Changing My Mindset

Right now my head hurts, and I feel a little achy. I’m not officially sick, but I feel like whining. I’m tired even though I shouldn’t be. I’m stressed even though I know that stress typically passes. I’m just don’t feel great. I don’t feel like myself. Instead I feel like crawling under the blankets in my bed and watching Christmas movies until it’s an acceptable time to sleep. (Okay, the Christmas part sounds like me, but  the watching TV in bed is definitely not normal in my world.)

I’m not at home because I had class today, which was followed by a tutoring session and church. (Once a month we have a service on Wednesday evenings,) and now I’m planning to meet someone for coffee. It has been a busy afternoon and evening, and I’m looking forward to sleeping.

I’ve been thinking about what I could do to improve my health between now and the end of the year. I feel like the sugar thing is under control now more than it has been in a long time, and someone who knows me made a statement earlier today that resonated with me. We were talking about adding more goals that would help me get a better grip on my health, and I’ve been thinking about his response a lot this evening.

He said, “You were really great at it when it was a priority.”

We all know that it’s true. There was a time in which I felt like I had it figured out, and now it’s embarrassing to admit that I didn’t have whatever was necessary to keep it up. I think about my failures a lot, and for a long time, I’ve used them as an excuse to refrain from trying.

The last six weeks or so have been better. I’m eating less sugary crap, but I’m not exercising much. I did a 10k with a friend one day last week, and I walked a few times in the month before that. It’s just not enough. It’s a decent start, but I want that feeling that I used to have when I knew I’d workout everyday.

I want the endorphin rush, and I want to feel the consistency that I felt exercise even when I wasn’t eating as well as I should. I’m seeing the numbers decrease just a little, and I know that if I add some exercise back into my daily routine, I’ll see those little sacrifices add up to a lot of success.

My mindset needs to change. I’ve been lazy in fitness most of this year, but that’s something that I can change right now. I don’t even have to leave home to sweat it out. I have several awesome workout DVD’s, several flights of stairs and a gym at the top of my building. What else do I need? Motivation? Inspiration? Willingness?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, but I think I need to spend time doing it (and figuring the rest out later if I still think it matters.)

I need to change my mindset. I’m careful not to “fake it ’til I make it” because that attitude has gotten me into trouble in the past, but in this case, I’m pretty sure that it’s okay.

My weight and health hasn’t been a priority in a long time, but I’ve (successfully) trying to shift that lately. I will remind myself that I’m not going to miss anything important by heading out an hour later than normal. Actually, I’ll be using that time to do something important – to better myself. Few things are more important than our health, and it’s time to adjust my priorities.

It’s not Monday or the first day of the month. This day carries no particular significance, but it’s the day that I can decide to do something good for myself. It’s a day that I get to live without pain or illness. It’s a day in which I get to breathe and enjoy my life, and I’m going to respect that gift by doing something good with it.

 

 

 

Dating in The Big Easy is Hard

I’m a plus-size woman who likes to enjoy my life, and I like the idea of meeting someone who wants the same thing. I’m friendly and outgoing. Most of my friends would tell you that I’m confident in almost every circumstance, and in most cases, it’s true.

I am well-groomed, educated, independent and good at a myriad of things. I have talents and hobbies and ambitions (some that that I mention here and many that I don’t.) I have a lot of awesome characteristics, but my weight is the first thing anyone ever sees. Most of time time it defines me before people have a chance to get to know me, and I have mixed feelings about that.

I don’t mind that I’m not desired by everyone. I like attention, sure, but I feel validated and content without the constant need for attention that used to be important to me. I don’t need to be the girl who gets picked up by strangers who want to do her at the bar (or at the auto parts store,) but I’d like to be the woman whose characteristics are attractive and desirable to one man who has his own myriad of attractive characteristics.

It hasn’t been easy to date in New Orleans. (Okay, it doesn’t help that I was hung up on someone for nearly a year,) but recently I decided that I’d let myself try again. I went on a couple of dates while I was out of town,and I clicked with someone here. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and that’s probably all I’ll say about it for quite some time.

