How Do I Go Red and Spread Awareness About Heart Disease Among Latinas?

February 5, 2015 5:02 PM

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How Do I Go Red and Spread Awareness About Heart Disease Among Latinas?

From underweight to overweight and everything in between, it seems as if body image has always been an issue in my life. As a young lady, I was very thin and struggled to gain weight. Subsequently, I was frequently ill, suffering with anemia, low blood pressure, asthma, chronic bronchitis, etc. Later in life, after becoming pregnant, my metabolism went in the opposite direction. At first, I thought it was cute how I was gaining so much weight, only to realize, after giving birth, that all that extra weight wasn't so cute after all. I gained 100 pounds with my first pregnancy and 65 pounds with my second. At my heaviest, I weighed over 215 pounds. I was then faced with the dilemma of losing weight, a concept that was completely foreign to me. I started on a journey of learning how to exercise and watch my diet so I did what any determined, young mother would do: I bought the latest fitness video and two cases of the most popular meal-replacement weight-loss shakes. And it worked... for two weeks that is. Until it was someone's birthday or I was invited to some special event. I would fall off the wagon which caused me to be completely unmotivated to exercise. And the cycle begun: losing weight, gaining weight, losing less weight, gaining even more weight, and so on. One day, I was invited to play soccer with a group of girlfriends. We were coached by an ex-military former professional soccer player whose idea of training was more like torturing a group of people who had done him wrong in a former life and he was out for vengeance! I hurt everywhere and loved every minute of it. I felt alive and empowered. And something very interesting happened. The harder I worked on being fit, fast and agile, the less I worried about dieting and the more careful I became about the foods I used for fuel. I realized that mental motivation, a clear intention and sound information were key to living a healthy, fit life.

This is why I was so excited when I heard about Go Red Por Tu Corazón. This campaign by the American Heart Association, and nationally sponsored by Macy's, got my attention because it "talked to me" in my language -- Spanglish. Their title was written the way I grew up speaking at home and among my ...

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