Take the American Heart Association's 12-week Go Red BetterU Challenge today! Join Julie, Laura, Molly, Pamela, Paula, Renee and Ruthann in this journey to better health. BetterU is a free online tool that provides resources and tools for women who want to improve their health. Start! now so you can be on the path to becoming a BetterU!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Red United

What a truly amazing day on Friday at the Go Red Luncheon.! I never dreamed of the magnitude of the presentation and cast of such an incredible event. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of such a magical day and being with my "girls" and my daughter, plus 1,000 new friends was pure joy. I am now and forever a part of the Go Red family....

We were treated with such class and I felt so spoiled! I was nervous to walk the "catwalk" during the fashion show in front of 1,000 people, but once I was up there and really cognizant of the reason I was there - I strutted like a true model! Of course I had my fireman Eric to hold on to and once around the walkway - went right back to him to hold me up! Thanks, Eric! I felt proud of my accomplishments and hope I inspired others - especially smokers - to gain control of their health. Several women talked to me after the program about smoking and their attempts to quit. I know we have all heard "If I can do it, you can do it" and think, "Yeh, right - whatever..." but really I was so hooked - a walking chimney - if you are out there - YOO-HOO - YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!

So now that the big day event is over, I feel it is time to totally focus on an intense month of working out. Three months until summer and I am so excited about my life and future! I have a great deal of damage to overcome - but I have made the commitment to work as hard as I can to be as strong as I can! The last couple of weeks I have split my interval to a run/walk split with running - 18 minutes, walking - 12.....2 minute walk - 3 minute run. My goal is to be on a 1/5 split by the end of the month. Sometimes I feel like I am not improving in my endurance, but I just block out any negative thoughts and work through it....knowing I am improving. I have to remind myself that I have only quit smoking 5 weeks and doing cardio 2 months - so HELLO - can't be a distance runner yet....I did do a quick cholesterol check at the luncheon and my overall numbers have dropped 30 points - the test did not give the HDL which I am really interested in because Dr. Branyas told me that would increase after quitting smoking....I did make my daughter take a test too - and her numbers were great - I am going to be on my kids to really take care of themselves now! They are all so excited and proud of me and that makes me feel really good! I had little support the last 4 years and hearing someone say "I am proud of you" means more than any of you can imagine.

The outcome of all the challenge opportunities has not only impacted my health, but now I have found new confidence to try new things and am looking at new possibilities in my life. I am planning a whole new "next 50 years" and have some awesome opportunities ahead of me. I felt I was allowing myself to become stagnant and forgot what an incredible, huge, opportunity filled world there is out there! We are not predestined to our current conditions, situations, places, relationships - we are free to choose new ideas and new prospects. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to WAKE UP and clearly see the world around me and all of the wonderful people I have met along the way! I am so proud of Amy, Jessica, Dee, and Ruth and they are now and will forever be - sisters of my heart - I love you all! Keep up the good work!

Kimila <3

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bigger than me

Wow! Today was the Go Red for Women luncheon and Wow! It was an amazing day. That's pretty much what I can say. (Ok, I actually said way more than that here.)

The Go Red Girls
Ruth, me, Kimila, Dee & Jessica

Getting all involved in the training and the facials and the dress fittings, it was easy to get wrapped up in the "all about me" part of the deal. But the luncheon really helped bring home to me the fact that this is so much bigger than five women working on their own heart health.

Though we missed most of the "passion" speakers, I'd read their stories in the script and got to see the wrap-up video about them. These people have really been touched in a terrible way by heart disease. And looking out at 1,000 people who care enough about themselves, their mothers, their sisters and daughters; who care enough to spend their money and their time on this cause, just underscores for me how important it is that I not lose momentum.

The work that I'm doing in the gym and the choices I'm making every day can help shape my future in a terrific way. And hopefully, my efforts to share my journey here and in other venues, will help other women (and men) see that they have an opportunity to make those same choices in their lives.

To all those people making the decision to take charge of their hearts, let me say "You go (red) girls!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Best day ever"


-- Really nice preview party at Z's Oyster Bar tonight. The joint was jumping, and it was obvious where the Go Red guests were -- all you had to do was follow the sea of bright red. And the happy noises, laughter and chatter.
Now that the luncheon is almost here -- tomorrow, Friday Feb. 26 is the big day -- it's time to take a big breath and acknowledge that we five challengers are a small part of an enormous outpouring. So much time, talent, effort, hard work and yes, money, have gone into making this event a huge success -- culminated, in my view, when Sue Anne Gilroy of the St. Vincent Foundation announced that the Indy luncheon is sold out for the first time ever. Terrific!!!
She also made it a point to sing the praises of the heart association staff, who put together the entire script for tomorrow without once giving credit to themselves. That's not all; they also have been the behind-the-scenes magic fairies who made everything good happen, from arranging for video and photo shoots and Macy's appointments and doctor visits, exercise, etc., right down to delivering 15 heart pins at the last minute so I can pass them out to friends....TY TY TY.
Anyhow, it is excellent to be a part of something so huge and so successful. I know the challengers will continue to make strides and get our houses in order. Hope everyone has the best day ever tomorrow -- to quote that favorite song of a favorite 8-year-old relative.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'll write tomorrow but trust...

