Category Archives: Vacation

Back Home from California

Last week I went to California. I started my trip in San Francisco, and it was immediately evident that I’ve come a long way since September. When I step on the scale it always feels like it’s not moving fast enough, but I’m getting smaller, moving better and enjoying life more fully. That means more to me than a number on the scale every could, so I’m pleased with my progress.

I met up with my dear friend, Leslie, in California, and we didn’t take an Uber even one time throughout our days in San Francisco. We walked up and down hills to go to dinner, to go shopping and see everything we saw. We spent the day (well, two days) at Nieman Marcus, and I was tired by the end of the day. I wasn’t exhausted though, and that was such a cool feeling.

We ate lunch at The Rotunda inside Neiman’s, and the lobster was delicious. The popovers with strawberry butter were just as delicious as i remembered, and they brought me back to the time when I lived in New York. I loved that experience, but I’m so happy where I am now. Who knew that a popover could bring me to such an awesome realization? Ha

When I arrived in Pebble Beach, where I would spend the next few days, I walked along the beach from Monterey to Pacific Grove. The scenery was so gorgeous that I didn’t realize how far I had walked until Leslie drove from home to pick me up. I remember how hard it was to complete the Saints 5k on flat land several months ago, but this time, even though I was wearing boots, I felt so spectacular that I felt brave enough to climb on rocks. I wish I could have gotten better pictures to show how far out I was on the rocks, but a selfie was the best I could do since I was out there alone.


It’s hard to explain how different I feel, and I’m thankful for that because I felt pretty rough in the weeks following my surgery. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how difficult it was to be so miserable, but that’s okay. It helps me remember how far I’ve come, and it encourages me to keep moving forward. Did I mention that I climbed around on rocks while overlooking the ocean? I wouldn’t have done that six months ago, so it’s a big deal to me.

Now that I’m home again I’m feeling pumped up. As fun as it is to go on an adventure it’s even more fun to return home to my fiancé, my friends and the life I’ve created here in New Orleans. That’s a great feeling too, by the way.

I started trying on clothes this morning, and everything was so big that it’s time to clean out my closet. There’s a giant pile of clothes on my bed now, so I’m going to sort through it and figure out what to keep, what to give away and what to toss. Michael and I will be married 3 months from today, so it’s time to start making some space for him too. He’s going to move in with me, at least until my our lease is up, so we’ll have adequate time to find our next home.

I’m working on some big goals that I’ll discuss in an upcoming blog post, and I’m thankful that I’ve finally found an exercise groove again. Life is pretty good right now, and I’m excited about what the next few months will bring.

Until next time…




End of the Year Reflection

Each year, as it comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the last twelve months, and this year is no different. I was wasting time on Facebook last week when I decided to join everyone else in a Facebook contrived review of my year, and according to Facebook I was completely lame. If you’re on Facebook, you’re probably familiar with the little slideshow of photos that the site puts together for you. Mine showed a salad, a few silly photos with friends and nothing at all that I would consider noteworthy. The truth is that some of the coolest moments of 2014 didn’t make it to Facebook.

Even though Facebook might disagree, I did some cool things this year. I met my newest niece (actually I met her last Christmas, and I saw her again in April when I visited Colorado.)  I celebrated Hannah’s 5th birthday with my family in CO, and I can’t wait to head that way again soon. It’s been way too long for Auntie!

I spoke at an airline conference in Washington, D.C., and I met with executives from several major airlines in order to promote positive change within corporations that have the power to turn the tide.


I accidentally reconnected with an old friend for a day in front of the White House. I was able to hug her, apologize to her for the things that I did wrong and enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing with her. It was completely random, and I am thankful that it happened that way.

Kenlie White House

I took on a more active role as a worship leader at NOLA Church, and my voice and skills have grown. My relationship with Jesus has grown too. I also hosted a pretty cool small group in which I made a new and awesome friend.

Kenlie NOLA Church

I was given the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and perfected it.

I watched countless Christmas movies with Mom throughout the year.

I helped a few kids gain confidence in their abilities to succeed in school.

I went to Fitbloggin for the fourth year in a row in Savannah, GA and connected with friends who didn’t allow me to feel out of place (even though I did for the first time.)

Mission Meltdown Epic Selfie

I dined at the newest, hottest restaurants in New Orleans with friends and private jet pilots. (They didn’t offer to fly me anywhere though. Ha.)

I bought a new car.

I became a Starbucks gold card member.

I saw George Strait and Reba perform live with Clint before he moved to Chicago.

