Category Archives: Exercise

If You Don’t Like It, Change It

Monte shared a message about discernment at NOLA Church Sunday morning, and while there was so much food for thought, the biggest takeaway for me was when he said, “If you don’t like your relationship with God, change it.” This isn’t going to be a post about that even though that’s really important, but the statement can apply to practically anything in our lives. 

I’ve been feeling down a lot lately, and today I decided to do some things to change it. Last night I spent some time singing and playing piano (if you can call what I did playing) just to break through some of the nervousness that I feel when I think of playing in front of people. I did it a lot growing up because my parents made me, but now I’d like to because I enjoy it. I’m passionate about singing, so maybe at some point I could feel the same way about keys. if not, it will still be fun to do it from time to time.


I changed up my lunch routine a bit today too. I went to Whole Foods and ate a healthy, hearty lunch, then I picked up a spa water (okay, two) to bring back to the office with me. I drank my fruit infused water instead of coffee, and it made me feel healthy and a little fancy. (It doens’t take much. Ha.) 


I also spent some time on my rooftop after work today. Having a snack and drink in your bed is gross and depressing, but do it by the pool, and it’s awesome. I had a couple of friends over too, and while we were up there a nice guy offered us some of the steaks he grilled. I had a few bites, but I grilled some stuff as well. 

After that I hit the gym with my aforementioned friends. Two out of three of us didn’t feel like it, but thankfully, the one who did convinced us to do it too. I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill, which feels a lot better than nothing. 


I also signed up to do a 5k with another friend on May 30th. She’ll reach the finish line before I do, but I’m fine with that. We’ll both leave with finisher metals anyway, and there will be someone waiting to take a picture of me. (Ah, the perks of being slower.) 

I can’t say that I feel 100% better and completely amazing yet, but I can honestly say that I feel so much better than I did yesterday. 

Now I’m going to curl up under my blankets, spend a few minutes reading the Bible, then have a good night’s sleep and pray that I can stay focused and empowered again tomorrow. (That may not be easy because I have to have a conversation that I’d rather not have tomorrow, but I’ll worry about that later.) 

I’m here, and I’m trying to jump out of my comfort zone to change what I don’t like while rediscovering my worth, which I seemed to forget for a while. Overall, I’d say I’m on my way back to the right track. 

Obesity and Energy Levels

I receive a lot of unsolicited advice about my “health,” and most of the time I appreciate it because people care enough to say something. It’s an important issue, but my size doesn’t accurately portray my energy level to many looking at me from a distance. 

Say what you want about my need to lose weight. That’s an undisputable fact, but I’m going to brag about my energy levels for a moment. 

I get up around 6 am during the week, and I’m up almost as early on Sunday mornings. Most days I’m away from home for more than 12 hours at a time. I’m gnerally not the “sit on the sofa while eating pizza while binging on Netflix” type, though I did make an exception for House of Cards. I’m the “wake up, hit the ground running, let’s smile because it’s finally time to be awake” type (at least most days.) 

I sleep well. When my head hits the pillow, it usually isn’t long until I’m dreaming. I typically feel rested when I wake up. I indulge in occassional Sunday naps, but it’s not a requirement…not even close. 

I have more energy and endurance than a lot of people who are much smaller than I am, but I don’t have as much as I had two years ago. This isn’t a post about comparing myself to other people because I don’t do that; this is about me. 

I’m aggravated with myself because I gained a significant amount of weight back, but I’m doing better. I’m consistenly eating less and making better choices. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s been better for the last few months. 

My routine feels pretty solid now, but I need to exercise more than I do. I need to do it consitently because I know that it will lower my stress levels and increase my energy levels. It’s a win-win, so why am I struggling to do it? 

I’m busy from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I enjoy everything I do, so rarely does it feel like burden. I’m thankful for that. I don’t prioritize my workouts, which is no secret here. I know that needs to change, which is also not a secret. 

I know that I need to continue taking steps in the a healthier direction. I’m doing that by cooking chicken in my slow cooker and bringing my lunch to work, making more time to get enough sleep, drinking water, and eating vegetables. I know that there’s so much more to do. 

I just find it a little frustrating (and silly) that people (though most of them mean well) spend their time and effort telling me how I should detox, or how I should do this or that because it will give me more energy, etc. It’s odd because those people (the recent ones) aren’t as healthy, balanced, or energized as I am. They’re just skinnier. 

I don’t offer a lot of unsolicited advice, but if I did, I’d start by suggesting that people offer less unsolicited advice. I’d follow that up with the need to recognize that our looks don’t always portray everything that’s happening on the inside. In fact, it rarely does. 

