Thursday, December 26, 2013

2014 goal... Starting NOW


This has been such an amazing year as far as my weight loss journey goes. No... I haven't lost as much weight as I wanted to. Yes, I've basically been on a plateau for six months. But I've learned a great deal. I've learned about nutrients and macronutrients and juicing and fasting and food addiction and sugar and non-scale victories and the importance of weight training... The list goes on. 

For the last week or so I've been doing a lot of praying and soul searching about the upcoming new year. I've been exercising again, but my eating has been full of comfort foods and sugary treats. I know that I'm in my addiction right now. My excuse has been that I just need to get past Christmas. 

Well, Christmas is over. It's time to get started.

I have decided to do something very drastic next year. I am totally eliminating refined sugar, white carbs and gluten. Not for 21-days, or for a challenge.

For good. No cheats. I'm giving it up. 

It's my drug. My body craves 'sugar' and substances that turn into sugar in my body. Fruit... Even though it's sugar... Does not make me crazy. So (for now) fruit will be allowed. But the rest of the stuff is not allowed.

Crazy, huh? Drastic. But I know I can do it. I know it has to be done. Like any other person addicted to drugs or alcohol... I know that I can't have refined sugar or bad carbs in moderation. I must eliminate it from my diet.

I pray that the Daniel Fast will help me prepare my mind, body and spirit for this lifestyle change. I believe it will be a good starting point. God knows I'm going to need to rely on Him a lot this year to have the willpower and strength to beat this addiction. 

But I will. I have set a new goal of 175 lbs. and I BELIEVE I will meet that goal in 2014.

Failure is no longer an option.

The new year starts today with a gradual detox from sweets and bad carbs. Lots of lean meats and veggies and fruit until my fast on January 1. I will hopefully begin to prepare my body now instead of last-minute binging like I usually do. I've got a Teatox from SwamiMami I've been wanting to try. 

I'm just so ready. I'm sick and tired of feel in sick and tired.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The most wonderful time of the year!

I am actually excited about Christmas this year! The kids and I put a tree up (sometimes we don't) and we have been focused on all the blessings this year has given us. Our pastor has had three excellent sermons on Christmas this month that I'm thankful for. My Christmas spirit is definitely on high! 


The cat has basically destroyed our little tree, which ticks me off. She is living in the garage until Decembet 26!

I had a good workout yesterday despite being crazy sore from Saturdays beating. From my Instagram post...
 

I didn't realize until today how much technology played into my workout! I started on the treadmill to do intervals, but I couldn't get my music app OR the nike app to work! I was about ready to fling my phone across the gym because I was so mad, but after turning the phone off and back on I at least got my music to work. It was at this time I realized I had forgot to turn on my HRM! So it took a good 13 min to get it together, but I had a good workout. 30 min on the treadmill, 15 min on a new machine that's a cross between a stepper and an elliptical? Not sure what it's called. 



This morning I practically rolled out of bed. Everything is sore! But I'll still work out today... Maybe a walk in the park? And my friend is going to join me this evening for Pilated and Fuse, which should be fun.

I'm gonna watch Hungry for Change this morning as another step in preparing for my Daniel Fast. I'm looking forward to it... But I know it's going to be a big deal. I'm going to incorporate some juicing in there, too. 

Although I've been doing great with exercise, my eating hasn't been the best. I made a lasagna for dinner last night (haven't made lasagna in 10 years prob) and it was so good! I'll start doing some baking for Christmas tonight and tomorrow. But it will all be over by Friday. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Daniel Fast


I mentioned on IG/Facebook the other day that I intend on doing the Daniel Fast. I bought this book on Kindle for only $2.99 and I've been reading it and taking notes. I REALLY think this fast will help me get closer to God, and at the same time reset my body and detox from sugar and processed food. 

My struggle is more mental than physical... I've learned this over the past year. I believe that I need to fix my soul and fill the emptiness there, since I'm always trying to fill that emptiness with food. And I'm craving a stronger relationship with God. It's all connected.

I had an awesome workout this morning. I was the only one who showed up to Calorie Crush class, so Caley (my favorite instructor) gave me lots of one-on-one and it felt like I had a personal trainer. She also encouraged me to stick with and increase my strength training. I was totally exhausted after our workout, but it felt so good to work past my comfort zone.

My goal for this weekend is to get my water in because I've been totally slacking. I'm also going to workout 2xs daily during break, and start cutting down on sugar (except for Christmas). I need to make the rest of 2013 count, and get prepared to start 2014 strong!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas break?


I'm struggling today. 

I should be really happy because it's the beginning of my Christmas break (2 weeks off!). But I've been very sad and emotional for a few days. One of our special kids at school passed away on Monday evening. She was not one of my students, but I was around this child for 4 years. And I'm very sad for this family because this is their second child to die with this rare disorder. Last night was visitation at the funeral home and I lost it. Came home and ate pizza with my kids.

Which, of course made me feel like crap emotionally and physically. And I still feel crappy today. I've barely had any water and I've been in the bed since around 1pm with a headache. 

Tomorrow is the day that I'm supposed to start 2-a-day workouts. And get my eating under control. And I'm scared that I won't do it.

Crazy, right? But my mindset and willpower are weak. But I also know there is no way I can exist like this until after Christmas. I've got to get better.

If I can just get in that gym in the morning I know it will set my mood for the remainder of the day. So that's my goal. 





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blogging


I've decided to start blogging again. 

When I first started this blog back in September 2008, it was a journal to document my weight loss journey. I never in a million years thought that people would actually WANT to read about my life and my struggles with weight loss. Here I am 5 years later... still not at goal.

But I'm still TRYING. I'm still DETERMINED. And I still appreciate the support and encouragement that I have received over the years. I've made so many friends in the blogosphere and in real life!

Since I've started to journal (paper and pen style) more lately, I've decided to take my thoughts and feelings back to the blog. I want to take this blog back to what it was supposed to be in the first place... my journal. My personal thoughts and feelings and struggles. And I stopped putting all that on here because I felt like my failure in weight loss was letting everyone down.

But I've still used Facebook and Instagram as tools to "document" what's happening. So why not bring it all back home?

Yeah... that sounds like a good idea.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Addiction



My name is Hollie, and I'm a compulsive overeater, a food addict, and sugar addict.

This is my reality. And it's time that I started dealing with this again, or else I'm going to be over 300 lbs again before I know it.

