Sherri Shepherd recently released a book entitled Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes. Presently she’s one of the talk show hostesses on The View. She’s very funny and she’s always been a very large lady, actually the word is obese. She was interviewed by Doctor Oz this week and shared the diabetic history of her family. She said they called it “the sugar” and no one took any steps to deal with it, regardless of how much the disease had progressed. She too was guilty of the same behavior. Denial is the term for the way some people deal with situations they don’t want to face. She was in denial until someone asked her in so many words if she was ready to die one amputation at a time. She changed her life. She took charge. She changed her diet and began exercising. She changed a lIfe threatening situation into a life enhancing practice. She shared some of her new healthy eating techniques and said she now works out at a gym and has turned her home into a gym, not a fancy room with all the bells and whistles. The stairs are her “stair-master.” Her kitchen sink is her “ballet bare” and she never rests her bottom on the toilette. That’s her opportunity to do squats! Diabetes changed her life, for the better.
This second of week of May, 2013 the media has been full of news about Angelina Jolie and her choice to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. It’s not an unusual story. It’s a decision thousands of women have faced and many of whom have chosen the same path. Angelia’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when her mother was in her forties. She died at 55. She decided to undergo the gene test to see if it was indeed a hereditary condition and it came back positive. She had an 87% chance of dying of breast cancer. She chose not to wait for fate to decide her future. She chose to take radical steps to insure that she would not have the words “breast cancer” on her death certificate. Her popularity, perhaps we could even say notoriety, propelled her decision to the front of the news. I personally commend her for making her decision public. It opens the avenue for important discussions. It’s similar to when Betty Ford stepped forward as First Lady and shared she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. We sometimes need celebrities to she’d light on issues that might otherwise go unexamined.
When we are in the middle of some challenge, it’s almost impossible to see it as beneficial. I believe we need to move away and outside of it before we can begin to see ways it may and can bless our lives. It’s all about the whole package, all of life’s lessons are valuable. We are all going to be faced with adversity. Most of us will come through it; there’s no going around it. How we perceive our experience will be determined by how we view our lives. Do we wake each morning and see the blessings the day may bestow upon us or do we rise in fear and dread? What are we focusing on? How do you view the glass, half empty or half full? I’m not talking about not recognizing your sadness and fear. We must acknowledge all our emotions but once we’ve done that and walked through the “valley of death” do we want to continue to suffer (maybe some do.) I, however, would prefer to let the experience teach me whatever lesson I needed to know and then take that knowledge and use it to make me “stronger! stronger! stand a little taller!” as Kelly sings and to enjoy a tall cool glass of that lemonade.