Holiday Update

December 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

Sorry I just couldn’t resist.  My name is Holly. It says Happy HollYdays.  Did I ever tell you about the time my Mom made me dress up as Holly Berries for Christmas?  She even made the entire outfit herself.  I was at that awkward age where you’re almost too old for trick or treating but you can still kind of get away with it.  I was borderline on wanting to do it and wouldn’t pick out an outfit.  Mom took that as her year to get creative.  So I walked around the neighborhood in middle school with giant holly leaves and ..yes…big red balls strapped to me that were supposed to be berries.  It was the same year I got braces, acne took over and Sun-In was too readily available making my ( was the 80’s) bangs a gorgeous deep orange!

Looking back I’m not sure if Mom thought I looked cute or was getting back at me for something!

If I can dig that picture out, I’ll be sure to bury it deeper this time!

SO…Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy (almost) New Year!  I meant to get this post up before now so no one would think I had fallen headfirst into a stocking filled bag of chocolate…but life keeps interfering with my desire to write about it.   SO…here’s the update!

Last we spoke, I was attempting to remain positive about my van.  The quick version is that I had a car accident right before Thanksgiving.  USAA sent the payment to the repair shop to fix my car.  It took them 3 weeks (and cramming my behind into a very small Nissan Sentra for the rental) but finally I got my van back!! Literally a few hours later I’m sitting in the parking lot of my child’s school watching smoke come from the hood while what sounds like tiny drummer men run around inside the engine banging away.

And now for the bad news.  USAA determined along with the service shop that whatever else was wrong with my car had no relevance to the accident.  This has been a tough pill to swallow.  My van is a 2009 so it’s not exactly new HOWEVER I maintain it like crazy.  I take it in regularly even when absolutely nothing is wrong just to make sure it’s in as close to perfect condition as possible.  In fact, a mere 4-6 months ago (can’t remember exactly), I took my van in for maintenance and spent a good 800 dollars on it just to make absolutely sure something like THIS would not happen.  Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) was wrong with my van until this accident.  They repair my van and I drive away.  Mere hours later lights are on and smoke is rising.  Yet they tell me that it is not related.


Unfortunately there isn’t much I can do.  So a few days before Christmas I was told I will need to pay 2400 dollars to repair it.  It’s not exactly what I wanted to hear especially this time of year.  I continue to drive the Nissan Sentra which by this time I’ve gotten used to.  It’s not a bad car really and I kind of like it. If I didn’t have a butt the size of Texas and 14 children I would just keep it!   But I need my van back!! It’s been literally over a month. And I miss the space.   What I miss even more, though, is my 2400 dollars!

File this under “Things I Can’t Control”

My natural inner wiring would respond to this catastrophe with the super logical plan of eating 3 boxes of Hostess donuts with a 2 liter of Pepsi.  That does after all make PERFECT sense to my brain as a solution for car repairs.  Thankfully, though, I recently started climbing my way out of this mind melting pit I’ve been in for far too long.  I opted for a different way of handling things.  I decided to just continue on with life as if this wasn’t happening.  Yes it was Christmas in a few days and yes I already have some financial worries so I really don’t need this but the fact of the matter is—WHO DOES?

No one needs problems.  No one needs worries.  And no one needs to get told they have an unexpected 2400 dollar expense 48 hours before Christmas.  But do you know what else no one needs? A box of donuts with 3 rows of cinnamon, powder and cake followed by a side of carbonated sugar.  And the no one who really doesn’t need that is me!

Here’s the reality.  Cramming my butt into that Nissan Sentra was the wake up call that came after the wake up call.  I think if I had not already started pulling it together, that would have been another catalyst to do so.  I can remember being over 400 pounds and almost not being able to fit in my van.  I had the seat pushed back as far as it would go and still the wheel dug into my stomach.  That can be scary because what if when trying to turn the wheel as you drive it gets stuck somewhere an inch or two past your belly button.  You shouldn’t have to remove the bottom portion of the steering wheel from a roll of your fat in order to turn left, ya know??

But I’ve been there and that’s just the way it is for some of us.  Having lost a ton of weight, I’ve been relieved from that . At least when it comes to my van.  But driving a Nissan Sentra is a completely different deal.  At the weight I am currently, it is another reminder that you can really outgrow life if you’re not careful.  And this car is a little too close for comfort.

