Happy New Year and New Beginnings

January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image26252508Hello to all my friends!

It’s been awhile since I took a break from blogging and I can honestly say I have dearly missed you all!

I feel as if I have been a traveler who wound up taking the wrong exit and ended up on a destination unintended.

When I had weight loss surgery, I had no idea the numerous changes that would take place for me not just physically but emotionally/mentally.  Perhaps I even underestimated the difficulty it would be for me once those changes became a reality.

Without going into details, I want you to know that my break from blogging came mostly from feeling as if I had hit a wall so to speak.  I felt as if I had gone as far as I could go.  I lost my motivation and even in many ways my sense of hope that things could get better.  For me, hope is essential.  It’s what carries me through.  Without hope, what is there?

I will tell you, friends, that I can speak from a different place now than I could when I first started this blog.

I am on the “other” side in many ways having lost over 240 pounds and having experienced an entirely different side of life than I did when I was trapped in the physical prison of my body.  Though not at my goal yet, I feel as if I’ve been able to walk around now in what many consider a “normal” sized body.  I can meet people now who have no idea that I ever weighed 417 pounds unless I tell them.   No sign hangs from me letting them know.  Unlike before where my weight was a visible marker betraying to the world what my biggest problem in life was.  Now due to my weight loss– it is hidden–though it is still the issue I face daily—it is not a badge I wear.  It is not the first thing people notice about me allowing me to pass through life in a much different way than before.

Yes I experienced all the things I had hoped and dreamed that weight loss would bring me:

Fitting in a booth

Not breaking chairs

Buckling my seatbelt

Fitting in rides

Walking as long as I want without losing breath

Playing and running with my children

Attending all their events

Going to Disney

Fitting on an airplane

etc etc etc

 

The list could go on and on!!  I have experienced life with my children on a level that only screams FREEDOM!!!

So what could be the downside? What could be the problem?

I suppose it came from my unspoken list of things I had hoped for.

A list I must have made in my mind that I believed would come true if I lost the weight

Some list inside my heart that I clung to all those years

Perhaps I didn’t fully admit to myself but I believed that “if I were just thinner” these things would come true

A list that consists of things like

“I won’t be single anymore”

or

“All my work/family issues will magically disappear”

 

How many of us without realizing it attribute most of our problems in life to our weight?

We allow ourselves to believe that if only we were thinner….there would be no problems.

I know this sounds absurd but I can honestly say that somewhere I think I lived under this delusion.

I think I truly believed that the main reason I was single was my weight.  And to be perfectly honest—that was comforting.  As long as it was my weight…..it wasn’t ME.  But if I am still single….still having failed relationships….even after having lost 240 pounds….then what does THAT mean?

It could mean only one thing

It was never the weight that was the problem.

IT WAS ME

At least that is the prevalent thought that has gone through my mind for the past year

And before you point out to me that it’s a wrong thought…I will tell you that I recognize that

I recognize that generalizing so drastically is never good

It is however something I have a tendency to do.  It’s one of those irrational thought processes that I’ve always been susceptible to

Overgeneralizing or Catastrophizing scenarios by saying

“It will ALWAYS be this way…”

“Things will NEVER change….”

“Nothing will ever get better now…”

These thought processes are exactly one of the very things that made it hard for me to ever start losing weight in the first place.  Because in order to change, you must believe that you CAN

You must  believe you are capable of change.  That change CAN happen and that hope is something that will not elude you.

But I lost sight of that.  The same issues I dealt with before weight loss are in many ways the same ones I still deal with now.

I lost my mother on New Years Eve.  When everyone was outside popping off fireworks and celebrating, I was wondering how I could ever go on without my mother in my life.

One of the biggest ironies for me in this world was the night I heard so much celebration going on outside my window on New Years Eve…..celebration, laughs, fireworks…..and yet my entire world was in my mind coming to an end as I learned only a few hours earlier that my mom had passed away.

Last night was New Years Eve and again I had to fight against the depression and sadness that often threatens to envelop me on that night.  You see, I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time and food was my cure.  Food saved me on many nights that depression and anxiety threatened to overtake me.  But now food can no longer serve that purpose.

This is where the twist comes in.  Though I have had a strong faith in God and He has carried me through countless circumstances–I found myself turning to alcohol more and more after I had the weight loss surgery.  I did not intend or ever believe that alcohol could ever become a problem for me.  After all, it never was before.  I didn’t believe I could develop a problem with alcohol having sailed safely through 40 years of my life without it ever being any big issue.

Of course there was a time when my husband first left me where I did use alcohol for a time more than I had in the past–but I quickly turned to food instead as that was always my primary choice.   One thing I didn’t realize or anticipate was just how susceptible I am as an individual to using a “substance” to deal with things instead of letting God get me through it.

It is said in psychology that some people have addictive personalities.  In the weight loss community it is widely discussed that once food is removed as an option many will turn to alcohol or other things as their addictive personalities seek out some other equally destructive habit.

