Category Archives: Lifestyle

How Often Do You Go to the Movies?

I don’t see many movies in the theater, and I don’t watch many at home either. Sure, I went through a pretty long love affair with the Hallmark Channel, but that seems over for now (at least until Christmas in July.)

Going to the movies is fun, and it’s a great way to avoid the scorching temps that we experience for months on end in New Orleans. I just rarely think to myself, “a movie sounds like a fun idea,) but last week I decided to see a movie on Friday because my friends at Starbucks made it sound so appealing.

They’re retired, and they’re early birds! (I aspire to be like them,)  and as we drank coffee my friend, Cathy, mentioned movies and everyone agreed that morning movies are great because they’re so inexpensive. As I questioned why anyone would go to an early morning movie I began to wonder why I don’t do it. I typically don’t go into the office on Fridays, so it’s a great day to treat myself to a $5 flick. Who knew that morning movies were so much cheaper?! (Okay, my friends at Starbucks knew, and I’m glad!)

I don’t know how many movies I’ll see over the next few weeks, but I plan to add that to my fun list of activities by myself or with friends.

How often do you go to the movies? What does a standard movie showing cost in your neck of the woods?

My Family Is Arriving Today!

There are few things I enjoy more than spending time with my family, and I’m so excited to see my sister and nieces later today! They’re flying in, so I’m taking some time off from work to spend with them.

We have a full list of activities planned, and there are some new places on the list that I can’t wait to show them!

My goal is to continue tracking my food intake while they’re here and to exercise at least 3 times during the week they’re here. We tend to do a lot of walking because we always visit the aquarium, the zoo, City Park and more.

I’m so grateful that Mom and I will get to spend the week doing fun things with them, and I can’t wait for their plane to land!

Does your family live near or far? How often do you get to spend time with them?

 

 

My JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Makes It Easy

I’ve been doing a variety of workouts over the last few months, and I’m finally feeling some positive momentum. I’ve talked about exercise lately, but I I haven’t mentioned how much I love my new JumpSport Fitness Trampoline.

I’ve had it since late April, but I didn’t really start using it until about a month ago. I didn’t make a lot of time for exercise of any kind when Mom was in the hospital, but I’ve had some fun jumping on it since then.

I’ve wanted a JumpSport trampoline for about 5 years since I first discovered them at Fitbloggin, but I have always been so nervous on them that it never seemed like a good idea. Last year, in Denver, I jumped my heart out for a few minutes and realized that my heart rate was elevated – just from bouncing on the trampoline! I figured I could benefit from owning a trampoline because I didn’t have to leave home to get my heart rate going, so when JumpSport offered to send me a fitness trampoline, I was pretty excited to try it.

JumpSport Fitness Trampoline

I don’t have a lot of space in my apartment. I only have one bedroom, so when I’m not using it I leave it behind the door. It’s completely out of the way, and it takes about 5 seconds to move it into place.

My fear of breaking it (even though it’s built to support my weight) made it difficult to enjoy first, but I’ve been using it enough now to trust that it’s not going anywhere. I typically jump pretty close to the wall just in case I lost my balance, which hasn’t actually happened. It comes with a handle bar as well, but I don’t have enough room to use it because I couldn’t stand it up if it were attached. Seriously, when I have a bigger home I’ll definitely attach the bar.

JumpSport Fitness

I knew when I received it that it would help me burn calories, but I didn’t realize that I’d feel lighter as soon as I started jumping. It’s hard to explain, but after about one minute I feel as though I’m floating. The trepidation I feel initially is replaced by a liberating feeling. It almost feels like I’m flying, and that makes me feel as light as a feather. It came with an exercise DVD as well, but I haven’t used it yet. So far, I’ve only been brave enough to jump and do a few planks. Those are killer!

I’m looking forward to watching my nieces jump on it when they visit next week, and I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about it a few months and several pounds down from now.

Overall, I love it because it takes very little effort to get my heart rate going, and I can do it for a few minutes at a time several times a day. I think I’ll love it even more as I continue to reduce my weight because I don’t like being at the top of the weight limit. While I haven’t experienced any problems with it, I think I’ll feel more secure 25 pounds from now. The only down side is that I wish I had a bigger living space. My apartment is cozy and comfortable, but when I have an extra room the trampoline will be more prominently displayed for even easier access.

Have you ever tried a fitness trampoline? Do you own a JumpSport trampoline? Would you like a chance to win one here on my little blog?

