Dropping LBs: Steven Ingargiola of Elmont

Steven Ingargiola, 55 of Elmont, lost more than

Steven Ingargiola, 55 of Elmont, lost more than 100 pounds after suffering a heart attack in 2005. He now weighs around 180 pounds. (April 28, 2011) (Credit: Lorina Capitulo)

 

Steven Ingargiola

55, Elmont

Occupation Sales representative

Height 5'8"

272 Weight  (summer 2005)

183 Weight (March 2011)

'Don't procrastinate. Just start to move. Aim high, but start small.'

HIS STORY

I gained a lot of weight after a divorce in 2002. I love to eat and cook. I was probably eating 8,000 to 9,000 calories a day. I'd come home from work and plop down on the couch, eat and watch television.

One day in 2005, I had bloating, numbness in my arm, heaviness in my chest. I was on my way to work on the bus. I was having a heart attack.

The doctors at Nassau University Medical Center couldn't get my heart rate down. I had a huge strangulated hernia in my intestines and they couldn't operate until they could get my heart rate down. My heart had a tear in the wall and the heart sack was full of fluids. They finally got me stabilized, operated on the hernia, allowed me to recuperate for a few days and then shipped me off to North Shore-LIJ for heart surgery. North Shore was able to perform the necessary heart surgery and implanted a defibrillator.

When I was finally released in September 2005, I weighed 217 pounds. Part of it was all the fluids they drained off. Part was the hospital food. I went on a crusade to get to 180 pounds. I now fluctuate between 180 and 185.

DIET

I eat roughly seven small, low-calorie meals a day. I have fruit and vegetables between three main meals. I have no carbs. I have a calorie counter on my BlackBerry and chart everything. I keep the calories under 1,200.

EXERCISE

I do a lot of floor exercises. I also do chair and mechanical exercises using things in my apartment. I can't do anything that raises my heart rate above 200 beats per minute. I wear a heart monitor and I can do light cardio. I can simulate a treadmill workout at home using stairs in my hallway. I do a half-hour in the morning and evening, enough to get my cardio going.

ADVICE

Don't procrastinate. Just start to move. Aim high, but start small. You have to have a mirror and a scale. I didn't have either. Now, I have both.

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