Friday Update and Reality Check

December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

As I mentioned to you before, I have a friend (Kiera) who sends me snippets of my own writing every day.  She started reading my blog maybe from the start.  I’m not exactly sure.  But whenever I went silent the first time she began to write me every day.  This is back when I had moved to Virginia.  Even when I didn’t respond, she’d still throw one of my own quotes at me.  And she still has continued on with the mission to remind me who I am once again.  I don’t envy her really.  It’s almost a thankless job what she’s doing.  How many times I have not written back or responded? Trapped in my own depression over what feels like a losing battle with my weight.  Still her dedication is impressive and more than that it might even be heaven sent.  Because slowly it’s seeping into this stubborn mindset that tells me I just can’t ever turn it around.

Most days I feel fairly unmotivated and despondent but I’ll still read the quote.  Sometimes a little sideways and just barely…but I’ll still read it.  But this past week or so I’ve had a real wake up call.  I literally can barely zip up my jeans.  BARELY. And I absolutely REFUSE to keep going higher.  So I wear them and suffocate.  My stomach pours over the top of my jeans and begs for air!!!   But I simply refuse to allow myself to go elastic.  I need to feel the pain perhaps.  The uncomfortable feeling. Because it will only get even worse from here if I don’t get a grip.

 

One of the recent quotes she sent me was this:

“So get up right away.  Don’t even give yourself time to think about it.  If you can, go for a walk.  Or do some form of exercise.   I can tell you that I was at my most successful when I had my walking shoes and clothes laying right by the bed the night before.  I had my phone charged and my earbuds right next to them.  I was up and out the door regardless of how I felt.  This was not easy especially in the beginning because just getting out of the bed was in and of itself a physical chore.  Try propping yourself up at 417 pounds when your arms and legs have been immobile all night.  Everything is swollen.  And you have little strength in your arms to get the job done. Just getting into the “sitting up” position can be a workout.  But whatever stage you are at—start moving!!  It is really one of the best things you can do.  Trust me—all the problems and fears you feel  you have to mull over from that pillow are more than capable of being mulled over  as you are walking.  Plus at least you will know you accomplished something positive.”–Early Morning Anxiety and Dread

That last line is what stopped me in my tracks.

All the problems and fears you feel you have to mull over from that pillow are more than capable of being mulled over as you are walking

I mean I know intellectually that I actually wrote that sentence.  But the person I am today…right now in this moment…doesn’t live her life that way.  In fact as I was reading this former quote from me I was thinking…yeah yeah…I know putting out my walking shoes and clothes in advance is a good idea…yep yep…I know I should get up and exercise first thing like I used to…but what still prevails in my head is…

BUT BUT BUT

I have PROBLEMS!!! I have worries and anxieties and issues that need to be dealt with FIRST.  When I can get those things under control….THEN…..AND ONLY THEN….can I go for a walk?  Because I totally cannot go until everything is fine.  I cannot go while I’m worried about bills.  And I cannot go while I’m worried about issues with my kids.  And I simply cannot go if something might be wrong with the car.  I have to deal with all of those issues FIRST.

Then I can go.

But what kind of sense does that make??? Because it makes zero sense.  Totally and completely ZERO sense.  Is me laying in bed or on the couch or just sitting around worrying about these things making any difference at all? NO!  But in my mind if I have worries and anxieties, I can’t focus on much else.  And I suppose I feel like if I can’t give my focus to something then why do it.

The truth is that exercise has been ‘prescribed’ for reasons other than weight loss or improving your physical health.  It’s also been known to improve depression and anxiety.  To release chemicals in the brain that boost your mood.  And it’s even been known to help you think more clearly.  How many times haven’t I heard someone say that going for a walk (or for some a run) clears their head?

