Friend Makin’ Mondays: Twelve in 2012

It’s Monday, and I’m officially on Christmas break.  I don’t go back to school until the middle of January which feels odd, but I have some fun things planned before that.  I did some cool things over the weekend too, but I’ll talk about that later.

A week from now I will be at my sister’s house in Colorado where I’ll spend Christmas with my whole family.  I also hope to see Lance during my break, and I’m looking forward to relaxing a little too.

I’ve been debating whether or not to post FMM next Monday or not.  It’s Christmas Eve, and I’ll be happy to schedule a post.  Will anyone participate if I do?  Should I skip the post instead?  Please give me your opinion in the comments. :)

Can you believe the year is almost over?  As I reflect on the last twelve months I’m amazed by how much my life has changed.  I hoped it would be a year of rebuilding and positive growth, and it has been.  I’m so thankful for the changes that I’ve made, and I’m looking forward to the future!

fmm

How do you feel about 2012?  Let’s discuss it, shall we?

Now…If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, 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 FMM 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 FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Twelve in 2012

 

1. What was your greatest personal accomplishment in 2012?  I accomplished a few cool things this year, but the biggest accomplishment was probably going back to school.

2. What’s the best thing your did for your health?  I still don’t drink sodas or any kind, and that’s still one of the healthiest things I’ve ever done for myself.  I have to work on being as consistent with everything else, but I’m really proud of that because there was a time when not drinking sodas seemed impossible.  Now it’s just a way of life.

3. Share one thing that caused a significant change in your life this year.  I moved into my own little apartment.  Living alone has been great so far!

4. List a few things that you experienced for the first time at some point over the last twelve months.  

– I drank a hurricane at Pat O’Briens in the French Quarter with my sister and brother in law.

– Dr. Drew told me I was beautiful when I was on his show on Headline News.

– I did my first plank!

– I sat in the front row at a Broadway show.

 

5. What was the coolest place you visited? I was in New York more than a few times which felt great just like it always does.

6. If you could change one thing about the last year what would it be?  I would have eaten out less.  Eating out several times a week is an expensive habit, but I’m planning to do it less in the coming year.  I like eating at home now that I can cook in my own kitchen.

7. What is the best meal you ate this year? (Can you tell I’m hungry as I write this?)  Hmmm, the meal that came to mind first was the steak and lobster with creamed spinach that I ate at Ben and Jack’s in NY.

8. Tell us about a new friend you made.  I made several friends this year through school so I can’t even attempt to narrow it down to one.  I met Clint (aka The Suit) and Matt, Joelle, Shannon, Debbie, Joe, Daniel, Ally, Gina and many other wonderful people.  I also met Lance, and I couldn’t be more thankful for all of them.

9. What did you hope to accomplish this year that you did not?  I wanted to be significantly smaller by this time, but I didn’t put in the effort to make that happen.  I put a lot of effort into bettering my life, and I have.  I still need to make my health my top priority so I can enjoy the life that I love so much right now.

10. Share something you learned in 2012.  I learned that I’m happier with my life when I don’t let my emotions control me.

11. Share an odd and unexpected thing that you experienced this year.  I was in the news a lot again this year, but I think it’s funny that I was featured in a famous tabloid magazine.

12. How do you think 2013 will differ from 2012?  I think it will be different in significant ways.  I hope to make weight-loss my focus so I can be noticeably smaller by this time next year.  I also think I’ll have a boyfriend.  I dated a lot in 2012, but I didn’t have a romantic relationship with anyone until recently.  I think I’ll travel somewhere that I’ve never been to, and I’m strongly considering getting a puppy.  I think I’m going to attempt to start my own business too so the upcoming year could be filled with changes too.

 

Now it’s your turn!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Also please take a moment to let me know whether or not you think I should post FMM next week on Christmas Eve!  Your opinions matter to me so don’t be shy; just be kind.

Happy Monday, dear ones…I’m thankful for you.

An Important Letter

Dear Obesity,

I hate you for doing what you did to my body and for making me feel like I didn’t have the power to change it.  I resent you too because I still have so much work to do to repair the damage you’ve done in my life, but you don’t control me anymore.  We are finished.

The habits that I picked up before you entered my world tempted me to believe that food could cure my sadness, cover up my feelings of inadequacy and denial and even enhance happy moments, but the truth is being unhappy with myself is a waste of time.  Food doesn’t make me happy when I’m sad, nor does it make up for the things in my life that I wish I could go back and change.

