John Slavish Gets Back To Living With The Ornish Reversal Program
In 2015, John Slavish, 73, of Lewes, was talking to his cardiologist about his heart health concerns, which included a triple bypass surgery he had in 2005. His cardiologist recommended John enroll in the Ornish Reversal Program at Beebe Healthcare.
“I decided to give it a try because of his recommendation. At first, I was somewhat pessimistic about the program and not necessarily looking forward to the group support element of it,” John said. “Specifically, I was afraid of opening up and I worried about being judged by the other cohort participants.”
John successfully completed the Ornish program and now says that he is happy he decided to take the plunge and try it out.
“Since starting the Ornish Reversal Program, I have lost 37 pounds, decreased by body mass index by over 2 percent, lost 4 inches off of my waist, and dropped my overall cholesterol to an all-time low,” said John. “My blood sugar has also declined, which is very positive because I come from a family with a long history of diabetes. My cardiologist and primary care physician have both been very pleased with my progress.”
Today, instead of watching sports from his recliner, he is regularly practicing yoga and completing 30 minutes on the elliptical machine nearly every day.
“Those are activities that I wasn’t able to do before the program. And, even more surprisingly, I actually want to do to do those things – they aren’t a pain in the butt!” he said. “Physically, I just feel much, much better. My body feels clean. I now have more energy and more stamina.”
As for the group support that John initially balked at – he says, “Both mentally and physically, participating in the Ornish Reversal Program has been the best thing that I could have done for myself at this point in my life.”
“Before participating in the Ornish Reversal Program, I hated crowds as a result of serving two tours in Vietnam. I didn’t like attending parties or social events, I didn’t think I needed other people,” he recalls. “Now, my outlook has changed. I wear a hat that reads, ‘live happy,’ and I look forward to social events. Participating in the group support element taught me that it is okay to open up and not suppress my feelings. Being able to share my feelings, especially about the war, feels like an albatross has been lifted off of my neck.”
Being successful with the Ornish Reversal Program includes education on the four elements of the program – fitness, nutrition, stress management, and group support. Each session lasts four hours.
“Each day when you leave, you feel so much better. Believe me, I’ve been on every diet in the world and the Ornish Reversal Program is fantastic,” John said. “While I was participating in the program, my wife, Patricia, took cooking classes for six weeks to learn how to cook Ornish-friendly foods. The meals really are simple and easy to make.”
Today, the couple enjoys attending dinner parties and some of their friends have taken to cooking Ornish recipes, as well.
There were 12 participants in John’s group, and they have formed a tight-knit group that still gets together once a month – calling themselves the “Reversibles.”
“I never dreamt that I would have this much support. I give credit to the team at Beebe Healthcare. I owe a lot of my success to them—they are all unbelievable! I still consider them my friends and make it a point to stop by and visit whenever I can,” John said. “The program has really changed our lives. Overall, it’s not a fly-by-night program, it’s a lifestyle. It’s wonderful. It’s the best program going.”
For more information about the Ornish Reversal Program at Beebe Healthcare, go to https://www.beebehealthcare.org/ornish or call (302) 645-3514.