October “Not Afraid” Challenge: Day One (Giveaway and other things)

October 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

WHO LIKES TO WIN STUFF?

 

 

octoberchallenge

Ok so I didn’t quite get this post up on October 1st but close enough.  Also I should have made a picture that had a bunch of scary things in it but instead I took a picture of my fall decorations by the front door that are totally NOT scary.  But if you look in the background of the picture, you’ll see ant spray for the legion of ants that are threatening to take over my door.  Now that’s kind of scary, right?

Ok…well just go with it!

Welcome to my October NOT AFRAID Challenge and Giveaway.

This month I am challenging myself to not be afraid anymore!! I can’t even begin to tell you the serious problems I have been having lately with anxiety and fear.  Sometimes my fears are just in my head but a lot of the time, they are totally REAL.  For example:

I’m a single Mom of 4 kids.  Tell me THAT isn’t enough to scare you to death sometimes??!!  I mean raising kids in general can be scary enough.  But doing it on your own when you’re totally outnumbered?

Scary

My oldest daughter just started college this year and is off on HER own.  Scary.

Just got another bill for housing and tuition for my college age daughter.  Scary

 Moved clear across the country from the city to the country.  Did I make the right decision?  Or did I just make the worst move of my life?

Only time will tell but in the meantime….SCARY

I have a lot of fears that are logical and make sense.   The other half of the time— general anxiety just likes to whip my butt!

So I have a challenge for the month of October. The theme is totally appropriate for this month.

DON’T BE AFRAID

The posts under this topic will be related to my faith and how it has helped me in the past to overcome anxiety and fear that makes losing weight difficult.  I intend to use this challenge in my own life to face fears that consistently get in the way of me being successful in weight loss.  In addition to this, anxiety in general can often make people turn to food for comfort.  Facing that anxiety head on can help us avoid using food to self medicate those fears.

Faith has made the biggest difference in my life.  God has helped me overcome many challenges but when I am not focused on Him–I always lose my footing.  October is the perfect month for me to refocus and face those fears head on.  If this is something that interests you then I’d love to have you participate in my October challenge posts!

At the end of the month, I will randomly select one person to win the following gift basket that will include:

1.  A hard copy of the CD “Not Afraid” by the band Broken Restored Loved

This is a Christian CD full of very inspiring and uplifting songs to help you overcome fear.  Here is the band performing the song “Not Afraid” from that album

2. A magnet with this quote on it

  • Inspirational Rectangular Magnet Rectangle Magnet by CafePress

3.   A $25 dollar Amazon gift card to use on whatever non-scary or scary things you want!

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So if you want to join in this challenge, it will be really easy.  There will be 5 posts on this topic.  They will be up on Thursdays with the title “October Not Afraid Challenge”. All you do is submit a response to each of the 5 posts in the comment section.  You don’t have to agree with what I’m saying and you aren’t required to be of the same faith as me either.   I just love to hear your opinions and responses.  The ongoing conversation between us helps me and I hope that we can encourage one another in our efforts to face our fears this month.

Anyone who has left comments on all 5 of my Not Afraid Challenge Posts over the course of the next month will be eligible for the prize.  The last day to have your  comment count towards the prize will be Thursday, November 6th.

Onto the first October “NOT AFRAID” Challenge Post!

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So onto the challenge!!

October is typically the month when people focus on what is scary. Scary movies, scary costumes. Everywhere you go there are scary sights and sounds!

Well do you want to know what scares me?? Not being able to control my eating. Not being able to make myself exercise. Not being able to walk because of my weight or even drive because I am unable to fit in the car. There was a time not too long ago when I could not even go to my children’s school events because of my weight. I lived in fear of dying from weight related health problems. I would wake up in the night choking under my own weight. Doctors were always telling me that I was going to have a heart attack or stroke if I didn’t get it under control. THAT was scary.

It’s not just my weight struggles that scare me. I also have issues with anxiety. I believe that a lot of people who overeat probably struggle with anxiety as well. Eating can be a soothing activity. It can be calming and comforting. It was my main coping mechanism for anxiety throughout my life. That’s why they call it comfort food! The problem is that I became dependent on it. I carried a one pound bag of M and M’s in my purse at all times and used it as medication. It was how I medicated anxiety. To be honest, I found food to be more effective than the anti-anxiety medication that doctors would prescribe me. The problem is that food was never meant to be used that way. In the end, self medicating with food harms more than it helps!

Anxiety and weight/food issues—-these are some of the things that I’ve struggled with. And they are far scarier to me than any scary movie or haunted house I might see in the month of October! After losing 240 pounds, I gained back close to 60 pounds of that weight. You want to talk scary? THAT is scary. Especially when you know what you are going back to. When you know what it could bring.

