Category Archives: exericse

Now That I Have Health Insurance Again…

This has been a productive year, and now that I have health insurance again I’m facing the daunting task of finding a primary care physician. Can we talk about how hard it is to find a doctor who will look at your whole person when you’re obese? (Yeah, I know I’m obese. I know I need to change that. I know that’s all you see, but can we discuss other things as well?)

I’m not saying that every doctor will see my size and nothing else, but the reality is that I’m facing an uphill battle. I haven’t had a lot of experience with doctors or hospitals, which is awesome.  I do know that I do need to get a physical and address a couple of  issues that have bothered me for a while. (I’ve mentioned them here in previous posts.)

Last time my blood pressure was checked it was 138/82, which is the highest it’s ever been…ever. I know that’s not terrible, but it was a reality check for me. I think it will be lower in the coming months because I’m exercising more than I have in a long time. My blood sugar was perfect too, which was good. I  just realize that I’m getting older and that I need to get serious about making some minor changes (at the very least.)

My biggest issue lately has nothing to do with finding a PCP though. I constantly squint because it’s harder to see the screens I stare at for the majority of the day. Even reading books on my iPad is taxing on my eyes, so it’s time for another visit to the eye doctor. Thankfully, that’s no big deal.

Do you have health insurance? If so, are you satisfied with your doctors and coverage?




Silver Linings and Sweaty Accomplishments

The last several days have been great in some ways and not so great in other ways, but today I’d like to talk about a silver lining.  Last week during one of my interviews, I spent some time working out at the fancy gym that I’ve referred to in past posts.  The gym, which is actually called Peak Performance, is the nicest gym in the area, and several months ago I had to make a decision about whether I’d join that gym or not.

Ultimately, I knew that I couldn’t because it didn’t make financial sense I’m gone too much, but since then I’ve paid for a day pass on several occasions because I’m obsessed with the ladder.  If you read my blog or follow me on twitter then you’re probably already keenly aware of my love for this machine.

The ladder (aka Kenlie's favorite workout ever!)

Anyway, when we were trying to settle on a location for one of my interviews, I told the (charming and utterly handsome) reporter that I’d love to do the interview at my favorite gym!  And the folks at Peak were happy to oblige.  They were so gracious. I walked in expecting to do an interview, maybe use the ladder then move on with life, but what happened instead was pretty fantastic.

I walked into that gym and made friends with people who understood my struggles and my goals before I even explained them.  They welcomed me and accepted me just as I am, and they pushed me to test my own limits.  (This happened over the course of about 24 hours.  How cool is that?!)

Rocking the Arc Trainer...

When you’re my size (or any size really) walking into a gym can be intimidating to say the least.  I do it, and if you know me, you know that it hasn’t always been lovely.  I go to different gyms more often than the average person because it seems that I travel more than the average person.  But to walk in and feel welcome and accepted?  That doesn’t happen very often.  In fact, I’ve only had that experience in one other place, Richard Simmons’ studio in Beverly Hills.

Richard makes everyone feel welcome too!

Sunday afternoon I walked into Peak to talk with the owners about a few cool things that are happening, and approximately 3.5 hours later I left…sweating to the core.  My long time friend, M, was there with two of my new, super cool friends L and D.  They invited me to do a little circuit training with them, and they forced me to believe in myself even when I was unsure.  (These girls are tough, man…)

Old friends and new friends...all awesome...

After a few circuits featuring the ladder, the rope, the bosu ball, the arc trainer, the vertical wall and crab walks Meg suggested that I try a plank.  My immediate response was “Oh, I can’t plank yet.  I’ve tried it a million times.”  She said ” Yes you can…Try it a million and one times.  Just try.”  I tried and O-M-G I did it.  I didn’t just do a plank, I did lots of planks!  Suddenly I realized that I could do it so I tried doing it over and over, holding the pose longer each time until I was up to 12.8 seconds.

Making assumptions about me based on how I look would be a big mistake...just saying.

