Facing the Fat

I’ve experienced some ups and downs since my last post, but I recognize what I have to do in order to be happy with myself. I’m still lacking motivation to exercise, but I’m doing it anyway. I know that if I keep trudging through that I’ll be glad I did.

I spent most of the weekend at Mom’s house, and I saw family and friends that I don’t get to see everyday, and it highlighted how different I look and feel than I did last year.

Mom has dropped over 50 pounds since February, and our family friend, Linda, has dropped 50 pounds as well. I gained about that much, but they weren’t judgmental because they understand how tough it is.

I know that I have an opportunity to change what I don’t like about myself. I know that I don’t have to choose between being physically healthy and emotionally healthy, and I’m working on improving physically right now because I’ve come so far emotionally over the last couple of years.

I’m eating more vegetables, drinking fewer sugary drinks and dragging myself to the gym. I know that eventually I’ll get back to the place in which I crave the endorphin rush, and I hope it happens soon because I’m tired of feeling like this.

As we close out 2014, I’m holding onto hope that I’ll feel different by this time next year…

 

 

 

Disgusted with Myself

I’ve been hating on myself pretty hard lately. I can’t stand the way that I look. I can’t believe that I let myself gain back so much of what I lost. There’s so much good in my life, but sometimes (often times) it feels overshadowed by my obesity. I’m tired of it, frustrated by it and seemingly stuck in this rut in which I feel helpless to change it.

Yesterday I tracked my food intake. I wasn’t exactly shocked to learn that I’ve been eating garbage. I knew that already. We all knew that already, but I wrote it down.

Today I started my day on the treadmill. My heart rate was elevated for 30 minutes, followed by some stretching and selfies.

Kenlie Gym

I didn’t exactly feel like smiling because as I sat there, sweaty, staring at myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors, I had to admit that I screwed up. I failed. I gained back a significant amount of weight. We’re talking 50 pounds here, and I don’t ever want to have to say that I gained back over 100.

The way I look pisses me off. I’m okay with the basic structure of my face, and I even like how it looks when I weigh 290 pounds. I’m fine with my imperfect smile, my lips, my hands and ankles; it’s everything in between that pisses me off.

I blame my excess weight for everything that I don’t have. I have friends and family who love me, many of whom would argue that I’m beautiful if they read this post, but I don’t believe it today.

I don’t need to be skinny to be happy. I know that from experience, all I need to be happy, is to feel like the best version of myself. I haven’t felt like that in a really, really long time. I’m trying to change that.

Adding More Goals to the List

Am I the only one who finds it hard to believe that it’s already December? It feels as though this year has flown by, but I’m okay with it being over. I’ve had some great moments, but this year has also come with some stress and disappointment (in love and within myself.)

I didn’t gain all of my weight back, but I’ve gained enough back that I no longer feel confident in my abilities. I’ve already shared that I feel like a failure in this area, and it’s still true.

I remember a time when I felt like a weight-loss champion. I also remember a time when fruits and veggies were a priority in my daily life, but they have once again been replaced by unhealthy, sugary alternatives.

When I was experiencing success before I was doing some key things that I’m not doing now: exercise and food journaling, and I was doing both consistently. (I’m sure that none of us are surprised that I saw good results.)

I’ve grown a lot spiritually, and I’m a much better person than I was several years ago. Life is better than it has been in a very long time (even when stressors pop up.) I’m happy with my life right now, but I’m not happy with my weight. It’s hard to explain that, but I’ve tried in numerous blog posts.

After having success recently when I eliminated sugary drinks and doughnuts, I’ve decided that I’m going to continue refraining from doughnuts. I haven’t had one since mid-September, and after months of overindulgence, it feels good to say no. I’ve been more careless with sugary drinks at Starbucks, but that ends now too. I can enjoy regular coffee, but I’m not going to allow myself to fall back into a routine of daily hot chocolates or caramel macchiatos.

