Thoughtful Thursdays: Where I Live

Welcome to week three of my new blog link up. I remember when I hosted a different weekly link up and how excited I was when we were averaging over fifty link submissions per week. It was such a cool way to make new friends, and I’d love to see the same thing happen with this blog party over time.

Thoughtful Thursdays on All the Weigh

Please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your Thoughtful Thursdays questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own Thoughtful Thursdays post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 

Where I Live

 

1. Where do you currently live? I live in downtown New Orleans, LA.

2. Have you lived in your current state throughout your entire life? Nope. I’ve lived in many different states.

3. If you answered no to Question 1, then where else have you lived? Texas, Oklahoma, New York, and some other states as well.

4. What is the coolest thing about your city/town? The people are pretty awesome overall. I’ve made friends here like I’ve never had anywhere else.

5. Are there any holidays that your state goes all out to celebrate? If so, tell us about it. People go nuts over Mardi Gras. Tourists come in from all over the world to celebrate it. I live in the heart of downtown…just a couple of blocks from the French Quarter, but I cannot stand Mardi Gras. I’ll probably get out of town for most of it.

6. Describe your neighborhood (climate, scenery, etc.) I live in the Central Business District. It’s an urban area in a relatively tall building that is surrounded by other relatively tall buildings. I like it because even though New Orleans is small, my neighborhood feels like a city, and the Mississippi River is only a few blocks away.

7. What do you wish you could change most about the place you live? I wish we had seasons. I miss seeing the leaves change, watching snow fall, etc.

8. Describe your home. What’s your favorite thing about it?  I live in a historic building that was completed in the 1920’s. It’s gorgeous. It was converted from commercial offices to homes a few years ago, and I’m the first person to live in my unit. My favorite thing is probably the rooftop. We have a pool, grills, tables, and a beautiful view up there. I like being up there when it’s warm.

9. Where do you shop for groceries? Hmmm, I go to Target and Sam’s Club most, but there’s a Rouse’s just a few blocks away from my apartment. Sometimes I walk there when I’m at home and just need a few things.

10.. What is your favorite regular activity in your city/town? I spend a lot of time with friends, and we love game nights. We don’t always get around to actually playing games, but most of the time we do. We also just enjoy each other’s company too.

 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

My January Goal

Today was a long and productive day, but I’m not feeling well right now. My head has been aching since late this afternoon, and I feel nauseated as well. I did’t eat much for lunch, and i skipped dinner completely because I can’t even think about food without feeling sick.

In spite of how awful I feel right now, I’m happy because I reached my goal of losing ten pounds in January. I even did it with a few days left to spare. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but numbers like that are life changing over the course of a year. I’m trying not to think about it like that though. Instead I’m just focusing on losing another 10 pounds over the next 30 days.

I’ve been losing weight consistently for the last several weeks, and I can honestly say that I forgot how good it feels. I forgot how empowering it feels to drive by Krispy Kreme without feeling tempted to eat a thousand extra calories of crap.

It feels good to remember. I wish I could remember how awesome the rush of endorphins feel after a heart-pumping workout. Exercise used to be a regular thing in my life, but I spent a lot of time not prioritizing it last year. I want 2015 to be different, which means that I have to make choices that aren’t always comfortable if I really want to accomplish that.

I’ve done some key things differently lately:

– I have chosen salads and healthy wraps over burgers and oversized burritos.

– I’ve continued to avoid sugary drinks at Starbucks even though I’m still there almost daily.

– I skipped dessert again today, after indulging in it over the weekend after 21 days of avoiding them completely.

– I’ve continued to say no to doughnuts. I haven’t had one since September, and right now I don’t miss them. It feels great to say no to them.

– I have asked God to give me strength to make healthier choices.

– I’ve taken time to buy fresh produce and prepare it at home along with other healthy foods.

There’s still so much more that I need to do! Exercise needs to become a regular thing again. I’m not sure why I currently dread something that brings me so much satisfaction, but it’s time to change that. It took some time before, and I realize that if I start making it a habit whether I like it or not, I’ll probably love it again soon.

January has been a successful month for my health, and I hope to do better in February.

Thoughtful Thursdays: Getting To Know You

I’m kind of enjoying this new Thursday thing, and I hope that it grows into a fun, weekly activity for many of us. My readership has changed, and I don’t really know who’s here. That leads me to this week’s topic. Let’s spend a few minutes getting to know each other!

Thoughtful Thursdays on All the Weigh

Please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your Thoughtful Thursdays questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own Thoughtful Thursdays post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Getting To Know You

1. List three things that you don’t need, but that you wouldn’t want to live without. Hmmmm…My iPhone, Macbook, and dessert

2. What is your favorite/least favorite household chore? I don’t mind doing the dishes/cleaning the kitchen, etc. I like to keep things tidy, but I wish my floors would clean themselves.

