Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Do you ever have things repeat themselves over weeks and months, as though someone is laying down a road map  for you as to which direction you should be heading?  You might read an article on the news, then a blog post, have a conversation with a friend, see a scene in a movie, even a dream, and they all have the same message, the same content essentially?

This happens to me a lot, it's a kind of bizarre deja vu I experience often and have come to embrace as a way for the universe to communicate with me, or maybe my way of communicating to the universe?!

Maybe we see an image, or project one, of how we want things to be, and then, like a mirror, the world reflects those feelings, wants, and wishes back upon us.  It's an interesting thought, albeit it full of fuzzy logic, which after all, is my favorite kind of logic.

For quite some time I've been ready for change.  Change in a personal way with my weight, health, etc. and change in external ways such as my home, my work, etc.   And at the core of that change is a re-prioritizing of what is meaningful and important to me.

Like with so many things, the universe seems to be affirming this for me.  And if you prefer to think of those affirmations in a more religious manner, then hey, go for it, all I ask is that you listen, don't brush aside those little signs and tiny nudges, they are telling you something you need to know.  Pay attention!

 Last October, our daughter was having dinner with us and mentioned a video she had watched on TED.  If you're unfamiliar with TED talks, I highly recommend checking them out.  They are short videos on a variety of topics, and some will resonate with you and cause you to do a little more digging on a subject.

Such was the case with the video I've linked below, please watch the entire video.  For me, it was like the doctor was talking directly to me, with an understanding that has been lacking for years with most health professionals I have seen.  I had been doing everything right, I was eating in an incredibly healthy way, but I still didn't feel better or lose the weight I had gained when I was so stressed with the illnesses and subsequent deaths of both of my parents over the past 10 years.  After watching the video, and crying along with the physician, I began digging for more answers based on what the doctor in the video had to say, and lo and behold I found that what I thought was healthy all organic, grass fed, free range, etc. and exercising in more traditional ways, was not the perfect set up for me.

I had to, in essence, pack up my previous preconceptions and lock them away in search of what would work for me...not for everyone.  Which we all know, there is no everyone, what works for me won't necessarily work for you.

The organic fruits and veggies were great, but I needed to be very selective in which fruits and veggies I more sweet potatoes, or apples, no more high carb anything in reality.  And I needed to up my fat intake...yup you heard me...up my FAT intake to lose fat! (But by eating the right kinds of fat) I also needed to eliminate sugars, pasta and anything carb-laden.  This one was easy for me as we rarely ate sugary anything, but I did consume sugar in hidden ways, such as salad dressings, tomato sauces, and even the smallest amount is critical for someone like me.

I have to also say that my health at the beginning of this was not like that of your average bear.  Over the years, I have suffered with hypothyroidism, PCOS, insulin resistance, and adrenal fatigue, while I was able to manage these fairly successfully, I was still climbing up from a far deeper pit than most, which means the steps I needed to take were more extreme than others might need.  Because I haven't had a soda or any sugary drink in 3 years, the only carbs I was eating came in the form of gluten-free breads and pasta for the most part, so for me, the changes were relatively small, but have had huge consequences of a positive kind so far.

I'm not Paleo, I'm not on Atkins, I'm just eating in a way that works for me.  And I'm also exercising in a way that seems to work for me as well.  I have stopped doing major cardio which never seemed to budge the scale at all.  And, I've given up on the whole concept of calories in vs. calories out, which research is finding only works for about 1/3 of the population.  God bless those of you who can limit your intake and run a few extra miles...I am not your people!  And I'm not saying that there isn't a certain percentage of the population who does overeat and who is sedentary, but for many people this isn't true, yet they struggle with their health and weight.

I now do eccentric only exercises and a type of yoga that focuses on the large muscle groups in your body and not on large numbers of reps or time put in.  All of this flies in the face of conventional wisdom (well, what has been conventional) and everything I have known my whole life.  I was a college level athlete after all, and exercise was my go to for many years, so it has been challenging to scale back on exercising, but the results have told me that this is my new normal.  I'm also very aware of my heart rate during exercise so that I don't go over my metabolic threshold.

It's funny, when I started typing this post it was about decluttering my house, about how I wanted to lighten my life by ridding myself of the things that I don't need anymore, and yet here I am typing away about diet and exercise.

I have no idea at what point during this post my brain decided to switch gears, and honestly I don't really like talking about diet and exercise on my blog, it's such a personal subject.  I do know this though, for me, there are big changes going on, and perhaps you are someone that has stumbled upon this post for a reason...maybe you were meant to read what I've typed and it will help you too?!  I will likely never know, though you are more than welcome to email me and ask anything you want about what has been working for me.  And NO, I'm not selling supplements or starting my own yoga retreat spa and hotel in Fiji...though that sounds pretty darned good right now doesn't it?!  I just know that for years I was doing everything "right", not cheating, not lying to myself and others about what I was doing, and still I couldn't heal my body, and that was not a happy time for me I can assure you.

Things are looking up, and not because I'm losing weight, that has been a happy side effect of feeling better.  Health is, and has always been, my #1 priority.  And as I begin to heal, because I still have a long road ahead of me, I am interested in things I had forgotten I loved before.  Change is good my friends...may you all have happy changes headed your way soon...just remember to follow the sign posts!


