I'm lucky enough to work for an employer which appears to take staff health and well-being very seriously. So much so, they have just launched a program whereby if we show up for a free screening and jump through some other healthy hoops, they will give us a very small bonus in our pay checks.
Well, there's nothing I like better than free money, even if I'll be lucky to take home an extra $25 after Uncle Sam grabs his share. So I dutifully presented myself this morning, sans breakfast, to be assessed for BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure and some other bits and pieces.
Goodness, how very revealing. At 129 pounds and 5 foot 3 inches, my Body Mass Index is clearly fine and I could probably gain at least 10 pounds before anyone would raise their eyebrows. However, the dastardly fat calipers disagreed and were audacious enough to pronounce me "borderline overweight". The cheek of it! Either taking thigh measurements through my clothes introduces a significant margin of error, or I need to get my flabby stomach under control. Either way, it's no wonder many women suffer from poor body image if they spend 5 hours a week exercising yet still get this kind of pronouncement from their health care provider.
At this point I should mention my other scores were pretty good, so last Fall's 391 miles of running have clearly benefited me somewhat. The only exception to the happy data was my reading for HDL ("good") cholesterol which was woefully low. I was somewhat naughty and let the nurse get part way through her lecture on the importance of exercise before I informed her that I had been in training for a marathon until 12 days ago. At that point she decided genetic factors might be playing a part. I told her that when I've run 26 miles, if my HDL level is still low, then we can talk. Until then, just give me a healthy knee and I'll exercise until the cows come home.
I guess what bothers me about screenings like this are, they tend to catch the 'low hanging fruit' of people who are fairly active anyway. Folks who are really overweight or totally out of shape, are unlikely to submit willingly to the caliper test, especially in their own workplace. And the old rhetoric about the need for regular exercise tends to fall on deaf ears amongst those of us who honestly feel we're going above and beyond.
But there's always room for improvement, right? Next time I cross a finish line, I'd like to be carrying just a little less flab around my middle. As an added incentive, I'm posting the shameful evidence here as a public reminder that Runner's Tum is not yet a recognized sports injury.
Photo thanks: Sanja Gjenero, Mark Nelson.
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8 years ago