3. Tell us about your hobbies (things that you do to relax, to have fun, etc.) I love to bake, though I haven’t done that in nearly three weeks. I also enjoy reading, knitting, playing board games, attending small groups with my NOLA Church folks, and shopping. (This list could be much longer.)

4. What’s your favorite holiday, and why? Christmas. I love Thanksgiving too and all of the time in between. People are nicer, the weather is usually cool and crisp too (at least it was until I moved to New Orleans!)

5. It’s Wednesday night. What will you do to enjoy yourself? Well, tonight I hosted a game night at my favorite coffee shop. I thought that I’d have a friend or two there, but we ended up having a group of 10 people. It was awesome.

Game Night

6. Share at least three things that you like about yourself. I like my ability to connect with people in a genuine and altruistic way, I like my smile and ability to laugh at myself, and I like my musical talent. I’m thankful for all of these things.

Kenlie Lane Bryant Purple

7. What are you looking forward to doing most over the coming weekend? Gosh..there’s so much…Mom is coming into town, but before that we’re finishing up our 21 Days of Prayer with breakfast at church. These periods always change my life, and this one has been incredible. Maybe I’ll talk about that more at some point.

8. Did you make any goals for January? If so, how are they coming along? My goal for January is to lose 10 pounds, and I had lost 7 at my last weigh-in. I ate chips and queso that I didn’t need last night, so I’m going to have to work a little smarter in the coming days if I want to accomplish that goal.

9. Are you in a relationship? A romantic one? Nope. I have awesome relationships with family and friends though. Does that count? (I wrote the question, so no. Ha…)

10. What is your favorite TV channel? It depends on the time of year. If it’s during the holidays, it’s definitely the Hallmark Channel. The rest of the year I leave the TV on mute with CNN or QVC playing in the background. I like CNN because I can keep up with what’s happening around the world, and I like QVC because they’re always so darn happy about everything on that channel. Ha

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!

I Don’t Have Kids, And I’m Not Sure If I Want To

Last week I shared my reasons for not having kids with SHAPE Magazine. It’s not something that I talk about often, but it’s a relevant topic for women my age.

Shape Magazine

People often tell me that I’d make a great mother, which is a huge compliment. I absolutely adore my nieces, and I can’t imagine life without them. My church is filled with bouncy, happy kids who run to me in droves to hug me. They even call me ‘Olaf’ because I remind them of the sweet snowman who loves warm hugs. It makes me so happy!

I always dreaded the idea of having kids, even when I lived with a man that I thought I would marry in my late 20’s. He wanted them; I didn’t. It was a small source of contention, but we had plenty of other reasons to break it off.

Last year when I had serious feelings (like I want to marry him, and I’ll spend the rest of my life living in a mini mcmansion in the suburbs if it means I can be with him kind of feelings) I realized that I might want to be a mother. He has three amazing kids, and being close to all of them them helped me understand what it would be like to be responsible for another person.That man was the first person (and the only one so far) who ever made me think that the 9 month process that women go through might be something that I’d want to do.

I’m not going to marry him and live happily ever after in the suburbs, which is okay since I’m more comfortable in my urban, high-rise environment. It was painful to come to that realization, but he showed me that it was possible to feel that way about a person and having a potential family.

When a writer from SHAPE asked me about my thoughts on having children, it wasn’t easy to offer my opinion.

Women are supposed to want to have kids. Many of them grow up playing with baby dolls, dreaming of the perfect wedding dress, etc. I didn’t think about that much as a kid. In high school I assumed that I’d go to college, then get married around 22. Most people around me at the time did just that, but I traveled, moved to the coolest city in the nation, made friends, found love, lost it, went back to school, etc.

People who have kids tell me how much it changed them, how awesome it is, etc. They explain that they once felt the way that I do, that having kids makes you less selfish…I believe that’s true, but I’ve seen situations in which kids are not a parent’s top priority. It’s sad, and it’s irresponsible.

It’s also important to note my size. I know several women my size who have kids, and I definitely have more energy than many people that I know (larger and smaller than I am.) I’d be at a higher risk than a person of average size too. I’m not saying that it’s not possible; I’m just saying that there’s risk involved.

It sounds so harsh to say that I don’t want to have kids, but that’s not exactly true anyway. The truth is that I just don’t know, and I think you need to be fully committed to it before adding another human to this overpopulated planet.

I don’t have a supportive husband, and raising a child isn’t something that I want to do alone. I don’t even have a dog right now because I’m not home enough to care for one properly. How am I supposed to be responsible for a tiny human life?

 

 

 

Embracing My Selfie, Or Why I Take Lots of Pictures of Myself

I’ve been taking selfies since before they had a name. I avoided the camera for years, but at some point on my journey through life, it became common for me to snap photos of myself.

