Left, Right, Left

March 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Left, Right, Left

That’s something my brother has been saying to me now for awhile.  And it really makes sense.  Because if you want to break free from whatever is holding you back then this is a concept you must become intimately familiar with.   The concept of drowning out the crowd.  And just moving forward.

There is nothing worse than a thousand voices in your head all leading you in opposite directions.   A thousand options and not knowing where to turn.  Making decisions and second guessing.  Spending hours turning things over in your mind and reliving past mistakes.  Starting something and then stopping.  Always living in turmoil over whether you should be doing this instead of that!!!

Sometimes we have to turn off the voices and just march.

Left, Right, Left

And stop analyzing it.  Planning it.  Overthinking it.  And JUST DO SOMETHING.


Do what works.  Or even what halfway works!! Because progress is progress and while we may need to reevaluate things at some point—we can’t be doing that every single day!!! We can’t just  stop every 5 steps to do that.  Sometimes we have to just jump into the line and start marching.  Regardless of what anyone else might think.

I want to remind all of you out there to seek YOUR freedom in the way that works for you.  There will always be people out there to tell you you’re wrong.  That you should be doing it in a different way.  But if you find something that works then go for it!! And don’t look around for the approval of others.  You may not find it. But if what you’re doing is working then by all means—go for it!  Just keep moving forward.


Do you know I’ve actually found this to be one of the hardest things to do!!  To just keep my eyes focused on what works and not be tempted to try other things.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen backwards because I tried to do someone else’s plan.  It’s hard not to be tempted to want to live someone else’s success story.  We see what works for them and we start to doubt what we are doing.  Instead of just marching forward, we look around.  We stop marching forward and we start spinning in circles.  Oh sure…maybe what I’m doing is working I think to myself…but what if their way is better?  Maybe I could make the pounds come off faster?  Maybe I should turn down this street?  Around that corner?

Oh what’s on the cover of that magazine?? What pill did they take? What plan did they use?  Oh and look over there!! No wait…over here!

Sure we are healthier than we were before but what if we aren’t healthy enough??  Sure I’m more physically fit than I was last month but I don’t have abs of steel.  What if I’m not good enough?  What if that person’s plan is better than mine?? And then it becomes even harder when people come along and tell you that what you’re doing is wrong!

I’ve struggled for over a year to get back on track.  During that time I have tried numerous things.  Numerous other diets and plans.  And many of them are great plans.  For OTHER people.  But finally after over a year, I went back to the one and only thing that has ever worked for me.  The ONLY thing that has ever enabled me to break free from sugar.  And for me that is drinking sugar controlled ready to drink protein shakes (For me Atkins) every 2 hours until the sugar demon is gone and my hunger is back under control.   Sometimes it takes a week.  Sometimes more.  But you know what? For me THIS WORKS.  And after doing this now for almost two weeks, I am feeling hopeful again. I’m seeing the scale go DOWN instead of UP.  And I’m starting to feel mentally stronger.  Soon I will be able to start eating again in a controlled way.   Because I have done this plan before and it has been (for me) the total road to freedom!

But then I opened my email.  And someone wrote me a letter saying they were disappointed in me.  Totally disappointed that I would choose THIS way to break off of sugar.   And in fact they will not ‘stand by’ and watch me do this!  Not one more second will they stand by and watch me get off of sugar in THIS way!  Let me tell you—they felt strongly that my way was the wrong way.  And do you know what? That’s ok! But let me tell you something that is critical if you want to find freedom.  And it’s this.  When something is working and you find yourself finally feeling hope—–then just keep going!! Just keep moving forward.  Because you will never be able to make everyone happy.  And while I cannot guarantee you much—THAT is one thing I can promise you!

All my life I’ve been a people pleaser.  And I believe that a lot of people who suffer with addictions have this as one of their primary personality traits.  It’s often the reason we can’t break free from food.  And it’s often the reason that after having found freedom, we may return to that same destructive habit.  It’s the stress we place on ourselves to make everyone ELSE happy.  To make sure everyone ELSE is content.

