Before Photos and Courage

I’ve always been a fan of photos, and I’m never one to shy away from the camera. I’ve gotten so good at using specific angles and filters that I don’t always see myself as heavy as I am.

I definitely know how big I am when I think about squeezing into a booth in a restaurant. ( I just can’t.) I’m also keenly aware of it when I’m a passenger in someone else’s car, or when I’m walking with people in the middle of Summer in New Orleans, sweating while they’re all just a little warm.

IMG_3535 2Sometimes I see myself as heavy as I am, but most of the time I’m not ready to face it. I didn’t gain back everything I lost, but I regained most of it. It doesn’t feel good, but I don’t beat myself up about it either.

I’ve learned to focus on the positive things, which is important. I just focused on loving myself so much for a while that I stopped focusing on other things that matter too. Now, I love who I am as a person, which took some serious effort and reflection, but I also want my body to be smaller.

IMG_3608 2I’ve been taking before pictures everywhere I go. I’ve posted some of them, though I don’t have the courage to post all of them. I’m proud of myself for continuing to live a full life, even as a plus-size person, but now that weight-loss feels imminent I’m facing the realization that my life hasn’t been as easy as it could be if I wasn’t so concerned with little obstacles that most people don’t have to face.

When I think of what life will be like after significant weight-loss I don’t picture a perfect existence, in which nothing bad ever happens. I don’t look forward to the attention I’ll receive from people who might ignore me now, nor do I even look forward to hearing how great I look in comparison. I already know that I’m loved and worthy. I’ve known it for a while now.

I’m looking forward to the feeling I get when I can run a mile or more without stopping. I’m looking forward to walking into a restaurant and not caring if we sit at a table or in a booth. I’m also looking forward to the day I can sit in the chairs at my church without leaving with bruises on my butt and without fidgeting through the sermon because it hurts to sit in the seats.

As you can imagine I’m really looking forward to the day in which I can buckle my seatbelt in coach (not that I want to start sitting exclusively in coach again, but I definitely can’t wait to know that I can!) In fact, I’ll happily fly in coach when I know I can do it in one seat.

IMG_3409

I know those days are coming, and I’m ready to experience them. The changes in the way I look at food and the way I eat it are scary, but I’m not expecting any surprises. I know what has to change, and I’m working on it. I’ve been working on it for a long, long time, and I’m finally getting some much needed help in that area.

I have the best support system I could ever hope to have, and I’m set up for success at work and at home. I believe I can do this, and I’m looking forward to the day that I can look back and say that I proved it to myself.

In the picture on the left I was laughing because I usually stand up straight. I roll my shoulders back just a little and walk with my head high, but I slouched for this “before” photo. I think I look hilarious and adorable in the photo, and I definitely don’t feel like I look as large as I am. I posted the photo because it didn’t make me feel bad about myself, there are many more on my iPhone’s camera roll that do. I’m ready to be healthy and fit. I’m ready to see some results, so the changes have started.

I’m ready for what’s coming, and I’m going to practice patience over the next several months as this new chapter unfolds.

 

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Connie Bartlett
    September 7, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I just love you!!! What a sweet post and as always you look precious and beautiful. No matter what size you are, I have never seen you in a bad photo, (you need to tell me how you do it)!

    I remember several years back I was riding in a car with someone and being silly I took a selfie with my tongue sticking out. IT WAS THE BEST PICTURE!!! I showed it to everyone… I mean really… like the best picture I ever took.

    I’m not an ugly person but it just doesn’t matter.. I cannot take a good picture if I am trying.. I’ll have one eye closed, have a droopy smile or just plain look insane! It’s crazy!

    Seriously… I am very excited about this new stage in your life. You’re going to do well and I am looking forward to seeing your transformation! Please keep posting your lovely pictures….

    Connie

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2016 at 11:26 am

      LOL, Connie.

      The trick is to only post the good ones..Ha

      But seriously, I take a pic or two, and if they look good enough for me I post them, if not, I save them..I’m not kidding…

      I’m excited too, and I so appreciate your support.

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  • Reply
    Ann
    September 7, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Yea You!!!!!! I am so excited to hear you are back!!! I love your blog!!!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2016 at 11:26 am

      I absolutely adore you, Ann! I’m glad you’re here too!

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  • Reply
    Aliyah Brody
    September 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Thanks for another awesome and inspiring post, Kenlie. You look beautiful and fantastic in all of the photos you’ve shared!

    I so relate to your reasons for wanting to lose weight. Myself, I can’t wait comfortably fit into seats in waiting rooms, the cinema, the restaurant. I can’t wait to stop gasping for breath when I bend over to tie my running shoes. I can’t wait to bathe more easily when I reach around the folds on my body. You are so right in that there are SO MANY BENEFITS to losing weight beyond appearance.

    God bless you on your journey, Kenlie. So looking forward to more of your posts.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Yep…lots of great reasons…!

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  • Reply
    Toni Martin
    September 7, 2016 at 10:26 am

    love you heart!!!!!!

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2016 at 11:28 am

      I love yours too….I’m so thankful that you’ve known me through the major changes in my life. There’s so much comfort in that. I’m so thankful that you’ve allowed God to use you in my life since I was a kiddo!

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  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    September 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Hi – I have just started to think about taking this journey, do you have any recommendations on websites or other reading material that you may have used to make your decisions? It is all a lot to digest right now.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      I didn’t read a lot of websites because there was so much conflicting information. Thankfully, I have an awesome doctor, and some people very close to me have gone through the process. I would absolutely say that if you’re even considering, go ahead and meet with your primary doctor to get a referral. The process can feel rather long, so get it going. You can always decide against it if that’s best for you. I hope that helps.

      There are some great bloggers out there talking about their journeys too. I just have to keep the “noise” low in my own head right now even though there’s a lot of awesome advice to go around.

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  • Reply
    sunny
    September 7, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    You’re brave! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your photos with us!

    My photo story is that I too am (or used to be? still working on it?!) particular about angles, etc. and only posted The Best Photo of Me. One of my student leaders from church and I were on a spontaneous adventure to a gorgeous cathedral on a very windy day. We gook a selfie to show where we were and my hair is – no lie – sticking straight up..just some strands of it…. I was embarrassed by the photo but my leader encouraged me to let her post it. and tag me in it. I agreed then covered my face 🙂 Within minutes, the dang photo had dozens of likes and ended up being the most liked photo ever on my facebook wall. shows you what I know! people saw two laughing girls on a windy day in a gorgeous location… and they liked it. I’m the one who noticed my shirt at the neckline slipping to a weird angle and other little flaws…

    Here’s to your new adventure and new photos.

    Re: Flying…. do you not fly coach right now? not fly? fly first class?

    I’m not a fan of flying coach. I end up needing an extender because of a couple inches where the seatbelt isn’t long enough. I even keep in mind that they repair seatbelts as needed so there’s no real standard length. I imean, there is one at the start but if they cut a broken section off and sew the rest back together…then *boom* a much shorter seat belt. So I try not to always take it personally.

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    • Reply
      Kenlie
      September 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      I fly first-class unless I am flying to a destination on JetBlue. As a result, I do fly less than I used to. I enjoy first-class, and I still need an extender there. I just have a lot more room.

      I’m sure I’ll fly that way even when I can fly in coach, but there will definitely be a day then I take a flight in coach so I can experience feeling normal in the seat.

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