Fear is the Mind Killer by Holly Hughes

Holly Hughes Head to Head

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

I didn’t say that. Frank Herbert did in the book Dune. But I think about this quote all the time.

Holly Hughes 3 years oldTwo years ago, I had gastric bypass surgery. At the time, I thought I had a problem with food. I had been heavy most of my life and all of my adult life. I spent my time on the diet yo-yo. I binged. I purged. I starved myself. I ate grapefruits. I ate no grapefruits. I ate negative calorie foods. I restricted and tweaked and logged calories ad nauseam. Everyone once in awhile, my body would throw my mind a bone and lose a couple of pounds. Once I even lost 50lbs by logging food and working out at least 5 days a week on an elliptical or treadmill at least 30 mins. I dreaded those 30 mins every day. But I put 30 of those pounds back on, one by one. I didn’t really know how big I got, because for years I wouldn’t go on a scale, but when I applied for the weight loss surgery process, I weighed in at 339.6. And that was after a diet.

At the same time I was playing with my food, I was also suffering from panic attacks and swinging bouts of depression. I didn’t realize that I had been having panic attacks since I was about 9 years old until my therapist told me that when I would start hysterically crying that it was a panic attack.

I have finally figured out that I don’t have a problem with food. I have a problem with fear. Food is how I dealt with my fear.

Short list of stuff Holly is afraid of:

1. Failure
2. The mere idea of space (you know, that vacuum of infinity past our atmosphere)
3. Regain
4. Down escalators
5. Driving over bridges

Holly Hughes Head to HeadAfter 2 and half years, I have taken off about 170 lbs, give or take. I found a supportive group of people who made workouts out an enjoyable experience soon after I had my surgery. Then I found crossfit about 5 months ago and from day one I started, I went 5 days a week and never looked back.

Andrea has given me the opportunity to chronicle the next few months of my life on her site. So here I am, overcoming my fears with deadlifts, pull ups and sorts of devilish physical challenges that remind me that even if I am afraid, I should do it anyway. The fear will always pass and only I will remain.

Holly Hughes

By day, Holly is a mild mannered minion for the mortgage industry machine. When she’s not working on loans she’s doing one of the following: A) she’s in her crossfit box, Crossfit BMW of Detroit, sweating and/or swearing at inanimate objects like ropes or bars. B) looking at pictures on instagram of people lifting heavy things and saying things like “Man, I’m not working hard enough.” C) In pursuit of the perfect protein and alliteration. About 3 years ago, Holly decided it was time to stop putting all other things/people in a higher priority than her needs. At 340lbs, she needed to make her health the top priority. Everything else that has happened since has stemmed from this fundamental decision. April 24th, 2012, Holly had gastric bypass surgery. She has lost about 170lbs over a year and a half and has maintained that loss to date. She has learned a lot about macro/micro nutrients, protein windows, posterior chain muscles, how terrible a heel strike is for runners and most importantly she has learned that not every emotion needs to be eaten. Failure only happens when one stops trying. She will never be perfect and that is perfectly OK. Come follow Holly while she babbles on about finding the best non-soy protein base, why her knees sweat profusely and everything else that gets in the way.

3 thoughts on “Fear is the Mind Killer by Holly Hughes

  1. Pingback: Fear is the Mind Killer by Holly Hughes | I'mperfect Life

  2. Courtney says:

    I am scheduled for bypass on October 20, and I’m currently a CrossFitter and powerlifter. I’m so excited to meet someone who is similar to me! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Holly Hughes says:

      Good Luck on your surgery! Please let me know if you need anything, even just someone to complain to that you cant eat anything. the first 3 months are tough. but i think months 3-6 are really tough. adjusting back into finding foods you can eat again is frustrating. But do this: remember why you are doing this. try to eat real things as much as you possibly can and dont go crazy on just consuming shakes. its better to lose slowly and retain your muscle mass by intaking as much protein as you can and keep working out. I strived to keep muscle mass when i lost so that i didnt look sickly or drop muscle just to see a “better” number on the scale. dont sacrifice your hard earned muscle just to say you weigh 140lbs!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *