One of the most difficult things, well, really two of the most difficult things in setting my monthly budget is
Being able to predict the costs of the health expenses of my family for the month/year
Not putting the right priority on including health care in my budget.
Both of these things together have resulted in getting blindsided every year with unexpected medical bills.
Perhaps blindsided isn’t the correct term. I actually kept my eyes closed to the possibility that someone in the family would need to go to the doctor/get sick or injured/have surgery. Then getting that bill after the insurance covered its bit was like having a cold washcloth slap me in the face when I am sound asleep. Not pleasant and it tends to piss me off.
It really pissed me off this year when my family’s medical/dental expenses were just below the allowed deductible and I ended up paying more for my federal income tax. How stupid is that.
All because I did not know how to plan.
After reading today’s post at Quinn’s Commentary, I realized he hit the nail on the head when it comes to planning for health care costs. Folks, it’s more than just paying for health insurance.
Here is that post….
I began managing health benefits in 1961. I have done everything from process claims, design and communicate health benefits, negotiate insurance and TPA contracts to serving on boards of directors of health plans and negotiating physician contracts. I am convinced of one thing with absolute certainty. From the perspective of virtually all Americans health care […]
After Ma broke her hip, I needed to make the main bathroom easier for her to get around in so she wouldn’t break anything else. I took my scale off the floor to make room for the commode. There was no other place for the scale so I tucked it in on a closet shelf, telling myself that the experts recommend we not weigh ourselves daily anyway.
I had been weighing myself daily and tweaking my LCHF diet and my exercise to see that scale go down, down, down.
Thinking about what I want/need to take with me on the upcoming move and wanting to downsize to pretty much the essentials, I thought about the scale. Should I take it with me? I haven’t been weighing myself daily as I used to and I notice the effect. I do believe I have gained some weight.
Oh, hell, I KNOW I gained weight. How much? I don’t know. The scale is in the closet.
Why do the so-called experts say we shouldn’t weigh ourselves daily?
I think it has something to do with being disappointed if we don’t see a daily drop in our weight and this may cause us to give up on our diet or become obsessed with our weight. Apparently, I could become so focused on seeing that scale go down daily that I become bulimic or anorexic. Fat chance of that! I hate to vomit and I love to eat.
So, essentially, the experts think weighing myself daily will lead to a mental health issue.
Well, my brain is definitely a strong and powerful thing. I can pretty much convince myself of anything I want to.
I can convince myself that I am not putting on weight, despite a nightly date with Ben and Jerry and then be totally flabbergasted when my jeans don’t fit.
I must be convincing myself that I don’t weigh as much as I do because I always get shocked when I see myself in a full-length mirror. Who in the hell is that fat chick?
My favorite sister-in-law weighed close to 300 pounds and every time we went out to eat, she would complain that the restaurants were making the booths smaller. And she actually believed that.
In the case of weighing myself daily, I can allow myself to be disappointed and chuck it all, give up on my diet because the scale is telling me I suck at it. And I have done this many times over the many years.
OR- I can use it as a tool in seeing how well my diet is going. It really is a more accurate and faster tool than suddenly discovering my diet is not going well when my pants don’t fit.
When the scale goes up, I ask myself, why? Too much food? Not enough exercise?
If the scale stays the same, I tweak things a bit. If the scale goes down, I know I am on the right track.
Weighing myself daily is not unhealthy. To me, the scale is a tool. No different that checking my blood pressure or my blood sugar.
And one more thought, Dr. Psychologist Expert, if weighing myself daily isn’t healthy, then it can’t be healthy to track every morsel of food with My Fitness Pal or every calorie burned with the Fitbit.
Conclusion, I am gonna pack the scale and take it with me.
When we clean our house, do laundry and wash our hands, many of us use anti-bacterial soaps to kill those disease-causing germs and bacteria. Scrub it all away, Mr.Clean and Lysol. We don’t want to catch a cold or the flu.
But are we cleaning ourselves to death. Are we weakening our natural immune system because we are disrupting our human microbiota? I think so.
The human microbiota is the aggregate of microorganisms, a microbiome that resides on the surface and in deep layers of skin, in the saliva and oral mucosa, in the conjunctiva, and in the gastrointestinal tracts.Wikipedia
There is an increase in the auto-immune diseases and more of disease is found to be the result of a problem with our immune system.
A disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells.
The hardest thing for me in getting and staying keto-adapted is cooking for three people in this house.
My mother is addicted to fruit and believes she needs copious amounts of it to stay healthy. She is also addicted to sweets- not too hard to believe because of her fruit addiction. And she believes she is lactose-intolerant.
My daughter is a wanna-be vegetarian addicted to junk food and snacking. She can’t stand ‘big chunks of meat’ as she calls a steak, chicken breast, fish filet or anything similar. She also loves chocolate.
So, cooking keto and not using dairy or much meat isn’t easy. I would be just fine with a portion of meat or fish and a side of low-carb vegetables with butter.
Between the three of us with differing dietary preferences, keeping it keto is a battle I am losing.
As a nurse case manager working with over 200 people a month to offer support and education in maximizing their health, I get reminded every day that I need to decide daily to choose health NOW to have health in the future.
I work with people who have chronic conditions- conditions like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, kidney disease, etc. There are conditions that don’t go away BUT the condition can be controlled with smart management.
Sometimes the benefit of control is limited because the the condition has been around for years and has worsened due to various reasons, including poor management.
It is best to attack the problem when it is first diagnosed, manage it well from the get-go.
All too often, when I ask people how they manage their diabetes or heart disease or whatever, they tell me, “I take the medicine the doctor gives me.”
Sometimes, when I ask someone if they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, they will tell me, “Not anymore. I take a pill for that.”
Sadly, this alone is not the best management. Depending on a pill and not making any change in your lifestyle will not lead to a healthier future. Whatever caused the condition to begin with is still there.
Lifestyle = diet, activity and stress management.
Make a daily decision to make the healthy choice in what you eat, staying active and controlling stress.
Ok, I have made an executive decision. I decided that, as soon as I reach my goal weight, I am going to get rid of my scale.
Right now, because I do have a goal weight to achieve, I will keep it and use it daily. I know, I know, the diet ‘experts’ tell us not to weigh yourself daily but it does help me stay on track, tweak the food intake to continue to see the scale go down.
With the electronic digital scales, seeing the small changes is possible, more so than those dial scales.
But, once I get rid of the weight, I will get rid of the scale and use the fit of my clothes to track my weight. Ideally, my eating should be healthy enough to not gain or lose unwanted weight. I should be consuming the number of calories equal to what I am burning.
BTW, I did drop 1.4 lbs. since yesterday. Gotta love that water weight.
Shh... don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.