Thursday, September 30, 2010

Down for the Count

It has been a long week of working hard.  I blogged about a rough day yesterday.  By the time I got home last night I was beyond tired and couldn't fall asleep.  When I did, it was fitfully and I was freezing and then hot.

When the alarm went of this morning my body was angry.  I had an overwhelming feeling I have only had a few times, but often enough I now know what it means - go back to bed or I will end up in the hospital.  Apparently when my body is done, it's done and I really get no say.

So I texted my boss and he had someone fill in on LITE.  Then I slept until after 2.  I came into work today about 3:45 and did the rest of my shift for STAR and all of my shift for KIOA.  I have one last thing I need to do and then it's time to head home.

I can tell another full nights sleep is imperative because I still feel rough.

The lesson here for everyone else is, listen hard to your body, because if you don't you could put yourself in danger.  Oh and take care of yourself, so you don't have to face this.  Days like today I know I am a work in progress.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stupid, Ugly, Angry Day

I am 30 minutes from leaving work and I have to be back at 8 a.m.  I won't go into details, but suffice it to say today went totally off the rails at the hands of others.  I didn't get in my workout because there was a sudden work emergency.  My new kitten is sick.  And on and on.  I have eaten like crap and I am brutally cranky because my life feels out of control.


Someone cue Scarlet O'Hara: "Tomorrow is another day."  And that's my story and I am sticking to it.  See you then.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Firming Up

Yesterday was all about the upper body with my trainer Gwyn at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  Gwyn makes sure it's tough, so those days are great and hard all at once.  I am getting stronger, so we are constantly trying to get the weights right.  LOL.  Yesterday on one lift I went from 12.5 to 20 pounds in three rounds - hot dang!

I love the way my arms and shoulders are changing shapes.  Even the extra swag of fat is slowly skimming away, I am on my way to no more turkey wattle.

It's not just those areas that are firming up, my glutes are tightening, I can feel my abs through my tummy fat and my breasts have been given a natural lift.  (I know, that may be too much information.)  But I am thrilled.  The scale seems to be stuck, but the muscle is coming on fast enough, that sooner or later, that will give way too.

You know, you don't have to have a trainer to start getting firmer - though I recommend one when you are ready to commit to a permanent change.  Instead, you can start at home and once you have been at it for a month, and know you are ready, you should seek out help to set a plan for real change - it's working for me.

Tomorrow I will share a list from Gwyn of the top items to have for a home workout to test your will to be healthier.

Yours in Health,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Eat Breakfast!

Personally, I love a good bowl of cereal, some oatmeal or a low-fat breakfast sandwich to start my day.  In fact, I am very cranky if I don't have breakfast and crash by 9 a.m. - which inevitably leads me to the vending machine or whatever cake has been deposited in the break room.  If I want to be a healthier person that will not do, hence why I make sure I eat breakfast.

Yet, not everyone is like me.  I was talking to a friend yesterday that insisted she was never interested in breakfast.  I reiterated for her the long list of benefits of breakfast: jump start your metabolism, clearer thinking, management of blood sugar and possible weight loss, to name a few.  When I pressed she came clean, "I hate cereal."  Ah, well then, that's not a problem.

I went looking for a list of tasty, non-cereal, options for her.  I admit, not all of them are quick-as-you-are-rushing-out-the-door (nice long hyphenation) but you can take a few minutes the night before is they trip your trigger.  Click here to land at Prevention Magazine - Enjoy!

Yours in Health,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Introducing: Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Not this Dr. Sheldon Cooper:                            

Dr. Sheldon Cooper as played
by the Emmy winning Jim Parsons

This Dr. Sheldon Cooper:

This is the newest addition to our home.  We call him Sheldon and he chose us.  The adventure of Sheldon becoming part of our household made for a long week, but he's very sweet, so it's all worth it.

Sheldon's story: 

This kitten is very smart. He convinced me to feed him Sunday night after he talked to my youngest cat Mischa. I fed him each night through Wednesday. That night he decided to be social and be petted as gratitude (that's how cats work, 'I am so fabulous, petting me is a reward'). 


