In the beginning, there was woman

Two topics to cover this week. The first is a health check-in. In January, I blogged about getting healthy and it’s time to give some reminders and give some new insights. Second topic is about what our country’s fetish about women & sexism says about where things stand in 2017.

Healthy you …we do all come from a Woman so if we can keep the women in our lives healthy, that’s a good beginning. And, if Laila Ali can do it for 7 minutes, we can too.

How are you doing with your health & fitness goals so far this year? Women sometimes put themselves last on their to-do list and fitness doesn’t get “to-done.” Men, you may have the same issues so this applies to you as well. All of us need to focus on taking care of ourselves. The month of February has a big focus on heart health so this week I want to remind you to take care of your heart, take care of yourself. If you slipped on your fitness and health goals, get back to them. And yes, particularly the women. We take the time off to take our kids to a doctor’s appointment or accompany our mother or father to their appointment. But, have you booked your annual check-up? Have you scheduled your dental cleaning? We wouldn’t procrastinate if our kids needed it so take a moment for yourself.

Fitness goals … what happened to those three times a week to exercise, strength training, stretching, walking or jogging. As for me, I am still walking although I must admit some days lately it has been two miles instead of three miles. The weather has been windy and I find that two miles of fighting the wind in my face is just about enough, especially with having a cold. I haven’t been as diligent with the strength training either but there’s today to begin anew. I found a strenuous but short workout to share with you.  Laila Ali did a 7-minute workout on Doctor Oz that includes some butt kicks, arms work, lower body and more, check it out: http://www.doctoroz.com/video-series/regimens-7-minute-workouts?video_id=5167081810001  Surely, we can devote seven minutes to a better body. We spend more time than that gossiping about Beyonce.

Mental and emotional health … And, don’t forget about your emotional and mental health. In many communities, it’s still taboo to talk about mental health but it is very important to have the conversation and more important to seek help when needed. Let’s remove the stigma. If we had a hurting back it is normal to go to a doctor so if we are feeling emotional and mental anxiety, it is also normal to seek help. Two weeks ago, I attended a local support group meeting in Washington, DC for National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI). The meeting was very affirming. The attendees were at various stages of their healing and recovery. Some were there for family members who needed to get help and they were seeking advice/support. Some were in their own healing and recovery. It was open dialogue and a no-judgement zone. I left uplifted and thrilled that such a group exists and meets weekly for anyone, family members and all. There’s nothing wrong and everything right with saying I am struggling and doing something about it. Their website is: http://www.nami.org. Find a local group, talk to your care professional, find a therapist or social worker. And, find time to get quiet and reflect each day on your blessings. My mother often reminded me that gratitude is good for our emotional well-being. She was right.

Sexism is alive and well in these United States of America … I went to my first Huddle last Friday, February 10th, which was action 2 of the 10 actions from the Women’s March 100 days of actions. We were 20 women and 1 man in the group. That’s kind of funny. One of the topics was the role that sexism had played in the 2016 Presidential elections. I believe that sexism is what helped elect Trump and sexism is what helped defeat Hillary Clinton. I told the Huddle group that I had an ominous feeling in October 2016 that Trump would win. I didn’t want to give in to that feeling and I still worked hard for Hillary to win. I canvassed, I did phone banks, I did voter registration, I stood at polling places, I went to rallies. The night before the election, Hillary’s very last campaign stop was set at the last minute for Raleigh. I knew that I had to go because in my heart, despite what the polls were saying, I knew it really was her last rally. My intuition, my gut feeling was that even with all the endorsements, all the logic, this country was not going to elect a woman yet. Before I left the rally just before 1 a.m., I turned and looked one last time at Hillary, Bill and Chelsea and felt my heart drop as I said to myself she did all she could do but sexism will win.

In the beginning, there was woman but a man who was the worst possible candidate even convinced 53% of women that a man should get their vote. If that hasn’t convinced us that sexism is still rampant, nothing else could. I told our Huddle that it is no accident that Republican state legislatures have an enacted an onslaught of laws to control women’s bodies in the years since 2010. If women can be forced on what to do with their bodies, their minds are controllable too. In fact, the 2016 Republican women proved the mind game is well under control. Evangelical Christians and bible-toting Catholics defied their faith teachings and voted for a faithless man who had demonstrated everything they preach against instead of a woman who lived by faith and had a lifetime of career jobs giving back. Can there be any doubt about sexism in these United States of America?

What can you and I do? Honor the men and women in our lives. Honor living. Honor where life comes from and honor life once it comes through the birth canal. Whether you see yourself as pro-choice or pro-life, women and motherhood deserve real respect not rhetoric. Women are leading the Resistance and yet they are not leading it alone. It will take all of us to eradicate the sexism that helped elect the 45th occupant of the oval office.Women deserve equal rights, equal pay, equal access to jobs and the day must come when this country is ready to elect a competent qualified woman to be the President. We had our chance, 65 million agreed and we may need to get rid of the Electoral College system to make it stick but even getting rid of the Electoral College system won’t fix the sexism we saw during the campaign.

We can stand up for truth. As the days move forward on the Resistance, we will sharpen the focus on what we are for, not just what we are against. More to come on that in future blogs. For now, in this beginning we must be once and for all against sexism. We have to be able to show our daughters that they really can grow up to be anything they want to be.

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