Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday in Disarray

It's late and I am going to be brief.  Today was good and bad. 

Bad - everything got in the way, no workout because things went wrong and other people needed things.  Leaving me stressed and wondering when this will change.  June 32nd of never?  Probably.

Good - Coffee with a friend that makes me smile the rest of the day after seeing him and tonight we won the Beacon of Life Quiz Bowl.  If you have never had a team for this, put one together for the next one - it's a blast.

Well, very tired. Bed.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stress + Workout = Return of humor

It was a rough day.  From the moment I walked in the door I was on the go - put out a fire here, cover for somebody there.  I realized just a half hour before my physical therapy appointment, there was no way I could make it.  I called, apologized profusely and they were able to fit me in early tomorrow morning.  No complaints here though, I appreciate that they even found a slot.

At lunch time I wanted total junk and I said aloud, "What I really want is to call Sarpino's and land face first in a calzone."  My friend Mary responded, "But you won't."  My response, "No, I won't, I just had to say it.  I will sit here and crunch my carrots instead."  And it's true, sometimes you just have to say it, to be able to wipe it from your mind.

By the time 3 p.m. rolled around, I was crisp.  I wasn't being pleasant or easy-going, I needed a break.  So, despite being tired and cranky, I drove to the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center and worked out.  In fact, I hit it hard in the water for an hour.  Afterward I was even more tired - but the stress was nearly washed away and that was the point.

I came back, prepped a shift, ran a meeting, did a bunch of other work and now am headed home with no need to squish a bug just to feel some kind of control.  Workouts make Kate much friendlier. ;)  We all know it works this way, but today was a good reminder.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


My trainer Gwyn is a saint.  This week she has twice planned workouts for me that have been interrupted by me.  Tuesday it was because my knee was hurting, so she went to upper body.  Today it was because of my Swiss cheese memory.

I packed up my gym bag threw it in the car and headed to work.  I wore my sandals because it was going to be nice.  I get to the gym and think, darn, I forgot socks again.  Oh, well, I'll make do.  Then I picked up my gym bag out of the back seat and was like, gee this is really light.  That's when it hit me, I had forgotten to pack my running shoes.  Ugh.

I went in sheepishly to Gwyn and told her about my spaciness tagged with an apology.  I said, we could either do something that didn't require workout shoes upstairs in the gym or she could work me out in the water.  She looked at my sandaled feet and laughed, "And of course you are wearing sandals!"  Once again though, she rolled with the punches.

We skipped the cardio, did some lower body where I was seated.  But mostly we concentrated on my biceps and my core.  I was excited about the biceps, we haven't really done much with those in the last couple of weeks.  Once upon a time I had great arms. :)

But back to Gwyn.  Not only is she willing to change her plans, but if something hurts, she will modify an exercise or we can even stop.  That is something all too rare among trainers and I really appreciate it.

When I was starting three weeks ago at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center, they took extra time to pick the right trainer for me.  They did a great job!!!

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noodle Arms

It was water therapy with Kara today and training with Gywn at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center.  By the time I stepped out of the water with Kara, my legs were nearly limp.  Then it was upstairs for upper body with Gwyn.  When I say 'noodle arms', I am really not kidding.

Even typing now I feel like I am pushing myself.  LOL.  I even whined today.  In fact, I found my whole arms and shoulder thing pretty funny or at least I kept breaking out in laughter.  I hope Gwyn didn't think I had gone 'round the bend.  I mainly laughed for two reasons:  1. Look how far my athletic self had fallen.  2. If you don't laugh, you might cry.

I remember being so proud of my 'guns' - read: very muscular arms.  Now using the green band makes my arms feel like jelly.  Besides, I have to laugh at my lack of fitness or I might cry at how far I have gone downhill and that won't do.

I have sworn that even on the days I am aching or particularly bad at an assigned exercise, I will do the workout anyway.  Don't get me wrong, if it hurts to the point of potential injury - it isn't happening.  But if it's just good 'ol lack of faith in my abilities, too bad, I am moving forward, not back.

I want my healthy, athletic self back more than I want to give in and really that's the key for everyone when it comes to this kind of journey you have to WANT it.  You have to want the smaller size pants more than the super size fries.  You have to want to not get winded walking up the stairs more than you want to surf the couch.  You have to want to look in the mirror and be proud, more than you want that brownie. (Oh, wait, or is that just me?)

