Category Archives: weight loss

How Making Music Keeps Me From Junk Food

I’m several days into my no junk food challenge (even though we didn’t start officially until Wednesday.) I have to confess that I’ve had two pieces of King cake (on different days) since we started. It was pretty easily justified in my mind because King cake is only available between now and Mardi Gras, but the thing is…i don’t even really like Mardi Gras or King cake. Seriously, I just don’t care about it…until I tell myself that I can’t have it.

I did Body Combat yesterday, and my weight was still down a bit this morning. I feel so awesome all day after I do a workout the intimidates me at least a little. I just know that it would be easier to control my weight if I controlled my cravings. (Um, is any of it easy? No, but that’s why we continue seeking self-discipline, right?)

The same goes for doughnuts and other obscenely, sugar-laden foods. I’ve had 3 or 4 doughnuts in the last year and a half, which is a far cry from the days in which I allowed myself to fall into a daily habit. I’m doing well so far today, and I’m paying close attention to things that keep my cravings at bay.

In a recent post I talked about food having an emotional connection in my mind, so it makes sense that music might alleviate my cravings, right? Um, music moves me, and when I’m singing I forget about everything else around me. (Sorry, neighbors! Just kidding…kind of.)

I cannot stop singing this song, so I spent a few minutes recording it. It’s as though Natalie Grant cracked my heart open with a hammer and poured out this song. She hit me at my core with this song, so I had to record it. I seriously wish I could sing as loudly as I want to in my apartment. (Actually, if I’m wishing for things I should probably wish for a microphone or some recording time in a studio.)

 

When I’m singing I can’t be bothered with mindless eating. Th same thing applies to knitting. I have a few other hobbies, but those two are the best when I’m trying to get my mind off of junk food — or food, in general.

I don’t know how to explain it, but life-giving, love songs seem to quench my desire for snacks. This is a new development, so I hope it proves true in the long run.

Until next time…Keep singing, err, at least I will.

 

 

Plus-Size Weight Training, Cardio and TRX…and Junk Food…

I’ve wanted to sit down and blog several times over the last few weeks, but between work, travel and the other things I enjoy I haven’t made the time. I wanted my next post to be a holiday recap, but it looks like that will happen later (if it happens at all.)

Right now I want to talk about fitness. It almost feels weird to say that, even though at one point we discussed that frequently here. I’ve been journaling my food for about a month now, and I’ve started incorporating workouts into my daily routine. It seems to be working too because I didn’t gain weight over the holidays. I actually lost a couple of pounds. (I’ll do an official update here next week.)

plus size weight training

If we’re connected via social media you may know that started working at the YMCA late last year, and being there has been awesome on so many levels. I love the work I’m doing, but I also love coming out of my office and entering the gym. It’s hard not to be motivated when you’re surrounded by regular people doing extraordinary things.

Weight training is a big deal, especially for women who want to get fit. I used to do it pretty regularly, and I forgot how much I love feeling my sore muscles because I crushed it at the gym.

Last week I told my boss that I wanted to try some classes that intimidate me, so the first on the last is Body Combat. I’ll do it Thursday, but today I tried TRX. I hadn’t even attempted that since I went to IDEA in Los Angeles 5 years ago, but I’m so glad I tried it today.

it made me feel good to know that I’m not starting from square one. My body is a lot stronger than it was when I started this journey, and I am relieved because I’m finally shifting my focus away from my failures and onto my future.

TRX

There’s no way for me to make this look attractive, but I don’t care. I felt awesome when I remembered that my body could do difficult things.

I felt fierce as I got familiar with the straps and the different exercises. I still have a lot to learn, but I was able to work up a sweat. I also spent some time doing circuits with compound movements before taking a ride on the recumbent bike. I’ve always loved the ‘bent because it was the first piece of gym equipment I wasn’t afraid to try when I was new to the idea of exercise.

In addition to exercise I’m spending more time preparing meals that will have a positive impact on my body. It’s not always as convenient, but I’ve noticed that if I meal prep for two or three days at a time I can do it pretty easily.

This week I’ve eaten a lot of chicken, a few boiled eggs, veggies, quinoa, almonds and cheese, (though not all at once, of course.) Smoked almonds are ridiculously salty, but when I eat an ounce of them it seems like I’m making a better choice than a bag of chips. (I love raw almonds too, but I had the smoked ones in my cabinet.)

