Career Changes on the Weight Loss Journey

April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

As many of you know, I am a teacher

I have been a teacher for as long as I can remember at this point

What I have taught, where I have taught, and the method of teaching has changed

But overall….teaching has always been my career


I began teaching English and writing many years ago

I have taught a variety of ages from middle school to college

I loved it because writing is something that is close to my heart

When I was able to start teaching online through a college, it allowed more flexibility into my life

When you are a single mom of 4 kids–flexibility in a job is EVERYTHING

I returned to teaching in the classroom for awhile but I soon realized that this was not where I needed to be

More than that—I began to realize that after embarking on this weight loss journey—my heart was pulling me in another direction

One of the primary things that I have learned after losing over 200 pounds is that much of my weight gain was due to things going on in my mind

I had to unravel the mysteries inside my head before I could maintain any type of success with weight loss


I decided recently to pursue a dream I had in my heart for quite some time

To obtain my Masters degree in Counseling

I have been in counseling after weight loss surgery and I discovered one thing

Many counselors do not really understand the true mind of someone who is dealing with severe obesity

The type of person who has gained over 300 pounds

It is not that they do not have the compassion or desire to help

It’s just simply that they cannot UNDERSTAND it

They often do not grasp what goes on in the mind and life of someone who has so abused themselves with food

That they can barely walk or complete the most daily functions of life

While I don’t often speak of my weight loss surgery, I do recognize that part of my success was due to the fact that I had it

And in fact many of my STRUGGLES were due to the changes it created in me

I would hope that one day I could help those who have had weight loss surgery

As well as those who have not but are fighting the war on obesity


I learned through my own experiences with transferring one addiction for another

My own experiences with insecurity even after weight loss

That there is much to learn and grow from on this journey

Two months ago, I began working on my Masters degree in Professional Counseling

It may seem that I, myself, still need plenty of counseling before I can help others

But I also hope that because I have been through these things

And even continue to go through them

That I can help others who may not be aware of the battles they will face as the weight comes off


There is another reason, though, that I have decided to change careers

And in some ways it is very self serving

I have watched my brother lose close to 300 pounds

And one thing that he did was to change careers

He is now an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach

He devotes his life now to helping those who need to lose 100-300 plus pounds

I believe that throwing himself into this war whole heartedly has also helped him to keep focused

This is not a hobby for him

It is his entire life


For me, this will always be an issue

I am the type of person for which this issue always is hanging in the balance

It takes little more than a stray thought to throw me backwards

I cannot simply have my weight loss journey be something that is on the list of things I focus on

In some ways, it has to be the entire focus

Because when it takes too much of a backseat, I easily float right back into that sea of denial

We all have to do something with our lives

And of course my life is focused on my children

But if I am going to work, then why not have it be in an area where I can maintain my focus on health

Helping others who struggle as well

And fighting the battle every day together


As I progress through this program, I am continuing to analyze my own struggles and learn more about ways to cope

Not just cope–but OVERCOME

While many of you out there think I only know how to write one line at a time (LOL)

I actually often write in full paragraphs!

I plan to share some of the papers I write in this program as they apply to my own journey

It will be a sharp departure from what you are used to reading and might not be quite as interesting

But as my own personal journey evolves so does my blog!!


Ultimately I want to thank each and every one of you that continues to stick by me in this process

It is an ever winding road

It has taken us to some places I wish we would not have gone

But at the end of the day

It has brought me to where I am

Where is that??

I’m not sure

But this I know…..


In the words of my mother….

“Just keep putting one foot in front of the other”

“Just keep getting the ball down the field”

“Breathe in, breathe out”

In the words of my Nana

“Look on the sunny side of life”

And in the words of my brother

“Never give up”

“Never accept defeat”

“30 Seconds at a time”


On our way to victory!




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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

16blessingsmom April 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Well, congratulations! I am absolutely positive that you will thrive doing this! By the way, do you realize that it’s hard to write a comment on an English teacher’s blog? I don’t want to get an F-. I have followed your blog for a long time, and I am very happy for you to have found your groove. Many will be blessed by you!



