Jasper’s Heart Attack Was a Wake-up Call
After a heart attack, Jasper decided it was his last chance to develop healthy eating and exercise habits.
With TLC Jasper overcame the following challenges:
- Not prioritizing self-care
- Making time for exercise
- Confusion about what to eat to support management of his heart disease
- Yo-yo Dieting; losing weight, then gaining it right back again
Before trying TLC’s integrative approach, Jasper put his work and the people in his life first while his health was always put on the back burner. He was eating what was in front of him, had no consistency in his exercise routine and leaned on comfort foods to destress.
As a result, Jasper had a heart attack in 2018 that demanded him to prioritize his health.
Post heart attack, Jasper took full advantage of his hospital’s rehab program. While he learned a lot and made some great changes – he stopped drinking beer, started eating a modified Mediterranean diet and lost 30 lbs- he was left to fend for himself and he quickly plateaued.
He knew he still had to make more progress if he really wanted to get to his ideal weight and manage his heart disease with as few medications as necessary.
“I didn’t have a continual program. I was just trying to do it on my own. That resulted in just being stuck. I still had work to do and I didn’t have a plan.”
Without a plan to follow and support to help him build good habits, his health goals quickly got pushed to the bottom of his priority list.
Making self-care a priority
Jasper loves working with people and putting them first, but as a result he found himself busy with everything but self-care.
”I just never had a high regard or understanding of what self-care was. I have always been oriented to helping others, probably to a fault.”
TLC’s Health Fundamentals Program gave Jasper actionable steps he could build into his busy day that didn’t feel too overwhelming to him.
Jasper was able to make incremental changes to his self-care rather than a huge life overhaul. This was done by carving out time from his busy schedule to add healthier habits a little bit at a time.
Making time for exercise
Jasper knew he needed to be more active but didn’t exactly know how to do it.
Jasper’s activity levels were sporadic and usually involved walks during the nicer parts of the year, but that wasn’t helping him achieve his weight loss and heart disease management goals. He had no desire to be a “gym rat” and didn’t really know what other options he had.
During the Health Fundamentals Program, Chris, TLC’s Master Fitness Trainer, introduced Jasper to exercises that required little time and equipment so that Jasper didn’t have to step foot in a gym.
Using the handouts and videos TLC offered built his confidence while he was doing the exercises on his own. In addition, working with a health coach 1-on-1 helped him work through barriers like getting an exercise mat and figuring what time of day was best for him to include movement. As a result, Jasper started doing these exercises each morning.
Knowing what to eat to for heart disease management
Jasper didn’t know what else to do to his eating patterns to push past his plateau.
In order to minimize the amount of medication he had to take, he felt he needed a better understanding of what to eat versus what not to eat.
By attending the educational sessions in the Health Fundamentals Program, he learned how to eat to support the body’s natural processes that support the management of heart disease.
By focusing on what to add like healthy fats, plants, nuts and seeds, he would be able to support his body and turn off unnecessary inflammation. He learned why certain foods were hindering his progress while others could help him push forward.
He followed the action steps TLC assigned to him to start integrating these nutrition concepts into his life. With the help from his health coach and handouts, he replaced morning meetings at restaurants with homemade smoothies for breakfast and became more conscious of his food choices the rest of the day.
Maintaing a consistent weight
Jasper had a history of losing weight and quickly gaining it right back. He felt trapped in the yo-yo dieting rut.
Through the Health Fundamentals Program, Jasper learned how to manage his cravings with healthy fats and fiber and how to distinguish between full and satisfied.
Based on what he learned from the Health Fundamentals Program, he started adding healthier ingredients to meals he and his wife were already cooking to gain more control of his eating. This led to a healthier relationship with food and development of health habits that he always felt he could return to get back on track.
“The TLC approach is not about just losing weight, but that losing weight is a byproduct of being healthy. In my case, it was a huge accomplishment to maintain it. Before, I would lose weight then yo-yo back up, it wasn’t sustained and I didn’t have the tools to do that.”
He created what he called a “leave out-cut out-drop out” food list that TLC’s food training helped him set up. This included avoiding fried foods, white breads and refined sugars and healthier substitutions for favorites like using lettuce instead of a bun. He prioritized reading labels to look for added sugars and focused his energies on adding foods high in fiber to his diet.
