Sunday, November 9, 2014

Funny Things

Long Time, No See. 

Seriously. It's almost been 2 years since I've written on this blog and to be honest, I have kind of forgotten about it. Life has grabbed a hold of me and let me tell you, it's taken me on a wild ride that I never saw coming and yet, I'm happy to stand where I stand, knowing the things I know. 

The funny this is is that while I thought this blog would be a means to an end, a way for me to stay on track, it wasn't. But you know what? It's become a blessing to me today while I was re-reading my thoughts, my fears, and my frustrations over the years about becoming healthy. It's a reminder to me that this isn't just a free ride. It comes with so many ups and downs and thrills and chills. 

You know what else is cool? Today I weigh 168 pounds. I started at 263.  I'm just a few short pounds from becoming a lifetime member at Weight Watchers. THIS. IS. CRAZY. 

 You know what else is crazy? My journey started in January of 2012. I met this group of women in the UP of Michigan and they changed my life for the better. They encouraged me and pushed me and gave me ideas to better myself. It has taken me close to 3 years to see myself the way that they have seen me all along and I cannot tell you how eternally grateful I am to those women. 

And to you. 

I know I have said it a million times over but I know I couldn't have taken this ride without people in my life that pushed me to be better than I am today. 

Some people have asked me how I have pushed through and made it this long. LET ME TELL YOU IT IS THE HARDEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE. I am not saying this to scare you because it was the best decision I've ever made but it was something I struggled with day in and day out. I never realized how much I thought about food, enjoyed food, longed for food, was comforted by food, wanted food in social situations, and just how little I was actually moving. My body was a wreck. It had no idea the power of exercise. It had no idea the power of toned muscles and lungs that filled with air on a run. It had no clue of the power of endurance and will of the mind.  It had no idea how exhilarating it can all be when you set goals and achieve them. 

I'm standing here today on the other side but trust me, I'm reminded again and again that this isn't something that I can simply "be done" with. I know it will be something that I struggle with for the rest of my life and if you're like me, you'll fight this battle too. 

And you know...we will win. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Attitude is Everything


I don't know if it's the beautiful fall weather today or looking through my closet at all the fun clothes I'm about to pull out, but today is feeling pretty wonderful. :) I'm so thankful today for my health, the weather, my job, and you all.

While school has been quite the change for me, I have to tell you about some revelations that I have been having recently. My mindset has been changing and for the first time in a long time, I am realizing that this journey was so much bigger than me. It's taken me over two years to see this so clearly.

Sometimes it's easier for me to make a list so I think I'll start there:

1) Last week at WW, we sat around in our group and starting talking about why we joined WW to begin with. This dicussion led us into an even deeper discussion about our motives and how we view ourselves as people. While I am the youngest in the group, I feel so connected to these women because they all have the same struggle that I do. I relate to them on such a deep level. As we were talking, I brought up the fact that I didn't feel worthy. Being overweight had led to this terrible self image and this mindset that I wasn't good enough and that no one could ever love me because of what I had done to my body. I had used and abused it and gained 100 pounds in the process. When I looked around the group, these women had tears in their eyes, which of course made me tear up as well. When I finished, so many women voiced the same feeling. The other women started opening up as well and let me tell you, it was one of the most powerful things I have experienced in WW so far. We were completely honest and raw with the group and we were connected in the same spirit. I left that meeting feeling more alive than ever and wanting to not only to succeed for myself, but I wanted to succeed for these women. I wanted to beat obesity not only for me but for these women as well. There were so many beautiful faces in that crowd and I am so proud of the work they are doing on themselves.

2) I know that I have about 40 pounds more to go, but I've been thinking: I may want to be a WW leader sometime. I know it's off in the future but after the meeting we had, I was more inspired than ever to help other people get healthy as well. I want to tell other people that it's possible. I want to tell other people that even when it's hard and that pizza looks so damn good, the results are better than anything you can imagine. I want to tell people that not only does your outside change and your pant size drops, it's your insides that make the real difference. The confidence I had gained and the outlook I have on my body is something I would have never thought possible. I can now look in a mirror without disgust or shame. I can look at my body and know that while it's not perfect (and won't ever be) it's beautiful in its own way. I'm proud of how far I've come and want to encourage others who feel like they can't do it to know that indeed, YES THEY CAN!

We've only got one life to live and I'm living it. While my mistakes are huge and I fall constantly, I know these two years are going to be one I look back on as life changing and beautiful.

Sending my love!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hot Pants


So... I have had such high hopes for this blog. I dreamed it would be this online journal for me for to really track my progress in my weight loss journey. Don't get me wrong, I've read through all of my posts multiple times and am glad I started it but let me tell you, sometimes my procrastination gets the best of me. Trust me, I have lots to say but when it comes right down to it,  I have been too lazy, too tired, too ashamed, and too unmotivated to sit and write. So my apologies from the start for lacking in my weight loss thoughts. The blog isn't what I thought it would be but I'm happy that if you're reading this right now, you're still with me in this journey. And for that, I'm SO thankful!


