Monday, January 21, 2013


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!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Filling the Black Hole

I guess it would be fair to say that my life has sort of fallen apart this last week. After more than six months of trying to reconcile with my ex-husband, I decided that it just wasn't working. I know he was trying, but I just wasn't happy. I'm not ready for a relationship... Not with him. Not with anyone. Hollie just wants to be with Hollie right now.

The breakup has caused major stress, though. Needless to say, Mr. Leonard was NOT happy about my decision. And unfortunately, other bad stuff has resurfaced. It makes me sad, but I stand behind my decision.

The decision to do what's best for me. Because I truly believe that when I'm happy, my kids are happy.

I haven't talked much about this to anyone, but I have been attending Overeater's Anonymous. I truly think it's what has helped me stay sugar/white flour free for almost six weeks. I'm treating my obsession with food as an addiction, because I believe it is. And the support of the group of people with my same illness is very helpful.

At the OA meeting I attended on Thursday night, the speaker talked about the "black hole" that once was her life, and how she spent so much time trying to fill that hole with food, bad relationships, etc. I totally identified with her. I think that by filling my soul with good things and positive relationships, there is no longer room to for food. Even with the sadness of ending a relationship, my soul still feels full. Full of God, full of love for my children, full of a satisfying career, full of friends who care about me...

I am changing for the better. And the pounds that I'm losing is just a result of the work I'm doing on myself from the INSIDE. Suddenly, eating right is so much easier. If you told me two months ago that I'd be almost 6 weeks sugar free, I wouldn't have believed you. But here I am.

I know it's hard for him to understand, but ending this relationship is just part of the transformation. The old Hollie was scared to be alone. She would rather settle for 50% happiness from another person than risk having to go 100% by herself.

Not this Hollie. I am strong. I love myself now. I am worth so much more than settling for anything less than 100%. Life is too short for regret. And I know in my heart that everything will be alright.

The scale is still holding steady at 294 which is fine. I haven't been to the gym in a week (since I lost my gym partner in the breakup, and since my evenings are busy now that I'm in single mom mode). But no excuses... Tomorrow, I have promised daughter and her friend and my nephew that we could start going to the gym after school. My evenings are clear all next week, so this is totally possible.

I had a NSV yesterday... I was able to fit into a pair of new pants that I found in a box. I bought them over a year ago on clearance, but when I got them home they didn't fit. I only paid $8 for them, so I just put them up in hopes that I could wear them one day. And yesterday was that day!

Many people on Facebook have been asking to see what I eat everyday. Well, I snap pictures occasionally, and decided to start posting some on the end of the blog for those who wish to take a look. If you're on My Fitness Pal, you can add me as a friend (SkinnyHollie) and view my diary whenever you wish, too.

This is tilapia with broccoli and sweet potato fries. (441 calories). I suddenly love fish... I eat this dinner a lot, minus the sweet potato fries. I only allow myself to have those about once per week. But I eat a lot of broccoli and fish.

This is a chicken breast and french green beans drizzled with Alfredo sauce. (270 cal for the whole dinner - only 2 carbs for that sauce). I rarely eat chicken anymore, but this was ok. And I love these green beans from Trader Joe's.

And this is my typical breakfast... 3 slices of turkey bacon and a 2-egg omelet stuffed with reduced fat cheese and spinach. And coffee (sweetened with 1 packet of Splenda and 3 tbs half and half). 424 Calories.

Ive mailed off all my three books that have been given away... and I'll be posting another one soon!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

25 down, and winner #3!

The winner of the Working Out Sucks book is comment number 4... Cai! Please contact me asap at skinnyhollie at gmail dot com, or on!

And for the first two winners... I mailed your books today!

And I am pleased to announce that the scale is moving again! Today I was down to 294! That's officially 25 lbs down since starting this journey (again) on Novemeber 15. Today also marks FIVE WHOLE WEEKS without the sweet stuff or white/wheat flour. I'm finally feeling good about this process again.

Although I have to wonder if it's because I haven't been to the gym since Friday that my weight is dropping again? We'll see... I'm going to try my best to get in that gym again tomorrow.

