Scared Straight: Surgery vs Lifestyle Modification

heart-attack2Finding the one approach that elicits the emotional response in everyone to change behavior is impossible. I understand and empathize with everyone that has attempted to create a better, healthier lifestyle only to fall back into destructive patterns that sabotage long term success. Many people need a gentle guiding approach to gradually adapt to change. In general, my postings use this approach.

This post, however, is for those that need to see reality up close and personal.

There is a saying, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” One of the problems with this expression is the definition of “broken.” In general, if we do not have any symptoms it is believed that nothing is broken. Our bodies are incredibly complex machines with the ability to adapt and overcome great adversities without creating ANY awareness (SYMPTOMS) early on. Just because symptoms are absent, however, doesn’t mean we are not “BROKEN”. It means that we may not be AWARE that we are broken.

Ultimately when the body can no longer address the problems, the brain is stimulated to make you aware that something is wrong. A symptom or set of symptoms develop. We know that symptoms are abnormal, but unless they interfere with our quality of living, they are commonly ignored. We justify this in our minds by saying, “they will go away.”

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. For most, we know the causes as well as the CONSERVATIVE changes in life necessary to prevent this self inflicted disease. It remains the #1 cause of death because:

  • the belief is “it’s not going to happen to me”
  • mortality is a concept most can’t relate to

Since heart disease is commonly denied (even with a family history), there is little if any motivation to change behavior to reduce the risks for developing or altering the course of this disease. In addition, people are under the false impression that surgery “fixes” heart disease. Surgeons are limited to performing “patchwork” to reduce the imminent danger a patient has placed themselves in. This is NOT to take any credit away from the surgeons. Many are brilliant at their craft and save many lives. They are limited, however, by their patient’s willingness to change behavior.

If this article describes you, I respectfully request you take 4 minutes out of your busy life to watch the video below. I hope that it provides enough motivation and incentive to change behavior BEFORE you reach this diminished level of health.


I am hoping this added picture of reality places anyone currently on this path to experience the “Scared Straight” phenomenon. If after viewing the video you decide it’s time for a real change in lifestyle, but need help, there are support organizations, doctors, nutritionists, health coaches, etc… available to guide you to a better and healthier lifestyle. Please don’t follow the same destructive path that so many follow to the grave. It’s time to take control of your life for you and your loved ones!


  1. So true! I have had to do behavior modifications to my workout routine. I have been going at it to hard for to long and now I am paying for it. So instead of having to have future surgery fixes, I am going to change my behavior on how I look at working out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now, if I can channel your energy and positive attitude into the millions suffering from various health maladies we would live in a happier and healthier world!


  2. Amazing video. If I wasn’t motivated enough, I am now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If we don’t want to end up on the operating table, each of us needs to ask ourselves, “what ACTIVE steps am I taking to PREVENT this outcome?” If 5 seconds passes and you don’t have answers, maybe its time to re-evaluate your current path in life. Some of us need to see the REALITY of open heart surgery and the awareness that mortality is real before change is possible. I hope this posting helps create awareness for everyone to AVOID this unnecessary outcome.
      Thank you for taking the time to watch the video.


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