I petted him for some time, despite the fact that he was jumpy.  You see, it was clear someone had dumped him on the street at least a couple of months ago.  Everything was going fine until a group of girls who make trouble in our neighborhood screamed at each other.  The kitten and I both jumped and he bit me, drawing blood.

I went upstairs and washed up.  I went back outside to check on him and he looked contrite.  I petted him and then I went inside for the night.  I shut the doors, because my boy cats were so distracted.  Twenty minutes later, as I was readying my attempt to go to bed, I hear him trying to get in the screen door on the front porch.  Obi-Wan, Charlie and Mischa rushed down the stairs to see what the noise was about.

I opened the door and the kitten meowed. I stepped out and petted him for a few minutes. Then I really needed to get ready for bed and went inside.  I felt a bump on my leg, looked down and there he is standing next to me in the house- too quick for me.   He also found himself face to face with a very confused Mischa.  So, I scooped him up and he, appropriately, bedded down for the night in the guest room. 

Lori and I agreed he should go to the ARL, even though he was very sweet.  So, during my lunch hour Thursday, I put him in the carrier and drove toward the south side.  Suddenly I realized I didn't know whether that location was open again after the flooding.  

I called Tom Colvin's office and his assistant Sara said it was and I told her the story, including that he bit me.  She got kind of quiet and then told me about the ARL's bite policy - they don't adopt out biters.  I reiterated that he didn't do it maliciously and she said they might make an exception.  The air went out of me.  I couldn't be responsible for a perfectly sweet kitten being put down because I broke the rule of strays - be extra careful and do not pet them too much.  (By the way, I totally understand the ARL's policy in cases where the animal is, by nature, violent.)

So, I called Lori and she gave me the nod to take him to the vet.  The rest of the story - I had them do the works, that included neutering him.  Lori and I had agreed that we would find someone else to adopt him, but once I had put way too much money into his care, we had a good laugh and agreed we would keep him.  

But now we ARE full at the Drake House Inn.  LOL.  All other strays WILL be taken to the ARL - we have taken 5 others there this year.  We theorize the cats have our house marked somehow with a note that says, "These people will feed you and get you a warm home".  And the note is right.

That's the story of Dr. Sheldon Cooper.


As to his name, if you are not familiar with the show, Sheldon is named after the lead character on "Big Bang Theory".  He's a brilliant, geeky, hyper-intelligent and incredibly fastidious funny man.  Jim Parsons, his portrayer, has been able to make an otherwise grating persona greatly endearing and sweet.  (It won him an Emmy.)  I am sure that our Sheldon will prove himself just as endearing. 

Yours in Health, 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Looong Week and Lots of Rain

Yes, it has been one of those weeks.  Lots of stress at work, lots of silly people in the world outside of work (and that's being kind) and the rain simply won't abate.  I am sitting here, listening to the water pour onto the roof at work as I finish my duties before heading for a workout.  That's the one area in my life that has been o.k. this week.

I had three great workouts with trainer Gwyn at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  She even put me on a cardio machine I wouldn't have tried on my own - and it worked.  I wouldn't have tried it because I was afraid the pushing down and swiveling around would leave my knees aching horribly.  As luck would have it, it left me sore, but otherwise alright.  In fact, I am still feeling my glutes throb, which is good, because my glutes need plenty of work.

Now I am going to go work things out in the water of the exercise pool - I know, I could just stand outside and get soaked to.  Here's hoping tomorrow's sunny forecast holds or we will have fall floods to match the spring and summer ones. ;)

Tomorrow:  Introducing Dr. Sheldon Cooper

Yours in Health,

Friday, September 24, 2010

September/October !ntuition Magazine

The current edition of !ntuition Magazine is on shelves now.  Hopefully there are still a few out there for you to find.  (We print 8,000 copies and they are usually gone within two weeks!)

I am particularly proud of this one because it's the "Teal & Pink" issue.  It's about the two most pervasive cancers for women - ovarian and breast.  September is Ovarian Cancer month and of course, October is Breast Cancer month - most people know the latter, but not the former.  When I say the issue is teal and pink, people (including women) say, "Why teal?"

