Raise Your Hand


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Think back to your first day of school every year. The teacher would call your name and you would raise your hand and say, “here.” You waited impatiently to hear your name called. Hand ready to shoot up. You were on that special list. Being “here” was comforting. You belonged. Our whole life is based on being “here.” So I ask you this…is being “here” the same as being present? It’s something to think about as you go through your day.

Let me explain… let’s go back to that classroom. The teacher calls your name- you say you are “here” and that’s it. All twenty kids are here. Mission accomplished. However, did you notice that not all of those kids were present. Not everyone was prepared to learn, work hard and behave. Being “here” is not the same as being present. Being present brings on a responsibility to do the most you can with the time spent. Trust me I know this because I was that kid that was “here” but not present in high school, especially in my senior year. I was “here” but not present in most everything I did as I navigated the fine line of thinking I was a rebel, while not completely messing up my life. So what snapped me out of my self-destructive path? The threat of expulsion followed by the punishment of being put into a junior homeroom until I could prove I was prepared to learn, work hard and behave! I was forced to be present if I wanted to graduate with my peers. It was a life lesson. And yes, I did graduate.

How do you spend your time at work? Are you present and doing the most you can with the time spent or are you wishing the clock would speed up and the end of the day would magically appear? I’m here to tell you it won’t. Being present and prepared makes the day go by a whole lot faster and there is nothing more rewarding than an accomplished task! Making a list is a great way to stay present.

Being present is so much more powerful than just showing up. I see people rushing into the gym or the fitness center. “I made it.” Then they proceed to talk and complain and get multiple drinks of water at the fountain to avoid what they rushed in to do. I have a friend who wanted to start a weekly walking goal. Day one she shows up in flip-flops. Are you kidding me? I already know our walk downtown is about to turn into a window shopping-let’s grab a coffee-event and not the exercise she supposedly was seeking. But she’s “here” – “she made it.” She was completely unprepared and not ready to work. I can assure you her goal will not be met! Being present reaps rewards; showing up does not always.

Being present during conversation can be difficult. We sometimes daydream or form our response without fully listening. Have you ever spent a few minutes explaining something to someone and they are okaying and yessing you to death only to have them ask two days later how to do the same task you just showed them? If you have children, you are familiar with this one. People can easily disengage and still be “here.” Being present means being engaged. Listening is being present.

Last, but not least, are you present when you are eating. This is one area that I struggle with. My oldest son can take up to 20 minutes to make a darn sandwich. He lays out the roll, the meat, the lettuce and tomato and the condiments. It’s like he’s on a date with this sandwich. I used to roll my eyes as I slapped my own sandwich together and ate it before he had the top bun in place. He is truly present in every step of the process. He totally enjoys his creation. He eats slowly while I eat like a cave woman. I know he’s right. I know I need to learn to stay present when I am eating. It’s far healthier and shows gratitude for the earth’s bounty! I’m working on it!

Just for fun, pick one area of your life and try staying present and see if you find there are tangible rewards. If you do – raise your hand and let me know! I’ll mark you present!

Easy Way/Hard Way?

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As early as I can remember the phrase, “easy way/hard way?” was a daily question for my brothers, sisters and me. Don’t worry, I am not about to share a hardship- not at all… it’s a pleasant memory because it was what our Dad asked us nightly when it was time for bed. We’d all be in our pajamas and when it was your turn for bed my Dad Continue reading

Don’t Buy into it!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

As a Wellness Program Manager and fitness enthusiast, I spend a lot of time researching the best methods to stay healthy and the science that supports the trends. Guess what… the science doesn’t support the trends that we are buying into! In fact, many of the newest “health” trends are Continue reading

Birthday Surprise!

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Birthdays were always fun when I was a kid.  Once a year I could ask for a “bigger ticket” item.  As a kid, I wanted a banana seat bike with those high handlebars and streamers coming from the handlebar grips.   As a teen, it was a FM clock radio.  In my 20’s I wanted stirrup pants (a precursor to leggings, only uglier).  So now that Continue reading

Eat Your Liver!

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

If you have read any of my blogs over the past months, you know I have been dispensing wise words on how to attain or maintain a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle I personally follow and love. It’s literally my job! Last month I left you with some news about my newly found high blood pressure and I was awaiting lab results. I have been as excited as you to hear the results! Good news, yay…no kidney issues causing the high blood pressure so Continue reading

Better or Best?

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I watched a talk show about nutrition and how to eat healthier. The discussion was focused on the public’s confusion about healthy carbs. We need carbs for energy and nutrients. A no carb diet leads to fatigue and brain fog. I knew all that but what caught my attention was when the host asked if brown rice was better than white rice, the nutrition expert replied, “yes, it is ‘better than,’ but it is not the best choice, so why settle for better than?” To conclude this lesson on carbs (which this blog is not about!) brown rice Continue reading

Option B

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

Recently I stumbled across a podcast series that intrigued me. Mind you, two years ago I had no idea what a podcast was. Well, flash forward two years, and guess what? It turns out most Podcasts are free. I was hooked almost immediately. As a Dateline and “ID Channel” addict, I quickly found every podcast on every true crime drama there was. I listened to hours of tragic stories until my kids told me that I only listen to Continue reading

Mount Hope

By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

There’s a bridge in Rhode Island that connects Portsmouth to Bristol where my son attended college. I don’t like bridges. I’d rather a tunnel any day. This bridge is the scariest bridge I have ever driven on. It barely has sides and its old, shaky, steep, very high and at least 4 miles long. Although my son says I exaggerate and it’s more like Continue reading

Don’t let the Holidays send you to the Junk yard!


By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager

It’s very hard during the busy holidays to keep up a wellness routine. There are a million things going on and for most of us the first thing we give up is our commitment to ourselves. It’s unlikely many of us will be able to meet hefty wellness goals in the month of December but I suggest we should try to maintain as much as we can. Continue reading