Friday, February 29, 2008

Butt Kickin' Workout

Dang it, the week is getting away from me.

Anyway, trainer Traci put me through my paces the other day. (Per my request) And half-way through I whined - I don't whine during workouts. But she did exactly what I wanted, she gave me nothing but new moves and really pushed me to my limits. It was painful (in a good way) and yet awesome at the same time. Six months ago the move that really killed me wouldn't even have happened - I wouldn't have been able to do it - period.

Here it is:

Backward lunge
Forward lunge - same leg
Backward lunge
5 full pulses up and down while in backward lunge position
Jump up moving legs like scissors land in lunge position, lunge and do two more times

You have now done 1. Yep, one on one side. Now do the other side. Now do each grouping 9! more times on each side.

Yep, Biggest Loser fans, she went all Jillian on me. My breathlessness and whining did not sway her - she kicked my butt. I survived though. My quads and glutes hurt yesterday, she will be very proud to hear that today.

Honestly, even though it kicked my butt, it definitely worked my butt as well. So, I like it and it may happen again soon. Glutton, obsessed? No, committed, dedicated, passionate and ultimately - my own butt kicker.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Running on Empty

I just realized I had not posted since Monday, sorry. I am doing my job and someone else's because they are out sick. Plus, I am still working out (because that MUST happen) and I went to the dentist for the first time in 8 years yesterday. Time keeps slipping away.

Now, I want to write but two things are holding me back - 1. I'm tired and have a headache 2. It's bedtime because I have to get up extra early tomorrow for work.

One weight loss / workout note for you - When you ask your trainer to pull out the stops, bring on the new stuff and kick your butt - remember - YOU asked for it. More on that tomorrow.

Good night, Kate

Monday, February 25, 2008

Climber's Lung

There is something I didn't mention yesterday: Climber's Lung

I believe there is something like this for mountain climbers with real and lasting results. Luckily the version that I and 650 of my closest friends have it temporary.

Our lungs are inflamed from the amount of dust we sucked in during the climb. It's causing anything from basic irritation to a hacking cough for me. I have cough syrup at home that is supposed to last 12 hours, but I think it just ran out about a half hour ago - I can't stop coughing.

The upside to having this problem is that it reminds me of why I climbed. Yes, I wanted to meet another fitness goal. But it was really about raising money for people who live like this and worse every day. Can you imagine always having a cough? Or having your lungs burn? Or not being able to catch your breath? I'm glad to say that I was a little part of making that better for some people yesterday and it's worth all of the expectorating in the world.

So, what's the answer? I am going to workout at Fitness World West of course!

Yours in fitness, Kate

Sunday, February 24, 2008

801 Grand Power Climb!

I trained hard for this. My body was ready, but I was nervous. That 41 story building looked pretty daunting the other night. Then I realized my real anxiety was coming from the fact that I have been so public about this event. I feared failing and having to go on the air in the morning and say I couldn't do it.

My fear has been vanquished and my task completed - I climbed the 801 Grand! And in the time I wanted!!!!!! When I saw that, I thought it was a typo - I have checked twice it hasn't changed. My brother Gordon and sister-in-law Annette did the climb as well and they both finished too!

Here's the play-by-play for my climb:
>Started off at 9:11:15 a.m.
>Flew like I was on fire up the first three levels.
>Realized I was crazy and sustaining that would happen for maybe another floor.
>Slowed myself down and ran two more floors.
>Jogged next 3 floors.
>Arrived at 8th floor shocked that I still had wits enough to change song on mp3 player.
>10th floor - When did I let someone pour gasoline down my throat and light a match?
>15th floor - Hey, don't the kids get off on the 18th? Water, YES! Maybe I can put out aforementioned fire.
>18th floor - Damn open door looks far too tempting. Nope would have to concoct cramping story and far too prideful to let that happen.
>30th floor - Dear god, I have been in this stairwell forever. Oh, thank you lord Nickelback has just come on mp3 player, perhaps throbbing beat will help.
>35th floor - Cheering section is so good they should rent themselves out, I feel a slight tug of energy.
>38th floor - Did that stair just do the wave? And the next one? Wait, depth perception is going. No more mentally jamming with Chad Kroeger, must focus on steps.
>41st floor - How the hell did I get here? Oh right, I climbed. Where's a wall to hold me up?
>Top of 801 Grand - Water, towel, desperate attempts to breathe. I did it. Whoo-hoo. Can someone page a fireman to put out the flames in my lungs? Seriously, it's an issue.
>Meet Lori - Did you see, what was my time? "Uh, I think about 14 something?" I am a bit crushed and tell her I hope it was more like 13. Time to find my brother.
>Time passes - I find my brother and Lori notes that results from other people who finished around me are being perused. I head to the window to look.
>The results - I am looking for my name between 13 and 14, but not finding it. I think, maybe 12-something and look there. Hmmm, maybe I am not on the list yet. Lori, "Hey, there you are! And you did good." She points and I follow the line...