A week ago, I celebrated one year of continuously striving for weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. I was feeling pretty good, I had a plan of action, and I was ready to make things happen.

Then, something happened. I had a death in the family. I had to deal with some emotions brought on from someone in my past. Work was stressful. Add to that the already high level of tension I am feeling from being a single parent who is struggling financially through the holiday season and it happened.

The binging started Wednesday. And it didn't end until today.

I guess I am thankful that I'm able to recognize what's happening, but it feels awful nonetheless. A friend suggested writing in a journal, and after a short time of writing yesterday I had to admit to myself that I just can't handle sugar.

See, last December when I got started, I also began attending Overeater Annonymous meetings. I didn't realize that compulsive overheating and sugar addiction was so real until I started attending those meetings. And remember, I stayed clean (sugar free) for 90+ days. But during that time, I was also attending meetings. When soccer started this spring, I stopped going to the meetings and the sugar crept back in.

I didn't see it as a problem. I was in control. I had a 'cheat' here and there... No big deal.

Fast forward 8 months. I indulge in sugary treats whenever I want, and even when I try to abstain, I still fail to keep sweets out of my diet. And now I'm binging again.

I have come to the conclusion that many people in my OA meetings already know... I just can't have it. Sweet, sugary treats are not just something I can enjoy on occasion. I'm going to have to eliminate them entirely. At least for a while. Maybe someday after the weight is off and I've maintained a while, I can add occasional sweets back in. But right now... It's cold turkey.

My addicted brain tells me to wait until New Years, but I already made it through last years holiday season with no treats, so I know I can do it again. I just don't want to. But I have to.

I recalculated my macros on myfitnesspal and also lowered my calories a bit from what I got on the IIFYM website. I'm going to try it for a week and see how it goes.

I know that once I get clean I will feel better, but right now I feel awful. Mentally and physically. I'm really struggling with EVERYTHING right now and I hate that feeling. Please pray that I can get through these next few days of detox.


Monday, December 2, 2013

One year later...


It was one year ago today that I had enough... 319 lbs and miserable, I went sugar-free/low carb in an attempt to lose weight and get on track for good! I've been pushing ever since and have lost 50+ lbs.

A year later, I'm happy to say that I'm still hanging in there. I won't give up, no matter how long it takes me to get to goal! 

My goals for this month...


My focus will be getting my food back under control... I feel myself slipping back into old, bad habits. I can't let that happen!


Monday, November 25, 2013

GIVEAWAY! Zhena's Slim Me Tea

A few weeks ago I was approached by a representative of Zhena's Gypsy tea and offered a free sample of their new teas called Extra Strength Slim Me Tea. At the time, I was experimenting with different green tea flavors. After reading the ingredient list, and doing my own little background check on the company (it's solid!), I agreed to try the teas.

I LOVE them.

The problem I've had with green tea (or tea in general) is the taste. The purpose of wanting to cut down on coffee (for me) is to get away from artificial sweeteners (or sweeteners in general). But I found that I needed to add SOMETHING to the teas I tried to stomach it. Well, this tea is different. They actually taste good with nothing extra added to it. You can drink them hot, or you can even pop a tea bag into your cold water bottle or cup. I've done both and prefer mine hot, but you can have it either way!

There are four different flavors...


I like them all. My favorite is peach vanilla, but I also like the mixed berry and cranberry ginger.

The great thing about these teas is the ingredients. It's really what sold me on trying the product...


This tea actually acts like an appetite suppressant. When I was doing the smoothie fast, this was actually how I made it through, especially during the day when I was at school and the cravings were bad. I actually have already recommended it to people.

So this week, the SlimME tea is actually part of my "don't go crazy on Thanksgiving" plan. I'm packing my tea and taking it to Missouri with me when I go see my family on Wednesday. This tea will hopefully help keep me in control. This tea also helps me with belly bloat (probably the dandelion and juniper?), too. I'm on my fourth cup today trying to detox from bad eating over the weekend (my daughters birthday... I had cake...).

Zhena's would like to offer THREE of my readers a chance to try this tea, too! Here's how to win:

1. Follow Zhena's on Twitter (@ZHENASSlimMe)
2. Follow ME on Twitter (@SkinnyHollie)
3. Scroll down, and re-tweet "Thanks to @ZhenasSlimME, #Thanksgiving is now Guilt-Free!"

That's it! I'll randomly choose three winners on Friday, November 29 from the re-tweets!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

52 days...

First things first... The results of the smoothie fast. Not really sure of my starting weight, but this was the ending weight. It felt so good to be below 255!


So... What now? Well, I had two cheat meals (Thursday night and Friday night... Mexican and Pizza) that left me feeling like SH*T. I woke up this morning bloated and depressed. Got on the scale and SHOCKER... it showed a 9 lb gain. Now, I KNOW that I didn't really gain 9 lbs in 2 days, but it was still a wake up call. 


No amount of fasting or diets will ever work if I don't wrap my head around the fact that it has to be a permanent way of eating. Something that I do DAILY. Today it really sunk in that I am a food addict and that until I get in control of my compulsive eating, I'll never keep this weight off. I'm tired of craving. I'm tired of obsessing. I'm tired of feeling so out of control.

According to my calculations, there are 52 days left in 2013. I plan on making those days count. 

A few days ago I was BLESSED with a juicer from my juicing mentor, CiCi. Today I put that bad boy to work and made a few concoctions that were actually pretty good! I've decided that juices and smoothies will be a permanent part of my diet from now on. My body really needs the nutritional benefits.


This has been a life-changing year for me, despite being at a weight-loss plateau for half of the year. I'm grateful for the weight I HAVE lost, and I'm grateful that I've kept it off. But I need to keep pushing... Past the number on the scale. I feel like I need to focus more on health, fitness, and nutrition and stop obsessing about the numbers. I know that the weight loss will come if I just keep focused on being healthy. Maybe that's the lesson I need to learn? 

The next 52 days will be very important. I want to finish this year strong, and start wrapping my mind around health and fitness instead of weight loss. I want to ditch the scale in 2014. I want to learn to love my body for what it is, instead of what it isn't. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

F(e)asting


Today starts my 10-day smoothie fast. This is an idea that I've tossed around in my head for quite a while, but never really SERIOUSLY considered since I knew it would be drastic.

