Hope is Still Out There

September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-hope-concept-image28927468

I know it’s not very uplifting or encouraging to come here

And read about how I’ve struggled recently

Fallen Down

Screwed up

It can’t be very hopeful to have to read how I’m shaky

And stumbling around in the dark

After having had so much success

I worry about that at times

Because one of the main reasons I started this blog

Was to try and give hope to others

People that need to  find their way out

 

I get a lot of emails every day from people who are suffering

And I read all of them even though I don’t always get a chance to respond quickly enough

But one stood out to me last week and it really moved my heart

I felt so awful because I hadn’t checked that email in awhile

And by the time I had, she had emailed me twice

The first email was full of hope

She had read what I posted about sugar addiction

And how I detox

She had gone grocery shopping and made the plan to start

She had HOPE that she could find a way out of the dark

But the next email was dismal

She had fallen off the wagon

Unable to stick to the sugar detox

Unable to stop thinking about food

She told me she was over 400 pounds like I was when I started

And while she desperately wanted to get out of the prison her body had become

She felt defeated by her failed attempts

And now another failed attempt with the sugar detox

She said words I feel VERY familiar with

She said that in spite of the pain, humiliation and agony the weight put her through

She still desired food more than anything else

I could have written these words myself

I HAVE written these words

I’ve felt them, lived them, and cried over them

Not understanding why I still ate and ate and ate

When I was also in a living hell because of it

And then she said that all she could do now

Was pray the weight would just finally choke her completely

And put her out of her misery

I wanted to cry when I read this

Because I understand it so well

There was a time not very long ago

When I felt that my only REAL hope was for death to come

So I could go to heaven and get that new body God had promised

Where I could live in the place of no more pain and no more tears

So I get that

I understand it

I’ve lived it

And to be honest I STILL struggle in so many ways

In spite of the weight I’ve lost, I still have to fight at times

To stay on track or to get back on track when I falter

So I know well the battle we face and how it wears you down

How it takes the resolve  you have on Monday morning

And strangles it into defeat by Monday afternoon

What can I say to this person?

To any person who feels this way?

I want to be an encourager

I don’t want people to come here and feel more hopeless than they did at the start

So all I can say is this

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Sitting there right now on  your couch suffering

Maybe eating right now as you read this

Maybe suffocating under your own weight right now

And in your pain and misery, you feel alone

BUT YOU’RE NOT

You have a whole host of people all around you

All over the world

Who are suffering with the same things

Feeling the same way

And we must band together and support each other

Lift each other up

Encourage each other

Because this is a hard path to go alone

And we just have to remember that while the world is full of individuals

Who will just NEVER get it

Who will never understand why we eat the way we do

Why the food calls to us

There ARE people out there who KNOW

Who UNDERSTAND

And who care

I care more than you could ever know

I care about every single person who has suffered with obesity

Who has suffered with food addiction or binge eating

Or whatever it is that has brought you to that point

And I know that even in the midst of my own struggles with food

I just have to look around and see I’m not alone

It’s a lie that invades our minds and isolates us

It makes us feel like we’re worth nothing because of our weight

It makes us feel like we’re flawed

That we’re like a leper who must sit outside the village alone

But that’s just not true

Maybe no one in your life understands

But there are people out there who DO

Maybe you don’t have a support system

But know that you still have support from those out there

Who want to encourage you to keep going

Because they’ve been there and they know this is a battle you can win

I’ve made huge mistakes in the past few months

I got so off track in my life that I lost focus of what was important

I stopped concentrating on my weight loss journey

I lost my motivation

I didn’t take the time to focus on the things I needed to

This battle takes a lot of time and effort

And sometimes you have to almost step back from many things in your life

And focus on YOU

Sometimes you have to even be selfish and take a time out

And just let YOURSELF be front and center for awhile

So you can work on YOU

In the end it’s not selfish at all

Because if  you don’t take the time you need to work on who you are

To devote to this journey

To focus in on helping yourself break free

Then in the end you can’t be there for others anyway

Because you’re too sick, too tired, and too full of pain

I’ve had to reassess my goals lately

And realize that I lost sight of the important things

I lost sight of who I was and who I was meant to be

I lost confidence in myself

I lost track of my goals

I just stopped caring in many ways about ME

I don’t know why it happened

Except that maybe I got tired of the fight

But when I read an email like the one sent to me from that woman

I realize all over again that this journey encompasses more than just me

I remember all over again that I am NOT alone

That I am not the only one struggling

I am not the only one who has suffered

And I don’t want to give up

Because there are people out there who need US

ALL OF US

They need us to fight when they can’t

They need us to succeed so they can see it can be done

They  need encouragement when they’re down

They  need HOPE

I’ve spent the past 2 weeks trying to detox off the sugar I let back into my life