Long story short... Well, I won't even tell the story, but my personal life took a major bad turn on Saturday night/Sunday. I'm sad, hurt, and disappointed.

But I'm not eating over it. Not at all. 

Because eating over your problems really doesn't make them go away, does it?

I'm learning that right now. Big time.

Again, my reaction has been the opposite of usual. I have not appetite. On Sunday, I logged less than 400 calories all day. Just couldn't eat. But since I know that's not healthy, I did better yesterday.

I also had a NSV today... I was able to walk through Walmart at 5 p.m. after a long, emotionally trying day and find that I didn't want any of the candy in the aisles. I didn't look longingly at it, and my mouth didn't water. I really felt indifferent. It was just candy. It didn't make me happy anymore, or tempt me. It was just colorful little wrappers that decorated the checkout.

I used to love candy. So that's huge for me.

Well, I'm DOG tired... physically and mentally. I've got to get some sleep tonight, so I'm off to bed!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Working Out Sucks! - Book giveaway #3

Working Out Sucks! (And Why It Doesn't Have To): The Only 21-Day Kick-Start Plan for Total Health and Fitness You'll Ever Need

Ready for a new book? Well, I'm ready for give-a-way #3! Ronna has contacted me to claim book #2, but I still haven't heard from my book #1 winner... either of them! I'll give it the weekend, and hopefully the new winner will contact me.

The next book up for grabs is Working Out Sucks by Chuck Runyon, the CEO and CoFounder of Anytime Fitness. I actually read this book and really enjoyed it. There might even be a review on this blog somewheres...

But here's the description from

Tired of diet books that promise to change your life in five minutes? Tired of trying to get healthy and fit—and really getting nowhere? Chuck Runyon, Brian Zehetner, and Rebecca DeRossett are here to confirm what you already know: Working out sucks. The good news? With the new approaches in this book, that is about to change.

Working Out Sucks! deprograms those of us who have long been brainwashed by unhealthy habits, destructive attitudes, and misinformation about health, and offers a no-nonsense way to get back on track. Because, while working out may suck, the alternatives—from heart disease to premature aging and shortened lifespan--are a lot worse. As he does in his 1,700 Anytime Fitness clubs (with more than one million members worldwide--and growing), Runyon emphasizes user-friendliness and utility in this get-real, get-healthy message, complete with Zehetner’s 21-day kick-start plan and DeRossett’s tips for mental health.

How to win? Easy... leave a comment below! You have until Monday night (January 7) at 11:59 p.m. CST. I will choose the winner to this book on Tuesday, January 8.

Ready... set... go!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Two winners and how the new year is going...

First things first! I'm ready to give some books away! The winner of the How We Did It... is Ronna. Her blog is
And since my first winner for Just Tell Me What to Eat never contacted me, I drew another name for that book. The winner is Jennay! Her blog is
If both of you would please contact me at skinnyhollie at gmail dot com, or on that would be great! I can get these to the post office asap!


I'm officially back to work, and the past two days have been great. Busy, but I don't think I know any other way when I'm working!

I have been getting so many compliments from co-workers who can tell that I've lost weight. I can definitely tell that my slacks are looser than they were before break. It's a good feeling.

But that damned scale still isn't acting right! So I've decided to stop weighing daily. My weigh ins will be on Thursday and Monday from now on. I just can't let the scale play mind games with me at this point. I'm sugar free, low carb, eating healthy, exercising... I've GOT to lose weight. I HAVE to move forward and keep doing what I'm doing. I don't want to get discouraged right now.

This week I made a goal to make sure I'm getting enough fruit and veggie servings, and to make sure I'm drinking plenty of water. I'm doing good so far... 

But I'm struggling with "liking" exercise. I haven't reached that point where I'm happy about going to the gym, or satisfied with my workouts. It still feels like such a chore! My body feels heavy, and I'm just not feeling great when it's over like usual. I tried switching from the elliptical to the treadmill tonight and that was a disaster... I hate the treadmill. Even though I've decided to start going at 4:30 a.m. with my man, I think I may still try a few classes in the evening to see if that makes working out more enjoyable.

I also want to try yoga. Never done that before, but lately it seems very appealing. Not for "exercise", but for flexibility and meditation. I think it might help me relax and de-stress, too. Any thoughts?


