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    HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE   70,213
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints

3 Years and Counting

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Sunday, June 02, 2013

My journey actually started Memorial Day weekend in 2010. Who starts a "diet" on a major Holiday weekend?!? Little did I know that Monday was going to be the first day of the rest of my life. Yes, it's a little cliche, but it's a lot true!

The week before, I had my big "aha" moment when I was volunteering in my son Jake's classroom. We were standing in line to go outside and Jake introduced me to one of his friends. The little boy looked at me, then looked at Jake and said, "your mom's fat." Jake looked at me, and said nothing. What could he say? Kids speak the unfiltered truth. The look in his eyes broke my heart, and it was then that I decided that I HAD to do something. I wasn't going to be the fat mom... my kids weren't going to be embarrassed to have me in their classroom... and I certainly wasn't going to have them picked on because of ME.

I've been overweight my entire life. The only "normal" picture I have of myself, was when I was in kindergarten. I was the chubby kid on the soccer team, and the fat girl on the swim team. When I got to college, the late night pizza and beer didn't do me any favors, and the freshman 15 turned into the college career 40. Soon after college, I was an obese bride, and then became morbidly obese when I got pregnant. I remember being at the doctor's office a year or so after I had my daughter, and I was told that I weighed 290. That was the last time I looked at the scale, and one of few times I went to the doctor after that, unless absolutely necessary. Even then, I would get on the scale backwards so I didn't have to see the numbers.

The only pictures I have of myself before... From 270's to my highest of 307

This has been my mantra since the beginning. I knew that everything about the way I lived my life had to change. So I did what most people do... I stopped eating everything I enjoyed and ate things that were "good for me." No more chips, pizza or chocolate. Goodbye cereal, pasta and bread. New additions included carrots, celery and cottage cheese. I also drank more water on a daily basis than they have in Lake Erie! After a week of eating all those foods that I couldn't stand, I Googled "calorie counting" and found SparkPeople in June 2010.

Little by little, things started to change, and I realized that I didn't have to eat celery and carrots to lose weight. I could still eat all the food I loved, I just need to use portion control. I'm an extremely picky eater, so this information was priceless. I could still have a hamburger with mac and cheese, but I didn't eat the bun and measured out my mac instead of filling the plate. Don't misunderstand me, over the last 3 years, my tastes have definitely changed for the better. Lots more fruits and veggies, but I still don't like carrots! I still eat pretty low carb, simply because I've found that, for me, the more bread, cereal and pasta I have, the more I crave it. I don't have that problem though with whole grains like brown rice, couscous or quinoa. I still eat cereal couple times a month, bread and rolls once in a while and, maybe a few times a year I'll have pasta. I'm not avoiding them, but I don't even WANT them like I used to.

I also knew I had to start moving. I had lead a VERY sedentary lifestyle, and walking down the street was all I could handle at 307lbs. It took just 5-10 minutes depending on the temps outside, but it was 5-10 minutes that I did every day. At that point there was also a lot of embarrassment, which kept me from venturing out any further. I was thankful that, at that point, it's all I had to do to start losing weight. I work full time, have a family to take care of and a household to run, I didn't have time to work out 2 hrs a day. Over time, I started incorporating other forms of exercise... videos, treadmill, elliptical, strength training, and in 2011, I even joined a gym. After a while though, I wasn't getting anything out of it that I couldn't do on my own, so in January of 2012, I quit. The manager said "you're quitting the gym in January!?!" Ahhh, yes I am, I can do this on my own, and I always have. *she said with a big grin*

I've always compared this journey to a roller coaster ride. Lots of highs and lows, and most of the time, you have to hang on for dear life for fear of falling off. Unfortunately, just like a roller coaster, the highs are followed very quickly by a low. I would hit these great milestones... I lost 100 pounds, YAY!!! I'm still not under 200, Ohhhh. I can fit into my husbands sweatshirt AND my kids can wrap their arms all the way around me when they hug me, YAY!!! (I cried when I hit that milestone) Let's celebrate by eating an ENTIRE pizza, ohhhhh. True story, I cried for a different reason after that. I can fit into restaurant booths and amusement park rides, YAY!!! I still eat fast food and park garbage, ohhhhh. See... up, down, around the bend and back again... oh, wait, I have to stay ON the ride... forever!?!? All of these things... the good, the bad, the extremely ugly, and the way in which you deal with it, is what makes this journey what it is.

