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British Heart Foundation
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I finished an Ironman after heart attack 3 years ago

I finished an Ironman after heart attack 3 years ago

3 years ago, I had a massive out of hospital cardiac arrest, I was saved by 2 off duty Doctors who applied CPR and defibrillator worked 2nd time! A stent was applied to my LAD, I awoke from a coma! I'm alive. I fought back, went on a strict diet avoided any processed foods for 3 years, lost weight and during that process trained like an animal, bike rides, swims, runs for hours. I then decided to enter an Ironman in Nice, France 4km ocean swim, 185km mountain bike ride and a marathon the worlds toughest 1 day sports event. I finished! My ankle tendinitis kicked at mile 3 my last 23 miles was a killer but I managed 4hrs15mins marathon.

I hope to inspire others, what I couldn't believe is that a 72 year old man completed this Ironman in the gruelling heat. There's always hope if your believe.

I still take medicine, but I'm a true believer that food from the earth is the bodies important ingredient.

Below is a list of foods I eat this will help others:

veges, chickpeas, fruits, lean meat only and organic if possible from butchers once or twice a week, fish especially sardines, mackerel, salmon. Nuts, raw only almonds, walnuts and cashews. Eggs (never fried), lentils, cocoa, beans, whole rice, olive oil but never salad dressings, cinnamon, turmeric in morning porridge, whole meal pasta ( much never jars of sauce instead chopped tomatoes), greek yogurt only, honey........my stomach hates processed foods I now feel sick when I have pringles for example, avoided any juices from supermarket too high in sugar go eat 2 oranges, only really ate goats cheese but any cheese is ok is little portions), almond/soy/oat/coconut milk only, had drinking yogurts the little ones. Goodbye alcohol no thanks, with celebrations are ok.

will think of more.....

Believe! we can fight together.

20 Replies
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Thats just awesome and feel quite emotional myself for you. After my heart attack 3 weeks ago i felt it was the end for my jogging but i found someone on the net who had a heart attack when they were 50 and is still running 5 years later so maybe there is hope for me. I expect you are now planning your next ironman or similar

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Thank you so much, you can still keep running no problem, exercise and eating healthy is a great cure for the body and mind. Speak to your Cardiologist first and enjoy your running starting off at a low heart zone gradually increasing. Enjoy yourself. And yes I am planning an Ironman next year, but resting right now. I loved the event, the feeling is amazing when you finish as the event is so hard and because a lot don't finish.

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Congratulations and thanks for sharing - that really does inspire. Without going too much detail; I am 43 , HA last August and 5 stents added. I am missing playing football and competitive sport generally - but I am building physically and confidence slowly , going through the gears as such; I can do 5km in 24 mins now comfortably and apparently I am safe to fly a plane according to a recent stress test - so getting there. I am also following a very similar diet to you - but only fish for me.

Next stop iron man maybe!. Thanks for the inspiration mate. It truly shows what is possible if you keep a positive mindset. Best wishes, David.

Ps. I also hope your photo was taken a few years back ?!?? 72 !?!! . Maybe I should copy your whole diet lol.!

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Thanks David, glad to hear the progression is going well........well 48 for me! Keep eating healthy, just remember natural foods as much as possible, they taste much better and your body feels better for it.

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Ha - sorry I misread your initial post!. I was about to say judging by the photo you would be a medical marvel at 72!. I will indeed continue the healthy eating and you never know you might see me at the start line some day... best wishes, David

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This is exactly bang on, you have to help yourself- otherwise do not complain. Well done, al the best.

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Thanks Harry, exactly on the nail.

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Inspirational! Although I am no runner I so agree it's about looking after ourselves and what we eat is so important. My cardiologist told me raw honey has been proven to protect and even help improve the heart. So I found a local bee keeper and eat raw honey every day. I eat fish and chicken and lots of fruit and vegetables. I bought a smoothie machine and eat lots of yummy home made smoothie. Blueberries have great health properties too.

No alcohol for me... again has made me feel healthier and fitter. Other people sometimes comment at my tee total life must be boring. That's their issue not mine... my life is anything but boring since giving up..

Much more fulfilled happy and never a hangover!

This coupled with good exercise... I have my pedometer and count my steps... and again exercise makes me feel better ( it's those endorphins) and as a result o am out more seeing the countryside enjoying nature and having fun!

