Failure, Honesty and Determination

by Kenlie Tiggeman on January 3, 2013

Last year was awesome for me in many ways, but my weight-loss goals took a major hit.  I didn’t accomplish anything in that area.

I needed to go through the changes I went through, and I needed to admit some things that I know were holding me back.   I needed to stand on my own two feet, and I needed to lose weight too.

I accomplished those things with exception of the last which is arguably the most important thing.

Right now I am happier than I’ve been since leaving New York, and I’m more independent than I’ve been in a long time (maybe ever.) 

I don’t feel lonely, resentful, worthless, sad, tired or angry – all emotions that I have experienced on this journey. 

I do not feel defeated, but I do recognize the need to get healthy.  When I look in the mirror I see someone who needs to finish what she started.

It is frustrating and even more embarrassing to admit that I’m still teetering on the 300 pound mark.  It’s difficult to write this post with the knowledge that many people reading have given up hope that I will ever reach a healthy weight, but it would be far more difficult and embarrassing to give up.

Weight-loss is (insert expletive) hard, and at one point a long time ago I was determined to do it no matter how difficult. I promised myself that I would keep trying as long as I had to – even if that meant I’d be trying for the rest of my life.

Those early days of determination that allowed me to shed 100 freaking pounds seem like they’re from a different lifetime. I have spent so much time trying to convince myself that I could go back to my older, healthier ways, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Dreaming of going back has not helped me move forward one inch.

I realize now that I don’t need to go back to go forward.  What worked to shed weight in 2009 isn’t necessarily what I need to be successful in 2013. Sure, the basics (you know…decent food choices and consistency) are the same, but I don’t need the old Weight Watchers meetings or my old address.  I don’t need my old gym; I have a new one.

What I do need is the strength to say no to crap and yes to a healthier life! What I need is to start eating less junk, more vegetables and burning more calories.

I know what I have to do, and I’m scared that I’ll fail in trying to reach my next milestone (breaking into the 270′s.) Part of me is afraid that I can’t do it, but the rest of me knows that I need to, want to, can and will.

People try and fail all the time.  I am one of those people, and it’s time to try again.

Time moves on regardless of what we choose to do with it. Today I am choosing to love myself enough to pick myself up after falling.

I am keenly aware that it won’t be easy, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that my only hope for a healthy, happy and fulfilled life lies in myself, and I’m claiming it right now.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc A. (@drmarctagon) January 3, 2013 at 3:03 am

Your thoughts echo many of my own, especially with regard to your frustration. I’ve been feeling the same way and it’s definitely time to get a handle on things. Let’s go get ‘em!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm

We are definitely not alone…and I agree. Let’s get to it!


Melissa (@TheDailyMel) January 3, 2013 at 3:25 am

I never have, and never will, lose faith or give up on you. You know I’m walking the same road, so I know just how hard it is. You know I’m always here for you! xoxo


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I know you are, and that makes me so happy, Mel!


Steve January 3, 2013 at 5:21 am

Hi Kenlie,
It’s not easy to break old habits. Everything we do becomes a habit. Everyday you wake, have breakfast, have lunch, skip exercise, have dinner and sleep is nothing but a habit. Very easy to get into a run of habits and just feel comfortable in doing things the same way because they are familiar and easy for us. Start your transformation one step at a time. Create good habits, change one or two things per day. Go to market and find one new healthy food you never tasted before. Incorporate it into your new diet. Take the time to listen to your mind and body. When eating your meals, enjoy the taste, colors and mouth feel.
Those little changes will help you form new habits and you’ll soon be on your way to a healthier life.
Good Luck,


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm

These are all suggestions that helped me lose the first hundred..Now it’s time to incorporate them again to lose the second 100. Thanks, Steve!


dad January 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Steve, you are absolutely right. Very encouraging.


Tammy January 3, 2013 at 7:01 am

You can do it!


mary January 3, 2013 at 8:09 am

you give so many so much inspiration!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Back at you, Mary!