I've learned so much about myself over the last 3 years. This isn't about eating right and exercising anymore, anyone can do that. For me, this is about finding MY inner strength to stay on the roller coaster and finish what I started. By finding out exactly what I'm made of, I've been able to find that better version of me. We all have that person inside, the one you want to be, but can't find the courage to be. I've always been pretty friendly and outgoing, as long as someone approached me. If not, I'd be fine with sitting at the table all night. Now, I'm the first one to walk in the door. I'm finally SO happy with who I am and who I've become.

All of that being said, the changes we've made as a family FAR outweigh the changes I've made for myself. Before, I hardly left the house even to play with my kids. I didn't want to go to the zoo or amusement parks, because within 30 minutes I'd be exhausted and sweaty. You can forget the lake, a pool or a water park, because that meant a swimsuit, yeah, like THAT was happening! Just over the last year even, we've taken family bike rides, participated in multiple 5k's, and had races up and down the street. We've gone to the zoo a dozen times, climbed Panama Rocks, and gone to amusement parks. Yes, we've also been to the lake, the pool, and even a water park. Not only am I thankful for this transformation, but my family's life has improved ten-fold.

I have to admit that I've been slaking a bit lately. I haven't been exactly worried about getting 5 workouts a week done, and I haven't turned down ice cream, well... ever! I'd like to be at goal by the end of the year, but I know if I'm not, I'll just keep working on it. This isn't a diet, this isn't a fad, or a phase. This is my LIFE, and because of the changes I've made, I get to live it the way I was meant to. Even if that means having a s'more or 3 at camp!

Over the last 3 years I've lost 140 pounds, and 63 inches from my entire body. I'm only 60 inches tall, think about that! I've lost 24 of those from my waist alone! I've lost a lot over the last few years, but I've gained a new life because of it. Don't let ANYONE tell you that it can't be done with hard work and dedication.

both of my kids fit into my old 28's.

the waist of my 14's just make it to the pockets of those 28's

My size 12 dress pants, and large top

One last thing, I wanted to thank ALL of my friends who have been there for me, old and new. Though all of the good, the bad, and ESPECIALLY the ugly. It's so hard to do this alone, and I'm so grateful I don't have to.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CATNCAG 4/19/2014 8:49AM

    Wow what an amazing & inspiring journey u have had! U look amazing! U r my hero! Seriously!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Thank you for sharing this. Yours is a beautiful story. Wish I had your knowledge thirty years ago. Only now realizing how I must have negatively impacted my child's life.

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CRISCOLIBRI 7/24/2013 1:34PM

    Thanks for your amazing words, they are giving me hope and strength!
I am "starting again" and truly appreciate this blog.

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JRICHART 7/10/2013 9:29PM

    Omg! This blog is just what I needed today! Just yesterday I wrote about some of the highs and lows I have had over the past month...I saw them as a roller coaster too. It was so encouraging to read your story and words of encouragement. You are beautiful and such an amazing woman. Thanks for helping us all on our own journey! emoticon

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LIZ324_NYC 7/8/2013 11:53AM

    You look awesome and are a great inspiration!!! emoticon emoticon

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TIGER_LILY_613 7/3/2013 11:41AM

  Wow. Just wow. I'm blown away !
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ADDISONS-NANA 7/3/2013 8:21AM

    How do I save this so I can read it everyday!?

