Quick and Transparent

I’ve been absent lately because I’m finally creating the new blog that I’ve been thinking about for over a year now.  It should be up and going in the next week or two.  I’ve had a lot of good days lately, but I’m aggravated right now.

I’d rather focus my energy on the new blog and all of the reasons that I have to be thankful, but I’d like to get this off of my chest too.

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I’d like to go home and curl up on the sofa with someone that I love.  Doughnuts tend to be my fall back plan since there’s no ‘someone that I love” at home.  I realize that Krispy Kreme isn’t going to bring me inner joy or peace, but it will satisfy my need for instant gratification. I want to cuddle! 

It makes me feel weak and pathetic, and it’s happening at a time when everything else in my life is going incredibly well.  These feelings are not going to define my mood all day, but I know how important it is to acknowledge them so I can move on from them.

Am I the only one whose natural instinct wants you to turn to food when you’re lacking affection?

 

UPDATE: I did not eat doughnuts. After posting this, I completely forgot about them, and I drove straight home. This is why blogging has been such a helpful tool for me. I felt the feelings, then I let them go.

 

Life with Skinny Friends

Most of my friends don’t have weight problems, but I do. It’s fun to go out to eat with them or to bake for them or to have a drink at Starbucks with them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that either. I’d trade six-pack abs for enjoyable food any day, but I do need to think about what I eat even when the people around me aren’t thinking about it.

My friend, Alicia, is hot. (I can say that because she’s my BFF.) She is barely over 5 ft. tall and doesn’t weigh much more than 100 pounds. She’s tiny, but she fantasizes about sushi just as much as I do.

My friend and colleague, Brandon, is also hot. He’s tall and lean and perfect looking, and like Alicia, he’s Italian. He loves to cook, and he does it very well. Everything he makes is delicious, and he enjoys it. He also works out hard and regularly, and he seems to have a good grip on when to say no.

Another friend is gorgeous. She’d tell you that she wants to lose weight, but she’s perfect looking already. If you have any doubts about that, spend the day with her. Guys want to marry her before they even talk to her. It’s insane. We do a lot together, and she doesn’t have to watch what she eats how I do.

The list could be much longer, but you get the idea. I spend a lot of time with people who love food too, but none of them need to lose 150 pounds.

For some reason, it’s more enjoyable to eat with other people who love to eat, and there’s no shortage of those people in my life. I know that it is 100% my responsibility to limit the amount of food that I consume, but I’m beginning to recognize that eating with others has always given me a feeling of validation.

I’m not a binge eater. I’m a social eater. I am an emotional eater, but I’d rather eat among friends or family than alone. I’d rather dine solo at a restaurant than to sit at my dining table at home.

As I was eating dinner with a few of my colleagues from Plus Inc. recently, I realized that seeing someone else (someone smaller) accept a second helping gave me an emotionally charged green light to have seconds myself.

That behavior is something that has always existed in me, but I never realized it until that night at dinner.

Recognizing the emotions of validation that exist when I eat with others will allow me to adjust my behavior now. My mind was blown, and at this moment, I realize that I need a better reason to consume calories than “well, everyone else is doing it.”

Would I jump off of a bridge just because everyone else is doing it?

Of course I wouldn’t. Why would I let my eating habits be dictated by what others are doing, as opposed to my own nutritional needs?

I’ve been reflecting on my habits and desires lately, and I’m trudging through them because I want to continually work to become a healthier version of myself. I want to control my habits instead of letting them control me.

I’m more mindful than I’ve been in years, and I’m confident that it will start to show on the scale at some point too.

Things Change

Clint is moving to Chicago in a few weeks, and when he called to tell me about the job offer, he asked if I thought he should go.  My opinion matters a lot to that guy, and I don’t like it lightly.  I asked him if he wanted to go, and he answered the way I thought he would.  He said, ‘yes.’

