Welcome to the Timeshare!

October 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

My brother likes to say that success isn’t a straight line.  It’s more of a zig zag.

He says progress isn’t doing something extraordinary but rather ordinary things done daily.

It’s not intensity, Holly, it’s frequency that transforms.

My brother is the king of bite-size wisdom.  I’m beginning to think he should be designing bumper stickers because he always finds a way to sum up what needs to be said in a short enough amount of space that it could fit in a box.

But I’ve never been very concise.  So bear with me as I try to unbox my thoughts without letting it turn into a novel!

I’ve never come to realizations about things very easily.  I seem to find my way somewhere at the end of a long stumble into multiple directions.   Sometimes I even find the right turn and decide to go around the block one more time anyway just for good measure.  The other day the kids and I were reminiscing about our short-lived adventure into the Virginia countryside a few years back.  I can’t remember what started the conversation.   Something we had seen sparked a memory.  And then I was telling the kids this story about when I was 19 and went to college in a small town in North Carolina.   It was about an hour away from the city and from almost the moment I arrived I was ready to leave.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the small town atmosphere or the country.  It’s just that living there is much different from a visit. I must have read Bridges of Madison County that year because I remember thinking it would be a lovely place to live.  And I’m sure it was.  Just not for me.   I only stayed there one semester before transferring to a college in Raleigh.  But at the end of this story my kids wanted to know if I’d had that experience when I was 19 years old—moving from a big city to a small town—and I had learned/discovered that it wasn’t for me….why then did I decide to move us to the country two years ago?

Hmmmm…..

The truth is I don’t know.  Because it happened in almost exactly the same way.   I went for a visit and loved it. I liked the idea of it. It seemed perfect in every way and then once I arrived I knew almost immediately that it wasn’t the right fit.  Not for me and not for my children.  The process was almost exactly the same.  I realized once again that my personality is better suited to living in the city even though some part of me desperately wants to be in this remote part of the country swinging on a porch swing drinking tea while watching the sunrise.   Every time I watch some commercial for Countrytime lemonade it happens.  Or I watch some romance on Netflix where a woman swings open a porch door and steps out to greet some traveling stranger who happened to turn down her dirt road looking for work on the ranch.  I love the idea of it.  And I even enjoy the reality of it on a visit.  But in real life I panic at the thought of being too isolated.  It’s the sound of a fire truck whizzing down the intersection next to my neighborhood that gives me real comfort knowing if I suddenly have an emergency help is minutes away not 50 miles.  So I’ve had to learn this lesson more than once.  The fact that I love the country but I want to live in a city.  And it’s reminded me that sometimes my lessons don’t stick.  They have to be learned and relearned again and again.

The same is true of my relationship with food.   I long to be that person who buys a gallon of ice cream and still has it in the freezer two weeks later.  I want so badly to eat one piece of cake and walk away.  Why can’t I be the girl that pours a glass of wine in the evening to relax and sips it like a lady instead of wanting to guzzle the whole bottle and go back for more!  Every time I see some movie or commercial I’m lost again with the hope that I can be someone else yet wake up every day to the same person staring back at me in the mirror.

My blog has become somewhat of a timeshare.  No one really lives here on a permanent basis but sometimes it’s inhabited with the promise of a great week.   I open the door and enter fresh with hope renewed.  Like someone at the beginning of their vacation with big plans.  I unpack all my great ideas and invite my friends over to hang out and enjoy the sunshine.  Then somewhere around Wednesday, I realize the end of the week will come.  I start realizing I’ve tracked in sand and dishes are piling up in the sink.  I’m not really on a complete vacation, am I?  After all I still have to do the cooking and cleaning while I’m here.  By the time Thursday rolls around I already begin dreading have to pack my bags not to mention the long drive home.   I forgot what happens when I stay out in the sun too long and now I’m sporting a burn.  And then there’s the bill because I spent too much on souvenirs.   I get somewhat discouraged and spent from trying to cram too many adventures into a short period of time.  I slam the door and drive home exhausted wondering how I could be so tired from what was supposed to be a vacation.  I seem to have forgotten many of the reasons why staying there wasn’t as easy as I thought.  And I wonder if I’ll even go back.  But give me time and I’ll be planning the next vacation.  Ready to step back in once again, open the windows and let the fresh air back in with the promise of another hopeful rest from the world I’ve left behind.