I guess I'm finally ready for drastic.

My IG friend, CiCi, is a cancer survivor and is currently doing a 60 day juice fast to reboot her body and cleanse from the chemo (pretty much like in the movie, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead). I watch her post juice concoctions, and even have connected with others who love juicing for weight loss and as a way to detox. I've been REALLY curious. 

CiCi posted something the other day about juicing vs blending. Basically juicing is using an actual juicer and blending is blending the fruit in a blender. Blending includes the fiber and the pulp of the fruit that the juicer omits. After reading this info, I decided to blend... 

I want the nutritional benefits of the fruits and veggies. But I don't have a juicer, or the means to get one right now. And there's a part of me that agrees with the pro-smoothie camp who believes the fiber and pulp are good for you and should not be thrown away. I can always get a juicer in the future if this goes well.

I decided a week ago to step away from the scale... It just got to be too discouraging to feel like I was working hard and seeing no results. I feel bad some days because I have grown so dependent on those numbers. Standing on the scale was part of my morning routine! But now, my progress will be shown in other ways. Measuring tape, clothes... The only time I plan on stepping on the scale is the 1st day of each month.

So... I think it will be interesting to do this fast/cleanse without the scale as a motivator. It will truly be an exercise of self-control and willpower. I also want to be strengthened spiritually and plan to pray and reconnect with God during this time. The next 10 days has the potential to be really amazing.

So my plan is:
1. Green smoothies every 3-4 hours.
2. 1 gallon of water each day
3. No soda, coffee (green tea only)
4. Pray, pray, pray!

I have a list of things that I need to be in prayer for during this time. Lots of decisions to make and  issues that need to be handed over. If you are a believer, please pray for me, too!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October...


First things first... Weigh in. Scale reports a 1+ lb gain from last month. Boo! 

But pictures show a different story...




I see a little bit of progress... I think the weight training is definitely helping. No sugar is also helping. I lost almost 4 lbs this past week and I was really half-assing it for the first few days. But now it's getting better and I know it's what I need to keep losing. I really want October to be the month where I break this damned plateau!


Here's my plan. I also want to cut down on fast food and make sure I'm getting my water in. 

I'm home sick today... Migraines. I think it's the change of weather? Maybe sugar withdrawal. So I'm gonna get a quick nap before the kiddos get home! 





Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tomorrow...


I've decided that 'moderation' is just not working... Not for weight loss. So it's back to strict eating. Same as December - February, only I will earn a cheat meal every two weeks as long as I have no cheats in between times. That will give me something to look forward to.

My workouts will be the same... Different types of cardio plus continuing with the weights (which I'm finally getting used to).

I'm pretty certain that this plateau is all about food, and if I'm rigid with my meals and leave absolutely no room for error I'll know for sure.

I'm ready to finish September and the rest of the year strong. No excuses. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Feeling better, moving forward

I'm feeling a lot better than I was this weekend... I guess clean eating, exercise, and lots of water have eventually flushed all of the bad "stuff" out of my system. I finally got my protein powder in, so I've also been doing my green smoothies again. I'm happy about that. 


I also get to have protein coffee again... Not even able to drink coffee without protein powder anymore!


I'm super excited about my 5k on Saturday. I wanted to run this, but I'm going to walk with a group of friends. I'm doing this in honor of my friend, Coree, who I'm proud to say is a SURVIVOR of lymphoma. And I'm also doing this in memory of my dad, who died of prostate cancer in 2005.

I'm very thankful to be in a place fitness-wise where I'm looking forward to a 5k... After walking 5+ miles per day all summer, walking 3 miles will be a breeze. But lately, I have been feeling really down about this journey. I've basically been stuck in the 260's (size 18) since May/June. I know I haven't been rigid with my eating, but I've done so much less and lost so much more weight. It's alike my body is rebelling... And I'm pissed about it.

Losing weight is so hard... It's such a battle. It's so tempting to just how in the towel and give up. But I absolutely refuse. I don't believe I'm supposed to stay this size or this weight. I feel like it's destined for me to be fit and healthy... I'm just gonna have to keep pushing to get there.

I've joined ANOTHER challenge on Instagram... My 21-day challenge just ended without me losing any weight at all :( But I can say it helped me clean up my eating and cut way down on the sugar again.this new challenge is 7 weeks, so will take me through to October. I've been working out and tracking my calories again, so I'm praying for results soon. I even bought one of those waist belts that make you sweat more while exercising. I just need to see some progress soon.









Sunday, September 8, 2013

Uncomfortable


The past few days have been very uncomfortable for me...  Really, it's probably been the entire week. 

Labor Day involved beer, but I made a healthy beef stew and didn't overeat. Tuesday was good. Wednesday was Bunco night, and I grubbed! The food was good, so I enjoyed. I made sure I got a good workout before I went, so I didn't feel bad about it.

But the next morning I felt bloated and realized that I hadn't pooped in a few days. So I drank water like a mad woman all day, but the bloat just got worse. By Thursday night I was miserable. My belly looked 6 months pregnant. So I took some laxative and pooped my brains out all night and most of the next morning. 

I felt better Friday, and grilled burgers for dinner. Then, the bloat and stomach ache came back. Then it dawned on me... I'd been eating beef all week. Beef stew for dinner Monday, then leftovers for lunch all week. Then the burgers Friday... Too much beef for someone who already knows that beef just don't digest well.

Lesson learned. The hard way.

I went hiking yesterday and felt much better afterward. But last night we had ice cream after softball practice... Something that is NOT ok but I did it anyway. But TOM arrived so that kinda explained some of the bloat and the sweet cravings.

This morning I got up and made a super healthy breakfast, but my back was killing me so I ended up laying down most of the morning. I just feel so achy and tired.

And I'm still not going to the bathroom.

So now is the time to get honest... I'm not making the best food choices and I'm not tracking like I need to. And I think it's catching up with me. No matter how much exercise I'm doing, if my food isn't great I'm still gonna feel like crap.

So right now I'm meal prepping for next week. I've got chicken taco soup in the crockpot. I've already made kale salad and have watermelon chopped up. Hopefully my protein powder order will be in tomorrow so I can start incorporating smoothies again. 

Something's gotta give. I can't keep BS'ing around. I've been stuck for too long. It's time to get out of the 260's for good!

And the winner is....

lil' brown girl is the winner of the Jillian Michaels book giveaway!