Dating in this plus-size body makes it more complicated than it would be if I were thin, but I’m okay with that if it means that I can weed out the majority to get the needle in the haystack.

People often assume that I must feel insecure, especially on dates, but the truth is that I feel pretty good about myself most of the time until society reminds me that I shouldn’t. I don’t remember who said it, but someone made an excellent point recently when they said not to worry about society’s standards because society sucks. I agree, and my hope is that there are guys out there somewhere who agree too.

 

I’m Plus Size, But I’m Not Desperate To Get Laid

Me: Hello?

Him: Hey. What are you up to?

Me: Having coffee with a friend. You?

Him: Oh. You’re not home?

Me: No. Why?

Him: I thought I’d come over.

Me: What? Why?

Him: You know.

Me: I don’t even know you. You think I’d invite you to my place?

Him: Well, I just assumed…

Me: Ohhhhh. You saw me and assumed that I’d be desperate to get laid? It’s making sense now.

Him: Well, when you say it like that…

Me: If you think I’d let you into my home, then there aren’t enough skills in your brain to get into my pants tonight or ever.

Him: Click (Call ended)

It’s not surprising that my suspicions were right about the guy. When he asked why I was surprised, he was asking because he assumed that no one ever asked me out. (Follow me around for a week or two…Actually, don’t. Gross.)

I’m a pretty good judge of character, and I was right about that creep. He thought that I’d be an easy target. The poor guy didn’t realize who he was talking to. I have faults, but I also have an abundance of self-esteem and high standards.

I wasn’t interested in that guy, but there are other possibilities in the works so we’ll see what happens the coming weeks.

As a result of yesterday’s post, I also received a message from a certain guy in DC who never fails to remind me how beautiful he thinks I am. (Hey, guy in DC, thank you…xoxo)

Sometimes guys are jerks. I wish that dating could be easier, but the fact is that I don’t mind waiting for what I want. And it’s definitely not the creep I met at AutoZone.

Weekend Wrap-Up

I love weekends, but this one was one of my favorites lately. Friday evening I had dinner and drinks at a place that has been on my list of places to try with stellar company, then I woke up Saturday morning and learned that I won a pair of Kork-Ease boots via instagram from Feet First, a local shoe boutique.

Kork Ease Boots

I went in that morning and picked out a pair boots with my friend, Michelle, and she bought a great pair of shoes. After that we spent time at the Riverwalk Outlets in my neighborhood. We ate lunch and spent time looking around at various shops, then I met up with another friend who spent the afternoon on my rooftop with me.

It’s been a while since I took advantage of the rooftop, but the weather in New Orleans is beautiful right now. My neighbors and I were joined by my friend, Alonzo, that evening too.

Sunday morning I didn’t attend church. It’s weird to sleep in on a Sunday, but it felt good today. My long time blog friend, Lynn, came into New Orleans, and it was awesome to finally meet her!

Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans

We had lunch at one of my favorite spots in my neighborhood, Domenica. I was sad to learn that they had removed my favorite pizza from the menu until I tried the pumpkin pizza. (I know, it sounds odd, but it was amazing!) The pizza, which was loaded with roasted pumpkin and bacon.

Domenica Happy Hour Pizza

When Lynn and her husband headed to the game, I came home and did a little baking and visiting with my neighbors. We watched the Saints win, which was awesome and long overdue and painted my nails for the second time of the day.

OPI Lacquer

“Miami Beet” and “Ski Teal We Drop” by OPI

Lynn brought me two sets of holiday Jamberry wraps, and I can’t wait to wear the Halloween wraps later this week. Has anyone else that I know use Jamberry?

Now it’s time to start a new week, and I’m ready for it. A friend from New York is coming in for a few days, and I’m going to get to spend some time with her Wednesday morning. I’m kind of hoping that there’s more fun coming up in the next few days too.

Now it’s time to get the week started, which means that I’m back to limiting the amount of sugar that I consume. I’m definitely going to hone my goals this week and add some new things to the mix. More on that later.

