This week is the 10th anniversary of the Go Red for Women campaign.
Ten years ago, the start of the campaign was the impetus for me to change my life. I was reading Glamour magazine (what? I was 27!) and they had an article about heart disease in families. I knew that I was maybe at risk because of my dad’s death at age 51 from a heart attack, but was still kind of in denial about my health. But my dad had been gone for five years at that point, and it was burned into my brain how much heart disease SUCKS when it takes away a person you love WAY, WAY too soon. Any death from heart disease SUCKS, and my dad’s was shocking because he had just passed a stress test, a cholesterol test, and his BP was under control
I was allowed to be in denial for a while, I guess, but in 2003, I had a baby daughter. And then I read the line in the magazine, “If you have a relative who died before age 55 of heart disease, your risk increases by 50%.”
That’s kind of a lot. That was super sobering. And while in the process, I lost a lot of weight, what my “anchor” (WW speak for the thing that keeps you going) was, was the prospect of early heart disease. That’s still what keeps me going, ten years later, even with ups and downs of another pregnancy and thyroid disease.
So I am super grateful to Glamour and to the Wear Red campaign. I want to be here doing good work and being there for my family as long as I can, and that’s what it comes down to. That’s why I’ll wear red again on Friday, my 10th year in a row, and why I’ll continue to give money to the American Heart Association, and I’ll continue to enjoy my life while I’m here, eating foods that actually FEED me as much as possible, and taking care of this fragile, wonder-ful body like the gift that it is.