I wanted to make sure we educated about ovarian cancer equally with breast cancer for a number of reasons:

1. Women who get breast or ovarian cancer are more likely to get the other one - so they are related.
2. Ovarian cancer has few real signs.  While you can find a lump in your breast, the symptoms of ovarian cancer can be mistaken for anything from simple exhaustion to irritable bowel syndrome.
3. The Komen Foundation has done a wonderful job of raising awareness through the media about 'turning pink', I think it's important the media take up the job to do the same and turn September teal.
4. My mom is an ovarian cancer survivor, I recently had exploratory surgery to be sure I didn't have it - this is personal.

Those are just a few reasons, but the most important one is knowledge.  Knowing everything you can about your body is power and those facts can literally save your life.  So, whether it's a monthly self-exam for your breasts or saying something to your doctor if bloating in your abdomen lasts too long, you need to take care of yourself.

Here is a link to try to find our magazine, which is also available in our front lobby Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  And here are links to key ovarian cancer and breast cancer sites to answers other questions you may have.  This is one area where you need to come first in your life.

Oh, and here is the cover you are looking for:

Yours in Health,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

!ntuition Magazine - July/August Column

Today we have the final installment of my past columns in !ntuition Magazine.  This is July/August and continues my new life path.  If you want to find the current edition, September/October, look here for locations to pick-up or come to our offices at 1416 Locust St in downtown Des Moines, we have them in the atrium.  

Life’s Journey By Kate Garner

On the Road Again

I feel so much better when I workout.  You forget that when you are ‘off the wagon’.  You forget that it boosts not just energy but self-esteem. 

I am working out five days a week at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  Three of those days are with my rockin’ trainer Gwyn, who in the process has introduced me to kick-boxing, which equals awesome!  The other two days I go it alone, and I like that too, because it proves I am committed. 

As for food, it’s my struggle.  I am taking a class called Intuitive Eating at the Mercy Center for Weight Loss and Nutrition Center.  The idea is, basically, to take your eating habits back to when you were a kid – you ate because you were hungry and you ate what your body needed.  (Example – Milk or an apple sounded good, so that’s what you ate.)  This was before anyone said ‘clean your plate’ or ‘you must like beets’.  The class is helping me listen to my body better and not beat myself up as much about food missteps; though I am still making plenty of them.

And that’s the most important thing I am reminded of – I am not perfect.  I didn’t become obese overnight and I won’t lose the weight overnight.  But with help from ‘Team Kate’ and a belief in myself, I can go down the road to health again step-by-step.  And even catch my reflection in the window on occasion with pride.

P.S. – I weigh 257 lbs (a 13 lb loss) and have gone down a pant size and bra notch!

2010 Outstanding Women You Should Know
So, now you are all caught up, except for the current issue, which is on stands now.  Tomorrow I will tell you what that issue is all about - VERY important for women - and give you a taste of my crazy week.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

!ntuition Magazine - May/June Column

Today we continue with my past columns in !ntuition Magazine.  This is May/June and introduces a new aspect of my life.  If you want to find the current edition, September/October, look here for locations to pick-up or come to our offices at 1416 Locust St in downtown Des Moines, we have them in the atrium.  

Life’s Journey By Kate Garner

Meet “Team Kate”

I am a stubborn person.  I can do it myself – no matter what it is.  I am Superwoman!  I am up to 270 pounds and that’s proof, that I am… wrong.

Like many people, after a measure of weight loss success, I got busy.  Translate that to mean – ‘no longer time for self, ooh, is that a brownie?’  Needless to say, it was time to admit defeat. 

And then serendipity. At that same time I was ready for help, the Mercy Weight Loss and Nutrition Center and their home, the YMCA Healthy Living Center, were looking for someone to help them get the word out about their combined effort.  They saw !ntuition and thought I would be a great choice.  I researched them and they are a great choice for me too!

Now, Superwoman has allies in her battle to be healthy.  A quick introduction:  YMCA Physical Therapist Kristi with able assistance from Kara and Ed; YMCA Personal Trainer Gwyn with a hand from Lisa; Nutritionist Katie with her back up team at MWLNC.

You see, that’s the awesome thing about this new facility, it’s medically integrated.  I do physical therapy for my knee in the same building where I workout.  Plus, I always have my nutritionist down the hall for questions.  This is the only place in Iowa with every weight loss option AND workout guidance under one roof.  It is my hero. 

