Pictures: 4th of July, Charlotte’s Bday, and the Farmer’s Market

July 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hey everyone!!

Since I’ve moved here a lot has happened.

The 4th of July.   Charlotte’s birthday.  And a few field trips to local areas around here to see the sights!

I wanted to share pictures of what we’ve been up to since leaving Texas and moving to the outskirts of Lynchburg, Virginia.  It’s very beautiful and peaceful here.   As usual, there are so many things I am able to enjoy now that I’ve lost weight.  I never want to stop reminding myself of that.  It used to be that just walking across the room was difficult for me.  Now I am able to enjoy my life without the constant pain that I used to experience.  Even having birthday parties for my kids was out of the question many times because I simply did not have  the physical energy it required to set everything up.   Sitting outside on the 4th of July in a chair watching the fireworks was also something that didn’t happen.  I had a very difficult time at my highest weight locating chairs I could fit in.  Hauling the chair to a field, park or even just to the end of the driveway was too strenuous.  And that was if I could find one that I could actually fit in that would hold me up.  Going just about anywhere at 417 pounds was an enormous physical undertaking.  As a result, my world became smaller and smaller.

This move would never have been possible for me before I lost the weight I have lost.  If I could barely handle walking from one side of the room to the other—how would I have handled moving across the country?  So looking back, I realize that weight loss has provided me with opportunities that were totally closed off to me before.  It really is about so much more than fitting into a smaller pair of pants.  It’s about the quality of your life.  It’s about being able to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.  And it’s about being able to more fully participate in life.

So here are some pictures of the past month and our adventures!


4th of July


Charlotte is ready….



CJ, Annabelle and Charlotte hanging out in the neighborhood getting ready to pop off fireworks



Here I am with Amanda….sitting in one of those fold up chairs I talked about earlier that was a pain at 417 pounds.  Not a problem now!!





Charlotte’s Birthday


Under the Sea Theme–I can’t take credit for any of the decorations as Amanda did all of it.  She really did a great job!!




Amanda also came up with this cute idea for a shark watermelon.  Charlotte loved it!!!

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Amanda and I at  day’s end of the birthday party.


Even though we had a house full of kids, I wasn’t worn out.  Birthday parties and get-togethers are  things that are REALLY HARD when you weigh over 400 pounds.  I just simply can’t describe to you what it’s like to attempt to do things of this nature when you are always out of breath.  Standing on your feet, handing things out, preparing food, doing games and crafts—all of this takes physical energy.  I just never want to take for granted that for many years it was physically impossible for me to do even the most simple of things.  Throwing birthday parties does take energy.  And now my children can experience these things that for years were just too much for me to handle.  Charlotte just turned 11 and to be honest this is the first big birthday party that she has ever had.  We always just did family parties before so that it was manageable for me.  I’m very excited that she was able to experience this.  CJ will be next in October when we do a Minecraft party for him!   (Ideas and suggestions welcome!)


This morning, Amanda and I went to the Farmer’s Market.  The area out here is beautiful.  It was great to see all the fresh produce and grass fed beef that is available.  The Farmer’s Market is right by the library which has a really big walking trail.  This will be a great spot to go for walks!  Amanda gave me a call early this morning and asked on the spur of the moment if I wanted to go.  Let me tell you how these two scenarios could have played out.  At over 400 pounds, I wasn’t jumping up and getting ready to go ANYWHERE in 5 minutes.  It was always a huge ordeal trying to go anywhere.   I couldn’t just throw something on really quick and hop out the door.  Now it’s a lot easier for me to do that.  Secondly, I would NOT have enjoyed something like this when I was bigger.  Walking was incredibly painful.  My feet were always swollen.  My back was always in excruciating pain.  I would have been looking for a bench to sit on.  In reality, I would have had to go into the library and wait for her to look around if I had gone.  I just wouldn’t have been able to tolerate it.  But now things are different.  I can browse.  I can stroll.  I can walk around and take my time.  I can fit through crowds.  The whole event was fun for me.  But just a few years ago it would have been a nightmare.    It’s amazing how everything can change when you lose weight.   Very little of weight loss has to do with looks or the size of your clothes.  It has to do with LIVING.