Kenlie

Last week I got to spend time with a long time blog friend, Cathy, who was in New Orleans visiting for a conference. When she told me about her upcoming trip, we knew we’d meet up, and we did. We met at Cafe Dumonde, where I resisted beignets. (Yay for me!) We also walked around Jackson Square, which is the prettiest part of the French Quarter in my opinion.

This woman has been my friend since at least 2010. The moment I saw her, it was like seeing someone that I hadn't seen in ages!

This woman has been my friend since at least 2010. The moment I saw her, it was like seeing someone that I hadn’t seen in ages!

As we walked down Royal St, we stopped at CVS to pick up a few things, and I found a selfie stick! I obviously bought it on the spot, and it’s the best $10 I’ve spent in a while. I haven’t used it to take any selfies because doing that would be ridiculous, but I’ve been in some hilarious group photos that wouldn’t have been possible without my Mono Pod de Narcissism.

I’m surrounded by an uplifting group of friends, many of whom take selfies, with exception of a few because they’re too narcissistic, and I understand that. I really do, and even though I kind of agree, I look at it from a different perspective.

There was a time when I hated myself so much that i avoided mirrors at all costs. I looked at myself long enough to style my hair and apply makeup, but I was mortified when I caught my reflection in store windows. I hated the way I looked in photos. I still took them, but I didn’t post them online because of my shame. For years the only photo that I had one Facebook was a picture of my hair blowing in the wind while driving with the top down. I didn’t want to be seen by others, nor did I want to take a look at myself either.

Sometimes I take full body photos to send to Ariel, so she can say yes to the outfit or no.

Sometimes I take full body photos to send to Ariel, so she can say yes to the outfit or no.

Now, years later, I’m still not skinny, but I love myself. I’m not pleased with myself for still having so much weight to lose, but I love myself. I haven’t accomplished every goal that I set yet, but I love myself. (You get the idea, right?)

Full body Selfie Lane Bryant

I also think that it’s okay to wear horizontal stripes even though I always hear that I shouldn’t. Whatever, folks. I’m doing it.

Sometimes when I take a selfie, I’m reminded of how much work I have to do. It’s also hard to accept the fact that I could have done so much more over the last few years. Those thoughts are important to face because it has helped me make better decisions over the last few months – decisions that bring me closer to my goal.

Gym Selfie

I was frustrated seeing myself in the giant gym mirrors when I took this around the holidays because I should be smaller now, then I remembered that I was in the gym doing something good for myself. I like capturing those moments.

Some days I post selfies because I want to hear that I’m cute, pretty, etc., and when that happens I admit it with proper hashtags. #PAYATTENTIONTOME

See? I have some pretty uplifting friends who encourage me when I need it.

See? I have some pretty uplifting friends who encourage me when I need it.

And some days (many lately) I take selfies because I feel pretty. I’ve been using a few products on my face since Christmas, and the result is that my makeup is still mostly in tact even after singing (sweating guts out) on Sunday morning. (Thank you, Smashsbox Photo Finish!)

Kenlie Naps

I took this selfie last week right before I took a long afternoon nap on my sofa. Sundays start early for me, so sometimes I nap.

Some people find success, at least temporarily, by tearing themselves down. I feel successful when I see myself and love the person that I see.

I have a lot to accomplish, and I’m happy to say that I’ve lost week for the last five weeks in a row. It may not sound like much, but I’m experiencing more consistency in my food choices than I have in a long time. I haven’t had a doughnut since September, and I haven’t indulged in any desserts in over two weeks.

I’m feeling good about my tiny steps in the right direction, and the selfies will continue to be a small representation of that. They might also lead to encouragement from people who care on days that I need that too.

Kenlie Car

How do you feel about selfies? Are they good? Bad? Do you care either way?

 

 

Thoughtful Thursdays: All About the Blog

It’s week two of Thoughtful Thursdays, and I think it’s a good idea to get to know each other a little. It’s a good idea if anyone else chooses to link up with me. If not, I’ll just sit here and talk to myself.

Thoughtful Thursdays on All the Weigh

Please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your Thoughtful Thursdays questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own Thoughtful Thursdays post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

All About the Blog

1. How long have you been blogging? I’ve been blogging for a solid decade, but I’ve been blogging here since 2009.

2. What do you like about being a blogger? I like connecting with people that I would never get to know otherwise.

3. What do you dislike about being a blogger? People leave mean comments sometimes that they’d never have the nerve to say to my face. (Maybe the would, but gross.)

4. What are the top 5 topics that you write about most frequently? Has it changed since you started your blog? My weight, my desire to lose it, my friends, whatever is happening in my life, etc.

