Three More Days

Disclaimer: I toot my own horn regularly, but I’ve taken it to a whole new level in this post.  It’s emotional and raw, but it’s real…and it’s for me, and it has to be said.

Saturday will mark two years since the day I started living a new life – a healthier life that I decided to document from day to day on this blog.  In some ways, it feels like only yesterday that I walked into the basement of a school in New York to attend my first Weight Watchers meeting.

I was filled with so much hope that day, but I really couldn’t see beyond the next few weeks. I didn’t know what to expect.  I wanted to learn how to lose weight, but I was too terrified to think of what was in store for the coming months and years.  

I had no idea that I’d be a regular at the gym – you know, the kind of member who shows up and sweats as opposed to just paying a fee every month.  I didn’t know that I’d be able to do a 5k whenever I felt like it or that 101 crunches everyday for 100 days would seem like a piece of cake. ;)   I didn’t know that I’d love doing anterior raises with a side lunge or that I would do 50 minutes of aerobics without hesitation.

I knew I’d give up sodas for a while, but I thought I’d introduce them back into my diet by the summer.  I had no idea that I’d get to a point in which I was disgusted by Dr. Pepper – a drink that practically controlled me for years.

I thought I might learn about portion size, but I had no idea that I would find such a deeply rooted connection between food and my feelings.  And I certainly didn’t know that I’d still be working on that two years later.

I had no idea that I’d lose 100 pounds in about 13 months then spend the next several months fighting myself to maintain that loss while trying to heal my body, mend my very broken heart and create an entirely new existence for myself.  I had no idea that I was so tough. 

Exactly two years ago today, I hated the person that I was.  I seemed to have everything I had always dreamed of having – a brilliant boyfriend whose favorite phrases were “I love you” and “anything your heart desires,” the most perfect dog ever and a future that seemed as bright as the sun, but  I desperately wished to be someone else – anyone else.  And it has taken every bit of the last 727 days to begin to understand that the person I was – the person who lied to herself and everyone around her – was not the person that I had to be.  And it’s not the person I am today.

This journey of a newer, healthier life has been incredible and, at times, tumultuous.  Would I change some of my actions over the last two years? Hell yes..absolutely.  I’ve made some big mistakes.  I’ve hurt people I loved, and I’ve burned a few bridges that I’d give anything to repair.  I have faced some serious obstacles and life-changing circumstances, but this period, so far, has been the most extraordinary learning experience of my life.  I’m still a work in progress, but I’m different today.

I’m still selfish sometimes.  I’m still deeply flawed, and I still have some regrets and some pretty painful scars.  But as I reflect on the last two years, I find myself completely humbled and grateful for the opportunity to become a person that I’m proud to be.

The finish line – you know, the weight target that I plan to reach before learning how to maintain for the rest of my life – is still way down the road.  But I’ve come far enough that I am absolutely confident that I’ll get there.  And I’ve learned that this journey is about so much more than just changing the outside.

My confidence wavered a bit last year, but I didn’t give up.  And I’m really, really proud of myself for that.  I proved to myself that I’m worth this effort, and the downward trend on the scale has begun to reflect that once again.

It’s been almost two years, 12 clothing sizes, over 100 pounds and 100 inches lost.  And while I could have lost much more by this point, I’m choosing to be pleased with myself because it’s still more than I could have dreamed of on this night exactly two year ago.

If you have ever taken time to read a post or comment then I want to thank you.  The unwavering support I’ve received in the last two years through this blog has played such a huge role in my success, and I expect that it will continue to have that affect in the coming year.  Through my ups and downs – including my darkest hours – most of you have never stopped believing in me.  You’ve reminded me that I matter…that I’m worth it…and that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

When the new year began, I found myself ready to move forward with zest once again, and it feels good.  I’m really looking forward to writing a different kind of post around this time next year as even  healthier, fitter girl who loves herself even more than I do today.  But I also plan to take time to appreciate how far I’ve come and to appreciate moments along this journey for what they are – unique opportunities to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday.

My head is clear, and my heart is open.  And I’m looking forward to making the next 368 days the best ones yet…

Believing in Myself

I’m feeling a little aggravated with myself lately in spite of the last few months of mindful eating and excellent workouts.  I could be doing better.  I could be losing more, but I’m losing what seems to have been gained during my time in Oklahoma late last year.

Looking back, I think I may have gained about 15 pounds? Perhaps 10?  We’ll know where I stand officially in the coming weeks, but I believe I’m losing those pounds that seemed to creep in at the end of the year.  And you may remember that I visited a Weight Watchers meeting two weeks in a row in October.  They weighed me on the same scale both weeks and logged that I lost 13.8 pounds that week.  I killed my workouts and eating that week, but I’m not convinced that they were accurate.  Regardless, I have been working to lose weight, but I think I’ve been losing those pounds this year.