It's allllllllll good! I have choices...we all have choices and it feels good to be in charge.

Goodnight sweet peas~

Pleasant dreams!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cups for cupcakes!

Hi everybody! Wow, I am so glad to be back with you all. Where have I been? Glad you asked. For the past few weeks I have been stranded on Camp Solus. I traveled there on my own, built my own campfire, sang my own campfire songs, counted the stars and cried my own river. So dramatic...if you are at all familiar with Latin, then you know that 'solus' is the Latin word for 'alone'. And that is what I have been since February 5...the official GO Red Day.

The day started off beautifully...I met up with some of the team at Washington Square Mall to celebrate GO Red and walk. Left there and met up with some new "galfriends" at Jiffy Lube, 82nd & Allisonville Road. Look at them!!!
It was a great day...I don't know exactly where the disconnect happened but trust me, it did. I won't bore you, right now, with all the emotions and negative self-talk I've subjected myself to - my purpose in getting back to the blog is this:
Somewhere, out there, is a gal, or a guy, who is not feeling very focused, not motivated, your mood elevator has dropped lower than ever before because once again, you are in the midst of failing. You have compared yourself to someone and you are not measuring up. You have given more value to other people's expectations than you really should have. You have allowed distraction to be your guide and you'd like to visit Camp Solus yourself because that would be easier than facing all the people you think you have let down.

Hear me very loud and clear. You've come way too far to turn around now and the BEST is yet to come! Nobody can make this happen for you - and yes, it is extremely hard but you can do it! You must give yourself credit for all the good you have accomplished and you must be very honest with yourself about what you can do better, how you can push harder and then with everything you have inside - P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens!

I know what I'm talking about - I found out today while trying on clothes at Macy's for Friday's Fashion Show that I've traded in cupcakes for a cup size!! Hallelujah! THAT was all I needed to redirect my thoughts!
Watch out now...I'm back on the trail...back to the journey!

I'm pretty sure I'll be writing again tomorrow so for now - goodnight Sweet Peas~

Pleasant dreams~


Dee Small

WOW!! I truly can't believe it.. Today marks exactly 6 weeks that I have been working with my amazing personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness Kara Wagner. That's 6 weeks of every week getting a new workout hammering it out two times a week, followed by 4-6 days of cardio, increasing water intake, and food and portion monitoring. WHEW!!

Even though before this Go Red BetterU program, I never could really say that I was able to find the will power before to consistently make working out a priority for more than 3-4 days in row... and then all it took was ONE bad day and ... whelp... the rest was history!! And it was back to square one of frustration, disappointment, doubt, and defeat.

Now, I can share the testimony of since Jan 4, 2010 the first launch day of Go Red BetterU, I have managed to find the inner me who over the course of a month and a half (6 weeks) that actually enjoys working out, a person that has actually addressed her emotional eating within herself and insisted to channel it into positive energy, and a person who will tell anyone that she has truly been the better for it.

Of course, let me be clear there is NO MAGIC PILL. Even though I have learned when and how to let myself indulge in the small pleasures in life we call food, but in the great words of Kara my personal trainer "REMEMBER, YOU ONLY GET OUT AS MUCH AS YOU PUT IN". And in my case it was a lot of hard work. (Laughing..) I can remember on several occasions between working out with Kara and working out on my own, wanting to scream "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!! OMG!!" But I was determined not to cry and not to complain, and that if I wanted it bad enough, darn it I was going to making it happen for myself, and pushed through the pain, sweat, and fatigue.

Oh My Goodness, and don't even let me get on the battle of the bathroom scale, I had gained a mild obsession with weighing myself everyday of the week, not necessarily for the hopes of a miracle, but just to see if my body happen to notice just how much work I was putting it through, and maybe I would achieve new numbers with every adjustment.

A valuable lesson that I had to learn throughout this process is that the numbers on the scale are NOT the final word, for the simple fact when losing weight it is important to include weight training so that when you do loose the weight, you are not left with a flabby undefined body. So as you break down the fat and build it back up with muscle you body burns fat faster, your metabolism increases and you start noticing the inches come down, definition goes up, and fat falls off. And muscle weighs more than fat, so if the numbers aren’t dropping on the scale as you may have hoped, not all is lost, you are building muscle and definition and you are on the right track!!

