Rosie O’Donnell Focused on Being ‘Totally Heart-Healthy’

Beck Starr/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The new and nearly 50-pounds-leaner Rosie O'Donnell is buckling down when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle.

"I feel a lot better. I got very scared when I had a heart attack and they told me I really should not have survived it," she told People, referring to her 2012 heart attack. "It changed a lot of things for me -- the way I look at the world, and the way I look at my own health. I can't ignore it anymore."

In July 2013, the comedian decided to have gastric sleeve surgery, which removed two-thirds of her stomach. But that was just the first step to losing weight. Now, the star is making a conscious effort to reduce her sugar intake, an ever-present temptation she compared to alcoholism.

"I read in a magazine article that sugar is eight times more addictive than heroin," she said. "Because of giving up sugar, I walk past one of those kiosks selling newspapers and I'm like, 'There's the Swedish fish. They're right there.' Almost like how alcoholics can't go into a bar. They want to grab the bottle. I want to do that with the Swedish fish."

The 52-year-old TV personality is pushing through by incorporating exercise into her daily routine along with a positive mind frame.

"[Heart-healthy] means to be a certain weight that doesn't put stress on your heart," she said, "to exercise every day, to be aware of your blood pressure and all of your heart stats."

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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