I did it, I met my original goal of 10 minutes. I don't normally get that excited and squeal, but dang it, I was really happy. Despite feeling like I was going to suffocate, I had stayed on my training pace, sort of, and did it. I actually feel more accomplished now then I did after the 5K in October.

I know I normally post a story from somebody else that inspires me on Sunday, but today, I inspire me. And that amazes me even more than finishing the 801 Grand Power Climb.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lazy Saturday

I slept in this morning. I haven't done that in weeks. I didn't crawl out of bed until 7:30. Then I grabbed my high-protein cereal and plunked down in front of the computer. I have now caught up on e-mail.

Lori made me a cup of coffee and I decided to punch out a blog. I was debating what to write about today and then I remembered our drive home last night from a new restaurant in the East Village - Alba. The food was very nice.

We were driving through downtown and for the first time in a long time, I noticed the 801 Grand building. Being it was night it was lit beautifully and created an impressive sight in the sky. And then I became nervous about tomorrow.

The words '41 floors' were daunting on their own, but a bit abstract. Having bothered to look straight up the building last night I realized fully what I have put before myself. 630 feet straight up, one stair at a time.

That said, I will do it. I will climb Iowa's only would be mountain and I will do it without keeling over. I have trained for this and I am ready. I am looking forward to the challenge. I will try to blog tomorrow afternoon with the results.

In the mean time I am headed to Fitness World West. I am going to do some cardio and a lot of upper body. The legs are getting a day off for the most part to be ready for tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

Yours in fitness, Kate

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's Alive, it's Alive!

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT (or at least content about adults)

Lori, my roomie, is hilarious or so she thinks. Last night she announced to the check-out line at the Gateway Market that I am in heat. Yes, heat, as in desperate to mate - like a cat. Like I said, hilarious.

However, it does bring something up that I'm not sure I've ever posted about here - hormones. When you lose a lot of weight, you find many physical benefits and a few down sides.

Benefits - Sleep better, breathe better, lots of energy. (That's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.)

Down sides - Cold often, fidgety, maybe a little gassy from the healthier foods. (You know me, honest to a fault.)

Then there's this one in the grey area - hormones. Suddenly, over the last six months, I have found myself attracted to men again. I mean, I never fully lost my interest, they're awful nice to look at, but I wasn't really moved to attempt to date.

There are two reasons for this: A. No self-esteem makes a person ridiculously unattractive. 2. Your body doesn't produce more sexual hormones because you are bigger, so your sex drive can lag or go dormant.

Now, I am down to a reasonable weight (yes, I still have a little way to go) and so my body is balanced and my hormone levels are more than I am used to. I have been reading up on this, some people become sex addicts after a major loss. Not only can they not handle the re-firing of their engines, they use it as a filler for food. I am not an addict or even potential addict, but I am awake now.

So yes, I noticed the cute new guy in the produce section at Gateway and asked the girls at the check-out what his name was. That doesn't mean I am in heat, but by god, for the first time in years I am paying attention. And no, I am not just looking to 'score'.

I am looking to meet a nice guy, have some fun and YES, quite possibly have sex. For the first time in more years than anyone with good sense would admit on a blog, I want a man to touch me. And that's not a crime.

In fact, it's quite literally very natural. I'm Alive!

