Tag Archives: Weight Gain

My Initial Thoughts On Having Bariatric Surgery

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to weight-loss surgery over the last week, and here’s what I know so far:

  • The surgeon I was referred to accepts my insurance, which makes it possible to consider.
  • If I have surgery, which I hope to do, I will choose the gastric sleeve.
  • Losing weight feels good, and that part will be awesome.
  • I know I’ll have to work at it.
  • The first month will be the hardest. It may or may not be miserable (mainly because I’ll wish I could chew food.)
  • People in my personal life who have had the sleeve have experienced great success with it.
  • I’ll have to spend the night in the hospital, which is not something I look forward to.
  • I’m honestly scared to think about having surgery.
  • I’m hopeful that it will eventually be among the best health decisions I’ve ever made.
  • I’ll get to drink the protein shakes that I love now. (Shout out to Tera’s Whey! That stuff is awesome!)
  • My family will be super supportive.
  • I’ll have to take some time off work.
  • My boyfriend will be my strong arm, and he’ll help Mom while she helps me.
  • I’ll take more selfies. (Okay, I’m kidding. I already take enough selfies.)

The thing is…I already love my life and the people in it. I have a loving and supportive family, a job that I enjoy, an awesome circle of friends, a relationship with a intelligent, loyal guy (whom I now talk about online) and a church family who loves me too. My life is already good, and I want to be around as long as possible to enjoy it.

I haven’t been to the consultation yet, but I’ll make the appointment this week. It’s not a quick process, but I’m relieved that it’s starting. I’m doing a sleep apnea test at home next week, which should be interesting. I don’t snore, typically sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested. I don’t think I suffer from sleep apnea, but I’m going to go through every test I need to take.

 

The Number on the Scale

I’ve always been a fan of writing things out on paper. Whether I’m taking notes in my Bible, writing out grocery lists or making goals I always prefer doing it on paper.

When I spent some time with my family this week I came across a goal I had written out years ago. I left it in my room at Mom’s house, and it’s been a while since I really stopped to think about the hope I placed on that piece of paper years ago.

I also noted the date (almost exactly 4 years ago) when I recognized how hard my personal weight journey felt inside my head.

lose weight

At the time I weighed about 15 pounds more than the number I wrote down, but now, four years later, I weigh almost 70 pounds more than that number. I’m going to be really transparent for a minute; it sucks.

I remember sitting at the desk thinking about how impossibly difficult it felt to lose the necessary 15 or 16 pounds to reach that weight. I just The truth is it seems a lot harder now because it will take a lot more effort, but I think it feels possible. I realize that to most this number still seems high, and I know it is. I also know how awesome and accomplished I felt when I reached it, so it matters to me.

People with good intentions, naive though they may be, often say “stop focusing on the numbers,” and that just doesn’t work in my mind. I never obsessed over reaching a certain weight by a certain date or anything, but I do need to see the numbers moving in the right direction. It motivates me to see the numbers inching down, and now that I’m back with Weight Watchers I’m more aware of it than I’ve been in years.

The good news is that I’ve learned some things about myself and how my mind works since the day I put that number on paper. I’ve learned that I like routine. It’s good for me to know what time I’ll wake up, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll go out, when I’ll be home. (I need to work on the latter. I spend far too much time away from home, but that’s improving.) I always felt like routines were boring, but now that I love my work, my friends and my home it’s great to know that I can look forward to certain things on certain days.

Monday – work, exercise and dinner with my gentleman friend

Tuesday – work, exercise after work, then spend the evening with friends/gentleman friend

Wednesday – late day at work. I go in later than usual, but I’m still home in time to enjoy the evening.

Thursday – work, exercise, band practice for the worship team at church

Friday – rest day

Saturday – prayer with friends at church, followed by free time

Sunday – church, lunch with friends (most weeks,) followed by free time

There’s a lot of time in my schedule to add in exercise, and I could do meal prep too. I’ve never been a fan of eating leftovers, so I think it’s important to come up with ideas to make healthy and easy lunches and dinners.

I used to beat myself up when I saw the 284 photo, but lately I’ve been feeling a renewed hope. (I think it’s because I’m making an effort again.)

I don’t like the way I look in photos right now, but I’m not going to stop taking them. I don’t like how hard it is shop for clothes again, but I’m still going to do it.

I don’t like the fact that I let myself veer so far off track, but I’m happier than I was back then. I’m healthier in so many areas of my life than I was at that time, which means it’s not too late to do this.