I want me back.  Not the me from pre-July 2006 (she was unhappy and morbidly obese).  I want the me circa May 2008.  She was happy and confident and had given up obsessing over the number on the scale.  That me understood it was how she felt and whether she was healthy.  I am on a path to be that me again very soon - noodle arms be damned. :)

Yours in Health,

Monday, April 26, 2010


Well, just found out technology and I aren't as friendly as we should be.  I have been busy this weekend, so I was 'mobile posting' - e-mailing my posts to the site.  Well, I didn't read the fine print, it doesn't publish until I retrieve a code and enter it, then it goes live.  So, it looks like I haven't posted since Thursday.  Lesson learned.  I will be going to find the codes that were e-mailed back to me so I can make them live.

In the mean time, here is today:

Knee is sore because, I think, I made the mistake of wearing old shoes yesterday to go buy new shoes.  Not irony, but silly.  So, Physical Therapist Kristi at the YMCA Healthy Living Center worked with me and when the water therapy pushed the knee she changed up what I was doing.  That's so nice to not have someone just tell me to 'push on'.

Then I went for a workout with Personal Trainer Gwyn.  She had been updated on my knee, so she switched up from what would have been a lower body day to an upper body day.  If she weren't in the same building with Kristi, that would never have been communicated.  So, even in my continued fog, I was able to get in a nice workout.

Well, I better go figure out how to fix what I didn't know was broken.  Maybe I should read my own blog once in a while. ;)

Yours in Health,

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Um, What?

I just spent 11 hours in bed and I am still tired.  I am at work and trying to muddle through with edits to Intuition Magazine, but I am struggling.  I even got an extra shot of espresso in my Sunday latte at Starbucks, not really much help.  I continue to be achy and last night had a bought of the night sweats.  It kind of reminds me of how I was before they put me on thyroid medication. 

I will give this a couple of days to pass and hope it is just some weird virus.  It won't keep me from going to the gym though.  I have a PT appointment and personal training tomorrow at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center and barring feeling contagious - I am there.

I do need to e-mail Nutritionist Katie though.  I am craving carbs fiercely, I assume it is connected to not feeling well, my usual m.o.  What do you suppose the healthy equivalent is to stuffing yourself with bread or chips?  :)  Gonna guess there technically isn't one, but it's worth an ask.

Well, I better go finish my shift on LITE.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Something Funky is Going On

I don't know if it's the wet weather, the long hours of this last week or I am incubating a cootie, but I am tired.  I am achy.  I am not myself. 

I worked this morning and then ran an errand.  I went out to see Pam Dixon at a remote she was doing at Brass Armadillo.  I dropped a few bucks on items to dress up my front porch with planters.  With work and now the rain, I haven't been in the yard in over a week.  But I swear first sunny day I am back at it.

That being said, I just racked up a two hour nap and am now contemplating going to bed - it's 6:45 p.m.  Anyone who knows me refers to me as a 'night owl'.  Maybe I really am just worn out.  I'll wait for Lori to get home and see if I pep up.

Since I have nothing useful to say, I will put the phone down and post tomorrow.

Yours in Health,

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Love the Pool

At the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center there are three pools.  One is for laps, like any other gym.  One is warm water for aerobics, therapy and exercise.  The other is for physical therapy.  I have yet to use the lap pool, but the other two are real gifts.

The therapy one I have mentioned.  Physical Therapists Kristi and Kara put me through my therapy in there on a regular basis.  It not only has a tread mill, but a wave action.  The soft waves help build stability and that is one of the areas where I suffer because my quads are weak, especially the one on the left with my bad knee.

But the one I enjoy more than I would have thought is the exercise pool.  It's warmer than a regular pool, but just a couple of degrees cooler than the therapy pool.  There is no shock when I get in and it helps to keep my knee from aching.  I can do almost anything I used to do on land in the pool - even run.  As I have mentioned, I miss running.

So, I run as fast as the water will allow in the pool.  I also do hand weights and jumping jacks and all kinds of other things that gravity would cause pain with.  At least one of the days I don't meet with Gwyn I do a water workout.  I think it is really saving my joints in this early part of getting healthy.

Well, I have to go.  I am doing the stage announce for Trans Siberian Orchestra tonight.  I have never seen them live before, so I am looking forward to it.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quick Update

I have been here too long again today, so I am keeping this brief.

