By: Roshanda Pratt
February is National Heart Awareness Month. As many of you know last Thanksgiving I started a drastic overhaul with my health. I stopped eating sweets from Thanksgiving through Christmas. You can read all about the start of my journey here. The first few weeks were tough, really tough! I actually thought some days this might kill me! How silly, right? But look I am still here, ALIVE and BREATHING!
Most recently, I started the Weight Watchers point system and the first week was really an eye opener. I discovered I eat too much of the wrong stuff and not enough the right things. It’s not like I have a dislike for fruits and veggies, but my body has a greater love for sweets, breads and sweets (in that order). In addition to restructuring my eating, I have also started exercising … yet again! Now that was brutal. The first week in I took a class with my friend who is a substitute instructor at the YMCA. The class is called Power Pump and boy do I see why. I literally thought, and excuse my description here, but I thought I was going to vomit. I ached in places I did not even know existed; I was breathing heavy and was all over the place. (Side note: A large make-up of the class consisted of seniors who by the way were in much better shape than I). I spent 30 minutes doing the steps, lifting weights, squats and the alike. I left feeling exhausted and embarrassed. (Side note 2: As I write this, my friend just text me to tell me about Spin Class, is this chick serious? No thank you, at least not yet!) Now back to the regularly scheduled program…. I was embarrassed, because I could not believe I let me health get this out of control. So what makes this time different than times past, there are several reasons, but one are my parents.
My parents are from the beautiful Caribbean island: Trinidad and Tobago. Both of my parents came to the United States in their twenties. Unlike my sister, I am the only one born here in the States. I am considered the Yankee of the family. Before my mom was pregnant with me, she weighed a whopping 95 pounds. Yes, 95 pounds! Needless to say she never lets me forget I am responsible for her gaining weight! (Sorry Mom). My Dad was a young rather slender guy who was full of energy. My father is a retired Welder who spent lots of time on skyscrapers, high rises, and schools.
Over the years, my parents had to deal with many health issues. While my mother was still in her fifties she was forced to get a pace maker. She was devasted. Right now, my father is preparing for knee surgery. My parent’s joke that some of what they deal with is hereditary and I can expect to inherited the same thing. No, thank you! This is why I started keeping a food journal, exercising when I rather than sitting on my hind parts. I want to finish healthy and strong! I want to pass on a healthy lifestyle and legacy to my children and the generation after them. I want to bust a move without gasping for breath. Basically, I want to live! Since my last doctor’s appointment in the fall I have lost 7 pounds. For the first time in my life I feel good concerning my lifestyle choices. The heart of the matter: we must do our part to be good stewards over our body. So this month, talk to your doctor. Then go out and move it, move it (even if it’s a brisk walk). Here is some inspiration below:
Go Team Red!