Lifestyle Reflection

Five Years Ago Today

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I made the decision to change my life.  I’m still overweight – duh.  This journey hasn’t been as flawless for me as it has been for others, but I’m still here.  I exercise, I eat fruits and vegetables, and I love myself more than I ever could have imagined when this all began.

It’s easy to look at my journey and to think of myself as a failure, but don’t wise people say that you’re not a failure until you stop trying?  I spend a lot of time fighting my feelings of failure in this regard, but today I feel like acknowledging all of the positive things that I’ve experienced as a result of that day five years ago.

Here’s a list of things that I wouldn’t have believed if someone had told me five years ago:

  • There will be a point in your life in which you realize that you don’t like soda anymore.  In fact, you’ll think it’s disgusting.
  • Someday soon you won’t be intimidated by going to the gym, and you’ll even look forward to it.
  • You will like drinking green juice that you make with kale, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and celery with your juicer at home.
  • You’ll exercise with Richard Simmons, and he will show you empathy and respect and take funny pictures with you.  He’ll even remember your name.

Richard Simmons Slimmons

  • You will swim over a mile at a time without feeling tired at all.
  • You’ll make headlines for being overweight, but you’ll keep your cool when it happens.

NBC Today Show

  • You will go to the ground floor of the historical high-rise building that you live in and take the stairs to the top so you can warm up before hitting the treadmill.
  • You’ll wear a swimsuit without feeling shame because you’ll learn that you’re lovable regardless of your size.

Kenlie Hyatt Aruba Beach

  • You will not be afraid to ride a bicycle through traffic during rush hour.
  • You’re going to move out of New York, and you’re eventually going to live in one of the coolest spots in New Orleans.  And you’re going to feel more at home than you can possibly imagine.
  • You will have enough energy to spend the day at in the snowy mountains climbing up to slide down and so on, and you’ll have so much fun doing it!

Kenlie Colorado Snow

  • You’re going to meet a man in Washington, D.C. who tells you that you’re beautiful, then from that day on, you’ll start to see what he sees.
  • You’ll go back to school and study something that makes you look forward to going to class (almost) everyday.
  • You’re going to meet celebrities and pro athletes and political leaders who think something that you’ve done is inspiring.

Chris Christie

  • You will travel to the east coast and the west coast to meet with friends who mean the world to you – friends that you might never have met if you hadn’t started this blog.

  • You will be featured in SHAPE Magazine even though you’re not skinny.
  • You’ll find your way back into church, and soon after you’ll find yourself in a relationship with God.  And you’re going to love it!

Kenlie NOLA Church.jpg

  • You will look in the mirror without hating yourself even though you’re overweight.
  • You will be open and honest with people the people in your life, and they’ll like you just the way you are.
  • You’ll have friends that you can count on to be there no matter what your mood or circumstances are like.

  • You’re going to lose a tremendous amount of weight, then you’ll struggle to keep some of it off.  When you fail, you’re going to get back up and try again.
  • You’ll have faith in God and faith in yourself.

Regardless of all of the things that I could have accomplished during the last five years, I am so thankful for everything that I have done.  I’m thankful for my family and friends and opportunities, and I’m thankful for all of the love in my life.  I’ve been blessed to experience much more happiness than sadness, much more peace than fear and much more love than I ever could have imagined five years ago.

Kenlie in New Orleans

My life has certainly been filled with ups and downs over the last five years, but I’ve grown so much and plan to continue. I wouldn’t trade my life and experiences for anyone else’s, and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to say that and mean it.



Related Posts


  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 12:22 am

    I continue to strive be be healthier also. I don’t see my journey as a failure because like you…I get back up…and I continue to work towards my goal. I am not waiting UNTIL…I am living my best NOW.

    I have also found my way back to God…or shall I say God thankfully lead me back to Him.

    Blessing to you. And thank you for being here.

