Monday, July 1, 2013

Team S.J.G.R.: The Escape from Hypothetical La-La Land.


If you scurred, say you scurred.
getting to the heart of the matter.

The words I imagine our hearts sing to our bodies and minds ~ and vice versa:

"I've been learning to live without you now
But I miss you sometimes
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I'm learning them again
I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

All the people in your life who've come and gone
They let you down, you know they hurt your pride
Better put it all behind you; cause life goes on
You keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside

I want a happily ever after
And my heart is so shattered
But I know it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don't love me anymore

I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
Because the flesh gets weak
And the ashes will scatter
So I know it's about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if you don't love me anymore
Even if you don't love me anymore."


~ Don Henley (as covered by India.Arie)

__________________________________________________

Hey there. First let me just say thanks for reading and for being here at this very moment. The very fact that you are here means something.

Okay.

Welcome to Team S.J.G.R. Or, better yet, consider this your introduction to Team S.J.G.R. Joining will be up to you. No pressure. No cost. No nada. Perfect, right?

So what is it, you ask? Simple. Team S.J.G.R. is a movement of people who have decided that they will stop ignoring the obvious things happening around them and to them when it comes to health and wellness. It is not a guilt trip. It is not about outward appearance. Although, the outward appearance may be an indication of how things are coming along sometimes. But with Team S.J.G.R. it will not be the primary focus.

At. All.

Because outward appearance as a goal is not sustainable. It is not. But what I am learning is that life is not sustainable when we ignore our health. So together, we will stop being afraid and start taking steps toward opening our eyes and wrestling down reality.

Why?

Your why will be different than mine. But I will tell you some of my own -- some of which you will know and others which you won't.

S.J.G.R. simply stands for "shit just got real." Or "stuff" if you are uncomfortable with the expletive. But for me, that expletive is necessary so I'm sticking with it.


First, this:

In December of 1999 I was upset because I didn't have any fancy party plans for bringing in the new millennium. I had imagined myself partying like it was 1999 until it wasn't anymore. But lame me in Cleveland, Ohio had time off but no idea of what I'd do with said vacation time.

But then plans were made for me. On December 30, my father had a massive myocardial infarction. And if you don't know what that is, know that it is a heart attack and that having a massive one is usually not good. So on December 31, 1999, I was on an airplane flying to Los Angeles as my father had his chest emergently cracked open on an operating table. He was 56 years old.

Shit just got real.

My father had always exercised for as long as I could remember. But his father had both a heart attack and a stroke. As did his mother. Which meant a penchant for heart disease was in in his DNA. He grew up on traditional Southern fare and regularly ate "the big piece of chicken" -- BUT he saw doctors and did his part through exercise. But shit got real enough to let us all know that this wasn't enough. It wasn't.

Then this:



About seven years ago, a very close friend of mine called me and said she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. She was young and beautiful and vibrant and everything that I always thought breast cancer patients weren't. Then right after her, another close friend had the same diagnosis. Both required major surgeries and chemotherapy. And we were all the same age.

Shit just got real. Super, duper real.


And of course, this:

As many of you know, on November 15, 2012 my sister Deanna succumbed to a cardiac arrest. "Massive heart damage" the autopsy report told us. She was wonderful. Funny. Lively. Supportive. Talented. Amazing. Inspiring. And every other word you can think of to describe the kind of person that you want in your life. But it wasn't a secret that my beloved sissy struggled with her weight. And she had for most of her life. I admit that I made a decision long ago to not give her grief about it. So I didn't.

I didn't.

But in the last days of her life, I remember thinking about her weight and feeling a little worried. I did.  In fact, I will even confess that on the very last time I saw her and wrapped my arms around her to hug her, this crossed my mind. It did. And I wasn't sure about how much exercise she got and most of what she ate wasn't in my presence. So I sort of worried. But, you know? I wasn't worried in the way I should have been. Like, I was worried in that hypothetical way that we all worry. That far, far away way that we read about in papers and magazines but that doesn't touch our immediate family. In that James Gandolfini "oh, how awful" way but not in that way that means YOU or your family will be the ones sitting across from the funeral home director signing off on papers for death certificates.



But then? On November 15, 2012 shit just got so damn real that I could no longer ignore it. It hit home. Deanna. My 44 year old beloved sister left us. A cherished daughter, auntie, sorority sister, and friend--gone in the twinkling of an eye. We are all still probably more effed up about it than even we realize. And perhaps it could not have been prevented at all. But sometimes I lie in bed and wonder if some shifts in life and thinking and . . . I don't know. . . stuff. . .could have given us more time together. Because even though it feels like lightning has struck and hit my family, heart disease isn't like lightning striking someone. That occurrence is rare and without much real warning. Most people don't know anyone or even of anyone who was literally struck by lightning. And definitely not a family that experienced it twice.

But coronary heart disease ISN'T like lightning. So it's time for us to stop treating it that way.



And so. That is what this is about. The fact that heart attacks aren't like lightning strikes even though they feel that way. This? This is something I'm writing because shit just got real.

Look, man. My sister Deanna is proof that being awesome, talented, fun, and loyal does NOT prevent heart disease. Because if it did, I assure you, she'd still be right here, right now.



And the breast cancer part? Well, I mention that because there is clear evidence that regular exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer. Recurrent and otherwise. So that, I think about, too.

Now.

Deep breath. The realness can make us hyperventilate, but please, don't. Because hyperventilating doesn't prevent heart disease. It doesn't. So instead, make up your mind. Today. Now.

Heart disease is the reason I never met my father in law.


Okay. So feel free to stop reading here if you aren't ready to be a part of Team S.J.G.R. It's okay to not be ready for this. It is. In fact, just bookmark it until you are because I get it. I'm not here to scold you or to make you feel bad. Just to shake your shoulders in the way that mine have been shaken by the loss of someone I loved and cherished.

Now. If you are feeling like you might be ready, read on.

First ask yourself: When did I think those four words from a health perspective? When was I taking a big drag of air and saying, "Damn. S.J.G.R!"

Was it related to your own health?
Was it when Tony Soprano passed away?
Was it when Bill Clinton had to have his bypass surgery?
Or was it something in your own family?

Even if you are young and can't think of one, let me tell you this. The NUMBER ONE cause of death and disability in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease. Peep that second part -- "AND DISABILITY." Death sucks. But disability sucks, too. Factor that into the realness. Not just fear of death.



Now. Ask yourself this: What is putting me at risk for heart disease? Do I even know?

Is it a family history? That is, a family member who has had cardiovascular disease under or around the age of 55?
Is it obesity?
Are you thick in the middle--which carries greater risk?
How much weight have you gained in the last ten years? The last twenty?
Are you diabetic? Are you pre-diabetic? Does it run in your family?
Is it high blood pressure? Or a family history of it?
Do you struggle with tobacco addiction?
Do you drink a lot? Or more than you care to admit?
Is your cholesterol in the nose bleed section?
Do you eat whatever is in front of you?
Are you connected to people who don't care about their health or weight?
Are you in denial?

