Thursday, July 31, 2008

Going Swimmingly

Sorry no post yesterday (and after I made such a big deal the day before) my friend Darryl called and I got swept away to lunch. He's in town from Portland for a wedding, so when he put aside a couple of hours for me at the last minute, I had to jump. We had a nice time, I love talking to him because I don't have to hide the fact that I am smart.

He's one of those men that actually finds intellect attractive. In fact I have been looking around at the men in my life and, for the most part, the ones I have chosen to spend the most time with in the six months or so are all that way. Apparently I finally started heeding my own advice about being respected and appreciated for something beyond my breast size. Huh.

Anyway, the real post today is not men but fish. Or at least my attempt to become more fish-like. I had my sixth swim lesson yesterday and coach Kelli was proud of me. I have progressed well and have learned the basics of six strokes. I can also actually swim with my head in the water. She is happy enough that my last two lessons (before she goes off to pharmacist school in Colorado) will be about diving and perfecting my strokes.

Yesterday I swam laps before she came in, practicing and practicing. I especially struggle with the breast stroke - I always want to move my arms and legs at the same time. But I will keep working away at it. My goal is still to get good enough to do a mini-triathlon next summer.

The plan is, over the fall/winter, I will practice my swimming, biking, running combo in the gym. Then they have an 'in gym' triathlon in March, I will give that a try to test my readiness. Because frankly, if I can't swim by myself in a pool for time, there's no way I will survive real wake and other flailing arms. After that indoor undertaking I will seek out another swim coach to shore up my strokes and help me with speed ideas.

Hopefully all of this will culminate in my surviving or, err, rather finishing a triathlon. At that point I will know whether this is something I want to pursue or if it was just another fitness challenge that needed to be met along my journey to health.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One = 300

I promised last week that I would give the blog a reboot and I am following through. I have reintroduced features over the past couple of days. Now today I was finally able to do something I have waited months to do. Blogger finally introduced a feature to allow me to merge my blogs.

I started one called "Losing it in Des Moines" as a way to put into words the things that went along with weight loss. I kept reading how it was a great tool to purge yourself of some of the things that make you eat crap and otherwise abuse your body. It was pretty effective.

Then when I took on the endorsement of my gym about this time last year I started a new blog - this blog. I wanted something a little more technical sounding and more professional. At first I tried to make the two work in tandem, one personal, one professional. However time and reality set in and I realized I couldn't do both. So "Get Healthy with Kate Garner" became a bit more personal and the other LIIDM became dormant.

I've just let it sit there because Blogger hadn't introduced a tool to migrate the posts. I would have to cut and paste them all. I did that with a few, but it was time consuming. Finally today I was able to do it in 2 minutes flat! That is just awesome! Thank you Blogger!

With the merger of the two blogs you will be able to see just how much has chanced in the last 18 months. (I now wish I had been blogging from the beginning to really see the pain of the first 6 months.) What you will also see, with this post, is that I am celebrating my 300th post! That's a lot of writing, kvetching, confessing and weight lifted - literally and figuratively.

Thank you to everyone who has been a loyal reader. I promise more posts and more new stuff to come. It's going to be a great year three!

Yours in (mental) health, Kate

PS - Since I mentioned the number 300, what would this post be without another example of Gerard Butler's fine abs from that film? Yep, pointless.

Monday, July 28, 2008

From the beginning... Find the Fiber

When you are fat and people talk to you about cutting calories and eating less, you panic. You picture starvation. You picture the binges you are prone to when you get too hungry. You picture shopping sprees of pure sugar when you go hungry to the shopping market. You picture failure - like every other time you have tried to lose weight.

Then people talk to you about how to feel full longer. The big thing they mention is fiber - you picture twigs and wood chips - aka some version of bran. You think of Metamucil and old people and possibly prunes, but not a damn thing that sounds appetizing.

Frankly when I realized I was going to have to really do it this time - control my eating - I panicked. I had never been able to do it before, what could possibly be different this time? Fiber.

I was skeptical, it sounded healthy. (Guess what? Not a coincidence.) The stuff we are supposed to eat - vegetables, fruits and whole grains - are full of fiber. Not only do they fill you up with this magical (natural) substance, but they give you other nutrients you need and (gasp) they are pretty darn tasty.

I was shocked. And what I found was, the more good stuff I gave my body, the more it craved. The next thing you know I was full longer, healthier and yes - lighter!

So, fill up on the fiber and see what a difference it can make. (Oh and it's also good for helping ward off colon cancer - bonus!)

