Category Archives: Beauty Trends

Blood Work, Parties and Pictures…

My pain level has decreased significantly since my last post, and while I’m not 100% better, I feel well enough to exercise again and do the things I usually do.

My weekend started with friends and colleagues at a work party Friday night when I went to the Sizzling Summer Soiree, our biggest fundraiser of the year. We’ve been looking forward to it for months, and finally being there felt like a huge success.

Michael and MeMy boyfriend, Michael, was my date for the event (obviously,) and we arrived early with a car load of sushi that had been donated for the event. When we arrived he went to work as if he had been a part of the team forever. I love that about him. He’s incredibly intelligent, bright and successful, but when a job needs to be done he gets it done. No job is beneath him because he values everyone, which is such an attractive characteristic.

He already knows the folks I work with because we’re all friends, and they’ve known him since before we were really dating. The cool thing is that he would have worked just as hard or strangers. His parents definitely raised him right. Swoon.

Stacie and KenlieStacie, who has become one of our aforementioned close friends, worked tirelessly to make this event happen. I know others did too, but I saw the work she did first-hand. We definitely all breathed a sigh of relief as we saw the event come together, then she and I took our first selfie. Seriously, we’ve had some great times together, yet we had never taken a picture? We’ve talked about that a few times.  Aren’t we cute?!

After we took our first one we took a few more with our friends and awesome co-workers. (Why not?! We were all feeling snazzy without our ponytails and gym clothes. Haha We were only missing Haley, who looked gorgeous and sparkly from head to toe! )

YMCA Friends

Michael even took one of us that was not a selfie. Who doesn’t love a good group photo?

The Cannery New Orleans

Following the party Saturday and Sunday were the quietest days I’ve had in quite a while. Michael flew out of town for work early that morning and landed as I was waking up for the day (at 7:30 am) while I ran errands around town before returning home. I typically fill my weekends with activities and events,  but I chose to take a much needed rest from all the things.

I did some writing, cooking, reading, baking and shopping. I also watched Hillary and Kaine as she announced him as her VP and  picked up a ring that I had resized. (More on the ring later.)

I had such a quiet and relaxing weekend that I almost felt guilty about it, then I was reminded that sometimes I need that. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled lifestyle tomorrow, but it felt good to have some rest after the last few weeks. I can’t say that I’ve been busier than usual, but I do have to say that everything feels more tiring and challenging when I don’t feel well.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend. I’m seeing my doctor again on Tuesday, and I hope to have a lot of questions answered pertaining to weight-loss surgery.

Oh, and my blood work came back normal. They tested my A1C (Yay! No diabetes,) thyroid, cholesterol and a long list of other things, and it all looked fine apart from my weight and blood pressure. (Both are higher than they should be, but I’m working on it.) I figured I was probably okay when I didn’t hear back from them immediately, but it’s comforting to know  that I’m alright for the most part anyway.

 

 

 

 

Fat Shaming Is A Thing, But It’s Not A Helpful Thing

Fat shaming has never made anyone healthy…ever. I doubt that it has ever made anyone skinny either, and before I go any further, I want to highlight the fact that these adjectives are not synonymous with each other.

Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy, and being fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy. My blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, resting heart rate, etc. is all excellent now. There are a lot of risk factors associated with someone my  size, but you can’t judge a person’s health based on how they look.

You can’t look at me and know that I significantly reduced my chances of having a heart attack or stroke by dropping a significant amount of weight or that I exercised today, nor can you know that I’ve struggled to keep a lot of it off because of thoughts that swirl around in my mind. You can’t know the reasons why.

One of a few significant reasons is that I allowed an airline’s perception of me to take up space in my mind. I allowed one seemingly disgruntled gate agent’s blanket prejudice to define me long after his hurtful comments were an old headline in the news, and it didn’t cause me to lose weight. I didn’t thrive off of the negative attention that followed his comments either; I caved.

I take responsibility for that. I am the only one who can make a decision to change or to let others define me, and I accept that. It’s all on me to change what I need to change for myself, but if fat shaming worked I’d be skinny by now.

On of the reasons that I stopped blogging as much is that I no longer wished to put myself on a chopping block for trolls who think I shouldn’t exist or that I don’t have a right to share my story because I’m obese. That’s nonsense, of course, but eradicating that negativity has been good for me.