 

 

 

 

I’m Different, Which Is Mostly Okay with Me

I started this blog almost six years ago, and life has changed so much since it began! I’ve experienced success, failure, heartbreak, loss, love, what I thought might be love, anger, growth, healing, fulfillment, and a lot of other things that have molded me into the person I am right now. I’ve talked about all of it at length here. I’ve shared the highs and lows, and as I moved into 2014 I was unsure about my presence here. I was quiet for more of December because I was happier not posting here, but over the last few days I’ve missed it.

My first post here was in 2009, but I wrote before that on a site that no longer exists. I’ve never found a blog name that sums up who I am, err, who I want to be as well as this one, but I’m different than I was when it started. My goals and priorities are different. My lifestyle is different. I miss parts of my former life, but I’m exponentially happier than I was.

I took this selfie today while singing hymns and waiting to fill up for $1.75 per gallon. I had to entertain myself for about 6 minutes.

After months of self-questioning and reflection regarding this blog, I was inspired by my friend, Kelly from NoThanksToCake, to write a new “About Me” page. I read what I had written some time ago with plans to change it, but the truth is that it still fits. It still sums up who I am, who I want to be, what I want…

In lieu of writing a new “About Me” Section, I’m just going to make a list of ways in which I’m different now. I’m going to continue to use this particular blog space because I love it more than any other space that’s available to me on the web.

So here we go…

  • In 2009 I was…focused on my health over everything else. I was a member of Weight Watchers, and I attended motivational weekly meetings to see my progress. I tracked consistently and almost always saw positive results. (If they ever bring back the Momentum plan, I’ll rejoin immediately.)
  • In 2014 I am…focused on all kinds of things, but my weight/health/consumption has not been a priority in ages. In fact, when I was asked to list the top five things that were most important to me, my health didn’t even make the list.
  • In 2009 I was…living in New York.
  • In 2014 I am…living in the heart of downtown New Orleans.
  • In 2009 I was…a weekly participant in Friend Makin’ Mondays.
  • In 2014 I am…no longer a participant in FMM. I became host and hosted every Monday until earlier this year when Sarah graciously agreed to take over. Now I’ll probably do something on Thursdays because that’s always been my favorite day to weigh-in, to blog, etc. I think it’s due to the anticipation of the upcoming weekend.
  • In 2009 I was…afraid to be myself, afraid that if people really knew me, they’d see that I was as worthless as I believed I was. I was closed off; I didn’t let anyone in because I hated who I was and was unable to admit it.
  • In 2014 I am…a pretty cool person who has a loving family, which I always had, and a cool set of friends (many of whom know every single awful thing I’ve ever done and still love me.)
  • In 2009 I was…determined to never attend church again. I was angry with God and angry with myself for not feeling worthy of the love that I forgot that He so freely gives.
  • In 2014 I am…a believer. I’ve been a part of NOLA Church for almost two years, and I have experienced more grace, love and healing that I ever could have imagined. God’s still working on me in major ways, but I’m new. I’m a part of God’s family, and I realize now (thanks for a very patient pastor, his beautiful wife and the community that I’m now a part of) that there’s nothing that can ever separate me from the love of God. (If you’re not convinced just take a moment to read Romans 8:31-39. You’re welcome.)
  • In 2009 I was…not a fan of coffee.
  • In 2014 I am…a fan of coffee. I never thought that Starbucks would become one of my favorite daily spots, but it is now. I do private tutoring there a few days a week, I’ve made friends with a handful of baristas at my preferred location, and I’m a gold card member. (Who doesn’t want a free drink once in a while?)
  • In 2009 I was…quietly singing karaoke in the comfort of my own home. I grew up singing in public and often.
  • In 2014 I am…on the worship team at NOLA Church and singing more powerfully than ever before. Our voices are instruments that need to be used, and it’s an awesome feeling.
  • In 2009 I was…nervous that I’d never figure out my place in life.
  • In 2014 I am…almost finished pursuing a degree at Tulane University. I still don’t know where I’ll end up, but my education should give me a firm foundation as I figure that out.
  • In 2009 I was…living with my boyfriend.
  • In 2014 I am…living alone in a cozy little apartment where I feel safe and content even without a boyfriend.
  • In 2009 I was…in a stellar exercise routine. My goal was to workout 1,000 minutes per month, and I logged it here.
  • In 2014 I am…less devoted to regular exercise than I have been in the last several years. I haven’t made it a priority, and as a result I feel lethargic when I think of hitting the gym. Sometimes I do it anyway, but I’m not consistent at all. It seems I’ve forgotten how good an endorphin rush can feel.
  • In 2009 I was…patient and consistent in cooking meals at home.
  • In 2014 I am…always on the go. I need to make more time to dine at home because a little planning goes a long way toward success.
  • In 2009 I was…determined to shed excess weight.
  • In 2014 I am…disappointed in myself for putting a significant amount of the weight I lost back on. I never got to my goal, nor have I regained all that I lost. I just haven’t done much at all for my physical health, and in all honesty, I’m beginning to feel it. I don’t like it one bit.
  • In 2009 I was…struggling daily to refrain from drinking Coke, Dr. Pepper and Sprite.
  • In 2014 I am…repulsed by soda. I haven’t had one since early 2009, and I’ll be fine with it if I never have one again.
  • In 2009 I was…so sure of myself. I believed that I could lose weight. I believed that if I worked at it and stayed consistent that it would work.
  • In 2014 I am…not even sure how I ever felt that. Sometimes it wasn’t easy, but I don’t remember it ever being as hard as it seems now. I guess the truth is that I’m afraid that I’m going to do all of the work again only to yo-yo again. I don’t want to fail anymore, and I’ve used that as a reason to not really try. I can’t be a failure if I’m not trying, right? (Wow, Kenlie…That’s just great. Way to suck a life, friend.)
  • In 2009 I was…Partying Off the Pounds with my favorite Richard Simmons DVD.
  • In 2014 I am…still in awe of the fact that I met my favorite fitness guru. I know him, and he knows me. He’s struggling right now, and it’s a reminder that even the greatest of us face difficult battles. He’s an incredible inspiration to me, and I hope to see him again sooner than later. I wrote about him recently for DietsInReview.com after fielding a lot of questions from other news outlets.
  • In 2009 I was…at the top of my game in this weight-loss thing. I didn’t care what CNN thought of me, and I didn’t get e-mails from reporters at various networks asking how much skinnier I had gotten since the beginning of the year.
  • In 2014 I am…an advocate for people of size because I believe that everyone deserves the same level of respect I no longer allow the opinions of people that I don’t know to affect how I feel about myself. In addition to being a founding board member at PlusInc, I also blog there pretty regularly.
  • In 2009 I was…an emotional wreck. I wasn’t depressed in a traditional sense. I just hated who I was.
  • In 2014 I am…emotionally healthy. I feel whatever I feel, then I let it go and move on.
  • In 2009 I was…afraid to be who I was.
  • In 2014 I am…actively loving myself even though I still have a lot of work to do to be insanely proud of myself.

