Heart to Heart: Do you ever fall off the heart-healthy wagon?
Dr. Gring: I am the poster child for it. Before entering practice, I had a pretty good diet, and I had plenty of time to exercise. Then, reality hit, and I entered cardiology practice. I face the same challenges as everybody else, balancing ever-increasing time commitments— work, family and other priorities.
My diet remained good, with the exception of lunchtime when I would graze on the constant supply of cookies at the office. But I stopped exercising routinely, which made all the difference. It took a while for the weight to creep on, which allowed me to deny that I had fallen off the wagon. When the time came for me to establish care with an internal medicine physician, I found out that I was not only 15-20 pounds overweight, but that I also had high blood pressure. Now, I’m applying my own advice, and my New Year’s resolution is to practice what I preach. I walk 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and have started to run again. Some days are not pretty: I struggle with excuses, willpower and those cookies. To stay motivated, I set a goal of running in the City of Oaks Marathon next fall. Everyone is welcome to join me! I’ll see you on race day!