Former Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kim Zolciak got a bit candid about her 2015 heart surgery on Instagram this week. The 38-year-old took to the social media platform to encourage her followers to exercise as she shared details about her scary health ordeal.
The mother-of-six of posted a selfie while standing in her gym after having run four miles. Kim told her fans and followers that she wasn't comfortable doing cardio after her heart surgery back in October, 2015. However, she was required to run during a stress test in May last year that changed her whole perspective on working out again.
"Four miles tonight I ran!! It wasn't until I had to do a stress test back In May that I felt comfortable running again since the device was put in my heart."
Kim credited the test with overcoming her fear of running as her whole medical team stood by and watched as she exerted herself after the surgery.
"Little did I know that stress test would heal (as much as it could) the fear I had of exerting myself (my heart rate) my cardiologist stood there (my medical team at Emory are the best)..."
She expressed her fear of "dropping dead" because of running and the impact it could have on her heart. However, the test showed Kim that she could once again work out without needing to worry.
"...so there I was walking, then slow running, then running and I figured wellllll sh** if I'm going to drop dead my cardiologist is right here what do I have to lose."
Zolciak posted the workout selfie to show her fans that if she can exercise following heart surgery, then they had no excuse not to do so as well. She advocates for heart health as she pushes her followers to "start somewhere."
"...since that day I have slowly built myself up to running pretty consistently without stopping!...Heart health is so important (mine was genetic) GET YOUR A** UP AND LETS GO YOU GUYS NEW YEAR NEW YOU! You have to start somewhere!!!"
Kim also added that her daughters would follow her in the family's golf cart just in case she had any issues while out for a run.
"I'm so thankful for my girls who drove the golf cart behind me from the beginning just in case I had a problem!"
Zolciak suffered a minor stroke back in September, 2015, which forced her to drop out of her season of Dancing with the Stars. People reported on the incident as the Don't Be Tardy star shared updates via social media before and after her surgery, including a post-surgery selfie. The article quoted Kim explaining her genetic heart condition, which caused a blood clot and the subsequent stroke.
"I have a blood clot, they don't know if it came from my leg or my pelvis. Most people have a filter so it can't cross over to the other side of your heart, but because I do have a valve – they call it a hole, but it's more like a valve that never closed when I was born – the blood clot was able to transfer and go through the hole, which stopped oxygen to my brain on the right side of my brain."
People also quoted Kim saying that having the minor stroke was a blessing in disguise as it allowed her to address the underlying issue with her heart.
"Had I not been so active with Dancing with the Stars and also flying – that's probably what in essence caused the blood clot – it really is a blessing in disguise," she said. "Because now I can really fix it and move on instead of having a true stroke where I never recover, or my doctor said a massive heart heart attack."
Going through such a health scare has obviously had its impact on Zolciak as over a year later, she is still dealing with fear as she strives to keep working out. The reality star is constantly posting photos of her toned figure as she works to stay in shape and said she's glad she can keep running despite the health scare in her latest Instagram post.
"I just feel so grateful to be able to continuously run!"