This is me when I started on this journey

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With faith, determination and effort I went from 417 to 217 over the course of about 16 months

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At one point I even got down to 180 which was the lowest weight I had been since I started all this in 2011

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I wasn’t perfect but I was really on my way.  I literally was SO close to fulfilling my goal of 300 pounds lost.  But then I got off track.  And slowly but surely I’ve been putting weight back on.   I’m back up to 240 pounds now and I’ve done nothing but gain and lose the same 10 pounds over and over again for the past 6 months.  Now I am living in fear of that reality.  And what it could mean….

That’s right….MORE FEAR!  And do you know why it scares me? Because my absolute biggest fear is this—-

Gaining back ALL the weight that I have lost

That is one of my biggest fears.  But I have other fears too! Anxiety attached to issues that accompany daily life. Whether it’s work, children, finances or other things—fear can run you ragged and push you straight back to food for comfort.

I’ve found that I am still giving in far too often to the fears that want to run my life. The fear that says I can’t lose this weight. That I can’t ever succeed. So I have decided to make the month of October a month to challenge those fears. To take on whatever it is that scares me into that bag of candy or frightens me right into eating a Big Mac!

Let’s make October a month to fight fear and anxiety if that is something you struggle with. (I sure do!) Let’s make it a month to fight off the fear that we cannot do anything about our weight struggles.

For me, my faith is the key to fighting off my fears. Renewing my mind daily with God’s Word can turn my fear around and give me the strength I need to keep going. I intend to share that over the next month. And I hope that you will share what works for you too.  We may not know how to deal with our fears just yet but there is One who DOES know how to deal with them, squash them and help us overcome them!

“Be not afraid for I am with you!!” Isaiah 41:10

Assignment One:

Today let’s identify our primary fears. What is your main fear about your weight? What fears hold you back from being successful in your food and exercise goals? Do you struggle with anxious thoughts or fears that make you turn to food? Today let’s identify those fears and put a name to them. Once we know what we are fighting, we will have a better chance of attacking it head on!!

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

stacey October 2, 2014 at 5:35 pm

I really love this post and the reason I love it is because it is MY STORY too…I share the same fears you do…The fear of getting out of control with my eating, the fear of holiday food binging, the fear of never reaching goal…I totally understand where you are coming from and honestly the only way I stay together is talking to my Higher Power. I truly believe that He keeps me together way better than medication however once in awhile I do have to reach for the Ativan…Just remember you are not alone

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

You bring up a good one…holidays approaching. Those can be very difficult and here we are right on the cusp of them! Thanks Stacey for adding your point of view. It feels good to know I’m not alone!

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Ronda October 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

I fear that once I lose my weight, that I will not be able to KEEP IT OFF!!! That is how it has been in the past….

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm

That is my fear too especially since I actually did regain weight. ACK!!! I am with you on this one!

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Sherri October 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Wow…talk about reading my own thoughts & fears! You’ve hit the nail on the head on so many levels! My highest weight was 384 in 2003 & my lowest was 188 in 2005 while my husband was on his deathbed. Thankfully my husband recovered but over the years my weight has slowly crept up to a high of 232. That SCARED the crap right out of me! What was I doing to myself? I didn’t want to be that person I was in 2003 EVER AGAIN!!! For some reason in May of this year I had an epiphany, light bulb moment or whatever you want to call it. I realized that over the years the only way I was willing to start a diet or exercise program was if someone else wanted to do it too. What’s that all about? I needed to do this for me & me alone. I started getting up in the morning & exercising before work; walking on my breaks & during my lunch; bought a FitBit to monitor my activity level & wanted to challenge myself to get 10,000 steps in each day. After that I started clean eating, no more processed foods, lean protein, vegetables & fruits are the staples of my diet now. WOW, what a difference! I have my energy back, I have stamina, I’m getting somewhere! I’ve lost 30lbs & 18 inches overall but still would like to lose 19.5 more to be at 200lbs less than I was in 2003.
What’s scary to me now is will I lose this will & determination that I have currently? I’m happy with my current routine & life style change, will this pass? I certainly hope not & I pray every day that God gives me the strength & guidance to stay the course. I sure hope that this time I can do it!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2014 at 6:43 pm

That is awesome Sherri!!! You just listed several things that someone can do to pull it together. Getting up and walking. Getting a Fitbit to help motivate you. Cutting out processed foods. You are doing awesome. I also struggle with whether I will lose the will and determination to keep going. I think in some ways that I created a self fulfilling prophecy on that one. Many times when I find what works I immediately begin to wonder if there is something better or more effective? Then I sit around and worrying that I could be doing everything better. That usually makes me get wiped out with worry and then it leads to more giving up. I am with you in that prayer that God gives me the strength to keep going and the guidance to follow the right path. I love the verse you added. Philipians 4:13 for the win!