I’ve been quiet here for quite some time. I’ve shared opinions, pissed people off and taken a break, but that break is over because it’s time to stand with other voices and to say, Hey, it’s none of your beeswax if I’m fat or not. Your opinion of me doesn’t define me; it defines you.”

kenlie

I’m not skinny…not even close, but I love myself.

I’m lucky to have a supportive group of people in my life who love me and accept me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to undo the damage that I allowed to take root in my heart and mind when I allowed society’s opinions to define who I was.

I gained a significant amount of weight that I had lost, and I’ve felt a lot of shame as a result. Never has that led to a lower number on the scale. It doesn’t work that way, nor should it.

The last few weeks have been healthier and more successful for me because I’m enjoying my life. I’m reclaiming a lot of the confidence I lost thanks to my friends and family, a significant other who loves to remind me that I’m brilliant and sexy, and I’m making healthier decisions because it makes me feel good (not because people think I should feel bad.)

I don’t hate myself, so that will never be a driving force in my fight for better health. I exercised today because I value my life. I shopped for groceries and prepared for a healthy week of meals because I want to be around for a long time to love people, and I can only hope (and assume) that these small positive steps will lead to other positive steps.

If you truly care about my health go for a walk in the park with me, or take me to lunch and order something healthy and delicious. There are people in my life who do that. There are people who want me around for a long time, and they offer support, not criticism.

I’m not going to link to that newest fat shaming video that’s making its way around the internet  because plenty of others are doing that. I don’t know when it became acceptable to spew hatred on social media, but I do know that there’s no end in sight.

I do know that the responsibility for my life falls on me, not on a skinny girl who could benefit from some acting classes or a gate agent who was probably having a really crappy day. I get to decide what I’m worth. I’m just sorry that I didn’t always know that.

At our core, we’re all the same. We desire to be loved and accepted (even the jerks who spew hatred…especially the jerks who spew hatred.) One important lesson I’ve learned is that I’m lovable, and I don’t have to care if others agree with that or not.

 

 

 

 

Can Componeers Give Me the Smile I’ve Always Wanted?

If you know me, you know that I smile a lot. I havedecent teeth.  They’re pretty straight and whiter than average, but they’re far from perfect.  As an adult, I made the decision to wear clear braces, which I’ve talked about on my blog before.

I have used teeth whitener in the past, making them really white at times, and when I feel motivated to wear my Invisaligns, I do it.  Sadly, I’m not as committed to doing that as I should be, and it seems to be directly correlated to my weight.  When I was in the 280’s, I happily wore them, but once my weight creeped up over 300 again, I found myself failing to wear them.  My teeth have shifted a little, but I’ve also begun wearing them again so there’s hope!

kenzteeth

It seems that I lack consistency in some key areas of my life, but I’m trying to change that.  And while some might say that my teeth shouldn’t be a concern right now, they are.  My ability to smile and like what I see directly affects how I feel about myself.  I feel fairly confident about my smile most of the time, but it’s fun to imagine how amazing I’d feel if I had a perfect, Hollywood smile.

smile-closeupI receive compliments on my teeth, but I often wonder what  it would be like to have veneers.  I know people who have taken drastic measures to improve their smile, and for the most part, they look great.  I like to imagine a world in which my teeth are always flawless, but I don’t like to idea of spending thousands of dollars to watch someone shave my natural teeth off, only to replace them with something temporary.

Componeers are a newer kind of veneer that can create a smile without going through such a drastic process.  It also costs half of what the older, more invasive veneers cost, and a dentist can do the procedure in one office visit.  For those reasons, I’m day dreaming about a trip to the dentist again.  (Did I really just say that I am day dreaming about a trip to the dentist? Hehe)

Does anyone here have veneers, or some form of them?  Would you consider getting Componeers to improve your smile?

 

 

 

That Was Quick

I flew to New York Sunday evening then returned to New Orleans Monday night, and it was a busy 24 hours!  When the rain finally stopped it was still cold and gloomy so I’m glad I brought my coat!  When I was in New York in March I tweeted about scoring a coat at Lane Bryant that was originally $200.00 for only ten dollars, but I forgot to post a photo.

It was originally $200.00, and I paid $10.00! Score!

