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Getting Honest About Some Things

Before I begin I have to warn you that this post might be long and scattered because I have a lot to get off my chest today, and I’m not sure where to start.

I could never put into words how much I appreciate the unwavering support that I receive here.  Many of you have been here since the beginning waiting to see me reach my goal, encouraging me to keep trying.  I love you for that, and I hope you never stop.  But right now I need to start digging out of this rut of complacency that I have been in for a lot longer than I want to admit.

Losing 100 pounds is often enough to dramatically alter the lives of those who lose it, but it’s not enough for me. I have experienced so many positive changes, but this is not a post about that.  Right now I need to figure out how to change my mindset, how to make myself move forward again in a strong, steady and powerful way.

I don’t know how to climb out of this proverbial hole that I’ve been living in.  I’ve been living comfortably with the fact that I’ve lost so much weight for so long now that it feels like I need to start over.  My past accomplishments don’t need to be forgotten, but they’re old news…really old news.  And I want to bask in some new accomplishments.

Before I continue, I’m going to ask that everyone refrain from telling me that I’m more than a number on a scale, or that I need to love myself so others will, or that I won’t be happy when I get to my goal if I can’t be happy with myself now.  I’ve heard all of that, and I understand most of it.  But let’s face some facts today.

When I look at my life I see some things that I like and some things I still want to change, but everything is overshadowed by a giant dark cloud that is the number on the scale.

I used to encourage others by saying that you don’t have to reach your goal before you start feeling good about yourself. You just have to start.  And it’s true.  I know it’s true because when I said it, I was feeling it.   Right now, what I accomplished throughout the first part of this journey is simply not enough.  I’m still obese.

I could make a list of reasons I love and respect myself today, and that list has grown more in the last year than it has at any other point in my life.  I know that I’m a good person, and I have been working through emotions that are difficult to face because I’m trying to become a better person.  There’s a lot of work going on inside my head, and that’s important to recognize (even though most of it is far too personal to discuss in such a public forum.)

But the fact remains that when I look at myself, I see the number on the scale.  We can say it doesn’t define me, but the truth is that it is me.  My body grew to its largest size because of what I did to it, and whether I like to admit it or not, my size currently defines who I am above everything else.

Look, I have a host of other imperfections as well, but my size haunts me.  It’s the truth, my truth, and the things that led me to my extreme obesity (and the snowball effect it has had since) are not easy to face.  It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong, but I’ve been wrong a lot.  I made some pretty incredible mistakes.  I mistreated my body and my loved ones, and in many ways I led a life that could never have been happy and free if I didn’t begin to face those issues.

Before I started losing weight I would always say that I was a “good investment.”  I wanted to believe it was true because surely I’d eventually mature into more than I was – a grossly overweight, unhappy, unmotivated, unsuccessful shell of a human-being who didn’t value herself enough to create any positive change in herself.  (Yeah, the truth hurts, and it’s still not easy to admit now.)  But that’s how I viewed myself.

When guilt set in I told myself that I’d do better tomorrow.  I told myself constantly that the future was filled with hope, yet I failed to give myself any reasons to be hopeful.

Fast-forward to the present: I can’t say that I’m as horribly unhappy or unmotivated now as I was prior to 2009.  As I said, I like a lot of things about my life these days, but there are still some major things I need to change.

I need to change my environment.  I prefer living alone and in a city so I am planning a move into a cute little apartment in downtown New Orleans in the Fall.  Living alone will be good for me.  Controlling what is in the pantry and the refrigerator will be good for me.  I know that, but I also realize that everything I eat now is a choice.  It’s my choice, and it’s up to me to make better decisions.  One thing I’ve noticed spending most of my time downtown is that I’m more likely to go out for food.  It will be easier when I have my own little kitchen, but I will still have to make choices.  Living alone won’t solve everything, but it will be a big leap in the right direction.

I also need to claim what I really want.  I mean, I wish I was fit and trim, but we all know that I have to do a lot more than wish to be at goal.  It looks like I’m going to have to fight a hell of a lot harder than I did when I started my journey, and I have to accept that.  End of story.

