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Kathy Ireland: A Model Message For All Women

Kathy Ireland Book Cover Kathy Ireland's latest book, Real Solutions For Busy Moms, Your Guide to Success and Sanity, offers readers a well-designed, practical plan on topics that range from money matters to household safety.

NOTE: A new copy, signed by Kathy, is the May Gift Giveaway for a Here We Are reader who comments on any entry during this month (you must be subscribed by email).

At a recent event, as Kathy signed the copy, she also included the message, "Please take care of yourself." While the book focuses on "Moms," it carries a message for all women to remember to first take care of oneself. There are several chapters dedicated to this very idea, "No I In Mom," and "Your Best You."

Are you taking care of "you?" If you have to pause to think about the last time you did anything for yourself, the answer is probably "no." During a discussion of the book, Kathy spoke about this very issue women encounter, "Take time for yourself before everyone else...YOU are a member of your family, so taking care of your family means taking care of yourself." This seems simple enough, but why is it so many women struggle with this common, self-induced dilemma?

While I don't claim to have the answer, one of the reasons Here We Are exists is to help busy women enjoy a variety of useful topics. It also exists as a place to explore ideas, thoughts, and important issues to empower women to live a better, brighter, easier lifestyle on our way to running the world. If we can't take care of ourselves, we will never run the world. We will just stay exhausted, distracted, and begin to forget who we are as individuals. If we are not strong individually, we can not be strong collectively.   

Yes, this is a complex, and perhaps, an uncomfortable area to explore; but we have to begin thinking in terms of our own best personal treatment or lack thereof. It is not selfish, egotistical, or vain. It is self-preserving, self-honoring, and necessary.

So tonight, tomorrow, and the day after...implement Kathy's message as a model to shape your life each and every day, "Please take care of yourself."

Tell us your approach to taking care of yourself or how you will begin this process by adding a comment below.

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Comments

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Luci Weston

@Emily: You are so right...the more exercise, the more energy. It is simple and when I fall off the exercise wagon, I notice it right away. Plus, I just sleep better when I am exercising regularly.

I just got the Wii with the Fit program. It totally works to keep me interested. It is fun to track your progress and there is a lot of variety so it doesn't get boring.

Emily

When I was growing up as the oldest of three girls, my mom spent most of her time running us around. While we always were taught good eating habits at home, exercising was not something we were taught to value. Then when I went to college, the habit of non-exercise caught up with me, and my mom and I decided that we would help each other by being a long distance accountability partner. She joined her local gym and I used my college gym, and we took new classes and shared our likes an dislikes. Now that I am back in my hometown, it is easy to forego exercise because I work long hours and my commute is long. But seeing my mom stick with her routine of going to the gym is helping me make it a priority for myself again and when I make the effort I notice a difference in my mood and energy levels.

Luci Weston

@April: Thanks for commenting and telling us about your Mom. WOW! 6 kids and she kept her identity!! This is a great testimonial that it can be done.

I am so glad you shared your experience of learning from her, maybe it will help lessen "guilt/worry" other women might have when it comes to this issue.

What book are you currently reading in your group? I am looking for a good summer read to share with HWA readers.

April

Fortunately, I had a fantastic role model...my mom. She had 6 kids and always took the time to do things she wanted, not needed to do. Once we were old enough, she went back to school to get her degree. When my father passed, she mourned but was able to live her life because she made sure she was had her own identity.

Now that I am a mom I take time to do things I enjoy...community service, book group, and a knitting group.

Luci Weston

@Janine: Good! Kathy has sets of questions at the end of each chapter that work as a guide to evaluate and apply the topics for your own life. I think you will like it.

Do it today...just one small thing you like to do, or that will make you happy...stop and do it Janine!! Now is the time.

Janine N

Luci,

Thank you for posting about this book - I was not aware of it. I will definitely go buy a copy (unless I win the contest, of course!). I want to start looking at taking care of my life and well being as a benefit to my myself and my family.

Luci Weston

@KimLKM: Thank you for sharing this quote. I didn't see the Oprah article, but obviously there is a trend happening. I like the wording Michelle Obama used, "...changing the expectation of who we have to be..."

I do think it goes beyond an exercise regiment, sleeping so your body is rested is certainly doing something necessary. (I am an 8-hr girl.) Even a hot bath or late night shower can do wonders for rejuvenating ones' spirit. The challenge is allowing ourselves to actually "make and take" the time to do it!

KimLKM

In the April 2009 issue of O Magazine, there was an excellent interview of Michelle Obama by Oprah. There is an interesting segment on making one's own health and well-being a priority.

In response to a discussion about women doing what it takes to take care of themselves, Michelle Obama says, "I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself," and later, "Well, I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I'd get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I'd get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it's suddenly, 'Oh, I can't get up at 4:30.' So I had to change that. If I don't exercise, I won't feel good. I'll get depressed. ... That's why work-family balance isn't just a policy conversation; it's about changing the expectations of who we have to be as women and parents.

I really liked this personal care philosophy. But I still cannot make myself get up early to exercise. The option to sleep rules my brain!

Luci Weston

@Ching Ya: Thank you for your honest comment. I hope other HWA readers are inspired by your determination to make a change.

As women, we always seem to be pushing ourselves to "get things done." It is time to "stop and smell the roses," and examine what it is we want and need. Doing this will make us more productive.

Ching Ya

Upon reading this, I was feeling bad for mis-treated myself lastnight, for working till 2:30am. A very habit, and it's wearing me out physically and mentally. I am destroying my health literally.

Starting from now on, I will not allow myself work till over midnight. There should be more quality time of my own to relax my mind, and deal with the exhaustion before it's eating me alive. That's the first thing I need to deal with before anything else.

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