I’m sure that I could list a myriad of other ways in which I’m different now than I was in 2009, but this is a good start. I’m different, but many of my desires are the same. I know that in order to lose weight I have to be active in trying, and over the last few months I’ve been doing more than I was. It’s been over three months since I’ve had a doughnut, and I’m hoping that at some point, I find them as disgusting as soft drinks.

I guess I said all of that to say this: I’m here. I may or may not check in everyday, and you may or may not like what I have to say. I’ll just be here to write when I want to write, and I’ll continue to strive to be the best version of myself.

 

 

 

Disgusted with Myself

I’ve been hating on myself pretty hard lately. I can’t stand the way that I look. I can’t believe that I let myself gain back so much of what I lost. There’s so much good in my life, but sometimes (often times) it feels overshadowed by my obesity. I’m tired of it, frustrated by it and seemingly stuck in this rut in which I feel helpless to change it.

Yesterday I tracked my food intake. I wasn’t exactly shocked to learn that I’ve been eating garbage. I knew that already. We all knew that already, but I wrote it down.

Today I started my day on the treadmill. My heart rate was elevated for 30 minutes, followed by some stretching and selfies.

Kenlie Gym

I didn’t exactly feel like smiling because as I sat there, sweaty, staring at myself in the floor to ceiling mirrors, I had to admit that I screwed up. I failed. I gained back a significant amount of weight. We’re talking 50 pounds here, and I don’t ever want to have to say that I gained back over 100.

The way I look pisses me off. I’m okay with the basic structure of my face, and I even like how it looks when I weigh 290 pounds. I’m fine with my imperfect smile, my lips, my hands and ankles; it’s everything in between that pisses me off.

I blame my excess weight for everything that I don’t have. I have friends and family who love me, many of whom would argue that I’m beautiful if they read this post, but I don’t believe it today.

I don’t need to be skinny to be happy. I know that from experience, all I need to be happy, is to feel like the best version of myself. I haven’t felt like that in a really, really long time. I’m trying to change that.