As hard as it is to think of living in downtown New Orleans without him, it’s easy to be happy for him as he moves into his next phase of life.  He graduated from Tulane recently, and he got a promotion that allows him to move into a bigger market (which will be a solid career move for him.)

I tend to get mushy when I talk about “The Suit” because I could never say thank you enough for the friendship that he’s given me.  So many of the incredibly positive changes that have occurred in my life since 2012, happened as a result of his willingness to say “Hey…who you are is okay.  You’re great the way you are, and if people disagree, they’re not worth your time.”

One of the defining moments of my life happened in an empty hallway at Tulane on day before our first final exam together in 2012.  I had just been on ABC News Nightline, and I was taking heat from online bullies who hate fat people.  One particular message that I received, in which the person threatened to find me, rape me and kill me hit me hard….really hard.

I was in tears, not realizing that anyone else was around, and Clint showed up right in front of me.  He read the repugnant words on the screen of my cell phone, and he gently put his hands on my cheeks.  He said, “Kenlie, look at me.  You’re safe.  This a-hole isn’t here; these words aren’t reality.  This is your reality, and he grinned.”

It was in that moment that I realized that my reality was safe and happy.  In reality, I was walking into class, surrounded by people who respected me, and I was finally creating the life that I wanted to have for myself.  I’m not sure what I had been so afraid of before, but that day, the fear began to subside.

Clint was instrumental in what would become a series of radical life changes for me that included accepting myself, finding a church home, remembering who I am in Christ and discovering that my circumstances could and would change.

I never knew what it was like to have a friend like him, and now I never want to know what it’s like without him. It looks like it’s time to add Chicago to my favorite destinations…There could be worse places to visit.

Kenlie and Clint at George Strait and Reba

 

 

 

Facing the Past and Asking for Forgiveness

“Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.”

I’ve always been pretty good at extending grace to people who have hurt me, and the biggest reason for that is because I’ve been given so much mercy in times in which I totally didn’t deserve it.

It is no secret that I’ve made mistakes that I wish I could take back.  I’ve written several posts over the last few years that highlight my regrets, but I’ve never really shared specifics.  I’m not sure that there’s any merit in listing all of the things that I wish I hadn’t done.  I also realize that I don’t owe the world an explanation for things that are none of their business, but I do realize that there are times when I should have said “I’m sorry” to people that I did hurt.

It’s hard to look back and think about the times that embarrass me now – times when I lied about my background (educational, financial, etc.)  It’s hard to remember how much I hated myself and how I desperately wished to be someone else.  It’s hard to face the embarrassment that exists in my past because I simply couldn’t imagine changing my circumstances.

I was conditioned to be full of crap from a very young age.  There were times, far too many of them, in which I had to pretend that I was okay when I wasn’t.  I became very comfortable in not telling the truth, and I let that seep into my adulthood.  I didn’t know who I was, but I knew that I didn’t like myself.  I also had no idea that I had the power to change what I didn’t like.

There was a time, more than a few years ago, in which I ‘dated’ someone whom I thought could understand and empathize, but the truth is that I never gave him a chance to do that. Instead, I never let him know the real me.  Hell, I didn’t even know the real me at that time.  I lied to him to try to keep him close because I desperately wanted someone to love me.

I haven’t given much thought to that man in many years, but last week I saw a link to his blog on my Facebook feed.  I clicked on it to see how he was doing on his amazing weight-loss journey, and my name came up in the comments.  Seriously…Nearly four years later, people are still asking questions about me.  Whoa!

Our short relationship ended when he recognized my dishonesty, and in an attempt to hang on, I told more lies.  It was the only way that I knew to deal with my feelings at the time, and I was wrong.  It’s easy to see that we weren’t right for each other anyway, but hindsight has a way of making everything clear.  I wish that I hadn’t lied.  I wish that I hadn’t hated myself enough to justify being dishonest, but I did.

