Tag Archives: healthy living

Surgery Progress, Allergy Testing and Sleep

I saw my doctor again yesterday, and I got some great news regarding the next step on my journey toward weight-loss surgery. I’m excited about it, but right now I’m still processing through my thoughts, faxing the paperwork and trying not to let it consume my thoughts.

I also asked to take an allergy test in the hopes that maybe we’d discover the cause of my skin issues. (I knew it was cellulitis, but I asked anyway just to be sure.) I was tested for all kinds of things, and I wasn’t allergic to any of them. My skin feels much better right now than it has in weeks, but I look forward to the day when that pain is a distant memory.

I’ve wondered whether or not I was allergic to soy for years, and I learned that I’m not allergic to that either. The protein powder that I use does not contain soy, but the powder that my boyfriend is currently using does contain soy. They’re both delicious, but his is a little smoother. He has more flavor options too. I’m still hesitant to consume soy on a regular basis, though I can’t explain why.

Now it’s time to get some sleep. Thursday is typically the last official day of my work week, and this week I’m ready to get it done. It’s also weigh-in day for me at Weight Watchers.

The week has flown by so far, but I’m looking forward to having some fun with my mom and Michael over the weekend. I’ve been waking up before 5 am all week, and I’ll continue for the next two weeks as well. Thankfully, I feel pretty rested. I’m just striving to be in bed by 10 pm instead of midnight.

On that note, good night.  Until next time…Zzzzz……









Gastric Sleeve Update #2

The last 30 hours have been overwhelming in some ways, and I feel so grateful for the support I have in my life. Seriously, God knew exactly what He was doing when He put Michael in my life.

I spoke to the surgeon’s office on Tuesday, and when she heard my story (the weight portion) she encouraged me to complete all of the necessary testing and to see my doctor again sooner than I had planned. She was happy to hear that I’m already a Weight Watchers member and suggested that I speak to my doctor about my food and exercise journey.

cardiologistAfter that conversation, which was encouraging and productive, I made an appointment with a cardiologist and saw her yesterday. My heart is healthy, so my cardiologist ran a few necessary tests and cleared me for the surgery. I still have a couple of remaining steps, and the next big one is coming up on Tuesday of next week.

Tuesday night I experienced a little fear and anxiety over the surgery itself and the aftermath. Everyone tells me it’s the best decision they’ve ever made; they also tell me that it changes everything.

The truth is I definitely want and need to lose weight, but I don’t want it to change everything. I love my life, my family, my boyfriend, my church, my job, my friends, etc. I’m happier than I’ve ever been before, and while I recognize that surgery will make me healthier, I momentarily panicked when I considered the words of people who’ve already experienced it.

Ultimately, I realize that everyone’s journey is different. Maybe their lives needed to change. The fact is that mine started changing drastically about four years ago, and I’m happier and more settled than I ever imagined I would be.

Life is good. It’s not always perfect or easy, but it’s good. I’m so thankful for that, and as I reflected on how many positive changes have happened over the last several years my fear was replaced by faith. My boyfriend, who hugged me and quietly prayed for me, reminded me that God has a plan for  my life, and He’s always faithful.

Now I can rest easily, once again, knowing that I only have to take one step at a time, and I’m thankful for that too.


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…






How Much Coffee Do You Drink?

I’ve been sitting in a local coffee shop most of the afternoon, and they offer free refills when you buy a cup of coffee.  I don’t drink it everyday, but I’m quite sure that the four cups I’ve consumed this afternoon is enough for the week.

When I drink coffee, I like to add a tablespoon of skim milk or creamer, but I don’t like anything else in it.  (When I visit Sucre I sometimes have French Macarons with it though.)

Coffee and French Macarons from Sucre

There seems to be an ongoing debate as to whether or not coffee is bad for you, and I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.

Do you drink coffee?  If so, how much do you drink per day?

Ideas for Tackling Food Cravings?

As I was reading blogs this morning I came across a post about strategies to tackle food demons, and I started thinking about what I can do to control my own cravings.

I often crave food when I’m not hungry.  In my mind it doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, stressed, lonely, bored, etc.  My mind automatically assumes that situations will be more gratifying if food is involved, and I’ve been attempting to change that mindset for years.  I still have a lot of work to do.

I did a little research (thank you, Google) and came up with a few ways to beat cravings that I can imagine working, and I am going to start implementing them right now.