If you’ve ever wondered just how big this problem can be for many after weight loss surgery and/or significant weight loss—just check out the comments section in the linked article below that people have been commenting on now for several years

Bariatric Surgery Trades Obesity for Alcoholism

I’ve heard tales of those who became addicted to shopping, sex, drugs, and other things.  Yet I believed that this would not happen to me because I ‘knew better“.

Knowing better….knowing the right way….didn’t keep me from falling.

I am sad to say that like many before me who have had weight loss surgery, I found alcohol became an easy substitute for a Big Mac but one that could quickly become even more destructive.

I have found over the course of the past 2 years, that losing weight is a multifaceted issue for me.  It is one that I will  never stop facing.  One I will have to attack daily.    And one issue that can lead to others if I am not careful.

I can tell you this.

Losing weight will not solve all your problems in life.  It may lead to more.

And yet that does NOT give us an excuse to turn back.

To say “OH I was better off before….better off obese…”

Because losing weight is not the problem

It is not the weight loss itself that caused me to stumble in other areas

It is simply the way I handle issues when I choose to handle them in a destructive manner instead of a healthy one.

I was in many ways ashamed and embarrassed that I had stumbled

I felt in so many ways as a Christian that God was tired of me.  That if I knew the path…..if I knew the right way….how could I once again fall into such a self destructive pattern?

I feel as if I have let my children down as well.  Spending too much time of the last year worrying about dating and having “fun” instead of being focused fully on my children.

After losing 240 pounds and being alone for the last 8 years….I will admit I think I had a bit of a midlife crisis. And looking back, I regret a lot of things but mostly the fact that I spent too much time focused on Holly and not enough time focused on the ones in my life that matter the most.

But I’m back

Not because I’ve figured it all out as I had hoped I would by the time I ‘returned’ to my blog

But I’m back because I discovered hiding and being away from the people who have helped you is no way to conquer your issues.

And so that is the truth.  The truth of what I’ve been going through.  And now it’s time to forge on and press forward….

I’ve regained about 15 pounds and that’s where I’m at.

I haven’t worked out in quite awhile–hit or miss at best.

I have gotten out of the habit of doing the daily things that kept me grounded.

My prayer life and time at church has all taken a hit as I’ve shied away from all the things that I know will keep me on the right path in favor of my own self destructive habits.

But to make a fresh start, we must take a true account of where we are and go from there.

So if you want to start fresh—start with me!!

What worked for me 2 years ago will work for me now

30 seconds at a time is all it takes to start again.

This week I will post my plan to get back into working out as well as I what I intend to eat

I know I’ve been gone awhile but I’m glad to be back

This blog has helped me more than you could ever know.

Not the blog really but the people (YOU) I have met through it.

And I believe that getting back to it….will be a major key component to getting back on track.

Now that I’ve gone on about ME…I would love to hear from YOU.  How have you been?

Let’s catch up and then grab some hope together as we move forward into this New Year!!

 

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

Marjolein January 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Hi Holly, what a good way to begin the new year, with a re commitment to do what is right and what brings peace. I wish you joy. I am trusting we will all grow in grace this year. God knows I need it.

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Michele January 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Welcome back ! I too have regained 15 pounds and Im ready to reset and get it back off and more. Happy New Years!

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Kiera Polzin January 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I’ve been waiting for you, and I’m so glad you are back! It may seem silly, but there was a great line in the movie ‘Galaxy Quest,’ it’s “never give up, never surrender.” Sounds good to me. 🙂

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Courtney January 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I’m so happy you’re back! I’ve missed your writing and updates.

The end of 2013 has been a mixed bag. Like you New Year’s Eve is the anniversary of a close loved one’s death, and to add to that my grandmother who’d been fighting lung cancer passed away a couple days before this Christmas. Those sorts of pain can definitely be magnified when they are felt amidst a time of celebration.

On the other end of the spectrum though I finished my first semester back at college working towards my physics degree and got straight A’s! I’m working really hard (silly as it may sound) to learn how to learn efficiently and seeing big payoffs for my efforts. 🙂 I also started a new exercise routine that my husband and I are supporting one another through by Mark Lauren called You Are Your Own Gym…hard stuff but good!

Welcome back!

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LN January 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I am so glad you are back to blogging. I hope the best for you in 2014 and that you will find the peace and happiness that you so deserve. I hope your teaching career has brought you fulfillment. Happy New Year to you and your four sweet children. God bless you.

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Kelly January 1, 2014 at 5:38 pm

I’m so happy to see you’re back. You have inspired me along my weight loss journey, and I’ve often visited your blog to just read your struggles and accomplishments and be inspired. Glad you’re back, happy new year!
Kelly recently posted..Why I Hate Resolutions…and Why I Made SomeMy Profile

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Shelly January 1, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Oh welcome back Holly!! I’ve read and reread your blog since you’ve been gone to help me keep going. And prayed for you every time. I started in August and I am down 39 pounds. Started couch to 5k last week and kind of laughing at my running one minute on 2 minutes off for 25 minutes but hey. I’m doing it. Really proud of myself.
I’m so so so glad you’re back and am so thankful for your honesty. Goodness I have stumbled and had to regroup so many times in my life.
Here’s to a fresh start and unending hope!!
Cheers!!

