Tag Archives: Friends

Fat Photos

I’m heavier than most women I know, but I don’t shy away from the camera. If we’re connected through social media you know that I take selfies by myself and with friends. I share full body shots, and I’ve been known to rock photos in my swimsuit too. (See my Instagram account.)

Yesterday my long time friend, Tammy, posted about our favorite author’s article in Good Housekeeping. Jennifer Weiner and I have never met (life goal,) but the woman understands the inner workings of my mind. She’s been writing books that make me laugh, cry, dream and hope for years, and she opened up about avoiding the camera in first year of her daughter’s life.

I have beautiful friends who avoid the camera because they don’t like how they look, and I know women who will take 20 photos of themselves before they find one that they don’t despise. (I’ve been guilty of that countless times as well.) It’s hard to be happy with oursevles when we’re engulfed in a culture that says we shouldn’t be.

I’m obese…blah, bah, blah…I know. It’s hard to forget, as I have to live in my own skin everyday, but I refuse to allow my size to have bearing on whether or not I choose to live my life or take a photograph.

I went back to school at 30 years old to pursue a career about which I am passionate. I moved across the country and thrived in the biggest, most intimidating cities in America, I sang a solo in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and I took on an entire industry in the hopes of making a positive impact for myself and others. I don’t back down from things that scare me, and I will not back down from capturing memories with loved ones.

I think it’s important to recognize our own value. I’ve learned that the hard way, and that learning process never stops. I put effort into how I look, what I wear, etc. I take pictures from flattering angles, and I pose with my big, cheesy grin.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about how we represent ourselves; I’m saying that I don’t want to live as a slave to this unrealistic ideal that we measure ourselves and our happiness against.

I love myself whether you think I should or not, and I’m going to continue to make memories and photograph them when I feel like it because I love looking back at the little moments that make life so special.

Do you shy away from photos because of your weight?

Fitbloggin’ 15 and Family

I’m making some changes here, but I couldn’t wait to share my Fitbloggin’ recap.

*****

After spending a glorious week in Colorado, I’m back home in New Orleans. I haven’t really had an opportunity to process everything yet because as I was departing yesterday, I became ill. I’ll spare you most of the details, but let’s just say that I now have a new “worst flight ever” to remember. I’m pretty sure the people sitting next to me would agree too.  Thankfully, we were in the air before the decided to call a medic, otherwise I’m not sure I would have made it home at all yesterday.

I’m not 100% yet, but I’m far less miserable than I was. I have no appetite, but I no longer feel so putrid that I can’t even think of food. A sweet someone brought me dinner and meds, and I’m on the mend now.

Fitbloggin’ didn’t officially start until Thursday evening, so I spent the afternoon with my sister and nieces, and Leslie and Jaason joined us. It was awesome to let my worlds collide for an afternoon by introducing my family to friends who feel like family. We walked around downtown dinner, chatted for a bit, and relaxed.

Leslie Steph and More

My oldest niece, Hannah, knows how to make her auntie feel good. When she spotted me she ran through the lobby of my hotel to greet me. I love that kid. She’s so awesome! My youngest niece, “Haddy,” took a while to warm up to me. She’s only one, and she didn’t know me. Thankfully, through offering her a bite of a cookie, we became instant BFF’s. I definitely think she’ll remember me when she’s here in a few weeks.

Westin Denver

They loved that I let them jump on my bed too. (What can I say? They’re adorable.)

I didn’t spend a lot of time at the opening mixer because I had dinner plans with Leslie, Jaason and David, which I’ll discuss more in a moment. I did stay long enough to say hello to a lot of people whom I adore and to make my official Fitbloggin’ badge. It’s a fun way to kick off the conference every year, and this year we were instructed to place a star on our badge for every year of attendance.

IMG_1570

They’re some of the coolest California people I know.

IMG_1768

Five years of Fitbloggin’. Wow..

I’ve attended this conference for five years in a row, and there’s one specific reason for it: the people. I don’t care about blogging now nearly as much as I did when I started attending this conference, but enjoying a friendly reunion weekend never gets old.

IMG_1504

J’s pretty good at taking selfies. I’m glad he’s tall.

Everyone should have a friend like Kris.

