A New Lease on Life

Human Services Spotlight Series #4

Pinellas County Health Program Client Loses 58 Pounds

A client recently joked that he was half the man he used to be. An exaggeration maybe, but a weight loss of 58 pounds in three years is an achievement.

He credits the primary care doctors and nutritionists at the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County for his new lease on life. The client says he was brought up on Southern cooking, aka soul food, and needed to change his eating habits. Through his involvement with the program, he has learned how to eat healthier by watching his sodium, drinking more water and taking smaller portions. He stopped eating canned soups, but his love of soups continues. His wife now prepares soup from scratch and freezes portions for him.

The St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market’s Fruit and Vegetable Voucher Program has given him access to fruits and vegetables he couldn’t afford before. He says he eats all sorts of food he would never have been introduced to had it not been for this program. The weight loss has given him more energy to enjoy time with his grandchildren and fish.

To celebrate his weight loss, he bought some new clothes. He says he hasn’t looked and felt this good since he was a teenager. He proclaims that changing his eating and lifestyle habits is a commitment worth the effort.

The most dedicated lifestyle changer shed 45 pounds last year. He credits his transformation with the support he has gotten at the PCHD. Weighing in monthly has become a celebration of high fives as the scale reveals how he is slowly becoming a shadow of his former self and able to walk without the use of a cane.

As a result of the weight loss, he decreased his diabetes medication and could potentially discontinue it.

The Pinellas County Health Program supports nearly 8,000 low-income, uninsured citizens in Pinellas County. The program provides preventive primary care at eight locations. All primary care services are provided by the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.

To learn more about the Pinellas County Health Program, visit Pinellas County Human Services