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Danna Lockerby January 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

As I read this post I was so proud of you, and at the same time so sad for you. One thing that struck me was the thought that you thought there was something wrong with you because you were single, or that being single was a problem in and of itself. Sweetie, this requires a belief shift. Being single is not a problem, it’s an opportunity. It gives you a chance to get to know yourself and build your life as you’d like it to be. It gives you the chance to explore your interests without worrying about anyone else’s schedule (except your kids). In doing that and in being authentically you and authentically happy, you will attract great people into your life and with a great man or men. Your relationship status does not define your value, and why in heavens name would you think it did? Many of us have had to “kiss a lot of frogs” to find a prince. Don’t judge yourself harshly because a relationship doesn’t work out, it just didn’t. If you dodge the bullet of a bad long term relationship by ending it when you start to see warning signs, pat yourself on the back. Way to go Mama, protecting your kids and great self care on that! Do you buy the pair of jeans you see in a store or do you (like most of us) have to try on a bunch of pairs to find the one that fits best, even make multiple shopping trips? Dating can be like that, you may have to go on a lot of dates and establish a lot of friendships with a lot of men to find the one that is the right fit. Don’t go into it expecting it to be “the one” and then blame yourself if it doesn’t turn out that way….it just wasn’t the right fit. Would you do something for me? Everyday, and you will feel foolish doing this at 1st, but do it anyway, everyday when you start thinking that you are “not enough” would you please tell yourself, “Holly! You are fabulous, you are the bomb, you are more than good enough, you are awesome!” I’d say it to you if I were there. Just say it to yourself over and over and over and eventually you’ll believe it and see yourself the way others do.

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Carol January 2, 2014 at 5:09 am

What a great tale… and the fact that you are reflective and recognise that what you think sometimes is not true, shows strength and hope.
I have just found your site, and was fascinated to read how your life has unfolded… and it will keep doing so… we are who we are, because of the life we have lived…
You are the master of your own destiny… be in charge…

Trust yourself and trust your God… God lives within us, as us… watch eat, pray, love if you want a bit of a lift, and how you might find yourself… Life will show you the way if you are open to its direction

Take care
Carol

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Mary January 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Hi Holly,

I’m soooo happy to see you back – I’ve been checking since 5:30
this morning dying to read your latest update!!

You have no idea how much you and your story have motivated me-
I am just 11 pounds away from my weightloss goal !

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your honesty –
what an inspiration you are!!

love,
Mary

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Paula January 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I am so happy you are back… you are a blessing to me. As for falling off the weight loss wagon, think of this…. Everyone has a river of shit flowing through their life. Jesus is the bridge that lets us cross that river and reach the other side. Sometimes we fall off the bridge and we have two choices: we can stay in that river and wallow in our own crap, or we can crawl out, let ourselves be washed clean again by the blood of Jesus, and start crossing the bride again. The problem of offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to God is that we keep crawling off the alter.
None of us are perfect, but we can take tiny steps of imperfection towards the goal of perfection.

I also struggle with depression, bipolar disorder, and panic and anxiety disorder. I have lost 100 pounds 3 different times only to regain it and more, and that is not counting all the times I lost 20, or 30, or 50, or even 80 pounds. I haven’t been to the Y for months and I find myself become more agoraphobic than previously. I have 75 more pounds to lose after my weight loss surgery, but now is the time and today is the day.

I will pray for you…. thank you for what you share.

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Rhonda W January 1, 2014 at 6:21 pm

So happy you are back. I have struggled with my weight maintenance this past year but plan to keep trying and working at it. Your blog is so inspirational and such a help to me…. thank you!

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Kaira January 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Yesterday I was wondering if you would be back today. I am SO glad you are! Happy 2014 to you! I am excited about this year all fresh with possibilities!

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Heather C. January 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Holly~ If you only had an idea of how much you were thought of, prayed for, and how many times I visited your blog “just because” thinking perhaps you’d written something, and watching your ticker, full well knowing that if I were in the same position, that dang thing would NOT be moving (grrrr…) I jumped out of bed this morning and said to my husband “Holly from 300 pounds down is back!” and ran towards the computer. He said “you aren’t going to the computer, are you? I was going to blah, blah, blah”…..I won!! (he he he)

The weight loss industry leads us to believe that “thin” equals happy. If that was the case, then the Olsen twins would be the happiest mega millionaires in the world, right? ;o) We are also lead to believe that money equals happiness, and I will tell you from experience that isn’t true either because nothing can bring my mom back, and I’d trade her for my inheritance any day.

