Thursday, July 18, 2013

Team S.J.G.R. Thursday Huddle #3: GET UP OFFA THAT THANG!

Hey good people! What you know good?

Ha ha ha. . . .that's one of my favorite greetings. (The proper answer is: "I don't know nothin'!") Even if you know something. Ha ha ha!

Okay. Enough shenanigans. . . let's get it crack-a-latin'! 

First things first. . . a reminder for all of us:


I just can't say that enough. Team S.J.G.R. is over the b.s. idea that risk of heart disease goes on hiatus or decides that we are too cool, too cute, too nice, too talented, too whatever to fall prey to the realness. We are OVER that. So our approach is a slow and steady one like that tortoise when he went up against the hare. And baby, just like that fable teaches us, slow and steady wins the race. 

Let me be less cryptic here:

The ultimate goal should ALWAYS be cardiovascular health. Period. End of story. Not fitting in some skinny jeans or not having a jiggle in the back of your arm. And yes, those can be mini-goals but not the prize that your eyes stay on. Because what good is it to look cute if you can't do anything? What help is it to fit into a pair of skinny jeans but be unable to walk two feet due to heart failure? 


We are about the realness. And since we know that looking good in a pair of skinny jeans does not prevent heart disease alone, then we are gettin' up offa that thang when it comes to our thinking.


Since our hearts are our focus, that means that weight loss is necessary for heart protection if you're overweight. And damn, that mountain can seem like a high one to climb. Damn, it can! But you can climb it. You can just focus on the people you love and climb your ass off. Hell yeah, you can. 

Step one:  Look at what you're eating.
Step two:  Be mindful when you eat.
Step three:  Don't oppress yourself.
Step four:  Get the bad sh*t up out of your house.
Step five:  Plan your meals.
Step six:  If you haven't planned your meal, be vigilant about the words, "Naaah, I'm good." Which means "Hell naaaww, I ain't eating that because it's not worth it."
 Step seven:  Drink water. It fills you up.
Step eight:  Eat a bunch of veggies--they fill you up. Not potatoes. Easy on carrots, too. (They have a high glycemic index.)
Step nine:   DO NOT ever drink your calories.
Step ten:  Think about your heart and your ultimate goal whenever you eat. 

See? That required no point counting or any such thing. It just tells you to use your noggin' and to get up out of hypothetical la-la land. Because heart disease is some REAL SHIT that CAN AFFECT YOU no matter how much you think it can't. Trust me. It CAN.

Speaking of which.

I ran into one of my favorite patients of all time yesterday while walking on the bridge toward Emory Hospital. Ten years younger than me. Disabled by congestive heart failure that he got after his heart muscle was left severely damaged from a HEART ATTACK. Could barely even walk faster than a shuffle. This patient is NOT overweight. He just has a family history of heart disease and was making some not-so-great choices. And you know what? S.J.G.R. for him and his family. 

No, he didn't die. But he now is a young person with a heart that works at less than 10% capacity. Which SUCKS. And no, it isn't FREAKISH or OMG-how-could-that-happen-ish. It is a reality that can happen to any person. Because I will keep saying over and over again that heart disease is the most likely thing to take the life of every single person reading this blog. 

Believe that.

So what else? We have to keep moving, right? A minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week to make our hearts happy and reduce our risk. Yes!

Yesterday, I was at home and it was raining. I wanted to run after work but didn't when that monsoon started. But then, I looked at my progress for the day on my FitBit fitness tracker and saw that I'd only achieved 8,500 steps for the day. My goal is 10,000 or more. So do you know what that meant? It meant this:

I had to GET UP OFFA THAT THANG! Sure did. I got in my car and went straight to the YMCA. And you know? I couldn't find my membership card and didn't let that stop me either. Because I wish I could talk about how little excuses like rain and not being able to locate a membership card can keep you on your butt. But see, my heart needs me to move. So I thought about my patient with his slim build and his name on the heart transplant list and said, "BUMP THAT." I got to move.

Or better yet, GET UP OFFA THAT THANG!

So. That picture up top is after my workout. I was feeling good so I ran three miles and did some weights. Got well over my goal in steps and loved knowing that my heart was getting healthier. I even added "GET UP OFFA THAT THANG!" to my running play list because it kind of hyped me up.

