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    HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE   59,435
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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.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYLH1 6/6/2013 6:57PM

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SCOUTMOM715 6/6/2013 6:49PM

    emoticon Holly!! I love your words " 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"!! emoticon emoticon

Happy Sparkversary!!!

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AMBER461 6/6/2013 5:42PM

  Congratulations, you are an inspiration to me and also to your family.You really looks beautifu. Keep up the good work.

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ARUNNINGKAT 6/6/2013 5:20PM

    You are an incredible inspiration! Thanks for sharing an honest look at the hard work, rewards and yes, the slip-ups that go along with this journey to better health.

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LANEYTHEGIRL 6/6/2013 4:38PM

    You are so inspiring. I like your description of this as a roller coaster. It's never "oh, ok. i'm fixed now." Always a challenge. Can't fix what took years to break.

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ANGELAIRENE 6/6/2013 4:13PM

    you go girl! emoticon

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2FAT2FISH 6/6/2013 3:25PM

    You are so awesome and REAL! I love hearing what others have gone through. You are an inspiration.

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MARYJEANSL 6/6/2013 3:20PM

  What a great story! Thank you.

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BASFULBBW1 6/6/2013 2:46PM

  I am so happy for you and yours. I am currently about 316 lbs. I am struggling with having a desire to do anything about it, except attend Overeaters Anonymous. It does hejp, but I need a boost, Thanks for sharing. Judy Williams

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MRSRHAWKINS 6/6/2013 2:30PM

    Nice job! So happy for you and so grateful you shared your story.

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MARYBETH4884 6/6/2013 1:55PM

    Thank you for proving it can be done! I started at 310, so your story ring true for me! Thank you!!

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SEATTLE58 6/6/2013 1:40PM

    Oh my girl, you are doing so miraculous and I can enter in to what you've gone through so much, like being a fat mom! Errrr, I was just that, all the time our kids were growing up and now that they're in their 20's, I'm slimming down and they say Wow and they're so proud of me. I have another 20# to go and then I'll see how I feel. I'm like you too, that I hope to get to goal this year and I'm just going to keep on doing what I'm doing with all the changes little by little and keep melting if off! All we can do, is give our best each and every day. I love how you allow yourself everything, but with portion control now. You're probably like me, that you know you can't touch some goods, like warm bread right out of the oven, etc., and have control. I know that I sure can't. That's why I hardly eat pasta, buttered popcorn any more. I know that my discipline is out the window! You are so smart to take it off when you're so young and your kids are young. emoticon They're grow up with never forgetting all that mom did to accomplish what she did and they'll know that they can do anything that they put their minds to! emoticon emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 6/6/2013 1:34PM

    wow! This gave me chills and tears of happiness for you and your family. What an incredible life you have made for yourself!!

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SUSIEMT 6/6/2013 11:30AM

    Woo Hoo to you Holly! You have spoken many truths out of my own life. Have you been reading my mail? Good on ya girl!

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MRSP90X 6/6/2013 11:07AM

    Congratulation's on all your hard work! Simply inspiring!!

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TINAJANE76 6/6/2013 10:49AM

    Hooray for you, Holly! It makes me so happy to read this and about everything that you've gotten out of this journey. I'm proud to say that I've been around for much of it and hope to celebrate many more successful years with you. Keep up the fantastic work and keep on blogging!


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HFAYE81 6/6/2013 10:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thank you for sharing!!!

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SORLANDO21 6/6/2013 10:35AM

    I love the pic of your kids in your old pants!! Great job!
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CLIMBERS_ROCK 6/6/2013 10:33AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 6/6/2013 10:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IDICEM 6/6/2013 10:03AM

  Congratulations! You've built an amazing life with your family. Inspiring. emoticon

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JUDSTERF 6/6/2013 9:35AM

    What a fabulous testimony! You give me the initiative that I need to do just that!!! I've lost 25# in the last year but I've got another 25 - 35# to lose and would like to lose it this year. You are an inspiration!!!!! I am so happy for you!!!! Keep up the good workk and no that you will win your race, emoticon emoticon emoticon

Judy emoticon

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RENNY2009 6/6/2013 9:08AM

    A good reason to keep up the fight. Thanks for sharing!

