Is This A Health Issue That Is A Result My Weight?

When I was at my heaviest I used to be tormented by my aching feet. Sure, I felt lethargic at times, but I felt genuine pain a lot too. It got so bad that I started seeing a podiatrist in the suburbs of New York City to get cortisone shots in the heels of my feet. My feel don’t bother me at all anymore, and they haven’t for years.  I have noticed something that used to occur though, and it’s troubling.

Before I started exercising regularly I would feel numbness on the outer part of my left thigh. It was so long ago that I forgot about it until I noticed it again about a month ago. I’ve noticed it enough lately that I’m talking about it here, which means that it’s happening more than I care to admit.

My blood pressure is on point, and my blood sugar is on point as well.  I don’t struggle to breathe, nor do I break a sweat going up a few flights of stairs. It doesn’t hurt; it just feels numb once in a while and only when I’m standing up.

I don’t have a family doctor anymore because the last one I went to is no longer at that office. The truth is I don’t visit the doctor often at all. I do a half-hearted yearly check-up, but that’s all. In keeping with the truth, this leg this is really starting to bother me, but I’m not sure what to do.

If I go to the doctor, I’ll undoubtedly hear a speech about how I need to lose weight because I do, but when I do go to the doctor, losing weight seems to be the ‘cure all’ for everything. Do I need to see a doctor to hear what I already know?

I was under a lot of stress in 2014 that I didn’t talk about here. Things are easing up now, but I know it’s had an effect on my body. Is that all it is? Could it be more?

I’ve never really been scared about my weight or my health. I’ve always been fortunate to feel pretty good, but I’m a little shaken. I guess the answer is obvious. I need to make some changes, and I probably need to make an appointment with a new doctor as well. (I dread that almost as much as flying coach.)

 

 

Public Relations, Marketing and Super Fancy Scientific Words

School starts again next week, and I’m ready. I’ve taken my time in school because I don’t know what exactly I’ll do when I finish. I like the idea of moving back into a bigger city, but I’m no longer convinced that New York will be my top choice. There’s a new idea brewing, but I’ll probably keep it to myself for a while.

I guess it’s weird to be in my 30’s and in school, but it’s my normal. I like it. I like studying consumer behavior, ethical issues in the media, and learning how to build public relations campaigns. This Marketing/PR thing excites me, but during my time back in school, I’ve also enjoyed studying the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune system in humans. The fancy word for it is psychoneuroimmunology.

Many of my electives have been focused on health, science, and how our minds affect our bodies. I’ve learned what’s probably already common sense to everyone else, our outlooks, levels of anxiety, and personalities affect our health. I’ve also learned how to channel my emotions in a healthy way, which is invaluable information that has already changed my life.

I’ll be graduating soon, and as I perused my Spring schedule, I was disappointed to see that all of my classes are PR and Marketing related. I love those classes too, and I need them to fulfill requirements for my major. I just didn’t realize that I had taken almost enough of them to declare a second major.

I don’t particularly need or desire a degree in health sciences (or whatever it’s called officially,) but I’m so close that I can probably add them on without extending my time in school any further. (Hello, electives!)

I have about a week to decide, but I’m ready to get started today…err, well, tomorrow.

 

Planet Fitness: Yes or No?

I have mixed feelings about Planet Fitness, but it may be the best option for me right now. I like other gyms in the area, but some of them cost 5 times more than PF.

The thing is…Planet Fitness does some things differently than other gyms. When I visited with Clint a few times last year, I noticed that they had a free pizza night and bagel days. Is this a New Orleans thing, or does this happen at all of their locations?

Don’t get me wrong; I love pizza! I just love it so much that I don’t know if I could pass it up if I smelled it while sweating on the elliptical. It seems kind of counterproductive. I mean, I have plenty of opportunities to eat junk when I’m not at the gym. Maybe that’s why my exercise space needs to be set apart from that.

I also don’t like how far the locations are from my apartment. Neither location is downtown, but I can get to both of them in under 15 minutes. I drive that far to get to my favorite coffee shop almost everyday.

It’s weird that they don’t allow grunting too. I don’t lift weights that are heavy enough to cause grunting, but I don’t mind when others do.

On the flip side, I really like the 30-Minute Express Workout option that comes with the membership. I like doing circuits because they’re quick, thus making it easy to keep my attention. It’s easily the most appealing part of the gym.

Actually, the most appealing part is the price tag. It’s $10 per month, $20 for the fancy membership. It’s hard to shell out $90 a month for a sub-par gym membership, which is what I did during my first year in New Orleans. It’s also tough to motivate myself to use the free little gym upstairs in my building. It’s nice, but it’s small. In addition to its size, it’s also hard to get motivated when there’s no one else around (at least for me.)

