lift a bar

So she gave me a PVC pipe

And even that felt heavy to me!

She asked me to do one sit up

And as soon as I laid down I couldn’t get up again

So we modified it

I quit Crossfit and went out on my own

I lost some muscle strength and decided to go back

Am I failure because I quit?


I’m in charge of what I do

This is my life and my journey

You’ll make good and bad decisions

You’ll set out the door and trip over your own feet

But it’s still better than laying on the couch and not trying

I fail all the time

And it’s gotten me this far

So don’t be afraid to fail

Failing is better than never trying at all


Rule #4—Don’t listen to the Negative Voices

Someone out there will always tell you you’re doing it wrong

They’ll say it can’t be done

I had people tell me I was too obese to have weight loss surgery

I had a surgeon look at me and turn me away

Because he thought I was too far gone

He said it wouldn’t work

I kept going until I found a surgeon who looked at me and said



My insurance turned me down 3 times over a span of 7 years

I self payed

I had people telling me that I’d gain all the weight back

That I’d never lose more than 100 pounds

Almost everyone in the weight loss surgery community believes in the “window”

That you have a window of opportunity that only goes one year

And if you don’t get off all your weight by then

You never will

I’m 2 years and one month out


You want to know why?

Because  I don’t listen to what they say about the window

The window doesn’t exist

It’s in your mind

There is no magical door that shuts on you after one year

Weight loss is largely a formula

And if you keep at it


With or without the surgery

With or without the window

After I lost 100 pounds, I had a nurse tell me it wasn’t enough

It wasn’t coming off fast enough

That I was doing something wrong

I listened to her and almost ate a Big Mac because of it

Then I never went back to her again

I didn’t want to hear what she had to say

And I proved her wrong

Because I’m not going to hear the toxic poison some people throw out

I can’t afford to

Because we need to hear TRUTH

And the truth is this



But only if you stop listening to the voices that tell you that you can’t

Even if that voice is YOU


To be Continued….


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda July 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm

What an incredible post and your words are so true! My health plan or diet is based on a couple of different ways you might want to say that my Doctor thought would help me but she said to work it out for me – and that is exactly what I do – without guilt. Everyone has to go their own path! Thank you for such an enlightening post! 🙂 xo
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Losing The Rolls July 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Hello Holly, hope you had a nice weekend. I’ve got a long way to go on my journey and these are good rules to remember. I have been one to try every diet plan that comes along because people say it is the way to go. I still keep buying books thinking they might have the secret to weight loss. After all the attempts, all the books and material, I know there isn’t any magic to weight loss. I believe I have the knowledge of what it takes, now following what I know is the part I am working on. Breaking the bad habits and not giving up after I fail at being perfect is not easy. It takes work.

I think the weight-loss blog forum has a great community and I appreciate all the support. Sometimes there are people that push and push and seem to think their way is the only way and you’re a fool if you don’t know this and follow it. It may be the best way but like you said “one size never fits all”. Finding what works for us, no matter how fast or slow, is the key.

I’m looking forward to what other rules you might have to share. You’re a success and I will be one too someday! Have a great week.
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Linda July 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm

You are doing awesome!!
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Heather C. July 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I am a perfectionist, and for many facets of my life, that is not a good thing- especially weight loss. It’s hard to fail over and over! Oh, those negative voices- they are so self-defeating, aren’t they? They are repetitive and relentless. Mine stem from failed attempts or feeling like I’m not doing enough. Last month I lost 5 lbs for the first time in several years. Each day I have to tell myself “it’s enough! Your clothes are looser! A little at a time. You didn’t gain it over night!” I can’t wait for the 2nd half of this post tomorrow :O)


Ren July 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Oh my gosh! This post is perfect. So inspiring! Thank you 🙂
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Fee July 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I can so relate to this post. I recently changed OB/GYN’s because the Nurse Practitioner was just so negative and rude when it came to my WLS. She questioned me regarding my 100 lb weight loss, when I said I had WLS she said, oh don’t people just gain all that weight back!! I was shocked at how negative she was and swore I wouldn’t go back again!