While a plank may not seem like a big deal to some, it was a dream come true for me.  And now I can check one more thing off of the list of “Things Kenlie Wants To Accomplish” even though I plan to get much stronger and fitter.

When I started my journey I exercised because I had to; now I do it because I love it.  I love how working out makes me feel.  My body craves it, and my heart loves it.

The good news is that I’m heading back to the gym today because one of the owners has offered to show me a thing or two, and based on what I’ve heard about her workouts I’m a little scared (in a good way.)

When I’m at Peak, I leave everything else outside and crave long, heart-pounding, sweat-inducing workouts, and that’s exactly what I need today.





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, 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: 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!


0 + 0 + 1 =6, Or I Think I’ve Been Doing This Wrong

If you read back through the archives of this blog, you would see an incredible difference between Kenlie who attends weekly WW meetings (regardless of rain, snow, etc) and Kenlie who’s trying to do it on her own.  You’d also see a stark difference in the amount of weight I lose when attending meetings versus not attending meetings.  And you stick around, you’re going to see that extraordinary shift again in the coming months.

After attending a new meeting Thursday night, I’ve found myself excited to cook food again and to get the most bang for my buck (in p+ values) though this time there’s an added layer.  I’m challenging myself to eat vegetables as the majority of my points.   You might be thinking “What is she babbling about? Veggies are free!”  But hear me out…

When you combine zero p+ foods in the recipe builder they’re no longer zero points because the value actually changes when the points for each item are calculated together.   In short, I’ve been tracking incorrectly.  I already knew that PointsPlus values could change when I combine two servings of something, but I’ve never tracked fruits and vegetables that way until now.  And it seems that most people don’t do it that way, but if I’m eating fresh fruit salads or meals that are vegetable dense, I need to track properly to reach my goal.

For lunch today, I ate a giant salad then logged it in the recipe builder before I tracked it.  Check out the details:

1 c baby spinach (o)

1/4 carrot (o)

1/4 large zucchini (o)

1 small apple (o)

1/4 c red onion (o)

1/4 cucumber (o)

1/2 c tomato (o)

1/2 c broccoli (o)

When these zero p+ foods were added up together, they totaled 4 p+ as opposed to zero because when foods are prepared and consumed together, they’re calculated in totals rather than separately.   It makes sense, but am I the only one who didn’t realize this until recently?

0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 + 1 + 3 =11

And here are some details on the smoothie that I made today.  I don’t regret utilizing my PointsPlus to eat it, but it does make me keenly aware of the fact that fruits are not always free.  Check out these details:

1 c strawberries (o)

1 large banana (0)

1/2 c skim milk (1)

0 + 0 + 1 =6

When consumed separately, these fruits and this milk are only worth 1 p+, but eat them together and they become 6 p+!  That’s a big difference!  And while it makes a lot more sense this way, it’s important to know that this is how it works because if I had eaten the smoothie (which was fantastic by the way) without calculating the points properly, I would have exceeded my points for the day.

And earlier this evening, I wanted a snack and needed some protein so I considered having peanut butter and banana on toast, but after adding the ingredients into the recipe builder I decided to make some adjustments because the points were so different than I thought they’d be. (I’m glad I checked!)

5 + 0 =9

Last year, when Weight Watchers unrelieved the PointsPlus plan, I was frustrated because I had learned so much about what a proper portion looked like through Momentum.  And I didn’t understand how fruits could be counted as zero p+, but now I think I understand!  And knowing that while fruits when eaten alone can occasionally be zero p+, I’m much more comfortable with PointsPlus based on my new understanding.  I had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that fruits and veggies were zero so I’m okay with this new knowledge.  And in addition to working out hard, this new information helps me feel like I’m back on the right track.


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.

Calling It…

Some of you may know that I started a weight-loss chart pretty early in my weight-loss journey, but I never completed it.  I left the chart behind when I left New York.