This isn’t something that I plan to lose sleep over. It’s just a little PSA for those well-intentioned, yet misguided folks. I’m okay. I could sugarcoat what I’m about to say, but it’s not intended to be mean:

If you’re talking about this with me and I yawn, it’s probably just because these talks bore me. Thank you for caring. Just take a bit more time to pay attention to the reality of my situation if you’re going to comment on it. I’m juggling my priorities right now, and I’ll keep trying to do better. 


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 

Collossians 3:17

Are Cankles A Job Hazard?

I feel like I’m adjusting well to life at the office, but I’m having one issue that I wasn’t expecting. My feet and ankles are swelling.

Is it safe to assume that it’s because I’m sitting a lot more than normal? Several people have said that, but why would sitting make your feet swell? What should I be doing to combat it?

I’ve been taking my lunch to work each day, and I’ve made packed healthy and well-balanced meals. I’m also drinking a lot of water. I bring it by the gallon, so I can refill my pretty Starbucks tumbler all day.

I’m not incorporating exercise into my daily routine yet, but I know that will help the swelling too. Won’t it?

It’s amazing to realize how much I move around on an average day. Coming here has definitely made me much more sedentary than I was, so I need to figure out how to be active during the days that I’m here too.

I walk to the far restroom when I need to go, and I spend my little breaks walking around the building. I just need to do more, and I’m not sure where to start. I’m only here Monday through Thursday of most weeks, but that’s a big chunk of time.

I’m eating healthier things, and I’m going to bed earlier. I’m drinking water, and I need to exercise.

Does anyone have ideas to help reduce the swelling? If so, I’d love to hear them.



Planet Fitness: Yes or No?

I have mixed feelings about Planet Fitness, but it may be the best option for me right now. I like other gyms in the area, but some of them cost 5 times more than PF.

The thing is…Planet Fitness does some things differently than other gyms. When I visited with Clint a few times last year, I noticed that they had a free pizza night and bagel days. Is this a New Orleans thing, or does this happen at all of their locations?

Don’t get me wrong; I love pizza! I just love it so much that I don’t know if I could pass it up if I smelled it while sweating on the elliptical. It seems kind of counterproductive. I mean, I have plenty of opportunities to eat junk when I’m not at the gym. Maybe that’s why my exercise space needs to be set apart from that.

I also don’t like how far the locations are from my apartment. Neither location is downtown, but I can get to both of them in under 15 minutes. I drive that far to get to my favorite coffee shop almost everyday.

It’s weird that they don’t allow grunting too. I don’t lift weights that are heavy enough to cause grunting, but I don’t mind when others do.

On the flip side, I really like the 30-Minute Express Workout option that comes with the membership. I like doing circuits because they’re quick, thus making it easy to keep my attention. It’s easily the most appealing part of the gym.

Actually, the most appealing part is the price tag. It’s $10 per month, $20 for the fancy membership. It’s hard to shell out $90 a month for a sub-par gym membership, which is what I did during my first year in New Orleans. It’s also tough to motivate myself to use the free little gym upstairs in my building. It’s nice, but it’s small. In addition to its size, it’s also hard to get motivated when there’s no one else around (at least for me.)

Have you ever been a member at Planet Fitness? If so, would you recommend it? if not, would you consider it? Why or why not?


Adding More Goals to the List

Am I the only one who finds it hard to believe that it’s already December? It feels as though this year has flown by, but I’m okay with it being over. I’ve had some great moments, but this year has also come with some stress and disappointment (in love and within myself.)

I didn’t gain all of my weight back, but I’ve gained enough back that I no longer feel confident in my abilities. I’ve already shared that I feel like a failure in this area, and it’s still true.

I remember a time when I felt like a weight-loss champion. I also remember a time when fruits and veggies were a priority in my daily life, but they have once again been replaced by unhealthy, sugary alternatives.

When I was experiencing success before I was doing some key things that I’m not doing now: exercise and food journaling, and I was doing both consistently. (I’m sure that none of us are surprised that I saw good results.)

I’ve grown a lot spiritually, and I’m a much better person than I was several years ago. Life is better than it has been in a very long time (even when stressors pop up.) I’m happy with my life right now, but I’m not happy with my weight. It’s hard to explain that, but I’ve tried in numerous blog posts.

