Opportunity

Moving back to New York City from a comfortable, peaceful life filled with friends but with no established job, has taught me one major thing...and many other things that aren't so minor either!

That I am either very dumb to just step out in faith, or I am very tuned into what God has next for me - making me strong and seemingly invincible! I have patiently waited on God....waited to get me the inner strength to do this stepping out of the nest. I have had years of waiting, while not being envious of others who were thriving when I was stalled out in Colorado.

I am very tuned in to opportunity. I have positioned myself, knowing that I am supposed to be here in the city. I also have learned not to have regrets. I am not looking back wondering, "Dear God, what have I done?" I downsized, I gave away, I let go and I moved forward. Am I stupid or am I ready for new things to fill me up?

I sit here in New York alone - I don't want to be alone but I need to be ready. I am fully tuned in to each and every opportunity that comes along even if it is something I have never done before. When I look back at all of the different skills I have accomplished because I said yes and was willing to step out in faith and say, "I have never done this before, but I am willing to learn!" I know that I was always taken care of. 

I started to model at 18. That was new to me and I was very green in fashion and beauty as I grew up a tomboy and athlete. Then I was asked to go on Good Morning America to be the fashion correspondent and when I said yes, they put me on LIVE the next morning.

When asked to speak, I had to learn a new skill set.

Now I am writing and you can ask my English teachers; it wasn't my strong suit.

So what makes me tick? What makes me move forward? It is an overwhelming passion deep with in me to keep going and not quit until I have been positioned to encourage women of all ages to be strong in whatever area they are battling. What makes me go on is the feedback I get after a speech, where someone comes up and says that they were going to kill themselves until I shared my story. I am willing to be vulnerable because I know I am taken care of and that I am strong in Him when I do things in His Will and in His timing.

I hope that this gives you the strength to wait for the right opportunity and do something new.

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!

Why Am I So Tired?

As I have aged, I have found that I have to “guard” my energy levels. I have to make wise decisions about where to use my energy and if I have a super busy day, I make sure that I rest that night by laying down with my feet up. Sometimes I have to miss out on night time events or I won’t make it through the next day! Do any of you suffer from this? I have friends who have a ton of energy and can’t understand that sometimes, my energy just runs out and there is nothing left to give. They seem to go and go like an energizer bunny while I need to lay down.

I didn’t know that I had thyroid problems until after I had had my third son at 33 years old. I was at a doctors office filling out forms for my oldest son who was 8 and having allergy problems and there were categories on the questionnaire with symptoms associated to glands and organs. I was reading and filling out the form for him, while saying to myself, “Hey, I have all the symptoms of a thyroid problem!”.

I found an endocrinologist in Beverly Hills who was old school and looked at many symptoms not just a blood test to determine that I did indeed have low thyroid. In my case, Hashimoto's. He felt my elbows to see if they were dried out and he made me do an ultrasound on my thyroid to see if it was enlarged, which it was with nodes. He also made me hold out my hands flat, palms up (like you were going to feed a horse) and looked at the length of my pinky fingers compared to the ring finger next to it. Both of my pinkies were shorter than the joint on my ring finger. I can see you checking your’s right now! He said that a shorter pinky than the joint of the ring finger may mean that thyroid runs in the family on one or both sides…

I started to take thyroid hormone and have been on a roller coaster going on and off of thyroid hormone for 20 years now. I even wrote an ebook about my “struggle” called My Thyroid Journey I know many of you have thyroid issues and would love to know what others have learned. I tried a couple of different medications for my hypothyroidism and decided that I felt better on Armour thyroid instead of the synthetic hormone. The synthetic claims that the dose is more accurate than Armour but only helped me feel better for 3 weeks and then didn't seem to work for me anymore. I wanted to be as natural as possible so I went back to the Armour.

As I aged more, I found that the thyroid alone wasn't enough and looked to my medical doctors who practiced using more natural ways, to find out what my problem was. I was put on elimination diets and anti inflammatory diets to calm my system down. I had run a marathon at 46 in New York and had GAINED about 15 pounds while training, instead of LOOSING weight. I had to find answers not only to feel better and have energy but also because I wanted to look good.

So, let’s introduce Cortisol levels. After asking around and doing a lot of research I found that the high cortisol levels probably had me gaining weight from too much running (stress) . I am still learning about cortisol but know that too much cortisol makes you retain weight around your middle and feel drained. When I feel drained, I tend to reach for food to give me energy and make me feel better. How many of you know that can be a roller coaster ride?

