Tag Archives: Self-love

Ten Habits That Make Me Stronger, Happier and Healthier

I enjoy social media and blogging (obviously.) I love seeing motivational quotes, encouraging verses from the Bible when I open my various apps. I also like to read varying  opinions on things that matter to me like body image, loving yourself, etc.

There are so many articles and “life hacks” about how important it is to be happy and to love yourself, and it’s true.  It’s amazing how much better life is when we love ourselves, but self-love does not simply come from within. Sure, that’s a super motivational thing to say, but it’s not true, at least for me.

I began loving myself when I realized that God loves me right now. He knew before I was born that I’d struggle with my weight, but He created me anyway. He doesn’t just love some future, more perfect version of me; He just loves me. My life has improved in every area since that realization, and it makes it easier for me to make practical decisions to love myself.

I created a list of things that have helped me move from feelings of failure and self-loathing to self-love:

  1. Focus on finding ways to help other people as often as possible. It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by everything in our own lives, but when we take time to help someone else, just because, it feels good. Open a door for someone, buy someone lunch, surprise a co-worker with a coffee, or leave an anonymous, encouraging post-it on their desk.
  2. Look for the good in someone else, and take time to acknowledge it. People appreciate sincerity. Most of us enjoy receiving compliments too, so when I see a dress I think is pretty, I say it. If a woman at the grocery story has beautiful hair, I tell her. It’s so easy to take 5 seconds to encourage someone who may appreciate it. If they don’t, that’s okay too. (I’m telling you though…they usually do.)
  3. Let go of regret. Remind yourself that it’s okay to forgive yourself for the stupid things you’ve done. Apologize when you can, and do better next time. (I’ve had to do this one a lot, and it’s extraordinarily freeing.)
  4. Exercise. Endorphins are awesome. It’s easy to forget that when we’re not moving, but it helps our attitude, our self image and our overall health.
  5. Figure out what you like and what you’re good at, and do it. I have a few hobbies that I really enjoy. I like reading, knitting, singing and other things. Reading makes me more knowledgable, while knitting allows me to create pretty things. I’m a pretty good singer, and it’s fun to exercise that talent. All of these things are positive, and it’s impossible to love yourself if you’re constantly steeped in negativity.
  6. Be a good friend. If you want to be loved, love them first. Let them in, and let them know you. I used to struggle hard with this, but when I started doing things I enjoyed I started meeting people who liked similar things. It’s so much easier to have friends when you just accept that we all have quirks, and it’s okay.
  7. Replace the negative self-talk with positive truth. I used to beat myself up for being ugly, but the truth is that I’m not ugly. I have a lot of positive attributes, and now I choose to focus on those instead of harping on my imperfections.
  8. Wear a nice outfit, style your hair and take time to be well-groomed. It sounds superficial, but when I take a little time to paint my nails or apply lip gloss, I just feel good.
  9. Look for opportunities to improve. It’s important to improve and evolve, but it’s much easier to do that when you do it out of love instead of hatred.
  10. Make a plan. When we’re aware of the things we’d like to change we can look at them practically. Our weaknesses don’t have to be clouds to hang over our lives, they can be opportunities to progress. Sometimes those struggles become our strengths. (I love it when that happens!)

Being happy is important, but being joyful and at peace is more important to me. Joy is not the culmination of happy moments; it comes from knowing Jesus.

I’m obviously no expert. I’m just a person who has learned some stuff the hard way and makes the choice to love myself everyday. I’m an imperfect woman who takes responsibility for my issues as I strive to be healthy, strong and happy.

 

Fat Shaming Is A Thing, But It’s Not A Helpful Thing

Fat shaming has never made anyone healthy…ever. I doubt that it has ever made anyone skinny either, and before I go any further, I want to highlight the fact that these adjectives are not synonymous with each other.

Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy, and being fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy. My blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, resting heart rate, etc. is all excellent now. There are a lot of risk factors associated with someone my  size, but you can’t judge a person’s health based on how they look.

