Category Archives: Lifestyle

Meal Planning

It’s been a long time since I did meal planning, but I’m working on a list for things that I can make and take to work with me next week. I typically work from the comfort of my home (or Starbucks,) but I’ll have to be more proactive with planning if I want my transition to go smoothly. 

I don’t know if I’ll have access to a refrigerator and/or microwave, but I’m assuming that I will. I want to prepare healthy snacks and lunches that won’t bother others. (I will not be the woman who makes popcorn at the office. It seems invasive to me.)

I know I could bring things like almonds, but the fact is that they don’t do much for me. I need to come up with some ideas that will be healthy, yet appealing. 

My plan is to pack fresh fruit in one container and fresh veggies in another. I also have olive oil popcorn from Trader Joe’s, which will be easy to portion out. I purchased some KIND bars earlier this week, and they’ll definitely make their way into my rotation as well. Maybe I’ll do almonds and string cheese. I have a stash of rosemary and balsamic chicken breast from Trader Joe’s as well. Greek yogurt should probably go on my list too.

I want to lose weight. I want to get my habits under control, and I think that this could be a good way to do it. Today I am making chicken and spinach soup, which shouldn’t have a strong scent if it’s reheated. It’s easy and delicious, and adding a little tortellini thickens it up nicely too. ( I think tortellini is fine since it will be portioned out.)

I haven’t been doing what a person needs to do to lose weight, but I’m going to give it another go. I think that with some planning, I can see success again. What do I have to lose (except weight?) 

Should I Cancel Cable TV?

I don’t spend a lot of time at home. It feels like I’m always out somewhere, and when I am home I don’t watch a lot of TV. There are a few TV shows that I watch regularly, but I’ve been watching House of Cards on Netflix most recently. 

My monthly bill for cable and internet is $158. That doesn’t include special channels like HBO, etc. That’s what it costs for one cable TV/DVR box and internet, and I feel like a sucker when I think about the money I’m wasting every month for something that I’m not really utilizing. 

I used to leave CNN on mute in my living room while I was at home, but the news is far too depressing to leave streaming into my environment all day. I still follow the news closely, but I rarely use my TV for that purpose.

On the other hand, I adore Hallmark movies. My DVR is filled with Christmas movies from my favorite channel, and I watch them throughout the year. Mom and I love to watch Snowbride when she visits, and sadly, it is not available on DVD. 

I don’t have many options for cable providers because I like in a historical building, so options like Direct TV are out. I can either stay with Cox Communications, or I can switch the AT&T Uverse. Making the switch won’t solve my problem either because Uverse doesn’t include Hallmark Channel (unless something has changed since the last time I checked.)

I’ve thought about giving up cable before, or switching to basic. I don’t care enough about any TV show that I can’t wait to see it until it shows up online or via Hulu the following day, but it’s the Hallmark movies that make it a tough decision. (Judge me if you want; I’m just keeping it real.) 

I’m not sure what I’ll decide, but I’m curious to know if anyone here has given cable the ax. If so, are you happy with your choice? 

Jesus Makes All Things New

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, then you may know that I think Jesus is awesome. You may also know that I spent a lot of time ignoring Him, but over the last couple of years that has changed significantly. I still have struggles like everyone else, but I love Jesus. I also love the peace that comes with the realization that He loves me.

I blogged at All The Weigh for nearly six years, but I’m making the change to All He Says I Am because it represents who I am now. I’ll still continue to talk about my weight, friends, travels, family, Jesus, and day to day things, but God is a huge part of my life now.

My biggest priority is understanding God’s character and who I am in Him, and I spend a lot of time reading His Word to understand it.

Bible

So, I’m here, and if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll embrace the changes with me. Either way, I’ll be here, and I’m thankful for my new little space on the interwebs.

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Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

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.

Kenlie

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.

 

Mardi Gras, Weekly Weigh-In, and An Update On My Goals

I suck at living in New Orleans at this time of year. I’d rather eat my calories than drink them (especially in open containers on Bourbon Street,) and I live in the Central Business District (two blocks from the French Quarter on the clean side.) I didn’t grow up here, and while I have grown to love New Orleans, I cannot stand Mardi Gras. (My favorite Mardi Gras hashtag is one that I created, #GetOffMyLawn, which is funny because I don’t have a lawn.)

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This is what the traffic looks like from my rooftop. It’s typically slow moving until after midnight when the parades clear out.

The traffic flowing through downtown makes it impossible to enter my parking garage without driving the wrong way down a side street, and people come here from around the world to act like drunken lunatics. I’m all for having a good time, but I draw the line before naked people enact sex scenes on my sidewalk. (Yes, that actually happens…every year.)

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On a brighter note, it is easy to buy big hats, plastic swords, and over-sized beads while waiting to get home!

The revelry ends at midnight, at which time many of the locals begin observing Lent. (Did you know that the purpose of Mardi Gras is to get all of the partying out before the 40 days?) I’m not Catholic, but I have looked forward to the end of Mardi Gras every year since I moving here in 2012.

Many of my friends make goals and dedications during this time, and I think I can use this time frame to do something good for myself. My goal for the next 40 days is to exercise at least four times a week. For a long time that was something that I accomplished without much effort, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been consistent in my workouts.

I’ve seen positive results from taking control of what I consume. I have not had a doughnut since late September, and at this point I am no longer craving them. I quit drinking sodas almost six years ago, and throughout the last several years I have gone from no longer craving soft drinks to thinking they’re disgusting. It feels like doughnuts could become equally disgusting to me. I suppose time will tell. I also saw good results on the scale when I refrained from eating desserts for 21 days in January.

Now I’m expanding my focus to include breaking out of this cycle of lethargy that I’ve been in. I used to live for a good endorphin rush, but it took effort to get to that point. I’m ready to feel that way again.

I’m down another 2.2 pounds this week, which means that I’ve lost over 12 pounds since the beginning of the year. The losses aren’t huge, but if they stay consistent, I’ll be pleased with that.

Does anyone here dedicate anything for Lent? If so, what’s your plan?

Fifty Shades of Grey

I read all three books in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, and I have been looking forward to watching the movie since before it was in production. Sure, I was underwhelmed by the lack of a tangible story line and the poor writing, especially when author tried to convince us that Ana and her roommate sat around their Seattle apartment drinking tea instead of coffee, but I enjoyed the first book enough to read the others.

I didn’t come to any harsh conclusions after reading the books when they came out, nor did I think that the sex was particularly steamy. The main female character was clearly inexperienced and naive, while Christian was successful, arrogant, and broken.

There’s something appealing about a sexy billionaire whose heart needs to be mended. We suspend reality to get to the happy endings, so why should Fifty Shades be any different? It’s not real; I’m not actually participating in abuse to watch this movie, and when it’s over I’m going to go back to the apartment that I live in alone. What’s the big deal? (I’ve been trying to honestly answer this question all week.)

The issue for me is that this kind of relationship leads to a path of devastation that I never want to experience. It is not sexy to me to think of a young, inexperienced woman who is manipulated and abused by a controlling man. It’s not romantic, and it’s definitely not GOD-approved.

When I read the books I was in a different head space. I wasn’t thinking about what GOD thought of my actions; I didn’t care about moving into a closer relationship with Him. I also neglected to see the implications of unhealthy relationships like these. I definitely should have known better.

I won’t be seeing this movie today or any other day. It’s not because I think I’m too holy for it; it’s because I think I’m too good for it. It’s because I only make room for people and things in my life that breed love, respect, and growth. I face real challenges, and watching watered down, R-rated pornography, while undoubtedly eating too much buttery popcorn, won’t help me conquer any of them.