After having success recently when I eliminated sugary drinks and doughnuts, I’ve decided that I’m going to continue refraining from doughnuts. I haven’t had one since mid-September, and after months of overindulgence, it feels good to say no. I’ve been more careless with sugary drinks at Starbucks, but that ends now too. I can enjoy regular coffee, but I’m not going to allow myself to fall back into a routine of daily hot chocolates or caramel macchiatos.

I’ve also added tracking back into my routine, and I’m going to do it daily for the next 30 days. It’s an effective way to make sure that I’m eating what I should be eating, and I’m going to let go of the regret that I have due to my lack of faithful tracking until now. I’m going to focus on cardio 4 days a week too.

I’m completely different than I was when I tried this before. I barely even remember the person that I was. I’ve spent so much time looking at the way I lost in the past that I’ve overlooked who I am now. I’m going to start telling myself that I can do this and challenge myself to take steps in the right direction.



Regaining Weight and Regaining Control

Earlier this week I wrote a post about the anger that I was feeling, but I wasn’t ready to discuss how to change it.  Here’s an excerpt from what I said:

What can I say? I know that I should skip the venti iced nonfat caramel macchiato at Starbucks.  I also know that I should start my day with a workout instead of sleeping in for an extra half hour.  I know that I should swap out the food that I eat at restaurants for salads that I eat at home, and I know that I should drive by Krispy Kreme without stopping…ever. (Seriously, who needs a doughnut from Krispy Kreme?  They’re grossly overrated.)

Feeling angry sucks, and feeling angry and helpless sucks even more.  Verbally abusing myself won’t change anything either.  I understand that it works for some people, but I love myself too much to do it (at least most of the time.) Losing weight isn’t easy, but it’s possible.  How many times have I said that over the years?  Maybe it’s hard.  It’s obviously harder for me than I like to admit, but there are some simple concepts that would lead to big results if I’d simply do them:

  • Skip the calorie-laden drinks at Starbucks.  This seems like common sense, and it is.  I decided that I’d allow myself to drink them from time to time, which then became pretty frequent.  It’s fine to have a coffee or tea with no sugar and a splash of milk, but the 270 calories and load of sugar (even with the 16 grams if protein) just isn’t a good idea.  I don’t drink sodas. Why in the world would I drink sugary milk?
  • Exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and a weekend day.  This is easy enough, and yet, I’ve gotten so incredibly lazy.  I don’t sit at home and watch TV or all day or anything, but I tend to leave my house shortly after noon (without eating lunch.)  I work as a private tutor during the week, and I go to class as well.  I lead a small group on Wednesday evenings and go to band practice on Thursday evenings.  I’m not lazy in a traditional sense, but I’m not making an effort to sweat before I leave home.  (Did I mention the cute, little gym upstairs at my building? I’m embarrassed to admit how long it’s been since I exercised in it.)
  • Prepare healthy foods that I can take with me on the go. I used to do this. It requires some extra effort, but I used to believe that Sunday nights existed for food prep.  At some point (a long time ago) that changed.  It needs to change again because a little effort goes a long way, and little changes like that go a long way.
  • Say NO to Krispy Kreme.  I know so many people who think that their doughnuts are sub-par, and they are.  I know it, but when I drive by, I want them.  I don’t always get them, but I get them more often than I should.  I used to love cokes.  I would drink them everyday.  I was a slave to them, and one day I stopped drinking them.  Now, years later, I think they’re so ridiculously disgusting.  Perhaps it’s time to have a similar experience with doughnuts.

If you talk to someone who has lost a significant amount of weight, if they’re being honest, they’ll probably tell you that it’s hard to get everything right all the time.  (I know this is true because I hear it often.)  I’m not sure if it gets easier or when, which means that I’m focusing on a couple of minor changes that will lead to better results.  Right now regaining control is my biggest concern, and I’m making a couple of minor adjustments to do just that.

My focus this month has surrounded Starbucks because I’m there frequently.  Exercising before Starbucks is better than not exercising, but skipping sugary coffee drinks is obviously better that that.  I’d like to see some changes in myself, and I’m giving up the macchiatos for the next month.  At that point, I’ll decide if I want to have one before limiting them again, but my guess is that I’ll be over them.  I don’t drink coffee everyday, but I like the environment.  My goal is to have unsweet tea or unsweet tea when I’m there.   I drink a lot of water there too because one of my favorite barista pals always reminds me to hydrate.

I’m also banning Krispy Kreme from my life for the next 30 days.  Am I the only one who feels like short-term goals are more manageable?  I’ve proven that making number goals without adjusting my habits doesn’t work.  Maybe now I can prove that creating goals in the form of new habits will, in fact, allow the number goals to work themselves out.