 

 

 

Stress and Gratitude

Have you ever had one of those weeks in which you’re counting down the minutes to Friday and looking forward to the fun things you’re going to do over the weekend? Well, that was me…last week…until my plans for a relaxing, long weekend with people who matter to me were cancelled. Thankfully, I was able to recharge on Monday. (Can we just talk about how much I love long weekends?)

Windblown after a day at the beach

The last few several weeks have been stressful. I’ve had some amazing moments, but it also feels like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Mom is doing so much better than she was physically, but it’s still hard not to worry about her. She’s recovering though, which is the most important thing to me right now. I’m so thankful for that.

Last week I just didn’t feel rested. This week was better, but I’m still fighting to get back to my regular energy level. I typically sleep like a champ, but I’ve been restless a lot over the last few nights. Last week I was completely worn out. This week has been better, but I still don’t feel 100%.

I know that my weight is affecting the way my body feels. That’s obvious, but I want to change that. I need to change that. 

The air conditioning has been out at work since April, and I’m taking on some challenges that simultaneously excite me and scare me.  I have had a few moments in which I felt like crying and/or curling up in a ball, but as stressed as I’ve felt at some points, I’ve also experienced some awesome moments.

East Jefferson YMCAIf you keep up with me on social media you may know that I work at the YMCA. I do membership stuff and marketing things, which gives me an opportunity to reach the community in ways that are new and exciting for me. And right now we’re halfway through an 8-week painting class that I coordinated for children with special needs, and it brings me so much joy to see those kiddos enjoying themselves each week. Some of them are so talented that it would be hard to convey without just showing you. Maybe I’ll share some photos from our upcoming art gallery.

I’m also working on another project (the one that is challenging and slightly terrifying.) It’s not something I’m ready to discuss here yet, but the point is that work is good. I’m happier than I knew I could be in an office environment, and I’ll be much happier when I go in on Monday and the a/c works again. (I mean, it’s Summer in New Orleans.) My boss and I joked that we’re bringing our jackets because we’re going to freeze ourselves out.

It’s also an exciting month because my sister and nieces will be here in a few weeks. Auntie has  a long list of activities planned, so I definitely have to get energized before they arrive.

I’ve been pretty lazy with my exercise routine lately, so I’m starting TRX workouts next week with a few friends from work. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a trainer before I leave work.

I’m also sleeping more than I ever have. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I require 7 to 8 hours of sleep now. I’m okay with that, but I know it will be a lot more beneficial if I release the stress that’s been lingering and spend more time exercising.

Hydro FlaskDrinking water also helped a lot lately. I still felt run down, but I felt much more alive than I did the week prior. I’ve committed to drinking more water, and I’m guessing that will help as well. I still don’t drink sodas, and I only drink coffee a few times a week. I just stopped consuming a gallon of water a day until I purchased my new Hydro Flask. It’s 32 oz, so I only need to fill it up 4 times to reach my daily goal. And I love the fact that it keeps the water cold all day! My sister gave me an 18 oz Hydro Flask a few years ago, and after losing it, I considered buying this one. I seriously wanted for about a year, and now I take it everywhere with me. I even brought it into Whole Foods today where I had lunch with my friend, Michelle. Wow, I suppose it would be an understatement to say that I’m stoked about my water bottle. Sometimes it’s the little things. Ha.

Now I’m back to recognizing my lack of self-discipline and trying to remind myself how much better I’ll feel a month from now…three months from now…if exercise is a part of my daily routine.

Today I’m going to stick to the basics and use one of my favorite workout DVD’s for motivation. 30-Day Shred used to bey go-to, and now that a certain someone has connected my DVD player, it’s on. It’s the quickest workout I do, but it also works every part of my body. I can handle  27 minutes of circuits even though I don’t feel like it.

Am I the only one who’s tired of being tired right now? I don’t know if anyone actually reads the things I write anymore, but I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who needs to work on consistency in my intake and exercise.

Maybe I’ll have some positive things to report soon…

 

 

 

 

Who’s Coming to ShiftCon?

ShiftCon is coming to New Orleans in December, and I’m excited to be a part of it this year. It’s happening right in my neighborhood too, which is an added bonus!

The last several years of my life have been filled with successes, changes and struggles to lose weight and regain control of my life. For a long time the driving force was losing weight to look and feel a certain way, and that’s fine. Heck, it’s important, but over the last several months I’ve shifted the focus to the little choices I make everyday.

There are so many areas for improvement, and as i follow the eco-wellness movement online I realize that there are lots of little things I can do to create a positive impact. I’ve also discovered brands that are making real, healthy and delicious foods, and I strive to support companies like that.

I don’t fit into the traditional role of the completely organic, non-gmo lifestyle that so many at this conference do so flawlessly, but it seems like a good idea to learn and experience as much as I can – especially since it’ll be in walking distance of my home this year.

