13 Months Post-Heart Attack Reflection

I suffered my second heart attack 13 months ago. My life has completely changed in 13 months. Here are a few reflections over the last 13 months. 

  1. Anything worthwhile takes time and effort. I have lost 50 lbs. and have kept it off. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time and discipline. You can read my whole guide here. If something offers instant success, wealth, strength, weight loss, etc. Look for another solution. I chose health, not weight loss, and then the weight loss happened. It’s funny how that works.
  2. When you make major sustainable changes in your life, expect major changes! After the second heart attack, I decided to cut out alcohol from my life. Aside from a few times since the heart attack, I have hardly drank any alcohol. If you ever want to increase the positivity in your life consider cutting out alcohol. Alcohol doesn’t make anything better. I have learned that life without is so much more rewarding. Every aspect of my life has improved since May 2021 and I attribute that greatly to cutting out what I thought was helping. This leads me to my third revelation. 
  3. Mental health is hard work. I wrote in my e-book linked above about my battles with mental health since suffering my first heart attack in 2015. A big reason I don’t share that I wrote an e-book is the in-depth nature of what I share about my life. I feel so vulnerable. But I have to imagine I’m not alone with the feelings I wrote about. Since suffering my second heart attack, I feel mental clarity, a sense of purpose, and overall exuberance for life 99% of the time. But depression and anxiety don’t completely go away. Life ebbs and flows. After heart attack 2 and knowing what I had put myself through for 6 years, I know what feelings to expect and I am better equipped to deal with them. Rather than self-medicate, I go for walks, I pray, or I talk to Beth or my parents. For my mental health, healthy solutions work best, not self-sabotage. 
  4. I have a deep feeling to share what I have been holding inside for so long. Although not many people have suffered 2 heart attacks before the age of 40, many people have way worse trauma in their lives that they have to cope with and unpack. My storytelling helps to keep my mind clear, stay transparent with family and friends, as well as help those in need. I hope to keep telling my story to anyone that will listen. The way I look at it, I am 13 months removed from anxiety and depression that someone may be in the middle of right now.
  5. If you want to feel better sooner than later, reconsider what you put in your body. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but the more whole-food, plant-based you can eat, the more your body, mind, and soul will thank you. When I was in the ICU last May I knew what was scientifically proven to be the diet I needed to follow for longevity, but I doubted myself and the sustainability. 13 months into a whole-food, plant-based diet and I do not even think about eating or consuming animal products. My challenge to anyone reading this is to maybe pick a day or two a week to explore eating more plant-based and build on it. I have said it in a few other posts, people don’t like meat, they like the flavors they put on meat before eating. All of those flavors can be recreated without animals and taste just as good if not better. For some ideas on how to get started, check out this post.
  6. We all have a light inside of us. Sometimes we are our own worst critics that dim our own light. But to make your light shine bright, help others’ light shine as well as your own. There is enough kindness, love, and compassion to have everyone’s lights shine bright. Don’t dim your own light. Don’t dim anyone else’s light. Help others shine and you will too!
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