Sunday, February 27, 2011

8th Annual Detroit Metro “Go Red For Women” Luncheon was Incredible!

Happy Sunday AHA / GRFW supporters and bloggers!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the February 24th 2011 “8th Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon” at the MGM Grand, Detroit. It was a fabulous event for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement and certainly all involved!

The MGM Grand Hotel is absolutely magnificent. The beautiful chandeliers, furnishings, and overall richness of this hotel lent itself to be the perfect place for the AHA to have this luncheon. The staff was polite and diligent in making the day a success. From the time I dropped my car off at the valet, to picking it up at the end, I can honestly say the staff out did themselves. What a wonderful group of individuals!! This is a Gem for the City of Detroit!

The event started promptly at 9am with registration, a Silent Auction and numerous exhibits. From 9:30 to 11:45 there were “Educational Breakout Sessions” being held in adjacent conference rooms within the same area as the Ballroom. These educational sessions made it possible for attendees to listen and talk to local Cardiologists, physiologists, dietitians and many medical professionals about Heart Disease. From 12:00 to 2:00 a delicious heart healthy lunch was served while watching the Fashion show and listening to guest speakers. The Fashion show featured all of the “ My Life Check” participants, Linda Blair VP of ITC Holdings in Novi, and Cardiologists, Dr. Joanne Crawford from St. John Providence Health Systems and Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan of Beaumont. Our own 2011 GRFW Executive Leadership Team, and guest speakers (heart survivors) Susie Dubin and myself also strutted down the runway! Beautiful red dresses designed by five students from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Troy were also modeled. Deloitte sponsors the “GRFW Miniature Red Dresses” that travels the Detroit Metro area for viewing. Deena Centofanti, news and medical anchor for channel 2 news, was our MC and Frankie Darcell, radio personality from MIX 92.3 was the Fashion Show presenter and speaker. Both of these ladies did a wonderful job and added so much personality to the event!

The “My Life Check Makeover” involved eight local women who made it their mission to get heart-healthy. The American Heart Association, St John Providence Health System and Beaumont Hospitals selected them. The makeover was based on the AHA’s newest on-line tool: This online tool was designed by the AHA to help people adopt healthier lifestyle choices. With the help of the healthcare experts from both of the hospitals, evaluating and providing direction for 12 weeks, these ladies were able to make changes in their lifestyles to that of a Heart Healthy one! Congratulations to Melissa Ely, Janice Ford, Sandy kovach, Cheryl Campbell, Cheryl Kuzmanovich, Deena Baubie Kim Pratt, and Laurie Tikkanen !! You ladies are not only healthier but also look marvelous!!

Shortly after the “My Life Check” results, we all watched a short video on the “Power of Woman (all inspiring) and then made personal donations to the AHA. Our donations will fund research and education that will help save lives. Macy’s VP Manager at Lakeside Mall, JoAnne Gunn, shared with us Macy’s commitment to the movement and presented everyone in attendance with a $10 gift certificate. A $250 gift card was presented to a lady who had a gold star on the bottom of her bag that held the $10 card. This is Macy’s 7th year as a National sponsor of the American Heart Association’s GRFW campaign. Since 2004, Macy’s nationally has raised $21 million for Go Red. This is absolutely incredible and ladies please remember this when you’re out shopping. Please frequent Macy’s as they are a huge reason Go Red has been able to thrive and bring awareness and education to women about heart disease over the years!!

General Motors is another of our large supporters. Dr. Jamie Meys who is the Manager at GM Performance Parts, took the stage to tell everyone that on January 21st GM auctioned the first powerful small-block V8 engine in Scottsdale, Arizona. This sold for $67,000, which was donated, to the Detroit Go Red For Women Campaign! Thank you GM!!

Also, a thank you to our other National supporter, Merck who partners with Macy’s to raise millions of dollars in support of the cause. I had the privilege of meeting the CEO’s, Presidents and several VP’s this past September (of both Macy’s and Merck), in NYC at the Premier of the NBC special, “Speak Up To Save Lives”. These two National supporters make it possible for Go Red For Women to thrive and make awareness and education available for women all over the US . Thank you so very much! Thank you also to the additional local supporterers, Toyota, Quicken Loans, St John Providence Health System, Beaumont Hospitals, ITC Holdings Corp, American Axle, Cargill, Arvin Meritor, Deloitte and Federal- Mogul Corporation. Also thank you wonderful Donors like Dr. JoAnne Crawford, Dr. Pam Marcovitz, Barbara Allushuski, and The Gambino Girls, Virgina Bova and Vita Harter for the generous gifts to GRFW.