Ask these things. For me, it's family history--of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol--all that. My weight isn't much of an issue. But I do know that slim people have heart attacks every single day. And strokes, too.  I also know that several of my family members once were small but over time with slower metabolisms and unrestricted eating they caught up with the rest of the family. So I can't be in denial about that. I cannot. But what I can do is fight the things I can modify. That I can do.

Me with my Mudear (Poopdeck's mom) -- who also had heart disease.


And it starts with letting go of the fear and denial. Remember. This isn't a guilt trip. This is simply an acknowledgement of the realness that exists all around us. I prefer to deal with it myself before it deals with me.

Okay. Let's start with exercise.

The first thing that we will do as members of Team S.J.G.R. is separate exercise from weight loss. Yes, exercise burns calories, which creates a calorie deficit, which aids in weight loss. But. To have a substantial calorie deficit, that happens when we put down the fork and make better choices.

But more on that later.



Let's do this. Let's imagine our hearts. Pumping blood to our bodies and brains so that we can do the things we need to do. Imagine every step, jump, leap, jog as aiding in that. And see it all as a gift that you are giving to every single person who loves and needs you. In other words, envision your heart not your butt when you exercise. Because your BUTT does not sustain you. Your HEART does. And your BUTT won't take your life or disable you. I mean, not directly, it won't.

And so. Do your best to envision your heart health at the center of every single physical activity that you do. This is critical for you to sustain this. Because if you focus on your behind and your skinny jeans, the minute you get into them, you'll drop the ball.


And sure. For some people who are uber-disciplined, that works well. But those aren't the people who need Team S.J.G.R. We are.

So what does it take to protect your heart, you ask? Well. Here is the minimum that the American Heart Association recommends:


  • 150 minutes or more per week of moderate physical activity (like walking, jogging, taking stairs, doing an elliptical, biking, etc.) 
  • OR
  • 75 minutes or more per week of VIGOROUS physical activity (like running at a "mean mug" pace, biking on hills, running stairs, doing that crazy "Insanity" workout with Sean T.)


Not bad, right? So really, the easiest way to do it is to do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days per week. And what's really cool is that you get the same benefits if you break it up into two 15 minute blocks. Cool, right? So basically, you can take a vigorous walk in the morning for 15 minutes and then another 15 minutes later that evening for five days per week. And that, my friends, has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease.



But. That won't add as much to your calorie deficit as exercising for longer. But 30 minutes for your heart on a regular basis is better than one random 90 minute session for your butt. Multiple 90 minute sessions? Two thumbs up. The key is to just do what is SUSTAINABLE. Start by envisioning your heart and how vital it is to you being around for the people you love. Let that get you into your sneakers.

Not self-hate about a dimple in your thigh. (Because that's genetic half the time anyways. Hello?)

Okay. So Team SJGR members commit to a MINIMUM of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Because this is what the AHA recommends we do for our hearts. We also commit to this because the American Cancer Society tells us that this same exercise reduces breast cancer risk.



Of note: VIGOROUS exercise at longer durations for women in their reproductive years has an even GREATER impact on breast cancer reduction. So those who have a family history of breast cancer may want to use this data as a part of their mental focus when "turning up" the exercise. In other words, think of your heart for the first thirty minutes and your heart and your boobies for anything after that if you decide to go hard.

See? This isn't so bad, is it? No, my friends. 'Tis not.



Okay. And now for the part we hate. Weight and food.

Sigh.

You heard me say it before. We lose weight in the kitchen and we get fit in the gym. Period. End of story. Signed, sealed and delivered.

Now comes some really tough questions. But since shit has gotten real in our lives, we need to tackle them. So let's do it.

Ask yourselves:

Am I overweight?
If so, how overweight am I?
What is my BMI?
What is my waist circumference?
What do most of the people of my gender in my family look like?
What about as they get older?
Were any of them built like me when they were younger?
How much weight have I gained in the last five to ten years?



Do NOT focus on body image or how you FEEL about your appearance when answering these questions. This is about our hearts. Not our looks. So let's just keep it there for now. Next ask these questions:

How often do I think about what I eat?
Do I dine out a lot?
What foods are off limits for me?
Are any foods off limits?
Do I drink beverages with calories?
Do I drink alcohol? If so, how much and how often?
Do I drink water? A lot or a little?
Do I have children?
Are my children overweight at all?
Am I a snacker?
Do I prefer sweet snacks or salty ones?
Is my spouse or partner overweight?
Does my spouse or partner have a good food relationship?
Am I depressed?
Do I eat late at night?
Do I reward myself with food?
Do I reward my children with food?
Do I cook?
Do I cook with real butter?
Do I care if bread is wheat and rice is brown on most days?
Do I roughly know how many calories I consume each day?
Do I roughly know how many calories I consume with each meal?
What do I regularly eat or drink that I know I really shouldn't?
What do I eat that is worth every single calorie and fat gram? How often do I eat it?
Have I always been overweight? Like since childhood?
Do I envision myself as anything other than overweight?
Do I believe that being overweight is a part of my identity?
Am I afraid of being smaller?
Do I believe that some people are just "meant to be big" or are "just big-boned?"
Would it make me happier to weigh less? If so, why?
Do I believe I am capable of having control over what I am eating?

and most importantly, these questions:

How will losing or better managing my weight help my heart?

Do I really believe that my weight could be working against my heart enough to actually disable me or abbreviate my life?

Perhaps the second of those last two questions is the most important of them all. Getting beyond the idea of it all being "hypothetical." Let me tell you something: I miss my sister Deanna every single day. Intensely, deeply and consistently I miss her. And there is no shit that is realer than wanting to talk to your sister who wasn't even two years older than you and not being able to because of heart disease.



This shit is real. It is not hypothetical or rare like lightning striking. It is not about how you look or your class reunion or some big party or vacation you have coming up. It is not about your baby weight or homecoming or your wedding or your child's wedding either. It is about being here. And being present and able while you are.



Now.

Let's be clear: Sometimes shit gets real and bad things happen even when you ARE doing your part. But very, very few of us can say that there isn't something that we can modify to cut those chances down.

Okay. So if you are overweight or have been picking up pounds, to protect your heart, you need to lose weight. And remember--we lose weight in the kitchen. NOT at the gym.

So go to your pantry. Look inside of it and start making some decisions about what you find. And before you do, make a declaration to your family that you have a long term goal. Not to oppress the family but to be here. So some things can't stay. Even if your rail thin teenager loves it. Your reply needs to be:

OH. WELL.

Now. It's okay to have a few treats. But what is your will power like? Do you have no power over Key Lime Pie from Publix? Does your hand have a mind of its own when it comes to trailmix, potato chips and Chee-tos? If so, then they must go.