Please send me an email to skinnyhollie at gmail dot com, or send me a message via my SkinnyHollie Facebook page so I can mail your book asap!

Thank you to everyone who paricipated! I'll have more books up for grabs in the next day or so!

xoxo

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Don't forget about the giveaway!


Don't forget about my giveaway! Details on Saturday's post! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September weigh-in...



My September goal is to lose 10 lbs and to see visual changes in inches (I took measurements last week).

What are your goals for September?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Time for a giveaway!

I'm so close to 1500 likes on Facebook, and lately I'm also getting more support on Instagram so to thank everyone, especially my loyal blog readers, I'm gonna give away some books! First one is:

I was sent this book several months ago to review, but honestly I've never had a chance to read the whole thing... But it's Jillian Michaels and I love her!

So there are several ways to win...

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment HERE  stating you've done so!
2. Follow me on Instagram (@SkinnyHollie) and leave a comment HERE on the blog letting me know.
3. 'Like' my SkinnyHollie page on Facebook leave a comment HERE on the blog letting me know.
4. Follow me on Twitter @SkinnyHollie leave a comment HERE on the blog letting me know!
5. Share this giveaway on any of those sites (blog, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and leave a comment HERE for EACH ONE to let me know.

If you're already a follower just leave a comment letting me know.
So up to EIGHT entries (comments) per person!

Please leave separate comments for each thing you do. I'll pick the winner using Random.com in one week. You've got until Saturday, September 7 at 11:59 pm CST. Good luck!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tired

Working out in the morning is just NOT WORKING for me. I've done it for 3 weeks now, and it's such a struggle. And I am so tired... 

I wake up at 4:15, and it takes me about 30 minutes to GET UP. And I'm just not enjoying my workouts like I usually do. It's grueling.

Which makes me not want to do them. And that just won't do.

This morning as I was getting getting up at 4:30, I was thinking about how tired I've been lately. But then I know from past experience that I need more than 5 hours of sleep. Going to bed earlier isn't an option, either. I have 4 kids and all the prep work (getting clothes, lunches, homework ready) plus shower, etc. takes me until 10:00-10:30, sometimes 11pm. 

So I've decided to go back to working out in the evenings again. I'll just have to MAKE time like I used to. But I really need that extra hour of sleep.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Challenges

Are you on Instagram? If so, follow me I'm doing a couple of challenges over there... 

@SkinnyHollie

The first one is a 21-day challenge that I started last week with @jloweweightloss.

So far, this one is going well! As of today, I'm down almost 4 lbs! Only 5 more to go to get back to my lowest.

Tomorrow, I'm starting another challenge with @divareadytowork that will take me to September 30. My goal is to lose 10 lbs and really start seeing some inches lost. 


I'm planning in sticking with the 21-day challenge food rules, along with 5x/week cardio and 4x/week weight training. 

The last challenge I'm doing is from my Get Fit Stay Fab group and its a "Get in them jeans" challenge that ends on Oct. 10. I got these jeans from @jess_lynn4287 and I hope they fit (or are too big!) by then. They're size 18 from Old Navy.







Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wow... It's been a while!

My laptop at home died about six months ago, and although I have a desktop (that mainly my kids use) and an iPad, it's not as easy for me to blog as it used to be. But my intention is always to try! I update my Facebook page pretty often, so you can always keep up with me on there. The Blogger app for iPad and iPhone SUCKS in my opinion because it doesn't allow you to moderate comments and my pictures always look really large. I like blogging via computer, bottom line. 

BUT I miss blogging and I will find a way. Blogging was always an outlet for me to 'get it out' and to connect with people who had the same struggles as I do. I've been able to connect with lots of great folks via Facebook and Instagram, but it's not the same as the blogging world. I miss y'all.

The good news is that I'm still focused on my journey. As of today, I'm 55+ lbs down since Thanksgiving 2012. I've pretty much maintained my weight over the past 3+ months, but I've lost inches. I'm now hovering between 260-265lbs and am wearing a size 18-20 bottoms, size XL top. I feel good at this size, but the stall is getting old.

Why am I not losing anymore? Well... I think there are several reasons. I've let sugar creep back in... Not much. But I splurge a lot more than I should. Even though I keep my calories low, my choices aren't always clean and healthy. For several months I was very rigid, and the weight really came off. But now, my diet and exercise have to be perfect for that scale to move. And that's frustrating.
Because I'm far from perfect. And at some point I want to LIVE.

SO I guess my challenge now is finding balance between living and weight loss. And how to find structure and focus in my busy, stressful life. But I will. I've come to far to go back now.

I'm on day 6 of a 21-day challenge... No sweets, sodas, junk food, white bread, etc. I'm doing good, but I was a raging bitch for a few days. Detox was hard. But I think it will really help get me on track.
I'm also going to try weight training again. I'm very consistent with my cardio, and was walking up to 8 miles a day this summer. But I never started weights like I wanted to. I think I may hire a trainer to help me. But I'm ready to shake things up. I see all these incredible transformations on Instagram and Facebook, and all these gals believe in their weights. I know it works.

Again, I will try to start posting SOMETHING at least weekly until I get a laptop or until blogger improves their iPad app, lol. Thanks for sticking with me on this journey (almost 5 years blogging!)... We can all get there if we don't give up!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Perfect 10 Challenge

Since the beginning of December, I have been pretty darned focused on this "healthy lifestyle" thing. I went for 90+ days being absolutely sugar-free. I've lost over 50 lbs by being focused on what I eat, how much I eat, and what I don't need to eat. But lately, I've been slipping.

It all started in May, where my life got super crazy. I'm a teacher, so the end of a school year can be a bear. So many activities, so much stress. AND I started celebrating my birthday way too early. But I figured that letting loose and enjoying food was okay. This is a lifestyle, right? I was a very good girl during the Christmas holiday, so why can't I enjoy myself during my favorite month of the year (May)?

Well, I had a blast. I had a delicious birthday cake. I had wine and Mexican food. I even ate hot, spicy, greasy fried chicken. And it was good. Very good.

But now, I'm having a hard time getting back on track. My intentions are good, but I'm still having too many cheats. Chips here and there. And sweet stuff. This weekend was awful. I don't even want to admit to how out of control I was. But it really reminded me of the "old" Hollie.

