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Learning to love herself through the Her Heart Challenge

Last Modified: 10/04/2019

Even though she knew how important eating well and moving was, Miriam Mack, clinical lab tech, Parkview Health, still found herself struggling to carve out the necessary time for self-care. Earlier this year, she decided to actively shift her priorities and apply for the Her Heart Challenge, a program designed by the Parkview Heart Institute and PPG – Cardiology to help women decrease their risk of heart disease. Several weeks in, we asked Miriam to share a bit about her motivation and her experience so far.

How would you describe your wellness habits prior to joining the Her Heart Challenge?

I have always tried to keep a healthy lifestyle, but I was not successful because of so much misinformation online and hype about new diets.

What was your motivation to apply?

I have a long history of heart disease in my family and I have always believed that we can have a better chance of surviving with diet and exercise.

What were some of your barriers to self-care before joining the challenge?

I didn’t realize I was neglecting myself. I have always been on the go and taking care of my family and friends. Life gets so busy, and you leave less and less time for yourself until one day you realize you’ve left no time at all.

What are you learning in the program?

To love myself. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary. I’m learning to enjoy life day-by-day and focus on quality of life. And to be mindful of the small things that make me happy.

How are you overcoming barriers to self-care?

With the help of the group and the leaders of the challenge. It’s a great support system with other women who understand you, cheer you on and don’t judge you.

What is your favorite part about the challenge?

I feel connected to people and have found a new zest for life.

What are your personal goals and how are you working toward achieving those?

I want the best version of myself and a high quality of life. I have been searching, but I didn’t know exactly what for. Now I know for certain that I want a life lived to the fullest, knowing I didn’t miss it.  

What would you tell someone who’s thinking of applying for the challenge in the future?

It’s the best program, and you can sustain it and make it personal. It’s not just about what you eat or losing weight, although many do lose weight. It’s about taking care of yourself as a whole; mind, spirit, eating habits and exercise. It teaches you to surround yourself with women who have similar problems and goals and who support each other.

Why does this program work?

It works by providing education about different approaches to eating and exercise. It allows you to choose what is best for you and what works with your lifestyle.


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