The GRFW Executive Team this year is fabulous. I have been amazed at how professional and graceful all of the ladies are and I would like to thank Deborah Greenman Arlin, managing counsel for Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, North America and Paula Silver, Vice President of Communications for Quicken Loans. Both of these ladies are part of this Executive Leadership Team and have joined forces to Co –Chair this beautiful Luncheon and lead locally the Go Red initiative this year! Thank you ladies!!

The Media also has been wonderful in getting the information out about the Luncheon and informing ladies in the Metro Detroit Area, that Heart Disease in the #1 Killer of Women and 80% preventable with heart healthy lifestyles! Thank you Fox 2 News, MIX 92.3, Fresh 100.3 , Corp! Magazine as well as HOUR Magazine! A big thank you to the Local Tribune, Huntington Woods, Berkley Patch, for local coverage or our events and a special thank you to the Detroit Free Press and Patricia Anstett, their medical writer for her wonderful segment on Women and Heart Disease, last Sunday February 20th. Your wonderful article and photos by Kathleen Galligan will raise much awareness to the women in the Metro Detroit Area about Heart Disease. You ladies did a fantastic job and I am sure it will help to save lives.

There is one more group of ladies I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart. The volunteer women who have been at several of February’s events including this luncheon. They come early for set up and stay late for take down. Their countless hours are given freely without reserve. You ladies are exactly who I talk about when I speak of the internal power of women. You give so graciously of your time and efforts for the cause and I thank you so much. I too am a volunteer. I have been personally affected by Heart Disease since a young girl of 12. For whatever reason, you have chosen the AHA, GRFW movement to donate your gifts of time and energy to, I thank you sincerely.

I also want to again thank the AHA/ GRFW for allowing me to share my personal story nationally as well as locally. It touched my heart deeply when I looked out at the sea of red at this luncheon. I am reminded again and again that I am not alone in this Disease and I find comfort in each and every one of you. I have grown very fond of the AHA/ GRFW and all it encompasses and I care deeply about the wonderful staff, nationally as well as locally (you wonderful ladies in Southfield …you know who you all are) and the volunteers, donors, corporate supporters and everyone that makes it tick. Thank you all for what you do.

In closing, all of us shared a common purpose this past Thursday, February 24th 2011, as well as the entire month of February, Heart Month. As this month comes to a close let us all be reminded that the battle to lessen the strangle hold Heart Disease has on women is an every day, monthly, yearly endeavor. The way to lessen this disease in women is through funding, research and education that will help save lives. During these difficult economic times please remember that the gift of life is the greatest of all and to please continue to support this cause in anyway, whether it’s dollars or that of your time. Please consider being a supporter of the AHA’s GRFW movement if you are not already. Together we women are a force to be reckoned with and together we can help to save the lives of our mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters…ourselves …our lives truly depend on it.

Sincerely and from the heart,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Half of Heart Month was a ... WOW!

Hello friends of Go Red For Women!

Two weeks have gone by since “National Wear Red” day and I have to say that the Metro Detroit area has been rockin’ red ever since. I hope that the rest of this month is as fruitful in getting the all-important message out...Heart Disease is the number 1 killer of women, 80% is preventable and it’s time to take action to lessen its impact on all of the lovely ladies in our lives!

I am going to play catch up in this blog post, as a great deal has happened in the past 2 weeks! I had the privilege of speaking to the employees at the ITC Company in Novi on National Go Red day, Feb 4th. At their annual luncheon I told my heart story and Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan from Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital also spoke. She brought us all up to date on the rising numbers of women being affected by Heart Disease and how we can change these ever-increasing numbers. She was wonderful and extremely informative. I am very concerned when I hear that the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks the State of Michigan number one among all states in the country with the highest cholesterol at 38.6 % of its adult population. Michigan also has one of the highest numbers of obesity, nationally. I myself wasn’t aware of this and this information makes the mission of change all that more important. Later the same day I spent the evening at a fundraiser “Wear Red happy hour” at the Black Finn in Royal Oak. I had a chance to meet several new people and enjoyed old friends and family! Thank you Black Finn for all of the wonderful hors d'oeuvres you donated for our fundraiser!!