  1. Thanks so much, Kat. I will follow this with interest and hope that you'll post some more. I will watch the TED talk when I get home.

  2. Beautiful photos, Kat! I love it when you feature photos of interiors. I didn't realize you had health issues. Glad to know it's improving. I turn 42 soon....have noticed lots of body changes in the last couple of year. Take care, L

  3. Very interesting Kat. I am overweight and am constantly shocked how people automatically disrespect fat people and pass judgement. Being fat is one of the last things people make fun of that seems socially acceptable. No one dares poke fun of a black person or a gay person anymore but it's open season for the overweight. I am so tired of people raising the topic with me using the guise of a friend who lost weight or cutting out articles for me or sending me emails. Just fed up. The talk was very inspiring. Thank you!

  4. Kat -
    I've been reading Grain Brain - same theory. Scary to think we could have been led in the wrong direction for so many years regarding fats and fruits and protein. I've been trying to do the same, but not as religiously as I should. Sugars are my drug of choice. I have really cut back - even on fruit. Definitely no sodas. I had cookies a week ago and it gave me a headache! That's how bad sugar is! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to watch your video.

  5. Thank you for an interesting post Kat. I go along with what you're saying. My husband contracted diabetes in 1992 and we jogged along quite happily - I thought what I was preparing were healthy meals too and then a visit to the doctor a few months ago revealed his symptoms were way out of control. We needed to have a drastic change of lifestyle. We did it (are doing it) and he is feeling so much better in himself. I've lost 10lbs as well and am well within my healthy weight level. On the news today was a warning that if people did not opt for a change of lifestyle we were sitting on a time bomb just waiting to happen.

  6. I was nudged back to my old laptop today since the new one is having connectivity problems. And there was your blog in my old bookmarks. What a surprise to read your topic since I'm considering "changes" too and need to deal better with my hypothyroidism. I'll definitely watch the video later and will continue to follow your blog and your progress as well as enjoy your photography, etc. Thanks for the info.

  7. What great news and insights, Kat!
    I cut out all wheat 2 years ago....and never looked back. And started exercising a couple of years ago. And you're right, different things work for different people!
    Now if I could only make myself give up sugar....

  8. It is always good to read about positive changes one is making. I've been eliminating wheat since December. In so doing, my sugar and fat consumption has been decreased. The difference on the scale is slow to show, though I'm confident that will come. I send along encouragement to you for this new road you are traveling.

  9. If I were a tad brighter I could remember who told me this but I think of it often: the greatest gift you can give to yourself is acceptance. It sounds like you've really entered acceptance of yourself, your limitations, and your strengths.
    I am totally with you on signs from the universe.

  10. I am a huge believer in signs
    from the Universe. The biggest
    thing is listening to and heeding
    what the signs are saying, isn't
    it? I look forward to watching this
    video that was such an AH-HA
    moment for you. Thank you for
    sharing it and your dear heart. I
    wish you continued success on
    this health journey, sweet friend!

    xo Suzanne

  11. I enjoyed this so much Kat! I am a huge believer in finding the health path that is right for the individual and not what dietary trends are popular at the moment.
    I have also been able to accept that this path will most likely change with age and I will need to make adjustments. Keeping my body strong is important to me being able to continue caring for Landon at home, as he now weighs as much as I do and there is a lot lifting involved in his care. I think that is what drives me the most in the decisions I make about my health. I too have worried about some pounds that have found their way onto my hips and thighs and arms. It happens every single winter since I turned 40 and luckily the hard work in the garden is always my saving grace, but know that I need to find THE way to keep me from putting them on in the first place. I am anxious to watch this video link you have provided.
    I am so happy to read that you have found what is working for you and wishing for you good health and great results. It is always such huge endeavor, but worth ever effort. Your photos in this post are as beautiful as they always are.
    sending hugs...

  12. Kat- speaking for myself--- I need to have challenges. I feel much better when I'm concentrating on a goal-- like trying to maintain my weight loss., actually-- I'll probably always be working on that challenge. Your posts are always thought provoking-- just one of the many things I love about your blog--

  13. It's a great video, Kat. I remember watching it last month after you recommended it. I gave up sugar and feel better and have begun losing weight. I did want to get the yoga DVD you recommended too (but can't really afford it right now). I am so glad this is working for you!

  14. You bring up such an interesting subject about signs from the Universe. So glad you found a way to break out of what was not working for you and have hit upon something that finally makes sense to you. My struggle is sugar, always has been, probably always will be. If I can give it up for a week, then I can stay away. I finally have gone back to drinking my coffee black again, something that I feel is a major accomplishment! So glad that video resonated with you...I will watch it too! Thanks for sharing Kat. xo

  15. Hi Kat, I am a first time commenter but I come here often for the birds. I gave wheat up for Lent last year. I have lost about five pounds, feel some things are better, and was excited to find the subtle swelling in my right arm/hand has gone. I was sure I was headed towards arthritis. I even had some joint nodules on my fingers that are now about a third of the size they were. I sure wish I had some 'Before" pics of my fingers, because not too many people talk about that improvement and it would cool to show it. Sugar is my downfall too but I know my diet is much better than it was. Anyway, good luck with what you are learning.


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