A client I’ll call Robin was afraid of losing her job. Not that she liked the job…or her employer…or even her career. She persisted only because it ensured healthcare benefits.
She was currently healthy but dangerously overweight. What she didn’t know was that the stress of her work was driving the obesity. In other words, the job was likely causing future healthcare issues, but it at least provided insurance to cover those issues.
I liken it to hammering a nail into your head, with the calm assurance that you had the forethought to keep a towel nearby to mop up the blood.
For the most part obesity is a self-inflicted, preventable disease. Most Americans ignore its hazards due to misplaced trust in science. Yes, lifespan has continued to increase, but at what cost? Pills, needles and surgery can extend life, but rarely do they improve its quality.
Current projections suggest that many children today will not enjoy the lifespan of their parents, and they will experience significantly more health issues at younger ages. For example, the term “juvenile diabetes” has fallen out of use due to the high number of children contracting Type 2 (or “adult-onset”) diabetes. While Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes is generally associated more with genetics, Type 2 is often triggered by obesity.
Obesity is not fun to live with. Children get teased. Adults experience mobility problems. Yet, food is so abundant it seems a waste not to take advantage of it. So we eat like Thanksgiving Day every day, trusting that medical science will continue to keep pace with bad habits.
And insurance will pay for it. But what if it does not? After all, consider the potential retirees today who continue to work because their pension fund disappeared or the stock market ate up their savings. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to live as though one has no insurance?
I helped Robin set a new career path and she lost 24 pounds of excess weight. She embraced a new set of healthy behaviors and dropped the fear of needing extensive health insurance. She reframed insurance as a safety net rather than a bandage for a disaster waiting to happen. “You can keep the towel, but put down the hammer.”
Take control of what is eating you and you can control what you eat.