This is where I am right now, even though I am still working towards many of my goals through my efforts I have seen great results in my body, my weight, my stamina, and my confidence. I have learned to make long term goals, but at the same time make short term goals as well, so that I can celebrate in the small successes, as I work towards the larger ones. Being able to acknowledge progress in all forms is what helped me most. Not allowing my body's own pace discourage me, but more or less encourage me to continue pressing forward because I know that I can expect results.

So as I digress, I have some very exciting news to share from my personal trainer today as we did my (6 weeks) body composition. After working very hard for the last month and a half, from the day I started with the trainer (Jan 18) My body fat percentage has went from 39.2% to 35.93% putting me at a total loss of 3.27% of body fat lost in a month in a half!! Kara explained that I had did a lot better than she could have hoped, and for the amount of time I've been working on it, getting down to 2% would have been doing really good... AND I EXCEEDED THAT!! I could not have been any happier, and that just goes to show that HARD WORK DOES AND WILL PAY OFF!!



Slow learner?


I guess I am a slow learner, because the big Go Red luncheon is this Friday, and I think I am finally beginning to get the drift of this program.
The good news, of course, is that the luncheon, while sure to be a blast and I hope an excellent fund-raiser, is really the most superficial part of the program for the 5 challengers. Sure, we get to be in the limelight with our stories told via video and our fashion show (Oh, God!) but the real intent of this event is that we have made significant changes and we will use those as a baseline to continue to improve our health.
I think I got off to a slow start, and then I had a couple blips on the screen, and at least a two-week period where I did squat except meet with my trainer Abby. True story: my January numbers were not great, unlike Amy's...maybe the message is I need to work as hard as the other ladies. Because, as they say, the numbers do not lie: Amy and Kim, I know, have both pulled off amazing feats that they have shared here, with improved health (Kim is not smoking, hooray!) and I wish the best for the rest of us as well.
As I told an American Heart Association contact, the best part for me has been the exercise; it makes me feel better, it gives me energy, and I know, in the end, it will take some of the stress off my heart and cardio-vascular system. Another true story: I am actually enjoying it.
Another commitment for me was to use Lent as an opportunity to quit drinking alcohol entirely. Thanks to a friend who challenged me on this. Even though it made me mad to be told that wine alcohol etc. are an impediment to weight loss, I know my friend is right. I feel better and I am working harder and there is nowhere to go but up...or down, if that's the way the numbers need to go.
Also, I plan to stay in this game as a volunteer for the heart folks. This program keeps me honest.
Good luck to all, see you Dee, Kim, Jessica and Amy on Friday!
I am in this for life....


Sunday, February 21, 2010

February Farewell...

Although February is "the month" for heart health awareness and the biggest time of year for our cause, I have to say I am not sad to say farewell to February. I am a person who loves warmth, sun, beaches, going barefoot, outside temperatures of 80, and wearing my cut-offs in the garden. Winter is not my friend and it has been tough to see it through this year. It is difficult to make your way to the gym and not be able to get outside. I am so looking forward to Spring....

My challenge goals have really helped me make it through this winter. Staying the course helps me through the tough days and helps to remind me that spring is around the corner and this year I will be able to enjoy it so much more because of better health. Next Friday is the luncheon and I am looking forward to the event. My older daughter Brittany is my "date" and I hope that the impact will help her make good decisions for her life also.

A big HIGH-FIVE this week to Amy on her number comparisons....it is amazing the impact good habits can have on the body. The body is an incredible machine and has the capacity for forgiveness, regeneration, and growth. I am so excited to see my comparison measurement numbers in March. I can already see the difference in resting and target heart rates - my resting heart rate has dropped 16 points. I credit that not only to working out, but the majority to not smoking. Today marks 31 days....hip-hip hooray! I owe huge amounts of hugs, praise, and thanks to Go Red - if not for you all - I doubt I would have met my smoking goals!

I have stepped up my cardio and have set new goals for myself. I went and splurged on new running shoes and one goal is to sign up for some running events in the spring. It would be not only a great goal, but also a way to meet new people. Who would have ever thought that I would actually like running? Go figure....but I have learned a lot about myself during this time - not only about my physical self, but also the emotional components that were holding me back in so many ways. Kara has kept my weight lifting program random so my muscles have to react and not become too accustomed to the same program. Of course I love lifting and am finally seeing the results of my effort through adding definition and bulk. I have had to increase my protein and eating more to keep up with working out so much. I absolutely love working out and it helps me not only physically but psychologically as well. Doesn't hurt to look at the cute guys at Lifetime either!

I hope to see all of you on Friday....it has been such a wonderful opportunity to be involved with Go Red. There are so many amazing people involved and I applaud all of their efforts and their commitment. Everyone have an incredible week!
Kimila <3

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I could kiss the mailman!

