Saturday, November 29, 2008

11.29.08: Attitude of Gratitude

In this long Thanksgiving weekend, I am grateful for my family, for my health and for the world around me.

There is something wonderful to be said about the power of gratitude. Feeling grateful can make us feel stronger, even when life isn’t so easy going.

I started a tradition that I continue today in my training. Each time I finished a hike, I thanked the mountain for being strong under my feet and my feet for being strong on the mountain.

It’s little things like that – focusing on what you can do and what you have – versus all the things you can’t do and what you don’t have – that will make you successful.

You have the tools, the ability to get healthier and to make the world a better place and for that I am grateful.

Thanksgiving Blessings to You and Your Friends & Family….
Kara Richardson Whitely
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

11.25.08: Ruby's Journey

Have you seen the new reality weight loss show called Ruby?

It's on Style -- and it follows the journey of a more-than-400-pound woman "in the fight for her life." This isn't the Biggest Loser kind of spectacle, but it shows the real, gritty challenges of a person trying to make good, healthy lifestyle changes -- from the re-appearance of an old flame -- who tried to take her off track to ordering a smoothie while with her friends at a restaurant.

I've cringed along with her (especially during her visit to a candy store when she realized that she shouldn't go there any more). I applaud her honesty as she shares her story.

We're three episodes in and she's already lost more than 60 pounds -- with the help of a personal trainer, an obesity specialist and pre-packaged meals. I'm cheering her on along the way to well being.

So catch it if you can -- it airs 8 p.m. on Sundays on Style.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

11.21.08: The Summit Will Wait For You, Ann Curry

I hope by now Ann Curry and her team has made her way down Mount Kilimanjaro safely.
For those of you who haven't been following her journey on The Today Show's spectacular Ends of the Earth broadcasts, she and her team turned back on the trail to the summit of the world's tallest freestanding mountain. The altitude sickness and the approaching weather proved too daunting and they made a group decision not to make the last push to the 19,343-foot summit.

During my trek there in 2007, one of the members of our team did not summit. She had been sick just before the climb and was going through some tough personal stuff. It was heartbreaking for her, for all of us. The environment on Kilimanjaro is rough -- really rough.

During one of Ann Curry's reports, she said it was a struggle even to get out of the tent. It's true. You walk painstakingly slow to get to the top of the mountain. It's a way to let your body adjust to the altitude -- but really, if your body isn't used to the altitude, it's all you can manage.

I've read that Ann had three weeks to prepare for the journey, something that may have set her up for failure. It was wonderful for the Today Show to highlight the disappearing glaciers on the mountain -- and important cause for the world to care about -- but it may have been unrealistic to expert Ann and her five-person team to summit.

That person in my team who didn't summit is returning to the mountain this February to give it another go. I'm sure this time she'll make it -- her strength on the first attempt was astounding and she's been thinking and preparing for the top of the mountain for two years now.

Pole, Pole (slowly, slowly) Ann. I loved what one of the porters said to Ann during her trek. To paraphase, the summit will wait and she's smiling at you.

I'm looking for an eight-person team to join me on my trek up the Kilimanjaro in December 2009, as the finale of my Save the World Diet effort (one physical challenge each month for charity). I'd be honored to have Ann -- or any of the members of her crew -- along with with me for the journey.

Friday, November 21, 2008

11.21.08: Have a Heart

I am happy to report that I will be serving as an American Heart Association spokeswoman -- telling my story throughout New Jersey, helping to inspire others to make healthy lifestyle changes.

This is a perfect partnership for me as the American Heart Association provides great guidance for those on their path to wellbeing. And if you're considering making some positive changes in your exercise and eating habits, here are some motivating facts. According to the American Heart Association: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. Each year Americans suffer 1.2 million heart attacks. Of all the women who died suddenly from heart disease, 64 percent had no previous symptoms.
I think one of the association's most important and touching messages is to "Love Your Heart." If you follow me on this path to wellness-- by eating healthy foods and exercising -- you'll do just that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11.20.08: On the Radio tonight

I'll be a guest on the online radio show tonight (Thursday) evening, so tune in if you can!

The show airs at 10:30 p.m. EST.

