Heart Healthy



True life: I once was a sorority chick. That’s right…I was a proud Alpha Phi of Purdue University. While a lot of the stigmasattached to Sorority’s are in fact, absolutely true, there are also some awesome lessons learned amongst being involved with a large organization of women. I’d like to think I am not the typical “sorority chick”, although I am sure some will beg to differ. I kept a couple of quite close friends (rather than pretending like my entire house was my BFFAE), and we all seemed to be the type of girls that you couldn’t put in a box or tell what to do; self-proclaiming ourselves as the exceptions to all the rules. ANYHOW, what I’m getting at is that we were (by no means) prominent members of our sorority. In fact, we were habitual for blowing off anything that was deemed “mandatory” – ok, enough about how I was an awful member of the society, and onto the real point…

February is Heart Healthy Month. Ironically, the Alpha Phi Foundation supports bringing awareness to Women’s Cardiac Care via The American Heart Association. Go Red For Women is a large campaign that the AHA has been running for many years. Because: did you know? Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States; that takes more lives than all forms of cancer (www.goredforwomen.org). We learned a lot of different statistics & facts of Women’s Heart Health while I was an Alpha Phi (ya, I did pay attention to some of them). And, they hit close to home. I am a woman, and I also have a mother, sister, and some best friends…I would be devastated if they lost their lives to Heart Disease. I spent my collegiate years in bars mostly, with my sorority sisters, going to class with my sorority sisters, eating with my sorority sisters, and last but not least, doing philanthropic deeds & hosting events with my sorority sisters. That’s a lot of time with sorority sisters.
But, we made it fun. We had our annual Golf Outing, in which we got to drive the fraternity men around in golf carts while they (we) drank beer & raised money for the American Heart Association (that must be an oxymoron….) Next we had our Ivy man competition in which fraternity men would gather teams to compete in multiple games, one of which ended in a Twinkie eating contest (later in which we fought changed to a more heart healthy alternative). And, our Red Dress Gala in which we invited alumni, family, and prominent faculty members around campus to a sit down dinner – and the whole night was dedicated to raise awareness and money for Cardiac Care. Needless to say, we raised a lot of money, we LOVED the color red, and we has some fun doing philanthropic events. Sorority chicks do have hearts & souls, after all.

My challenge to you is this: make a slight shift in your habits, practices, and tendencies for the next day. Replace your sodas & sports drinks with coconut water. Turn off the TV, the iPads & go for a walk – the weather is NOT an excuse (the Monon Center has a track open to the public). Stop making excuses, find some friends, and hold them accountable. Do burpees, try a new fitness class – get your blood pumping! Drink A LOT of pure, fresh water. AND, eat your fruits and veggies. Your mother was right, ya know. A little bit goes a long way. Just to be more aware of your choices, and allowing those impacts to slowly transform your life to a more healthy YOU. Then, your slight changes start to rub off on those people around you. Creating a ripple effect of healthy habits to make the world a better place; where we choose to be active over sedentary. Just one small change is a step in the right direction of living a more healthy lifestyle. Love your heart, and it will do the same for you!

Now, I know you might not have experienced greek life as a sorostitute or a frat star, but what I did take away from the entire47465_1389444813725_4575634_n experience was the community aspect of feeling like you belong to something, you have people around that you can trust, and you are all striving to make the world a better place. And, at Reforming Indy, THAT is exactly what we are trying to do. We WANT your heart to be more healthy, and we WANT to provide a home for you to do that, one where you feel attached to the beautiful community we have created. We WANT you to feel like family. Because, you are our family & we are about you!

PS: Tell your friends what’s up, too. They will thank you later (trust me, Annie Greenberg thanked me).

P.S.S: I have also heard that red wine is actually GOOD for your heart. So there’s that…have a glass (or 2) on me!