IMG_1523

After hours…

I wouldn’t have gone this year if Leslie hadn’t agreed to go as well because it’s just not the same without her, but I’m glad she did. I’m glad we all went. Thursday night we ate at Mercantile Dining & Provisions inside Union Station. We shared several appetizers, and I chose the Boulder Natural Crispy Half Chicken heirloom grain porridge, shaved asparagus & morel mushroom salad, spring onion crema.

Mercantile Denver

My chicken is definitely fancier than your chicken…

Earlier that day I had breakfast with some of my other Fitbloggin’ pals, Kris, Deb, June and Julie.

Fitbloggin Breakfast

Julie, Me, Kris, June and Deb

The conference offers some cool sessions and opportunities to work with various brands, but some of my favorite things happened after hours this year.

My friend, Kelly at No Thanks to Cake, decided to have an impromptu chat Friday evening, and people filled the room to listen. I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening at the time, but it led to an amazing conversation with friends in the other room.

Fitbloggin Women

Deb, Pauly, Dani, DeAnna and me

We talked about life, self-love, love from others and a myriad of other things. Pauly shared the most amazing beer ever with me too, Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment. (It’s probably good that I’ve never seen it in New Orleans because it’s too delicious!) Anyway, these women all come from different backgrounds, cities, etc., but they reminded me that we all want the same thing at our core. Moments like the ones we shared that evening are the reason I go to Fitbloggin’ every year, and I’m so thankful for them.

After the conference I picked up a rental car and drove to Colorado Springs. My favorite thing about the conference this year was the proximity to my sister’s house. It was great to spend time with her family, and we filled every moment with something fun.

One of the highlights of our time together was a little hike we did near their house. We had an amazing view of Pike’s Peak and Pulpit Rock, and the weather was perfect! Colorad Springs  We did a lot of other fun things, including mani/pedi time with Auntie, a cupcake date with Mom and Auntie, shopping at Trader Joe’s (because I can always use more Belgian chocolate) and breakfast that included a flight of pancakes.

IMG_1440

IMG_1706

I’m so thankful for the week that I got to spend surrounded by people I love. I left to conference with some insight into where I’d like to take my blog in the future. (I kind of regret trying to merge the two.) I also created some small, reasonable goals that I hope to share here soon.

My first year at Fitbloggin’ will probably always be my favorite, but this year gave it a run for its money. I can’t count on both hands how many people I know and love as a result of this community, and I can’t wait until it’s time to see them again.

Until next year…

 

 

 

28 Days

I had a great visit with Dad last week. He met several of my friends, and He went home on Friday, then some friends from Fitbloggin’ made their way to New Orleans for a Mardi Gras weekend. I didn’t eat well at all, and I gained 1.4 pounds as a result. My plan is to take it off this week, and I’m doing that by making healthier food choices and time for exercise.

If I am what I eat, then today I’m leafy greens. Last week I was king cake, kobe beef sliders, and pork roast. Ha! My point is that I’m taking the reigns back today because I am happier with myself when I’m in control. I’m tracking everything that I eat, which makes it easier to stay accountable.

One of my goals for the month of February is to match the loss that I had in January. I want to lose 10 pounds again this month, but I have another goal too that isn’t related limited to my weight.

I’ve talked about my church a zillion times here, and this month they posted a challenge social media. NOLA Church’s 28 Days of Love gives us a small challenge each morning, and I’ve following along on Instagram and completing them each day for the last ten days. (You can see each day’s challenge at: instagram.com/nola_church if you want to.)

NOLA Church 28 Days of Love

I plan to complete each day because these little steps add so much joy and satisfaction to my life, but Day 10 impacted me in a major way. “Learn how to love yourself.” It sounds so simple doesn’t it?

I tried figuring out how to love myself for years, and so many of you told me that I couldn’t love someone else until I learned to love myself, blah, blah, blah…I searched for love through relationships, some of which were completely wrong for me. I looked for love/acceptance/joy by lying to myself and others about who I was. I was so steeped in shame that I couldn’t feel love, then that changed.