I visited Oklahoma and spent several days with Dad while it was about 3 degrees outside.

I went to my first New York Mets game at Citi Field. (I’m still a Yankees fan, but this was a pretty stellar way to spend my birthday.)

New York Mets

I got closer to finishing my degree at Tulane.

I survived heartbreak and salvaged a relationship that meant a lot to me.

I cultivated relationships with friends and made some new ones as well.

Kenlie and Friends

I went out on some dates with interesting guys, though I didn’t meet the Future Mr. Kenlie. Ha I did get to watch my close friends say “I do,” which was pretty amazing. I’ve never been happier to see anyone marry.

French Quarter Wedding
Overall I guess my year was relatively routine and low key. It definitely had some ups and downs, but I can’t tell you how cool it is to feel like I have roots somewhere. I doubt I’ll stay in New Orleans forever, but I’m happy here now.

I’m thankful that I’ve lived in the same place for a couple of years, and I’m looking forward to living in the same place for even longer. I like my location, my neighbors, my view and my surroundings.

After a few tumultuous and/or eventful years, it’s okay to look back on 2012 as quiet and satisfying. Maybe I’ll do something more exciting in 2015, or maybe I’ll just kick back and enjoy my quiet, friends and family filled life.

Here’s to a bright 2015 for all of us…


Mind Control

It’s easy to let my emotions get the best of me, but today was much better than yesterday. My situation is the same, but being with my friends has been incredible. And today, I feel happy that I’m back in New York.

I ran into someone today who knows me and my situation very well. He and his wife are two wise and loving people that I greatly admire, and as soon as I saw him tears came streaming down my face. But those tears were not only a product of sadness…they were also tears of comfort. I didn’t have to say anything because he already knew, and after letting me cry he boldly expressed that he knows things will work out. Today, I found a little hope.

My morning started at the crack of dawn (okay, more like 8am, but that’s practically the same, isn’t it? hehe) My friend and I brought her car in to be serviced, but instead of waiting an hour we had to wait all morning and afternoon. And $1,700 later her car was back in working order.

During our hours on foot we ate breakfast, got a manicure/pedicure then tried on clothes and many pairs of boots. Note to self: try on boots before getting a mani/pedi. 🙂 Speaking of boots, I had an incredible experience today. My friend and I both tried on knee-high boots, and they fit! I was able to zip them and walk around feeling like a normal girl. 😉

I didn’t buy the boots (even though they were 70% off.) I don’t want brown boots, but I do want gray boots. I found an amazing pair of those too. I’m sure I’ll own them by fall. 😉

I love wearing heels that I wouldn’t have been able to wear a year ago. Losing weight has been great for so many reasons, but the difference in my body’s balance is easily the most significant physical difference.

If you’ve never been an overweight girl who loves fashion then you may not be able to fully understand why wearing knee-high boots was such a victorious moment, but believe me when I say that it was an incredible feeling. My body is changing, and on days like today it’s undeniable.

I was supposed to be in Las Vegas this weekend with some people that I love very much, but I wasn’t able to be there. I miss them and long to be there, but I can’t do anything to change my situation right now so I intend to have a little fun tomorrow anyway. 😉

Yesterday was hard, and today wasn’t easy. But today was easier than yesterday. There may be some unpleasant days ahead, but I realize that there will be good ones too. I choose to believe that because it’s true and because I know that my attitude greatly affects my daily outcome. And by focusing on the positives – more importantly, not focusing on the negatives, I’m able to control the outcome of my day.

It’s late, I’m ready to sleep and hope to have happy dreams…I hope you all enjoy your weekend! Good night friends…xo

A Little Lighter

Yesterday was weigh-in day, and I’m happy to report that I lost one pound. I’ll update the total on my weight-loss log later today, but this loss brings me to 107 pounds. I’m flying out next Thursday which means I’ll miss a few weeks of weigh-ins, but I have a plan. I’ll weigh myself where Sean usually weighs in, and that scale will be my unofficial guide while I’m away.

I travel pretty often, and I usually come back lighter than I was when I left. But I’ll be away for almost three weeks, and it is important to stay on track. In order to do that I will have to create a strategy because there are so many places I want to eat while I’m back in Oklahoma!