I am nowhere near your amazing regime but lifestyle changes do make a massive difference physically and mentally ...and it's important we look after ourselves... so much then can be achieved 😁

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Your doing all the right things, I find at 48 my body can't recover from alcohol sessions any more, I've grown out of alcohol, if I do I have 1-2 pints on special occasions or 1-2 glasses of wine but on very rare occasions these days. Had my 1st beer celebrations on Monday which was 2 beers in France and one glass of Rose, tipsy! 1st drink in 6 months! The secret is as you've put it is lifestyle changes, I think it's quite easy to adjust others may not though. Exercise is crucial if your able and rest, eating great is not enough but a great start.

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Such an amazing story. Very early days for me as I’ve been diagnosed with exercise induced arrhythmia which is now even kicking in when I do the stairs 😡 lots more tests and appointments in the diary and I’m not the most patient of people so The sooner I’m up and active again the better. I found your story full of inspiration especially as triathlon was my sport for nearly 20 years. Did the national sprints, uk champs and age group worlds in Cancun back in the late 90’s. At 56 the old joints don’t like the running, had a hip replacement last July so now focus on the occasional swim and as much cycling as I can do. Even brought a new bianchi bike which I’ve only ridden twice so having to stop everything while waiting for a full diagnosis and a course of treatment is proving mentally tough.

Your story has given me a big boost today, been feeling very down for a few weeks and I know I’m a pain to live with as my poor girlfriend can attest to.

Good luck with your next event and do stay in touch.

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Wow, you must of been a decent athlete back then. Keep going, I'm sure this will work out and you'll be back exercising and thanks.

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Amazing story...I read with interest as I have followed a clean eating plan before and I can see the benefits.

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Well done, my friend! I swear that in many ways I am grateful for my own heart attack. Made me turn my lifestyle around a bit, and look more closely at those of my loved ones (they might not be completely pleased with that always!). I also avoid processed foods. Very similar diet to yours by the sounds of it. I appreciate my food more than ever, too, and feel so much more alert. I don't have plans to do am ironman, but I do have other physical targets to match my other ones. Well done in that heat too! Got a feeling you are loving and making the most of our time down here. Thanks for sharing your story and showing what can be achieved.

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Thanks Transformerman, glad you've turned your eating habits around. It's easy, I say to myself why would I even want to get crap food especially with those money hungry companies putting so much artificial colourings and agents into our food, destroying the human body, yuck!!!

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Wow. How fab are you. What an inspirational story. You put me to shame. Whilst I follow an incredibly healthy diet (strict vegan- Caldwell Esselstyn diet) I am scared to push my exercise regime. I do exercise every day but always get scared to push my heart rate higher. Seems to be getting worse the further away from my HA I go. And as for flying...!! Brilliant to read. Thank you so much for sharing. Zena

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Thanks Zena. Gradually build up, slow walking to fast walking. Learn about HR zones on google. It will work out.

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Great that you are returning to such a level. I suffered a heart attack two weeks ago. Was rushed into hospital with a total LAD blockage. Cath lab almost on arrival where a blockage was cleared and a stent fitted.

Started at 7.30 am by 10am I was out of the cath lab and into the intensive care unit of MRI. Manchester Royal Infirmery. I am only fifty and overweight so my primary concern is now to continue to lose weight and reduce the stress factors on my heart. I am looking at the forks over knives plant based diet. Tomorrow I have first rehab appointment but as I work overseas I don't know how many classes I will attend. Are there any good guides for starting an exercise regime. I am still worried to cause stress to heart so am just gentle walks so far. Has anybody any experience they could relate regarding rehab procedures.

Regards

Mike

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Hi. Attend a cardiac rehab group. They have heart specialist trained nurses and instructors who know how to safely push you to your limits. I have found the experience brilliant Good luck

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You’ve certainly inspired me and thanks for the information. My incident occurred after a cyclocross race, not immediately after, but brought on by a coffee. I used to exercise allot, now i’m a tad lost, so a post like a his helps. Just wondering what you did for cardiac rehab ?

Cheers,

J

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Thanks OldNslo, just because you've had a heart problem doesn't mean you cannot exercise, exercise is what the heart needs, the heart improves with exercise! (I use to race some cyclocross leagues years ago, great fun!) Best regards.

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