I’m sorry that I lied to you.  I’m sorry that I didn’t have the guts to tell you the truth, and I’m sorry that I didn’t own up to it sooner.  You were far from perfect, but you didn’t deserve to be treated the way I treated you.  And for what it’s worth, I thought you were great.  I just didn’t realize that I could be great too.  While we’ll likely never lay eyes on each other again, I hope that someday you’ll accept my sincere apology.  I’m sorry.  

And while I’m at it, I owe an apology to someone else as well.  My blog was the first place in which I ever poured out my feelings.  It was the first place that I learned that I could be myself and have friends who liked me just for me.  I’ve made some amazing, encouraging and uplifting friends through this blog, but I lost one because I was still struggling to be myself offline.

I felt pretty good about our friendship.  I knew that I could tell her anything, and I did.  I just didn’t tell her enough.  I wasn’t honest enough.  (Have I  mentioned how hard it is to look back and realize that I was dead wrong?)  I know that I owe her an apology, but I haven’t reached out to say “I’m sorry” because I don’t think she wants to hear it.  She’s tough, but she also has a good heart.

Maybe it’s too late to make it right, but I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you everything.  Believe it or not, I told you more than most at the time, but you deserved to hear everything.  You were the best friend I ever had up to that point because you were the first one to show me that I was cool just as me.  I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you everything, but for what it’s worth, I was trying.  I was working through my issues, many of which you knew and understood, and I’m sorry that I wasn’t a better friend.  I’m just sorry. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever experience grace and forgiveness from these specific people that I hurt, but I have experienced a lot of it.  I feel at peace, and I do know that I am loved.  I know that I’m worthy of love.  I know that God has forgiven me, and I forgive myself.

I know that I can’t fix what I did wrong, but I also know that I can’t change it.  I’m not perfect, but I no longer tell lies in the hopes that people will like me.  There are people in my life (several, in fact,) who know the sordid details of my dramatic, self-loathing past.  I recently read somewhere that we’re only as sick as our secrets, and I can’t even begin to express that freedom that comes in knowing that there are people who truly know all about me – my past included – and accept me anyway.

I can’t express the freedom that comes in being who I am and working toward being the person that God designed me to be.

The past will always exist, but I’m done hiding from it.  I know who I am, what I believe and why I believe it.  I’m keenly aware of the areas in my life that need improvement, and I am equally aware of the areas in which I am exponentially better.  I’m just so thankful for the grace that I’ve received up to this point, and though I don’t deserve it, I’m thankful for my life as it is today.  And I hope that someday, “I’m sorry” is enough to begin the healing process for people that I hurt…

 

 

Spending Too Much Time at Starbucks

Just kidding.

I don’t think it’s possible to spend too much time at Starbucks.  Summer classes started Monday, and I’ve already completed a homework assignment!  Summer moves quickly because the sessions are short, and doing homework and completing other projects is more fun at Starbucks than it is at home because it’s far from isolated.

Kenlie at Starbucks

One of the classes that I’m taking right now required me to do a stress assessment.  I had to answer questions about my sleep patterns and do an inventory of  major life changes that I’ve experienced over the last year (ex. death of a spouse, relocation, change in social activities, etc.) I haven’t experienced many major life changes in the last year, which makes me extraordinarily thankful after the changes I experienced in years prior.

I also had to list 10 stressors, and it was difficult to do that.  I came up with several though – my current weight, relationship/lack of, aggravating people, etc.  Making that list reminded me again how thankful I am for me life, but it also helped me recognize that the things I stress about affect me in a variety of ways.  My weight affects me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

The fact that I’m still obese…still not in control of my weight…makes me feel like a failure, but there’s a solution.  There’s always a solution, right?  For me, it starts by not making excuses.  I’m pretty good about owning up to the fact that I suck when it comes to losing weight.  Kudos to me for not blaming anyone or anything else, but taking responsibility means more than admitting that I”m wrong.

I have to do some cognitive restructuring, which simply means that I need to change the way I think.  (Easier said that done, or is it?)

I’m excited about this class because it seems like it might become one that leads to positive life changes.  I have a few close friends in this class, and they feel the way I feel about it as well.

