From the Heart

By Shani Petroff

There are so many different reasons people want to lose weight. Sometimes, for me, it was wanting to look a certain way—to appear more like the models, actresses, etc.—who the magazines, TV, and more, drilled into my head were the epitome of beauty.

I hated that I felt that way. It made me mad that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. Despite what some would have us believe, beauty comes in every shape and size.

I knew that. I believed it. I even started to like the skin I was in.

So why was it so important to me that I lose weight?

The answer was—and is—my health.

I was reminded of this once again this past month.

I got the Apple Watch and there’s a feature on it that let’s you see your heart rate. I noticed some things that concerned me. My BPM (beats per minute) would jump significantly when I wasn’t doing anything. It would also get very low when I was asleep. I got nervous. I started obsessively checking my BPM. I couldn’t stop.

It made me start searching for other things, too. I had a physical last year, and the doctor told me everything checked out, but also suggested I lose weight. I never looked at the actual paperwork; I just went with what she said on the phone. After the BPM scare, I searched for the documents. I noticed one test I had that was supposed to be an indicator of future heart issues. The “normal” range was 0 to 3. I was above that. This made me worry even more.

Couple this with the anniversary of my father’s death (from heart issues) fast approaching, and I was in full-out panic mode.

I made an appointment with a cardiologist. I’m still waiting for results (I wore a monitor for a week to make sure we’re not missing anything), and I’m hoping for the best! But one thing the doctor said that has stuck with me, is that the test number I’ve been so concerned about is in my control. She said I have the power to bring it down. Eating right, exercising, and losing weight are the keys.

It was a reminder of why I do this program. It was a reminder of how important our health truly is. That when faced with a health scare, it’s not about fitting into a dress or looking like a fashion model that is at the top of my concerns: It’s about being okay, it’s about being healthy.

This program is more than just about losing weight, it’s about learning new habits and focusing on my wellness. And that’s something I’ve come to appreciate now more than ever.

Why do you do the WW program? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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