I was looking through old Facebook photos tonight in an attempt to remind myself that I am shrinking.  And I realize, as I approach my two year mark, that I haven’t really lost anything substantial since the end of April 2010.

Why is it so easy to look at the negatives?  And why have I gotten so comfortable saying that I’ve lost 100 pounds?  Note to Kenlie: You’re not done yet!  Stop acting like it. 

A few nights ago, Brad said something that I needed to hear.  He said that what matters most is what I’m doing today.  And I know he’s right so I’m going to be happy with myself for my killer workouts and taking responsibility for my body and my eating habits.  I’m going to focus on the positives and continue moving forward.  After all,  I’m losing weight decently again…and I’m sweating regularly. :) Thanks for being such a stellar friend B, and for always saying what I need to hear when I need to hear it.

Now I’d like to talk about some of the major positives that have been happening recently.  Here’s what’s good:


  • I’ve completed 7 5k’s so far this month (exceeding that on a few days.)
  • I’ve completed different cardio workouts  on 8 other days.
  • I tried yoga for the first time with my dear friend, Foodie McBody, last night via Skype, and I felt like a rock star. :)   Working out with her for half an hour last night was incredible. =
  • I have revisited my love of beans – white beans, edamame, red beans…I love beans!
  • I’ve committed to doing at least 100 crunches per day this week, and I’m killing it…even doing 200 some days.
  • I can jog a mile without stopping.
  • I’ve managed to keep off at least 100 pounds (even during the most tumultuous times of my life last year.)

Now that I have focused on a few of the positives – which are fantastic –  it’s time to focus, once again, on the fact that I’m not done yet.  After losing the first 100 pounds, I feel incredible!  My body moves more quickly…I’m more stable….and I can walk up several flights of stairs without feeling winded.  I don’t stress as much about flying. Sometimes I feel cute. I can wear high heels without stressing. The list of positives is really long!

But this journey is far from over.  I’m still very overweight.  I still don’t like how I look.  I still want to run 13.1 miles without stopping.  I still want to weight clothes in single digit sizes.  I still need to address some issues that I have with food, body image and overall self worth.  In short, I still have work to do.  And I believe I’m worth the effort.

Since the beginning of the year I have felt renewed and energized and ready to take on food and exercise challenges head on.  I have owned every food choice, every rest day and pushed myself further than I had pushed in months.  I never quit, but my head space is much clearer now.  And I am focused.   The numbers are creeping down once again, and I’m looking in the mirror everyday, doing my best to appreciate what I see.

I am smart, and I am capable.  And I’m finally starting to believe it, at least a little, again.  So let me lay it all out now.  Yes…I wish I could say that I’ve lost another 100 since last April, but I’m proud to say that I’ve kept off 100 pounds since last April.  Regrets won’t change anything so I’m moving forward, and I’m doing it with the knowledge that I do have the strength to finish this marathon. 

I wouldn’t give up how I feel today for anything, but I’m ready to know how it feels to accomplish the biggest life goal I’ve ever set for myself.  I’m moving forward like ‘the little engine that could,’ and I am determined to reach the top of the hill.

Here are a couple of reminders of where I was before I started my journey…You can click the photos to make them bigger if you want to.

 Outside of Grand Central Station
My first taping of The Rachael Ray Show

My clothes are 12 sizes smaller now. =0) 
Christmas with my family

Craving Crap

The last 36 hours have been rough for me because I’ve been craving snacks.  I try to keep the fridge and the pantry stocked with healthy snacks, but right now I just want junk.  I can’t explain it, but I don’t think I have to…right? 

I want cake or donuts or deep fried cheese sticks or Reese’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups!  What?!  My mind is in a frenzy, but thankfully none of these things are readily accessible right now.  Sure, I could go to the bakery or the grocery store, but that’s probably not a good idea at the moment. 

I’m embarrassed to say that while I was in line at the supermarket a few days ago, I actually longed for the days that I didn’t count calories or points….the days when I would see a pack of cheese and crackers with little sausages and think “yay! I’ll take it!” instead of “ewe..that must be like 400 calories!” 

I found myself wishing I could go back for a day or an hour…just long enough to eat sugar cookies loaded with frosting or turtle cheesecake without thinking about whether or not it was worth the calories. 

Then, like a lightening bolt, I threw the cheese/crackers/sausage combo pack (which did look disgusting for the record) back on the shelf remembering how exhausted I used to feel just walking around the grocery store. There were times that I drove around for half an hour because I didn’t want to walk across the parking lot.