So, look out world – no more platitudes.  Instead, controlled calorie intake and five workouts a week.  My calendar has an appointment on those days that says, “Time for workout”; it should really read, “Time for change”.

Our May/June Cover Models
Tomorrow it will be the July/August column.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

!ntuition Magazine - March/April Column

I promised a surprise and here it is - I am going to post all of my columns from !ntuition Magazine throughout this week.  I posted January/February's here in March.  But I haven't posted any of the others.

As a number of people have noted, it's hard to find !ntuition once it hits stands - they go quickly. The other thing is a number of readers for this blog are outside of the Des Moines metro.  So, here is the March/April column:

Life’s Journey by Kate Garner

"A Quiet Moment"

I want to start by saying Thank You for all the great feedback on this column.  Many of you have shared similar stories, I appreciate your honesty and I plan to maintain mine.

As I sit here writing, I weigh 255, that’s 5 pounds down from last column, but not where I wanted to be.  My family went to Disney World, vacation food added 5 pounds.  I also injured my knee, stretching my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). 

My knee is getting better now.  So, instead of walking I’m doing some upper-body work.  I am also retooling my diet.  Fruits and vegetables at center again with whole grains and lean proteins.  Still, there’s that evil voice; I named her Luci (Lucifer), which wants me to eat three instead of one.

It’s that kind of negative block that has me seeking light.  Right here in !ntuition we have Deb Engle, we sat down to talk meditation and journaling.  She explained benefits of both, the main thing is that they can bring clarity to situations that have long plagued a busy mind. 

There are several kinds of mediation - CDs or group or yet others are way to rest your mind for 5-minutes.  My favorite:  In a quiet place, breathe deeply and relax – now go into your mind’s garden.  Look around, what do you see?  Flowers?  Bushes?  Other people?  What you see says a lot about where you are in life.

I’m journaling for specific things, but this meditation gives me great peace.  I did it again last week and for the first time my garden had purple flowers in it.  I looked up the meaning of purple and found what I hope is a hint at my path to come – it represents wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.  I know I am going to need all of the above on this journey.  

March/April Cover Girl Stacy
If you want to try to find the current edition, September/October, look here for locations to pick-up or come to our offices at 1416 Locust St in downtown Des Moines, we have them in the atrium.  

Tomorrow it will be May/June.

Yours in Health, 

Monday, September 20, 2010

And a new week gets underway...

My appetite has returned a bit, which is good.  I still get queasy really easy, but food doesn't turn my stomach when I look at it.  My new acid reflux medicine hasn't fully kicked in yet, so I am still depending on Tums and Rolaids to sleep.  But hopefully this week will see a turning point.  Maybe my extreme ick and tiredness will have been purely my belly.  Besides, a friend's wife is really ill right now and it puts things in perspective for me.

Looking forward to heading to meet up with trainer Gwyn this afternoon at the YMCA Healthy Living Center.  Kicking off the week with her kicking my butt is always good.  I was even able to do laundry this weekend so I will be properly dressed, very nice.

Better cruise and work, but heads up - the rest of the week, I have a surprise for you!

Yours in Health,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Grays

The remnants of a migraine started my morning, which felt right because of the haze that was laying on the city.  Sadly I missed my friend Colleen's wedding last night because of it.

I blame a combination of bad lights, a loud crowd at an event where I was broadcasting and the thunderstorms for the headaches onset.  Oh well, I have been taking reports all day and everyone says Colleen was beautiful and the wedding was great.  If I had been directly involved in the ceremony, I would have dropped way too many drugs and gone anyway.  But, as I was gratefully just a guest, I knew I wouldn't be missed.

I worked this morning and midday and then headed to my last volunteer shift at the Planned Parenthood Book Sale.  The book sale has been quite a workout, especially today.  Tons of walking, lifting and organizing.  Which is good, because my head wasn't quite ready to swim this morning.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Not Feeling Well

I have not been feeling well for weeks, but I get sick of saying I don't feel well... yes, sick of being sick.