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Yes, yes yes! All of it…Thank YOU, Diane!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 6:15 am

    I think your honesty, tears and triumphs are so encouraging. No matter where we are in our journeys. Love reading your thoughts. Don’t quit posting them!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks, Mel. I like reading encouraging comments like this one. It means a lot.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou
    April 2, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Awesome post Kenlie. One of my all time favorites. Thanks for taking us down memory lane with you. I don’t think you are giving yourself enough credit when you say your journey hasn’t been as flawless as others. I don’t think you will find many flawless journeys. Not is weight loss or life, that is how we learn and grow. You certainly have done that pretty flawlessly!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Well, lots of people lose weight sooner. Many of them gain it back, but at least they know what it’s like to reach normality. I’d like to reach it too, but I’d also like to stay there once I arrive. Some people just seem to do it better, but this is definitely my journey. I wouldn’t trade it.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 9:58 am

    You are inspiring! Glad to see you back on your blog! 🙂 Happy Wednesday.

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks! It’s nice to be back!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Kenlie, you are an inspiration to a lot of people, including me. Thank you for sharing so much with us and being so honest about your journey. It’s wonderful that you’ve found self-love and peace within yourself. I think that is probably one the most important things we can achieve!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      It makes me feel like I’m winning, even as I realize that I have to keep improving. Self-love and happiness didn’t exist in my life 5 years ago like they do today. #KenlieForTheWin

  • Reply
    Betty Adams
    April 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Kenlie, I have followed you for most of those years, there are a few times I didn’t think you would make it, but you are not a quitter so I knew deep down you would make it to your goal. My prayer for you was answered, you found the Lord, and you found the peace that comes with that relationship. I am 63 this year, and I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. I am so thankful, that I have finally found what works for me. I have lost 30 lbs so far and I have 23 more to go and I will be at my goal, but my goal is already reached. I don’t crave junk food, I don’t have to have desert anymore, I NEVER drink soft drinks. I am now at a weight that used to make me feel fat, but I too have learned to love myself, what a blessing that is when you see you, and it’s not that bad. Some day you will reach your goal weight, and it will not be the celebration you thought it would be, because somewhere along the path you will realize you have reached it, and the weight will come off maybe slowly maybe not, but go away it will, because you will have learned that your journey is a marathon, not a sprint. I am so proud of you!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      I am so thankful for your prayers, Betty.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    love love love your post!!!!! hugs!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks, Toni! =)

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I enjoyed this whole post! I even learned some things, even though I’ve followed you a long time. I somehow missed the SHAPE Magazine article. So cool! Funny too, because the banner advert while I was reading the feature was for McDonald’s with a few sodas pictured. I had my last soda in 2009 as well. Go us!
    I was blessed by the picture of you on the worship team. I love that you are back to using that lovely voice of yours in your church.

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you, Chrissy! You’re honestly one of the biggest inspirations that I have for continuing to blog here. I can’t imagine not connecting with you from time to time. In fact, we should do that soon!

      I don’t have banner advertisements on my blog, but weird. It’s so strange to think that the internet knows what we’re talking about at all times. I guess that’s technology for ya.

      I absolutely love being a part of the worship team. It feels new, and at the same time, it feels like I’m back where I belong.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I adore you, all of you. I so admire your ability to try each day and to LIVE in the midst of trying too. Thank you Kenlie!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      I absolutely adore you too, Liz. <3

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Talk about some amazing victories! Even without losing a single pound, I’d call that quite a successful five years! Plus you’ve done it all WHILE sharing it with the world through your lovely blog. I think you should add:

    *Inspires a gazillion blog readers, encouraging them to love themselves just the way they are and giving them permission to work hard, stay positive, and yet accept imperfection as a beautiful part of life!

    • Reply
      April 4, 2014 at 2:30 am

      Thankfully, I’ve lost some pounds…I just need to lose many more. Ha..

  • Reply
    April 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Very awesome post! Put a smile on my face – It’s nice to see you positive about yourself, because you deserve it! 🙂

    • Reply
      April 4, 2014 at 2:31 am

      Thank you, Connie. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 3, 2014 at 10:36 am

    WOW I have to say you have always inspired me, but this post is the cherry on top! Keep it up and thank you so much for making me realize I didn’t fail because I am still fighting the fight.

    • Reply
      April 4, 2014 at 2:32 am

      If you’re trying, you’re not a failure.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    GREAT post

  • Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: