The Journey is Long and the struggle is real

January 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

I’d like to address something in response to a few comments I recently received.

First, I’m well aware that my blog has taken a turn in the past year and a half.  What once seemed to be a blog filled with hope, success and positive motivation seems now to be only the never-ending story of someone shuffling along.  Taking two steps forward and twelve steps back.  A weight loss ticker that never seems to move anymore.  Inconsistent blogging that yields perhaps one positive post for every two or three that seem negative.   I’ve had two comments left for me over the weekend that made me want to address this.

The first one simply stated “It appears you don’t respond to posts anymore?”.  It was a comment left for me over the weekend but on an entry I had written two years ago.  Back in the prime of my weight loss success when I was writing a lot of posts on what was working for me.   I’ve written detailed posts about giving up sugar and instituting liquid diets for those who wanted to know what I was doing that worked.  I wrote those posts to hopefully help others who might be interested in the same thing.  Unfortunately for quite awhile now I’ve failed to follow my own advice.  Not because I don’t know it works.  But for no reason other than hitting a wall.  Mental minefields and other things of that nature.  And due to that fact, I suppose it is true that I haven’t responded to a lot of comments written to me on these older posts.  That is because it is rather hard for me to tell people specifically what to do when I myself cannot seem to dredge up the power within me to do it myself.  Since I’m not especially fond of pretending, I can’t work up the energy to fake it either.

I received another comment though this weekend.  And it went something like this (and I’m paraphrasing)….

Every now and then I stop by to read your blog hoping to see progress and success but I never do.  All you do now is complain and make excuses.  

And I don’t really mind that this comment was left for me because it seems pretty true.  I started this blog with the whole idea of giving hope to others.  That was my entire purpose for starting my blog.  I was on death’s door and I felt hopeless.  I thought I could never overcome this food addiction.  And then I finally experienced a level of success that I felt was nothing short of a miracle.  Before I even started this blog, I made a promise to God that if He would help me then I would try to use each and every experience I was going through to give hope to those who had been living in a similar darkness.  Not simply to be another voice on how to lose weight but rather to show people that God loves us.   And that He cares about everything we are going through.   That He can be the One to bring us through the dark times and to carry us through when it seems nothing else will.

I vowed that I would write this blog with honesty.  That I would not hide from the reality.  That I would not just be someone who sugar coats everything and only shows themselves in a positive light.  But rather I would present my weight loss journey to you in all its twists and turns.  So that people could see that I am a real person.  And that I understand this isn’t easy.  That we don’t just wake up one day and find ourselves fully recovered and transformed.  But that even in the struggle, we can find a way to keep going.

There are two types of blogs.  Some are written as information websites.  They are by people who believe they have the answers.  They are putting themselves out there as leaders and teachers.   They invite you to hire them as motivational coaches or download their e-books for the “how to” on weight loss success.  You can quickly go to a tab that is divided into categories on everything from exercise to diet.  Their blog is meant to be written to those who want answers from someone who already has found their way.

The world is full of people like this.  All you have to do is walk into the Self-Help or Nutrition section of the bookstore and you will find a plethora of people claiming to have the solution.  They will surely tell you the stories of how they stumbled along for awhile.  The mistakes they made.  The struggles they experienced.  But all of their struggles and mistakes are PAST TENSE.  You will find this sort of thing among every motivational speaker (religious or otherwise) that is out there.  I have never once watched anyone speaking who has not started with their story of past failures and mistakes.  The difference, however, is that they overcame those.  They now have ARRIVED.  They found their way and now stand at the mountain top ready to lead others into the same success.  If they’re having a bad day, they don’t write about it.  Unless they are speaking of it in the past tense and now showing you how they overcame it and turned it around.

I think this is one of the reasons we are always so shocked when people who claim to have arrived are suddenly discredited.  Revealed to have fallen from ‘grace’ so to speak.  That pastor who leads a church of thousands only to be found living a double life that was hidden.  That writer or speaker who leads people in marriage conferences only to suddenly end up divorced themselves.  Years ago I remember the scandal in the low carb community over one of the leaders who was making money online coaching people in how to lose weight only to have someone take a picture of her revealing she had gained ALL her own weight back long ago and was hiding it to keep her business going.

Call me a cynic—but I don’t think anyone really has it ALL together ALL the time.  I definitely think that there are a great number of people though who have probably arrived for the most part.  Who have been down the hard road and found their way.  And who have a great number of answers and solutions to those who are looking for it.

