Rosie O'Donnell Focused on Being 'Totally Heart-Healthy'

PHOTO: Rosie ODonnell attends an event at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on January 31, 2014. Bobby Bank/Getty Images
Rosie O'Donnell attends an event at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on January 31, 2014.

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 a 2012 incident. “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."

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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."