So before I start to undo all of my hard work, it's time to get strict for a while. I'm challenging myself again. It's called the "Perfect 10 Challenge." Ten days of strict, disciplined eating and exercise.

1. No sugar/sweets (except fruit)
2. No white flour/potatoes
3. Eat as clean as possible
4. Drink at least 100 oz. of water daily
5. High protein
6. Low carbs (I like to stay under 100g)
7. 3+ miles of walking daily
8. Weights every other day (working on upper body right now)
9. Daily devotional time.
10. No salty snacks!

I need to get back to the basics, and this is how I am going to do it. The habits are already there... I just need to detox from all this junk I've been eating. My goals for the summer are too important to me to mess up now.

This weekend, I was able to go shopping with a giftcard I got for my birthday. I was able to walk out of Gap and Old Navy (two of my favorite stores) with cute sundresses in size XL. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but it's HUGE for me. On Thanksgiving, I had to buy size 26/28W clothes from Lane Bryant because I was busting out of my 24W's. So to be able to go in a "regular" store and get an XL because the XXL's were too big... that was an awesome feeling. I've never in my adult life been able to wear a size L... and that's the NEXT SIZE DOWN!

I can't mess up now. I won't do it. 10 days from now I'll be back on track and moving FORWARD on this journey. Join me!



Friday, May 31, 2013

Weigh-in for May... And other numbers


Someone on Facebook asked me for a scale pic the other day. Even though I thought the request was kind of strange (maybe even rude), I didn't mind posting one. 52.3 lbs lost total since mid-November. I'm happy with that, but definitely aware that I have a lot more to lose. Today's number is up a little from last week, about 2 lbs. But I ate a lot of bad food over my birthday/Memorial day weekend. But since I've been on track this week, I know this number will eventually go down. Sooner than later. Because I'm busting my ass.

This is my first week of "official" training for my 3-day walk. I've really put some miles in for the last four days. AND I started weight training (which I don't love).


(I accidentally chose horseback riding instead of walking today. Oops.)

It's really amazing to me how "easy" walking 5 miles is now. I'm tired, but it's a good feeling. I've been taking different routes around my neighborhood, which has been enjoyable. The weather has been warm but really sunny and nice.

And I've found that the walking has been really good for my mind and spirit, too. I have been listening to sermon podcasts that have really fed my soul. Andy Stanley is awesome... you should check him out. I usually get to listen to about two sermons during each walk, then I follow it with some uplifting music. It's my happy time. I look forward to it.

But I am sore. I have been working out pretty consistently since December/January. And I haven't been this sore since I started group classes at the gym in January. I have only been doing upper body weights so far since I feel like walking is 5+ miles daily is all my bottom half can handle. But man my arms are sore! I'm having to lift a lot lighter than I did in the past, but I'll work my way up. I just need to establish a routine and get my head in the game.

I also think I need to really start paying closer attention to my food again. Right now, I think my choices are "pretty" good, but I'm allowing too many chips and salty snacks. I also don't think I'm eating enough calories again. I focused on exercise this week, next week will be food. I plan on stocking up on fruit and veggies this weekend. 

Like I said, this healthy lifestyle definitely seems like habit now, so I'm not worried about it. I had a couple of weeks of half-assing things, so I just need to get back to what works. And since it's summer break, and I have all the time I need to concentrate on this, it will happen. I'm so thankful for the progress I've made!

Monday, May 27, 2013

37

Sorry again for the long gap in posting... it's been a wild month or so with the end of the school year, etc.

Yesterday I celebrated my 37th birthday. It was an awesome day and I was surrounded by my closest friends/family.


My daughter got me a cute little kitty for my birthday... even though SHE is the one who's been wanting a pet!

 

Last night as I was looking through pictures, I did some side-by-side shots of me compared with last year's birthday pictures. I could really see a big difference.


I've also been posting a few more comparison/progress shots on my Facebook page. I'm seeing a difference, and it's very motivating.

Oh, here's a picture of my glorious cake. Yes, I allowed myself cake for my birthday. But it had to be a specially made cake that I know would be worth every bite. And it was!



My ex-husband's sister came in from Florida for the weekend, which was great. I really enjoy still having a relationship with his family.



I am officially on Summer Break! I am so excited for this time off. I am dedicating this summer to my health and fitness. I'm really planning on getting back to stricter eating and exercise.

My size 20's are getting loose already, so I've made a goal to be in a size 16 by the time that school starts back at the end of July. I really think I can make it.

And I hope you noticed that I set a size goal instead of a scale goal. My 21-day challenge really helped my weight start dropping again. Last week I was down to 264. Weekend/birthday/holiday eating has most likely brought that up a few pounds, but I'm not worried about it. I'm so ready to kick it back into gear, I know that I will be moving downward again in no time.

I have also decided to start more serious weight training this summer, so I am hoping to lose more inches now. The scale will no longer be my only indicator of success (but I've really let that scale obsession go over the last few weeks anyway). I want to be a size 16 in two months. I know I can do it. And it starts NOW!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

21-day Challenge... Update!

Today is day 14 of my 21-day challenge... and so far it's been going GREAT. I am so glad that I challenged myself to buckle down and really dig deep. I've had to say NO many times, but it's been okay... so worth it. The scale is finally moving again. This morning I weighed in at 271, which is 6.2 lbs down from the first day of the challenge (great for 2 weeks), and about 11 lbs down this month. I'll take it. I'm 2 lbs away from the 50 lb. mark... that will be such a victory!

I've been doing a lot more walking to get ready for the Komen 3-Day in October (PLEASE make a donation! Link on right side of page...). And except for last week, I've stil been doing classes at my gym. I had a really bad bike wreck last Monday, where I flipped over the handlebars and in the process, one of the handlebars stabbed me in the vagina... yeah. HURT LIKE HELL. Actually, it still hurts, but is much better. There were a few days that I was so swollen and mangled that I could barely walk. It was AWFUL. needless to say, no jumping around in group fitness classes. I think I'll be ready to try again tomorrow. I did, however, continue to walk for about 30 minutes on 3 days last week, and even walked 3+ miles with Brooke on yesterday. 

I have to say, walking seems way more of a challenge than it used to! I don't really "enjoy" it yet. I'm sure with all the training over the next few months, I'll get used to it. And build myself up to 20 miles per day!