Karen P January 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

Onward. Do you have a specific goal picked? I always found myself going off track very quickly if I did not have at least one monthly goal set. Sort term, see results , reward myself, set next goal.

Good luck. Watch the drinking this year. Would you consider going alchochol free so tha your goals could be reached ?


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm

My January goal is to workout 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Yesterday I did just that, and today I did double. I figured making an attainable goal would be a good starting point again.


Jenn January 3, 2013 at 9:40 am

I’m right there with you sistah! (Yes, I’m from Boston -lol!). I’ve been up and down so many times and I constantly look back at what I did before and try to get back into that mindset knowing full well that I’m in a different place now so it’s a whole new ballgame.
Please don’t feel like a failure or uninspiring. You are neither of those things. You have changed your life in other ways -weight loss is not everything!
It is comforting to know that there are other people out there who go through the same struggles.


Steve January 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

Never a failure. Fresh I have tried all my life. Finally figured it out at 54 years young. :) lost 291 pounds total. If I had a penny for every time I tried over again I would be a rich man. Never give up!!!!


dad January 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

That is inspiring. Good advice for life in general.
The measure of a person is not that he or she falls,rather it’s what one does after getting back up.


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm

“I constantly look back at what I did before and try to get back into that mindset knowing full well that I’m in a different place now so it’s a whole new ballgame.” Yes, that….

And I know you’re right. Some really important things have happened lately, and I’m thankful for my life. I just want to get this healthy living thing under control too.


Samantha (@Brownie8727) January 3, 2013 at 10:55 am

Forget those people! The people who say do it faster, do it better. You do you! I am in the same boat – lost weight in 2009, and slowly gained some back and stalled. I don’t care if it take me my entire life to reach my goal; it’s mine!!

Those people don’t know Jack!! I believe in you, and I know there are 10 believers for every hater! You are doing amazing things, and don’t let anyone ever tell you different!!!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm

You just made me smile soooooooooooo big! Thank you!


Adam January 3, 2013 at 11:07 am

AAre there triggers in your life that are conducive to making poor health choice? For me it was going out drinking all the time. A Friday night began two burgers to get food in me, sugar with my rum, fast food on the way home topped off with sleeping all day the rest of the weekend. My solution was to cut that whole lifestyle out and unfortunately the all the people that went with it. It was difficult at first, but it is getting easier and easier as time go on. I’m not sure if my story helps you in any way, but there it is, in short! Good luck!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

There are triggers, and I try to avoid them…I don’t mind saying no to drinking at all. That’s a great way to cut calories that I intake once a week, and I’ll do it. Thank you, Adam!


Patty January 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

When I think of you, read your blog and see you pics on facebook, I don’t see failure. I see inspiration. Everything you went through this year has helped get where you are today and where you will go in 2013.


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Oh Patty….I adore you. Thank you so much for being my friend!


Sabrina January 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

You are going to knock the socks off of 2013! Your honesty is a reflection of your determination.


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I suppose now it’s my job to make it so!


Liz January 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I have fallen off the rails myself this year and have recommitted to losing the weight I have gained after a very successful (and freaking HARD) lifestyle change. Please know that I will be looking to you for inspiration and cheer to keep me going. At no time would I ever consider your story, my own, or anyone fighting this fight a failure- no matter what my closet full of tight pants tell me. We can do it! Go Kenlie!


Sarah January 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I have not lost faith in you!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:51 pm

That means more to me than you will ever ever ever know…


Lisa in NZ January 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Great post Kenlie – It is exactly what I have been thinking but haven’t put into words yet – so thanks for that. We can do this! – just one day at a time and one choice at a time.


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm

You’re right, Lisa….


Jenn L. January 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I’m a new follower and you are an inspiration to so many – please don’t give up or feel you are a failure; you have done and are doing amazing things! Exactly what you needed this year happened because of who you are. Those same things will help you get to where you need to be. One step at a time…but you knew that ;) Keep up the great work Kenlie, and remember that there are so many of us in the same boat and we’re all trying to get there – we can, with support from each other!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Wow, Jenn. It’s great to have you here.