The following week, on Feb. 9th, I was invited to speak at the annual “Go Blue, Go Red” Luncheon held at the U of M Dearborn Campus. The wonderful staff at U of M has an annual fundraiser, giving out beautiful baskets, 50/50 drawing , and many prizes! The models in the fashion show there were all staff members, Professors and all were in good humor. I loved speaking to a sea of red when I looked out into the audience! Thank you U of M Dearborn!

My agenda the rest of the week was very full. Friday, the 11th I spoke to many GM employees at the Renaissance Center. The Southfield AHA staff set up a beautiful area in the Ren Cen’s Wintergarden for employees to come down for lunch and listen to our message, our mission. The response was great, and successful. Many of them took additional information with them in the form of brochures and even had blood pressure screening done! The following day, the 12th, I was asked to drop the game-starting puck for the Plymouth Whalers hockey team, at the Compuware Ice Arena in Plymouth. I dropped the puck with a young hockey player Tyler Seigen. He is a newly signed NFL player for the Boston Briens, who was a Plymouth Whaler not so long ago. One of the fundraisers at the game was called “Chuck the Puck”. I had never heard of this before and was pleasantly surprised to find out that soft spongy pucks are purchased to toss on the ice after the 2nd period. Several of the pucks are then picked up and prizes are won! Interested parties bought 6 pucks for $5 or one for $1. It proved to be a very delightful way to raise funds for the AHA. When the horn blew after the 2nd period hundreds of pucks flew through the air onto the ice!!! Thank goodness they were only sponge inside! Mine never made it to the ice, as I have a pretty weak throw! There were also several tables of literature to hand out, a table where children colored to win prizes, tattoos and stickers were also given out. I had a wonderful time handing out this literature because it gave me an opportunity to converse with many ladies and gentlemen about our mission. It was a very fun evening! Thank you to the wonderful Plymouth Whaler organization!!

The following day, Sunday the 13th I attended “Zumba for the Heart” at Body Language Fitness and Yoga Center in Commerce, where an hour presentation by Andrea von Behren RD taught us “ How to make healthy choices while grocery shopping!” This was then followed by a full hour of intense Zumba, which kicked know what! This was my first experience with Zumba. This particular class was by no means a 100 level, but more like a 700 level class. If you want to get in shape quickly and stay in shape, this is certainly the thing for you. It mingles dance and exercise moves together. This fast paced and often times intense aerobic movement is set to, rap, rock and reggie, music. After this intense work out for an hour we spent the next hour recovering with food and drink while sharing heart healthy information with each other.

Just prior to the beginning of the Zumba evening, we were all pleasantly surprised when the Detroit Free Press arrived to take pictures of our fundraising event! Battling the #1 killer of women, isn’t for the faint of heart or prideful. News coverage of these events is extremely helpful in getting the AHA’s message out and quickly becomes a very humbling experience when one (that would be me) looks ridiculous sucking in air! This kind of experience happens in this line of work and is well worth the fight for team “Life”! Thank you Body Language Fitness and to the Detroit Free Press for covering several of our AHA GRFW events!

The most recent GRFW event was just this pass Tuesday evening, Feb 15th,, at the Huntington Woods Library, viewing “Go Red For Women Presents; Speak Up To Saves Lives” and the unveiling of the “Red Dress Tour”, sponsored by Deloitte and Designed by the Talented students of the International Academy of Design -Technology of Detroit. The local AHA gals again set up a beautiful event, with delicious food, donated by Buca di Beppo and again a lot of informative literature available to hand out. We had the privilege of having Dr. Pam Marcovitz, Director of the Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center speak to all the lovely Huntington Woods ladies and I too shared my story. It was a fantastic evening of sharing information, food and company! Several years ago I worked at the local Huntington Woods Lutheran Preschool. I worked for 8 years there until my husband’s work relocation to NY. I have grown to love this community and have made many lifetime friends! I was so happy to see so many come out to learn about how Heart Disease is affecting women today and helping in our mission to spread the word.

The next big upcoming event, I will be involved in ,is next week February 24th. It is the “Detroit Go Red For Women Luncheon” held annually. This year it will be held at the MGM Grand, Detroit. It is locally presented by Toyota and Quicken Loans and nationally presented by Macy’s and Merck. If at all possible come join in the celebration with over 700 of southeast Michigan’s most prominent female leaders from corporate, medical, educational and social communities to raise awareness and funds for meritorious research specific to women and heart disease. Registration, health screenings and exhibits, educational sessions and silent auction, Estee Lauder “Red –Lipstick” station, shutter booth, massages and more start at 9 AM. The “Red Dress Fashion Show” and a heart healthy lunch will start at 12:00 noon. I, with our Executive Leadership Team, will be learning how to walk down the runway this Monday evening in anticipation of the fashion show! If you’re interested in attending please contact Shelley Rusinek , AHA Southfield contact # 249-936-5807, tickets are $175.00. As you can see it has been a busy few weeks and there have been many events I haven’t attended. Please visit the Southfield AHA web sight for events specifically in your area!