This is my metaphor I suppose for the weight loss journey.  Both blogging about it as well as living it.   It’s ironic probably to compare it to a vacation, right? The idea that trying to lose weight again could ever be close to the enjoyment of time off or a sabbatical of some sorts.  But if you’ve ever lived the disappointment and misery of daily life in an obese body matched with the dismay that comes from knowing everyday that you’re not doing anything to change it—then doing something OTHER than THAT is in many ways a vacation.  Even if it’s short-lived, it is still a break from the daily grind of disappointment that eating like crap brings into your life. As I’ve regained weight over the past few years, I’ve had to reconnect once again with so many of the things I was happy to put behind me.  The simple things we take for granted like not caring if you get a table or a booth because you can fit in both.   Not having to prop up with a thousand pillows at night because laying flat on your back makes it hard to breathe.

Yes sometimes attempting to get back on track does feel like a vacation from the hopelessness we often feel when we aren’t trying at all.   And even losing 5 or 10 pounds makes my jeans easier to zip!  So much can be said even from my inconsistent and short-lived attempts at getting it together.   Even if I lose and regain the same 25 pounds over and over in some rip-off version of the movie Groundhog day that’s still better than soaring past whatever number on the scale I was last month.  I’ve had to learn to be happy with whatever version of myself I’m living in at the moment because being unhappy with yourself on a daily basis seems to be a tremendous waste of time when we know life is short.

Losing weight or trying to has been a part of my life for so long that I don’t really know who am I without it.  And yet I’ve learned now that I must be content whether I’m big or small.  I’ve been both and I probably will be again.  But somewhere in the middle of all that, I have to pay the bills and raise the children.  I have to work hard and enjoy life along the way.   Wasting time punching myself in the gut for failures doesn’t get me anywhere.  The only thing that matters is getting up and trying again.

I’ve learned it doesn’t matter how many times you have to learn the same lesson.   Whether it’s where you want to live or what kind of food you should be eating.  All that matters is that you get on with it.  Whatever IT is.  That once you’ve made a decision to do something different that you leave behind the guilt and the stress of why you didn’t do it earlier.  Sooner. Why you waited so long to start.  Or what took so long to get back.

Who cares.  Who cares if you lost weight and gained it back.  Who cares if you moved to the country and back again.  Who cares if you lost the man.  Lost the job.  Lost the lottery.  All that matters is that you learn what you need to learn whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth time.  And then you brush yourself off and move on.

Comparing my blog to a timeshare really does make sense.  Especially when I see how I’ve often been absent more than I’ve been present the last few years.   But sometimes my mind is a timeshare!  Multiple personalities sharing the same property each with her own allotted time frame to get in and get out.  Sometimes the negative side of me sticks around too long.  Whining about life and commiserating with some depressive sidekick about how I’ll never get things where they need to be.  Other times the more positive minded part of me takes residence sweeping out the cobwebs cheering myself on to victory.  You can easily see who has hold of the time share by reading back some of my old posts.  I even think over the course of my life I’ve gone through waves where one part of me seems to hold court more often than the other.   Maybe we’re all like that to some degree.   Looking back on parts of our lives where it seems we got more accomplished versus other years where we felt we were in a stalemate.

Wherever you’re at in your journey, you’re welcome here.   Sometimes you may show up and nobody’s home.  You knock and I don’t answer.  It’s not because I don’t care or because I’m really gone.  It’s because I’m somewhere out back peeking in occasionally to see if I can save up enough mental will to unlock the front door and get back in.  During those times I still read comments and I often receive the kindest emails from people who tell me that they don’t care if I’m as thin as paper or as a big as Texas so long as I just say hello.    And that has taught me another valuable lesson.  That there is value in the journey itself and not just the end game.  After all, I’m really not as unique as I’d like to believe I am.  I’d bet there are just as many of us pedaling backwards as there are those of us pedaling forwards.  Regardless of which direction we’re heading in we all like company along the way! Like my brother says,  success isn’t usually the straight line. It’s the zig zag. It’s the roller coaster.  And more than a few of us are on that kind of a path to weight loss.   Where we seem to ride the roller coaster more than once.   Where we zig-zag more than we walk the straight line.

I wish it wasn’t a roller coaster.   I wish it didn’t twist and turn so often.  But if I’m going to ride it then I might as well ride it with friends.   So let me brush the dust off the welcome mat of this timeshare and open the door once again.   My journey is always going whether I’m writing it or living it.  But somehow it always seems easier to me when I’m doing both.

