Tag Archives: Kenlie Tiggeman

Date Night, Shiftcon and More…

Life has been pretty good over the last few weeks, but this has been one of the best weeks I’ve had in quite a while.

domenica-new-orleansTuesday night Michael and I went out for an early dinner at my favorite restaurant, which is located in the Roosevelt Hotel near my home. The food was delicious! I used to eat the majority of their thin pizza, but that night I was able to eat a small slice.

After dinner we walked into the lobby of the hotel because it’s always decorated beautifully at Christmas, and there were old-fashioned Christmas carolers singing all of my favorite tunes.

I also met Santa Claus that night, which was the highlight of the tree lighting! I’m pretty sure he was the real Santa too because he definitely looked the part.

santa-clausAfter the tree-lighting ceremony we walked back to my place to put our leftovers in the fridge, then we walked down to the Riverwalk. It’s only a few blocks from home too, so we stroll over there from time to time.

We stopped at the Riverwalk outlet mall and shopped. Okay, no…I shopped while Michael played Pokemon Go, and I was able to find the perfect Christmas gift for my dad.

It was also a healthy week for me, which makes me feel good. After hearing my primary doctor tell me that she’s “never seen anyone do so poorly” after weight-loss surgery I dropped another 6 pounds. I’ve added two since then, which brings me to 52 pounds lost since in the last 10 weeks. I’m not losing weight as quickly as I thought I would (or as quickly as others have lost,) but I’m losing. I’m not seeing it on the scale, but I’m feeling it in my clothes.

I bought a shirt last month that I couldn’t button yet hoping that it would fit by Christmas, but it fits now. I could wear it, but I have to drive an hour each way back to The Avenue because they forgot to remove the sensor. I’m glad I kept my receipt!

Now it’s the end of the week, and I spent the day at Shiftcon. I’ve been struggling to consume enough protein lately, but I resorted to drinking things that I don’t like. Thankfully, when I arrived at Shiftcon this morning I learned about a product called Vital Proteins, and it’s going to be a game changer for me.

The awesome folks at Vital Proteins sent me home with lots of unflavored protein that I can add to my coffee and most other things I consume, and it’s such a relief to know that I’ll have enough protein by the day’s end (without continuing to drink stuff that I find appalling.

There are so many awesome people and products at Shiftcon that I’m still a bit overwhelmed by it all (in a good way.) It was so nice to see my long time pal, Alyssa, and my fierce friend, Kia. We were Twitter partying together, which we’ll be doing again tomorrow at 4 pm. You should join us if you can to win some cool prizes!


Now I’m heading out again to have coffee with my friend, Amanda. I’m not ready for beignets, but it’s a great night for a warm and cozy drink.

I can’t wait to head back to Shiftcon tomorrow. I’m so glad it’s right here in my neighborhood because change is happening right in my backyard.

I’m feeling better than I have in months, maybe years. I feel smaller, healthier and lighter on my feet, and I’m starting to feel like this whole weight-loss surgery thing is working. I’m also working on exercising more, and this week I’ve really enjoyed it. (That’s a relief!)




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.


I Have My Reasons

I share a lot of private feelings on my blog, and last week was no exception.  After writing the post in which I ‘spilled my guts’ I received mixed reactions.

My dad wasn’t thrilled about the post (even though he totally respects my decisions to write about whatever I want to write about.)  On the flip side, I received some supportive comments and even discovered another Pearl Jam fan in the mix.

I also received some  private, heart-felt messages  from people who clearly see some attractive qualities in me.  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the response, and I was immediately reminded that many of you see past my imperfections.  And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

I think I confused some people too. Maybe I took them by surprise so let me be clear for a moment.  I’m far from desperate.  In fact, I have the audacity to believe that I deserve to fall for an incredible guy who will fall right back.  It has happened in my life before, and I can only hope and imagine that it will again.

I refuse to believe, however, that I have to love every part of myself completely before it happens.  I shouldn’t have to be perfect to find love.  After all, I’m making these changes for myself – not for the benefit of  “The Future Mr. Kenz” that I’ve mentioned in the past.

The truth is that I am strong, happy and capable.  These days I’m living my life in an attempt to make the world a happier place.  And I’m not just talking about it; I’m doing it.  In addition to that, I’m talented and driven and determined to make a positive impact on the people around me and people that I may never meet.  My life matters.  I matter, and I know that.  I’m not looking for anyone to change my life…I just want him to complement it.

