My employer is all about keeping employees healthy. In our HR department we have a Health Coach who will help us set up a lifestyle plan to get healthy, get in shape, quit smoking, etc. We have access to a free Employee Health Clinic where we can go if we are sick, if we need basic prescriptions, or if we have a mild injury. The clinic is available to our dependents as well so our spouses and our children can also see the doctor’s there for no co-pay. It’s a pretty good situation unless you need critical or heightened medical care. One thing my employer encourages all of us to do is go to the clinic to complete an HRA.
What’s an HRA?
It stands for “Health Risk Analysis.” The clinic draws blood, checks our vitals, and then records our blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and weight into a website that is then used to track our continued health. For completing the HRA we receive a $100 medical gift card and for every statistic in which we achieve healthy results we earn an additional $100. We can earn a total of $500 per year ($100 per statistic per year). This card can then be used to pay co-pays at another doctor’s office, gym memberships, prescription costs, medical equipment, exercise equipment, etc. Also, once we complete our HRA we have free unlimited access to a dietician, nutritionist, exercise coach, health coach, etc to help us achieve our health goals.
Cool deal, huh?
So I thought to myself, “Hey…you know Lilee…that’s a pretty sweet situation and you’re already pretty darn healthy. You should complete that HRA and scoop up that $500 bucks. It can’t hurt.”
So I completed my HRA and my blood pressure is perfect. My blood sugar is fantastic. My cholesterol is great. My weight? Too high. What?!?
Yes. They told me I’m “over-weight.” I’m 5’2″ and they said I should weigh between 112 and 137. I weigh 142. They said I need to lose at least 5 pounds. Now, sure, 5 pounds isn’t anything but I’ll admit I was a bit annoyed at hearing I need to lose anything. For the record my waist measured 29 inches and I wear a comfortable size 6. Really…I felt like telling them exactly where they could shove my measurements and statistics. Anyway, now I’ve been advised that since I lead a “sedentary to light activity” lifestyle I need to consume no more than 1,217 calories per day.
1,217? The average recommendation is 2,000 per day and I’m being told to limit it to 1,217. Wow. So just for kicks I tracked my calories yesterday just to see what I was going to hit. First…this is what I had to eat.
1 Strawberry Pop-Tart and a Tall Starbucks coffee
1 Healthy Choice Lemon-Herb Steam Lunch and water
1 Chicken Sandwich, French Fries and Sweet Tea
1 small pudding cup
Grand total = 1,750 calories. On a 2,000 calorie diet I am 250 calories under the recommendation. On a 1,217 calorie diet I am 533 calories over the recommendation.
I’m not paying any more attention to their “diet recommendation.” It’s absurd. A 29″ waist, size 6, good blood pressure, good blood sugar, good cholesterol otherwise healthy woman does not need to be obsessing over calories. If my clothes stop fitting, I’ll pay attention but until then…I don’t need their stress.