Now that I may have finally figured out how to join this blog --> Greetings! Making my official debut as a Challenger in the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Better U Program!!! It was such an honor to meet my fellow Challengers at our kick-off breakfast a few days ago. When arriving at this "kick-off" breakfast, I entered a room full of AHA administrators from the Indy area and many healthcare professionals from St. Vincent Hospital. I initially thought they were all present to have a meeting with each other, BUT -- they were actually all there for us -- the seven new Challengers in the Go Red Better U Challenge!!!!! What a humbling experience for me -- meeting all of these professionals who scheduled time out of their own busy schedules to meet with us - with me!!! I am not one to seek the spotlight, and if there is a spotlight in the area, I will usually hide from it. Besides getting a firsthand overview and amazing realization of all the individuals who are standing by to support my fellow challengers and myself on our three-month journey, one of the most profound messages I took away from this breakfast meeting was that it is OKAY for us to take care of ourselves and to put ourselves first as we embark on this journey. It's like I needed permission to value myself above everything else in life!!!
Can we take a look at this idea a little further?? Take a look at your "to do" list, or your list of priorities........ are YOU at the top of the list right now??? I certainly was not at the top of my list -- I wasn't even on MY list!!!! Okay, so think about this........ if you are not even on your list of priorities, what will even happen to those priorities if you are not even around to address them????
As women, we could not be more blessed to live in this age and time in the history of all womankind!!!! Do you realize that women's health has simply not been addressed equally with men's, on a national and global level, until the last two decades of history???? I have been in the nursing profession since the early 1970's, and all of my learning about diseases and disorders was based on the white male medical model (weighing approximately 70 kg -- yes -- that specific!!!!). All of the decisions to treat or not treat a human being have been made based on the white male health research. Any attention to women's health came mostly from women who had gained entry into the medical and nursing professions, but progress was slow!!! Anyways -- as a result of research in the last few decades, we have come to learn that disease in women presents with different signs and symptoms, DOES NOT necessarily respond to the same treatment given to males, and the results are different, and even the prognosis for the outcome of the disease/disorder!!! Many medical research studies being done on major debilitating diseases in the last two decades have started to include equal numbers of women in the studies. As a result, we have the blessed chance of being healthier than women throughout all history. Just take a look at how many women's health centers AND women's hospitals that have opened nationally in the last decade!!!!! Imagine -- hospitals just for women!!
Lo and behold -- just LOOK where we are today, ladies. Our own American Heart Association, which has been around since 1924, cared enough in 2004 to develop an entire cause devoted to women -- The Go Red for Women movement. For those of you who haven't done so, I challenge you to visit the AHA website (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/) and their Go Red for Women movement (http://www.goredforwomen.org/). I am so confident that you will develop some passion and inspiration to take a look at caring for yourself -- simply reading about all the work being done to prevent heart disease and stroke, and getting an idea of the help and support and encouragement that is available from these two websites alone.
So for now, as I begin day one of this three month challenge with my fellow Challengers, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I can be my first priority, and take care of myself before I get to other things on my "to do" list. I will share much more about myself in the coming weeks. I just wanted to inspire others of you to really want to do something for yourself, because as women all over the world, we play a priority role in the health of our families and society. With all we are blessed to know about our health today, we can all make an impact on the lives of those around us -- IF -- we are healthy enough and actually here because we made time to take care of our own health. One last beautiful nugget I came away with from our kick-off breakfast. I know that you have all likely heard of the saying "random acts of kindness". Well, Renee, one of my fellow challengers, shared with me the idea that she decided to start doing random acts of kindness for herself. I think it would be a lovely thing for all of us to put that on our "to do" list every day.
Okay fellow Challengers -- let's do this!!!!!