Category Archives: Motivation

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?

 

 

Aunt Janice and the Gym

When I woke up yesterday I felt a little lethargic, and I didn’t feel particularly motivated to workout (even though I knew I would.)  I procrastinated a little bit until Aunt Janice suggested that we go for a walk.  Walks with her tend to go on for miles so I agreed.

During our walk I told her how much I enjoy circuit training at the gym.  I told her about the ladder, the metal wall, the bosu ball and planks among other things, and we decided to cut our walk short and hit the gym.

We did circuit training in two minute intervals, and we did the things I just listed in addition to tackling the rowing machine,  the KeepItUpDavid Machine, I mean StairMaster, pulling the sled around the track and working our upper bodies before relaxing in the sauna.  By the time we left the gym we were both drenched from head to toe, and it felt awesome.

I was channeling Keep It Up David during this workout.

When we started doing planks she dominated them!  She held her pose for over a minute, and I beat my own personal best reaching 18.8 seconds.  (Hey! Don’t judge me.  A little over a week ago I didn’t know I could do them at all!)

Now that I know I can plank I'm determined to make it last longer.

And one of my new favorite workouts is climbing the wall.  It doesn’t seem tough at all, but if you do it long enough it will make you sweat.  I’m definitely sore as a result of that little wall!

I can't look to the side when I get higher. ;)

Upper body....Boom!

I’ve never really been a fan of working out with someone else, but that certainly has changed recently.  I’ve done cardio workouts with friends before, but I’ve never had anyone push me until recently.  Having someone there to tell me to keep going when I think I’ve pushed as far as I can inspires me to do more, and I’m definitely looking forward to more of that.  And may I just say that I adore the sauna?  (What can I say? I love to sweat!)

I have a full day planned which will include some fun stuff, but I plan to hit it hard at the gym again this morning.  What are your plans for the day?  What kind of workout will you do?

 

 

Reader Questions: How Do You Stay Motivated?

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.

I’m still catching up with e-mails, and one of the recurring questions is about motivation. Obviously, I’m no expert. If you read my blog, you know that I am constantly searching for motivation, often lacking it, finding it then starting over again. But I’ve been doing this long enough to know what works when I’m doing it right. 😉

Ashley writes…

Hello,

I too, am overweight. According to all the charts I am “obese.” And the very sad thing is, I haven’t always been. B/w poor diet, lack of exercise, quitting smoking, and medication, my weight has gotten out of control. I would love to know what motivates you to get up every day and lose the weight. I can’t seem to get motivated. After college, I lost a lot of weight and was wearing 4’s and 6’s. Now I am 32 and wearing an 18, and I am not motivated to get up and lose weight every day. I am only 5’3 so, the extra weight is hard on my body and my bones. I am feeling the extra weight with each pound and each Birthday.

I would love to hear your thoughts and get any feedback that might help me get going and sticking to it.

Thanks for your time and being there to inspire others.

~Ashley

Hi Ashley,

This is a tough question, but here are my thoughts. I’ve said before that we often look around for motivation when we should be looking within for the will. And it’s true. I think we often confuse motivation with willingness.

Some mornings I wake up ready to complete a killer workout.  More often, there are days in which I spend the entire day making excuses in my head about why I can’t workout or why I should do it later. But I know that those are the days in which dragging myself into the gym or outside for a walk are the most important days because by doing it (even though I don’t feel like it) I’m proving that I’m worth the effort. And that willingness and confidence breeds motivation.

This journey is ebb and flow. Sometimes I do everything right – I track my food intake, exercise, eat fruits and veggies, sleep at a decent hour. And other times I fight tooth and nail with myself. At the end of the day, at least for me, it’s not about feeling motivated to make healthy choices. It’s about being proud of myself for finding the will to make healthy choices.

And as far as exercise goes, pick an exercise you like. And look, “I hate every exercise” is not a good answer. Think about it…try swimming or riding a bike or loading your iPod with upbeat tunes and taking a spin around the block. Just start somewhere. Do more today than you did yesterday because those little successes add up and create big results.

Thanks for reaching out Ashley!  I sincerely hope that you find that willingness and start taking steps in the right direction.  It sounds like you have already overcome SO MUCH! Congrats to you…Now it’s time to add one more thing to the list.

Best,

Kenlie

What do you think?  What can Ashley do to find motivation?  What do you do when you fall into a rut?

 

Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Yesterday was such an incredible day.  Nothing extraordinary happened, but I felt like a rock star so I made a little video in an attempt to capture the moment.  It’s incredible what a couple days of sweaty workouts can do for a person.  I literally feel transformed! And instead of concentrating on what I wish I had done differently or how long it has taken to get to this point, I find myself appreciating what I have accomplished. Sometimes small accomplishments matter the most, and they definitely mattered most yesterday.

The video was recorded on my iPhone as it was getting dark after Megan and I did Level 3 of the 30-Day Shred and did two mile walk/run intervals so forgive me for the poor quality.

I Think I Need To State My Goals

For more than a year, I have attempted to complete at least 1,000 minutes of cardio or more per month, and I’ve been successful since 2012 began.  I’m happy about that, but I think it’s time to change my focus a little so here are my goals for the month of May:

  •  Complete at least 1,000 minutes of cardio – a piece of cake when I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing…
  • Complete at least 10 5k’s – I’m pretty sure I did this in March and maybe other months, but now I plan to document it.  I completed my first one today.  Only 9 more to go!
  • Lose at least 8 pounds – I can and should be losing at least 8 pounds per month…period.
  • Do 101 crunches everyday – I’m going to start again after falling out of my groove.