I have friends who will see the movie, but I’m choosing not to. I won’t judge them for it, but I also won’t ask them about it. The truth is that my initial desire to watch this movie has caused me to look at other things that I watch, and I recognize that it’s time to make some changes in other areas as well.

Until then…

An Update On My January Goals and More…

I can’t believe it’s already February, but I’m happy to report that I accomplished the goals I set for January. One goal was to refrain from all desserts/sweets for 21 days, and I did it. Sugar is like air to me, at least it feels that way sometimes, but I didn’t cave. I used the times in which I craved desserts to pray and to read my Bible. It may sound silly to some, but I drew closer to God during that time. It was awesome. I felt so empowered by my actions that I’ll make a similar goal for February.

I accomplished another goal as well; I lost 10 pounds in the month of January. I may have lost a little more than that because I reached the goal last week. I won’t step on the scale again until next Monday. I can’t express how awesome it feels to be moving in the right direction, and it feels good to have several weeks of control under my belt. My doughnut-free streak continues as well, and I need to buy new jeans as a result. I love that.

Dad arrived in New Orleans today, and I’m so happy that he will be spending the week with me. I had planned to go and see him during Mardi Gras, but I’m so happy that he’s here instead!

He met me at Starbucks because I was there most of the afternoon. The weather was nice enough to sit through a conference call outside, but it quickly turned cool. I tutored at City Greens, a farm-to-table restaurant next door, ate fruit, drank too much coffee and lots of water, and waited for him to arrive.

Eating fruit and drinking sparkling water always feels indulgent. I love that it's satisfying and positive for my health.

Eating fruit and drinking sparkling water always feels indulgent. I love that it’s satisfying and positive for my health.

I haven’t seen him since April. (I seriously refuse to go that long without seeing him again.) We went to Ulta, where we found some makeup deals. (“We” being me, but thanks for being a good sport, Dad! Ha)  I got two Laura Geller sets that included two bottles of primer, two foundation powders, two brushes, mascara, blush and brightener, and concealer. The bottle of concealer typically costs more than the entire package, which made it feel like a no-brainer.

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After that we went to dinner at one of my favorite spots, then dropped my car off for an oil change at the dealership. (That worked out well because he won’t have to pay $49 a night to park, which is what they raise the prices to when events like Mardi Gras are about to happen.)

Dad was exhausted after his day of travel, so I finished up my work for the day while he went to sleep. I typically do not allow myself to bring my laptop to bed, but I made an exception tonight.

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It was a productive day, and I got a lot accomplished tonight as well. Now it’s time to get some sleep because I plan to enjoy as much time with Dad as I can. Most other things will be secondary this week.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to make buttermilk biscuits, eggs, and bacon for Dad and friends, and I’m so happy that he will be seeing and meeting people who mean so much to me.

If you live far from your family, you know how it feels. I’m just so glad he’s here…

Until later….

 

 

Embracing My Selfie, Or Why I Take Lots of Pictures of Myself

I’ve been taking selfies since before they had a name. I avoided the camera for years, but at some point on my journey through life, it became common for me to snap photos of myself.

Kenlie

Last week I got to spend time with a long time blog friend, Cathy, who was in New Orleans visiting for a conference. When she told me about her upcoming trip, we knew we’d meet up, and we did. We met at Cafe Dumonde, where I resisted beignets. (Yay for me!) We also walked around Jackson Square, which is the prettiest part of the French Quarter in my opinion.

This woman has been my friend since at least 2010. The moment I saw her, it was like seeing someone that I hadn't seen in ages!

This woman has been my friend since at least 2010. The moment I saw her, it was like seeing someone that I hadn’t seen in ages!

As we walked down Royal St, we stopped at CVS to pick up a few things, and I found a selfie stick! I obviously bought it on the spot, and it’s the best $10 I’ve spent in a while. I haven’t used it to take any selfies because doing that would be ridiculous, but I’ve been in some hilarious group photos that wouldn’t have been possible without my Mono Pod de Narcissism.