Today one of our trainers suggested that I join the 21 Day Junk Food Challenge, and I agreed to do it. I’ll post the details on Instagram, and I’d love to hear from you if you want to join me in the challenge. The goal is to eliminate junk food for the next few weeks, which sounds simple, right? Uh, if it were actually simple for me this blog wouldn’t exist, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

If anyone wants to join me in the challenge, leave a comment here or on Instagram, and I’ll come up with a prize pack to give away.

I left my home at 5:30 this morning, and I got home just before dark. I’m usually home later, but I’m eat tonight. I had a long and productive day, and I’m looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.

Until then….

 

 

 

 

When He Brings Up Your Weight

The last few days have been incredibly busy for me, but I feel as though a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Sharing the number on the scale was embarrassing for a moment, then it became freeing. I don’t want to want my life to revolve around the numbers on the scale, but I don’t want to hide from them either.

After the conversation I had with that guy (you know the one) earlier this week, I did a lot more reflecting, meal prepping and exercising. That man is not the man for me. He’s much older than I am and more selfish than I am, but there are moments in which it feels like he cares for me deeply.

When I was sick came to my place so we could take a nap while coughing all over him, and when  he learned that my tire was flat last week he dropped everything at work to come and repair it for me.

He’s a nice man who spent months showing me that he adored me and desired me the way I am, so when he wanted to talk about my weight as we drank coffee the other day I was willing.

C: I just got a text from Walgreens saying that my prescription is ready. Do you get texts when yours are ready? (He’s in great shape, but he’s a diabetic.)

K: You know I don’t take any…

C: Well, yes. You will probably need to someday if you don’t change some habits. 

K: Uh…

C: I’m just saying that your eating habits aren’t exactly great, you know? Maybe it would be a good idea to make some changes now instead of when you’re forced to. 

K: Dude, I’ve lost so much, gained some back, etc. 

We paused to discuss some private stuff regarding my initial weight gain, then resumed our conversation. 

C: I don’t want to talk about that right now. (He already knows my history.) I want to talk about what we could do today. 

K: Yeah, I mean…it’s something I have to do, and it’s really frustrating that I let myself go backwards for so long. 

C: What can I do to help?

K: Not a thing.

C: You have to do this for yourself…not for me or anyone else. 

K: Oh, believe me…I know. It’s frustrating to think that you’d want me more if I were skinnier, but…

C: I’ve already proven my desire for you, Kenlie. You just need to make some changes. People already love you how you are. 

K: Yeah, I know. I did really well during the time period in which we were eating lunch together everyday. 

C: You need to make a schedule. 

K: I know. 

C: You don’t have to worry about everything. Just worry about what you’re doing to do today and tomorrow.

K: That’s far less overwhelming.

C: I wish we were the only two people in the world. I mean, in our world, so we could decide together that we’re going to start. Imagine how different things would be in a year. Instead we have to be careful not to end up giving each other a shot or something. 

K: Well, we know that’s not going to happen (referring to him being around for all of that.)

C: Oh, do you have a crystal ball?

K: Nope, just common sense.

C: You can’t predict the future, Kenlie.

K: Whatever. I’m going to work out now. 

It’s been an emotionally tough year for me. I mean, we constantly evolve as people, which means that some times are better than others. I just dealt with a few extended periods of stress that I’m not used to this year. I’ve also learned a lot about myself and experienced tremendous growth throughout this year.

I fought loneliness hard this year too, and it wasn’t until a few months ago that I began recognizing God as my source – for comfort, in my finances and in every other area. Yes, I knew He was there and that He loves me so much, but I have found so much strength in leaning on Him when I feel weak or lonely.

Food is connected to my emotions, and my emotions lie. They tell me that I can’t do this, or that I’d be more loved if I weren’t so fat. They say that I’m a failure because I have to try again, and they tell me that sitting at home next to my Christmas tree watching a Hallmark movie will be so much better if I have a calorie-laden hot chocolate…and cake or pie. They scream about how much easier it would be to do this is C was with me everyday to help me stick to it.

I have overcome some major obstacles in my life, and sometimes I surprise myself with cool things that I do or opportunities that arise. (Have I mentioned that I work for a gym now? I still have my regular clients, but seriously…I work at a gym.)

