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,