I have a lot of respect for the founder of this conference, Leah Segedie, because she chose to encourage and uplift me at a time when I desperately needed it, and I admire her passion and tenacity.

Check out this video about the conference:

Is anyone here familiar with ShiftCon? Have you been to the conference? Do you plan to go this year? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Shiftcon

There’s still a few more days to get the Early Bird discount, so check it out. And if you’re planning to be here, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Mother’s Day Weekend

I had one of those weekends that was awesome and exhausting, and as I write this post I’m so thankful. I spent Mother’s Day with Mom today, and she’s continuing to recover from the strokes she had a few weeks ago. I’ve never been more thankful to spend time with her than I was today.

Mom and Me

When I arrived at her house we both took naps, then we ate watermelon, spent time with the neighbor and played Bananagrams. We didn’t do anything particularly exciting, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s here and healing. I’m just so relieved that God is in control – even through the scariest of circumstances, and I’m also thankful that I recognized that in the midst of everything.

I have a lot to discuss here – protein shakes, TRX and swimming, but right now I’m beat. I’m looking forward to relaxing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I just need to power through a few days first.

I’m going to start the week off right be getting some sleep. My goal is to sleep for 7 to 8 hours. Am I the only one who needs that much to feel refreshed the next morning?

 

 

My Mom Had A Stroke (Actually, She Had Two)

The last seven days have been the most terrifying of my life. Mom flew in one day after I did, and when she arrived I told her that we needed to go to the Emergency Room. The right side of her face was droopy, and she was having a hard time saying her words. She refused to go.

She lost her job (and healthcare benefits last year) and has looked all over to find work. She’s approaching her mid-sixties, and even with her incredible work background and education she hasn’t found work. She was willing to do things way beneath her level of expertise, but she lives in a very small, oppressive area where life has been hard over the last year.

My mom carries the stress of her family on her shoulders. She’s the strongest person I know, but she’s tired. My aunt Debbie has been incredibly sick for over a year, and before that her granddaughter was fighting cancer. Mom cares about them and worries about them. She’s been under a lot of pressure, though who knows if that’s why she had the stroke?

A couple days after refusing to go to the ER, my aunt called me and urged me to convince her. I left work knowing that Mom would protest, but this time she didn’t. She knew things were getting worse, so I met her at the ER.

The next several days were rough. My sister caught the next flight out when I texted her that Mom’s CT scan showed that he did, in fact, have a stroke. (Mom assumed it was Bell’s Palsy.) She spent that night at her local hospital, and they released her. Before she arrived at home, which is only a few minutes away, my sister brought her back to the ER because she couldn’t lift her arm and leg. She had experienced another stroke.

At that point they sent her to a hospital near my home in New Orleans. She went through several tests, and they confirmed that she had a blog clot in her brain. It’s really small, so the doctor prescribed meds that should dissolve it over the next few weeks.

My sister and I brought her home last night, and she seems much better than she did when she entered the hospital. She had two strokes in one week though, which makes the risk much higher that she’ll have another one over the next few weeks. They gave her a pretty strong dose of medicine, which should (hopefully) counteract that.

I know that God is in complete control of this situation (and that He’s here in spite of my fears.) I just want Mom to be okay, and I am praying and believing that she will be.

My sister goes home tomorrow, which means that I’ll spend as much time with Mom as possible. I’ve missed several days of work, which I wouldn’t change for a minute. I just want to be sure that she’s okay too.

I’ve never been so scared in my life. I wish I could say that I wasn’t worried at all, but I’m human…and I’m trying to have faith. I’ve felt a lot of peace, which seems like enough.

We’ve been surrounded, supported and uplifted by people who love us and were willing to put that love into action this week, and I’m so utterly thankful for that. If you’re a person who prayers please pray for my family, especially for Mom.

 

My Life and Work in SHAPE Magazine

When I got to work today I learned that SHAPE Magazine posted an article about where I work, why I love it and how I see myself these days, and I’m sharing it here because it feels like a good update on my life.

kenlie-tiggman

Check it out, and share your gym stories and/or what you’re doing to promote a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/success-stories/im-300-pounds-and-i-found-my-dream-job%E2%80%94-fitness

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Spring is Here

It was nice to reconnect with a few old friends last week, and it was also fun to connect with a couple of new people. That’s what I love about Friend Makin’ Mondays, and I hope you guys will hang with me as we continue to grow together again.

wpid-friend-makin-monday-for-post3-300x179

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!