Yours in health, Kate

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Inspiration - Fat to Fitness Guy

I haven't perused this guy's whole site, but so far I am intrigued. I am going to explore more this coming week. But what I did read was his story. Not only is it interesting and inspiring, but it has me looking at my next steps in a different way. I am still trying to figure out exactly what that means, but there is a better than average chance it means working harder, but smarter. That sounds good to me.

Here's the link to Kris.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bring on the Muscle

I trained with Traci a week and a half ago. We did my measurements. I have (no surprise here) put on a couple of pounds since my last weigh-in. I wasn't shocked because the last month has been rough. I have been honest here that stress and covering the floods really messed with my eating habits.

The odd thing was the fat test - the caliper said 17%, the electricity said 26%. Okay. 17% would be phenomenal, but lower then I would really want to be, because women need 18% or more body fat or your girl things start getting out of whack. 26% would be acceptable and healthy, but not anywhere near where I want to be.

Two oddities came to light here - 1. my other measurements were smaller (waist, thighs and pinch locations), so the caliper would appear right; 2. I might have been a little dehydrated, so the electric one may not have worked.

The gist of it is, there is only one absolute way to know how much fat is on your body - (within 2-3%) and that's a Dual-energy X-ray. It is mainly used for bone density, but it looks at your entire body make-up at the same time. I have called my doctor about getting one. Not only do I want to know my body fat, but two years of changing my eating habits has left me curious about how it may have affected my bone density.

Overall what this all says is, I need to be careful what I put in my body. Pathetic that after two years I need to be reminded of that. But I believe I am a recovering obese person and like recovering alcoholics, you are never cured, you simple continue to recover and dealing with your addiction gets easier over time. As I have mentioned before however, eating is the worst addiction of all - you can't just give it up cold turkey, it will kill you.

The other thing this reinforces is that muscle building is muy importante. I need to keep piling on the muscles to - 1. burn more calories, 2. protect my bones, 3. be strong.

Now I just need to write one of these entries entitled "Bring on the Protein". I don't get enough and it's hard to 'bring on the muscle' without it. Oh well, like everything else in life, it's a work in progress.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting back to basics

I realized this morning that my blog has seen some drastic changes since the floods and some have not been great. While I have been tired and more emotionally open (good), I have also been lazy.

Regular features like Sunday Inspiration, From the Beginning and Traci's Tips have become MIA. Starting this Sunday the blog is going to go through a reboot. The regular features will come back and I will put my full effort into getting a post up daily.

I am also toying with some other tweaks that might make things more interesting for you, the reader. I am hoping for two things - interaction and network building. Both of those things went a long way toward helping me with my weight loss. I want to help others get what they need to make their lifestyle change happen too. That's why I started blogging in the first place. So basically, I am going back to my original mission - helping others by laying bare my soul. (Oh, and hopefully having a little fun too.)

Your input and assistance are appreciated. I am open to any ideas. In the meantime, I will do my part and blog.

Yours in health, Kate

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gratitude in Your Attitude

I have had a rough 11 days. I was told a week ago last Monday that I was being repurposed. That's what I am calling it because, even though it happens every day in radio, I am not being fired. Instead they are letting me keep my news/ public affairs duties and I will be repurposed into helping in other ways.

Now, I already do a number of other things, but what I am hoping this will accomplish is giving my over all job clarification. Just to be clear, I am not mad. I have known from the word go that I was in a forced situation. Sometimes things just don't work out and that's o.k. I am thrilled to be able to keep the news.

But as you can see, I do not have a specific direction just yet. That is causing me some major stress issues. Those in turn are causing my eating to falter. (O.k., I know that's an excuse.) And it's causing my sleep to dissipate. (That's a fact.) I hope to have some answers soon, but I am just trying to muddle through in the mean time.

In all of this I had to remind myself this morning to be grateful. Simply acknowledging that there are good things at work in your life, even when things seem to be falling a part is important. People have been asking me constantly how I feel about this. This morning I concluded - grateful. I am grateful I am still employed, I have benefits, I have bosses that believe in me enough to repurpose me, I get to keep eating and have a roof over my head.

I am grateful for good friends who have been there for me via text, e-mail, phone and in person. I am grateful for the chance to reflect on what is important. I am grateful to be alive.

So, no matter how bad something seems, like eating that third piece of birthday cake or skipping your third day of workouts - it could be worse. Be grateful for the successes and learn from the failures. Remember, to be cliche, there is no success without attempt and rarely is the first one successful.

