Inspired

I read a quote that inspired me recently.  Actually, it did more than inspire me….It has impacted my thoughts and actions over the last several weeks, and it has had a powerful affect on my choices.  I’ve already shared it, but I have to share it again.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.”

I’ve been doing things differently around here, and it seems to be working.  I’ve forgiven myself for maintaining my weight last year (as opposed to losing.)  I’m refocused, back in school, and I’m doing what it takes to live a healthy life one day at a time.  And for me, that means making better food choices.

I exercised regularly last year, and while my heart/blood pressure/etc benefited from it, my weight stayed virtually the same (until it spiked a little over the holidays.)  So far this year, my workouts have been solid, but I’ve been much more conscientious of what I’m eating.  While exercise is important, what we eat – how we fuel our bodies, is important too.  My eating habits have not been perfect, but they’ve been better overall.  And I’m still trying to improve.

Yesterday, I completed a short, early morning workout at the gym before the sun came up, and I did a longer workout at home in the afternoon.  I snacked on spinach and kale and ate foods that were high in protein along with fruits and vegetables and copious amounts of water.  I’m even trying to get more uninterrupted sleep!  It’s amazing how alert I feel when I can sleep without distractions for 5 to 6 hours so I’d like to work up to 7 or 8.  We’ll see if that happens…

That’s really all I have to say at the moment.  If my food and exercise choices came together perfectly everyday, I’d have very little to discuss here.  But today, I’ll just be thankful that I’m healthy and strong, and I’ll worry about the rest of the week/month/year as it comes.

How’s your week progressing?  Are you struggling?  Is it a breeze?

On Love

Khalil Gibran is one of my favorite poets, and “The Prophet” is one of my favorite books.  I don’t know how anyone could read his words On Love and not be moved.  I feel like sharing it today so take a few minutes and let his words blow your mind…

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep,
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say,
‘God is in my heart,’ but rather,
‘I am in the heart of God.’
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night,
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Just For Me

I’m a sucker for happy endings whether they’re real or fictional. And I do believe that life has some kind of happily ever after waiting for me even though I have no idea what that means as I sit alone in the quiet tonight. I know what I want…I want to find my way back home. And if home really is where the heart is then I know precisely where I need to be. I’m just not sure how to get there.

Over the last few days I’ve been trying to concentrate on the big picture, remembering that I’ve come a long way. I spent some time looking through old photos (many of which I can’t post out of respect for people who don’t wish to be on my blog.) But I found several that really make me feel good about where I am in my life even through its imperfections.

This picture was taken on the Hudson River before I began losing weight. It was freezing out there, but I think I thought that the blanket would hide my extra weight at least a little. Clearly, it did not.


And this photo was taken the day I broke my foot in Washington D.C. I was on an escalator in the metro that was wet with some kind of cleaning astringent, and my body went forward while my foot stayed behind. This happened only a few weeks before I would change my life.


I’ve been doubting myself a lot lately, but when I look at these pictures I cannot deny that I can do what feels impossible. I can become the person I want to be even if it’s not easy, and that’s what I’m working toward. It’s the same goal I had when I started this weight-loss journey, but it means so much more to me now than just losing weight.


My body is much smaller, and I know that somewhere beneath the uncertainty I’m facing now I possess an iron-clad will to continue down this road. While I may not know exact numbers because I’ve been away from my regular scale, I’ve discovered that I’m much stronger than I knew I was. My body can handle a lot more than it could when I weighed over 100 pounds more, and if you know me personally then you know how grateful I am for that.

My strength and endurance makes me feel like a rock star. I’ve been doing 16 laps in the pool per day after completing a couple of miles on the elliptical machine, and I know I could do much more. My current goal is to work up to 32 laps (one mile.) I’m not sure what I’d do without the gym right now. It’s definitely my OK BFF. :)

I know I can’t predict the future, but I do know that it will be good because I’m going to focus on the positives while working on being the best version of myself. A little painted canvas hangs between a window and a wall sconce in my favorite room in New York, and it says this…

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.


I’ve heard those words a thousand times. I’ve even put them into practice in some areas of my life, but I had no idea how important they would become until now. I’m still not sure that I fully grasp the concept. They are simple words yet full of wisdom, and I am going to do my best to make this my motto.

I’m Glad I Did It

You all know I was nervous about stepping on the scale last night after flying and increased sodium intake, but I’m glad I did. The scale showed a loss of 4.8 pounds which brings my total over 107 pounds, and I’m pretty excited about it.

I knew it was important to step on the scale yesterday, and every comment I received confirmed what I already knew.

SeattleRunnerGirl shared sound wisdom when she said “Kenz, I think it’s a GREAT decision to weigh-in today. This journey isn’t about what your weigh-in shows this week. It’s not about what any ONE weigh-in shows on ANY week. It’s about what you do day-in and day-out for a lifetime. So today’s number on the scale? Simply feedback about what your body is going through right now. Different schedule, different food, different workouts than usual. Flying. Sitting in an airport for 9 hours. Sleep patterns. They all affect your individual weigh-ins, but NOT your overall pattern of weight loss over time. So good for you.”