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Kae October 2, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I’m afraid of not being able to see what I know my body is capable of doing. I’m afraid of providing a bad example for my son. My life has drastically changed in the last few months and I am on the road to reversing these fears. I’ve learned to take myself outside for a quick walk when I get frustrated instead of sticking my head in the pantry or fridge – solutions aren’t there.

I used to be very active as a child/teenager, and I began to abuse my body with food and negative self-talk. I’ve mistreated the body that God has given me, and I don’t want to do it anymore!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm

I also have that fear of being a bad example to my kids. That responsibility always weighs on me. Good for you reversing those fears and seeking out solutions that are more healthy. That is awesome Kae!

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Kerstin October 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I have a lot of irrational anxieties over … medical appointments, flying, extreme weather and something bad happening to people I love. I also fear that I will continue regaining everything I lost this year and that I will NEVER trust myself to be able to do make the changes I need to make. Here is the thing though, earlier this year I had to face a lot of medical tests which was very scary for me but my weight loss program, which I was doing very well on, kind of became my anchor through all of it. But now that my life is changing (again!) I have thrown away my anchor and am floating away (again!). And my anxieties are back. So I am all with you here. Ultimately I want to learn to become my own anchor throughout this journey, I really believe that this is key to it all.
Kerstin recently posted..when we don’t want to do the workMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 2, 2014 at 8:23 pm

I so relate to the fears over flying, medical appointments, weather and other things. I have a problem with a lot fears like this and that is why I have to carefully manage my thoughts so they don’t take over. Totally relate!

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Renee October 2, 2014 at 8:54 pm

I worry that I will never have that “aha” moment, that epiphany .. that will help me get the rest of this weight off, and keep it off. Instead I fear I will get a medical moment, that I could have completely avoided had I the will power and determination to push back from the chips and salsa, and stay grounded in good, clean food. I have all the tools: support, books, plans, apps… I am not ignorant, and I know what must be done. Losing weight is such a personal thing. Only you can do it. Only you can make the necessary changes. Maybe I am not enough. But then again… maybe I am !! 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Rennee, I understand you feel. I also wish for that AHA moment. I used to fantasize that I would wake up and someone else would just take over. Like some other personality would take control. One that is healthier and more motivated than me. I think what I have found for me is that there never is an AHA moment where I become possessed with an overwhelming ability to suddenly change . Instead I have to just break it up into small steps and do what I can. That is what worked for me in the beginning. 30 seconds of exercise was do-able for me. And it was easy to add another 30 seconds as I went. I think for me that is the key. When I make it too overwhelming, I never do it!
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Holly October 3, 2014 at 1:14 am

This is a great topic for me, as I’m feeling very anxious about weight lately and I’m not exactly sure why. Long story short, I lost about 70 pounds a few years ago, and gained 110 back. I re-booted my weight loss journey April 2013, and today I’ve lost 40 pounds. I think I need to lose about 160 more pounds to be at a healthy weight for me. Anyway, when I first started losing weight again, it felt somehow like he stakes were very low. I weighed almost 400 pounds, I had sort of resigned myself to the idea that maybe I was just meant to be fat, and I as going to try to live the best life I could in spite of it. I had super low expectations. Really, my biggest ambition was to wear pants with a waistband again. This time my weight loss has been very slow compared to past efforts, but I feel confident that I’m making permanent changes. 40 pounds in, maybe that’s the scary part- permanent. The body I’ve had for many years is changing and it’s not so much a gamble this time. I’m not don’t anything to lose weight that I’m not willing to do for the rest of my life. So before, even when I was losing weight, there was no real risk because I think subconsciously I knew… I wouldn’t be keeping it off for good. This time feels so different and I’m scared! And it feels crazy to admit that I’m scared,because hello? Losing weight was my goal- has been for over 2/3 of my life! What would it be like to not *need* to lose weight? This 40 pounds is just the tip of the ice berg. Some people have already noticed my changing body, which is simultaneously gratifying and terrifying. 50, 60, 70 pounds in… I know there will be a lot more comments and questions, because there sure were last time. How will I cope? Will I gain it back not because I can’t stick to the food plan, but because of the psychological and emotional challenges? I guess to sum up, I’m afraid of the unknowns of my future self. Sorry for rambling on and on in your comments!
Holly recently posted..The One with the Regrets (and Thanks)My Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I like what you said about not doing things that you aren’t willing to do for the rest of your life. I think at times that is my problem. There are days when I don’t feel willing to give up junk food for the rest of my life. It depends on the day. I know that for me there seems to be no way I can moderate certain things. And if I am unwilling to give them up forever then I will never be successful in losing weight. Yet I am torn too because there are days I feel like I just can’t make myself do it!