I’ve also added tracking back into my routine, and I’m going to do it daily for the next 30 days. It’s an effective way to make sure that I’m eating what I should be eating, and I’m going to let go of the regret that I have due to my lack of faithful tracking until now. I’m going to focus on cardio 4 days a week too.

I’m completely different than I was when I tried this before. I barely even remember the person that I was. I’ve spent so much time looking at the way I lost in the past that I’ve overlooked who I am now. I’m going to start telling myself that I can do this and challenge myself to take steps in the right direction.

 

 

Crafty Kenlie

I’ve been quiet here over the last few weeks, but I’ve been blogging in other places. I wrote a post about Old Navy on the PlusInc blog, and I wrote an article about my love for Richard Simmons on DietsinReview.com. Last week the Today Show talked about Richard, and a friend sent me this photo from the segment. I had never seen it, but I remember that day. It made me smile, and I want to wish Richard every happiness. I’m praying for his healing too.

Richard Simmons Today Show and Kenlie

The month started with a bit of stress, but most of it has subsided. Now I’m in holiday mode, and I cannot wait to finish decorating for Christmas. I’ve been baking cookies, which is something that I do at this time of year. (I’ll share some photos soon.)

I’ve also been making wreaths. I sold a few last week, which is great because it means that I get to make more wreaths. I’ve been knitting too, which is also good because it keeps my hands busy.

Crafting has always been a pretty big part of my life, but lately I’ve been reminded of how much I love it! Cookie art aside, crafting keeps me from mindlessly snacking, which is a double-win.

Christmas Deco Mesh Wreath

red and silver deco mesh wreath

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Thanksgiving is almost here. The end of the semester will be here before I know it, and that means that I have to manage my time well so that I’m not stressing over exams and papers two weeks from now.

Happy (almost) holidays!

Changing My Mindset

Right now my head hurts, and I feel a little achy. I’m not officially sick, but I feel like whining. I’m tired even though I shouldn’t be. I’m stressed even though I know that stress typically passes. I’m just don’t feel great. I don’t feel like myself. Instead I feel like crawling under the blankets in my bed and watching Christmas movies until it’s an acceptable time to sleep. (Okay, the Christmas part sounds like me, but  the watching TV in bed is definitely not normal in my world.)

I’m not at home because I had class today, which was followed by a tutoring session and church. (Once a month we have a service on Wednesday evenings,) and now I’m planning to meet someone for coffee. It has been a busy afternoon and evening, and I’m looking forward to sleeping.

I’ve been thinking about what I could do to improve my health between now and the end of the year. I feel like the sugar thing is under control now more than it has been in a long time, and someone who knows me made a statement earlier today that resonated with me. We were talking about adding more goals that would help me get a better grip on my health, and I’ve been thinking about his response a lot this evening.

He said, “You were really great at it when it was a priority.”

We all know that it’s true. There was a time in which I felt like I had it figured out, and now it’s embarrassing to admit that I didn’t have whatever was necessary to keep it up. I think about my failures a lot, and for a long time, I’ve used them as an excuse to refrain from trying.

The last six weeks or so have been better. I’m eating less sugary crap, but I’m not exercising much. I did a 10k with a friend one day last week, and I walked a few times in the month before that. It’s just not enough. It’s a decent start, but I want that feeling that I used to have when I knew I’d workout everyday.

I want the endorphin rush, and I want to feel the consistency that I felt exercise even when I wasn’t eating as well as I should. I’m seeing the numbers decrease just a little, and I know that if I add some exercise back into my daily routine, I’ll see those little sacrifices add up to a lot of success.

My mindset needs to change. I’ve been lazy in fitness most of this year, but that’s something that I can change right now. I don’t even have to leave home to sweat it out. I have several awesome workout DVD’s, several flights of stairs and a gym at the top of my building. What else do I need? Motivation? Inspiration? Willingness?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, but I think I need to spend time doing it (and figuring the rest out later if I still think it matters.)

I need to change my mindset. I’m careful not to “fake it ’til I make it” because that attitude has gotten me into trouble in the past, but in this case, I’m pretty sure that it’s okay.

