I went to the doctor yesterday for the usual female check-up. We also talked about bone density and cholesterol, two statistics I was concerned about. My last cholesterol check was 202 eighteen months ago, and I wondered if I should have it checked again. The doctor looked up my last test results and said they were good, because my HDL was at 67. She said, “We’re happy if that number is over 50, and we’re tickled pink if it’s over 60.” I don’t need to have that checked again for another year or two. I know that good news is a result of all the exercise; I try to eat healthy food but I still eat too much fat. It’s a continuing process of finding ways to work lower-fat foods into my routine and still eat some of the things I like—peanut butter sandwiches, chicken fried rice sometimes, a hamburger every couple of weeks. The problem about “everything in moderation” is that there are so many fattening foods that I like that if I eat them all in moderation, it’s way too much!
I was concerned about bone density because last year I had my heel tested in a density-checking device at a pharmacy, which cradled my foot in water, and it said my bone density was at -1 (minus one). This indicated a higherthan-normal fracture risk. I should be way above that at my age. I’d been taking vitamins and calcium supplements, doing plenty of resistance training and impact aerobics (jumping rope), and trying to eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables. I was afraid all my efforts were having no results and that I was headed for early osteoporosis.
Yesterday at the doctor’s office, a technician used a similar device to check my heel again. The doctor told me this piece of equipment might be more frequently calibrated and slightly more up to date technology-wise than the machine at the pharmacy. The device contacted my heel with ultrasound jelly instead of water. The resulting number was +.42, about the expected bone density of a woman ten years younger than I am. That’s more like it.
It all made me feel that my exercise habits and attempts at a decent diet are starting to show results that are valuable in the long run, as opposed to just the short-term reward of being happy with how I look. (After all, I’m almost 40, and looks are going to be downhill from here I guess!)