Your in (mental) health, Kate

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I have not taken a vacation since I took the morning show job at KIOA. I have several days I need to use up by mid-September - I do not know what that is going to mean. I do know I need to get away.

Everyone needs to step back, recharge and relax. Sometimes perspective can only be gathered from afar. And yet, I am crap at taking time away.

Wherever I go, there has to be a gym, that way I can relax AND take out my frustration at the same time. Any travel suggestions are appreciated. Preferably somewhere Midwestern or cheap airfare distance. ;)

Yours in (mental) health, Kate

Monday, July 21, 2008

Year Three

I have spent much of the weekend thinking about what the third year of my lifelong journey to health will look like. Some overriding themes have floated to the top:

- I will diversify: Trying new workouts, sports and exercise routines will continue to keep my boredom at bay.

- I will eat less, but with more nutrition: I need to re-simplify my food, dive even deeper into whole foods and learn more about eating healthy.

- I will consider how to tell my story: In the last two years I have been asked about my journey, blogged about my journey and asked to speak about my journey. Now I am being encouraged to write a book and do more speaking about my journey. I question the validity of the idea, but as I have always wanted to write a book, perhaps there is a way to tell the story without ever claiming to be an expert - because I am not.

- I will make more time: While I cannot actually conjure seconds or minutes, I can do a better job of managing them. I need to prioritize and decided what is really important to me and then DO it.

- I will increase my health: Whether through better eating, more exercise, additional sleep or mental downtime, I will be a healthier person on July 18, 2009 than I am today.

So, here's to my plan, vague as it looks it is a direction and to some extent a mantra - Get Healthy.

Yours in health, Kate

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I Am 2 Years Old Today

July 18, 2006 - people ask me, 'Why that day?' The simple answer is - I don't know.

It was a Tuesday. It was cloudy. It was hot. I stepped on the scale and it said 260. I sighed and simply stated, "I guess I better do something about that." That's it. No big sweeping declarations, no plan, no event I 'had' to lose weight for - it was just time.

Now two years later I am floored that I have made it this far. I wander between 102 and 110 pounds lost depending on how well I eat, if it's my 'girl time', if I looked at cake wrong... It's a constant battle and struggle.

At first, like many people I thought I would get to a point where I would be 'done'. I quickly realized you are never done. It's not a diet or exercise program, it's a lifestyle - it's forever.

I have never felt better physically and mentally than I do today. Sometimes I still do not recognize myself when I catch my reflection. And the woman I am now is happy and confident. Not because I am thinner, but because I love myself in a way I never have before.

So it has come and gone, my celebration of turning two is over. Monday I will talk about what the next year will hold as I work my way toward three. :)

Yours in health, Kate

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I spent years not liking me, not respecting me, not doing for me.

Two years ago I began to change that. Until you believe that you are worth it, the exercise, the eating right, the ignoring the chocolate cake will seem like a chore. As long as it is a chore and not a pleasure, you can easily shove it aside for later.

I spent 20 years shoving my life aside. Twenty years inside a cocoon gestating my life and sure someone would come along and 'make it better'. Then I came to the conclusion we all do when it's really time to make a change - no one can do this but me.

That was the beginning of the change in attitude. Today I respect my self more than the donut. Because of that I can fight the daily battle to Get Healthy.

Yours in health, Kate

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I have seen the enemy...

"It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways." - Buddha

That quote is pure truth. I have long thought of FOOD as my enemy. Every calorie, every fat gram, every microbe of sugar - out to get me. So tempting, so tasty, so indulgent... It's colors, smells, the way it enlightens my senses, makes me 'feel better' when I am down - all the while making me unhealthy and fat.

It must fall under 'keep your friends close, but your enemies closer' right? That would certainly explain my thighs!

No, the food is not my enemy. I have seen the enemy and it is me.

Food doesn't jump in my mouth. It doesn't cook itself. It doesn't actually say alluring things, no matter what I think I hear from that chocolate chip cookie. Nope, there's only one person who bombards me with bad food choices and that's me.

Two years in I still struggle daily with that, with making food my friend.

It's one of the hardest lessons to learn for a food addict, especially a sugar addict. Food is supposed to be - a sustainer of life; that which helps me grow muscle and strong bones; the giver of vitamins and minerals to maintain the basics and be ready for the emergencies. Food is the key to life.

For that life to be successful, you have to learn to choose the right food - vegetables, fruit, lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy. My favorites - cookies, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, add nausea (and more sugar) are supposed to be exclamation points on life. We use them rarely and only when we really want to make a point. If we all walked around every day talking "LIKE THIS!!!" people would get awfully pissy. Guess what? Same thing happens with your body.