Even throughout the first part of my weight-loss journey, I struggled to let you go.  I’ve been afraid to shed your layers because they feel as though they are a part of me.  When I think of who I am and what defines me, you are all I see.  I have let you become a fixture in my universe, and when the world looks at me they see you, obesity.  When I look in the mirror, I see you too, and I’m ready to see a different picture.

I like being the girl who has lost 100 pounds, but I’m ready to be the girl who has lost 200 pounds.  That’s a good story, but it’s just a part of my story.  I want to be the woman who grabbed the reigns and took hold of every part of her existence and made it what she wanted it to be.  I want to be the woman who respects herself whether anyone else does or not, and I want to be worthy of that respect.

I want to be worthy of love too, but most of all, I want to be free.  I took some big, personal steps toward that freedom earlier this week, and I forgive myself.  I have begun the process of letting myself heal from that pain and embarrassment that you have caused me.  I am letting go of the past.

When you entered my life you enhanced all of the negative feelings I had about myself and the world.  You came along when I was vulnerable and hurting, promising me moments of happiness, but you robbed me of joy.  I take responsibility for that because I let you do it, but that’s over now.

Now I’m going to wake up everyday with purpose, and I’m finally going to prove to myself  and everyone else that I can finish what I started.  I want to be free, obesity, and you’re not going to stop me any longer.

It’s my responsibility to end the cycle of pain that you have caused me so I’m trying.  I believe I can do it, and I’m going to start acting like it today.  Sure, you have made me more compassionate and driven to help others, but it’s time to help myself now.  I don’t want you in my life anymore.

For years I felt like I deserved you.  When I looked into my own eyes I saw a failure and a quitter who gave up before she ever tried.  I saw someone who deserved to be fat and unhappy.  I wasted so many years of my life that I can’t get back, but I was wrong.  I don’t deserve to be fat and unhappy, and it’s my responsibility to make sure that I’m not.

I’m glad we don’t always get what we deserve because I’m not perfect, but I know I am loved.  I am free, and I am determined.

Farewell, obesity.

Sincerely,

Kenlie

 

 

I May Not be Perfect, But…

Have you ever had a day (or a week) in which it seems like everything that could go wrong goes wrong?  Yeah…I’d guess I’m not the only one.  And last night, after everything seemed to calm down, I made the choice to eat more than I should.  I recognized what I was doing after only a few minutes, and that’s when I phoned a friend.  Actually, I sent Kelly a text which basically said I’m on the verge of eating too much, and she called almost immediately.

I had already eaten more than I should have, but it could have been much worse.  When we spoke, I stopped eating crap, started drinking water and vowed to go and exercise until I didn’t feel like eating anymore, and I went.

After finishing 5 miles on the ellpitical and drinking a gallon of water, I forgave myself.  And I’m feeling pretty pleased about the choice I made the push the junk food aside and hit the gym. Sure, I shouldn’t have eaten junk food.  And yes, I regretted it almost immediately, but I was reminded by a good friend who has definitely been there that the best time to get back on track is right now.  I did that, and I’m going to feel a lot better about myself today than I would have otherwise.

I may not be perfect, but I’m awesome.  And Kelly is awesome too….

 

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Yesterday was such an incredible day.  Nothing extraordinary happened, but I felt like a rock star so I made a little video in an attempt to capture the moment.  It’s incredible what a couple days of sweaty workouts can do for a person.  I literally feel transformed! And instead of concentrating on what I wish I had done differently or how long it has taken to get to this point, I find myself appreciating what I have accomplished. Sometimes small accomplishments matter the most, and they definitely mattered most yesterday.

The video was recorded on my iPhone as it was getting dark after Megan and I did Level 3 of the 30-Day Shred and did two mile walk/run intervals so forgive me for the poor quality.

Believing in Myself

I’m feeling a little aggravated with myself lately in spite of the last few months of mindful eating and excellent workouts.  I could be doing better.  I could be losing more, but I’m losing what seems to have been gained during my time in Oklahoma late last year.

