My annual physical was today. I primped, shaved, and shined up all pretty as if Clooney might ask me to spend the weekend at Lake Como. You know the drill.
Last year’s tests revealed a slight increase in…everything. Blood sugar a tad high. Cholesterol a few points over 200.
Potassium a bit off.
The kicker? Being told “at your age” these results are normal and expected. “Ha,” I said, “you don’t know who you’re dealing with.” I accepted these less than perfect numbers as a challenge.
For a year I tried Ovo-Lacto (a vegetarian who eats milk and eggs). Then leaned vegan-ish, meaning I ate fish.I cooked “meat-like” and “chicken-like” meals even the dog refused. No white flour or white sugar. I drank a glass of red wine or beer, or one of each, or both, depending on how badly I shook watching happy people eat pizza.
I maintained a fairly regular exercise program. Walked a few times a week and tried the free ten-minute workouts on cable. Did you know there are nine sets of abs in the human body? Damn if I can find one.
I upped my game. At 3 a.m. an infomercial video featuring a crazy, sweating, totally ripped guy screamed in my face: “You can friggin’ do this!” Well I friggin’ tried.
So after a year of living this conscientious lifestyle, here are the results:
“Muscle weighs more that fat.” A polite way of saying: “But lose 10 pounds.”
Cholesterol UP by 30 points
It went up without eating BBQ ribs, birthday cake, or a single scoop of Cherry Garcia. Quick, somebody pass me a stick of butter and a leg of lamb.
Muffin Top Madness
“You seem to carry the extra weight around your waist.” Is wearing a paper johnny an acceptable defense for punching out a licensed physician? Fair warning doc: I’m carrying extra weight in my fists.
Immune System Haywire
Not once in my life have I had an allergy to poison anything. But this summer my arms swelled the size of a child’s thigh and legions of scars left my legs looking as if I’d been mauled by a rabid animal. “Immune systems change with age.” Translation: “Next year you should wear long sleeves, or hire a landscaper.”
This year, due to the kicked-up exercise program, I suffered both a high ankle fracture and a shoulder injury. Oh ya, I friggin’ did that.
In my quest for better numbers, I feel mildly defeated. No excellent lab report to hang on the refrigerator as proof that choking down bowls and bowls of lentil and kale soup lowered my scores and whittled my waistline.
I’ll give myself some time to lick my wounds then regroup, tweak my plan and try again.
But for now, by George, I am eating all the leftover Halloween candy.