 

A Shift in Perspective

I was sitting with the production team for NOLA Church after a meeting last night when my pastor, Monte, who’s also my friend, said something that completely changed my perspective about this blog.

I lead the social media team for our church, and we were discussing how my personal blog has changed over the last year and a half or so.

I explained that I’ve outgrown it -that the good no longer outweighs the negativity.  I don’t exactly believe that so I also told the team about all of the positive things that have come as a result, and I admitted that I was torn.

Some of you have been praying for me for years, while others aren’t very happy that I love Jesus now.  They don’t like that I talk about Him, and they’ve been pretty candid about it.

We talked about the folks who are few in number, though sometimes extraordinarily annoying.  You know them – the jerks who troll the internet trying to tear strangers down.  Sometimes they target me, and sometimes it bothers me.  I ignore it, but sometimes it bugs me.  I’m human, you know?  I wish I could keep all of the good while eradicating all of the bad.

He said,  “If you know what HE did for you, then it doesn’t matter what they do to you.

In the past I’ve treated people poorly.  I’ve been selfish.  I’ve lied.  I’ve spoken people with less respect than they deserve.  That said, I repented, and it’s something that I have to do often.  I’ve spent the last few years becoming honest with myself, and while it has been incredibly difficult,  it has also allowed me to experience freedom.

I’ve found happiness, but I’ve also found contentment.  I’ve experienced forgiveness and grace, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the love of God and the people around me.  I’m more humble, more honest and more fulfilled than I ever could have imagined, and while I’ll never be perfect, I know who I am now.  I know how God sees me.  His grace has been extended to me, and I accept it.

There are some changes coming on this blog, and I hope that they’ll represent me as who I am today.  I still have issues to work through, and there’s a lot that I’d like to say.  I’m not done working through every single issue. I haven’t figured out how to be successful in weight-loss yet, and that’s a big one.

This blog means something to me, and those of you who offer support and encouragement mean something to me.  I’ll be turning a page on this blog soon, and I hope you’re around as I start the next chapter.

 

 

 

 

No More

This is one of those posts that’s for me, not you. If you don’t want to read about my love life or God, come back another day.

I fell for someone last fall when I was trying to focus on other things. He came into my life and complemented it. He’s a family man, and he provided a lot of stability in my life…until he didn’t anymore.

If you asked him, he would tell you that I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I was amazing in my not-quite-relationship with him. His kids adore me. They started blooming when I came into their lives. Their grades went up, they started getting closer to God, and they all had someone with whom they could trust to share their feelings.

Life was good for all of us. He was happier at the mention of my name than his family had ever seen him. Even his ex-wife was happy for him, and that was an odd, yet lovely feeling.

At one point several weeks ago (immediately following one of the happiest evenings I’ve ever had with him) he said, “Kenlie, when are we going to stop pretending that we’re not a couple?”

I giggled and said, “when you stop pretending. That’s your issue, not mine.”

He didn’t laugh though. Instead I spent the evening talking with him on his sofa. We held hands, giggled, flirted and talked for hours about his “need for clarity.” He has issues/fears about getting remarried, and I reminded him that I was in no rush for that. I explained that I would need time to develop an exclusive relationship with him (even though I had been un-dating him for months.)

He said that he knew me well enough to know that he wanted to marry me. He spent nearly everyday with me for months. He knows my family and friends (many of whom are mutual.) He knows every lie I’ve ever told (the little ones and big ones.) He knows all of the mistakes that I’ve made and my imperfections, and still, he said that he knew enough to want to marry me. Sadly, he said that he believed that God wouldn’t like it.

He’s a black and white kind of guy, and while that can be great at times, it can also screw things up when he becomes closed-minded. He believes certain things that I won’t share in detail here, except to say that those beliefs are based on pride, fear of moving on and religion. And that’s a deadly combination.

