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Name: Gene

Age: N/A

Ornish Site: The Heart Health Center 

Health Challenges: Irregular heartbeat

Greatest Motivation:  I really liked keeping track of my daily foods. During the nine week program, my cholesterol dropped by 20 points, I lost 12 pounds and my BMI reduced by 2 points.

His Story: While spending winter 2012 in Arizona, I was surprised with an irregular heartbeat at my oncologist checkup. I ended up in the emergency room for more testing. After a stress test, my cardiologist decided to do an angioplasty and found the circumflex artery 90% blocked. He inserted a drug coated stent. Within a few weeks, I was pretty much back to normal routines. That experience was my low point.

Bonding with my cohort of “heart healthy buddies” was a nice experience

In early 2016, I saw my cardiologist at The Heart Health Center in St. Louis after a stress test that indicated my heart was the same as the 2012 and 2014 test. While there wasn’t a reason to do an invasive procedures, Dr Robiolio suggested the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program. (Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation) I was anxious to do whatever I could to improve my heart health. It was the best decision I could have made.

The most rewarding part of the whole experience was working with such a dedicated staff of people at The Heart Health Center and all they did to help each participant to live a longer, healthier life. The staff was great and the structure of the whole program made it easy and enjoyable. They helped us focus on our purpose: a heart healthy lifestyle change. I actually looked forward to the days at the Heart Health Center and was sad when it ended. In addition to the supportive staff, bonding with my cohort of “heart healthy buddies” was a nice experience. I felt lucky and wanted to do whatever possible to avoid getting worse.

Being with the Heart Health Center team twice a week helped to reinforce living a healthy lifestyle not just through what we eat, but also through exercise, stress management and group support. Being accountable, by filling out the daily trackers helped as well. Before the Ornish program, I thought I was eating healthy, but it taught me that there was a lot of room to improve. I really liked keeping track of my daily foods. During the nine week program, my cholesterol dropped by 20 points, I lost 12 pounds and my BMI reduced by 2 points. That is amazing.

In the 9 months since finishing the Ornish Program, I have maintained my weight and overall eat a more balanced and heart healthy diet. I would definitely recommend this program… Just do it. It’s a commitment but absolutely worth it.

 

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