I have been on this path working to lose weight and get healthy for well, what seems my whole adult life. I have had success for short periods of time...lose 30, 40 at one time I lost 100 pounds....but I always seem to "find " it again...I am back and my mantra is " never giving up on myself and the hope of being smaller, lighter, happier and healthier"...

Holly reading your blog today gave me so much insight and motivation....I love how you described the roller coaster because that is exactly how I have felt...and in my mind I was thinking..." I can't do this, I will never get to my goal, so give up." Which I did for 2 months...I gained 20 pounds in two pounds....but I got the courage to come back and try again...and just today I was looking for motivation and I thought of my spark friends who have motivated me in the past...and I thought about you Holly, and I checked in on your page...and it led me to this blog...tears streaming down my cheeks I saw myself in your words....better yet...I saw my future in your words and I am filled with motivation and hope right now...

I see the roller coaster differently and it is the means to the's not the enemy!

THANK YOU so so so much for sharing your journey and continuing to be so darn REAL and honest with are a true gift to many... emoticon emoticon

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WIGIME 6/28/2013 5:32AM

    Great Blog Holly, it was nice to hear your story. The pictures are amazing!

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    How did I miss this one? Again, you're an inspiration. Seeing how it has affected your family life is a big motivation for me. I don't want to ever again be embarrassed to go to pools, water parks or amusement parks. That's the fun stuff you get to do with kids! Now I get to do those things without fear of not fitting in the seats. Although since having the baby, I'm still worried I'll be a little smushed, lol... gotta work on that.

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CARLING33 6/21/2013 1:29PM

    Great blog Holly! You are such an inspiration!

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    What a great story you deserve the great life you are making

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READY4CHANGE81 6/18/2013 2:27PM

    incredibly blog! you made me tear up so many times because I can relate to your journey! It makes me see the light at the end of the tunnel and the happiness I will feel when I truly find ME... a better version of me! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! You're incredible!

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COOKIE_AT_51 6/18/2013 7:10AM

    Thank you Holly ... for sharing the good, bad, and the ugly. You are emoticon and such an inspiration.

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Spark on ~ Cookie

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ACTIONHEROFOX 6/11/2013 9:47AM


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MUSICMAKER4GOD 6/11/2013 2:08AM

    I see in you the me I want to be. Thank you for sticking to it for 3 years and helping me to see that I too can do this. Great job.

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PENOWOK 6/10/2013 8:02AM

    You look positively amazing!! Don't let anyone or anything derail you!! Your kids are counting n you!!

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    I'm a bit late finding your blog but I still want to say I am so impressed by what you've done for yourself and your kids.

What a wonderful mother you are to your children and what an amazing example you are to all of us here at SP.

Thank you so much for helping me get up and go for it again today.

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KARENKANDO 6/9/2013 6:18AM

    What an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing with all of us. You are truly an inspiration!

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NANADEE44 6/8/2013 11:23PM

    You had me smiling all the way through, because I just knew this story was going to have a happy ending. What a delightful lady you are! I love your photos and the one of the kids modeling your jeans is priceless. Congratulations on your successes and your failures, for it's pretty obvious, you have learned from those failures and moved forward. We can all learn a lot from you.

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ROBYNROSE26 6/8/2013 12:19PM

    What an amazing journey you have had, Congratulations!

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    You look amazing!

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ONUTHIN125 6/8/2013 8:56AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PJCMB701 6/8/2013 6:43AM

    Congratulations Thanks for sharing your journey. Truly inspiring.

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SHARIPAM 6/8/2013 6:42AM

  Awesome job! You look amazing, happy and healthy! And I love your hair! Keep that positive attitude, girl, and you will accomplish whatever you set your mind to!

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NIKO27 6/8/2013 6:24AM


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EOWYN2424 6/8/2013 4:17AM

    Wow! You look smashing!

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LOSIN_IT4GOOD 6/8/2013 1:36AM

    Yoe are an inspiration to all of us. Thanks!

