Last week I had my yearly exam. My doctor recommended that since I am 35 this is a good time to get a blood work up and mammogram to establish baselines. I agreed, knowing how important it is to understand what a healthy body looks like before anything goes wrong. No matter how much we want to believe that healthy means the same thing for everyone the truth is that healthy is a range.
As far as I am aware, I come from pretty healthy stock. I could exercise more and eat healthier (glut less on my favorite things). I am not at my ideal weight personally or according to those BMI charts, which I had checked last week when I met with a fitness trainer for the first time, but I am not so far out of shape that I am at risk.
Well, as it turns out, the universe decided to give me a reality check. Seems my glucose level was elevated when they did the lab work. I had eaten blueberry yogurt for breakfast…in the car…just before going in for the exam and blood work. No one had indicated that that might not be wise, but after divulging this information the doctor scheduled me to come back in for another glucose test and advised me to fast prior.
I had Teriyaki chicken, spring rolls, and steamed white rice with water for dinner, then dutifully fasted. Oops! Wait, I had goldfish crackers for dessert, but then I fasted from 9 p.m. until my morning glucose test at 8:45 a.m. the next day. I did not even brush my teeth, just in case. The hardest part was skipping out on my morning coffee, but I kept myself relatively positive with a promise to reward myself with coffee and French toast after the test.
The nurse pricked my finger, took a few drops and put them in that machine, which is basically the big official version of those pocket blood testers. My glucose level was elevated. My doctor recommended another blood draw to send to the lab for a more thorough exam, and then explained the possible implications, diabetes, where too much sugar is a really bad thing.
I was not scared by the possibility, but I was definitely crest fallen. No matter the results my eating habits would need modifying, starting with my self promised reward. I ended up having a spinach, mushroom, tomato?omelet with fruit and water. Good, but so not what I had had in mind when I started the morning.
Now I wait the results from the lab, hoping that modifying my eating habits is all that will be required. I believe in living deliberately, making mindful choices. Over the years I have learned how to be better at doing this. I have already been running through my mind some of the changes I can make, some I have already begun and need only follow through. The word that echoes in my mind is discipline.
*Photo: 70/365 How sweet it is by Mykl Roventine, obtained through Flickr.
I love that the results don’t scare you into inaction, but motivate you. Yes, healthy choices mean that we give up some stuff, but I’m sure you will be happier that you did.