Archive for the ‘BetterU’ Category

BetterMe – Week 5

August 2, 2009

A very interesting topic for this week – it’s all about how more isn’t always better. And man is that so true with the heart. In college we used to think one beer was good, but 10 beers was great!! Now those 10 beers can do some serious hitting on my heart. Besides the fact I’m just too old now for hangovers….

But for the purposes of this week’s lesson with getting a better heart, this is focused around weight. Remember that obesity is one of the big risk factors for heart disease. Even dropping 5% of your weight if you are overweight can make a big difference. So Get Active, Eat Healthy and let’s lose some weight America!! Now, while weight is a factor, a healthy weight doesn’t equal a healthy heart. Which is why it is so important for everyone to go thru this 12-week program to learn more about your heart and how you can better take care of the MOST important organ in your body.

Alot of women are emotional eaters. I know I was, still kinda am…. I just have to be really careful with it now. I can’t go eat a whole bag full of candy because I’m stressed out about something – that could be a couple days worth of sodium for me. Now here is a scary stat that was in this week’s lesson: a handful of potato chips a day can add about 1,000 calories a week. That translates to you gaining 4 pounds in three months and 16 pounds a year!

So, since obesity is such a big risk factor, that is the focus of this week’s goals:
1.  I’m going to pick up the pace on my bike – ride a little faster than I have been, while keeping my heart rate in check.
2. Figure out what my recommended daily caloric intake needs to be and start sticking close to that number. (sodium is the most important factor here for me…)
3. Find out my BMI number to see which category I fall in.
4. Start paying better attentions to my moods and how that affects my eating.

So, how did I do last week? I’ll be honest, I fell short on two of my goals. I didn’t solicit someone to help me with one of my Go Red Goals. I know who I want to ask and what it’s for, I just let the week get away from me. So I will get that done this week. The other one is I didn’t add resistance training in my workout. Maybe part of it is being a little gun shy, I really don’t want to push where I shouldn’t be. Part of me wants to talk this one over with my doc.

Anyhoo… so come on board and become a BetterU for your heart!!

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BetterMe – Week 4

July 28, 2009

Technically this should be week 5, but I took last week off for vacation. So we are on week 4.  Ironically the theme for this week is to “strengthen your resolve”. After taking the week off, I need that – need to get my focus back on my heart and getting it as strong and healthy as I can. And we will be focused hard core this week.

There are strength in numbers. This is true across the board. So don’t feel like you have to tackle your heart all by yourself. Surround yourself with people who can help get you where you need to be, and people who will follow healthy lifestyles. When you are surrounded by that, it’s easier to be healthy yourself. And this should be the only heart you get – we have to make it work!! This week’s material forces you to look at your activities and identify where you need help. I will say it’s hard for me to go out of town. I love to!! But it’s just so hard to follow my diet when I’m out of town. And now with the airlines getting stricter on your carry-on’s – it’s next to impossible for me to travel with my own food.

So.. how did I do on Week 3?? My goal was to keep a physical activity log and I did that. I’m really excited about the workout program I’m working on. In a later blog I will write more about it.

Here are my goals for this week:
1. Add resistance training to my workout at least 2 days. (Note: I have to be really careful about this, my doctor has given me tight restrictions on what I can and cannot do, so I will be operating within those boundaries.)
2. Share a healthy recipe or nutrition tip with a friend. (if you go out to eat with me, trust me – you’ll get some tips!!)
3. Ask one person to help me with a Go Red Makeover Goal.

I am bound and determined to makeover my heart to be a BetterMe, and I hope you will join me. You can sign up at anytime for the BetterU program at Go Red for Women’s website –>  http://www.goredforwomen.org/BetterU/index.aspx

Stay tuned next to week to see how I did!

BetterMe – Week 3

July 14, 2009

One of the things I love most about the 4th of July weekend is you have the Wimbledon finals, Daytona under the lights and the Tour de France. I remember my brother used to tape every stage, I always thought he was crazy!! Until he passed the cycling bug onto me, now I’m glued to the tv watching every stage. And especially this year with Lance’s comeback. If Lance can come back, so can I!!

I could feel my fingers & feet tingling to get on my bike! So that’s why it was a goal of mine for week 2. Before HF, I would commit to 100 miles a week (when I was training for the MS Bike Tour that’s what we would ride). But starting over, I just need to get back on the bike and take it from there.

So, how did I do on my goals for week 2?
These were my goals:
1. Keep up with the three times a week walks.
2. Take one of my favorite recipes and re-do it to make it heart healthy.
3. Take the Go Red Heart Check-up (on the Go Red for Women site) to learn my risk for heart disease and stroke.
4. Get my bike ready to ride.

I hit all of my goals. I was sooooooooooo excited to get my bike back. Terry did a great job getting her all cleaned up and prepped for me to start riding again. For the Go Red Heart Check-up, I took the test and I am at high risk for having a heart attack. Well… I knew that one. What’s important is that you go take the test to see what your risk is.

