After undergoing weight-loss surgery in 2003, the former View cohost dropped 160 pounds and has kept all but 10 off. Nonetheless, in 2010 she needed open-heart surgery. Here’s how the 57-year-old South Loop resident (who moved here three years ago to be with now-husband Ricardo Lugo) and spokeswoman for the American Heart Association tends to her ticker.
“I walked into my cardiologist’s office in these cool Jimmy Choo boots. He made me stay at the hospital, and two days later I got the diagnosis of an aortic valve malfunction. I needed the full-on surgery, where they crack your chest. Doctors stopped my heart for 22 minutes. But six days later, I walked out in those same boots.”
“I used to think that my law degree was my greatest accomplishment. I emphasized it to the point where it became a joke on Saturday Night Live: ‘You know, Star’s a lawyer.’ But becoming and staying healthy is my greatest accomplishment.”
“I’m probably one of the last people who has never had Starbucks. If you were to have breakfast with me, you’ll see that I’ll ask the server to bring me a pitcher of ice water.”
“I have nearly the same breakfast every day: a lean protein like turkey bacon or chicken sausage and two eggs. If I’m going to have a carb, it’s Quaker grits. I am a Southerner, after all. For lunch, I’m addicted to protein bowls from East Bank Club. For dinner, I have lean red meat maybe once a week, but I make sure I match it with a salad or vegetables.”
“Tennis and Pilates have the exact same color-coding as business meetings in my calendar — tennis three days and Pilates two or three, all at East Bank Club — because exercise is as important as any conference call. I picked tennis initially because they had cute outfits. After weight-loss surgery, my surgeon suggested a strengthening routine. Pilates is the reason I don’t have an exorbitant amount of saggy skin.”
“My internist recommended a service animal because they contribute to a stress-free life. I have a Maltese, Mimi. Thanks to her — and to Pinky, the dog I had before — I’ve reduced my medications to minimal levels. I take a baby aspirin a day and a beta blocker when I feel the need, and that’s all. Having a tiny, sweet thing to cuddle with has kept my heart in good shape.”