I need a routine too.  I’m always on the go, and I don’t spend a lot of time in one place.  Just in the last few months I’ve been in Colorado, Virginia, D.C., New York, Houston, etc.  And over the next couple of months I’ll be in New York again, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Dallas (maybe Oklahoma too.)  Traveling a lot means that I have to have a different game plan.  I lost weight when I traveled before so I know it’s possible, but I have to be mindful.

I’m also lacking accountability.  I left Weight Watchers again recently after another bout of frustration with PointsPlus, and now my meeting no longer exists.  Say what you will, but weighing in at meetings every week changed my life.  I need to find a new meeting and make it my highest priority again.

I’ve gotten lazy with my workouts too.  Sure, I do them occasionally, but I love working out.  I crave endorphins nearly everyday so why the hell am I not doing it?  I don’t have a gym membership anymore, but there’s nothing stopping me from joining another one.  I’ll work that out this week, but until then I will do 30-Day Shred at home at least 5 times over the next 7 days.

I could drone on for hours about why it’s hard and how it’s not fair that I have so much further to go than the average person who loses as much as I’ve lost, but lamenting the work I have to do will not bring me closer to my goal.

I still say no to myself a lot more than I say yes, but I’m not doing enough.  I know that, and I take responsibility for that.

The fact is that my actions don’t help or hurt anyone except me.  I’m surrounded by people who love me and want me to be happy and healthy, but I have to get there on my own.  I’m happier than I was at 400+ pounds, but I’m not as happy as I’ll be at 150 pounds.  And it’s not because I don’t think I don’t deserve to be happy now.  It’s because I know that I am capable of so much more.

I’m preparing a life for myself in which obesity will no longer define me.  I’m in school studying Public Relations. (Yep, I declared recently.)  And I’m dreaming of a day when I can claim what I want for myself in my career and in relationships without the worry that my body is keeping me from fulfilling my desires.

This is my reality, friends.  This is my struggle, and no one can fix it except me.  Last week I admitted that I don’t know how, and sadly, I have not found the answer yet.  The truth is I can’t imagine stepping on the scale and seeing 275 or 250, or 199.  (I could see  the first number in the next month or so, but it feels as far as Mars!)

I don’t know how I did what I did the first time.  I don’t know how to wake up every morning with purpose.  I don’t know how to convince myself that today is the day (not tomorrow.)

I feel an utter lack of confidence and an overwhelming amount of insecurity, but I know what I want today.  I know what I want for my future, and I know that it’s mine for the taking.  I also know that I don’t have to get to my goal before I can start feeling on top of the world again.  I know I just have to start moving toward it.

This is my journey, and I’m doing things on my time.  I just need to turn the clock on again, and I need to remind myself that I’m worthy of it if I’m willing to work for it.



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  • Reply
    Chubby McGee
    August 7, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I feel like I could have written this, Kenz. You’re not alone in this thinking/feeling AT ALL.

    We’re all here for you. Just ask for help if you need anything at all. You’ve got a huge support group of fans and fellow bloggers who will stand by you and help see you to your goal no matter what.


  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Wow! You did have a lot on your mind. I’m new here, but I can see you’re a beautiful person inside and out. I’ve read some but not all of your old posts, and they are great for motivation. I’m still struggling to lose the first 20 pounds, and I have to take it one day at a time. What would you tell someone who came to you for advice today? I have no way of knowing for sure, but maybe you should think of this next 50 or so pounds as a new journey and just start again. One day at a time. We are all here for you.


  • Reply
    Kelly @CurvyFitGirl
    August 7, 2012 at 6:53 am

    This post needed to be written, it HAD to be written. Kenlie, I know this was hard to write, we talked about it last night, but this was a long time coming. And unfortunately, these things you are feeling are all part of what happens when a person loses a significant amount of weight, or has a significant amount to lose.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 7:01 am

    I’m with Chubby – I could have written this, as well. I’m in the same rut – not working out regularly and not making the best food choices. Unlike you, being alone works against me – I’ll sit and snack all night after dinner, if my hubby isn’t here to keep me in check.