I bought a size 22/24 even though it was slightly snug thinking that I could wear it during next season’s chilly temps, but it kept me warm yesterday.  It also kept my dress from flying up in the breeze!  🙂  I’m glad I took Mom’s advice when she said to bring my coat because I hadn’t planned on it.

When I arrived at home last night I was greeted with a package containing six bottles of nail lacquer from OPI.  Actually, they’re from a friend who works for OPI.  I knew she was sending a color that I’ve been trying to find for months, but she sent five additional colors as well.  And must understand me because every color is incredible!  I want to paint my nails with every color today, but I’ll try to stick to one.  😉

Which one should I choose first?!?

The next couple of weeks are going to be busy as I prepare for finals.  Tomorrow’s class will be devoted to preparing for the final next week.   And I have to work on an important paper for my Monday class.   I can’t believe it’s already that time of year!  It feels like my classes just started!

What’s happening in your world today?  Will you workout?  What’s for dinner?

Does This Mean I’m Getting Old?

It’s finally the weekend, and I’m traveling…again.  I’ll be hitting a couple of states over the next week or so, and I’ll be doing it with a new hairstyle.  It has been a long time since my hair was this short, but I hope that will make it pretty easy to maintain.  Does this mean I’m getting old?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Makeup Favorites and Patting My Own Back

I can’t believe the weekend is already over, but I reached some major milestones that have helped me find a little of the confidence that I lost last year.  I posted that I completed 5 miles on the elliptical Friday night, trying to replace what could have been a food disaster with healthy habits, and it worked.  By the time I reached the end of the first mile, I knew I would not be going home to eat junk food.

Saturday was a much healthier day of eating, but it was also a busy day so I didn’t hit the gym for an intense workout.  I did some leisurely walking instead and accomplished some other things that needed to be done.  Then last night, after another day of excellent food choices, I was craving the gym so I went and completed 6 miles on the elliptical, and it felt great to know that I could have kept going!

I shaved 39 seconds off per mile...=)

When I tried the elliptical for the first time, doing 30 seconds seemed impossible so the fact that I can do 80 minutes without much thought feels incredible.  I may not be winning any races at this point, but I’m consistent.  And that’s enough to make me feel pretty good about my abilities right now.  I often talk about how far I have to go, but on days like today, it’s fun to think about how far I’ve already come.

And now that I’ve patted myself on the back, it’s time for FMM!   This week’s topic is courtesy of Bella, One of the lovely ladies that makes FMM so great. You might know her already, but if you don’t, you should so stop by her blog, http://bellaonthebeach.wordpress.com/ today and get to know her.

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!

FMM: Makeup Favorites

 

  1. Do you wear makeup everyday? Hmmm, I wear it almost everyday, but I skip it when I’m just headed to the gym or the grocery store.
  2. Does your routine change if you’re going out with friends/on a date/to a party? If so, how? Definitely…I put in a little more effort if I know that photos could be involved.
  3. Are you loyal to one brand, or do you use different brands for different things? I use different brands for different things…I used to be loyal to one brand, but that was a long, long time ago.  Now I try to use what’s best for my skin regardless of the brand.
  4. Do you wear primer/concealer? If so, what’s your favorite kind?  Yes and yes…My favorite primer is by Arbonne.  I can sweat my guts out, and my makeup stays in place.  And I use the best concealer on the planet, Touche eclat by Yves Saint Laurent.
  5. What’s your favorite brand of foundation? Bobbi Brown – it’s the only brand I’ve found that works for me…I only wish I had known about it sooner.
  6. Do you use blush and/or bronzer?  If so, what’s your favorite kind?  I love Bobbi Brown blush too, but my bronzer (which I use constantly) is by Urban Decay.
  7. Do you wear eye shadow/eye liner?  If so, what’s your favorite kind? (Are you liking the theme here? :)) Yep…I adore cream shadows by Laura Mercier!  They don’t cake, and they still look good 24 hours later. (Don’t ask me why I know this..ha)  And my eye-liner has to be water-proof.  I usually go with Aqua Eyes or MAC.
  8. What’s your favorite kind of mascara?
  9. Lipstick? Lip gloss? Both? Favorite? When I’m applying it for the first time with the rest of my makeup, I use both.  But I wear lip gloss constantly…My favorite brands are Bare Escentuals and Buxom.  (Buxom gets minty after a minute or two.  I totally recommend it.)
  10. Do you wear nail polish regularly?  If so, share a few of your favorite brands/colors.  Oh yes, I change it every few days (sometimes more often than that!)  My favorite brand is OPI, but I really like Essie and Chanel as well.  I have too many favorite colors to mention, but you can see a few of my favorites on my pinterest board! (Yes, I paint my nails then post it on Pinterest.  Is anyone really surprised by this?)  Are we connected there?

