Posts Tagged ‘heart beat’

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Popping the Bubble

September 24, 2010

Recently, I’ve found myself trying to move outside of my comfort zone.  Trying new things and putting myself out there, harboring the risk of criticism and totally expecting it.  Starting a business that’s all about who you are, what you say and how you live is kind of terrifying.  I am trying to be an example to people!  I’m watching what I say, what I eat, who I’m talking to and networking with.  This is all to actually achieve the “bigger picture” I can see, but have yet to realize.

In addition to bearing my traumatic surgery story to the world wide web, I’ve also posted before and after weight loss pictures ONLINE, and, holy moly, now EVERYONE knows my weight!  This is all about courage.  I am actually about to record myself singing.  This is almost as traumatic as my surgery… ha.ha.

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Takes a Licking & Keeps on Ticking

September 19, 2010

There was never a time in my life when I was not gaining weight, though until about 7th grade, I would say my weight was fairly normal; then it started becoming a problem. I was overweight from 8th grade into my early 20s.

I was at my max weight of 200 pounds when my dad passed away in 2003 from an aortic aneurysm. That’s when I decided it was time to get healthy. I saw an infomercial for Turbo Jam and I thought it looked challenging but fun, and Chalene seemed so motivating. That’s just what I needed. It took about a year, but I lost 60 pounds with a combination of Turbo Jam and SlimFast.

Over the course of the next 5 years I stopped working out, stopped drinking SlimFast and gained back 30 pounds. I thought I was fine! Normal. Healthy.

On Labor Day 2008 I was jet skiing with friends and started having chest pains. I (very) reluctantly went to the emergency room, and wound up needing emergency open heart surgery. I’d had an aneurysm, just like my father, but blessedly found myself in exactly the right place at the right time. I now have a mechanical heart valve (it ticks with each heartbeat), 5 inches of prosthetic material replacing my ascending aorta, and I take an anticoagulant and 2 blood pressure meds, including a beta blocker, every day. My condition is a genetic connective tissue disorder, yet currently undiagnosed. Extensive testing will eventually reveal Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos or Loeys-Dietz.

That was 9 months ago. At 30lbs over what I now consider my ideal weight, I was not doing my heart any favors. Since my surgery, I was told that SlimFast was not an option because it counteracts the effectiveness of my medications. So while watching my calories and doing Turbo Jam again I have reached my goal weight! I am as healthy as I can be and I am so proud to be able to share my story. I am a work in progress! I do not have my ideal body yet, but I will continue using Beachbody programs and sharing my success with you. Needless to say, anything that can do for me TWICE what Beachbody did for me, I am happy to share! The ride has been beyond worth it.

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