Love to you all!

PS.  Speaking of pedaling backwards this is a text message between my daughter Annabelle and myself last week that fits in well with the conversation of going backwards! LOL  She was out of her class and asking if I was on my way to pick her up.   I was trying to tell her I’m on my way BACK…but auto correct had another idea and ironically it fits in perfectly with the topic at hand.

 

So whichever way you’re heading I’m pretty sure I’m somewhere along that path! “))

Here are some pictures of life lately!  I’ll get more up soon(( including the dreaded full-length wide zoom real deal!!:))

Last Sunday….Kiddos minus Savannah (in college)

Last Saturday….my son CJ (turning 13 this month!)  Baseball practice…

From Sunday…Annabelle (16)

This past weekend with some amazing girlfriends I have in real life.  I’ve made the point to put time into building friendships with women in the past few years as I did not have enough of these relationships in my life.

More to come!! I look forward to hearing from you all as well :)))

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiera October 2, 2017 at 7:45 pm

Good post. I even saved a quote, “That once you’ve made a decision to do something different that you leave behind the guilt and the stress of why you didn’t do it earlier.”. Good quotes from Lee too. 🙂

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Dee October 2, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Hi Holly, it’s good to hear from you. I’m waving to you from the back seat of the same rollercoaster…you’re in good company. Last time I looked there was a line around the block…!
Warm regards
Dee
Dee recently posted..Running Out Of NoughtsMy Profile

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ErinK October 2, 2017 at 8:19 pm

So good to “see” you again Holly! There’s so many of us on that roller coaster, but I refuse to give give up. Praying for you and your sweet family! Erin

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Margaret Wolfinbarger October 2, 2017 at 9:42 pm

I’m grateful for this update. I like the zig zag analogy. Your brother is sharp. Our journey is not always direct, but the peaks and valleys–and our response to them–are important. First and foremost I hope you always know how valuable you are as a human being. You are mom, sister, daughter, friend. Second, you are loved by God, even when you don’t feel His presence. Third, every morning you get out of bed you are making progress. So many people can’t even do that. Lastly, your body doesn’t define you. I know you don’t feel this, but it’s true. You are more than the number on the scale.
We are all just trying to make it through this life. For some, our progress is more visible than others. But having just watched a friend grow thin due to brain cancer, I have a new respect for fat and the importance it plays in our health. It is not always bad. And there are worse things than obesity.
Keep pressing forward. Do not lose heart. Grace and peace!
Margaret Wolfinbarger recently posted..What to do When Life Kills Your DreamMy Profile

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16blessingsmom October 3, 2017 at 1:43 am

I am so glad to hear from you! Thank you for checking in, and all the best in your journey…forward ho! Don’t waste time looking back! 🙂

Della

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Lori Law October 3, 2017 at 9:50 pm

I have been waiting for this. Was so afraid you had totally thrown in the towel. Although I have lost 95 lbs, the battle to keep it off rages on. I seem to start over every morning. Same thing, gotta eat right, gotta exercise, blah, blah, blah. Been doing this literally for 50 years. So what do I do. I say to myself, I didn’t lose all this weight to not be able to enjoy myself now and then. Soon I find now and then, is pretty much every day. Ten lbs later, I find my clothes just aren’t as cute, and I am avoiding going out and enjoying life. Time to stop. I can’t “enjoy myself” every day. The waist is a terrible thing to mind, and the battle rages ever on. Please don’t stop letting us into your time share. I have been needing your thoughts and perspective. You really help! Hugs!

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Sheryl C October 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

I’ve been thinking about you lately, Holly, and hoping you are doing okay. I’m making my way back, too. You inspire me and I wanted to encourage you to not give up. I’m not going to either! So glad to see a post from you again!

