On health and fat

My work place offers great incentives to stay healthy: Affordable exercise classes, free access to the gym, nutrition workshops, finance workshops, how-to-deal-with-stress workshops, etc. When I saw they were offering biometric screening, I signed up right away. For along time now, I’ve been interested in my health numbers and I’m always grateful when they’re good.

I went to the faculty house and met the nurses, signed in, and went to a private room for the blood draw. As I sat there talking to the nurse, she asked if I had any health goals I was working on. “Losing weight,” I said. “It’s a continual effort. I take a total body boot camp here at work and I’ve started counting my calories again to try and get a better handle on how many calories I’m taking in.” I told her I was trying to give up cheese and sugar, though I’d been finding it difficult, and she said sugar is particularly hard to get out of our diets. I had just learned a few minutes earlier that my weight is the highest it’s been since high school. I weigh now what I weighed in high school and for a lot of people that would be a good thing. But not for me. I didn’t start becoming active until I got into college and more so once I got my first job and joined a gym. For most of my twenties and thirties I maintained an ok weight, though I always, always, ALWAYS was in the process of trying to lose more. I’ve never not been trying to lose weight. But now that weight I wanted to lose when I was 30 looks like skin and bones today! As the saying I found on Pinterest goes, I wish I were as fat as the first time I thought I was fat. Ha! Cracks me up. 

In hindsight, and thinking about the struggles I have now, I wonder if part of that weight maintenance was due to my terribly low metabolism working as fast as it would ever work. Excess weight and low metabolism are two traits that reach throughout my father’s side of the family. Now I’m wonder if my metabolism is slowing more (is that possible??) as I age and making it harder to lose weight. (Though I’ve heard doctors say the notion that one is doomed to gain weight as she ages is a myth. 

But back to today. It turns out all my numbers are great and my good cholesterol is really excellent. I was particularly pleased with that number because good cholesterol is a strong reflection of your diet, so it’s good to know I’ve been making good food decisions most of the time for the last year or so. Blood pressure and sugar levels were normal, too, so other than weight, I’m in good shape.

And I can’t help but think of all those body positive activists who try to tell you that you don’t have to be skinny to be healthy. I guess I’m a living example of that now. I’m at my highest weight but my numbers are excellent. So my innards are healthy, which makes me happy. Now to keep kicking ass in that total body workout. Maybe I can start blaming the number on the scale to my huge muscles. 

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