Category Archives: Weigh-In

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Day One

The process to be approved for weight-loss surgery is not short, but if the end result leads me to incredible health benefits it’ll be worth it. It’s slightly less overwhelming now that I’ve spoken to my doctor about everything I need to do in preparation, but it’s going to be a long road.

The surgeon sent me a checklist that must be completed before I can be approved, and the process has begun:

  • Clearance from Cardiologist with a recent EKG – I had an EKG a few weeks ago, and it came back normal. Whew! I still have to see a cardiologist though, which means I have to find one soon.
  • Psychological Evaluation – I’m in the healthiest place I’ve ever been in my heart and mind, so that doesn’t seem like a big deal. I just need to schedule an appointment.
  • Pulmonology Evaluation – I have to have a pulmonary function test and an arterial blood gas. I really have no idea what this means, but it sounds like it might hurt. Yikes!
  • Blood work with a TSH within the last 12 months – I did this a few weeks ago too, but if they need more blood I’ll let them poke me again. I think we’re good are though.
  • Physician supervised weight loss and exercise program for 6 months – My insurance pays for Weight Watchers meetings, which counts. I’m already doing pretty well there, so I’m going to keep it up. Today was my first of 6 appointments that will be specific to my weight-loss progress. I’ll see my doctor again a month from now, and I hope to be 8 to 10 pounds lighter.
  • Dietician Evaluation – This seems pretty straight forward, and I think I could benefit greatly from it. I’ll do that on the same day as my surgical visit.

I’ve been doing well with Weight Watchers lately, and I’m finally starting to feel well after a few weeks of pain due to skin issues. I haven’t exercised in over two weeks, but I think I’m well enough to start again. Unfortunately, there’s no prescription or remedy to completely fix the problem, so even though it hurts again I have to deal with it.

sleep studyTonight I’m doing a sleep study, which should be interesting. Thankfully, they sent me home with the equipment, so I’m not required to spend the night anywhere else. It seems invasive, but it won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as sleeping in a hospital or another strange place.

I typically sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested, so I’m guessing I’m okay. I’m just going to do every test they suggest with the hope that it will lead me to a healthier place overall.

This process feels overwhelming to me, but I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how life would be different. I already love my life! I have a loving family, a great job, a group of good friends, a boyfriend who is thoughtful, encouraging and understanding, a comfortable home and a bright future. I don’t want any of that to change; I just want my health to improve long-term, so I  can enjoy the life I’m already living. It would be cool to be able to buy jeans again too, but I think I’m pretty close to that right now.

 

 

 

 

 

Doctors, Weight Watchers and Friends…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend Update: Family, Cardio and Pie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

The Number on the Scale

I’ve always been a fan of writing things out on paper. Whether I’m taking notes in my Bible, writing out grocery lists or making goals I always prefer doing it on paper.

When I spent some time with my family this week I came across a goal I had written out years ago. I left it in my room at Mom’s house, and it’s been a while since I really stopped to think about the hope I placed on that piece of paper years ago.

I also noted the date (almost exactly 4 years ago) when I recognized how hard my personal weight journey felt inside my head.

lose weight

At the time I weighed about 15 pounds more than the number I wrote down, but now, four years later, I weigh almost 70 pounds more than that number. I’m going to be really transparent for a minute; it sucks.

I remember sitting at the desk thinking about how impossibly difficult it felt to lose the necessary 15 or 16 pounds to reach that weight. I just The truth is it seems a lot harder now because it will take a lot more effort, but I think it feels possible. I realize that to most this number still seems high, and I know it is. I also know how awesome and accomplished I felt when I reached it, so it matters to me.

People with good intentions, naive though they may be, often say “stop focusing on the numbers,” and that just doesn’t work in my mind. I never obsessed over reaching a certain weight by a certain date or anything, but I do need to see the numbers moving in the right direction. It motivates me to see the numbers inching down, and now that I’m back with Weight Watchers I’m more aware of it than I’ve been in years.

The good news is that I’ve learned some things about myself and how my mind works since the day I put that number on paper. I’ve learned that I like routine. It’s good for me to know what time I’ll wake up, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll go out, when I’ll be home. (I need to work on the latter. I spend far too much time away from home, but that’s improving.) I always felt like routines were boring, but now that I love my work, my friends and my home it’s great to know that I can look forward to certain things on certain days.

Monday – work, exercise and dinner with my gentleman friend

Tuesday – work, exercise after work, then spend the evening with friends/gentleman friend

Wednesday – late day at work. I go in later than usual, but I’m still home in time to enjoy the evening.