Until then…

 

 

 

One Month Later

It’s been a few days since I looked at my blog because I’ve been busy with things that are more important, but now it’s time for an update. My aunt, Debbie, came into town last week because her youngest granddaughter, who’s only four years old, has a tumor on her brain. it didn’t look good when she arrived, but after a six hour surgery we’ve learned that she does not have cancer. We’re so relieved, and it feels good to know that she’ll be able to go home without having radiation or anything else that could harm someone as little as she is. She’s laughing and playing now, and it will be years before she understands the severity of what she was facing going into that hospital. Kids are so resilient, and we’re all so thankful that she’s going to be okay.

It has been one month since I have consumed a sugary drink from Starbucks, and the same goes for doughnuts. If you don’t struggle with food, then you may not be capable of understanding how empowered I feel as a result.  That’s okay. You don’t need to. I feel awesome because I’m no longer a slave to caramel macchiatos and fresh glazed doughnuts even though I’m still a regular at Starbucks.

Starbucks New Orleans LA

Shannon and Ariel love coffee as much as I do, and they have helped me stay accountable.

Last week I decided that since I was feeling so good about not eating those sugary things, that I’d add all other sugary things as well. I decided to try one day without consuming sugary snacks, and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I decided to try it again the following day, and I was successful in that too. Starting now, for the next month, I’m limiting sweets to Saturdays, but I was mindful of what I ate over the weekend as well because I was reminded of how incredible I feel when I’m in control.

I have a long way to go, but I’ve made more progress in the last month than I have in years. A month ago I was completely fed up and disgusted with myself, and today I feel like there’s hope for me. I’m taking it one day at a time, and I’m happier with myself than I’ve been in a long time as a result.

What’s your trigger?  Do you prefer sweet or savory foods? Do you have any tips for staying in control of your cravings?

 

 

 

Sneaky Addictions

If you asked me if I struggle with addiction, my quick answer would be no. I’m not addicted to alcohol, and I’ve never even contemplated using drugs (with exception of that one time that I considered smoking something at a Pearl Jam show at Bonnaroo.)

Drugs and alcohol don’t do it for me. I enjoy a glass of champagne from time to time, and I’m not opposed to drinking a beer or two at a game or out with friends. It’s just not my thing, but ‘my thing’ definitely exists.

I don’t have caffeine daily, but I have it most days. When I spend a few days away from Starbucks, I get a fairly strong urge to go. It’s safe to say that my new found love for Passion Tango Tea (unsweetened) isn’t going to lead to waking up in an alley somewhere, but I do recognize that I could easily become addicted to Starbucks and those cute little gold stars if I’m not already.

Starbucks Passion Tango Tea

A few days ago I spent about an hour without access to my cell phone, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. At one point, I needed to call Dad, and I couldn’t. I also missed calls from Mom, who seemed a little worried that she couldn’t reach me (because I’m usually so accessible.) I couldn’t post a photo of something cool that I saw on Instagram, nor could I waste time wondering why Facebook wasn’t showing me anything new. I couldn’t text my friends to tell them how crazy it feels to be without my cell phone for an hour. The number of times that I reached for my phone, which wasn’t there, was ridiculous.

I’m addicted to food too, which is a tricky thing. We all need it to survive, but I often crave more of it than I should. I’m learning learning to accept that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying food. I like it. I like the things that we associate with it too – being with friends, celebrations, comfort, etc. I just want to continue trying to control my intake because whether we’re talking about Apple products or coffee or most other things that interest me, moderation is the key to living a healthy life.

Sugar seems to be the basis of my food addiction. I’m not a doctor, but I know my body pretty well. I also know that sugar is hidden in a lot of things, and I’m striving to avoid those things. My avoidance comes from a desire to be healthier and fitter than I am now, and right now that seems more important than eating dessert or using pecan creamer in my coffee.

Right now it feels like I’m headed in the right direction, and I find myself thinking about what else I can do to make progress. I like this phase a lot more than the phase that I was in prior to it. I can honestly say that I’m trying, and I hope to see some results that will motivate me to continue down a healthier path to self-control.

Do you have any addictions that may not seem like a big deal? Do you call it something else?