Yours in health, Kate

Traci's Tips - 2-22-08

Trainer Traci at Fitness World West gives us the tips of the week(I will give you an actual entry in a little while):

1. Focus on foods that are healthy for you and what you should be eating instead of the ones that are bad for you that you shouldn't eat. You will find it much easier to crave the healthy foods!

2. Exercisers need fat, but healthy fats! Look for foods with Omega 3,6 and/or 9 rather than trans or saturated fats!

3. Ideal intake portions of Oily Fish 3-5, Mixed Nuts 2-4 and Oil capsules 12-14 (2 per day) per week! This will help keep your joints lubricated and prevent some grinding within joints. (And they are healthy fats!)

4. When lifting or doing your resistance training, do not rush through it. Take your time, do each rep on a 2 count through the contraction and relaxation.

5. Mix up your cardio & weight training routine. Try doing it in a different order.
If you are looking for inspiration for new things - get a trainer, they can really shake things up.

Exercises of week: 3 x 15
-Crunch with knees bent up. Keep abs tight through reps, don't release.
-Curl ups. Lay flat, bring arms up then shoulders and continue to peel yourself off the ground until you are reaching to your toes with your hands. Keep abs tight throughout! Reach top, then release back down very slowly keeping core engaged.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A sleeveless shirt

Went to Fitness World West today to workout this afternoon. Looked inside my gym bag and found I had packed everything I needed - except a t-shirt to workout in. As I had worn my 'congratulations to me' cashmere sweater today - there will be NO sweating in that.

So, I grabbed my wallet and headed up to the pro shop. Nothing but very small 'larges' or actual mediums. The medium and my breasts were not going to happen. That left me with the 'large' sleeveless red t-shirt.

It stopped me in my tracks. I haven't worn a sleeveless t-shirt in... well frankly I have no idea. But I got over my fear and wore it to workout. And it actually was kind of empowering.

Two things: A. I know in my heart, my arms are ready to be scene, no matter what my neurosis may say. 2. I could actually see my arms as I worked out and DAMN my guns are huge when they are pumped. Seriously, I think I may have surpassed some of the guys at the gym - VERY nice.

I felt all Linda Hamilton in "T2" or Demi Moore in "GI Jane" (bonus on that movie - Viggo Mortensen). Made me grin in proud embarrassment. Tee-hee.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I told you a couple of weeks ago about the article being written about the 801 Grand Power Climb. They were interested in my weight loss, so chance was I would be featured. Their photo editor Art even took my picture as I sweated at the gym. (The angle is horrible because there was no good way to shoot it, so my nose looks huge, but whatever.)

Well, the issue hit stands late today. It features a great article by Cara Hall.

I am a little well, I'm not entirely sure of words and I am never at a loss.

Seeing in writing, in a magazine, what I have done so far is just a bit overwhelming. And so is realizing that anyone who didn't know before can now find the truth with little effort. I do not lie to people, but it's not really something I announce when I meet new people. Often I simply cover how much I enjoy working out and how 'no' I wouldn't like half that croissant, because I watch what I eat.

It is a little daunting to know that everyone can know just how much I let myself go. I am a bit concerned people may look at me differently. (Yes, especially guys. I am just getting back in rotation, I don't want to scare anyone. "Wow, she could get really fat...")

On the other hand, I am proud of who I am today. I have worked hard to get here and I will not go back. And if reading that story can help one other person make the decision to make a lifestyle change, then any fleeting embarrassment I may have is worth it. Besides, if I have to out myself, at least it's in a well-written article.

So go ahead - read all about it!

Yours in fitness, Kate

Monday, February 18, 2008

From the Beginning...

This is a good post to have to write today. I talked about my struggles yesterday. In fact I have been hinting at them for a while. This has been a slow slipping and while it doesn't require a complete reboot or 'starting over' it needed my attention none-the-less.

So today I did what I was supposed to - I controlled my food, it did not control me. I feel much better. Not really physically, because I wasn't so far off the rails as to make myself sick, but mentally, I am damn proud and THAT feels great. Now I will continue, one day at a time. (Brownie sprouting table be damned.)

All of this came at a time when a friend who is doing Weight Watchers fell off the wagon while on vacation. She could have just said, what I said for years, "oh, well, I guess I can't do it" and given up. Instead, she is restarting - I am proud of her too. It takes guts to do that.

