Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunny Days...

Thank you Sesame Street!  I have been miserable this winter.  I noticed it in my blogs, they just weren't cheery.  I noticed it in my manner and my interactions, but I just thought I was in a funk.  Nope.  I was lacking sun!

The last few days with sun and warmth and the ability to get outside - I am rejuvenated.  I am energized, I am ready, I am down right perky - it's kind of freakish - but I like it.  So, I am going home earlier than usual to make the most of it. :)

Yours in health,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hope Dreams

I always wanted to be able to shoot a basket - I can't.  No matter how long I would spend practicing, it never came.  My lack of height may have had some bearing.  :)  On the other hand, ask me to throw someone out at second or make a 30 yard completion to a running back, I can nail it - we all have our talents.

But, I've been watching the UNI Panthers play for me in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  They can make the threes, heck, they can make the free throws (no I can't even do that) all while seeming effortless.  However, I know that is all an illusion.  Not one of those kids can just make shots.  They have practiced, been coached, practiced some more, all with hopes of something like what came to pass this season.

When they launched into a successful season, fans were thrilled, but still no one saw them going to the dance.  Yet, with hard work, hard-nosed coaching and perseverance, the boys in purple knocked off the top seed and gave underdogs everywhere hope - even me.

So, here is to a well played (and very well coached) season for the Panthers, may their 2010-2011 season be just as full of wonderful surprises and wins.  And may we all take the inspiration and lessons taught by the Panthers and use them to play our own best games.

Yours in health,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Energy

I was bad this morning - I had an apple fritter.  Yes, about the worst of the donuts, was my snack during a meeting.  At least it had a fruit in it. {blush}  Embarrassing AND bad for me, lovely.

That being said, overall I have been eating much better.  The amount of vegetables and fruit I have been pushing into my diet are helping.  Plus, I am remembering to take my vitamins and iodine to help my thyroid.  In fact, I was in a really good mood yesterday, despite a bad night's sleep.  Today I am feeling pretty good as well. 

I want to lose all the weight again.  But more than anything else, I want my energy and smile back.  I was so go-go and smiley people thought I was high.  Don't care, I was happy.  So, I am working to get my happy back - the butt is just a bonus.

Yours in health,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oh, the Drama! The Moral of the Story is Hot Men.

None really going on, but somehow I am feeling pretty dramatic.  So tonight, I created a list on MySpace music called "Drama Songs".  It's all guys who specialize in deep thoughtful singing, standards and power ballads.  It just feels right.

I guess I am feeling melodic and melancholy at the same time.  I am looking for that intense feeling that only a drama song can bring.  O.k., maybe I am just toying with the idea of dating again. ;)

The warmth, the depth, the intensity - yep, oddly I think I just nailed it.  And I didn't even have to pay Lucy a nickel.

But who?  Quick list (top of my head of course) - Gerard Butler, Jon Bon Jovi, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Viggo Mortensen, Zachary Levi, Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Josh Holloway, Will Smith, Clive Owen,  Ryan Reynolds, Eric Bana, Chris Pine, Michael Buble and Chris Bruno.  The list isn't complete, but should launch a thousand knowing smiles.

A couple of things about this post:

1. I didn't really start out to write about hot men.
2. What does this have to do with being healthy?  Sex is good for you!  People who have more sex, live longer - I swear, it's a scientific fact, Google it.
3. Apologies to the wives of the married men above, but this is a fantasy.  I am not some over-tattooed tart stealing Jesse James from America's Sweetheart Sandra Bullock! (P.S. - also good for health - venting, helps relieve stress)
4. To the single men on this list, please feel free to leave a message, I will be happy to respond. :)  Since there are only about 7 of you (I think, I don't really read the tabloids so I could be behind), I believe this server can handle the traffic.

Well, I feel much better actually.  Melancholy gone, over course it was overrun by lust, but hey, whatever it takes.  Sweet dreams!  I know I will have them. ;)

Yours in health,

P.P.S. - Here are pictures of the above named, couldn't help myself. Tee-hee. 

BTW - I held back and only posted them clothed.  Though I must say it was harder to find pictures that way.


You're welcome!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Wanna Go Outside

O.k., feeling a little six-year old right now - the sun is shining and I desperately want to be basking in it.  Instead, I am at work.  Then I am going to take my cat to the vet.  Then I am coming back here.

I am inspired to plot an afternoon off this week, as sun appears to be on the horizon (so to speak) throughout the week ahead.  That also makes me very happy, because with each dry day, we are less likely to flood.  This week is full of good news.

I think there is definitely a yard cleaning coming soon, meaning the inside will get the short stick again.  Sigh.  And yet, if I can get some natural vitamin D and exercise, I am o.k. with this. :)

Yours in health, Kate

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hope on the Horizon

I have a secret, that I just can't tell, but it's BIG.  In fact, if it comes to pass, it's life altering. 