You are a real child of God…honest, sharing, heartfelt, and a gift to many, including me. Thank you for showing us, so publicly, that REAL people struggle, but they also get back up time and time and time again. I am with you on this journey to gain back control, to find a sense of peace, and to watch the fat wick away from my body. 30 seconds at a time. It’s not going to be easy, and we will likely fail, but it just makes us that much stronger and more resilient.

And who knows….God can do anything….we KNOW that….perhaps next he’ll give us an exercise induced obsession, and the fat will magically disappear (wink, wink!) Happy New Year, Holly & Happy New YOU!!

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nelly agbogu January 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Holly! Omg! Am so happy you are back! Words cannot express how happy I am, you have touched my life in so many ways, and while you were away, I comforted myself by reading you blog from day one all over again.
Please, always know this, your life is a constant reminder that God will never leave nor forsake us even when we go astray. I have learnt mightily much from you. Lost 40kg thus far in 2013 hoping to lose another 40kg this year. I know it will end in praise cos there is hope.

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Paula January 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm

I checked this site regularly to see how many days were left. Glad the answer is none. Happy New Year!

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Paula January 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm

oops, forgot I have to say PaulaMP cause there are other Paulas.

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Merrily Brown January 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Welcome back! I’ve missed you.
Merrily Brown recently posted..A Happiness Guide for PessimistsMy Profile

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Amy S. January 1, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Welcome back! I just recently found your blog! We are friends on MFP, but I must have missed your blog link all this time! I’ve read your story and how you have struggled and I myself, have struggled as well. I started my weight loss journey January 10, 2013. In the course of 3-4 months, I lost 31 pounds! I was amazed and truly happy my body was shaping down instead of up…that didn’t last long.

April 2013 my best friend lost her 7 1/2 month old baby boy. It was shortly before my son’s first birthday. They were 5 1/2 months apart in age and I had already made plans to have his bday and everybody was traveling in…the day of his funeral. I had to miss his funeral and I know my friend was hurt that I was celebrating life while she was losing one, and that took a toll on me. I quit logging after that. Then I quit trying all together. I am sick of life falling apart around me, but I know I can’t hide inside myself.

I have gained 15lbs of my weight back and now I am more determined than ever to get this done. 15lbs isn’t a big deal for me ideally, but mentally I’m struggling with the fact that I can physically SEE where those 15lbs are. It’s going to take some serious determination to get this done, and I am the only one who can discipline myself enough to get it done. I have to be strict with myself and I will get this done.

50lbs, that is what I have to lose until I reach my first goal. My ultimate goal is 80lbs away, but if I can make it 50lbs, I’ll be delighted. It’ll be the first time for me being under 200lbs since grade school! I know I can get there, I know I can. Determination and discipline is key!

I wish you the best of luck in 2014! I know we can do this! Have faith in God and let him carry you through!

LET’S DO THIS!!!!!

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annamarie January 2, 2014 at 12:21 am

Holly, I am so glad to see your post. I know you stated that you were going to take a break but honestly I was worried too. I know we all need breaks but for some strange reason I felt it may have been something different. Anyway, you are feeling your feelings and that in that is good. This is going to be a great year for everyone. I really can’t explain it but that is just how I feel. But most importantly is that we will face our challenges, worries and triumphs together.

Happy New Year my dear

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ErinK January 2, 2014 at 12:42 am

Holly!! I am so glad you are back! You have been such an inspiration for me – after I found your blog I went back and read it from the beginning. Thank you for your honesty and transparency ta

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ErinK January 2, 2014 at 12:44 am

Holly!! I am so glad you are back! You have been such an inspiration for me – after I found your blog I went back and read it from the beginning. Thank you for your honesty and transparency – I’m right there with you. Tomorrow is Day One (again) for me. Hoping and praying for an awesome 2014 for you!!

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Jane January 2, 2014 at 1:02 am

Blessed Blessed New Year Holly! So glad to see you back, I have greatly missed you. I too have gained some weight back (25 lbs.) we will lose it together in 2014. Going forward is the only option for us all in this new year. All of us out there with weight issues will deal with it together. We may not know each other personally but we are truly linked on this journey together through you. Looking forward to your next post.

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Sparrow January 2, 2014 at 1:30 am

Soooooooo happy to see you back!! May you see yourself as God sees you, even if it’s just a few minutes at first.

I’ve missed you, missed your realness, your matter of fact way you can put into words exactly what many of us struggle with.

Yay!!

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Darlene January 2, 2014 at 2:23 am

Holly, thank you for your strength to come back and share with us. You are so real, that is what I love about you! I’ll be tuning in regularly.

