Shortly after I turned 40 last year, I received a letter in the post inviting me for a free health check at my local surgery.
Because I needed another reminder of my age.
The test would assess my risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, so I put aside any denial I was still feeling about the BIG 4-0, and booked myself in.
As part of the check-up they took my blood pressure, tested my cholesterol level, weighed me, measured me, and asked questions about my lifestyle.
And, I did not even lie!
I do eat lots of salads and vegetables. I snack on olives. I am gluten-free!
However, there is a small chance I may have neglected to mention the blue cheese I have indulgently been chopping into my salads, sprinkling over my roasted vegetables, and nibbling on straight from the fridge. Or that the olives are of the Nocellara variety, drizzled in olive oil and eaten by the container full. I may have also slightly underestimated the true size of a unit when asked how many of them I consume per week.
The scales do not lie either though and there was no way the nurse was buying my gluten-free, clean living lifestyle when she wrote down my BMI of 30!
‘Do you think it could be because of my thyroid?’ I asked hopefully, knowing full well it was the cheese.
Denial is a wonderful thing.
A quick tap into google when I got home and there was one word that appeared over and over again – obese.
This in the same week that I also found out I have rosacea. So, I am fat and spotty. I feel like Mr Blobby’s rounder, spottier, older, aunt.
My cholesterol was also slightly raised.
I am guessing that’ll be the cheese on both counts.
So she has sent me home with strict instructions to cut back on the fatty foods, eat less salt, and most importantly, exercise more.
As in the type of exercise that makes you red in the face, sweaty, and out of breath. So I can add that to my list of attractive qualities too.
In fact, I am classed as SO overweight that I am entitled to a free Weightwatchers or Slimming World subscription PLUS a free session with a personal trainer at the gym. So every cloud and all that…
I understand I cannot continue the lifestyle patterns I started in my twenties, but can I really commit to being one of those people who doesn’t drink red wine and avoids the cheese board?
Can I really imagine a life without bacon, roast chicken flavoured crisps, or steak night?
Well, I guess I am about to find out.