Heart Health in 2019

Heart Health Word for 2019: INSPIRE

Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about my aspirations and dreams for 2019. One article helped me identify a word or short phrase that represented those dreams for me. My word was “inspire.” As a heart attack and stroke survivor who is also a nurse and health coach, I can’t think of a better word for me in 2019. My dream is to inspire you to create heart health and well-being for yourself. I can’t push you, I can’t pull you, but I can be a lighthouse that guides you and helps keep you on track.

Be-YOU-tiful YOU!

I love this quote because it clears up a struggle I’ve had the past few months. There’s way too much noise out there about CHANGE. We’re always being told what we need to improve, how we need to do this or that better, who we need to be like, on and on…But let me say this to you. I love you BECAUSE you’re you and nobody else on earth can be you! I’ll be here offering guidance and resources to make your journey easier, but don’t you EVER feel like you’re not enough. You are amazing and it’s my honor to serve and inspire you! ❤️

2019 holds so much promise. The sky is the limit! 🚀 #inspire

Let Me Answer My Own Questions

Another Crazy Holiday in the ED

I’ve been an emergency room nurse for over 30 years. I’ve worked many holidays, and for lots of reasons, it’s holiday madness. This past Monday, Labor Day, didn’t disappoint! Craziness! But I made some time last night to answer the questions about health and priorities that I had challenged you to think about over the holiday. Let me share some of my answers to the questions I offered before we move on.

Is Health a Priority to Me?

My top 3 priorities in the big picture of life include daily fellowship with God, loving and serving my family, and improving my health. Health was in my top three! Was it first? No, I didn’t immediately think of health when I started my list. But as I looked at my daily “to-do” list, I could see that health is clearly a daily focus for me. Every day one hour is blocked out for aerobic exercise, Pilates, stretching, and/or strength training. As I write this post, my husband and I are on a journey toward improved health which has sharpened our focus on health eating, physical activity, decreasing stress, and improving our (ok, my) sleep habits.

Is the pursuit of healthy living “too hard” for me? Some days it certainly feels too hard for me. Yesterday was one of those days. As I mentioned earlier, I worked a long, hard day in the ED on Labor Day. I stayed over because we were so busy, I totaled over 15,000 steps all day, and then when I did get home, I wasn’t able to get right to sleep. When I woke up yesterday morning, I’d had about five hours of sleep, and I was tempted to say “forget it” to the exercise bicycle and my stretching routine. Honestly, my hips, my back, and my knees were all screaming in pain from the hard day’s work the day before. In the end, I did do my usual exercise routine, but only after a lot of back and forth in my mind.

How Health Relates to My Other Priorities

As I thought about my list of priorities, I had to consider how difficult it might be to achieve any of my goals if I didn’t have my health. I also thought back to when I had my heart attack and much I wanted to be healthy once I was no longer healthy. Losing your health to chronic illness can certainly change your perspective and your goals. I also considered why I want to be healthy, and the reason relates back to another of my top 3 priorities: my family. So it seems like the priorities are all interconnected and it would certainly be more difficult to achieve many goals in life without one’s health.

In my next post, l’d like to explore how we make choices when it comes to your health. Sometimes doing what’s right is pretty simple. If someone offers me a jelly donut, I’m gonna say no because jelly donuts don’t fit into my healthy living strategy (although I might hesitate for a minute if they offered me a bag of donut holes, but that’s another story!). So the jelly donut is clearly unacceptable to me. What about not getting enough sleep? What about working a stressful job? Do our choices always indicate that we’ve made a commitment to a healthy lifestyle? Or do we turn a blind eye when it’s convenient? Stay tuned!

Is Your Health A Priority?

Just A Few Questions

Does your health really matter to you? Is your health a priority?

Commit yourself to taking some time to do a bit of deep thinking the next few days. What are your top 3 priorities in life? Not for the day, or the week, or even for the year. What are the three most important overarching goals you’re pushing toward in life? Think about it…

Is health on your “top 3” list? Is it first on the list?  Does your health really matter to you? If health is on your list what does your daily “to-do” list reveal about your commitment to healthy living? Someone told me yesterday that living healthy was “too hard” for them. I smiled because I totally understood what they meant. But because it’s “too hard” do we just give up? What are the consequences of giving up on health?

How about you? Is healthy living just too hard? What could make it easier? If you didn’t list health as a top priority how will that impact those priorities you did put on your list? Can you achieve those goals without health? If healthy living isn’t a priority now, when will it be? Would health become important if you lost it?

Go Ahead and Dig A Little Deeper

Just some questions to ponder. I challenge you to take the time to really dig deeper and consider what your daily schedule and habits say about your commitment to your health. Do you want to be healthy? If so, why? What makes you want to be healthy?

I’ll be away tomorrow as I’m working the Labor Day holiday in the ED. Think about these questions over the next few days and we’ll explore the topic more after you’ve had some time to think about it. Have a safe and happy holiday!