I'm sitting at the bar of the ski hill while my kids are in their snowboarding lessons. I'm doing carpool for my daughter's ballet class. I'm waiting for my son to finish Kung Fu. Sitting, waiting, driving. I'm sendentary while making sure my kids are active.
And then I pay the ultimate price. I start gaining weight, losing energy and ultimately failing my heart stress test. Can you say wake-up call? So, I joined a gym and started to work out again. This year, it's time for mummy to take care of herself.
And not just me...YOU! All of us who take such good care of our families and put ourselves last on the to do list.
To walk the talk I threw a Heart Your Heart party at The Motion Room where I work out. My guests were a bunch of hard working moms also struggling with making time to get healthy. My friends from Becel came too, and they brought along cholesterol testing, heart-healthy food and a dietitian to help all the yummy mummies know their numbers and understand how to make effective diet changes. Picture this: 40 women nervously shuffling in, many wearing workout gear they haven't touched in far too long. There was no booze. Just smoothies and water. The activities included mini-bootcamps, trigger point therapy and cholesterol testing. It was a guilt-free night to make time for mummy.
The music started pumping and groups of twelve were subjected to a grueling 15 minute workout. It was awesome watching my friends sweating and SMILING! As hard as the workout were, they were DOING IT! They were getting their heart rates up and their blood pumping. When the bootcamp buzzer signaled the end their session, every single person walked past me with a big grin. Pride, endorphins, and healthy glows emanating from them.
Next stop was meeting with a dietician and nurse to get their fingers pricked to test their cholesterol levels. Understandably everyone was nervous to find out their results. High cholesterol can be an indication of being at risk for heart disease or a stroke, the #1 killer of women in Canada - killing seven times more women than breast cancer! I peeked into the room while a few women heard their results. The majority found their results were between 4.1 to 4.9 which is considered normal. A few of my friends had a bit of a wake up call to learn their levels were higher than normal and needed a followup with their family doctor. Scary! But at least they were aware and can start to make the lifestyle changes neccessary to bring those numbers down. You can reduce your risk of heart disease by 80% by making heart healthy choices.
There was also a chance for everyone to spend 1-on-1 time with Joseph, who trains me, to measure their fat vs muscle mass. When I took the test a few months ago my results indicated I was considered "obese." Lots of women had the same rude awakening at my party. Although many LOOK skinny, they still have too much of the "bad" fats in their body and not enough muscle. Working out would help this.
And finally, there was a chance to indulge in some Trigger Point Therapy, an intense massage-like treatment to de-stress and get the blood flowing in your muscles. We all deserve treatments like this for our mental and physical well-being.
The night wrapped up with all of us standing together, vowing to make time for ourselves this year. Guilt free time to exercise, healthier food choices and pushing our health higher up the priority list. The truth is, if we don't take care of ourselves, get sick or die, who will be there for our kids? Harsh, but if that's what it takes to start getting your "heart on" then read that line again.
But, here's the part where I have to come clean. So I threw a party with a focus putting yourself first, exercising and getting healthy. Yet, I worked throughout the whole event. While everyone was sweating and focusing on themselves, I was directing and hosting a webisode, organizing the various activities and making sure my guests were having fun. I didn't exercise or get my cholesterol tested. Ironic, huh?
Lifestyle changes don't happen immediately. But they only happen when you walk the talk and commit. Are you in? I am. I really am.
YMC and Becel want you to stop putting yourself last and start putting your health first. Click here to find personal stories, health tips and nutritious recipes to help you heart your heart.
This is proudly sponsored by our friends at Becel