Monthly Archives: February 2013
I Love You More Than Applesauce
By Jack Prelutsky
I love you more than applesauce,
Than peaches and a plum,
Than chocolate hearts,
And cherry tarts,
And berry bubble-gum.
I love you more than lemonade,
And seven-layer cake,
And candy drops,
And thick vanilla shake.
I love you more than marzipan,
Than marmalade on toast;
For I love pies
Of any size,
But I love you the most.
Thanks to the wonderful generosity of a friend, I got to attend one of the 2013 Fall New York Fashion Week shows on Monday (Reem Arca show). I am so thankful to have been able to attend a New York Fashion Week show. Now, if only I can work up to being able to afford a Fashion Week piece of clothing… 🙂
**February is American Heart Health Month- to learn more about the occurrence of heart disease in women (symptoms and prevention), please visit http:/www.womenheart.org and http:/www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease/HB00040
The pain of losing her husband, my father, to prostate cancer was a blow my mother was never able to process. My father was the center of my mothers universe, the reason for her being, when he passed away so did any expectation that she’d start taking care of her health. Her dysfunctional alliance with food escalated into a deadly race to consume as much sugar and fried foods she believed would soothe her grief. This toxic combination of sugar and fried foods, coupled with no exercise, created a perilous environment for maladies of all shapes and sizes to fester within her body.
In June 2011, my mother died of a heart attack. At the time of her death, my mother was obese and suffering from a multitude of health problems. Obesity, along with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, are the most frequently touted factors cited in the development of heart disease in men and women. My mother was part of the 75% of Hispanic women who are classified as overweight or obese (http://http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.womenheart.org/resource/resmgr/docs/women_and_heart_disease_fact.pdf). However, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure were not the only factors that contributed to my mother’s heart attack.
Less touted, but equally as troublesome in the development of heart disease, is mental stress and depression. For women, mental stress and depression plays a significantly larger and deadlier role in the development of heart disease than men (http://http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease/HB00040). On average, more women than men suffer from heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer among women in America. It is estimated that 1 out of 3 women die annually of heart disease in the U.S.
When adding to these statistics the fact that my maternal grandmother also died of a heart attack, my decision to commit to a more heart health conscious existence ceases to be an unsavory chore. The stress of losing both of my parents and toiling away at a job I don’t like places me at risk to fall into the type of depression that for me can lead to junk food binges and endless bouts of crying. After my father died, I fell into a destructive loop of eating junk food and crying. Not only had I stopped exercising, my hair suffered significant breakage. Internally and externally, I was a wreck. Oddly, I did not think I was at a critical health juncture. It wasn’t until one of my younger brothers made a remark about the weight I gained that I took a serious look at where I was headed health wise. In that moment, I knew that I had to make a radical change.
From that day forward, I cut out a lot of the junk food I was consuming and exercise became an extension of my life, rather than something I did to fit into a specific outfit. It hasn’t all been perfect. Playing the role of bystander to my mother’s self-sabotage was more than enough to bring me back to the stress and depression levels that I was at when my father was dying of prostate cancer. But unlike when my father was dying of prostate cancer, I now had a mechanism to workout my angst and sadness. I was committed not to fall into the pit of despair and self-destruction that my mother was barreling straight towards. Sadly, you cannot save someone who does not want to be saved, but you can save yourself.
Physically, I feel stronger than I ever have in my life! Stress and depression still cross my path, and unfortunately I am still at the job I don’t like, nonetheless, I fight like hell every day not to let those factors drag me down. Some days are better than others, but I’m committed to end the deadly cycle of heart disease among the women in my family.
What steps do you take to increase your heart health?
” Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel
What does having a sense of style mean? Does having a sense of style mean knowing what’s currently and soon to be hot? Does a sense of style dictate that you stand in, or does it demand that you stand out? Does it mean that you wear the this season’s Prada and/or Chanel?
Despite being a lover of clothes, shoes, accessories, and bags, I’m far from what one would call a “fashionista.” Sure, I’ve heard of Prada and Chanel, but I wouldn’t be able to identify last seasons Prada and Chanel from that which these designers manufactured 2 seasons ago. My cup does not runneth over with knowledge of designers.
My attention to, and love of, all things related to fashion generally falls in queue with my budget. In other words, I’m broke. This financial conundrum limits not only my ability to purchase items from high-end designers, it also quells the desire to torture myself by ogling clothing and accessories I can only dream of buying. Nevertheless, last New York Fashion Week (Spring/Summer), I found myself watching live streams of various shows online. A curious thing happened while I was watching these shows. First, I was not filled with pangs of envy over not being able to afford (and fit into) to the clothing the waif-like models were profiling up and down the catwalk. Every article of clothing that shimmied down the catwalk increased my sense of excitement over witnessing the realization of the designer’s vision. Whether it be in the form of prose, film, or fashion, vision is what every creative person longs to cultivate and share.
Of course, the main focus of fashion week is the clothes, clothes that will undoubtedly influence what will be offered in the coming season. From the silver screen, to award shows, to the average person on the street, what will be showcased during this week will inspire how many will express themselves in the months to come. But beyond inspiring what style I chose to add my own little twist to, fashion week is a time for me to get inspired by the creative force that brought the different collections to life. It is a time for me to revel in the craftsmanship, fantasy, whimsy, energy, and excitement symbolic of this week.
If you’ve never seen a fashion week show, give it a try, it may refuel your creative energy in ways you’ve never dreamed. And who knows, you may even like what you see.
**Live streams and recaps of the fashion week shows can be viewed at http://www.mbfashionweek.com/