Finally, I went to the doctor yesterday and she did a full blood panel.  The good news?  All my blood work is great.  The bad news?  I still feel like total crop - tired, nauseous and achy.  Be clear - I am NOT pregnant!  LOL.  Sorry, every time I mention how I feel, someone gets a gleeful look and says, "You know..."  No, I do know.  As my mother says, "You have to be exposed first."  Indeed.

So, because my symptoms are so non-specific, I just have to wait and see if I feel better in a week.  If not, it's on to a different doctor.

But this won't stop me from working out and eating right.  The upside is my appetite has been greatly squashed by this.  I am not even craving junk as often happens when I get sick.

I didn't workout today because of my schedule, but I will be back in there tomorrow.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Latest on Workouts

Trainer Gwyn loves to kick my butt.  And I love it too.

We warm up every session with 15 minutes of cardio.  Then lately we've been doing a lot of heavier weights.  Tons of different moves to tweak every possible location in my body.  It's a great way to bulk up my muscle, which helps me burn more calories and slowly change my shape.  I'm not going out for Ms. Olympia, but I know that the more muscle I pack on the better my bones are protected and the better I feel.

At least one day a week she and I are also in the pool.  If you think this is for wimps - wrong.  She often has me start with laps, which is hilarious because I am a total crap swimmer.  LOL.  In fact, I probably burn more calories trying to do it than a professional swimmer because I am flailing around.  Doesn't matter though, I try and that's all that counts.

She also has me do weights in the water, running and the ab work she had me do the other day I felt more than I have been on land, nice.  Water is also where I am on my days without Gwyn.  I switch between the lap pool and the exercise pool.  Even on the days I think, "I can't workout today, I'm not feeling great", I know the pool will make it better.

Today was a lot of biceps and triceps.  I suspect picking up a tissue will be a toughie tomorrow, but it's totally worth it. :)

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trying Not to Fall Off a Mountain of Brownies

Birthday week is over.  All the treats that needed to be had, have been had.  I decided as I landed back at my office yesterday that I would once again be leaving sugar behind.  It is still making me a bit queasy anyway, but somehow I was able to put it aside while celebrating.

Yesterday morning though, I faced my first mountain - a pile of brownies almost a foot tall.  Brownies - my ultimate weakness.

I made the corner to grab a cup of coffee in the break room and there they were.  They looked perfect - deep dark chocolate with the crackled tops and chewy tendency.  OMG.

But instead of caving to my lesser instincts, I grabbed my mug and walked away, knowing full well that within minutes they would be grabbed up by people without the same issues I harbor.  Or at least without a goal to be healthier.

So, yea for me!  And on to the food challenges I will undoubtedly need to face today.

Yours in Health,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Did you miss me?

Holy cow!  Didn't realize it had been so long since I blogged.  Sorry about that.  I didn't even remember to post last week that I was on vacation.

Time has been slipping away from me.  but now that I am back at work every day, little reminders will pop up to remind me to do this.

Vacation wasn't very vactioney. (Totally not a word.)  I ended up back at work a handful of times or helping other people with their problems.  But that's as much my problem as those that asked.  In fact, that is ultimately my overall problem - I am bad at saying 'no' to others and 'yes' to myself.

The highlight health wise last week was my commitment to working out.  I only missed one day!  That was great.  I either worked out with Gwyn or swam.

Food wise, it was my birthday week.  So, I was pretty good most days.  Had pizza on my birthday, a drink the next day, the cheesecake I had really wanted for my birthday on Friday and Sunday dinner at my mom's - and you know that meant cake. ;)  But overall, I didn't go totally - "I will be a good girl when I get back to work," which is HUGE growth.  I actually ate fruit and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains most of the time.

So, now I am getting back in the swing of things and there is tons to do, I better roll.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An Ugly Binge

I had a GREAT workout with Gwyn at the YMCA Healthy Living Center today, it put the pin in my stress.

But then my day became more and more stressful and rather than do something healthful like taking a walk, I crammed down four chocolate covered granola bars.  That's 560 I did not need.  And it's sugar, which meant I was sick as a dog afterward.

I have to work on my coping skills - stress eating is my #1 diet killer.  That being said, tomorrow is another day and I won't do it then.

Yours in Health,