5. How often do you read other blogs? Are there any that you read regularly that we should be reading too? There are a few that I read pretty regularly, but since I’m hosting this link up, my suggestion is the read the ones in the comments below. That’s what I’m going to do.

6. How do you define success when it comes to blogging? I guess that has changed a lot for me since I started. It used to be about getting my feelings out, but now it’s about saying something that people care about, hearing their responses, etc. Sometimes it’s still just about me and my feelings too. Did I answer the question? Not really…Ha

7. Share something that you know now as a result of blogging that you didn’t know before. There are some things that I just choose not to discuss here. There are areas of my life in which I don’t want to invite the opinions/scrutiny of others. On a more positive note I know that there are people all over the world who want to see me succeed, who want to see me happy…It’s pretty incredible.

8. Has blogging had an effect on your life? If so, share the details. Yep…I’ve talked about it all here ad nauseam, but in short, I’ll say that it has given me a voice that I might not have otherwise.

9. How did you come up with your blog’s title? My goal is to go all the way in life and weight-loss, and I like puns.

10. What’s the coolest thing about blogging? The people.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!

See you next week…

Forgiveness Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Always Right

I’m generally pretty open about my feelings, but there are times in which I know I shouldn’t bother sharing them because they’ll fall on deaf ears.

Recently a friend made me angry and hurt my feelings pretty severely. While that friend probably didn’t do it on purpose, they have a tough time accepting responsibility for their own actions. That person blames everyone else for everything that’s wrong, and they don’t view life from the same scope as I do.

If I offend someone I want to know so I have a chance to fix it. I don’t like knowing that someone feels hurt or angry due to something I’ve done whether I think I’m right or not. I care about people, and sometimes I’m forced to recognize that they don’t care back. It’s part of life, and I’ve been on both sides of that situation.

Right now I’m too angry/aggravated to talk about it with that person, but I know it’s what I’m supposed to do. I also know that it probably won’t be well-received (because, again, it’s always someone else’s fault,) which makes me think that I shouldn’t bother.

I’ve been a selfish jerk before, and I’ve received more grace than I could ever deserve. I forgive the person who made me feel like crap, and I know that I need to make some changes in my friendship with them. I know that you can only do so much to care for a person before you realize that it won’t change anything.

Sometimes people suck. The fact is that God forgave each of us for every horrible thing we did and will do, and forgiving the person who hurt me is nothing in comparison to that.

Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary to live a peaceful life. I’m not sure when or if I’ll be able to convey my thoughts to the person who upset me, but I do know that I need to forgive and move on.

I’m working on it…

 

 

 

Does It Count As Water?

I’ve been a big water drinker for several years, but I noticed that when I started drinking coffee more regularly, I stopped drinking as much water. I experienced an unfamiliar sensation recently; I was thirsty.

Some say that if you’re drinking plain coffee (not the fancy, sugar-laden stuff) that it should count toward your daily water intake, but I disagree. In my experience water needs to be free from everything else to do its job.

For a while I drank a gallon of water a day, and it’s really not hard to do when you’re working out regularly, I don’t drink that much right now, but I usually drink enough to stay hydrated. That’s different for all of us.

What do you think? Does water have to be pure and clear to count toward your fluid intake, or do you count all fluids?

Wish List 2015

I know that Christmas is over. I also know that it makes more sense to post wish lists before Christmas, but I didn’t make a list this year. I received some really thoughtful gifts, and I loved each happy little surprise. I have everything I need, but as a girl who loves to shop, it’s fun to daydream about these little things that I think are awesome.

– I am in love with this Urban Decay Naked On the Run palette. My mom gave me the original Naked palette for Christmas, and I use it everyday. I lust after this one too every time I’m at Ulta or Sephora. It’s only available “for a limited time.” Who knows how long that is?

Urban Decay Naked on the Run

– And while we’re on the topic of makeup, I want this mini Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette too. It’s inexpensive, and I like the idea of keeping it in my bag with Naked On the Go so I’m always ready..

Urban Decay naked Basics 2

– I’d also love a new pair of Ugg Slippers. I have two pairs now, but one is on its way out. I’ve had that pair since Christmas of 2009, so I’d say I certainly got a lot of wear out of them. The draw to the ones that I want right now, the Ugg Dakota Slipper, is that they have rubber soles that I could wear when I need to walk down to my building’s lobby and stuff.

Ugg Slippers

I can’t decide if I want them in Espresso or Pewter, which is okay since I’m not buying them at this point anyway. (Is it selfish to want all the colors? Ha)  I wanted them for Christmas until I realized that I needed them in a size 10. I usually wear a 9, but whatever. Mom and I agreed that they made my feet look bigger than usual, but I want them anyway.

I’m so thankful that I have everything I need. I just think it would be fun to list things that I’d like to own in 2015. Do you own any of them? Do you love them?