- Associated Press - Sunday, January 22, 2017

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Pete Bober’s journey to losing 150 pounds began with a secret heart attack - which is to say, a heart attack he didn’t even know he was having at the time.

But Bober, a retired community college administrator who is involved with a number of Corvallis community organizations, did know he needed to lose weight. In early 2014, he weighed about 340 pounds, reported the Corvallis Gazette-Times (https://bit.ly/2iD4xur).

He thought about losing weight, but hadn’t ever gotten around to doing it. During a Leadership Corvallis event he heard a doctor at The Corvallis Clinic talk about the clinic’s weight-loss clinic, and that inspired him to finally get around to losing weight.

Then came the next bit of inspiration:

When Bober went to the clinic, a doctor recommended he go on appetite suppressants, but wanted to do some screenings first. One of these was an electrocardiogram.

A few days later, Bober recalled in a recent interview, he got a question from the doctor:

“Have you ever had a heart attack?”

Bober said he didn’t think so, but he got a recommendation to go visit a cardiologist. In March 2014, Bober underwent a stress test, which confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack. A subsequent endoscopy confirmed he had multiple blockages, but his heart had developed some corollary pathways around them.

“I’d never had any symptoms,” Bober said. “I’d never had any chest pains.”

Bober said he began cardiac rehabilitation after that and got serious about losing weight.

“What had the biggest impact was after they cleared me medically, they gave me nitroglycerin and told me to carry it. That was unnerving,” he said.

He said the incident gave him a chance to assess what was important to him, and think about all the things he still wanted to do.

“After the health stuff, the appetite suppressant wasn’t even necessary,” he said.

Bober said his own father died of a heart attack at 48.

“He missed a lot of things because of that,” he said.

Bober has since reduced his food intake to 1,800 calories a day and walks every morning. So far, he has shed 150 pounds.

Bober said his involvement in the community organizations, including the Corvallis Sister Cities Association, also were motivating factors. In his work with the association, he has traveled to Ukraine and also has hosted people visiting Corvallis from the country.

“I’ve got a lot of people I’d like to take to Ukraine and a lot of people from Ukraine I’d like to bring here,” he said.

He calls his work with community organizations like Zonta, the Sister Cities Association and Leadership Corvallis an investment in the future. For example, he said, a group of doctors who visited Corvallis from Ukraine in the fall might have learned something that they will bring back and use to improve their health care system or even save lives.

“There’s just so much to do,” he said.

Bober said he does use an app to track his calories, and said he stays away from unhealthy foods, but emphasized that the most important thing is to stay focus on your motivations.

“It’s more a lifestyle change,” he said. “Sticking to it is key. It’s not that one particular diet is magic.”

He added that he’s had a lot of support from his medical care providers.

Bober added that he’s now able to do more physically. In the long run, he said, the lifestyle changes he’s making should give him more time to make the impact he wants to have with his local organizations in the community.

“Having a little bit of clarity about what is important can be a motivator,” he said.


Information from: Gazette-Times, https://www.gtconnect.com

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