Looking back, I think I may have gained about 15 pounds? Perhaps 10?  We’ll know where I stand officially in the coming weeks, but I believe I’m losing those pounds that seemed to creep in at the end of the year.  And you may remember that I visited a Weight Watchers meeting two weeks in a row in October.  They weighed me on the same scale both weeks and logged that I lost 13.8 pounds that week.  I killed my workouts and eating that week, but I’m not convinced that they were accurate.  Regardless, I have been working to lose weight, but I think I’ve been losing those pounds this year.

I was looking through old Facebook photos tonight in an attempt to remind myself that I am shrinking.  And I realize, as I approach my two year mark, that I haven’t really lost anything substantial since the end of April 2010.

Why is it so easy to look at the negatives?  And why have I gotten so comfortable saying that I’ve lost 100 pounds?  Note to Kenlie: You’re not done yet!  Stop acting like it. 

A few nights ago, Brad said something that I needed to hear.  He said that what matters most is what I’m doing today.  And I know he’s right so I’m going to be happy with myself for my killer workouts and taking responsibility for my body and my eating habits.  I’m going to focus on the positives and continue moving forward.  After all,  I’m losing weight decently again…and I’m sweating regularly. :) Thanks for being such a stellar friend B, and for always saying what I need to hear when I need to hear it.

Now I’d like to talk about some of the major positives that have been happening recently.  Here’s what’s good:


  • I’ve completed 7 5k’s so far this month (exceeding that on a few days.)
  • I’ve completed different cardio workouts  on 8 other days.
  • I tried yoga for the first time with my dear friend, Foodie McBody, last night via Skype, and I felt like a rock star. :)   Working out with her for half an hour last night was incredible. =
  • I have revisited my love of beans – white beans, edamame, red beans…I love beans!
  • I’ve committed to doing at least 100 crunches per day this week, and I’m killing it…even doing 200 some days.
  • I can jog a mile without stopping.
  • I’ve managed to keep off at least 100 pounds (even during the most tumultuous times of my life last year.)

Now that I have focused on a few of the positives – which are fantastic –  it’s time to focus, once again, on the fact that I’m not done yet.  After losing the first 100 pounds, I feel incredible!  My body moves more quickly…I’m more stable….and I can walk up several flights of stairs without feeling winded.  I don’t stress as much about flying. Sometimes I feel cute. I can wear high heels without stressing. The list of positives is really long!

But this journey is far from over.  I’m still very overweight.  I still don’t like how I look.  I still want to run 13.1 miles without stopping.  I still want to weight clothes in single digit sizes.  I still need to address some issues that I have with food, body image and overall self worth.  In short, I still have work to do.  And I believe I’m worth the effort.

Since the beginning of the year I have felt renewed and energized and ready to take on food and exercise challenges head on.  I have owned every food choice, every rest day and pushed myself further than I had pushed in months.  I never quit, but my head space is much clearer now.  And I am focused.   The numbers are creeping down once again, and I’m looking in the mirror everyday, doing my best to appreciate what I see.

I am smart, and I am capable.  And I’m finally starting to believe it, at least a little, again.  So let me lay it all out now.  Yes…I wish I could say that I’ve lost another 100 since last April, but I’m proud to say that I’ve kept off 100 pounds since last April.  Regrets won’t change anything so I’m moving forward, and I’m doing it with the knowledge that I do have the strength to finish this marathon. 

I wouldn’t give up how I feel today for anything, but I’m ready to know how it feels to accomplish the biggest life goal I’ve ever set for myself.  I’m moving forward like ‘the little engine that could,’ and I am determined to reach the top of the hill.

Here are a couple of reminders of where I was before I started my journey…You can click the photos to make them bigger if you want to.

 Outside of Grand Central Station
My first taping of The Rachael Ray Show

My clothes are 12 sizes smaller now. =0) 
Christmas with my family

Before and Now

Last weekend I took full-length photos because I want to be able to look back at these photos this time next year.  I love looking at before photos because it’s the simplest way to remind myself that I’ve come a long way.

I wish I had taken the jacket off in the photos this weekend because I’m a little smaller than I appear in that picture through the middle, but you get the idea.  I’ll keep working to get back into my groove so that we can do the same thing with these current photos next year.

On The First Day of Christmas…….

My friend, Janna, said to me “Let’s do some crunches starting with 3 sets of 30!