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Deb January 2, 2014 at 2:34 am

Happy New Year Holly!!
I was so happy to see your page’s post come up today. You have been missed!!!! So many of my thoughts/feelings have been beautifully expressed by those who commented before me, so I will just share what has become so close to my heart, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
God Bless You and Your Beautiful Children 🙂

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Samantha @ 24 to 30 January 2, 2014 at 2:39 am

So glad you are back Holly! I am sorry you’ve been struggling but I know you have it in you to come out on top.
Samantha @ 24 to 30 recently posted..Lessons Learned in 2013My Profile

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Colleen January 2, 2014 at 4:22 am

Dear sweet Holly, Everything in all of these comments is how I feel about you and more. Yours was the first blog I found after decided to have wls and it has remained my favorite. I am 4 months post-op and am old enough to know this journey is not going to be easy therefore I feel so blessed to have found you because of your honesty. The very fact that you struggle gives me hope. We share a love for the same Lord and that is surely part of why I connected with you through your blog. Be kind to yourself, dear girl. You have done so much, come so far and helped so many. I am sure you will not know how many lives you have touched until you get to Heaven. I now have a blog and it is because of you that I had the guts to start one. I hope you will come visit. I will pray for you every time you come to mind. I, too, am so glad you are back!

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Cindy January 2, 2014 at 4:22 am

So glad to have you back Holly. I was like an earlier poster checking in to see if per chance you had posted on your blog only to watch the ticker continue to count down.
Cindy B.

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Sheryl C. January 2, 2014 at 4:31 am

I’m just glad you are back, because I missed you and your insight. Your honesty and willingness to share has always blessed me greatly. I am still fighting the fight, but think I need to go back to the roots of where I started my blog. It’s a great time to start fresh and I’m glad to have people like you to share the journey with.

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Miri January 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Holly, I am so glad to read your post again. I began reading your blog when you were on “vacation” from blogging and learned so much from you. By reading your posts I finally understood that I am addicted to sugar and now I am trying to avoid it as much as possible. I love reading your smart and sensitive writing and couldn’t wait for you to keep on writing. I hope that you will overcame your obstacles you are so strong and I believe you could do what ever you decide. By the way I live in Israel and it is so nice that the web is bringing all of us closer. Miri

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Jerica January 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Hi Holly! I am glad to see that you are back to blogging. I can relate to your struggles with trading one addiction for another. I never turned to alcohol after wls, but I started smoking heavily. Once I was able to break that habit, I just moved on to another obsessive self-destructive behavior, then another, and another, etc.

I have regained about 15 pounds in the last year, and I want to reverse that trend too. The thing is, I don’t want to obesess about food and dieting like I have in the past. I have to figure out some kind of balance that will work for me.

In the past I drew strength from reading your blog. I knew that there was someone out there facing many of the struggles I was facing. It gave me comfort to know that you were fighting the same fight, and we both could prevail. We still can. Thank you for putting your self out there in such a raw, real way. It has helped more people than you can imagine.

Just remember this phrase: Don’t be the girl that fell down. Be the girl that got back up.

It doesn’t matter how many times you fall; as long as you pick yourself up and keep moving, you are still winning!

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Pam Holmes January 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I hate obsessing over my diet too, but I think it is the only thing that will work for me. I am committed to this obsession for the rest of my life if that is what it takes to keep me from weighing 328 lbs. again. That’s how important keeping the weight off is to me.
Pam Holmes recently posted..Christmas, Birthdays, Honesty, and Getting Back on TrackMy Profile

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LHA January 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Welcome back! Your story is a remarkable one, not because your progress or your life is perfect, but because you persist in reaching for your goals. You have offered all of us who read your blog so much information and encouragement to pursue our own goals, so thank you for taking your time to restart the blog. When you mention some areas in your life where you think you erred, you are just admitting to being human. Even if you view some of your actions over the past year to be mistakes now, they weren’t all bad if they were learning experiences. As for the small weight gain, compare that to all the weight you have NOT regained! I am inspired already by reading what you wrote and hope this will be a great year of health and happiness for you and all your readers. I am feeling positive for the first time in a long time.

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tz January 2, 2014 at 2:41 pm

It is amazing that if we don’t deal with the ‘issues’ that made us so overweight that we do turn to other ways to ease our pain when food is unavailable. It’s a wonderful thing that you’ve figured this out now and you are working on it. I also think that not only does losing weight not ‘solve’ all our problems, it brings more problems to the surface. I am glad you are back, your blog is always so great to read and you are inspirational in how you speak the truth about your struggles — I’m sure you bring solace to many people who are struggling as well and you bring inspiration to those who can see a light at the end of the tunnel by what you overcome!
tz recently posted..2014 – whoot and where the H-E double toothpicks did 2013 goMy Profile

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Peggy January 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm

I Thank God for giving your the gift to write in a way that we can all relate to where ever we are at on this journey and no one is perfect…I know I don’t expect you to be but so thankful for your raw honesty it is refreshing…like others so happy your back and you have been such a source of information and motivation. If there is anything I can ever do to help or be support to you please let me know as I will be happy to give back….Most of all thank you for just being you an amazing woman in this crazy world….Blessings to you and your family…
Peggy recently posted..Happy New Year and New BeginningsMy Profile

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Denise January 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm

yeah, you’re back!!! I’m with you 100% – let’s get going!

