Posts Tagged ‘open heart’


Day 1 – Random Things About ME

October 20, 2010

(I copied this from a fun blog I follow by my Twitter friend Heather –

Got Love For The Haters

1. My favorite music is Motown.  I also love Reggae and Jamaican Dancehall!2. I had open heart surgery in Sept. 2008, got married a month later, honeymooned in Greece, then celebrated my 28th birthday that November!!
3. I HATE complicated fruit.  If it takes longer to prep than to eat, I refuse to eat it.
4. I work full time for an orthodontist (LOVE), and I  make extra pocket money by working for Team Beachbody as a coach… which means I talk about their products and how amazing they are (I’ve lost 90lbs!) on social media sites and sign up other coaches to talk about their products… yeah, I get $$ for that!
5. I want to have a baby, and I want to adopt a baby.
6. I find it extremely difficult to fall asleep before midnight.
7. I have a stupid, cheap car.  But that no-a/c, run down POS affords me and my hubby pretty awesome vacations!  Live below your means!
8. My favorite US city to visit is New Orleans.
9. I drink a mug of coffee and a glass of wine every day.
10. I can bake.  I bake well.  I don’t bake.  There’s no way I can have that kind of food in my house with just two people living in it!  I have a serious portion control problem… and a sharing problem.
11. My favorite number is 11.
12. My hubby and I have a designated date night every week.  We do not compromise this time.
13. I want to go back to school.  I really want my degree, but at (almost) 30 years old, I’m still “undecided” about my major!
14. I’ve always wanted to be The Blues Brothers for Halloween.  I’m looking for the Jake to my Elwood.
15. I’m involved in a love affair with my Foreman Grill.

Day 01- A recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself
Day 02- The meaning behind your blog name
Day 03- A recent picture of you and your friends
Day 04- A habit that you wish you didn’t have
Day 05- A picture of somewhere you’ve been to
Day 06- Favorite super hero/fictional character and why
Day 07- A picture of someone/something that has the biggest impact on you
Day 08- Short term goals for this month and why
Day 09- Something you’re proud of in the past few days
Day 10- Songs you listen to when you are Happy, Sad, Bored, Hyped, Mad
Day 11- Another picture of you and your friends
Day 12- How you found out about WordPress and why you made one
Day 13- A letter to someone who has hurt you
Day 14- A picture of you and your family
Day 15- Put your iPod on shuffle: First 10 songs that play
Day 16- Another picture of yourself
Day 17- Someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why
Day 18- Plans/dreams/goals you have
Day 19- Nicknames you have; why do you have them
Day 20- Someone you see yourself marrying/being with in the future
Day 21- A picture of something that makes you happy
Day 22- What makes you different from everyone else
Day 23- Something you crave for a lot
Day 24- A letter to your parents
Day 25- What I would find in your bag
Day 26- What you think about your friends
Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge
Day 28- A picture of you last year and now, how have you changed since then?
Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned
Day 30- Who are you?


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.


Telling My Story

September 19, 2010

I made a YouTube video yesterday to share my weight loss story with the world.  It was weird talking about it as though I didn’t know the person I was talking to.  The people who know me already know my story… it was so different for me.  Almost uncomfortable.  Where to start?  Where to finish?  What is important and what isn’t?  I’ll post my story here, too, but I wanted to pre-empt it by saying it’s a unique one.  I use Turbo Jam, a Beachbody workout program by Chalene Johnson.  It’s pretty incredible and I’ve used it to lose weight twice!  This second time around, though, I had to get a little creative and modify the routines a bit because in 2008 I had emergency open heart surgery to repair an aortic dissection and aneurysm.  At 27 years old.  A month before my wedding.  Like I said, it’s a unique story.  Stay tuned.

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