How DO I Look?

I grew up in a small town, was a good student and swam competitively from the age of 6 on. I never focused on my body weight, body shape or foods that I ate. I was CONTENT with myself!

Then, I was discovered and swept up into the New York scene right when I graduated high school. All of my friends were at beer parties and eating pizza in their new college campuses and I was in New York City in an apartment wondering how many carrot sticks I could have for dinner. One night my roommate Kelly Emberg came home and caught me eating a whole head of iceberg lettuce. She laughed at me and I started to cry because that was all I was eating that day. “It’s only 50 calories”, I sobbed.

I had to learn quickly at 18 years old how to maintain my weight and still have enough energy to “look good”. It took years of trying new diets to figure this out. I even wrote an eBook on Amazon called DIETING LESSONS.

One day working with VOGUE and Irving Penn, a famous photographer, I decided that I was too fat and boycotted breakfast and actually stood up through lunch, waiting to go on set to shoot the clothes. I stood as I didn’t want to wrinkle the clothes and Mr Penn had called a quick lunch when I was already dressed in the outfit. It was easier to stay dressed than change in and out of the clothes. When it came time to go on set, Mr Penn took one look through his famous lens and declared that I had no life in my eyes. I was banned from the set and never worked with him again. So much for not eating, huh?

I thought being thinner would mean I was more desirable as a model and to be honest, I still struggle with that. I still worry that I am not good enough.

Many of us struggle with body image. I look back on growing up and realize that it was a good thing to be so ignorant about how I looked. A part of me envies that innocence in certain people. They just have no idea or don’t care how they look walking around. I was content living that way as I didn’t know any better. Now, I see myself through others eyes from years of being trained. I know how I look to others from each angle and how to present myself to the camera. I learned from feedback how to stand or sit and how to relax my face to look my best from each angle. Sometimes it is kicking a leg out casually or putting my hand on my hip. It may look natural but it is from years of other people telling me what looks good and what I should never do again.

So, is it right to just accept ourselves without trying to present our best selves to the world or should we work on it daily? How much is too much, worrying about how we look to others?

Reflections of 2016

I have learned so much since moving to New York and I wanted to share some of it in celebration of 2016 coming to a close.

I find that I am happy and thriving in the heart of New York City even though I am such a nature girl and animal lover. I do like to get out of the city at least one weekend a month for my sanity. It seems to ground me and let me be able to enjoy NYC all the more. 

 

I look back on 2016 and am amazed at myself for the big LIFE steps I have taken. I wonder why I am not only okay with the big life changes but really happy and thriving. So I asked myself what I have learned in 2016 and why learning is so important to me.

 

I find that I need to grow and learn new things to stay happy. I find I do not want to be stagnant. I left my small town where I grew up just two days after turning 18 to move to NYC and start a new career. Two days after that, I hopped on a plane to Rome and Paris for the collections with Harpers Bazaar. Just days after that I had my first magazine cover for Harper’s Bazaar Italia. That was a busy month! The whole 18 years before that I had been existing in comfort; the same town with the same friends and stores and neighborhoods. How could I just take off and make such big life decisions at 18 and be fine with it? I actually do not know the answer to that but I not only survived, I thrived!

 

I look back at all the people I have had the privilege to meet since I moved back to NYC this past summer. In the last 3 months, I have met the most creative, interesting people who are genuinely kind and caring. I have met people with different beliefs than I have from numerous countries all over the world and find that they are easy and wonderful people to talk to. I also ma able to approach beggars in the street and have conversations with them and treat them like real people. I used to be scared of them!

 

I don’t seem to mind putting myself into new situations by attending events alone. Last night I walked into a ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for a Policeman's Charity Ball. I was unaccompanied but meeting the friend and his wife who was putting the event on. I met many new people and enjoyed myself and found that I was okay and I could still be happy alone. I wanted to be with people helping out the charity event instead of being home.

 

So, I have learned that I don’t need a man to make me happy. I love people. I love to grow and learn. I try to find the good in others. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings my way. How about you?

Jerusalem Trip

Jerusalem

 

I woke up last Monday to an email from a friend that said, "Come to Jerusalem today. Your trip will be paid for!".. it was from a close girlfriend that I have known for over 30 years. Amazing even myself, I was packed and on a plane within hours of the email... then it hit me, I am heading to Israel for the first time! 

 

I have always wanted to go but it had never panned out before because of schedule or kids or something else that kept me from going. This time, when I was asked, I was ready and unencumbered; no young kids, no set schedule yet a free spirit ready to embrace new things!

 

I left Newark at 4:40pm that same day and landed the next morning at 10:30 to the start of Yom Kippur..within a couple of hours of my arrival, the airport and streets were shut down to all cars.

I got to the King David hotel with no problems. The hotel itself is quite famous with numerous signatures of famous people along the main floor of the lobby. Politicians, movie stars and rock stars have stayed there.

 

I quickly found the people I would be hanging with for the next week. We were there to pray and worship. The whole week would be magical with praise and prayer and meeting new people while exploring all that the old city of Jerusalem had to offer. I walked down to the wailing wall that very night of Yom Kippur to see the activity and it was a very special site to behold.