Religion is the arch enemy of Jesus. The rules that religion have dictated on this man’s life leave me oscillating between anger and uncertainty. If Jesus walked into the fundamentalist church that this man left, He wouldn’t be welcome, yet those rules (which are based on ungodly, self-righteous, religious garbage) have given him reason to hang on to the past and to walk away from a woman who makes him happier and more balanced than he’s been in a long time, maybe ever.

There are few things that I hate in the world, but religion is one of them. I love God, and I’m so thankful for the aggressive grace that Jesus pours out on me. I just wish that this man could truly experience and understand that grace too.

He knows and loves God, but he is so wrapped up in religion that I don’t know what to think. Did he lie to me about his feelings? Was he just humoring me because he didn’t want to hurt me?

It has been weeks since he ended our quasi-relationship. He still calls, and I still see him at my church (a place that I hope he continues to go so that he can truly collide with the love of Jesus someday.)

His kids miss me like crazy, but not as much as I miss them. He seems to be fine without me though – just not as happy or at ease or loving. It makes me wonder if he ever had feelings for me.

I’ve asked a few times since that night if I’m crazy…if I misread his feelings, and he says that I absolutely did not misunderstand. He says he felt everything that I felt and that he can’t be with me for the ridiculous, religious reasons that I can’t mention here.

I know him, and I believe that he’s clinging to religion instead of God because it’s easier than taking responsibility.  It’s also possible that he just doesn’t understand the difference. I do believe that he’s a good man though…who’s just dealing with unresolved issues.

He called me last night, and the things that he said (though not directed at me in any way) made me wonder what happened to the man I met and fell for.  He’s different without me. I ask myself when he reverted back to being religious and judgmental and self-righteous, but the truth is, I know exactly when that happened.

I’m pretty positive that I did not misunderstand his feelings. The man I met was humble, and I believed that he valued me. Now I’m not so sure.

Maybe talking to me was better than talking to than no one. Maybe we spent evening after evening together because he had nothing else to do. Maybe the hours we spent on the phone talking about everything from religion to politics to his work environment was more fun for him than sleeping. Maybe he never cared about me at all.

I don’t exactly believe the last part, but it certainly was easy for him to turn off his feelings. It seems that it was easy for him to forget the peaceful, quiet moments that were captured on his daughter’s camera phone when we weren’t paying attention to anything or anyone except each other. It has also been easy for him to forget how we laughed so hard that our faces hurt  just because we were using chopsticks together or discussing the Council on Foreign Relations.

It has been easy for him to pretend that none of it ever happened, but it’s been impossible for me. I spent the first few weeks drowning in misery, sobbing everyday and hoping that he would get back to normal. After that, I started ignoring his calls. When he asked why, I explained that while I loved it when he called me, I was better off when he didn’t.

I told him that he either needed to stop calling, or we needed to talk with my (our) pastor because I needed to heal. He reluctantly agreed, and when I asked him why, he said that was he was willing to make himself uncomfortable for me if that’s what I needed to know that he cared.

We haven’t had the opportunity to chat with my pastor yet because of our schedules, but it meant a lot to me that he was willing to make himself uncomfortable for me. Talking to your pastor is a big deal when you’re hyper-religious. Thankfully, my pastor is a cool dude who wears jeans when he preaches and loves all of the people that more traditional churches reject. Jesus would be welcome at my church if he showed up in old clothes and worn out sandals.

I’ve been much happier over the last few weeks, realizing that my life would change a lot if he and I were together. I love my life, and I wouldn’t want to change it for someone who wouldn’t be willing to do the same for me.

As I go to sleep and as I wake up, I ask God to eliminate the feelings that I have for this man if I can’t be with him. It’s the only thing I know to do, and I’m counting on Him to fulfill me because He’s God. I’m also counting on Him to heal the man who broke my heart someday regardless of whether I’m around to see it or not.

One Year Later…

It has been just over a year since I walked into NOLA Church for the first time, and I cannot believe how different my life and point of view are now.