I have written a lot on this subject in the past because I found it to be true.  Yet it’s one of the first things I most easily forget when the amnesia cloud takes over my brain.  We have certain beliefs that are deeply programmed inside of us and even if they are totally false we tend to believe them anyway.   Sometimes we don’t even realize we are falling for a lie.  We don’t question it or challenge it.  Like my daughter saying “Mom it’s raining” and me grabbing an umbrella before walking outside.  I don’t say to her…”Oh really?? It’s raining?? Well we’ll just see about that!!” while running to the window to make sure she’s telling me the truth.  I just believe her.  If she told me we won the lottery I’d probably say “Show me the ticket”.  But some things we just don’t question.

And a lot of things that I already know are false beliefs creep their way back into my life through the backdoor finding space once again in the walkways of my thought patterns.  Hiding in the corners and easing their way through when an opening arises.

This is a whole lot of talk isn’t it?  And what we need is action.  Or rather what I need is action!!

One of the things that I do is teach English to children who do not know any English.  We don’t do it by speaking in their language.  We do it with total immersion.   But how do you communicate to someone who doesn’t speak your language?? How do you teach them the directions of an assignment if they can’t understand you?

You don’t do it by saying “Now we are going to learn beginning sounds.  You have two words written on this paper.  You need to sound out the first letter of each word.  Then I want you to circle the word that begins with letter A“.     This is totally ineffective and a waste of time.  If someone has zero exposure to the English language then they simply don’t have any idea what you are saying.  Instead of filling up time saying a bunch of things that they do not understand, we use a technique called TPR.

Total Physical Response

Without going into a lot of details, it basically means you don’t tell them–you show them.  You stop wasting time trying to communicate so much verbally and you start using actions.  You use your body.  You move a lot!! You don’t say “circle this“.  You MAKE a circle with your hand.  You physically circle the word yourself.  You don’t say “Alligator starts with the letter A”.  You physically point to “A” and say “aaah! aaah!” then you physically point to them.  You cup your hand to your ear and point to them.  Physically letting them know it is their turn.  You cut out all the extra language that no one understands anyway at that level (and only frustrates someone who can’t understand you) and you communicate in the language you both know.

ACTION!!!

I point to the picture of a girl jumping and I start jumping.  I point to someone swimming and I start moving my arms like a swimmer.  Now you try I say!!! And they do.  This cuts down on a lot of frustration until some basic language can be learned and built upon.  Total physical response works and it’s critical in the beginning phases.

This reminds me of what it has always been like for me when I get in a rut.  I am a thinker.  A talker.  A rationalizer.  I want to analyze everything.  I want to endlessly (and some of you who lament the lengths of my wordy writing at times know this haha)  ramble on about all the reasons WHY I can’t do this or that.  But at the end of the day, TPR is the answer for this as well.  Less talking and more action.  Don’t talk about why you can’t go for a walk and just go for a walk.  Maybe a short one.  Maybe just to the mailbox and back but SOMETHING.

JUST MOVE!

It dawned on me today that I need to put into action the same method I use to teach my students.  Talk less and do more.  No matter how small it is.  Action always trumps words!

My mom used to always tell me…”Holly—Love is a verb

And it’s true.  If you love someone you will show it.  Talk is cheap.  Actions are real.  And if we are going to show any level of love to ourselves in this journey we have to remember what my Mom always said.  Love is a verb.  You won’t talk yourself into weight loss.   You have to move yourself there.

This past week I have done two things differently.  I have been walking in the mornings.  Not long enough or far enough to do much BUT it IS action and it is something.  I’ve also been writing down what I’m eating.  I haven’t done THAT in a long time.  But I was shocked at my weight gain last week especially when “I’m not even eating anything bad!!

So why is this happening to me??!

So I decided to keep track of it.  Here were a few things I logged last week.   There was a Quesarito from Taco Bell (649 calories),  daily breakfast tacos that I just sort of ‘forgot’ to include as having anything in them,  Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks (440 calories and 54 GRAMS OF SUGAR) and the sausage biscuit from McDonalds (430 calories). I mean seriously?? What the heck, Holly?  How do I seriously go around making choices like that on a daily basis and then seriously feel surprised when I gain weight?

