Go Red for Women is an awareness and fundraising campaign of the American Heart Association, because heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women – above all forms of cancer, combined. For the 10th year, women from the South Sound area came together to this luncheon to be educated, inspired and motivated to make positive, healthy changes in their lives. And to pass on the message to other women they know and love.
Today we had the opportunity to hear personal stories of triumph. Paula Battle shared a story about nearly losing her life before changing her lifestyle and committing to being heart healthy. Today, she feels better than ever and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren (and she can keep up with them!).
Emcee Dr. Natalie Ellington and guest speaker Amber Thiel are both motivational speakers and authors who shared tips with the crowd about how they, too, can be more heart healthy. We heard about and met some of the 12 women who made the commitment to get healthy – they have lost more than 100 pounds combined in the last 12 weeks. Now they all feel unstoppable and plan to continue their new-and-improved lifestyles. They told the crowd if they can do it (one woman confessed to eating only one fruit or veggie per month) that anyone could do it.
Here are some of the tips we found to be incredibly valuable:
- Take care of yourself before you try to take care of everyone else.
- Create a “safe” environment – if you don’t bring junk food home, you won’t eat it.
- Learn to read food labels. If it’s labeled low fat or low calorie, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
- Ditch soda and other unhealthy drinks and choose clear, cool, toxin-busting water!
- If you can walk, do it. Walking is an easy, affordable, effective way to be heart healthy.
- Eat whole foods – fruits, veggies, lean meats, etc.
- Eat often. Don’t skip breakfast. Eat small snacks every two to three hours. This is how you keep your metabolism fired up. It helps you make good choices because it keeps you from “starving.”
- Don’t smoke.
- Get rid of the scale – evaluate your weight based on how you feel, and how your clothes fit, etc. not some number in your head. (That number by the way, is probably about 20 pounds too low!)
- Quit making excuses – you are worth it.
Learn more about the local Go Red for Women cause, get healthy living tips and join the effort at tacomagoredluncheon.org.