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Anneli Byrd October 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm

I TOTALLY get this!!! Good luck!!!
Anneli Byrd recently posted..Feeling fat/thinMy Profile

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Adelyn October 3, 2014 at 2:16 am

I am afraid that I am no longer capable of losing weight. I am circling the same 10 lbs and I am super scared that nothing will work. I just can’t seem to get it together. What if I never do!?!?!? SCARY

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Oh my gosh do I know that feeling! I have been circling the same 10 pounds for what seems like a year. I also wonder if I will ever get it together again! I am with you on that!

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LHA October 3, 2014 at 2:25 am

My biggest fear is that I will NEVER lose this weight and that I will die prematurely because of it. I don’t want to leave my family and friends because I fail at this one thing. I do suffer from depression and anxiety and have used food (primarily carbs and sugar) to self-medicate for many years. Treating anxiety with a food overdose only provokes more anxiety because I know I am poisoning myself with the excess food. What a vicious cycle!

Thanks for a great post focusing on fear and anxiety as it relates to weight loss goals. It should help a lot of us focus on what is holding us back. I will be mulling this over for sure.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:52 pm

I also struggle with anxiety and fear. Food is so effective at self medicating it that it makes it very hard for me to not go back to it in tough times. As you said, though, it only leads to more anxiety in the end.

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Susan October 3, 2014 at 2:41 am

I too have an anxiety ridden obsessive mind. My mind is a bad neighborhood and you DON’T want to go there alone! I’m tired of my mind running the show. Soooo, recently I decided to bypass my mind, take some advice from Nike and “just do it”. This means, I don’t consult myself too much when it comes to choices about excersize, our what I want to eat. Excersize is not optional, so Monday, Wednesday and Friday I excersize for one hour with a partner who keeps me motivated. I keep my fridge and cupboards stocked with the right foods to take the wrong options away from me. When the bad voices in my head start yammering about what they want to eat, our that they don’t want to excersize, I push past them and just do the right thing in spite of them! Amazingly this tactic seems to be
working. Sometimes I fall, but that’s ok, I tell the negative committee in my head to sit down and shut up, then I go about my business “as if” I’m the most normal person in the world!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm

hahaha I like what you said about your mind being a bad neighborhood that you don’t want to go to alone . MINE TOO!!! I completely agree about not listening to the voices and just pushing them aside. I seem to do my best when I accept the thoughts that are there but choose to move forward anyway.

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Margaret October 3, 2014 at 3:38 am

I’m trying to sort out my fears. The ones that I want to focus on (especially regarding weight) are the ones that spiral and become self-fulfillling prophecies. I’m afraid I won’t stick to my plan –> I get upset –> I eat because that’s how I deal with being upset. Repeat. Bingo! Spiral and self fulfilling prophecy. It might really be productive to sort this kind of self-defeating thinking out. (And, if sorted, there’s still no guarantee, but at least, I’m not doomed from the get go.)

The ones that don’t spiral (kids, job, relationship, financial… sing along if you know the words) have to be sent up on the wings of a prayer. I’m only one person, I can’t do everything.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Yes I cycle like that too. I worry about things and then comfort with food. It’s just so much a part of me to do that. Sometimes it happens before I even realize it.

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Kiera October 3, 2014 at 4:02 am

Great challenge Holly. I’ll face one fear right now – being shy about leaving a comment on your blog, (even though I read every post you make). You are so right about using food to relieve anxiety. I find it tempting to use food to anesthetize any intolerable feeling really, stress, insecurity, low self esteem. And a little regain can so easily spiral into more regain, because of all the feelings regain produces that food can help medicate. This spring, it only took a few days in the throws of some serious stress, where I let my guard down, and I was up a pant size. I’ve been struggling since then, and added a few more pant sizes too boot. Your blog helps though, another favorite quote of mine from you blog, “It was only when I gave myself permission to change the standard by which I measured success that I was able to finally start experiencing what it felt like to be successful!” With regain, this maxim really helps.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Thanks Kiera for leaving me a comment!! I really appreciate it! You make an excellent point about how regaining weight can actually lead to overeating bc we are self medicating the anxiety that we regained weight!!