I know that I can do this, and I know that I have to take little steps to establish consistency and create a routine. I know that I don’t need that man in my kitchen everyday to succeed. I know that all I need is a little more gumption and to make my food intake a much higher priority than it has been.

Being skinny is not something that I find particularly appealing. Wait, that is an absolute lie. It would be awesome to be tiny, but what I want more than anything now (regarding my health) is to be in control of my body and intake. I just want to get back into the 280’s, a point in which I felt unstoppable.

I started by making a few healthy meals so it would be convenient to eat something healthy and delicious, and that’s working. I’m going to update my exercise log once in a while too. I’ll write it down and report it here (even if I’m the only one seeing it.)

My big goal right now is to plan what I’m going to eat today and tomorrow. I’ll deal with the rest as it happens. (I think rotisserie chicken is going to be my new favorite for a while. Yum.)

Is anyone else reading this and starting over? Have you already started over? If so, I’d like to hear what you’re doing.

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About How Much I Weigh Today

It’s been a while since I said anything here, and it’s been a really long while since I used this blog for its intended purpose – accountability.

When my blog disappeared from the internet recently I thought about whether or not I should keep it or let it go. Thankfully, GoDaddy recognized the mistake and restored it, but during that period I did some reflecting.

Does anyone read blogs these days?

Is blogging still a thing?

Should I let it go since it hasn’t served its intended purpose in a long time?

At some points this blog was an empowering tool, but it also led to significant pain at other points. Is any of it relevant anymore?

I’ve changed so much. Do those changes really need to be documented online?

Will anyone actually read it if I do write?

All of these thoughts and questions swirled in my mind over the 24-hour period in which it was gone. I even posed a question on Facebook asking for opinions about whether or not I should pay the $150 fee to have it restored.

Ultimately, it was fixed without the fee, and during that time I realized that I wasn’t ready to let go of it yet. I also realized that the reasons I want to keep it are personal. I didn’t mind the thought of people not reading it, but I hated the thought of losing the personal history that I’ve shared here. Sure, it only matters to me, but I’m the only person it really needs to matter to.

I weigh almost as much as I did when I started this blog nearly 7 years ago. A long time ago I lost a lot of weight, and when I stopped being diligent I became apathetic. It’s the truth, and I’m not proud of it.

This morning I weighed 357.2 pounds, only 36.4 pounds down from my highest recorded weight. Sure, I’m glad I don’t weigh 36.4 pounds more than I did when I started, but I’m headed there fast if I don’t change something. This realization makes me sad. It also embarrasses me more than words can express.

As I sat at Starbucks today with the man I used to mention vaguely here we discussed my weight, his worries regarding my long-term health and all of the excuses/reasons I have for letting my weight spiral out of control again. (I’ll share more about our conversation later.)

I know that I’m not the only person who has lost weight and gained it back. I also know that it’s possible to do it again, to hold on tighter and to start again now.

Kenlie Gym

When I got home after a busy day I hit the gym, then I prepared a healthy dinner. I’m not prepared enough or disciplined enough to plan out a month of meals right now, but I do think I can plan for tomorrow. Maybe that’s all I need to do right now.

It has been a long time since I used this blog as a tool for my weight-loss, but I’m starting now. I’m done making excuses, feeling like a failure and putting off another attempt until later. I changed my habits today, and I’m going to try to do the same again tomorrow.

Now it’s time for a cold, post-gym shower because I have a lot of work ahead of me tonight, and I’ve put it all off long enough.

 

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?

 

In My Kitchen

I did some baking over the weekend, and it was the first time my kitchen has smelled like fall this year. After grocery shopping Sunday I decided to make use of the pumpkin I bought, so I attempted to make pumpkin scones like the ones I saw at Starbucks last week.

pumpkin scones

They’re not low calorie, but knowing how many calories are in each one helped me stay on track. It also urged me to give most of them away! Ha..

They were so delicious that I promptly invited neighbors over to share them, so I could bake without being tempted to over eat my delicious treats. And they were a hit!

corn and beans

This simple dish is packed with protein and healthy fats, and it keeps me feeling full for hours.