Another great thing that happened Friday is that my good friend (I won't give her name because I know how modest she is) gifted me a FITBIT! Best. Damned. Gadget. Ever. It syncs with My Fitness Pal, and I even found another app, Runtastic, that syncs with both of them! So basically, using the apps, I can go for a walk, and it will calculate my distance, time, and how many calories burned with just a click of a few buttons! Fitbit does so much more, though... I'm obsessed. I highly recommend it! And I'm so thankful to my friend for getting it for me... LOVE YOU!

Sorry for no pictures today... I'm waiting for my kids to get ready for church, so I thought I could type out a quick update. Sorry I don't blog as often as I used to, but I do try to update my Facebook page a few times a week (www.facebook.com/skinnyhollie).

I've got one more week of the challenge, and I'm praying that I can get at lease 3 more lbs off to be safely in the 260's, and get to my 50 lb mark. Then I'll have to think of another challenge for my birthday, which is May 26!  I'm feeling so motivated right now... I can't wait for school to get out this year so I can spend the summer working hard on ME! I'm actually looking forward to extra gym time, since I want to seriously start weight training this summer. This is really turning out to be a great year!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

21 Day Challenge

I am challenging myself to 21 days of clean eating, no booze, no sugar and some sort of exercise daily. I am tired of being "stuck". But in all reality, it's my fault that I'm stuck.

If I ask myself,  "Am I doing everything possible to break this plateau?", the answer is "NO."

Most days, I do great. But I fell off the wagon during vacation. Then I fell off again on Easter. And then I fell off AGAIN this weekend. I've been able to maintain my lowest weight of 276.6 through all of this, but I'm ready to get OUT of the 270's. So to do that, I'm going to have to buckle down.

I know what to do. I just have to DO it.

I'm drinking too much. I'm cheating too much. I'm letting other issues in my life take front seat, when my journey to health is so much more important. So I'm going to prioritize. I'm going to really TRY.

And I encourage YOU to join me!

In other breaking news...

I signed up a couple of weeks ago to do the Susan Komen 3-day walk in Atlanta.

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day

If I did it right, you should be able to click a button on the right side of my blog to donate. Please donate! Even if it's just $5, it will help me reach my goal of $2300. My best friend, Brooke, and I will do this in October. It's been on our bucket list for a few years, and so this year we decided to JUST DO IT! I'd love to hear from anyone who has done it, or has fundraising or team advice. Thanks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vacation and what happens now...

Oh, how I love vacations! I have been extremely blessed over the past few years to be able to take my little family on vacation. This year, we decided to go early in the Spring instead of summer when it's so hot. Which worked out fine. We did a ton of walking in Atlanta because the weather was so nice. Things didn't start cooling down and raining until the last day in Pensacola.

This is the first time I have ever went on vacation and really TRIED to stick to a strict plan of eating. At times, I feel like I started obsessing. At times, it really stressed me out. But overall, I think I did ok. The first night I had soul food from a famous place in Atlanta (Mary Mac's Tea Room). The next day I picked at Chinese food (but it was horrible and not worth it). The third day we at dinner at a buffet in Tallahassee and I tried to choose lean meat and lots of veggies. But the last full day (in Pensacola) was where things went downhill.

I was able to cook breakfast at my sis-in-law's that morning, and between the drive to Pensacola and the beach and shopping, it was 9:30 p.m. before we had dinner. Other than a few snacks while driving to the beach early in the day, I hadn't eat. So I was hungry. And tired. And cranky. And my kids were on my nerves.

So I ordered a chicken pot pie and sweet potato fries from O'Charley's. And I convinced myself that it was the last night of vacation and I deserved it. And I enjoyed it SO much.

But the next morning I got up and at the leftovers for breakfast. And then proceeded to eat two blueberry muffins from the hotel's continental breakfast bar... Don't even ask me why I did that. I don't know why I lost my sanity. Muffins???? Where in the hell are they on my plan?

So on the way home, I was damned near emotional about the muffins. So at a stop at McDonald's for some coffee and fast food for the kids, I ordered a BIG MAC. Yes, you read that right. A BIG MAC. (And it was just as good as I knew it would be.)

I knew my day had officially gone to hell. And I began to panic.

What did this mean? Am I off the wagon? Am I out of control? Will I be able to get control back? Oh, God... please help me. I can not fail this time. I HAVE to get back on track.

So after the 7-hour drive home, the kids were chillin' and I read on Facebook that a good friend of mine was at our local Chili's having a 'rita. So I decided to join her. Because a margarita could only make this day better, right?

I had my margarita, but my friend and I also talked about the 60 lbs that she has lost recently, and I was instantly re-inspired to get my butt in gear. I knew that Sunday, March 23, 2013 was just a bump in the road. I knew that I would wake up on today, get back on plan, and keep moving forward.

And that's exactly what has happened.

But the crazy thing, is that when I stepped on the scale this morning (to assess the damage), this is what I saw...


How could it be? I'm back down to my lowest weight from the beginning of March. The four pound gain that I've been stuck with is gone. I stepped on the scale about 20 times... even moved it to different places around my room. 278 to 279.4 was the number each time. I've been stuck at 282.

Soooo, that was definitely motivating. Today, I have eaten clean and drank a ton of water. My plan is to stick to fish and veggies for lunch and dinner this week, and eggs/protein powder/veggies for breakfast. Five days straight. As a sort of detox. Because on Good Friday I'm hitting the road again for Missouri for Easter. And it's going to be lots of food temptation, as well as emotional stuff going on because I'll be seeing my mother. With Alzheimer's I never know what to expect, but either way it's so emotionally draining. I'll have a plan for my food before I leave town, and it should be easy since I'll be staying with my sister and we mostly eat in. I'll figure it out.

So here's to a great day back on track! Tomorrow I'll be back at the gym and I'm SO excited!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hitting a wall...

This morning, I really felt compelled to write... to pour out all my frustrations and to get out my feelings via this blog.

I'm frustrated. I've hit a wall. 

A plateau? So soon?

I mean, I knew that getting past 270 would be hard, but hell... I can't permanently stay away from 280!

Two weeks ago, I dipped down to 278. I was thrilled! But just a few days later, the scale was back at 283. I laughed it off... I'd had a little too much to drink at Bunco, ate some salty dip. But no biggie. Lots of water and clean eating would have that 5 lbs off in no time! Right?