And FINALLY I’m regaining my sanity

But I want this woman who wrote me the email to know

That even I didn’t succeed on my OWN sugar detox plan at the first try

I’ve done this so many times and I know it works

But I also know that sometimes I can’t get it done on the first shot

It’s taken me almost 2 weeks of trying to get back on the wagon

And I’ve screwed up countless times

But every day that goes by I get better

Cleaner and more pure

Stronger in my mind

And the past few days, I almost feel like my “old” self again

And by that I mean….the “self” that was losing weight and had control

I can almost see her rounding the corner now and coming back to me

I’m not going to give up

So don’t you give up either

I emailed this woman back but I have not gotten a reply

I hope she reads this post and knows that I care

I’m worried about her to be honest because I AM her in so many ways

And I know how it feels to think that there is no hope

I’m going to fight this battle with all of my heart

Because we must keep fighting

We must keep believing that we can change

That we can break free

It doesn’t always happen overnight

We may screw up more than we succeed

But small changes really do add up

And even ONE success out of TWENTY failures….is STILL a success

So don’t think you’ve failed because you weren’t perfect

When you determine to try….you’re halfway there

The rest will come in time

Just don’t give up

 

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Shannon September 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I just wanted to say that I don’t think it’s discouraging at all that you are admitting to “falling off the wagon” at times. I think it’s real and honest, and it lets me know that it’s ok to admit that no one is perfect in their journey to weight loss. What matters is that you keep trying. I think your blog is one of the most inspirational ones I have ever read.

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Heather C. September 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Holly~ it’s your HUGE heart and your realism that makes your blog so successful. I’m sure you’ve heard this ‘a million times over,’ but you are truly an inspiration, and I am so grateful for your energy and willingness to share. (hugs)

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Pam September 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

So true Holly, there are so many of us out here struggling and we think we’re alone, when in reality there are many of us, too humiliated to speak up, to seek out help, to talk to others who might help. So we feel alone in this state of depressing morbid obesity that we alone are responsible for.

I did this weight loss my own way, I didn’t join any self-help programs or pay for any special diets. I did, however utilize the Internet to the utmost. I joined Spark People (free), and read blogs there, as well as blogs like your own CONSTANTLY! They really helped keep me motivated and still do. It’s the best and cheapest weight loss tool available.

The second best tool available, completely free again, is the knowledge that we alone are responsible for making the choices that will lead us to lose weight and get healthy. I felt so empowered when I realized I was in charge of those choices! I used to feel as if I had no control, as if my life was spinning out of control and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. You wrote:

“And the past few days, I almost feel like my “old” self again
And by that I mean….the “self” that was losing weight and had control”

We need to always remember we possess the ability to control ourselves!

Today….almost two and a half years into maintaining my 170-lb. weight loss, it is still day to day, moment to moment. I am so glad you are reaching out to those who feel hopeless, if we all got together, it would be the world largest (in numbers, no pun intended) support group. Since that is not possible, we depend on people like you, reaching out to all of us via the Internet, giving us all hope, letting us know we can regain control and we CAN conquer our problem. And even though the war will be on-going, we can win, battle by battle!
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Lori September 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I started my blog with the intention of helping others; showing them the path I’d taken; hoping it would help someone else find their own path. I’d lost 90+ pounds and was less than 20 from my goal.

Stuff happened and I regained 30 lbs. I’ve yoyoed with those pounds for a couple of years now. I struggled with revealing my ‘shortcomings’ after all, I was the one trying to help. When I finally did admit my relapse, I got lots of support from my readers, and it felt as though a burden had been lifted. I realized that people didn’t want to read about my ‘perfect’ journey of weight loss. They wanted to see the real me because they had the same struggles.

We’re all in this together; helping each other.
Lori
Lori recently posted..YesterdayMy Profile

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FeeIsMe2 September 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Holly,

I think that you admitting that you fall off the wagon, makes you more human and really relate-able. No one is perfect! Life is not perfect! We can just try to do our best, and when we fall, we have to stand up, dust ourselves off and try again!

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Caron September 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

On the contrary, Holly, we’ve all messed up. If you never did, then you’d be perfect unlike the rest of us.