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Anna October 3, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I’m afraid whatever weight I will lose I will just regain it all plus more (as this has happened every time I’ve ever lost weight in the past).
I’m also afraid that I won’t ever take the action necessary to lose weight and will just keep gaining and gaining. I can’t believe how fat I am yet I find it so soothing to keep eating… one more day, week, month… and that has turned into 15 years of excuses and now I weigh more than twice my healthy bodyweight and I feel and look disgusting.
So for the last week I have quit sugar and wheat… but a voice in my head is murmuring quietly that this won’t last and is wondering when I will get back to eating my way into numbness again.

I think if I really think about my fears after writing the above… I’m afraid of what will happen if I actually do stop eating for good and do lose weight, and if I don’t think about food constantly anymore then what will my life be? Who am I? I’m scared of the negative thoughts and anxiety that my eating keeps at bay. When I stop eating and stop thinking about eating then there are no more excuses to be made and there is no hope for tomorrow – it means that all there is, is now and that I’m living my life now… and am I really happy with my life now?

Food for thought for me anyway.
Sorry for my ramblings. If nothing else, me writing this has helped me to identify my deeper fears that I didn’t know I had before writing this.
Thank you- I love your website and your posts are so thought-provoking, so close to my heart and you are an inspiration. Thank you for being so honest.

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Jessica October 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Great idea, Holly!
If I’m honest with myself (I’m working on this), I’m scared of gaining my weight back, not being able to lose these final 15 pounds, but mostly, I’m scared of what my body will end up looking like. I can deal with loose skin, but my abdomen is scary to me. The “apron” that hangs over causes some serious anxiety! I hope that the 15 pounds I still want to lose will all come from this area…again, not expecting perfection, (hello – I weighed 240, had 2 babies = C-sections), but I’m scared that I won’t be able to love/accept my body…which will cause emotional eating, which will cause weight gain….oy.

Love this idea! Face our fears!!!

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Erin October 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I am afraid of not getting to my goal. And if I do get to my goal, I am afraid I won’t stay there. I am mainly doing this so my body is healthy and we can start a family. And I am afraid that after putting in the effort to lose the pounds I won’t get pregnant.

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Tempi October 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm

It’s interesting to me how God works. This post came on the heels of our life kind of turning upside down and my anxiety and fear shooting through the roof. I hate being a fear-filled person. It grates against who I say I am and what I believe and what I know about the God that has cared for me so well for 48 years. It’s so frustrating!!

My current bag of fears:

My husband’s somewhat unexpected back surgery scheduled for next week that may or may not require that he retire before we are ready for him to retire.

The loss of finiancial security that his job provides and the responsibility for supporting our family shifting to me.

Parenting a grandchild with learning disabilities and emotional issues.

Studying for the CPA exam knowing that I have already failed two sections and wondering if I will ever get it passed and what it will mean for me if I don’t get it passed.

Wondering if this weight loss is too good to be true and whether I will ever actually get to goal. If I get to goal, will I be able to keep it off? Am I losing too slowly? Am I stretching my pouch? How do I make myself exercise consistently?

The list seems endless and so frustrating. Every day is a challenge in managing the barrage of fearful thoughts, but I am determined not to eat my way through it. So this challenge is timely for me. I look forward to figuring things out together.

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Courtney McDonald October 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I really enjoyed reading this post, my highest weight was 422lbs back in 2007. I was going through a rough divorce, fighting custody for my sons and food was my comfort. I felt like if I didn’t clean my plate then I wouldn’t have leftovers because someone else would eat it if I put it up in the fridge and I didn’t want to throw away food because growing up I was always told to clean my plate because there are starving kids out there that would love to have it and be thankful for it. After I visited a gasric bypass doctor in Atlanta and watched the video of how the procedure works, I just couldn’t handle it and left. Never scheduled it. I gave up hope. I got a job sitting on a bus and monitoring special needs students and my weight slowly came off, then in 2011 the school system did some lay offs and I was included. About 2 weeks later I got an interview and got hired at the local KMart. I told them that I felt like they would be my hope for losing weight. I did it, I worked there for 3years and got down to 305lbs. Well my son had emergency surgery and I lost my job so I could be with him back in March 2014 and here I am today back up to 329lbs. It seems like everytime I step on the scale I have gained 5lbs. My reasons for losing aren’t just to be healthier and to do more activities with my sons, its so that I can ride all the rides with my sons at Six Flags but its like I don’t have enough motivation. Like I am drained or something. I am also afraid my oldest son is going to be just like me. He is a very tall boy at 5’3 and hes only 10 years old but hes also 116lbs. He slims down as he gets taller but he eats like he’s starving and like he’s afraid he won’t get to eat again. I remember being that way when I was a kid and here I am now morbidity obese. I don’t want to see him be like me and go through what I did as a kid. I make goals for myself but never stick to them, they last maybe a month. The main reason I lost while working at KMart was because I was always on my feet, 40plus hours a week. I read your blogs and wonder if I can get motivation if I start my own blogging.