And that is today's tip - Don't be afraid to start over. One bad day, one bad week, doesn't mean you can't make a lifestyle change - this is, to be trite - a marathon, not a sprint. It means that you simply need to look at what you are doing and make the commitment to realign and get back on track. You can do this.

It's like walking down the street, stumbling and falling - yea, you could lay on the sidewalk and feel self-pity. But the truth is, sooner or later you do need to get to your destination. Your health goal is your destination. So, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep moving.

Yours in health, Kate

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Inspiration - 2-17-08

On Sundays recently I have shared a story of inspiration. Someone who has impressed me with their journey to health. As I began contemplating today's I wandered over to my sister-in-law Annette's blog, just to check-up on her. I found a post that not only represented me but made me realize - one of my greatest inspirations is right under my nose.

Annette has lost over 100 pounds now. She has done it slowly, painstakingly and the right way - changing food habits and adding exercise. But like me, she is also human. She has faced all of the foibles anyone faces as they try to lose 40% or more of their body weight.

Her latest post, here, sums up some of my concerns.

Only it also made me finally put in writing my biggest one - I am spiraling. I am beginning to justify and even sneak food again. My food addiction is controlling me again and that is not o.k.

It also brings to mind what I tell people all the time - being a food addict is the worst addiction. Unlike alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, gambling - you can't just go cold turkey. You have to eat to live, literally.

I keep talking about going back to basics. Food wise I have, except that stupid food table at the back of my office building - it has become the bane of my existence. I seem to lose control when I get near it. I don't blame the people who bring in the food, they don't make me eat it.

I have to get back to repeating my mantra - "I don't believe in willpower, I believe in self-respect; I respect myself too much to eat that." I refuse to lose my self-respect, that's how I ended up weighing 260 pounds. So, it's time to lose the food.

And I will use Annette as my inspiration.

Yours in health, Kate

Saturday, February 16, 2008

If you can only put in a few minutes for a workout...

Still workout.

I like to workout for 90 minutes to two hours when I get the time. Usually that is my m.o. on Saturdays and Sundays when I don't work (as much). On the other 5 days of the week, I goal for an hour.

Yesterday was one of 'those' days and by the time I left work, I had the full on grumps and much less time than I was hoping as I headed to Fitness World West. I was seriously displeased as I drove the freeway knowing that only about 40 minutes would be mine.

But I took it, I did some cardio, some core and some weights. And after, the grumps were gone. That's when I realized, ANY time is good at the gym.

So, I advise you for physical AND mental health reasons - get thee to a workout - even if it's just for a few minutes.

Now, I am off to follow my own advice.

Occupo sudo (seize the sweat), Kate

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chocolate goodness (or badness) & Traci's Tips - 2/15/08

All right, Wednesday night Lori and I went to the Science of Chocolate at the Science Center. Well, it was also the science of compatibility, but I didn't have a male companion for the quiz and I was NOT going to speed date. So, we stuck to the chocolate, or rather, it stuck to us. That's what happens when you eat more than a piece, you might as well just tape it to your butt, where it will end up anyway.

The owner of Suzette's spoke and we were able to sample many of his wares. I honestly only had 4 pieces total. But frankly, since I don't usually eat that many in a sitting - it felt like much more. It's very tasty stuff.

The idea was to also meet men, but Lori and I bucked the trend and instead met a nice couple who I think we can hang out with on occasion. Making new friends is such a great feeling.

Afterward we went to El Bait Shop and saw Jim the Mule play. I may have mentioned once or twice that they are REALLY good, but it never hurts to repeat that fact. By the way they have a new CD on the way, hopefully by summer. Maybe I will workout to it. Which brings me to...

Trainer Traci's Tips for the week:

1. For athletes it is important to get "healthy fats" into your diet such as Omega 3, 6 and 9.

2. Any women recovering from just having a new baby - this is for you! You want to get that belly back into shape. (Once cleared by your physician to do so) You can start by doing lower ab exercises. This will help you to keep the contraction of the abdominal muscles continuous.

