My Personal Battle With The Bulge


By Ryan Schuster

I was once the picture of health. I was skinny and toned. I worked out several times a week at the gym. I also played pick-up basketball games and was in a rec softball league (let’s face it pretty much everyone who plays rec league softball is in great shape). I also used to take long walks with my wife. Then my kids were born, I became busier and took less time for myself and my health. My eating habits slipped a bit in recent years as I started eating more on the go while juggling kids, their activities, work and other commitments. A recent look in the mirror (and my somewhat flabby reflection) convinced me that I needed to make a change and start living a healthier lifestyle.

Recently, I started cooking balanced meals at home with my wife, instead of eating out or just reheating unhealthy frozen foods. We try to balance one meat and fruits and vegetables with every meal and pay close attention to portion control. I have also started bringing lunches to bring to work instead of eating in the cafeteria (or out of vending machines). While my schedule is still busy, I am trying to be more active. Even when I don’t have time to get to the gym, I try to get more exercise in my daily life. Simple things like taking the stairs, taking short walks during breaks at work, going on family walks a few times a week and playing a Wii dancing game with my kids (picture the guy from the TV ad who dances in the doctor’s office).

Making healthy lifestyle choices can help us all stay healthy, live longer, stay out of the hospital and pay less in health insurance premiums. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota provides a number of tools and incentives to help members live healthier. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota encourages exercise through a health club credit program and offers a comprehensive online wellness tool to help members balance nutrition and exercise.

Let’s all try to be a little more active, eat a little better and live healthier lives (even if it means embarrassing your kids with your dance moves).

Ryan Schuster works as an editor at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. For more information, visit