AHA 2013 Lifestyle Change Award

This past weekend was amazing for me.  On Sunday, October 6, 2013, I was honored to have been the recipient of the American Heart Association 2013 Lifestyle Change Award.

Thank you to the Jenny Craig Hartsdale Center for nominating me for this honor.

The Lifestyle Change Award is given to individuals who have made a positive impact on their health and quality of life, and influenced or inspired those around them to do the same.

Never thinking that I will win among many other nominees, I got an e-mail on Friday that shocked me. It was from the Regional Director, Westchester & Putnam Counties of the American Heart Association  letting me know I have been selected as the winner of this award.

I was going to be recognized at the Heart Walk in Westchester County, and they also wanted me to help cut the ribbon to start the walk.  I just couldn't believe it!  I was in total disbelief.  This was  AMAZING!!!

Never in a million years would I have believed that I will win an AHA award for changing my life.  I started this journey as what I like to call a "selfish act."  I was doing it for myself, I felt that God had given me a second shot at life, yet I was sabotaging it, killing myself slowly by being so unhealthy.  I never thought that by doing this for myself,  I was going to inspired others to improve their own health and be recognized. 

It was raining on the day of the event, but I did NOT let it rain on my parade.  I felt elated, nothing was going to take that feeling away from me.  Being presented with such an honor in front of hundreds of people was one the most amazing experiences in my life so far. 

Jenny Craig supporting
Even though I am the recipient of this award, I have to share it with so many other people.  People that supported and still support me on my journey.  I will say it again, no one fights a battle ALONE.

I know that ultimately it is up to me to succeed, but you have to have the support and love to help you. I consider myself more than blessed to have had that support.  I want to thank all my supporters for believing in me, and making me believe in myself.

There are two people that I wish were here to share my moment, my Mom (RIP) and my JC's Counselor and friend, Ronni (RIP) - but I know they were right beside me and feeling proud of me.   

Cutting the ribbon to start the walk
Thanks to my husband Freddie for always being a constant in my life in the lows and in the highs. To my brother Rudy for always supporting me from near or far, to the rest of my beautiful family and to the rest of my main cheerleaders (you know who you are)- I thank you.   

Special thanks to someone who has guided me to find the inner fire within me, my trainer and friend, Ketsy.  I thank you for the guidance, your teachings, your mentoring, and for funneling your passion to me.

Last but not least I want to thank Merit Direct who sponsored and presented me with this award, Jennifer Gelick, Regional Director, Westchesr County American Heart Association, and Jenny Craig Hartsdale Center.  

I will continue the journey of health for all my days to come, and if I inspire or influence you to improve your own health, then that to me makes everything even more worth while.  Much health to ALL.

"To keep the body in good health is a duty.... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear" ~ Buddha

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