My weight and health hasn’t been a priority in a long time, but I’ve (successfully) trying to shift that lately. I will remind myself that I’m not going to miss anything important by heading out an hour later than normal. Actually, I’ll be using that time to do something important – to better myself. Few things are more important than our health, and it’s time to adjust my priorities.

It’s not Monday or the first day of the month. This day carries no particular significance, but it’s the day that I can decide to do something good for myself. It’s a day that I get to live without pain or illness. It’s a day in which I get to breathe and enjoy my life, and I’m going to respect that gift by doing something good with it.

 

 

 

Screw You, Cancer…

This is Aunt Debbie’s granddaughter, Izzy. She’s only 4 year old, and she had surgery a couple of weeks ago. Now she’s back in New Orleans facing 18 months of treatments starting today, followed by another surgery.

Children's Hospital New Orleans

Our hearts are broken because her journey will be rough, but I’m thankful that God is strong in our weakness. I’m also thankful that He is the Great Physician.

If you pray, please pray for complete healing of this little girl and for comfort and God’s provision for her family.

Dating in The Big Easy is Hard

I’m a plus-size woman who likes to enjoy my life, and I like the idea of meeting someone who wants the same thing. I’m friendly and outgoing. Most of my friends would tell you that I’m confident in almost every circumstance, and in most cases, it’s true.

I am well-groomed, educated, independent and good at a myriad of things. I have talents and hobbies and ambitions (some that that I mention here and many that I don’t.) I have a lot of awesome characteristics, but my weight is the first thing anyone ever sees. Most of time time it defines me before people have a chance to get to know me, and I have mixed feelings about that.

I don’t mind that I’m not desired by everyone. I like attention, sure, but I feel validated and content without the constant need for attention that used to be important to me. I don’t need to be the girl who gets picked up by strangers who want to do her at the bar (or at the auto parts store,) but I’d like to be the woman whose characteristics are attractive and desirable to one man who has his own myriad of attractive characteristics.

It hasn’t been easy to date in New Orleans. (Okay, it doesn’t help that I was hung up on someone for nearly a year,) but recently I decided that I’d let myself try again. I went on a couple of dates while I was out of town,and I clicked with someone here. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and that’s probably all I’ll say about it for quite some time.

Dating in this plus-size body makes it more complicated than it would be if I were thin, but I’m okay with that if it means that I can weed out the majority to get the needle in the haystack.

People often assume that I must feel insecure, especially on dates, but the truth is that I feel pretty good about myself most of the time until society reminds me that I shouldn’t. I don’t remember who said it, but someone made an excellent point recently when they said not to worry about society’s standards because society sucks. I agree, and my hope is that there are guys out there somewhere who agree too.

 

I’m Plus Size, But I’m Not Desperate To Get Laid

Me: Hello?

Him: Hey. What are you up to?

Me: Having coffee with a friend. You?

Him: Oh. You’re not home?

Me: No. Why?

Him: I thought I’d come over.

Me: What? Why?

Him: You know.

Me: I don’t even know you. You think I’d invite you to my place?

Him: Well, I just assumed…

Me: Ohhhhh. You saw me and assumed that I’d be desperate to get laid? It’s making sense now.

Him: Well, when you say it like that…

Me: If you think I’d let you into my home, then there aren’t enough skills in your brain to get into my pants tonight or ever.

Him: Click (Call ended)

It’s not surprising that my suspicions were right about the guy. When he asked why I was surprised, he was asking because he assumed that no one ever asked me out. (Follow me around for a week or two…Actually, don’t. Gross.)

I’m a pretty good judge of character, and I was right about that creep. He thought that I’d be an easy target. The poor guy didn’t realize who he was talking to. I have faults, but I also have an abundance of self-esteem and high standards.

I wasn’t interested in that guy, but there are other possibilities in the works so we’ll see what happens the coming weeks.