Moose January 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm

A cheer for you! You can do it – nothing in the past year or the past in general can stop you from changing your mind from now if you are determined. I have the same thing, I lost significant weight in 2008 and then 2011 and after trying to go back, I’ve found that I can ONLY go forward – you have to start from now as if it’s the beginning and find what works for you uniquely now. Looking over my old food diaries gave me some hints of where to start though!
Good luck, and I for one will still be reading with every faith that you will get to where you want to be!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm

“you have to start from now as if it’s the beginning and find what works for you uniquely now.”

That’s what I’m trying to do, and I think it’s brilliant advice. Thanks, Moose.


Erin @Living Made Healthy January 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I haven’t give up on you either. I know you can succeed. I too didn’t reach my weight loss goal in 2012. I wanted to loose 60 lbs but only lost 30, but I’ve decided that its not for lacking of trying! As long as you keep trying then you are getting healthier no matter what the scale says!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Wow..30 pounds is great….I’ll keep trying, and you do the same!


Ima Bovine January 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Let’s be honest. Dieting Sucks!!! I’m up 10 pds from this time last year. I am not proud of that.

What I am proud of is the fact that I have decided 2013 is going to be my year. I have a set goal of 1 pd per week- which sounds simple but if I can achieve it means I will lose 52 pds by this time next year.

There is no reason why 2013 can’t be your year too. 2013 is the year to get fit and lean! Baby step goals Kenlie. You can do it! You know you can! and I know you can too! Moo!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

You can. I can. Yes..we can!


Sylvie @ StruggleswithaFatA January 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I completely understand and can relate. It is extremely hard, even though some people think you should be able to just do it. It’s difficult enough trying to explain to yourself why you can’t, much less to other people. Then comes the feeling of shame, of failure, which in turn brings me right back to my emotional comfort of food. Like I said … I completely understand!!


Kenlie January 3, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Thanks for understanding….It makes a big difference to feel like others understand…


AMMcElvain January 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Kenlie, I found that I had a big adjustment to make after I lost the first 130 pounds. It’s like I was a whole new person, and for a while, I was a bit uncomfortable in my skin. I found my old food addiction behaviors flooding right back in as my emotions were being accessed. After regaining 40 pounds, I have finally been able to stop the worst of the behaviors, and have been working hard to adjust my mind to my new life. I have been learning new portion sizes, and what mix of nutrition I need to feel healthy and energetic. The key for me is that I decided that I am the only one who can do this, learn this, and stick up for myself. I feel like giving up on myself would be a death sentence, and I’m not going down that road.

I just did my first indoor sky diving adventure (which required me to be under 250 pounds). I felt such a rush, and became inspired to have more adventures. My path now is defining who I am at this size, and what kind of things I can do, and places I can go. A whole new world is opening up. And getting excited about that includes an element of fear: the fear of the unknown, of failure, of embarrassing myself. My challenge now is to respond to my fears with confronting them directly instead of drugging myself with carbs to feel mellow.

Each of us has this incredible journey and obstacles to overcome. I am so grateful for you and your frankness. It helps to know that this journey is fraught with setbacks, and that there are people like you and your community who are wonderfully supportive. It helps to pick myself up and dust myself off, and know there is a way over or around that obstacle if I just keep at it.

Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s inspirational and comforting to me to know that others share so much of the same challenges. Happy New Year!


goingloopy January 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Losing 100 pounds…and keeping it off…is not even remotely easy. Setting goals is fine, but allow yourself to be proud of you even if you never lose another inch. Be proud of yourself for doing what you want to do to make yourself happy. There’s more to you…and more to life…than a scale. Also, you’re probably giving yourself more of a hard time than any other person ever will.


Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily January 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

You can do this! And sometimes it takes something completely different to get the weight moving again.


jane January 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I lost fifty pounds in 2010 and am looking for the motivation to lose a
another forty
lets do it together.


