Outrunning My Shadow: Surviving Open-Heart Surgery and Battling Obesity/The Decision to Change My Life

Keith Ahrens

Published by Nihao Press, 2009
ISBN 10: 0982449909 / ISBN 13: 9780982449905
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Synopsis: Outrunning My Shadow: Surviving Open-Heart Surgery and Battling Obesity/The Decision to Change My Life by Keith Ahrens is a fascinating and highly informative memoir about the author’s confrontation with mortality and his determination to save his own life. In this self-help book, the author shares the experience of weighing more than 400 pounds, suffering lightheadedness, and finally seeing a physician. When this sedentary man learned that he had suffered a heart attack and that open-heart surgery was his only option for survival, his efforts toward his recovery became dramatically proactive. The spirit of this book is not a confrontation for readers who are overweight, but a supportive and encouraging reminder that everyone deserves to have a long and healthy life, and that paying attention to how we live; food, exercise, regular checkups; goes a long way toward good health. For anyone seeking the inspiration and encouragement to pursue longevity, this is the place to start.

Review: A chronicle of the author's obesity-related illnesses and his remarkable weight loss. By the age of 45, Ahrens, a Las Vegas businessman who led a sedentary lifestyle and compulsively overate, tipped the scales at more than 400 pounds. He hadn't had a physical in more than a decade but, when he began to experience frightening symptoms--shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness--he sought medical help. A battery of tests revealed that Ahrens suffered a "Remote Silent Heart Attack," and his internist, who contributed the foreword to the book, referred him to specialists. They concluded after additional stress tests and an angiogram that Ahrens needed a triple-bypass to correct the damage done to his heart by years of neglect. The surgery and the restored quality of health it brought gave Ahrens a new lease on life. By eating healthily and exercising regularly, he dropped 185 pounds without surgery, turning his life around. The most appealing aspect of Ahrens' story is the author--he's just a regular guy, and readers will likely relate to his struggles with obesity as well as find inspiration in his weight loss. Ahrens, manages to convey his sincere hope that all who read the book will follow his lead and make positive changes to their physical well- being and health. Folksy, relatable and ultimately inspiring. --Kirkus Discoveries, September 2, 2009

A man turns his life around by confronting his demons: In "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, the main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is confronted by the spirits of Christmas past, present and future, all encounters that, however harrowing, leave him with a new appreciation for, and a determination to make radical changes in, his life. It is hard not to compare this heart-warming story to the one the author sets before us. For while Keith Ahrens did not wait for Christmas for the events to take place that changed his life--they came upon him unexpectedly in an earlier season--his reaction was similar, and his story could be likened to that of a modern-day "Christmas Carol." And although, throughout his life, he has been generous to a fault, Ahrens had, according to the interesting account as detailed in "Outrunning My Shadow: Surviving Open Heart Surgery and Battling Obesity," severely neglected his own physical well-being, to the point where he faced a life-changing choice--whether or not to undergo the corrective surgery to repair a life-threatening heart condition that had developed over years of devotion to work and family at the sacrifice of his health. As an executive at a Las Vegas car dealership, Ahrens would put in long hours, and make up for his grinding schedule by indulging in culinary delights. Over the years, this habit, along with a sedentary lifestyle, allowed him to put some four hundred pounds on a frame no higher than five foot ten. The figure he cut was awesome, but not in the way we usually like to use the term. By his own admission, chairs were never large enough, nor strong enough, and his unusually large physique drew the kind of attention he would rather have done without. Still, he could put up with all of the inconvenience attendant to an overweight condition, until the fateful day that found him breathless and incapacitated. That led to a doctor's visit, and a battery of tests that revealed a severe occlusion in some of the important blood vessels that supplied his heart with needed nutrients and oxygen. After second and third opinions were rendered, Ahrens agreed to undergo triple bypass surgery. This might have been the end of the story, had it not been for his determination to lose the pounds that had left him only semi-ambulatory even before the surgery. The doctors gave Ahrens more ambitious goals than he set for himself, and ever since, a successful regimen of proper eating habits and exercise has left its mark. Over a period of about two years Keith lost 185 pounds and now is able to do the many things that were off limits to a man weighing 414 pounds. "Outrunning My Shadow" is easy to read. Its content is matter-of-factly expressed, and there are no hidden mysteries or innuendo in the words. The story is simple, but as profound as the Dickens tale. Peter Duveen, OpEdNews.com August 24, 2009 - PetersNewYork.com, August 23, 2009 --Peter Duveen, OpEdNews.com August 24, 2009

Mr. Ahrens proudly pens a self help partial autobiography, chronicling his journey from obesity to an athletic frame.....  An up book, an easy and breezy read, this contribution to the medical literature is worth a look. --Stephen Z. Smith, MD Editor, Journal of the Kentucky Medical Association, Jan 2010

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Title: Outrunning My Shadow: Surviving Open-Heart ...
Publisher: Nihao Press
Publication Date: 2009
Book Condition: Good

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Book Description Nihao Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Amy Ahrens Gureckis (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Outrunning My Shadow: Surviving Open-Heart Surgery and Battling Obesity/The Decision to Change My Life by Keith Ahrens is a fascinating and highly informative memoir about the author s confrontation with mortality and his determination to save his own life. In this self-help book, the author shares the experience of weighing more than 400 pounds, suffering lightheadedness, and finally seeing a physician. When this sedentary man learned that he had suffered a heart attack and that open-heart surgery was his only option for survival, his efforts toward his recovery became dramatically proactive. The spirit of this book is not a confrontation for readers who are overweight, but a supportive and encouraging reminder that everyone deserves to have a long and healthy life, and that paying attention to how we live; food, exercise, regular checkups; goes a long way toward good health. For anyone seeking the inspiration and encouragement to pursue longevity, this is the place to start. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780982449905

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