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I met a guy in Hatch, Ut the other day along our way to Bryce and Zion National Parks.  He had a compelling story to tell about beating obesity and how it saved his life.

He had lived most of his life in Branson, MO and about five years ago had decided to end annual trips to Utah and go ahead and move. Jim had worked, fished and drank and ate whatever it took to keep his energy equivalent to the task at hand while living in Missouri. He wasn’t a big guy at 5’6…..unless you weighed him. He tipped the scales at 361# when he left Missouri.

He just walked up and started talking on the bank of the Sevier River in Hatch. There had been a big rain the day before and he was coming down to check how muddy the water was. He asked if I had been fishing, which I hadn’t.

The next thing out of his mouth was “moving here saved my life”. Jim had left Missouri at 361# and after 5 years of fishing every day and chopping all the wood the family needed… age 82, Jim weighed about 220#. Jim had been locked into a lifestyle thing in MO that had heaped obesity on him and until he left it, he had no idea that it was killing him.

Don’t think for a minute that Jim was any kind of an over consuming, out of the ordinary kind of guy. He was simply following the pattern of his family. He was no different than his dad or granddad. A chip off of the old block! The problem was that all of the old blocks were dying in their 60’s and 70’s due to diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Jim got the chance to change all of that and did. He dumped 140 unneeded pounds and in the process, “saved his life”. Jim wasn’t any medical expert. He never really even consulted a doctor about losing weight. But when he started chopping wood and shoveling snow and walking the rivers of Utah fishing every day, he got a new lease on life. At 82, he feels as good as he did 30 or more years ago.

Bottom line. Jim has figured out, on his own, exactly what life insurance underwriters are looking at when they consider an application on someone who is overweight. Solid is healthy and obese isn’t. What a delightful guy!