Tag Archives: Lifestyle

My Life and Work in SHAPE Magazine

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


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



What Does Blogging Actually Accomplish?

I’d like to think that at some point my blog had a powerful effect on someone, and I think it did…on me. I’m not convinced that it’s good for anything else though, and at this point (for a long time now) I’ve wondered whether or not it’s good for me.

I’ve discussed a lot of topics over the years, and I’ve received a lot of amazing comments and insights from people, many of whom have similar goals and desires. I love communicating on various levels with people who live differently than I do. Rarely do I have a desire to change anyone’s mind (on my blog or in person,) but I do like engaging and widening my perspective.

My last post, in which I respectfully shared my views (apart from my title hook) made me think about whether or not my voice is benefitting anyone (myself included,) and the answer, at least in this case, is no.

I stand by the things I said, but what good does it do to come here and share my opinion? Everyone has one; why do I blog about mine? I started to keep myself accountable not caring whether anyone ever read it or not, then I continued because I enjoyed the constant onslaught of encouragement and attention. Now I do it because sometimes I have things to say, recognizing that not many will see it anyway.

I like to share my thoughts, views and opinions, but my goal has never been to hurt anyone in the process. As an American I have a right to say whatever I want to say, and I think it’s only fair for those who demand tolerance to offer it equally. Having that right doesn’t mean that I should always act on it, and the fact is, I rarely do.

It’s fine to disagree with me. I don’t share my thoughts here to elicit specific thoughts or opinions. I share them because they’re my thoughts and opinions. We are facing some serious issues in this country, and it’s important to acknowledge them. It’s even more important to do something constructive to change it, and I’m actively trying to do that in my community.

I have a separate blog to talk about what God’s doing in my life, but the same message applies here. Colossians 3:17 says,

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

It’s pretty clear than I have a right to share my thoughts and opinions, but I need to be more conscious about what I feel and why I do. I’m asking God to change my heart, to help me see myself and others the way He sees me. He offers grace, mercy, forgiveness and a clean slate. I want to be the kind of person who does the same, so if my last post hurt you, I’m sorry.

Until next time…




Family, Love Updates, Grown Up Coloring and Hand Knitting

Last week had some bright moments and some not so bright moments. I talked about the rough part here last week, and I’m happy to say that we talked today. I didn’t know that I was going to see him, but I’m glad I did. I was able to share my thoughts and feelings (and French press) with him, and I was filled with a sense of relief when I saw him. He was relieved and happy to see me tooI don’t know what the future holds, but I’m happier today than I’ve been in the last week.

The fun parts of last week came as a result of my sister and nieces. They visited Mom’s house, so I spent most of my time there.

Baby Niece

oldest niece

We did some cool stuff in my neighborhood too. My friend, who is a veterinarian at Audubon, brought us behind the scenes and let my nieces feed the giant turtle. We watched them feed the stars as well, and we ran around in the fountains after that.

New Orleans Aquarium

They headed back home Friday evening, so I returned home and caught up on things that I didn’t do during the week. I went to church, spent time with friends, and did some meal planning.

I went to an Outcry concert last week too, which featured some of my favorite Christian artists including Kari Jobe, David Crowder, Hillsong and more. My friends and I sat in a suite, which is my favorite way to enjoy any event (except Pearl Jam because I need to be in the front row for that.)

I also decided to join the grown up coloring book craze. I colored with my nieces last week, but I picked up an adult book at Michael’s too. It’s fun and relaxing, and i finished my first page today.

Is anyone else here doing this to destress or relax?

Is anyone else here doing this to destress or relax?

Sunday afternoon I decided to try something new, so I signed up for a hand knitting class at Michaels. It was an inexpensive way to spend the afternoon, and I left with a finished infinity scarf. I already know how to knit, but I did this without needles. Actually, I used my wrists and hands as if they were needles, which was an interesting and easy concept.

hand knitting Michaels

It looks like a loose braid.

Last week I said that I was going to focus on all of the positives in my life, and I did that. I’m thankful that there are so many reasons to enjoy life, and I’m looking forward to the month of August. It’s typically the hottest month in New Orleans, so I’ll be okay with it when it’s over. I’m also ready to start school again even though I enjoyed the summer break.

I’m not sure what the future holds. I have some things to figure out, but I feel hopeful. I’m pretty sure I’ll sleep a lot better tonight too.


Let’s Talk About How Much I Weigh Today

I weight 343 pounds. At my lowest I weighed 284 pounds. I realize that the second number is still obese, but I felt much better about myself at that weight than I do now. I’ve managed to stave off gaining for several months now. I’ve even lost a little, but I’m keenly aware of how much I need to make a change.