3. Looking for weight loss or fat loss? Eat foods that have less than 30% of the calories from fat.

4. Make your workouts more challenging! Break your cardio up with resistance training to raise and lower the heart rate. It makes the body work harder and burn more calories more efficiently!

5. 4 exercises to add to your workout!
3 x 15 Side Lunge with band torso twist
Weighted Crunches on the ball
Core holds/Planks...on elbows
Regular or Assisted Pull-ups

I am going to Fitness World West in a few minutes, so have a great weekend. I will check in tomorrow!

Yours in fitness, Kate

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

First - I apologize for no post yesterday, I really wanted to go out last night and I have a cold. So, I went home and took a nap, it worked and I went out.

This 'holiday' vexes me greatly. It is not lack of a man in my life. It is the fact that this one day is given to such pressures to perform in the name of love. If you are in love - good for you - but EVERY day should be about showing each other how you feel. Not just a single day elevated by card companies and flower wholesalers.

That said, the treats at the back of the office are killing me too. Another damn "food holiday" I didn't see coming. Thank goodness my office is at the front of the building. And yes, I have had two cookies and a handful of M&M's. It makes me sad, there are days I wonder if I have any control left.

Going to the gym now. No cookies there! (Thank God!)

Yours in health, Kate

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

7 Things You Never Knew...

About me. My sister-in-law put me next in line to answer that quandary on my blog.

It's kind of interesting from an introspective position, because as much as I like to be open and honest, I am very guarded. Which leads us to the list...

1. I am shy. I admit - there are a number of situations in which that gets put on hold. A. Once you get to know me, I will not shut-up. B. When I make a public appearance for work. It is my job to be friendly. C. When my passion on an issue is flared.

But otherwise, I speak relatively quietly and can be quite demure if you don't know me. Funny thing is, most people don't know that because they meet me during B or C.

2. I LOVE to laugh. I can be pretty serious on here, but I really do love to just let things happen. And funny doesn't mean a comedian. I find that if almost any person is given a little nudge and the right material, they can be funny. Plus it's always funnier when it comes from someone you would never suspect. I also like to make people laugh - sometimes it works, sometimes not.

3. I do not like jelly. Or jam or mayonnaise or ketchup or salsa and I am allergic to mustard. (Which no one ever believes.) Basically, I am not down with condiments. My mother has said since I was 2 that I am picky. I say, not wanting crap between me and my main course doesn't make me picky, I just want to taste the food. If food is so bad it requires additives, I probably wouldn't like it anyway.

4. I want a '69 fast-back, Mach 1, Ford Mustang with 400+ under the hood. Yes, my next car will be a hybrid. (I am an eco girl.) But if I win the lottery I will also have this classic ride in my garage. The very thought of it gets my latent testosterone revving.

5. I am fascinated by other women's bodies. I do not stare or gawk, but I do give thought to what I see. If a woman is obese, as I was, I feel concern. If they are morbidly obese, as I was, I feel sad and grateful. Sad they haven't been lucky enough to find their way as I have and grateful that I indeed have.

If a woman has a nice body, I am impressed and yes, sometimes a little envious. But that just makes me work a little harder. By the way, I have given women compliments. We don't do that enough you know - support our sisters.

6. I do not have enough male friends. Everyone is of the mistaken idea that I am on the prowl for "the one". Nope. While I won't turn him away if he trips into my life, I am really just looking to have fun. I want guys to hang out with, head out and have fun or learn things from. I find men fascinating too and I want to know more about their species.

7. I do not read books. O.k., I do. But not nearly as often as I should. It's pathetic really. We have a library of easily 1,000 books and I am lucky if I have read a tenth of them. That needs work.

So, there you are. Now, let me know your 7 secrets. Post a link in the comments when you have them done, so I can come read them.

Yours in (mental) health, Kate

Monday, February 11, 2008

From the beginning...

Tip - Eat your veggies

Yes, I sound like your mom. But there are just too many really rockin' reasons to eat foods from that part of the pyramid.

- The biggest isn't the most obvious - They are full of FIBER. If you want to stay fuller, longer - fiber is the key.

- Vitamins - this is the obvious one. But what you may not realize is, while you still should take a multi-vitamin to catch the small stuff, if you eat a great combination of colors, you will load up on the ones that fight disease.