Water therapy with YMCA Physical Therapist Kristi - big yea!

Trained on my own in warm pool because Gwyn was gone and I was already dripping wet - yea!

Going to have my weight and before pictures done tomorrow at Mercy Weight Loss and Nutrition Center - um, yea?  No, no, it's a yea.  Because I will want to be able to look back and go, "Ha, see me now?  YEA!" 

Haven't had an 'official' weigh-in yet.  I just used the scale in the ladies locker room at the Healthy Living Center.  So, I know where I started about 2 weeks ago.  That way I will know total loss when all is said and done.  Okay, now the weigh-in is feeling like an even bigger YEA!

Good night.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Butt is a National Security Issue

Okay, that's the funny.  Now for the serious, as you know, childhood obesity is growing.  This article highlights an interesting twist on this problem. 

In capsule form:  The U.S. government has noted that this epidemic could some day effect national security because over 40% of 18-24 year olds (the age they concentrate on recruiting) are overweight.  In fact, in that group most have more than 30 pounds to lose.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that the scale, in the end, isn't the all out answer to how healthy you are.  But the military has already raised its weight limit in response to needs for more recruits and the expanding American waist line.  If they increase allowances again, it could become unsafe for soldiers and expensive for the military.  We all know being overweight has a way of increasing doctor visits, injuries and health care premiums.  (Which is why insurance companies should cover fitness programs, but that is for another time.)

The reason I find the article in the Des Moines Register interesting is because the government seems to be noticing the far reaching implications of bad school and childhood nutrition.  This isn't new, schools have been cutting corners for years with the food they feed kids, you can get cheaper food (read: not highly nutritious), but it's hard to get cheaper text books. 

The only concern I have is that everyone seems a bit too focused on junk food in machines.  I totally agree that it's a problem and they never should have put snack cakes and soda into schools to begin with.  But it's the school sanctioned meals that alarm me even more.  When you break down what is supposed to be in them and how they end up making that inexpensive and palatable to children is almost tragic.  For example - we are teaching children that pizza is 'a dairy' and 'a bread'.  That kind of justification led me down the road to where I now write this blog!

I am hoping that my friend and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, will help turn things around.  In fact, I think I should send him a link to Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" - I have only been able to watch two episodes because it just makes me ill.  To think what we have done to ourselves and in turn our children.  Even the ones who are not overeating are not being taught good food choices. 

Another example, in the mind of the government, there is no difference between chocolate milk and white milk, the kids are allowed to choose.  What six-year-old is going to pass up chocolate milk?!!!  Yea, they are drinking milk - good.  But they are also chugging down additional sugars - not good.  It also ruins their palate for the future, slowly creating sugar addicts like myself.

Oh boy, I have spiraled.  Sorry.  Obviously I feel incredibly passionate. 

As for my own education and journey, today it was physical therapy at 6:30 a.m.  Despite a headache I worked away in the pool.  I really do love water therapy.  I was telling Personal Trainer Gwyn at this afternoon's training session that I feel like I am coming along the fastest I ever had with this therapy.  I would ask where this was before, but they are the only ones with an underwater treadmill in Des Moines and they just opened a year ago - so it was on the drawing board. :)

Well, yes, I am just walking out of work.  So, I am going home to eat a small snack and go to bed.  Good night.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Working Away...

I'm finally going to leave work.  I still need to go home and edit a couple of stories for the next Intuition Magazine, but I now have everything at a workable level.  The next few days will be about fine tuning what we have.  Oh and doing my column.

I am not putting it off for bad reasons this time - not wanting to confess just how out of control my weight and life had become.  Instead, I feel a little overwhelmed that so many good things are happening.  Fighting myself on how to fit everything in 250 words.  But then, I suppose that's what the blog is for, I have endless room to ramble.  (Though I do try to keep that to a minimum.)

Today was busy.  I have been in and out of meetings, doing air shifts, had physical therapy and a personal training session... and I could go on, but I am making myself even more tired.

Good news on the physical therapy front, I feel like my knee is making progress.  In fact, it's faring very well considering what I am putting it through.  Physical Therapist Kristi was pleased and gave me another exercise to do at home.  We also did water therapy again, that really is awesome.