    Today's color is Bobbing for Baubles by Essie!

  11. How do you remove your makeup at the end of the day?  I use Aveeno pads that are soft on one side and exfoliating on the other side, and I use makeup remover for my eye makeup.
  12. Do you feel prettier when you’re wearing makeup?  Yes, definitely.  My posture is better, and overall, I look more confident.
  13. Do you have any beauty tips that you could pass along?  I have chronic dark circles which are so much better now that I drink about a gallon of water a day.  But I tend to burn the candle at both ends, and when I want to look bright-eyed and alert, I use Laura Gellar’s Wonder Wand.  I discovered it a few years ago thanks to Sara at Bombshell Beauty, and it’s definitely my favorite way to brighten my look.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions!  Don’t forget to say hi to Bella and a few other bloggers!  And also be sure to come back and leave a link to your FMM post in the comments!  Happy Monday friends!

 

What Do You Do With Your Old Clothes?

After writing Wednesday’s post (just before bed Tuesday night) I woke up feeling much more rested than I have in the last week or so, and I think that’s a good sign though I plan to speak to the doctor today or tomorrow.  I appreciated the comments yesterday.  I always do, of course, but some of them yesterday made me laugh, a couple made me cringe and a few made me think that I should contact the doc so I am.

And now, on to other things…I received an email recently asking what I do with my clothes when they’re too big.  And I’ll share my answer, but I’d love to hear yours too.

What do you do with your clothes when they become too big?  Do you keep them, or do you get rid of them?

I’m not a fan of clutter.  I really don’t like it at all so when clothes get too big, they do not stay in my closet very long.  I’ve lost 10 to 12 clothing sizes since the beginning of my journey, and I’ve given away almost all of the old clothing.  I did, however, keep a pair of khaki pants and a few other pieces of clothing from my heaviest weight because I like to look at them when I feel like I haven’t done enough.  And I want to have that moment someday…You know, the moment that you hold them up to show what you wore before.

I think it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come so keeping a piece or two of clothing is a fantastic idea, but I don’t keep it all because I have no desire to go back.  Why even leave that option open?  Instead, I wear clothes that fit and flatter my shape now.  I picked up a few stellar pieces at Lane Bryant today with the help of  Danny, a fashion designer for LB that I plan to see again when I’m back in New York in January.

I have pretty good taste in clothes (humble, aren’t I?)  So it’s fun to share with friends and strangers who can benefit from the larger sizes.  I typically share with friends first, and if I can’t find someone who wants what I’m sharing, I donate it.

What do you do with your old clothes?  Do you enjoy the process?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: More Favorite Things

After a week without FMM, I have a greater understanding of how much I love hosting this every week.  I know some of you love it as much as I do so I’m looking forward to getting back to it today!  As I began typing, I realized that today is a national holiday so I wish all of you a day filled with sunshine and people you love.  And we’ll welcome you back next week if you’re out today. 🙂

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!

We’ve talked about this topic before, but this week the questions are different so take a few minutes to think on your answers.  And if you have any ideas for FMM, feel free to pass them along!  And if we use them, you’ll be sure to get the credit! 🙂

FMM:  Favorite Things

 

1) What is your favorite food?  I talk about food a lot of my blog, but Thai is my favorite.  There’s nothing better (on my plate) than quality Pad Thai.  I love sushi too though recently I’ve begun to worry that it’s not as good for me as I thought.  (This makes me sad, and I’ll probably post on it soon.)

