Paying tolls on the Path to Wellness

I'm pretty sure I'd have a lot more money if I was less committed to being healthy. Because, oh my goodness, being healthy is proving very expensive.

There are some expenses that I understand and accept as choices I've made to make my journey on this path a little easier. My personal trainer, for instance, is a luxury. He's like a really high-tech fitness GPS that gets me around potholes and detours and helps me find my way back when I get lost. And he gives me someone to talk to. (What, you guys don't talk to your GPS?) I think with the rising obesity rates in this country, there should be incentives given to people to encourage them to seek professional help to achieve a healthy weight and improve their lifestyle (rather than pouring money into studies on whether or not we should cover the cost of bariatric surgery), but I acknowledge that Shawn is a luxury (I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hear that).

The chiropractor... that one I'm a little iffy on. Technically, if I went through the hospital, and got a doctor to declare it medically necessary, I could have physiotherapy covered under our provincial medical insurance. I made the choice to see a chiropractor, I made the choice to try that treatment, and there wasn't an acute issue to be treated at the time I started seeing him. Under our current model of medical care, I can accept how something like chiropractic could fall back to me.

The higher cost of eating healthy has always gotten to me. Maybe it's different where you live, but the cost of fresh produce, fresh lean meat, natural-option foods, whole-grains - it's outrageously more expensive than eating the processed, refined, sugary, floury, high-fat, high-sodium crap that makes up the average North American diet and is slowly killing us. And that's not even mentioning the gap between organic and non-organic (a switch I would love to make but can't.) Really, what message are we sending when orange juice is $3 for two litres, and orange pop (or soda, for you Americans) is 69 cents? It's cheaper to drink pop than it is to drink bottled water (if you're like me and can't stand the taste of chlorine)! What is wrong with that picture? When we're looking for ways to "improve our country's health" instead of lowering the sodium in processed food, why not just subsidize non-processed food so people can actually afford it? I mean, if you want to eat the processed crap and send yourself into an early grave - well, Darwin called that natural selection - but give the rest of us who want to do the right thing a chance.

So, I know this rant seems a little out of tone and character, but it does have a root. In fact, it has a root in my root canal. The one I had this morning that cost me $550 out of my own pocket. Pretty much all of my savings gone. And it isn't done, since it only left me with a temporary filling, that I'll need to have replaced, for likely another $200-300. This, after I finished watching several news reports last night about how good oral health is linked to overall good health and has all sorts of other implications. I'm sorry, this is ridiculous. That is, quite simply, taking good health out of the reach of the low-income family. I had dental insurance; because I have a pre-existing condition, I can only get a very limited amount of coverage, which we exhausted in half a cleaning and one visit. As of right now, from my own pocket, I've spent nearly $1000 on my teeth - and I'm nowhere near finished. Yet the outrageous amount I get taxed is apparently justified because I have free health care - it's just not extended to things they don't deem medically necessary - like my mouth.

So, to basically sum up how I'm feeling right now....

The tolls on the Path to Wellness are just starting to get to me.

*rant over*

I did have a really good session with Shawn last night - very positive and very challenging. He designed a program meant to really test the strength in my back and it certainly did that. Also got few new exercises I can't wait to try out on my own. Today is my day off, and I think tomorrow I'll work out another leg routine, but I'll definitely bank them. Especially Russian twists on the stability ball - if you're into a good core workout - look these up. He also helped answer why my knees have been bothering me on the bikes, and so I've been thinking of ways I can try to modify it so they aren't bothering me so much. And, he tried to reassure me a bit on the dietary/nutrition end of things, while reminding me not to become too obsessive about it - because obsessive is kind of in my nature. All in all, a good night. And, I should have my new program by Friday! Yay!

In the meantime, have a great Wednesday, and try not to get caught unawares by any tolls...


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