Better Health: Juice Cleanse, Standard Diet

Paleo food from Denver Startup Week

Paleo food from Denver Startup Week

Last week I got a wake-up call regarding my health; amazing how a number on the scale can speak more than what it shows. I was near my heaviest last Sunday, and I knew I had to kick myself back into gear.

If you know my history, you know I have lost a lot of weight before, between 2006 – 2010. I initially lost weight in Japan (spent a semester abroad in 2006); then, I was determined to keep the weight off and maybe lose a bit more. There were periods of time between those years where I lost a little, gained a little, and so forth. 2010 I found myself at my skinniest–but not for the right reasons. I was so focused on aesthetics and pleasing others instead of caring for myself.

Well, this time around, I am focused on taking care of myself and losing the weight for my own health (and for my future children?). Over this past weekend, I participated in a 3-day juice cleanse via Pressed Juice Daily, a new juice shop in Denver. They provided me with 27 bottles for 3 days: 9 bottles per day.

I was a little nervous about trying a liquid diet, but even on Day 1, I felt fine spacing out the juices every couple of hours and focusing on that rather than my grumbling stomach. It also helped that at the end of each day, I got my ‘treat’ in the form of raw almond milk–SO delicious! I talked about my juice cleanse experience with my chiropractor today, and he said “The juice cleanse was successful for you because you are in the right mindset.” True, true, true.

I weighed myself this morning and looks like I have lost 7 lbs since last week; majority of it probably from the cleanse. Now I am slowly adding in food to my diet. Today is a salad day; tomorrow, I can include grains and legumes. And so on, so forth. Basically, I am resetting my taste buds and making sure I eat more greens and eat smaller portions. No need for any fad diets this time: Moderation is key!

In terms of fitness, I am focusing more on walking and yoga. I don’t have money to spare for a gym membership; besides, Denver has beautiful parks to walk about in, and I have the help of my friend, Jonathon, of Walk2Connect.

I am determined to lose the weight for my health this time. I’ve started tweeting about my health journey; if you want to follow along, follow the hashtag #hkhealth.

Hope you can join me on my journey!

Denver Startup Week: How to Make 2014 Better

Fund your brains out, really! Check out P2B Investor.

Fund your brains out, really! Check out P2B Investor.

It’s Denver Startup Week (DSW) here in town. So far, I have attended the kick-off luncheon w/Seth Godin, Tech Cocktail, the Leadership Panel at Basecamp, and Ignite Denver 15. Of course, being the #HashtagHustler, I have also been following the Twitter feed to see what kind of conversations will pop up on the hashtag.

While I am happy to see that this year’s event is bigger with more tracks (Business, Design, Manufacturing, Tech, and then some ), Basecamp (WONDERFUL pop-up coworking/mingling lounge on 16th Street Mall), and a streamlined events calendar/agenda, there is still room for improvement for the next year (and beyond).

My mind came to these thoughts mainly from Andy Vuong’s article, “Could Denver Startup Week eventually rival SXSWi festival?” Sure, Seth Godin gave us some blessings about how DSW is the largest free event of its kind in the world; we have that going for us as compared to SXSWi. However, the quality of DSW sessions are not at the same caliber as SXSWi sessions; we may boast 125 free sessions this year, but how many of them are worth attending? There’s a reason why people pay good money to attend SXSWi. If we want to be competitive with SXSWi, we need to do the following:

