When I was 21, I lost 40 pounds. This was after several failed attempts at losing weight. My lack of success was mainly due to the fact that I was trying to lose weight for vanity. But two weeks before my 21st birthday my grandmother died. She had a stroke years earlier and survived, but ultimately heart disease took her life. Earlier that same year my uncle died from a stroke and he was only 59. These events made me take a closer look at my habits, and I decided to change my life simply because I wanted to live.
Now, over a decade and two kids later, I find myself struggling with my weight again. You would think losing it would come easily because I’ve traveled that road before, but oddly enough it is still a tough journey. I think I will always struggle with my weight. But staying focused now is not just about what it means for my life, but it’s about what it means for my children. With hypertension running on each side of my family, what will my future hold if I don’t lose weight now? Will I end up on medication? Will I have a stroke one day? Will I ultimately suffer from heart disease? I definitely can’t allow that to be my destiny. Neither should you.
Sponsored by the CDC, May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month. This month serves as a great opportunity to raise awareness about how blood pressure affects our health, and what we can do to better manage it. This is a great time to reflect on our habits, our behaviors, and how they impact our lives and our families.
One in three adults in the U.S. suffer from hypertension, and the condition is more prevalent in the Black community. With that said, we have to ask ourselves some really important questions. When was the last time you had a physical? Do you know what your blood pressure is? Are you living your best life and teaching your children how to live their best lives?
As I enter the month of May I am really examining my health. I have a physical scheduled for next week, I signed up for a 5k at the end of June, and I recently started changing my eating habits. Knowing what I know about my family history and the dangerous affects of high blood pressure, it would be nothing short of irresponsible for me to ignore my health. My children deserve better. My husband deserves better. I deserve better.
High Blood Pressure Awareness Month has really given me a much-needed wake-up call. It has reminded me that I control my health, and the decisions I make today will influence my family for years to come. I hope this month of awareness urges you to find out more about your blood pressure and your overall health. Be inspired to take care of your health in a way that you, and your family, deserve.
BMWK Family, What can you do this month to improve your health?