But I am not that person.  And if you’re coming to me in search for a success story that has a period at the end of it….someone who has accomplished what she set out to do….someone who has already finished the struggle….then that’s not me.

My blog is not written like the ones I described above.  As a how to all laid out in categories.  As a finished product of success.  My blog is more like a diary.  It’s written in chronological order.  It’s now about 3 years of an unfolding story of my ups and downs to lose 300 pounds.  And what you will find all in the mix is nothing more than that.  It includes days and even years of success.  Followed by miserable failures and let downs.  Times where I was on my game.  Times where I wasn’t. Someone who has a strong faith in God and relies on Him solely for her confidence to face life’s challenges. And at times someone who struggles so much with her faith that it scares her.

People who write to me looking for answers may be disappointed.  Like the reader who left me the comment recently, they may come here to be motivated and uplifted only to find someone who seems to complain and make excuses.  Perhaps it’s confusing to read my blog.  Finding so many posts that seem to present someone who has the answers.  And then you come back and find someone depressed and totally lacking in the ability to pull it together for more than a month at a time.   It’s frustrating no doubt to a reader who is looking for one clear answer.

So who am I really??

I’m a single Mom raising my kids alone for the past decade.  One who has found so much to be thankful for even in the midst of that circumstance that I could not hardly see it ever being any other way now.  Confident that I have raised my children well and I’m making the right decisions.  And then conversely, someone who is completely skeptical and unsure if I’ve ever done even one thing right in that department.  At times someone happy to be single and free from the difficulties that my marriage brought into my life.  And at other times so desperately lonely that I cringe at some of the bad mistakes I’ve made and how I’ve often let my emotions get the better of me.  Someone who has found her way out of a pit of depression only to fall back in time and time again.  And someone who has lost hundreds of pounds only to gain some of it back and many times wonder how she even lost ONE.

If it frustrates you to read about my inconsistency and struggles, then I can only assure you that it frustrates me all the more.  People often write to me and say that the only reason they even come back and leave a comment or read my blog is because they know I once had a lot of success.  And they still believe I can pull it together.  And if it weren’t for that they’d be long past done with me.  That is reminiscent of my life really.  I think it’s the story of many people’s lives who struggle with their weight.  How many times have people looked at us sideways and wondered what is our problem?! Why can’t we just lose the weight already? Why can’t we JUST DO IT as the commercial states?

Maybe if I was someone who was 20 or 30 pounds overweight it would be something I could kick more easily.  But I was 300 pounds overweight.  I didn’t have a “problem”.  I had a major life ending addiction.  Even now you think I am making excuses for myself.  I can hear that already.  And maybe I am.  But all I can do is tell you my life experience.  And it’s this.  For the past 3 years I’ve had the most success I’ve ever had.  Even accounting for the slip ups.  Even though I have lacked the ability to lose any more weight I still have made progress in not gaining it all back.  For me that is progress.  And while it seems I should have been able to achieve my goal in 3 years, I try to remember that I’m 42 years old.  And it’s hard to change 42 years of lifelong dysfunction towards food in a mere 3 years. I know others have done it.  So why can’t I?  I don’t know the answer to that either.

It’s the same with depression and anxiety.  A problem I have had now for quite a long time.  One I’ve been back and forth to the doctor about.  To counselors.  On and off different types of medication.  It’s an entirely different issue that I have dealt with but tend not to write too much about.  And yet the two are hopelessly intertwined and always will be.

Why can’t I just get over my mother’s death and not have such an issue with it? Why can’t I just deal with things without food? Why did I fall into a problem with alcohol when I gave up food so that an entirely new problem presented itself to me just when I thought I was finally going to be free?

My story isn’t finished.  It’s not past tense.  It’s not written to people who want a finished product.   All I can offer you is an honest glimpse at who I am.  And yet still I believe that it can offer hope.  Maybe not right now.  Maybe not when I’m in the middle of it.  But one day when I hopefully have lost all this weight, someone can look back on all the struggles I experienced and see that even when someone falls repeatedly over and over again—they can still get up.

Perhaps I should have waited to start writing a blog until all of that was in the past.  Perhaps I should have waited to tell this story until I too could stand up and speak of mistakes I already made and how I now have arrived.  That might have been in the end more helpful.  But instead I am doing it in real time.  I am offering it up to you as it stands.  And all I can tell you is that even in the darkest day with weakened faith, I know that God still has the answer for me.  He has promised me that even in the longest struggles, He will pull me from the pit.  That He will make a way where there seems to be no way (Isaiah 43:19).

