Rosalind Davis reached a crossroads in her life at age 57. Her weight was up, and she was on blood pressure medication.
“I used food to feed my emotions at the time,” said Davis. “My excuses were managing my life instead of me managing my excuses.” She realized that not making a decision about her health was, in fact, making a decision about her health.
Grief from the passing of some loved ones overwhelmed her. She also prioritized taking care of other family members over her own health. Davis needed to care for herself in a better way in order to care for others in her life. Plus, she wanted to remain healthy so that she could be an active part of her grandchildren’s lives. Her motivation had to come from within.
Davis has tried several programs in the past, losing 80lbs, but wasn’t able to sustain the loss. Then five years ago she had gastric sleeve surgery at Ascension Borgess Hospital. Through a combination of diet and working out three days a week, she lost a total of 135lbs. She has a bit more to go toward her goal, and she is confident that she will achieve it.
For winter workouts she switches to swimming and walking at the Ascension Borgess Health Club. She is also involved in a walking group through her work.
“I’m still in the journey,” said Davis. “Don’t let the excuses stop you. Every time you have an excuse, you manage it. Don’t let the excuses manage you.”
Her persistence is one of the key messages from the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative, now entering its fifteenth year.
Launched in 2004 as an awareness campaign of a woman’s risk of heart disease, Go Red for Women quickly grew into an international movement and has become a platform for real change. Today, more women than ever recognize that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women. In recent surveys there was a nearly ninety percent increase in awareness among women recognizing heart disease is their leading cause of death. Ninety-five percent of women reported making at least one healthy lifestyle change in the last year.
While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. That’s a third of mothers, sisters and friends. It’s time to be demanding when it comes to women’s heart health and ask others to do the same.
THE ASSOCIATION’S CALL TO ACTION CONSISTS OF FOUR KEY AREAS
- Know Your Numbers (total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index) and talk to your doctor to lower your heart health risk
- Make physical activity a priority by trying to get thirty minutes of physical activity every day
- Make healthy eating a priority and add color to your plate with new fruits and vegetables.
- If you have high blood pressure, commit to monitoring it regularly
- You should never wait more than five minutes to dial 9-1-1 if you experience any of the signs above. Remember, you could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing.
The next phase of Go Red will focus on inspiring and empowering women to better achieve health and well-being -these are messages that Rosalind Davis is taking to heart.
IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN, THERE WILL BE A COUPLE OF WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN GO RED FOR WOMEN.
NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY will take place on February 1 and everyone is encouraged to wear a touch of red that day. Also, several businesses in downtown Kalamazoo will go red in conjunction with ART HOP. On February 8 there will be a GO RED FOR WOMEN LUNCHEON at the Radisson. This event, sponsored nationally by CVS Health and locally presented by Ascension Borgess, will require tickets. Learn more at Heart.org/KalamazooGoRed