Saturday at the YMCA and More…

Don’t ask me why I suddenly love to blog on the weekends. I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade (over seven years on this site,) and I know that nothing really happens on the internet over the weekends. I also know that after taking a pretty significant break from blogging regularly, there’s not much happening here during the week either. I’d like to think that someone still reads what I write, but right now I’m here because I want to remember how I felt today.

YMCA New Orleans

One of the perks of working at the Y is that I can go in and exercise at any time, and today I decided I’d go in and sweat for a bit. I’m still not ready to talk about what I’m planning, but I will say that I set aside my fears of looking silly today and did a personal, impromptu aerobics class with myself.

I warmed up, did some cardio and some compound movements, and by the end I was drenched in sweat. (I know that’s gross, but I love the feelings that come with being a sweaty, post-workout mess.)  I own a Garmin Vivofit 2, but I think I’ll need to invest in a heart rate monitor soon.

After my workout I bought a few groceries before heading home to make lunch. I’m tracking my food in the Weight Watchers app, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve adjusted since I was a member before. I like the way they seem to be taking more into account, and it’s been pretty eye-opening to realize how much I’ve been allowing myself to eat. No wonder I gained so much back. Good grief. (Obvious, I know, but it helps me to see it and acknowledge it.)

I love having yogurt for breakfast when I get to work. I typically have vanilla Greek yogurt with various toppings, but when I learned that I could buy Noosa at Sam’s Club, I went for it. I already know how much I love the strawberry rhubarb flavor, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll like the others as well. I like that they’re smaller than the individual ones I’ve seen in grocery stores, and the price tag was pretty great too – $9.48 per dozen. (We just talked about how much I appreciate the little things. Ha..)

Noosa

Tonight I’m going out with friends, so I’m going to shower and relax a bit before my person comes to pick me up. I’m feeling pretty good about my day so far, and I’m looking forward to a fun evening.

Until next time…

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…

 

 

 

 

 

Stress and Gratitude

Have you ever had one of those weeks in which you’re counting down the minutes to Friday and looking forward to the fun things you’re going to do over the weekend? Well, that was me…last week…until my plans for a relaxing, long weekend with people who matter to me were cancelled. Thankfully, I was able to recharge on Monday. (Can we just talk about how much I love long weekends?)

Windblown after a day at the beach

The last few several weeks have been stressful. I’ve had some amazing moments, but it also feels like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Mom is doing so much better than she was physically, but it’s still hard not to worry about her. She’s recovering though, which is the most important thing to me right now. I’m so thankful for that.

Last week I just didn’t feel rested. This week was better, but I’m still fighting to get back to my regular energy level. I typically sleep like a champ, but I’ve been restless a lot over the last few nights. Last week I was completely worn out. This week has been better, but I still don’t feel 100%.

I know that my weight is affecting the way my body feels. That’s obvious, but I want to change that. I need to change that. 

The air conditioning has been out at work since April, and I’m taking on some challenges that simultaneously excite me and scare me.  I have had a few moments in which I felt like crying and/or curling up in a ball, but as stressed as I’ve felt at some points, I’ve also experienced some awesome moments.

East Jefferson YMCAIf you keep up with me on social media you may know that I work at the YMCA. I do membership stuff and marketing things, which gives me an opportunity to reach the community in ways that are new and exciting for me. And right now we’re halfway through an 8-week painting class that I coordinated for children with special needs, and it brings me so much joy to see those kiddos enjoying themselves each week. Some of them are so talented that it would be hard to convey without just showing you. Maybe I’ll share some photos from our upcoming art gallery.

I’m also working on another project (the one that is challenging and slightly terrifying.) It’s not something I’m ready to discuss here yet, but the point is that work is good. I’m happier than I knew I could be in an office environment, and I’ll be much happier when I go in on Monday and the a/c works again. (I mean, it’s Summer in New Orleans.) My boss and I joked that we’re bringing our jackets because we’re going to freeze ourselves out.