- That's the next point, vegetables are full of antioxidants to fight the average cold, flu, etc. But a number of other compounds in them fight free radicals which can cause cellular mutations and frequently lead to cancer.

- They are generally lower in calories (except those wacky potatoes) than that snack from the machine. Plus, there's no processing - so no added salt, sugar or preservatives.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Veggies are good for you and they are practically "free" in most eating programs. Besides, they are mostly water, so they are great for hydration too.

Yours in health, Kate

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Inspiration - 2/10/08

It's Sunday and after my off the wagon Saturday, I will strive to be hypervigilant today on my food intake. I won't go into it today, but on Tuesday I will cover why reading labels is good. I will also talk about why, when I do it in front of people, I am not judging their food choices, I am educating myself.

In the meantime it is Sunday and to start our week right, we should seek our inspiration. Today I ran across a slide-show of 'losers'. It's before and after pictures and blurbs about over two dozen women whose stories have been shared in Women's Health Magazine.

By the way, if you know someone or are someone who has lost a nice chunk of junk and you want to share your story for a Sunday post, let me know. I, like everyone else, depend on great stories for continued motivation and inspiration.

Yours in health, Kate

Long Day

The day started with a core, arm and lower body workout at home at 6 a.m. Then to Fitness World West for 20 hard core minutes of cardio - elliptical, rowing machine and bike. (Really like the rowing.)

Then I grabbed my Starbuck's (Venti Americano with sugar-free mocha and a 1/4 cup skim milk with a drizzle of half & half + 4 packets of Splenda - I like it sweet - that is the only time I have artificial sweeteners during the day.)

Ran across town, borrowed my step-mom's Explorer and headed to Ft. Dodge to help my step-sister and her husband paint three bedrooms in their house. I only got to paint a closet, otherwise I was helping recover chairs, clean the kitchen after lunch and make two trips to the home improvement store.

The trip back sucked. The day went long and I was driving back in the dark. The wind had picked up to 40 mph, it was sub-zero and I kept hitting snow squalls that took visibility from 1/2 mile or more to nothing in a split second. Now my upper back is bothering me from white knuckling all the way back.

So, long day hours wise AND I ate crap - a handful of chips, a handful of crackers and a medium size piece of really great red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. The problem with that is I also ingested all of the things that keep me healthy and on-track like lean protein, fruits, veggies and whole grains. So I went over my calories by about 500 - ugly.

I have this weird thing happen when I travel, even if it's just to Ft. Dodge. My body remembers when I used to be on the road all of the time for jobs or school and it wants to revisit those eating habits. That was terrible eating - which I will never return to. Example of driving menu before: chocolate milk (not fat-free), mini-donuts, chips, taffy, fast food with fries and soda, Twizzlers, Skittles, possibly pizza. (Man, I am getting erpy ready that.) Suddenly some chips and cake are looking sane.

Yours in health, Kate

Friday, February 8, 2008

Traci's Tips - They're Back!

After a couple of weeks of 'having a life' - both good and bad - my trainer at Fitness World West, Traci is back with a handful of tips for your health:

1) Try to stay away from canned vegetables and fruits because they contain too many preservatives, salt and unwanted sugars.
2) Your diet is the number one reason that will cause you to gain or lose weight. Helpful hint. If you it doesn't make you feel good then don't eat it!!
3) On the supplement side of things: Natural vitamins are not better than synthetic. Reasoning is because the synthetic vitamins look the same as the natural ones to the body so the body can not tell a difference.
4) Glucosamine may help with arthritis! Check it out if you have concerns.
5) To build more muscle eat your protein after your workout.

Thanks Traci!

Yours in fitness, Kate

Pictures of Me - Part 3

I don't have them to show you - yet. But yesterday I did indeed have my pictures taken by Arturo Fernandez, the photo editor at Juice. Possibly one will appear in Juice next Wednesday as we encourage last minute registration for the 801 Grand Power Climb.

He took pics of me on the stair-climber at Fitness World West. I commented to Art that I could appreciate what models go through on some of their shoots. I spent 20 straight minutes marching those stairs - basically climbing to the 801 Grand twice. I'm not complaining, it's good for me.