I have friends who love me without judgment, and I’ve built relationships with people who know everything about me – my deepest regrets and fears and joys – and love me in spite of those imperfections.

My church isn’t perfect.  It is filled with flawed people who are searching for acceptance, seeking to have their questions answered.  We have issues, but I like that.  Jesus spent time with people who needed Him, and we need Him.  I need Him.

I’ve discovered God’s immeasurable grace and unconditional forgiveness, and I have a relationship with Him that I didn’t realize that someone like me – so flawed and imperfect and horrible – could ever have.

My life is different.  I’m different.

I remember writing a post about my feelings on church, the reasons that I was skeptical about going and the reasons that it just wasn’t for me.  I remember wishing that I could have faith in someone that I couldn’t see, and I remember being terrified of being hurt by the church again.

I needed peace and assurance that everything would be okay, but I didn’t find that. Instead I faced gossip, judgment and condescension.  The meanest, most judgmental people I knew were from the church, and I decided that if that’s what church was about, I didn’t want any part of it.

You can read the whole post here.

Now I love Jesus.  Sometimes people find my love for Him obnoxious, but I’m so thankful that I can’t imagine not talking about it.  It defines so much of who I am now, and I don’t want that to change.

Last week I wrote a post that some of you didn’t like.  Someone called me preachy, and another person called me an idiot.  Someone else called me naive.

I get it.  Some people think I’m ridiculous or full of crap for talking about Jesus here.  I understand that you don’t all love Him or believe in Him or have faith in Him, but it’s who I am now.  I still have a lot of other loves and interests, but He’s part of me now.  I’m happier and more at peace than I’ve ever been so it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

I didn’t write about forgiveness recently because I was trying to preach to anyone; I wrote it because I’ve been working through my feelings on forgiveness lately.  As I look back at my past, I’m forced to think about things that I’ve tried to forget for years.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I was an insecure, suicidal, dishonest person who desperately wanted to feel loved and accepted.  I didn’t think it was possible that I could forgive those who hurt me, and I didn’t care who I hurt because I was in so much pain.  I lived crippled by that pain for years, and now I’m free from it.

It’s by God’s grace that I’m not dead.  It’s because of His love that I get to live in freedom now.  I’m loved.  I’m forgiven.  I’m His.  End of story. Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s just the beginning…

 

I Weigh More Than I Should, But…

There’s actually no “but” to follow.  I still have an incredible amount of weight to lose, and every time I think about how big the numbers are I feel like throwing in the towel.  I don’t feel as energetic and awesome as I did when I weighed 50 pounds less, but I realize that I still have the same power to change that as I’ve had all along.

This week I participated in a health screening, and these are my results:

Blood Pressure: 132/70  – Yikes!  Last time I gave blood it was 118/78, which is where it typically falls.  My guess is that a lack of exercise and an incredible load of emotional stress has played a role in my higher systolic over the last two months.  I’ll be checking it frequently to see the pattern.

Oxygen Saturation Level – 98%  According to the medical staff, the acceptable range is 94% to 100% so I’m okay there.

Resting Heart Rate – 59 bpm  I’m not on any medications so I’m not sure why my heart typically beats less than average, but I’m guessing that it’s the five years of pretty consistent exercise.  I’m not a doctor, and I haven’t asked Google to explain it either so it’s just a guess.

Fasting Blood Sugar – 97 mg  The American Diabetes Association says that 70-126 is acceptable.

Total Cholesterol – 164  Less than 200 puts you at a low risk for coronary health disease.

HDL (Good Cholesterol) – 53 Less than 50 means a major risk of heart disease.  It looks like i made the cut, but not by much.  I’d like to figure out what I can do to make this number higher.

LDL (Bad Cholesterol) – 88  Less than 100 is optimal.  Whew!

TRG (Triglycerides) – 114  Less than 150 is normal.

In my limited understanding of this information, it appears that my numbers are pretty good (especially for someone who weighs as much as I do.)