I’m surrounded by an uplifting group of friends, many of whom take selfies, with exception of a few because they’re too narcissistic, and I understand that. I really do, and even though I kind of agree, I look at it from a different perspective.

There was a time when I hated myself so much that i avoided mirrors at all costs. I looked at myself long enough to style my hair and apply makeup, but I was mortified when I caught my reflection in store windows. I hated the way I looked in photos. I still took them, but I didn’t post them online because of my shame. For years the only photo that I had one Facebook was a picture of my hair blowing in the wind while driving with the top down. I didn’t want to be seen by others, nor did I want to take a look at myself either.

Sometimes I take full body photos to send to Ariel, so she can say yes to the outfit or no.

Sometimes I take full body photos to send to Ariel, so she can say yes to the outfit or no.

Now, years later, I’m still not skinny, but I love myself. I’m not pleased with myself for still having so much weight to lose, but I love myself. I haven’t accomplished every goal that I set yet, but I love myself. (You get the idea, right?)

Full body Selfie Lane Bryant

I also think that it’s okay to wear horizontal stripes even though I always hear that I shouldn’t. Whatever, folks. I’m doing it.

Sometimes when I take a selfie, I’m reminded of how much work I have to do. It’s also hard to accept the fact that I could have done so much more over the last few years. Those thoughts are important to face because it has helped me make better decisions over the last few months – decisions that bring me closer to my goal.

Gym Selfie

I was frustrated seeing myself in the giant gym mirrors when I took this around the holidays because I should be smaller now, then I remembered that I was in the gym doing something good for myself. I like capturing those moments.

Some days I post selfies because I want to hear that I’m cute, pretty, etc., and when that happens I admit it with proper hashtags. #PAYATTENTIONTOME

See? I have some pretty uplifting friends who encourage me when I need it.

See? I have some pretty uplifting friends who encourage me when I need it.

And some days (many lately) I take selfies because I feel pretty. I’ve been using a few products on my face since Christmas, and the result is that my makeup is still mostly in tact even after singing (sweating guts out) on Sunday morning. (Thank you, Smashsbox Photo Finish!)

Kenlie Naps

I took this selfie last week right before I took a long afternoon nap on my sofa. Sundays start early for me, so sometimes I nap.

Some people find success, at least temporarily, by tearing themselves down. I feel successful when I see myself and love the person that I see.

I have a lot to accomplish, and I’m happy to say that I’ve lost week for the last five weeks in a row. It may not sound like much, but I’m experiencing more consistency in my food choices than I have in a long time. I haven’t had a doughnut since September, and I haven’t indulged in any desserts in over two weeks.

I’m feeling good about my tiny steps in the right direction, and the selfies will continue to be a small representation of that. They might also lead to encouragement from people who care on days that I need that too.

Kenlie Car

How do you feel about selfies? Are they good? Bad? Do you care either way?

 

 

Wish List 2015

I know that Christmas is over. I also know that it makes more sense to post wish lists before Christmas, but I didn’t make a list this year. I received some really thoughtful gifts, and I loved each happy little surprise. I have everything I need, but as a girl who loves to shop, it’s fun to daydream about these little things that I think are awesome.

– I am in love with this Urban Decay Naked On the Run palette. My mom gave me the original Naked palette for Christmas, and I use it everyday. I lust after this one too every time I’m at Ulta or Sephora. It’s only available “for a limited time.” Who knows how long that is?

Urban Decay Naked on the Run

– And while we’re on the topic of makeup, I want this mini Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette too. It’s inexpensive, and I like the idea of keeping it in my bag with Naked On the Go so I’m always ready..

Urban Decay naked Basics 2

– I’d also love a new pair of Ugg Slippers. I have two pairs now, but one is on its way out. I’ve had that pair since Christmas of 2009, so I’d say I certainly got a lot of wear out of them. The draw to the ones that I want right now, the Ugg Dakota Slipper, is that they have rubber soles that I could wear when I need to walk down to my building’s lobby and stuff.