Spring is Here

  1. What city do you currently live in? New Orleans, LA
  2. What’s the weather like where you are? It’s perfect right now. Of course it could always rain tomorrow. 😉 Seriously though, it’s been gorgeous (70’s and breezy.) I wish it was this beautiful all year!
  3. When you eat at a restaurant do you prefer to eat inside or outside? At this time of year I don’t mind eating outside, but when it gets hotter I usually prefer the a/c.
  4. What is your favorite season? It was always Winter until I moved to New Orleans. Now I think early Spring is my favorite here (even though I still love Winter most.)
  5. When you go on vacation do you prefer the beach or the mountains? It depends. I always love a beach vacation, but I love spending time with my family at their home in the Rockies.
  6. What do you like most about Spring? The beautiful temperatures, blue skies and baseball season. I loved baseball more before I lived in New Orleans too, but I still catch a game here and there.
  7. Share one of the greatest moments of Spring from your childhood. When I was 5 years old (maybe younger) I found the golden egg at an Easter egg hunt, and I still have the trophy I won. Ha
  8. Do you prefer to wear shorts, capris or dresses at this time of year? Or do you prefer something else? This lady does not wear shorts. I wouldn’t be opposed to some brightly colored bermudas if I could find them, but I’m most comfortable in dresses. They make me look put together, and they’re usually comfortable too.
  9. What do you miss about Winter? Snow…We don’t really have Winter here in New Orleans, but I travel enough that I get to enjoy snow from time to time.
  10. What do you look forward to about Summer? Swimming!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and share you link in the comments! Also remember to take a few minutes to comment on posts that others share.

Happy Monday, Friends!

 

 

An Open Letter to Chris McClarney: Thank You

I wrote this intending to send it as an email, but when I didn’t find one I decided to post it here. I’m thankful for the music and lyrics and how it will forever remain in my mind now. I don’t know if Chris will ever see it or not, but I had to let it all out.

Dear Chris,

Last Saturday was an emotional day for my family and me, and your song, “God of Miracles” played a powerful role in it. A dear family friend, Charlene, went on to meet Jesus a week ago, but my mom and I spent her last moments in this life with her first.

She had been sick for several months, but I didn’t realize how ill she was until she chose to move into a Hospice facility in New Orleans last Friday.
Charlene was an amazing woman of God, and several years ago while I was steeped in sin, shame and bitterness, she told me that God had a plan for my life. I scoffed at her with condescension as she said, “He’s never going to stop pursuing you, and I’m never going to stop praying for you.”

A few years after that conversation, I realized for the first time (even though I grew up as a pastor’s kid) that I’d never be able to earn salvation; it was God’s free gift for me, and I didn’t have to work for it. I simply had to accept it. That realization changed my life, and as a result of my relationship with Jesus I’ve surrendered the anger, self-loathing and bitterness that I carried for far too long.

Now, as a worship leader at NOLA Church, a place I swore I’d never go to when I was initially invited, I listen to a lot of amazing music, and our bass player added “God of Miracles” to my playlist a few months ago. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times since I first heard it, but it helped shape my view of death and eternity over the weekend.

When we arrived at Charlene’s bedside my mom sang one of her favorite songs, “He Touched Me.” (We always sang when we were together.) I thought she’d ask me to follow up with a different Southern Gospel tune, but instead she said, “sing the song you were playing on repeat in the car.”

Charlene was on morphine to ease her pain, so I assumed she wouldn’t know what we were singing anyway. In spite of that I sang the song a cappella, struggling to get through it without breaking down. At the same time Charlene began to lift her hands, and though she had not been responsive before that, her sister asked her to give us a thumbs up if she knew we were there and wanted me to continue the song. She gave a feeble, yet distinctive thumbs up, and at that moment I realized that the Holy Spirit was empowering me to walk with her through the painful moments shortly before all of her pain would cease. By the second verse, the four of us in the room, knew that God’s presence was there and filling in what would be the last few minutes of her life.

“Let faith arise, and see the kingdom come, I lift my eyes, for the battle has been won. My God is faithful, and every single word He says is true.”

As I sang those lyrics I thanked God for His mercy and comfort and for the example of unwavering faith that I saw first hand as my precious friend went on to see Jesus.

Today I sang at her memorial. I woke up heavy hearted, knowing that we’d all be saying goodbye to her a few hours later, but what happened instead was a celebration of her life and her choice to live her life fully surrendered to Jesus.

family

“God of Miracles” is the last song that she heard before moving on into God’s glory, and I’m forever thankful that I was able to worship through her last moments with her, filled with the promises and truths that exist in those lyrics.
Thank you, Chris…

Sincerely,

Kenlie