I did not share my feelings in an attempt to be passive; I shared them because it’s my release.  And I didn’t spill my guts last week out of desperation, nor did I spill them because I thought the guy would read them.  (No really…I kind of wanted him to know my thoughts, but I honestly didn’t think he would see them here.)  And even when he acknowledged my post, I was too embarrassed to own up to anything further.  Just call me  “Cowardly Kenlie.”  (No, don’t.)

I wrote about my feelings because while I’m strong in so many ways, I’m also just an insecure coward who carries her feelings on her sleeve.  And instead of trying to hide my emotions as I did for the first 20+ years of my life, I’m trying to embrace them.  (For the record, it’s not easy.)

My blog exists because I need a place to share my feelings, and sometimes that means lying down on the proverbial couch. Sometimes it means saying things here that I’m not brave enough to say face to face.

As strange is it sounds, sometimes my blog feels like my best friend.  I mean, I have friends, but I can say anything here without fear that I’m the only person who has ever felt what I’m feeling.

In spite of the criticism that I encounter from time to time, I share my feelings here because I have to let it all out.  And right now  it’s easier to do that here.  (Add this to the list of things that Kenlie is trying to change.)

I have a big heart, and my feelings are authentic.  I can be emotional, but don’t judge me or pity me; just understand that sometimes I say what I have to say because I have to…for me.

If you’re reading this, here’s what I need you to understand about me:  I post here everyday because I need to…for me.  It’s cathartic, and it has been that way since day one.  And while it’s hard to explain this to someone who doesn’t have abnormal food habits, sometimes I write because the only alternative in my mind is to order a pizza and eat at least half of it.

Sometimes spilling my guts means I’m winning a different battle.

An Update On The Battle To End Size-Profiling

I haven’t said much about my law suit against Southwest Airlines lately, and I think it’s time for an update.  When I filed the law suit initially, I filed Pro Se (on my own) because creating change was my biggest focus, and it was important to find a lawyer who understood that.  That lawyer’s name is John Panico.  I’m now represented by Panico & Maebry who can be reached at www.obesitylawgroup.com.

My lawyer, John, was morbidly obese for most of his life until he made the changes that so many of us are striving to make.  He lost a considerable amount of weight, and now he and his law partner, Tremaine, have devoted their practice to fighting against obesity discrimination among other things.

Choosing a lawyer wasn’t easy until I spoke with John.  He’s a native New Yorker who has struggled with weight for most of his life, and he gets it.  He refers to himself as an “obese person in remission” which tells me that he understands the life-long struggle that so many of us face.

He’s also one of the only lawyers I’ve ever met who doesn’t waste time speaking in legalese just to sound cool.  He’s sharp, but he’s not arrogant.  He takes time to explain the facts, and he does it without condescension which immediately made him the right choice in my book.

The people at Panico & Maebry are standing with me in the fight to end the size-profiling that Southwest Airlines currently allows.  They know that I’m not interested in lining my pockets, and they’ve already reached out to Southwest in an attempt to discuss the changes that we believe they should make.

It’s still not going to be easy to fight Goliath, but I’m relieved to have these guys in my corner. They’re smart and tough and empathetic, and that’s what I need right now.  That’s what America needs right now.  In taking on my case, they’re not just fighting for me; they’re fighting for millions of obese people who have gone through (or fear going through) what I’ve experienced at the hand of Southwest.

The pain that Southwest has caused me may never go away, but with the help of my lawyers, I’m hopeful that one day I can rest assured that it won’t happen to anyone else.

Exercise and Other Stuff

It’s been another action-packed 24 hours, but I’ve had some interesting experiences which included a couple of great workouts at the fancy gym.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that there’s something about that place that makes me want to workout hard.  I love it, and I’m looking forward my training session tomorrow morning.  And because working out with friends is more fun, I plan to hit the gym in the evening as well.  Planks, anyone?

She's tough, but she's fun..

Megan and I have been friends for several years, and she has never hesitated to go for the gusto!  I was exhausted after climbing the ladder, the metal wall, boxing,  running with Ty and other things, but we planked anyway.  In the photo above she’s telling commanding me to do it one more time.  My core is so sore, but it was so worth it.