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LADYBUGFAERIE 6/8/2013 12:31AM

    emoticon Wow! What an amazing job you have done! emoticon on all your success... Here's to another go 'round on the roller coaster!

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ELLIEW4 6/8/2013 12:17AM

  Congratulations! You should be really, really proud of yourself and the example you have set for your family and friends!

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LISA_FRAME 6/7/2013 10:52PM


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HLTHYRNRMOM 6/7/2013 8:44PM

    You are so awesome! Proud for you! Also, concerned I really WANT to lose weight, but apparently haven't had my a-ha moment b/c I can't seem to get back on track!


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CARMENB66 6/7/2013 8:15PM

    I enjoyed reading your story. A BIG Congratulations to you. You really look amazing. You are an inspiration to me and to so many others.

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    What a beautiful blog! I loved reading it. The whole thing made my heart swell and my eyes fill with tears... you've done such a wonderful job and it's so inspiring. The most inspiring part of it is your attitude and your inner strength! Thanks for sharing!

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TRACY31502 6/7/2013 7:01PM

    LOVED reading this! I WISH I would have wrote it! I feel the same way!!!! :) AMAZING girl just AMAZING!!!!

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CYNTSATIONAL 6/7/2013 2:04PM

    emoticon and you are emoticon . emoticon and emoticon ! emoticon job on your journey and continued success on your pathway! Your blog was a great message for me today! Keep SPARKing!

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JANEMARIE77 6/7/2013 2:02PM

    way to go you are strong amazing and worth it

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AHALTOM 6/7/2013 1:51PM

    Great post. You look amazing and judging by your smile in your photos you feel even better. I too am 60 inches tall and the transition from losing weight, but growing into a better, happier person is such a great experience. I walk into a room and my confidence helps me feel a lot taller than what I am. It makes me happy to learn others have experienced too.

Keep it up.

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_BACK2BASICS_ 6/7/2013 10:07AM

    Reading your blog brought tears of happiness to my eyes for you and tears of empathy since I know how you feel about not wanting to embarrass your children, or be the cause of them being teased. CONGRATULATIONS to you on such a fantastic job! I really like how you are so realistic and realize it's not a short term diet, but a lifestyle of different behaviors and habits, which is going to have its ups and downs~ just like a roller coaster. Wishing you only the best as you continue to journey toward your goals! emoticon

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SIMONEKP 6/7/2013 9:50AM

    What a great blog and so inspirational

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CYND59 6/7/2013 8:59AM

    You have done great. Such an inspiration. I know your kids and hubby must be proud of you!

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SJKENT1 6/7/2013 8:43AM

    Thank you for sharing your story and roller coaster ride... you are so right it is about Life and how we want to live it.

God bless you

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NEWTINK 6/7/2013 7:31AM

    emoticon amazing emoticon

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DEBI60X60 6/7/2013 2:21AM

    emoticon Your story is amazing, and so inspirational. Thank you for sharing your journey. emoticon emoticon

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CORNERKICK 6/7/2013 12:43AM


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LIZ558800 6/7/2013 12:16AM

  Thank you for sharing your story...As moms, we need to be healthy not only for us but for them so we can enjoy being with them and participate in their lives!!! You are a true inspiration...just what I needed to read! Thanks and all the best to you and your family! emoticon

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REGILIEH 6/6/2013 11:36PM

    WOW!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 6/6/2013 10:10PM


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JAMER123 6/6/2013 9:01PM

    You are so right, this isn't a diet!! That word needs to be thrown out and replaced by a way of life!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Glad you shared!

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MARIFLOWER 6/6/2013 8:25PM

  This is just what I needed to hear. My journey is so incredibly slow it's unbelievable and it seems sometimes like what am I doing? But the point is I can do this much so even if it comes off slow, it comes off and the healthy choices and fitness make my life better regardless of whether it's coming off as fast as I'd like, so I'll just keep chugging along!!! Thank you for sharing your story!

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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