My Life Check – Life’s Simple 7

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Ya’ll will have to bear with me a little bit. I usually don’t get overly personal in my blog posts, because you know, people sometimes read this stuff, but tonight I’m breaking my own rule. At times this post may seem preachy, it may seem sappy and hopefully, it may convince you to make some changes to your life.

Instead of Black Friday shopping, or even “taking it outside (go REI!),” my brother and I took our father to be admitted to the hospital. My dad’s gone through his fair share of medical issues this year. In July he was diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma. Since his diagnosis he’s gone through dialysis, had a heart attack and now, he’s dealing with heart failure. When my brother and I took him to the hospital, he was retaining so much water, he could barely walk two steps without being short of breath. When you hear someone struggling to breath, as if they are drowning without being under water, it scares you. It makes you evaluate the things you are doing in your life.

Now, he’s dealing with two major health concerns: cancer and heart failure. What is most sad of all, is that for the most part, he has to do it alone. Last year my mom died from complications of lung cancer, so the person who should be there to support him, to help him through the tough times and his fears, isn’t there. He doesn’t want to burden us kids so he doesn’t share as much as he should.

Going through this with my dad (and last year with my mom), has reopened to my eyes on how my behaviors today can and will affect my health in the future. My parents weren’t “healthy.” They smoked, they didn’t exercise and probably ate out more than they should have. They had a myriad of health problems that started when they were my current age. I don’t want my future to be like that. I don’t want it for me, and I definitely don’t want my daughter to have to go through the things I’m going through with my dad.

A friend who sits on the board of the local America Heart Association forwarded to me a simple quiz that tells you your “heart score.” I took the quiz and realized, even though I exercise frequently and I’m not overweight, don’t smoke, and don’t drink excessively, there are several things that I don’t know and many things I should do to improve my heart health.

heart health test Life’s Simple 7

The quiz takes less than 5 minutes and if you’re reading this blog post, you should take the quiz. Now. And probably, like me, you’ll realize that even though you’re doing some things right (I’ve got the exercise down), there are other areas that you can make changes in to improve your heart health.

My Life Check

For me, it’s my diet. I don’t drink enough water, don’t eat enough fish, and fair miserably when it comes to eating enough fruits and vegetables.

I’ve never been a huge fan of fruit so I always try to compensate by eating more vegetables. By let’s be real, eating the same vegetables over and over gets boring. I can only eat roasted potatoes so many times a week and the stuff that comes out of cans has too much sodium and never tastes quite right. In a perfect world I’d have time to cook fresh vegetables for every meal but that’s not my reality.

Instead I go for the frozen kind. The kind that have some flavor, like buffalo cauliflower or fiesta lime corn. Even better, these are the Steamfresh kind that can be cooked right in the bag.

Do yourself (and your family) a favor and take the quiz. It’s quick, it’s easy, and hopefully it will open your eyes to the simple things you can do to improve your heart health.

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