I'd also like to add two shameless plugs. Please support Shawn at 344 Pounds by buying his new book! It's only $3.44 on! And if you buy it, please leave a review for him. I got the book on Monday, and I can relate to so much of it. Hopefully, I'll also be able to relate to his success one day!

Second, please check out this blog, This blogger is new on the scene, but I love her blog. She is so funny! And she lost 10 lbs this week! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Last call for Jarrett Jordan!

I still haven't heard from the winner of giveaway #1 (Just Tell Me What To Eat).

Jarrett, please contact me at skinnyhollie at gmail dot com so I can mail this book to you asap! Or just leave a comment with your contact info.

If I haven't heard from Jarrett by tomorrow, I'll pick someone else. Gotta keep the giveaway train movin!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Weigh-in... 2013

I have to admit... this week has been a bit frustrating as far as the scale is concerned. I was over-the-moon happy on Christmas when the scale said 299.6! I got my wish! But the next day... inexplicably... The scale shot up about 2 lbs. I wondered if it was all the exercise I did on Christmas day, because I KNEW my food was good... no cheating! Then a few minutes later I realized my cycle had started.... OK!

Well, since last Wednesday, the scale has been anywhere from 300.0 - 300.8... But I haven't freaked out. I have a REALLY long menstrual cycle that can last up to 10 days. AND I've been to the gym or exercised at least 4-5 days this week. My body may be freaking out a bit.

I keep telling myself it's ok... I am doing what I need to be doing. My carbs are low. My calories are low. My protein is high. I'm exercising. Drinking lots of water. Eating good, unprocessed food. It will all be okay... The number on the scale is just that... a number.

But... when I got on the scale this morning... I saw this.

(What a great phone pic, lol!)

Happy new year to me! It's not by much, but it really makes me happy for my starting weight of 2013 to be UNDER 300 lbs... I really hope it's not another tease and that my body is ready to lose some more weight. God knows I'm putting in the effort.

Today makes FOUR WEEKS SUGAR FREE! This is defnitely the longest I have ever abstained from sugar/white flour. And even though I still have cravings... they are NOT overwhelming. I feel so much stronger and in control of my eating now. It's an amazing feeling.

Don't forget to comment on THIS POST for my 2nd book giveaway!

And check out my friend (and fellow blogger) Shawn's new book on Amazon! I will give a better review when I finish reading it... but so far it's awesome! You can find Shawn at

344 Pounds: How I Lost 125 Pounds by Counting Calories

How We Did It... Book Giveaway #2!

How We Did It: Weight Loss Choices that Will Work for YOU

The next book up for grabs is How We Did It... Weight Loss Choices That Will Work for YOU! by Nancy B. Kennedy. I thought this book would be a great read for the new year! I love hearing success stories, and this book is full of them!

From, "In How We Did It, Nancy B. Kennedy tells the stories of those who have succeeded at their goal of weight loss, whether that means 20 pounds or 200 pounds. These stories will inspire, inform and encourage readers to find the weight loss plan that will work for them. Weight loss plans are too often presented as one-size-fits-all propositions. How We Did It compares the wide gamut of weight loss programs--South Beach, the Zone, Atkins, Thin Within, First Place, Weight Watchers and many more--and shows how weight loss seekers have succeeded using popular plans or by creating their own recipe for success. This book is a resource for both inspiration and information. With chapters that cover everything from childhood obesity to bariatric surgery, the book will help millions of adults who are struggling with their weight. In inspiring profiles, readers meet others just like them who may have tried and failed to lose weight, but who finally found a way to success that suited their lifestyle, personality, spirituality and internal values."

If you want this book, please leave a comment on THIS post. You have until THURSDAY, January 3 at 11:59 p.m. CST, and after that I will pick a comment using

Happy New Year everyone!

Just Tell Me What To Eat... Winner!

Comment #4... Jarrett Jordan is the winner!
Jarrett, please contact me at skinnyhollie at gmail dot com so I can mail this book to you tomorrow!

Everyone else... stay tuned! I'll be listing another book to give away very shortly! Happy New Year!