Category Archives: Lifestyle

Blood Work, Parties and Pictures…

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

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

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

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

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

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

YMCA Friends

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

The Cannery New Orleans

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Doctors, Weight Watchers and Friends…

It’s been a long couple of days, but I’m feeling thankful for it right now. My boyfriend and I had dinner with my long time friend, Shannon, her husband and their adorable baby girl. She’s 12 weeks old, and I already love her.

I spent the majority of the day at my new doctor’s office yesterday, and I went back in for blood work this morning. Those who know me know how hesitant I was to seek out a primary physician because it hasn’t always been a good experience for me.

Now that I have health insurance, which is such a relief, there’s no excuse to avoid the doctor when I’m in pain. I went in to get some help with my skin irritation yesterday, and I was met by a friendly, empathetic staff and a compassionate, knowledgable doctor. I cannot express the relief I feel now knowing that I have a doctor to go to when I’m sick.

We talked about my weight. (How could we not?) We just talked about everything else as well. She asked why I waited so long to get help with my skin, and I explained that doctor visits are usually different than my visit to her office. She prescribed meds that I picked up last night, and I’m hopeful that it will help me heal over the next 10 days.

My blood pressure was elevated, which has never been an issue until lately. I’m getting older, but I’m far too young to face high blood pressure. Of course, it’s not a surprise because I’m carrying so much excess weight. I’ve also carried a lot of stress this year since Mom’s health issues.

After talking for quite some time she asked me if I had ever considered bariatric surgery, and I explained that it was never an option for me. Financially, it wasn’t plausible because it’s so pricey without insurance, and for a long time I was opposed anyway. Now that I know that my insurance will cover it I’m going to consider it.

Weight-loss surgery is such a huge, life-changing step, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I could do something like this, but it’s certainly worth exploring. I know several people who had the gastric sleeve surgery and were incredibly successful.

I also went to the eye doctor (because again, it’s been a while since I had health insurance,) and my eye doctor is from New York. He lived only a few blocks from my old place, so we had a lot to chat about while he checked my eyes. I definitely can’t wait to get my new glasses on Friday, but I chose to use  my favorite frames that I had already. I’ll pick a new pair later this week when my eyes aren’t dilated.

I have to see my primary doctor again in two weeks, and I’m looking forward to feeling much better than I felt when I walked in yesterday. I can’t stand taking medicine, but I’m thankful for it right now.

I’ll head to Weight Watcher tomorrow, which should be a decent weigh-in. Right now I’m tired, so I’m going to curl up under the blankets and sleep.

Weekend Update: Family, Cardio and Pie

Saturday was a great day. Mom came to visit, and we always have fun when she’s here. We went to the movies to see Tarzan, went to Target and Whole Foods, then baked a coconut cream pie together. We also watched a Christmas movie on Hallmark because I have cable again. I’m still avoiding the 24 hour cable news cycle, but I always love watching Christmas movies with Mom in July. coconut pie

We used my grandma’s recipe to bake the pie and added a few of our own touches, and it was great. I’ve made prettier meringue, but we were satisfied with it. We’re definitely going to make it again soon.

Before Mom arrived, I spoke to a group about diabetes prevention. We discussed fitness and how it’s different for those of us who have significant amounts of weight to lose, and I learned a lot about how they feel and what they’d like to experience at the gym.

Kenlie and MomSunday morning we headed to Wal-Mart before church. My boyfriend, whose name is Michael, by the way, met us there because we both had errands to run. He got to see Mom before she left town, which was great. I love that they get along so well. We both have close, loving families, which is awesome.

When Mom left Michael and I went to church, which is where we met, by the way. After that we had ridiculously amazing burgers with our pastors, then I headed home for a long, cozy nap. We  spent the evening together as well, and we ate smoked pork, watermelon and pie, of course.

I’ve done a better job keeping track of what I’m eating since I wrote about that last week, but I’m still not exercising as much as I would be if my skin wasn’t causing so much pain. My goal right now is to avoid the hospital. I’m not trying to sound dramatic, it’s rough. I plan to see the doctor this week, and I’ll make an appointment for that tomorrow morning.

Now it’s time to sleep. I have a lot to look forward to this week, and I’m thankful for everything that made this weekend wonderful.