Being a people pleaser is one of the most destructive things we can do for our sanity.  And I’m as guilty of that as anyone.  It’s the reason I often go back to food.  The pressure I feel from always trying to please everyone drives me there.   If you have children then you are no doubt intimately familiar with this concept!!  As much as I love my children, they can often be relentless and unforgiving when their ‘toys’ are taken away.  Whether that toy is a Fisher Price play phone or an iPhone doesn’t much matter.  The outcome is the same.  And when we stop giving people what they want, it often causes us great discomfort.  If you have a strong desire to make other people happy then knowing that YOU could be responsible for their unhappiness is often the very thing that will drive you straight into the arms of a cupcake!!  And someone that is a people pleaser often has no ability to see things rationally.  It doesn’t even matter at times if what others are asking us to do for them is reasonable.  We may take on the responsibility regardless of whether we should.  Suddenly making everyone else’s happiness our personal responsibility.   But the burden is too great.  And we fail.  Not because we don’t care but because pleasing everyone all the time is not only impossible BUT unreasonable!! Yet we see it as failure.   US failing THEM.  And then wanting to punish ourselves because of it.

We cannot find our way to freedom if we try to please the world.   We will never have success, if we let the approval of others determine our mood for the day.  I simply cannot resist the powerful draw of McDonalds if I allow others opinions and approval level of me to determine my sanity!!  And yet that is something that I have done repeatedly throughout my entire life.  It is the very reason that I often find myself almost hypnotically reaching for food.  Like a robot that has been programmed to go there when my people pleasing approval rating has fallen too low.

If you are trying to please the world then you may be sacrificing yourself to do it.  And if you are addicted to a substance that is trying to kill you, then you may have to realize that your dependence on that substance could be directly tied to the pain you feel when people around you remove their “approval”, love or affection simply because you didn’t march to the beat of THEIR drum.  Is that pain causing you to return to your addiction?  To the familiar albeit destructive coping mechanism that helps you survive the discomfort you feel?

Sometimes we have to do what works.  What stops us from drowning and puts us back on dry land.  And when you are in desperate need of freedom that is no time to overanalyze the life raft that has been thrown to you.  That is no time to entertain everyone’s objections.  THAT is the time to start marching towards the freedom you so desperately need.  Because if you truly want to be of use to others then you have to take care of yourself first.  If you want to truly be a blessing to those around you then you will first have to be healthy enough to do it!  People pleasing isn’t all bad.  The fact that we want to help others comes from good intentions.  But we have to see first the best way to do that.  And if we are trying to please others by putting our own mental and physical health at risk then we are going about it the wrong way.

I think that is why losing weight can be just SO HARD.  You are letting go of a coping mechanism that has allowed you to survive your daily life.  It’s hard to get up every day and try to please everyone you come in contact with.  Your kids.  Maybe a significant other.  Your boss. Your co-workers.  Your family. Your friends.  Your parents!  I mean let’s face it. The line of people who want something from you NEVER ENDS.  You will never get an intermission. The day will never come when you get to retire from that.  People will always want something from you.  And if you don’t stop and ask yourself if the way you are responding to those demands is actually rational then you will only end up wasting your time when you try to lose weight.  I have found that the more deeply enmeshed I am in the demands of others the further attached I am to the food.  We have to look at things objectively and ask ourselves—is what I need freedom from really a cupcake? Or is it the unreasonable expectations I am putting on myself to please the world?

I encourage you to remember that we all are traveling a hard path.  Even those people out there who might be draining us psychologically have their own burdens to bear.   None of us are perfect.  We all have to find our way.   But once we see that we have fallen into a destructive pattern it is critical that we start shoveling our way out.  That we start marching in another direction.  And that we do it with courage.  Not being afraid to move forward even in spite of what others may say.  Even when what we are doing irritates the people around us who have grown accustomed to our people pleasing ways.  Change is hard but necessary.

I think something that is important to be aware of during times when we are trying to break bad habits is that any step in the right direction is progress.   Every time I fall back into the sugar habit, I find getting off of it to be just as hard as it ever was.  Sugar is simply so addictive that it takes enormous effort to break free.   I find that the 1st 3 days are the worst.  If I can get past day 3, I usually begin to have more confidence and hope that I will make it.  But sometimes it takes longer to feel that hope.   The fact that we often depend on sugar/food for comfort makes it even harder to let go of.  And if there is any level of stress in your life then giving up your primary stress reliever will be difficult.  That is when we must make a point to focus on every bit of positive progress we can make.  Even if you only got through an hour then celebrate THAT hour!  Even if we had only HALF of a perfect day then we should celebrate that half.  We must know that every bit of progress is progress.  It will build.  It will add up.  And each day we will grow stronger making future progress even more likely!