I can't stress how surreal it is that anyone would want to take my picture. I didn't even want to take my picture until recently. When the magazine hits stands next Wednesday I will put up a link - for more pictures of me.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

801 Grand Power Climb Update

I am still in training for the Power Climb. It is February 24. You need to sign-up by February 15th. Or you can contribute to my fundraising for the American Lung Association HERE.

I joined the committee to help with the publicity for the event. Now I have ended up doing an interview for Juice magazine with Cara Hall. (She was kind enough to feature me on her blog yesterday, so check hers out now.)

Tomorrow their photo editor Art will be coming to Fitness World West to shoot my picture. It's not exactly what I expected, but it's appreciated because I will do anything for the cause.

So, please consider helping out. You can climb, volunteer or donate. The bonus for the ladies is: The teams of firefighters that are coming to compete for the traveling trophy. Nice. :)

Yours in fitness, Kate

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


It's getting to be a recurring theme - it snows, I don't get to go to the gym. Urgh. I am going home now to do core - so I can move in some way today.

I know I am in Iowa, but this is ridiculous. And contrary to what the people who think they are funny believe - THIS is global warming.

All right, stepping off my soap box now for something workout related - calories burned by snow. (Based on a 150 pound person)

Shoveling snow by hand - 408 calories per hour
General ice skating - 476 calories per hour
Skiing downhill light effort - 340 calories per hour
Cross Country skiing light effort - 476 calories per hour
Sledding - 476 calories per hour
Snowshoeing - 544 calories per hour

All nice burns and if you work more than a little the calories go up substantially. IF you have time to go - which I don't. (yes, I would like cheese with that whine)

Yours in fitness, Kate

Monday, February 4, 2008

From the Beginning...

The tip today is - get support.

Family and friends are great. But you really need people who are where you are or have been. I highly suggest finding a free board to post on. I used for the first year.

Other people use Weight Watcher's. The in person is great and if it works for you, go for it. However, there is also something great about the anonymity that a board offers. You can be completely honest and no one knows it is you.

Also on boards where people have a similar amount of weight to lose, no will judge you for being that weight. If you start to successfully lose, they want to know how. And if you struggle, they are their for encouragement.

So, find a friend who doesn't know you, just the situation you are in.

Yours in health, Kate

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Inspiration - 2/3/08

Here is today's story of inspiration. It is from my magazine of choice for fitness, Women's Health. Hope this sparks your interest in getting healthier.

Jill Schieran's story.

Yours in health, Kate

Fitness Obsession?

I workout at Fitness World West every day. I love it. I love how I feel, the energy I get, the inches I lose, the muscle I gain.

More and more however I am getting the questions: When are you going to stop? Don't you think you have lost enough? How skinny do you plan to get? Don't you think you are a bit obsessed?

Answers: Stop? - Never, this is a lifestyle, not something I can do for a while and then I don't ever have to do it again. I want to be healthy for the rest of my life.

Lost enough? No, I have looked hard at my body composition and I still have excess fat. When I have completely addressed that, I will set a maintenance level.

Skinny? This is one of my favorites. I have recently been called "skinny bitch". I am a size 12 leaning toward a 10 and wear a large shirt. I am 5' 4" and weigh 149 pounds. I am the average American woman right now.

Obsessed? No. I am not. However, for the first time in my life I am engaged. I actively account for what goes into my body. I workout to keep myself energized, flexible and healthy.

That's really what it comes down to. I am the healthiest I have been since junior high. (That's a LONG time ago.) I want to continue to improve my health, get it to a point I am proud of and then maintain it until the day I die.

That last part, quite far away. I just had my physical - my doctor was thrilled! All of my tests came back near perfect. She is proud of me. I have been able to put the possibility of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other obesity related diseases back where they belong - in the back of the closet to collect dust and be forgotten.

I am proud too. I am proudly engaged in living my life to the fullest.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Inspired Back to Basics

My friend Lori who works at the front desk at my office (a.k.a. - guru/goddess of all that needs care) has started her own health and fitness journey. I am SO proud of her!

She has started eating better, is going to the gym and is even working with a trainer a couple of days a week. She is already seeing amazing results. She has been floored by the power of the basics - portion control, proper food choices and exercise.