You can’t look at me and know that I significantly reduced my chances of having a heart attack or stroke by dropping a significant amount of weight or that I exercised today, nor can you know that I’ve struggled to keep a lot of it off because of thoughts that swirl around in my mind. You can’t know the reasons why.

One of a few significant reasons is that I allowed an airline’s perception of me to take up space in my mind. I allowed one seemingly disgruntled gate agent’s blanket prejudice to define me long after his hurtful comments were an old headline in the news, and it didn’t cause me to lose weight. I didn’t thrive off of the negative attention that followed his comments either; I caved.

I take responsibility for that. I am the only one who can make a decision to change or to let others define me, and I accept that. It’s all on me to change what I need to change for myself, but if fat shaming worked I’d be skinny by now.

On of the reasons that I stopped blogging as much is that I no longer wished to put myself on a chopping block for trolls who think I shouldn’t exist or that I don’t have a right to share my story because I’m obese. That’s nonsense, of course, but eradicating that negativity has been good for me.

I’ve been quiet here for quite some time. I’ve shared opinions, pissed people off and taken a break, but that break is over because it’s time to stand with other voices and to say, Hey, it’s none of your beeswax if I’m fat or not. Your opinion of me doesn’t define me; it defines you.”

kenlie

I’m not skinny…not even close, but I love myself.

I’m lucky to have a supportive group of people in my life who love me and accept me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to undo the damage that I allowed to take root in my heart and mind when I allowed society’s opinions to define who I was.

I gained a significant amount of weight that I had lost, and I’ve felt a lot of shame as a result. Never has that led to a lower number on the scale. It doesn’t work that way, nor should it.

The last few weeks have been healthier and more successful for me because I’m enjoying my life. I’m reclaiming a lot of the confidence I lost thanks to my friends and family, a significant other who loves to remind me that I’m brilliant and sexy, and I’m making healthier decisions because it makes me feel good (not because people think I should feel bad.)

I don’t hate myself, so that will never be a driving force in my fight for better health. I exercised today because I value my life. I shopped for groceries and prepared for a healthy week of meals because I want to be around for a long time to love people, and I can only hope (and assume) that these small positive steps will lead to other positive steps.

If you truly care about my health go for a walk in the park with me, or take me to lunch and order something healthy and delicious. There are people in my life who do that. There are people who want me around for a long time, and they offer support, not criticism.

I’m not going to link to that newest fat shaming video that’s making its way around the internet  because plenty of others are doing that. I don’t know when it became acceptable to spew hatred on social media, but I do know that there’s no end in sight.

I do know that the responsibility for my life falls on me, not on a skinny girl who could benefit from some acting classes or a gate agent who was probably having a really crappy day. I get to decide what I’m worth. I’m just sorry that I didn’t always know that.

At our core, we’re all the same. We desire to be loved and accepted (even the jerks who spew hatred…especially the jerks who spew hatred.) One important lesson I’ve learned is that I’m lovable, and I don’t have to care if others agree with that or not.

 

 

 

 

I’m Thankful For My Fat Body

I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a long time, and I stay connected through social media.  I constantly see motivational quotes plastered all over photos of women who are cut and airbrushed, making generalizations and promises even though they’ve never spent a day in my shoes.

I think it’s amazing when someone loses a substantial amount of weight, and I think it’s even more amazing when they keep off the weight that they lose for more than a year or two.  It’s hard….really hard.  I am constantly proud of myself even though I’d be a lot more pleased with myself if I could get back into a weight-loss groove and stay there.  Though I’m nowhere near my numbers goal, I’ve learned a few things throughout this process.

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey…there will always be room for improvement.  I think it’s important to reflect on where we want to go, but it’s equally important to appreciate ourselves where we are.  (Seriously, Kenlie? Yep!)  If we never stop to appreciate everything that we do have, we’ll never be content, no matter how much we receive.

My body is *not* where it should be according to society, my doctor, Weight Watchers, etc.  I need to weigh less if I want to be considered healthy and beautiful.  I get it.  At the same time, I find it difficult to hate myself because, in my mind, I’ve come so far.  I love myself, and even though I’d like to wear a smaller size, I think it’s important to appreciate who I am and what I have right now.