 

 

 

I Can’t Believe That It’s Been Almost Three Years

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost three years to the day since Uncle Wesley died. I was pretty lost during that time.  I lacked faith in myself and in God. I struggled with my beliefs, my utter disdain for people in church and my lack of understanding in why someone like Uncle Wesley had to suffer so viscously.  I also struggled with guilt because I was so relieved that my parents were both healthy.

I was in a bad place, and one Sunday after a week that we were’t sure if he would live through, my uncle preached an entire sermon about faith. I talked about it on my blog right after it happened.  He believed in God, and he had faith that God’s will was best until his last breath.  It’s still hard for me to think of the last night that I saw him without getting teary-eyed.  He told Mom that he loved her, and with one tear streaming down his closed eye, he smiled as he went on to meet Jesus.

He knew how I felt about church and God, but he never failed to remind me of God’s love for me. He accepted me even though I was a complete mess, and it was obvious that he was at peace in spite of his imperfect life. I talked about that on my blog as well.

…feeling the peace that surrounds him already and the faith he has as he spends his last few days on earth has truly been a testament of his authentic belief to me.  People professing to be “christians” usually just piss me off, but Uncle Wesley has shown me what an imperfect human’s life should look like at its best and its worst.

I was filled with a lot of bitterness and anger at that time.  I was completely lacking in direction, and I was hanging on to hope by a thread.  I had no idea that the next few years would lead to extraordinary life change, but it did.

In December of 2012 I met my friend, Jeff, at the mall through my friend, Shannon, and I couldn’t have imagined that he’d become such a close friend!  As we stood by the makeup counter at Macy’s (waiting for our friends) he invited me to church.  Here’s how it went:

Jeff: Hey, you should come to church sometime.

Kenlie: Uh, I’ll be friends with you, but I’m not going to your (expletive) church.

Jeff: Okay.

During that conversation I explained to Jeff why I thought GOD was real, but I also explained why there was no way in hell I was going to church.

As a kid, I was in church (or church activities) several times a week. My dad was the pastor so I was there for EVERYTHING whether I wanted to be or not. I had to put a smile on my face and go regardless of what was happening in my life. I had to sing whether I wanted to or not.  I saw good things happen, and I saw a lot of horrible things happen – things that hurt me, things that made me angry. I did what I was told to do because well-behaved kids do that, but I was never overly concerned about GOD’s presence in my life.

After meeting Jeff I spent the next several months going out of my way to curse and drink in front of him. I waited for him to judge me or tell me off, but he didn’t.  Instead we became friends and eventually, because it’s hard to say no to Candi, who is now his wife, I walked into church.

Now it’s no secret that I have a relationship with God. I love Jesus, and I often talk about how incredible it is that He loves me in spite of myself.  Uncle Wesley’s birthday passed earlier this week, and I smiled as I thought about what he would think of me now. The truth is he’d love me now just as he did then, but I wish he was still here so he could see the changes that have taken place in me.

I wish I could tell him that he was right, that I get it now, that I know God loves me, and that I love Him back.  I wish he could be here Sunday as I lead worship at my church because he loved hearing me sing and because he loved worshipping Jesus. I wish I could have conversations with him about faith. I wish we could sing southern gospel together like we did even when I was far from God. I wish I could talk about the verses in the Bible that have impacted me recently.  I just wish he was here.

Uncle Wesley and Me

There’s a lot of hope, peace and contentement when you believe in God. You get to cling to the fact that you’ll see your loved ones again in Heaven. I’m able to acknowledge that what’s happening in Uncle Wesley’s life today is far better than what would be happening if he were still alive.

I can’t believe it’s been almost three years since he left earth. My life is different now, more settled…I’ve gained some weight, but I’ve also gained peace, friends who know all of my junk and love me anyway, a church family that is filled with other imperfect people who are working on being faith distributors. I’ve begun the process of healing from a time in which my entire world was rocked. I have a steady routine that I didn’t have back then, and I’m more honest with myself and the people around me than I’ve ever been before.

I miss my uncle, and many people that I love still miss him too. I know, in as much as my human brain can comprehend, that Uncle Wesley is in a far better place where he is.  I know that, but I miss him anyway.