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Michelle October 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Among the numerous fears and anxiety I experience are, like so many of WLS, fear of gaining ALL the weight back. I also fear injury so severe that I can’t exercise. I recently fell and fractured my radial head and the orthopedic had me off of exercise for over a month–all I could do was the recumbent bike. I was miserable. I did gain some weight during this time as running/walking is an easier routine for me to stick to with my schedule as I can do it anytime/anywhere and don’t have to make a trip to the gym, so I didn’t exercise regularly. I am back on track again, but I am so afraid I will fall and won’t be able to exercise ever again and I know that without some type of physical exercise, the weight can quickly come back.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 3, 2014 at 10:36 pm

I have that fear of regaining the weight as well. Especially since I have regained some weight. I understand your fear of injury bc I went through that as well!! I’m sorry to hear about your injury. I also had to do the recumbent bike after mine. The recumbent bike did help me a lot though. It made a huge difference with my knee. I did however struggle after that because I was in the “zone” and that injury threw me out of it. I understand your fears. They make sense!

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Anneli October 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Brilliant challenge! I’m in a bookclub reading “Gifts of Imperfection,” that might be a good read this month. It’s written by a woman who studies shame and fear. It gave me some insights as to why I react so negatively toward weight watchers. Anyway, I turn to food as a buffer against anxiety, boredom and as a a celebration.
I struggle with entitlement issues with food. I don’t believe this in my head—but my HEART thinks that I should be able to eat anything and everything at all times and be in beautiful shape. This has not happened and at rock bottom I am FURIOUS about this. It’s completely irrational, but there just the same.
Anneli recently posted..Feeling fat/thinMy Profile

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Anneli October 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm

What I WANT to do is intuitive eating. I have abundant evidence that this does not work for me. But at the moment, I’m done with diets. I’m realizing that while I don’t love to actually limit what I eat, I DO love to plan food–even diets, the more complicated the better–it’s like playing with food with the promise that I might actually lose weight in the bargain! I’m thinking this mind set is part of my addiction. but what if I give it up?? I’ve been relatively weight stable for years—I think because I DO keep trying. Yes, I lose the same 10 pounds over and over and over and over and over, but the net result is that I haven’t gained. I simply stay the same 50 pounds overweight as always. I’d love to think that 200-205 pounds is my “happy” weight. But since I’m not 7 feet tall, I don’t think so. My fear is that if I quit trying I’ll balloon up to who knows how much? But if I don’t try to quit trying, I might never discover real freedom from food addiction. Scary.
Anneli recently posted..Feeling fat/thinMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 3, 2014 at 10:20 pm

I am sorry but I had to laugh when you said “I have abundant evidence that this does not work for me”. I can’t tell you how much ABUNDANT evidence I also have that intuitive eating doesn’t work for me . At least not 100%. Part of the problem is that I am a totally untrustworthy person when it comes to judging if I am hungry or not hungry. My mind plays tricks on me. If I eat only when I am “hungry” that might be 24 hours a day depending on what my mind is telling me. I know what you mean about the 10 pounds and how the reason we maintain is bc we keep trying. That is me right now. I am not losing but bc I have not given up I at least am not gaining anymore! I wish I was 7 feet tall too!! Then I might actually weigh what I should! If I quit trying, I would balloon like you said. For me there is no ability to maintain without trying. I either seem to be losing, gaining or on a 10 pound lose/gain cycle. This is frustrating but like you said we have to keep at it! By the way, so much of what you said really was spot on and cracked me up at the same time. I love your sense of humor!

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Anneli October 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Lastly, and if you delete this comment, I won’t be offended. Even if you and your readers are not Mormon–tomorrow and Sunday is general conference. That means 8 hours of loving, inspiring messages. All of us are loved and truly with God NOTHING is impossible. Go to lds.org this weekend (or after) to read or watch any of it.
Anneli recently posted..Feeling fat/thinMy Profile

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 3, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Hi Anneli!! I am not a Mormon but as I said above—I believe in open dialogue and conversation. SO thank you for your contribution!!! Like you, I believe that with God NOTHING is impossible. Amen sister!

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Tanya Martin October 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm

What is your main fear about your weight?
Never being able to fit into my “skinny” jeans again. I’ve held onto the same pair of Joe’s Jeans for 6 years. That was the last time I could fit into them. These jeans are my inspiration. I felt really good when I wore them last, and I want to feel that good again.

