The Flourishing Experiment

Artist Ann Rea, talks about her experiences with anxiety/depression and how running and art are therapeutic. Go-to, real-food dietitian, Serena Marie, RD, and Kari discuss the scale—how to interpret the scale’s reading, why to take body measurements to track your progress, and how to view and approach the scale healthfully. Kari also shares some of her experiences with being a former Weight Watchers facilitator and how to deal with the scale. Finally, Kari shares some information about San Francisco trail running.

Featured Guest and Runner of the Week: Ann Rea

Ann Rea first caught Kari’s attention when she was featured in an interview by Alex Blumberg (from This American Life and Planet Money) during a podcast class.

  • Ann shares how, why, and why she started running.
  • She suffered from severe anxiety, depression, and insomnia for ten or fifteen years. She took the traditional route of seeing a therapist, anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and every time she would go to her appointments, she was told about new medications.
  • She found she had no passion or interest in her occupations at the time (cubicle Hell).
  • Her psychiatrist said that based on her medical history, she would probably always suffer.
  • She asked for a protocol to wean herself off of her medications, but her doctor didn’t agree. She tried to wean herself off, but that didn’t go well (think Emergency Room).
  • At the time in Sacramento, CA, no one suggested exercise to help with her anxiety and depression, but she started walking anyway, hoping that would help.
  • One day as she was walking, she sprang into a run and started running.
  • When she moved to San Francisco to be a full-time artist and to build her business, she knew that she’d have to manage her stress if she was going to achieve her goals.
  • Ann started running even more consistently.
  • If she had had a psychiatrist, such as Dr. John Ratey, things might have turned out differently.
  • Ann talks about neurofeedback, and she’s become familiar with Dr. George Pratt, who is a noted performance psychologist whose latest book is Code to Joy: The Four-Step Solution to Unlocking Your Natural State of Happiness.
  • Kari says that medicine can be magical, but she also likes integrative medicine.
  • Ann runs every Sunday morning with her friend Felix, who is a renowned psychic medium in San Francisco.
  • Ann worked with disaster relief, and she had to find a way to balance the reality of having to react quickly and finish up cases per day. Listen to her “The Artist’s American Life” interview with NPR’s Alex Blumberg.
  • She had the opportunity to see an amazing cross section of the United States and a real perspective of what disaster is. The good news is that everybody can recover. Physical things don’t matter as much as your health.
  • To get herself out the door and start walking at first, she made small promises to herself. For example, when she was working full-time and selling her art on the side, she was often tired, so she’d get herself up on Saturday morning, get ready for a run, and get out the door. If she didn’t feel up to a run, she’d turn back around.
  • Jim Rohn said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with,” so Ann was very clear in “firing” certain friends and be her own best friend. The act of being your own best friend means that you don’t tolerate certain behaviors, and you look for people who build you up, and you do the same for them.
  • She improved her diet as well, and running became her meditation.
  • Ann talks about running in the middle of the day. It helps her shift from the left brain to the right brain.
  • She chats about the Making Art Making Money semester.She’s also launching a new website called com and has
  • Move things from the “dream” category to the “plan” category.
  • She took some a course on how to write a business plan at a small business development center to start her own art business. She was always very interested in marketing.
  • She talks about running in Golden Gate Park, along Land’s End, and the Presidio of San Francisco.
  • Her goal is to enjoy her runs, break a sweat, and clear the cobwebs in her head.
  • She paints contemporary landscapes and works in oil and charcoal. Her subject is color and light, and she was mentored by Wayne Thiebaud.
  • You don’t need to be an artist to be inspired.
  • Ann shares a story about several years ago when she was working as a project management consultant. Two of her co-workers had Stage 4 cancer, and she gained a new perspective on life.
  • Fear is just an illusion that is not going away, so stare it down and run through it.
  • She mentions a book called Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance by Jonathan Fields.

Please find a doctor that you feel comfortable with and who is integrative if you’re having any mental challenges. Every body is different, and we evolve. So at the end of the day, you’re responsible for your happiness.

Don’t forget to join the TRLS e-mail list by going to today for special announcements!

Serena Marie, RD
Serena gets feisty about the scale this week and explains the science behind water weight associated with runners.

  • When Kari was a Weight Watcher facilitator for seven years (2006–2012), she was trained to say, “If you’re trying to lose weight, you should not get on the scale every day. If you’re trying to maintain weight, then getting on the scale every day is OK.”
  • Serena’s take is that the National Weight Control Registry recommends to weigh frequently. This is good especially for someone who is tracking his or her weight to look at trends.
  • This is a really important topic, because it drives Serena crazy as a dietitian, and it drives many of her clients crazy as well.
  • She talks about why water weight is a real thing and explains the science behind it.
  • There’s an app called Happy Scale where you can track your weight daily, and it gives you an average so you can see the trends.
  • Specifically for runners, they may be especially susceptible to the scale changing. When you run, it’s an inflammatory process. We’re creating oxidative stress in the body.
  • The threshold of when that stress becomes overwhelming to the system will vary per person. We can train our bodies to adapt to high mileages, but there is going to be an immediate, acute, short-term effect of inflammation and stress to the body.
  • When you run a marathon, you might find that you gain weight. A capillary leak happens, where you’ve caused stress to the body, and it makes your blood vessels leaky. When that happens, a protein responsible for keeping water in the right place leaks outside of the cells, which can cause water retention.
  • During Serena’s first marathon (as a senior in college), she gained weight.
  • It’s important to figure out what the right distance is for you and what makes your body feel good. Being injured, Kari now has a different perspective on how much she really wants to run and how much her body can take down the road.
  • Serena is very interested in whether or not high-mileage running causes damage to the body.
  • How do you measure and hold yourself accountable? Weight frequently, write down trends, take before/after pictures in the same lighting and clothing, and use a measuring tape to record progress—not by the number on the scale.
  • Any negativity in the struggle to lose weight will knock you down.

Gratitude Jar (Woot! Woot!)

Serena is grateful for receiving e-mails from her clients when they tell her victories that they have had. One of her current male clients has a lot of weight to lose, and he’s doing well with little changes in his life.

Kari is grateful for a quote that has been her mantra for 2016:

“Promise yourself
To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

—Cristian D. Larson, an American New Thought leader

Kari also likes the following:

“Eyes on your own plate.” ~ Serena Marie, RD

“You don’t need to carb load for your desk job.” ~ Serena Marie, RD

“When you point the finger at someone else, you have four fingers pointing back at you.”

During the Gratitude Jar segment next week, Kari will read a listener’s e-mail.

Shout out and thank you to Bethany and Alexis for meeting Kari in Phoenix, AZ!

Next week, Kari talks with Ashley Reaver, RD, a registered dietitian, who specifically works with endurance athletes at Inside Tracker. Serena Marie, RD, chats about blood sugar and a product that might be able to help diabetics.

The Delaware Marathon Festival in Wilmington, DE, will be on Saturday, May 7 (5K and kids race) along with a TRLS dinner meetup (details to come). Reach out to Kari to let her know if you can meet up! On Sunday, May 8, the marathon, half marathon, and the relay races take place. Kari will be the relay race finish line announcer.


Ann Rea:
Twitter: @annrea
Facebook: /annreainc

Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD

Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: ann-rea-04-14-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT