I’ve had the health check and it looks like I have to eat seeds

Lynne at the surgery

Lynne at the surgery - Credit: Archant

This, I’m afraid, will be a tale of woe, writes Lynne Mortimer.

I went for my “getting-on-a-bit” health check feeling not too bad and came away feeling fat and cholesterol-clogged. I went in clutching my ‘sample’ in its little pot, hoping the half-centimetre of my personal amber nectar wouldn’t evaporate before I got into the nurse’s surgery.

I had intended to bring more but having filled it until my pot runneth over, I decided I should pour some away and overdid it. By this time it was too late, of course, my reservoir had run dry.

“I hope you’ve got enough there,” I apologised to the nurse.

“Gosh, it’s not much, is it?” she said.

Had she been Scottish, I suppose she could have observed it was only a wee bit.

Then came the horrid part. I was weighed and immediately knew it was bad even though it was in kilograms. There were just too many of them. Then she measured my height.

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“Well, you’re overweight,” she concluded after consulting her graph.

I dug my fingernails into my palm to stop myself asking if the problem could simply be that I was under-height, though I suspect I would have needed to be about 7ft 6in to get into the perfect weight band. Is there such a thing as heavy bones?

“If you had weighed a little more, you would have been obese,” she added.

Somehow, that wasn’t reassuring. I am probably a couple of Mars bars away from obesity and yet I’m not even cuddly. No one has ever been immersed in my bosom, it’s just not big enough. So I’m overweight and can’t even give solace.

There was worse to come. My cholesterol was at 9.1%, most of it bad cholesterol. I was stricken.

“Have you eaten things that are bad?” asked the nurse kindly.

“Like chocolate?”


“Yes,” I sighed, adding quickly: “But it’s non-negotiable.”

The nurse then listed more bad things like crisps and buns. Now she was making me hungry.

She then asked about my face, which is still red, swollen, peeling and itchy. Please, I thought, please don’t let that be down to chocolate as well. In fact, she gave me a small tube of a proprietary moisturising cream to try.

Then she gave me a wodge of literature about lifestyle changes, diets and exercise for which I thanked her.

The booklet about reducing my blood cholesterol lauded the merits of oily fish and, in the case of herring, bony fish.

“Follow a Mediterranean diet,” it suggests. Then I was given a guide to healthy weight loss: facts not fads. It has a progress chart in the back... what, no smiley face stickers?

It all looks a bit too motivational for me. There is nothing more likely to send me towards the confectionery aisles in the supermarket than rhyming statements such as: “Take control, set your goal” and “lose weight, feel great”, “commit to be fit”.

You can probably tell by my grumpiness that I have not been eating enough chocolate. “Not so flabby makes you crabby”.

It also has a number of personal accounts of how people have managed to lose weight which I should find inspirational. So I shall try to cut out the bad things, eat nuts and seeds and become a model of good health but I’m not going to go on about it, nor will I offer my motivational oily fish messages.

Moving on, it seems I should aim to do 150 minutes of activity a week. That’s 20 minutes for six days and 30 minutes on the other day. Already I’m not liking the look of day seven.

But then I read I should be looking at doing 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week; activity, that is. “To get the most benefit, you need to be active enough to make you feel warm and slightly puffed but still be able to have a conversation.” Like fresh popcorn with a talkative nature.

I have decided to regroup and be positive about all this. After all it is, as they say, for my own good. I am going to eat good things and get slightly puffed several times a week.

But it wasn’t all bad news. My sample was sufficient to carry out the litmus test and I don’t have litmus. What a relief.