I’d like to make these numbers even better, and I know that it will take time, consistency and sweat.  In addition to exercise, I’ve been eating more vegetables and fruits.  That’s something that I haven’t done consistently in ages, but I’m doing it now.  I crave the organic green juice that I mentioned in a recent post, which is awesome because I get added nutrients when I drink it without taking a big caloric hit.

When was your last health screening?  Are you happy with your numbers?  Are you doing anything in particular to improve them?

Five Years Ago Today

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I made the decision to change my life.  I’m still overweight – duh.  This journey hasn’t been as flawless for me as it has been for others, but I’m still here.  I exercise, I eat fruits and vegetables, and I love myself more than I ever could have imagined when this all began.

It’s easy to look at my journey and to think of myself as a failure, but don’t wise people say that you’re not a failure until you stop trying?  I spend a lot of time fighting my feelings of failure in this regard, but today I feel like acknowledging all of the positive things that I’ve experienced as a result of that day five years ago.

Here’s a list of things that I wouldn’t have believed if someone had told me five years ago:

  • There will be a point in your life in which you realize that you don’t like soda anymore.  In fact, you’ll think it’s disgusting.
  • Someday soon you won’t be intimidated by going to the gym, and you’ll even look forward to it.
  • You will like drinking green juice that you make with kale, cucumbers, parsley, cilantro and celery with your juicer at home.
  • You’ll exercise with Richard Simmons, and he will show you empathy and respect and take funny pictures with you.  He’ll even remember your name.

Richard Simmons Slimmons

  • You will swim over a mile at a time without feeling tired at all.
  • You’ll make headlines for being overweight, but you’ll keep your cool when it happens.

NBC Today Show

  • You will go to the ground floor of the historical high-rise building that you live in and take the stairs to the top so you can warm up before hitting the treadmill.
  • You’ll wear a swimsuit without feeling shame because you’ll learn that you’re lovable regardless of your size.

Kenlie Hyatt Aruba Beach

  • You will not be afraid to ride a bicycle through traffic during rush hour.
  • You’re going to move out of New York, and you’re eventually going to live in one of the coolest spots in New Orleans.  And you’re going to feel more at home than you can possibly imagine.
  • You will have enough energy to spend the day at in the snowy mountains climbing up to slide down and so on, and you’ll have so much fun doing it!

Kenlie Colorado Snow

  • You’re going to meet a man in Washington, D.C. who tells you that you’re beautiful, then from that day on, you’ll start to see what he sees.
  • You’ll go back to school and study something that makes you look forward to going to class (almost) everyday.
  • You’re going to meet celebrities and pro athletes and political leaders who think something that you’ve done is inspiring.

Chris Christie

  • You will travel to the east coast and the west coast to meet with friends who mean the world to you – friends that you might never have met if you hadn’t started this blog.

  • You will be featured in SHAPE Magazine even though you’re not skinny.
  • You’ll find your way back into church, and soon after you’ll find yourself in a relationship with God.  And you’re going to love it!

Kenlie NOLA Church.jpg

  • You will look in the mirror without hating yourself even though you’re overweight.
  • You will be open and honest with people the people in your life, and they’ll like you just the way you are.
  • You’ll have friends that you can count on to be there no matter what your mood or circumstances are like.

  • You’re going to lose a tremendous amount of weight, then you’ll struggle to keep some of it off.  When you fail, you’re going to get back up and try again.
  • You’ll have faith in God and faith in yourself.

Regardless of all of the things that I could have accomplished during the last five years, I am so thankful for everything that I have done.  I’m thankful for my family and friends and opportunities, and I’m thankful for all of the love in my life.  I’ve been blessed to experience much more happiness than sadness, much more peace than fear and much more love than I ever could have imagined five years ago.

Kenlie in New Orleans

My life has certainly been filled with ups and downs over the last five years, but I’ve grown so much and plan to continue. I wouldn’t trade my life and experiences for anyone else’s, and I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to say that and mean it.