Tag Archives: Surgery

Heading Into Surgery

I’m going in for surgery this morning, and the procedure should last about an hour. It still doesn’t feel real, but it’ll be over in a few hours.

If all goes well, as I assume it will, I should be home tomorrow or the next day. (I’m hoping for tomorrow,) and I’ll begin the recovery process at home. Based on what I’ve learned from the doctors and people I know personally the recovery isn’t too bad. Most people I know didn’t even take pain pills, which is awesome. (Don’t worry, I’ll take them if I need them, but I’m hopeful that it won’t be too terrible.)

Right now I feel as though I can do anything. I’m down 20 pounds, and successfully completing two weeks of only liquids prior to surgery makes me feel like a rock star. I’m ready, and I know that God is going to carry me through this part too. It’s almost time.

Let’s do this…

No More Chewing Food…For Now…

Today is the last day that I’m going to chew food for a while. My two-week liver-shrinking, liquid diet begins tonight, and I’m ready to get started. I’m sure it’s going to be challenging, but it’s time to do it.

liver-shrinking-dietI haven’t met or heard from anyone who had to do liquids for two weeks prior to surgery, but I’m following the instructions of my surgeon.

I’ll have 3 or 4 protein shakes a day, and as much chicken broth as I want. I can also have things like Powerade Zero and sugar-free popsicles, jello, etc. I wouldn’t usually ingest sugar-free anything, but I’m doing it right now because I’m committed to following the rules in this.

After surgery I’ll continue consuming liquids until Week 5, at which point I’ll be able to eat oatmeal, half of a banana or a few bites of a sweet potato. I’d like to think that by that time, even though I may be tired of not eating and/or thinking of not eating, that my weight-loss will motivate me to continue.

It’s going to be a big adjustment. I expect it to be challenging, but I also expect Jesus to give me enough strength to handle it day by day.

I’m not going to pretend here…I’m nervous. I’m not scared to have surgery, but I know that my relationship with food is about to change. I’m also a little afraid that I’ll be starving or irritable or both during the two weeks prior to surgery.

My final surgery clearance is scheduled for tomorrow, and I’m ready for that to be over too. I’m tired of thinking about it, but I’m also tired of being a slave to food.

Everything is in place, so that I don’t need to feel stress. My plan to is to be off work for two weeks, but if I need to be off longer that’ll be okay too.  I couldn’t be more thankful for that!

I’m just ready to get through this big, challenging thing, and I can’t wait for the day that I look back and say that it was totally worth it.



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.


Reader Questions: Loose Skin?

When I started this blog, I really had no idea that anyone would care about what I had to say.  Receiving comments and e-mails is one of my favorite parts of blogging! And while I still plan to dish out my unsolicited opinions on a regular basis, I also welcome your thoughts and questions.

If you have a question or comment about clothes, food, workouts or anything else I ramble about incessantly, feel free to submit the question by going to the “Ask Kenlie” tab at the top of my blog.  It might even appear on my blog at some point.

This question struck me on a very personal level because it’s something that has crossed my mind many, many times in the last year.  And I know that some of my friends have faced this issue so let’s talk about it…


Dawn writes……
Hi Kenlie!

Like many others, I started following your blog after the kerfluffle with Southwest made the news. And, like many others, you inspired me to get back in the saddle and continue my weight loss journey. So THANK YOU! I had no idea there was an online community of “losers” who could inspire, commiserate, and share! Thank you for the introduction.

So, besides finally getting around to saying that, I also have a question. I’ve been watching the Extreme Makeover show where people lose a huge amount of weight in a year. I really don’t think it’s a good idea but it makes for interesting tv. (I assume they are closely monitored medically.) But, in the episodes I’ve seen, they are scheduled for skin removal surgery if they make their second goal. Is this something that you’ve thought about or read up on or anticipate? Is it the norm for people who lose more than 100 pounds? You are younger than I am (I’m 48) so perhaps your youthful skin is more elastic and you will not need surgery. I’m just curious to know if any of your weight loss friends have had it or are considering it.

I really enjoy your blog and I’m rooting for you!


Hi Dawn,

Thanks for rooting for me!  And thanks for this question.  It’s definitely something that I think about a lot though, at this point, I’m still so far away from my goal that it’s a dream more than a necessity.  I do believe that I’ll face this issue when I reach my goal, and it’s something that I’ve discussed at length.

My friend, Sarah, has lost  about 185 pounds and kept it off for the last 6 years.  You can read more about her here. She had surgery to remove skin shortly before I saw her last year.  I saw her again last week, and she looks fantastic!  You can see us here. But it took a long time to heal, and she had already spent years keeping the weight off.  She believes that one should lose as much weight organically before going into surgery, and we both agree that extreme weight-loss (as portrayed in TV) isn’t the best way to yield lasting results. In my opinion, they also fail to cover the psychological issues that accompany weight-loss and skin removal surgery.

I’m doing what I can to make the need for surgery minimal.  I workout regularly (cardio, strength training and muscle confusion) and have age on my side.  So who knows where I’ll be when I reach my goal?  I certainly can’t wait to find out!

Thanks again for the question, and stick around because I believe I’ll have to make decisions about this at some point – you know, later.




Have you had skin-removal surgery after losing a considerable amount of weight?  Is it something that you might consider?  Does it intimidate you as much as it intimidates me?

And one more thing, did the guy on Extreme Makeover Weight-Loss Edition last night really lose over 300 pounds in one year?! Did I hear that right?  If so, what are your thoughts?!