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Just Sayin’

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Seize the Moment:

Go Red For Women

My maternal grandmother had a heart attack at 52. My mother had a heart attack at 52.

I turned 52 this year and I woke up to a new priority–break this cycle for myself, for my 15-year-old daughter, and for the future generations of women in my family.

Like so many professional women, exercise, eating right and participating in de-stressing activities too often fall to the bottom of my list while staff, client, business and family needs take the top spots. For many women who are strong business leaders and excel at meeting goals, our personal focus on health, weight management and stress reduction may seem out of reach.

In my 52nd year, that personal goal is in the forefront.

Since February, I have been one of 11 women participating in the American Heart Association’s BetterU program. BetterU is part of the Go Red For Women movement, which educates women about heart disease. We are all working to reduce the No. 1 health threat to all women, heart disease. We are in this for 12 weeks, when our efforts will be showcased at the May 21 Go Red for Women Luncheon.

We started our journey with body assessments–what is more terrifying than a scale and a tape measure? We toured Price Chopper with dietitian Ellie Wilson; Planet Fitness gave us memberships, and we meet weekly for workouts with Meredith Cohn, the Go Red director at the American Heart Association. We have a private Facebook page to vent, share funny quips, inspirational quotes and encouragement.

The BetterU program is changing my life. The women are an incredible support system and great motivators. I even go to Planet Fitness on the weekends! It is one thing to be known as a business professional in your community, but another to share your fears, your hopes, your efforts and to actually work out and sweat in front of other people. Every three weeks the tape measure and scale come out, and I fear it less and less. Every week, I do more push-ups and a longer plank than the week before. I eat fruits and vegetables I had never heard the names of before.

I hope anyone who has been putting off their own health seizes the moment for themselves. There is great information on, including recipes (I actually cook now!), exercise plans and grocery shopping information. I recommend finding friends to commit to improving health together. The camaraderie and being accountable to others is a huge part of the success of our BetterU group.

The Go Red For Women Luncheon is powerful. This year I will attend with a new sense of health and pride. I have met reality head on and overcome the constraints that I felt working and mothering created. We all know that if I can do it, anybody can.

BetterU at 52!

The Go Red For Women Luncheon is Thursday, May 21, at the Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Albany. For information or to purchase tickets, visit  HLM