 

 

 

 

Giving Thanks and Showing Thanks

I spend a lot of time being thankful for all of the good things in my life, and as the weather gets cooler and the pumpkins start showing up everywhere, I find myself feeling even more thankful for everything in my life.

I’ve been very open about my struggles lately, and one of the best ways that I’ve found to navigate through difficult times is to be thankful for all of the positive things.

I know it’s not the holiday season yet, but I’m starting early with thankfulness this year.  I want to make a positive impact on the people around me too, so I’m getting a head start now.  Here’s a list of things that I plan to do to take the focus off of me and to affect people positively over the next few months:

  • Write a letter to someone on paper or a card, put a stamp on it and mail it.  I love sending and receiving letters and cards in the mail, and one thing that I’m thankful for is that I have friends who enjoy sending cards and thoughtful little gifts.
  • Spend time with someone who may not love this time of year.  I love the holidays, but there are people who don’t feel that way.   Sometimes the holidays remind us of people we’ve lost and/or people who won’t be here to celebrate with us.
  • Spend the afternoon (or at least a couple of hours) in a coffee shop or bookstore simply to enjoy the surroundings.  I do this a lot, but I still wish I did it more often.  I’ve met some awesome people who have amazing stories that I might never have met without taking time to look up from my computer.  (I need to do the latter more, as I am currently sitting in a coffee shop…looking at my computer. Ha.)
  • Take a moment to think about the little things that make life good.  I write a lot, and I think I enjoy it because it helps me focus in on my thoughts, as I have a tendency to think about a million things at once.  This year, instead of filling my glass pumpkin with candy, I am filling it with fall-colored notes about my reasons to be thankful. I did it last year, and now it’s definitely a thing.  One note says, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the worship team at NOLA Church.”  Another says, “I’m thankful for my apartment, its location and the things in it.”  Some of the notes are about really big things while other are small, but when I look at the pumpkin which is stuffed full of blessings, I’m thankful for that too.

Pumpkin

  • Share something you have with a friend.  I like crafty things and baking so making something for someone just because will make everyone feel good.
  • Compliment someone everyday.  I’m pretty good at this already.  I tend to say what I think (when it’s positive) so it’s not weird for me to tell someone what I like about them.  I know that when someone takes time to compliment me, it means a lot.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

I’m not saying that focusing on the positive will eliminate every issue we have, but it will go a long way toward helping us get through it.  Last week in class, my professor said, “Optimism isn’t something that you have; it’s something that you do,” and I’m doing it.

 

Who Has the New iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

I’m a slave to Apple.  I admit it.  When a new iPhone comes out, I want it.  I currently have a gold iPhone 5s, and it works beautifully.  There’s no reason for me to get a new phone. No. reason. Whatsoever. And yet, I find myself looking for reasons to justify it.

I’m pretty sure that I could trade in my phone, which means that it would cost very little, if anything, to upgrade, but do I really need to carry around a mini tablet just because it’s the latest thing?  (Yes. No. Ugh…but I want it! But do I really?)

The marketing team at Apple is brilliant because they know that people like me crave instant gratification.  They know that we’ll cave because we have to have the latest and greatest in technology, but this time, I wonder if it’s really worth the upgrade.

It seems as though all the newest iPhone has to offer is upgrades that are already available on Android devices.  I had a  Samsung Galaxy 4 at one point, and it was so big that it was overwhelming to use.  I couldn’t text with one hand because my thumb couldn’t reach the other side of the screen.  That was the thing I disliked most about my Galaxy, except that it wasn’t an iPhone.

I own a Macbook, an iPad, Apple TV and an iPhone.  If there’s an Apple version, I usually prefer it.  I like that everything works together seamlessly, and the folks at Apple count on it.

I’m not planning to upgrade right now, and that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop wishing for the new iPhone 6.  The 6 Plus is too much.  It’s ridiculous, but the 6?  Yeah…I want that.

Are there any other Apple junkies here?  Have you already upgraded to the new iPhone?  If so, which one?  If not, do you plan to?