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TINY67 6/6/2013 8:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LILORITA 6/6/2013 8:41AM

    Congratulations!! emoticon

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JERICHO1991 6/6/2013 8:11AM

    Inspirational, and a great example for your family.

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ELBEE80 6/6/2013 7:53AM

    Thank you, and thank you again for your entry. It hit the nail on the head. I have been working to lose since October, but had very little and slow success. It has been a roller coaster, but, as you said, I've been hanging on. I have lost about 6 kg (roughly 12 pounds). But my clothes are fitting better and the ones that fit are now getting loose. I realize I need to give myself credit and stop thinking of this as a short term ride, and start looking at it as a life time "hang on for dear life" ride. Slow, maybe, but a steady downward trend.

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KNYAGENYA 6/6/2013 7:49AM

    Good for you. I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work.

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THEIS58 6/6/2013 7:44AM

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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STEVIEBEE569 6/6/2013 7:44AM

    Awesome Job! You look amazing! Keep up the good work!

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CHERYLHURT 6/6/2013 7:02AM

  Amazing! You are POWERFUL!

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OFGREENGABLES 6/6/2013 6:37AM

    congratulations!

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ALOFA0509 6/6/2013 6:24AM

    Amazing!!! sooo loved this post- U have been one of my Go To Girls on Spark these past few yrs!!! Keep inspiring- Hugs,Alofa

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TEMPEST272002 6/6/2013 1:05AM

    Beautiful blog. You have been such an inspiration to me over the past few years and you continue to be today. By embracing a healthy lifestyle you've transformed your entire family and set such a wonderful example to your children. I love seeing the race blogs with your kids in them! Thank you for sharing your hard-won wisdom. Happy 3rd sparkversary!

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MANILUS 6/6/2013 12:27AM

    I am so happy for you and your family! You look great!

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KATIEM929 6/5/2013 11:46PM

    So encouraging! Thanks for sharing!
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ROXYCARIN 6/5/2013 11:32PM

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SCRAPBECCA 6/5/2013 10:22PM

    inspirational!

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SAMWISE121 6/5/2013 10:21PM

    Omg! Good Job!! emoticon

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NORMAGAIL2 6/5/2013 10:09PM

    How awesome you look and what super accomplishments you have made! Thanks so much for sharing about your journey! I hope that I can follow in your footsteps!

Gail

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MARIANNMC 6/5/2013 10:06PM

    I'm just beginning my journey... And it's hard. It's hard to imagine being faithful to this new way of life. You inspire me. I hope and pray that three years from now I can write a success blog like yours! You are beautiful!

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PEACEHOPE1 6/5/2013 9:56PM

    How wonderful! You look amazing, and so healthy! Congratulations!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 6/5/2013 9:32PM

    You are awesome, Holly!

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 6/5/2013 8:40PM

    Beautiful story and a beautiful family emoticon

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WINTERPARKS33 6/5/2013 7:41PM

  Absolutely loved your post. Thank you so much for sharing. You're right - it's your life, and I'm so glad to have read your post and felt your positivity. Congratulations on all your hard work and the results.

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SEARCHINGNANA1 6/5/2013 7:40PM

    I can only repeat what everyone else has said. Thanks for sharing your journey and the motivation to keep going. Thanks for the reminder that slow and steady wins the race. I'm more motivated than ever.

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AJB121299 6/5/2013 7:23PM

    great job

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KENZYE 6/5/2013 5:38PM

    Awesome! You are an inspiration.

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NANDESMAMA 6/5/2013 4:32PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had tears in my eyes when you were talking about your son at school. I absolutely love your roller coaster analogy! Great job and keep up the great work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LISS741 6/5/2013 1:34PM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! This was such an inspirational thing for me to read and today of all days it was needed! Congratulations on all your hard work!

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