My Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Pat Shannon Health Guide
  • I recently left my doctor's office. Not a good visit. All the way to my car I kept asking myself, "How in the devil did I get myself in this pickle?" I'm overweight and all my numbers are high for my triglycerides, blood pressure and cholesterol. Of course, none of this is news to me, but this is my new primary care doctor who also happens to be a cardiologist. Her words hit me like a sledge hammer. She wanted to know if I was trying to have an early funeral. If that was, in fact, my goal-then I was well on my way to achieving it, she assured me.


    I was walking around with four of the leading risk factors for heart disease. I could keep on in denial and have that early funeral, or I could decide to change my lifestyle and live and work hard to reduce and/or eliminate these risk factors.

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    There were all sorts of reasons to take action for my health. First and foremost, I want to live. I have a great family and good friends. I am retired and have a year old granddaughter, my first grandchild. I am married to a wonderful man, but I really don't want to leave him here to share our assets with another woman. I worked too hard to accumulate whatever we have to have someone else come in, with no effort, and enjoy them. It was that last concern that put the gasoline on the fire under my behind. If I could live well into my nineties and die and he wants to get a new sweetie, then fine, but not now. I'm too young. Besides, it is never too late to make changes.


    Now get this. I work for Sister to Sister and we exist to help women like me become more aware of the risk factors for heart disease and take positive action to change negative lifestyles. I would be a huge hypocrite not to do as Sister to Sister says do. In fact, several of us here are on the Sister to Sister bandwagon heading in the direction of positive change.

    I don't know about you, but I wore clothes that were so uncomfortable they hurt around the waist. We had a pool built and for two years, I used all sort of excuses to not put on a bathing suit while guests were there. I didn't want my picture taken and was totally embarrassed to have to get weighed. I hated having to shop in the women's department when all the cute clothes were in misses. In short, I didn't like the way I felt or the way I looked. I even avoided going certain places when we were invited because I couldn't fit in my clothes and couldn't find anything I liked at the stores.


    Taking in too many calories and not exercising was taking its toll, both physically and mentally. I had one foot on a banana peel and my doctor had one foot on my behind. I NEED HELP!!! I used to joke that I fasted every day, between 11pm and 6am. That's when I was sleeping. I have tried many diets and every Monday was the day I was going to start dieting. It didn't happen. Mondays came and went. I might start on some Mondays, but I fell short with a million reasons to just eat this or that. Now this or that is like monuments I wear around my waist, my thighs, my chin, etc.


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    Then, I called for help. I prayed. My prayers were answered and here begins my journey to a better lifestyle. Won't you come and join me and let's travel that long and challenging road together?


    - Pat


    Republished by the permission of Sister to Sister. To comment on Pat's post click here

Published On: January 11, 2008