Thursday – work, exercise, band practice for the worship team at church

Friday – rest day

Saturday – prayer with friends at church, followed by free time

Sunday – church, lunch with friends (most weeks,) followed by free time

There’s a lot of time in my schedule to add in exercise, and I could do meal prep too. I’ve never been a fan of eating leftovers, so I think it’s important to come up with ideas to make healthy and easy lunches and dinners.

I used to beat myself up when I saw the 284 photo, but lately I’ve been feeling a renewed hope. (I think it’s because I’m making an effort again.)

I don’t like the way I look in photos right now, but I’m not going to stop taking them. I don’t like how hard it is shop for clothes again, but I’m still going to do it.

I don’t like the fact that I let myself veer so far off track, but I’m happier than I was back then. I’m healthier in so many areas of my life than I was at that time, which means it’s not too late to do this.

 

 

 

 

Week 2 with Weight Watchers

Today was the beginning of Week 2 for me, and it was the first meeting I’ve been to in ages. I’m happy to say that I’m down 5 pounds for the week, and I’m looking forward to losing more in the coming week. The meeting itself wasn’t earth-shattering, but the people were nice. weight watchersThey were discussing food finds that I learned about during my first jaunt with Weight Watchers in 2010. Seriously, they were talking about the same brands and products. They also discussed  fat-free dressings made by Bolthouse Farms that I wouldn’t dream of eating because it’s simply not food, but I didn’t mind these discussions. It was all so familiar, but I liked that. Unfortunately, the awesome lady who led the meeting was just filling in for the leader who was out of town. I am familiar with the other leader, and she’s been with Weight Watchers for 31 years. She knows her stuff, and she has a reputation for being tough. Maybe that’s what I’ll need. I’m just hoping I like this meeting even though there was no one my age there.

 

leafy greens with strawberries

This spring mix with strawberries, walnuts and more is one of my old favorites.

I joined just in time to participate in a 12-week Try-A-Thon, which is comprised of weekly goals to try something new. In my old New York meetings I had a reputation for loving Bravo stickers, and it’s still true. I was reminded of that today when I started thinking about trying new workouts and foods.

Last week I tried water aerobics, which was fun. It’s not a very intense workout, but it’s really enjoyable. I’ve also made an effort to create more interesting salads. I’ve made a few without lettuce, which is fun. I’m also trying to recreate some of my old favorites.

I still love everything I make from SkinnyTaste, and right now following recipes are in my regular rotation.

Spiraled Summer Roll Bowls with Hoisin Peanut Sauce

Spicy California Shrimp Stacks

My goal for the coming week is to eat more leafy greens and vegetables, in general. I also want to exercise at least 3 times, though 4 would be even better. I’m also committed to tracking everything I eat.

Kenlie

I felt pressure lift when I stepped on the scale today. It sucks to face the fact that I’ve gained so much back, but I am also relieved that I’m dealing with it now before gaining every single pound back.

I feel hopeful and encouraged, which seems like a good place to be.

Hello Again, Weight Watchers…

I’ve been pretty quiet about the fact that I rejoined Weight Watchers, but I have to say that I’m enjoying the new Smart Points system. I never liked PointsPlus. I mean, I couldn’t stand it! I didn’t care for Oprah’s commercials earlier this year either, but after some serious consideration I decided to rejoin. I still don’t know which meeting I’ll go to regularly, but I am much more open to it than I was when I looked for meetings in New Orleans years ago.

When I lived in New York I weighed in on Thursday evenings, and I noticed that there are two Thursday meetings less than 5 minutes from my office. I didn’t make time for them this week, but it’s on my schedule for next week.

I did cardio on the elliptical this week, and I also tried water aerobics for the first time after work. Can we talk about how awesome it is that I can walk from my office to the swimming pool in less than 60 seconds? 

Water Aerobics YMCA

Most of my meal choices have been pretty healthy this week too, and the trend, as always,  seems to be that I’m much more aware when I’m tracking my intake. I think I needed a break from that, but I’m enjoying the app now. It’s come a long, long way since the last time I used it.

I know that food, as it relates to my life, is a result of my lack of self-discipline. I’ve tackled a lot of major life issues over the last few years, and now it’s time to face this one. I’ve given this a lot of thought in 2016, but recently I decided to take action.

Overcome Issues

I hope to find a meeting filled with people who will become friends because the accountability is what I need most, and I’m thankful for the support and encouragement I receive at work and in my personal life.

I made a promise to myself years ago that I’d start over as many times as it takes, and that’s still true. I already know what I’m capable of, and now it’s time to prove it to myself once again.

