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IMAGE GAL The Last 20 Lbs. – Back From the Dead

By   |   October 31, 2012   |   Entertainment, Fitness, Relationships

Image Gal continues her quest to lose the last 20.

Last spring I started writing a chronicle called the “Lose 20 Lbs. in Six Weeks” to encourage women to gain self empowerment by losing weight and getting fit. For me, it was about taking off twenty pounds of post divorce weight, getting in shape for television and turning over a triumphant new chapter in my life now that I’m over the age of 30-something.

Everything was going well: I was controlling my appetite with SENSA, training with Scott Bittermen from Emerge Athletics, taking an early morning AM Fitness Groove Boot Camp class with Ajia and doing a little jogging in between. Over the course of six weeks, I lost twelve pounds. I was nearing my goal and feeling good.

Then a series of disasters happened, including a near death experience. I re-injured my knees (ten years of dancing professionally has taken its toll). As if that was not bad enough, I had an umbilical hernia from a past surgery which needed mending. The orthopedist told me to just give myself a rest and try to not do or walk around too much. Hard to do as a New Yorker on the go! I decided to have the surgery on my hernia while I was resting my knees so that everything could heal at once. I gained all the weight back. Not being a quitter, the very first day I was cleared for exercise, I went for a jog.

Ten minutes in, I felt a throbbing pain in my left arm. My heart was pounding in my throat. I slowed down and it went away, so I figured it was just from being out of shape from two months of not exercising. Two days later, I went to my dentist Dr. Goldberg and the palpitations started again. He wanted me to see someone immediately. That helped save my life.

Four doctors and five days later on my birthday, I was finally in for an angiogram. My specialist, Dr. Coppola at NYU — who I owe my life to — was pretty sure he was going to send me home with some Plavix and call it a day. Imagine both our surprise when he told me two of my arteries were completely blocked and I had been operating on 50 percent of my heart. I got three stents. So, for my birthday I received the gift of a new lease on life and hopefully another 40 years to do great things with my newly detailed heart.

While I was simply grateful to be alive, as the adrenaline and pain killers wore off, I just felt sad and mad. Sad that my heart is forever changed along with my whole life. Sad and mad over all the stress and challenges that have taken such a toll on me.

But I was also determined to put myself back together again. To get and stay healthy and achieve the goals I had established myself the first time around.

In my journey, I’ll work with different trainers, take classes and indulge in supplements and healthy snacks. My team includes Gennaro Ferra, former Mr. Australia; AM Fitness Groove with Ajia and Ugi Fitness, which is a new piece of exercise equipment, nutrition plan and video series allowing a person to get a full body workout without needing lots of space or fancy gym equipment. Thank you Ugi!

I am going back to sprinkling — thank you SENSA! — and adding Escape 9.2 alkaline water,┬á virgin source in the Caribbean. Our bodies are mostly water, so obviously the better quality water you drink, the better quality your health will be. Thank you Escape!

I’m back in the ring: getting back in shape and down to fighting weight. Fit, firm and fabulous. Nothing else will do.

Read more about Samantha’s journey at her blog.

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