Heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack You ought-a know- Billy Joel
Working too hard is not the only thing that can lead to a heart attack. Genetics is one thing, as well as what you eat is another. I always thought that it didn't matter what it is that I ate when I was a kid, but it turns out that it actually does matter.
Eating whatever it is that you want to be able to eat when you are young, provides a foundation for how it is that you are going to eat as you get older, says Dr. Laurie. Heart disease actually begins to develop in childhood, on top of that it sets up for us a way of eating that becomes extremely hard to change. So that is why one of the first things discussed in the emotionally focussed eating program is about how I learned to eat when I was a kid.
I loved to eat, I became extremely angry if my brother got even one little slice of anything more than me, and we ate in front of the TV. We had a cupboard devoted just to snacks and we made a special trip to the store every week specifically just to purchase snacks. We never ever let them run out. Plus we ate dessert after every meal. Christmas and New Years was always a giant meal after giant meal, plus snacks, snacks, snacks, until we just could’t eat any more!
One major thing that happened last year was that my dad had a heart attack. He had actually suffered from high blood pressure for quite a few years. After doing some gardening he had a tightening in his chest, that was when he was about 40. Last year at age 64, he had a major heart attack that required triple bypass surgery.
His father had a heart attack when he was about 40 and his mom had a heart attack after developing type 2 diabetes and she died of a coronary aneurysm when she was about 60. His older brother was extremely large (350 pounds), and also died young of an aneurysm.
These are my genetics. (Shit. You really can’t pick your parents, eh?)
In each segment of my family also, on my dad’s side of the family, seems to be one large child of all my cousins in every family grouping. There is one child who has difficulty maintaining their weight. They all seem to be female and they are all the youngest, including me, I did not escape.
So, does this predisposition to being overweight, having heart issues, and perhaps even diabetes, now that I am aware of it, effect my dietary choices? Interestingly enough, not so much. It should I know, but the truth is, how I ate as a kid, I find effects me more. I loved eating without thinking, it made me feel good.
Perhaps the ugly pictures on the packs of cigarettes don’t stop people from smoking because worrying about if I might develop any of these illnesses doesn’t effect my lifestyle choices either.
There are several major modifiable behaviours to start to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, such as; quitting smoking, controlling your blood sugar, controlling your high blood pressure, controlling your cholesterol, moving more, controlling sodium intake, and of course, eating less and eating healthier.
Physical activity alone cannot undo all of the issues of diet and lifestyle. The key is though, regardless of my family history, and my risk, I can make a difference by making the choice to change my lifestyle now, to try and overcome those genetics of mine as well as my childhood food training.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.