And after seeing David’s chart (see it here, and check out his blog if you feel like seeing an incredible transformation) I decided to make another chart, but I ran into a problem after late last year.  At my last weigh-in in New York, I had lost 109.6 pounds.  And since then, I’ve weighed in a couple of times in various scales – losing 13 pounds one week, 3.6 one week, etc..but I can’t be sure what I’ve truly lost without being back in NY to check.

That being said, I’m going to make the chart documenting only what I know I’ve lost for sure.  I don’t want to reach the 200 pounds lost mark later this year only to realize that I’ve only lost 185 pounds.  Does that make sense?

I’m quite sure (based on my clothing that I’ve lost closer to 130 pounds) though I don’t think that’s as important as seeing the numbers go down once again.  There’s a gap between the months I left NY and the beginning of 2011, but it’s the best I can do for now.

In other news, today will definitely be a rest day.  After working out and adding triathlon training, my body needs a little break.  I’ve only had one “rest day” in the last 17 days.  And I know that I need to be more responsible with my body because my feet officially hurt.  I jammed my left one yesterday and twisted the right one a little, and I know it’s because I was too tired.  So here’s to a day of rest (from workouts.)  It’s ironic that I used to look for reasons to skip workout days, and now I can’t get enough. 

Do you struggle with taking a day off from workouts when you’re in a groove?  Do you chart your weight-loss?  What do you to motivate yourself and celebrate your accomplishments?

Putting It Out There in Black and White

I’ve been spending time catching up and commenting on some of my favorite blogs, and wow..there are so many incredible blogs out there! Thanks to each of you who shared a link with me last week! I’ll get to every blog, but it’s going to take some time because there’s so much to see and read and learn.

As I was reading tonight, I came across Christina’s post on Never The Skinny Girl, and I decided I HAD to post this questionnaire on my blog as well. My reason for posting it is that it’s not always easy to share things like this in black and white, but it’s such an important part of this journey!

I hope you’ll take the time to answer these questions too in a comment or in your own blog post. If you do, let me know so I can read your answers even though our answers are really most important to us individually.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?

My highest recorded weight was 393.6. I am currently about 112 pounds down putting me at around 281. I still have a long journey ahead, but I’m a lot closer than I was when I started…:)

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?

I want to be considered normal…I want to be pretty in the eyes of our shallow society. I want to walk down the street or the isle at the supermarket without being judged by strangers…

3. Have you always been overweight?

My mom and I were looking at old photos just a few nights ago, and while I always felt fat I really wasn’t. I was a chubby kid, but as we looked at pictures we were astonished by how small I was…it’s not as far off as it seems now!

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?

I think about how much easier it is to walk when my feet are not aching, how much more fun it is to shop for clothes now and how it all just keeps getting better. I already feel incredible..I seriously cannot imagine how amazing I’ll feel 100 pounds from now, but you can be sure I’m going to find out!

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?

I’m looking forward to the day that I can wear my teal Pearl Jam shirt with the avocado on the front from their performance at Irving Plaza in 2005. 🙂

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?

Yes…from my family, my friends, my bloggin’ buddies, tweeps, etc. I’m thankful for the support..always. Just saying.

7. What is your favorite exercise?

When I’m doing cardio, I love the elliptical machine. I love the way I own it now because it felt impossible at the beginning. And in weight training, I love side lunges with a shoulder raise. I feel like a rock star every time I do those!

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?

I’m learning (still in progress) that who I am today is okay. I am a person who is actively changing for the better…to become who I want to be rather than living in the rut of who I was. And for that reason alone, I should be damn proud of myself. Like I said, still working on it…but it seems crystal clear these days.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most?

I’m so happy to say that I haven’t given anything up. Nothing is off-limits. And I truly believe that this is the only way to maintain life-long success. I don’t eat everything I crave every time I crave it, but there’s no reason I can’t enjoy a cupcake or ice cream from time to time. And I do..

10. What is your strategy for losing weight?

I eat proper portions and exercise…Funny how that works, huh? 😉

I was really struggling before this post. I’ve eaten enough today, but I feel like snacking. My stomach is growling a little, but I should be sleeping! And for the last few hours I’ve been dealing with an inner struggle, but I’ve reminded myself that I would rather continue losing weight than eat a slice of pecan pie that I could eat tomorrow with a little planning.