Seriously folks…New York offers the best Italian food, incredible Thai food, etc. But Oklahoma has the best BBQ! And the burgers…oh my..Johnny’s serves the best burgers and onion rings I’ve ever eaten. Charlie’s Chicken is also out of this world. Their chicken chunks and mashed potatoes are almost as good as my mom’s. There’s also Chick-fil-a. What can I say? Yummy! And I cannot forget Marble Slab Creamery. I wouldn’t call myself an ice cream fanatic (though maybe I should in light of my new obsession with the 150 calorie cone.) But when I walk into ‘the slab’, uh, there’s an ice cream named after me. I think I’ll just leave it at that. 😉

How will I enjoy these rich, delicious foods I love while continuing to move forward in my weight loss efforts? I’ll think about what I eat before I eat it. I’ll track my food intake just as I would if I were here in New York. I’ll enjoy a bacon cheeseburger, but I’ll eat half instead of a whole one. I’ll eat vegetables and lean protein throughout the day so I can feel satisfied before sitting down to eat ribs. And when I do enjoy the ribs I’ll eat one, maybe two…and remind myself that the next one would taste the same. I’ll have a baked potato and corn on the cob on the side…I’ll eat a salad first, and I’ll drink a couple glasses of water before I go near my dinner plate.

If you’ve read my blog for long then you know that I value working out on vacation as much as I do when I’m at home. I am a firm believer in myself and the healthy habits I’ve formed since I began this journey to a healthier self. And I’ve talked about eating “portion controlled garbage” more than a couple of times. I’ll eat healthy foods the majority of the time, spacing out the heavier meals that I want to eat while I’m away. I’ll increase my exercise on those days. And when I do eat those meals, I’ll eat one serving rather than clearing my plate. I’ll supplement with vegetables and while grains, and I’m confident I’ll come back to New York weighing less than I did when I left.

Now that I’ve drawn out my weight-loss strategy, I should probably work on a plan for packing. May I just say that packing for a three week trip is daunting?! If only it were as easy as planning my food intake and exercise. Oh well, I guess I can’t have everything. 😉 I better get to work..

One last thing…I drank 11 glasses of water yesterday. It was a light day for H2O, and I definitely felt the difference in my level of satisfaction. I felt hungry more yesterday than I have on any other day of this challenge. I’ll drink more today…definitely!

Who has exciting plans for the weekend?!

Success and Flight Anxiety

Have you ever had one of those days in which everything is going fine until you start freaking out about something you’re not even sure you can control? Please tell me I’m not the only one who has ever done this. There’s comfort in numbers people. 😉

Today, as I was focusing on other things, I realized that I’m flying out of New York in a couple of weeks on a small plane. If you’ve read my blog very long, you know that I am no longer worried about fitting into seats on a regular flight, but these commuter planes (which are tiny even for people with average frames) are far from comfortable for their overweight passengers.

I’m flying to Oklahoma, and there is only one direct flight per day out of the NYC area. I paid more $$ for that flight because it’s direct, but also because I thought I wouldn’t have to fly on one of those small planes from Dallas or Chicago into Oklahoma. Now I’ve learned that I have to fly on the small plane from New York directly into Oklahoma. Really? Yes.

So what’s an overweight girl to do? I called the airline, of course. And I reserved a stand-alone seat on the left side of the plane so I won’t be crowding anyone but myself. That’s fair enough, isn’t it? 🙂 I also asked how many inches the seat is, and I’m happy to report that I can deal with it.

Don’t get my wrong. The seat is small, but it’s doable. I am no longer worried about being bumped from the flight which is extraordinarily important to me. I love to travel, and whether I’m going to a beautiful island or to visit loved ones, I just want to get there as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

I wonder what this flight will be like. I wonder if I’ll have to cram myself into the tiny seat for 3 hours. If so, I’ll gladly deal with it because at least I won’t be crowding anyone else. With that in mind, I can do this.

I’ve come so far on this journey, but on days like this I remember that I still have a long way to go. What’s most important is that I’m on my way. I’m working on myself inside and out, and I know that someday – perhaps even a year from now – this worry will be a thing of the past. Until then, I’ll just be thankful for the wonderful customer service representative who allowed me to reserve that particular seat.

I also want to take a moment to talk about the PE WC. Day 2 was another success for me. I drank over 16 glasses of water (which is okay based on my body weight,) and I’m still going strong. If you’re rocking this water intake like I am then you might need to be reminded that your body will adapt. It will just take some time to keep drinking!

Bottoms up, my friends!

Also, be sure to go to this morning to read all about Sean! He’s on their homepage today!

Ready To Fly

Today was weigh-in day, and I’m down another 3 pounds (2.8 to be exact.) I feel pretty good about it because I’m no longer teetering right at 100. I can officially say I’ve passed that mark. Whew!