Photobucket I don't look forward to getting the mail. It's usually full of bills or catalogs with pretty things I'd love to buy if I weren't spending all my money paying those bills. But today's mail brought something wonderful, so wonderful in fact that if the mailman had been here when I opened it, I would have kissed him!

In today's mail were the results from my recent bloodwork from Dr. Branyas' office. My first blood draw, on December 8, 2009 showed the following:

Total Cholesterol: 181 (acceptable)
Triglycerides: 116 (acceptable)
HDL (good cholesterol): 40 (low)
LDL (bad cholesterol): 118 (high-ish, especially with my diagnosis of diabetes)
C-Reactive Protein (measure of inflammation that can lead to clogging of the arteries): 8.6 (very high)

The results I got in the mail today showed the following:

Total Cholesterol: 117 (a 64-point drop)
Triglycerides: 86 (a 30-point drop)
HDL (good cholesterol): 35
LDL (bad cholesterol): 65! (53-point drop)
C-Reactive Protein: 2.75 (a near 6-point drop into the average risk range)

So, I still have some work to do getting my good cholesterol up, but I am more than happy with the other results. Nothing could have motivated me more to drop these 4 bothersome pounds before the luncheon than this piece of news. (Trust me, I know that I have at least 50 more than bothersome pounds to deal with after that, but I'm taking baby steps here.)

I think what makes me the happiest is knowing that I was able to do this without depriving myself of everything tasty and without being a slave to the gym.

Have I been deliberate about watching what I eat? Yes. But I've also had ice cream (low fat) and Girl Scout cookies (3, not a whole sleeve) and chips and salsa from time to time. I just make sure those are the exception and not the rule.

And I've found a comfortable rhythm at the gym. I've surprised myself with what I can do and I've tried not to become discouraged by what I cannot do (yet!).

So thank you -- Better U challengers, American Heart Association, my family and friends, blog readers -- for your support. This is not the end of my journey; it's not even the middle. But as my father-in-law would say, "It's a good start!"

Get'cha head in the game


We've been at this Better U challenge for almost two months now and one thing is clearer to me now than it ever has been before: Choosing to be heart healthy doesn't start in the gym or at the grocery store. It starts in my head.

I wasn't oblivious to the fact that my health was spiraling out of control -- I had plenty of prescriptions to prove it. But for some reason, maybe for several reasons, I was content to just live with that.

I joined Weight Watchers with a friend in mid-September and pretty much played around for two or three months -- losing and gaining with no real commitment to what I'd signed on for.

I'll admit that being selected for the Better U challenge was an ego boost and the thought of stepping out in front of hundreds of people at a luncheon and fashion show was certainly a motivating factor. But really, I didn't get my head in the game until I met with Dr. Branyas and she was so encouraging and so convincing that even starting out small could make a huge difference in my health.

That doesn't mean that it hasn't been a struggle from time to time. Recently, I went a whole week without setting foot in the gym. I let my head convince me that I had other things to do, that it was too snowy to drive, that "I'll go tomorrow."

And it's not always negative things that mess with my head. Sometimes my success is a limiting factor. I think to myself "I can have that brownie because people are telling me how good I look!" So I just have to set goals and keep those in front of me.

I set a goal to lose 20 pounds from the time I first met with Dr. Branyas until the luncheon. One little game I play with myself at the gym is to use the locker marked with the number that matches that weight -- a visual reminder of where I want to be. And if that locker is not available (curses!), then I use the locker that is the total number of pounds I want to lose when all is said and done.

Today -- 8 days from the big day -- I'm 4 pounds from my initial goal. Not too bad. When I told Kyle that this morning, I told him I thought I could at least get close. Maybe within two pounds. He challenged me to not think "close."

"Just do it," he said. "Cardio, every day. Watch what you're eating. Do it."

In other words, "get my head in the game."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hard times....


Rumors of challenger struggling are rampant...
All I can do is speak for myself: I had a glorious visit in Chicago Feb. 6 weekend with my darling daughter Elizabeth ("Bessie"), and we worked out at her women's gym, but since then, it's been an uphill battle.
The snow does not help.
Even when I can't make it to the gym 4-5 times a week because of car issues, I could always walk Isaac the Dog.
The snow makes this not impossible, but much trickier with ice etc...and less enjoyable, even for Isaac.(OK, I still have my tapes at home...true, true).
But today is the ultimate Fresh Start Day in my book: first day of Lent. Last night was the proverbial "Fat Tuesday," where some people traditionally enjoy pancakes, syrup, all the fat and butter...today is meatless and austere.
Back on the wagon, and it helps to have a dear friend who has issued a personal challenge as well.
To my sisters: hang tough, be strong, we can do this; slips are part of success, it's what we do with those dry discouraging spells that count. As Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow..." But tomorrow is now today!!!
Thanks for listening. Carping is never fun, but sometimes, it's got to be said.
And most of all -- love and kindness and good wishes to Jessica, Kim, Dee and little Amy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mother’s Heart Attack inspires Captain to turn Lawrence Township Fire Department Red

A Lawrence Township firefighter, whose mother suffered a heart attack in January, has spearheaded the effort to turn the department red during American Heart Month.  Capt. James King and other firefighters who have been personally affected by heart disease will share their reasons for going red at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, at Fire Station No. 9, 6260 E. 86th Street (next to Costco and across from Target at Castleton Square).