I’m much happier and much more relieved than I was when I wrote the previous post, but I’m still not happy with the fact that I let myself spin out of

I’m in Washington, D.C. right now, and I’m sticking to the Starbucks rule too.  I still can’t say that I’m in control, but I’m working on it again, which is more than I could say at the beginning of the week.


Feelings, Calories and Another Fresh Start

This is an exciting time in my life because I’m surrounded by so many amazing people.  After the end of my not-quite-relationship, I needed some time to process my feelings, so I took the time I needed.  I was almost over the heartache by the time I posted about it, and now I can honestly tell you that after spending the day with that man today, I’m okay.  It feels good to see him and not feel like I’m falling apart.

As I was chatting with friends earlier, I realized that I’m not romantically interested in anyone.  There’s a guy that I would be interested in if I thought he’d be interested back, but there’s no one calling me every night before bed or texting me 20 times a day.  I like the feeling I get when I think about the possibilities of liking someone who might like me back, but I’m back to focusing on everything that I do have.

I possess a lot of characteristics that someone would be attracted to, but right now, I feel like those characteristics are hard to see because of the cloud of my obesity.  For a long, long time I’ve said that I don’t want to have to change to make someone want me, and it’s true.  I wish that there was a smart, talented, funny, handsome and interesting man in my life who would let me bake for him, sing for/with him, laugh with him and play Scrabble with him.  I wish that I could have that without feeling like I have to change first, but the truth is that I’d like to change regardless.

It’s no secret that I suck at losing weight, nor is it a secret that I need to lose it anyway.  I take responsibility for it, and I think it’s time to change my perspective.  I want a tall, honest, intelligent man who loves Jesus to think I’m beautiful, but I also want to think I’m beautiful.

My priorities haven’t been weight-loss related in a long time.  I’ve changed so much spiritually and emotionally, and I’ve made positive strides in so many areas.  I feel good about many areas of my life, but I’m still letting my weight affect me in ways that I wish it didn’t.

I’m going to try again…What else can I do?

Since moving to New Orleans I have visited several Weight Watchers meetings, but I haven’t found one that makes me want to go back.  I underestimated the chemistry of the meeting that I went to in New York, but I have to start somewhere.  I’m going to start counting calories today, and my goal will be to stay between 1500 and 1700 calories per day on days that I exercise.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’ll also be accountable to people in my everyday life about the numbers on the scale.

Time will pass whether I try to make changes again or not, and right now I don’t care about the numbers nearly as much as I care about creating healthy, controlled habits.

Am I the only one who has to start over again and again and again?


I Weigh More Than I Should, But…

There’s actually no “but” to follow.  I still have an incredible amount of weight to lose, and every time I think about how big the numbers are I feel like throwing in the towel.  I don’t feel as energetic and awesome as I did when I weighed 50 pounds less, but I realize that I still have the same power to change that as I’ve had all along.

This week I participated in a health screening, and these are my results:

Blood Pressure: 132/70  – Yikes!  Last time I gave blood it was 118/78, which is where it typically falls.  My guess is that a lack of exercise and an incredible load of emotional stress has played a role in my higher systolic over the last two months.  I’ll be checking it frequently to see the pattern.

Oxygen Saturation Level – 98%  According to the medical staff, the acceptable range is 94% to 100% so I’m okay there.

Resting Heart Rate – 59 bpm  I’m not on any medications so I’m not sure why my heart typically beats less than average, but I’m guessing that it’s the five years of pretty consistent exercise.  I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t asked Google to explain it either so it’s just a guess.

Fasting Blood Sugar – 97 mg  The American Diabetes Association says that 70-126 is acceptable.

Total Cholesterol – 164  Less than 200 puts you at a low risk for coronary health disease.

HDL (Good Cholesterol) – 53 Less than 50 means a major risk of heart disease.  It looks like i made the cut, but not by much.  I’d like to figure out what I can do to make this number higher.

LDL (Bad Cholesterol) – 88  Less than 100 is optimal.  Whew!

TRG (Triglycerides) – 114  Less than 150 is normal.

In my limited understanding of this information, it appears that my numbers are pretty good (especially for someone who weighs as much as I do.)

I’d like to make these numbers even better, and I know that it will take time, consistency and sweat.  In addition to exercise, I’ve been eating more vegetables and fruits.  That’s something that I haven’t done consistently in ages, but I’m doing it now.  I crave the organic green juice that I mentioned in a recent post, which is awesome because I get added nutrients when I drink it without taking a big caloric hit.