Denial is thick in this place!!!  Time to wake up.

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Last time we talked I believe I was 285.   Today I am:

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I am also still wearing the same nail polish from like 2 months ago.  Time to get into action on that one as well.

My small amount of progress this week is mostly due to a little less denial and a little more self awareness.

Hopefully this is a step in the right direction, yes?

I leave you with Oliver’s new Christmas outfit.

oliver oliver2

And maybe that’s the million dollar question for me as well?

IS IT TOO LATE TO BE GOOD?!

Is it too late to get moving again in the right direction?

I already know the answer.   And it’s NO. It’s not too late.  As long as there is still breath in my lungs and another 24 hours in front of me—it’s never too late.  The thought patterns that tell me it IS too late are false and need to be kicked to the curb.

 

Godnotfinished

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for your encouragement!!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayne Thompson December 2, 2016 at 10:23 pm

Keep on keepin on Holly. Can you even think about protein shakes these days???? I put protein in my coffee when I just want something to eat…never mind if I feel hungry and it is warm and satisfies me and keeps me from eating junk. I am so happy that you are blogging again and it is always an encouragement to me. You have tied a knot in the rope and you are hanging on!!!! Good job 🙂

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down December 3, 2016 at 1:50 am

You know I love the atkin shakes!! I just bought an 8 pack and I’ve started putting the vanilla one in my coffee in the morning. I have no idea why I started drinking sugary starbucks drinks again. Mixing the different flavor of low carb shakes in with my coffee has always been delicious and my go-to alternative. Somehow I just slipped out of it but I’m getting back to it!
Holly from 300 Pounds Down recently posted..Friday Update and Reality CheckMy Profile

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Meg December 3, 2016 at 1:25 am

Yay Holly!!! So happy to read this 🙂

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Marjolein December 3, 2016 at 8:13 am

Hi from Amsterdam!
I was so glad to read your action forward post. Ofcourse it’s never too late and thankfully you know that also. Congrats on your walks and your logging food, for me anyway that continues to be key. And low carb as well, I am rooting for you from across the ocean. Keep on keepin on – 💝

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Linda December 3, 2016 at 8:29 am

The way you face life’s problems head-on is inspiring. Well done Holly!

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LHA December 3, 2016 at 9:11 am

I just read your post at 3 AM. I am awake in the middle of the night (not too uncommon) and I found your writing inspirational as always. It also rang a bell for me. I did not reach 400 pounds but I very well could have. Until the weight really started piling on me about 10 years ago I had fought weight all my life, yo-yoing up and down (mostly up) for decades. Trying diet after diet, some for only a day or two and others for months at a time. I could eventually lose weight but could not keep it off, each time regaining everything plus more. Eleven years ago I finally started eating controlled carbs and no sugar, which was suggested by my doctor after my blood sugar was getting out of control. All she said to me was “Go on the Atkins diet. You don’t even have to follow it strictly, and can be reasonable. Just watch your carbs a little and try to leave off sugar.” She said it kind of offhandedly, but for some reason I took it to heart and did it. I lost 50 pounds in about 6 months and felt great. I kept it off for over a year. Then I let sugar creep back into my life and the carbs were adding up too. I felt myself slowly going back until my jeans were too tight to button and soon an avalanche of weight piled back on adding even more pounds than I had lost. I let nearly ten years go by of being even heavier than I had ever been before, making a few unsuccessful stabs at dieting. FINALLY, I was able to put a stop to it. At first when I went back to my better way of eating I was terrified to even do it for fear that I would just regain even more but I finally overcame that and have lost over 90 pounds now. I slip sometimes and especially around holidays find it hard to stick with very, very little sugar and controlled carbs but you know what? When I have a bad day, a bad weeked or even a bad week, I just remember what it felt like to gain all that weight back and I just white-knuckle it until I have made the changes to get back on track. It isn’t easy but it can be done. Progress is often slow, but each day brings a new opportunity to improve things. To me, the alternative is just not acceptable. Sometimes it takes me longer to regain my focus than others, but I take it one day at a time and every day I say I am NOT going to regain this weight and even if I just make one change today I am going to do it! Where I find the strength I don’t know but I do know that it just has to be done. Being as big as I was was not only painful, it was embarrassing and it was killing me slowly. I have a lot to live for, four children just like you have, and that is more important to me than anything. I am down 90+ pounds, and you have lost a lot more than that! Holly, this is something you can do! Believe in yourself. Your tough times are not going to last forever. Things will improve. Make any small changes you can every day, and bigger changes will come too. I developed a mantra that I repeated to myself frequently: “You are worth saving”. I give that to you to use if it will help. Sending all positive thoughts to you and forcing my encouragement and belief in you to travel to you across the miles. Take heart! You have inspired many, and I hope we can now inspire you.

