Go Red for Women on Friday, February 5th


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  183 comments   :  18,645 Views

I've never really thought of myself as having heart disease until early last year when I wrote a blog about the Go Red for Women campaign. A few months earlier my doctor mentioned how proud she was of me that I had been able to keep my heart disease in check. What--me, Nancy Howard have heart disease even with all the changes I have made?

Wait a minute, in the course of 5 years I have dropped 80 pounds and kept it off. My diet is the healthiest it's ever been in my entire life. I am a faithful runner/gym goer pounding the pavement at least 5 days every week and I still fall in the heart disease category?

I should not be too surprised as there is a strong family history on both my maternal and paternal side, but the stigma remains with me. I know my health is what it is, but it still makes me wonder if I will ever be able to accept this fate.

I have totally revamped my lifestyle, unfortunately my hypertension remains to be a problem. I have had a 6 year history of hypertension--AKA high blood pressure, and regardless of all the healthy measures I have taken and have integrated into my life, it remains a condition that requires medical intervention. Thankfully, my blood pressure is under control with the use of an anti-hypertensive prescription and for that I am grateful.

So on Friday, February 5th I will proudly don my red attire to promote awareness to the dangers heart disease poses in women. The Go Red for Women campaign is a mission led by the American Heart Association each February to help make us all, men and women alike, aware that heart disease is not just a "man's disease." It is, and remains to be, the leading cause of death here in the United States and while we are making progress, more must be done.

This month SparkPeople is conducting the Healthy Heart Challenge. This challenge is for men and women, young and old. If you are looking for a way to take the focus off just losing weight, consider popping on over and share your own challenges with heart disease. And don't forget to wear red on Friday to show your support for this great cause.

Do you or have you suffered from heart disease? What measures are you taking to beat this disease? Are you going to wear red on Friday to show your solidarity to help promote this worthy cause?

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  • 133
    YES I'll be wearing RED!!! Thanks ;-) - 2/4/2010   2:50:40 PM
  • JAY75REY
    Thanks for the reminder! I have a Red Dress pin and I'll proudly wear red tomorrow. I have cholesterol and triglyceride issues so I'm working on this with diet, omega 3 and exercise...but might end up needing Rx eventually. We'll see if I can make progress without drugs.Statins really work well; hubby's cholesterol is completely under control now that he takes them. - 2/4/2010   2:47:09 PM
  • 131