I spend a lot of time being thankful for my life and the changes that have made it wonderful.  I thank GOD constantly for my family, my little home, my friends, my church, my travels, my things – all of it, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been as thankful for my body as I am today.

Nine Roses New Orleans

It’s easy to whine about why it’s so hard to lose the next hundred pounds.  I don’t want to have surgery, and even if I did, it’s not a realistic option for me.  Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising, and I rarely ever feel like restricting my food intake enough to lose weight.  Losing 250 pounds is tough, but I still don’t quite believe that it’s impossible.

Even though the weight I’ve lost feels like part of my past, I’m choosing to be thankful for my body today. My blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, my heart is strong and healthy…My legs allow me to walk up hundreds of steps, and they carry me everywhere that I need to go.  My smile is sincere and  bright, and I typically feel good about my eyes, lips, skin and finger nails.

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I know a lot of people (who are much smaller than I am) who live with chronic pain and sickness, and I do not.  I’m blessed that my body is strong enough to do what I need it to do.  I remember what it was like to feel such intense pain in my feet that I struggles to walk, and I’m constantly thankful that I no longer feel that way.

I am more aware than anyone that there’s plenty of work to be done in order to be the best version of myself, but I’m also keenly aware of how lucky I am.  I’m not a size zero, but I’m happy and capable of change.  I’m strong, independent and active, and I’m thankful for who I am today – extra weight and all.

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: What Makes YOU Beautiful?

Last week was incredibly busy for me, and I’m looking forward to being back in class today so I can get back into my routine (at least until I’m gone again next week.)  A few of you asked how I could travel so much while taking classes so I figured I’d answer your questions today.  I am not doing online classes this semester.  I sit in a classroom (in a regular desk which is victory, by the way,) but I only go two days a week.  And last week was Mardi Gras (and in New Orleans that means no classes for the first part of the week) so I didn’t have to miss class to be gone.  The rest of my travels typically take place in the later half of the week though I will miss one class next week when I head back to New York for a while.

Now let’s talk about FMM.  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!

Last Summer I met a talented, young girl named Dorian and her mother while shopping for groceries in Los Angeles, and we talked a few times before parting ways.  And last week, she shared a link on my Facebook wall that had a profound effect on me when I finally took the time to watch it.

The 5 minute video that can be seen here, shared a simple message: You are beautiful.  And in the video, people took a moment to write something beautiful about themselves which has inspired me to ask this question…What makes you beautiful?

Take a few minutes to share what makes you beautiful, and don’t be shy!  I know we’re often our own worse critics, but there’s something beautiful about every single person reading this.  And today seems like a good day to reflect on what makes us beautiful so let’s do it together.  (Come on…this will be good for all of us!)

 

Fmm: What makes YOU beautiful?

Leave out all of the negative stuff, and concentrate on the beauty that’s within you – seen and unseen.

 

  • I have beautiful lips and teeth.
  • I’m easy to talk to.
  • I also have pretty hands and nails (maybe that’s why I’m obsessed with nail polish?)
  • I have a nice voice too.
  • My eyes are bright and animated.
  • My hair is healthy and shiny.
  • I push myself even when it’s scary.
  • I like my thin ankles.

Now it’s your turn to share what makes you beautiful! Don’t forget to come back and post your link in the comments! Happy Monday friends….

 

The Truth About Love

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m single.  I could tell you that I hate the holiday…that it’s a corporate holiday that was created to increase revenue, blah, blah, blah…but the truth is, I love Valentine’s Day.  I love love….giving it and receiving it.  And though I don’t have a date this year (for the second consecutive year) I do have love.  I am loved.

I’m loved by my mother who would do anything in the world to make sure that her girls are safe and happy.  I’m loved by my dad who is proud of me for being as smart as he is. Right Dad? 😉  I’m loved by my sister and her family…Seriously, Hannah has instinctively known that she was supposed to love me since she was born.  I’m loved by Janice and Barbara and many other relatives.  I’m loved by my friends.  And I love all of them just as much.