And if your KIDS are getting thick in the middle, that's all the more reason to get that stuff out of your house. Oh, and even if they are slim kids, watch them to see how they eat. Do they eat when they are bored? Do they have carte blanche to the pantry? Do they drink a lot of calories? Remember: Kids follow our leads. They don't really have jobs to be doing the grocery shopping so whoever does the Krogering is in control. So it's futile to be "tough" on a little kid who's gotten a little chunky when the parents are sabotaging them with the groceries.




Yep.

Now. For me, I love dark chocolate. I allow myself a square or two in the evenings. I also like red wine. I have a glass every couple of days, too. I like those things but can restrain myself. But if someone brings a Key Lime Pie in here or some Graeter's Ice Cream? Forget about it. I'm chowing down until it's GONE. Same for chips and salsa. They don't come into my house.


Me eating Key Lime Pie: Danger!


Will I enjoy them outside of it? Sure. But if they are IN my house, I eat five times more. OH, and beware of the potluck at your house--where things like Key Lime Pie and chips 'n' salsa get left behind. Keep your eyes open and send it right on out with either the person who brought it or someone else altogether. But it CANNOT stay in your home. No, ma'am. No, sir.

Whew. This is a lot. Sorry, y'all.

Next, do the same thing with your fridge. Decide what's necessary and what isn't. Decide what's good and what's not so good. And then think about how much restraint you have for whatever is in there that is mostly a treat. If you have no restraint for it, let it go.

And what about you folks who love to cook and bake and all that? Or who live with someone who does? Just be aware. You must. And even if those people are young and still in hypothetical la-la land, it's up to you to tell them that you AREN'T. Keep in mind that a lot of damage is done to the heart when we are young. So the earlier you start being nice to your heart the better.

You probably noticed that I don't have a lot of specific rules on what is "good" and what is "bad." That's because Team SJGR isn't about guilting you into not eating things. It's about respecting you and your own limits and simply being aware. Aware enough to get out of hypothetical la-la land for good.



Yes, I had to say that again for emphasis. Hypothetical La-La Land. This is the place where you keep on doing shit not taking care of yourself because you don't *actually* think that you could have a heart attack. But remember: The thing most likely to take your life or disable you is HEART DISEASE. Not big butt, self hatred disease.

Making sense?

So check it. It's simple. Getting out of la-la land means being aware. Aware that your heart is at the center of it all. So when you get ready to eat something that is likely to cause weight gain, think for a moment. Have the dialogue with yourself:

What am I either eating or drinking (or thinking of eating or drinking) right now?
Am I hungry or just bored or being social?
Is this high in calories? If so, do I have any idea just how high?
Is it delicious? Like really delicious?
What else have I had already?
What am I willing to interchange or cut out to enjoy this?
Is this worth it?



So let's do this exercise with something I had the other day:


What am I eating or drinking (or thinking about eating or drinking) right now? Some guacamole and salty tortilla chips.
Am I hungry or just bored or being social? Hungry and being social.
Is this high in calories and/or fat? Yes. Super high. If so, do I have any idea just how high? Yep. The guac has a ton of fat, albeit good fat, and the chips are fried and full of salt, fat, and calories
Is it delicious? Yes. Like really delicious? Well, this isn't the best guacamole I've ever had. But I do love guacamole. But maybe I can enjoy a little bit then stop since it isn't like the guac from El Azteca or Rosa Mexicana or somewhere like that.
What else have I had already? This is the first thing they put on the table so nothing else.
What am I willing to interchange or cut out to enjoy this? I am going to have tortilla soup instead of the steak tacos that I really want. And a light beer instead of a margarita.
Is this worth it?  Yes.  But only a little bit so I won't have as much as usual.

And how about this:


What am I eating or drinking (or thinking of eating or drinking) right now? Thinking of drinking a mojito or a mint julep at my friends' cocktail party.
Am I hungry or just bored or being social? This is purely social.
Is this high in calories?  Very, so I'm told.  If so, do I have any idea just how high? Per Google: mojito has ~300 calories and mint julep up to 450. 
Is it delicious? Like really delicious? I am not in love with either drink.
What else have I had already? Some pasta salad and some bar-b-que. 
What am I willing to interchange or cut out to enjoy this? Probably will find an alternative drink like white wine or a glass of red.
Is this worth it? No. I don't like mojitos and mint juleps enough for that many calories.

And that's how it works.

The other thing I do is tell myself that every mile I run is 100 calories. So I ask myself if what I'm about to have is worth that. And many times it's a yes. And many times I am in hypothetical la-la land and try my best to ignore it. But now that we are Team S.J.G.R., that has to stop. It must.

This is a six mile Funnel Cake.


Oh yeah! And also the thing about socializing only with food and alcohol. Cut. It. Out. One of my BFFs and fellow Grady doctors Lesley M. and I run together. We talk and laugh and share but while getting exercise not eating. And now, I don't even associate us being together with food. I also have a student that I advise that wanted to meet with me and she suggested we take a walk which we did. It was genius. Instead of eating or even drinking a latte or something we moved our bodies.

Try that if you always eat when you meet.



Lastly, I am not sure if my big sissy had a primary care doctor. I am pretty sure she didn't. So all I will say about that is that if you don't have one, get one. And I will go on the record confessing that I DETEST being a patient so it's been a little too long since my last appointment. Yes, me. But since we are Team S.J.G.R., I have contacted my primary care physician and have an appointment coming up this month.

And so. Joining Team S.J.G.R. is simple. It just means you agree to the following things:


  1. I will get out of hypothetical la-la land.
  2. I will do my best to focus on my heart when exercising.
  3. I will try my best to do 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise and will be aware that I am being unkind to my heart when I'm not.
  4. I will not trick myself into believing that exercise is the best way to lose and maintain weight.
  5. I will not insult my body image as I move toward being kinder to myself. Especially around my children, but period.
  6. I will be realistic about the direct relationship between my weight and my heart.
  7. I will be realistic about the direct relationship between the food I put in my mouth and my weight.
  8. I will accept responsibility for the relationship my children have and can have with food. (Especially small kids.)
  9. If I am a woman, I will be realistic about the direct relationship between weight/exercise and breast cancer risk. And heavy alcohol, too. (Even though I didn't really mention that.)
  10. I will not bring the enemy home. (That is, I won't bring bad and tempting foods into my home no matter how bad my family wants it.)
  11. I will eat and drink with full awareness of what I am doing.
  12. I'll drink water.
  13. I will see a doctor and know my risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
  14. I will accept that I am a work in progress.
  15. I won't make any more excuses nor will I let others make them for me. Because now that I am out of hypothetical la-la land, I won't let others imagine me and my heart health as something hypothetical either.

