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Welcome to the inside of my brain. Here, I share experiences, tips, tricks and fun things I've learned during my weight loss journey. 

  • Gail Ballin

Why Go Red?

A few months ago, my friend Frann, encouraged me to submit my weight loss journey to the American Heart Association so that I could be considered for a spot as a 2018 Go Red Woman.

Frann had first hand experience as a Go Red Woman, as she was selected to represent the American Heart Association last year and was one of their spokespeople for good health. Frann’s story is remarkable and, in truth, her experience was one of the major factors that motivated me to finally make the effort to try losing weight when I had given up all hope of weight loss success.

Frann’s story is not mine to tell, but I will share that on her 55th she wasn’t feeling well. Within a few days, she was at the doctors office and was rushed to the hospital. In a video posted on YouTube, she shares “that’s all I can remember until 3 and a half weeks later.” I do encourage you to watch her video (the link is below). Not only is it an incredible message about survival and good health but Frann is a true miracle and a blessing to so many of us.

Thank God she pulled through and she’s okay.

The day Frann went into the hospital, I was at SeaWorld in Texas with my brother and all the kids. It was hot, raining and I was miserable. I had chub-rub from walking aimlessly in the Texas heat and I was a sweaty mess. We were in route to the next ride (that I wouldn’t go on because of my size) when I got a call from our mutual friend Joann. She told me the news and I remember stopping in my tracks and just listening, absolutely dumbfounded. Joann said that the prognosis was not good and that Frann needed all of the prayers she could get. I remember finding a place to sit and just staring out into space with tears rolling down my face. The feeling of sadness I had ran deep to my core as Frann was young, full of life and in such good health. The thought of this happening to her without warning was unfathomable to me. I was sad for her family - her husband and two daughters, but so very despondent for her. I didn’t want her life to be over. It was just too soon. I was also scared - for Frann, of course, but also for me. For years I knew that I was a ticking time bomb and if this could happen to her, it could certainly happen to me and the thought was overwhelming.

Over the next few days/weeks, Joann kept me in the loop of Frann’s recovery. I started making small steps towards my lifestyle changes and while Frann made a full recovery, I got healthy.

Today, we spin together several days a week at 5:30 in the morning and seeing her on the bike makes my heart fill with pure joy. One day, about a year ago, I told her that she was the one who pushed me to get my ass in gear and make a change. She told me that I was the one who motivates her to come to the gym now. I smile when I think of that because I don’t think that I deserve that honor, but if it helps her, then so be it.

Needless to say, I submitted my story and I was selected to be one of the four 2018 American Heart Association Go Red Women for Forsyth County. What does that mean? It means that I am an ambassador for good health. Cardiovascular disease, including stroke, claim the life of a woman every 80 seconds. But about 80% of cardiovascular disease may be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Over the next year, I’ll be sharing some of my Go Red experiences and good health tips so you can take this journey with me. In the meantime,

Bee healthy. Bee happy.

You can find Frann’s story here:

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