I began to love myself when I realized who GOD is and what He did for me. I started to understand that I could and should love myself when I realized that GOD sent Jesus (who was perfect and sinless, by the way) to feel every bit of shame, hate, anger, hurt, sin, and every other thought or emotion that we as humans would feel to die for us…to die for me.

Sunday, my pastor, Monte, said, “Jesus loved us so much that it killed Him.” The amazing news is that it didn’t stop there. He conquered death, hell, and the grave for us…for me.

It gets a lot easier to love myself when I think of GOD’s never-failing love for me. GOD loved the world so much that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For GOD did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17)

GOD is love, and He loves me. That led me to repentance, which ultimately led me into a relationship with Him. I love Him, and when I started placing my focus on others instead of myself, I began to see His goodness up close. That realization showed me that if GOD loves me, who am I not to love myself?

God loves you, and He’s never going to stop. if you don’t believe me, come spend a week or two with me.

Later friends…

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughtful Thursdays: Getting To Know You

I’m kind of enjoying this new Thursday thing, and I hope that it grows into a fun, weekly activity for many of us. My readership has changed, and I don’t really know who’s here. That leads me to this week’s topic. Let’s spend a few minutes getting to know each other!

Thoughtful Thursdays on All the Weigh

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 Thoughtful Thursdays 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 Thoughtful Thursdays post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Getting To Know You

1. List three things that you don’t need, but that you wouldn’t want to live without. Hmmmm…My iPhone, Macbook, and dessert

2. What is your favorite/least favorite household chore? I don’t mind doing the dishes/cleaning the kitchen, etc. I like to keep things tidy, but I wish my floors would clean themselves.

3. Tell us about your hobbies (things that you do to relax, to have fun, etc.) I love to bake, though I haven’t done that in nearly three weeks. I also enjoy reading, knitting, playing board games, attending small groups with my NOLA Church folks, and shopping. (This list could be much longer.)

4. What’s your favorite holiday, and why? Christmas. I love Thanksgiving too and all of the time in between. People are nicer, the weather is usually cool and crisp too (at least it was until I moved to New Orleans!)

5. It’s Wednesday night. What will you do to enjoy yourself? Well, tonight I hosted a game night at my favorite coffee shop. I thought that I’d have a friend or two there, but we ended up having a group of 10 people. It was awesome.

Game Night

6. Share at least three things that you like about yourself. I like my ability to connect with people in a genuine and altruistic way, I like my smile and ability to laugh at myself, and I like my musical talent. I’m thankful for all of these things.

Kenlie Lane Bryant Purple

7. What are you looking forward to doing most over the coming weekend? Gosh..there’s so much…Mom is coming into town, but before that we’re finishing up our 21 Days of Prayer with breakfast at church. These periods always change my life, and this one has been incredible. Maybe I’ll talk about that more at some point.

8. Did you make any goals for January? If so, how are they coming along? My goal for January is to lose 10 pounds, and I had lost 7 at my last weigh-in. I ate chips and queso that I didn’t need last night, so I’m going to have to work a little smarter in the coming days if I want to accomplish that goal.

9. Are you in a relationship? A romantic one? Nope. I have awesome relationships with family and friends though. Does that count? (I wrote the question, so no. Ha…)

10. What is your favorite TV channel? It depends on the time of year. If it’s during the holidays, it’s definitely the Hallmark Channel. The rest of the year I leave the TV on mute with CNN or QVC playing in the background. I like CNN because I can keep up with what’s happening around the world, and I like QVC because they’re always so darn happy about everything on that channel. Ha

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

Weekend Wrap-Up

I love weekends, but this one was one of my favorites lately. Friday evening I had dinner and drinks at a place that has been on my list of places to try with stellar company, then I woke up Saturday morning and learned that I won a pair of Kork-Ease boots via instagram from Feet First, a local shoe boutique.

Kork Ease Boots

I went in that morning and picked out a pair boots with my friend, Michelle, and she bought a great pair of shoes. After that we spent time at the Riverwalk Outlets in my neighborhood. We ate lunch and spent time looking around at various shops, then I met up with another friend who spent the afternoon on my rooftop with me.

It’s been a while since I took advantage of the rooftop, but the weather in New Orleans is beautiful right now. My neighbors and I were joined by my friend, Alonzo, that evening too.