Brush your teeth – I can see this working because I don’t like to eat anything for a while after I brush my teeth.  I can also whiten them because that means no eating for at least two hours, but I certainly can’t do that every time I have a craving.  i don’t want my teeth to be so white that they glow in the dark. 😉

Avoid your triggers – Jeez.  This one is tough because so many things make me want to eat junk, but I get the point.  Last week I picked up my old friend, Clint ( aka The Suit) at the airport, and his flight didn’t come in until after midnight.  I had some time to kill so as I was driving past Krispy Kreme, I decided to order a doughnut.

Krispy Kreme Metairie

I avoid this place most of the time because it’s so easy to convince myself that I need to buy more than one doughnut, but that night I reminded myself that the gratification of the doughnut would make me feel good for about 30 seconds before it made me feel bloated, lethargic and regretful.  I left the parking lot…doughnut-less, and I felt like I had won a battle within myself.

Drink  water – I drink a lot of water, but it’s hot in New Orleans so I won’t hurt myself if I drink more than that.  I keep a few 32 oz. bottles filled at all times, and it’s fairly easy to drink one quickly.  I usually feel full for a while after that, but I also feel like I did something good for myself, thus making it a little bit easier to pass on the junk food.

Keep it out of your environment – I cleaned out my fridge last week and got rid of most of the things that aren’t good for me.  I have a pint of ice cream in the freezer, but it’s not a trigger for me.  I have a serving from time to time, but I’m usually okay with that.  I don’t keep chips or candy in my place most of the time, and when I bake, I get it out of my house quickly too.

It’s easier for me to succeed when I have healthy choices available instead of unhealthy ones which leads me to my next strategy…

Plan – When I chop veggies for stir fry or roasting, I eat them.   When I boil eggs so I have a quick snack, I eat them.  When I come up with new, delicious ideas like a banana + 1 tbps of freshly ground almond butter, I eat that.

Exercise – I don’t mean that you should hit the gym every single time you crave a cupcake (although that may not be a bad idea for me.)  I mean, if you’ve made time to exercise, it’s a little easier to remind yourself that you’re doing good things for your body.  Maybe it’s a good idea to do three sets of jumping jacks, planks or something similar instead of eating, but that won’t always be a realistic option.  I mean, the folks at Starbucks might look at me like I’m crazy if I start doing lunges when I’m craving baked goods.  (I just ten avoid them there.)

Having healthy options that I like allows me to eat food that tastes good which reminds me that I’m doing this because I can, not because I have to.

Eat regularly – I know that when I eat breakfast and exercise that I will likely have a healthy day.  I also know that when  I avoid eating until late afternoon, I’ll eat too much at that point so it’s important to eat in a timely way.

I realize that there must be a zillion other ways to fight cravings so I’d like to ask YOU to offer some advice on this.  My question is…

What strategies do you use to avoid cravings?

Or is there something that you think might work that we should try?

Many of you have learned how to deal with this successfully, but I’d like to think that I’m not the only one who still fights with myself to say no to overeating.

I’m working on this, and I’d like to know if you are too.  I’d also like to hear your ideas too so please take a moment to share them.




Putting It Out There

Last week I wrote about the positive changes that have occurred in my life over the last couple of years.  After years of feeling unsettled, I finally have a happy little routine.  My life isn’t perfect, but I am definitely moving in  the right direction in many areas.  I’m happy with myself and my day to day life.

I find myself saying “thank you” when I think about the things that finally feel right again, and I’m sincere.  I just want to look different.  I suppose I want to feel different too (even though it’s hard to imagine feeling better than I do.)  I know that my health should always be a priority, and I just want to finish what I started.

I used to exercise whether I wanted to or not, but I have lacked consistency in that lately.  In the last 30 days,  I have done Bikram yoga several times.  I have also done Zumba and various forms of cardio, but I’m not doing as much as I should be doing.  That’s easy enough to change though.  I don’t mind the workouts – particularly after I remember how great I feel when I do it, but the food part is harder for me.

It is no secret that I eat more than I should.  I don’t binge eat, but I eat a few hundred calories more than I should in order to lose weight almost everyday.  I’m not sure if one is worse than the other, but I know that I’m not giving myself a chance to get it right.

Earlier this year I realized that I let my weight (and prior weight-loss) define me as a human-being.  I often wish I could walk into a room wearing a sign that says “Yeah, I need to lose weight.  I know, but I used to be much bigger than this.”  I wish I could explain that I’m happier with my life than I’ve been in years (except for the obesity part.)

