Heart Health Report Card for 2009

The 12th was the fourth anniversary of my heart attack that led to my triple bypass and 17 day hospital stay. I completely forgot about it until Brett reminded me the other night. On the first anniversary of the heart attack, I made a goal to make myself accountable in this blog for my overall health and wellbeing. I put together a report card to track my progress yearly on moving to a healthier lifestyle. I believe it accounts for the major factors that determine how heart healthy I am. I am going to do this year’s update in a single shorter post. Here are the scores I came up with this year.

2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
Heart Friendly Diet A, B+, B+, B, F
Regular Aerobic Exercise B, B+, F, D, F
Lower Stress Level A-, B+, B-, B, C
Taking Time for Myself A,B, C, C, D
Prevention of Future Attack A, B+, B, B, F
Overall Health Grade A, B+, C, C+, F

Looking back I am amazed at the changes I have made in the past 4 years. This year I rated myself with 5 A’s and a B. On the day of my heart attack I rated myself 4 F’s, a C and a D. During my cardiac rehab I recall the repeated importance to change your lifestyle to save your life. For me the journey was off to a slow but gradual improvement. It wasn’t until I had my lapband bariatric surgery that the changes became more prevalent.

Bariatric surgery has saved my life. I am happy to say that I have been able to transform myself over the past 15 months. Losing over 70 pounds enabled me to pursue a more active and enjoyable life. My cardiac rehab taught me the principles of a healthy diet and how to mange stress. My surgery along with the on-line and local support groups has helped me make an even bigger transformation that involves exercise. I have heard people say that bariatric surgery is the easy way out. For those who have been through it, you know that it is hard work with success determined how well you can change your habits. I think I have been pretty successful in establishing a healthy life for myself.

Some things of note for this year: I developed a love for bicycling, particularly the rail trails. This winter I will miss the weekend rides exploring Ohio. I look forward to expanding these rides in 2010. A big goal for me was to learn to swim. I took lessons with mixed results. I improved considerably but alas I still can not swim very well. Daily exercise has become such a routine and not a chore. I can’t image a day starting without my run on the treadmill or ride on the bike. In September, Bret and I married in Massachusetts with a beautiful ceremony with friends and family present. Bottom line for 2009 – Life is good!

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