Saturday, September 26, 2015

Transforming Hollie

Wow... I'm always amazed at how long it is between blog posts now! I mean, I don't intend to abandon my blog! It's just very easy to document my journey with Instagram or Facebook (follow me there if you're not already).

I am going to start blogging again because BIG things are in the works. I've made some pretty significant goals that have nothing to do with weight loss. Well, they do... but more about being healthy.

So if you're interested in reading, I have a new blog called Transforming Hollie. Come see me over there! And I will still be on Facebook and Instagram.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Catching up...

Greetings from Florida y'all! So much has happened in the past month that it would take a whole novel to catch everyone up but I'll try.

I finished my 24 day challenge with a loss of about 20 pounds. I felt great and was really psyched. Not too long after that I found out that I needed to have a hysterectomy ASAP. Rather than be discouraged or set myself up for a setback I continued with good eating and had my surgery on June 10.

I am really convinced that doing the challenge before my surgery helped me with my recovery. Going in with a healthy body (or healthier) felt good.

When I got out of the hospital my recovery went better than normal. I was up and walking around within a day and experience little to no pain. I continued to eat as well as I could but it was hard because you must remember I was packing up my house to move to Florida at the same time all of this was happening.

I admit, a lot of pizza was eaten. You can't beat $5 pizza from Little Caesars when you're feeding 6 people on a budget. But I did cook as healthy as I could until about two days before the actual move. I was proud of myself for that.

My family and I have been in Florida since Saturday. So far unpacking and getting settled has been nice. I was without a stove for a few days because I forgot to get the gas service turned on, and my stove in my apartment runs on gas. But now I'm cooking and made sure to go ahead and stock my cabinets with healthy food.

I really feel like my lifestyle as far as eating and exercise will change dramatically down here in Florida. I feel a shift happening and maybe I have craved it for a long time. Maybe that is why the transition and the relocation went so smoothly. Maybe this is just my destiny.

Yesterday I wore a 2-pc swimsuit on the beach. First time EVER wearing one in public. But I was confident and felt great in my skin. Maybe it's the knowledge that I am on track and eating well at least 80% of the time. Maybe because in my own mind I know that I have had 1 million excuses as to why I could've fallen off track but I have not.

I feel great. And I'm looking forward to an awesome new life!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day 14 - I'm 39 :)

Well, God has blessed me with another year! I'm super thankful to celebrate a birthday at such an exciting time in my life. Yesterday I was pretty much kicked out of my house all day so my landlords could show my house for rent. I'm technically leaving a month before my lease is up, so if they rent it before July 1 I save that rent. And they did... So it was worth it!

I made good food choices all day. And I skipped cake altogether which was HUGE for me. I've NEVER EVER had a birthday with no cake or sweets. I had this instead...

Major victory. 

I also made it to the gym today for the first time since starting the challenge. Better late than never, right?

I did a little meal prep today... Some siracha bbq chicken breasts, protein balls, and cut up a watermelon. Eating clean and making good choices is getting easier by the day. I feel my habits changing for the better.

I passed on cake for my birthday for God's sake!

My goal is to stay focused so I CAN enjoy delicious cake for graduation this Saturday. My friend, Allison, makes cakes that are truly worth it? So I will indulge then. But I'm ok with it because I've planned for a month. It's not done on an impulse. 

Lifestyle change, right?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day 11 - Weigh in results

Not too shabby! Especially considering that I haven't exercised a single day (not counting just being active) and I'm bloated from my period. And yesterday I had a surprise dinner date for my birthday and didn't get in all my water! This challenge is working... And I'm pumped to see what the next 14 days has in store.

I stopped posting my food daily since the food police came out and started criticizing my choices. And I've been super busy ending the school year (I am done!).


Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 4... Almost forgot!

Pre-breakfast: Fiber and spark 
Breakfast: 6 mini egg muffins, low-sugar oatmeal
Morning snack: banana, 2 protein bites
Lunch: Leigh's baked pasta, watermelon 
Dinner: turkey meatloaf, sweet potatoes and green beans.
Late snack: one protein ball

I'm doing this daily for accountability. It's 1 am and I'm laying here awake from ruthless cramping. And of course I'm hungry. Dinner was later than usual because I was meal prepping, so I didn't have a good snack like I usually do.