How many times can I say that I know I need to do something about it? How many times can I admit that I find it hard to ask God to help me in this area of my life? Am I the only one who wishes that I could shed the extra weight without sacrifice? Am I the only person my size who can’t seem to grasp the importance of making my body healthy?

I continue to say ‘NO’ to doughnuts even when they’re staring me in the face, but that’s not enough. I need to break my addiction to instant gratification. I need to look at the big picture instead of the immediate one.

It would be easier to give up my blog and forget that I started something that needs to be finished here. It would be easier to write the new one without any thought to the old one, but that’s not what’s best for me. It’s not making me healthier, and I’m not going to allow myself to feel ashamed of the changes that I need to make.

My goal was to have two blogs so I could focus on the other one, but I’m going to rename this one when I figure out exactly how to do it. It just sums up who I am in a better way now.

I miss the friends that I’ve made here, and I like knowing that there are people who understand what I’m going through.


So…I’m back.


Friend Makin’ Mondays: The Holidays and More: Part 2

It’s Monday again, and I’m still in holiday mode. (Is anyone surprised by this?)  I’m currently writing this post as I look at Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, and there’s snow on the ground.  Add a hot cup of java, and it’s everything I need to feel ready for the holidays.  I know we talked about the holidays last week, but most of you seemed to enjoy it so I’ll throw a few holiday questions in this week too.

friend makin mondays


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


 The Holidays and More: Part 2

1.  What state/country do you live in?  New Orleans, LA in the USA

2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there?  I was actually born about an hour and a half away from where I live now, but I didn’t grow up here.  I lived in Texas, Oklahoma, New York and a few other states in between.

3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?  I think it’s horrible.  As a capitalist, I believe in the free market, but as individuals, I think we should collectively refrain from Thanksgiving Day shopping so that employees can enjoy the holiday with their loved ones.  That said, consumerism is alive.  I just won’t be a part of it…until Friday.

4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot?  Will you do one this year?  I’ve never been part of an official one, but I’ve walked a 5k or more on Thanksgiving every year for the last few years.  I plan to do one this year too.

5.  What was your favorite toy as a child?  I loved my Cabbage Patch kid whose name was Jimmy Swaggart.  (No, I’m not kidding…sadly. Ha.) I also loved to play Barbies with my sister.  As a teen, I loved my roller skates.

6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  I’m always aware of how much I eat (even when it’s too much.)  I won’t eat everything that I see on Thanksgiving, but I won’t count the points too closely either.  (I should.  I know I should…I’m just being honest about it.)

7.  Will you watch football Thursday?  I’m sure I’ll catch a little since it will, no doubt, be on, but I’ll probably watch Christmas movies with Mom while we decorate the tree.

8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  I decorate a little inside, but I live in a historic high-rise.  I’m guessing that since I can’t have direct TV, I probably can’t having lights. 😉  I’d also have to scale the building to do it so I’m thinking it’s just a bad idea all-around.

9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope…It might not be a bad idea for me to be allergic to pecan pie, but I’m not.  I’ll just have to pace myself, as one small slice is nearly 400 calories.

10.  Is it snowing where you live?  No way.  I am currently in Colorado as I mentioned earlier in this post.  It’s snowing here, but it’s definitely not snowing in New Orleans.  It’s supposed to be chilly this week though.


Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  We had some new FMM-ers last week so let’s be sure to make them feel welcome this week!  Happy Monday, friends!



Kenlie’s Self-Imposed Dating Ban

Dating is hard when you’re overweight.  Actually, I suppose it’s tough to meet the right person regardless of size, but I’ve decided that I need to make some changes in regards to how I look at it so I’m starting now.  I’m going date-free for at least 30 days.

I rarely talk about dates here (because I have learned from experience that it’s just better that way,) but I date relatively often.  In the last six weeks or so, I’ve been on dates with three different guys.

Date #1: Our dates weren’t bad.  I think he’s a great guy, but he doesn’t live here (or anywhere I plan on living.)

Date #2: I had a good time withhim.  He was a total gentleman, but after ONE date he told me that he loved me.  He said he needed to know if we weren’t exclusive, and I got freaked out.  Is it just me, or does anyone else think that you have to know a person for more than a few days before you decide you love them?

Date #3:  The guy, whom I met online, seemed awesome when we spoke on the phone, but he was a complete mess in person.  Though he was well-spoken, he said that his only goal was “to out live his parents because they don’t deserve to bury their son.”  I agree, and I hope he gets a grip on himself and his issues whatever they are.