Sheryl

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Chrissy October 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

It’s good to hear from you Holly, interesting read/analogy.
Your family is so beautiful. I feel like I have to reread their ages; that’s too old, can’t be right! Another driver! And all the kids at home are TEENAGERS?! Wha!
I’m glad to see the pics of you with girlfriends! XO

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Lea G October 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

YAY, so glad you are back, missed you! Great post. 🙂

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LHA October 6, 2017 at 3:34 am

So happy to see you back! I saw this quote today and thought of you:
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
― Nelson Mandela

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K October 7, 2017 at 8:01 pm

Nice to hear from you again. The goal is to be pedaling, just pedaling …choosing life, today. Whatever it may be. My goal–I choose to aim for happy, but other feelings pop up too. Some welcome, some not. I try to understand their source and focus back on choosing happy. The weight just is a part of me, it doesnt define me. I’ve come to realize sugar for me, brings its friend anxiousness along. Gluten bring lethargy and brain fog. I try not to spend as much time with them. Like you, it took many visits before I realized these were false friends for me. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and perspectives. Enjoy life!

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LN October 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm

So glad to this post. Very helpful post understanding your moves. Your children are gorgeous. Hope you will be able to blog more. Love you dear friend. LN

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Joanna October 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

Thank you for writing this. Weight gain is apart of the weight loss journey. I have been in your shoes many, many times. I know you can find your way back. Keep writing!

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Thank you Joanna!!!

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Ann Jones October 11, 2017 at 11:53 am

Just found your site. Inspiration at it’s best !! Not always sunshine & roses for sure. It surprises me how easily we can forget – overlook – ignore our success and fall back into bad habits. Hmmmm. Anyways, loved your story and the strength you have to continue on. Thanks so much for putting it out there for me to “stumble” on.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Thank you so much Ann. I like what you said. Stumble on!! hahaa

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Rebecca O October 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Wow, You are such an inspiration. Yes You are very right about life being the rollercoaster thing. 🙂
And its fun reading this article, atimes we just need some breather from the front door.

Will start visiting your sit.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Thank you Rebecca!!

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Jennalynn October 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

Great post, so glad I found your blog. I’m discouraged and tired but you’ve given me hope. God bless you and your family.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 26, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Hi Jennalynn. I relate to discouraged and tired. I have felt that way so many different times. And for some of those times in a long stretch!! However you are right that there is hope. Even when we don’t feel it, it really is there. We just need a glimmer of it! Thank you for throwing some back my way!!! I appreciate it and God bless you and your family too.

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Larissa Stevens October 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I am so moved by this journey. This gives me all the more inspiration to keep pushing toward the goal. 100lbs lighter, here I come. This a very Beautiful Blog. I am Glad I found it 🙂

Going to visit more.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 26, 2017 at 3:14 pm

Thank you Larissa! I appreciate that very much.

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Penney November 5, 2017 at 8:14 am

Holly – You gave me real hope to believe I could try and that I was not the only one feeling the way I have felt for years. Your honesty is inspirational! I pray for you and your kiddo’s every day and always look forward to your blog. Keep being wonderful you!!!

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Sheena November 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

I have never read anything like your stufff before. You are incredibly perceptive and honest with yourself. I just found you yesterday and have read about a dozen of your blogs and I’m totally blown away!!! I love that you are not preaching ‘the answer’ and your observations on what is going on when we ‘win’ and ‘fail’ are invaluable. My situation is pretty similar to yours and as a doctor I am completely mortified that I can’t get a grip on myself- I feel like a fraud every day… I know you have a psychology degree and I was wondering if you have looked into ADHD(inattentive type)? I am pretty certain this is a significant part of my issues. Its quite difficult to find relevant material online as there is much more discussion about hyperactivity and children but if you google ADHD and obesity you might find it interesting.

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Kay November 12, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Soul sister. Thank you so much for writing what so many of us are feeling.

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Jo-Ann C November 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

Hi Holly. Hope all is well with you. I am still out here walking beside you. Not having much success lately so I am going to try your sugar detox to help in my starting over. While doing it did you loose weight?

I always come back here to your blog for inspiration because my journey is so like yours and I know from your writings you would understand. You are such a source of inspiration and understanding. This is so not an easy journey but we keep trying. I am scared not to and I know you get what I mean

I pray for you and your family. I pray you find success in your weight loss journey and great love in your life. You deserve it. Thanks Holly.

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Powell Kay November 27, 2017 at 9:54 am

I love to hear such encouraging stories and replies. Everyone has a special story to tell. My brother changed his life with this program https://fstrckr.com/c0mj. Invariably though, over time, as the weight loss goals are more within reach many find themselves losing motivation and slipping back into old, bad habits. The key is to change your whole mental attitude towards eating and exercising, so that healthy choices become a way of life, rather than a constant struggle.

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