I’ve gone on about the car too long.  Hopefully tomorrow I will get it back.  But the price of my comfort in getting the van back will be the loss of it in my bank account.  There’s always a trade off of some kind isn’t there?  I want my van back but I have to pay 2400 dollars to break it out.  I’m much more comfortable keeping that 2400 dollars to myself.  But I can’t get a rental forever and unless I want to be without a vehicle I have no choice.  In order to be comfortable in other areas of life (like those that require my van) then I have to be Uncomfortable in the bank account area of life by watching my money disappear.  But it’s all up to me.  I could easily have said “Tow it back to the house” and my van could have sat in the driveway.  I could have decided I won’t pay for the repairs now.  I will wait.  And walk everywhere instead.  Uber.  Do whatever it takes to get by.  This is life.  And it’s all about the choices we make.  In order to have comfort in one area, we choose to forego it somewhere else.

What do you want more?

While I will be stressed out now losing that money, I will have my van.  I choose one level of comfort over the other.  And in some ways that is what overeating is like too.  You feel uncomfortable.  Unhappy.  Sad.  Pissed off.  Angry.  Whatever it is, you feel it.  And you hate that feeling.  So you eat the donuts.  You eat the cake.  You go for the pizza with all the toppings.  And the feeling of peace comes into your midst.  Comfort.  Safety.  Whatever it is that the food makes you feel.  And while you gain that from your comfort food, you lose something in another area of life.  You now feel less comfortable with self control because you gave it away.  You now feel less comfortable in your pants because the zipper is too tight.  You gave up one area of comfort for the other.  And the other comfort was temporary.

There is so much I could eat over lately it’s ridiculous.  I can’t even go into some of it.  But suffice it to say my insurance deciding not to pay for the full amount of repairs while I go ahead and pay my insurance payment again this month for coverage I feel I’m not even getting—well it sucks.  It makes me angry.  But eating a pie won’t make it better.

These are all things we know intellectually but in the moment none of that matters.  I’ve rarely been able to successfully TALK myself out of eating my comfort food by using the above logic.  In the moment of panic, I only hear the language of food.  I become deaf to anything else.  I become fluent only in donuts and chocolate.  And proficient only in the language of the snack machine!

If I had not already been actively doing things intentionally to change my mindset, I would have been easy prey for this last go round of disasters.   Luckily I’ve gotten back into the habit of walking with my Leslie Sansone videos and this has helped me more than I can express.  Doing something you DO NOT HATE is key.  And for whatever reason, I do not hate Leslie.  In fact, I kind of like this woman.  She cracks me up at times because she can start chattering away and actually forget to tell you to stop doing a certain move.  But I even like that too.  She doesn’t take herself too seriously.  She encourages you to just move.  If you want a hard core program, this isn’t it.  If you want to ensure you get your butt off the couch every day with consistency—then she’s your girl.

I’ve been getting my unmotivated behind up off the couch now to exercise for well over a month.  I haven’t always done much else right in the past month or so but getting exercise back into my daily habits has been successful.  As a result of finally being successful on some level at something regarding weight loss efforts—I have also regained a smidge of motivation with food.  Unbelievably,  I did not motor through the holidays eating everything in sight.  I even chose a ham for Christmas that was NOT double brown sugar glazed! For a relapsed sugar addict this is progress!  I also did not get involved with desserts.   I made oven baked cinnamon apples instead.

I haven’t lost any weight since we last spoke.  In fact I have apparently gained 0.2 pounds because I was at 275.8 and now I’m exactly at 276.  Also my toes are still red but at least it’s a fresh coat now!

This is still good news because I didn’t even gain a full pound. In the grand scheme of daily weight fluctuations, this is probably really just maintaining it more than anything.  And for me that is still progress.  I’ve been gaining 10 pounds in chunks for awhile so having not gone off the rails is positive.

Sure, the holidays have thrown me off my game.  I allowed them to (though) and I know that.  I have been eating more.  I still have been screwing up with fully loaded soda and I generally allowed myself to make excuses for slacking.  BUT I didn’t do it on a grand enough scale to lose my mind completely.  And I have still kept up many of the routines and habits that I have reinstated as of late.