Oh, and a couple of last ones that I am working on that continue to be VERY hard for me:

  • Getting more sleep. Sleep deprivation increases hormones that make you feel less satiated. People who get more sleep weigh less. True dat.
  • Refusing to eat something--even if I ordered it and have to pay for it--that isn't good enough for what it does to work against my heart. Like, the other day I was at IHOP and ordered a short stack. And for whatever reason, they just weren't as good as I'd imagined they'd be. And so I stopped eating them right then and there. I ate my eggs and turkey bacon instead. It's up to you to decide if you want to send stuff back. I didn't. But I also didn't just eat it because it was there. Pancakes must be perfect and delicious to be justified. These weren't. 




I want to add stuff about weight training, food trackers, and fitness trackers, too, but this has been long enough. I will stop here for now. If you are ready to get on board, make your mark here:


X___________________________________________

Or just quietly join inside of your own head if you're the shy type.

(There are no age, gender, or geographical restrictions to joining Team S.J.G.R.)


I hope you are still my friend after reading this. But remember, any message I write here is a message for me more than anyone else. Like Toni Morrison said about writing "The Bluest Eye" -- she wrote it so she could read it.

Me, too.

By the way, Team S.J.G.R. is a team approach. So your additions are welcomed as are your thoughts. But best of all, if this has you thinking differently about your health and weight than you have before, we have done something good. Ultimately, I agree with those song lyrics. I think it's about forgiveness, you know?

Yeah.

That's it for now. Love y'all. And I mean that literally, not hypothetically.

***
Happy Monday. We can so, so do this. We can.



Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . India.Arie sings Don Henley's classic "The Heart of the Matter." I love this cover more than the original. Beautiful.

96 comments:

  1. TEAM SJGR reporting for duty!
    Man! You told the triple truth on this one.... And I LOVE IT! We have to start being honest with ourselves about our health! I "get it" for the most part. But it's not easy!!! When I had the boys on Saturday, I packed them Oreos and Wavy Lays.... It took everything in my human power not to eat any of them. But I had been doing so well with my food during the week, I didn't want to ruin it with some stupid chips! I did, however, enjoy ever calorie of my lemon drop martinis on Sunday afternoon. LOL! My small changes were rewarded with a 3 pound drop on the scale this week! Baby steps, but I'm going to get there. I know my weight is tied to my high blood pressure, and my ultimate goal is to get off my HBP meds FOR GOOD!

    I'm on board 100%! It's time to GET REAL... because, for me, Shit Got VERY REAL on 11/15/2012!

    XOXO,
    A 3 pound lighter Biz :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Woot! Woot!

      First of all--THANKS for making this first (and maybe only?) comment, JoJo! The silence was deafening and I as scurred that every reader of this blog had decided to flee for good! Ha ha.

      Congrats on the baby steps including balancing the worth it lemon drop martini with the not worth it chips and pizza--and the 3lb deficit pay off. Way to go, Bumble Bizzle Bee!

      Yes. Shit got real on 11/15/2012. Good bye Hypothetical La-La Land! Love you, sissy!

      xo,

      K. Miz

      Delete
  2. I'm in!! My son is 1 and I have gained back every pound of baby weight I lost after having him. I want to make sure that I am around for a long time for him and any future kids my husband and I have. I'm gonna put it all out there and say I'm 29, 5'4", and weigh 245lbs. I haven't had my cholesterol checked in ages, so I need to contact my doctor and get some bloodwork done. High blood pressure runs in my family, as well as arthritis. I have been having issues with my hip and knee and know that dropping some lbs would help with that. Can't wait to get started on getting healthy, think I'll go have a big glass of water now to get started!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So proud of you Jessica. And I know that sweet boy of yours (and your future babies) will be thanking you for it. Your honest is brave and inspiring. We are works in progress. Be nice to yourself while you evolve.

      You go, mama!

      Delete
  3. I am joining because SJGR for me very early in life. My dad died when I was 7 from heart disease -he was 54. My mom died from heart disease at 64 when I was 22. In addition, I've had a sibling and several cousins die in their 30 and 40s as a result of diabetes related heart disease. I have struggled with my weight, as have most women in my family, for many years. I put your note on my fridge re. "you get fit in the gym and lose weight in the kitchen". I'm an avid exerciser, having completed 3 marathons, several dozen half marathons, several century bike rides, duathlon and triathlon. But, I overeat. I'm ready to start the journey to complete wellness and am signing on to Team SJGR.

    Evelyn M.

    BTW, I attended law school with Deanna and some of my best book recommendations ever came from her. JoLai was a 1L during our last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice to meet you, Evelyn! I am so happy that you left that comment. There are so many avid exercisers who overeat. I find myself overeating on some days when I have the wrong thing in my house or in front of me. It's all a process. Let's journey together, sister!

      I love knowing that you went to law school with my sissy! That warms my heart!

      Delete
  4. I'm onboard Dr. SJGR. I'm healthy, I don't have any markers for heart disease, but breast cancer is in my family. Your post from last week has been on my mind and in doing so, I have made some better food choices (some things had snuck back in the house). The best thing I ever did was buy a fitbit. That has kept me real on my exercise. I'm running my first Peachtree on Thursday and signed up for a 10-mile in October. Thanks for this post and I have a feeling you are going to have to set up a private FB group page for all of us SJGR-ers. Thanks for blazing the trail. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jill! That's awesome. I'm doing my first Peachtree too and I'm heading up to DC for the Army 10-miler in October!! Is that the one you're doing? And what's even crazier is that I'm ADDICTED to the fitbit! I accidentally washed mine so just ordered another. Ha ha ha!

      Lastly, I think the school your kids are in is the one Isaiah is going to next year. So much in common! Crazy!! (Email me so that I can confirm that last part.)

      Blessings to you, too!

      Delete
    2. P.S. I'm not on FB but trust me--JoLai would TOTALLY start a Team SJGR FB Page. ;)

      Delete
    3. JoLai, start a page and I bet your sis wouldn't be able to stay off FB for very long. Or she might depending on how many TV spots she gets from this one thread. Hit a nerve Dr. SJGR, didn't ya?!

      Delete
  5. I just finished 35 minutes on the gazelle when I sat down and found this. I'm in. I've let things slide and feel it. I posted a link on my fb page and hope my near and dear will read it and get on board, but I'm on. Thanks for writing this. Perfect timing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, Kristin! I love it. Thank you so much for this feedback. Team SGJR rocks!

      Delete
  6. Thank you. You have no idea how much the posts you put out there about these things help get me OUT of la-la land. I need reminders like you give to kick me out and keep me out! So thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need those same reminders, Jill! Let's keep on encouraging one another. :)

      Delete
  7. I'm in, too. I had a stroke at 30 because of a congenital 3rd degree heart block. I'm blessed to have a four-year-old and a four-month-old and want to live to see my grandchildren. Also, a close friend died at 42 years just 10 days ago. Food and lack of exercise are definitely the problem. I, too, gained back all the pounds from my first pregnancy. Would love to know what you eat instead of bread, since you say "bread is da devil."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Amy,

      Wow, what a testimony. First--I'm sorry about your friend. 42? That is some real shit. I'm sorry to hear that someone else's family has to go through that.