I’m not sure if this is the time in which I’ll get it right or not, but I’m going to keep trying.  I did some healthy things for myself last month, and I’m going to do more this month.  I’m not going to post any lofty goals today, but I’m going to make some small changes this month and go from there.

I took a photo of myself on my 33rd birthday (last Friday) because I love the dress I was wearing – and because I’m working to make some healthy physical changes so that I can look and feel exponentially different in my 34th birthday photo.

kenlie - weight-loss birthday - 33 - new orelans

No one can take away the things that bring me joy now because they come from inside of me.  They come from knowing that through my faults, I still have to ability to make progress.  I also find a lot of joy in the progress that I’ve made within my mind because it seems impossible to fix the outside without fixing the inside first.

I have forgiven myself for the mistakes I’ve made in the past, and I am looking forward to a future in which I will look back at this photo and say thank you again…



First Annual Virtual 5k Turkey Trot

I’m not feeling well tonight, but I have a lot to look forward to this week so I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep will do the trick!

Today was weigh-in day, and I lost 3.6 pounds.  I’m happy about it, but I’ll be much happier when weight-loss feels like a trend again.  My goal is to show a loss next week even though it’s Thanksgiving…even though I’ll be traveling…even though I’ll be away from my new gym.

I don’t need to lose 3 pounds to be happy with myself, but I do need to lose something.  My goal is to workout at my gym tomorrow before I leave town.  If the fancy gym in Mom’s town is open I’ll pay the ten bucks to sweat my guts out Wednesday.  If not, I’ll just do cardio outside.

Thursday I’m planning to do a virtual 5k turkey trot.  While it would be fun to participate in an actual race, I’m not willing to travel an hour each way early in the morning to accomplish it.  Instead I’ll just hit the track and get it done there.

I’m so happy to see that some of you plan to join me in a Thanksgiving workout, and as promised I’m sharing more details…

All you have to do is leave a comment saying that you want to join and what time you plan on doing it.  I plan to do mine between 8 and 9 in the morning because I think it will make me mindful of my food intake.  If you take a sweaty pic after it I’ll include it in a post soon.  Regardless, I hope you’ll join me!

I have to remind myself that Thanksgiving is about being thankful, not gorging myself with food.  I have a lot of reasons to be thankful this year, and I’m going to focus on that during my 5k!

Will you join me?

A Sweaty Mess…

Some days are hard.  Some weeks are hard, and that’s what I seem to be experiencing right now. I’m burning the candle at both ends.  I mean, I know some people live like this everyday, but this level of intensity is different for me.

I didn’t make time to workout Tuesday and Wednesday so I knew it was important to workout Thursday in spite of my 14+ hour day, but I fought myself.  It took everything I had to put my sneakers back on to sweat when all I wanted to do was crawl under the blankets and sleep.  It took everything I had to make myself exercise when I got home around 11 pm.

My day was long and productive. I got a copy of my lease and scheduled a move-in time for less than two weeks from today.  I learned about the parking garage, cable/internet and had several other questions answered.  I even got a cool little tote filled with neighborhood info and a snazzy umbrella.

Good choices often lead to more good choices, and though I’ve had a tough couple of days I knew that I could wake up today feeling good if I pushed myself a bit.  I made an unhealthy dinner choice, but  why not combat one unhealthy choice with a healthy one?

It took me over an hour to convince myself to workout hard for thirty minutes, but I finally mustered up the strength to complete Level 3 of 30-Day Shred.  I also danced to a few of my favorite Richard Simmons routines and held a few extra planks.

It was cold inside the house, but I still managed to sweat profusely.  And when I was done I was definitely red in the face.  Good grief.

It would have been easy to skip my midnight workout, but I wouldn’t feel as good as I do now.  I’m far from perfect, but I’m trying.  And sometimes getting it done is all we can do.



The Long Day Is Over

Have you ever experienced a Monday that never seems to end?  That was my day.  I woke up before my alarm went off and breathed a sigh of relief that it was Sunday, then after basking in the fact that I could sleep in I realized it was Monday.  That reality would have been harsher if I hadn’t been looking forward to the day.

My attempt to go back to sleep for half an hour was thwarted by my desire to workout before facing the day so I got up and completed Level one of  30-Day Shred.  Monday isn’t typically a workout day, but after two workouts yesterday I felt compelled to continue in a healthy way.  The half hour I spent working out set the tone for my day, and I’m glad I did it.  (Don’t worry.  I showered and brushed my hair after that!)