I often feel that my path mirrors that of the Israelites when God took them out of slavery.  They were hopeless and God rescued them.  He took them out of that bondage and into a life of freedom.  To the Promised Land.  And yet that isn’t at all the end of the story.  It took them 40 years to get there.

40 YEARS

It wasn’t as if they left Egypt and immediately entered the Promised Land.  It may seem that way if you’ve ever watched their dramatic exit in a movie.   They were being chased down.  And then God parted the sea and they were saved.  But it doesn’t end there? They were released from slavery only to wander in the desert for 40 years going around in circles many times.  Even complaining constantly about how they wished they could go BACK!! Back to slavery! Back to bondage!!

I read once that the journey from bondage to freedom should only have taken 11 days.

Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir

–Deuteronomy 1:2

But  instead it took them 40 years.  Because their mindset and their attitude held them back.  They were often making mistakes and simply wandering away.  Making progress only to screw it up.  And I totally relate to that.  Because it sounds like the story of my life.

If you as a reader have become tired of me then I can only tell you that I am three times more tired of myself.  If you feel that I am not able to offer hope anymore then I don’t blame you.  If you feel that all you hear from me now are excuses then you’re probably right.  And yet I can only tell you this.  I will write what is really happening. I will write my reality.  And as much as I’d love to fake progress and lie about where I’m at—I just won’t do it.  I can’t pretend that things are going well when they’re not.  Not even for the sake of keeping my readers happy.  That’s why I write now inconsistently and not as often.  But yet refuse to close my blog and give up.  I still have enough hope to believe that I can do this.

I have struggled for 3 years to accomplish something that should not have taken this long to accomplish.  I guess my comfort is knowing that the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the desert for a trip that should have been done in 11 days.  At least it’s only been 3 years and not 40 I tell myself! It’s not an excuse but a way I try to remind myself that some strongholds are not broken easily and will require the kind of fight we may not have expected.   I still believe that it is in the honesty of that struggle where we can still find hope.

I’m hanging on by a thread.  I won’t lie.  I’m making more mistakes than anything else.  And yet I know that in the midst of that God is still there keeping me afloat.  Leading me through the dry periods.  And making streams in the desert.  One thing I have learned is that if I depend on myself, I usually fall.  I know that so much of my problem has been my lack of faith.  Allowing myself to fall away from the close relationship I had with God in favor of doing things my way.   I cannot underestimate the important amount of time I had to put into my relationship with God in breaking free.  And yet somehow when I found success I began attributing it to myself.  Perhaps that is the hardest lesson that I’ve had to learn.  And it’s why we are told—

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

–1 Corinthians 10:12

 I do believe that I will never have real progress again until I put all my confidence back in the Only One who has ever been able to save me from myself.

I apologize to those of you who find me more depressing than motivating.  And I want to encourage you to read other blogs out there (there are many!!) who can give you what you need when I can’t.  I can only tell you that in the darkest hour I still believe in hope.  Even when I seem to have nothing tangible to show for it.  Even when everything I see in front of me looks like someone who is finished and done.  Someone who just can’t ever get back to where she needs to be.

But the promise still stays with me…

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.

—Isaiah 41:18

 

It’s true that I can make excuses and complain far too often.  It’s true that I’ve struggled for far too long making little progress.  And if you’ve discovered now that I appear to be a very poor poster girl for weight loss success as all my weaknesses are now so apparent— then it only  goes to prove that my past success had little to do with me and everything to do with God.   It shows once and for all who is really the One making it happen.  And how much I truly do need to cling to the One who can set me on the straight path.  The One who will take any hopeless situation and turn it around.   Because what we fight against is powerful and strong.  Strongholds are not easy to break and they are quick to reattach themselves if we let them.  And in my power I can do very little as has become readily apparent.  It is only when I put all my confidence in Him that I am ever able to overcome these things.  Clearly I have not been doing a very good job of that having allowed other things to get in the way.  Making it seem now as if I will never achieve the impossible task of losing this weight.

And yet there is an even more powerful truth at work.

What is impossible with man is possible with God–Luke 18:27

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda January 26, 2015 at 2:50 pm

If all people want is a cheery, upbeat, “you can do it” post all the time, then they can bugger off and read a liar’s blog. Life isn’t like that. It’s not all roses and cherry blossoms, good news and NSV’s, romance and adventure. It’s hum drum. It’s monotonous. And sometimes…it’s just plain hard. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. There are plenty of us who just want to know how you are…good or bad, happy or sad..promise I’m not trying to rhyme. I don’t always reply to comments on my posts either. I realize my own blogging, posts, outlook and opinions have changed over the years as well. I’d love to be that person posting my successes and happiness but the fact is, it’s been a long time since I’ve had that. I’m not going to lie just so someone wants to read my blog. Sorry – I know this was ranty. I just wanted you to know many of us are still here…still reading and still loving it.
Amanda recently posted..SIGHMy Profile

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Anna January 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Holly, I have tears in my eyes as I read this post. I love your blog. I love how real and transparent you are. I completely identify with everything you wrote. You are so not alone in your daily struggle, and what you write gives me hope.