Today I wanted to just assure those of you out there who are hooked on sugar that you are not alone.  And that if you have relapsed into it then you are not alone there either!!  Perhaps you have gone back to the comfort of food because you are trying to cope with something so stressful that your “programming” led you right back to that habit.  I know this has been the case often for me in life.  But once we see that is what we are doing then we must face it head on.

I received an email yesterday from a woman who has suffered greatly in her sugar addiction.  At one point she beat it but it reared its ugly head and drew her in again.  She is now housebound and fighting again to find the courage to battle this once more.

I think we have to stop beating ourselves up when we fall backwards.  I know I have spent far too long doing exactly this.  I can’t tell you how many times I have tormented myself over “wasted” pounds that I lost.  Wasted because I worked so hard to lose them only to gain them back.  How many hours have I spent breaking myself down because I ‘screwed up’.  Because I lost progress or made mistakes.  And do you know where that got me?  No where. Except maybe deeper into the problem.  And I’d venture to say there are more than a few of us in that space.  That space where we feel like we wasted time.  Wasted opportunities.  And now because we went backwards we can never go forwards!  That because we fell back into bad habits we cannot then find our way out of them.  As if the very act of being Imperfect somehow eliminates us from the race.

But who is perfect?  Which one of us I’d like to know?  I’d venture to say even those of us who appear to have it all together don’t really.  Not all the time.  Some people don’t struggle with food addiction.  Some people don’t struggle with their weight.  But that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle at all.  Maybe we just can’t see what it is they battle.  It doesn’t make their problems any less real.

Perfection is a fallacy.  We put on our happy faces in public but behind closed doors we are struggling sometimes just to survive through the day.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  It’s great that we want to do better.  It’s important that we want to leave our mistakes behind.  But in order to make progress we must embrace who we are.  Even the bits and pieces of ourselves that aren’t perfect.  I believe that it is in accepting those struggles that we can find our way to the light.

I’ve made mistakes but who hasn’t?  If I learn from them—is it wasted time?  So I won’t view them as wasted.  Not even pounds I may have regained.  It is in having to lose the same pounds AGAIN that we grow stronger.  Even in THAT we can find something positive to be thankful for.  Because we all know how hard it is to overcome something.  So if you have to overcome it not once but 3 more times then how much more amazing does that make your journey?  If you have to fight that battle 10 times…20….even 1000….then what does that make you?? A quitter?  Hardly!! What person that has had to fight the same battle 100 times could ever be called a quitter??

To climb a  mountain one time is a true accomplishment.  But to have climbed it 100 times in a row—WOW.  Maybe instead of maligning ourselves, we should give ourselves credit.   So to the woman who now is housebound due to her sugar addiction and feeling hopeless, I actually believe she may have the most strength of all!! The fact that she wants to keep trying to fight is truly a testament to her courage.  How many people after having fallen a dozen times would still try to get up again?  She gives me the hope to keep going on.  It is in her email that I find the courage today to keep moving forward!!

Whatever is holding us back, we can try again.   If we find that our personalities make us more susceptible to finding comfort in unhealthy ways then THAT is enlightening.  At least we can say we are self aware.  And THAT is progress!  If some people in our life today are unhappy with our decisions then I guess that means we are in great company.  I know almost no one on this planet who doesn’t have someone unhappy with them today.  But shall we focus on that and let it take us straight into a box of donuts…..

OR shall we decide today that our mood will not be determined by those around us.  And that we will not allow any of those things to make us hit “default” and robotically fall into a box of chocolate!

If you’re with me at the bottom of the mountain ready to climb it for the millionth time then I’m glad to have you here with me!  I suppose that makes us an experienced team!  I mean, I know if you’re like me and you’re having to lose some of the same blasted pounds you already lost once, twice or a thousand other times—then you probably feel like I do.  You’re probably standing here at the bottom of the mountain thinking…

Hey….Haven’t we been here before?!”

And you’re right.  We have been here before!

So excuse me while I shamelessly take us back to 1983 with a lyrics video of Styx “Haven’t We Been Here Before?”

So yeah….we’ve been here before.   And in the words of Styx….