My physical activity training is completely opposite of how I have ever trained for anything in my life. Which leads my to Week 3.  Knowing your heart could and can save your life. It’s important that you know all of your heart numbers – your blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol, etc. Next time you go in for a physical, write down these numbers. In addition to knowing your numbers, tracking what you eat and your physical activity  is important. I know I get on my low sodium soap box, but if we don’t start lowering the amount of sodium we intake the consequences will be detrimental. Your heart’s life depends on it. And studies show that the more you choose to track your progess the higher your chances are for success.

So my goal for Week 3:
1. To get a log of my physical activity and how it effects my heart rate.
I already track my food pretty closely, but this week I am continuing to focus on eating more servings of fruits and vegetables.

I hope you will join me and make your heart Betta For You!!

BetterMe – Week 2

July 6, 2009

We are now on Week 2 of the BetterU program. This is a 12-week program to makeover your health and makeover your heart. To read more about this program –>
http://www.goredforwomen.org/BetterU/program_overview.aspx

There are certain risks factors for heart disease that you have absolutely no control over – age, race, family history. But there are several risk factors you do have control over – your weight, the foods you eat, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, chloestrol and physical activity. The time has come that we change our everyday habits to keep our hearts healthy, and keep them alive! I turn 32 in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to survive heart failure. My heart disease didn’t come from one of the above risk factors – my damage was done from chemotherapy. But making changes in the risk factors I can control will help my heart get stronger. And I need every inch I can get. The scary part is while I thought I was relatively healthy before, my habits would have put me at risk for heart disease later on in life.

Do you know the warning signs of a sroke or heart attack????
From the AHA Website:
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Here are some of the signs that can mean a heart attack is happening.

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you or someone you’re with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don’t wait longer than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1.  Get to a hospital right away.  (Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment.)

If you’re the one having symptoms, and you can’t access emergency medical services (EMS), have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Don’t drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

The warning signs of stroke are:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Not all the warning signs occur in every stroke. Don’t ignore signs of stroke, even if they go away! If you or someone with you has one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, don’t delay! Immediately call 9-1-1 or the emergency medical services (EMS) number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can quickly be sent for you.

For Week 1 these were my goals:
1. Eat heart healthy fruit, veggie, whole greain or lean meat with every meal.
2. Exercise at least 10 minutes three times this week.

So, how did I do….. The exercise part I blew out of the water, I even surprised myself. I was able to stay on the treadmill for 60 minutes by the end of the week, keeping my heart rate under the max the doc gave me. It was really motivational for me. I haven’t really been able to work out at all since my heart went out in December. Just when I got to a point the doc would release me to start slowly exercising, my heart went south again and put a hault to everything. It feels good to sweat!! I will admit the little bit I can do on the treadmill is rather pathetic compared to the exercise regiment I had before December, but it’s a start. I have to start somewhere, right?? And like I said before it’s not about how fast I get there, it’s the act of getting “there”. I’m looking forward to moving up on speed (eventually) on the treadmill. As for the heart healthy foods – I’ll give myself a B-. I will admit, I took the 4th of July off, but I did get lots of yummy fruit in the sangria (does that count???). Outside of the 4th, there were only two meals I missed having a heart healthy food at, but did try to make it up with snacks.

For week 2 here are my goals:
1. Keep up with the three times a week walks.
2. Take one of my favorite recipes and re-do it to make it heart healthy.
3. Take the Go Red Heart Check-up (on the Go Red for Women site) to learn my risk for heart disease and stroke.
4. Get my bike ready to ride.

What you don’t know CAN hurt you! Join the program and become a Better U for your heart!

Join me today!!
http://www.goredforwomen.org/BetterU/program_overview.aspx
You can follow all of the BetterU blogs by clicking on the category BetterU.

BetterMe!!

June 30, 2009
Did you know that heart disease and stroke are the #1 and #2 killers of women in America??? Those diseases kill nearly twice as many women as all forms of cancer. Pretty shocking isn’t it. Well, there’s more… As you get older and age, you lose some of your body’s natural protection against heart disease. So, as they say, there is no time like the present to start taking care of your heart!!
At Go Red For Women, they have developed a 12-Week program to help teach you more about how to take care of your heart and become healthy. Simply saying “Well, I eat healthy” or “I exercise all the time” isn’t enough. Your heart effects every other organ in your body. When it shuts down, the rest of your body does too.
And if you don’t think you can do anything to prevent heart disease, well think again! About 80% of heart disease IS preventable if we choose to act now and start living heart healthy!! Still not convinced?? 1 in 3 women will die of heart disease. 1 in 3!! So 2 will live and 1 will die. I know you want to be in my group!! Ha!
It is never to late to start loving your heart. Knowledge is power, but it’s not enough. Take action with me. I’m chosing to live, will you?
Sign up for your 12 week program today: http://www.goredforwomen.org/BetterU/index.aspx
Become a BetterU and a Better Heart!

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This will be a new series on the site (BetterU) so you can follow my progress of how I am doing, and let me know how you’re doing as well.
Here are my goals for the week:
1. Eat a heart healthy fruit, veggie, whole grain, or lean meat with every meal.
2. Exercise at least 10 minutes three times this week.

For anyone new to this site, that second goal may not seem like anything to you, but for me with a severely weakened heart who hasn’t been able to exercise its a big one! And I plan on accomplishing it!

Join me and LOVE YOUR HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!