In the past, on Go Red for Women, I thought it was a nice idea but had no relation to me or my life. I controlled blood pressure with medication but was convinced heart disease was something OTHER people battled.
Of course, that changed with my heart attack in December. Now, I’m one of those people – and I’m not alone. Go Red for Women raises awareness of women’s heart disease and I hope hammers home that it’s the leading killer of women.
But the real meaning of Go Red is beyond wearing my favorite color next Friday.
It’s a change in mental attitude. Diets were something that used to be optional for me. I needed to go on one, but there was time to do that – “later.”
Later never gets here. Today already is on our doorstep.
That lesson hammered home to me the day of my heart attack. When the cardiologist started the cath procedure, at the first poke, I flinched. He told me,
“If you move like that again, you will die.”
Yep, I stayed still. Now, I realize that my lifestyle habits also impact me long term. Two of my favorite foods in the world are fried chicken and Cheetos. They are gone. My outlook on food has changed such that when I see butter, margarine, or salt, my first thought is,
“If I eat foods like that, they will kill me.”
As the mom, and primary purchaser of food or selecter of restaurants, this means I control where we shop, what we buy, and what we eat. What does that mean?
- I’m researching which restaurants have the American Heart Association Heart Check Meal Certification for heart healthy menu options. A low calorie menu item doesn’t matter much to me if it also contains 900 mg of salt per serving. Guess where our family is going to eat?
- I’ve blogged which grocery stores in our area carry what healthier food items.
- When festivals and fairs come along, I will only patronize those who sell products that contribute to my health instead of detract from my lifespan. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to have some vegetable packs or something lower fat available.
My next book will most likely be a cookbook of my reworked recipes of a lifetime. I’m still learning how to tweak them to preserve taste but improve their nutritional value.
The best motivation I have to make this a lifetime habit instead of a temporary fad is my family.
My desire to enjoy time with my husband and kids is more important to me than salty, fatty foods that will kill me. What about you?