This is a new thing for me in my blogging world–I’ve actually been selected as one of Lean Cuisine’s Phenomenal Ambassadors. I’ve never been an ambassador for a brand before, but I’ve always loved Lean Cuisine–it was my go-to when I needed to buy frozen, quick dinners and didn’t want my family eating pizza. So I thought I could get behind it–especially since later this summer I’ll get to take an immersion tour of their kitchens in Ohio. How cool is that?
But what I really liked was the way Lean Cuisine is overhauling their brand. The brand is reintroducing itself as a brand focused on modern eating; with bold, ethnic flavors, new attributes, contemporary packaging – which I’ll be writing about later – as well as a new brand campaign that I’m thrilled to share with you today.
Lean Cuisine’s new brand campaign Feed Your PhenomenalTM reflects its new brand purpose: to feed the greatness in every woman.
To kick things off, Lean Cuisine is releasing a video featuring real women “weighing” themselves to help start a social conversation that reinforces the message that the most important thing we should weigh is our accomplishments.
And so Lean Cuisine asked me to share one of my accomplishments that I’m most proud of.
So often we women judge ourselves by our appearance. It’s all about what we look like on the OUTSIDE. But it’s really our inside that matters.
Now this is primarily a marriage blog–we talk about how to bolster our marriages, and I’ve said often that it’s hard to have a great marriage if we don’t feel confident and secure in ourselves first.
But I want to take it one step further today. I think that often we judge people not just on the appearance of their bodies, but on the appearance of their families. We judge on the outside in everything: is her home perfect; is her hair perfect; is her waist perfect; are her kids perfect. And, of course, is her marriage perfect?
And that makes most of us scared to be honest. We’re scared to tell others when we’re struggling in case we’re judged.
So when I’m asked about my accomplishments, I want to be honest today.
I could point to books I’ve written or this blog or how well my girls turned out. But actually what I’m really proud of is that I have hung in there and did the right thing.
When Keith and I speak at marriage conferences we always say,
“We’re Keith and Sheila, we’ve been married for 23 years and happily married for 19.”
Once the kids came, it was about making sure they didn’t take over my life and that I still had time with my husband.
When our son Christopher died, it was about realizing that so many couples broke up after a huge loss like that, and that I wasn’t prepared for that to happen to us.
It was about choosing not to get upset when he was on call so much and I was alone with the kids. It was about choosing to make the time we did have together fun, instead of blaming him for not being home more.
And this year, as we are going through so many changes and our girls Katie and Rebecca are moving on with their lives, it’s about making a conscious decision that we are going to reinvent ourselves, not as parents, but as lovers. And even though Keith loves bird watching way more than I do, it’s about deciding to go out to the conservation area with him. It’s about not spending all my time on the computer, even when I want to, and do something he wants to do instead.
It’s about daily asking myself, “what is the wise thing to do right now?”, not always “what is the fun thing to do right now?” It’s keeping the bigger perspective.
And to tell you the truth, it’s hard. Keith’s job and my job have taken us away from each other so much in the last three years. And I find that I like being alone. I’m a little scared of what it will be like when he cuts down his work hours and we go on the road together more. But I’m also excited. And I’m determined that we will reconnect and redefine ourselves.
Now, please note: I’m not saying that I’m proud that my marriage is a success. I’m not even saying that I’m proud that I didn’t give up at my marriage. I’m saying that I’m proud that I didn’t give up doing the right thing.
And I believe you can say that WHETHER OR NOT your marriage is a success today.
I’ve been blown away by Natalie, the blogger at Visionary Womanhood. Natalie has been blogging for years on parenting and Christian living and homeschooling. But lately her blog has taken a turn.
She has been so authentic and so honest and so downright WISE in what she has written over the last year and a half as she has shared about the disintegration of her marriage. She worked for years to keep the marriage together until she finally realized that God didn’t want a sham of a marriage; He wanted two people who love Him and who respect each other. God doesn’t want us to allow ourselves, or our kids, to be berated, belittled, and abused, all in the name of marriage.
And so she had to let her dream of marriage go.
She separated from her husband and threw herself into supporting her kids, learning more about what God wants from us, and learning more about her husband. She is still hoping and praying for reconciliation and for her husband to understand God. But even if he doesn’t, she is doing the right thing. She is listening to what God is teaching her and she isn’t giving up.
A great marriage isn’t an accomplishment, it’s a gift–because no one can make a great marriage by themselves. If you have a great marriage, that isn’t yours to brag about. That’s God’s grace.
But acting right and doing your part to create a great marriage–that’s something we can all do. That is an accomplishment. Even if you don’t always succeed in getting your heart’s desire.
The greatest accomplishment isn’t having a marriage that looks great on the outside. It’s not living a comfortable life. It’s deciding to do what is right and good, regardless. Even if you’re tired. Even if you’re sad. Even if you’re alone. It’s putting one foot in front of the other every day.
And isn’t that what commitment means in marriage? It’s not committing to stay married–anyone can do that. It’s committing to doing your best to make this marriage the best it can be, on a daily basis, knowing that the success of the marriage is ultimately out of your hands. You do your part, so that you can always look back, regardless of what happened, and say, “I loved my husband and I loved God.”
If we were all so much more authentic, and believed that we were worth something inherently because of who we were made, I think we would see so much more health in every sense of the word–health in our bodies, health in our relationships, health in our spirits. But we spend so much time trying to get others to think we’re perfect that we focus our energy in the wrong direction.
It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to be a mess. But if, in the midst of that mess, you treat yourself well, you treat your husband with integrity and faithfulness, and you treat your kids with love, you have accomplished a lot.
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