I made protein balls for the first time and ate one of them just to try them. Pretty good, but not as good as my neighbor made them. Mine are dryer, so I'll adjust the recipe next time.

Basically they are almond butter, honey, flaxseeds and oats. 

Next week is my last week of school and my last week of teaching at my current job. Lots of emotions, but I am still excited that the move is so close! We booked a moving truck on Friday, so it's getting real! 

But with end of the school year comes a lot of eating opportunity. Even if I dodge that bullet, I still have to wrestle with my birthday and graduation the following week. 

No matter what I'm still glad I did this challenge now instead of waiting. I desperately need to do something NOW. I need the accountability and routine. Even if I can't be 100% perfect.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day 3 - On the go

Today's grub:

Pre-breakfast: Fiber and spark
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 3 slices center cut bacon, red potatoes. 
Morning snack: watermelon, 2 protein bites
Lunch: Leigh's baked pasta
Dinner: Mexican shredded chicken breast on 2 high-fiber wraps, watermelon.
Late snack: two rice cakes with peanut butter
Later snack: banana (worked late)

Today was SUPER busy from start to finish, but I made it with no cheats! This morning my baby did another fun run (in the rain). As you can see, it was a color run and she had a blast.

I came home and greedily ate what has become my favorite snack... I don't have the recipe yet for these protein balls, but I know they have oats and almond butter. I also know they are delicious and I think about them all day. 

I had time to come home for just a bit before we were off to TWO softball games. I am happy I thought to pack my "dinner" meal because look what HE went and got from concessions! That burger looked really good, but I was ok with skipping it. 

Overall I'm still feeling focused. No real cravings just yet. 

Good news.. I have TWO job interviews lined up for Tuesday. Prayers and well wishes are appreciated. I'd LOVE to have a job lined up before the move.

I also got news yesterday that I will be having a hysterectomy 10 days before I move. Timing SUCKS but it is what it is. I'll write more on it later... I'm still not 100% sure if my insurance will cover what I need for it to.

I think I just realized that food is about the only thing I can 100% control right now in my life. Too many variables, it seems. With work, with the move... even with my kids. I'm just happy that stress and emotional eating is not taking over.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 2 - eating clean

Today's food...

Pre-breakfast: Fiber and spark 
Breakfast: 6 mini egg muffins, pkg low sugar oatmeal. 
Morning snack: watermelon, 2 protein bites
Lunch: Leigh's baked pasta, strawberries
Dinner: Mexican shredded chicken breast on high-fiber wrap, slice of cheese, sweet potato and watermelon.
Late snack: two rice cakes with peanut butter

Felt like a lot of food, but I guess I'm conditioned for restrictions. I'm learning to eat every three hours... I have alarms set on my IPhone. One meal was eaten in the car, and I had to pack one to go. I'm dealing with a medical issue that has had me off work for two days. 

Stressed. Emotional. But not turning to food. 

Oh, and I was offered cake today. And turned it down.

I also made a new Facebook page... Not a 'Page' but an add-me profile. I feel like I'm starting over so it seems appropriate.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Advocare 24-day Challenge - Day 1

First things first... The scale.

Damn. Here I was fooling myself into thinking I was doing better, or maintaining. 

Yeah, right.

Next, measurements.

Equally depressing.

But it was all fuel for the fire. 

I skipped my morning coffee for a Spark. Which was fine except for the caffeine withdrawal headache all day. 

I have read that the fiber drink is nasty, but I was fortunate to get the new flavorless kind. Mixed it with Spark and couldn't tell it was even in there. 

Eating every three hours was a challenge... Because I'm in the habit of eating constantly? I don't know but I definitely wasn't hungry. 

