Knowing our health stats is the first step …

In the next two weeks, the employees at Verity are getting Fat Tested. That is right. PacMed is sending some health screeners to our branches and corporate office to give each of us the opportunity to see how fat (and healthy) we really are. This is effort to help us all become a little healthier. And, I am on the team of people bringing this torture to our company.
Why, oh why would we do this to our friends and colleagues? Several reasons.

First, as a company, Verity is committed to its employees’ and members’ overall well-being. Our physical health greatly impacts all other aspects of our lives. Financially, the number one cause of bankruptcy in America is medical bills. One medical crisis can wipe out an entire family’s financial stability. Additionally, our ability to perform at work and to enjoy our relationships is greatly hindered when our health is poor.

Second, as a company, Verity is a high utilizer of medical benefits. This means that we use our benefits more than expected. The result is higher health premiums. Higher premiums impact our financial health. My husband is in the health industry and is always talking about how preventative care is much cheaper than reactive care. Therefore, if we know our numbers, we can be proactive in caring for ourselves. The result is using our money for what we want to do instead of for paying medical bills.

Finally, getting these tests allow us to be honest with ourselves about our health. It is very easy to pretend that everything is fine; that what we eat, drink, smoke and how much or how little we move doesn’t matter. And, while ignoring our health may work for a while, sooner or later our actions catch up with us. The goal of this test is to ground us in some reality so that we can take responsibility BEFORE a crash happens.

Just because I logically understand all of the above, does not mean I am happily about offering my arm and waist up for pinching and measuring. I am going to cringe and turn red when they tell me my ratios and my numbers. But I am going to do it.

What comes after the tests at Verity is a year-long effort to support all of us in making some healthy changes based on the information we gain from these tests. There will be contests, information, cooking demonstrations, and maybe even some group goals. The test isn’t the end of the conversation. It is the beginning. And every journey starts with the first step.

Robin Dowdy

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