Category Archives: weight loss

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.

 

 

 

 

Now That I Have Health Insurance Again…

This has been a productive year, and now that I have health insurance again I’m facing the daunting task of finding a primary care physician. Can we talk about how hard it is to find a doctor who will look at your whole person when you’re obese? (Yeah, I know I’m obese. I know I need to change that. I know that’s all you see, but can we discuss other things as well?)

I’m not saying that every doctor will see my size and nothing else, but the reality is that I’m facing an uphill battle. I haven’t had a lot of experience with doctors or hospitals, which is awesome.  I do know that I do need to get a physical and address a couple of  issues that have bothered me for a while. (I’ve mentioned them here in previous posts.)

Last time my blood pressure was checked it was 138/82, which is the highest it’s ever been…ever. I know that’s not terrible, but it was a reality check for me. I think it will be lower in the coming months because I’m exercising more than I have in a long time. My blood sugar was perfect too, which was good. I  just realize that I’m getting older and that I need to get serious about making some minor changes (at the very least.)

My biggest issue lately has nothing to do with finding a PCP though. I constantly squint because it’s harder to see the screens I stare at for the majority of the day. Even reading books on my iPad is taxing on my eyes, so it’s time for another visit to the eye doctor. Thankfully, that’s no big deal.

Do you have health insurance? If so, are you satisfied with your doctors and coverage?

 

 

 

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.

My JumpSport Fitness Trampoline Makes It Easy

I’ve been doing a variety of workouts over the last few months, and I’m finally feeling some positive momentum. I’ve talked about exercise lately, but I I haven’t mentioned how much I love my new JumpSport Fitness Trampoline.

I’ve had it since late April, but I didn’t really start using it until about a month ago. I didn’t make a lot of time for exercise of any kind when Mom was in the hospital, but I’ve had some fun jumping on it since then.

I’ve wanted a JumpSport trampoline for about 5 years since I first discovered them at Fitbloggin, but I have always been so nervous on them that it never seemed like a good idea. Last year, in Denver, I jumped my heart out for a few minutes and realized that my heart rate was elevated – just from bouncing on the trampoline! I figured I could benefit from owning a trampoline because I didn’t have to leave home to get my heart rate going, so when JumpSport offered to send me a fitness trampoline, I was pretty excited to try it.

JumpSport Fitness Trampoline

I don’t have a lot of space in my apartment. I only have one bedroom, so when I’m not using it I leave it behind the door. It’s completely out of the way, and it takes about 5 seconds to move it into place.

My fear of breaking it (even though it’s built to support my weight) made it difficult to enjoy first, but I’ve been using it enough now to trust that it’s not going anywhere. I typically jump pretty close to the wall just in case I lost my balance, which hasn’t actually happened. It comes with a handle bar as well, but I don’t have enough room to use it because I couldn’t stand it up if it were attached. Seriously, when I have a bigger home I’ll definitely attach the bar.

JumpSport Fitness

I knew when I received it that it would help me burn calories, but I didn’t realize that I’d feel lighter as soon as I started jumping. It’s hard to explain, but after about one minute I feel as though I’m floating. The trepidation I feel initially is replaced by a liberating feeling. It almost feels like I’m flying, and that makes me feel as light as a feather. It came with an exercise DVD as well, but I haven’t used it yet. So far, I’ve only been brave enough to jump and do a few planks. Those are killer!

I’m looking forward to watching my nieces jump on it when they visit next week, and I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about it a few months and several pounds down from now.

Overall, I love it because it takes very little effort to get my heart rate going, and I can do it for a few minutes at a time several times a day. I think I’ll love it even more as I continue to reduce my weight because I don’t like being at the top of the weight limit. While I haven’t experienced any problems with it, I think I’ll feel more secure 25 pounds from now. The only down side is that I wish I had a bigger living space. My apartment is cozy and comfortable, but when I have an extra room the trampoline will be more prominently displayed for even easier access.

Have you ever tried a fitness trampoline? Do you own a JumpSport trampoline? Would you like a chance to win one here on my little blog?

 

 

 

When People Ask Why Someone My Size Works In A Gym

Almost everyone I’ve met at work has been amazing since I started late last year. I haven’t run across a single person who thinks it’s acceptable to criticize my weight or my exercise routines, which is rare and awesome. I know that sometimes people look at me wonder what I’m doing there, but no one asked until today.

