Fitness is About Just Getting Started - According to your Rules


Did you know your health and overall fitness play a major role in determining your life insurance premium rate? Before you apply for life insurance you want to be at your health and fitness best to secure a great premium rate. If you are thinking about applying for life insurance and know you are not where you want to be in these areas, achieving improvements can seem daunting.

Here’s my story on how I made some personal health and fitness improvements. The secret for me, was doing it according to my own rules and that meant the simpler the better. While the plan is unique to me, I thought I would share the journey of how I got started, in the hopes that it might help you get started too.

But first a little background. Weight was not something I have ever had to think about until recently. The gene gods blessed me with a high metabolism and some height. Translation, I could eat whatever I wanted and never gain a pound. I never thought for a moment that this would change but over time it did indeed catch up with me. My metabolism was slowing down. When I first started to put on a few pounds it was ok until I began to feel tired, had some body aches and hated the way clothes looked on me.

I knew I had to do something but I’ve always had an abstract view of fitness. I didn’t need to care about calories, a healthy food versus an unhealthy food or exercising. I really didn’t know how or where to start. I kept repeating Scarlett O’Hara’s line from the movie, Gone with the Wind, “I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow”. Then one day I got the idea to treat this problem like it was project I needed to do for work. I got organized and before I knew it I had gotten started. Yeah!

First I learned what my ideal weight should be given my height and age. With that piece of information, I now had my weight loss goal. Then I started reading about nutrition and what causes weight gain and what leads to weight loss. I quickly latched onto the fact that protein burns fat. When I looked at what I was eating I discovered I didn’t have nearly enough protein in my diet. You see, I love red meat, bread and ice cream, and I am not a big fan of veggies, chicken or fish. I also figured out I wasn’t doing enough structured exercise. I knew I’d never go to a gym and would inevitably find excuses for not sticking to a daily workout routine that involved a lot of time. Here’s where the “know thyself” piece kicks in.

I thought long and hard about my dilemma and came up with a regime that I felt I could manage or at least guilt myself into doing. I wasn’t going to deprive myself of everything, instead just change up a few things. At breakfast and lunch I would only eat protein. At dinner I would eat my normal meal but cut my portions in half. Oh, I forgot to mention, the one big, really hard, change was giving up candy bars. I do so love my chocolate! I also came up with a 10 minute, in home, no equipment needed, exercise routine.

There were days when even this was a struggle, especially the chocolate part. I didn’t look at a scale until I could physically feel a difference. I did hit several plateaus where I didn’t see any change in weight for several weeks. It was frustrating and could have easily led to my downfall, but I persevered. Thankfully, I had read somewhere that stabilizing is a common part of the weight loss process. It took me nine months to achieve my weight loss goal and well worth the journey. I am much happier, more conscious of what I eat and make better overall choices every day. I’ve managed to keep the weight off while allowing myself the occasional indulgence. My vital stats (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) have improved giving me the constant positive reinforcement I need. By the way, I love to shop again….

About the author:  Michele Cleary has been in the business for over 35 years and holds a CLTC designation. She believes that life insurance can give you and your family peace of mind, especially when you have other things to worry about. Michele now has 4 grown children and knows that proper planning is essential. You can reach her at 1-800-651-1953 or