By Alicia Buffer
Oh, a Healthy Woman event? I know how these work: a bunch of girlfriends get dressed up, are away from their husbands for a night and eat great food at a beautiful event.
Sign. Me. Up.
As a past Healthy Woman program director, I know what the Healthy Woman events entail. Essentially, you wrap up quality medical advice, which all women should and need to know, in a gorgeous signature pink bow, bring delicious food and a few vendors to offer freebies, and you’ve got a party! Everyone has a great time, learns some interesting facts…bam, successful evening.
When I heard Abby Rike was visiting our Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam property to speak at a Healthy Woman event, I assumed this event would follow that same trend. And of course, with this in mind, I had to attend. What woman doesn’t love pink, free things and great food?
I was, at first, very lost. I (shamefully) have never seen ONE episode of “The Biggest Loser.” But as Abby began to talk of her saddening loss and how it prompted her to try out for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” it took a second to comprehend she was talking about her family.
This woman, Abby, had somehow managed to live on after her husband, 5-year-old daughter and two-week-old baby boy were tragically killed in a car wreck seven years ago. As she spoke of her circumstances, she was surprisingly collected. The ability to stand in a roomful of women and speak so comfortably about something so incredibly hurtful—unimaginable, really—was remarkable to me. She wasn’t asking for anything more from us than to learn from her situation. And she did it with such GRACE.
Abby spoke of the wreck, of the years following and of her time on The Biggest Loser.
“The first time since the wreck, I was giving my all to something. I’d get up the next day and think, just survive today.”
She spoke of challenges. She spoke of strength. She spoke of faith. She spoke of moving on.
She gave us “The world according to Macy.” Three basic concepts inspired by her late, curly-haired, vivacious daughter.
1. Count your blessings.
2. Dream a little.
3. Be fearless.
I may have missed “The Biggest Loser,” but I understood what she was driving home to every woman in that ballroom. As she reminisced about her time after the show—of discovering herself—this woman, who had faced the un-faceable then wore spandex on national TV, challenged us.
Yes, there was pink. Yes, there were excellent food and freebies. Yes, there were friends enjoying their night out. But every woman in the Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs ballroom left inspired to become a truly healthy woman.
“Failure lets you know you’re alive,” she said. “I give you the challenge: Do something that you could fail at. Let yourself know you’re still alive.”
She inspired me to focus on the whole picture, to become a healthy woman: mind, body and spirit. I pass that challenge on to you.
Count your blessings. Dream a little. Be fearless. And above all, whatever hole you may have in your bucket—be it the loss of a family member, physical challenges, hurtful memories—repair it. Because once that hole is filled, your bucket will begin to overflow.