Fall In Line


When I started this journey nearly five years ago, I did it only for myself. Not for my husband, not for my loved ones.

And certainly not for the health insurance company, although you’d think they’d be pleased with my success.

If you’ve been reading my blog over the last year or so, you know I’ve already had some weight-related issues that at first made me ineligible for knee replacement surgery; the dreaded BMI, no doubt a requirement of my insurance company. I slew that dragon, and it won’t be a factor in my second knee replacement surgery.

But now, our insurance company will only extend a “wellness benefit” if you cough up certain information, including — you guessed it — a BMI. They have already said that by next year, any BMI over 30 will automatically require the insured person to participate in a weight loss program (supplied by an insurance company vendor, of course!) or they will not be eligible for the wellness discount.

Whoa, wait a minute. These two things are NOT the same!

According to the stats and charts, a BMI over 30 is considered obese. It makes no difference if that person is a bodybuilder or a couch potato; just punch your height and weight into the calculator, and voila! You’ve been reduced to a number that means nothing to anyone except an insurance company that wants to hold it against you. (I’ll also add that they want waist measurements, as well as some other health-related things that are all in the name of lowering our health risk.)

I’m not going to debate whether these are necessarily good things in the long run. Any positive move toward health is a good thing in my book. What bothers me is being told not just to lose weight — but how to do it. If I don’t manage to make the statisticians happy, I will be instructed on what’s best for me, despite having solidly proven that I already know what works best for me. When it comes to weight reduction, there is a lot of bias.

While I think getting under a BMI of 30 is achievable within the next year, I also resent the entire idea that it doesn’t matter what your body composition is. I likely have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30 pounds of excess skin, and that will be held against me. Remove that skin, and I am already under their “healthy BMI” number, or nearly so.

Personally, I refuse to do anything that will jeopardize my success. I am far too close, now, to allow for the whims of a nondescript entity — or anyone else, for that matter — to dictate my health to me.

I am the one in control. I am strong. And I will not simply fall in line.


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