I’ve been struggling today. I knew better than to go to Krispy Kreme today, but I went anyway. I felt like it was okay because I’ve been in Tulsa for weeks, and I haven’t been there once until today. Well, I ate enough to make up for it. I ate two more than I planned..yikes.

And my workouts have been pretty non-existent. I could list some excuses, but I won’t. Instead, I’m committing to exercising today. I don’t want to go back to looking or feeling like this.


I love feeling strong and confident and secure, and eating hot, yummy donuts doesn’t give me those feelings. Instead, they left me with a stomachache and feeling a little defeated.

So Janna has shared an idea that is happening across the blogging community. In addition to the Twelve Days Gift Swap, we are gifting ourselves with good choices. Each day we will do one healthy thing, adding to it each day until Christmas. I’d rather smile about making good choices than smile about eating crap that will make my stomach hurt in 20 minutes…


Will you join us? If so, let us know by leaving a comment here or on her blog.

I’m also chasing a 7 Day Chip by conquering seven days of successful eating . If you’re interested, check out Brad’s blog for details. He’s so encouraging and inspiring. If you don’t read his blog start now…

I have a lot of work to do, and I’m going to get started now. This journey is one that must be taken day by day so I’m going to make today a good one. Will you?

************

In other news, I got to open my first swap gift from Janna! =) Does she know how to make me happy or what? I know it wasn’t easy, my dear Aggie..thank you! :) I can’t wait to open Day 2…I think I’ll do that soon. :)

I Did It

I’m happy to report that I completed a full day of vegetarian eating yesterday. I had planned meals that would be high in protein and filling, but my plans changed rather abruptly so I wasn’t able to map out the day in the way I had hoped. I was still successful, in that I stuck to the challenge, but my food choices left much to be desired.

I had not planned on traveling yesterday, but I did. Once again, I’ll be out of my routine until Sunday, but this gives me extra time to workout and concentrate on making healthy choices. I can’t complain about that.

Now about yesterday…I ate vegetables and nuts, but I also consumed more carbohydrates than I have in ages. I felt satisfied, but I did not feel healthy. I did not consume much protein at dinner. We ate at a buffet (which is something I don’t do often anyway,) and I struggled to find beans that were cooked without meat, etc. I’m not a big fan of pasta though it was available so I settled on a plate filled with broccoli, cucumbers, corn, okra and a roll. Following dinner, I consumed an ounce of cashews. Ha…

I tried..really.


Though I know my eating would have been much better at home, I learned a few things about myself. In my head I thought “You know, I didn’t plan on traveling today. I should do this on a different day.” I struggled to follow the plan I laid out for myself just as I have in the past, but my resolve to follow through on my commitment won.

Will I become a vegetarian now? No…but now I know a little more than I did. Obviously, I have a lot to learn, but I gained a little confidence in myself. And I feel good about completing the challenge.

What did you eat yesterday? What will you do to be healthy today?

Vegetarian For A Day

I have decided that Tuesday shall be “Vegetarian Day” in my world. My twitter friend, @BradGansberg and I are doing it, and we would love for you to join us. He said it best on his blog when he said…

The point of a “Micro Change” is to try a “Major Change” on for size in a non threatening way. The thought of becoming a vegetarian for good sounds totally overwhelming. I don’t think I could get up the bravery to give it a try. On the other hand, doing it for a day sounds like a piece of cake. The lack of a lasting commitment makes it much easier to try something new.

Making micro-changes (small changes) can lead to big success, but sometimes its best to take baby steps. I’m not sure that I’d want to be a vegetarian, but I won’t really know unless I try so I’m going to try now.

If you want to make a “micro-change” then tell us about it. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try being a vegetarian for the day. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to know if you could complete a 5k (like JackSht and Kelly, right friends?)

I am going to do do my best to learn something through this experience. Wish me luck, won’t you please? :)

Okay, I’m Throwing in the Towel

Last week, I excitedly shared that I had found a new Weight Watchers group and a new gym in my new city. I was so pleased with myself as I wrote that post because I have desperately longed to get back into a groove since my world flipped upside down over the summer. But I received comments from a reader who expressed her disappointment in me for not losing more than 12 pounds since losing my first 100 pounds, and I’m disappointed in myself too so I give up. I mean, if all I can do is lose 112 pounds in a year a half then surely it must be time to throw in the towel…so thanks for giving me a new perspective “Maureen.” It’s obvious that I need not worry about moving forward so bring on the Blue Bell Moolenium Crunch…I quit!