What fears hold you back from being successful in your food and exercise goals? The fear that I’m missing out. I work in an office where treats and snacks are surrounding me. I mean I can’t pass up the home made pizza bread can I?

Do you struggle with anxious thoughts or fears that make you turn to food? My non-food related fear is of losing my job. This fear is all in my head. I love my job, and I’m successful. But, I don’t really have a savings, or a backup plan. I fear what would happen if my paycheck suddenly stopped.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 3, 2014 at 10:11 pm

I think it’s great that you still have the jeans!! That is something to aspire to and I know you can do it! I also have a hard time passing up homemade treats. Those are the best! AND the worst!! hahaha That is a tough one. I definitely relate to your fear of losing your job or losing your financial security. I literally wake up in the night sometimes gripped with panic about this. A lot of times it is irrational but it still worries me as I constantly feel pressure to provide for my children. So I get that!

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Nancy October 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Hi Holly,
First, I have to say how inspirational you are. I have been watching you for a year now and following your story.

My biggest fear with my health is dying young. 9 years ago, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and you’d think that would “scare” me into doing something healthy for me. Unfortuanately, it has not. I try, each and every day, to eat right and exercise and I have had some success, but then something (stress, boredom, getting too comfortable) changes my focus and I start to gain back the weight.

I know that I am addicted to sugar, but am not ready to get rid of it. I am don’t crave it and can usually control the addition, but if I am having a bad day or if I am stressed out or bored, then I can’t stop thinking about sugar. My real downfalls are donuts, cake and chocolate candy. If I don’t have it in my house, I’m fine, but once I have a bite, I can’t stop.

Thanks for offering support and I look forward to watching your progress.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Thanks Nancy! That truly means a lot to me. I want you to know that one of my biggest fears was also dying too young. I always was scared that I would stop breathing at night because I struggled so much with that at over 400 pounds especially when I was trying to sleep. So I always feared I would die in the night and my kids would be traumatized by finding my body in the morning. I know that is morbid but it truly was one of my biggest fears. I totally understand how even health ‘scares’ can sometimes not be enough to make us do things we need to do. I’m sure all my doctors wondered year after year why I didn’t take it “seriously”. I actually took it VERY seriously!! I just had a hard time finding a way out! I definitely relate to how you feel about sugar and the difficulty in letting go of it. Like you, donuts are a serious downfall of mine. I literally would eat boxes and boxes of donuts. The ones with 3 rows that were different flavors. I totally relate! Sugar is such a vortex that is easy to get sucked into. It is worth it to try and get off. It really is. I have been on and off many times and I know my life is significantly better OFF! It’s just that my mind tricks me into believing that I need it!

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Colleen October 4, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Holly, every time I read anything on your blog I am struck by how far you have come, how much you do and what a good mom you are. I am also struck by how you don’t seem to know how amazing all you have overcome makes you.
I am just 13 months post-op and I am at my goal weight. My biggest fear and anxiety is that I don’t see very many people who seem to stay at that low weight they worked so hard to achieve. I know that I am no different than anyone else and am at risk to start gaining what I have lost and it scares me to death! I, too, am a believer and I often wonder why I cannot really give it to God and leave it there. He has sustained me through so much in my life and definitely through this weight loss surgery journey. I guess the biggest thing we must do is accept that this is our fight and we have to keep battling until He takes us home and gives us that perfect body! Think of you and pray for you often. Your blog was recommended to me by the nurse at my bariatric surgeon’s office and it was the first one I ever visited and one of the few I still follow.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 5, 2014 at 12:33 am

First off, I am totally amazed that a nurse at a bariatric office recommended my blog. That is very cool!!! I want to congratulate you on getting to your goal weight. That is amazing!!! I should have actually reached my goal weight two or three times by now. If I had not gotten off track, I would have. Instead I gained back weight and it definitely bothers me a lot. You are right that a lot of people regain their weight and are not able to maintain the weight they have lost. I think my bigger fear was that I would never lose any weight in the first place. Once I had lost 240 pounds, though, I may have gotten overconfident. I think in some ways that was my bigger problem. It bothers me a great deal that I got off track and I hope that I can once again find my way back down that scale. I wanted to thank you so much for your kind compliments. Especially saying I’m a good Mom. That really really means so much to me. I often question myself and to hear someone tell me such very sweet things absolutely makes my day. Thank you!!