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Sandra G January 2, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I am so glad that you are back! Accountability is key, as we all know … so let’s all be accountable to each other, shall we?

I have been struggling for the past 5 months … and I am 10 months post-op. I have pretty much been stalled for 5 months as I have let more and more slider foods in and no exercise. 2014 is my fresh start, too! I look up to you and admire you SO much, Holly! Not just because of your weight loss accomplishment (although that is amazing and wonderful and I am SO very proud of you) but because you are willing to be real. You are willing to put your whole self out there – to help others and to help yourself. And that is SO much more of what I need to see and read than just the accomplishments of pounds lost. I walk around so much of the time feeling lesser than everyone else – as if I am the only one who screws up and doesn’t get it and wastes opportunities given. Your blog, your honesty, your willingness to be REAL … gives me hope that I am not alone. And I thank you for that.
I have not turned to alcohol, but I have turned back to my own personal demon, Pepsi. At first it was just a sip or two … but now it’s back to drinking it by the glass full. I know this is a big stumbling block for me. BUT … I also know, that with God’s help and with support from friends like YOU, Holly, that I can do this! WE can do this. We do not have to let the depression win. Because God is in control and with Him, ALL things are possible!

I love you, Holly … and I am so grateful that I found this blog and so very, very blessed. Thank you, my sweet friend!

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Pam January 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Go read the tab sugar addiction/detox at the top of her blog.
Start today and let’s get back on track.

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Jenny January 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I’m all in with you, Holly! Welcome back……..I know we’ve never met, but I have missed you! Soooooo glad you are back! Here’s to new beginnings.

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Nicole January 2, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Welcome back.

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Donna Marie Sleeved January 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Welcome back. I missed your blog. Good luck on the start of a new year.

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Shannon January 2, 2014 at 5:25 pm

I am so glad you are back! I love your blog. Your blog and a diabetes diagnosis caused me to change my life back in July 2013. I’ve reversed the diabetes and never had to go on medication. I’ve also lost 73 pounds. I drink my Atkins shakes pretty religiously for breakfast. 🙂 Thank you so much for all of the tips and ideas. You have really helped me more than you know! I am looking forward to your posts… you have been missed!

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Nancy January 2, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I was delighted to see your blog appear on my blog reader this morning. I’ve missed your posts.

2013 was a terrible year for me in many ways, but this is a new year filled with undiscovered opportunities and adventures. What worked for me before on my weight-loss journey will work again (thanks for that nudge and reminder), so it is time to recommit and stay focused. I’ll walk this path with you.
Nancy recently posted..“New” SightingMy Profile

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Laura January 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Hi, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. I know I’d be devestated if I lost mine, so I’m praying for you.

It was great to read your blog today; I know what it’s like to be doing so well and then to hit that wall and struggle so hard to get back in line. Keep up the good work and I’ll be here following along with you. 🙂

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Connie January 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

So glad you are back and refocused! We will all get through this together!

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Kelly @ Curvy Fit Girl January 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm

I am soooooooo happy you are back, Holly! I’ve missed you!!! 🙂
Kelly @ Curvy Fit Girl recently posted..Updates & a Farewell to 2013.My Profile

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Pam Holmes January 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

What a pleasant surprise to see that you posted a blog today! I have missed you so much and have enjoyed the pictures of your beautiful children on FB lately. I was hoping those occasional posts on FB would lead you to returning to your wonderful, inspirational blog–and IT DID!

I think we all imagine a perfect world if only we could lose weight. For me, life improved immeasurably when I hit my goal, for the first time in over 30 years, I felt normal. I was no longer judged by my size and I felt like I finally fit into the world, into chairs, airplane seats, amusement park rides, car seatbelts, and I was at long last, able to walk anywhere I wanted to go. I experienced such an enormous sense of freedom, as you have described far better than my poor attempt to do so.

As far as relationships go….I was very blessed when I fell in love with the man of my dreams over 44 years ago during a high school speech class. He stayed by my side through thick and thin, and there was a lot more THICK! I used to fear he would leave me because of my obesity, and then I would think that I’d almost rather he be killed or die than leave me, because his death would be easier for me to deal with than the sense of dessertion if he left me. But he didn’t leave. He stuck with me….and now I am facing his terminal diagnosis of Stage 4 prostate cancer. I almost wish he’d leave me and not die now. But that’s not a choice, is it?

Life certainly isn’t perfect for me since I achieved goal weight…and yet I realize how much more difficult it would be if I weighed 328 lbs. and couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I have to keep the weight off so that I am capable of taking care of my Du, as he took care of me all those years when I couldn’t do much for myself because of my obesity.

