Motivations to Encourage Heart-healthy Lifestyles

By Jason M Carlton

Neva, one of the 2014 My Heart Challenge: Play at Home Edition contestants, has many factors that motivate her to make the heart-healthy lifestyle changes. We all have different things that motivate us, but read what is helping Neva and see if there are elements like that in your life that can help you find the push you need to eat healthier and be more active. 

Neva-My-heart-challenge-motivation

Here is Neva's story:

The reason I signed up for my heart challenge… I am an overweight (obese) 38 year old female; I take high blood pressure and thyroid medication and fear I could get diabetes or other illnesses from being so overweight. I heard about my heart challenge and thought what a great way to get healthier and off my medications. 

I‘m hoping to achieve a healthy weight and I think this challenge will help me with keeping track of my daily habits and by helping me to hold myself accountable for my choices. I feel like we eat healthy at home but I don’t feel like we eat enough vegetables and fruits. I also have a very hard time eating breakfast, so this may help me realize that I’m skipping meals and that this is an unhealthy choice. 

My motivation is first my health; I am still very young and want to live a long time. Therefore I need to be healthy and active. There are many other reasons I’m motivated but here are just a few...My son and his fiancé are getting married in July of this year and I want to feel confident and happy to be introduced as the groom’s mother and I don’t want to be trying to avoid the camera on such a special and memorable day. I have a very active 20 month old grandson and he is at a very curious stage in development, I want to be able to experience and play with him as much as possible.  And as I said before I want to be able to participate in all the fun active things my family has their hearts set on.

My biggest challenge is my self confidence, I need to believe in myself and trust that my family is there for me, I need to stop watching the scale and learn that no matter what that number is as long as I’m eating healthy, exercising regularly and staying positive, that is all that matters.

My biggest success so far...  My husband has always been very fit and worked out on a regular basis and so I have started many exercise programs with him only to get discouraged because I don’t see any results. As a family we are very active and love the outdoors. My husband, son and nephew participated in a 13 + mile Spartan obstacle race last year, I volunteered and help at the race because I knew there was no way I could participate but I still wanted to be part of it. I dreamed that maybe “someday” I could do something like this too.  After that race they were all hooked, they decided they wanted to do three races this year and earn their Trifecta. So as a family we signed up to volunteer again and we all signed up for the race. Not telling anyone I secretly thought there was no way I would race as I am not in shape, but I still started walking and exercising  regularly with my husband so he could get ready to race. Then last Saturday I participated in the Super Spartan race.  I feel so proud of myself; I never gave up because my son and his fiancé never gave up on me.  I walk and ran over 8.5 miles and completed 15+ obstacles. This is something I only dreamed I could do “SOMEDAY”.  I’m still very out of shape and know that I would have never accomplished such a thing without the help of my son and his fiancé. This was an experience I really never believed was possible. They stayed with me for over 5 hours and help me on most of the obstacles even though they could have left me behind and completed this race in half the time.  We finished as a TEAM, Arrrooo!

Neva A.