costs & insurance

The Cost of Weight Loss

David Mendosa Health Guide May 22, 2008
  • Don't kid yourself. Losing weight can be an expensive proposition. I know.

    It's cost me many thousands of dollars in the two and one-half years since I started taking Byetta. And then when I started to eat low-carb last December, the costs went up.

    The Byetta alone cost me a couple of thousand dollars in insurance co-pays. And having to eat quality food means my grocery bills are much higher than junk food. Besides that I had to throw out a lot of lesser quality food as my standards increased.

    But even that is hardly the worst of it. I had to throw out all my shirts, jackets, sweaters, trousers, and underwear. And not just once. As I downsized from XXXL Tall to M Tall in shirts  and 56" to 32" in trousers, I had to buy new wardrobes -- several times.


    Only my big head and feet stayed the same size, 8 /14 and 12 respectively. So fortunately I didn't need any new hats, shoes, or socks.

    But even my fingers downsized. Before Catherine died I wore a wedding ring. It wasn't directly expensive for the jeweler to take care of that size problem. But the indirect cost was steep, since Catherine went with me and spotted a nice string of pearls on sale and asked me to buy them for her. Of course, I did.

    Why would anyone spend so much money just to get thin?

    As you may have guessed, I had more than one reason.

    Mostly, I wanted to control my diabetes. Seems to be working, since my A1C has gone from 6.8 when I started to 4.9 today.

    Other numbers are equally good, like my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

    More subjectively but something that I am aware of every day is that I feel so much better and have so much more energy. I feel 20 years younger than my biological age. That's important, because my new girlfriend is 20 years younger than I am (although she acts 20 years younger than her biological age).

    Even more: My sleep apnea is gone. My chronic back pain is gone. The pain of osteoarthritis in my left knee is gone. I rarely have headaches any more. The allergies that I could barely control with powerful antihistamines every spring has also disappeared. Even my formerly fatty liver is no longer fat. I could write a book about each of these sentences, but you get the idea.

    When I worked for the federal government years ago, we always calculated the cost-benefit ratios of our projects. Weight loss is one that anyone would fund.