Robin McGraw says 'self neglect' cost her mother her health: 'I'm not going to perpetuate that one legacy of hers'

·1-min read

Robin McGraw may be married to a well-known television personality — Dr. Phil McGraw — but it’s her own mother who has likely been the strongest influence on her life.

“I grew up with the most amazing mother,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Nothing came before her family. No one. Nothing. I actually have always said and truly believe I am the woman I am today because of my mother.”

But Robin’s mother’s selflessness came at a cost. When Robin was around 30 years old, she got a phone call from her mother asking to speak to Phil. Robin asked her why and her mom responded, “I just wanted to talk to him. I feel funny.” “And I said, ‘What do you mean by funny?’ And before I had even finished that question, she was already gone. She died, that fast, of undiagnosed heart disease.”

After, Robin remembers saying, “‘That’s impossible. She’s only 58 years old. She’s never even been to the doctor.’ And it was at that moment I had my revelation. When I said she’s never even been to the doctor, it was because she put everyone else first. And my revelation was I’m not going to perpetuate that one legacy of hers — of self-neglect.”

She continues: “It was so clear that day that if I put myself first, if I do what I needed to do, do everything I could to be at my healthiest, then maybe I could inspire others to do that. When I write my books or when I do my speeches or when I create my products, I can inspire other women who really have this need, who really have this desire to put themselves first. They just don’t know where to begin.”

Robin, who is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and author, aims to inspire people both through her lifestyle brand, Revelation — a skin care line that includes moisturizers and a fragrance named after her late mother — and through her foundation, When Georgia Smiled: The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation.

When Robin was deciding what to call her foundation — which helps organizations that support children and families living healthier, safer lives free from domestic violence and sexual assault — she chose to dedicate it to her beloved mother. “When I was scared and when I felt fear and uncertainty, I turned to my mother and that smile on her face... it’s that same sense of peace,” she says.

Robin also created a free app called Inspire, which can send a message to pre-selected contacts in an emergency, such as a domestic violence situation. “You decide who it goes to, and it tells them right then, ‘I need help. This is the time we talked about’ — whatever you wanted to say to them,” she says. “And they come to you right then.” The app also has a GPS tracking device so people you trust know where to find you.

Never one to rest on her laurels, Robin shares that she’s already thinking about what her next project will be, including possibly writing a book to inspire married couples with husband Dr. Phil. “We’re always talking about different things,” she says. “I’m not done yet.”

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