    definitely will be wearing red tomorrow. - 2/4/2010   2:40:30 PM
  • 130
    I am for sure going to put on Red tomorrow! Great cause!!! My mother died from heart disease. I won't be following in her footsteps!!!!!!!!!! - 2/4/2010   1:51:49 PM
  • 129
    I will be wearing red and encouraging all to! - 2/4/2010   1:33:16 PM
  • 128
    I will be wearing red on Friday. I have a strong family history for heart disease. I was diagnosed with hypertension in 2009, one of the reasons I started on the fitness journey. - 2/4/2010   1:26:28 PM
  • 127
    I have highbp that is treated with medication and is under control. I am hoping that by becoming more healthy and active with the help of SparkPeople I will some day be able to reduce or discontinue my medication. I will wear Red with honor! - 2/4/2010   1:22:49 PM
    I will be wearing red, and have sent an email to my co-workers. My Mom had a double bypass last February, and one of my 3 BFFs had a quadruple bypass last month - and she is only 59. I had never really thought about it before Mom was diagnosed, but now my heart health is a priority in my life - and so is SparkPeople! - 2/4/2010   1:15:23 PM
  • 125
    I will be wearing red and also I am telling my mom and sister about this article also. - 2/4/2010   1:05:28 PM
  • 124
    I will be wearing red for sure!! My husbands dad and mine also, each died of a heart attack so we both try to watch our food / execerise daily and with the help from spark people we are reaching our goals! Thanks everyone for all your wonderful help. - 2/4/2010   12:57:31 PM
    thank you so much for your inspiration today - 2/4/2010   12:52:38 PM
  • 122
    I will wear red. I will also be mindful to meet all my Spark goals to set a good example and to reduce my risk for heart disease. I may work a little red into my everyday jewelry wear to remind me of my goals and how important they are--on the inside as well as the outside! maybe a little red heart? - 2/4/2010   12:19:04 PM
  • 121
    I am thanking God that since 2001 I have survived 3 heart attacks and implanting several stents in my heart! Spark people has helped me to get on track, not only to lose weight, but to eat healthy and get in exercise. Thanks sparkies for your support. I will be wearing red. - 2/4/2010   12:09:21 PM
    I will be wearing red on Friday. I had a major heart attack 2 years ago. An angioplasty with stent saved my life but heart disease continues to affect my life. I had heart damage and severe fatigue with chest pain prevent me from returning to work. I want my old life back! With exercise, healthy diet, stress management and medication I hope to achieve this goal. - 2/4/2010   11:57:33 AM
  • 119
    yes this friday, and every friday in february,, in memory of my mom - 2/4/2010   11:48:25 AM
  • 118
    I will be wearing red and wearing my Go Red pin I received from the Go Red for Women Campaign. - 2/4/2010   11:44:50 AM
  • 117
    I'll be wearing red. I'm blessed that we discovered that I needed triple bypass surgery before any damage was done to my heart. 9/11/09 was my surgery date and I'm doing GREAT! Both my parents had/have heart issues, and I've had HBP for probably 15 years! I've seen my BP go down almost daily as SP has encouraged me to get moving. Maybe I can kick the meds at some point? - 2/4/2010   11:32:59 AM
  • HPYGRL09
    I will be wearing red! I had a double bypass done in 2005. Both my parents (dad 49 mom 59) and my brother (48) died from heart disease. That is the main reason I joined spark people! - 2/4/2010   11:29:39 AM
  • 115
    Unfortunately, my spouse wasn't so lucky. He passed away 8 months ago. He was NEVER diagnosed with heart disease or hypertension. He never felt any pain or experienced any of the other symptoms. It was not until the autopsy that he was diagnosed. I will be wearing red tomorrow. I am also participating in a 1 mile walk with proceeds go to a heart disease organization. To everyone that did get diagnosed and have a shot at trying to improve their lifestyle I wish you the best of luck on your journey. - 2/4/2010   11:25:07 AM
  • BAXTER2010
    I to will be wearing RED tomorrow.. I have suffered from High Blood Pressure for 11 years now and it is finally starting to get under control.. But further more I tend to control my anger as often as I can. My cousin and I are the smae age and he never had any type of heart problems then one day out of no where did he have a massive heartattack and now struggles more than ever becasue he is so scared of another. I keep his hopes up and we try to encourage each other. - 2/4/2010   11:20:19 AM
    I continue to be surprised by the amount of women who suffer from heart related disease. Recently I went through three cardiac ablations, each 6 months apart. I am happy to say that the atrial fibrillation which I suffered for at least 7 years is gone. I still take a low dose hypertension medication, but I feel like I am on the road to health. Being able to exercise without heart arrythmias is beyond wonderful. Yes I will wear red on Friday. - 2/4/2010   11:18:08 AM
  • 112
    I'll be wearing red tomorrow proudly. I'm a heart attack survivor and have a pacemaker/ICD. I don't have cardiovascular disease, however; my heart problems spring from something else. So I'm wearing red to remind everyone that the heart has 4 systems-vascular, muscles, valves and electrical--and something can go wrong with any one of those systems. As it did with me. - 2/4/2010   11:14:45 AM
  • LINDA29513
    I, too, have that dreaded family history of heart problems. In fact, my paternal grandfather and uncle died in their 40's thus making my dad the only one to reach age 50 ( and over--he died at age 72 after bypass surgery). The males don't seem to be so lucky in our family! I will definetly be wearing red tomorrow to remind my sisters and self to watch our cholesterol and general health. Being on medication is not fun plus it's doggone expensive! Thanks for the info! - 2/4/2010   11:12:36 AM
  • 110
    Have my red already picked out for Friday - 2/4/2010   11:11:38 AM
  • 109
    purchase desi(red) items with red in mind and use my red satrbucks card wnen i go in for my london fog;) - 2/4/2010   11:05:47 AM
  • 108
    I'm concerned about my heart health. I have been doing the Walk @ Home workout with Lesley Sanson, she discusses heart health alot & mentioned that walking 30 minutes a day can cut your risk considerably! I'm a vegetarian, but still need to watch what I eat for my heart. I am determined to loose weight & get healthy! - 2/4/2010   10:58:58 AM