And her swift progression reminded me that the basics are just that and they are for EVERYONE, not just beginners. That means me. I have lost sight of them.

I advocate them highly. I give advice from what I have learned. I even (though I try hard not to) preach on them.

Example - I always say 'anything in moderation'. Then I follow-up with the sage wisdom that brought me down 111 pounds so far (yes, I am back at 149) - just have a bite or two, not the whole thing. Mainly this pertains to sweets. This week I had 4 WHOLE cookies and a brownie. Not on the same day, but I did.

I shattered a basic rule and I regret it. It made me feel ashamed. And hypocritical. Like the vascular surgeon friend of mine who spends his day clearing clogged hearts and then has 3 hot dogs from Sam's Club for dinner and never exercises.

"Do as I say, not as I do", that has always irritated the hell out me when people take that attitude. Now, here I am saying, "try to control your sugar, it has no nutritional value and it suppresses your immune system", with a cookie in my hand.

I don't want to be that person, so I won't. I am reintroducing myself to the basics. The first step is to reset completely. So no treats for me today or tomorrow. (That one will be a killer, mom ALWAYS makes dessert on Sunday.)

On Monday I will return to the plan that got me here - keep my treat under 100 calories a day AND plan when I am going eat it. That way I have something to look forward to.

So, thank you Lori for the wake-up call and CONGRATULATIONS on the start of your journey.

Now I am going to the gym - No sugar at Fitness World West. ;)

Yours in health, Kate

Friday, February 1, 2008

Super Bowl Food

I was listening to a story yesterday, on I forget what news source, about how Super Bowl Sunday has surpassed Thanksgiving as America's biggest "food" day. I didn't even have to think about it, they're right. The day of the big game has become an unofficial holiday in the U.S.

If you love football and I do, you will find yourself in front of a TV. If you don't have to go to bed at 7:30 (like I do) chances are that TV may be in the midst of a party or a bar. Either way, you will be staring down food demons that only come out once a year. I mean the amount of things that can suddenly be created with Velveeta is astounding.

So, I have two suggestions -

1. Make sure you workout that day, before the game. Getting physical will help curb your appetite somewhat. And remember, just because you expended a couple hundred calories through sweating, doesn't mean that justifies 15 hot wings - it doesn't.

2. Find healthy and tasty alternatives to your favorite snacks. Don't fall into that "it's only once a year" mentality and take a swan dive into the spinach-artichoke dip. We just got through the month and a half of that stuff and have started anew in January, don't blow it.

So, to that end, I have found a recipe from the American Heart Association (it's the beginning of Heart Month) that is a great stand-in for traditional hot-wings. Though you can find a number of other healthified favorites online.

Hot-Wing Chicken

Please note: "Real" hot-wings are breaded, fried and slathered in salt and sugar heavy flavorings. Basically that eliminates any of the good you can find in chicken. This recipe is a tasty and healthier alternative and while it doesn't address the rest of the stuff that makes it onto the table, it's a start.


2 tablespoons hot-pepper sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
Vegetable oil spray
1 cup cornflake crumbs (about 2 cups flakes)
1/4 cup fat-free or light sour cream
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed, crumbled


In a large shallow bowl, stir together the hot-pepper sauce, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 8 hours, turning occasionally if longer than 30 minutes. Discard the marinade.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray.

Put the cornflake crumbs on a plate. Turn the chicken to coat both sides. Transfer to the baking pan. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the coating is crisp. Transfer to a serving plate.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon the sauce over the chicken or use as a dipping sauce.


Hot-pepper sauce made from cayenne peppers (a bit milder) or Tabasco peppers works well. Let your heat tolerance be your guide.

Nutrition Analysis (per serving) Serves 4 – Serving size - 3 ounces chicken and 2 tablespoons sauce per serving

Calories 220; Total Fat 4.0 g; Saturated 1.0 g; Polyunsaturated 0.5 g; Monounsaturated 2.0 g; Cholesterol 69 mg; Sodium 250 mg; Carbohydrates 16 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 29 g

Have fun and remember, you are not at the training table to be a 300 pound lineman, YOU are attempting to "Get Healthy".

Yours in health, Kate