I’ve done a little air boxing, but over the last few days I’ve taken it to the punching bag.  And wow! It’s such an intense cardio workout!  Who knew?  Plus, I think the pink gloves are cute.

I look tough, right? I know. 😉

So…Life has been busy, but it has also been productive.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I plan to hit it hard again at the gym.  I’m also concentrating on making good food choices which is harder for me than exercise.  What’s on your agenda?  What’s for lunch?  I’ve been obsessed with light Caesar salads lately, but I need some fresh ideas.  Help a girl out, will you please?


The Law Suit

Whether you’re new to my blog or not, here are some facts about what’s going on in my life right now.  I’m suing Southwest Airlines.  I’m seeking an injunction because their policy needs to be less open to interpretation by their employees at the ticket counter and at the gate.   Now… before you make assumptions and/or draw conclusions, I’m asking you to listen to what I have to say.

I am not advocating obesity.  This blog only exists because I am taking steps to change my health and my life.  I’ve lost over 100 pounds, and I’m not saying that obese people should receive special treatment.  I’m simply saying that they deserve equal treatment and the opportunity to clearly understand the rules.

It's a long road, but I'm moving in the right direction...

It’s not about money.  I didn’t seek damages in the law suit that I filed Pro Se (on my own.)   But when this is over Southwest will (hopefully) owe overweight and obese Americans a clear definition of their rules at the point of purchase.  Eyeballing people at the gate won’t cut it as I’ve said on a few different occasions (here and here.)

After the initial Southwest incident last year, I blogged about it, and a representative contacted me to apologize.  I accepted the apology and agreed to fly on Southwest again.  I flew from Baltimore to New Orleans and had no problems, then I flew from New Orleans to Los Angeles, and I had no problems.  A few months later I took another flight, and  I was once again told that I was “too fat to fly.”

Actually, her words were “Well, look at you.  Obviously you need two seats.”   It’s interesting though…As soon as the agents saw the letter of apology that I received from Southwest’s HQ regarding the last incident, their tune changed.  I was allowed to board without issue, but at that point I knew I had to do something about it.

Once again, Southwest reached out to me via e-mail before I even reached my destination.  Here’s an excerpt from the e-mail:

“Moving forward, when flying with Southwest Airlines and falling under our Customer of Size policy, we will require the purchase of a second seat for travel.”

What I need Southwest to tell me is when exactly do I “fall under” that policy?  Why does it apply one day and not on another day?  I certainly didn’t fall under it according to gate agents on the two prior flights.

The problem I have with Southwest is not that they may want me to purchase two seats.  It’s that sometimes they want that, and other times they don’t.  I don’t know about you, but I fly a lot.  And paying double because a gate agent may or may not have something against overweight people is not realistic…nor should it be necessary.  

Perhaps the solution isn’t simple, but it is definitely an issue that needs attention.   The fact that the agents in my experiences were unaware of the policy is unacceptable.  And humiliating people at the gate (or in private for that matter) simply should not be an option.

As a lay person I recognize that there are engineers and rocket scientists working for this company that figure out how to make these giant machines fly around in the air everyday without crashing into each other.  Surely, they can work to create a finite policy that takes away the gate agent’s right to discriminate against overweight people.

Again, I’m not advocating obesity.  I’m working to change my body, but it is not my right to judge someone else’s circumstances.  And that’s not the point anyway.

Clearly, Southwest wants us to be a certain size, but no one (including Southwest) seems to know what that size is.  While we may not be born with an innate privilege of flying on a plane, as paying consumers we do have the right to fly if we’re willing to follow the rules.  And in order to do that, we need to know the rules.  

Southwest cannot discriminate against people because of race or gender.  People fought for those human rights, and now I’m fighting for the rights of every American, even larger ones.  More than thirty percent of Americans are obese, and you don’t have to understand or advocate obesity to know that what’s fair for one American should be fair for all Americans.  

I hope you’ll join me in my desire to seek positive change, but even if you don’t, I’ll still be here.  I’ll be fighting for what I know is right because someone has to, and I’ve learned through my journey thus far that change is possible.  And it starts with me.



To hear more, check out what I said in my latest interview with Siemny Chhuon at WDSU  in New Orleans here.



