After suffering from a heart attack in 2012, actress Rosie O’Donnell decided to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in order to help her lose weight and improve her health.
O’Donnell made the announcement that she had the procedure in July while attending the Go Red for Women luncheon sponsored by the American Heart Surgery Association on February 15 in Detroit. She admitted that the heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and being pre-diabetic played a huge part in her decision to get the surgery. “I did it to save my life,” she said.
The gastric sleeve weight loss procedure reduces the stomach size by 25 percent, limiting the amount of food the stomach can hold.
Since having the surgery, O’Donnell admitted she has lost 40 pounds. She has also completely changed her diet and lifestyle by reducing her red meat intake, sugar and carbohydrates, meditating regularly, taking her medication, avoiding stressful situations, and even giving up drinking beer. In addition, she now takes regular walks with her wife Michelle Rounds.
The couple has had their share of health concerns lately; Rounds was diagnosed with desmoid tumors, a rare disease similar to cancer. O’Donnell mentioned that due to these results, the two had to postpone their wedding and instead exchanged vows in a private ceremony.
“It totally brought us closer,” O’Donnell said of her wife in an interview with Marlo Thomas on Mondays with Marlo.
She added, “Don’t wait until you have a heart attack. I had willful blindness. I knew all the facts, they were available to me, but I didn’t ingest them.”
O’Donnell went on to say that she felt that because she had paid so little attention to her physical fitness and health that she felt like her body was rebelling saying, “I will not tolerate it anymore.”
The comedienne admitted she had tried previously to lose weight with diet and exercise on her own without success. She is now spending much more time with her family and taking her life more seriously.
She recommended for others with food addiction problems to treat cravings like any other addiction. “Limit yourself to a small amount and don’t over-indulge.”
O’Donnell also suggested removing all processed foods from the kitchen so that it is not a temptation. “Try the best that you can [to eat healthy],” she said.
*Sidenote – Rosie O’Donnell’s suggested symptom list for a heart attack: hot, exhausted, pain, pale, puke.
By Amy Nelson