  1. If we’re going to have the tagline “Celebrating Everything Entrepreneurial in Denver”, we will have to move past the tech scene. Despite what many attendees may think, the events are not as diverse as they can be: tech is laced in with design & business, oftentimes being the focal point of those sessions. In fact, the most-tweeted/publicized events so far seem to be highlighting only Tech-related events. Unique offerings this year do include a manufacturing track and more food-related sessions (also some spirits-tasting). If we are going to celebrate EVERYTHING entrepreneurial in Denver, it is time for us to also think of the small business community here. Let’s bring in some cafe/coffee shop crawls and sessions on how to start your own local thriving restaurant, bakery, etc. We may have ‘separate’ food events/festivals happening throughout the year in town, but many of our favorite neighborhood eats are also entrepreneurial. Just because their focus is not on tech does not negate them as being entrepreneurial.
  2. Work with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Mile High Business Alliance, and other organizations in town. This point goes along with above: the problem we have in Denver is that we are all stuck in our silos, our comfort zones. This year, Downtown Denver Partnership, Colorado Technology Association, and Chase are the top sponsors of Startup Week. What about asking the Denver Metro Chamber to sponsor as well? The Mile High Business Alliance? Perhaps these other organizations can provide more resources/sessions for years to come. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to expand our events past downtown and showcase other great neighborhoods for our out-of-town guests to Startup Week? This could encourage them to consider moving to our beautiful city.
  3. Use the #DENStartupWeek hashtag for more conversations and meetups.  This may just be a general problem in Denver and not just DSW. I have attended several conferences this year (Launch festival, Inc. Leadership, SXSW V2V) and there I noticed attendees utilized the hashtags to connect in-person, create pop-up parties, etc. Not only that, people were using the hashtag for plain ol’ conversation on Twitter regarding the events. So far, I have seen a lot of retweeting the same tweets and not much conversation going on with the #DENStartupWeek tag. If we’re trying to rival SXSWi and other conferences/events, we should be using our hashtag more effectively.
  4. Where’s the New Tech? Where are the true innovations? We hopeful attendees got to select the proposals for DSW a month ago; not sure if the organizing committee had some input on the final decisions or not. When the final schedule was released, I jumped onto the calendar to see which sessions I could attend. What I saw on the schedule were many hackneyed topics: funding options; how to deal with failure; programming; and the same monthly events that Denver always holds (Denver Founders Network, New Tech, etc.). The monthly events are fine, but the sessions? Most of the lessons from these sessions can be found online through an article, blog post, TED Talk, etc. I had a friend tell me, “It’s much different to hear the advice in-person than via video,” and I do agree with him on that. However, instead of having these tried-and-true sessions, why don’t we mix things up? What about having someone present a new concept in solar technology that can then be made into the next great startup? What about new restaurant concepts? New design thinking, mapping, etc.? Let’s be innovative and have sessions that are quirky, unique to Denver and Colorado. Let’s make DSW worth the time for out-of-towners visiting us.
  5. What about all the other great entrepreneurs/founders out there? Let’s move past the local stars, i.e., Jim Deters, Bart Lorang, and Brad Feld, and get other founders up on stage/leading sessions for inspiration; let lesser-known (yet successful!) entrepreneurs have the spotlight for once. Don’t get me wrong: I admire and respect the aforementioned people. However, if we continue to focus on only these major players, how can we innovate? Also, would be nice to see more female entrepreneurs on the main stage/bigger sessions instead of silo-ed off to a one-night session.

What do you think could be improved upon for next year’s DSW? Do you agree or disagree? Would love to hear your insight.

The Last Couple Months

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Well, my previous entry was about my feeling directionless, lost.

Two days after that post, I got into another car accident. Thankfully, this accident was not as big as the previous one, but I was still shaken up. Plus, this time around, there are more doctors’ appointments to tend to than in 2010. A lot of these appointments have taken up the majority of my time since late July.

I attended SXSW’s inaugural year of their V2V branch in Las Vegas last month. A new twist on the SXSW brand; and, what can I say, Las Vegas is fun. Got to see Tony Hsieh’s startup community in Downtown Vegas; met many wonderful people from Austin, Kansas City, San Francisco, New York, and even Denverites/Boulderites.

When I returned to Denver from Vegas, I was on fire to get going with several new business concepts. Since mid-August, I have been working on the concepts and am ready to get the business plans written and then executed.

Unfortunately, heavy rain fell upon Colorado last week, causing many areas to flood. My bedroom in my apartment did not fare well: my landlord and I had to remove the padding underneath the carpet and have been blowing fans on the damage since Saturday. Hopefully this will be fixed tomorrow.

Now, I am in the midst of Denver Startup Week and I have mixed feelings about the kind of press the event has received. Stay tuned for that post tomorrow.

Directionless in Life

Umbrella for coffee. Just a random photo from my photography collection.

Umbrella for coffee. Just a random photo from my photography collection.

I feel like I have driven myself into the ground these past two weeks. That old familiar feeling: I am doing too much. I am overcommitted.

The difference this time, though: I have come to the conclusion that TAOpivot is not what I want to be doing for life.

I have not talked much about TAOpivot in the past month; I told friends that I would put the business on hold for about a month. Now, I am not sure if that will even be the case. When telling people what I do for a living, I have found that I end up mumbling my usual pitch about TAOpivot. Or, the spark has disappeared.

What am I to do next? I have kept myself busy ( and earning money!) with a few gigs with local startups in the time being. I realize I have reached my burn-out point with all the gigs floating around my head and around my work hours.

I have an idea of what I want to do next after TAOpivot, but I also am afraid of figuring out how to execute this idea.

Thus, I have been lost all weekend and today. My therapists say I should journal about this turmoil I feel; I have done so, but I have not come to any a-ha moment yet. It is hard for me to completely turn my back on what I have worked on in the past year, especially when there are still outstanding clients and prospects reaching out to me.

I just don’t care though.

That’s it, I suppose. That’s all I want to say for now.

Getting Held Back in Sports

I have failed a class before.

This happened when I was 7/8? years old; one of my sisters, my younger brother, and I were enrolled into summer swimming classes at our hometown private pool. I could not perform the strokes and exercises well enough; so, while my brother and sister advanced to the next level, I was held back to try the same level again.