      Weight is so funny, isn't it? This crazy metabolic rollercoaster really is all downhill which translates to uphill weight despite us doing the same things. Ha! It's all a daily battle, I tell you.

      Okay. Bread is "da devil" but a better way to look at it is that it's know the devil I know. So the key is that I am hyperaware of my bread intake. This morning I had some wheat toast with an egg so I likely won't eat bread at lunch. I might allow a bit at dinner if it's worth it. Ha. So, it's not that I don't eat bread at all. I just don't eat anything mindlessly.

      BTdubs, I'm loving hummus with cucumber slices these days. And gazpacho, too. Yummmm.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for this post. I know all this stuff, I do, but lately, I've been ignoring the facts and letting myself get heavier and more out of shape than ever in my life. Drinking way, way too much wine too, it's becoming a daily event, and I know better.

    I've been thinking all week about what you said about weight loss and fitness. They are two different things, and I need to work on both of them, for me and my husband. Lucky for me my kids are in tip top condition, like we old folks used to be.

    Thanks for the honest chat. I'll keep you posted on my progress on team SJGR.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesom, Mel. I know what you mean about wine. It's tricky, actually. Remember--part of Team S.J.G.R. is being kind to ourselves during the process of rewiring our minds. For me, that's often the hardest part.

      I'm glad you're here.

      Delete
  9. Oh! And I want a FB page. Please please please JoLai!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoLai is the queen of Facebook so I will get her on it.

      xo, KM

      Delete
  10. Oh wow......had a Dr. Appt. TODAY.......and that's when shit got real for me! Came home feeling a bit defeated, but perked right up after reading this post!!!!! YES, please please please please count me in!!!!
    Proud member of SJGR ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Hey homegirl! No--don't be defeated. Let's get in the game and fight. With slow quick jabs we can fight this stuff off.

      Go Team SJGR!

      Delete
  11. I'm on board - because I always, always have room for improvement.

    Maria, fellow Meharrian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what's up, sis. Did you see our little sis from Meharry? Isn't that cool?

      Hugs,

      Kimberly, fellow Meharrian

      Delete
  12. This is very loving. It is written with a great deal of care. I know that is because you want to cut through the practiced resistance of those of us who need this most, who often cant hear what we need to hear because we conflate it with being judged. I appreciate so much the way you tip toe through that bramble as you share what you know. Am I in? This is such a mountain for me, all the more so because I want to bring my husband and my daughter along on this journey. But really I know I have to start with me, and I don't want to be glib in response to your carefully laid out prescription. I want to tell the truth. The only truth I know tonight is that tomorrow I will make an appointment with my primary care physician, and tomorrow I will be conscious about what I choose to put into my mouth. That is as much of the truth as I know at this moment, but maybe something else is working too, because there are tears on my face as I write this, and I am so grateful for you, for your knowledge of how tricky and sensitive this is and your decision to talk about it anyway, because it might help someone, it might help me, it has helped me. Tomorrow I will make that appointment. That is the truth. And more to come. Thank you, dear Kimberly. My love to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest,

      Thank you for saying what I think was on a lot of minds. Not about my post being loving, but about wanting to be honest and feeling some trepidation. Yes. This will happen one baby step at a time and that is fine. It is. Being kind to ourselves is a part of this movement. Guilt and feeling like a failure don't work well to sustain healthy living. So that's not what we will do.

      Look, sis. What I will do is hold your hand and keep reminding you along with myself gently of what is at stake and what we have to gain. I am constantly inspired by reading about your family and the love between you. It mirrors a lot of what I hope to foster in my own family and children--it's a true success story.

      I am glad that you feel that this has helped you. Knowing that has helped me, too.

      Delete
  13. I am a shy, quiet one that also wants to be on board. I have a problem with binge eating and the impact on my health in recent years scares the hell out of me. It is hard to keep my spirits up but I will try. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of us binge. It's all a process, right? I am so happy you are on board. We will be stronger together.

      Delete
  14. Hi Kimmie,

    I am on board...gotta get my STUFF together!!!! Love you to pieces!!! Thanks for being such an inspiration~~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Snappy Diva!

      Yay! I am so happy to hear from you and to know you're on the team. I love you to pieces, too. You inspire me as well, soror.

      See you in D.C.?

      Kimberly

      Delete
  15. I wanted to think about this overnight...but I am in!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I had posted a comment yesterday (thought I was going to be the 1st ;)) but it is not hear for some reason!

    I am joining this as well. I am 37 and probably about 20-30lbs overweight. I have struggled my entire adult life. I loved what you wrote.

    I think I am going to do better with changing my motivation. Before, it was always about "getting thin". Now, it will be about my health. I am very blessed that there is not a familial history of heart disease or breast cancer but that does not mean it cannot happen to me.

    It would be GREAT if we had a facebook page!

    Thanks for starting this. Was thinking about you as I did my 40 minute walk around my neighborhood last night!!

    -Amanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda, you hit it on the head. So hard to keep it up when "getting thin" is the motivation. Thank you for your comments--today and yesterday, too. Proud to have you on the team.

      xo, Kimberly

      Delete
  17. Count me in. It seems that this message has been put in front of me several times. I used to exercise daily, tread mill, yoga weights. 12 flights of stairs at work. And then for no reason I just stopped. Thank you for reminding me why I did what I did. I do need to remember is when my son and his family come over they take the chips and ice cream with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were already active before so this is just like plugging something back in for you. I'm so glad you stopped to share that because it is what a lot of people go through. I call them "exercise hiccups." ;)

      And yes, the ice cream and chips have to go with the visitors.

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Diane, thank you for your email. So proud of you.

      Delete
  19. Well, I've already done a lot of that, and I weigh 60 pounds less than I did ten years ago.(Be nice, my teenage son was invading Iraq at the time and I had breast cancer. Stress hormones kill you.) But there are things on that list I need to get real about. I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am in! This is confirmation. I received a call about a close friend's older brother having a stroke and is paralyzed on his right side.

    I know my family like many families have members suffering with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer. My cholesterol was high at 22. I know what raises mine and now I am conscious of my egg intake. I have been talking the talk but not walking the walk. Its a done deal! Purging my pantry today and creating a meal plan before I grocery shop.

    I am blogging in your comment section. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all good, Green-eyed! Pantry purging. . . hmmm. . . I am thinking I need to think of it that way, too. Ran across some sour cream and onion lays potato chips (a snacksize bag) late at night yesterday and fell to my knees crying out, "WHHHHHYYYYY???!!!" LOL. So what happened? I busted the sucker open and I ate three of them. Okay four, and then filled the bag up with water and pitched it in the trash. Sure did. Ha ha ha.

