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March 20, 2017

How I Came to Care about Health.....Mine and Yours

Recently, I achieved my first level of accomplishment in Toastmasters, the "CC" or Competent Communicator, which signals that I have completed ten speeches and the first manual of study.  It took about two and a half years for this achievement.  My first speech in Toastmasters was an "icebreaker" intended to tell a little bit about myself.  I set out to explain how I came to care about health, mine and yours. 

I was raised in the midwest on bubble gum and soda pop....literally. My grandpa owned a Pepsi distributing company in Southern Illinois, and his brother owned the distributorship in the next county over.  I spent my vacations and summers playing with bottlecaps in the Plant, using stamps meant for labeling bottles as toys. 

my Grandpa's Plant

Grandpa "Rosie" Rosentreter in his office at the plant

My grandfather and my brother riding the forklift

My grandpa and his brother, Harold, grew up on a dairy farm, where they first added an orange drink to their line.  In the 1930s-50s that became their own soda line.  Then they became Pepsi bottlers when one mixed syrup and actually bottled the drink, then distributors when it was commercially/centrally made.  The plant was sold in 1986 when my grandfather got cancer and  passed away. 
My grandpa's brother, Harold, riding his team in a parade
Our family bottling label from the 30s-50s
I moved around several times growing up, first from Illinois to Utah.  I had a systemic allergic reaction to Salt Lake City when I was in high school, and fought allergies, asthma, and chronic bronchitis as a teen.  I had to figure out how to activate my immune system.  I hated steroid inhalers that make me shaky.  The first step to stopping an asthma attack is to keep myself from getting so anxious it snowballs. 

In my twenties I moved to southern California to work in entertainment as a freelancer.  As a union Assistant Director, I keep film and television productions on schedule and on budget, coordinating between all departments and physically running the set as part of a team.  It's a physically demanding job with long hours, steadily 14-16 per day when I'm working.  When I'm not on a show, looking for work is a full time job.  And I have to stay positive.  

Myself with Betty White
I started blogging for fun, to share my love of crafting, cooking and baking. I made my logo from the still life at my house, and turned to my collection of cookbooks to explore, while chronicling local events.  Setting out to write about one positive thing each day kept me optimistic as I began my union career, and gave people in the union a way to get to know me, as I was businesslike and too busy to chat much on set. 

Squirrel at my birdfeeder used for my blog logo
A pie competition
To keep some inter-generational contact in my life while living states away from family, I started volunteering with kids as a 4-H leader.  I grew up in 4-H and understood the impact it had in my own life.  Being a leader at summer camp was great fun.  Volunteering gave me roots in the community I had chosen.

As a kid, I grew up ice skating and playing softball.  I have to admit as an adult I'd become fairly sedentary, apart from work.  

One of the biggest health influences in my life has been watching my dad struggle with weight, diabetes, and subsequent joint issues.  I've seen him struggle emotionally and observed how his health struggles have hindered him physically over the years.   While I had a great metabolism growing up, I realized a pattern of slowed metabolism in the late thirties, and knew without good habits, I would be woefully unprepared. 

around 2001 at Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga
around 2014
I tried to take proactive steps as an adult to find exercise habits that worked for me.  I'm not perfect.  I'll never be a marathon runner or gym rat.  While the process of establishing healthy habits is ongoing, I know I have to be original and yet true to myself to make them stick.  I got a dog in part to encourage myself to walk, and took group classes in hula hooping.  I made friends, and had a ton of fun hanging in a park on weekends to hoop.  I explored gardening for pleasure at my small guesthouse backyard and experimented with vegetarian cooking.   Renewing my commitment to being healthy is something I have to do over and over again.  But it's important to me, so I come back. 

All these life passions came together when I decided to obtain my Health Coaching certification through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and slowly build my own coaching business, Golden Hour Health Coaching.  By helping others explore their motivations, set and obtain health goals, I am finding my own passion for living well. 

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