You might think that it’s hopeless beyond our control

But that’s not necessarily so

Because the fact that we’ve done this successfully in the past means we have an advantage!! Now we know what to expect!  And now we already have proof that we can do it!  Because we’ve done it before!

Not very long ago, I felt hopeless yet again.  Even now I struggle not to feel that way.  But every little bit of progress we make leads us further down the path.  And it’s truly amazing how with each and every step we take we find ourselves getting closer and closer to freedom!

In the beginning of February I got a Fitbit.  In the beginning I was struggling to get active again.  I was wondering how I would ever get in 2,000 steps much less 10,000!!  But here is an example of how far my progress has come in just a few months of wearing the Fitbit and trying to become more active again.


And I love getting feedback  that I am moving in the right direction

This is positive proof that every step counts.

And that our efforts WILL make a difference.

Let’s not cry anymore over what we see as mistakes.  For in every mistake there is a lesson.   Even the worst things that have happened to us CAN be used for good.  That is a promise from God Himself.  And if there is one thing I am sure of it is this.  Even THIS battle to beat a food addiction has given me the blessing of meeting people from all over the world that I never would have met otherwise.  It has given me the chance to hear amazing stories of courage and to become friends with people who I never would have met if not for THIS struggle!!!   So even in that I can be grateful!!



So grab onto hope.  And let’s rise again.  Let’s lose the weight.  Let’s lose what holds us back.  Whether it’s for the 1st time or the 1000th time.


That’s the way.   One foot in front of the other.   One step at a time.  Moving forward with confident expectations and courage to fight again!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda March 27, 2015 at 9:54 pm

A resounding YES to all you said! I think it is wonderful you are still writing, still working and not giving up.
I am a recent protein shake convert. I find it so easy to know exactly what I can have for breakfast, snack, lunch and then a healthy dinner. The shakes make it so easy and they are weaning me off sugar and carbs, without constantly thinking about food and what I can/want to eat next. I think it is a great tool for re-setting. I have never tried anything like this before and wonder of wonders it works!
Keep the faith! You are doing great!


Calleigh March 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm

For one, I always look forward to your posts because I’m going through my own hell right now and it’s comforting to know there is someone else out there struggling too. Watching you make your small steps towards success, getting up after you fall down, that gives me Hope.
I’m proud of you Holly. Do what you need to do for YOU.
Calleigh recently posted..This is who I am Pt. 2My Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm

Calleigh I am so sorry for all you are going through. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I am praying for you as well!!!


Melissa March 27, 2015 at 11:18 pm

I know getting off sugar is what I need to do…hard even when I want to badly, but right now I can’t seem to find the resolve…what got you motivated again?


Holly from 300 Pounds Down March 31, 2015 at 1:30 pm


Finding motivation again has been SO hard. I have literally been fighting for the past 10 months I would say to find it. I have to say that some things will only happen the longer we refuse to give up. WE have to not give up the idea of finding that motivation again. We have to hold onto any small thread of hope because it is out there. It is totally possible to get it back. But only if we keep seeking and searching through the dark. For me, the best thing I did was to just totally come to the end of myself. I basically just threw it all up in there and was totally honest that I had all but lost it completely. That I couldn’t find my way out and that I felt completely incapable of moving forward. Then I just prayed that God would help me. The next week my brother asked me if I wanted to do our shake week. That is my sugar detox. We texted each other every 1.5 hours with our shakes. For 2 straight weeks we have done this. And I spent every day of the last 2 weeks still screwing up in some way or other!! I was not perfect but I just kept going. I refused to give up. If I ate something bad, I still drank my shake at the designated hour. I was just going to keep after it. And by day 15 I can say I am finally starting to feel in control again. At the same time 2 weeks ago my friend started suggesting we go for walks around the neighborhood. We have not gone every day but anytime she asks me I go. That has helped me as well. And last, I had a very good friend who called and left me voice mails. Prayed for me. And sent me a card even to remind me that God is for me and not against me. That if we keep pressing forward we can find ourselves renewed. Every day I am praying for God to renew my mind and spirit. This doesn’t sound like any one thing does it? I have to say it has been a lot of fighting but the biggest motivation now is finally having control back over sugar cravings. And now that I am feeling that control again I am way more motivated!! Thank you again for asking. It isn’t easy but we can do this!