Um... no. The scale has been between 280-281 for over a week.

What. The. Hell?

Thing is... I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong. I have kicked up my exercise... instead of 3-4 days per week, I'm exercising 5-6 days. It may not be at the gym, but I'm hiking, walking, and even doing Wii Fit. I'm drinking plenty of water. I'm eating clean. I'm still sugar-free and mostly low-carb. Eating fruit, veggies and lean meat. I've cut my wine intake to a couple of days a week when I've had a very low-carb day. I have cut down on eating out.

But the scale still won't budge.

But... I'm getting to the point where I don't care what the damned thing says.

I KNOW that I've made permanent changes that are positively impacting my overall health. My size 18/20 clothes still fit. Not just from Lane Bryant, but from other stores (I went to try on clothes to make sure). I FEEL amazing... I don't get out of breath, my indigestion/heart burn is gone. My self-esteem is up. And I just feel better about myself and my life. I'm happy.

But the scale pisses me off. It makes me doubt. It makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong? Will the weight loss just STOP? What if eating healthy and exercise isn't enough?

Right now, I'm happy with my overall diet. I eat clean. I'm satisfied. No sugar cravings or binging. I could truly eat like this for the rest of my life. But what if it's not enough? Do I need to starve myself, or do something else extreme? I really don't want to... I want this to be enough. I know I can keep this up, and everything else just leads to failure.

I don't want to fail at this. Never again.

So as of TODAY, I'm putting the scale away for a little while. I don't need the doubt and negative feelings.

I am going on vacation tomorrow, and that itself makes me feel a little unsure. I don't PLAN on eating bad, but it's hard when you're on the road with four kids and your food is not entirely in your control. I'm taking plenty of meal bars and healthy snacks. I'm not entirely worried, but I am going to be careful. My one rule and guideline that I will not break is no sweets, no bread. Those rules help me stay in control. Otherwise, I will have fun and won't be stressed about food.

Honestly, the food part doesn't rule my life anymore. But why do I still let the scale and that stupid number get to me? Habit, I guess. The scale should be a tool... that's it. But for me, it's so much more. And I have to get a grip on that. But I'm really disappointed that I probably won't meet my 10-lb goal for March...

I found out a few days ago that a good friend of mine has cancer. My heart breaks for her and her sweet family. But it is just one more reminder that life is short, and it's not guaranteed. Good health should not be taken for granted. At the end of the day, this journey is about health. Mental and physical health. It's not abot wearing a size 10, or getting to a certain number on the scale. It's about being healthy enough to live he fullest life I can for ME. It's about loving myself enough to make sacrifices and to get control of bad habits that I've carried around for a lifetime. I'm worth it. Finally, I see that.

So, with my true intentions in mind and reaffirmed, I am going to enjoy my vacation. I am going to LIVE and remember that I now lead a healthy lifestyle. I'm going to pay attention to the food I use to fuel my body. And I'm going to move as much as possible (there's a gym at my hotel!). Next week, I'm going to continue to eat clean, drink my water, and exercise. I'm going to pay attention to my food and eliminate the occassional salty snacks and diet soda. I'm going to increase the amount of veggies I eat, and continue to drink plenty of water.

I will not be discouraged. And I believe that I can get past this plateau.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

13 weeks... Pushing through



Tuesday marked my 13 week milestone of being sugar-free/low-carb. It's been an amazing journey so far. I've learned so much about myself and my relationship with food over the past few months... it's been mind-blowing at times. But I'm having a good time.

I've lost a little over 40 lbs in that time. So, basically, I'm holding steady at that 10-lb per month goal I made. In December (when I first started), I lost 20 lbs, then 10 lbs in January and 10 lbs in February. At first, I was a little disappointed in that. But now, I'm happy. 10 lbs per month is great. 

I'm over that "race to the finish" mentality. Yes, I would love to lose the weight really fast. But, I gained it over 36 years of my life, slowly getting it off is okay. As long as it's coming off! And really, 10 lbs per month is not all that slow. At this rate, I'll pretty could still lose 100 lbs before the year is up! That's amazing to just think about being at GOAL by 2014. I'm so ready.

The past month has been different... I'm starting to feel "comfortable" with my eating. It's feeling like a lifestyle. I'm not scared (as much) any more. I've had a little bread/white flour slips, but nothing to freak out about. The one thing that I'm holding strong on is NO SUGARY FOOD OR SWEETS. I just really feel like that will knock me off a cliff. I'm just not willing to go there. I won't take that chance... it's just not worth it.

I've also been consistent wth exercise. I'm still enjoying the group fitness classes, and make it to the gym at least 3-4 days per week. I know that's not hard core, but it's a great thing for me and my crazy schedule. I'm actually looking forward to having the next two weeks off for Spring Break so I can exercise more. I'm planning on doing a 5K in April, so I really want to get out and walk/jog more. It feels great to be moving again.

I've also logged/tracked my food for 80 days in a row on My Fitness Pal. I am not crazy strict with calories, but I do find that it keeps my focused and on-track if I am able to look at my calories/fat/carbs/protein. I'm still trying to stay under 100 carbs daily, and I try to shoot for 80-100 grams of protein daily. My net calories usually fall anywhere between 1200-1700. I'm satisfied, and I don't really crave sugar at all anymore. If I'm hungry, I eat. But if I'm not hungry, I don't eat. I just try to listen to my body.

Now that I'm 40 lbs down, I'm finally able to tell a difference in my body and clothes. Remember those size 20 "goal jeans" that have been in my closet for the past 3 years? I can wear them now! Comfortably. No muffin top! I'm wearing them in the photo on the right, with a size 14/16 top from Lane Bryant. The pants on the left are new ones that I bought in a size 20. They fit perfect!


So my goal for March is to keep pushing through! I'm currently at 278ish, and I REALLY want to break through to the 260's with no plateaus. In 2003, and again in 2009 when I lost considerable weight, I hit a huge plateau at around 270. I don't want that to happen this time, and plan to work my butt off to stay focused on eating and exercise so that won't happen.

My biggest problem right now is that I've relaxed enough that I feel like I'm eating out too much. I make great choices when I eat out (fish, veggies, etc) most of the time, but it's still not as good as if I were cooking or preparing my meals at home. When I first started in December/January, I was scared to death to eat out. Now, I go out to eat all the time. I've also started to indulge in alcohol again (Vodka tonics and/or red wine)... I must also stop that. In my own insane way, I realize I might be trying to self-sabaoge as usual. Just in a different way.