I had a great meeting today with two of my bosses and two ladies that have an energy and passion that is infectious.  The project we met about is incredibly close to me and I am beyond excited at all the possibilities.

But since I can't talk about what I am not talking about specifically....     :)

I will talk about the other important point here - my bosses.  I have four, they are as different and the same as any four people could be, but they are awesome in their own ways.  The two I want to specifically mention are Scott and Marianne. 

Scott is our Operations Manager for DMRG and our Program Director for both STAR 102.5 and LITE 104.1.  He is the do-it-all dad of two daughters that would make a killer political handler.  Scott can manage a million personalities and get the job done, most days with a smile on his face.  He believes in me, my work and my future.  He is kind and thoughtful and works as hard as anyone here, he has my great respect.

Marianne?  What can I say?  She and I were friends long before she was my boss and sometimes we both get so busy, we forget that part.  (We're way overdue for coffee.)  As a boss, she is fair, firm and inspiring.  She wants you to succeed and is always concerned for your well-being beyond work.  Marianne is a great check for me both when I am too passionate about something and when I am wearing down.  Even with the addition of her baby son, she finds a way to manage a department with more moving parts than the Space Shuttle.  She also has my affection and respect. 

They were both with me at this meeting that is giving me hope.  Whether this project pulls through or not, their support, belief and appreciation of me will not be soon forgotten.  It's moments like this I feel lighter, even when I haven't lost a pound. 

Yours in health,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

You're not the only one who is unappreciated

I get wrapped up in my personal crap.  I am so busy working and worrying, I often forget I am not the only one being taken advantage of.  This week I got a big reminder of this.

Without giving details, suffice it to say I forgot a friend of mine was human.  She has the same ability to just keep going and pull miracles out of nowhere that I do.  So, when she called in to question a meeting I had, I snapped at her, because I didn't like the attitude she used to question me.

I fumed, I was annoyed, I let it drag on me.  Then it started to wear on me and I realized it was because I wasn't any better, getting snippy with someone as busy as I am.  I wrote her a note of apology later.  But it really reinforced for me that I need to remember others.

Things may get tough sometimes, I may even seem alone, but I am not.  I have people in my corner and they are there, not only because they appreciate me, but because we seem to be attracted to the same corners.  :)

Yours in health,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Coffee Keeps Me Away from Cookies

I get made fun of for my Starbucks addiction.  But it's not really a Starbucks thing so much as a good coffee thing.  You see, I can nurse a good cup of coffee with a little cream and Splenda, all morning.  That means I am not constantly stuffing my face with something inappropriate.

In fact, this was one of the tricks I used last time I lost a lot of weight.  I am thrilled to say, without much thought, I picked up the habit again.  So, I have had my multi-grain oatmeal and now I am having my coffee.  I will be good to go until about 11 when I will need a snack, it will be an apple.  Then I will be able to get through until lunch time.

I have to do this, my knees hurt and it's getting harder to breath when doing the stairs.  That's not o.k., give me some more coffee.

Yours in health,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Warmer Weather Makes Me Want Healthier Food

Does this happen to you?  It breaks 50 degrees and suddenly those apples, carrots and strawberries look good.  You find yourself craving asparagus, Lima beans and a ripe banana.  Oddly, this is me. 

Once upon a time I craved these things every day, no matter the temperature.  But these days it takes a balmy 54 and a little sun to motivate me.  The good news in the whole this is that I am in the mood for that which is best for me.

So now I am craving even more sun, so I will want a salad.  :)

Yours in health,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Woman Willing to be on the Front Lines

I had the honor today of interviewing retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead.  She is the first female graduate of West Point to become a General.  She was the first woman General, of any branch of the military, to command troops in a war.  (Iraq - 20,000 soldiers)  And now, in retirement, she has a new mission - to promote the chiropractic care that keeps her a force to be reckoned with.

Becky, as she asked me to call her, ended her career in the military before she or the Army would have liked.  She suffers from fibromyalgia.  The debilitating and painful disease caused her to spend years on drugs.  She tried chiropractic treatments on the reccomendations of a friend from West Point.  She received some relief.  However, war called and Becky had to go to Iraq.  So, wanting a clear head to command, she gave up the pain relief drugs and headed to war. 

Once back in the states however, she gave in and began medication again.  She still wasn't getting the relief she needed, but she was muddling through.  Then she was approached about the potential of getting her second star, making her a Major General, she debated it, but felt she couldn't give it her all because of her disease and decided on retirement instead.  Like many in the Army she lived by the idea of going out the way she came in - on her own two feet.