I want to thank everyone I have had the privilege to work with at our local Southfield AHA office ( Shelly, Alicia, Melissa, Dana, Heather, Kathy and many more). They have facilitated most of the “February Heart Month” events in the Metro Detroit area and many of these allowed me to share my story. It is so rewarding to touch others lives in this way. I have met so many ladies affected by Heart Disease personally or family members. The common thread I have felt these past weeks, that connects all of these events together, is the necessity to spread “awareness” of this Disease. Awareness is imperative first, and then we can tackle the need to empower women to take action and control of their heart health. So many women these past weeks have told me that they had no idea that Heart Disease is the number one killer of women, this has to change. Currently 50% of women do not know this still! Ladies we must not only pass this information on but also encourage everyone we do pass it to, to then pass it on to others. The AHA asks that each of us tell 5 women and then they tell 5 women and so on...that heart disease is the number 1 killer and is 80% preventable with heart healthy life style changes! This is wonderful news. In doing this we can make a huge difference and save many mothers, grandmothers, sisters, friends, and daughters lives. Please join me in this effort...our lives depend on it!

Sincerely and from the heart

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thank you for your wonderful support of National Wear Red Day and Happy Super Bowl Sunday! February 6, 2011

Hello to all of you wonderful supporters of “Go Red For Women”!

Today is the day to stop, pause, and take note of the wonderful … game of football ! I bet you thought I was going to start with something really inspiring and “Go Red” oriented. I guess if you ask any man, he would say that football is a very inspirational game and rightfully so, I even enjoy it now and then. For me, however, I have come to correlate it to my life, in a way. Football parallels our lives. Being a player in this game "life" requires us to advance the ball forward on a large field of earth, in hopes of winning while enjoying the journey. However, as we all know we just don't play it we live it. In our effort to move our lives in a positive direction, we often have to stop for a time out and redirect these efforts. Often we need to change our game plan due to the circumstances on the field of life. These changes make a difference on whether we score or not, scoring of course being the positive result of our efforts. Who ever scores the most points, wins big. Who is our opposition? It is often ourselves. I believe ultimately our internal struggles often thwart our efforts to win in this game of life.

One of my struggles, that I try to advance the ball in, is with my weight. My entire adult life I have worked hard to move my weight in the right direction. It has always been a difficult battle, and I continue in this effort everyday. My effort to reduce my weight goes way beyond aesthetics. Increased weight can be life threatening for me and for many others. All the current medical data point to these facts, that obesity and diabetes are epidemic. To advance myself forward on the field requires me to continue to lose weight. My game victory is to live a long and healthy life.

My personal game always has someone or something on the playing field thwarting my best efforts. I equate my well-stocked refrigerator and pantry to that of a defensive linebacker who tries to always stop me and derail my best efforts. Even having stocked these with healthy foods, it is a battle to keep the amount eaten down to a level that not only sustains me but hopefully helps, me lose weight. If I don’t advance myself out of the kitchen and choose something positive or physical to do, I lose the game for team Janine! To be aggressive with myself and advance my ball forward with determination it requires getting myself on the elliptical machine, walking outside, cleaning, or visiting with someone. I can always resort to shopping (not my husband’s choice for me), but the key for me is to do something, anything that will get me out of the kitchen! When I am successful in doing this, I feel good about myself and my efforts pay off. However, sometimes, quarterback Janine takes too long in releasing the ball and the opposition, Mr. refrigerator and Mrs. pantry, sack her. The most important part of this game though, isn’t that I get sacked, it’s that I get up, with all my effort, and make the necessary game changes that allow me to win the next time and advance my ball forward. I will not win every play or every game, but I strive to win more than I lose, and that is what’s important.

