Heart Disease is the number one killer of American Women. Heart Disease takes the lives of women six times more often than breast cancer. Heart Disease takes the lives of women two times more often than all cancers combined. I don’t like writing this anymore than you like reading it.
I have heart disease. I found out in 2003. I wasn’t happy about it at all. I reacted negatively on the inside, but positively on the outside? Huh, you think? In front of my mom, husband, daughters, and peers I shared how this new diagnosis would help me define my passion to help women all over the world. Yes, I had to add the world. With this new diagnosis I would turn my personal story into a very successful book, which in turn would reeve my speaking career into full blast. On the inside, my mind was playing major games with me.
Everything was lined up. I had a speaking agency, the book, and not just a book, a self-published book that was picked up by publisher, redone with a beautiful red cover and edited by someone to share my royalties.
I knew in order to stay sharp I should say, “yes” to all speaking opportunities no matter if they paid for my time or travel.. After all it was exposure, which would pay for itself. I could not go wrong helping others with my story.
Secretly, making a lot of money was also a huge dream. I thought if I could make up for all the years I didn’t make much any money, and the stress of those years absolutely contributed to my premature heart disease it would somehow make it seem less awful. Money would make everyone proud of me, and put a stamp of validity to all I’ve put my family through.
With heart disease in my front pocket, prescriptions in my purse, and a lot of baggage in my backpack, this gal with the coronary artery disease almost screwed things up royally yet another time.
As I went about sharing how everyone could live heart healthy, how to make proper food choices, the benefits of fiber, you could catch me driving through the local fast food restaurant, twice. And though I never left the house without my makeup, my clothes were changing from the latest stylist ones, to the cutest sweatpant variety. I never knew they came in so many colors? And why oh why did I think if I wore a big T-Shirt I would look smaller? Geez… And yet my tennis shoes always matched.
This journey began when I had barely turned 47 years of age and here I just celebrated my 57th birthday. It’s never too late to get the big picture, and that’s exactly what I’m drawing.
My daughters are super proud of me. But, not because I went on to accomplish all my financial success, but because I stopped talking about being heart healthy and lived it. I lost the 30 pounds I put on after being diagnosed; I became a vegetarian, not a vegan. I’m probably a vegan by right, but I have so many other things to fight for than animal rights. I admit though, the thought of how animals are treated and made ready for consumption is a bit gross. But, back to point. My girls see my health on the outside now. Before my health and lifestyle choices only came through in my writing, or my speaking, but not in my lifestyle.
And it’s not just about food. Heart Health is about enjoying life and giving myself the permission to relax. I don’t have to solve the world’s heart disease problem. Not even the women in Orange County’s heart disease woes. I’ve even come to grips that I can’t change anyone. I can live and perhaps by example, motivate. That said, I don’t tell my husband the last part.
When it’s all said and done, what matters in life is the people God has given me. And I’ve been given a big share.
June is upon us, I want to report back to those of you who have read my millionth post on heart health and tell you it is the simple pleasures that can make us happy. And when we are happy we make better choices. And when we make better choices, we are healthier. And when we are healthier we get out of the house more, we smile more, and we want to be around others more.
I started a list of simple pleasures that make me happy. And I encourage you to do the same. Here are the top 50 that came to my mind, but I continued on after this article and I’m up to 478. Of course, my simple pleasures are not necessarily your simple pleasures. But starting a list and thinking about your doing the same is a simple pleasure in itself. So, please share simple pleasures below.
- Granddaughter smiling
- Grandkids cracking up
- Bodysurfing in a wetsuit
- Making someone smile
- Making my mom laugh
- The smell of my grandkid’s heads
- Cleaning out my hall closet
- Making someone laugh
- Giving compliments
- Baking chocolate chip cookies with granddaughters
- Grandkids sleeping
- Good chocolate
- The color red
- An amazing shot in tennis
- Learning my girls have been together
- Lying in bed listening to the rain
- Finding money you didn’t know was in your purse
- Finding money you didn’t know in your dyer
- Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich
- Coming in the door right after my house has been cleaned
- The dishwasher being emptied
- Fresh bed sheets
- Filling up bags for goodwill
- Redoing all my drawers in my office
- Relining my bathrooms drawers with cute shelf liner
- A really cold Japanese beer
- Waking up and realizing you actually slept five hours in a row
- Finishing a good book
- A clean closet
- My favorite hobo white t-shirt
- Being invited to play tennis
- The pop of a new can of tennis balls
- New tennis shoes
- Free botox
- Seeing a rainbow
- Being underwater in a swimming pool
- Knowing everyone that truly matters is with me, so it doesn’t matter if the phone rings
- Having my daughters introduce me as their mom
- Hearing someone say, wow that’s your mom?
- A really good vegetarian pizza
- Starbucks Venti Shaken Green Iced Tea without sweetener
- The Ariel Ride at Disneyland
- The wonderful sensation of floating in a pool
- Betsey Johnson
- My mini iPad fitting in my purse
- Getting a little note that I’ve something I’ve written has helped someone
- Thinking about my dad
A two-time survivor of life-threatening disease, and a woman who has lived through bankruptcy – not only financially but physically, psychologically, and spiritually – Lois knows what it is to be bankrupt in every way.She has risen above these circumstances; her passion now is to give others the courage to do the same.
Lois Trader’s wit, wisdom, humor, unvarnished truth, along with a healthy dose of heart healthy practices makes her a sought after speaker. Lois leads with the heart, motivates with laughter, and brings out the best in people. She is brutally honest, first about herself, and then about what we all know we are thinking.