      Have I not told y'all about the destroying things that I don't want to eat thing? Ha ha ha haha!

      Delete
  21. I'm in. Thank you for this post. This offers a different perspective that I haven't thought about before. I need to lose a significant amount of weight and this is just the type of thing that I need.

    Thank you.

    January S.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaaah. That's a beautiful name, January. Your lovely name represents a new beginning of sorts. So think of this that way, too. Perspective is everything, right? Some of my best new beginnings start with a simple shift in perspective.

      Thank YOU.

      Kimberly

      Delete
  22. I am in. Thank you. I also need to be reminded that you lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym. I need to lose weight and exercise again. I am on the S.G.J.R. bandwagon.
    Sincerely, Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay Mary! Let's all be on this bandwagon together.

      xo, Kimberly

      Delete
  23. Ave' Barker-TottenJuly 2, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    I'm in Soror. You always inspire me. I admire your strength and tenacity. I have visions of your PM&H report and your songs, along with your urgent urging to do the necessary work in this life. Much love to everyone - and I'm in on the FB page too. -Ave'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha ha! Girl, I chuckle every time I think of my unconventional Physical & Mental Health committee reports! So, so funny!

      Stay tuned for the FB page--JoLai is on it! :)

      Delete
  24. Dr. Manning,
    Count me in! Thank you for all your kind words, inspiration, and motivation!
    SJGR for me last week, when coming back from a 4 weeks vacation that I spent with my family, I weighed in the heaviest I have ever been!!! I am only 29 and I realized I was grade I obese! (5.7 and heaviest at 201lbs) i had a long conversation with myself (in front of the mirror) and realized SJGR. All i could think was what would my children think if I had them...and would I get to have them if I continue living like this? I have never been a skinny person, but my weight was controlled and I was slightly overweight (a bmi around 26-27). Then I moved to the United States and I got in a very hostile relationship with food. I was trying to fill the emotional emptiness with food...and I gained 30 lbs in 6 months! I started the whole circle of dieting and losing some weight, then keeping it off for a while, then get into an emotional plunge and regain that same weight...or sometimes more. I have to admit that I was eating healthy 80% of the time. My husband and I do not buy any processed food, and we eat lots of fruits, vegetables,chicken, and fish. My problem was eating too much and at any time of day. Plus we have both been students and working for the past 6 years, so we would sometimes fall off the wagon and eat crap at the school cafeteria. We rarely eat out, as we like to cook. So...last week i decided that SJGR... and I started a food diary...and I wrote in plain red these same 4 letters (so thank you! Your team came into my life at perfect timing!)
    I bought myself a steamer and I steam most of my food now, and I am trying to have a schedule now and eat 3 meals a day with 2 healthy snaks. Thank you for your post today. I was thinking of my heart during these days of personal reflection, but not as much... Now I will...every time I go for my jog (I started a running training program) or to the gym.
    Thank you!
    I apologize for the long post, but I feel more connected to anyone on this team after laying it all down. I am sorry for not commenting more on your posts...but I am reading each and every one. In fact, when I found your blog i read it through the night so I could catch up on all old posts. Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Livia Sura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Livia!

      I so appreciate your thoughtful comment and your testimony of experiences. Don't apologize for that or for not commenting. The only people I harass to comment are my parents and my little sister! :)

      It's really all just about a state of mind for us to adopt together. We will drop the ball sometimes but Team SJGR will remind us to pick it back up--and FAST!

      xo, Kimberly

      Delete
  25. Okay Sister Doctor. I couldn't read the post entire on account of well panic. That's okay. That's just me. But I read over half. And to say that your last post made me bring kashi whole grain pilaf for lunch yesterday and a radish and sugarpea salad for lunch today uh-huh and I've been a vegetarian since I was 13 but I am also a sugar junkie and my dad died at 60 from massive heart failure and I'm going to be 60 in 27 days and I think about him a lot. When I got home last night I had to go to therapy and was wrecked. Did I go home and eat fried potatoes and cry? Why yes I did. Tonight I'm going to go home and jump in the lake. Literally. And all this rambling means thank you means I will continue to read here as long as you'll have me means you are so strong and centered yet perfectly flawed as humans shoud be that you knock my eyesbulbs around.

    Thank you.
    Rebecca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so, so love your rambles, Ms. Rebecca Radish. I truly do. I also get the part about stopping and then waiting to read the rest. That's what happened to me when I was writing it.

      I will have you for sure. And I am so happy that I can now see your writings, too.

      Thank you, my friend,

      KM

      Delete
  26. I'm in..
    since Deanna's passing,I had been struggling with this EXACT issue. Starting and stopping, burying my heart, anger and pain in FOOD; heck even my joys. I am diabetic and knew I was killing myself, I knew it. I just couldn't figure out the perfect balance. True Story: I got down on my knees one night and asked God to help me, to SAVE me from MYSELF. I was able to make some decisions about myself and my health and I am all the better for it.

    Thanks, Soror for this nudge to do even MORE. Guess i will go walk now and come back and eat my fruit :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. We are all in the same boat, Soror Sonya. So head out and walk for that heart and then attack the scale in the kitchen. ;)

      Delete
  27. Hey Kim, This is Angie, from Epsilon Kappa!! I'm a newly appointed city rep for GirlTrek and one of the ladies on my facebook page just posted your article. Absolutely beautiful. I didn't quite finish, because I'm at work, but I will. I am so sorry to hear about your sister and it has resounded with me. I have a morbidly obesed sister that is about 10 years younger than I am. I have tried unsuccessfully for her to take her health to a better level and have too just stopped talking about it with her...I'm scared for her. Thanks for this. I miss you guys, but reading your blog brought back some sweet memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Angie from EK,

      I appreciate your note. I'm so happy to see that this reached a friend through another path. GirlTrek sounds awesome. Yes, girlfriend, we had some good times at EK. . . whew!

      I don't know the answer to what to do about your sister. I don't regret not bugging Deanna about her weight but I wonder if I could have . . .I don't know. . .worked harder to inspire her more. We had a great relationship and spent lots of time together. Though I don't tend to operate in guilt or regret much, I am charged to work harder to use my own gifts, you know? To perhaps get somebody out of the fear of trying to do better and change their lot in life through a gentle hand hold. That's what I'm trying to do. I didn't have to guilt my sister or make her feel bad and I'm glad I didn't. But I still wish I'd done more.