My session with Personal Trainer Gwyn went well too.  It was upper body today.  I really do enjoy working on my core.  I had kind of forgotten that.  I am looking forward to seeing them again after I have finished removing all of my beloved brownies or rather, what they have created.  :)

Well, as I mentioned, I am tired and dinner is calling.  Have a good night.

Yours in Health,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week Two is Under Way

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, I was still feeling kind of ick.  Today is a better day today.  My only maladies at the moment are that I am tired and hungry.  But then I have been going for 12 hours now without a stop, so that's to be expected. :)

I met with Trainer Gwyn again at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center.  She really is great.  I told her my shoulder had just stopped aching after pushing it too far last week, so we mainly concentrated on lower body and core. 

That's the thing I like best about being at the center, no one expects you to be a Super Woman out of the gate.  As much as I would like to be going at the rate I was 18 months ago, I would put myself in the hospital if I tried that.  Instead, I am encouraged to listen to my body.  If it hurts in a bad way - don't do it.  I know it seems elementary, but when you want to get it done NOW, it helps for someone to remind you of your humanity.

That being said, I am woefully behind on putting Intuition Magazine to bed this week.  But the deadline is Friday, so I am coming in early tomorrow to give it my full attention.  The fewer people around the more that gets done.  I may even put up the "working on deadline" sign.  I use it very rarely, but I think this rates.

Well, since I am tired and hungry, I best get my butt home.  Have a good night.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I Think I have Figured out the Problem

I think my sinus infection is coming back.  I never got all of my sense of smell back.  But then, last night, as I sat in Wells Fargo Arena rocking out to one of the best concerts of my life (thank you Elton John!) I realized I couldn't breath through my nose that well.

This morning when I woke up to go to physical therapy I recognized the familiar feeling of ick that can only be found with a sinus infection.  I have to say, weirdly, I am a little relieved.  I was seriously concerned when days later I was so achy from my workout.  Now I know that's the ache that come with my ickness.  Oh well, I will call the doctor on Monday about another round of meds.

My PT appointment was a great way to get me and my tired, achy butt to the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center.  I had water therapy again, this time with PT assistant Ed.  He's very nice and walked me through my paces.  Afterward I went and sat in the whirlpool and then in the steam room.  Steam helped me to ward off a severe infection before, I am hoping it will do the same this time.  They even have a eucalyptus spray, which also helps with sinuses.  It was a great way to get energized enough to come to work.

Now however, I am more than ready to take a nap.  That's further proof I must not be feeling well.  Normally I want to be up and going all day on the weekends after work because it's the only I get to run errands.  Today though there is a couch instead of a Home Depot in my future.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Yours in Health,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Feeling So-So

This blog will be short as I am unexpectedly going to the Elton John concert.  That said, I woke up achy this morning.  I have been pushing through all day though.

I realized as I was about to walk into the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center that walking and weights were not in my future.  I needed something to help workout the aches.  So, I grabbed my swim suit and hit the pool.  There is a separate warm water pool for aerobic classes and water fitness.  I put in an hour of swim running/walking, jumping jacks and used water weights to work my upper body.  Afterward I could tell I worked out, but I wasn't sore like I think I would have been on land.

I have been making sure to drink extra water today in hopes that that will help relieve some of the pain.  Proper hydration can actually help alleviate some every day aches and pains.  But late this afternoon I finally gave in to my ick feeling and scooted home for a half hour of rest.  Hopefully between that, the water and the green beans I had for dinner, I will make it through the evening.

I keep playing Elton's "I'm Still Standing" in my head, a little pep talk to myself.  I am sure once he starts playing my day will wash away.  Seeing him in concert has been on my life-long 'to do' list.  Check!

Yours in Health,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Navigating a Life Change

I am still at work.  It has everything to do with the fact that this first week of getting into my groove at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center is taking a lot of my focus.  So, it has meant extra long days.  Poorly timed on my part because this is "hell week" as we work to close the next issue of Intuition Magazine.  But that's me - I want this change NOW, so to heck with normalcy, I will make it work!

I was once able to easily make everything fit.  It will come again with practice and exercise.  The latter may seem a little strange, but it's proven - both because it's an actual scientific fact and that's how it affected me before.  The more exercise I did, the more energy I had, the more my mind cleared and I could get things done in record time.  That's a side effect that isn't often discussed with regards to regular workouts, though it should be.