Not long after retirement Becky's friend contacted her again about seeing a chiropractor.  Becky remembered that it had made her feel somewhat better and decided to give it another try.  This time she was able to give the treatments more time to work and they made an immense difference.  In fact, she is now drug-free.  She no longer needs the myriad of pain reducers she was using before.

That was it for Becky, she knew she had a new mission - making chiropractic available for all soldiers, airmen and sailors in the military.  Currently it's only available on about 40 bases.  It was approved for all installations in 2000, but the funds were never approved to fulfill that.  Becky also found that her military insurance wouldn't cover getting help outside of a base.  She is working today to encourage the defense department to allocate the promised funds for bases.  Meanwhile, she is asking taxpayers to contact their members of Congress to support a bill that would force the military's insurance TRI Care, to cover chiropractic off base.

Becky believes she would not have been forced into retirement by her health if she could have gotten proper chiropractic care in the military.  In fact, she believes that good chiropractic treatment can help defray costs and keep the men and women in the military better ready for combat.  Musculoskeletal pain causes a lot of time off in workplaces throughout the country.  But in the military this can be a particular problem with soldiers already stretched thin due to wars on multiple fronts.

Becky, the retired General, keeps a grueling schedule speaking on multiple topics across the country, all made possible by the chiropractic care she is now a spokesperson for.  Her leadership and passion in the face of disease is an inspiration.

It was a pleasure and an honor meeting her and it has inspired me to face my demons as well in hopes of coming out the other side just as strong as her.  For more information on her work, click here.

Yours in health,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

January/February Intuition Magazine Article

Now that the March/April edition of Intuition Magazine is hitting the stands today, I can share my article from the last issue.  You can find the new issue at about 300 locations around town - see our website here.  Otherwise, here is the article that began my journey again.

Walking a Mile in My Own Shoes - Jan/Feb !ntuition Magazine

I used to weigh 260 pounds. I used to weigh 150 pounds. I weigh 260 pounds. Those are hard words to write – but nothing but the truth will do.

A quick background:  July 2006, I began an 18-month journey of eating right and exercising, and went from 260 pounds to a healthy, happy 150 pounds. Then, things began to fall apart. October of last year I injured my knee, in December/ January I had a cancer scare, I injured my knee again in the spring, I had knee surgery in July – and I ate my way through every stressful moment while being banned from exercise.

Now, I am back at the beginning, morbidly obese and miserable.

So, it’s time to begin again. My plan (this time), is to follow the plan from last time and become even more of a knowledge junkie with regards to exercise and healthy eating. Only to mix things up I am going to seek out new things to help. For example – I am terrible at 'positive talk' – I am the first to be 'mean to me'. My answer? I am going to talk to an expert about meditation.

This column will follow my journey to health. In between Intuition issues you can read about my efforts to fight the fight that millions of Americans fight daily – to beat obesity – by visiting my blog. Feel free to stop by and share your stories too, because weight-loss journeys can be quite lonely without someone to share the road.

So, there you are.  That's as blunt and honest as it gets.  :)  Check out the new issue to see where I am.

Yours in health,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away - And don't come back for at least two weeks

I have been in a bit of a funk this week. (I hate being a girl - though only for one week now and then. ;)  )  Not sleeping well, my knee hurting and a feeling of loneliness combined with the rain and I am just a bit of a mess.

That being said, I believe I am muddling through relatively well.  With the exception of yesterday, I have been able to muster a smile and a can-do attitude, as usual. 

But the rain, as it pounds away on the skylights at the office tonight, is wearing on me.  Every drop, every melted snowflake draws the flooding closer.    In fact, we are due to get some form of rain every day until at least Sunday.  Our rivers are already swollen and set to rise above flood stage in key locations over the weekend.  We are already under flood warnings for low lying areas of the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers and a flash flood watch for all others. But if the rain doesn't abate, it could get much worse.

I bought supplies today in case a few key employees have to spend a few nights here keeping the public aware of flooding concerns.  I have been through this before, luckily this time though I have my partner-in-crime, Jay, to take some of the burden. 

Still, my mind is not far from Bill Stowe and all of the area public works people who are tasked with keeping us safe.  I imagine it feels pretty lonely for them as well, standing and staring at dikes and looking for water measurements and wondering what's next.  This thing could go either way.

Here's hoping the sun will shine come Sunday and stay that way dawn to dusk for the proceeding couple of weeks.  It will dry out the land of Iowa and my attitude.

Yours in health,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies - Little Taunts from the Underworld

About eight weeks ago I ordered Girl Scout cookies from my friend Traci at work.  I wanted to be generous and thought I had plans for what I ordered - all NINE boxes of them.  What?

She delivered them on Friday and I was like, "What, in the hell, was I thinking?" 

