Paul Schwartz’s Story – Healthy Eating Saves a Life

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(gentle music) – I’ve lost over a hundred
pounds, and I’m off of diabetes medication, I’ve
healed my heart completely, and my cholesterol, which was
really high, is normal now, and my blood pressure is normal. You know, MedStar Health
has been one of the pillars of my journey. I’m really thankful for the
work of the professionals there and the approach that they took, and things are going well. So my health journey, you know,
began as a typical American. I was a athlete in high
school, and in college, I ran cross country in track. And then I began to age,
had a kid, was raising him. Sadly, at 19, we had a
family tragedy, and our son had an accident and died. I went from the 165 pounds
that I was at at the time to 305 pounds over three years
by eating sort of mindlessly, not paying attention to what
I was putting in my mouth, eating because I was depressed. My cardiologist at
MedStar Health referred me to the Fresh and Savory
Culinary Medicine Program. It’s a small group of
healthcare professionals and a small group of patients,
and that’s where I learned a new approach to eating
and other lifestyle changes. By the end of the class,
I felt like I had some really new tools to solve
a lot of my medical issues. So I really appreciate that opportunity that MedStar Health has provided for me. So we’re with MedStar Health. I’m a volunteer, I’m just a patient. It’s a goody bag with
some fruit, and there’s some great recipes, and
water, and a stress ball. – [Woman] Yes, I will take that. – All right, let me get you a ginger ball. Come on over here. This turmeric will help with inflammation. Five recipes in here. – Okay great! – For healthy food. So the healthy eating popup event was a really lively and fun event. Early in the morning, as
commuters were streaming in, we had some of the medical
staff and some of the folks like me, and we decided to
reach out and let people know how healthy eating and
other lifestyle choices can make a difference. So all in all, a really wonderful event, and I got to be on live
television. (chuckles) A part of the Fresh and
Savory Program looked at full-body range of
motion, and we worked with an exercise physiologist,
and though it took a while, I’m now working out at
a gym, lifting weights, and I’m walking between an
hour and two hours a day most days of the week. I don’t know that I’ll get
back to the 30-year-old Paul, but I’m recovering things, and
I’m feeling really grateful about that, and I’m
looking forward to seeing what I can do in the future,
and to know that as I age, I’ll have the best quality
of life that I can. This is a lifetime
journey, it’s not a diet that I’m going on and off of. I’m always learning, I’m being
mindful, I’m being joyous. Fresh and Savory and MedStar
Health were a large part of that, and it’s made
a big difference for me. (gentle music)

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