Eddie Vedder from my favorite band, Pearl Jam sings these lyrics “…Oh, I’m a lucky man to count on both hands the ones I love… Some folks just have one, and others they’ve got none…”  And though I’m not a man, the rest fits.  I may not be in love with a guy who’s in love back, but I do give and receive love everyday.

I love myself more now than ever too.  I’m resilient and determined and bright.  I’m also compassionate and sincere and working harder now than ever to see the beauty in myself instead of only seeing the flaws.

So even though my only date today will be with the elliptical machine, I am loved, and I deserve to be loved.  I’m open to it, but I’m not looking for it.  Remember Future Mr. Kenz….I want you to find me!  😉

Happy Valentine’s Day lovies……xxoo

Self-Worth?

Last week, in a session with America’s Weight Loss Catalyst, Pat Barone, I was given an assignment – to answer a couple of questions about my self-worth. And while I thought it would be easy at the time, I realized (after a few days of forcing myself to think about this) that I really don’t like some of my answers.  I’m going to share them anyway in an attempt to improve myself because that’s the whole point, right?

The first question: List the ways I look for self-worth from the outside.  It should be easy to answer this even if I don’t like the answers, right?  I mean, I definitely look for self-worth from the outside.

  • I often base my self-worth on the amount of attention I get from guys…not all guys…specifically, tall, driven, successful men who don’t typically show interest in other overweight women.

It’s as if I am subconsciously saying “See? This guy could have any girl he wants, but he wants me.  I’ve done this so. many. times.   I’ve even said it out loud so it’s not just subconscious.

  • I definitely have a history of basing my personal value on the value of my things (i.e. latest tech gadgets, designer bags and shoes, etc.)

Growing  up, we usually had what we needed, but spending $1000 on a handbag wasn’t on the radar.  It’s still not something I do all the time, but I have done it in the past just to prove (not sure to whom) that I could do it.

I’m probably most disappointed in myself over this realization, but I’m also most proud for working through this one.  At some point over the last year I realized that I don’t need all of those things to make me happy.  And people who disagree are people that I just don’t need to be around.  I still like pretty things, but they don’t define me in the way that I wished they did previously.

 

  • I feel worthy when people think I’m creative or talented.

I remember the feeling of giddy pride I had last month when I started singing and my long-time friend, Kent, looked at me as if he was seeing my for the first time.  I’ve mentioned on my blog that he was blown away, and thinking about that moment now makes me smile.  =)  Side note: Kent is currently across the globe helping homeless, orphaned children who literally have nothing…How awesome is that? Digressing, I know…I’m just so proud…

And something similar happened with my dad (he reminded me recently in a blog comment) when he heard me perform in a vocal contest  in 8th grade.  Dad obviously knew I sang, but he didn’t know I sang like that. Note: I’m decent, but these are just examples of  moments in which I found self-worth from the outside.

 

And now, the second question: List the ways in which I look for self-worth on the inside.  This is much more intimidating to answer. Hmm…

  • This is probably obvious, but I find self-worth in knowing that I’ve lost over 100 pounds.
Losing the second 100 is proving to be much, much more difficult, but I’ve gotten very comfortable with the fact that I reached such an awesome milestone.  And it was me…not someone else, not a pill, etc.  Pat and I also spoke about the idea of re-framing my view on losing the next 100.  I’ll post about that soon.
  • I know I’m creative and talented, and it makes me feel worthy of self-love.

I’m not sure why I feel so compelled to add a disclaimer about how I don’t think I’m that great…just a little great.

  • I fight for myself.

I no longer sit quietly and allow people to treat me like garbage.  If you read my blog, you’ve seen some pretty staunch examples of this.  I stand up for others too even when it’s not easy.

  • I am not a quitter.

This is the most difficult thing to post without feeling like a total fraud, but it’s true.  Giving up on making myself healthier and happier is not even on my radar.  And I’ve been tested many times…this makes me feel worthy of every bit of self-love that I’ve whined about trying to find on my blog in the past.

 

I feel like my lists should be much longer, but it has taken days of thought to come  up with these short lists of answers.  What does this say about me?

Now I’d like to hear your answers to these questions. Where do you search for self-worth from the outside?  And how do you find it on the inside?