It’s also an exciting month because my sister and nieces will be here in a few weeks. Auntie has  a long list of activities planned, so I definitely have to get energized before they arrive.

I’ve been pretty lazy with my exercise routine lately, so I’m starting TRX workouts next week with a few friends from work. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a trainer before I leave work.

I’m also sleeping more than I ever have. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I require 7 to 8 hours of sleep now. I’m okay with that, but I know it will be a lot more beneficial if I release the stress that’s been lingering and spend more time exercising.

Hydro FlaskDrinking water also helped a lot lately. I still felt run down, but I felt much more alive than I did the week prior. I’ve committed to drinking more water, and I’m guessing that will help as well. I still don’t drink sodas, and I only drink coffee a few times a week. I just stopped consuming a gallon of water a day until I purchased my new Hydro Flask. It’s 32 oz, so I only need to fill it up 4 times to reach my daily goal. And I love the fact that it keeps the water cold all day! My sister gave me an 18 oz Hydro Flask a few years ago, and after losing it, I considered buying this one. I seriously wanted for about a year, and now I take it everywhere with me. I even brought it into Whole Foods today where I had lunch with my friend, Michelle. Wow, I suppose it would be an understatement to say that I’m stoked about my water bottle. Sometimes it’s the little things. Ha.

Now I’m back to recognizing my lack of self-discipline and trying to remind myself how much better I’ll feel a month from now…three months from now…if exercise is a part of my daily routine.

Today I’m going to stick to the basics and use one of my favorite workout DVD’s for motivation. 30-Day Shred used to bey go-to, and now that a certain someone has connected my DVD player, it’s on. It’s the quickest workout I do, but it also works every part of my body. I can handle  27 minutes of circuits even though I don’t feel like it.

Am I the only one who’s tired of being tired right now? I don’t know if anyone actually reads the things I write anymore, but I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who needs to work on consistency in my intake and exercise.

Maybe I’ll have some positive things to report soon…

 

 

 

 

Who’s Coming to ShiftCon?

ShiftCon is coming to New Orleans in December, and I’m excited to be a part of it this year. It’s happening right in my neighborhood too, which is an added bonus!

The last several years of my life have been filled with successes, changes and struggles to lose weight and regain control of my life. For a long time the driving force was losing weight to look and feel a certain way, and that’s fine. Heck, it’s important, but over the last several months I’ve shifted the focus to the little choices I make everyday.

There are so many areas for improvement, and as i follow the eco-wellness movement online I realize that there are lots of little things I can do to create a positive impact. I’ve also discovered brands that are making real, healthy and delicious foods, and I strive to support companies like that.

I don’t fit into the traditional role of the completely organic, non-gmo lifestyle that so many at this conference do so flawlessly, but it seems like a good idea to learn and experience as much as I can – especially since it’ll be in walking distance of my home this year.

I have a lot of respect for the founder of this conference, Leah Segedie, because she chose to encourage and uplift me at a time when I desperately needed it, and I admire her passion and tenacity.

Check out this video about the conference:

Is anyone here familiar with ShiftCon? Have you been to the conference? Do you plan to go this year? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Shiftcon

There’s still a few more days to get the Early Bird discount, so check it out. And if you’re planning to be here, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Mother’s Day Weekend

I had one of those weekends that was awesome and exhausting, and as I write this post I’m so thankful. I spent Mother’s Day with Mom today, and she’s continuing to recover from the strokes she had a few weeks ago. I’ve never been more thankful to spend time with her than I was today.

Mom and Me

When I arrived at her house we both took naps, then we ate watermelon, spent time with the neighbor and played Bananagrams. We didn’t do anything particularly exciting, but I was overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s here and healing. I’m just so relieved that God is in control – even through the scariest of circumstances, and I’m also thankful that I recognized that in the midst of everything.

I have a lot to discuss here – protein shakes, TRX and swimming, but right now I’m beat. I’m looking forward to relaxing Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I just need to power through a few days first.