I have to share a story with you that literally brought me so much JOY! 

I just got home for the summer and I have been taking a stab at my room. I have so much junk in it and I wanted to do a huge purge of all of the clutter. In my crazy cleaning mode, I found this pair of jeans in the back of my closet. I pulled them out and couldn't believe it. These pair of jeans were a size 22 and definitely from the heaviest period in my life. I recognized these jeans right away because they were the only jeans I felt comfortable in. I remember buying them because they had a spandex like feel to them and were stretchy. I felt like I could hide in them. When I turned them over, I noticed a huge hole in the thigh area because I had major "chub rub" and my thighs rubbed together so much that it made the fabric fall apart. I stared at them. I had to soak them in. Is this really what I looked like? 

I immediately wanted to try these pants on. I wanted to see what it felt like. I put them on and you guys - they fell right off! I couldn't believe it. I RAN up the stairs holding my pants by the belt loops and shouted for my mom. When I took my hands off my pants, they fell down again and I started laughing this belly laugh. IT FELT SO GOOD. If there was a time that I needed to be reminded of how far I have come, it was this day. I felt like I had conquered the world. 

I can't express to you my emotions. They are all over the map. My joy is immeasurable. While I know I still have pounds to shed, I am so proud of the progress I have made so far! It has not only been a physical journey, it's an emotional journey. I am a new woman. I am more confident in who I am and I want to share with the world. I think other people can see it too. I know that girl who wore a size 22 jeans is no longer the same Hill that stands before you.

Today is a good day and I am beyond thankful for you and your support. Go for a bike ride today. Enjoy the sunshine. Thank God for the things you have. I know I will! 


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Begin Again.

Begin Again.

It seems fitting that the song that's playing in my iPod right now is just that - Begin Again. Taylor Swift never ceases to amaze me. Oh, how true this is ringing with me today.

After seeing many of you over Christmas Break, I came away feeling full in more ways than I can even describe. I felt whole again. I was filled with renewed excitement for life. It was one of those breaks where God truly reminded me of how lucky I am.

While I enjoyed my break throughly, I ate my way through mounds of chocolate, cakes, cookies, etc. You get the drift. I could feel myself not caring about what I put into my mouth which was a feeling I knew all too well in my previous "Hillary Fat Days" aka: EVERYDAY. I vowed that coming back up north would be a fresh start.

And so I truly did "Begin Again".

I started dancing in the shower. I started tracking my food religiously. I started filling my fridge with nothing but fruits and veggies. I started pre-packing my lunches for the week so that there were no excuses NOT to eat healthy throughout the day. I started finding moments where I could sit and be silent. I started finding time to ask God questions and pursue him earnestly. (Even when it isn't pretty. I think I spend more time complaining and whining about the little things rather than glorifying Him.) I started marking my calendar for upcoming exciting dates - (PHOENIX, I'm coming for you!). 

Now, did the weight immediately fall off my hips? Hell no. In fact, it's been more frustrating at times than it's ever been. I've been doing all the right types of things and last week I lost 1/2 pound at WW. WELL CRAP. (Have no fear, this week I lost almost 3 pounds!)  But like I said earlier, I had to begin again. I had to start fresh. I had to keep that "nothing-can-stop -this -WOMAN" attitude. I am remembering more and more that it's not just about a number on the scale. It's about being HEALTHY. I have one BODY that I can live this life with and I'm hoping that it's going to see me through marriage, kids, work, grandkids, etc. I WANT TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.

And part of that is getting into a damn bikini. :)

So here's to finishing January strong and moving into February with a renewed vigor. We can survive these winter months. :)

I love you all dearly. Please keep me posted on how YOU are doing. I care so deeply about all of you.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Yoga Pants.


I don't know about you all, but it's been cold and snowy for about a week straight. Thank goodness for electric blankets and car starters. BURRRR! I guess this is what I get for moving to the U.P. Ohhhh man.

Needless to say, it makes it even more difficult to gain any type of motivation when I leave and the sun is just coming up and come home well after the sun has gone down. Man alive. It's TOUGH. Every morning I say to myself, "Today's the day when you're going to kick ass and take names." No joke. I think about all of the things I can do to burn a few extra calories and yet they almost always seem to end up at the bottom of my priority list. This, my friends, cannot and will not happen all winter long. I can make all of the excuses I want but when it comes right down to it, the secret isn't really in the yoga pants or that new dress I've been wanting to buy, it's within me.

I am really working on becoming accountable to myself. I'm working to better myself FOR myself. I don't need a man's approval. I don't need my co-workers/family/friends dictating my moods. I need to look inside myself and understand the real reason I started this journey a little more than a year ago.