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Lori December 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm

I’ve always been an all or nothing girl with my food…..take one m&m?…off plan for the entire day. Cereal in the morning?….why waste my time walking today! That’s me! Well, it used to be. What I am realizing is, every little thing matters and counts! A small walk during the day is GREAT! Don’t discount that! Like they say, “you are still lapping everyone sitting on the couch!” Keep staying positive! We are all with you!
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16blessingsmom December 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Holly, I love you! I love your honesty, and I can totally relate to your situation. It’s a difficult life to live day after day year after year, fighting and denying yourself all things yummy. It gets exhausting. The problem is that the alternative is even more exhausting, so it’s a battle that must be fought. My mind is my own worst enemy, the thoughts, like, ” Well, today is different, you deserve to just order what you want, after all, you didn’t eat much today, this is a celebration, you worked hard today, it’s stressful, just enjoy yourself and it it, pumpkin spice is only available for a short time, enjoy life…”, These lies, this self-sabotage…I hate it, but the only way out is to resist…say no. Get out of the comfort zone. I tell myself that this is the thorn in my flesh, my big battle in life, and it’s never going to get easy. I just have to keep at it, because those pounds creep back on silently and fiercely.
You are such an encouragement, and so many of us are praying for you and rooting for you. You are NOT alone.

Della

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SK December 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Wonderful Holly, thank you for checking in!

You are so good to your kids. And you see that God is good to you. (God doesn’t make junk.). So why are you being so mean with God’s creation? I mean the self-flaggelation: making yourself wear uncomfortable clothes, lecturing yourself. I recognize these behaviors because we are a lot alike!

Just a thought: be kind to yourself. Be proud of healthier choices you make. Forgive and move on when you mess up. ADD good things (like a protein shake, vitamins, a walk) into your day instead of SUBTRACTING (calories, pleasure).

You are worth it.

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Barbara Bennett December 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I’m blessed to have a sweet sister, Luanne, who reminds me often to ‘choose happiness’ and ‘find the good.’ She has the awesome ability to give me gifts of hope. You remind me a lot of her. Today I will set the excuses aside and take the time to go for a walk. It’s been awhile. Thanks, Holly.

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Karen P December 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

Holly, your success will start in the kitchen and the meals you eat. Onward and I pray you find your abstaining food template ASAP.
Karen P recently posted..4 years and 10 months in long term weight maintenance & arrival at a fabulous plateau- love it!!My Profile

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John Batzer March 9, 2017 at 2:55 pm

So – I’ve been letting blog posts fester in my inbox . . . I actually think it was a way I’ve been dealing with the election results, as I did not enjoy the November election results, but, nonetheless, I’ve been meaning to catch up and here we are!

The way you started here is a HUGE key for me. I wake in the morning and just don’t want to — every morning, I want to stay in bed and ignore the outside world and “worry about being healthy” another day. But my dog loves his walk. So I walk him — to get out the door, I have my walking clothes set aside, my earbuds in the same location, and I always plug my phone in when I go to bed. I walk Benji. And then I get back to the house, and I’ve already been on my feet, and I’ve accomplished a little something, so I do another little something. And soon enough, I’m in my rhythm.
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