But with your body, at first, it shows its annoyance regarding copious amounts of sugar and fat, quietly, like a good friend who is trying not to point out that you are making an ass of yourself. (You lose energy quickly, your stomach hurts after a binge.) Over time, if you don't catch the subtlety, your body gets more pointed in its nudging. (Your pants don't fit, you get winded going up stairs.) And finally at the point where a friend might yell back, just to get your attention, your body shouts from the rafters. (Diabetes! Obesity! Heart problems!)

It took 20 years of ignoring my best friend - my body - for it to get my attention. When it did, through obesity, exhaustion, fear of something worse, I did what I needed to do. I researched, I learned, I questioned and I found out the truth I still struggle with - it's me, it's not the food.

That's hard to type even now. But having done it, having to look at it, I think I need to type it more often. I need to remind myself that the handful of M&M's isn't sacrificing itself in an assault on my body like some mercenary in a war. When I pop those little red, yellow and blue suckers in my mouth, I am both the attacker and the attackee.

And that scares me more than anything. I have seen the enemy and it is me.

Yours in health, Kate

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Power of Change

I only have a minute, because I am about to head to my swim lesson, but I wanted to post. And the swim lesson inspired one.

I said I would look back this week as I head toward Friday's anniversary. Today I look at the power of change, in this case, changing workouts. Here's a list of the exercise that has taken me to this point (They appear in chronological order and many were simply added on to the others):

-resistance band
-very light weights
-weight training
-body weight resistance

That's it for now. Friday I will preview what I am placing before me in the realm of physical challenges in the next year.

But the key here is by continually changing what I am doing and forcing my body out of its comfort zone, I have been able to make ongoing progress.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Monday, July 14, 2008

Crap! Did I accidentally get a life?

Nope and yes. I have actually kind of created one and become poor at time management simultaneously.

I was looking back and I haven't blogged since Wednesday. I have intended to. Even thought I had at some point over the weekend, but alas, no. Sorry about that.

Thursday I worked, took a nap, worked out, went back to bed. A long week had me wondering if I was getting sick, so I did a little taking care of me, unusual, but effective. I was ready to go on Friday.

Friday - work, workout, clean out car, create toga, go to toga party. Yep, you read that right - I went to the Art Noir toga party at the Des Moines Art Center. It was fun and my date, Bret, was not only very hot in his toga, but game for the whole experience, which made him sexy as hell.

Astoundingly going was my idea. Two years ago me in a piece of barely there cloth in public would NEVER have happened. Not in the privacy of someone's home and sure as hell not out in public! Despite my hard work, I was still nervous as I stepped my sandaled feet into the hall, but I got over it and had a great time.

Saturday - I had slept like crap because I forgot my sleeping pill, so coffee and I were close. It was rainy, but I was interested in watching Bret play soccer, so I threw on jeans and headed to Indianola. He's pretty good for a guy who says he really didn't know about soccer until a couple of years ago. We parted ways and I went to work. Then I went home and crashed. I had taken my workout clothes with great intentions of hitting the gym, but my lack of sleep hung like a wool trench coat in August, so I reconsidered and hit the hay.

It was a good thing because my suggestion of renting a movie and doing dinner at Bret's house was optioned. We watched "Bourne Supremacy" and had a healthy dinner. Somehow, for the second time, forgetting to eat the not-so-healthy popcorn I had brought along.

Sunday - I slept in for the first time in I have no idea how long, it felt great. Then I went to my mom's and went for a quick walk and did some core work. Then we had dinner and that's where I spiraled out of control. I literally made my self ill. Mom made this really healthy dinner and I ate too much of the rice. Then I followed that with WAY too much of the not-at-all healthy dessert she made.

I was, in fact, so ill I couldn't go to meet my dad at a movie for his birthday. Instead I went home and tried to settle my stomach and crawled into bed at 4:45. Sadly, almost two years in, I am still capable of a binge. Admittedly it doesn't take as much now, but it's still sick and pathetic that I can overdo it like that.

Speaking of which, my two year anniversary in the start of this journey is Friday. It will have been 731 days since I started making changes that have added up to big successes. Tomorrow I will begin the countdown to that day, looking back and then finally Friday, looking forward.

Yours in health, Kate

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Iowa Chops

That's the new name for Des Moines AHL hockey affiliate with the Anaheim Ducks. The jokes have already overloaded the Internet and it could go down at any minute.

That being said, the press conference and follow-up have taken my blogging time for today. I must now get to the gym before going to my brother Casey's birthday dinner.