That being said….life at goal isn’t easy. I have gained 25 pounds! I hate it. I even experienced some depression after Christmas, and I have never been a depressed person. I know a lot of it came from my feeling of being out of control and knowing I was gaining weight. Oh I avoided the scale, but I could tell….my clothes were getting very tight!
So today….with you….I am recommitting to a life of healthy living. I found that when I was eating anything I wanted, nothing tasted as good, I felt stuffed and bloated and doughy, and depressed. Today I went back to my cereal and skim milk breakfast and had a nice salad for lunch. I need to get to the grocery store and stock up on the essentials: fresh fruits and veggies!! We’ve done this before, we can do it again. But we do need to realize, it will always be a battle for as, since we are addicts.

Love will find you Holly, and you will have that relationship you want. Just be patient….don’t rush things….you are such a loving and loveable person….there’s someone out there who is your destiny, just like my Du is my once and forever love.
Pam Holmes recently posted..Christmas, Birthdays, Honesty, and Getting Back on TrackMy Profile

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Christine January 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Hey there! So glad you are back Holly, and Happy New Year! 🙂
Christine recently posted..New Years ResolutionMy Profile

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Penney January 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Thank you for your honesty as always! And your perspective helps me to understand where I am at and move forward. Happy New Year!

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Shay January 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Welcome back, Holly! WOW what an honest and revealing post. Can’t wait to see your goals for the week…onward and upward!
Shay recently posted..It Just Said DouchersMy Profile

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Caron January 2, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Welcome back and Happy New Year to you and your family. 🙂
Caron recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

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Hollee January 2, 2014 at 11:49 pm

It’s so nice that I don’t feel alone when I read your blog. I have been struggling with the “What’s wrong with me” and “It was me” moments a lot lately…

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Jack L. January 3, 2014 at 2:23 am

Holly,

I am a new subscriber, thanks to my sister, Lizzie.

Your latest post shows not only insight, but how “we?” (I don’t want to speak for anybody else), tend to be so extreme in our thinking, often languishing in, and perpetuating our issues, by always focusing on deficits and problems, rather than our strengths. Anybody who deals with food addiction has tons of untapped strength and resiliency. The world can he a hostile place for people dealing with obesity. On the other hand, when we step out into the world and quit isolating, it can surprise us.

I am 4 days off sugar and while it has been a struggle, I am starting to feel better a little bit at a time.

My mantra for today is simple (it may change tomorrow or next week): I cannot eat sugar or binge without suffering and cause those around me to suffer too.

I am glad I found your blog and another like-minded person who “gets it.”

I would like to think that our experiences allow us to understand each other, but our mutual quest for freedom is what binds us.

Happy New Year,

Jack

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Kim January 3, 2014 at 6:59 am

Welcome back. We missed you.

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dietingtobeaskinnybitch January 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

Im glad your back. You are so inspiring and not just because you have come so far but I find your honestly comforting.

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Jack L. January 6, 2014 at 9:36 pm

GREAT nick! 😉

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Jill January 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm

hey Holly, I just spent the last three days reading your blog from post one onwards. I’m 100 lbs overweight and am having my information session for bariatric surgery in a month, so I’m hoping a year from now things will be looking different from me. Your walk has been so inspirational to me. Thank you for having the courage to share deeply from your life. May God grant you a willing spirit to sustain you in this season. :o). We are all rooting for you!

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Theresa January 3, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I look forward to losing along side you. 🙂 welcome back to blogging! I just love your blog and your honesty. I’m so happy you returned when you said you would…… And that you admit you’re not perfectly on track yet. There is immense power in that!! It would be so much easier to say I will blog again when I’m ……. (Insert Excuse). Instead you stayed true to yourself. For that you should be congratulated. 🙂

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Tess January 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Sooooo glad you’re back!!! 😀 Welcome “home”!

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Lauri January 4, 2014 at 4:49 am

Hi Holly. I am so glad you are back. You are such an inspiration to me and a great motivator! Welcome back!

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Jennifer Kimberley January 4, 2014 at 9:45 am

What a way to welcome the new year. Glad to see you’re back.

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Leah January 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I am so glad you are back. You are an inspiration to me especially with your transparency. Life is about learning lessons along the way. Can’t wait to hear your updates.

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Dagny Kight January 6, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Hello Holly! Welcome back!

I REALLY appreciate this post because it affirms something that I try very hard to communicate in my writing. Those of us who deal with serious obesity for many years of our lives are treated like we’re fat because there’s “something wrong” with us and losing weight will fix it. What you’ve shared is proof that we deal with the issues that everyone faces in life (nobody gets a free pass!) and dealing with weight simply exacerbates it all! And then losing weight doesn’t fix it! It’s no different from how facing money problems makes everything in your life worse.

When you’re very fat, the whole world defines you completely by your weight. You’re not allowed to be anything but FAT. Like you, I experienced that strange new world when I ventured out as a different person. I found myself constantly surprised by how people were treating me and I, too, felt like I had a secret. I also reached a point where I did not want to keep my blog anymore as I felt that I needed to move on to the person I had become and stop reflecting on the person I used to be. It was a major decision to write my book and bring myself back to considering these issues. The last chapter is about life after major weight loss and I’ve heard from a lot of people who tell me they’d never thought about what I discuss is the reality of the transformation.