I’ve been spending more time at home over the last month or so, and I’ve cooked a lot of healthy meals. I’ve also been doing meal prep, so that I can reach the little goals I’ve set.  It seems to be working well, and I’m rediscovering foods that I used to love. 

Breakfast is simple because I’m at home. I eat oatmeal, and lately I’ve been adding an egg and half a cup of milk before I cook it. It’s easy, delicious and filled with protein, which makes it my go-to meal in the mornings.

egg and oatmeal

I topped it with almonds and a tablespoon of brown sugar. It wasn’t low calorie, but it kept me satisfied all morning!

For lunch I typically make sandwiches on whole grain bread for the significant man that I vaguely mention here sometimes. We usually eat them with fruit and veggies, and sometimes we share a serving of chips too. (He knows that I don’t like eating sandwiches without chips. Am I the only one who feels this way?)

I’ve also made a few meals that aren’t as healthy, but I eat reasonable portions of those too. Last week I made BBQ Shrimp, which isn’t BBQ-ed at all. I impressed myself with this dish because it tasted like an authentic New Orleans meal, which it was.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

I made it again over the weekend for my family, and they loved it too.

I also made a killer, lightened up grilled cheese sandwich last week and paired it with tomato soup and an ounce of kettle chips. (Seriously, is there any other way to eat a grilled cheese?)

grilled cheese

Sometimes you just need to make a gooey grilled cheese…

This week has consisted of roasted chicken, beef, chicken and broccoli stir-fry and other delicious things. I’ve skipped the calorie-laden lattes (for the most part) and enjoyed unsweet tea and iced coffee. (I love sugar, but not in my tea or coffee. Weird, I know.)

I have healthy snacks like mixed nuts, Laughing Cow Babybel wedges and more. I’m feeling good about the things that are happening in my kitchen, and I like seeing the the numbers on the scale as they go down.

What are you cooking up this week?

 

Grocery Shopping and Racist Remarks at Wal-Mart

I was inspired to do some meal planning and grocery shopping over the weekend because my goal for the next week is to prepare every meal and snack at home. I’m healthier when I do that, but it does require a bit more effort and planning than I’ve been accustomed to lately.

I don't know if I'll have a sandwich and chips during the week or not. I didn't buy stuff for that, but it sounds delicious.

I don’t know if I’ll have a sandwich and chips during the week or not. I didn’t buy stuff for that, but it sounds delicious.

It’s much easier to eat out since I’m often 15 or 20 minutes from home when it’s time to eat dinner. It’s also easier to order take out on my way home at the end of a long day than it is to go home and cook, but that convenience has led to major weight gain on my part.

Saturday I went to Wal-Mart to buy groceries. I prefer to go to Target or Whole Foods, but I have a gift card (that I forgot to use.) It was also easier for my aunt, who’s here with my uncle because he’s in the hospital, to get what she needed there.

When the cashier was ringing me up she laughed at the way I shop. I don’t use plastic bags for my produce, but I used one for the chicken breast that I bought. I apologized for inadvertently creating more work for her and explained that I didn’t want to waste bags for produce because they’d end up in the trash as soon as I got home, but I definitely don’t want chicken juice all over everything.

Walmart

I thought that was pretty solid reasoning, but she laughed, pointed at the iced mocha latte in my cart and said, “You’re young and white, baby. It’s all good.” I can’t imagine what my skin color has to do with my shopping methods, but I think it’s nice that she thought I was young. I don’t think she said it to be offensive; it was just an odd response.

Am I the only one who skips the bags when buying produce? Do you think socioeconomic status  plays a role in our shopping habits?

 

 

If You Walk Into Church and Can’t Find A Sinner, You Should Probably Run

I haven’t written a blog post in a while, but as I prepare to attend my favorite blogging conference, I feel inspired.

Blogging has been a big part of my life for years. I’ve gained so much from it, and I’ve also let go of a lot as a result. I love to share my life, story and ideas, but it’s been nice to take a break too. I knew I needed one recently when I couldn’t wrap my head around living my daily life without talking about it here.

I went through a period of almost three months that was stresful and taxing, but I finally feel like I’m standing in the light at the end of the tunnel. There are things happening in my life that make me happy, and I feel a sense of relief that I’ve been craving for weeks. That has allowed me to give some thought to other things that I’ve faced lately.