    All of us can do this! Keeping up with each other is a big help! I hope that we both manage to decide that today is THE day that we make the first step towards a healthier life!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I like that you are digging deep. If it is ok with you there are a couple of things that stood out to me that I would share. NOT telling you what to do, just things to think about.

    I get that you feel you are the number on the scale. What I wonder is if that really has to do with the number or if it has to do with the commitments that you make to yourself. When you weighted 350lbs (I am assuming you did based on saying you lost over 100 lbs and are almost at 275.), 300 lbs was amazing. It showed the results of your hard work. Right now the number doesn’t reflect your hard work. It reflects not showing up for yourself every day.

    In reading your blog off and on for a long time it appears that you are not in the rhythm of doing what you need to do. That is so frustrating, and hard to get back. What seems to be working for me is to focus on one thing. Once that is routine, add another. Go slow to go fast. You might remember the days of eating perfectly, working out like crazy, etc. but trying to get right back to that might not work. Do one thing. Every. Single. Day. What it does for you mentally is start to line up all the kick ass discipline. I have found that discipline is what keeps me going…

    Last–hope this is not too long– you said “I still say no to myself a lot more than I say yes,”. Turn that around. What can you say yes to in your life? What can you run to rather than run away from? It sounds like it is the same thing…but from what I am reading…to the brain it is HUGE.

    Ok. all of this comes with the caution that I don’t have it all figured out by any means….this is some of the advice I got from people who have helped me more than I ever would have thought.

    I look for great success…

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 7:21 am

    I’m proud of you. Recommit to one thing a week for the next 4, 8, etc weeks and write out what those things will be. You’re in this for the long haul. I have the worst track record of starting and stopping and I think it’s because I go gung ho on everything at first and then get burnt out and quit everything. It’s hard to change up my entire life at once.

    I am really proud of you for recognizing that you need to have your own space without temptation being in your fridge and cabinets every day. I love my Mom so much and I’m so glad she decided to move up here from out of state after my Dad passed away. She eats very differently than I do now and she’s been getting groceries and cooking. Wow, it’s so different from how I eat now. We haven’t had much money so I can’t justify buying and cooking separate meals. It’s amazing how the food that you used to eat every day now makes you sick! Kinda awesome in a way though 🙂

    You can and will do this.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Ok, Kenlie! I’m right here in Nola working on the same path to my goal. I recently started living alone and lost 10 pounds this first month of change. I’m making changes on a day by day basis and love seeing the results. I just hit that first number this month and am already watching it get smaller. 27 lbs in 4 months is a great start but it’s not where I want to stay either. I’m here and looking for a support just as much as I am willing to give it!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I am not sure if this will help or not but I have had a friend and trainer tell something like this…. She uses positive reinforcement like your worth it, look at how far you have come and all the things you need to feel motivated. When a person truly gets stuck like I was and sounds like you maybe too, she flips to a gently form of the negative reinforcement to create the fight response. I have seen Jillian Michaels do this in gentle and not so gently ways. Here are a few I use on myself that really tap into my passion for better health.

    I must do this because if I don’t ……
    I will continue to sit on the sidelines of my life
    I will be embarssed when I run into people because I know I am heavier than the last time they saw me
    I will live in self doubt
    I will be a victim forever
    I will always be labeled obese

    I know I am strong and better than that. I will fight. I am not going back.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Mc
    August 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

    I’m with you girl. I have claimed my past lost 80 pounds for which I’ve mostly kept off for the past several years for far too long….it’s not enough for me, jsut as 100 is not enough for you. The fact is no matter what the pounds lost are, if we aren’t any where near a healthy weight, our work is not done and we need to keep fighting. If we are still eating unhealthy food, we have not truelly changed. Come on girl…we know how to do this, so let’s get to doing it! I’m with you…lets go “all the weigh” 😉

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Please don’t say there can’t be do overs where you find success. I’ve hit bottom or two pounds away from it but last week I finally was willing to put some things back into action. You sound a lot like me but being much younger with more energy. I travel alot too but like you in the past I was successful in coming back from a trip without a gain. The last trip opened my eyes when I came home and got on the scales. I also find trouble in seeing myself at those goal numbers, in my case it 155, so now I’m just looking at reaching 199 and moving on from there. Just do what you can today, make a plan for tomorrow and look for all the motivation you can uncover. Yeah, sometimes those cheerleaders can’t peel away what’s keeping you down you just got to call for a “do over”. Hope something clicks for you Kenlie. You have all the tools, maybe they just need to be polished a little.