I have talked about my Swiss cheese memory before, I have felt scattered and focus has been nearly impossible at times.  In just the four days I have been hitting the gym and eating better, I have found my ability to clarify returning.  I feel like a fog has lifted, which became very clear this afternoon when I chatted with Nutritionist Katie after my workout.

Katie and I were talking over the basics of my nutritional plan - 1200 calories for non-exercise days, 1500 for workout days and how to make up those calories.  She started to go more in-depth with the good and bad, the pitfalls, portion sizes - all things I knew 18 months ago - and it all started coming back.  A few weeks ago I was very frustrated, I truly couldn't have told you how to eat healthy if it didn't come in a box with calories on the side.  When Katie started running through everything, it came rushing back.  I believe it was the benefit of both a clearer mind via exercise and a lesson that a little refresher never hurt anyone.

By the way, you will notice on the days I workout I eat more.  I know that in a day and age of everything right now that seems counter-intuitive.  "Wait, can't I just lose more weight those days by keeping my calories low?"  Well, probably, to a point.  However, then your body would start burning up things you really need, like muscle, to feed itself the difference.  Our bodies tend to freak when we diet and a major change in calories can actually cause it to go into starvation mode.  If that happens, your metabolism will actually slow down so your body doesn't need as many calories to survive, thereby keeping your weight the same.  Or, you could end up like I did in September 2007, flat on my back in an emergency room.

That's right, in the midst of my last weight loss adventure I went too far.  I didn't have anyone guiding me, like I do now, and that lead to doing exactly what I noted above.  I worked out seven days a week, but didn't take in enough calories to handle my body's basic needs.  So, one day I am getting ready to be on the air and bam!  I nearly pass out.  Long story short, after thinking it was just a sinus infection with a high fever, I became delirious and room mate Lori drug me to the emergency room.  My body was on its way to shutting down.  My potassium was so low I became delirious and they thought I had had a stroke.  Luckily a smart trauma doctor figured out what was really going on and three IVs later I was on my way home - very tired and very humbled.

That story will not repeat.  Not only because I have learned my lesson, but I have Team Kate to back me up with facts, figures and good old-fashioned common sense when it comes to how I should navigate the river of my journey this time.

Speaking of water, this morning at 6:30, I had my first water therapy appointment.  It was different, but I think I like it.  I know it didn't feel as hard, yet, as physical therapist Kara warned, I felt it later.   Oh well, that's what ice is for.

Good grief, it's after eight.  I better wrap up and go home for dinner and bed.  Have a good night.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Don't Want a Cookie, Thank you.

I faced down temptation today - a sunny flower shaped cookie from one of the best bakeries in Des Moines - Highland Park Bakery.  Why are they so good?  Perhaps the mounds of creamy yellow butter?  Anyway, when my friend Chandler opened the famous white bag and offered me that sugary delight, I smiled and said, "No thank you, I am being good."  And amazingly, it wasn't that hard.

In fact, I haven't had a brownie, cookie, candy, anything of that ilk since Sunday.  But I haven't been missing it.  I have no idea why, other than I am ready for change.  I am ready for sweat, aches and fresh foods.  I am ready to be me again - energetic, smiling and determined.  So, that's exactly how I am taking this challenge on.  I may grunt, I may whine, but I will do it.  Trainer Gwyn experienced a bit of that today.

I met up with Gwyn at 1 p.m. at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center, it was our first training session together, after our initial meeting yesterday.  She immediately put me through my paces, which thrilled me.  I do not want to dance around, I want results.  Gwyn had me walk to warm up, then do this seated stair step machine called the NuStep.  Then it was on to working my shoulders until my arms felt like jelly.  Gwyn asked if it was the exercises that made me grimace and whine a little.  I assured her, no, it was just my body trying to remember the moves and getting a bit cranky.  We added in some balance moves and some stretching and called it good.  90-minutes of pure sweat.  Only thing I really need to do is remember to breath, I'm bad at that. 

After training I bounced back here and found my food plan from Nutritionist Katie.  She had done exactly what I asked, she concentrated on calories and how they should be put together.  I will be meeting up with her for 5 minutes tomorrow after my workout for her to answer a couple of questions and give me a booklet that is a cheat sheet of foods that are the best options. 