In my effort to win more than I lose, in this challenge with my weight, I have found that a great deal has to do with how hard I am on myself. If I can let go of that gnawing voice in the back of my head saying “You screwed up” and I immediately forgive myself for a bad choice, I then can advance my next game plan into a positive direction. When I string the positive advances together and when they outweigh poor choices, I still end up winning the game! That’s the great news. We can mess up now and then. It’s okay to make some poor choices, but we have to get back up with our best effort and move forward in a positive direction. Life is exactly this. The harder we judge ourselves, the harder it is to move forward. It is imperative that we move in the right direction and that we forgive our poor choices immediately. With all this being said, I strive everyday to move my ball in the direction of making a touchdown. Touchdown after touchdown leads to my goal of a long and healthy life. I choose to forgive my poor choices and strive to continue to make better ones. I choose to move the ball forward with forgiveness and perseverance. In doing this, I know my efforts will lead me to a strong win!

Also, it is not just the occasional poor choices that send me to the stainless steel cooler in my kitchen but circumstances out of my control. It may be that the experience I had looking for that knew dress for my daughters graduation party that put me into a tail spin...going straight to the size 7-8 dresses wasn't the best thing for me to do, clearly I was no where near that size. Also the first day of Kindergarten for my daughter, when the teacher asked us all to take a chair... yes I sat in it one of the kids chairs, thats all there was and I landed on the floor with all of the legs giving way. This was not a good day for me and how I viewed myself or my weight. My daughters teacher, Mrs Doubtfire the second (Miss Lemke) Immediately came to my aid and tried to trivialize it. These events are out of our control often, what we have to remember is we need to acknowledge them for what they are ( just a moment in time) and move past them as quickly as possible. We cannot beat ourselves up with these humors in life but learn from them. I have never sat in a child's chair since.

I hope all of you will join me in advancing the ball for the AHA’s Go Red For Women campaign and their mission to “Speak up to save lives” throughout this February (Heart Month) and every month… and years after. I want to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for your support of this cause and for your continued support of me (you know who you are). We are all in this game of life together, and sometimes we feel alone. By reaching out and touching lives and supporting this cause, you will have passed the ball in a positive direction and helped “Team Life.”

Thank you for your wonderful support of National Wear Red Day and Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
Sincerely and from the heart,

Friday, February 4, 2011

National Wear Red Day is here!!!

    For those of you who didn't get a chance to watch my Heart Story on WDIV Channel 4, 11:00 news last night, I am attaching the link below, so you can read it if you feel inclined to do so and there is a link to the online video interview there also.  My symptoms...what I did right and not so right are in this written story that Channel 4's Medical Producer Sarah Mayberry wrote...

    Have a wonderful National Wear Red Day Ladies... spread the good news, we can make a difference in the fight against Heart Disease through awareness and taking action to lead a heart healthy life style.  Know your risk factors by visiting; and take the online  Heart Check up today! If you don't know your Heart numbers.... make your appointment today to visit your Doctors to find out! The tools are all online to help you start living a heart healthy life style!!! Please pass this on to 5 women and then they can pass it on to 5 more..... this message could reach so many that do not know what we know and that is, Heart Disease in the #1 cause of women's death... and it needn't be...

Thank you, sincerely and from the heart!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February's HEART Month activities and Tomorrow's National Wear Red Day!!!

February 3,  2011

For our mothers, grandmothers sisters, aunts, friends, and all women….wear RED tomorrow!!! Friday 2/4/2011
It’s National Wear Red Day! You will be helping save lives!
Watch Channel 4 news tonight at 11pm for my heart story!

Good afternoon fellow Go Red Ladies!!!

     Tomorrow is the day to speak out and help save lives by wearing RED. Something as little as this can make a huge impact, and I encourage everyone I know to do this for the women in their lives!

     In my endeavor to write about my “Heart Month” events I though I would share a few events I had on Tuesday… and yes one was  smack in the middle of our largest snowstorm this season! The first was  a radio interview with WGPR 107.5 FM radio station here in Detroit.  The Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) produces a weekly, 60 minute, magazine-style radio show that is aired every Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and it is called the “Senior Solution!”  Mr. Paul Bridgewater, President and CEO of the DAAA interviewed  me for a 15 minute segment for this Saturday 2-5-2011, so if you get a chance drop in for a listen. We conversed about Go Red for Women’s mission to bring awareness of Heart Disease to women  and how they can take action to know and lessen their own risk factors for the disease.  He voiced his appreciation of the fact that women’s symptoms can be much different than men’s…he had a heart attack himself and received a stent to open up the blockage in his  coronary artery.  So if you get a chance tune in to listen!

