I went to the doctor this morning on my way to work to get test results, and for a check-up on my asthma medication dosage (this weird spring has been knocking my lungs about a bit).
After running through both these things, the doctor, a new one in the practice, said, "Well, we'd better do a few housekeeping checks while we're here." I rolled up my sleeve obligingly, anticipating the blood pressure cuff that did indeed get applied to my arm.
"Peak flow next," she said, and I puffed energetically into the peak flow meter, pleased to note that the new asthma medication is working well, and my peak is back to its usual 470.
Then she said, "OK, let's measure and weigh you."
I was a bit nonplussed, but I went along, discovering to my amusement that either I have shrunk by a centimetre or that I have been operating under a delusion for years about my actual height.
Then the doctor announced, in heavy, regretful tones, that there was a problem.
"What?" I asked, slightly panic-stricken. "I thought all the results were good ... I've been feeling better ... What is it?"
She sighed. "Well," she said, "it's your BMI. I'm afraid it's 28."
I must have looked confused, because she went on with, "That's the unhealthy range. Over 25 is unhealthy for a woman your age. Although, you're not obese - that's over 30," she finished with the air of a person offering whatever frail comfort was to be had in the darkness of my fat-infested world.
I couldn't help myself. I laughed. It was her turn to look confused.
"I thought you were going to tell me there was something wrong with me!" I said cheerily. "And all you want to say is that I'm fat! OK then!"
She was very disconcerted by this. "But as I said, this BMI is unhealthy..."
"Not really," I said. "This BMI is over what is considered optimal by some measures. But not by others. And anyway, I am not unhealthy, now my asthma's back under control. Am I?"
She said, "Well, no..."
"My BP's good?" She nodded. "My bloods? My heart function?" Nod, nod. "My cholesterol?" (I was poking a bit with the last - my cholesterol levels have always been textbook perfect, and I know it. Good genetics and 9 years of breastfeeding FTW). She nodded again.
"Do you get much exercise?" she asked. Some trains can't be derailed.
"I swim, sometimes," I said, "and I walk a lot. I don't go to the gym or play a sport. I don't enjoy it and I'm very busy with other things in my life."
"If it's important to you, you make time," she intoned.
"I agree," I said blandly, and stared at her. She got the point.
"What about diet?" she asked, but by this time I think she knew this was a last salvo in a war she was not going to win.
"Well, I eat gluten free, of course..."
"Yes - your Coeliac tests came back very clean. You're doing great with that."
"Yes. Well. I eat, you know, food. A mix of food groups, something from every area. I take a multivitamin too, and you did say my bloodwork was good on all the measures..."
She nodded again. "Oh, yes, it was great. You're certainly not badly nourished or deficient in anything."
"No, just generously gifted with cellulite and adipose tissue!" I chuckled.
She gave up right about then. "Well, I think keep going on the new preventer for the asthma, it seems to be working well..."
"Yes, I will," I said, getting to my feet.
"... and I don't need to see you again. Unless you get sicker, of course."
I walked out with my head high and my heart strangely light.
Yeah, I am fat.
But I'm well, and I'm active, and I'm happy.
It's enough for me.
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