I want more than anything to be healthy and happy.

I want to glorify Christ with my body, mind, and soul.

And that's what I am striving to be.

I'm doing this to be the 24 year old I know I am capable of being. 50 pounds took a lot of hard work and I'm not going to squander it with lies that the devil wants to fill my head with. Again, I need to be losing weight for the right reasons. Not for anyone or anything else. It's a lesson I have to learn daily.

So for those of you wanting to shed some extra pounds this holiday season. HERE'S TO YOU. I know you are more than capable of doing just that. Know your worth is in Christ. Know that no one is perfect. There isn't a perfect body or the perfect goal weight. It's ultimately about feeling your best. And when you feel your best, I can say from experience, you look your best. Take it one day at a time. It's not overnight that these changes happen. Because trust me, I've still got a long way to go.

So here's to wearing those yoga pants that make your legs look lean. 

Here's to treating yourself to a hot cup of coffee from Starbucks.

Here's to treating yourself right and knowing that you're WONDERFULLY made.

Here's to understanding that God's got a plan.

and here's to the best friends a girl could ask for.

I love you!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Frenzy

Hi Beautiful Friends, 

Gosh, where has the time gone? I can't believe I haven't updated you all in 2 months. I'm hoping this means that I've done a better job talking to you all in person or chatting with you on the phone. :) 

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. 

1) School started and it's like I have halted any progression I have made in losing any weight. I have rarely been home in time to run outside while it's still light and you know I am not a morning person so getting up at 5 or so doesn't sound pleasant, whatsoever. BLAH. That actually sounds like the worst thing ever. I keep saying to myself that tomorrow will be better and yet, I'm making the same choices over and over. Do you see how this is a never ending battle? It's a constant-daily-I-wish-I-didn't-have-this-problem problem. So for those of you reading this feeling much the same way, I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YA SISTA. Seriously. It's a lifestyle change that is never ending. It's not always easy but I love the results I see and how I am feeling and that is what drives me forward. 

2) As most of you know, my Grandpa died last weekend and that was a huge factor in my bad habits this past week. People are so wonderful and have been bringing over incredible food. I CAN'T STOP EATING. Oh my word. I am reverting back to comfort. I need to change that habit quick. My goal in the next couple of weeks is to really get back on the band wagon. I need to keep going. 

3) Success sharing: I am currently 50 pounds lighter than I was at my heaviest! BAH! I can't even believe it. It's taken me so long to get here and there are many more pounds to go, but man alive. It's one day at a time. Thanks for keeping me real. 

4) Thanks for keeping me accountable. It means more to me than you know. 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Runners World


Gosh! Where has the summer gone?! I'm honestly feeling like I was swept up in a blur of craziness and now I have two weeks left until I get back into the grind. WOAHHHH. I don't know if I'm ready for the move back up north, but it's coming whether or not I want it to. 

This summer, much like I expected, was harder to lose the weight. Funny enough, it wasn't because I wasn't exercising because I LOVED GETTING OUTSIDE, but the food really got me. I had so many "cheat" moments and felt myself getting out of control too many times to count. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. While the fruits and veggies were definitely part of the mix, I had family parties, fruity drinks/beers, pizza at every corner, free pop from work, easy access to desserts. Man alive. It was HARD. There were days when I felt success and there were too many more where I could feel myself getting so out of control and not caring. This reminds me how it is such a DAILY struggle for me and that I will forever be a foodie. 

Food - 1 
Hill - 0

Now, more exciting news ahead. I CONTINUED MY RUNNING AND RAN AN 8K this summer in my home town! I ran the entire 5 miles and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. My sister decided to run with me and at one point she said:

"Why are you smiling!? It's creeping me out. We are running!"

"Exactly that, Shelb! WE ARE RUNNING AND I AM DOING IT!! CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE IT?! " A year ago, I never EVER would have pictured myself doing this. I could barely walk without feeling out of breath and now I'm running 5 miles?! It truly is insanity! I'm so happy and feeling accomplished by meeting my goals. 

This is why I have decided to maintain my running by signing up for the Fall Color Run across the Mackinaw Bridge the 1st weekend in October! This will not only help me to keep focusing on my weight loss, but also allowing myself to set another goal. It feels amazing to actually DO it. :) 

And then, here is the craziest idea I've had in a while........I think I'm going to run the River Bank Run in Grand Rapids next spring! I haven't looked up the time/training schedules but I just feel like I can train all year and be ready to go next spring. I really feel like I can do this and hopefully by that time I'll be at my goal weight, which I know will make things easier on all my joints. :)

SO WHO WANTS TO RUN WITH ME!?!??! That's the new challenge. I want a running partner and you wonderful women are my partners in crime. :)