We invite you to join us for this special “Firefighters Go Red” program/photo to show your support.  Following the short progam, we'll take a group photo of the firefighters wearing their Go Red shirts on a fire truck. Feel free to bring cyour kids, friends, family and co-workers to this program. The firefighters will be giving tours of the fire station following the event!

The Lawrence Township Fire Department is "going red" in February by placing Go Red decals on all their apparatus, wearing special Firefighters Go Red t-shirts, flying a Go Red flag in front of their department headquarters, and serving as Fashion Show escorts at the Go Red For Women Luncheon on Feb. 26. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Oh, matters of the heart....as important as the physical changes are that we make for our heart health, we also need to remember the significance emotions play on our overall health. Mending a wounded heart this Valentines, makes me remember that our attitudes absolutely do impact us. Stress, depression, anger, and sadness can all have a major role in contributing to heart health. Throughout the challenge I have strived to focus on the positive influences in my life and let go of some of the negative and for the most part I have done so. Some new information opened my wounds this weekend and I again let some of the negativity in my life influence my overall general well-being. I have a couple of magnets on my refrigerator that reads "Things I learned from my kids: If it hurts, stop doing it" and another "Let the butterflies come to you." I try and let go of the past and move forward; which we know sometimes gets stirred up during certain holidays and times of the year...I tend to have a very open heart which does not always serve me the best....

On a positive note: Today is Week #3 of no smoking which I am very proud. I really am surprised at myself honestly....I think more than anything else it was settling up with the "Master Manipulator" within my brain and deciding to quit the monotonous game of thinking about it....Once I could do that, it all worked out. I have been to the hyperbaric chamber a couple of times this week just to help increase my oxygen levels. I have noticed a real difference in my circulation. I have Raynaud's Syndrome (where your fingers go numb in the cold) and they are MUCH better. I also have really noticed a difference in my breathing and lung capacity.

My cardio has been an interval set and this week I split the set with a 4 minute run series instead of 1 minute. It felt awesome and before the challenge I felt if I was sweating, I must be working way too hard! Now I love it and think it is very "hot" - no pun...what a great feeling...as if you are clearing all of the toxins out of your body. I worked out several days but still feel like I should be working harder...today was a pathetic workout because I let my emotions get in the way....tomorrow will be incredible....a new day!

I also had a peel today....and made a decision to have a laser treatment after the challenge is over during my spring break. Kind of scary...but I am worth it and am so grateful we had the opportunity to work with the girls at Turkels. Like I have said before, my skin makes me a bit self conscious due to negative influences of the past and it is time to put that in the past also! So, my days of all day pool basking are gone I am afraid.....

We are getting closer to the luncheon and the time has flown by! Usually this time of year is a literal drag for me, but the challenge has helped me stay focused on positive healthy choices and busy creating change! We still have a month after the luncheon, so that will lead right up to Spring! I LOVE Spring and cannot wait to get outside and run and work in the garden. I am so commited to keep working hard and becoming the best I can be!

Happy Valentines to everyone! Remember to love yourselves and be gentle and kind to yourselves...you are worth it! Oh, and eat some dark chocolate - good for ya! <3 Kimila

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To my trainer, Kyle,

Thanks for the crack-of-dawn workout today. I'm sorry you had a cold. Maybe all the congestion in your head kept you from being able to hear my moaning as I attempted 24 ab crunches with my feet up in the air. I am typing this with a pencil held in my teeth because my arms are aching from the 60 push ups -- or was it the 72 dead lifts?

I am so sorry that I was MIA from the gym last week. I think the snow made me get in touch with my inner bear and go into hibernation mode. But thanks to your encouragement (read: guilt trip) and my desire to be smokin' hot (ok, I'll settle for mildly warm) at the Go Red for Women luncheon on February 26, I left Lifetime Fitness this morning re-dedicated to the cause of my own physical fitness.

And it was all going well until the doorbell rang tonight. The neighbor girl -- the cute, sweet little girl with curly brown hair and glasses -- was there to deliver my Girl Scout cookies. Girl Scout cookies?! Acccckkk! (Which reminds me that I ordered from two other Girl Scouts as well).

I admit to caving, just a little (to the tune of 3 Thin Mints and 2 Lemon Chalet Cremes). But it got me thinking. Could you come up with a conversion table of Girl Scout cookies to workout reps? You know, something like 2 Thin Mints = 6 walking lunges? Maybe that would be enough to scare me onto the straight and narrow.