Additionally, he gained tools around mindfulness, meditation and breathing that could help him minimize his cortisol levels that were keeping the pounds on.
All in all, he felt TLC helped him make better food choices, minimize foods that didn’t work for his body and follow a sustainable, balanced diet.
The results of working with TLC
- Started prioritizing self-care
- Developed a morning routine that included low-impact exercise and created a plan for increased exercise during other parts of his week
- Stabalized his hunger levels by making healthier choices throughout the day
- Maintained his current weight without drastic changes to his diet
- Gained clarity on how he could manage his heart disease with fewer medications
Started prioritizing self-care.
Jasper was able to ditch the idea that taking time for self care was selfish and started to notice how much better he performed and felt when he made time for his health. Jasper was able to manage his stress and add more personal time in his hectic schedule while still being able to take care of those around him.
Because of TLC, I think I have a better handle so I can do a reset- get back on the mat, drink my smoothies, notice when self-care is getting crowded out- trained self discipline.
Developed a morning routine that included low-impact exercise and created a plan for increased exercise during other parts of his week.
By the end of the program, Jasper was doing a combination of the Primary 9 and balance moves each morning. Exercise became a part of Jasper’s daily routine and was no longer seen as something he had to go to the gym to do. He found little ways to add movement into his day like walking up the stairs versus taking the elevator, including a few core and balance moves in the morning to start his day and combining walks with bonding with his wife.
Started prioritizing his breakfast so he could stabilize his hunger levels, which led to healthier choices throughout the rest of the day.
The addition of a nutrient-dense breakfast helped him not only stabilize hunger levels for the whole day, but he also gravitated towards healthier options that overall helped support his weight loss goals. In addition, by eating meals that weren’t full of inflammatory foods, he was supporting his body’s ability to manage his heart disease with fewer statins.
Maintain his current weight without drastic changes to his diet.
The Health Fundamentals Program allowed Jasper to create a new normal that included healthy habits that felt sustainable. In the past, going on vacation or stepping out of his normal routine would lead to a domino effect of totally giving up on his healthy eating habits. Now he is able to go on vacation, enjoy himself and return to the principles TLC taught him and quickly return to the composition he was prior to the trip.
“I went to see my dad in Houston, which is the culinary capital of the South. Every day we’d go out to breakfast and every night we’d go out to dinner and have dessert. After 5 days of that, I felt like I couldn’t continue that lifestyle. When I got back, I had gained 5 pounds in 5 days. But I knew that when I got back here and I did a reset -got back to smoothies, Primary 9 and walking-I’d feel back to normal . Right now, I’ve lost all 5 pounds in two weeks and got back to my stable weight, but before I would have given up hope. I didn’t have to feel guilty that I was having great meals with my dad or that I had wrecked myself for the rest of my life.”
While Jasper has weight loss goals, his focus has changed to see health-promoting behaviors as a way to enjoy life and his family longer. He learned that by applying small actions each day, he will have more energy, be more productive and be able to feel better overall.
“If I hadn’t started TLC, once I lost the weight I’d be going back to the yo-yo stuff. I would have just gotten sloppier and sloppier.
Gained clarity on how he could manage his heart disease with fewer medications
After the Health Fundamentals Program, he got a thorough review of his blood work with a wellness physician who helped him understand his different options for managing his heart disease. She reviewed his bloodwork from the past two years and helped him understand the pros and cons of continued use of his statins and lifestyle changes he should take to support management if he desired to use less medication.
“I remember talking with Soma, and we were going through my bloodwork and medications, and we were able to have a conversation where I felt like she was really explaining the pros and cons of certain things- why that matters and why that doesn’t matter.”
This knowledge was supported by action with the help of his health coach. He found the wellness plan after the program to be the extra support he needed especially because of the team aspect.
“One thing that made a difference was the fact that there were three of you coming with different perspectives and different expertise. You really feel like you have a team that can give insight into different things.”
“It’s an intervention in how you do your self care and manage your food, focus and fitness. This is going to be a longer-termed process. You need to invest time in it, not just money. That’s made a difference”