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Barb January 26, 2015 at 2:59 pm

I love your blog Holly. I can totally relate to you and it makes me feel like I’m not the only one in this world with weight struggles and all the ups and downs that go with it. Your blog hits home for me because it is real. It’s easy to read success stories but you don’t really know all the hardships that went into that success unless you followed that person from the beginning. Don’t change a thing about what you blog. Although if you want to blog more I’m always happy to read it! Thanks for being “YOU”!

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Andrea January 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Hi Holly! I’ve been following your blog for awhile but haven’t commented. I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog! I find it so inspiring, and your honesty is refreshing. As a weight loss surgery patient I completely relate to the struggle, and the fact that you put it all out there instead of pretending that everything is perfect is amazing. This is your blog and your place to say anything you want! It’s unfair for others to criticize your thoughts and feelings. Just know that there are many of us grateful that you are posting your journey, reading posts and relating to you, even if it’s silently! 🙂

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Jayne Thompson January 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I really like your blog!!!! You are incredibly honest and you give me hope by sharing your whole story. There are many days when I read your blog and you give me hope and get me to turn my head around and begin to remember all of God’s promises to me and to once again recall His love for me. I can so relate to many of your stories and your reactions to all the challenges in your life. Thanks for being you and being honest and having the courage to BE REAL….

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Jen January 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm

I appreciate that you tell YOUR story, that it’s not a perfect story, and that you keep trying to find what works for you! That really does inspire me!

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16blessingsmom January 26, 2015 at 3:20 pm

I just want to say that I love your blog, and you are an amazing mom, and a thoughtful and caring person. Your post today brought to mind a verse, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as unto the Lord, and not for men…”(Col. 3 v23) And something my late mother used to say, “you can please some of the people some of the time….” I think people are conditioned that life has those happily ever after endings, from too much reality tv. Every day we live on this earth, we will have trials, challenges, testings of our faith. The sooner we learn to fight to please God and not people, the happier we will be. Because even if we tried with our whole hearts to please people, it would be impossible. But to live a life pleasing to God is something we certainly can do! Those who serve Him will not be put to shame! I am pretty sure there isn’t going to be a scale to weigh in on, at the pearly gates! So don’t lose heart Holly, you are lovely and sweet and kind and humble, fight your fight, and remember that so many of us ARE encouraged by you. But God’s blessing over your life is the most important:)

Della

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Bonnie January 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I keep coming back to your blog because you DO share your struggles and your depression. Weight loss is a journey and most journeys don’t travel in a straight line. Sometimes there are detours. Sometimes you get stuck. I find you inspirational because you keep trying despite the detours and setbacks. I’m guessing you didn’t gain all of your weight in three years, so why should it come off in three years? Keep on keepin’, Holly! And thank you for sharing your journey.

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Rhonda January 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

I am so glad you write your blog! I feel you write with hope even when you are struggling. You write exactly what most are going through. You have the guts to write it and in doing so you help others. Thank you and take care.

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Penney January 26, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Holly,

I love your blog because of the honesty. If it weren’t for you, I truly don’t think I ever would have believed there was hope. And hope is a powerful thing! Critical people will always exist. They are entitled to their opinion and to move on! I have read two books that really helped me. Boundaries by Dr. Townsend. (Older book but great read!) And Sweet Grace by Teresa Shields Parker. Maybe those would help you on your journey too.

Regardless of progress or not, or weight loss or not, or organized or not, or great grilled steak or not…God loves you exactly as you are right now!

And so do I!

Penney

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Carrie January 26, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Holly,

Ignore the naysayers and just keep on keeping on. I love your blogs BECAUSE

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Carrie January 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Holly,

Ignore the naysayers and just keep on keeping on. I love your blogs BECAUSE they are so real. Keep sharing as you learn more cooking and recipes!!