While we were on our “date” which entailed coffee at the bookstore (can that even be considereda date?) I stepped away to go to the ladies’ room, and when I came back he made an excuse (which was obviously a lie) to leave.  I was cool with him leaving because I wasn’t attracted to him, but before he left he kissed me...on the mouth...in the middle of Barnes and Noble, and said he’d call me later. It was easily the most awkward kiss of my life.  (I still feel gross when I think about it.)

He called this morning, and this is how our call went:

Date #3: I’m sorry I lied about having a friend in crisis.  I’m really getting back together with an ex.

Me: Well, first…I don’t believe you.  Secondly, it’s irrelevant to me because I am not interested in you either.

Me: PS It was so awkward and wrong of you to kiss me like that in the middle of a public place.  Now please lose my number.  Bye.

Date #3: Bye.

After the call ended, a few texts were exchanged, and I started to think about how lucky I am.  Sure, it was a blow to my ego that a guy blew me off, but I wouldn’t have dated him so there was really no harm done.

Since it was early when he called I went back to sleep, wanting a restart for my morning, and when I woke up I immediately read the Verse of the Day (mark 12:30) on the Bible app on my phone.  It said,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Seriously?  This was the verse of the day, and immediately I began thinking of everything for which I have to be thankful.   I also started thinking that I need to prioritize.  I am loved by my family, my friends and God.  He absolutely knows that I’d love to meet a guy who means the world to me, but I know that God’s timing is typically different than mine.

I have a big heart with lots of room for love in it, but I don’t know when or if I’ll fall in love with someone in a forever kind of way.  I don’t obsess about it, but I think about it more than I should so I’m going to make a big effort to change that.

Over the next month (at least) I am going to make a conscious effort to replace my desire to be with an amazing man with thankfulness. I’m also going to pray and ask God to make my heart feel complete and to wrap me up in the love that HE has for me.

I don’t usually get spiritual here (or anywhere really,) but I’ve changed a lot lately.  I look around and think about where I was one year ago, and I’m overwhelmed by all of the love, grace and blessings that I’ve received even when I didn’t deserve any of it.

Last year at this time I desperately wanted my own home, my own space…I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere, and I wanted to feel independent – something that I lacked for far too long.  I wanted to control my environment and the DVR, and I wanted to have friends who knew all of my faults and still liked me.  I wanted to continue going to school.  I wanted a fresh start, and I got it…all of it.  I have said thank you so many times, but I’m still blown away when I think about all of the reasons I have to be happy.

Dating can be fun and exhausting, and while I enjoy going to fancy dinners or just talking over coffee or sushi, I am convinced that God has bigger things planned for me at the moment.

He has shown me so much recently, and maybe if I spend my quiet time seeking Him instead of day dreaming about the unknown, I’ll find total peace and fulfillment even if I’m forced to eat dinner and drink coffee with my amazing friends. 😉

I don’t know if 30 days is enough to change my mindset, but it’s a start which will have to be enough for today….

Looking Back and Moving Forward, Or Happy Birthday To Me

Well, it’s official.  It’s my birthday, and I’d like an iPad, a Bahama Breeze Yankee Candle, a Queen-Size Aerobed and for people to be nicer to each other.  I’m 33 years old today, and when I think about how I felt as I turned 23 years old, I am so utterly thankful to be here…to be living the life I’m living.

When I look back at the last few years of my life, I see a lot of positive changes in myself.  It hasn’t been easy, but I like to think that I’ve come a long, long way.  (And no, I’m not referring to my weight which is still ridiculously in need of change.)  I’m referring to the changes that I’ve made within myself.

It’s easy to feel like a failure when I look at myself in the mirror, but when I think about who I am and where my heart is today, I feel like I’ve already won.  I’m happy.

Being honest about myself and my feelings used to be terribly hard for me, and it’s still a struggle sometimes.  Throughout most of my twenties, I kept secrets and refused to face the things I didn’t like about myself – my weight, my feelings of failure, my regrets.   I lived in fear (of failure, the future, etc,) and I often felt like a victim in my own skin.

I felt unworthy of love.  I believed that I had used up all of the grace that God had set aside for me, and I felt like there was nothing I could do change myself.  (I’m so glad I was wrong about all of that.)

I hurt people who mattered to me.  I lied.  I wasted years of my life because I couldn’t envision myself as a happy and healthy person no matter how hard I tried.  I made excuses.  I judged others even though I knew how horrible it felt to be judged harshly.  I gave up on myself before I ever really tried, and I blamed everyone except me.

Then at some point I started believing that I could change.  I started to embrace sweat, and I began saying no to foods that made me happy for a few minutes before filling me with remorse.  My body began to change.  My self-confidence began to grow, and I started seeing myself as someone that I could maybe be proud of someday.