All in all—not bad.

PS>  Before someone calls me out on it—I want you to know that I recognize that even what I said above is a bit of nonsense. For a sugar addict there can never be an “ok” time to drink Pepsi.  Not your birthday.  Not Christmas.  Not New Years.  People who live in reality about their addiction know that even one slip can spell disaster.  So while I’m trying to remain positive and not be completely obsessive over my still less than perfect track record here—I still fully recognize that a person truly committed to being FREE of their addiction must never give themselves a ‘free’ day.  Just wanted to let everyone know I’m not in denial on that!!  I’m just not willing to lie about it!

Here are some pictures of my family during the holidays.  We got a new puppy (which is no doubt insane of me because I already have a crazy chihuahua and a cat) BUT you know me…I like to live in extremes.  Since I already have a tiny dog, I went out and got a Daniff this year.  It’s a cross between a Great Dane and a Mastiff.  I will now have one of the smallest dogs and one of the biggest.  This is exactly my personality disorder come to life !! LOL  Living in Extremes! All or nothing!! Let’s hope they get along!

Here are ALL of my children on Christmas morning!

Savannah (my oldest) is in college and works like crazy.  I don’t get to see her as often as I would like so this was really great!


Savannah (about to turn 21 in February) and me (NOT about to turn 21 in February 😉

Introducing a dog named Bear



Oliver saying “Who the heck are you and why are you in my house?!”


I leave you with one of my Christmas presents.  It’s called an Instant Pot.


According to the label, it’s worry free.

Apparently they haven’t met me.

I remember my Mom’s pressure cooker.  This isn’t exactly the same but I think it’s close.  I have an affinity for screwing up even the easiest of recipes.  Learning to cook things that I won’t screw up has been at times a struggle for me.  However, the crockpot has mostly been my friend and this is the new kid on the block in that category.  I’ve heard there are a great many healthy recipes for it that would fit into my food plan so I can’t wait to try it out.  If you all have any ideas or recipes, send them my way!

Now that I’m sufficiently done rambling on about myself….HOW ARE YOU!?????  I sincerely hope your holidays have been filled with love, peace and joy.  I am grateful to have made it one more year.  In spite of the ups and downs, I believe strongly that God has a plan for our life.  And I know at Christmas I am reminded of the moment in history when He reached down and began to ignite a plan that would change the world.  I pray that I will never forget that even when the Christmas decorations are gone and the world is no longer filled with reminders of His Presence.  May every day be a reminder in its own way through the very fact that I woke up again and took another breath.  For even when we feel no hope, we must remember that the very air we breathe is proof that we have 24 more hours to plant a seed of faith.  To make 30 seconds of change.  To pour even a small amount of kindness into someone else’s day.  In the midst of worries, I must remember there is only so much I can control.  All I want to do is love more and worry less.  Harder than it sounds.  But I’m trying.   And trying is better than NOT.

So For that I am grateful

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda December 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Your kids are getting so grown up! Very festive photos and the dog is adorable. About the car… just my 2 cents worth, but I would consult with an attorney. You are getting taken advantage of big time!


16blessingsmom December 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

Merry Christmas! I think it’s still Christmas…I am not ready to take down the tree yet! Here’s the thing: your new puppy is adorable. We have three Labs, one of each color (Duke, Chocolate, 10 years old, Suri, Black, 4 years old, and little baby Sunny, Yellow, 5 months). Sunny is sweet and darling, but has been such a handful. Housebreaking a puppy, cleaning up the papers she rips up, the things she destroys…she is not a discriminating chewer, it’s been so much work! But it gets me moving, taking her out a few dozen times a day in the beginning! Good luck with your new pup, remember this: it gets easier! (there were moments when I was ready to rehome Sunny, I’m ashamed to say…I was DONE. But then she got better!)(Sometimes she’s still crazy!) Anyway, I’m glad you are still in the game, you are such an encouragement to me! I am, for the millionth time, working on abstaining from all sugar…it makes me just want more sugar. I can’t just eat a Hershey’s kiss…no, I need ALL THE KISSES. So anyway, thank you for sharing, and for being real. And, your children are lovely, you are indeed a rich woman:)



Kristina December 29, 2016 at 1:03 am

Hello – My favorite Instant-Pot recipes are from Nom Nom Paleo:

Worth hitting the link for the kalua pig recipe alone. Good luck!