I’m relieved to have lost, but it has been an emotional week so I’m excited to start a new one. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my emotions have run the gamut lately. I’ve felt a longing that I can’t fully explain right now followed by an indescribable need to jump into the future to claim what’s waiting for me there.

I guess it’s good that I’m going on vacation tomorrow, hm? 😉 This time I’m not heading to a plush, desert island or to the Caribbean; I’m headed to the comfort of Mom’s house. And I cannot wait to get there. 🙂

Life there is different. And while I wouldn’t want to stay there indefinitely, I always look forward to the relaxing visits, time with my family and friends who are like family. And this time, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister and my niece who will be visiting too. 🙂

After losing 103 pounds, I can honestly say that I’m not as worried about flying to Mom’s as I was last time I was there. I’ll still be the overweight passenger, but I’ll be a lot more comfortable. And I’ll take up a lot less space. I can even bring my laptop to watch episodes of Ruby and Drop Dead Diva because I’m small enough to place my Macbook on the table in front of me. That’s a big deal my friends..:)

I’m still looking forward to the day in which I no longer have to worry that someone will request a seat change or that the person sitting next to me will spot me and dread the flight. But I do know that I can comfortably take my seat and not worry about spilling over into the next seat. I also know that I won’t disembark only to find bruises on my sides because I’m so much smaller now.

I expressed my anxiety about flying in a post on August 9th of last year.

I will never be able to explain to anyone how difficult it is to hope that no one causes a scene on a plane due to my size. And I will never be able to help anyone comprehend how it feels to wish for nothing more than to be invisible.

But I am going to get on a plane in a few hours because life will not wait for me to achieve my goals. The difference this time is that I know I’ll be smaller next time. I’m 37 pounds smaller this time, and I look forward to the day when I will no longer need a seat belt extension. Until then, wish me luck because I’m definitely going to need it tomorrow.

And many of the fears I had then have melted away along with my weight. I have a long way to go, but I’m almost half way there. I truly have come so far…So I’m going to relax and look forward to the next several days without too much worry. I love to travel, love to fly…and cannot wait to see my momma. 🙂

So Much More

The rain welcomed us home today. And while it’s not super cold outside, I have to say that I prefer the sun and sand. Big surprise there, right? 😉 The truth is that I’ve never had so much fun on a vacation. I’m still far from my goal, but the difference I felt from last year is significant.

Have I mentioned how awesome it is to run around on the beach? This was the fourth beautiful beach vacation I’ve taken with the boyfriend, but it’s the first one (yes, first one) that I didn’t hide in the bathroom and cry a little.

At nearly 400 pounds, walking on the beach felt impossible. Don’t get me wrong, I did it, but it was a strain. I was out of exhausted, out of breath and self-conscious. But this time, I didn’t have to put on a happy face. I was just happy. I was able to walk/jog/swim around without feeling tired or clumsy. I was able to be myself without worrying that I’d embarrass myself by sinking so deeply into the sand that I’d fall over.

It was also easier to walk and shop. My friend, Sarah, and I left our guys in the dust as we tried to get some shopping done before the stores closed. My boyfriend bought a beautiful ring for me, and her husband did the same for her. Yay! 🙂

And because I blog about weight-loss, I have to show you some of the yummy things I ate while I was there…

(Beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables)
(You may have noticed that I like lobster and asparagus…and mashed potatoes.)
(And while I was on the beach, I drank smoothies made with fresh fruit, ice and protein powder, and I chewed on my favorite Fiber One bars. They melted in the sun, and I decided that I prefer them warm. It was decadent!)
(And most days, I ate frozen yogurt…for dessert, as a snack…you get the idea. 😉 I wonder how many points this cone would be, hmm??)

I feel so blessed to live this life. I don’t take it for granted (most of the time.) And I can’t imagine the difference another year will make, but I can’t wait to find out!

Friend Makin’ Mondays

I’m back in New York after an extraordinary vacation in Aruba. We arrived a few minutes ago, and while I had a fantastic time, I’m happy to be back home after a long day of travel.

This week on FMM, the topic is Spring. After spending the last several days laying on the beach and swimming in the ocean, I’m ready for Summer. But I’ve been looking forward to Spring for weeks so I’ll enjoy it first. 🙂

1. Favorite things about Spring:

I love sunshine, obviously. And I’m looking forward to riding my bicycle and exercising outside again. Having friends over to BBQ is one of my favorite Spring/Summer activities too. I just love so much about Spring.