Amy Magan

PS -- I'll bring you a box of Girl Scout cookies at the gym tomorrow. That would be one calorie-free way to get rid of them!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

So Many Things To Look Forward To!!

Dee Small

Hello All,

Here we are mid-week not long before we all get to enjoy the weekend. As you all know the weekend is not the time to slack off on monitoring our eating or letting our work out regimens fall to the waist side. That was one thing I had to learn fairly quickly when agreeing to participate in this challenge.

There is no way I ever want my hard work to go to waste and I want to see results dog-on-it!! LOL.. I see and feel the results in ways that I didn't expect, but am pleased all the same. My progression has been steady, and I've learned so much along the way...

Did you know that between the elliptical machine and the treadmill both are equally as beneficial?

* Whichever your preference choose the one that is going to help you be most consistent. You get out what you put in so pick the one that you love and go hard each and every time... and results will follow, neither is better than the other.

Did you know that even though you may have a problem area you want to work on (or several) that there is no way to just do problem area weight loss?

*Yep, if you want to get the best results do workouts that work your entire body, and your body will start transforming all of the problem areas on its own as your whole body transforms. Just always make sure that you include weight training in your weekly rotation at least twice a week, and try to get your cardio 4-5 times a day.

Hey, did you know Go Red for Women has its own fragrance??

*Yes, I found this out today while out shopping, and it smells fabulous!! It's in a cute slinky bottle with the Go Red logo and is on sale now for $19.99 (check your nearest mall for retailers). Grab a bottle and support Go Red for Women and smell fabulous while doing so!! ;D

Well, I know I am excited about the Go Red Luncheon are you?? It will be a great time and very informative too!! It's important as women to have the advantage over heart disease and what better time than now?? Tell the ones you love, as we help change lives one heart at a time join us for the Go Red Luncheon on Friday, Feb 26th at 9:30 am at the Marriott Hotel. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Note to self for luncheon- Don't forget waterproof mascara

I am so excited to see all of you at the luncheon!!!! I received my invitation last week and started jumping up and down in anticipation of seeing all of you in the fashion show. I need to remember to wear waterproof mascara that day. Some posts make me laugh so hard I cry, sometimes I tear up because I can hear the tone in your post that you are making such strides. I follow your posts and I am telling my friends, people I am meeting on the street and at speaking engagements, to get on and read them for themselves because I know they will be inspired. I have several friends dealing with weight issues as well as some of their children, and I have a friend that has been trying to quit smoking forever. Thanks to all of you for your funny but real stories about your daily struggles. GO RED!!!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Not shy about Going Red

Heart health is a serious issue. But that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with it.

The guys at Jiffy Lube at 82nd and Allisonville Road understand that. In honor of National Wear Red Day yesterday, February 5, they met the "wear red" challenge and then some. They could have put on red polo shirts and called it a day, but no, these guys went above and beyond.

I mean really -- when was the last time the mechanic changing your oil wore a red dress?

Girly mechanic

Then there was Steve the store manager who found his inner drag queen:

Me and the Jiffy Lube drag queen

Yep. Those are fishnet stockings and size 13 heels he's wearing -- and he was proud of it! In fact, none of the Jiffy Lube guys were grumpy about donning their red dresses. They were having a great time with. It was the most fun I've ever had getting an oil change.

Jiffy Lube across the country is serious about making an impact in the fight against heart disease with its annual campaign called Maintenance for Life. From now through the end of March, the company hopes to raise over $1 million for Go Red For Women.

Customers who make a $3 donation to Go Red for Women will receive a coupon book containing over $100 in automotive service discounts, heart-health tips and heart-healthy Go Red recipes. Just using one $5 off an oil change coupon more than covers the cost of your donation!

So I encourage you, sometime in the next six weeks or so, head to Jiffy Lube where you can take care of your car and your heart.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Go Red Students!

Since I am having a hard time falling asleep tonight with the wind howling and ice hitting my window....thought I would see if I could upload the kids at school. Here is one of the pictures! Are they not the most adorable ever???? Great kids and truly a joy to work with! They have really been into the Challenge and learning about how to stay healthy. It has been fun to involve them in the challenge.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Go Red - Go Blue - Oh, What to Do!!!!

Well, tomorrow is GO RED DAY! And here at school it is also Blue Friday....so....think I will wear red under my jersey and sport whichever in the different places I will be. It is kind of a shame though....I really wanted the school to participate in the Go Red - but the Colts have superseded the vote.....

Today is day 12 of my smoking cessation...no more patches and really no more urges....some days after "middle school lunch duty" there is a moment of "Boy, I could sure use a cigarette...but I am keeping to my commitment. I really have caught the cardio bug and was talking with a gentleman last night who was beside me on the treadmill. He said he had only been running a year and started like me....now he is running marathons. I see where the "runner's high" kicks in and I find myself not wanting to stop! Go figure! It is really wonderful to actually be able to breathe while doing it!