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Tish January 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Hi Holly,

I usually just read your blog and don’t comment. I find that reading your ‘real’ life struggles and accomplishments, helps me to to conquer my own. Knowing that I am not the only one that struggles but keeps on chugging. You are an inspiration to the majority of us. There is nobody, even those that left the negative comments, that doesn’t struggle…if not with food with something else. Please keep posting the real you and your real life. So many of us have grown to love you and care for you! God bless you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to share YOU with us! One of your biggest supporters, Tish.

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Rhonda W January 26, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Holly, The real success is that you haven’t given up trying! I yo yo’d with my weight for many many years and it wasn’t until I was in my 50’s that I was able to maintain a normal BMI for more than 5 years. Just keep trying and never never never give up. Life is full of stress and you have had a boat load of it this past year. Stress is very detrimental to healthy living so as you get stress under control you will find it easier to get your nutrition and fitness back under control. Keep on keeping on my friend! Hugs, Rhonda

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PaulaMP January 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm

You have lost more weight than most of your readers I’d venture to say. I too would be upset at the comments you got, but I know you will keep on trying. People who have never been heavy or only had twenty pounds to lose can’t begin to imagine the reality of how hard it is to keep going even when you aren’t having the progress you want. Never give up!

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jenni January 26, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Love you, love your writing, and anyone who thinks that anyone has all the answers is fooling themselves. Keep writing and being honest. you are an amazing inspiration to me at any weight

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Stacy T January 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm

I love your blog – I love your truth and anybody who thinks they have all the answers to weight loss is either extremely lucky or just a short fall away from regain. Keep on trucking along and trying. That’s all any of us can do!

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John (Daddy Runs a Lot) January 26, 2015 at 4:33 pm

I read every post you write . . . have for the past several months. Sometimes, it takes me a week or two or more to catch up. Sometimes, I don’t comment. It’s true — your blog does seem to have been in a rut — I can feel your own frustration (until recently, at least).

As a reader, I try to comment with not only what I’m thinking, but with what I believe will help the blogger — in the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all.” I’m sorry you have people who expect sparkles & glitter & unicorn farts from you all of the time . . . just know that not everybody who reads thinks/expects anything but what you share, when you share it.

(all that said, the excitement I sense from you as you start the journey toward learning to cook is PALPABLE. It’s wonderful to see)
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Lori January 26, 2015 at 5:24 pm

I started my blog at the peak of my ‘success’ as well, hoping to help others on the same path. I promised myself from the beginning that I would be honest about the struggle. Even though, at that time, I felt like I was near the end of my journey, I knew it would be an uphill climb.

Some where along the line, I stumbled and regained a lot of weight back. Like you, I’ve documented the ups and downs. Now, it is more for me than for everyone else. I want to remember the struggle, so that I don’t let this happen again.

If someone else learns from my lesson, all the better.
Lori
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Brenda January 26, 2015 at 5:47 pm

Your blog is real life. Weight loss is not a one time deal. Losing weight is easy. Learning to deal with real life and keeping it off is hard. I lost 120 pounds last May, but am still 80 pounds from my goal weight. I was going hard core and depriving myself of anything “off plan.” I am only 10 pounds higher from that time, but have been struggling with “finishing.” I do great all week and then on weekends, undo my efforts. I am working on changing my thinking. I have had that all or nothing mentality to losing weight. I am working on the mindset that if I had something off plan that I should eat ALL THE THINGS I can’t usually have while in weight loss mode because I won’t eat them for a long time. Instead, I am trying to think that yes, I had something off plan but its back to healthy eating again. Hard to do, and it’s going to be a forever work in progress.

I am excited to hear about your triumphs and failures in the kitchen. You’re learning something new and some things will be great and others you will never try making again. Good luck!

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Connie January 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm

I love that you are blogging in real time. I have struggled too, gained some weight back, two steps forward, one step back. I have followed several blogs in the past. So many of them have completely fallen off. You are holding on. I know how hard that can be! Thank you for doing this blog. I pray that you will continue as I so look forward to reading not only about your success, but your struggles. We all have them and we need to support each other.

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LN January 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm

I am one of your many readers who look everyday to see if you have posted. I think your honesty and writing style are two of the reasons we continue to follow. Don’t get discouraged. Remember when you were losing so much weight and some thought you were a fraud. So, there will always be the ones who are the naysayers. You have such courage. Continue to walk with our Lord on this life’s journey. HUGS

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Zela January 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm

I love that you are honest! Keep doing what you are doing. Coming from someone who has had weight ups and downs all her life…….I believe it will always be something we struggle with. Not because God isn’t big enough to handle all of our problems….but because all humans are imperfect. Hugs to you!