LHA March 28, 2015 at 1:33 am

What a wonderful post! You have a terrific way of looking at things and putting the most positive spin on them. Everything you said was true, though. There IS always someone who isn’t pleased with your behavior, and you sure can’t please everyone! It also is never too late to start over for the millionth time if that is what it takes to reach your goals. Thank you so much for reminding me of these things and for spreading your message of HOPE to those of us who read your words.


Kath March 28, 2015 at 10:01 am

I hope you don’t let that email upset you
You are so right you have to do what works for you

How did you come up with this method of quitting sugar?


Anna March 28, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Ugh. Why would anyone write you something so hurtful like that? It just shows their character coming through, NOT yours. I love, love, love your Fitbit results…you rock, girl! Keep going! Left, right, left!!!!!! <3


Lorenda March 29, 2015 at 4:53 am

I find it hard to believe someone would write such an email. You really have to do what works for you. When I first started losing weight I think the Lean Cuisine company enjoyed a huge surge in sales! LOL Just keep doing what works for you, especially since it’s already working!
Lorenda recently posted..Plumbers and Pipefitters 5KMy Profile


Cindy March 30, 2015 at 12:35 am

The paragraph where you said “we have an advantage. Because we know what to expect.” was PRICELESS!!! It just resonated with me and gave me so much hope. LRL once again. Keep marching to your own drum Holly:) Cindy


Anita Cooper March 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm

God bless you Holly – I felt prompted by God to share a website that I recently discovered myself.

A lot of the struggles you’re experiencing may be spiritual.


She led me to discover the book titled “The Beautiful Side of Evil” by Johanna Michaelsen.

Following is the prayer of renunciation that Carolyn prayed.


May God grant you His peace as you seek to obey Him in all that you do and say.

God bless you!

Anita Cooper


John (Daddy Runs a Lot) March 31, 2015 at 2:46 pm

I love seeing the Fitbit stats . . . love that you’re moving & getting about. That’s great news.

And I totally understand what you mean about “a plan for you.” I’ve failed so many times that it’s scary — and, every time, it’s been because I’ve started something, saw success elsewhere, got advice from a third party, got frustrated & just gave it all up.

Over the past 2+ years, I’ve been following my plan . . . it’s changed, considerably, during the time – but it’s been my plan, and, because of that, it’s worked. It started with “lose more weight over the next 3 months than my friends” as we all did a Twitter weight-loss challenge (I lost more weight than anyone, but someone smaller than me lost a greater percentage of weight), still I was happy with my progress. After that, however, I knew I still had room for improvement, so I focused on logging every bite of food, religiously, until I hit a pre-determined target weight (220 pounds). From that goal, I set myself to doing a pull-up. That took me about 6 months of following the same plan (logging every bite of food I was eating and incorporating regular morning and/or lunch-time strength training sessions).

I managed the first pull-up and then decided to abolish sugar & processed foods from my diet, which, by this point, was actually a fair-bit easier than I thought it would be (though I’m not ENTIRELY strict here, as I do have wine in moderation, and I’m not super inquisitive about what’s in the food I order when I order at a restaurant). But the temptation is still there.

From there, I set my goals to doing 10 pull-ups at a time . . . I managed it this past weekend, but haven’t been able to repeat . . . still, I am close to calling that goal complete. From there, though, I’m struggling where to focus – and, because of that, I’m worried.

In the immediate future, I have a half-marathon this weekend and a full-marathon next weekend. My hopes are to do *some* strength training and maintain my clean eating until I get through. Next weekend, the day after the marathon is Greek Easter (the Greek Christians are on a different calendar) which will be a MOUNTAIN of food (and a near inability to keep sugar out of my diet without being rude) — but, well, I’ll have just run a marathon. I can allow myself a day off. The trick will be to keep it to a single day.

After Easter, though, I need to find a new focus — because, well, if I don’t have a goal in mind, I wander, and I allow bad habits to work their way into my life.

I share all of this with you not in the hopes that you’ll follow in my footsteps or something but because, well, these are the things that I set my mind to, and accomplished. And I feel like I’m doing well on my journey. Right now? If sugar addiction is the thing that you need to get over, focus on that & do whatever you need to do to get past it. Once there, don’t stall, though, find the next thing that you want and set out a plan, your plan, to get there.
John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted..Where a splash & a little bit of lip crack me upMy Profile


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