I thought about the times I skipped going out for food and other things (opting for delivery) because it was raining outside, and I was worried that I would slip and break a bone or bruise my knees. And forget snow!  That was more nerve racking than rain – not a good thing when you live in New York.

I remember making excuses to skip going to Central Park because it seemed too daunting, being afraid I’d break the frame of a bicycle or the time that I broke the driver’s seat because my excess weight was finally too much for it to handle.  And suddenly, the ridiculous cravings are gone. 

Losing weight is so much more rewarding than the juiciest, most decadent bacon cheeseburger will ever be even with all-you-can-eat fries.  And while that should be obvious by now, sometimes I need to remind myself.  I can eat a piece of cake or peanut butter cups once in a while if I do it in a responsible manner, but looking at the big picture helps me remember what I really wantto be the healthiest, most confident version of myself.  

Now, after reflecting on this post, I can proclaim victory against the cravings that I’ve been fighting since early yesterday, and I’m looking forward to a rockin’ workout later today.  Am I the only one who wakes up wishing I could eat lots of junk food on random days? How do you conquer cravings? 

Flying High with Burdens Lifted

Sometimes good things just happen, and yesterday was definitely one of those days though it didn’t seem like it would be in the beginning. My friend, Char, picked me up to take me to the airport early afternoon. And between my leisurely packing and traffic, I was really late! Passengers were already boarding when I checked in, and the security lines were long. There would be no pre-boarding and discreetly asking for a seat belt extension, but I accepted that because I really did not want to miss my flight.

After getting through security I immediately heard the last boarding call for my flight which was at the opposite end of the terminal. Opposite, as in, the very last gate! I decided that I had nothing to lose so I ran for it. I can’t remember a time in which I’ve run so hard for such a long distance, but I did it. Though I’m sure I looked like I was lightly jogging to others, I felt like my legs were on fire. And I made it! They literally closed the door right behind me, and I was able to take my seat.

Speaking of my seat…I was in the middle of the front row. Really?! This would have encouraged a panic attack in my mind last year, but yesterday it wasn’t bad at all. I had plenty of room even though the arms did not move, and I was even able to enter and exit the lavatory without struggling to fit. Sorry if that’s too much info, but it’s a huge accomplishment in my world! I couldn’t have done it at this time last year!

When I took my seat I politely asked for a seat belt extension, and I received it in a not-so-discreet way. (But hey…I’ve made amazing progress so it didn’t bother me much.) After getting comfortable (yes, comfortable) in my seat I realized that the woman sitting next to me looked quite familiar. We figured out that we attended school together – small world. We chatted about our mutual friends, goals, where we live now, etc.

After chatting for a while my friend mentioned that she didn’t think I needed the seat belt extension. Though I knew I’d still need it for a few more months I decided to see how close it was, but guess what…it buckled! :) There are no words to express the feelings of excitement and determination that charged through my body when I realized that I will not need to ask for an extension on the way home.

Yesterday’s flight was easily the best flight ever. I’m looking forward to several trips before the end of the year, and I feel as though a burden has been lifted.

Lessons learned:

  • When you think you’re leaving early enough to arrive at JFK, leave earlier. ;)
  • And on days in which you’re struggling stay focused on the fact that these seemingly small points of progress can turn into huge, life-changing successes.

The confidence I have in myself and my body’s abilities are growing as my body shrinks. I’m still learning to trust my legs to carry me, but there’s no way I’m willing to give up these feelings of self-satisfaction, accomplishment and pure happiness. It feels so good, and I know it’s only going to get better.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weekend. Today was an extraordinary day for me, but tomorrow is going to leave today and yesterday in the dust. I am so utterly thankful for the life I have and the people in it. Just saying.

100

I haven’t posted anything in a couple of days because I have big news, and I wanted to say something profound. But I’ve got nothing so I’m just going to say that I reached my 100 pound milestone, and it feels awesome! :)

(This is my WW 100 pound charm. Yay!)


My body has changed so much in the last 13 months, and I’m looking forward to the changes that will occur in the next 100 pounds. I still have a long road ahead, but it is no longer scary or overwhelming or seemingly impossible. I know I can do it because I’m almost half way there.

There’s no way I can fully express how incredible I feel now. All I can say is that if I had known how amazing I’d feel already I would have started sooner. It feels so good to reach such a monumental milestone. And I’m already moving forward to the next one.


I feel so blessed and so loved and completely determined. I am happier than I’ve ever been – ever. And I’m already working toward the next hundred. My life has changed, and I have Weight Watchers, the gym and my support network of friends and family (inside and outside of the blogosphere) to thank for that.