You may recall that Monday is my new weigh-in day, and I’m happy to report that I lost 3.8 pounds.  After two weeks of working my way back into a healthy groove I’m down 11.6 pounds, and for the first time in a long time I feel like I can do this again.  Sure, I have a long way to go, but it feels great to be on the right track!

Monday meetings seem to work well for me because I’m more conscious of my weekend eating.  I found myself looking forward to attending again too, and that makes a huge difference!  I like this meeting and the people in it, and I want to succeed with everyone else there.  I can’t say that I love this meeting as much as I loved my New York meeting, but it’s possible that I will eventually.  I’m comfortable there, and that’s one of the most important factors to consider.

After my meeting I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up something delicious for dinner, and I made a new friend.  We had ample time to talk as we waited in line, and we continued our conversation outside.  He’s from New York and seemed rather brilliant and friendly so it was easy to talk to him.  I love making new friends so I’m glad I made that stop.  During our talk he suggested that I season my next batch of kale chips with chipotle, and I plan to do that before the presidential debate.

When I got home I considered working out again, but I opted to wait until today.  Instead I began practicing recipes that I plan to make for the holidays (because it’s important to do that while others are around to eat it.)  Now I’m ready to tackle Tuesday!

My confidence is on the rise again, and it feels good.  I feel like I’m in control of my health today, and I’m keenly aware that it’s up to me to make good choices.  I’m feeling strong in my workouts again too.  I plan to hit the pavement after I sleep, and I’m already looking forward to continuing my healthy week.

What will you do to make this a healthy week?



The Post I Didn’t Want To Write

While I was at Fitbloggin I confided in a room full of people who accept me that I spent years of my life wishing I could be anyone other than myself.  I put on heirs, tried to convince everyone that I was so much more important than I was while feeling like a lonely, empty person who didn’t have the capacity to just be me.  I didn’t know who I was, and I’m still trying to figure that out.

People often ask me what I want to do with the rest of my life, and the truth is that I’m not sure.  I have some big ideas, but I can’t tell you where I’ll be, or what I’ll be doing five years from now because I honestly don’t know.

I’m back  in school studying Public Relations because I love it, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to make money doing something in that field when I graduate.  I’m just not sure which path I’ll take.

I’ve also made incredible strides in accepting myself as I am.  I’m still insecure, and I still doubt myself at times when I shouldn’t.  I still make mistakes, and sometimes I still find it hard to believe that I deserve to be loved as I am.  I still grimace when I think about all of the progress I could have made on the scale during the years that I’ve maintained what I originally lost, and I still struggle with my day-to-day food choices.

Changing your life inside and out is not easy.  People who say it’s simple are wrong, but here’s what I know now that I didn’t really understand when I began this journey.

  • I have the power to take control, and if I do change will happen. (Note last week’s results.)
  • My body is flawed, but it’s strong enough to keep moving forward.
  • The time I lost hovering at or near the same weight is gone.  I can’t change that, but I can absolutely change the future.
  • I don’t have to reach my goal before I start feeling awesome. ( I feel awesome when I’m confidently moving in the right direction.)
  • The time it takes to sweat on a regular basis is more important than the time I spend sitting at the computer or knitting or reading a book.
  • My life has value.
  • I am loved, and I deserve to be loved.
  • Whether it’s a workout or a healthy meal or admitting that I’ve struggled I have the opportunity to turn seemingly insignificant choices into big results.
Last week was a  healthy week.  I didn’t do everything perfectly, but I made a conscious effort to do better.  I was successful in my attempt at moving forward, and I’m doing it again this week.  And so much of my success occurred when I was able to be honest with myself and the people around me about my weight so I’m doing it again.


After months of not updating my weekly weight-loss log I’ve decided to start updating it again.  I had planned to start updating it again when I reached my lowest recorded weight, but that obviously hasn’t worked.  I’m almost twenty pounds heavier than I was at my lowest weight, but I am ready to celebrate my successes again.  I like seeing the number on the scale decrease, and I want to celebrate every victory.


My weight-loss last week brought me to 302.6 pounds yesterday.  I hate admitting that I’ve crossed over 300 again, but I have to remind myself that I’ve hovered in the 290’s over the last year.


Putting the numbers in black and white allows me to take control back, and I have done that.  I will go to my weekly meeting again next week and look forward to seeing a decrease in numbers again.  I plan to win this battle slowly, steadily and consistently, and each day is bringing me a little bit closer.


Do you openly talk about how much you weigh?  Does it help/hinder you?