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Actress and 'Dish Nation' co-host Sherri Shepherd, who is partnering with the American Heart Association on its Go Red for Women campaign, explains why she’s encouraging women to take charge of their cardiovascular health.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Diabetes and heart disease, strokes, they all run in my family. And so getting control of our health has been number one priority for my family, for the Shepherds.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: I am teaming up with the American Heart Association Go Red for Women and urging women to put their health first, because number one, I didn't know that cardiovascular disease, heart disease is the number one killer of women and particularly, African-American women, women of color, and young women.
Just for me taking control of my health, I started incorporating more fruits and vegetables. I started putting down the salt, cutting out that sugar. I'm three years sugar free. And it has made such a difference in my life. Also exercising, I started roller skating and doing salsa dancing, jumping on the trampoline. I bought a bike for my birthday. I do pole dancing probably two to three times a week. And let me tell you something about pole dancing. It is abs. It is arms. It is thighs. Try lifting 100 and something pounds on a pole. That's better than any weights.
I wake up in the mornings and I go, what do I need to do today? I'm excited about today. I'm able to deal with my son. Before I started taking control of my health, we were like in a bad marriage. He would look at me and be like, why are you still here? I don't know. Why are you still here? But now that I'm eating right and I feel better, I'm able to deal with all of the stuff that comes at me.
I was a type 2 diabetic. And when I went to the doctor-- because I've been incorporating all of these health things in my life-- she took my numbers and she said, you're not even diabetic anymore. So somewhere between rollerskating, pole dancing, and salsa, I lost the diabetes. I lost the sugar. That's what we call it, the sugar.
So many times as women, we nurture and we give and we mother and we put ourselves last. When you take control of your health, then you can take care of others. I want to encourage women to go and get screened and go and get your numbers. Your cholesterol, your HDL, which is your good cholesterol, your BMI, which is your body mass index, your blood pressure, that's four. What's that last one?
- Blood sugar.
SHERRI SHEPHERD: Your blood-- look, I was a type 2 diabetic-- and your blood sugar, those are the five things, the five numbers that you need to know. Get your numbers for free, at no cost through CVS. And if you want more information, you can go to goredforwomen.org or cvshealth.com/gored to find out where you can go to get free screenings this entire week, from the 9th through the 15th of May.
Take charge. Take the one step and go find out what your numbers are. The next step, incorporate more water. The next step, get moving, get some form of exercise in. All of this is good for your heart. You won't regret it. You really won't.