      Sisterly,

      Kimberly from GT

      Delete
  28. From the deck of the Poop,
    Well, Dr. KD, this piece really flushed the old PoopDeck out of the bushes. For those of you not familiar with the saying "out of the bushes" it means out of hiding.
    I am presently in San Diego with my two younger grandsons. I love doing the grandpa things; letting them eat whatever they please and hiding it behind "what happens in California, stays in California". Also taking a little pride in hearing Isaiah say that he took his sweet tooth after grandpa. After reading this great piece of writing, I remembered how much I was like Isaiah when I was his age. So skinny that I actually put old socks in my back pockets to fill out my little pants. Then I thought about how this blog started. Talking about that skinny little kids 50+ years later have his chest split open to get his heart fixed. I thought about how I took pride in having you talk about how your dad was such a compliant patient, knowing full well that I was much heavier than I should be. (And you haven't nailed me, when you know it too) You let me stay in the bushes when you knew I was there hiding. I actually had semi-convinced myself that because I had already had "my" heart attack, that I didn't have to worry about another one as long as I go out and walk long distances and exercise etc. I was doing that when I had my H-A.
    I am starting today by letting my grandsons have a great time without point them in the direction of the operating room to get their sternum cracked.
    I know that this won't be easy but the thought of not being around to see them graduate from high school and college etc is tougher.!!!

    PoopDeck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All of us want you to be around for the graduation and weddings of all your grands!!!

      Delete
    2. So proud of you, Dad. But I do agree with Jill for sure.

      The thing is this--joining Team SJGR requires mental readiness. So me picking on you won't help that. But I'm super happy that this post did.

      I love you indescribably.

      Kimberly

      Delete
  29. Hey Kim!!

    I read this on one of my line sister's facebook page. I love your blog!! Truly inspirational!! You have really put it in all in perspective. Focus on my heart. S.J.G.R. I am definitely in!!

    Sincerely,
    Marilyn B.
    XOX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! So glad you're in Marilyn!

      Is this my classmate from Meharry?

      Sisterly,

      KM

      Delete
    2. Yes. Hope to see you in D.C. :)

      Delete
  30. Wow! I'm speechless...which is kinda like seeing a unicorn with me. However, I do believe I was led to this very post b/c "God is tryna tell me something". For some time now I have been struggling with weight, eating healthy and exercise and while I have mastered extreme dieting, I struggle with truly making a lifestyle change. The irony is that today at the Peachtree Road Race Expo I met at young lady who lost 139lbs by making pretty drastic changes to her diet and running, but she did this over time and she admits that keeping it off is a struggle. Then I run into a Soror of ours who asks if I've seen her FB post today. I told her no but that I'd look it up. Well that post was a link to this very post. Coincidence? I think not. Divine intervention? Yes indeed. My father died at 35 from a brain aneurysm. His oldest brother died from a heart attack at 55 and their father (my grandfather) died at 70 from heart failure. My grandmother (Father's Mom) has had a quadruple by-pass so yeah....Shit's been real...I just ignored it b/c I'm a "healthy" overweight girl who can run 5ks, 10ks and half marathons. Thick in the middle, the sides, the bottom and everywhere else. But the stakes are even higher now b/c I have a very impressionable 3 yr old daughter who gives me life in ways I never realized I lacked it. I could go on and on, but I know what I need to do and I'm deciding to do it sans beating myself up (tough love is my typical approach, but that ain't exactly working). This was so on time. So yeah GOD, I hear you, just please give me the discipline and strength to see this to the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will see this to the end. You will. Just make up your mind, sis!

      Focus on the heart and congratulate yourself for the good things you've been doing for it through exercise. Then get real with the fork and the kitchen. And do that for your daughter, too. She will see you exercising so that's amazing. Now show her how to eat!

      xo, Kimberly

      Delete
  31. Absolutely fantastic, Sis (no surprise at all). Consider me on Team SJGR. I am happy to report I just finished 45 minutes on the elliptical here at work...on an elliptical machine that I hate in a workout room I built 5 years ago and haven't used anywhere close to enough. Thanks for this wonderful piece...and the love. Let's do this...for DLD, for us, for our families. Love you.

    Willy D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love you, too. More than you can possibly even get your mind around.

      Flake #2

      Delete
  32. This took me a while to finish reading BUT well worth it. I had a little scare about a week ago that got me thinking about this subject.

    My grand father worked in the coal mines with unsafe equipment for decades and smoked non filtered cigarettes and enjoyed his food fried. He lived to be 98 but died of CHD and so did my father.

    Often I hear people say, "Im going to die anyway, why exercise", but I feel as though thats a selfish choice that "could" ruin a family. My motto for 2013 is to change the cycle. For me personally its mental, spiritual and physical. That DJD has been on me about exercising more and im forever grateful. Its not as difficult as some may think BUT having someone in their corner to exercise/diet with helps out tremendously. I guess it goes back to hanging with like minded folks.

    P.S. Guess I failed at being quiet and just observing your commentary huh? Good stuff. :) - Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joe! Ha ha ha ha. . . I'm learning that you like the spoken word. It's all good, though. I'm on the "loquacious" side, too. (Just ask my poor, poor BHE.)

      Happy 4th!

      Delete
  33. Okay read all the way through so sign me up.

    What I want is potatoes of any kind. Pure emotional potatoes. I'm going to eat a tomato right out of the garden.

    Mindfulness is the lesson the universe keeps lopping ag my head.


    Your boys are gorgeous.

    PAX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You rock, Ms. Rebecca Radish. You do. And potatoes . . .sigh. Oh the comfort they bring. Moderation is the key and so is balance. With care, you can have your potatoes and eat them, too.

      Thanks for the compliment on my cute little co-co pugs!

      xo, KM

      Delete
  34. So much for the silence...people are craving this. woo hoo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm kind of excited. Poopdeck just asked me if this was a record number of responses. Outside of the ones during our immediate bereavement from Deanna's passing, I'd say yes. I love that, in a way, both have a connection to her. I bet she's smiling and saying, "Okay, sissy. Now what you gonna do?"

      ;)

      Delete
  35. yes I am in, am proud to be able to join this group!

    Perfect timing - yesterday I walked the dog for 30 minutes after realizing I had not increased my heart rate in about 2 years or so... so yes, I need to get moving.

    Your writing is beautiful, and think of all the people you touch, and who will be changed because of this journey we are on with you. I think that is lovely tribute to your sister. And I hope this will be a way to live with and move through your grief. Love from here,
    RN Atlanta

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm going to do this! I'm a little scared of the food tracking; I've had an eating disorder for 8 years, and the only way I have it under control now is because I don't count calories. Which is definitely not good. I have PCOS, so I've always been heavier than I want, but having gone off BC, I'm now at my biggest. I'll be real here: I'm only 20 and 5'7", but I weight 170 pounds. Thanks to the PCOS, most of that is in my stomach and thighs. Shit needs to change. My little sister is only 4, and my mom has MS so she won't be here as long as my sister needs her to be. I need to be able to be here and healthy enough to step in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what's up, Jay. Listen--Just mentally food track. Do what works for you, you know? The key is just to not repetitively do things that you know aren't helping. And the key is to take the focus off of how you look. I know that's super hard.