I feel a little strange that we share something else. I lost my most beloved grandmother on New Year’s Eve. I was always her favorite and I was closer to her than I am to my mother so that’s what New Year’s Eve is for me, too.
Dagny Kight recently posted..New Year’s Resolutions for Taking Control of Your WeightMy Profile

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Teri Carter January 6, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Hi Holly,

I too have missed you. I hope you read this!

I have struggled with alcohol for the past two years. It was my go-to! It numbed me more than food ever could. I still struggle. I have to talk myself out of going to the liquor store every day. Every day I succeed and I wake up in the morning and my feet don’t hurt and I am not groggy and poopy feeling I tell myself “why would you rather feel that way?” I have lost 60 pounds since I stopped drinking (I had already began eating right and moving my body more). I only gained back about 5 over the holiday but I had a few very regretful days that reminded me once again why it was so important to limit that substance from my life.
There are so many reasons for why we do what we do! When I found out I had irreversible neoropathy in my feet was my final wake-up call to improve, and the people I associate myself with. I find if I hang out with people who are drinking then I drink and I drink a lot. So I limit the time I spend with that type of people and every night on my way home from work, I tell myself “you will feel better if you don’t, you will have more fun with your daughter tonight, you will be more productive tonight, you will not drink until you pass out, if you don’t make that stop at the liquor store!”
I want you to know that I am glad you are back. I am thankful for your honesty and we will get through this……xoxoxo

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Jenny January 9, 2014 at 3:22 am

Wow! I stated reading your blog last summer & I related to your weightloss struggles right away. They are also my thoughts & struggles. I lost 50lbs during the summer & then I let life take over and I gained it all back.Now I am more embarrassed & ashamed of myself. I have even put off going back to the gym because of embarrassment of the wt gain. I have joined the “Biggest Loser” compation at the gym in hopes of it giving me motivation to start living healthy again. Thank you for opening up & sharing your struggles with me but mostly thank you for encouraging me! Keep up the good work.

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Lyn January 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I am so sorry for all your struggle, but I understand it. I have felt the same way many times. I’m glad you’re back. We’ll figure it out together.
Lyn recently posted..Moist, Easy Crock Pot ChickenMy Profile

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Nicola January 13, 2014 at 1:45 am

Holly! It’s so lovely to see a new post from you, I’ve really missed you *hugs* You can so absolutely do this, am very proud of you for picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and starting all over again. I’ve been there and know how hard it can be to get back on track, but once you get into it you realise exactly why it’s worth it. I’ve now lost 20 kilos (44 pounds if you’re not Australian!) and am fired up and ready to keep the weight loss and fitness going in 2014 🙂

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Aimee @ Irresistible Icing January 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Holly,
Welcome back! I’m so happy to see you are back at blogging. I’ve missed you and your posts! Best of luck to you in the New Year!
Aimee @ Irresistible Icing recently posted..Weight Watchers, Inches, and my BlogMy Profile

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Margaret January 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Welcome back!

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Nancy January 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Hi Holly,

I just remembered today that you were going to start blogging again at the beginning of January. I was wishing there was something I could read online to get me inspired, and thought of your blog. And I was thrilled when I remembered you were back!

I’ve followed your blog it seems like forever, and you have always been such an inspiration for me. And I really need inspiration now. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has struggled with some weight gain, not exercising, and a substitute addiction. I have gained 10 pounds, the first major weight I’ve gained since my gastric sleeve surgery over 1 1/2 years ago. I have also really gotten out of the routine of exercising. And I have been struggling with an addiction to shopping, particularly buying too many clothes for my new, thinner body, and have been spending way too much money. I’m feeling guilty that I’m spending money that we should be saving for our kids’ college funds or for retirement, etc. on myself. I know I needed a new wardrobe, but I have more clothes than I need. I’m really working at cutting way down on shopping.

One thing that really struck me in reading your blog post was your comments that:

“I feel as if I have let my children down as well. Spending too much time of the last year worrying about dating and having “fun” instead of being focused fully on my children.”

My reaction to this was actually that it was good for you to spend some time focusing on you and your needs during the last year, and also that it was only over a year time period. I know that you were also focusing on your kids a lot during that year, because you shared a lot about them and things you did with them on your blog. So I really think you are being too hard on yourself.

I know someone that once she got divorced, she began focusing most of her time outside of work on dating and meeting someone special, and spent much less time with her kids over a period of years. She’s been in one relationship after another. And her kids are grown now, and she missed out on so much time with them. I don’t see this happening with you. You are such a dedicated Mom!

I’m so glad you’re back!! I’m looking forward to getting regular insight and inspiration from you. Thanks for all you share and give to all of us! I’m glad we are able to give a little something back to you through our comments.

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