PSYCH!

Quitting has never been an option for me nor is it an option now. I love losing weight even if it’s not fast enough to please every single person reading this blog. This journey is for me anyway. And my blog is about my progress and my ups and downs. And that’s the way it will continue to be.

I love comments – sharing them with others and receiving them. When I don’t have something positive to say, I tend to stay quiet, but I can’t control how anyone reacts to what I write. And I wouldn’t want to. I feel blessed to say that after receiving over 5,000 comments in the last year and a half that I can count all of the negatives on one hand. A couple of those negatives came over the weekend when “Maureen” left some comments worth discussing so bear with me as I work through them.

She said…

Please don’t take this the wrong way but I’m a bit disappointed and confused as to why you’ve only lost 12lbs since you hit the 100lbs lost mark in the Spring and that was months ago. Is WW no longer effective or are you just overindulging? There’s another blog I follow on your blogroll where the author’s dropped over 50lbs since the Spring on WW too.”

You can see the full comments here.

Then after several comments of encouragement from others, she left a follow-up comment. She said,

I’m just wondering as someone who’s followed her journey in blogland how honest Kenz is really being with us followers and herself. If someone’s really watching every bite and working out like mad there’s no way they’d only lose 12lbs in 6 months (barring a medical condition), especially when they lost 100lbs in a year. This is way beyond a plateau, the numbers (and words written here) simply don’t add up. Just sayin

I’ve been extraordinarily open about my weight-loss since Day One of this blog. And while I’ve chosen not to turn my blog into a daily pity party about the trials I’ve faced recently, which do include a medical condition, the fact remains that I have struggled greatly. But I have not hidden that fact. And I certainly haven’t claimed that I “watch every bite and workout like mad.” I typically do not eat beyond my daily POINTS allowance, but I’m much more productive when I eat high protein and high fiber foods as part of balanced meals. Also, you can see my workout schedule on my blog.

Life changed drastically, and I was as open as I felt I could be about those struggles. Check out my posts from August..they’re gut-wrenching. Could I have shared more details? Of course…but it was tough to share as much as I did. Is Weight Watchers still effective? Of course it is…Millions have lost, and I’m still losing consistently too.

While “Maureen” left negative comments, I received support from so many of you just as I always do. And those comments mean so much…especially on days in which people seek to tear me down. Where there’s one negative comment, there are more than 20 positives…and this is one of my favorites…

Zedramaqueen said,

“…It’s her blog, and she’s telling her story…and only SHE knows her entire story…Bottom line – it’s Kenz’s life and Kenz’s journey, and we are choosing to read her blog and ride along with her. If we don’t like the ride, we can get off at any time…”

MsGigglepuss said,

…Wow. Weight loss isn’t always one straight line even when you’re following the program. Stress and other factors can really mess things up! Chill out and use your energy for good, not cranky doubting.

And Deb said,

Re: Maureen’s confusion. chuckle. I think the fact that you lost 12 pounds instead of gaining 40 pounds is amazing!!!! Ain’t no plan can cover what you’ve put up with in those six months! Unless it would be the WW’s “living in a suitcase while your life is turned upside down” plan.”

Perhaps “Maureen” didn’t mean to be offensive, but she left little clues that lead me to believe she thinks she knows me better than she does. So “Maureen” I would encourage you to continue to read my blog and watch for the continued success that is imminent. But if you’re here to see me drop my remaining weight by April then you will be disappointed. There are blogs you can follow if you wish to see people lose 200 pounds in a year, but that won’t happen on this one.

Weight-loss is not a contest. For me, success has come from making big changes and small changes over time. I could have made a lot of excuses over the summer. Life was hard, but I didn’t give up. Could I have done more for myself? Absolutely! But priorities are personal, and I take full responsibility for my physical and emotional well-being.

I knew that when I began to post about my life so candidly that I would be open to criticism. And I’m okay with that. Do I need that kind of negative encouragement? Nope…Do I deserve it? Nope…but I’m happy to have cleared the air because I’m ready to move forward.

I am ready to see the numbers on the scale drop substantially again, and I am doing what it takes this week to make that happen. I’m trying to get it right just like everyone else on this journey. There’s no easy solution, but I won’t be throwing in the towel anytime soon…just sayin’…