As far as food, so far I have been doing my own thing.  Trying to cut the fat and keep the calories at 1,400 or less.  Katie's plan will be a much scientific and help my body lose fat in the healthiest way possible.  It also will create better habits and long-term success.  Along time for now when I am ready for maintenance, I will have Katie revise the plan to account for my life going forward. 

Well, I better go for now.  FYI - Tomorrow's plan - Water therapy with PT Kristi at 6:30 a.m., Workout at 1 p.m. (Gwyn is out but she will have someone else check in on me) and a brief meet-up with Katie to go over nutrition plan at 2:45.  Until then...

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So, I'm Sitting at a Blues Club...

Okay, not in reality, just in my mind. I was emceeing an event tonight at Miss Kitty's for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I was writing this post in my head while tapping along to the amazing local blues gods Matt Woods & the Thunderbolts. Wow. They were amazing. They make my short list of future shows to see.

With regards to the real reason we are here... Today's Report:

I added two new members to Team Kate today. Physical Therapist Kristi and Personal Trainer Gwyn. Both, of course, are a part of my new home away from home, the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center.

I met with Kristi first thing this morning. By the time we were done I had to compliment her, she's the first PT that has explained completely not only my exercises, but what they will accomplish. Plus, she was able to give me tips on how to modify things so they will work better. She also knocked out the front of a 4-6 week plan to get the knee rehabed and deal with my ongoing Achilles issues. It will include water therapy, which is new for me. I am looking forward to it.

The afternoon was my meet-up with Gwyn. She s a no-nonsense woman with a passion for what she does. She asked me questions that no trainer ever has, she really wanted to get a rounded picture of past, present and future. I look forward to her unique perspective and support.

And in the end that's what all the members of Team Kate are here for, support. Because they can make all the plans and give all of the advice in the world, but if I don't follow through, I won't win.

With that in mind, it was another good food day. Lots of fruits, veggies. whole grains and lean protein. Nutritionist Katie e-mailed to say that she is working on my food directions.

Anyway, I am well past tired. I stayed up late to let my food settle. I didn't get to eat until after the fundraiser. Good night.

Yours in Health,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day One - Year One

The title is how I feel.  From this day forward it is a new life and a new outlook.  It's an opportunity to get healthier, get happier and hopefully help some other folks along the way. 

Today's report: I talked to my nutritionist today, Katie is from the Mercy Center for Weight Reduction.  We went over my history, my current weight and what I need her to help me with.  Initially it's all about how many calories I should be consuming and how those should be made up - grams of protein, amount of carbs, etc.  I am being completely honest with all of the folks at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center (HLC) every step of the way - I don't think you can be successful on a weight loss journey until you are brutally honest with anyone helping you and most of all yourself. 

Katie paid me a nice complement saying that I was much further along than a lot of people because I already know most of my weaknesses.  You see, for me, when it comes to food it's not just my much beloved brownies and cookies that I struggle with.  Portion size is an issue, as with most Americans.  Also, I seem to have no sense of when I am full until I am just on the edge of busting a button.  I am hoping the class I will be taking starting May 3rd - Intuitive Eating - will be an answer to that problem.  I don't know everything it will cover, but I do know the ultimate goal is to take control of your eating habits and thereby be a healthier person, which is perfect.

After I finished up the call with Katie I worked for a couple of hours and then headed to the gym.  You see the HLC has a full gym inside.  I worked out for about 40 minutes, taking it relatively easy.  I tried different cardio options to see how my knee did and worked my arms with free weights, plus did a brief bout of core work.  I didn't want to overdo. 

I am waiting until I meet with my physical therapist tomorrow to set parameters for what I can and can't do with my lovely knee.  I am then meeting with my wellness coach to set a plan for the next few weeks to get my exercise program set. 

You see that?  I just mentioned a nutritionist, physical therapist and wellness coach all in one blog.  All of that and so much more is at the Healthy Living Center - all under ONE roof.  In the weeks and months to come I will let you know about every aspect of the center.  You will get recipes, exercise tips, endless healthy ideas and you will meet "Team Kate", the people that are helping me make all of this work.  In fact, next week, I will introduce a new daily topic to go with my personal updates.

I am so excited, this is just exactly what I needed.  Not everyone can go this route, this is MY journey.  But that's the bonus of the HLC - they can help you no matter how far gone you think you are and in a way that is YOUR perfect journey.