Have you ever been a member at Planet Fitness? If so, would you recommend it? if not, would you consider it? Why or why not?

 

End of the Year Reflection

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

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

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

JetBlue

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

Kenlie White House

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

Kenlie NOLA Church

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

I watched countless Christmas movies with Mom throughout the year.

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

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

Mission Meltdown Epic Selfie

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

I bought a new car.

I became a Starbucks gold card member.

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

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

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

New York Mets

I got closer to finishing my degree at Tulane.

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

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

Kenlie and Friends

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

 

 

 

Facing the Fat

I’ve experienced some ups and downs since my last post, but I recognize what I have to do in order to be happy with myself. I’m still lacking motivation to exercise, but I’m doing it anyway. I know that if I keep trudging through that I’ll be glad I did.

I spent most of the weekend at Mom’s house, and I saw family and friends that I don’t get to see everyday, and it highlighted how different I look and feel than I did last year.

Mom has dropped over 50 pounds since February, and our family friend, Linda, has dropped 50 pounds as well. I gained about that much, but they weren’t judgmental because they understand how tough it is.

I know that I have an opportunity to change what I don’t like about myself. I know that I don’t have to choose between being physically healthy and emotionally healthy, and I’m working on improving physically right now because I’ve come so far emotionally over the last couple of years.

I’m eating more vegetables, drinking fewer sugary drinks and dragging myself to the gym. I know that eventually I’ll get back to the place in which I crave the endorphin rush, and I hope it happens soon because I’m tired of feeling like this.

As we close out 2014, I’m holding onto hope that I’ll feel different by this time next year…

 

 

 

Disgusted with Myself

I’ve been hating on myself pretty hard lately. I can’t stand the way that I look. I can’t believe that I let myself gain back so much of what I lost. There’s so much good in my life, but sometimes (often times) it feels overshadowed by my obesity. I’m tired of it, frustrated by it and seemingly stuck in this rut in which I feel helpless to change it.

Yesterday I tracked my food intake. I wasn’t exactly shocked to learn that I’ve been eating garbage. I knew that already. We all knew that already, but I wrote it down.

Today I started my day on the treadmill. My heart rate was elevated for 30 minutes, followed by some stretching and selfies.

Kenlie Gym

I didn’t exactly feel like smiling because as I sat there, sweaty, staring at myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors, I had to admit that I screwed up. I failed. I gained back a significant amount of weight. We’re talking 50 pounds here, and I don’t ever want to have to say that I gained back over 100.

The way I look pisses me off. I’m okay with the basic structure of my face, and I even like how it looks when I weigh 290 pounds. I’m fine with my imperfect smile, my lips, my hands and ankles; it’s everything in between that pisses me off.

I blame my excess weight for everything that I don’t have. I have friends and family who love me, many of whom would argue that I’m beautiful if they read this post, but I don’t believe it today.

I don’t need to be skinny to be happy. I know that from experience, all I need to be happy, is to feel like the best version of myself. I haven’t felt like that in a really, really long time. I’m trying to change that.

Adding More Goals to the List

Am I the only one who finds it hard to believe that it’s already December? It feels as though this year has flown by, but I’m okay with it being over. I’ve had some great moments, but this year has also come with some stress and disappointment (in love and within myself.)

I didn’t gain all of my weight back, but I’ve gained enough back that I no longer feel confident in my abilities. I’ve already shared that I feel like a failure in this area, and it’s still true.

I remember a time when I felt like a weight-loss champion. I also remember a time when fruits and veggies were a priority in my daily life, but they have once again been replaced by unhealthy, sugary alternatives.

When I was experiencing success before I was doing some key things that I’m not doing now: exercise and food journaling, and I was doing both consistently. (I’m sure that none of us are surprised that I saw good results.)

I’ve grown a lot spiritually, and I’m a much better person than I was several years ago. Life is better than it has been in a very long time (even when stressors pop up.) I’m happy with my life right now, but I’m not happy with my weight. It’s hard to explain that, but I’ve tried in numerous blog posts.

After having success recently when I eliminated sugary drinks and doughnuts, I’ve decided that I’m going to continue refraining from doughnuts. I haven’t had one since mid-September, and after months of overindulgence, it feels good to say no. I’ve been more careless with sugary drinks at Starbucks, but that ends now too. I can enjoy regular coffee, but I’m not going to allow myself to fall back into a routine of daily hot chocolates or caramel macchiatos.

