By Christina Castañeda Being a single mother and teacher requires a warm and strong heart, but what happens when your biological heart is in jeopardy? The 2015 Go Red for Women® National Spokesperson, Rhonda Hall, faced that challenge a few years ago. Now, her heart is stronger than ever, and the emotional strength and support she gives is not only in a school classroom, but in a Spinning class too.
You’ve Got Heart, But Have You Got a Plan?With convenience and instant gratification found everywhere, it’s easy to slip out of an exercise program. Rhonda’s daily routines and plans began to fall apart until she found herself living entirely without a routine or anyway to train her heart. There were less home cooked meals and more packaged or takeout foods without fruits and vegetables. As she continued to take care of her son, she lost track of her own self-care. Her 60 pound weight gain she once believed was stress related was later discovered to be hypothyroidism.
Change of HeartAfter being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Rhonda sought for more answers. “Being a four-shots-a–day, insulin-dependent diabetic with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, morbid obesity, hypothyroidism and lack of exercise are all alerts and shouldn't be separated,” she surmised. “My problem was that I didn't see them as risk factors for Heart Disease, I saw them as individual problems, not that I was potentially setting myself up for a heart attack or stroke.”
Creating the First Plan With PrescriptionsMindful of the health risks and alerts, Rhonda’s first step towards change was more frequent visits to the doctors and putting their advice into action. She followed their prescription regimens, incorporated light exercise and a better diet but still could not manage to control her hypothyroidism, blood pressure and other symptoms. “The day I realized things were out of control was when I couldn't afford to pay for all of the medicines I had to take and I was choosing which medicine was the most important to get.”Rhonda stayed consistent on her weight loss journey, until life had put even more challenges before her. She was involved in a car accident, which limited her ability to exercise. She realized that eating healthier was the only way she would be able to maintain her newfound plan that she wasn’t going to let fall apart again.
A New Plan for Heart Health with the Spinning® ProgramWhen Rhonda recuperated and was ready to begin a doctor-approved exercise plan again, she went to her first Spinning class. Although she felt uncomfortable on the bike at first, the instructor—as every Spinning instructor is trained to do—helped her to use and set up the Spinner® bike, which would help prevent injuries.Mad Dogg Athletics® offers the opportunity to all of the 2015 Go Red for Women National Spokeswomen to become Certified Spinning Instructors. As a new Spinning enthusiast who now followed a new and improved plan with less prescriptions and more pedal strokes, Rhonda registered for a Spinning Instructor Training. “I didn’t want to miss the opportunity because it may be difficult,” Rhonda says. “I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it.” She attended her Spinning Instructor Training with Master Instructor Jennifer Ward, who “made me feel comfortable and made it a judgment free zone that was about learning not just about performance. Becoming a Certified Spinning Instructor lets me know anything is possible. When I tell people that I am now a Spinning instructor, people who once said they would never do it are now open to the ideal of taking a class.”
You Are Your Best AdvocateToday, Rhonda continues her journey for heart health. Not only is she a spokesperson for American Heart Association, but she also encourages women daily to take control of their heart health.
Being a great advocate for yourself is important. Every day is a given choice, you really are what you eat so make sure you fuel your body with great food that your heart will thank you for. Make small changes that lead to great results. Change is the cure. It's not a race. Everyone can go at their own pace. It's about reaching your level and pushing yourself to your next level of greatness.Your next level of greatness continues on your Spinning Journey. Join us for Spinning Nation® on February 28th to support the American Heart Association® Go Red for Women as we fight to stop heart disease from taking more lives. Like Rhonda, your plan inspires a cure for many others to follow, so register today!