Embarrassed, I reluctantly did the class again and still fared only mediocrely compared to my new classmates. I walked away from swimming that summer feeling like I was stupid for not knowing how to swim properly.

This year, I experienced a similar experience: my family and I went up to Beaver Creek for the Easter holiday. Most of us enrolled into ski school to learn a few things about this winter sport (none of us had really skied much, except for the Montana family). I was ambitious and registered for the whole weekend so I could get as much out of the experience as possible. Plus, I live in Colorado: shouldn’t I be required to know how to ski?

My first day of the class, we were only about 30 minutes into the class and I already felt my insecurities and embarrassment arise as I watched myself fall behind my fellow classmates. My knees locked up as I attempted to maintain balance on my skis; the instructor was patient with me at first, guiding me along while we were still in the practice area.

Then, we went up the gondola so we could practice on more realistic turf with kid skiers and other beginners. I saw my niece and nephew getting the hang of skiing in their little class; meanwhile, I was struggling still to keep up with my classmates. Finally, one of the ski supervisors came up to me and told me how my class instructor decided I needed to have special individual instruction due to my slowness holding back the class.

Again, I felt embarrassed and down on myself. How come I cannot get the hang of this like everyone else? After awhile, though, the supervisor changed my mind and made me practice up and down the conveyor belt area, all the while encouraging me, giving me high-fives when I accomplished successful form and technique.

I ended up skipping out on the ski class for the rest of the weekend, opting instead to have my oldest sister guide me in my skiing form on the last day.

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I talk about these two instances because I want to point out how I freeze up with insecurity when it comes to sports, classes, etc. Perhaps growing up chubby made me feel that I was not capable of doing well in sports like all the ‘normal-sized’ kids out there. I always placed last in the mile run during Presidential Fitness Tests in elementary school; to this day I refuse to play volleyball because I am reminded of how terrible I was in middle school PE classes, serving the ball off to the left and never over the net.

Do I think something is wrong with me? No. Do I think the school system, our society, causes for kids to feel upset/discouraged/embarrassed too easily when it comes to things they are not great at? I’m not completely sure. In this day and age, we are so quick to blame society on problems in the world; but is it fair for me to use society to blame for my insecure feeling when trying sports out? My ski-school experience was definitely an experience, and I kept reminding myself during the first day that my assumptions of my classmates thinking I’m “slow, fat, out of shape” were probably wrong. We’re adults now, right? We can’t be thinking about “Oh, that person is so slow with this sport”, right?

To this day, I can’t help but wonder if, when I do do well with something athletic, if others are cheering me on genuinely or if they’re just cheering me on in a condescending fashion because they’re thinking, “Ha, this overweight girl *actually* did something right?” Maybe I need to examine my own thoughts before I go and make these assumptions again. How do I shake the feelings from childhood though?

What’s next? Help me out!

Next set, please!

Next set, please!

Yes, erhm. I’m asking you all, my readers, what you would like for me to write next. This is only for topics on Mondays; seems I have exhausted my business list posts for the time being. Plus, I was told that my business writing was no good! So there.

Starting this week I will be writing more during the week, Monday to Thursday. Tuesday-Thursday will be stories from my past, my present, etc. Topics I wish to explore that don’t fit on a Monday.

So, here it is, today’s poll:

[yop_poll id="2"]

Thanks in advance! And spread the word.

My Lack of Cycling: An Outlier?

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Today was Bike to Work Day; needless to say, I did not partake in it because I still have a fear of being out on the road alone like that. I kept thinking today, “If I had a helmet, I’d consider it.” But alas, I do not have one yet.

In recent years, the cyclist culture has taken off: I remember while living in San Francisco, I observed Critical Mass, watching the swarms of cyclists go down Stockton Street by Union Square. Since moving to Denver, I’ve come to know the Denver Cruisers, B-cycle, etc. More and more people are commuting by bikes these days.

I want to ride a bike again; I did a lot of circling around the front yard when I was a kid. I remember the excitement I felt when I transitioned from tricycle to bicycle. I’d show off some moves to my mom and my little brother; once, I leaned over too far and fell over, skinned my knees. Oops.

Perhaps many of you know about my accident in 2010; major head injury and trauma. Since the accident, I have been super cautious about where I’m walking and making eye contact with the drivers when crossing ths street.

When I see cyclists zooming by cars on a red light, or cyclists drinking and messing around with public transit, I become very anxious (and angry). I fear I will see an accident happen before my eyes; I feel angry that the cyclists would be so bold to risk death for a good time, playing chicken with a heavy car or bus.

I know I should not be so fearful for others and for my own venture out with a bike again. But when you almost lose your life once, you want to preserve the second chance you got at life.

And that’s why I’d rather walk or take public transit. Cycling appears too dangerous for my psyche still.