Sunday morning I didn’t attend church. It’s weird to sleep in on a Sunday, but it felt good today. My long time blog friend, Lynn, came into New Orleans, and it was awesome to finally meet her!

Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans

We had lunch at one of my favorite spots in my neighborhood, Domenica. I was sad to learn that they had removed my favorite pizza from the menu until I tried the pumpkin pizza. (I know, it sounds odd, but it was amazing!) The pizza, which was loaded with roasted pumpkin and bacon.

Domenica Happy Hour Pizza

When Lynn and her husband headed to the game, I came home and did a little baking and visiting with my neighbors. We watched the Saints win, which was awesome and long overdue and painted my nails for the second time of the day.

OPI Lacquer

“Miami Beet” and “Ski Teal We Drop” by OPI

Lynn brought me two sets of holiday Jamberry wraps, and I can’t wait to wear the Halloween wraps later this week. Has anyone else that I know use Jamberry?

Now it’s time to start a new week, and I’m ready for it. A friend from New York is coming in for a few days, and I’m going to get to spend some time with her Wednesday morning. I’m kind of hoping that there’s more fun coming up in the next few days too.

Now it’s time to get the week started, which means that I’m back to limiting the amount of sugar that I consume. I’m definitely going to hone my goals this week and add some new things to the mix. More on that later.

Until then…

 

 

 

Friends, Fitness and Other Stuff

I know that I mentioned that I’m working on a new blog, but when I start thinking about replacing this one with something else, I start wondering if it’s a good idea.  The name obviously doesn’t have the same meaning as it did when I started writing here, but it feels like me.

It’s always been about so much more than weight-loss.  It’s about the reasons that I gained weight in the first place, the reasons that I struggle so much to lose it.  It’s about finding happiness and peace and strength to do the things that scare me and invigorate me.  I’ve found a lot of that through God, family, friends and my church, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let go of something that has been such an important tool for my growth.

Kenlie and Friends

The truth is that if I knew how to give this blog the facelift that it needs, I’d simply do that.  I just don’t know much about the technical part of blogging, which is why it’s always been so simple here.  Maybe I should work on figuring that out (even though the other blog name is pretty awesome too.)

In other news, school has started again, and I can’t decide which classes to take.  I also decided that I wouldn’t drink anything at Starbucks this month until after I completed a workout.  It’s my home away from home, and I think it’ll work as pretty good motivation.

Last night while I was comfortably knitting on my sofa, the fire alarms went off in my building.  I put my sneakers on and walked from my floor to the ground floor (because we couldn’t use the elevators,) then I quickly walked up several flights of stairs in the parking garage to get to my car so I could leave.  My heart was pounding a little by the end, but I looked at it as a bonus workout.

Knitting

I’m looking forward to September because I love this time of year.  I made an exercise goal that has nothing to do with numbers, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it impacts my health.

Is anyone else starting a new semester?  Do you have any goals for the month?

Things Change

Clint is moving to Chicago in a few weeks, and when he called to tell me about the job offer, he asked if I thought he should go.  My opinion matters a lot to that guy, and I don’t like it lightly.  I asked him if he wanted to go, and he answered the way I thought he would.  He said, ‘yes.’

As hard as it is to think of living in downtown New Orleans without him, it’s easy to be happy for him as he moves into his next phase of life.  He graduated from Tulane recently, and he got a promotion that allows him to move into a bigger market (which will be a solid career move for him.)

I tend to get mushy when I talk about “The Suit” because I could never say thank you enough for the friendship that he’s given me.  So many of the incredibly positive changes that have occurred in my life since 2012, happened as a result of his willingness to say “Hey…who you are is okay.  You’re great the way you are, and if people disagree, they’re not worth your time.”

One of the defining moments of my life happened in an empty hallway at Tulane on day before our first final exam together in 2012.  I had just been on ABC News Nightline, and I was taking heat from online bullies who hate fat people.  One particular message that I received, in which the person threatened to find me, rape me and kill me hit me hard….really hard.

I was in tears, not realizing that anyone else was around, and Clint showed up right in front of me.  He read the repugnant words on the screen of my cell phone, and he gently put his hands on my cheeks.  He said, “Kenlie, look at me.  You’re safe.  This a-hole isn’t here; these words aren’t reality.  This is your reality, and he grinned.”

It was in that moment that I realized that my reality was safe and happy.  In reality, I was walking into class, surrounded by people who respected me, and I was finally creating the life that I wanted to have for myself.  I’m not sure what I had been so afraid of before, but that day, the fear began to subside.

Clint was instrumental in what would become a series of radical life changes for me that included accepting myself, finding a church home, remembering who I am in Christ and discovering that my circumstances could and would change.

I never knew what it was like to have a friend like him, and now I never want to know what it’s like without him. It looks like it’s time to add Chicago to my favorite destinations…There could be worse places to visit.

Kenlie and Clint at George Strait and Reba

 

 

 

Celebrating “The Suit”

One of the best things that ever happened to me happened the day that I walked into my first class at Tulane. I had no idea that the handsome, serious-looking guy in the front would become one of the people I could count on most (in addition to God and my family,) and today he’s graduating!

clint and kenlie at anderson cooper

I couldn’t have imagined that we’d navigate the ups and downs of life or go on adventures together, and I definitely wouldn’t have believed that we’d still be laughing after a 26 hour non-stop drive across the nation.

He was the first friend to know everything about me – every flaw and imperfection – and to accept me without question in spite of them.

Clint and Kenlie New York

I’m so incredibly blessed to call Clint my friend, and today, as he graduates, I’m celebrating his accomplishment that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter where we end up, I’ll always be thankful for the day we talked about his non-iPad because his friendship changed everything.

I love you like family, Clint, and I am so proud of you! I can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings…

Clint and Kenlie at Tulane

 

And Then I Remembered…Life is Awesome…

I was looking for something specific on Facebook this morning, and I came across the first status that I ever posted (circa 2008,) and it simply said, “So. Freaking. Thankful.”

I’ve been in a pretty dark place over the last few weeks, but I woke up happy again this morning.  I smiled all day.  I felt so much joy that had felt missing for far too long.  Three weeks is a long time to be miserable when you’re usually a happy-go-lucky lady!

I’ve been lamenting some things that I simply cannot change, but last night I was reminded of how incredibly awesome my life is.  I allowed myself to be distracted (by positive things,) but it’s a good feeling to realize that I’m surrounded by stellar people who love me and want me to be happy.

I went to dinner last night and laughed until my face hurt.  We went to a new restaurant near my place called “Peche,” and everything we tasted was divine.

Peche New Orleans

After that, I spent the rest of the evening with two of my favorite men on the planet – Clint and Joe, and it was at that point that I realized that I wasn’t sad anymore.

Exercise has definitely played a role in pulling me out of this emotional rut too.  It’s funny, isn’t it?  Most of us know that we’ll feel better after a sweaty workout, but sometimes it feels nearly impossible to get up and do it.  Am I the only one who feels this way?

I’ve spent a lot of time reaching out to God lately too, and feeling His love and comfort has gotten me through this emotionally rough period.  Someone important to me sometimes  says, “the blessing is in the brokeness.”  (Yeah, I know that “brokeness” isn’t a word, but it’s true, to a point.)

It’s awesome to lean on God and to feel that He has everything under control, but the rest of that statement is overly religious rubbish.  Leaning on God when you need Him is amazing, but He heals us so we can bless others.  We can’t touch the lives of other people if we’re always broken.

I feel so much better than I have in weeks, and it feels good to be happy again.  It’s amazing how wonderful you feel when you jump back in and start experiencing all of the reasons you have to be thankful.

Does anyone else understand what I’m saying?  Have you ever made yourself feel better by recognizing all of the reasons you have to be thankful?

 

 

Will You Please Share Your Blog URL?

I’ve been out of the loop lately, and now that classes are over for the semester, I have time to catch up on the awesome blog posts that I’ve been missing.  I like to read health blogs, fashion blogs, baking blogs…I have a variety of interests, and I’d like to compile a new list of sites that I can read while drinking a cup of coffee or tea.

Will you please share your blog address so I can read it?  

One more thing…does anyone have a suggestion for keeping up with blogs now that Google Reader no longer exists?