Joy @ January 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Never going to give up on you, never going to lose faith in the fact that you can and WILL do all you set out to do.

Falling down hurts, but not nearly as bad as staying down.

I too, achieved much in 2009, only to be back (further up the scale) in 2012. I spent 3 years looking backwards, only now that I’m looking ahead am I getting anywhere.

Love to you lady! ..


Chris January 4, 2013 at 6:50 am

You can do it Kenlie, sounds like you are ready to put your nose down to the grinde stone and work for it too. That kind of determination leads to success!


Abigail January 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

I could never give up on you cause I will never give up on myself. I also want to say maintaining that huge loss for such a long time will probably HELP you lose weight in the coming months or years. Visualize yourself thinner and fitter (which is working for me). The more you think about it, positively of course the easier it will be to say no to things you shouldn’t eat. Don’t say no to yourself, say I don’t need this. I spend a good 10 minutes in the morning and night visualizing how I want to be. Imagining myself feeling light as a feather, running fast without a care in the world, thin sculpted legs, a flat stomach etc. Dressing in my favorite outfit in front of the mirror being exactly what I want to be, thin, fit and happy. My weight is coming off slowly but I think its better that way for me, it feels real and I can actually feel when I get lighter. I wait to weigh myself until I feel it so I am never disappointed. I’ve lost 26 lbs since June, and while that isn’t much, I lost a pound over the holidays. Over the past 6 years I’ve gained 15 lbs every year over the holidays.


Katie J January 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

Hi! I’m a new follower. I’ve been overweight my whole life and have a about 130 lbs more to lose. It is a rough journey, but I feel more committed and motivated than ever. One of my favorite quotes is “If you hate starting over then stop quitting.” It is difficult admitting when we’ve fallen on our weight loss journeys, but we can do this! I wish you all the best of luck!


Nina January 5, 2013 at 3:55 am

You are amazing. Do not give up! You have not failed. You have kept the majority of the weight off – which is a major win. 2012 was a crappy year … I went from 342 (spring 2012) to 382 (tonight)! I guess you just have to look at it that you are starting where you are starting – and the starting point is not a reason to give up. For instance … in my head I am like … had I not let stress eating get to me … I could be at 300 right now! (And at this time that would be a happy event for me.)

It’s all about perspective and the most important is your own. =)



Shelladawn January 6, 2013 at 12:06 am

You can and will do this. Go get em tiger. I too didn’t have the best 2012 in my weight loss efforts. But at least we never give up. You are an inspiration to all of your readers, NEVER forget that.


Meegan (redstar5) January 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm

This journey is so different for each one of one us.
I will never ever give up on you, your spirit and your spark are so bright and inspire so many.
For me this journey is one day at a time, making the decisions that I know make me feel stronger, more grounded and more able to enjoy the things in life I love. That’s what it’s all about, one decision, one day at a time.
So much love from Halifax Kenz! xo


stephanie January 7, 2013 at 1:23 am

You have come so far in this journey and I KNOW you will make it to your finish line. I love what you said about not giving up even if it means working on it the rest of your life. Just proves that you WILL get there..


Daree January 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Kenlie, I’m a little behind reading these posts and a fairly new follower of yours. All I want to tell you is, don’t give up. You’re worth it. You have the right attitude so you are on your way–regardless of what the calendar or the scale says.


Chris January 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

2010 was a big weight loss year for me—-2011 + 2012 were big regain years.

like you I’m getting back at it.


Lisa January 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Weight loss is most definitely hard. It took me nearly 2 years to lose 100 pounds and there were a good 5 months in there where I didn’t lose ANYTHING. Plateaus are the worst. :( Hang in there!


Shannon January 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Just stumbled across your blog… was looking up info on the activelink and it brought me to a post of yours in nov.
I read this post and OMG can soo relate to everything you said in it!
Good luck with your journey!! :) I look forward to reading your blog!! :)


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