  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    It seems to me that you”re at least moving in the right direction. It takes a lot of courage to admit to some hard truths, but you’ve done it. 100 pounds gone is an amzing accomplishment, and since you have done that, that alone should tell you that your are strong enough to do it again.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I TOTALLY GET IT. Although I’m not there yet this time in my journey, I have been there before…and it’s a dangerous place to be where the scale is concerned. I’ve lost 62 pounds before and felt so great…and didn’t even notice when I got lazy. The nice compliments become so addictive.. the new lower sized clothes are so cute and we look /feel great compared to where we were. Truth is though, we ARE still carrying around a lot of weight on our bones. (55 lost and 95 more to lose here) It’s a life “change”…which means we live different until we’re gone from this earth. We LIVE and fight to stay healthy..because we CHOOSE life. Stay strong. You’ll get there.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I’m sure this is not a popular opinion here, but as a fat person who has yo-yo’d my whole life, I am starting to believe that sometimes fat bodies just want to stay fat so much that their will to do so is stronger than the will of the person who wants to change them. And this is NOT some sort of moral failing.

    I think I’ve read here before that you have ruled out surgery as an option. But I wonder if it’s something you’d reconsider, particularly if your plateau lasts another year, or two, or more? Maybe I’m only asking bc I have a coworker who had it done, lost 150 lb and is now a size 4, and it has honestly got me thinking about doing it. Because I sometimes get so tired of fighting my body in the usual ways, I wonder if something more drastic might be just the thing to turn everything around.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 11:03 am

    You can do it! Great post. Get back to WW!

  • Reply
    Valerie (seattlerunnergirl)
    August 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Just wanted to say that I am here to support you however you need it as you figure out how to keep on keepin’ on! One thought I had is something you’ve alluded to in your post, and maybe in prior posts, too. You said you don’t know how you did what you did when you lost the first 100 pounds. But maybe that’s not the point; maybe what is required now is to reinvent what you need to do. You are different; your life, body, and motivations are different now than when you started your journey at 400+ pounds. So you need to figure out what will motivate and inspire you NOW. I’m betting it will be really different than it was before.

    As always, I’m impressed with your honesty and commitment to being real here, Kenlie!

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 11:33 am

    That’s a busy mind!
    If it were easy, we’d all be skinny and fit. You’ll figure it out.

  • Reply
    Kelly @CurvyFitGirl
    August 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Hey I left you a comment earlier and now I’m not sure if I hit submit or not. Basically, this post needed to be written. And I’m glad that you did it. It’s never easy dealing with this, it’s never easy being brutally honest with yourself when things are not right. But you needed to do it.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Knowing you have to make change to reach a goal and actually implementing it are so very different. I know the feeling, not from solely weight loss but from the time I sat and waited as a brown belt at Karate.

    I got my brown belt back in 2007, I was about 220 at the time and I constantly had people telling me I was a good teacher and good at the techniques and the self defence and pretty much everything to do with the whole karate thing. And so I waited for my black belt grading to come just as the other gradings had. I waited and waited, grading came and went, but I was never promoted. I had bought into my own hype, people had been telling me I was going to be there and so I just stayed the course.

    We had a day with a bit of a workout, only really like 10 minutes of work, I thought I was going to die. On that one day the idea that I needed change became a purpose. Like someone slapped me across the face and said ‘Look, this is what you need to do!’ I wish I knew how to replicate that singular moment of realization. As I splayed out on the floor gasping for air, unbeknownst to me, it was probably the greatest realization I will ever have in all my life. If I could give that moment to everyone I know, especially those that are embarking on, or renewing a weight loss journey, I would in a heart beat because it changed my thinking from “Yeah I should get in shape.” to “I’m done with being unable to preform at a level I desire and I am going to make this happen, nothing will stand in my way!”