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Margaret January 26, 2015 at 6:56 pm

I read your blog because you’re a good writer!
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Vicki January 26, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Do you know how badly I want to be exactly where you are NOW Holly? If I could sit in chairs with arms, fit in restaurant booths, etc. I would be THRILLED! You may want to lose more weight, and that’s fine. But I think you should start celebrating who you are today, right this minute. What’s the point in working so hard to get where you are, yet never letting yourself be happy IN THE MOMENT? I’m guilty of the same thing. And I’m really working on it. But my goodness, look how far you’ve come! What if you never lose another pound? Does that negate what a wondrous child of God you are right now? It does not. You are putting way too much pressure on yourself. And part of that is probably because you worry about letting your readers down. But your honesty in your struggle is helping countless numbers of people. By being true & honest in your writing, we can relate. Yours is the blog I never skip, because you feel like a friend who’s writing just to me. I hope you will continue to share. We all love you out here, just the way you are right now!

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Anna January 27, 2015 at 4:56 am

couldn’t have said it better myself!

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Anneli January 26, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Good grief. If people don’t like your blog they can go and read a different one! For what it’s worth, I LOVE your blog precisely because this ISN’T easy for you and you get it. I’ve often thought of the journey of the Israelites and how the promised land is so very often through what looks like deserts to us. I wish I could just move forward without constantly yearning for the “fleshpots of Eygpt” but I can’t. I really think this is simply one of the trials of my life, one that I hope will end in the next life. At the moment, I’m experiencing what it must be like to be a normal person without a weight problem. That’s because I have severe head cold, and it’s not only suppressing my appetite, but my desire to eat altogether. I LOVE it. I made cookies last night and I had ONE because one was all I wanted. This is not normal for me. Heaven must be like that—good food, able to eat whatever I want, because what I want will be normal. In the meantime though, I, like you, will keep fighting the good fight until the good Savior releases me from this trial. Please keep on blogging!!
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Janis January 26, 2015 at 7:51 pm

With every type of struggle in life, one of the fantasies that you hang onto is that there is a happy, struggle-free future waiting for you, and you can reach it if you just(!) become a totally different person.

Seeing someone like yourself who continues to struggle erases that fantasy — that there is NO SUCH THING as life without struggle, and some problems can’t be solved but only managed. By struggling visibly, you take people’s comforting (false) fantasies away from them, and they don’t like it.

The truth is that there is no completely changed future waiting for any of us. Whatever our battle is, we need to find a way to fight it as the imperfect, flawed person we are right now. That’s not a pleasant thing to realize, and people don’t care to hear it. I don’t either, even though I fight different battles.

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Calleigh January 26, 2015 at 7:55 pm

I read every post and not once have I seen them as complaining nor have I judged and considered that you aren’t being successful. You are successful every day Holly, you are learning about you. You are learning ways things work and the way things don’t and I’m right there with you. Success isn’t about that number on the scale. It’s really not. Success, once you have been morbidly obese, is about learning, so you don’t return to where you once were. Sometimes we back track. Sometimes we regain some, but it’s about continuing on and working through the why’s. This past month you have succeeded! You have learned how to cook so that you can continue making better choices in order to make sure you don’t return to where you once were. You have grown and a lot of us here are so proud of you for that. We all want that scale to show us a drop in numbers or our clothes to feel loose, and you will get that back Holly, but more importantly you are showing your children, showing yourself that you can be resilient. Strong. Determined. Your story is real and we are right there with you.
Calleigh recently posted..End Of Week 1 Half Marathon TrainingMy Profile

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Jamie January 26, 2015 at 8:30 pm

I just want to say one thing, Holly. No matter what is going on right now, no matter what struggles you have had for the past weeks, months or year…..YOU HAVE LOST OVER 150 POUNDS!!!! That is an accomplishment so many of us will never see!!! You should be so proud of that. YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!! Even in the struggle, you are still a success!!

I am fighting to lose almost 200 pounds and I find so much inspiration here! You go girl!

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Beth January 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Whoa. Those people suck. Like seriously. One of the reasons I love your blog is BECAUSE of the struggle, the reality and the fight in you. If you fall down and get back up, that means that I can get back up too. If someone doesn’t see the progress in that, I don’t know what to tell them. Not every day is an episode of the Biggest Loser.

Keep it up, chica. People like me? We need you out here.
Beth recently posted..It sure it a MondayMy Profile

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Darcy January 26, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Hi Holly, I wish I had your email where I could just email you instead of leaving you a comment. I see so much of myself in you when I read your posts. I even had to laugh when you talked about your organizational skills because I am the exact same way.