 

 

 

Harsh Reality and A Warning

When I was at my heaviest I started having issues with my feet, and for a period of a few months I was seeing a podiatrist to get cortisone injections on my heels. It hurt so much to walk that I struggled to do little things like shop at big stores, walk out to my car in the snow, etc.

When my niece was born in 2009 I flew to Colorado and cried for hours when I arrived because my feet were so swollen that I couldn’t put on any of my shoes to go and see my family at the hospital. Even my big pair of Uggs, which I bought a size bigger than usual, was too tight to put on.

The pain was intense, and at that point I had lost about 12 pounds. I felt hopeful, but I also felt terrified. I knew that I didn’t want to live that way, and over the next few years I worked to change it.

It only took about 2 months of consistent weight-loss to make me realize that I no longer felt any pain in my feet. In fact, the constant ache was replaced by a spring in my step. I started feeling great, and life got much easier and more enjoyable at that point.

The sad, embarrassing and scary truth is that as I was rehearsing to lead worship at church today I felt pain in my heel. It was mild, and by no means did it keep me from running around all day. But it still hurts tonight.

I’m not at my heaviest weight now, but I’m close enough that it scares to think about how easy it would be to get there. I’ve gained so much weight over the last 2 years, and I don’t like it.

I’ve experienced feelings of failure and defeat, but I also realize that control is within my reach whenever I’m ready to grab it.

My habits were better in September than they’ve been in a long time, but after some emotional turmoil and stress I felt myself slipping again.

I never want to step on the scale and see the number I saw the first time I walked into Weight Watchers, which means I need to get serious. I’m committed to counting calories, and I need to work out at least 3 – 4 times a week.

I don’t want to be who I was before. I didn’t like her very much because she loathed herself too much to try. She gave up easily until she realized she was worth fighting for.

I’m worth fighting for, and I’m going to spend the next month obnoxiously posting about my workouts, food intake and everything else that I usually post about on Instagram.

It’s ridiculous to start over again and again, but it’s better than not trying. There are some cool things on the horizon, and it’s time to make sure that I’m healthy and happy enough to enjoy it.

Is anyone else struggling with weight, self-control, etc? Do you have a plan to change it? Are you succeeding? If so, what are you doing to see progress?

 

Let’s Talk About How Much I Weigh Today

I weight 343 pounds. At my lowest I weighed 284 pounds. I realize that the second number is still obese, but I felt much better about myself at that weight than I do now. I’ve managed to stave off gaining for several months now. I’ve even lost a little, but I’m keenly aware of how much I need to make a change.

Kenlie

How many times can I say that I know I need to do something about it? How many times can I admit that I find it hard to ask God to help me in this area of my life? Am I the only one who wishes that I could shed the extra weight without sacrifice? Am I the only person my size who can’t seem to grasp the importance of making my body healthy?

I continue to say ‘NO’ to doughnuts even when they’re staring me in the face, but that’s not enough. I need to break my addiction to instant gratification. I need to look at the big picture instead of the immediate one.

It would be easier to give up my blog and forget that I started something that needs to be finished here. It would be easier to write the new one without any thought to the old one, but that’s not what’s best for me. It’s not making me healthier, and I’m not going to allow myself to feel ashamed of the changes that I need to make.

My goal was to have two blogs so I could focus on the other one, but I’m going to rename this one when I figure out exactly how to do it. It just sums up who I am in a better way now.

I miss the friends that I’ve made here, and I like knowing that there are people who understand what I’m going through.

 

So…I’m back.

 

I’m Different, Which Is Mostly Okay with Me

I started this blog almost six years ago, and life has changed so much since it began! I’ve experienced success, failure, heartbreak, loss, love, what I thought might be love, anger, growth, healing, fulfillment, and a lot of other things that have molded me into the person I am right now. I’ve talked about all of it at length here. I’ve shared the highs and lows, and as I moved into 2014 I was unsure about my presence here. I was quiet for more of December because I was happier not posting here, but over the last few days I’ve missed it.

My first post here was in 2009, but I wrote before that on a site that no longer exists. I’ve never found a blog name that sums up who I am, err, who I want to be as well as this one, but I’m different than I was when it started. My goals and priorities are different. My lifestyle is different. I miss parts of my former life, but I’m exponentially happier than I was.

I took this selfie today while singing hymns and waiting to fill up for $1.75 per gallon. I had to entertain myself for about 6 minutes.

