In just a few days I want you to join me by going red. On Friday, February 6th, the American Heart Association will be celebrating their 12th National Wear Red Day, encouraging women everywhere to wear red as a symbol of their commitment to fighting against heart disease and stroke.
This campaign hits home for me because my grandmother had a stroke and later died of heart disease, my aunt died of a stroke, and my mother is a stroke survivor. The legacy of heart disease and stroke runs deep in my family, and I want it to stop with me. One in three women die of heart disease and stroke, and I refuse to be a stat. I refuse to let something preventable take me out.
I will be honest and tell you that I have neglected my health in the last few months. The irony is, I used my mother’s health challenges as my excuse for being unable to find time to exercise and focus on eating well. It’s the saddest excuse and I am ashamed of myself for using it. I mean, if I end up having a stroke in 20 years, will I tell my kids it happened because I neglected my heath when grandma was sick? I can’t even bring myself to ever have to say that. I have choices, and I have been making the wrong ones.
Lately I have decided to make a few better choices and it is serving me well. I really hope you consider joining me. I know it’s not easy, but I know you are worth it, because I know I am.
Here are five reasons I think you should #GoRed with me on Friday and beyond.
1. You Only Live Once.
Life is short and we should try our best to control what we can. Heart disease and stroke are preventable so we have to do everything we can to prevent them and live our best lives. We just get this one shot. Do we really want to waste it?
2. Your Health Impacts Your ENTIRE Life.
Whether your choose to believe it or not, your health impacts every area of your life. When you are in good health, you are better at everything, from parenting to your career to your most valued relationships. Take control of your life.
3. The People You Love Will Thank You.
No one that loves you wants to see you suffer or die. They love you and they want you here for as long as possible. And I can tell you from firsthand experience that your children especially do not want to see you suffer, because watching my mom suffer a stroke, and continue to struggle with life after the stroke, has not been easy at all. It breaks my heart.
4. You Have Too Much to Share With the World.
We all have talents that we need to share with the world, and cutting our lives short just prevents us from sharing all that we have to give. Stick around and make the world a better place just by being in it.
5. You Deserve to Feel Good.
Being in poor health sucks. You can dress up and look cute and have a great career, but the truth is that you don’t truly feel good when you are not in good health. I want to feel good in my body. Don’t you?
On Friday I want you to find the cutest red thing in your closest and throw it on. But please don’t let it stop there. Wearing red and looking cute on February 6th won’t save your life. I want you to look cute, but take a moment to acknowledge why your life is worth living. Think about all the great things you want to accomplish, and how suffering a stroke or dying from heart disease won’t get you there.
If you want to learn more about National Wear Red Day and how you can help others and yourself, click here.