Ugg Slippers

I can’t decide if I want them in Espresso or Pewter, which is okay since I’m not buying them at this point anyway. (Is it selfish to want all the colors? Ha)  I wanted them for Christmas until I realized that I needed them in a size 10. I usually wear a 9, but whatever. Mom and I agreed that they made my feet look bigger than usual, but I want them anyway.

I’m so thankful that I have everything I need. I just think it would be fun to list things that I’d like to own in 2015. Do you own any of them? Do you love them?

 

End of the Year Reflection

Each year, as it comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the last twelve months, and this year is no different. I was wasting time on Facebook last week when I decided to join everyone else in a Facebook contrived review of my year, and according to Facebook I was completely lame. If you’re on Facebook, you’re probably familiar with the little slideshow of photos that the site puts together for you. Mine showed a salad, a few silly photos with friends and nothing at all that I would consider noteworthy. The truth is that some of the coolest moments of 2014 didn’t make it to Facebook.

Even though Facebook might disagree, I did some cool things this year. I met my newest niece (actually I met her last Christmas, and I saw her again in April when I visited Colorado.)  I celebrated Hannah’s 5th birthday with my family in CO, and I can’t wait to head that way again soon. It’s been way too long for Auntie!

I spoke at an airline conference in Washington, D.C., and I met with executives from several major airlines in order to promote positive change within corporations that have the power to turn the tide.

JetBlue

I accidentally reconnected with an old friend for a day in front of the White House. I was able to hug her, apologize to her for the things that I did wrong and enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing with her. It was completely random, and I am thankful that it happened that way.

Kenlie White House

I took on a more active role as a worship leader at NOLA Church, and my voice and skills have grown. My relationship with Jesus has grown too. I also hosted a pretty cool small group in which I made a new and awesome friend.

Kenlie NOLA Church

I was given the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and perfected it.

I watched countless Christmas movies with Mom throughout the year.

I helped a few kids gain confidence in their abilities to succeed in school.

I went to Fitbloggin for the fourth year in a row in Savannah, GA and connected with friends who didn’t allow me to feel out of place (even though I did for the first time.)

Mission Meltdown Epic Selfie

I dined at the newest, hottest restaurants in New Orleans with friends and private jet pilots. (They didn’t offer to fly me anywhere though. Ha.)

I bought a new car.

I became a Starbucks gold card member.

I saw George Strait and Reba perform live with Clint before he moved to Chicago.

I visited Oklahoma and spent several days with Dad while it was about 3 degrees outside.

I went to my first New York Mets game at Citi Field. (I’m still a Yankees fan, but this was a pretty stellar way to spend my birthday.)

New York Mets

I got closer to finishing my degree at Tulane.

I survived heartbreak and salvaged a relationship that meant a lot to me.

I cultivated relationships with friends and made some new ones as well.

Kenlie and Friends

I went out on some dates with interesting guys, though I didn’t meet the Future Mr. Kenlie. Ha I did get to watch my close friends say “I do,” which was pretty amazing. I’ve never been happier to see anyone marry.

French Quarter Wedding
Overall I guess my year was relatively routine and low key. It definitely had some ups and downs, but I can’t tell you how cool it is to feel like I have roots somewhere. I doubt I’ll stay in New Orleans forever, but I’m happy here now.

I’m thankful that I’ve lived in the same place for a couple of years, and I’m looking forward to living in the same place for even longer. I like my location, my neighbors, my view and my surroundings.

After a few tumultuous and/or eventful years, it’s okay to look back on 2012 as quiet and satisfying. Maybe I’ll do something more exciting in 2015, or maybe I’ll just kick back and enjoy my quiet, friends and family filled life.

Here’s to a bright 2015 for all of us…