Stages of Grief
1. Denial
2. Anger*
3. Barganing
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

*I’m here now.  I’m very angry.  I’m angry that another woman in my life – including my own mother – died too young from something that is preventable 80% of the time.

I’m not saying ‘death’ is preventable.  And I’m not saying anyone is to blame.  I’m raging a little at the Universe because women in their 40’s and 50’s are dying too young, too soon.  Family is left behind.  In this case, a family, two schools, and an entire neighborhood are dealing with the loss. 

When will women accept that it is NOT SELFISH to take care of yourself?  I, too, live with the guilt of not being 100% dedicated to being a good wife.  Guilt for not being the teacher I used to be.  I know that guilt.  I know that pressure.  I know there are people in our lives who need us.

But my beautiful friends…if you are sick, or worse – aren’t here at all…is that better?  NO.  It is UNSELFISH to make yourself as healthy has possible.

Someone at the gym said to me this morning that they knew it sounded mean to say it, but they believe people use their familes or work as excuses to not make the changes.  They eat what’s convenient.  Or worse, they feed their stress.  They don’t want to exercise because it’s hard.  Well, it’s only hard to start.

I’m very, very tired of being told I’m an “inspiration”.  I’m not a very good one if you’re not moving.  I’m not a very good one if your still eating processed foods.  I’m not a very good one if you are slowly killing yourself by waiting for a “better time” to take care of yourself.  The amazing, wonderful, loving woman that we lost talked to me a few times in the last couple of years about what she needed to do to live healthier.  I clearly did NOT inspire her to change. 

The reality is that no one is motivated to make these changes based on what they’ve seen someone else do.  The most effective catalyst for this kind of life style change is a medical situation.  I’ve talked to many, many women at the gym.  A very common motivator is the desire to “get off meds” for something.  For me, it was a close call with what we thought was a heart attack.    I was lucky.  My “wake-up-call” didn’t kill me.

The most common causes of death of Americans are preventable with life style changes.  I’m looking around at the sadness today.  What if this were my friends and family?  What if these were your friends and family??  No one, NO ONE who is left wouldn’t trade a little less of your time now if it meant getting to be on the planet with you for 20 more years. 

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