I’ve also added tracking back into my routine, and I’m going to do it daily for the next 30 days. It’s an effective way to make sure that I’m eating what I should be eating, and I’m going to let go of the regret that I have due to my lack of faithful tracking until now. I’m going to focus on cardio 4 days a week too.

I’m completely different than I was when I tried this before. I barely even remember the person that I was. I’ve spent so much time looking at the way I lost in the past that I’ve overlooked who I am now. I’m going to start telling myself that I can do this and challenge myself to take steps in the right direction.

 

 

Crafty Kenlie

I’ve been quiet here over the last few weeks, but I’ve been blogging in other places. I wrote a post about Old Navy on the PlusInc blog, and I wrote an article about my love for Richard Simmons on DietsinReview.com. Last week the Today Show talked about Richard, and a friend sent me this photo from the segment. I had never seen it, but I remember that day. It made me smile, and I want to wish Richard every happiness. I’m praying for his healing too.

Richard Simmons Today Show and Kenlie

The month started with a bit of stress, but most of it has subsided. Now I’m in holiday mode, and I cannot wait to finish decorating for Christmas. I’ve been baking cookies, which is something that I do at this time of year. (I’ll share some photos soon.)

I’ve also been making wreaths. I sold a few last week, which is great because it means that I get to make more wreaths. I’ve been knitting too, which is also good because it keeps my hands busy.

Crafting has always been a pretty big part of my life, but lately I’ve been reminded of how much I love it! Cookie art aside, crafting keeps me from mindlessly snacking, which is a double-win.

Christmas Deco Mesh Wreath

red and silver deco mesh wreath

10305967_10205683882162972_4490245381899105710_n

 

Thanksgiving is almost here. The end of the semester will be here before I know it, and that means that I have to manage my time well so that I’m not stressing over exams and papers two weeks from now.

Happy (almost) holidays!

Changing My Mindset

Right now my head hurts, and I feel a little achy. I’m not officially sick, but I feel like whining. I’m tired even though I shouldn’t be. I’m stressed even though I know that stress typically passes. I’m just don’t feel great. I don’t feel like myself. Instead I feel like crawling under the blankets in my bed and watching Christmas movies until it’s an acceptable time to sleep. (Okay, the Christmas part sounds like me, but  the watching TV in bed is definitely not normal in my world.)

I’m not at home because I had class today, which was followed by a tutoring session and church. (Once a month we have a service on Wednesday evenings,) and now I’m planning to meet someone for coffee. It has been a busy afternoon and evening, and I’m looking forward to sleeping.

I’ve been thinking about what I could do to improve my health between now and the end of the year. I feel like the sugar thing is under control now more than it has been in a long time, and someone who knows me made a statement earlier today that resonated with me. We were talking about adding more goals that would help me get a better grip on my health, and I’ve been thinking about his response a lot this evening.

He said, “You were really great at it when it was a priority.”

We all know that it’s true. There was a time in which I felt like I had it figured out, and now it’s embarrassing to admit that I didn’t have whatever was necessary to keep it up. I think about my failures a lot, and for a long time, I’ve used them as an excuse to refrain from trying.

The last six weeks or so have been better. I’m eating less sugary crap, but I’m not exercising much. I did a 10k with a friend one day last week, and I walked a few times in the month before that. It’s just not enough. It’s a decent start, but I want that feeling that I used to have when I knew I’d workout everyday.

I want the endorphin rush, and I want to feel the consistency that I felt exercise even when I wasn’t eating as well as I should. I’m seeing the numbers decrease just a little, and I know that if I add some exercise back into my daily routine, I’ll see those little sacrifices add up to a lot of success.

My mindset needs to change. I’ve been lazy in fitness most of this year, but that’s something that I can change right now. I don’t even have to leave home to sweat it out. I have several awesome workout DVD’s, several flights of stairs and a gym at the top of my building. What else do I need? Motivation? Inspiration? Willingness?

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, but I think I need to spend time doing it (and figuring the rest out later if I still think it matters.)

I need to change my mindset. I’m careful not to “fake it ’til I make it” because that attitude has gotten me into trouble in the past, but in this case, I’m pretty sure that it’s okay.

My weight and health hasn’t been a priority in a long time, but I’ve (successfully) trying to shift that lately. I will remind myself that I’m not going to miss anything important by heading out an hour later than normal. Actually, I’ll be using that time to do something important – to better myself. Few things are more important than our health, and it’s time to adjust my priorities.

It’s not Monday or the first day of the month. This day carries no particular significance, but it’s the day that I can decide to do something good for myself. It’s a day that I get to live without pain or illness. It’s a day in which I get to breathe and enjoy my life, and I’m going to respect that gift by doing something good with it.