2. What I’m doing for Spring Break:

Well, now that I’m a working professional I don’t really have a tradition Spring Break, but I did just get home from a spectacular vacation so my ‘Spring Break’ trip was in Aruba. We have decided to go back in October for a fall trip then we’ll do the same next year. I enjoyed it last year, but this year I fell in love with the island.

3. Favorite Spring flower:

Tulips are definitely my favorite. 🙂

4. Do you have a garden?

I planted flowers on my balcony last year. I don’t exactly have a yard for a garden, but I’ll plant a few herbs again this year…and probably begonias too. 🙂

(See? I even had soil in my hands when I planted it..this pic has gardener written all over it. Does it not? hehe)

5. If so, what do you grow.

Begonias? 🙂 Close enough, right?

6. Do you do Spring cleaning?

Not really…we have an awesome cleaning lady (who came yesterday while we were gone.) It’s so nice to come back to a spotless place. 🙂 I do ‘spring cleaning’ throughout the year as needed. I could do a little in the next month or so. Maybe that will count?

7. What is your weather *really* like right now? {Just b/c it’s “officially” spring, doesn’t mean that it feels like it for some of you}

Apparently, it was 75 and sunny here yesterday. I didn’t experience it because it was 90, breezy and sunny where I was. 😉 Can you tell I wish I was still in Aruba? 😉 It’s supposed to rain a little over the next couple of days, but our temps should be around 60 which is a big change from the last few months. I’ll take it!

8. Snapped any weather related photos lately? Share one with us!

(The weather was beautiful!)

9. What’s your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon?

Ride my bicycle, shop (’s always a good time for that.) I also like taking Sadie to the doggy park to play, going for walks with friends, sitting outside to eat lunch or dinner, exploring my city and taking pictures, drinking smoothies…

10. Favorite TV show right now?
White Collar. I can’t wait for season 2! 🙂

If you’d like to join the fun, go to Amber’s blog to share your FMM link!

Greetings From Aruba!

I’m back in the room after a long day of fun and relaxation, and I thought I’d take a few moments to share some pics from the trip. Obviously, I’ll post more pictures later. I just couldn’t wait to post a few (okay, several) now. 🙂 I hope everyone is enjoying their week as much as I am!

Relaxing by the pool….
Need a drink? No problem…just swim up to the bar if you’re already in the water.
Part of the view from our balcony…
Another view from the balcony…
Our room
Fondue for dessert…yum…I loved this because I shared it with a friend, and I was able to enjoy most of the fruit without chocolate. I dipped a few bites though so I didn’t feel deprived — not even close. 😉

Oh, and dinner last night: lobster, prime rib, mashed potatoes and vegetables. Like I said…not deprived. Delicious! Tonight I had a grilled chicken sandwich with caramelized onions, a little bacon, lettuce and tomato. I’m sure I’ll eat something more interesting tomorrow. 🙂

If you look at the middle of the pic you’ll see me swimming back from the buoy. I swam to the buoy and back several times in an attempt to get my heart pumping and it worked. I also worked out for 67 minutes last night (52 on the treadmill and 15 on the elliptical) then 45 minutes tonight (30 on the treadmill and 15 on the elliptical.) I hope this pattern is enough to make the scale happy upon my return. 😉
This little yellow duck is an ‘anchor.’ Each week someone from our Weight Watchers meeting takes him home. He’s been all over the country and world with the members of our group. His name is Brightweight, and his job is the serve as a reminder that we have a group to go back to. I love this little quacky duck.
Have I ever mentioned how extraordinarily wonderful it feels to hold me head high? Even in a swimsuit on a beach, surrounded by friends and strangers, I feel comfortable with myself and my progress. Also, walking on the beach is a breeze. I remember crying because it felt impossibly hard two years ago and even last year. Those days are gone friends…Boyfriend and I went for a walk down the beach today, and I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. Life is so good when you take control of it.
After a day of laying in the sun and splashing around, I’m a little pink. I wore sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. It happens. I’m just glad it’s not too bad. I’d rather eat a lobster than look like one.

I feel so good today. I feel as though I can do anything. Tomorrow the plan is to shop then lay on the beach. At some point I’ll work out, and I’ll enjoy dinner with my hot boyfriend (who is already tan for the record.)

It’s been a great trip so far, and I’m so excited to have a few more days here….Until then….


Don’t forget to come back for tomorrow’s post – falling in love as an overweight girl.

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 ( 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.