heartgeek Exposed!

HG_WTOP

I would like to start off by saying happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  I am going on a bike ride this morning and then relaxing with the kids all day.

I found out that I’m a pretty bad father. I make a lot of mistakes and I don’t know what I’m doing. But my kids love me. Go figure. —Louis C.K.

Now on to heartgeeky stuff.

My 15 Minutes

I was interviewed earlier this week by WTOP, a Washington, D.C. radio station.  The reporter was doing a story on the rising trend of heart attacks and heart disease in younger people.  She found my blog and reached out, saying “You are just the guy I am looking for”. As a result, couple of audio clips aired during the morning drive hours and an article appeared on the WTOP website.  Just like that, heartgeek is a exposed.  I am expecting a call from Oprah at any moment.

Many friends and co-workers were caught off guard when they heard my voice on the radio.  Up until  heartgeek, I maintained a very low profile on the internet and social media.  I wasn’t even on Facebook until this March!  Now here I was talking on the radio and laying out some extremely personal information on a blog.  If people hadn’t heard my story before, they certainly know it now!

A great benefit from this sudden exposure was finally connecting with other people who have gone through a similar experience to me.  People found the blog and then shared with me their cardiac stories.  I learned how others are successfully living with heart disease and also what has been a challenge.  This was the interaction I had hoped for when I started heartgeek!

It’s Not Just Me

One email I received that really stood out was from a guy who wrote and told me he read the blog and it scared the crap out of him.  I do enjoy scaring people, but my goal with heartgeek is to motivate.  Not surprisingly, I heard from a few people that motivation is a problem in cardiac recovery.  Having heart disease at a young age means staying on top of your health for a long, long time.  That in itself can crush motivation.

I received quite a few emails on the benefits of a vegan diet in both preventing and reversing heart disease.  I received recommendations to watch the “Forks and Knives” documentary, read Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr.’s book “How to Reverse & Prevent Heart Disease” (I have already purchased) and visit the Happy Herbivore blog.  Each of these sources describes how a plant-based diet can not only prevent heart disease, but also stop the progression and reverse heart disease.  Former President Bill Clinton follow’s Dr. Esselstyn’s program.

There were a couple of recommendations for Dr. Ornish’s Lifestyle Program.  This one looks interesting and is something I will spend time reading up on.  I also received a recommendation to read Mark Bittman’s book “Vegan Before 6”.  Mark is a food writer/author as well as a columnist for the New York Times.  In my house, we already rely on his “How to Cook Everything” cookbook and I like the fact that his approach provides the best of both worlds.

These are all great recommendations and I am sure to experiment with each of them.  I will also try P90X3 at the suggestion of one reader.  What sticks with me most from all the email I received is each writer’s desire and actions to live a happy and healthy life despite having heart disease.

Let’s Keep It Up

A community is starting to form, let’s keep it up.  I do a lot of research geared towards improving my health and I learned quite a few new things from this initial wave of interaction.  There are new diets, lifestyle changes, and exercise programs that I need to check out.  The only way to continue to learn is to share information.   Please join the email list, send emails, and most importantly, leave comments and engage with other readers.

Can I ask a favor?  Leave me a comment below regarding topics for future posts.  Based on the input I received so far, I am thinking we need one on motivation.  I would love to hear from you.

Finally, thank you for all the engagement over the past week.  It’s been great to interact with other heartgeeks!