One of the hardest parts of this journey is learning that the scale does not define me. Sure, it helps me maintain focus and keeps me accountable, but there is no denying how far I’ve come. I am healthier than I’ve ever been today, and that would have been true even if I had experienced a five pound gain. (Remind me of that when I need to remember it later, okay?)

I’m proud of the work I’ve been doing, but it’s time to step it up. And I’m going to join Deb’s Freedom Challenge to share my goals with other like-minded people! If you’re interested just click here for details.

Thanks to each of you for being supportive every time I need it. I’m a lucky girl.

It’s In Me

Yesterday was stressful at points, but it was also incredible at points. And in the stream of mixed emotions I’ve found myself reflecting on what has changed in my life over the last year.

Someone important to me, who has faced the challenges that I’m facing now only to find himself on the side of victory, summed it up better than I’ve ever been able to. He said “The way out was found because I completely surrendered the dishonesty within, the excuses, and the rationalizations that always gave me reasons to fail.” And like many things he says, this resonates within me.

I have had ups and downs on this journey which began about 429 days ago, but the voice inside me presses on because when I’m honest with myself I know I can do this. I also know that I have to continue to be honest with myself for this to work…to leave behind the reasons/excuses that brought me to the point in which I had to change or miss out on my life. And I have let them go. They no longer shape who I am.

My life changed when I realized that “what happens to me is not as important as what happens within me.” The justifications I found for fast food…the short-lived happiness I felt while eating too much Chinese food and soda while watching Gilmore Girls could never compare to the inner joy that flows from the depths of my being every time I realize that I’m making choices to shape my life to be what I want it to be.

I have a long way to go, but if you’ve ever been where I am then maybe you can relate to the unparalleled confidence I have in myself and my ability to reach my goal – which, by the way, is more than a number on the scale. I want to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but I also want to maintain a healthy outlook in other aspects of my life.

Somewhere along this journey I discovered that being who I am is okay because I love the person I’ve become. I’m not ashamed..I’m not afraid. I am focused and strong. And it’s all been buried inside me the whole time.

Growing isn’t always easy, but the rewards are definitely worth the effort. It isn’t magic. It’s just takes determination. And today, I’m more determined than ever to live the life has played over and over in my dreams. I’m on my way, and I cannot imagine wanting to be anywhere else.

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.

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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.

Weekend Favorites: My Favorite Quotes

This week, I’m going to share some of my favorite quotes. Quotes inspire me, and sometimes they help me stay focused on my goals.

My Favorite Quotes
“What happens to us is not as important as what happens within us.”
- Anonymous
“Be happy with who you are and confident in whom you can become.”
- Kenz
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.”
- Henry Ford
“You’re only a failure if you stop trying.”
- Anonymous
“Don’t let what you want at the moment keep you from what you want most of all.”
-Someone who is obviously very wise
“The best things in life are free; the second best are expensive.”
-Coco Chanel
“If you can’t see the bright side of life, polish off the dull side.”
-Anonymous
“No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead.”
-Pearl Jam
“Don’t think about the limitations; think about the possibilities.”
-Anonymous
Do quotes inspire you? If so, will you share a few with me?

Halloween Candy

What can I say? I ♥ candy. Who doesn’t? 

But I don’t love it nearly as much as I love losing weight which is what I will have to remember when it’s all around me tomorrow.

Wish me luck as I attempt to keep the junk food to a minimum…first, at a birthday party then at another Halloween party.

I know I say it all the time, but I need to say it, err pledge this again right now:

I will not let what I want at the moment (most likely a peanut butter cup…or a Kit-Kat) keep me from what I want most of all. I can have just as much fun tomorrow without indulging in desserts and candy all day. And that is what I plan to do!

Happy Halloween Friends!

Sticking To The Basics

It is certainly no secret that I love inspiring quotes. I especially love the ones that make me feel as though a light just went off in my head.

My boyfriend, who is in great shape, said something recently that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. From time to time he runs into people who explain how he has touched their lives, and because he says things like this I’m not surprised.

He said “If you stick to the basics, you never have to go back to the basics.” Isn’t that brilliant? He wasn’t talking about weight loss at the time, but it fits right in with healthy living.
I find myself sticking to the basics, and it works consistently. If I eat at least 5 servings of fruit and veggies today, a couple servings of lean protein, exercise and drink water then I should be good to go. I also make goals for the day rather than overwhelming myself with my ultimate goal.
Is it easy for you to stick to the basics? Or do you find yourself doing it a different way?

What works for you?

Flip Flop Exchange

A few weeks ago, I took part in a flip flop exchange with friends from The Texas Darlings.  And I received mine today – from Nancy in Dallas, TX.  

She sent me an adorable pair of flip flops and also included various post cards and a Dallas Magnet.  Nancy doesn’t know this, but I have roots in Texas too! :)  So the blue bonnets, the chili and the city skyline are all familiar to me.  They remind me of my childhood and early adulthood. :) 
Aren’t my new flip flops cute?! :)  Thanks so much Nancy!  You can learn more about Nancy by checking out her blog here and see how she made out in the exchange. My flip flops are being sent to Kelli so check her blog soon to see how she likes my finds..:) 
Thanks for hosting the exchange Becca!  I’ll definitely take part if you do this again.