The 15th Annual Go Red for Women event held in Rogers on Tuesday (May 21) drew more than 1,000 people. Television host, author and mental health professional Dr. Phil McGraw spoke candidly to the crowd about the importance of making choices.
He commended the crowd for their presence and said 91% of those who attend such events have been to see a doctor in the past 12 months and 80% have talked with others about the importance of heart health.
He said heart disease impacts 1 in 3 women and still 50% of the general public isn’t aware that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in this country. Heart disease claims one out of every 5 deaths among women each year. Nearly 300,000 women will die this year from heart disease, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Kennedy Allison, a 14-year-old student in the Pea Ridge School District, had her first bout with heart disease on Jan. 11. While at school Allison collapsed in class and wasn’t breathing. School personnel performed CPR and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to resuscitate her heart. Coach John King received training on the AED after the 2007 state law to required AED’s be placed in all Arkansas public and private schools. She was transported to an area hospital where she was fitted with a defibrillator implant. Allison was the honorary survivor who shared her story at Tuesday’s event. She said she’s alive because her school used the AED quickly when she didn’t respond to CPR. It took two or three shocks to Allison’s heart before regaining a heart rate reading. King said teachers have been trained in CPR for years but in this case it was the AED that saved Allison’s young life.
McGraw said stress is a big factor in heart disease. He said managing stress is also key to a successful life. The other biggest factor in success and stress release is making sure passion is part of your daily life.
“Are you doing what you do today because you want to do it, or are your doing it because you did it yesterday and the day before? A lot of us get caught up in assigned boxes and days can turn into weeks and weeks into years,” McGraw said.
Those who live with a purpose and have goals in mind that foster a passion will likely find more successes and contentment than those who fly by the seat of their pants, according to McGraw. He said it’s important for individuals to own their statement, whatever that may be. He explained if a person wears a chain in their nose they should own it and not be offended if they draw looks from others.
“What you believe about yourself when no one is looking or listening is your personal truth. It’s your statement. If your personal statement is flawed like mine once was, then correct it. We generate the results in life we think we deserve. My dad was a bad alcoholic and I grew up in a violent home as a child. … When I compared my experiences to those of other kids at school I lost every time. But that was not my statement forever. I fixed it or I would have spent the rest of my life generating the results that scared kid thought he deserved,” McGraw said.
He spoke candidly about the need for women to take care of themselves which is not typically in their DNA as mothers and wives and daughters. He said families need their mothers, not martyrs. He said women too often put others needs before their own and ignore the signs of heart disease. They can also end up emotionally bankrupt in the process. McGraw said stress increases inflammation in the body and takes a toll on physical well being, regardless of age.
Talk Business & Politics asked McGraw how he kept balance in his hectic life and secrets for managing stress. He said his work ends every day at 4 p.m. because he has a date with himself to play tennis. This is how he releases stress and gets his physical exercise to keep his Type 2 Diabetes in check.
“I play tennis more than 300 days a year, and anyone who knows me knows not to call me at 3:59 p.m. because I have checked out for my date with myself,” he said during a brief question and answer segment with the media.
McGraw shared with the audience a list of characteristics of successful people that he has studied over the years. He said the list contains those characteristics shared by each of those studied. Following were some of the items on his list.
• Name it to claim it: Those who find success can see it, taste it, smell it and know what it looked like long before they found it.
• Plan to win: Have a strategy to get it done, and an action plan for the goals they set.
• Not Will Power: Success is not about having will power which is fickle and emotional. It’s rooted in planning and execution.
• Winners do more: Winners do things losers don’t want to do. They program themselves to get up and push on toward their goals. It’s not about dreams but there much me action and execution.
McGraw also discussed childhood obesity, mental health and work/life balance with the media on the following video.