I so have enjoyed becoming a better me....I had so many disappointments in relationships and situations....now I see such a new world and new possibilities! I love the healthy lifestyle and will never go back to the drudge of being unhealthy. Mentally I feel so much more alive and I feel like I can look for new relationships and new opportunities along the way. It is very empowering and liberating. It is wonderful to hear positive affirmations and be around positive, healthy people!

So, if you are out and about tomorrow - you may see me dash by RED or BLUE....or both! GO RED AND GO COLTS!!!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free Wear Red Day events this Friday!

This month is American Heart Month, drawing attention to America’s No. 1 killer of men and women - heart disease - and the strides being taken through research and education to raise awareness of risk factors and to decrease death rates from it. Help us celebrate the month by bringing your friends, family and co-workers to one or more of the following FREE Wear Red Day events occurring in Indianapolis on Wear Red Day, this Friday, Feb. 5. To learn more about these and other events occurring in February, visit www.americanheart.org/goredindy

I know everyone in Indiana will be wearing their Colts blue this Friday. But don't forget, Friday, Feb. 5 is National Wear Red Day! So why not add a splash of red to your blue? A red scarf, red earrings, red nail polish, red heels, a red hat - anything will do! You can love the Colts and your heart at the same time!

Wear Red Day Walk @ Washington Square Mall  - Help us kick off National Wear Red day by joining us at 9 a.m. on Feb. 5 for this free event. Meet the Go Red BetterU Challengers as they lead a Go Red Walk around the inside of the mall. The challengers will be joined by Jiffy Lube mechanics wearing red dresses. Wear red to show your support, enter for a chance to win a Colts autographed football and other cool prizes. The first 100 walkers will receive a special Go Red gift. Meet between Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods inside the mall. Throughout the month, enjoy other Go Red For Women activities at the mall. Visit www.shopwashingtonsquaremall.com.

Real Men Wear Red Dresses at Jiffy Lube - Drive in to the Jiffy Lube at Allisonville Road and 82nd Street on Feb. 5 between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. to enjoy free, fun Wear Red Day activities! See Jiffy Lube mechanics in wear red dresses to show their support for Go Red For Women, register for the Go Red For Women movement, receive a free cookie from Paradise Bakery, and be entered to win an autographed Colts mini helmet and other cool prizes. Purchase a Maintenance Partners for Life book for $3 at any Jiffy Lube across the country between Feb. 1 and Mar. 14. The book contains over $100 in automotive service and other discounts, heart-health tips and heart-healthy Go Red recipes. All proceeds benefit the Go Red For Women. For more information, visit http://www.jiffylubegoesred.com/.

Stutz Building Goes Red Art Reception - 212 W. 10th St. - Celebrate Wear Red Day between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Feb. 5 by enjoying the arts at no cost! Stutz artists will celebrate Go Red for Women with 'Art From the Fourth Chakra' at a free opening reception featuring yoga and stress-relief demonstrations, red wine and heart-healthy snacks. The Stutz building will be illuminated with red lights that night, and all attendees are encouraged to wear red. Proceeds from the sale of specially designed prints will benefit the American Heart Association. For more information, visit www.stutzartists.com or call 317-503-6420.

Tune into B105.7 to hear Go Red Stories on Feb 1-5 - B105.7 The Soft Rock Station will air a radio fundraiser benefiting the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement. Hear personal stories from Indianapolis area women who survived heart disease or stroke or are taking actions for healthier, longer lives. Visit http://www.b1057.com/ to share your own story and learn how you can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke or to make a donation in honor of a special woman in your life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ain't It Funny ;D

Dee Small

You know it's really funny how when you go about making positive consistent changes in your lifestyle how your body and your mind truly starts to respond. It's A Beautiful Thing :)

Hey Gals, how we doing out there? You maintaining?? I know it's a journey but to know that you are in it to win it has got to be more rewarding than anything. This week has had its challenges but I can say that officially I am a couple of days shy of being in the Go Red BetterU for 1 month and counting and in week 3 of my personal training. It's been a ride so far, but definitely a ride well worth it :)

So you wanna here something funny??

So one of my main obstacles going into this, was remaining consistent in my healthy eating habits and working out. Well on my behalf, I am pleased to report for the past three weeks, I have been consistently working out 6 days a week giving myself one rest day a week and ONE cheat MEAL (NOT CHEAT DAY) a week. It's a nice little hiatus I like to give myself brief but effective, that really works for me :)

SO... for anyone that knows me they know that one of my passions and favorite past times is to go salsa dancing with my hubby.. (Great cardio too.. if I might add). So last Saturday we had a date night and decided to head out for a lil SALSA FEVER!! We were salsa dancing enjoying each other’s company and the atmosphere, and then MY SHOE FALLS OFF in the middle of the dance floor, I kind of shrug it off as a random fluke, and then it happens again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With a raised eyebrow my hubby asked "you ok??" I'm thinking yea I'm good, but why do I seem to not be able to keep my shoes on during the simplest turns??? After sitting back down full of frustration, Larry (my husband) informs me that when you start losing weight and toning up and slimming down your feet can also be affected.


