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So, this is my first of hopefully many national awareness blogs! I am going to be mixing it up with text and video (I know, fancy!). The main thing is that I want to share my experiences with you from my personal and professional life. I know the blog of an insurance adviser probably sounds like the most boring thing in the world, but bear with me ;)

First things first, I don't want to throw a load of the standard information at you about obesity statistics, or tell you how to live your life. But, I do want to try and merge some info with the things that I know about. Here goes!

Did you know

I know, stats aren't my favourite thing and it does always feel like they are just being rammed down our throats: lose weight, live more healthily, stop enjoying your life! But, I think sometimes the reasons that statistics can be so annoying, is that we know what they are, but they are just numbers, they don't give us advice on how to change anything.

Kathryn as a teen

Check me out in my teens.

I guess you're looking at the pic and thinking, wow, those glasses are something else, and she, she is not a happy chappy. Well you'd be right. As a teenager I was quite ill with hypermobility syndrome (separate story), I was a size 22 at the age of 15, I was bullied a lot, and the annoying thing was that I didn't even have a bad diet.

I'm not saying that this is the case for everybody, but I'm just going to throw it out there that I had 357 gallstones (not a typo!), had my gallbladder removed and hey presto, the weight fell off.

It was difficult being overweight as a teenager, kids are cruel, but adults are too. I remember seeing a doctor who told me when I was 13 that I was grossly obese, I was definitely overweight, but saying that to someone at such a vulnerable stage in their life, it was horrible.

I remember doing a 24 hour fast to raise money for Oxfam, my friends said that they would sponsor me, I was so proud of myself when I did it. My friends then said they didnt believe me that I'd done it, how could I possible have not been eating. My mum ended up giving me the sponsor money, to try and make me feel better, it didn't.

Kathryn as a adult

Now, I am quite slim with a low BMI, but my bodyfat is staying around 34% no matter how hard I try. I know, I know, I didn't need to choose a pic of me in my Christmas dress for the new me. But, I'm in love with this dress, so you know, deal with it. (Side note: make sure you don't have loo rolls in the back when you take a pic!)

If we ignore the 5lbs I put on over Christmas, I eat right most of the time, and I make sure I have the odd treat. After 3 kids, 8 years of pregnancy and breastfeeding, I have finally had a few glasses of my beloved gin over Christmas (cue the 5lbs…).

I also exercise. I love Zumba, we got Just Dance for the Nintendo Switch over Christmas and I may have been banned from it for being too competitive :), I do strength training and Pilates too.

It takes a lot of coordination with my husband, and grandmas aka kickass babysitters, so that I can do all of those things. It works for me at the moment.

So how does this all translate over to my professional life. Well, my job is as an insurance adviser and I help people to figure out what insurance they need, and where they can go for the best deal. Being obese can have quite an influence on the types of insurance you can have and which insurers you want to go to. Here's some titbits for you.

Insider Insight

  • 66 - The highest BMI that my company has arranged insurance for
  • 33 – The BMI where you probably need to start being picky over the insurers you go to
  • 30 – Some insurers increase premiums once you reach this BMI
  • 17 – BMIs lower than this, are usually something insurers want to look at

I also think its important to check out some myths and facts about what being overweight means in the grand scheme of things.

Facts

  • Eating healthily is a key factor in maintaining a health weight.
  • Sometimes you can eat a healthy diet and still have a high BMI. There are a number of medical conditions that can cause you to be overweight.
  • It's important to set long-term sustainable weight loss goals, when you are ready to do them. There is no point doing fad diets or crazy fitness regimes where you could end up hurting yourself. Be sensible and do what's right for you.

Myths

  • Being overweight is always unhealthy - Sometimes BMI scales get it wrong. There are plenty of people out there, who are fit and healthy, but their BMI is through the roof because their muscle mass is so high. Muscle weighs more than fat!
  • To lose weight you need to diet - Yes and no. It makes sense that if you eat less and change the types of food that you eat, you will lose weight. But don't forget about your all round health too. Being fit and active will also help you lose weight, and you are more likely to change your body shape with planned exercise routines, rather than crash dieting.

If you want to know more about how your weight can influence insurance applications, check out my professional content:

CuraVision – High BMI
High BMI Life Insurance
Overweight Life Insurance

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