Holly from 300 Pounds Down April 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm

hahaha this cracked me up!!! And don’t worry…I hesitate to tell people I teach English b/c I don’t want them to judge my writing based on that!!


Natalie April 2, 2014 at 12:33 am

I’m an editor. And about three seconds after I tell someone that, I’ll spell a word wrong. Arg!
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Melanie April 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Holly- That is AWESOME! You are so right, there are so many people, like me, who could have used a counselor who understood the struggle it is everyday to weigh over 400lbs., I have been in and out of counseling since my teen years and have NEVER had anyone who understood the physical or emotional pain, stigma, embarrassment or struggles that I was dealing with. I look forward to reading your papers.
Melanie recently posted..30/30 Challenge: Day 29My Profile


Rhonda W April 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Awesome… there is nothing better than following your heart’s dream. Good for you and looking forward to reading some of your papers 🙂


Lori April 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I wish you every success as you begin this new phase of your career. Counseling is still teaching. I think you’ll be great.
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LN April 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I expect you will be an outstanding counselor because your blog in so many ways provides us with wise counseling. And paraphrasing the old saying, to really understand someone, you must have walked in their shoes. You are such a treasure. God bless you and your family.


Tammy April 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I think you will make an AMAZING counselor. You are able to put into words the emotions and thoughts that those of us who struggle with obesity feel and think on a daily basis. God uses you every time you write a blog post, in ways you will never know this side of heaven. He will greatly bless you in this journey, I just KNOW he has GREAT plans for you in this venture!!!!!


Leah April 1, 2014 at 6:06 pm

So exciting!! This is the way I feel with being an wellness coach (soon). Even though I “only” have 40 ish pounds to lose, the mental part of it is always my downfall. I will approach my clients with the knowledge that I gain every day in this struggle. If I can help just one person it will be worth it.

I can’t wait to see your new journey develop.


Beth April 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I’ve tried to explain that to other people about how I have to focus on it, otherwise I will lose control before I even realize it. If they haven’t been there, they just don’t get it. They want to, but they can’t. You would make a great counselor!
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Suzy April 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Congratulations! I think you will be an awesome counselor – look how many people you already help and inspire with your blog! And good job on the 30 day challenge – I so get you with the too much variety. Too many choices lead me to overeat too.


Esther April 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm

That’s the thikning of a creative mind


Nicola April 1, 2014 at 11:14 pm

That’s amazing Holly, you’ll be a fabulous counsellor! Not just because of your own weight loss journey but because you’re such a special person who cares so much about other people. Am so pleased for you, I know you’ll be tremendously successful in this new career and people will get so much out of working with you 🙂


Meg April 2, 2014 at 1:57 am

Long time reader here and just wanted to pop in and say I think that is great! I bet it will be a wonderfully positive change 🙂


LHA April 3, 2014 at 12:02 am

You will make a great counselor for sure. I think having gone through this journey you have so much empathy and understanding to use in your practice in the future. I also believe that this can be a key to helping you stay focused on your own weight loss and health. I have noticed that often the people who are most successful in keeping their weight off and their fitness level high are the ones who make a career of helping others in these areas. A win/win for everyone!


Jessica April 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm

This is wonderful to hear, Holly! You are such an inspiration – not just for your journey to weight loss, but for your compassion, that comes through so brilliantly in your writing, and for your willingness to share the struggles, and power on. You will be able to help many others, and I think this is a perfect change for you. To a lesser degree, I’m in a similar place – I’m becoming a health coach with a commercial weight loss program, as I’ve found through my own journey that I truly want to help others. I admire you for going back to school – that’s a daunting task to many of us, but I’m sure the rewards for those you help, and for yourself, will be many. All the best, and I definitely look forward to learning more!


maryfran April 11, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I just found your blog……first of all, your video made me cry! How inspirational to see your progress and victory. 🙂

Secondly…who better to help others (and thereby yourself) than someone that has conquered what so many people find insurmountable!


Lou April 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I think you have found your calling, my dear. The reason you were put on this Earth. All of God’s best in your journey!


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