Yours in Health,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Getting my Ya-Ya's Out

Going in to this weekend before my official start at the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center, I had no intention of throwing caution to the wind and noshing endlessly - but I did.  It was a "Tour de Food" through Central Iowa.  Every time something was presented I was like, "Well, this is the last time I can do this for a while."

Admittedly that's not really true, I am a big believer that once you get your basics down about food - calories, nutritional composition and portion size - you can eat anything in moderation.  Which I did, each time I indulged. :)

Here's the full confession:

Friday night - Lori's Birthday dinner - Le Jardin for truffled chicken with savory mushroom bread pudding and for dessert apple bread pudding with creme and caramel.  Both were AMAZING and I recommend it to anyone wanting a splurge.

Saturday - Lunch at Hickory Park for Aunt Marla's birthday - Open face turkey sandwich with gravy and mashed potatoes and a scoop of coffee ice cream with hot fudge for dessert.  Saving grace?  The gravy and mashed potatoes were both salty, so I did not even come close to finishing.  The ice cream of course was just fine. ;) 

Saturday night - Dinner was simple - a cup of potato leek soup from the Weight Watchers cookbook and 100 calories worth of pistachios.  However, then it was off to Gateway Market downtown for their third anniversary party - couple bites of cheese, several bites of bread, taste of ravioli and small piece of anniversary cake.  Oh and a couple of their amazing almond macaroons to take home and eat.

Sunday - Lunch at Bruegger's, did right thing and split chips with Lori.  However, then went next door and had homemade ice cream at Bauder's.  Somehow it just tastes better when you are sitting at an old fashioned soda counter - another recommendation.

Sunday dinner - I am getting ready to go down stairs for dinner now and have the chicken brat that also came home from Gateway last night and some veggies.

Wow.  That's a lot of food.  The best part of today, health wise, was three hours in the yard today, though I know I will be sore tomorrow.

And that's the best thing of all - tomorrow.  That is the day I officially begin again to begin again.  I will soon not get sore doing yard work or be in pain walking stairs.  I have a whole world reopening to me tomorrow that I have really missed.  I can't wait to reintroduce myself.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Guessing Game - Complete!

Well, that took no time at all!  WebGal nailed the bulk of the thing that I haven't been telling you.  Her guess: " guess: YMCA Healthy Living Center and the INTUITIVE EATING: Weight Management Class. I'm not 100% sure on the class, but it looks interesting and I know the instructor from another program I was in. She's AWESOME."

So, yes, I am going to the Mercy/YMCA Healthy Living Center and yes, I will be taking that class - but that's not all!  I have much more to divulge and it will come step-by-step over the next week.

In the mean time, yea WebGal!  I will be snatching a gift certificate to get to you.

Yours in Health,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Guessing Game - Clue #2

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  (Thank you Mr. Rogers.)  Sunny and 64, headed for 70 - it's days like these that make my heart race faster and my drive go deeper.  It's all too appropriate that Spring is truly here at a time when my Hope has arrived.  My energy is high and I am ready to bloom like the tulips that popped along Locust Street downtown today.

To that end, Monday is the day I officially begin the thing at the place that I am not telling you - you have to guess.  Squee...  Really it's killing me, but I am going to keep the visual clues obscure until at least sometime next week.

Anyway, here is visual Clue #2:

Now for today's tip:

Water.  I know, everyone gives the tip to drink lots of water, but it's imperative.  The thing I won't tell you is to drink 15 glasses - are you kidding?  We would all float away.  Instead just keep ahead of your thirst.  If you are thirsty, it's already beyond time for a few sips.  Also, when you suddenly get hunger pains at an off time, it may not be an actual 'feed-need', you may just be thirsty.  To add to water's benefits, drinking a big glass with a meal will fill you up faster, there is only so much room in your stomach and water needs space too.  But be aware - do not drink ice cold water with high fat foods or immediately after - it can actually cause fats you just consumed to get gelatinous and be harder to digest, leaving more residue behind to cause a problem for your health.

Well, that's it for now.  So far it has been a positive and exciting day.  Enjoy the weather and give me your best guess.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guessing Game

My meeting today, about the thing I am not telling you yet, it went very well.  So well in fact I don't think I want to wait until May to tell you.  To alleviate the pressure, I am going to put this on you.  :)  Each day I am going to give you a picture clue and a tip.  The picture will be of some feature of the thing I am not telling yet.  The tip will be something I find useful in being a healthier person.