  • 107
    Yes, most definitely! My paternal grandfather died from a heart attack at an early age. My Dad had quad-bypass then died years later as a result from complications from a hemoragic stroke. His next to youngest brother died of heart failure at 41 years old and his youngest brother should have had a stint but refused...amazingly, he is still living...the last of my father's generation. - 2/4/2010   10:58:57 AM
  • 106
    Heart diease took my mother at the age of 57 in 1992. My dad also had problems with his heart. Cancer took him 2 years ago. I will be proud to wear red on the fifth. I so far as I know don't have a problem yet ,That's why the changes now. - 2/4/2010   10:50:49 AM
  • 105
    I do have some heart disease in my family, although no problems with it for myself so far. I won't wear red, only because I don't own a single thing that is red because I HATE the color. I hate pretty much everything in red. It's such an angry, fierce color. So I'll be wearing something a lot calmer, but I can still talk about heart disease with those I know. - 2/4/2010   10:42:46 AM
  • MLG511
    I will be wearing red on Friday. I lost my dad 6 years ago to heart disease and it is now part of my mother's life as well. Thanks for the great blog! - 2/4/2010   10:42:22 AM
  • 103
    I will wear read. My mother died of a massive heart attack 10 years ago. The doctors never pegged her as at risk for heart disease--even though her father died of a massive heart attack, she was a long-time smoker, and she was morbidly obese--because at the time, it was considered a man's disease. - 2/4/2010   10:35:19 AM
    I will absolutely be wearing red! I will also be taking action at http://www.heartforwomen.org to send my legislators a message about the importance of supporting heart disease and stroke programs for women. - 2/4/2010   10:17:29 AM
  • 101
    My sister & I try to wear red EVERY Friday. Our Dad died from heart disease when he was 61. - 2/4/2010   10:14:47 AM
  • 100
    I will absolutely wear read. - 2/4/2010   10:14:37 AM
  • 99
    Nancy, after reading Dean Ornish (10 years ago) and Neal Barnard (10 years ago), I recently picked up T. Colin Campbell's book, "The China Study," which my parents urged me to read. My mother had a stent placed in a large artery last year, and gave us all a scare (she'd had back and neck pain for months, and after nothing seemed to relieve her discomfort, she finally saw a cardiologist - and voila! he discovered the artery was nearly closed, and she was on the verge of a heart attack). My mother is one of the healthiest people I know (exercises daily and eats very healthy food), yet still she has heart disease - high cholesterol and everything. Well, this book is an eye-opener. Heart disease IS reversible. I recommend the book very highly. For those who are serious about reversing their heart disease, I recommend T. Colin Campbell's book, and Dean Ornish's books. There is a lot of resistence from the food industry against what Campbell and Ornish have discovered, but as American citizens we have the freedom to read whatever we like, and decide for ourselves what is healthy and what is not. Best of luck to you, Nancy. And yes, I'll be wearing red tomorrow too. - 2/4/2010   10:11:52 AM
  • 98
    I'm passing Wear Red on to all of my wonderful women friends - and to the men who love them! - 2/4/2010   10:10:45 AM
  • 97
    Red it is on Friday. I, too, have lost family members to heart disease! Go Red! - 2/4/2010   10:07:18 AM
    I have hypothyroidism and high cholesterol and take medication for both. I also try to eat healthfully and exercise regularly. So, even though I have not been diagnosed with heart disease, I believe we should all do everything in our power to stay healthy! And I will wear red on Friday to support this worthy cause. - 2/4/2010   9:57:23 AM
  • 95
    Our gym is promoting wearing red. They are offering a red dress pin for everyone who wears red in support. So I have saved my red attire for Friday. Great article. - 2/4/2010   9:42:47 AM
    I am at risk for heart disease, my dad died of it.
    I'm taking my meds, exercise and see my doctor.
    I will wear red on Friday, every little bit helps with awareness. - 2/4/2010   9:42:32 AM
  • 93
    I will wear my red on Friday! My mother died from heart complications and my grandmother has heart disease. - 2/4/2010   9:40:36 AM
  • 92
    Lost my mom to a heart attack January 2009, it was her 9th. The other 8 were mild but each took a little more of her hearts ability to pump away. I have my red sweater and I even bought some red boots. I am ready! - 2/4/2010   9:36:03 AM
  • 91
    I will wear red on Friday. I lost my sister to a heart attack at the age of 54. She was overweight and didn't exercise. There had been no history of heart problems in our family, so I guess she didn;t worry about it. I wish she were here today, so we could follow Spark People together. - 2/4/2010   9:35:03 AM
  • 90
    I'll be in red tomorrow. My father had his first heart attack at age 49, with a quad-bypass when he was 51. Prior to his surgery he quit smoking, he changed his diet, sx was still necessary. But he's 73 today and doing well. I'm 42 and doing all I can to avoid those issues. Thanks for the reminder! - 2/4/2010   9:30:31 AM
  • 89
    I'm in. My Dad was on meds, and I lost a dear mentor to this. Yes, red on me. - 2/4/2010   9:24:31 AM
  • 88
    I wore my only red sweater today...time to find another, huh? Red it is! - 2/4/2010   9:23:53 AM
  • CHER321
    I will be wearing red tomorrow. Heart disease took both of my parents, and I am going to try to keep it from taking me. - 2/4/2010   9:17:48 AM
  • 86
    Thanks for the reminders!
    I'll remember to wear red tomorrow
    I'll remember to schedule my physical! - 2/4/2010   9:06:25 AM
  • 85
    I will wear red as well. My situation is similar to yours, Nancy. Family history (which we can't change, RATS!) amps up my risk of heart disease. Thanks to SP, I was able to lose much of the excess weight and improve my lifestyle a lot. Thus, my doctor reduced my HBP meds and am now talking the lowest possible dose. I am still holding onto the last 20 lbs and still hoping to eliminate the meds, even though I am pushing 50. I was able to get off meds once (in my late 30s) and I'm still hoping to do it again. Thank you SP! - 2/4/2010   8:55:43 AM
  • 84
    Interesting article...we never know what is capable til we try. - 2/4/2010   8:45:27 AM

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