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

Hello, 36…

The last couple of weeks have been incredibly busy, but in a good way. Tonight I actually made it home just as the sun was going down, which allowed me to cook dinner and catch up on The Mindy Project. Does anyone here watch it? It’s definitely my favorite show right now! Suits comes on again next week too, so I’ll have a few things to watch in my free time.

friendsYesterday was my birthday, and it was easily the best one I’ve had so far. I can identify a few reasons for that.

My friends and co-workers made a big deal about it (because they know how much it means to me.) My boss, who has become a close friend, booked a private karaoke room at a sushi bar over the weekend. Um, does she know me or what? I love to sing, and I love sushi. Put me in a room filled with friends, and that makes for a pretty perfect night. I’ve never been in a room full of people who love to sing karaoke as much or more than I do. It was awesome. We need a reason, any reason, to do that again soon. (As you can see I took a few selfies that night, but most of us forgot to take pictures because we were having so much fun.)

Earlier that day my boyfriend and I spent the day with my mom at her house. We ate lunch, played board games and relaxed. I love being close enough to Mom that I can see her often, and I’m really glad she likes my guy. It usually takes her a while to like who I’m dating, but she liked this guy right away. He’s a gentleman. He treats me really well, and she sees it. What’s not to like?

I started my day in church on Sunday, and after that my aforementioned boyfriend and I went to a BBQ with about 50 of our friends. We drove into the country to spend the afternoon and evening at a friend’s farm, and a few of our men put on quite a fireworks display.

I started my day in church on Sunday, and after that my aforementioned boyfriend and I went to a BBQ with about 50 of our friends. We drove into the country to spend the afternoon and evening at a friend’s farm, and a few of our men put on quite a fireworks display.

Monday I slept in, went shopping with my good friend, Michelle, then went to a dinner party with friends. We never got around to playing board games, but we all had great time. I met a guy who went to the same church I went to in Oklahoma at the same time I was there. He was so familiar to me, and it didn’t take long to figure out why. Tell me the world isn’t small…I just won’t believe you. 😉

Cafe Dumonde New OrleansTuesday, which was my actual birthday, was fun because when I got into work I got flowers from a sweet friend and co-worker and friend. My boss, who’s also one of the most awesome people I know, brought me flowers and a bag of beignets from Cafe Dumonde.

I didn’t do much tracking in my Weight Watchers app this week, but that changes today. It’s hard to stay in the tracking mindset when you’re distracted, but life is busy. I need to make it a bigger priority, so I will now.  I managed to lose weight while my sister and nieces were here, and I kept it under control for the most part throughout the last week.

Michael KorsI’ll go to the meeting tomorrow, but I won’t weigh in because my feet are . It’s not painful or anything, but I’m definitely carrying extra water weight. I know it’s just a number, but I don’t want to feel like the progress I’ve made is gone – not even temporarily. because my feet are so incredibly swollen. It’s not painful or anything, but I’m definitely carrying extra water weight. I know it’s just a number, but I don’t want to feel like the progress I’ve made is gone – not even temporarily.  I’m hoping that they get back to normal soon, but the last few days have been rough! I’m drinking water, but not enough. My Hyrdroflask goes everywhere with me, but I need to fill it up a few more times a day.

 

In addition to my swelling feet I’m having some painful skin irritation issues. I mean, my skin hurts. This is one of the unfortunate effects of being plus-size in New Orleans during the overbearing heat of Summer. It’s hard to exercise because right now it hurts to move, but the only way this will ever go away is if I lose weight and have excess skin removed. It’s frustrating, but it’s reality. Now would be the perfect time to find a primary care doctor, but I still haven’t attempted to do that.

I’ve had a stellar week, but I’m looking forward to the quiet time that Friday brings. My favorite thing about Fridays is the time I spend alone reading and praying in the morning. I think it’s important to pray and read everyday, but I like the habit of quiet,  uninterrupted time that I’ve developed over the last several months. I’ll also do some grocery shopping, and maybe I’ll even make time for some arts and crafts.

There’s a lot going on in my life, but it’s mostly good stuff. I’m happy, and I’m moving in a positive direction. I took it easy this week because I’ve been in so much pain, but I’m looking forward to doing some cardio this weekend. I’ll probably give myself one more rest day.

If you’re reading this I hope you’re doing well too. Until next time…

 

 

 

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?