Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Apply big inspiration to everyday issues

While I truly love what I do at Hospice of Southern Illinois, there are a couple times a year when my job is an absolute blast and a wonderful growing experience. Sunday was one of those days. Not only did I get some really great information, but I got a whole lot of inspiration! Inspiration is the something that gives people hope, and that is exactly what I want to share with you today: hope and inspiration.
Sunday I was working at a Healthy Women Event in Collinsville, Illinois. The event offered a variety of free health screenings, information on healthy living, and information on healthcare services. A special guest was in store that I was excited about, but didn’t have many expectations good, bad or indifferent. When 2:00 p.m. approached, I found a friend and waited for this “famous TV personality” to start her motivational talk as the emcee announced, “Welcome Ali Vincent, winner of season 5’s Biggest Loser and first female contestant of the show.”
Ali walked out flaunting her strong arms wearing a blue tank top and showing off her muscular legs in a tight mini skirt and high heels. She had a confidence about her and then as I listened to her speak I realized she struggled with her quality of life just as people do all over the world. She was just like any of us, but now more confident and knowledgeable than ever! What happened? Yes, she lost over a hundred pounds and it had everything to do with that, but it also had nothing to do with that. What happened? I would like to share some great points of hers with you now. While I cannot recall every word that came out of her mouth, and no she didn’t give us her secret workout recipe because she said there isn’t one, she did give us was a dose of hope and inspiration. Here is what happened.
Throughout her journey she began to shift her thoughts from why is this happening to me, to this has to happen to me. As the scale reflected a lighter Ali, her mind reflected a bigger lifestyle change. As the choices for a better life seemed impossible before, she chose to make them possible in her future. What happened was not only a physical transformation, but a mental transformation and that is exactly what I want you to take away from this. She got big inspiration to win the title of Biggest Loser, from an everyday issue like being overweight. She gave us inspiration because she struggled just like we do. She gave us in spiration because she made choices, believed and talked about it. She gave us inspiration because she made it possible! If she can do it, we can do it! Take her hope and inspiration and impliment it. Yes I want you to implement it for your goals in fitness and goals in your job or any goals you have, but consider it even the everyday issues. Issues like your future; future as in end-of-life. Make a choice for a better quality of life at the end of life.    

First of all, she made a point that we should believe in the impossible. For example, the people of Biggest Loser said it was not possible for a female to win the show because a female who had the same weight and exerted the same effort as a male, the male would always be able to come out ahead. Ali said, “Possible! She just had to work harder than the male then!”
She made another point that we should tell people about our goals and they will support you, even people you never thought would. For example, (Ali was on the pink team with her mother, just so you know.) when she was working out at home in the local gym (because she was kicked of the show during game-play but later got the opportunity to return to the ranch) she would always wear her pink shirt happily representing the color that represented females. She began noticing girls everywhere were rooting for her too. Possible! They were wearing pants that said, “Team Pink,” on the back. (Definitely not associated with the famous Victoria Secret Line, but rooting for her!)
The most important point I took away was that she said she never even thought it was possible until she was ready to accept it and once she realized impossible was a choice, she did accepted the possible! She could feel it in her every step, taste it with every bite and imagine it with every thought. After she accepted the challenge to believe in everything she deserved, she knew it was all POSSIBLE! At the end of her presentation she challenged us all to go get a goal and then tell someone about it.
Now after hearing her speak, I would like to extend her challenge to you. It may not be easy and it may not be fun, but whether you are a Biggest Loser like Ali, avid gardener, food enthusiast, stylish fashion-ista, sport junkie, healthcare advocate, politician, or whatever defines who you are, take the challenge; Make end of life choices; believe in your end-of-life options; tell people about your end-of-life options. Take the challenge! Make a choice for a better quality of life at the end of life and then talk about it! 

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

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