So now I'm putting it out there, so I know my blog and Facebook friends will keep me accountable. I am so appreciative of the network of people that I have that support and encourage me every day. People that I know in real life, and people that I only know online. It's great! And I am thankful!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ten weeks... Still holding strong!

It's hard to believe that tomorrow marks 10 weeks since I went sugar/flour/wheat free. Every time I pass on dessert, or pizza, or pasta, I'm amazed that I'm able to say 'no' so effortlessly. Rolls at the dinner table? No problem! Tummy treats at BUNCO? Not for me!

I am able to appreciate how good these treats must taste without indulging. It's just not worth the risk of un-doing all the hard work I've put in.

As of yesterday, I'm down almost 33 lbs. the weight is still coming off slow, but I've learned to just appreciate the fact it's coming off at all. I'm trying to eat more calories, and most days I do ok. But some days I'm still pretty low. Still working on that.

I've had to work on a recent craving for potato chips, which I've never had an issue with before. And Coke Zero. I only drink water, but I love Coke Zero and have been giving in more lately.

I guess the bottom line is I'm still trying to get a hold on my disordered eating... And it's not all about sugar. It's a mind thing. Totally.

But I've been successful for 10 weeks, and I don't plan in quitting anytime soon!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Two Months

Today marks the first day of my third month of living a sugar-free/flour-free/wheat-free lifestyle. I weighed in this morning at 289.6.... exactly 10 lbs down from what I weighed on January 1.

When I first set out on this "final" leg of my weight loss journey, my goal was to lose 10 lbs per month... so technically I should be really happy with this progress.

But there is a part of me that is, honestly, disappointed.

I know, I know... 10 lbs is great. I'm down a total of 29.4 lbs. The fact that I'm almost 9 weeks sugar-free is great. I'm making good progress. I'm staying focused. I've tracked my food for 45 days in a row. I'm down about 2 sizes. I'm exercising 4 times per week and loving it.



Life is good.

But I think I should be losing more weight.

After my last post, I tried to start eating more calories. It lasted about 3-4 days, then I just slipped right back into low calories. I don't *think* I'm doing it on purpose... it's just that I'm full and satisfied without the extra food. And I'm too busy and stretched out to even WANT TO think about food all the time, especially how to eat MORE. At the end of the night, especially after a good workout, the last thing I want to do is stuff my face.

Today I sat down and crunched a few numbers from My Fitness Pal. Since 12/28/12, I have averaged anywhere between 1026-1080 calories (NET) per day.

Yes, I know. That is REALLY low for someone almost 300 lbs. I think it really is the cause of my slow losses. My carbs range from 22 - 30%, and my protein ranges from 23-30%. I guess my diet is high in fat, being 40-52% (but mostly from eggs, cheese, olive oil and nuts).

All I know is that I have to find more quality, nutritious food. And I'm probably going to have to eat more often during the day, which will be a challenge in a busy classroom environment. I need more protein and less fat. I think my carbs are good, since I'm exercising and since they come from fruit and veggies.

I've been having so much fun doing group classes at the gym. Zumba, piloxing, kickboxing, hip-hop dance... Monday through Thursday for two weeks straight I've been going, and getting awesome calorie burns each time. My daughter and her bff have been my workout buddies, which gives me added incentive and accountability. Funny how it's possible to make time when one of my children is involved.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

And I promise to get another book up soon to give away! I haven't forgot about that.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Enough


When I made the HUGE decision on December 4 to eliminate sugar and most carbs from my diet, I knew that it was a decision based on health, not necessarily one to lose weight. I'm 36... getting close to 37. At the time I was close to 315 lbs... My health was at risk. Week after week that has gone by, I feel like a healthier person. My heart burn is gone, my body hurts less, I have more energy... I just FEEL better. I believe that I'm healthier.

My diet these days still consists of lean meat (chicken, turkey and fish mostly), fruit, veggies, eggs, cheese, and the occasional sweet potato fries. I'm drinking more smoothies in the mornings because they are quick and tasty (using designer whey or vi-shake protein powder). I occasionally eat a meal replacement bar (I found some great ones with only 10 carbs and lots of protein). But for the most part, I try to stick to WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOOD. My body likes it.

Not long after I started my no-sugar/low-carb days, I started tracking religiously. I try to stay around 100 carbs, and I found that my "comfortable eating days" usually fell around 1200+ calories. My Fitness Pal and LoseIt both had me at around 1690 calories for my age, weight, and activity level. But 1200+ felt like plenty, so I changed my budget to 1299 calories and pretty much stick with that. I try to get as much protein as I can and not go over 100 carbs (unless I have a lot of fruit). And eat real food... which I think makes me feel fuller and more satisfied. I never really worried about if I was getting enough calories, because I am full!

The other day (by accident, really) I went over my calorie budget by about 200 calories. The next morning when I did my daily scale ritual, I expected a slight gain. But I had an almost 2 lb drop from the day before! So I went back through my food journal, and the days that I'm closer to my 1299 budget, I usually lose weight. But on the days that I only eat around 1000-1100 calories, I stay the same or show a slight gain... And the days where I exercise and have a huge deficit, same thing. Stay the same or a slight gain.

Does this mean that I need to be eating more calories? Right now, my weight is fluctuating between 289-291... which is still a lot. I'm 5'8"... so pretty tall for a woman. Is my body actually trying to tell me to feed it more? Am I accidentally slowing down my metabolism?

Am I eating enough? It feels like enough... 


My personal life is still kind of wacky right now. On top of one of my kids having the flu last week, and another having a bad cold-type virus, I missed a lot of work. My ex-husband is making terrible choices with his life...which affects me because I'm no longer receiving financial support, or ANY damned support for my children. And my kids are sad. Which makes me pissed off.... But anyway. Those are his choices...

I'm still making the choice to be the best Hollie I can be. No excuses. I know I can be enough for me and my children. My world revolves around them, and now I have even more incentive to keep pushing forward with positive changes in my life. This is my year. Making myself better will make my kids have a better mom, my students have a better teacher, and my friends will have a better friend.

The possibilities for my future are suddenly amazing. I'm so excited to live life now. I'm definitely changing from the inside out. I finally love ME!