Walking into a Heart Attack…This is My Story

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Go Red for Women

This is a very personal post, far from crafts, and fun things.  It is a look at me, as a wife, mother, and as a human being. I have taken a very deep look inside of myself; and have realized that if I want to enjoy every single moment, laugh, milestone that my family & life has to offer, I need to be around.

So I asked myself this question:  “What point does having a blog to discover the world through my son’s eyes have, if I’m unable to do so?”  Wow, that is a very scary thought, and one that I can’t even fathom.

I’ve struggled with weight all of my life, as far as I can remember even as a child I was always the “big” girl.  However, I never had any ‘major’ health issues until now. A visit to the doctor’s office has put everything in perspective.  Years are creeping on me, and as an overweight woman in her early 40’s I find myself borderline with high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.  To add to that the lack of energy, lower back pain, and the aches of heel spurs that are most of the time unbearable. 
My doctor put the risks of my current health in simple terms: high blood pressure + high cholesterol + over weight + physical inactivity = heart attack.   When I got home after the doctor’s visit, I hugged my son, and my husband. I was so terribly scared at the thought of not being there for them, even as I type this I feel an urge to cry.   Oh my God, I was walking straight into a heart attack!!!  I researched on-line, and read on the American Heart Association that as women get older their risk of having high blood pressure becomes greater than a man’s!  Heart disease is also the #1 killer of women!  
Thinking back there was a time during and after my pregnancy I was very conscious of what I was eating because I was eating for two. I was eating healthy during my pregnancy, and after my son was born because I was nursing  him since the day he was born. For 25 months I made healthy, conscious choices when it came to eating.  Breastfeeding my son was such an accomplishment, especially knowing I was feeding my son the best of the best! Nevertheless,  after I weaned him I started getting careless about what I was eating. I had stopped caring for myself, and putting myself last.  It was easy to nibble on unhealthy snacks through out the day, grab a bite of what my son left on his plate because he didn’t finish it, or off my husband’s plate (yeah, I did that, too!).  Then I had the million and one excuses on why I didn’t have time to exercise or I simply couldn’t.  Then the pounds start creeping, and then I got my reality check during my doctor’s visit.

My doctor decided not to give me prescription medicine because he truly believes that I can lower my blood pressure, and  cholesterol to a normal level by losing weight. I’m grateful to him for not giving me medicine because of all the side effects. I know I can do this! It’s just a matter of taking a step forward to a heart healthier me!  In other words, grabbing the bull by it’s horns!  

I started by taking a Heart Attack Risk Assessment that gave me a slap in the face! It’s like “Look,  these are your numbers, and your risk on getting a heart attack!”  Then I enrolled in our local YMCA, and I’m working out in the mornings (I’m much more productive in the a.m.). I’m also on Weight Watchers On-Line it helps keep track of my food, and physical activities. I’ve also started using a weight loss supplement (yes, I know some people don’t like to use these types of products, but desperate times, require desperate measures, right?).  Plus, there’s an extra incentive they will pay you for losing weight. 🙂 
I wanted to keep my health issues private since this is so personal, but I feel that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. The statistics are alarming! “Heart disease kills more women than men, at an average rate of one death per minute.” I don’t want to be part of the statistics, I want to live long and healthy! 
February is American Heart Month, and it’s also the perfect time to start getting healthy, and taking care of your heart!  It’s never too late, and consult with your doctor before you start any weight loss regimen.  
This post is being linked at Kid Blogger’s Go Red For Women supporting the American Heart Association.  Click on the button below, and check them out for other wonderful post on being heart healthy! 
Go Red for Women Blog Hop

This post contains affiliate links, however I am not being paid.  I am simply using them for my own personal weight loss. 
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9 Responses to “Walking into a Heart Attack…This is My Story”

  1. Thank you for sharing this Frances – I love that it is so different from what you usually write and that it is so personal. It's so easy to just put our best foot forward on our blogs and I really appreciate your honesty in this post. I'm also glad that you have a supportive doctor who hasn't just written a prescription and that you are making the changes you need to. I could really relate to it being so much easier to stick with healthy living during pregnancy and breast feeding – it was the same for me.

  2. Frances, thank you so much for having the courage to share your story here! I struggle also with how personal to make my posts, but in this case I think you are really helping others by raising awareness about this issue.

    As Jody said, most of us have the same problem with losing our focus on being healthy once we are done with breastfeeding. Especially when the kids are young, life is so hectic that it is easy to do things "just for now" or to feel like we deserve to cut ourselves some slack. But what a wake up call for all of us!

    If anyone can turn things around, though, you can! You are such a strong woman and so dedicated to your family that I have no doubt you will make the changes that are needed. Your doctor obviously knows this as well, or he wouldn't have so much confidence in you.

    Best of luck and hang in there! You can do it!

  3. You're welcome, and thank you for your kind words. I struggled for a while wondering if I should publicly write about it or not, but the truth to matter that women are at such high risk! It's scary! On another note, its so much easier to stick to healthy eating when you consciously know you're responsible for your child's nutrition! LOL

  4. Leanna, thank you for your words of encouragement and support! I'm praying that this post will reach out to women who are in my same predicament, but can't find the motivation to start a heart healthy lifestyle. Again, gracias!

  5. Ahi hermanita!!!Your story puts words to my feelings, pinpoints my perspective, and pronounces the moments and emotions I could not describe and even more knowing that you are my only sister, "the one that has always been there for me" In other words my "HERO" that's why I have always respected you, ever since day one…you came into my life. Your words captivated me from the start. Now it's your time!!! You've done enough for everyone…(and still more to come) but now it's your turn to get your health in orbit and give us plenty of you. Thank you for sharing your personal experience in such an honest and straightforward way.
    OJO: Leonides needs you and me too!!!Love you.

  6. ¡Que palabras tan hermosas! Te amo mucho y gracias por tu apoyo y por tus palabras. Ahora tenemos que las dos que ponernos saludables y cuidarnos. Yo también te necesito 🙂 Abrazos desde la distancia.

  7. I'm so glad you shared your personal story for others to read and be inspired by you to do the same including myself. That's part of why I've been sharing our Healthy Heart Mommy and Me Workouts. I wanted my children to see how strong and energetic I should be. I did all of that to get pregnant with them so there's no reason I shouldn't continue while having them. Thank you so much for linking up to our Kid Bloggers Go Red for Women.

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