Actually, the curious person didn’t ask me. I would have been happy to answer, but they asked one of our group fitness instructors who thought it would be fine to mention it to me. It is fine, and I think it’s important to answer questions like this instead of pretending I look/think/act like everyone else.

I weigh over 300 pounds, and I work at a fitness facility for a few reasons that you can read in a list below:

  • I love working with people, and my position in sales and marketing allows me to get paid for talking to people all day. I love going into work and seeing people who are happy, and I’m also thankful for the opportunity that I often have to put a smile on someone else’s face.
  • I have access to a state of the art facility that I don’t even have to leave work to use.
  • I have the unique opportunity to make people comfortable with exercise. If you’ve never been over 400 pounds, then good for you. You definitely do not understand how hard it is to walk into the gym for the first time. I meet so many well-intentioned people who think they understand because they had to lose 30,40 or 50 pounds. You don’t understand, but that’s okay. That’s why I’m here, and I get to help people like me recognize their worth. That’s an honor.
  • I get to be surrounded by friends everyday. My boss is a close friend now, and I have some other great friends at work as well. It’s so awesome to be surrounded by strong, encouraging people.

The list could be much longer because there are lots of little things that make me love what I’m doing, but the shortest answer is that I love working at the Y because it’s for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned gym fanatic or if you’re walking in for the first time; when you walk in you’re going to be treated like someone who matters because you do.

My goal over the last several years has been to change the way I receive myself and to recognize my value regardless of my size. I’ve been pretty successful in that, and now I’m in a position to make my health a priority again with a positive perspective. I’m so thankful for that, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help others recognize their worth as well.

 

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.

 

 

 

Monday, Monday…

Today was the first awesome Monday I’ve had in a while. I woke up feeling rested, felt good about my outfit (blue sundress, white cardigan and coordinating scarf,) and every person I encountered at work had something positive to say. I even had a special and unique surprise when a lovely woman and blog follower I met years ago through Weight Watchers came in to see me. She joined the gym today, and I’m sincerely looking forward to seeing her progress as she gets into a healthy routine. The a/c is finally working again in my office too.

I’m so thankful for these things, which may seem small, because the last few Mondays have been less than stellar.

skinny taste shrimp

Please excuse the paper plates. Ha..

Michael came over to exercise with me tonight as well, and I prepared a healthy, protein-packed dinner for us to enjoy after that. In my last post I mentioned that he’s lost over 100 pounds, and I love that he understands my journey. I don’t have to explain anything to him because he already knows, and being at the gym with him makes me look forward to cardio. (He doesn’t read my blog, but if he did he’d get a shout out right now for being awesome…and handsome.) We didn’t  talk during our workout because I prefer the elliptical (and headphones) while he prefers the treadmill. It was just nice to have him there with me. It was also nice to see that my favorite water bottle fits in the cup holder. Sometimes it’s the little things…

Hydro Flask

Now it’s nearly midnight, which means it’s time for me to get some sleep. I ate pretty well today, and my goal for tomorrow is to plan out a menu for the next few days. I can’t buy groceries if I don’t have a meal plan. But first, sleep…

Until next time…

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, Let’s Talk About Richard Simmons

It’s been quiet around here lately, but I don’t think I can stay quiet about Richard Simmons any longer. I had mixed feelings about discussing him here, so I just didn’t. Thinking of him makes my heart swell with sadness, but after the media reports that surfaced last week I think it’s time speak up.

Richard went into hiding, or something two years ago, and I miss the man I’ve adored most of my life. Even as a kid, before I thought of myself as overweight/plus-sized, I admired him because of his love for people. And many years later, when I wrote him an open letter on my blog, his response was prompt and overwhelming. I never thought that the larger-than-life fitness icon would care that I wrote him a letter, so I was blown away when I received the first of many emails only a few days later.

At the time I was at the top of my weight-loss game, but everything slowly began to crumble when the pesky airline made me feel like I was as worthless as they thought I was. Regardless, I got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles to take a class with him at Slimmons, and those workouts were among the coolest things I’ve ever experienced in my life. (It was so cool, in fact, that I thought it was a good idea to move to Beverly Hills just to be close enough to exercise with him regularly, so I did.)