Now comes the part where I’m going to give you the unsolicited advice that I always hate when someone does it to me, but…well…hope you can forgive and ignore it if you want.

I think you are struggling because that guy did a number on you. You’re putting your “fat suit” back on because when you were overweight – you didn’t get the positive attention and although miserable…you feel safe. I say this because I did the same thing once and now…I keep the suit on because…well…I still don’t have the right answer for that other than I think it makes me feel safe too. You don’t have to make changes or take chances when you’re “stuck” so there’s no risk.

Anyway, I know you moderate, so please delete this – but if you ever want to talk…I’m here.

Anyway, I know you moderate comments, so
Darcy recently posted..I’m learning new words like…detach…and…self-loveMy Profile

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Kristen January 26, 2015 at 10:47 pm

There are those of us that have very similar struggles. We are not looking for a story from the finish line. I see too many of those and I can’t relate to them. I want to read the blog that supports the constant struggles of this never ending cycle. That makes me feel like someone else out there understands how challenging the path to weight loss and health can be. And I want the writer with some ATTITUDE! 🙂

Keep doin’ you Holly!

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Donita January 26, 2015 at 11:40 pm

Holly, It is precisely because of your struggle that I follow your blog. If you were on this blog telling us “just stop eating and start exercising” I would not be reading. You ‘get it.” You put into words the struggles that I face and fee. I hope and pray for your success and I thank you for allowing us to follow your journey.

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Anonymous Reader January 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

Holly, I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning. I had a (surprise!) third baby a year ago, which has been mind-boggling for many reasons. He’s working on walking now at 11 months, and I am struck by how at that age, if you want to do something like walk, you try it OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again. He doesn’t even seem phased when he falls down kerplunk for the 100th time in a day, just gets up and tries to walk AGAIN. We apparently all begin life with complete determined to try, try, try and keep trying, even in the phase of lots of “evidence” that might suggest we aren’t destined to do the thing we want. I am trying to work this kind of stick-to-it-ive-ness into my old adult life. Just thought I’d share on the off chance it’s helpful to you to think back to when your kids were learning to walk . . . I am sure they did the same thing.

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Erica January 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Holly,
This is YOUR blog, and I am so glad that you are true to yourself! Reading about all of your struggles is something I can SOOOO relate to, and it helps me so much to know that I am not the only one who goes through the things I do. I am not alone. Neither are you. And I won’t ever give up – and neither will you! The reality is that this journey is long, and winding, and people who make those kind of comments are the kind of people who like to put others down – it’s about them, not you. I am so thankful to have your real life struggles to read about, thank you for sharing them with all of us. What you have done so far is AMAZING and don’t forget that fact even as the struggle continues! <3

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Mariah January 27, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Holly, I love your blog. You know what I love most? Your honesty. Anyone who’s ever been there knows that it’s never a straight line to success… there’s ups and downs. Thanks for sharing it all with us. That’s inspiring in and of itself.

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Steelers6 January 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Oh, wait, you’re HUMAN!??
🙂
with a blog read by humans.!

and no apologizing “to those of you who find me more depressing than motivating.” Or to anyone. This is your blog; write what you want. And writing in real time is perfect.
xo Chrissy

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LHA January 27, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I think your blog is terrific! It is inspiring in a different way perhaps than other blogs but because you do tell your story truthfully. You are telling a story that all of us could probably match with stories of our own: moving forward, falling back, doing well, doing poorly, being happy and on track and feeling like a failure at everything. The important thing, as many have already commented, is that you are NOT giving up and you are continuing to face your life’s issues honestly.

I don’t have any doubt that you will find your way again and be telling a happier story eventually. Please know that you have a whole on-line community out here pulling for you, and also pulling for ourselves to do the very best for our health. Good luck moving forward!

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Nanette January 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Holly. I love your blog not because it motivates me, but it lets me know that …
1 – I’m not alone in the struggle to get back on the wagon.
2 – Failures happen to successful people. (hello!? you’ve lost like… an entire person, that’s still success in my book).
3 – Documenting our struggle provides an honest depiction of what one can expect.
4 – I identify with you and you are able to verbalize what i’m experiencing in such a relatable way.

To accept someone while only at their best is not to accept that person at all. Thank you for the nitty gritty.

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C January 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

Exactly! Thank you, Nanette.

Well said. Nitty gritty every time, Holly. Boy, I hope you won’t stop telling the truth. There are plenty of Blogger Liars. I’m glad you’re not one of them.