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Last but not least, I leave you a picture of the pumpkins we are growing in the backyard!!!  This is not something we have ever done before and it’s been a lot of fun watching the progress they are making.  I can’t believe we are growing our own pumpkins.  This is pretty exciting for us 🙂

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These are just some of the things we’ve been doing.  I am ever grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given.

I hope you are all doing well too!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy July 26, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Sounds like a wonderful day or week~ Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! Love the watermelon picture!
You and Amanda look almost like sisters! Soul Sisters I guess!


Karen P July 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Loved the photos and I can’t wait to see how your pumpkins turn out. You look happy, Holly!
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LN July 26, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I am so glad that you are having happy experiences as well. You and your children are so attractive. It is wonderful for you to have had Amanda as your friend for such a long time. Hugs.


Pam July 26, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Love this blog. So full of fun, everyday activities so many take for granted. You’re right: weight loss isn’t all about your appearance or the size of your clothes. It’s about LIVING!!


Saiph July 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm

Dear Holly,

I wanted to write to thank you for your extraordinary posts. I stumbled onto your blog a little while ago, and read with interest your June 2012 post about taking breaks from solid foods here and there. For the same reasons (the peace and calm of just not having to *think* about food for a little while), I began a routine of regular smoothie-intake last week, and have been feeling remarkably well and steady~ plus, my weight-loss is making steady progress again after a long and dispiriting thud. I so much appreciated your post as an example of “you’re not crazy to do this, as long as you do it healthfully,” as this approach seems extreme to some folks. But for those of us who get complicated and fixated around food, it’s pretty fabulous.

So I came back here to say “thanks” and then read some of your posts from this week. I sympathize utterly with your feelings of displacement and difficulty~ ten years ago, I left my home city and moved to a much smaller town, because the man I was dating (now husband) couldn’t transfer his work to my city. Even though I was confident in the decision at my core, after about two weeks there, I thought I would lose my mind. Here are some thoughts from that time~ many of them I’m sure you already know, but just as some random encouragement to pay you back for the good smoothie advice:

1. I read somewhere that sociologists place moving as the second most stress-inducing event in life~ only actual *combat in war* outranks it. The stress is normal. It completely sucks, and it’s normal. You won’t always feel like “you” for a while~ it just takes time for your brain to rewire to the new place. But it really does happen eventually, and given that you really thought this through and have a strong gut-feeling that this is the right move, you will come through it fine.

2. Once school starts, everything gets better.

3. Protein. Breathe. Move. Socialize.

4. Your house in Texas *will* sell. Happily, this is not 2009. Even if you do have to throw the new roof on, at least it will get you the heck out of there.

I’m posting all this, as an entirely random stranger, because I know so well the strain of uprooting your life and the abject fear of falling into either a massive depression or into the old coping mechanisms that actually are trying to kill us. I don’t know where that “black hole” side of some of our personalities originates from, but it’s something I’ve always lived with too, and so I just wanted to add my heartfelt encouragement that, with daily (or “30-second”) maintenance of the positive, life-affirming skills that you’ve worked so hard to earn, you WILL adapt to your new home, you WILL take off those extra pounds again, you WILL raise your children to healthy, happy adulthood, you WILL be a cherished member of your new community.

All the best to you. You can do this. Use your tools. Stay positive. Breathe.



Shay from Trashy Blog July 28, 2014 at 3:39 am

Love the pics! I am a frequent visitor to the Farmer’s Market, too–and I ALWAYS have my McD’s coffee in hand! It cracked me up when I saw your cup, too.
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LadyOdd August 4, 2014 at 4:01 am

Love reading your blog! I recently started reading and read everything so far. I am glad you are starting to enjoy things on your new adventure in VA 🙂
I saw that you want to do a Minecraft party for your son. I myself love to game and I play Minecraft. One of the pinterest boards I follow is for Minecraft Party Ideas. Here’s the link for some inspiration, hope it helps!


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