By now you've heard about the shocking massive heart attack that Bob Harper suffered back in February. But during an appearance on "The Dr. Oz Show" on Monday, the 51-year-old "The Biggest Loser" trainer opened up about the emotional side of his recovery — and how his journey toward better heart health has changed not only his habits, but also his outlook.
He was incredibly confused and emotional when he woke up in the hospital.
When Harper first woke up from his coma in the hospital, he was completely unaware of what had happened to him. He was scared, confused, and struggling with a bout of memory problems, which made the first few days of recovery especially difficult, he told Dr. Oz.
"I had [no] short term memory, which I guess is common," Harper explained. "So I had to relive it, and my friends were like, 'It's really sad, but it's funny, too,' because I was like Dory from 'Finding Nemo.' They would tell me, 'You had a heart attack,' and I would start to cry. And a few minutes later I would look at them again and go, 'Where are we? What's going on?' And we would have to do it all over again."
He was especially appreciative of the people who reached out to him afterward.
Harper has repeatedly credited his friends, family, and fans for the role they've played in his recovery process, acting as a super-strong support system just when he needed it most — including our favorite doc.
"As soon as he heard I had a heart attack, Dr. Oz is calling me up and he wants to know everything that's going on," Harper said, turning to Dr. Oz and saying, "You had such care and such concern. And it was such an honor for me. You care so much and it really had a profound effect on me."
It was that kind of compassion that Harper says meant so much to him as he struggled to come to terms with what had happened to him.
He's been forced to rebuild his relationship with his heart.
In the end, recovering from a heart attack is not only difficult physically, it's also a tricky emotional process. After all, as Harper's body recovers and he becomes physically stronger, he also has to learn to trust his heart again and believe that it will serve him well if he continues to treat it right.
"I think about the fact that my heart stopped. My heart gave up on me, and I'm going through this process of trusting it again and building the relationship again with me and my heart," he said.
Changing his lifestyle and backing away from the fitness world hasn't been easy on Harper, but he's learning to embrace the kind of life that makes his heart the healthiest.
"It's like God has told me to just kind of slow down right now, and that's what I'm doing," he told Dr. Oz. "Now I embrace it. I get up every day, and I'm super lucky."