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Susan October 5, 2014 at 9:54 pm

I am afraid goal weight is a pipe dream. I have always been overweight. I did reach goal in my 20’s for about 3 years. Now I need to drop 200 pounds. I’ve set a goal of 55 pounds by my birthday. I got 10 off, and I got 4 months to make the goal. I am following my own plan close to DASH. I am also working with Lyn’s 16-week habit a week plan – who I found as a poster in your blog.
http://www.escapefromobesity.net/p/weight-loss-program-habit-week.html

I am afraid I will fall off plan and just stay where I am – or gain more. I am afraid my health will suffer if I can not take it off. How can it be so simple as less calories and more exercise, and I can’t master it?!?! I feel very accomplished in other areas of my life, yet I can’t fix this. I am afraid of letting a small setback totally derail me from my 1st goal – the 55 pounds.

Someone on your blog gave this Arthur Ashe quote – which I have applied to myself:
Start where you are
Use what you have
Do what you can”

Start where you are –
I’m tired of being this size and not living a full life
I want to fit in the seats of stadiums and theaters
As I get older it gets harder to carry the extra weight

Use what you have –
Good health
Strength
Knowledge
Ability to get healthy food

Do what you can –
You may have many starts but you have to keep starting
Each day makes a difference
Sometimes hours, minutes, even seconds matter
Be kind to others and yourself
Improve daily moving – rising from chair, climbing stairs, bending & stretching
Eat high protein, high fiber, whole foods, heathly fats, nuts & seeds
Get 5 or more vegetables and fruits daily
Keep my daily food intake on MFP
Keep reaching for step goal with my new Fitbit One

So I got a plan. I have learned a lot from Holly, and from her readers. Thanks for giving us your heart, the scriptures, and saying what we feel. As for the move hang in there Holly. The new home is beautiful. Your joy walk was inspiring. You have got great adventures ahead – just bloom where you are planted.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 5, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Hi Susan,
Thank you so much for posting the 16 week habit challenge. I can’t tell you how often I relate to Lynn’s blog. I think I may post a link to some of the posts that have meant the most to me over time. This is a great one. I am so proud of you for making a plan . I know it is scary to think you won’t stick to it but the attempt is half the battle. If we keep making goals and aiming for them we will make progress. And it’s all about progress not perfection. Now let me remind myself of that!!! I appreciate your comment so much. Thank you for your encouragement!!

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Penney October 7, 2014 at 3:17 am

I fear not being able to go the distance and lose all the weight and make all the changes. I fear that when the weight is gone, I might still have issues. Duh. I fear that what I lost living 49 years overweight I can’t really regain. I fear that I won’t fulfill all God has called me to because of the weight. And then I have to remind myself that every moment is a new beginning. I didn’t gain the weight over night (well, I swear I ate a cracker and gained 50# but that is probably a different post….) and I won’t take it off overnight. So I am replacing each fear with a healthy word or habit or action. Come on October!

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Cindy October 11, 2014 at 1:57 am

Where do I begin??? I feel so overwhelmed! I’ve been overweight most of my life, but even as a child and teenager when I wasn’t overweight, I felt like an elephant compared to my super thin siblings. My weight issues have adversely impacted almost every area of my life from my romantic and non-romantic relationships, my education, my now non-existent career. My excess weight has destroyed my knees, and I am now essentially housebound because I can’t walk. Surgeons won’t operate on my knees until I lose 100 pounds. I have been dieting and exercising for 68 days now. I try to eat around 1,200 calories a day, and I exercise twice a day by lifting hand weights. FEARS!!! There are so many!!! FEAR that yet again I will fail at this endeavor and will end up an invalid stuck in my house forever… FEAR that I’ll never get to return to a normal life… FEAR that I will never be loved… FEAR that the loose skin will be horrible IF I even manage to lose my weight… fears… Fears… FEARS!!! While intellectually I realize a lot of these fears aren’t reasonable, my emotional side seems to prevail most of the time and the fears become all-consuming. Not wanting this post to be entirely negative, I am thankful for the many blessings I do have, and there are many. First and foremost, I know the Lord said He will never leave or forsake me, so I grasp onto that assurance daily. Thank you for your blog! It has been inspirational, inspiring, informative, and so much more!

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Jenny October 14, 2014 at 2:14 am

Holly,

When I read your post I feel like you are writing a book about my life It is hard for me to believe that someone else has the same struggles & thoughts that I deal with every day. I have battled anxiety for many years. I have so many fears at times I am even afraid of myself. Afraid that I am just kidding myself to think I will finally get there. I don’t have a goal set of 125lbs but I would love to get between 180-190 & stay there.
I will not give up my battle. I pray daily & ask God to help me hear his choices for me but day after day my good intentions get sabbatoged by satin. I feel so guilty afterward when I have once again let him creep in and win that days battle. It makes me feel bad & unworthy to ask, no beg of God’s forgiveness & to promise that I will do better to only let Him down again.

Thank you Holly for you are an inspiration to me.

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