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Paula January 28, 2015 at 4:18 am

Holly, I am you… the same struggles… I read your blog so that I know how to pray for you. I also read it because you help me put things in perspective and put into words things that I don’t quite know to say.

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Nicola January 28, 2015 at 6:26 am

Just by being you you’re an inspiration Holly. Don’t let anyone stop you from writing what you want to write and living your life honestly. I, for one, appreciate it very much. In fact, you’re the only blog I ever comment on because I feel such a connection to you and your story. No one is perfect, but you keep forging ahead even when times are tough and that gives me hope that I can do the same. Boiling it down, what I’m trying to say is thank you 🙂

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Sue January 28, 2015 at 2:49 pm

You are a “real” person we can all relate to. Life, even weight loss, is not all roses…you document your struggles which help me, if not all of us. As long as you keep getting up after falling down, you are not a failure. Keep up the blogging, I personally look forward to it.

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Kathy January 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm

So glad people have expressed so many positive things to you! I was sad to read this posting, but impressed that you hit the comments straight on! You are a conqueror and I appreciate you! Just wanted to send you some love and encouragement and prayers from NJ! 🙂

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Betsy January 30, 2015 at 1:54 am

Hey, I just started reading you. I wanted to let you know that you inspired me. I have lost and gained and tried to go back on what I knew would work for me and couldn’t. I guess i knew how hard it is to make major cuts in your diet. Your sugar addiction idea made sense to me. so i am trying what you did with the atkins. so far, 3 days and I am hanging in there. I thought the diet thing was so mental, and it is, but when you add sugar addiction to the mix i thought, If I can just get the sugar out of my system I might be able to do it. So, just wanted to thank you for the inspiration.

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Karin January 30, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I don’t understand why people think that they should criticize you. All addictions are life time struggles. They get overwhelming and at times it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I enjoy reading about your story. I only recently found you (last 4 months) so I didn’t start following when your path was sunny. From what I have read, you are currently over a mountain and in a deep valley. You will pull out of the valley, but it is going to be a journey. Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there and for being real with your struggles.

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Denise January 30, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Your blog is awesome. Don’t let anybody dull your sparkle! 🙂 You’re inspiring me. I’ve just joined Planet Fitness. I weight 272 (down from 281) pounds right now and I hope to get MUCH further down. I have tried to stop listening to the naysayers and I hope you’ll do the same! 🙂 GREAT JOB!

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Kay Lynn January 31, 2015 at 5:57 pm

I find it helpful to read about the ups and downs of a person’s weight loss journey. It gives me the strength to keep going when I experience setbacks.

I see it as learning how to make better choices.
Kay Lynn recently posted..Getting Fit with BRIK and Kaia FITMy Profile

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Jenny February 1, 2015 at 4:20 am

Holly, I am so thankful that you have continued to blog beyond your successes. I need to read people being honest about their lives and what they are struggling with, and I think you share your struggles in a very positive manner. I’m so thankful for you and how you share your story, the good and the hard. Please keep writing.

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Cathy February 12, 2015 at 8:44 am

I appreciate all you share here! Have not arrived yet, and in most ways haven’t even started on my journey of success! But I am a Child of the KING, and I am content with that!!! Hugs~

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Nancy March 10, 2015 at 8:29 pm

Holly, I’m just starting to get caught up on your blog after being out of country on a wonderful trip. I can’t believe people are giving you grief because you are honest in sharing your ups and downs and your struggles as well as your successes with eating and weight loss and gain. I’m so relieved that I’m not the only one who has really struggled with weight re-gain after weight loss surgery. I have gained back about 1/3 of the weight I lost after my surgery – 50 pounds of the 150 pounds I had lost. And I was still 20 pounds from my weight loss goal when I first got stuck with not losing any more weight, then had some major stresses occur in my life, and had my weight start climbing back up again. I, like you, am trying to find my way back to making progress again with losing the weight I’ve gained back. I am encouraged by you and your blog even when you are really struggling, because I can relate so well to what you are going through. Otherwise, I think I would feel that I’m the only one out there who is having these struggles after weight loss surgery. So please keep writing and sharing and giving me and others hope! Don’t listen to the negative ones – to me, it seems like they have to put someone else down to make themselves feel better. Why, I don’t know. You have been an inspiration to me since I first started my weight loss journey after my gastric sleeve surgery in June of 2012. You keep on trying and working at it, and when I’m feeling down or need encouragement, I come and read your blog. Even when you are down, I feel better, because I know that someone else is experiencing many of the same things I am, but you don’t ever give up. That reminds me that I should never give up either.

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