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Two words…………….Thank you.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Wow I could have said that myself! I’ve recently re-set my thinking. Not easy for sure but necessary.
    You’ve got lots of support that will help you along the way and I’m always here if you need an ear.
    One of these days I really want to meet up with you and Kelly 🙂

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Kenlie – I am a regular reader but never a “commenter” but felt the need to do so on this post. I’m more than halfway on my weight loss journey and realize that it takes time, a huge commitment, day to day consistency and sheer determination. You have made amazing success in your weight loss – don’t ever lose sight of that! Now girl – don’t go saying you don’t know what to do!! YOU’VE LOST 100 POUNDS!!! That type of loss does not come easy – and I think if you go back to the basics – kind of hit the reset button – you can get your mind back in the game. You are strong and have the knowledge and power within you. I KNOW you can do this and am looking forward to seeing your updates. ((hugs))

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    You are an amazing woman, and I’m sure that you will find all the strength and motivation you need to finally see 150 on the scale one day.
    All the best xx

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Our thoughts are so incredibly similar. I really wish we could curl up on a couch and have an awesome talk about life, then take each other by the hand and walk out the door and continue on our journey together!

    I asked my WW leader why I couldn’t seem to move forward one time, and she said to me….”You don’t want it bad enough right now.” at first, I was kinda pissed, but then I realized, she was right. I was just kinda hanging out where I was for awhile, and I had to make the decision, that it was time to move forward because I had decided I did want it bad enough. I am stuck again. It just seems to be what I do. I lose. I maintain. I lose. I maintain.

    I asked my husband one time why he thought some people had so much self discipline and others didn’t. He looked me straight in the eye and said…”Well, it’s a choice.” That pissed me off too, then I realized HE was right. So sometimes I make the decision to be really self disciplined, and other times, I don’t. It’s me. It’s who I am. My journey is slow, but like I think you have said, it’s MY journey. I am the one in charge of it. I am in control of me.

    You will figure yours out too.

    I love the support of my blog readers, and from all the comments, I know you do too!

  • Reply
    Michelle H.
    August 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Well said Kenlie.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Hey Kenlie.
    I just wanted to thank you for posting such an honest account of where you are at in your journey. I totally understand what you are feeling. I have a lot of people who try and “help” with comments but end up being more frustrated.

    Also, I am a repeat offender with WW. Ive quit and rejoined many times but now im backfor the long haul. The trick, I have found is to find an AWESOME meeting that is big and has an equally AWESOME leader. The atmosphere is inspiring and you have an opportunity to meet like minded individuals who want the same thing. I find it so helpful to stay motivated with others. I’ve been able to meet weight loss buddies and every week I look forward to going rather then just weigh in and dash out as I’ve done before.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I think this email is the first step. I’m going to tell you what my doctor told me, “you CAN lose weight. It doesn’t matter what your history is, what your genes gave you, or what statistics show. If you want to, you CAN and WILL lose weight. You just have to want it more than you want the thing that keeps you from making good food choices or working out.”

    I know you can do this.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Hey your post made me think of another post I saw awhile ago from a different blog, and maybe reading it will help –

    Good luck on the next leg of your journey, as I’m sure you can already tell, I don’t think anyone finishes any one worthwhile journey in just one leg, there are always multiple parts. And that is what makes it exciting and great.

  • Reply
    August 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    We should chat.


  • Reply
    August 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I know this wasn’t a post about needing advise this was you getting stuff out there -So I just wanted to share with you my “stuff”. I know exactly what you are going through…I have been working very hard to deal with the fact that I am not happy where I am, yet am having a hard time getting motivated to do what I need to do to be somewhere else weight wise. I have two modes Obsessed or unmotivated and there really isn’t a middle ground. I have been working real hard to start with being happy where I am, in the moment, with the life and body I have. Yet, to work for even better health. It is hard I know and i look forward to reading about your journey and hopefully we both and move forward to where we want to be….sooner rather than later!

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