     My second Go Red event was at the Charles H Wright Museum of  African American History, downtown on Warren Ave in Detroit.   I was asked to talk to the attendees of  the “’Living to the Beat of your Heart”  program about heart disease and my personal experiences.  Channel 2’s morning news anchor, Anquenette Jamison, was the moderator for the evening, a very warm and approachable young lady.  There were less numbers than anticipated, mostly due to the largest snowstorm in the Detroit Metro area this season, but we had a wonderful evening.  I arrived early at 6pm with little snow falling and left at 8:30pm to an accumulation of already 4 to 5 inches! It ended up being a very warm evening inside, of sharing and many questions and answers.  The participants were delightful and energetic.  We even had a hustle class taught to us, to learn how to mingle dance and exercise together!  I had a great time! Since it took me over an hour to get home driving 30 mph  on I-75’s snow covered road, I had some time for quiet reflection of the evening.  I had talked about my heart related experiences, the AHA Go Red for Women initiative, and what we as women must do for ourselves to reign in this disease that affects so many women in our families, friends, and ourselves.  I found myself talking about a very dear philosophy of mine and that is “Living in one day often one moment at a time” 

After my heart attack, I decided to change my approach to life in regards to stress management.  I’ve known for a long time that the way I approach life, in a very controlled way,  continued to be counterproductive to leading the  peaceful existence I so longed for.  So simply put … I changed things up. My newfound philosophy requires me to work hard everyday at acknowledging my controlling self and tendencies and making choices to counteract their deeply imbedded position in my psyche.  I am happy to say that every day I get closer to winning the struggle between the old  and new me.  I used to add so much unnecessary stress to my life and that of my families, so when  I was asked by Angela King,  the “30  Days to Lose It Program” museum educator and coordinator, “how did you de-stress your life,” I said by “Living in the day, often one moment at a time.”  She replied “Really… how do you do that?”  I have come to sincerely believe that the stress we live in is unreasonable and too often self-inflicted.  We ladies often live in the past, by second-guessing ourselves, and in our tomorrow’s list of all we need to get done…the day we’re living in is somewhat lost..  I asked myself sometime ago, what benefit, if any, do I derive from revisiting yesterday? My conclusion was absolutely nothing…that day is done, over ca-put.  What benefit do I derive from worrying about tomorrow and all it encompasses? I get not one positive thing from that; I do however find myself wasting precious energy with tomorrow’s worries.  The fact is ladies… life is so dynamic, ever-changing hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, and we deal with change constantly.  Why do we  try and plant in stone what is going to happen tomorrow or worry about it, when anything can happen and ultimately change all of your well thought out plans and worries?  I truly feel that if I work diligently to stay in my day in thought and effort, I lead a much happier and less stressful existence.  Now many may think, this sounds good but really, it’s not realistic.  I prefer to think otherwise, and it has worked for me.  The key to this endeavor for me is to truly rely on my natural instincts and confidence in myself.  Ladies, if we tap into our wonderful instincts, and talents, and are confident in them, we become able to deal with anything at any given moment.  We are our own worst enemy when it comes to questioning our abilities and ourselves.  Instinctually, we have amazing capabilities and when we learn to block out the negative that makes us question ourselves, which ultimately puts us in a whirlwind of panic, which is followed by over  analyzing everything, we then start lessening our  stress.  Now,  I’m not a psychologist or claim to carry a PHD, but I do know how I feel today versus pre- heart attack days…and I feel so much better today. I have found that my choice to “live in the day” I am in, slows me down and allows me to make better  heart healthy choices for myself.  If I take a few breaks, moments, in my day to stop and think and give thanks for all I’ve been blessed with, then I always make better, healthier choices for myself.  I choose the stairs rather than the elevator…I walk (in NY) rather than take a taxi…I make a better choice in my midday snack.  Things become so much more pleasant. 
   I made a choice after my heart attack to “live in the day I am in,” and I make a genuine effort and work hard everyday to do this. It has been difficult to master, and I continue to work on it everyday…. But the rewards are immense for me. I have a deep faith in the man upstairs, that when I fail, it’s okay with him and so why not me?  The old adage, “What doesn’t break us will only make us stronger” is so true.  But take it a little bit further and look at the “break us” term.  We have the ability to not allow anything to “break us” or our spirit.  Tap into this strength and learn to rely on it.  I do and by doing this, the sky’s the limit “one day at a time.”  Yesterday’s gone, a memory, tomorrow is off in the future…today is what living is all about. 

Sincerely and from the heart,