Wednesday, February 2, 2011


In the spirit of American Heart Month, I've made the decision to finally hunker down and make some changes in my own life. Actually, it only occurred to me today, as I was pulling Ethan in his wagon, that this decision couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

As I mentioned yesterday, my primary focus in February will be raising awareness for congenital heart defects, but I cannot ignore the impact that acquired heart disease has also had on my family. My grandmother (my daddy's mama) died from a heart attack when I was only 3 months old. My daddy himself has basically been in heart failure since I was in high school; he has surpassed the "5 years to live" that the doctors gave him 11 years ago.

And, you know what? I'm next in that line. If that's not a sobering thought, I don't know what is.

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. In fact, I see pictures of myself as a thin toddler and I don't recognize that girl; I have a hard time believing it's me. Thanks to incredible parents, and friends who always accepted me just as I was, I wouldn't say that I have tons of security issues about my weight; I just know it's not healthy.

When Ethan was born, I felt a drive to lose the pregnancy pounds, and then some. I vowed to become healthy, to make a true life change. I could give you excuse after excuse of why that didn't happen but, the point is, it didn't.

Now, almost two years later, I'm back at that place again. It feels different this time, though. I have an amazing friend who is guiding me through workout plans and the types of food I eat, and she's holding me accountable at the same time. I'm motivated more than ever, and I'm excited about the changes I will see (and feel)!

Did you know that one woman dies approximately every minute from heart disease, and that 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing said disease? I do not want anything to do with those statistics; I do not want to be one of those women.

The decisions I make now will certainly have a huge impact on my future. Without focusing on my past failures, I am choosing to move toward a long, healthy life. I'm choosing to be a positive role model for Ethan, not some hypocrite who tells him how important it is to be "heart healthy", but doesn't show it in my actions.

I'm choosing to take control of my health, and I hope to be around for a really long time because of it.


Carolina Carters said...

Good for you Joye! :) I've always struggled with weight too. Could you pass me a dose of that motivation you have??

Great job! I can't wait to hear about/ see your accomplishments!

Dana E. said...

Yay Joye! I'm happy to hear you're taking action in staying healthy for a long time to come! Love you girl!

Kim Smith said...

Good for you! I'd be up for going walking with you and Ethan during the day! Well, maybe when it gets a little warmer out. But please don't hesitate to call. We can be walking buddies. :)

Mandy said...

I know we have talked about this already but I am here for you and will support you or do whatever I can to help you achieve your goals! Our friend is amazing isn't she :) You can do this so let's get walking!

Jenn said...

I am so proud of you! I am in the same boat with the family history of heart disease. My dad died suddenly of a heart attack when he was my age, and my paternal grandmother struggled with heart disease the last 15 years of her life. So I am also motivated to be healthy so that I can hopefully avoid that path. And it's good for us to model those habits for our little people.

You are so amazing!

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