I’m going to start the week off right be getting some sleep. My goal is to sleep for 7 to 8 hours. Am I the only one who needs that much to feel refreshed the next morning?

 

 

My Mom Had A Stroke (Actually, She Had Two)

The last seven days have been the most terrifying of my life. Mom flew in one day after I did, and when she arrived I told her that we needed to go to the Emergency Room. The right side of her face was droopy, and she was having a hard time saying her words. She refused to go.

She lost her job (and healthcare benefits last year) and has looked all over to find work. She’s approaching her mid-sixties, and even with her incredible work background and education she hasn’t found work. She was willing to do things way beneath her level of expertise, but she lives in a very small, oppressive area where life has been hard over the last year.

My mom carries the stress of her family on her shoulders. She’s the strongest person I know, but she’s tired. My aunt Debbie has been incredibly sick for over a year, and before that her granddaughter was fighting cancer. Mom cares about them and worries about them. She’s been under a lot of pressure, though who knows if that’s why she had the stroke?

A couple days after refusing to go to the ER, my aunt called me and urged me to convince her. I left work knowing that Mom would protest, but this time she didn’t. She knew things were getting worse, so I met her at the ER.

The next several days were rough. My sister caught the next flight out when I texted her that Mom’s CT scan showed that he did, in fact, have a stroke. (Mom assumed it was Bell’s Palsy.) She spent that night at her local hospital, and they released her. Before she arrived at home, which is only a few minutes away, my sister brought her back to the ER because she couldn’t lift her arm and leg. She had experienced another stroke.

At that point they sent her to a hospital near my home in New Orleans. She went through several tests, and they confirmed that she had a blog clot in her brain. It’s really small, so the doctor prescribed meds that should dissolve it over the next few weeks.

My sister and I brought her home last night, and she seems much better than she did when she entered the hospital. She had two strokes in one week though, which makes the risk much higher that she’ll have another one over the next few weeks. They gave her a pretty strong dose of medicine, which should (hopefully) counteract that.

I know that God is in complete control of this situation (and that He’s here in spite of my fears.) I just want Mom to be okay, and I am praying and believing that she will be.

My sister goes home tomorrow, which means that I’ll spend as much time with Mom as possible. I’ve missed several days of work, which I wouldn’t change for a minute. I just want to be sure that she’s okay too.

I’ve never been so scared in my life. I wish I could say that I wasn’t worried at all, but I’m human…and I’m trying to have faith. I’ve felt a lot of peace, which seems like enough.

We’ve been surrounded, supported and uplifted by people who love us and were willing to put that love into action this week, and I’m so utterly thankful for that. If you’re a person who prayers please pray for my family, especially for Mom.

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Have You Ever?

Last week I saw similar questions popping up on my Facebook feed. I think this is too much to answer there, but it’s perfect for FMM. I tried to create some variations, and I’m looking forward to seeing your answers.

wpid-friend-makin-monday-for-post3-300x179

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Have You Ever?

 