Pre-breakfast: Fiber and spark 
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 3 slices center cut bacon, one bite each of banana and watermelon (banana was too soft, taste tested watermelon). 
Morning snack: watermelon, 2 protein bites
Lunch: Leigh's baked pasta
Dinner: Mexican shredded chicken breast on two high-fiber wraps, small amount of shredded cheese. Watermelon.
Late snack: two rice cakes with peanut butter

My Advocare coach, who is a good friend and neighbor, MEAL PREPPED for me yesterday! Talk about setting me up for success! She made some protein balls that are so good! She also made a whole-wheat pasta dish, egg muffins, and a bag of Mexican marinated chicken that you throw in the crockpot and shred.

It was all great and filling. I plan on making some turkey meatloaf muffins, but I should have enough meals to get me to Sunday. Then I will meal prep myself.

I'm giving this 120%!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Finding motivation... And a little Spark!

On some days - hell, weeks - I find bits and pieces of motivation wherever I can. As all of you know, I've been struggling BIG TIME for the past 6 months. I've regained a lot... Close to 30 lbs. but at least for the past few weeks I've stopped gaining and pretty much been holding around 290. Getting so dangerously close to 300 lbs again is so scary.

But my will to eat crap has been stronger than my will to give it all up. I just can't seem to get motivated.

Well, about a week or so ago I saw a post from my neighbor that she has been doing a challenge and drinking an energy drink called Spark. I've heard of Spark from another friend who was selling Advocare at the time. 

I contacted her about buying some because I felt like it might help pick me up in the afternoons when my energy levels go to ZERO around 2 pm. She directed me to another close neighbor who hooked me up with a variety box.

Let's just say that after a few days, I was hooked on Spark. Good energy without jitters, and I had no problem going to sleep at night. 

Fast forward to yesterday. My neighbor next door has signed up with Advocare to be a distributor, and my neighbor across the street had a get-together yesterday morning about the business and the products. She invited everyone to join her on what they call a 24-day Challenge and I signed up!

Now, let me be honest. I've tried several direct sales weight loss plans... Isagenix and Body by Vi to name two. Neither of them worked out well for me, and it made me very skeptical. But I also didn't invest any money with either of those plans (I was offered them for free) so I didn't have anything to lose, really.

But for this Advocare challenge, I'm financially invested. And I'm very excited to try it. I am praying that this is the boost that I need. A jumpstart to get back on track for good. Summer is so close and also the move to Jacksonville. I figure that 24 days will be well spent if I am doing something to get me back to where I need to be.

Hopefully my challenge kit will be here by Wednesday of this week. I will start it the day after I get it. My neighbor introduced me to a lot of good recipes yesterday at her get together and I am also going to start looking for ones of my own. I am going to give up coffee for 24 days and only drink a spark in the mornings. 

I am going to give it 100%. I'm going to do everything I can to make this work. This is totally different from anything that I've done in a long time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I have very exciting news that I finally feel comfortable enough to share...


Crazy, huh? But yes, I have prayed and contemplated on this for years. In the last six months or so, I decided to start seriously considering this move. My oldest daughter and nephew both graduate from high school this year, and it's time to make a change. As a family, we are all excited. My college bound kids both decided to stay in Tennessee for college, but are excited to be able to visit a new home in Florida on school breaks and holidays.

Things have really been falling into place. This past weekend, I was able to find an apartment that is 37 MINUTES FROM THE BEACH! I'm so excited. Now, I just need to find a job, but I am in the application process for two school districts and I am not worried about finding something that is perfect.

My life is about to change in big ways! I have taken a huge leap of faith, but I am so excited for a fresh start.

After spending both Saturday and Sunday morning on the beach, I realized how easy it can be to lead an active lifestyle when I get down there. I can totally see myself taking long walks on the beach. There were also lots of bootcamps and group exercises going on. It was exciting.

I also noticed that EVERYONE on the beach is in a bikini or two-piece... no matter what the size. Which I think is pretty awesome. But I know that in my current condition, I'd be way too self conscious.

And the picture we took this weekend... Um, no. As cute as I felt in my maxi skirt and tank, the re-gained pounds really show. And it just made me feel... disgusted?

So when I got back on Monday I was motivated. Very motivated.

I don't have a PLAN per, se. But so far this week I've been counting calories and drinking water like it's my job. Oh, and I actually packed a gym bag and went to workout after school yesterday.

Small changes, but at least I'm doing SOMETHING.