We haven’t had a “Shed & Share” story since April. Ahh! We are WAY over due for a little encouragement and motivation! I had the chance to meet our next sharer in person just the other day. Through a few random messages, we realized that she lives minutes away from my in-laws. We were able to meet up for coffee the other night and it was wonderful to put a face with a name! Holly has been a wonderfully supportive and faithful reader and I can’t wait for you to read her story!
Profession: Wife of two years. Currently preparing for my first year of teaching… high school!
How long have you been on this weight loss journey? One year. I have always been a little heavier than I would have liked to be and have tried to lose weight numerous time, but my journey truly began in July 2012.
Weight Loss/Inches: 50 lbs and down 4 sizes! I still have 10 lbs to go until I reach the weight I am comfortable with but 50lbs in a year was a major goal that I set for myself.
Other medical stats: I have a hormonal imbalance, which has caused my body to become insulin resistant.
What was your “low point”?
In the summer of 2012, a friend took a couple pictures of me at the state fair (below)…and I looked awful. When I saw the pictures, I was so ashamed and embarrassed that I looked the way I did. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I felt horrible about myself and I was depressed. It reflected in all aspects of my life and my relationships.
How did you get started?
I had lost about 30 lbs with Weight Watchers in 2008, but for all of the wrong reasons. I did it for other people, not myself, and it was for a temporary goal instead of permanent health. I became obsessed with the numbers on the scale. I gave up the moment those numbers on the scale stopped moving the way I wanted them to. Naturally, I gained some weight back. I stayed pretty active during this time, and I didn’t go TOO overboard with my eating, but I was also a newlywed and definitely wasn’t eating as I should have been. Around the time that infamous picture was taken last summer, I stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time. I had gained a lot of weight, and I had gained it fast. A few visits to the doctor helped me discover a hormonal imbalance that had caused insulin resistance— basically my body was taking carbs and sugar and immediately storing them as fat. My doctor recommended some dietary changes and increased activity. I knew right then and there, I had to do something about my health or I was looking at some serious consequences. I began to read “Reshaping it All” by Candace Cameron Bure and was completely convicted about how I had been treating myself, the Lord’s temple. I quickly realized that it’s not about the numbers on the scale or looking “skinny.” It’s about me taking care of my body in a way that is pleasing to God. Colossians 1:10 became my lifeline. I immediately signed up for fitness classes, changed my diet completely, dove into the Word, and I haven’t looked back since.
What is your workout routine and eating plan?
I don’t like to do the same thing day after day, so I take a spin class three days a week, a cross training class (with my hubby!) twice a week, and strength training four days a week. I also try to do yoga a few times a week. I wanted to try something new this year and I’ve always wanted to run, so in January I started using the Couch to 5k app. I started running a few times a week and I ran my first race in June! It seems like a lot, but it took me a really long time to work up to this. I rest at least one day a week, but I try to stay in tune with my body—if it’s telling me I need to rest a little bit more, I listen.
Because of my medical issues, I have to stick to a low carb and gluten free diet. This has really helped me to focus on eating clean— Lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins and little to no processed food. I also use SparkPeople to track my calories and keep me on target nutritionally.
Holly’s first 5K!
What are your top 3 favorite resources that helped you along the way?
1.) SparkPeople- It’s free! I use the app on my phone to track calories and log my fitness. There is also a HUGE recipe database, which I find to be helpful when I am looking for something new and healthy to whip up.
2.) “Reshaping It All” by Candace Cameron Bure and “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst- these books totally revolutionized the way I look at health and fitness by teaching me what God expects of me in regards to my spiritual and physical health. I know now I can’t have one without the other!
3.) Social Media-I follow a lot of different people on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe to blogs, like Peak 313 ; ), that have sound health and fitness advice. I get a lot of recipes, new workouts, and inspiration this way.
Holly doing a Peak313 move!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is sitting on the sidelines and waiting?
No day but today. Even if you’ve already made bad choices today, or any day, look at your next meal/snack as a chance to do it right. Don’t wait until tomorrow.I think a lot of people get overwhelmed and think they have to make a complete life change overnight. Start small, making one change at a time. Eventually, all of those little changes add up to big results!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is in the process but is feeling discouraged?
It’s really easy to get hung up by the numbers you see on the scale and the thought that we need to look a certain way. It’s part of the society we live in today. But I read something by Lysa TerKeurst that really struck me. She said, “I wasn’t at my goal weight yet. But I was in the process of investing wisely in my health and spiritual growth.” I think it’s all about perspective. Everyone’s journey is different. You just have to choose to see the decisions that you make along your journey, no matter how long it takes, as steps that are leading you in the right direction. I won’t lie… this process is HARD and sometimes we don’t see results as quickly as we’d like. But slow progress is still progress. Don’t give up. How can you know what goal you’ll achieve tomorrow if you give up today?
If you are a parent, how have you balanced everything?
We don’t have any children yet, but my desire is that my lifestyle change will help me raise our children to appreciate a healthy spiritual and physical lifestyle of their own. I know I’ll have to be an example for them, which hopefully will help me to find a way to balance my roles as a HEALTHY follower of Christ, wife, and mom.
Holly and her husband!
Anything else you would like to share?
I want my body to be as strong and healthy as possible; for myself, for my husband, for my family but most importantly, for GOD. My husband and I are heavily involved in ministry (he is the associate & youth pastor, I am on the worship team and director of children’s ministry ) and in order for me to be used for His kingdom to the best of my abilities, I have to be in the best shape possible: physically, spiritually, and mentally. For me, there is no other option.
Thank you for sharing, Holly! I love the example that you are setting at such a young age in your health. I have enjoyed watching your progress over the past year! You are so inspiring! Readers–be sure to follow her!
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