If we’re connected on Instagram you may have seen a recent post in which I shared my feelings about going to church even though I’m a sinner. Here’s what I said about it:

I’ve taken some flack for being a “church-going sinner” lately, and here’s what I have to say about it: I love God, and I desire a deeper relationship with Him. I seek Him and ask Him to search my heart…to change it…I fall, and He picks me up. I fall again, and He’s still right there…waiting for me to surrender to Him. Even when I turned my back on Him, He never stopped loving me. He’s given me peace and hope, and if you’re reading this, He will do the same thing for you if you ask Him. It’s not easy, and going to church won’t make you holy. Jesus came to heal the sick because they’re the ones who needed a doctor. I don’t go to church to put in heirs about how perfect I am now; I’m not, nor do I pretend to be. I go because I need Jesus, and it’s a place to feel loved and to help me stay accountable to His will. #truth #grace #hope #HisLoveNeverFails #Luke5 #church #christians #disciples #religion #realtalk

The fact is we’re all sinners who fall short of God’s glory. Going to church doesn’t mean that we’re suddenly going to be perfect. Being a part of the worship team doesn’t mean that I’m never going to fall again. That’s not real. It’s not true. I’m weak, but God gives me strength. I sin, and He provides mercy.

Do I use God’s grace as a license to sin? I shouldn’t, but I have. I try not to, but His grace covers that too. He knows my heart. He knows when I’m seeking Him, and He knows when I’m drowning in shame. He loves me regardless.

I desire a real relationship with God, one in which He’s in control of my life and my circumstances. I don’t always act like it because I’m also selfish, and I like to be in control of everything. I love Him, and He loves me even though I often struggle to understand why.  It’s hard to surrender every aspect of my life to Him, but I’m trying (and sometimes failing and trying again.)

If you walk into a church and you can’t find a sinner, then you should probably run the other way. That’s not real. We live in a fallen world, and the the Holy Spirit is the only hope we have as we strive to live Godly lives.

I’m not perfect, and I’ve never claimed to be. Having a relationship with God doesn’t mean that I’ll never sin again. His grace just gives me hope

 

Nola Loves Charleston

If you know me at all, you know that the folks at NOLA Church are a big part of my life. I could list a lot of reasons for that, but today I’m thankful that I’m part of a community that prays.

I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that they’re enduring right now at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and we just want them to know that we’re praying for them and standing with them.

God bless, Charleston and every individual who’s been affected by that senseless tragedy.

—–

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

And I Thought I Felt Like Garbage Before

Someone made me feel like a pathetic piece of crap tonight. He didn’t say anything negative about me, but his comment cut me at my core. It sent me into a nagative headspace in which I’m reminded that no one in their right mind would want me. 

If you asked my BFF’s to describe me they would tell you that I’m witty, smart, aware of my worth, talented and straightforward. Often times I feel like that’s true, but today I’m the polar opposite.

I’ve talked about how lonely and isolated I feel a lot lately. People close to me laid out all kinds of things they felt were wrong about me, and I haven’t heard much from them since. It’s frustrating to feel like I have to be perfect because right now, what I feel is pain. 

I was reminded that no matter what I’m good at or how I make people feel, I’m still fat, which is among the worst things a person in the U.S. can possibly be. Forget that I spread kindness wherever I go. Who cares that I have a big heart filled with love and that I give it away everyday? 

I’ve come so far. I’ve made incredible strides, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not “hot.” (Please spare me the patronizing comments about how I’m not ugly.) 

I know that the world isn’t fair; I realized that as a child. In spite of that, I’ve almost always managed to find silver linings. I’ve always recognized that there will be good days and bad days. I know that this is a rough season that I’ll eventually get through, but right now I’m hurting. It sucks. 

I hate that it’s so awful to be fat; I hate that I’ve tried to change it and failed. I hate that I let societal opinions (as messed up and unacceptable as they are) take up space in my thoughts. 

The reality is that I will feel better. I won’t allow these feelings to linger forever, but they’ve already made room in my head for far too long. 

I know that God wants more for me, and I wish I could stop the pity party long enough feel renewed by Him now. I’ve cried. I’ve called out to Him. I’ve fallen, repented, waited, and now I guess I have to wait some more. 

Now, as I sit and listen to my favorite band of all time, I’m reminded once again – “no matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead.” 

I hope I find my way back soon….