Katie Adams began her weight loss journey after suffering from a heart attack at age 36.  

By Lauren Wicks
March 22, 2019

What started as pain in Katie Adams’ left arm after giving birth to her fourth child manifested into a heart attack at only 36 years old. Even though Adams was taking blood thinners to prevent heart attacks, she knew exactly what was happening and was soon diagnosed with a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (also called SCAD).

“I was kind of in shock,” Adams told TODAY. “SCAD is very rare but is the number one cause of heart attack in women under 50 or who are pregnant or postpartum.”

Heart attacks are becoming increasingly common among younger adults—especially women—and Adams knew she had to start prioritizing her health right away. Although she couldn’t exercise or cook for herself while recovering from her heart attack, Adams began to prioritize consuming more nutritious foods, and that helped her drop a whopping 46 pounds.

“I was a mindless eater, eating from my kids’ plates or cleaning my own plate,” she explained. "I needed to really adjust my habits.”

Once her weight loss started to plateau, Adams sought out Weight Watchers to learn how to make more informed eating decisions and practice intuitive eating. Adams began organizing her meals—she filled half her plates with produce and a quarter each with protein and whole grains. She also swapped out processed foods for healthy snacks like almonds and fruit.

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Exercise soon became a priority for Adams, and she started taking 10-minute walks every day. Adams suffers from fibromuscular dysplasia, a condition that weakens heart muscles, and at first she wasn’t sure if she could even manage these small walks. Now, Adams takes 30-minute walks every day and builds muscle through pilates and lifting weights.

Since starting WW, Adams has lost another 55 pounds, and has lost 16 inches from her waist since the start of her weight loss journey. She is focused on making healthy eating and daily activity a permanent part of her lifestyle to keep her heart healthy and strong.

“By treating my body well and respecting it and making sure I am giving it what it needs, I can live a happy and healthy life, even with having a chronic illness. My arteries may be weak, but I am strong,” Adams said.

 

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