My Pledge to Get Healthy (in partnership with the American Heart Association)

When I shared the above image on Instagram last week (original post here), I NEVER expected the outpouring of love and support via the dozens of comments from so many people. My weight loss story is not one I tell all that often these days — I am not that story anymore — but here’s the short version (as short as I can get it) in case you aren’t familiar…

The photo on the left was taken 16 years ago this month at my sorority bid day freshman year of college. I had known for a long time that I wasn’t small, but I hadn’t realized until then just how out of control I was from owning my health. I weighed more than 250 pounds and in that moment, I vowed to “get healthy” — I didn’t know what I meant by that statement, but I knew things had to change.

In the decade and a half that followed: I lost 100 pounds in the first seven years to then lose another 25 in the following year. I realized then I had developed severe disordered eating patterns and over exercising issues. Over the next several years, I worked to slooooowly gain 45 pounds back to get healthy enough to have a baby. Once pregnant, I gained 55 more pounds and now today – 14 months after Baby B’s arrival – I’m back at my pre-baby weight, hoping to lose those 10-15 last pesky pounds but not stressing myself out to do so. That’s the girl in the photo on the right — she’s much happier that way.

After people find out I’ve lost so much weight – a few times – over the course of my life, their next question is typically, “how’d you do it?” My answer: the old fashioned way – by eating less and moving more. And considering I LOVE to eat, that means to find balance, I LOVE to move as well!

Some of my favorite heart-healthy fitness options include:

  • Yoga classes — my Sunday Yoga Brunches are a great example, or check out one of the many yoga studios in the area
  • Group fitness classes like those held at some of my favorite studios including CycleBar
  • Community 5Ks including the American Heart Association’s annual Cleveland Heart Walk:

Fitness, especially yoga, has enhanced my life in so many ways, and that’s why my health-focused partnership with the American Heart Association has worked for me… and will again this year!

I am again excited to be partnering with our local office of the American Heart Association on their 14th annual Go Red For Women Expo and Luncheon on Friday, February 2nd at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland starting at 10AM. More details about the event can be found here. I’d love to see you there!

February 2nd is also National Wear Red Day. Join thousands of companies, hospitals, news broadcasters, schools and individuals to “speak red” and raise awareness about the No. 1 killer of American women – heart disease. Get your FREE Wear Red Day Toolkit at goredforwomen.org. Show the world you’re GOING RED by posting a photo on social media with the hashtags #WearRedandGive and #ClevelandGoesRed. You can expect me and Baby B in a bright red matching combo that Friday morning!!

Many thanks to the Cleveland American Heart Association for their ongoing partnership! Follow the non-profit locally on Facebook, Twitter at @ClevelandAHA and Instagram at @ClevelandAHA. Here’s to getting healthy – and especially heart-healthy – in 2018!

Disclosure: The Cleveland American Heart Association invited me to promote and attend the Cleveland Go Red for Women Expo and Luncheon on February 2nd.  All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own.
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