After posting such candid answers to the questions above, I’m reminded that I’ll feel so awesome when I wake up tomorrow knowing I made good choices all day today. So on that note, I’m going to sleep! And perhaps it’s strange to feel a little excited that I can eat again when I wake up, but that’s what I’m thinking right now. Just keeping it real…;)

Goodnight lovies!

Right Now…

It has been almost a week since I stepped on the scale, and if I get what I deserve the scale will not be kind this week. I was up 0.2 pounds last week which doesn’t really seem like much to worry about, but I am upset with myself for not making the last several days better.

I know exactly what it takes to lose weight. I know how much I should eat and how much I should exercise, but I’m sorry to say that I haven’t done what I needed to do this week. That changes now.

For months, my blog has been a place in which I could share my ups and downs to regain focus and control. And it’s time for me to regain that control again. It’s time for me to workout even though I don’t feel like moving. It’s time to take my own advice.

We can assume, based on my performance in the last several days, that the scale will not show a loss on Thursday. And it would be easy to let that discourage me, but I refuse to let it. I refuse to fight myself like this. I’ve decided, on this Tuesday afternoon, to reclaim the success I’ve had so far. I’ve decided to change my lousy habits right now.

All summer I struggled to keep my head above water physically and emotionally, but I did. I haven’t lost a substantial amount of weight since reaching the 100 pounds milestone, but I’m ready to change that. And I know what I need to do to change that. Knowing that I’ve lost 110 pounds in an incredible feeling, but there’s more work to be done!

So tonight, before I rest my head, I will workout hard. I will sweat until I like it. And I’m confident that I’ll be reminded how much my body craves movement. I’ve said so many times that the days we don’t feel like exercising are the most important days to do it. I’ve let my workouts slip in the last two weeks. Sure, I’ve done a little walking, but my body requires more than that. I require more of myself than that.

This journey is far from over, and I’m in it for the long haul which means I can forget about yesterday and concentrate on today. I didn’t do as well as I could have done this summer, but that doesn’t have to be the end of my story. I have the mental and physical ability to move forward again starting now. And that’s what I’m going to do.

There’s no waiting until tomorrow morning to start fresh. And waiting until Monday just doesn’t work either. I’m going to reclaim the feeling of freedom and accomplishment right now. On that note, I’m off to workout…

Feeling Strong and Enjoying Family

It’s been a great day today just as I had hoped it would be. My Texas relatives came in this afternoon, and I was able to workout at the YMCA again. When I started my weight-loss journey I couldn’t last much more than 30 seconds on the elliptical machine. Today my goal was to do 30 minutes, and I exceeded that with a lot of sweat and just a little effort.

I love how my body feels these days. My workouts feel much more intense than they did a year ago, but my energy level has increased astoundingly. After not working out last week I thought I might be tired when I got back into my routine earlier this week, but getting back into my routine has has the opposite effect. My heart loves working out, and my mind loves the clarity it finds at the gym. It is so clear that my body craves exercise!

The water challenge has been over for almost a week, but I’m still drinking at least 8 glasses per day. Today I’ve consumed almost 18 glasses, and it’s safe to say that I’ll have had at least 19 before bed.

Dad and I enjoyed dinner at Texas Roadhouse with a couple of our favorite family members, Tom and Linda. Have I mentioned how happy we are that they’re here? 🙂 Tomorrow we’re going to dig a pit so Tom can grill dinner for us. He doesn’t mess around when it comes to grilling! I haven’t taken any pictures with Tom yet (though I will tomorrow.) But trust me, you’d rather look at Linda. 🙂 Tom and Dad are sitting near me right now, and they agree. Ha…

I think it’s going to be a lovely weekend, and I’m looking forward to making memories that I’ll keep for years to come. I’ll be back to share those memories soon…Until then, drink water and enjoy your weekend!