After months of self-questioning and reflection regarding this blog, I was inspired by my friend, Kelly from NoThanksToCake, to write a new “About Me” page. I read what I had written some time ago with plans to change it, but the truth is that it still fits. It still sums up who I am, who I want to be, what I want…

In lieu of writing a new “About Me” Section, I’m just going to make a list of ways in which I’m different now. I’m going to continue to use this particular blog space because I love it more than any other space that’s available to me on the web.

So here we go…

  • In 2009 I was…focused on my health over everything else. I was a member of Weight Watchers, and I attended motivational weekly meetings to see my progress. I tracked consistently and almost always saw positive results. (If they ever bring back the Momentum plan, I’ll rejoin immediately.)
  • In 2014 I am…focused on all kinds of things, but my weight/health/consumption has not been a priority in ages. In fact, when I was asked to list the top five things that were most important to me, my health didn’t even make the list.
  • In 2009 I was…living in New York.
  • In 2014 I am…living in the heart of downtown New Orleans.
  • In 2009 I was…a weekly participant in Friend Makin’ Mondays.
  • In 2014 I am…no longer a participant in FMM. I became host and hosted every Monday until earlier this year when Sarah graciously agreed to take over. Now I’ll probably do something on Thursdays because that’s always been my favorite day to weigh-in, to blog, etc. I think it’s due to the anticipation of the upcoming weekend.
  • In 2009 I was…afraid to be myself, afraid that if people really knew me, they’d see that I was as worthless as I believed I was. I was closed off; I didn’t let anyone in because I hated who I was and was unable to admit it.
  • In 2014 I am…a pretty cool person who has a loving family, which I always had, and a cool set of friends (many of whom know every single awful thing I’ve ever done and still love me.)
  • In 2009 I was…determined to never attend church again. I was angry with God and angry with myself for not feeling worthy of the love that I forgot that He so freely gives.
  • In 2014 I am…a believer. I’ve been a part of NOLA Church for almost two years, and I have experienced more grace, love and healing that I ever could have imagined. God’s still working on me in major ways, but I’m new. I’m a part of God’s family, and I realize now (thanks for a very patient pastor, his beautiful wife and the community that I’m now a part of) that there’s nothing that can ever separate me from the love of God. (If you’re not convinced just take a moment to read Romans 8:31-39. You’re welcome.)
  • In 2009 I was…not a fan of coffee.
  • In 2014 I am…a fan of coffee. I never thought that Starbucks would become one of my favorite daily spots, but it is now. I do private tutoring there a few days a week, I’ve made friends with a handful of baristas at my preferred location, and I’m a gold card member. (Who doesn’t want a free drink once in a while?)
  • In 2009 I was…quietly singing karaoke in the comfort of my own home. I grew up singing in public and often.
  • In 2014 I am…on the worship team at NOLA Church and singing more powerfully than ever before. Our voices are instruments that need to be used, and it’s an awesome feeling.
  • In 2009 I was…nervous that I’d never figure out my place in life.
  • In 2014 I am…almost finished pursuing a degree at Tulane University. I still don’t know where I’ll end up, but my education should give me a firm foundation as I figure that out.
  • In 2009 I was…living with my boyfriend.
  • In 2014 I am…living alone in a cozy little apartment where I feel safe and content even without a boyfriend.
  • In 2009 I was…in a stellar exercise routine. My goal was to workout 1,000 minutes per month, and I logged it here.
  • In 2014 I am…less devoted to regular exercise than I have been in the last several years. I haven’t made it a priority, and as a result I feel lethargic when I think of hitting the gym. Sometimes I do it anyway, but I’m not consistent at all. It seems I’ve forgotten how good an endorphin rush can feel.
  • In 2009 I was…patient and consistent in cooking meals at home.
  • In 2014 I am…always on the go. I need to make more time to dine at home because a little planning goes a long way toward success.
  • In 2009 I was…determined to shed excess weight.
  • In 2014 I am…disappointed in myself for putting a significant amount of the weight I lost back on. I never got to my goal, nor have I regained all that I lost. I just haven’t done much at all for my physical health, and in all honesty, I’m beginning to feel it. I don’t like it one bit.
  • In 2009 I was…struggling daily to refrain from drinking Coke, Dr. Pepper and Sprite.
  • In 2014 I am…repulsed by soda. I haven’t had one since early 2009, and I’ll be fine with it if I never have one again.
  • In 2009 I was…so sure of myself. I believed that I could lose weight. I believed that if I worked at it and stayed consistent that it would work.
  • In 2014 I am…not even sure how I ever felt that. Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but I don’t remember it ever being as hard as it seems now. I guess the truth is that I’m afraid that I’m going to do all of the work again only to yo-yo again. I don’t want to fail anymore, and I’ve used that as a reason to not really try. I can’t be a failure if I’m not trying, right? (Wow, Kenlie…That’s just great. Way to suck a life, friend.)
  • In 2009 I was…Partying Off the Pounds with my favorite Richard Simmons DVD.
  • In 2014 I am…still in awe of the fact that I met my favorite fitness guru. I know him, and he knows me. He’s struggling right now, and it’s a reminder that even the greatest of us face difficult battles. He’s an incredible inspiration to me, and I hope to see him again sooner than later. I wrote about him recently for DietsInReview.com after fielding a lot of questions from other news outlets.
  • In 2009 I was…at the top of my game in this weight-loss thing. I didn’t care what CNN thought of me, and I didn’t get e-mails from reporters at various networks asking how much skinnier I had gotten since the beginning of the year.
  • In 2014 I am…an advocate for people of size because I believe that everyone deserves the same level of respect I no longer allow the opinions of people that I don’t know to affect how I feel about myself. In addition to being a founding board member at PlusInc, I also blog there pretty regularly.
  • In 2009 I was…an emotional wreck. I wasn’t depressed in a traditional sense. I just hated who I was.
  • In 2014 I am…emotionally healthy. I feel whatever I feel, then I let it go and move on.
  • In 2009 I was…afraid to be who I was.
  • In 2014 I am…actively loving myself even though I still have a lot of work to do to be insanely proud of myself.

