I had my annual primary care visit the other day. There are several reasons I am proud of this accomplishment.
1) I made it to the doctor. With my schedule, the first person I tend to neglect is myself. I have been known to go years at a time without seeing a physician unless I was incubating a human inside me. Given that I am heading toward that age where routine screenings begin to start, I compelled myself to make this visit. Turns out, I am in great health and added routine screenings (mammogram) are still a year away but still I felt pretty proud of myself to just getting there and having the patience to be examined.
2) Though I could still benefit from a few fewer pounds on my short frame, I have lost 5lbs since my last check-up. While I know that it is not about the numbers and the last two years have been about being fit and healthy, about shedding fat for muscle no matter what the scale shows, it was nice to be a little lighter. The total weight is 32lbs less than my highest in adulthood (10 years ago, just after having my first child) and 17lb more than my lowest in adulthood (on my wedding day, pre-babies and after 9 mos of anxious energy and weight watchers but very little in the way of fitness activities). If I can hold my own in this range give or TAKE a few while persisting in the running-pilates-zumba regimen I have crafted for myself, I will continue to be proud.
3) Speaking of short frame, turns out I am not as short as I thought. I have been 5’2 1/2″ since puberty–honestly, a pretty remarkable feat of western nutrition given that my immigrant parents are only 5’0” and 5’2”. Despite weight fluctuations as wide as 50lbs, my height has been unsurprisingly consistent because, hey, that’s what humans do. The hormones kick in and we stop growing. But it turns out that I measured in at 5’3” this year. It is a sure sign the the posture benefits of pilates have become a way of life for me. So I will continue to stand tall, stand proud and hit the reformer as often as I can.
4) I went all morning without a cup of coffee (and survived). I didn’t want the hassle of coming back for fasting blood work so I challenged my body. I did not have my typical 10 oz borne from the Keurig on my way out the door. Usually this is consumed by 7am at the latest. And, though it is my only cup of coffee of the day on a regular basis and I no longer consume other caffeinated beverages, I am addicted to my morning cup of coffee. But, for this 9am appointment, I bravely entered the outside world sans travel mug in hand. I did not have a raging headache by noon so I powered on. Lasted a whole 24 hours without caffeine. I haven’t done this in the two weeks since but I might try is again sometime. Just shedding the fear of a day without caffeine in a point of pride for me.
5) I managed to be less VitD deficient. At my last visit, I was deficient. I was told to take a ramp up supplement for 4 weeks followed by a daily supplement. Well, it took about seven weeks but I did the ramp up; however, I never managed to get onto a daily supplement. I live at the wrong latitude and so in general me and all of my neighbors are VitD deficient and so I really should be taking the supplement but I really suck at taking pills every day. I just cannot make it happen (which I might add as an aside is as good a motivation as any to work hard at being fit to avoid the diabetes, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease that ail the majority of my adult genetic kin). So that I was less VitD deficient this year to me is representative of the many more hours of sun exposure I incurred with the running. Granted a good month for me is still only 6-8 outdoor runs but that is 6-8 more than when I last got my VitD level measured and this added sunshine in my life is also a matter of pride.
I wish there was a #6 but I was a bit displeased by my LDL/HDL situation. My LDL had plummeted dramatic between my last two visits but was creeping up this time even though the HDL was better. This, at least, is motivation for future PCP visit related pride which will tie in well with desired weight loss goals as I doubt I can get much taller, don’t plan on relocating to a sunnier latitude, and imagine I will not become a daily pill popper anytime soon.