examWell, I had today off from work. It was time for my annual physical examination. Call me weird, but I’ve always loved tests. Blood and urine are no different because I’m confident that the results will turn out all right. The government of Ontario keeps trying to reduce the number of diagnostic tests that physicians can requisition under the guise that they are unnecessary or unproved by empirical evidence to be helpful. We all know that it’s because the system is broken and the coffers are empty (except for the high-priced help).

Funnily enough though, the older you get, the fewer tests there may be – no more pap smears (yeah), breast examinations or other pokes and prods. Ears, eyes, lungs, lumps and bumps. He asked how much I weighed. I told him – and mentioned proudly that I’d lost 12 pounds since New Year’s day. He stopped and said, wow, and didn’t even bother putting me on the scales. When he left to pick up the requisition for my bone density test, I hopped on and weighed myself just to get confirmation that the digital scale we use at home is accurate. I weighed less in his office, which was even better than I’d expected.

“Doc, I get this occasional achy pain in my ankles.” He pressed against my bones just above the crease of my foot and smiled.

“Uh, you’ve been an athlete all your life. Now you’ve got senior bones. It will come and go.Keep moving.” In other words, basically the same thing my baseball/basketball/hockey team coaches used to say – “shake it off, suck it up”. I can do that.

FiddleNevertheless, he gave me a high-five after the six blood pressure readings the magic machine did. 105/67. Yowza. The normal range for a woman of my age is 140/70. Yikes. I’d be terrified with those numbers. My LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) was low, which is good. My HDL (the good stuff) was high. My risk factors are all low. He said that my trip to mindfulness was helping my health improve.

If I needed a stronger reason to keep up with my weight loss journey, his diagnosis was it. But I have to get back to basics. No more beer with dinner, cut back on portion sizes, quit the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for snack. I can do that, too.

So I’m a happy lady.