Yours in fitness, Kate

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Endurance is patience concentrated." - Thomas Carlyle

Patience is something that we forget when we are on a journey, any journey. Certainly one that betters our health. We want results now, to wear that dress tomorrow, to not be sore the next morning, to not anguish over every cookie.

But I swear, patience with yourself, with others around you and with the process itself will be a reward. The weight-loss, increased muscle or piece of mind will simply be a bonus.

And if all else fails remember this (which undoubtedly first appeared on a Hallmark card):

"Please be patient, God's not done with me yet."

Yours in (mental) health, Kate

Monday, July 7, 2008

Full Weekend

My whole weekend was - workout, work, volunteer, run errands, spend time with people I care about. It made for a pretty awesome and busy weekend. It also means that I am really tired this morning.

However, despite about zero sleep last night, I am doing o.k. That said, I am finishing up work now and going home to take a bit of a nap. That way later today I will have enough energy for my workout. A girl has to have her priorities and busting my butt needs to be one of them - during the floods I really let it go.

The sad part is, even with having been here since 4 a.m., when I walk out at 12:30 p.m., I will somehow feel a bit guilty. I was talking to a friend today, telling him he needs to be easier on himself and unwind. He very quickly turned it back on me. I hate it when that happens.

Yours in health, Kate

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday America!!!

I am, astoundingly, taking a day of rest today. I will still workout, but otherwise I am not working. I will not even step foot inside my office. I am a rebel, just like the people who launched this AWESOME country.

As a country, we have our problems. But compared with some of the places we could live, we have it awfully damn good. You see what I did there? I expressed an opinion. And because we live in the United States, I can do that freely and not be drug out of my home in the middle of the night and be beaten to death.

I love and will protect that freedom at all costs!

Yours in unity, Kate

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's that smell?

For anyone who fears too much information - skip this post. For everyone else who is eating healthy, this one's for you.

No one discusses this but eating healthy stinks. I don't mean the food, natural foods like veggies, fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein are tasty and I love eating them. They give me boundless energy and I frequently wear people out. I mean, it literally stinks.

You know what I am talking about - intestinal gas. Anyone who eats - a high-fiber, high-protein cereal, followed by fruit for a snack, a salad and veggies for lunch, more fruit and fiber for the afternoon, whole grains, veggies and lean protein for dinner and more fruit for a bedtime snack - knows - your body can sometimes feel like it is melting down.

You puff up like a jelly fish right before it stings. Sometimes you feel so bloated that you think you'll explode. And sometimes you do just that. You have no choice, you have to release that putrid smelling stuff that has been created by your bowels in their attempt to digest your healthier lifestyle.

If you're like me, you try not to do it around anyone else. Especially at work or near your significant other. You save that thrill for in the car, curled up on the couch with the cats or (hopefully) while running down the street during a workout in open air.

Nobody says to you when you start getting healthy - "Hey, you should know, most American bodies aren't used to whole foods anymore, so your body may rebel." Rebel? Hell, I have (to take a geek moment) the entire Rebel Alliance in my intestines most days and I would lay you odds that the garbage compacter on the Death Star smelled better than I do.

So there you are, TMI. But I needed to be honest because I have had no fewer than five people who have made a lifestyle change in the past few months, come to me this week with this exact question. Yes, you will smell, Bean-o can help, but nothing can completely stop the gas from forming - and that stinks.

Yours in health, Kate

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back in a Rhythm

The last two days I have put in a full workout - 30 minutes or more of cardio and 30-45 minutes of weights and core. I feel much better. The exercise combined with eating right again has even shed a couple of the pounds that crept on during the floods.

Did I mention I feel much better?

I had a couple of friends question my sanity when I missed workouts during the floods and fundraising afterward. I realize now they were right, I should have made the time and put in even 20 minutes.

I also know full well how to pack for an impossible day when it comes to food. But I used it as an excuse to chow total crap. My only saving grace was that I made sure to get my fruits/veggies, whole grains and protein everyday. The problem is that meant all the crap I was eating simple added up to extra calories, hence the weight gain.

God forbid we have another disaster, I will take care of myself. Somewhere in the midst of all the craziness I forgot that if I falter, nothing gets done. And the master becomes the apprentice.

Yours in health, Kate

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movin' It

That would be my booty out the door. I just looked and it's almost 1:45 and it's sunny and 81 outside. It's time for me to get off this chair and call it a day.

I promise something of substance soon, it's just not now.

There's running to be done outside and core and more to be done at the gym. Away with me!

Yours in fitness, Kate