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?

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!

How to Cheat and Eat!!!

How to Cheat and Eat!!!

Cheat Eat is term that I came up with that I hope becomes catchy! Basically, I want people to start thinking about ways to “go around” eating, by either substituting one unhealthy food for another or finding new, healthy foods to replace what you eat now. I want to educate people to become healthier, while not feeling denied. Cheat Eat is all about our mindset, substitutions and being prepared. If, in your mind, you know you are trying to get healthier but want to indulge once and awhile, then knowing how to eat certain foods with healthy substitutes is a good thing to know. You can have a healthy mindset and feel in control of your eating, not feel denied while getting healthier. Come learn what is healthy and how to substitute so you can Cheat Eat!