Honest and Uninspired

I don’t love blogging here anymore.  I like sharing my thoughts, but it’s been a long time since I was interested in discussing my health here.

I’ve droned on about my feelings of regret and failure because I’m not succeeding in the area of weight-loss, but while I was in Savannah a friend posed a very important question that made me think about failure and success in a different way.

She asked, “What are your top 3 priorities in life right now?”  I listed things like school, my relationship with God, people in my life, etc.  Nowhere on my list of priorities did weight-loss appear, and she lovely pointed out that I’m not failing in weight-loss because I’m not trying to lose weight.

When I made it a priority, the weight came off.  When I counted points and exercised, the results showed.  When I held myself accountable, I succeeded, but it’s been a long, long time since I have bothered with that.

My priorities have been placed on other things, and I’ve been open about that.  Eating delicious food with my friends makes me happy.  It’s not the only thing that makes me happy, but I like it.  Exercise makes me happy too, but that’s easier to forget.  I love the feeling I get when I push through a tough workout.  I like both things, but I’ve allowed myself to forget the importance of moderation in both.

I’m not sure when I’ll find a new, more focused groove.  I’m also not sure that I’ll share it here when I do.  I wish that I could tell you that I’m on track to losing 150 pounds, but I’m not.  It’s not my top priority, and it has to be if it’s going to happen.

I wish that the reality didn’t seem so somber, but I’m just being honest about where I am.  I’ve experienced an incredible amount of positive change in the last couple of years, and I hope it continues in a way that helps me to regain control and to lose weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Real (Or By the Way, I’ve Gained Over 50 Pounds…)

I had bad dreams last night, and I woke up feeling relieved and weighed down at the same time.  In my dream, I was weighing myself every few minutes, and I was back up over 400 pounds.  When I weighed in again at 393.6, I knew it was happening, and I let it happen anyway.  I felt helpless and undeserving, and then I woke up…

I was glad that I didn’t wake up weighing 400 pounds, but I also realized that I am dangerously close to weighing that again.  It is so easy to gain weight (even though I did pretty well at keeping it off for a while.)  I didn’t hit my goal and gain it all back, but it’s just as discouraging to lose an incredible amount of weight and watch it slowly creep back.  And lately, it hasn’t even been slow.   I didn’t gain weight over Thanksgiving, but I went on a food frenzy during Christmas break.

It’s incredibly embarrassing to admit it, but the truth is that I’ve gained more than 50 pounds of the weight I lost.  I feel like a failure admitting it, but I have to admit it – at least to myself.

My life has changed so much since I began this journey in 2009, and lately, I’ve been allowing all of the BS that used to fill my head back into it.

“You can’t do this.  You’re lazy.” 

“If you were going to reach your goals, you would have done it already.”  (This is the one that haunts me…)

“You have so much more to be happy about already.  What the hell else do you want?”

“Look, no one wants you, but a lot of people love you.  Accept that, and let it be enough.”

“Look at you.  You’re never going to be pretty anyway.”  

“I’ll do better tomorrow.”

It’s hard to admit that I experience these feelings, but it’s true.  I don’t walk around hating myself.  I’m in a pretty good mood most of the time.  My spirits are high, and I do a lot of things that make me feel good about myself these days.  I’ve learned that life isn’t just about me, but I also realize that I’m headed down a path of destruction without action to change it.

When I got back to New Orleans last week, I stepped on the scale for the first time in ages, and I weighed 349.4 pounds.  Roll your eyes if you want to.  Pity me if you want to.  Remind me that me weight alone doesn’t define me if you want to.  Laugh at me if you want to.  I’ve done all of these things myself.  I’ve also looked in the mirror and reminded myself that it’s not too late to start trying again.

I enjoy all of the blessings that have been placed in my life even though I truly don’t deserve them – my loving family, my friends, the amazingly tolerant and sincere man who makes me smile from ear to ear just because, my home…

It seems like I started this journey a lifetime ago, and the truth is, I did.  Everything is different, and now I have to change the way I’m living if I want to enjoy it fully.  I know what I’m supposed to do, but I don’t know how to make myself do it.  My inspirational, rock star in weight-loss and life friend, Tara, reminded me this morning that “my before wants to meet my after.”  I cried when I read that because I felt like such a failure, and she suggested that I was crying because I wanted it so badly.  She’s right.

I want to start shedding pounds again more than I want almost everything else in my life.  Now all I have to do is convince myself that I want it enough to go and get it.