Lots of Little Things

To say that this week has been a busy one would be an understatement.  I’ve been swamped.  I’m not complaining about it; it’s just a fact.  And in spite of my schedule, I know that it’s my responsibility to make healthy choices.  So instead of letting 48 hours turn into a week, I decided to start making healthy choices at 9:30pm last night.  I did 50 minutes of aerobics, and though I felt totally unmotivated, I’m really glad I did it.

And now that the busiest part of my week is over I have time to do the important things like studying for finals, going to dinner with friends and painting my finger nails.  (What? Isn’t proper nail care important to everyone?!)  After receiving the wonderful OPI package from my lovely friend and fellow blogger it didn’t take long to choose my first color.

I Have A Herring Problem

I chose “I Have A Herring Problem” first because it seems so appropriate for Spring!  And as you might guess, I adore it.  I’m in love with all shades of blue, and this one is sparkly.  Who doesn’t love sparkly nails?!

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks because there are some fun things coming up!  Tonight is my Weight Watchers meeting, and though I’m not weighing in weekly, I’m going to the meeting with a special delivery from New York for my WW leader.  I can’t say too much because I know she reads my blog from time to time, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise.  It’s a good one. 😉

And next week I’m going to share details about a challenge that I’m really excited about, and I hope you’ll be excited too!  It’s going to be awesome!

Until then, I hope you’re doing something healthy for yourself, and I’ll do the same.  Speaking of which…what’s for lunch?  I’m growing a little tired of Caesar salads at the moment, and I could definitely use some new, healthy, veggie-dense ideas.




What’s Your Target Heart Rate?

Today was my first day back in town, and it was a busy one.  In fact, it’s after midnight, and I just got in from the gym.

One of the highlights of my day was getting to spend time with my friends, Anne and Amy, before class.  And after that I had another great chat with the “almost friend” that I wrote about last week.  I even told him about the post (because it’s easy to talk to him like that.)  And it’s safe to say I can drop the “almost” part now.

I was also able to tell my professor thank you for influencing my life in such a profound way lately.  Overall it was a great day, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t sleep until I sweated it out at the gym.

Warmed up and ready to hit the weights!

After being gone for several days I knew that I needed to workout hard, but I was tired so I started on the treadmill with a warm-up then 20 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) before moving the weights.  I worked my upper body with weights (triceps, biceps, chest, etc) and also did a few sets of dumbbell squats before going back to the treadmill and running a 15-minute mile which is pretty fast for me most days.

I missed being on the elliptical, but I wanted to do something different so I’ll sweat it out on the elliptical tomorrow.

As I was running I noticed that my heart rate was pretty high, and it led me to wonder about everyone else’s target heart rate.  I try to keep mine in the 150’s, but it actually reached the 170’s a few times tonight which seems too high.

I'm following 30 since I'm 31...Just saying.

What do you think?  I’m looking forward to asking my new trainer, Kim, when we meet, but I want to know what you do now.  Do you check your heart rate when you’re doing cardio?  Do you stick to a specific range? And if so, how did you determine what was right for you?


I Like Carbs, But…

I tried something new yesterday.  In addition to tracking my calories I made it my goal to limit processed carbohydrates.  I didn’t snack on a serving of pretzels, nor did I eat toast with my egg white omelet.  Instead, I replaced those things with more vegetables, and I felt satisfied all day.

I actually ate a little more fat. I ate a serving of bacon, and while the calories were accurate I don't think the fat content was.

Am I devoted to not eating processed carbohydrates anymore?  Not really.  I just wanted to know what it would feel like to go through the day without wrapping my lunch in a low-carb tortilla or adding an alternative bagel or toast, and it wasn’t as horrible as I might have imagined in the past.

I like counting calories, and I like feeling how I felt after my meals yesterday so I’m trying it again today.  I was worried that I might feel lethargic during my workout too, but I didn’t.  Carbs add up when you’re eating fruits and veggies, and I’m okay with that.

It took a little extra effort to prep my food for today, but I’m glad I did it because it won’t be hard to stay on target. (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.)  I’ve also decided that I won’t eat out until I leave town again a week from today.  That may not seem like a long time, but for someone who eats out regularly that’s a big goal.  And I’m resolved to accomplish it.

What are you doing for your health today?  Will you workout?  What’s for lunch and/or dinner?