Lauren July 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Thank you Holly! I needed this today. I too was told about “the window” after WLS. I went to my 1 year post op appointment and was told that I’d “only” lost 46% of my excess body weight. At 1 year out they’d hoped I would have lost 55-60%. I went to the nutritionist for a “tune-up” and though I’m not doing anything “wrong” apparently I could be doing a little better. For the week that I tracked for the appointment, I had 2 evening where I decided I wanted chocolate. So I had a pack of the Atkins peanut butter cups. I figured that was better than eating the 10 or so mini Reese’s I normally would have. Apparently, I’m not making the “best choice” there. She asked me if I could have made a better choice. I said “Sure, I could have chosen to eat some fruit or veggies or cheese. But I wanted Reese’s. I figured this was a better option.” Nut: “You could have had more fruit for the calories.” Well sure I could have! But I have the capacity to eat roughly 6oz of food, so quantity isn’t an issue. So for eating two packs of those for the week, I ate 320 calories, 26g fat, 10g fiber, 4g protein and 0g sugar. They taste pretty good, but they aren’t Reese’s, but 1 pack is a nice treat. This conversation occurred multiple times as she found “unacceptable” items. These included any protein shakes or bars or treats. Seriously?!?! I grab a shake or bar in the morning when I have to run or because most mornings, I’m just not hungry. I also take meds first thing in the morning and I have to wait an hour until eating. If I don’t get up at 630am, I can’t take the meds and eat at home, there’s just not time. Now that neither my daughter nor I have to get to school, I don’t get up that early. So a shake or bar suits me perfectly. So I am “breaking the rules”!! I still lost 5 lbs that week. Now if I can just break through, this wall and get under 180, I may just be able to get to goal. 🙂 Keep up the good work Holly!! God bless you and your family and friends.
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Alison C July 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Wow Holly – thank you so much for this!!! I am, by nature, a rule follower! I must follow all the rules all the time, or quite possibly the world will end. Really – that is how seriously I take following rules – I follow them as if the world will end if I don’t do them! So since I’ve “failed” at various diet attempts, I’ve resigned myself to just being fat. But then I’m not happy because I remember how much more energetic I was when I weighed less, and then I’m sad. So now I’m fat and sad. It sucks. And I don’t care to eat breakfast either! Anytime I eat, it wakens that hunger and I fear I may not be able to stop – I’ll just have an all-day binge. Maybe tomorrow I’ll just wait until I’m hungry to have a small breakfast…now you’ve given me permission to break that rule! LOL! Anyways, your blog in general and this post specifically are awesome and I thank you for all that you write!


Shay July 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I think “Be Willing to Fail” is an awesome rule, because you’re right: There are so many different workouts out there, and some aren’t the right fit for everyone. If you fail at one–or even if you just don’t like it and know you won’t stick with it–there is ALWAYS another one to try…one that you’ll love and want to come back to and stick with. And then you’ll be more willing to branch out and try even more things that you’ll find that you love. Great advice, Holly!!
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Sheryl C. July 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm


This is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing what you have learned. I’m much more inclined to listen to someone who has had to walk through what you have instead of those who’ve never been there. Keep up the awesome job you are doing.



Sally July 2, 2013 at 12:18 am

You are right- not every method works for everyone. I tried various methods until I found one that worked for me. It involves shakes and a small lean and green meal. Not everyone wants to or can replace food with shakes. Some need 3 real meals, others cannot live without eating fruit in their diet, some can’t afford one plan, but another is perfect for them.

It is amazing how many people ask what I did, how did i lose weight, which program did i follow – then tell me why it’s wrong or bad. I stopped telling them and when they ask if I’ve lost weight, I just say “no, why?” Then they aren’t sure if I have or if they are imagining it, but it gets them off the topic and I don’t have to listen to their negative feedback.


Nicola July 2, 2013 at 12:18 am

Fantastic post Holly and so true. Trust yourself, believe in yourself and you can achieve anything you want. How can the latest diet guru or a negative nurse possibly know you better than you know yourself?!


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