 

A couple of days later I went with my girlfriend, Barbara to some of the major sites that most tourists who love Jesus want to see. We had an Arab guide who had become our friend and was part of our praise and worship. He volunteered to take us around for 3-4 hours, getting us into many things for the "local" price that I would not have known about. He and his family go back 700 years in Jerusalem! How special it was to feel taken care of and protected by this wonderful young man. Vendors would leave us alone even though we were obvious tourists because we were with Jacob. Never in a million years did I think that I would get to see these amazing site with an Arab who loved Jesus but it was a special time.

 

We started by walking part of the old wall from Jaffa gate and walked around the the Damascus gate.. we then walked up the street and found the Garden Tomb, the tomb where they put Jesus’ dead body. It was one of my first sites and so powerful and special that I am still absorbing how amazing it was. It was also so peaceful there more than any other location I would visit. Next we hopped on an Arab bus to the Mount of Olives, took a camel ride, then walked down the steep path into the Kidron Valley to go to the Garden of Gethesame where Jesus wept.

 

We then found the via Delarosa with the stations of the cross. I was amazed at how commercial it was with the loudspeaker going with Muslim prayers being blasted out in the air. It took some of the specialness away. We went into a couple of Catholic Churches along the way, each claiming something different about Jesus. It was a great experience though.

 

Other part of the trip held surprises also. I got to go under ground to the newly excavated City of David museum. Then had dinner with the archeologist who discovered some of the city, Eli Shukron. I was brave and went through Hezekiah’s tunnel which was a trip in itself. I was totally under ground. It was dark with water up to our knees or higher with areas where I had to duck in order to get through. We brought a 10 string harp and sang the whole journey! Magical again!

 

I will never forget the amazing people I met and talked to on this trip. I now have 7-10 people I would call friends that live there and I plan on visiting again very soon. 

 

 

 

BIG Life Changes

Many of you don't know this, but I have been in hiding. I have tried to keep my personal life quiet and stay hidden while going through a divorce and finding out who the real Kim is and what she really wants in life. For too many years, I have been a people pleaser, doing what everyone else wants me to do from poses on the set, how to dress and wear my hair/make up, to putting my family first and me last.

My first big life change after separation from my husband of 21 years occurred when I left my 5 bedroom home on 5 acres across the street from the ocean in Florida. The house was filled with 15 years of memories raising 3 beautiful sons. I drove away from it all with just my dog and a car full of my possessions, staying with friends and family for 3 months. I would use this time to ask and beg God to know if I was doing the right thing. All I knew was that I needed to get far away and find healing in the mountains. I finally arrived in Boulder, Colorado, December 2013.

I didn’t know a soul out in Boulder and I spent some pretty snowy nights huddled up in my little place; lonely but free. It has been 3 years now and I have found wonderful friends in Boulder, as well as my older friends around the country to help me find me. I found in them love and support to help me heal my heart. They accepted me for who I am and gently forced me to make decisions, any decision instead of saying, “I don’t care. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”

I have always known that some day I would move back to New York City. There has been an unrelenting voice screaming inside of me to help other women; to encourage them by telling my story and struggles. I kept my inner ears opened for that right time to leave my healthy Boulder nest and venture back out into the world to help transform it and empower others. I feel that NOW is the time! I am healthy and strong and have more of a passion and desire than ever to express myself.

So, just the other day in one instant, I heard that inner voice say, “NOW”. I am ready. No one is going to stop me or mess with my mind and emotions. I am through people pleasing. I know what I want and even though I am stepping out in faith, with no place to reside in the city, I have put a date on my move of September 1st. I made a big life decision this week and I am ready to show my inner strength and be heard!

Golf for a Cause

Golfing for a Cause It is that time of year where the weather is great and many charities have organized golf tournaments to raise money for their good causes. I just came back from a week of back to back golfing events that did just that, raise money! Many events have used celebrities to not only bring more interest to their events but also to get big clients in with their foursomes to be able to spend some time on the golf course with their favorite celebrity.

The first stop on my “golf tour” was in Santa Rosa, California for the Schultz Celebrity Golf Classic hosted by John O’Hurley, where I got to play on the beautiful Mayacama Golf course (one of the top 100 courses in the country) with Richard Coombs who helped to start the event and also Bruce McGill a wonderful actor. There was also a dinner the night before at the Francis Ford Coppola vineyard which was fabulous. Since the event started, they have raised over 5 million dollars for children charities in Sonoma County. One of the highlights of the event for me was a passionate speech by a young man who was practically homeless and talked about how the Catholic Charities helped to turn his life around due to the money raised at the event.

I then flew to Greenville, Mississippi in the Delta (which is hard to get to) for Steve Azar’s golf event. It was 2 days of golfing in the lovely Mississippi weather with some great people. Steve had some terrific musicians who could also play golf so we were entertained for the whole weekend. Much needed money was raised to help local children’s charities there. Steve has his own foundation called St. Cecilia Foundation at www.sascf.org http://www.sascf.org/. It was my third year attending and I had a great time meeting new friends and seeing old ones. My golf game improved on the course as it was flat and not a lot of places to get in trouble!

I left super early Sunday morning to drive hours to the nearest airport to catch 2 planes to get up to Nebraska where my final event was for Larry the Cable Guy. It was the Git-R-Done Golf Classic and it was filled with laughs and some great people. I had never been to Nebraska before and found the town and the people to be lovely. I got to play with friends of mine from the American Century Golf event in Lake Tahoe, Jonathan and Cyndi Thomas. I played that event last year with 90 other celebrities and came in last place with even Charles Barkley beating my final score! (I had just started to golf after taking 35 years off to raise kids)