Keep on keeping on. It takes time and patience. You can do it. 🙂
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Lea September 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for sharing this – I find your blog encouraging no matter what the issue. I struggle all the time and feel a connection of understanding to you, regardless of the post.
You’re right – SO MANY OF US FEEL THIS WAY. Thanks for the nice post, I hope your emailer reads it and these comments and feels comfort & some motivation to pick themselves up. 🙂
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Shay September 10, 2013 at 1:43 am

Holly, your posts are nowhere near discouraging. I’m sitting here imagining people struggling with the same things with which you’ve struggled and are still, at times, struggling with, and the words YOU ARE NOT ALONE had to uplift them. What an awesome message.

Although I don’t face the same struggles, we all do face some kind of struggles, and your blog has uplifted me on days when I hadn’t even realized I’d needed it. I think people relate more to you because you’re so honest with what troubles you.

Finally, I had to tell you that I was on the treadmill the other day running my regular 6 miles. (It took me a LONG time to work up to that, trust me!) Around mile 3.5, I was struggling. It was just a sucky running day, and sometimes we have those. But I had to smile thinking of your post the other day when you snapped a pic of how far you went and said that you didn’t think it was much, but at least you had gotten out there. So I wondered, that night I was on the treadmill, if you were also cursing your way through a workout that night like I was. Haha.

Keep up the great work; even if you feel like you’re not being a motivation to others, you ARE!!
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Nancy September 10, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Hi Holly,

It’s not discouraging for me to find out about your struggles with sugar, your eating, and your weight. It’s actually really encouraging to me, because I’m having many of the same struggles as you are, and your posts reassure me that I’m not the only one having these struggles. What helps me the most in reading your blog is that you keep on trying, keep on working, and don’t give up! And your sharing really helps me keep going and get re-motivated when I’m losing it. You give me hope!

After also having gastric sleeve surgery, I did really well during the first year, losing a total of 150 of the 170 pounds I wanted to lose (including the 25 pounds I lost before surgery). Now in the last three months I’ve been really struggling with giving in to the munchies (with mostly carbs – crackers, sweets, etc.), eating when I’m stressed (but not hungry), finding excuses not to exercise, and having my weight fluctuate a lot and start to creep up. A few weeks ago, I weighed myself and was up a total of 5 1/2 pounds, and I really panicked! But then I read what you shared about having gained some weight, and I thought, I’m not alone, and if you can keep going and get things back under control, then I can too.

I admire you so much, you are such a positive role model for me, and I really gain motivation and confidence in myself from reading your posts. Knowing that you also struggle, and as someone else said, that you are not perfect, makes me realize I’m not the only one that still struggles even after weight loss surgery. Reading your blog is the first thing I do when I really need motivation or encouragement when I’m struggling. I get renewed confidence that I can keep going and keep working and get back on track when I’ve gotten a little or a lot off track.

Thanks for all you share and give to all of us!!

Nancy

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LHA September 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I can’t thank you enough for your honesty, for your bravery and for your commitment to this blog and reaching out to the whole weight loss community. This is just another great, inspiring post! It is inspiring not just in its subject, but in its overall message of hope and optimism. It is very, very hard work trying to lose weight and even more work to keep it off. All of us need to admit when we are struggling, so that others on the same road can see that it is possible to be successful without being perfect. I love reading your blog, and I love reading the comments of others, and find it all encouraging even on my worst days. Good luck to you in getting back on track and also to me and others who are also struggling right now.

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Lorenda September 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I don’t think anyone would ever feel more hopeless after reading your blog. If everyday on your blog was rosy and perfect and more weight lost and all that, then struggling readers would lose hope. It just isn’t that way, goal weight isn’t the end of the journey but is the beginning of an even more difficult journey. Not only are you showing your struggles but you are also showing how you don’t give up and you overcome and get back on track. You ARE giving hope to others. You are proof that it can be done. You tell what it’s really like unlike an ad for a miracle pill or something like that.
I can’t even imagine how many people you must help and inspire with your writings.
I hope that your new teaching job is going well and that you are loving it.

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Jeanne September 12, 2013 at 5:19 am

Hi,

I read your blog almost every day. This post is one that everyone who is trying to lose weight or maintaining a big weight loss should read. It is honest and true. Being successful at losing weight, being successful at maintaining a big weight loss is never going to be easy. Especially if we’re feeling alone in our guilt for our umpteenth failure at it. You’ve done an excellent job at showing everyone that it is possible to return from a setback and that even returning isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be lonely. Well done.

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Jackie R. Campos November 9, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Struggling to lose weight .. help! – NetmumsI’m really struggling to lose weight . I’m 18 and a mum of two (eldest 3 and youngest 10 months) I’m currently 15st and finding myself feeling.
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Madeleine Giorgio March 5, 2014 at 7:27 am

What an inspiration you are. Yes, never give up. Cling to hope. And you will succeed.
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 5, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Thank you Madeline!

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