I formed some good habits that changed the way I saw myself.  I started loving the woman I saw in the mirror, and I started believing that I was special just as I was.

Then my world crumbled, and I found myself feeling sad and stagnant.  My weight-loss tapered off, and while I never made excuses for it, I tried convincing myself that I was fine with it.  I’m not.  I moved across the country, and after many months, I began settling into the life I’m living now in New Orleans.  I moved into a new place, and I am living a comfortable, happy life.  I’ve decided to accept myself as I am even though there are things that I still need to change.

My weight is still out of control, but other facets of my life are headed in the right direction.  I’m happy, and I’m thankful for it.  I know that I still need to finish what I started with weight-loss, and I am convinced that the time is coming in which I’ll be able to prove to myself (and others) that I can do this.

As I grow another year older, I am resolved to continue living my life and loving it.  I’ve been tried and hurt, but I won’t back down.  I’ve been blessed with so much, and I’ll continue learning, exercising, growing and trying harder.

Maybe losing weight would be easier if I still felt miserable and unsettled.  Maybe I’d be closer to my goal now if I still hated myself.  Maybe I’d be skinnier if I lived in fear of food.   Who knows?  I do know that it’s okay to be happy and that my flaws and failures alone don’t define me.  While I’ve tried and failed so many times, I’ve also changed and grown every time.

I no longer mind being on this journey because the things I’ve experienced along the way have made my life worth living.  I’m looking forward to another year of change and growth and happiness.

Thanks for being here with me……




Online Dating: Bait and Switch?

I like the idea of online dating. In theory, it’s a great way to get to know someone without judgment, but the judgment still happens eventually. It’s delayed, but it’s also inevitable.  Can someone really like me before they see me?

At some point, typically in the beginning, you exchange photos, and if you make it through that, there’s still the question of whether or not you’ll have chemistry in person.  It’s scary to know that someone might like everything about you except the way you look.

Over the years, I’ve given thought to joining sites like match.com, but I’m far too insecure for that. Sure, I post about the details of my life (including, but not limited to my weight, eating habits and emotions) on the internet. People judge me here too, but I’m not looking for a significant other.

The thought of meeting a single, tall, brainy, emotionally available type who likes Scrabble, reading, travel, going to the gym and eating dessert sometimes seems reasonable to me, but it’s hard to find him, at least in part, because I spend the majority of my time at school, the gym, with friends and at home.

We live in the digital age, and I have often wondered whether or not The Future Mr. Kenz is sitting in a coffee shop somewhere, surfing the net too.  That possibility is almost enough for me to sign up for a dating website.  After all, I’ve met some incredible people online in the past.  Why wouldn’t I do it again now?

Well…When I decided to give it a try recently, everything was going well until I got the section on which I had to describe myself.  “Um, well…I’m smart, active, well-groomed, love animals, museums and traveling; I wear dresses and cute shoes…Oh, and I’m obese.”  And while sites try to make it easy, describing my weight as “a few extra pounds” just doesn’t suffice.  And describing myself as a “BBW” doesn’t cut it either because I definitely do not want to attract a man who has a “BBW” fetish, and those men certainly exist.

The bottom line is that whether I meet someone online or in a traditional sense, my desire is to meet someone who likes me in spite of my size.  It does happen occasionally , but I don’t really know if posting a profile on a dating website will increase the chances of that. After all, my body is still the first thing they’ll see (hello, photos.)  Then again, maybe putting myself out there will lead to something good.  It’s hard to know without trying, but I just don’t think I’m prepared to face my fears on this, at least for now.

This post is not about hating myself or thinking that I don’t deserve love.  I know that I deserve to be loved now just as much as smaller people, and after a few extremely difficult years, I remember what it’s like to feel wanted.  I no longer feel broken, and I’m enjoying life as a single girl in my little city.  I just wonder if there’s a spectacular guy outside of my regular circles who might complement my life if I’m open to it.

Have you ever dated online?  If so, how was it?  Would you do it again?  Do you think it’s easier to meet someone online first than it is to meet in a tradition sense?


Friend Makin’ Mondays: Getting To Know Each Other

It’s Monday, but here in New Orleans, it feels like a holiday (because it is.)  Between Mardi Gras and the Superbowl, it’s getting crazy in my neighborhood.  I live directly between a major parade route and the Superdome so I’m using my feet to get around as much as possible.

I love living where I live because I don’t need to drive to go out, hit the gym or to buy groceries, and over the next few weeks that will be a good thing. Matt, Shannon and I went to our first parades of the season this weekend (my first ever,) and The Suit and I had a quiet and fun evening at my place too.