I’m sure that I could list a myriad of other ways in which I’m different now than I was in 2009, but this is a good start. I’m different, but many of my desires are the same. I know that in order to lose weight I have to be active in trying, and over the last few months I’ve been doing more than I was. It’s been over three months since I’ve had a doughnut, and I’m hoping that at some point, I find them as disgusting as soft drinks.

I guess I said all of that to say this: I’m here. I may or may not check in everyday, and you may or may not like what I have to say. I’ll just be here to write when I want to write, and I’ll continue to strive to be the best version of myself.

 

 

 

I’m Thankful For My Fat Body

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a long time, and I stay connected through social media.  I constantly see motivational quotes plastered all over photos of women who are cut and airbrushed, making generalizations and promises even though they’ve never spent a day in my shoes.

I think it’s amazing when someone loses a substantial amount of weight, and I think it’s even more amazing when they keep off the weight that they lose for more than a year or two.  It’s hard….really hard.  I am constantly proud of myself even though I’d be a lot more pleased with myself if I could get back into a weight-loss groove and stay there.  Though I’m nowhere near my numbers goal, I’ve learned a few things throughout this process.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey…there will always be room for improvement.  I think it’s important to reflect on where we want to go, but it’s equally important to appreciate ourselves where we are.  (Seriously, Kenlie? Yep!)  If we never stop to appreciate everything that we do have, we’ll never be content, no matter how much we receive.

My body is *not* where it should be according to society, my doctor, Weight Watchers, etc.  I need to weigh less if I want to be considered healthy and beautiful.  I get it.  At the same time, I find it difficult to hate myself because, in my mind, I’ve come so far.  I love myself, and even though I’d like to wear a smaller size, I think it’s important to appreciate who I am and what I have right now.

I spend a lot of time being thankful for my life and the changes that have made it wonderful.  I thank GOD constantly for my family, my little home, my friends, my church, my travels, my things – all of it, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been as thankful for my body as I am today.

Nine Roses New Orleans

It’s easy to whine about why it’s so hard to lose the next hundred pounds.  I don’t want to have surgery, and even if I did, it’s not a realistic option for me.  Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising, and I rarely ever feel like restricting my food intake enough to lose weight.  Losing 250 pounds is tough, but I still don’t quite believe that it’s impossible.

Even though the weight I’ve lost feels like part of my past, I’m choosing to be thankful for my body today. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, my heart is strong and healthy…My legs allow me to walk up hundreds of steps, and they carry me everywhere that I need to go.  My smile is sincere and  bright, and I typically feel good about my eyes, lips, skin and finger nails.

1467268_10202739288629974_1554062741_n-1

I know a lot of people (who are much smaller than I am) who live with chronic pain and sickness, and I do not.  I’m blessed that my body is strong enough to do what I need it to do.  I remember what it was like to feel such intense pain in my feet that I struggles to walk, and I’m constantly thankful that I no longer feel that way.

I am more aware than anyone that there’s plenty of work to be done in order to be the best version of myself, but I’m also keenly aware of how lucky I am.  I’m not a size zero, but I’m happy and capable of change.  I’m strong, independent and active, and I’m thankful for who I am today – extra weight and all.