      Let your heart be your guide. Literally.

      xo,

      KM

      Delete
  37. I shared this on FB this morning. I read you everyday and love the stories of Grady, Harry and the kids, your sisters and brother and your parents. BUT THIS WAS THE ONE!. I'm 42 next month. Joined the Y in March, met with a trainer yesterday to discuss how use the machines correctly and getting blood drawn next week as part of my annual check. Shit is so real. 5'5 217. Trainer asked why I want to lose weight and I said "So my body will match the pretty face."
    Thank you for sharing yourself
    S Applewhite

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    Replies
    1. 42! Woot woot!!!

      THANK YOU so much for reading here. I mean it. And for these kind words.

      Now. Tell that trainer you want to lose weight because you got SHIT TO DO and you need to be ALIVE TO DO IT. It sounds like you already have a pretty spirit to match your pretty face which is what matters the most. Focus on that heart and the body will get in line. Fo sho!

      Team SJGR rules!

      Delete
  38. Count me as another one who found this post timely and eye-opening...after working on my weight for a while and just stalling out on the progress, I got some numbers back that related to your stories about SJGR and heart issues. Then I decided it was time to get my shit back together and jump on this thing before it was too late. I recently discovered a walking program that I might actually have a decent chance of sticking with, and have paid much better attention to what's "junk" and what's not on the food side of the equation. I don't want to wind up like my dad did a few Christmases ago in the hospital having a triple bypass. No thanks, not interested! So I really enjoyed this post, and not just because I love when you post all the pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Soror Kim!

    Thank you for always keeping it real and for breaking it down so we can ALL understand and relate! While reading this I thought about all of the family members and friends I was going to send this to. You really hit home when you talked about exercising for your heart. I know I've been guilty of "gotta loose to fit into something, to get ready for convention (lol), for homecoming, for a reunion, etc".

    Count me in and I have to share this so my peeps can make me accountable!

    See you in DC!

    Karen Brydie

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm IN!!!!! I work out (run, lift, Zumba) at least 5 days a week, and I miss it when I don't! Do my best to eat well (healthy that is), with an occasional treat. I totally agree, when I have a potluck at mg house, I am sending stuff home with folks, because I surely won't eat it!! Thanks do much for writing this, great reminder, and so important to tell myself it's for my heart, not my bod!

    Nneka

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm in. And a bit "scurred". But I'm in! :)

    Kris

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi Soror Kim!

    Talk about hitting a nerve with this post my nerves are definitely tingling! I have been sitting on Team ITSKR (is this s@#t kinda real?) in my attempt to ignore SJGR - well can't ignore it anymore, because I want my heart healthy and happy and I want to be here for my kids, my hubby, my family - for ME!

    I am another law school classmate of Deanna's (and JoLai's:-) and for many months now I have lurked in the background of your blog and grieved, cursed, smiled and rejoiced with you through the power of the pen in your hand. Deanna was so much to so many, she was the life of the party (if there is such a thing in law school) and she made us laugh even when we felt like crying. And she loved her family so much......

    S.J.G.R. resonated with me and made me laugh because I have said the phrase and heard it so many times as well. S.J.G.R. brought me out of lurking and I am IN. I am looking forward to the journey and will be working on dropping some excess pounds as well. Thanks for the S.J.G.R. reminder and for hitting my nerve!

    Tammi (from Denver)
    P.S. Hi JoLai!

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  43. All the way from Mexico City I´m in!!!!

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  44. I am so in. You bridge that gap between physical and mental health beautifully! You make people WANT to do better, One of the hardest things to change is the way we think, especially about ourselves. I see why Deanna was soooo proud of you. So so proud. Shoot, you just being you improves the world!

    Like JoLai, I too want to eventually get off these HBP meds. For right now, I'm going to get my mind, diet, and exercise right! Baby steps. ;-)

    -Renee

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  45. Hook me up, Miss Manning! I loved this post, because it echoed a lot of what I started doing about a month ago...eating better, actually going to the gym and getting on the treadmill, trying to live a less stressful life. I've lost eight pounds, but better than that, I actually FEEL better. Thanks so much for this post, it really inspired me! Go, TEAM SJGR!

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  46. I went to Scripps and knew your sister, Deanna, there. I have so many fond memories of her. I especially remember jumping into her bug for an excursion. I just found out yesterday of her passing and i was truly shocked.(I rarely get on facebook which is how i learned :( I had not spoken with her in years but remember her fondly. Life is short but it seems like she lived hers to the fullest. I am on broad of SJGR.!!!

    Rochelle

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  47. I'm in! My 3rd baby will be one in October and I made a promise to myself at the beginning of 2013 that I would use this year to become the healthiest, happiest version of me. So far, it is the one goal on my list for the year that I have been most successful with.

    I started my 3rd pregnancy at 186 lbs and finished it at 226 lbs. Due to a huge nesting surge at the end of that pregnancy in which I cleared our home of 99% of the canned goods, snack foods, and non-organic items (fresh and otherwise) and the help of my nursling's boat-load of food sensitivities (which omitted dairy, eggs, and chocolate, among other things, from my diet)....I am down to 158lbs. I am the same size I was when I was 12 (which is big for a 12 yr old, I realize this). I picked up running and yoga, I've learned to embrace my inner hippy, and I'm more in love with myself than I have ever been.

    So yes, I'm DEFINITELY in!

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  48. Ok, I just came over here and read the whole dang thing. I'm in. And thanks. Walking and swimming and biking and hiking, got that but the food thang...yup, working on it. I'll be back to read again for inspiration.

    Hard to get enough sleep as a midwife....

    Beth

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  49. Hey, I'm in, SJGR for me a few years ago. I miss Deanna's smiling face, her creativity, her passion for sisterhood (both personal and DST). I'm sending this to a few people to help them make "SJGR" for them too. Keep up the GREAT work in her honor. Big Sis Powerpoint

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  50. I just by chance came across SJGR topic. Now I'm mad that I'm four months behind with reading. What a great way to spread the word about cardivascular health!
    Joye

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  51. Hi Soror, I was so frustrated about being behind the 8 ball with this blog that I forgot to say that: I'm in like Flynn! Looking forward to the inspiration of this team! I hope I can be a blessing to someone else as well. My dad died of heart disease and 55 and I plan to live well beyond age 55! It's been 40 years since his death and I don't plan on leaving my kids motherless at a young age! So count me in!
    Thanks again!
    Joye

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  52. I took a much too long vacation in lala land. But am back. Thank you Jolai for posting the link on FB. I needed the reminder. Thank you Grady Doc for this post. I appreciate that you are not giving anybody grief but just providing some facts, your own insight, and calling on everyone to keep it real. And Deanna, here me in heaven, thank you for inspiring your family.

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