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


Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite color? Pink and yellow make me happy, but teal is my favorite.

2. Share one or more of your talents.  I’m a pretty good singer, and I’m good at taking arm length photos with my phone.

3. If you were spending the day getting to know someone new, where would you want to go?  I’d want to go on a picnic at Audubon Park.

4. What is your favorite meal?  I think we all know that I like a variety of foods, but among my favorites are Thai and Sushi.

5.  Do you prefer to text or talk?  I like both, but I love a good conversation without involving my phone.

6. Share something about yourself that might surprise someone that you’re getting to know.  Though Pearl Jam is my favorite band, I love listening to the Gaither Vocal Band and other Christian music. I do it everyday.

7. Do you color your hair? Yes…I will get it done soon and probably add some highlights.

8. Do you wear glasses or contacts?  I wear them for reading, but it seems like I’m going to need them all the time.

9. What is your favorite breakfast food?  I am in love with oatmeal right now.

10. Would your friends say that you’re sarcastic?  Absolutely not.  My mom might tell a different story though.

11. Do you prefer salty or sweet?  Sweet…totally.

12. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?  Height.  I like ’em tall. =)

13. What is the last movie you watched?  As I write this post, it is Sunday evening, and I am watching Sex and the City 2.  I wonder if The Suit will protest when he arrives. Haha

14.  Are you religious?  I believe in God, but I can’t really call myself religious.

15. Are you a neat freak, a slob, or somewhere in between? I am not compulsive, but I’m pretty darn tidy.  I keep things clean, but not at the expense of enjoying myself when I have people over.

16. Share something from your bucket list that you hope to do someday.  I really want to ride a camel while vacationing somewhere in the sun.

17. Are you a risk taker, or do you prefer to play it safe?  I suppose I’m a risk taker.  I try to be smart, but I’m not afraid to try and fail.

18. Have you ever worn braces?  Yes.  I have them now, but they’re clear.

19. Would you rather spend an evening at a theater or at a club?  Oh, definitely the theater.

20. If you could have three wishes, what would one of them be?  Health, wealth and love….I guess I just named all three.

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



Counting My Blessings

The last several days have been a bit emotional for me, and I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Even when things come up that stress me out, I realize that I have many reasons to be thankful, and sometimes reflecting on those things makes everything else feel better.

I’m blessed with a home that I love.  I’ve waited to feel this content for a long, long time.  It feels good to enjoy my living space, and it’s fun spending time simply enjoying my own company.   Earlier this week I spent all day at home – a rarity for me – knitting, crafting, watching Christmas movies and relaxing.

I am also thankful for the love that my family always gives me.  This year has been filled with growth for me.  I’ve expressed a lot of feelings and emotions, and I’ve received unconditional love in return.  I’m looking forward to spending next week with all of them!  It sounds like we’ll have a white Christmas too which is already making me giddy! 🙂

Going back to school has also been an incredible source of blessings.  I’ve made friends, and I’ve expanded my knowledge base.  When I walked into the school a year ago I knew it was probably a smart move, but I had no idea that it would be so good for me.

I mentioned making friends through school, but I’ve been blessed to make other friends this year too.  I’ve shared my history – the good stuff and the regrets, and I’ve been accepted, loved and not judged.  That’s a pretty powerful blessing!

I’m also thankful that I’ll get to see Lance again in a couple of weeks.  He’s easy to talk to, and I never have to wonder how he feels because he’s not afraid to show it.   Originally, we considered seeing each other while I’m in Colorado next week, but he has decided to come back to New Orleans in January instead.  I’ll have something else to look forward to when I return home, and that’s awesome.

I’m blessed with a strong body that is capable of losing the next 100 pounds when my mind is ready, and I’m so utterly thankful that each day and each decision we make brings another opportunity to get it right.

I’m blessed with a lot of little things that make life sweet too.  I love the view from my windows, and the evening doorman at my building always has a smile on his face.  I’m blessed with food to sustain me and clothes (and beautiful slippers courtesy of Lance) that keep me warm.  My list wouldn’t be complete with mentioning the hobbies that make me happy.  Whether it’s singing a song, knitting a scarf or a bag, making a wreath (okay, many wreaths) or creating a weekly calendar, I find myself easily entertained.  I feel blessed to love many things!

My list could be much longer, but I’m sleepy.  Right now I’m thankful for flannel sheets and my bed.  Reflecting on the blessings in my life is usually a powerful way to remind myself that it’s okay to be happy even when things aren’t perfect.  Whether you comment or not, I urge you to take a few minutes  to think about why you’re blessed.