I feel like I have gained and lost 15-20 pounds for the last 20 years. What worked to lose weight when I was 20 doesn’t work anymore. I used to be able to go out and run 10 miles and the weight would come right off. Now, it just exhausts me and makes me feel run down so then I eat more to try to feel better. YUCK!

If any of this resonates with you, then I suggest that you find a medical doctor who can run a variety of tests on your blood to see if any of your levels of hormones are off. Cortisol testing can be done over a 24 hour period using your urine or saliva. Urine may be more accurate from what my doctor said as it measures more of the cortisol in the body. My wish is for all of us to feel our best so we don't miss any of the pleasures that this life can bring us.

What is "Real Beauty"?

Have you ever noticed people who seem to carry a dark cloud over them? I have. They walk into a room and there is an immediate feeling of doom. I have also noticed that there are other people who seem to be happy no matter what the circumstance. These are the kinds of people I tend to gravitate to as I like to be around people who have a positive outlook.

Have you ever looked at the face of someone who are negative? It seems that the phrase “sour puss” was meant for them. They tend to have more worry lines on their face and wear a permanent scowl. Then there are people who carry that inner light in them of happiness and joy. The phrase “sunny smile” or “bright disposition” seems to fit them. Their skin seems to be glowing and healthy and even if there are wrinkles, they seem to be lines that speak of life and living well. They walk into a room and it seems to brighten with goodness and purpose.

Why am I talking about grumps and happy people in a beauty article???

I believe that our inner thoughts can affect our outer beauty. After all, beauty is not only about how you look in the physical. It is about how you make others feel. Experiencing beauty in others often involves perceiving them to be in balance and harmony with nature. When we view beauty or what we think is beautiful, we tend to feel a sense of well being. All is right with the world. Beauty is a characteristic of HOW something or someone makes you feel.

Ideal beauty is meant to be admired. We all have our ideas of what is beautiful; in art, nature and people. We have the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but there seems to be a standard through the centuries for what exactly is beautiful. One trait that stands the test of time is symmetry. Lacking flaws or the absence of genetic or acquired defects; which as far as viewing people goes includes well proportioned bodies and young, smooth skin. Some of us are way past young, smooth skin but are still beautiful.

From what I have found to be true, beauty not only consists of the outer features but also that inner personality and intelligence, grace and morality. Elegance in any situation life throws at you is also important in determining a form of beauty. People, who are elegant, graceful and morally balanced on the inside, generate a sense of beauty on the outside.

Beauty also presents a standard for comparison and can generate feelings of jealousy and inferiority. We spend millions of dollars in this country alone, trying to be more beautiful. Some of us forget our own beautiful traits while only focusing on other peoples unattainable traits. This leads to misery in my mind. Each one of us has a desire to “fit in” and being beautiful is one way to be popular.

Think of this the next time you wish you looked differently. Does beauty on the outside mean beautiful on the inside? Does beauty on the inside mean beautiful on the outside? You were given certain traits that are beautiful. You decide what is really important and lasting. My life is spent seeking both inner and outer beauty. How about you?

Still Running

As many of you know, I grew up swimming. From the age of 6 on, I swam at my local YMCA 3 days a week with swim meets taking up every Saturday until I hit high school. Then in high school, things picked up. I had daily swims and then “two a days” swimming and lifting weights (51/2 hours a day). It was hard work but it paid off in more ways than just winning races. Our girls’ swim team was undefeated for the four years I swam there! It taught me a great work ethic and the never give up attitude that still stays with me to this day.

It was easy to stay in swimming even when things got intense because it was a family affair during my years at the Y and then all my girl friends were on my same team in high school.

Then, after graduation, things changed. I no longer had a support system to continue swimming with friends, as none of us wanted to even see a pool! I also didn't have a coach to push me. I didn't have weekend events planned around swim meets. Instead, I was discovered and moved to NYC right out of high school to live on my own in the “Big City” and start in the modeling world.

Not only did the modeling world want me thin, (so I didn't and couldn't eat much) but it wasn't easy to find a pool to work out in and I didn't want the muscles. I had starved the muscles off when I was discovered during my senior year of high school.

Now I had a problem, I had grown up with a swim family to support me so I felt alone in New York City and I was used to working out regularly. Back in the 1970’s, there weren't as many gyms and frankly, I didn't know what to do with myself with no coach yelling at me and telling me my workout routine. I realized that I had a body that was used to hard exercise to stay fit and happy.