I seem to remember something about crust for a cheesecake and Thin Mints freezing well.  But beyond that, it was another food shopping blackout.  That happens more often than I would like to admit.  I'll walk through the store getting what I actually need, see something interesting (read: not good for me) and then when I get to the checkout, the naughty Luci in me (short for Lucifer), has put them in the cart. 

Now sometimes I am good and hand them to the clerk saying I have changed my mind.  Far too often though, I go ahead and get it anyway.  Then I try to bring it to work and pawn the bulk of the stuff off on co-workers, probably sabotaging their healthy life changes.

Anyway, I can't ask the clerk to put back the Girl Scout cookies.  So, so far, I have passed off four boxes to other people as 'gifts'.  The others are sitting in a giant box by my desk whispering sweet naughtiness in my ear.  Some of the Peanut Butter Patties have already won a place in my stomach. 

Though no worries to the little girls in green, I don't blame the Girl Scouts - I blame the cookies. ;)

Yours in health,

Friday, March 5, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My thoughts are steeped in ideas for two gardens right now - the one that I cannot touch until the snow abates and the one inside me. 

Yesterday, in utter desperation, I bought seed mats and a hanging strawberry mat from a friend's child for a fundraiser for my home's garden.  I will now have mat rings for my trees, mats for a butterfly sanctuary and the hope of strawberries all staring me in the face when they arrive in April.  Taunting me really.  Because, even though we have lost a lot of snow this last week, there is a couple of more weeks left in our Iowa winter and for all we know, it could snow in April.

Once the last of the white stuff does absorb into the ground, it will be a while before I can go into my yard without losing a shoe to the mud.  But once I can, I have glorious plans for a yard that is green, smart and will bloom all season long.  After this winter, I think I deserve it, we ALL deserve it.

It's also great physically and mentally.  I rip through weeds to workout stress and slowly my worldly concerns are washed away into the dirt and I am free.  When I actually have time I will spend 4, 6, even 8 hours in the yard reworking, maintaining and reinvigorating the yard.  Last year, mid-season, I had to have knee surgery which slowed me down.  My knee is better this year and I hope it will be even better by the time my first seeds are sown.

As for my inner garden, next week the new Intuition Magazine will be hitting stands all over Central Iowa.  There will 8,000 copies with my latest column inside.  I continue to share the truth about my life and I touch on tending my inner garden.  Suffice it to say journaling and meditation are more effective than I would have imagined. 

Perhaps, by the beginning of summer, both me and my yard will be in full bloom.

Yours in health,

P.S. - Here is a sneak at a piece of the cover for the March/April Intuition Magazine cover - it will give us all hope. :) 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

When I get ready in the morning I look in the bathroom mirror to make sure my hair has not run amok.  When I get dressed in the morning, I glance at the full-length mirror in my room to be sure I am not horribly disheveled.  Yesterday I was clothes shopping and looked in the mirror and finally saw me - all of me.

I had caught a glance of myself on TV the other night after the Fight for Air Climb.  I instantly recognized my shapeless body with the blue shirt.  It made me a bit queasy.  But yesterday in nothing but bra and panties I looked again.  I was a bit shocked. 

You look a certain way in your mind's eye.  As you gain weight you let that picture gain weight too - just not nearly at the same rate as reality.  I had the same problem as I lost weight.  In my head I was bigger than the body in the mirror.  Even at my lowest weight, I was 'fat'.  I'd like to be that 'fat' again.

As I sat on the bench in the dressing room last night I stared in disbelief and sadness.  When did this happen?  When did I stop caring enough to do something?  When will I fully embrace change and do something again?  Or maybe I am doing something right now.

Yours in health,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fight for Air Climb 2010

I coordinated media for the Fight for Air Climb (AKA 801 Grand Power Climb) on Sunday.  Two years ago I was able to do the climb.  I trained, I put my heart into it and I made it all 41 floors straight up the building in just under 10 minutes - my goal.

This year I was not only on the sideline due to my weight gain and knee injury - I put my back out before I even left work. LOL.  It was incredibly painful, but really funny in its own way.  The universe was trying to drive home a point - get it together.  I had to go to the doctor yesterday anyway, so I am now on muscle relaxers.  Sadly not the "say funny things" kind, just the loosen things up so I don't want to cry kind.

But I digress... (a really long way)

I actually wanted to talk about the inspiration I took from the people who DID do the Climb.  People came from all walks of life - triathletes, kids, lung disease sufferers, fire fighters and law enforcement and my fabulous sister-in-law Annette.  All of them climbing to raise money for the American Lung Association.  In all, over 1,000 climbers raised $113,000, though the end total will be closer to $170,000.

Just being near so many in shape and determined people was awesome.  It has me determined to be ready to do it again next year.

Yours in health,