Recently, I made a trip to my physician for a bit of a check on a pain I have been having in my knee. As is with most doctors, there is an indeterminate amount of time that must be spent co-mingling with the sick and destitute that society has to offer while awaiting your number, erh, name to be called so you can then be herded away from the masses towards a separate area where the nurse starts to take your 'statistics'.
The stats they take are pretty basic. Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Temperature and Weight. I have always been a middle-of-the-road type of guy. BP has always been good on the low side (115/70-75), Heart Rate around 60-70, Temperature hovers on the low side of 98 degrees and my weight has always been 170-180 (note: I stand at 6' 2" tall).
So with little trepidation, I jump on the scale and look down at the digital read out as it flashes at me, waiting for my final tally. It is at this point that I usually feel like I am at a circus or carnival and the nurse is trying to guess my weight within a few lbs. My nurse now has a cigarette hanging from her lip and she appears to be weathered, tired, bored even.
"If I guess your weight wrong, you get a prize!", she exhumes, uninterested, in the most bone rattling, smoke congested voice you would expect to find on a anti-smoking ad on television.
For a moment, the dream fades from fanciful carnival to horror as the scale punches me squarely in the gut with the numbers: 201
"What the Fuck?!", I shout internally.
Externally, the carnival nurse hears, "That can't be right."
I proceed to sit down in the chair next to the scale, more from the shock of the numbers on the scale than to prepare for my next statistics. Of course, the shock of the first test, has thrown my other tests way the fuck off base. My heart is pounding, my blood pressure totally rising due to my angst over my newfound 'fatness'.
She then herds me into the cold and dank isolation chamber known as the examination room, where I get to spend the next 10 weeks waiting for the doctor with nothing but my thoughts racing about my shocking encounter with the hospital scale.
I sit in silence and shock telling myself it is fine.
"I am not fat", I reassure myself.
When it comes to to address this to the now present doctor, he looks it up on a chart and simply says that my weight now pushes me into the 'overweight' category.
My Doctor seemed to be indifferent to my worried state. I asked him point blank, "Doc, doesn't it concern you that in the last 10 months, I have gained around 15 lbs?"
He said he wasn't too concerned and thought we would just keep an eye on it and watch for any other issues that might arise. Nice. Like what... HEART DISEASE, Adult Onset Diabetes maybe? What about my fat ankles...
It isn't that I am a hypochondriac, but I want to be around for many years for my children and if there is something I can do in my diet or in my activity that I need to do, then damn it - give me the fuckin' tools so I can be a better person.
I refused to believe that I am overweight - of course I have heard that using the BMI (Body Mass Index) as a valid measurement, would put Arnold Schwarzenegger in the category of OVERWEIGHT also because of his muscle and height.
I am 6' 2" and I currently weigh in around 194. The above incident took place in July 2008. I have lost a few lbs... and am maintaining around the mid 190's. My goal? To get into the mid 180's. And with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the damn corner - this is going to be hard!
My name is Bill, and I am not overweight!