Use the pictures to try to put the puzzle together.  First person to guess the place and what I will be doing there wins a gift certificate, not sure for what yet, but I will let you know next week. 

Now maybe you go to this place and it will spark right away.  Or maybe, like me, you didn't know this option existed and you will be as pumped as I am!

Here is your visual Clue #1:

Let the guessing begin.  :)  (No family, friends or co-workers allowed.)

Now for today's tip:

If you see 'sauteed' vegetables on the menu it really means 'soaked in butter and/or oil'.  Ask if the chef can prepare them with water or lemon juice instead.  I know it sounds crazy, but most good restaurants are about customer service and will do it.  You win three times over - fewer calories, less fat and no sinking greasy feeling in your stomach later.

Well, that's today.  It has been busy but successful.  Have a great night!

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My First Meeting is Tomorrow

The thing I can't tell you about yet?  Well, my first meeting is tomorrow when I will get a view of the plan.  I am nervous, excited, pumped... and did I mention nervous? 

I will get beyond that though and embrace what is before me - positive energy and an opportunity for great success. 

More soon...

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hope Floats

I am still sick.  I went back to work today but will be leaving in a few minutes.  I have a strong belief one more night good night's sleep and some more antibiotics on board and I will be on the mend.  Looking very forward to having my sense of smell back.

As for hope?  I can't tell you just yet, but something big is in the immediate future.  I will be able to go back to being energetic, fun and helpful - but this time with professional assistance.  I couldn't be more pumped!  And this will truly be how your supposed to get healthy.

As you know, I lost all of the weight by myself last time.  This time I am not just struggling, but failing and I need guidance - I am going to get it from THE premier place in the state, in fact in the country. 

Even sick, I am ready to be me again. 

Yours in Health,

Monday, April 5, 2010

Curled Up Sleeping

I did something I never do, I stayed home sick.  I decided to get ahead of this sinus infection, even though I am really behind it.  I have been sleeping on and off since 4 p.m. yesterday.  Add that to my Friday/Saturday sleeping and I have been going 'crazy' with sleep.

At the moment I am half-conscious dog/house sitting at my mom's.  I got out of the house briefly to get medication, but otherwise only move when the dogs need to go to the bathroom.  Okay, that's all I have energy for.

Yours in health,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HaPeep Easter!

I don't know about you but this is one of the holidays I struggle with most.  Not the religious, that's pretty clear.  The sugar on the other hand - the people at Reese's alone are a problem - I ate my way through a package of Reester Bunnies over a two week period.  (Luckily there were just 4, but still.)  Now the candy will all be clearanced out tomorrow, but the bonus is, I am sick.  So now low-dough carb-candy high for me!

The following link however is sugary sweet enough for anyone and is probably about as close as any of us should get to a Peep this year in all their marshmallow and sugar coated gooeyness.  These people are very creative and they are almost all quite impressive, enjoy!

Washington Post Peeps Contest

Yours in Health,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Feelin' the Ick

For a couple of days I have felt a bit lousy.  Sore throat, head ache, etc.  But I wrote it off to allergies, it may have gone beyond that.

All I want tonight is sleep and spicy soup to try to get the ick out.  I have also scheduled a massage for tomorrow in hopes that will help break up the cootie colony in my head.

Hope you have a Hoppy Weekend!  (Yea, I couldn't help it.)

Yours in Health,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stopping Talking About Me That Way!!!

Of course, I am referring to myself.  My attempts at being positive and shiny about who I am have died a horrible death under the weight of my self-hatred.  At least I am assuming I hate myself because I say awfully mean things.
I say things like, "Why would anyone look in the window to see skinny Lori at home when they might go blind catching me naked?"  "I was really sweating in there and it wasn't just a fat girl thing, the rail-thin woman was about to pass out."  Add nauseum or is it nausea?  Because that is what I am doing, making myself sick with my own vitriol.

Maybe that is why I am not feeling well physically, because I am sapping all of my physical energy with mean spirited b.s.  This has to change.  I need to go back to journaling and blog more regularly so the kind words and appreciation of myself return.

And I need to deal with my knee and get back into the gym and take action.  Ultimately that and healthier eating are the keys to happier Kate, one that will turn her negative language upside-down.

Yours in Health,