Don't wait for a scary episode to start working on your health

By Paul Schmidt  ·  May 19, 2023

The following message was posted by Samaritan Ministries member Paul Schmidt in our Facebook Group on January 29. It is being reprinted with his permission.

I want to thank God for complete healing and the Shares from Samaritan members, which were a great blessing!

Four years ago today, I had a heart attack and have been reflecting on the experience.

First, I feel very blessed to have complete healing and am in better health than I have been for most of my adult life.

But I also looked at how it happened. Engaging in a mixture of sloth, gluttony, and pride were key for me. I did not get regular exercise, I ate the wrong things, and I thought I was better than average (comparing myself to others), so I would be OK. It was fortunate that the blockage, which was almost complete, was on the right side of my heart. Things would have been much worse if it had been on the other side.

On the day it happened, I felt bad at lunch and drove myself to the emergency room. Doctors didn’t find anything right away, but my troponin levels were borderline. That indicated heart problems. They kept me overnight and the next day did a catheterization and put in a stent. The whole procedure and hospitalization went very well, and I now go to my cardiologist for regular checkups.

Paul Schmidt, middle, took up running as a way to improve his health.

Paul Schmidt, middle, took up running as a way to improve his health. (Supplied photo)

The biggest improvements I made were to eat better and exercise (running) regularly. My diet is an anti-inflammatory diet. (The Mediterranean diet is an example). I only started regular running a year ago. This was a progression from running six one-minute intervals in a 25-minute walk to running three times a week at different speeds and distances. Last year I ran a few 5Ks, an 8K, a 10K, and a half marathon. My weight has dropped to below my college weight.

Now that I am much healthier, I am sorry I didn’t start sooner. I might have avoided a trip to the hospital!

The natural consequence of sin is death. The death is physical, though, and our sins are covered by the death of Christ on the cross and having faith and repenting from our sins. The natural consequences of not sinning are blessings. The prescription medications were able to keep anything worse from happening, but they did not contribute to healing. The healing power of our bodies which God designed is amazing!

My advice to others is to eat better and exercise. I enjoy running, so that is what I do. This started with 25 minutes, three days a week. Good training programs for running will have rest days built in, which are very important. A challenge to anyone is to try a 5K race. You only have to finish. It can be a walk, walk/run, or run. Train with a program that will improve your endurance. (You can find couch-to-5K programs online). And work with your doctor.

It doesn’t matter how many months it takes, as long as it is consistent.

I am glad I am here today to tell my story. Don’t wait for a scary episode in your life: Make changes to be healthier today.

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. It is the opinion of the writer. The information is not meant to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health professional.

Paul Schmidt is a Samaritan Ministries member who lives in Tennessee.