2) What is your favorite childhood memory? This question came up recently, and I felt like my answer was so lame.  Now, looking back, I think my favorite memories were fun times with my family – around the Christmas tree, singing songs together in church, tubing down the Frio River in the Texas hill country…

3) What is your favorite way to burn calories?  The elliptical is my favorite piece of gym equipment, but I also love aerobics in the form of dance.  I also love my bicycle so I guess those are my top three. 🙂

4) What is your favorite mode of technological communication? Phone? Text? E-mail? Tweets? I like all of it.  If I can’t sit in the room with the person I’m talking to, I prefer the phone.  It’s easier to understand the person and feel connected.  But I like all forms of communication.

5) Who is your favorite actor/actress? My favorite actor is either Matt Bomer of Zachary Levi.  I’ve talked about these boys before.  They’re just soooooooooooo handsome..and talented too, of course.

6) What is your favorite lip color? That’s kind of like asking me to choose my favorite cupcake.  I love so many!  My favorite standard now is “Creamy Nude” by Clinique.  It’s so old school because I seriously wore it in high school.  But I also love giant lip pencils by Smashbbox and glosses by Dior, Bare Minerals and Stila.

7) Who is your favorite historical figure? Anne Frank is probably my favorite…

8) Who is your favorite athlete?  Lance Armstrong is my favorite (and not just because he’s a sexy Texan.)  The guy is a machine, and he is proof that victory is worth the struggle.

9) What is your favorite TV network? I love USA Network most…I like sitcoms more than reality TV, and almost every show that they air is my favorite.  They know how to do it.  I just wish they didn’t split seasons…Heck, I wish there was a new episode of every show every week.  I’d never sleep.

10) What is your favorite site on the web? I have a short list of sites that I visit often like Drudge Report, Twitter and CNN.  I also read several blogs regularly and hope to read even more because this community is filled with brilliant folks.

 

Now it’s your turn to answer!  Don’t forget to come back and link up!

 

 

Fashion Forward

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my body and my weight lately.  And while I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to amp up the loss, I’ve also begun to realize that I like myself.  I no longer see a horrifyingly ugly person when I look in the mirror, and I’m no longer the girl who tries to hide inside her clothes.  I no longer purchase clothes simply because they fit.  I’m changing, and as I change,  my style is evolving.

I’ve always loved dresses.  If you read my blog, you already know that wearing a dress can transform my mood and attitude almost instantly making me feel more confident and all-around awesome.  So it probably won’t surprise you that I’m going to be blogging on Thursdays for my favorite plus-size retailer, Sealed with a Kiss Designs!

Wearing the Victoria Dress from Sealed with a Kiss

Obviously, I’ll still be blogging here on Thursdays too!  I’m just so excited to explore and define my fashion sense as I continue to embrace myself now even though I’m still heavier than I’d like to be. . I can feel pretty, and Sealed with a Kiss opened the doors to their warehouse for me before my Today Show appearance in May to make sure that would happen.  It worked.  I felt like a one-girl revolution in the Victoria Dress, and I’m going to talk about that in depth on Thursday.

 

I hope you’ll join me in my plus-size fashion exploration!  And I hope you’ll explore Sealed with a Kiss and the Sealed with a Kiss blog.  If you do, I’m quite sure that you’ll love them as much as I do!

 

What’s A Girl To Do?

Your makeup is only as good as the skin underneath.” – sales girl from Beauty Trends who was trying to sell me lots of crap last week.

She’s right, but I’ve tried.  And at this point, I’m not sure what to do.  I’m tired of spending $$$$$ on stuff that doesn’t yield the promised results.

I’m 30 years old, and I still get blemishes like clockwork. I have crow’s feet around my eyes, laugh lines and dark circles under my eyes that make me look exhausted even on days that I’m bursting with energy.  Over the last several years, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars trying to repair the damage on my forehead left by scaring from acne that came about due to oily skin and rapid weight gain.

My skin is extraordinarily sensitive so I have to be careful when I’m trying something new on my face.  I don’t always have an immediate reaction, but most often, I find that my face turns red and my eyes start burning within a few hours.  Regardless, I’ve tried several products including Skyn Iceland for my eyes and Perricone MD Cold Plasma for my forehead and the rest of my face.  It works well, but at $150 per ounce, I can’t say that the price is worth the results.

So here’s my question.  What do you use on your skin to keep it fresh and healthy?  Do you have recommendations to share with me?  I’m willing to try anything within reason though I’m fairly certain that fixing my face will require laser treatments at some point.

Do you use skincare products?  Are you satisfied with what you’re using?