These goals are attainable, but I noticed something last week that has made me keenly aware of what I need to succeed.  As I approached the end of the month, I noticed that my cardio goal was in jeopardy.  And I knew that because I skimped on workouts while I was in Colorado that I might have trouble reaching my 1,000 for the fourth consecutive month, and I felt like throwing in the towel.  The difference in my performance came from knowing that I’d post those numbers on my blog, and I wanted to post my achievements – not my failures so I succeeded.  I reached my cardio goal only moments before midnight on April 30.

The point is that posting my cardio goal – and even my goal for daily crunches (which has been a #fail lately) gives me the extra push that I need to do what I know I should be doing.  If you have a blog, you may already be aware of the power it yields in keeping you accountable.  At least, it does for me.

Announcing my monthly goals is (mostly) new to me, but I know from the sidebar on my blog that it works.  Do you have monthly goals?  Do you post them?  Does it work for you?

Try..Tri…

I want to compete in a triathlon.  Is that a weird thing for me to say while my weight is still in the upper 200’s?  I know I can finish.  Does it matter that I’m quite sure I would finish last?

My friend, Brad, has decided to coach me through my first (and second) tri, and I’m ready to do what it takes.  I’m not sure what this means for me today, but I’m ready to face it and find out.  Check out this message from Brad.  It’s so powerful! He truly believes that we can accomplish the goals we set because he’s done it.  Check out his blog, http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com, if you feel like being encouraged and inspired..

Wish me luck…training begins now.

*****

And check out this beautifully delicious looking salad made by Zepherine!  She’s doing great with this challenge!  Wow..I wish I had one of these in front of me right now!

 I’d love to see your pics too!

Inquiring Minds?

I’ve been asked about the #7DayChip and #30DayChip a few times today and a few times prior so I think it’s time to share more information about it.  My friend and fellow blogger, Brad, designed the chip as a motivational challenge to eat well (without binging – whatever the means to us individually.)

I tried several times last month to complete seven days of healthy, mindful eating.  And after several attempts, I received my #7DayChip on January 5.  You can see the details of my chip here.  Now, a couple of weeks later, I’m chasing the #30DayChip!  I’m currently on Day 23, and while Day 30 seems far off in the distance, it does seem attainable!

Several twitter friends have already earned their #7DayChip.  And in our attempts – the restarts and the achievements we’ve found support in each other.  You can find all of the information about the #7DayChip and the #30DayChip on Brad’s blog: http://bradgansberg.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/7-days-without-a-binge-time-for-a-chip/!  I usually ask before sharing a link, but I’m confident that Brad will be thrilled to add new-comers to the mix.

The #7DayChip is a motivational tool…a challenge for yourself, with yourself..that comes with a lot of support from folks who are attempting to make healthier, more controlled choices too. If you want to work toward your own #7DayChip, let @BradGansberg know on his blog or via twitter.   And follow these #7DayChip -ers too:  @loosing_it, @EMRUK, @violettfem, @DaleLambert and more.

It’s always a good day to make healthy decisions…so let’s do it together..

Am I Really Saying This Again?

I enjoyed every minute of the holidays. And while I didn’t eat everything I in sight, I ate much more than I should have eaten. I don’t feel guilt as much as disappointment in myself…and I feel bloated.

But today is a new day. I know I’ve said this a million times, but today is a new day full of opportunities to make good choices. And I’m determined to make that happen.

One of my heroes, SeattleRunnerGirl, said something that has resonated with me since I read it yesterday. She said, “My body is satisfied with far less food than my mind.” And while that probably isn’t a new realization for me, it’s definitely food for thought. And I’m determined to win this battle within myself.

Right now I’m hungry. I’ve eaten well today, and as the evening continues I find it hard not to snack myself into the late hours. This has always been true, but in the first year of my weight-loss I prepared for it by eating healthy, whole foods during the day.

And another thing that helped me as I lost the first 100 pounds was reminding myself that I can eat again tomorrow. I don’t have to eat everything in one day because the food will still be here tomorrow.

I had some solid workouts last week, but I haven’t exercised since arriving for holiday fun with my family. I committed to doing 30-Day Shred six days a week for a month, and I am recommitting to working out today.

This inner struggle is getting old my friends. I’m frustrated with myself, but I won’t give up. I am going to keep trying and keep admitting my faults and weaknesses until those weaknesses no longer exist. Maybe I’ll regain the control I had in the first year…or perhaps it will be a battle for the rest of my life. Either way, I will fight to succeed…to lose weight…and to take pride in myself for doing my best.

It’s not easy today, but I’m going to do it and hope that tomorrow is a little better.

What Motivates You Today?

I am rarely motivated to eat well or exercise by negativity. Okay, I’m never motivated by negativity. But there are days in which I don’t feel like working out. On those days, I have to look at where I’ve come from to remind myself where I want to go, and that is what I did today.

After looking at a few “before” photos there was no question that I needed to walk to the gym so I did. Never again do I want to be the girl who hides behind the table in the hopes that I won’t look so huge.


Nor do I want to be the girl who is satisfied wearing pants that are too long with a sweater that doesn’t fully cover my abdomen.
I know now that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve proven it to myself! And I’m going to continue to do what it takes to be a healthier version of me.

Is my “no going back” approach negative? What motivates you to do what you need to do when you don’t feel like doing it?