You’re Going to Pay For it Either Way

man-paying-moneySince change only comes about as a result of fear, force, or pain; we’ll do what we can to deny we need to change as long as possible

— or at least until we’ve been psychically knocked upside the head long enough and can no longer disagree that things aren’t going as planned.

Should you wish to question that premise that change only comes about due to an excessive amount of yicky-ness, can we first agree that no one, not one person, wakes up, conducts a self-inventory, and exclaims, “Wow! Things are perfect! Let me see how I can muck them up”?

The unfortunate counter-reality is we decide to modify our lives only when two conditions are met:

  1. Life is not performing anywhere optimal level — and
  2. We can no longer fool ourselves into believing, should we follow the present course, it will change anytime soon

Only once we are defeated, will we begin the process.

It’s sad, but it’s true.

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Don’t you dare bring me donuts!

My mother, Ruth, who battled obesity for her first 69 years, re-arranged her habits to shed 80 pounds over the next three years.

With the exception of those who knew her previously, she refused to speak of this noteworthy accomplishment. One doesn’t forgo favorite foods, increase (or begin) exercise, deal with tamped down feelings, and in general, upend one’s entire lifestyle unless the result is deeply desired. It’s a lot of effort to revamp mind and body; therefore most folks find it worthy of recognition. As I said, “most” — not all. “Why don’t you let people know about your weight loss?” I wondered. Her answer: “I should have never let myself get so out of control that I weighed that much in the first place.” My mother was incredibly understanding of almost anyone’s shortcomings — except her own. “None of us are perfect,” I replied, “The thing is you tackled it. Many people your age would have just given up. You didn’t.”

“I did what had to be done, which I should have done a long time before.” Once my mom made up her mind, there was no arguing.

Three years to lose 80 pounds, even when accomplished in a healthy fashion, is still slower than the norm.

In part, that pace was the result of the parameters upon which she insisted. Although she took a practical approach — smaller portions, daily walks, group support — her speed was retarded because she refused to sacrifice desserts. In mom’s world, one always saved room for dessert. (Hmmmm, might this be a window in why I had my own weight problems?) “I don’t mind losing a tenth of a pound a week,” she affirmed, “as long as I can have dessert.” Knowing how strong however was the temptation to go overboard with goodies, she banished from her home the most problematic caloric treats, and compensated by buying sugar free or low calorie. However, she continued to have dessert after every meal. Enter Joe; a white-haired, mustachioed, elegant, dapper widower — who might have been lifted from a Fred Astaire movie. [Read more...]

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Healthcare.me

Tithonus, a mortal, was so loved by Eos that she convinced Zeus to grant him immortality and bestow upon him eternal life.

Yet she forgot to request everlasting youth so as he aged, he withered, begging for death. Eos, out of pity, changed him into a Cicada; where to this day we hear him bab-ble.

Long life without good health is prison.

I have been more focused on the health care debate than many, in part because my wife and I fall in the five percent that received a cancellation notice from our insurance company. Informed that our plan would cease to exist, we could do nothing and the Insurance Company Deities would transfer us to a comparable high-deductible, basic coverage, catastrophic coverage plan with no effort.

Before one considers this an altruistic, benevolent, considerate deed, one must also know that our rate would skyrocket from $502 a month to almost $1,000. Being of a “certain age” where health care coverage is essential (and now required) and being of a “certain in-come” where spending more on said policy than on our mortgage is unacceptable, I researched.

My observations:

  • We are one of those families who was not able to keep our health insurance — even if we liked it. (Being cynical by nature, that prompts for me a bigger question: Does anyone really “like” their health insurance plan or do they consider it a necessary evil like a root canal or paying taxes? I think the latter.)
  • The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is not a government “take over” of health care; it reforms how insurance companies provide it and how we purchase it.
  • The health care site in California (www.coveredca.com) is ridiculously easy to use.
  • And here’s the best part! Through that site, our rate for a comparable policy plummets by $500. Yep, you read that right; it will cost us less to have catastrophic health care each month than to buy coffee in the hospital cafeteria should one of us be admitted.

I considered long and hard before providing my opinions as I realize that in today’s polarized world, anything associated with anything gets someone’s knickers twisted. Moreso, even reasonable folks can argue as to whether the changes are good or bad (although $500 per month savings is fantastic). I also believe that are better ways to ensure every-one has access to affordable heath care.

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