When was your last health screening?  Are you happy with your numbers?  Are you doing anything in particular to improve them?

I’m Thankful For My Fat Body

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a long time, and I stay connected through social media.  I constantly see motivational quotes plastered all over photos of women who are cut and airbrushed, making generalizations and promises even though they’ve never spent a day in my shoes.

I think it’s amazing when someone loses a substantial amount of weight, and I think it’s even more amazing when they keep off the weight that they lose for more than a year or two.  It’s hard….really hard.  I am constantly proud of myself even though I’d be a lot more pleased with myself if I could get back into a weight-loss groove and stay there.  Though I’m nowhere near my numbers goal, I’ve learned a few things throughout this process.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey…there will always be room for improvement.  I think it’s important to reflect on where we want to go, but it’s equally important to appreciate ourselves where we are.  (Seriously, Kenlie? Yep!)  If we never stop to appreciate everything that we do have, we’ll never be content, no matter how much we receive.

My body is *not* where it should be according to society, my doctor, Weight Watchers, etc.  I need to weigh less if I want to be considered healthy and beautiful.  I get it.  At the same time, I find it difficult to hate myself because, in my mind, I’ve come so far.  I love myself, and even though I’d like to wear a smaller size, I think it’s important to appreciate who I am and what I have right now.

I spend a lot of time being thankful for my life and the changes that have made it wonderful.  I thank GOD constantly for my family, my little home, my friends, my church, my travels, my things – all of it, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been as thankful for my body as I am today.

Nine Roses New Orleans

It’s easy to whine about why it’s so hard to lose the next hundred pounds.  I don’t want to have surgery, and even if I did, it’s not a realistic option for me.  Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising, and I rarely ever feel like restricting my food intake enough to lose weight.  Losing 250 pounds is tough, but I still don’t quite believe that it’s impossible.

Even though the weight I’ve lost feels like part of my past, I’m choosing to be thankful for my body today. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, my heart is strong and healthy…My legs allow me to walk up hundreds of steps, and they carry me everywhere that I need to go.  My smile is sincere and  bright, and I typically feel good about my eyes, lips, skin and finger nails.


I know a lot of people (who are much smaller than I am) who live with chronic pain and sickness, and I do not.  I’m blessed that my body is strong enough to do what I need it to do.  I remember what it was like to feel such intense pain in my feet that I struggles to walk, and I’m constantly thankful that I no longer feel that way.

I am more aware than anyone that there’s plenty of work to be done in order to be the best version of myself, but I’m also keenly aware of how lucky I am.  I’m not a size zero, but I’m happy and capable of change.  I’m strong, independent and active, and I’m thankful for who I am today – extra weight and all.


Omron Fitness Mamavation Steps Challenge: One Month Later

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you probably know that I have spent the last month participating in a Mamavation challenge using an Omron Fitness pedometer.  You may also know that I have become mildly obsessed with counting my steps.

Omron Pedometer

The challenge has been a spectacular motivator for me because it required me to do more basic, yet effective cardio than I had been doing.  I’ve used that motivation to explore my neighborhood, my city and surrounding areas, and I’m happy to report that I feel better about my fitness goals than I have in months.

When I learned that I had been selected to be a paid to use the product and share my thoughts on it, I was excited, but I had no idea that I would love it as much as I do.  The challenge officially ended today, but you will still see daily updates as I continue to challenge myself to exceed 10,000 steps everyday.  I’d like to exceed my personal record (over 20,000 at some point in the next week as well.)

omron pedometer

Throughout the challenge, I was asked by many people whether or not I thought the pedometer was worth the money, and the answer is absolutely yes.  Uploading the info (which I only had to do once during the challenge) allowed me to track my progress, and it is awesome to see my work in numbers.  Another added benefit is that I lost 7.8 pounds during the challenge!

Over the last month I walked over 293,000 steps.  My personal record exceeded 20,000 steps, and there was only a couple of days in which I didn’t reach my goal.  I’m proud of myself for pursuing this goal and exceeding my expectations almost everyday.  I love that I can keep track of my information on, and I can’t wait to complete another successful month.

The official challenge ends today, but I wish it didn’t.  I’ve met some incredible people through the Mamavation community, and I’m pretty confident that we’ll continue to count our steps together.

Do you count your steps?  If so, what’s your daily goal?  How has it changed the that way you view fitness?



Disclosure: I was compensated for this post about the Omron TriAxis Pedometer through the Bookieboo Influencer Network and Mamavation, a disease prevention campaign for moms. All opinions are my own.