Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I've lost 70 pounds in 5 months

When Seth Godin quoted USA TODAY in Yes, it's true, I am certain he was not talking about me.

You see, over the course of 5 months, I have lost 70 pounds, and I am still dropping weight. Not only did I lose (and am continuing to lose) an enormous amount of fat, but I am also more vibrant and alive then ever before. My blood pressure, cholestorol, pulse, and blood work all demonstrate that over 10 years have been added to my life. It is truly, like the fountain of youth for me. I run, I ski, I swim, and I do Yoga. These are all consequences of the diet, and not necessarily the reason for the weight loss. You see, as my body transforms into a slimmer, meaner me, my energy level has been increasing, and I cannot stop the cravings for more activity, more excitement, and more sports.

I am a completely different individual now, then when I started my program on August 16th, 2004.

I know what Seth is saying. Dieting books are all the rage, and yet, they don't seem to truly solve the problem, because statistics prove that losing weight...Is a losing battle.

And yet, here I am...Living proof that it can be done.

So, if you were to ask me...What's my solution? I would say that Seth is on the right track, but I'd take it a step further. Here's my solution:

Healthcare in the United States, and probably elsewhere in the world, does not take weight loss seriously. They do not cover medical treatments, they do not pay the expense necessary to provide the obese with medical solutions, education of the medical community on dieting and weight loss, and medical counseling for continued weight loss and sustained health. This is a huge dysfunctional glut in the system. We are breeding death, to put it bluntly. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry exploits this deep disfunction on the open, commercial market, through the sales of books, tapes, drugs, and all things quackish in the weight loss department.

The truth is, that the more weight I lose, the less expensive it is going to be for my health care provider. However, the cost of my weight loss is a burden that I must bear on my own. Now, I'm a pretty driven guy, so I'm whipping out my wallet to get things done. However, the financial benefit of this 70+pound weight loss, goes to the insurance company, not me. Because in 20 years, I will not be experiencing the expensive heart attack, the costly diabetes, the $200,000 triple bypass surgery, and all other costs associated with my poor health. In 20 years, I will be a healthy senior citizen, and not a sickly obese human being that I was heading towards.

By losing weight now, I am saving Blue Cross hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. If only our health care providers could hire decent actuaries to analyze the financial benefit of providing REAL medical health care to the obese, if only this could happen, then everybody would win. Lives would be saved, the quality of lives would increase, lives would be extended, and insurance companies would make a larger profit.

And, as a pleasant consequence, the cheesy-ass quakish dieting paperbacks would also go away, because obesity and its medical care, would finally be legitimized.