It took me awhile to find a new exercise to love (because pools and the smell of chlorine didn’t hold as much appeal). I finally found a way to stay in shape and be able to do it almost anywhere in the world; running! I started to run when I was 21 years old and after being an athlete for all of those years, couldn't run for more than a couple of minutes without getting a stitch in my side. What a wimp! I would walk and run until I had gone 3 miles or 30 minutes when I first started and then one day, I found that I didn't have to stop; I ran the whole 3 miles without feeling horrible and  actually felt good! From then on, I added miles and started to run races. I had always been competitive and running races was a good fit for me!

I never dreamed of running a marathon but a friend flew into town back in January of 1985 to run the Jacksonville Marathon. I went with him to the expo to get his race packet for the race and got the marathon “bug”. He asked me to run part of the race with him to keep him company and I ended up running the whole thing and crossed the finish line with him in a 4:35 or so! That was it, I was hooked!

Right after that, Fred Lebow hired me to be was the spokesperson for the New York City Marathon. I ran my first of 5 New York Marathons in 1986, 6 months after giving birth to my first son.

Now, over 30 years later, I still find that I love to run. It makes me feel good about myself. I am blessed that all my joints and bones are still healthy and that I can get out and run wherever I am in the world. I hope you have found a sport that you still love to do!

Control

Control…

Recently, I have become aware of a control issue; people needing to control others. How do people control others, you ask? There are many ways I am becoming aware of. People offer their opinions and also try to force others to do things their way. They choose what they think is best for others without asking them, like where to eat or what movie to watch. I am not sure if I am seeing more “controlling” people because I need to learn to set healthy boundaries or just that more and more people feel the need to control others.

I left home at 18, from being under the control of my parents to an apartment alone in New York City where I no longer had to answer to anyone. It was a big shock and for awhile, I didn't know what to do with myself. I had free time and got to make all of my own choices without parent supervision. I jumped into a business where I was paid to have other people “dress me up” so it took awhile for me to learn what I really liked to wear. (I dressed as a punk for a bit, then wore a string of pearls with sweatshirts and a pony tail.) People still told me what to wear when I worked, but after work, I eventually found what I liked and felt comfortable in.

I don't feel that I am a controlling person. Most of the time I don't care where I eat, what movie to see or what the plans are for the weekend. I don't force my ways and opinions on my 3 sons either. I am much more of a hands off and let people make their own decisions type person. I have never been bossy or overbearing and I don't like that quality in others.

I find lately that many people want to give me advice and tell me their opinions without me even asking. I had to examine that and wonder why others felt the need to give me advice. Do I come across as weak or stupid? I don't think so. I have come to realize that I am taking offense when others push their opinions on me which isn't good either. I rise up like a little kid and push back, firmly letting them know that I don't need their advice. A happy medium would be for me to learn healthy boundaries and stop people before they offer their opinions with a gentle warning or kind word stating that I can figure it out on my own, thank you very much.

So, as you read this article, do you find that you are someone who has to give their opinions and have their way all the time or do you sit back and let others have their way? Which way is the right way? Should everyone be able to do what they want without advice from others? When is it okay to step in and voice your opinion? Are there certain circumstances when it is right and good to try to direct someone away from doing the wrong thing?

I have found that it is best to listen and not voice your opinion.

Spice It Up!

Besides adding flavor to food, did you know that spices can be beneficial to your health? Many of you know that herbs have health benefits and people can study for years to learn about the benefits and ways to use herbs for health. I want to focus on spices because spices are less talked about but still filled with potent nutrients which can enhance your health.

Some of the spices I want to focus on that have benefits benefits are oregano, cinnamon, mint, turmeric, rosemary, clove, and parsley. They are very good sources of anti-oxidant nutrients, and contain different vitamins and minerals. They even contain fiber, protein and healthy fats! They have other "anti" factors also like antibacterial and anti fungal elements and they are all anti-inflammatory which means that they could help reduce joint and muscle swelling. Many people take over the counter medications for aches and pains. Adding certain spices to your diet may help you recover from aches quicker.

Oregano and parsley have vitamin K which is good for bone building. Ginger may help with muscle soreness if taken for two weeks and is anti inflammatory and may help with attention span if taken for 2 months. Nutmeg may help prevent cavities by reducing plaque and fighting bacteria in the mouth and is another anti inflammatory. (Try adding it coffee like I do) Cayenne pepper may help you to burn more calories and crave fatty foods a bit less. I sprinkle it on eggs in the morning. Cumin may help boost your memory and brain power and is high in iron which can help your immune system. Sage may help boost brain function and memory.