Erin December 29, 2016 at 3:04 am

I’m sure someone’s already shared this awesome site with you, but I LOVE Gina’s recipes from She has recently fallen in love with her Instant Pot and has a lot of pressure cooker recipes! They’re grouped here:

My personal favorite of hers is non-pressure cooker, though…mini turkey meatball vegetable soup! It’s AMAZING and I usually make a double batch and freeze some for nights when I can’t even imagine cooking dinner 🙂

Love the updates. You are amazing!!


Karen P December 29, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Here’s to being stone cold food sober. I find it easier to not go back and forth. Plus, food addiction kills. Choose life

Check out Nom Nom Paleo ( Michelle Tam ) website for InstantPot
Recipes ( minus the fish sauce)
Karen P recently posted..Please, don’t wait until 2017, start now, right this second Dec 23, 2016My Profile


Barbara Bennett December 30, 2016 at 10:24 am

Happy Holly Days and Happy New Year, too! I was born on April 1 and I’ve pretty much lived up to playing the fool all my life. December was a stress-filled month for me thanks to a significant other who decided it was okay to use me as his personal funding source while waiting for his paycheck to arrive in the mail. What began in November as ‘please save my life by paying my phone bill–it’s my lifeline’ became a month-long spending spree to the tune of $1100 charged on my credit card. I suppose I should be thankful that it’s $1100 and not $11,000? You’d think that after a 3-year relationship, I’d know this man well but apparently desperation rewrites the rules? Meanwhile, the earth keeps turning and somehow, I must believe in my heart that he will right his wrong, as he claims he will. He has til Jan. 5 to pay the credit card bill in full. The new year can only bring forth brighter days!
Barbara Bennett recently posted..Tim Holtz Summer of Creative Chemistry–Week 3My Profile


Barbara Bennett December 30, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Spoken too soon. He paid me all but a couple hundred of it which allows me to pay the bill in full and avoid 25% interest fees. He says he knows better than to do THAT again. I’ve wasted an entire month fretting over it and wondering what the outcome would be. I suck at this relationship stuff. 🙂 And noooooo, stress does not cause me to magically drop lbs! . . .


Kyra December 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm

I’m glad you had a good christmas! The puppy is adorable! I have absolutely no advice about the cooker… It’d probably blow up if I touched it. (I cook a lot, but I’m still afraid of our gas burner stove. I use it, but I’m just waiting for something to ignite!)
Kyra recently posted..Come on 2017! (Part One: The Downer)My Profile


Wendy December 30, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Sorry about your van, that stinks!
Do you realize that this was your same weight back in late October? meaning you MAINTAINED through what is the most difficult time of the year for most people – the holiday season?! And especially with all this car and financial stress, can I just say: !!!GREAT JOB!!! You have stabilized. This sets you up perfectly for charting a new direction. You will rock it! (and I hope I will, too 🙂
Happy Holly Days and Happy New Year.
Wendy recently posted..Year in review. My Profile


Steelers6 December 31, 2016 at 6:39 am

Hi, dear, beautiful fam, as always.
It will be fun for us to see Bear grow. (And grow!)
I just got all caught up on the van drama. To echo Rhonda’s thoughts, something doesn’t sound right here. I think you may need a second opinion. Did the same garage do the recent work, as did the fairly recent big maintenance work for $800.?
What are they telling you they’re fixing for $2,400.?
Do you typically bounce the mechanic’s diagnosis off of your bro, or a knowledgeable trusted friend?
Have you dealt with this shop much in the past/did they come highly recommended?
It’s SOOoo wrong, but some establishments take advantage of females. Especially single ones. Or males that seem clueless about vehicles.

Well dear, here’s to an amazing 2017 for you & your loves. XO Chrissy


Caron January 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm

I bought myself an Instant Pot about a year ago. For a while I only used it as a pressure cooker and totally forgot that it was also a slow cooker. About a week ago I made really good beef stew in my pot using it as a slow cooker. I think you’ll like it after you use it a couple of times. 🙂


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