So. What are you doing? It's Thursday. Are you keepin' it 150? Or all you bull-jiving? Are you aware that the realness does not go on break? That those little goombahs are building their little plaques in your arteries whether you acknowledge them or not? But our team recognizes them and puts them in a headlock. We shall not be sucker punched. No ma'am, no sir.

SH*T is still real. What you doing? What you feeling? What you know good?

Keep it 150. If you're at the goal, do more. Go harder. If you're bullshitting with the meals, CUT IT OUT. (I ate a bag of kettle chips yesterday so I feel the pain, too.) We can do this. We will do this. We are Team S.J.G.R. and baby, we are a movement!



Happy Thursday.


  1. Yes ma'am!! Get up offa that thang!!! Tell 'em Doctor Manning. Those little excuses like the membership card or the rain definitely stop people from getting up offa that thang. And then 1 day with no membership card turns to 2 days, turns to a month and then it's so much harder to GET UP OFFA THAT THANG! Cheering for Team S.J.G.R. - now off to deliver the new choreography for your favorite class: BODYPUMP!!!

  2. I passed up the potluck thrown in my honor of me losing my job yesterday and went directly to my computer (while still at werk) and bought a Fitbit wristlet with the giftcard they gave me. I did pick up a muffin put it on a plate cover it with a paper towel (very cat-like) and walked around with it before I put it back. Then I went home and had tequila for dinner.

    One day left before the unemployment line. Eleven days left before my 60th birthday. Nine pounds down and I don't know how many inches but when I reached up to the top shelf of my cupboard to get coffee this morning my bra slipped right up off my breasts.

    I'll keep my arms down today and give thanks in my heart for the Thursday Huddle.

    Rebecca The Meek and Mild

  3. Getting 60 - 120 minutes of high impact cardio once a day for twice a week in martial arts class. Walking for 30 mins on other days. I LOVE potatoes, didn't know I needed to ease up on those. I love chips, my weakness. I found some flaxseed, quinoa, and som'n or another chips at Walgreens that are delish!! I figured out that I just really love crunchy things, not necessarily chips. So I do more celery.
    I'm currently wearing an event monitor due to some recent palpitations, but I decided to pray more, worry less, and just do the best that I can do.
    I gotta tell ya, before I eat ANYTHING I think of Team SJGR, you, my heart, and my friend Deanna. I am truly motivated by this blog! :-)


    ps for those chips

  4. That run/walk program I started a few weeks ago says to get some other people into it so you're more likely to stick with it; well, I think being part of Team S.J.G.R. fits that bill perfectly! And I love it when someone manages to be both "no BS" and funny at the same time, like this post! That's always motivational, too. (Already got in my 30 minutes at the gym this AM before the weather got too oppressive.)Keep up the awesomeness, GradyDoc!

  5. Today, I just want to thank Dr. Manning and each and every one of you on the team!!! I am getting to enjoy exercise more, started a running training program, signed up for my first 5k, and I am well around happier since I have become a member of the team. What is more important- i am learning how to not lean on food for emotional comfort, how to not hate myself if I fall off the wagon one day, and how to just be more grateful for everyone in my life. Thank you! PS: I am also 10lbs lighter, but I don't focus on that so much! I can feel my heart is happier when I exercise- and that's my focus :)

  6. Going for another run. Down 10% of my weight in the last five months!

  7. I know one thing...60 is NOT the new 50 no matter what anyone says!...ha...I have lost two pounds and haven't found them yet! SJGR always in the back of my mind...

  8. I'm learning it all about choices. And by adding more fruit and veggies to my kitchen, I'm making better choices. Also the whole "drinking your calories" is HUGE! I don't think we even realize how much of our daily caloric intake is by what we choose to DRINK. Drinking much more water these days. I sometimes use the non-caloric water "enhancers" though; just helps to get me through it! And finally the MOVING is essential! The exercise has TRULY elevated my mood and made me feel better (and look better) all around!

  9. I have been reading your blog since November. I even used your blog to teach my students about healthy relationship( when Harry met Kimberly). The students loved your story. I am proud of your accomplishments. I was a freshman at Tuskegee when you were Ms. TUSKEGEE. You were very down to earth that's why you were loved and respected by so many. Kuddos to you Soror. Keep up the good work. I'm going to hit the treadmill now.


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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