Evelyn Hannon: Aging Disgracefully


It's Never Too Late to Start Taking Care of Yourself

My Family Comes Second and They Love It

I recently came across this photo of myself after my very first 5K race.

I was almost 40 then, in an unhappy marriage, living in the country and commuting many miles to a full-time job. Health issues were taking their toll and I was completely stressed from what life was pitching at me. I was mom to two teenagers who were fighting for their independence. Needless to say, my heart and soul were taking quite a beating. Like most moms of my era the family always came first. All my attention was focused on their needs. I paid little heed to what I was eating, did little in the way of exercise and I smoked—a lot. Who knew it was bad? Back then my doctor was doing it, too. Really!

When I recently watched this powerful video produced by Becel, I wished someone has sent something like this to me when I was a young mom.

I wish I knew then what I know now.

Moms absolutely owe it to their kids to take good care of themselves.

Too many kids lose their moms to heart disease and stroke, a leading cause of death for women in Canada. The good news is the risk for heart disease and stroke can be reduced by up to 80% by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Without a doubt, any child would much rather have a healthy, happy mom than the cleanest room or the hottest toy of the season. Unfortunately, a recent survey by Becel shows that the majority of Canadian mothers go to great lengths for their kids but don't have enough time to take care of themselves.

If you are one of these moms, keep reading.

My personal wake-up call came early one dark and dreary fall morning when sadness totally overwhelmed me. I finally realized I had only myself to blame for my unhealthy condition and I’d better start concentrating on me or I’d be in no condition to care for my children. The very next morning when it was still dark I laced on a pair of worn running shoes and began a few tentative jogging steps on the side of our country road. Of course, I was winded after five minutes but I didn’t care. Just taking one step was one step closer to my goal—to be healthy and happy again.

My progress was slow. I joined a health club and began watching what I ate. I stubbed out that last cigarette and never looked back. It took me a few months to be able to run a mile but I never missed a day of trying. Eventually, I could run for miles on country roads and my body never flinched. I could feel myself healing. I doted on me, and guess what? My family did just fine. In fact, they cheered me on. What I didn’t do for them, they did for themselves. Hello wellness; good-bye guilt.

Fast forward twenty years. To celebrate my 60th birthday I trained again to run a 10K race. Surprisingly my muscles had memory. Yes, they ached but they actually remembered the drill. I finished that run in respectable time and stopped to kiss one policeman after completing each kilometer. Those 10 kisses were my reward and a wonderful incentive!

Birthday 73 is coming up and I’ve made the switch from running to walking. I’m trying to stay in shape for me and for my family. I’ve already seen friends suffer heart attacks and strokes. I know that I can reduce my risks by taking good care of myself, so why wouldn’t I? I want to be around for my family as long as possible!

Who knows? Perhaps I can find a 5K walking event this spring with lots of lovely policeman on duty? Yes! I can actually feel my motivation growing!

Do you know a mom who needs a wake-up call about her heart health? You can potentially ‘save a life’ by personalizing this cool video from Becel and sending it on to her. Please do it!

Encourage a Mom to take care of herself today! 

In its role as founding sponsor of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's The Heart Truth™ campaign, Becel wants to empower moms and encourage them to prioritize their own health and well-being as much as they do for others.

To help spread this important message, Becel made this amazing video:

You can go to the Becel website to easily personalize and send the video to moms in your life to remind them to take care of themselves too!

Encourage a Mom today!

She’ll thank you for it. And so do we!