No, this is not an endorsement.
Nor is it clickbait.
What it is is me telling you about my very real and significant financial gains as a result of weight loss surgery I had back in 2012. My savings estimate works out to about $546,000.
Enough ambiguity. Let me tell you how this adds up.
So in 2012, my life insurance service provider, Zurich Life charged me 100% more in premiums than the average person my age (34 at the time). Where the average person paid approximately $1900 in monthly premiums for $5 million of Life Cover & $1,250,000 of Critical Illness Cover, I paid $3200.
This was because Zurich Life considered it a serious risk to insure me: I was morbidly obese at 130 kgs, and lead a fast-lane, high-stress, poor-habited business owner’s lifestyle.
This was a tough time for me, health-wise. I had now developed acid reflux and was constantly losing my voice as a result of this. On consulting with quite a few doctors (one who told me I may have throat cancer), I was recommended by a Gastroenterologist to make a rapid change to my weight as I could be at risk for so many other health-related conditions.
So I consulted with the experts, and a few weeks later, in August 2012, I took the decision to undergo surgery to put on a bariatric sleeve. I decided to tell no one about it except my wife, Sangeeta, and my mother.
The surgery went smoothly and over the next few months, I was dedicated to flipping the health charts. With support and advice from my doctor, Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala from the Digestive Health Institute, and a serious calorie deficit I went from 130kgs to 85kgs in the span of 6 months.
Slightly off-track here, but I had the chance to tick a big one off my bucket list right around this time. I’d always wanted to skydive but was never in the allowed BMI range to do it. So as soon as I shed the pounds, in January 2013, I headed over to Skydive Dubai and jumped out of a plane. Good times!
Another thing that slid down the scale simultaneously was my life insurance premiums. For the same $5 million of cover, my premiums were now down by almost half to about $1900 per month from $3200 – that’s about $15,600 less in premiums every year. Over the next 35 years that I would be paying into the policy, that’s $546,000 saved.
That’s a solid half a million in savings, against the $10,000 or so that the surgery cost me back then. (*Inflation has probably taken this number up about 20-30% by now) The math just stares you in the face, doesn’t it?
Needless to say, the benefits go way beyond the numbers – that’s just one small advantage. My fitness journey has been incredible, with amazing people helping me along with my goals. Six years down, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, I’ve been able to accomplish some mega-feats (like the 230km Marathon Des Sables, for one), that I never thought possible, and best of all I’ve got the energy to be Super-Dad – priceless!
I try and document as much of my fitness journey as possible on my Instagram @ricksonjdsouza, including my Crossfit workouts, my 30×30 challenge, my marathon training and more.
I just visited my doctor’s office today, and I realized that the decision to get a bariatric sleeve on was one that changed my life in so many ways and for so much the better, that it warranted sharing.
Also, with it being the end of the year, when lots of you are dusting off your New Years Resolutions journals and turning to a fresh page for 2019, this is probably a good time to be reminded that the decision to take a step towards a drastically better life lies completely with you. It doesn’t always have to be a rude awakening, although that’s what it took for me.
Feel free to reach out to me if I can be of any help or support along your journey, or shed light on my surgery, my fitness journey so far, and how it all worked out for me. Once again, you can also follow my journey and all the crazy challenges I put myself to test with on my Instagram @ricksonjdsouza, or look out for updates if we’re friends on Facebook.
Enjoy the holidays and here’s to a happy, healthy and fulfilled 2019!
Disclaimer: When the actuaries came back to me with my re-evaluated premiums, I chose to double my cover, instead of dropping my monthly premium down by half. So the same $3200 per month now bought me $10 million of cover with Critical Illness of $1.25 million, instead of $5 million before.