Richard Simmons

Richard made me feel like anything was possible, but even more importantly, he made me feel like I was lovable just like I was. (I hadn’t discovered that yet.)

Richard Simmons and Kenlie at Slimmons

When he went into seclusion he stopped emailing people he communicated with regularly (myself included.) At first, I wondered if I had unknowingly offended him. I wondered if he had given up on me since I was struggling with my weight again, but several months later I learned that it wasn’t me at all.

There was a sign at his studio saying that he’d be back next month, which became the next month and the next month…I soon learned that he stopped responding to my friends like KeepItUpDavid, who were in constant contact with him as well, and months later no one had heard anything from him.

Richard SImmons and KeepItUpDavid and Kenlie

TMZ reached out to my at one point last year, but I refused to talk. The Today Show used footage from when I worked out at Slimmons for the first time to tell viewers that Richard had resurfaced, but that wasn’t true either.

Richard Simmons Kenlie Today Show

There’s been radio silence from Richard until last week when he called in for an interview with Today. It was such a relief to hear his voice that I shed tears for a moment at my desk. At the same time I was sad to hear his quiet, almost calculated words. He sounded sad, which made me sad.

I don’t know what he’s going through. (I have some theories, but I won’t be elaborating on them.) He has the right to live his life privately if that’s what he wants to do.  I just want him to be happy, and I hope he knows that no matter what, I love him, I’m praying for him, I miss him, and I hope I see his face again someday.

 

The Post Mardi Gras, Good Grief I Need To Get It Together, Valentine’s Day Blues, Or Something Like That

I’ve sat down to blog several times lately, and I’ve been almost immediately distracted by other things. I wanted to share the details of my food intake during the week of Mardi Gras. In short, I ate a lot of random junk that can barely be considered food. If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen the fried Oreos that my neighbor delivered to me during my afternoon nap. You may have also noticed that I enjoyed King cake with friends on more than one occasion.

king cake sucre new orleans

This city shuts down for Mardi Gras. It’s amazing. Stores close, and everyone goes to parades…lots and lots of parades. The revelry lasts for two weeks, and people take it very seriously. I had more fun this year because I found a way to get back to my apartment while avoiding most of the traffic. (This isn’t easy to do when you live at one of the most popular parts of the parade route.) I also went to a couple of parades with co-workers who have become friends, a former colleague and friend and the guy I started dating recently. My favorite neighbor spent a lot of time with me during the week too, and I got very little accomplished. On Mardi Gras Day (Fat Tuesday) I brought Christopher to Starbucks with me, and we met several of my friends there and played board games all afternoon. It was such a simple day, but I loved every minute of it.

My friend, Andrew, who was here in New Orleans for over a week, returned home to New York late last week. And Christopher  is there right now for work, so I took the opportunity to get some sleep, clean house, spend time with people who matter to me and to consider meals for the next few days.

Mardi Gras consists of 14 days of over-indulgence, coupled with time off, but it’s over now. Thankfully, Valentine’s Day is over too. Every year I feel so much pressure to be loved on that day, and every year I feel positively ridiculous about that. I know that I’m loved everyday by my family and friends and Jesus. I’m also happy that I’ve met someone who’s smart, handsome and easy to talk to and makes me laugh until my face hurts, but the pressure of this holiday is way too intense for something so new. Instead of going out on a date, I spent today singing love songs at an assisted living home near my church. They ate ice cream sundaes, and we had some awesome conversations.  The idea was to serve and honor the lovely people there, but they ended up blessing me far more than I could have blessed them.

I’m ready to get back into the healthy groove that I’ve been carving out lately because I feel so much better when I’m doing good things for my body. I spent a lot of time discussing healthy recipes and nutritious lifestyles with one of my favorite people this weekend, and I feel motivated to consume healthy and delicious meals this week. I’ve also caught up on some sleep that I’ve been missing lately, which feels great.

It’s a new week, and I’m ready to make it a good one. I’m taking on more responsibility at work this week, which means I’ll have more opportunities to exercise. I also have my food planned out for Monday and Tuesday. Bring on the quinoa, black beans and chicken! It’s crawfish season too, and I’m already loving that!

crawfish

Is anyone else fighting to get back into the groove this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.