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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFormer "Food Senator" Rallies Community to Shed Pounds

Former "Food Senator" Rallies Community to Shed Pounds

Throwing down the weight-loss gauntlet, Sen. Malone (left) and Arash Pahlavan. Known to most of his colleagues as the “food senator,” Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone savored his dining experiences with passion. Then in February he was diagnosed with Type-II diabetes and decided it was time for a change. Malone was so serious, he joined a weight-loss “boot camp” program and proceeded to lose 45 lbs.
The senator is now carrying the message of healthy eating to the community, hoping to make a difference in people’s lives and put an end to the territory’s rampant diabetes, currently the fourth leading cause of death on the islands.
In an effort to rouse the community and bring awareness to the health problems associated with a diet heavy in starches and sugar, Malone held a press conference Tuesday morning at the Legislature building to announce the start of a 12-week weight loss challenge.
Helping Malone with the challenge will be Arash Pahlavan, an independent distributor of health products on St. Croix who has been holding weight-loss challenges there with much success. Malone has enlisted Pahlavan to help bring his program to St. Thomas.
Stressing the fact that this challenge has nothing to do with the purchase of specific products or following a specific diet, Malone said participants in the challenge will meet once a week over a 12-week period. During each hour-long session, the first 15 minutes will be spent weighing and measuring each participant, while the rest of the hour will be devoted to educating participants about healthy eating habits.
Meal plans will also be given, and participants will be taught how to incorporate exercise into their busy lifestyles. Each person will also be assigned a health counselor to guide and motivate them throughout the 12-week program.
Pahlavan said, “It works because we create a good environment, give them the tools they need, and recognize participants for their successes.”
Pahlavan, who lost 54 pounds himself, is now full of energy and wants to help members of the community do the same. He said, “I found myself gaining weight week after week, month after month, and I had no energy to lose it.”
Pahlavan continued, “For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better.”
With over 1,000 clients on St. Croix, Pahlavan said many of his diabetic clients have no idea how to control their disease. Another problem he sees is that weight loss is not always encouraged in the community.
The program, which is limited to the first 25, will charge participants a one-time $35 fee. The money is held and then distributed at the end of the 12 weeks to the first-, second-, and third-place weight-loss winners. Members are also charged $1 for each pound gained during the program, $1 for a missed class, and $5 for any additional classes missed. These monies are added to the winners’ pot.
Pahlavan hopes this challenge will be the first of many and that people who succeed will be encouraged to go out into the community to help others lose weight.
The first weight loss challenge begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Barefoot Buddha in Havensight.
There are currently two spaces left. For more information, please contact Pahlavan at 340-772-300.

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Throwing down the weight-loss gauntlet, Sen. Malone (left) and Arash Pahlavan. Known to most of his colleagues as the “food senator,” Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone savored his dining experiences with passion. Then in February he was diagnosed with Type-II diabetes and decided it was time for a change. Malone was so serious, he joined a weight-loss “boot camp” program and proceeded to lose 45 lbs.
The senator is now carrying the message of healthy eating to the community, hoping to make a difference in people’s lives and put an end to the territory's rampant diabetes, currently the fourth leading cause of death on the islands.
In an effort to rouse the community and bring awareness to the health problems associated with a diet heavy in starches and sugar, Malone held a press conference Tuesday morning at the Legislature building to announce the start of a 12-week weight loss challenge.
Helping Malone with the challenge will be Arash Pahlavan, an independent distributor of health products on St. Croix who has been holding weight-loss challenges there with much success. Malone has enlisted Pahlavan to help bring his program to St. Thomas.
Stressing the fact that this challenge has nothing to do with the purchase of specific products or following a specific diet, Malone said participants in the challenge will meet once a week over a 12-week period. During each hour-long session, the first 15 minutes will be spent weighing and measuring each participant, while the rest of the hour will be devoted to educating participants about healthy eating habits.
Meal plans will also be given, and participants will be taught how to incorporate exercise into their busy lifestyles. Each person will also be assigned a health counselor to guide and motivate them throughout the 12-week program.
Pahlavan said, “It works because we create a good environment, give them the tools they need, and recognize participants for their successes.”
Pahlavan, who lost 54 pounds himself, is now full of energy and wants to help members of the community do the same. He said, “I found myself gaining weight week after week, month after month, and I had no energy to lose it.”
Pahlavan continued, “For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better.”
With over 1,000 clients on St. Croix, Pahlavan said many of his diabetic clients have no idea how to control their disease. Another problem he sees is that weight loss is not always encouraged in the community.
The program, which is limited to the first 25, will charge participants a one-time $35 fee. The money is held and then distributed at the end of the 12 weeks to the first-, second-, and third-place weight-loss winners. Members are also charged $1 for each pound gained during the program, $1 for a missed class, and $5 for any additional classes missed. These monies are added to the winners’ pot.
Pahlavan hopes this challenge will be the first of many and that people who succeed will be encouraged to go out into the community to help others lose weight.
The first weight loss challenge begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Barefoot Buddha in Havensight.
There are currently two spaces left. For more information, please contact Pahlavan at 340-772-300.