Fired a Gun? Yes
Gone on a blind date? Yes
Skipped school? Yes
Watched someone give birth? No
Watched someone die? Yes
Visited Hawaii? No
Visited Europe? Yes
Visited Las Vegas? Yes
Visited Washington? State of D.C.? Either way, yes…
Visited Amsterdam? Yes
Visited Florida? Yes
Visited Mexico? Yes
Visited Australia? No, but I think that would be awesome.
Seen the Grand Canyon in person? No, I think as close as I got was Hoover Dam, which is still an hour or so away.
Been on a cruise? No, but I’d like to change that.
Been in a movie? No
Visited LAX? Yes
Been to New York City? Yep…lived there.
Cried yourself to sleep? Yes
Played in a band? Yes
Used an adult coloring book? Yes
Sung karaoke? Yes. (You can hear me here.)
Gone swimming in the ocean? Yes
Paid for a meal with coins only? I don’t remember, but I know I’ve paid for coffee with coins once or twice.
Made prank phone calls? I’m sure I did, but I can’t remember a particular instance.
Laughed so much you cried? Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
Had children? No
Had a pet? Yes
Been skinny dipping? I’m not telling…
Repelled down a building/tower? No, but it’s on my list of things to do someday before I leave New Orleans (maybe.)
Gone zip lining? Yes
Been water skiing? Yes
Been camping in a tent? No, at least not that I can recall.
Driven a motorcycle? No
Jumped out of a plane? No way…
Gone to a drive-in movie? Yes
Done something that could have killed you? Probably so…
Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life? I’ve done many regretful things, but  there’s a lot of freedom in letting go. I try to do that, but my honest answer is yes.
Ridden on an elephant? Yes
Ridden on a camel? No.
Eaten just cookies, cake or ice cream for dinner? Uh, yes…
Been on TV? Yes
Been in a newspaper? Yes
Stolen any traffic signs? No
Been in a car accident? Yes, thankfully minor…
Stayed in a hospital? Yes
Donated blood? Yes
Had to pay a fine of some kind in the past 12 months? Yep
Eaten snails? Yes
Gotten a piercing? Yes
Gotten a tattoo? No way, man…
Driven a standard car? Yes. I had to learn to drive a stick before I was allowed to drive an automatic.
Ever owned your dream car?  Yes
Been married? No
Been divorced? No
Fallen in love? Yeah…
Paid for a strangers meal? If I did I wouldn’t say so…
Driven over 100mph? Yes
Worked in a pub? No
Found a dead body? Yes
Lived on your own? Yes
Ridden in the back of a police car? No
Written or published a book/story/poem/song? Yes

Now it’s your turn to answer next week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!

Happy Monday!

My Life and Work in SHAPE Magazine

When I got to work today I learned that SHAPE Magazine posted an article about where I work, why I love it and how I see myself these days, and I’m sharing it here because it feels like a good update on my life.

kenlie-tiggman

Check it out, and share your gym stories and/or what you’re doing to promote a healthy lifestyle for yourself.

http://www.shape.com/weight-loss/success-stories/im-300-pounds-and-i-found-my-dream-job%E2%80%94-fitness

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: All About Family

This week’s FMM is coming to you from Colorado! I came out to celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday, and, as always, we had a great time together.

Auntie auntie and h

The theme of her party was the “Wizard of Oz,” so I baked ruby slipper cookies. We played games and ran around in the snow, and I’m already looking forward to seeing them over the summer.

wizard of oz cookies ruby slipper

snow feet

This long weekend was all about family for me, so naturally, FMM is going to be all about family too.

wpid-friend-makin-monday-for-post3-300x179

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

All About Family

1. How many siblings do you have? Tell us about them. I have one sister. She’s a teacher, and she’s married to a cool guy. They have two daughters, who just happen to be my favorite little people in the world.
2. Do you have kids? If so, how many? Nope, but I have two awesome nieces. I adore them!
3. Share one thing you love about each of your parents. My mom would do anything for me, and she requires nothing in return…ever. Dad and I don’t always agree politically, but it’s a lot of fun to talk about it with them.
4. How close do you live to your nearest relative? I live about an hour and a half from my mom, which is awesome.
5. Does your family have any particular traditions that you’d hate to miss? If so, what are they? I just enjoy being around my family, so I take every opportunity I can to spend time with them.
6. Share an odd fact about your childhood. When I was really young we lived in Louisiana, but I didn’t grow up there. We traveled across Lake Pontchartrain to visit family, and for a while I had a recurring dream about trees quickly growing up from the water and snakes dangling from them. I also thought the lake was loaded with sharks.
7. Did you have pets when you were growing up? Do you have any now? If so, tell us about them. I had kittens, and I even had a dog once as a kid. I’d love to have another cocker spaniel, but my home and lifestyle just aren’t conducive to it. Many people around me do it, but I plan to wait until I no longer live in a high-rise building.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and leave your link in the comments!

Happy Monday!