As a result of yesterday’s post, I also received a message from a certain guy in DC who never fails to remind me how beautiful he thinks I am. (Hey, guy in DC, thank you…xoxo)

Sometimes guys are jerks. I wish that dating could be easier, but the fact is that I don’t mind waiting for what I want. And it’s definitely not the creep I met at AutoZone.

The Guy Who Asked Me Out at AutoZone

Earlier this week I had to stop at AutoZone I needed a new brake light, and when I was leaving, another shopper who helped the guy replacing my light asked if I was single.

He caught me off guard with his question, but he explained that he was surprised that there wasn’t a man around to install it for me (apart from the sweet guy at AutoZone who offered to do it for me.)

The guy, who was around 40 years old, asked if he could have my phone number, and after chatting for a few minutes I gave it to him. I figured it couldn’t hurt anything since I’ve been in a dating kind of mood lately, then he called me.

He asked about my life. He wanted to know why I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I didn’t know how to answer that. I mean, the answer seems obvious to me. I have some pretty high standards for anyone who enters my life, and I’m plus-size, which seems to deter a lot of potential significant others.

I went out with a guy couple of times recently who reminded me how to have fun and accept things for what they are, and I’m trying to do just that. My fellow shopper wanted to know why I seemed so surprised that he had asked for my number in the parking lot. He wondered if it was something that rarely happened, in general, and I explained that it was just random and unexpected in the parking lot.

Now I find myself wondering if he assumed that I was surprised because no one asks me out…ever. Obviously, it happens. It’s definitely not something that typically happens so quickly. Guys usually spend some time talking to me before they decide that they want to go out with me.

Now I’m asking myself pointless questions that will unlikely be answered. Did he genuinely find me attractive? Did the guy in the parking lot think that I’d be an easy target because I’m plus-size? Perhaps the answer is yes to both questions, but his inquiries about my reaction make me think that perhaps he thought I was an easy target.

It doesn’t matter because I’m not particularly interested in going out with him. I was much more smitten by the guy that I went out with a couple of times last week.

I know that I’m overthinking the stranger’s reasons, but isn’t that why my blog exists? ;)

 

Slow Cooker Disaster and The End of Caramel Macchiatos

My days are usually pretty busy from start to finish, and Tuesday was no exception. I left home to get some work done at “my office,” which is more accurately described as Starbucks, and I didn’t get back home until almost 10 pm.

When I left I thought I’d be back by around 6 pm, but I had an unexpected conference call that lasted more than an hour and a half among other things. I completely forgot that I had chicken cooking in my Crockpot. Oops!

I planned to make honey chicken with pecans, which was a new recipe, but what I made instead was a disgusting, burnt mess. Thankfully, slow cookers don’t catch on fire (at least right away.)

CrockPot Disaster

I cleaned up the mess and washed away the smell of my fix-it-and-forget-it failure, and I was thankful that I ate dinner before coming home.

And in keeping with feeling thankful, I wore my new Kork-Ease boots yesterday, and I have to say that I love winning beautiful, comfortable boots! Who doesn’t?

Kork-Ease Boots

I finally used my reward drink to order caramel macchiato from Starbucks after almost 40 days of no sugary drinks, and I was disgusted by it.

I knew that I could live without the caramel macchiato because i did it for over a month without much hassle, but I didn’t expect to be completely disgusted by it like I was. I gave the ‘free’ drink away after one sip and reverted back to my unsweetened, caffeine-free passion tea. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but I am thrilled that I’ve broken my macchiato habit.

Starbucks Macchiato Passion Tea

I have no plans to try it with doughnuts anytime soon because they’ve been a trigger food for a long time. Right now they’re not even appealing so I’m just going to roll with that.

Tuesday was a day of failures, but it followed a day of freedom from sugary crap that I craved almost to the point of mild obsession over the summer. I’m calling the day a win and looking forward to Wednesday.

I’m meeting with a friend who’s visiting from the Northeast before taking an exam in my favorite class. Now it’s time to get some sleep before my alarm goes off.

Until later, friends…