Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 30

30

World Beauty Fitness & Fashion
transformation weight loss event,
and in 2018 I was crowned Mrs.
Massachusetts International.
It wasn't about competing,
though. It was about inspiring
people to understand that even
with heart failure and being over
40, you can do whatever you set
your mind to.

Monitoring My Health

When you have heart failure, it's
important that you pay attention to
your body and go through a daily
checklist of signs and symptoms that
could mean you need to be checked
out by a doctor. For example: Are
you gaining weight? Do you have
swelling? Are you having trouble sleeping?
For me, that means I have to weigh
myself every day. I have to make sure
I don't have any swelling caused by
excess fluid. I take my meds. And I
sleep propped up with three pillows-
almost like I'm in a recliner.
I read nutrition labels and watch
my sodium intake. It's difficult to
go out to eat, because restaurants
tend to add salt to food, which is
not good for my heart. So I garden
and cook, where I can control the
ingredients. I can basically take any
food and make it heart healthy. But
I can never just say, hey, I'm going to
have that pepperoni and cheese on
crackers and just go to town.
I also have an app on my
phone from the American Heart
Association called HF Path, which is
for heart failure patients. I check off
my meds as I take them, and I note
my symptoms. And if there are any
red flags, the app actually tells me,
"Hey. You know what? You need to
give your doc a call."

We've all heard the advice
before: Eat well. Be active.
Lose weight.
Those sorts of changes
are advised for almost
anyone looking to have
better health, but they're
especially important for
people with heart failure. The American Heart
Association says these
recommendations can help
alleviate symptoms and
improve daily life.
That was certainly true
for Sandi Holloway, who
found out she had heart
failure and then lost more
than 100 pounds in a few
years, through diet and
exercise in coordination
with her medical team.
"Exercise benefits
everybody, including
heart failure patients,"
says John Osborne, MD, a
cardiologist and spokesman for the American
Heart Association.
If you're looking to lose
weight, here are three tips:

Above: Sandi Holloway won the
Mrs. Massachusetts International
beauty pageant in 2018. Right, from
top: Holloway's children, Kaleigh and
Zachary; Holloway's garden; and a fitness
competition with her coach, Mike Ciulla.

1 Set small, realistic
goals instead of big, longterm ones. "Try to work
on a pound this week or
a pound over two weeks,"
Osborne says.

What Treatment
Looks Like for Me

Monitor your diet. Keep
a food diary or use an app
like MyFitnessPal to keep
track of what-and how
much-you're eating.
2

3 Get moving-after you
talk to your doctor. Heart
failure can come with
some restrictions on the
intensity of exercise. If
moderate exercise isn't
recommended for you, ask
about enrolling in a cardiac
rehabilitation program.

Treatment is different for everyone.
For me, it's important that I'm on
the proper medication and that I
stay in contact with my cardiologist
and medical team.
And I exercise, of course.
I have a recumbent bike in my
gym at home. I ride that, and I
usually make a phone call while I'm
doing it, because if I can speak while
I'm on the bike, I know I'm breathing well and exercising at a correct
pace for my heart. I also lift weights.
And I have my cardiac stress test
and echocardiogram once a year.

SUMMER 2020 VIM & VIGOR

FdVSU20_28-31_Patient-Story_heart.indd 30

2/19/20 1:41 PM

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SANDI HOLLOWAY

A Solid
Strategy for
Heart Health



Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC

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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2020 - GMC - 2
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