Blog post by 2018 BetterU Participant EMILY DARROW!
The BetterU journey is amazing. I’m still in disbelief that I was lucky enough to be chosen by this program. During Friday’s orientation and public announcement, I was so moved by each of my BetterU Class of 2018’s stories – my amazing teammates on this journey. Then, during the speeches, Denise VanBuren floored me with the statistic that more women die from heart disease than any of the cancers combined. I know I knew that, but until that moment, really hadn’t processed it. It made this interior call to action to first apply and then really commit to this program all the more important. Lisa Morris just rocked it as she shared her experience last year – and that the downside was having to buy new clothes as she lost weight!
As we toured the gym with Phil, I looked at all the equipment, the dedicated gym goers using it, and felt more than a little fear. My gym experience is heading in and using the pool – that’s it. Now I’d be traveling way out of my comfort zone. When we had our first team training after the tour with the samples of the different programs, I was more than afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up. How would my knee do? But first Lindsay gave a wall option for push ups – YES! Then DQ just had this general air of reassurance as he took us through a great drill. By the end of the time, I won’t say I wanted more, but I knew that this was just what I needed!
Today, I’m really looking forward to my first meeting with my trainer. I’m a little nervous about where I’ll stand with both the baseline read from HealthQuest and the full body scan at Gold’s this afternoon, but I’m all about knowing the good – and the bad. Last night, I went on a treadmill for the first time in years. I thought it would be “easy.” Ha! I was feeling it when the time approached 10 minutes, but convinced myself to continue to 15, then to keep going to make the mile, then a little more to burn 150 calories, then 175.
And then it slowed down. I’d made it to the magic 30 minute mark. I think that made me feel as good as practically anything.
But activity is just one of the things that has to be modified during these 12 weeks. I know that changing and enhancing diet is also key. A week ago, at a friend’s urging I downloaded an app and began tracking every meal. This has been incredibly eye opening. I’m not a sweets person. I don’t like breads. But just a few teaspoonfuls of sugar and cream in my coffee was something that had to go. I think summer is the easiest time to diet as the fresh fruit and veggies are all around us in the Hudson Valley. For lunch (and a lot of dinners), I just have a simple watermelon salad, with a sprinkling of feta and mesclun. It’s filling, easy and delicious. I’ve lost 8 pounds since last Monday, with a LOT more to go. But even more important than the weight loss is the empowerment and support by being surrounded by 13 amazing and inspirational women. Thanks, BetterU!
Our mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer worldwide, and stroke ranks second globally. Even when those conditions don’t result in death, they cause disability and diminish quality of life. We want to see a world free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.