Today I had a recommended health screening at work. This gives the company an opportunity to review their insurance premiums while offering the employees, who choose to partake in it, an added bonus to their flexible spending account. I have done one of these every year since being with my company and every year it makes me want to scream. In particular let’s talk about this year’s screening. Compared to last year, I have gained 10 pounds. Fair enough, I’ll own that. There are many reasons as to why this has happened, and just a few are some hormonal imbalances I had in early 2017, and my new love of lifting heavy weights. I began in July with Cross Fit and have put other workouts aside because I genuinely love the program I am on. I am also able to see some kick ass strength results, which I didn’t have before. My arms are bigger, because my muscles are growing inside, and my quads are gaining strength from squatting. After plugging in my numbers, the nurse had one of those BMI calculators that you hold out in front of you she briefly explained what to do and then instructed me to squeeze the handles. This tool magically calculates your body mass and fat percentage. This my friends, is an inaccurate death trap. It’s “supposed” to send electrodes all down your body to measure fat, muscle, and water. According to this little piece of evil I am obese. Not just simply overweight, but full fledge obese that I contribute to the national problem our country has for people being overweight. I am now a statistic. In one 10 second test, I felt like I needed to run to McDonalds and ask for a super-sized big mac and a large Coke because that’s what people like me eat right? So wrong. To add more to my anger the nurse taking my blood advised me that since my HDL was 59, (this company wants you to have it over 60) then I obviously don’t work out and need to cut down my food. I sat stoned faced at her. I told her “hmmm…so other than working out 5 times a week and eating healthy what would you recommend to increase that point?” She told me; more cardio. I wanted to punch her, and yes I know she was just doing her job, and what she was instructed to say...but it made me so angry. Since when did you have to look like a Barbie doll in order to be “healthy.” Although my other levels were perfect, and I mean PERFECT – blood pressure was 116/74, Total Cholesterol 164, and A1C 4.3. She felt she needed to counsel me on being 1 point below what I needed to be. I walked away from this screening feeling fat. Like most women do by numbers they see on paper. But, I need to remind myself that I measure my strength and well-being by how much weight I can lift, how many more obstacles I can accomplish than before, and how much distance I can run/walk/jog on endurance events. I think this is important for women of all shapes and sizes to know. Use these numbers as a reference only, and don’t put too much thought into them. Measure your health based on how you feel, what you can do, and non-weight related goals. So dear Mr./Mrs. “Health Screening” people, you all can go f* yourself.
Have you ever been told the same? I think it's time we add a little more to these health screenings.