Cinnamon is also reported to help control blood sugar. 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can provide improved insulin resistance, which in turn decreases heart disease risk and also helps with weight control. If you are eating something sweet, add a half a teaspoon of cinnamon to it to moderate any blood sugar spikes. (Chromium is also helpful for blood sugar levels but it is a mineral.)

Some of my favorites have numerous health benefits and I try to add them daily… Turmeric can be used to help with arthritis and stomach problems and has anti cancer effects. If I don't add it to food, I take it in capsule form at night. Rosemary is great and I have the essential oil also. It can help improve circulation and boosts immune health. Since it is harder to cook or bake with it daily, I use the oil or chew it raw. Saffron extract is harder to find and use but there are more benefits with the saffron extract than the powered spice found in stores. It has been shown to help with depression  and reducing menstrual cramps. Ginger is also one of my favorites and it has been shown to reduce cancer risks and even help reverse it. Please consult a doctor before starting new herbs and spices as they may not be beneficial for you but great for someone else. Have a spicy day!

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)

Modeling Days - Part II

What did I learn at 18 walking the streets of New York looking to break into the modeling business? I'm not sure that I could tell you back then. Looking back now if you ask me what I learned, I can give you a big list. Hindsight can be a good thing.

I learned to accept myself the way I am right at this minute knowing that I can change but giving myself a break that it can't happen overnight. To accept that others will never be the way I want them to be. Each person is unique and it is not my job to change them. I learned to focus on the positive because if I focus on negatives, I fail in what I am trying to accomplish. I also know that I am much happier when I don't compare myself to others. Do not envy! I am the best me. I can't be someone else. All of these realizations come from having a healthy mind. When my mind is focusing on the right things, the the world seems like a good place. If I am having a bad day, I take the focus off of me and my circumstance and help someone else. That always makes me feel better.

I had to learn to let words roll off my back. I could pick up and use certain criticisms to grow in the business and let others fall to the ground. I was around experts all day long. Sometimes I worked with different people on up to three different jobs a day. many words and criticisms were harsh! Mean. But I could use those words to become better too! I was getting the best advice from the best in the world as long as I didn't take it to heart and let those words stab me right in my weak spots.

We all have weak spots. We all have things we need to work on. We are put into situations to test us and stretch us into better people or worse depending on how we handle things. Look at your situation today. Accept that you are right where were are supposed to be. Be thankful in your situation. You never know, but one day you may look back and realize that it was the best thing for you! Hindsight! 

For more on my modeling story you can purchase my book, "A Model for a Better Future"  available on Amazon.

 

Modeling Day - Part I

"Here", the photographer said as he slid my portfolio back across the table.

"Really?", I thought. He didn't even look up. How could I break my neck to get here, learning new streets, taking the hot subway just to get here on time and this photographer doesn't even look at me?

I was on a go see. That was what breaking into modeling was like when I first started that hot summer in New York City over 32 years ago. I had grown up in a small town. I was successful in most everything I put my hand to. I was in the band, honor society, a church youth group and the swim team. I swam 5 1/2 hours a day and still found time to make great grades in school. I was a people pleaser. I found value in my performance. i enjoyed doing things to the best of my ability and I had been successful....until now. 

What was wrong with me? I was 18, in New York City alone trying to fit into a job that I never dreamed of doing. A job that others would die for. I thought I had my life planned out. I was accepted into the pharmacy program at University of Rhode Island in the fall of my senior year.

Now here I was, all hot and sweaty finding my way around NYC this summer I graduated high school while all my friends were laughing, partying and having a stress free summer before college. They weren't counting calories or worrying about their looks. They weren't lost in the Big Apple, trying to find their way in a new job that they didn't even want. What was I doing? Most days, I felt depressed, lonely, isolated and hungry.

Don't get my wrong. I was blessed; I just didn't feel it some days back then. It was hard, lonely work. I would have days where the agency would send me on "go sees" all day. I would have a list of addresses to find and a certain time to show up. Go sees were a way to get jobs but after walking the streets, taking subways and taxis just to get to a certain studio, I would find it hard to look good. I would go from studio to studio. Some were nice others were really busy. As I walked into studios, I never really knew who was important, who I should talk to. Each studio was different. Some had models all made up on set, looking cool and collected as I stood there waiting, feeling harried and very much an outsider. I fought the feeling of rejection a lot back then. My day could be ruined from a bad reaction to my portfolio. Was it me? Do I belong here? Funny enough, some of the rudest people, the ones the didn't look me in the eye, were the very ones who booked me while the ones who spent time talking and laughing with me didn't necessarily mean future work.

For more on my modeling story you can purchase my book, "A Model for a Better Future" available on Amazon.