Healthier You/Fit Kids Expo 2010

Recently, it was my honor to represent the American Heart Association at the “Healthier You/Fit Kids Expo” for the Washington Metropolitan Area.

On that day I was representing three missions of the American Heart Association: the Alliance for A Healthier Generation (educating and encouraging children to be able to make better decisions regarding their nutrition and fitness), The Power to End Stroke (encouraging people to fight stroke in the context of their own cultural and ethnic communities) and Go Red for Women (fighting heart disease and stroke amongst women).

This event afforded me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful families from differing backgrounds who had made the decision to come to the expo and look for ideas that might lead them and their loved ones to a healthier lifestyle.

Many women and children filled out pledge cards aimed at a healthier lifestyle, and I provided them with cookbooks and other materials designed to help people provide healthy, nutritious and tasty meals for their families.

There was a fashion show of amazing women who had made big changes in their lives, each of whom had lost 50 or 60 pounds through exercise and healthy diet choices. They are true role models for young women and girls who want to have happy, healthy lives.

I was so glad to see a group of healthy women being celebrated for their healthy beauty in a society that often celebrates unhealthy beauty.

I hope those watching realized that healthy is beautiful. I know that between people like me speaking out and events like this, we can continue to make a change in the perception of beauty and teach girls, boys, men, and women to love themselves for who they are and not for how they look compared to pictures in a magazine.

Juliana McKee


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