Losing the next 100 will bring me closer to my goal than I can even imagine at this point..I will not have to lose another 100 after this one. And I’m looking forward to it. So bring it next 100 pounds. I’m ready for it.

Just Because It’s Fun…

It’s another gray day in New York, but I feel like bloggin’. One of my favorite bloggers, ByHillary, posted this little quiz on her blog so I decided to do the same. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. She’s awesome…Now, on to the questions..

1.Do you lie about your weight? And if so by how much? Nope…and I’m proud to say that I currently weigh 298.6 pounds (95 pounds down from last year.) I’m no longer in the 300’s! I reached the 200’s milestone this week..yay! I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of where I am and where I’m going…


2. Whats your dream job? why? I’m excited to say that I love my job…it’s definitely my idea of dreamy, and I feel fortunate..

3. Your walking down the street and come across an elephant. Whats you first reaction? “Um, there’s an elephant walking down the street. Whaaat?” Eh, it’s New York. It could happen.

4. Is there any song you play on repeat. Might not even be your favorite, but you can’t stop listening to it over and over. “Lover Be Strong” by Gavin DeGraw is a staple in my life for personal reasons. He is extraordinarily humble, supportive and encouraging. I love this man. ♥


5. Favorite lyric. There are too many to choose just one, but one of my all-time favorites is… “No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead.” -Pearl Jam

6. Favorite quote. I have several, but one that speaks to me regularly is “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.”

7. How tall are you? 5′ 3.5″, but I seem much taller…seriously.

8. What color are your eyes? hazel/green..plain…eh..

9. What did you think the future would be like when you were a kid? I dreamed of having an amazing job, amazing boyfriend and living in New York…:) And I can honestly say that it’s even cooler than I thought it would be.


10. Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? What was it? Nothing too exciting, no..but I considered putting on a fake engagement ring for April Fool’s this year. I decided against it after considering how silly I’d feel when I had to say ‘April Fool’s’ after the joke.

As always, please copy and paste the questions with your answers in a comment or on your own blog because I’d love to read your answers too.

************

It’s also a new week which means it’s time fo Friend Makin’ Monday! This week Amber wants to know 5 things that we love (aside from the obvious.) If you want to join FMM, just click here. Now I’ll attempt to list a few things I love that are not obvious already. Is that even possible? :)

Five Things I Love
1) Playing ‘Words.’ It’s like Scrabble for the iPhone. I play with a friend who lives far away, and it helps me feel a little closer to him. :)

2) Being spontaneous. I like planning a trip out of town or just to another part of town on a whim. Those days are often my favorite days. :)

3) Thai food…I cannot get enough Pad See Yew. Seriously…it’s ridiculously tasty. I’m so glad it’s only 4 WW points per cup!

4) Thursday nights…at some point last year, Thursdays became my favorite day of the week. I am always so excited about weighing in then I enjoy a great meeting and an evening with some of my closest friends.

5) My sneakers. I wear Nike Shox that I typically buy custom from NikeID.com. I spend a lot of time in my sneakers these days so it’s important that they’re comfortable and cute.

As you can probably guess, I love answering questions like this. And I really love reading your answers too. So feel free to answer these questions too! I’m looking forward to it.

Five Pounds More

I’m only five pounds away from losing my first 100 pounds…and I celebrated tonight by dancing the night away with my ladies. :) Several of us ate dinner at the pub then watched a super fun band, The Amish Outlaws, perform. They were just as awesome this time! :)

(My workout buddy and friend, Carol.)


I’m ready to kick it into high(er) gear because I’m ready to look myself in the mirror and know that I’ve lost 100 pounds. It’s so close I can taste it. ;) And I’d rather have that than any amount of junk food.

While dancing tonight, a stupid, drink woman dug her stiletto into the top of the foot that I broke last year. It hurts, and it must feel better by tomorrow because Saturday is my first 5k! :) It’s frustrating because it’s swollen and blue, but I’m also reminded of just how far I’ve come since my foot broke last year.

(Check out the ice pack my friends made for me. It’s nice to be surrounded by Lady McGyver types. LOL)


I’m a new person who is achieving big goals. I feel better. I look better. And my energy level is astounding. I actually jumped a lot tonight. Seriously…it appears I can do that now.

(Fomerly Amish, Ezekiel the bass player, saw me trying to take a pic of him as he played so he
came down mid-song and posed with me. He’s super cute!)


It’s a happy night….change has come. And I cannot wait to see and feel the changes that come with losing the next 95 pounds.