So I got a chance to speak to my personal trainer in reference to this phenomenon and she confirmed it... umm can we say SHOCKED!!

I'm even noticing that half the things I used to crave I rarely miss or think about anymore, my mind has went from "okay I want it so I will eat it", to "UMM I don't think so, not eating that it's not my cheat meal, and I've been working TOO HARD to let my hard work go to waste!!

LOL.. You would be surprised how you give a second thought to eating crappy stuff knowing that you are going to have to face it in the gym the next day.

So overall, I am noticing that I really am making the mental transition as well as the physical transition to the healthier better ME!! Even small things I'm noticing like me feet being affected by my weight loss, to an even stronger will power than before... I CAN SAY I AM WELL ON MY WAY AND LOVING EVERY MOMENT OF IT!!


From one HEART to another,




Hey folks! Like my new, official Go Red pic? It's courtesy of Greg at Twiin Photography who took it for the February 26th luncheon program. I never wear make up so that's taking me a little to get used to, but overall, I like it!

I also bedecked my personal blog in Go Red for Women red. Hmm...I wonder if there really is a GRFW color out there? That would be a great sponsorship opp for some paint company. Hello, Sherwin Williams? Oh! Or a GRFW nail polish color! Maybelline, are you listening?

Anyway, if you pop by my blog, you'll also get links to some great stuff like Go Red for Women ring tones for your phone and delicious heart healthy recipes. And you'll get a peek at a celebratory picture I took at the gym today! See you there!

Monday, February 1, 2010



Perhaps the best part, for me, about the heart challenge has been meeting so many wonderful, generous and invested people. After all, it's not like we have to this hard work alone!

To borrow an expression my adorable daughter uses, I looooove me some Dr. Joyce Turkle and the aestheticians at her beautiful, serene offices --- Susan, Amy, Elissa and Cricket, with a shoutout to Cara, too. There is something about being cared for by other women that is very heart-enhancing and healing. I guess the ladies at the American Heart Association knew this, because I remember my husband asking: 'WHY do you have to go to a dermatologist...I thought this was about your HEART." Duh.

Abby J. at Lifetime Fitness is ALWAYS an inspiration and fun and good conversation. The people at Macy's -- thank you Nancy Hancock and others -- were darling last week. Kelly Vaughn at WIBC, Leslie the nutritionist -- it goes on and on. Sandy, Vickie, Michelle, Wendy, Allison -- all peaches. And Dr. Nancy Branyas: you are in my head. You have a special place there. I quote you all the time...

Best of all, of course, are the 4 sweethearts: Amy, Dee, Jessica and Kim. We had a blast shopping and getting makeup done last week -- what a good dose of medicine that was. And frankly, it was a treat I had never had before -- the makeup thing. Wow.

So when I feel discouraged or that it is slow going, I try to remember the love that envelops this project. Sounds corny, I know, but it's true: the challenge is hardly singular (and yet it is -- the paradox) and the support is just so visceral and soheartfelt.

On a practical note, I worked out five times last week, rested this weekend (cooked for the kids) and worked out today with Abby. I know this is a long haul, not a quick fix. Thanks for sharing the burden of my troubles....you are ALL wonderful.

Day nine....

Well, the focus has been on my not smoking this week....and I must admit it has not been that bad! I had to take off the nicotine patches because I have such a reaction. I told myself, "Get over it!' and have not had any nicotine replacement for three days. It has affected me though....I am tired - actually awoke to the alarm this morning. Usually I am up about 4:00 am and 'slept in' until 5:15 this morning. I feel a bit "fluish' but know it will be over soon. I really don't think about a cigarrette until I get in the car - such a habit! Knowing your "triggers" helps to avoid setting yourself up.

I worked out 4 days last week. I want to get so much more in but with cardio and lifting, it is taking a chunk of time. It is hard to not do cardio on days I lift and hard to not lift on days I do cardio. But I know it will be beneficial in the end. I look forward to working out every day where as before the challenge, felt I was too tired to work out....exercise is definately key to my overall emotional and physical well-being....

I feel really good about not smoking and I know that it would probably would not have happened without the support of the BetterU. I know this a huge factor on my health and am looking forward to comparing my resting heart rate, VO2 levels, HDL levels, and endurance times once I have some non-smoking time in.

Have a fabulous week! Talk to you soon!
Kimila <3