Here's info about the show:

· Visit
· Be our friend on the following networks:
o MySpace: http://www.myspace.comthebariatricmind/
o Facebook: Bariatric Mind

About the hosts:
· Visit
· PeggyG’s RCRN Profile
· DeAnne’s RCRN Profile

Check out the coaching radio network:
· Visit
· You may listen to any show, anytime – the widget/window is on the front page – easy!
· Anyone can listen and chat in the room – users show up as “Guest####”
· Register at to gain a user name and ability to use a web cam in the chat room

Monday, November 17, 2008

11.17.08: Go, Ann Curry, Go!

Think good thoughts for Ann Curry. I just read that Ann Curry had three weeks to train for her trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. While it may be hard going at least she's giving it a go.

She's there for the Today Show's fabulous Ends of the Earth special ( ) where the anchors are sent to report on challenges facing our globe. Matt Lauer is in Belize, Al Roker is in Iceland, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry is in one of my favorite places on the planet -- Kilimanjaro.

She's on her way up to have a look at the glaciers, which I'm sure you know, are disappearing. Actually one of my climbing companions in 2007 had also been up there in 2005. She said there was a dramatic difference in the size of the the massive ice blocks that cover the mountain, which is pretty darn close to the Equator.

So, here's to seeing things and doing things while you can. Ann Curry could have backed out and said, "No way, I won't be ready for the challenge." She went for it. Whether she summits or not, you have to admire her ability to broadcast -- even as the air is getting thinner with each step she makes up the mountain.

It's so fun to see images of Kilimanjaro and know that I've been there. I want to again -- and I will.

In fact, I'm planning a Global Alliance for Africa trip for the last week of December 2009 -- hoping to summit on New Year's Day 2010. This will be the finale of my Save the World Diet -- a physical challenge each month for a good cause.

Let me know if you'd like to come along!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

11.12.08: Back In My Britches

I've been working out so hard these days and it feels wonderful.

The scale isn't budging as fast as I'd like but yesterday I noticed a new pep in my step. Actually, as I set foot on the paver-stone path in front of me, I felt inclined to jog. I haven't been this perky since my pre-pregnancy days.

It occured to me as the cold days have settled in that I was wearing a fleece that I wore up Kilimanjaro. These things are starting to fit again. Hooray!

So onword to many more healthy and hearty workouts. I'm so on my way to new adventures.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

11.10.08: The half-hour mark

I'm happy to report that I'm up to 30 minutes of running on the treadmill. I am rebuilding strength after my pregnancy and to prepare for the adventures ahead. Each time I run I get a little better, and more enthusiastic about doing it.

I might be up for a marathon after all.

My plan for this week it to do two additional running sessions, two strength workouts and two stints on the eliptical or walks around the neighborhood. I'll be up to 35 minutes on the treadmill by Sunday.

Another task on my to-do list this week: Get new shoes.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

11.03.08: Sweets Are A Sour Note

I hate that so many food-related things that should be fun get so complicated for me.

On Halloween, I felt silly standing in the background as my husband Chris wore our daughter in the Baby Bjorn from house to house. She wore a perky flower costume, and delighted those who opened the door when they saw her able to pluck out a candy from the bowl of treats.

Of course at nearly nine months old, she can't eat the candy but you could tell she was having a blast as she waved the little pieces back and forth. She in it for the crinkly wrapper. The mini box of Dots became her new rattle.

I wondered it all those parents thought I was the one who was going to eat all those candies, which went in a spare diaper bag slung over my shoulder. I should have been enjoying this first trick-or-treating experience with my daughter but instead I was wallowing in my own self-humiliation. I felt compelled to tell everyone they were for "Daddy" not me.

Sweets took on a sour note for me again on Sunday when Chris wanted a pumpkin doughnut. A pumpkin doughnut sounded like such a sweet way to celebrate fall, with some apple cider on the side. But since I'm back in training mode, my choice at Dunkin Donuts was limited to an egg white flatbread sandwich, a new offering with less than 300 calories.

It's moments like these -- crunching down on a breakfast sandwich that was a bit dry in flavor and sentiment-- that I wished I hadn't snuck out to get pumpkin scones and other treats so many times without him. That way, I could enjoy treats with him.

The key from now on is balance -- finding the right mix of exercise and eating so I can enjoy the sweet life with those I love.