Body Mass Index

You all know that I weigh in every Thursday. But each month, I have my measurements taken too so I know that I’ve lost over 40 inches around my body since I began working out and eating well in April. And each time I was measured, my trainer attempted to take my BMI, but because I am still over 250 pounds, it was impossible to read on their machines. Obviously, this means I could never measure so while I knew that my percentage of body fat well much higher than it should be, I wasn’t sure how to track my improvement.

In January, my friend and workout buddy, Carol, was able to calculate my BMI from my starting weight and at my current weight. My starting weight was 393.6 pounds, and at 5’4″ my BMI was 67.62. And on January 28, my weight was 318 pounds making my BMI 54.58. And now, at 309 pounds, my BMI is 53.03. I don’t know what you think about that, but I think it’s pretty damn awesome. ;)

See? I really am shrinking!

April 2009: 67.62
Feb 2010: 53.03

Normal BMI range for women: 18.5 – 24.9

So…I’m still in an unhealthy range, but that’s no surprise at 309 pounds. I am more than satisfied with the improvements I’ve made since last year, and I can’t wait to see how far I’ve come another year from now!

I’ve already lost of 20% of my entire body weight which means I have significantly decreased my chance of heart problems, diabetes, etc. And I can’t tell you how good I feel each time I look in the mirror knowing that I’ve turned my life around. Now I just have to be patient and continue moving forward to my healthy, overall goal. :)

There’s An Outside Chance

In case you didn’t see my tweets or my Facebook update, I lost 3 pounds last week. I’m pretty excited about this because I’m only 15.4 pounds away from losing my first 100 pounds!

I started changing my life on April 2, 2009 so I’m less than 6 weeks away from my one year mark. And I’m on track to lose 100 pounds in my first year. How awesome would that be? :)

Regardless of whether or not I reach 100 pounds by that date or not, I’ll continue moving forward. I have a long way to go, and I’ll celebrate either way. But I do think it would be kind of stellar to celebrate my first year by being 100 pounds down. And all I have to do is step it up just a little!

In order to lose 100 pounds by my weigh-in on April 1, I will have to lose an average of 2.6 pounds per week for the next six weeks. If you look at my weight-loss log on the left, you’ll see that I lost 3 pounds this week, 2.4 pounds last week and 3.8 over the two weeks during my trip to Las Vegas. That means that over the last four weeks I’ve lost 9.2 pounds. If I continue at that pace, I will come very close, but it won’t be quite enough to hit the target.

But…there’s an outside chance. If I step it up, I can do it. I’ll be traveling again during the month of March so I’ll have to make a conscious effort to exercise in Aruba because, unlike Vegas, I will spend my days basking in the sun. I love to lay on the beach in my swim suit (yep..at my size..even at almost 100 pounds heavier too hehe) with big sun glasses, a book, my iPod and sunscreen. Of course, I do cool off in the water so I’ll make an effort to splash around, do more flips and swim more than I did last year. Not having a broken foot this year should help. ;)

(See? I do flips…hehe And I’m excited to weigh substantially less than I did over the summer when I do it next month.)


Jeez…do you think I’m ready to go on vacay?! The truth is…I’ve been ready since I got home from Vegas less than two weeks ago. ;) I’ll just have to stay focused and make better food choices than I did in Vegas if I want to reach this goal. And that’s my plan.

Wish me luck! =)

Tomorrow I’ll share my strategy.

These Little Stars Shine Brightly

I carry my Weight Watchers weight tracking book with me almost all the time. I do it because I don’t want to forget to bring it to to my Thursday night meetings. But it’s also a source of motivation. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded that I have come a long way so far.

I decorated it because I wanted it to be cute when I started. Now it’s covered with tons of little stars – each of which represents something good that I did for myself. Bravo Kenz, Bravo! :)


If you’re not part of Weight Watchers then you may not know what all of these stars mean so I’ll share it. The yellow stars represent each time I’ve lost 5 pounds. The big pink 5% star represents the day that I had lost 5% of my body weight. Now I’ve lost over 20% of my body weight. And the green stars represent each time I did something good for myself like increasing my workout or saying no to a piece of cake because I hadn’t planned for it, etc. There are so many stars on my little book that I’ve started adding them inside as well. And my group leader knows that I’ll do what I need to do to get another little bravo. ;)

These little things might not mean much to someone who has never been where I am, but to me they’re a constant reminder that I’m much closer to where I want to be. Of course, I can look at the weight-loss log inside this book to see that too. So as you can see, this little book is very important to me. It holds almost a year of weight losses that were added week by week. It’s almost full so I’ll start a new book soon, and when I do, I’ll continue to keep this one close because it’s full of little moments that have added up to big lifestyle changes for me.