Just over two and a half years ago I was a size 22 and weighed 13 stones! After cutting out all the junk food, using a smaller plate and doing lots of walking I’m now a very happy and healthy size 12-14. However, despite my achievement, the NHS, (my cardiologist in particular), doesn’t share my joy and it’s all because of numbers.
Due to my height (lack of) the fact that I actually weigh 12 stones, (despite looking and feeling ‘normal’), my BMI is 30 which puts me in the ‘obese’ category! All the various weight-to-height charts suggest I should weigh 9 stones, which would technically leave me having to lose another three stones… despite the fact I’m already down to a size 12-14!!!!
Luckily, I have the common sense to be proud of what I’ve achieved, but others in a similar position might feel disheartened. This has two potential outcomes; either they’ll give up, return to an unhealthy diet and regain all the weight they lost, or they’ll develop an eating disorder.
While I realise that many people do need to lose weight in order to ease pressure on joints and bones, common sense needs to prevail, and once you are at the stage when you’re finally comfortable in your own skin then throw away the scales, stop the weekly weigh-ins, and just enjoy being fabulous!
It’d been a whole year since I’d last seen my consultant cardiologist, and when I went for my follow-up appointment today for the results of my annual heart scan I fully expected a simple three minute consultation to say that nothing has changed and to return for my next scan as planned the following year. Luckily, a friend took me there and I have to admit it was good to have a bit of moral support. It’s not nice to sit in the cardiology department on your own for any length of time, surrounded by people who clearly have major medical woes.
After hanging around for what seemed an eternity I was eventually ushered into a small consulting room, where my consultant told me that the two iffy valves in my ticker (aortic and mitral) hadn’t got any worse, which is what I’d expected all along but was nice to actually get confirmation. The other positive news was he was now putting me on a new two-year programme, so no more annual scans and appointments – yay! They’re also setting up a one-stop heart clinic, so in the future I can get my scan done in one department and then pop along to see a cardiac nurse for the results the same day, which would be excellent. While I’m obviously thrilled to get such positive news, I’m not entirely sure why I couldn’t have simply been sent a letter with that information; no wonder the jolly old NHS is skint!
When your new boss is possibly younger than your children, it can make being the newbie at work seem even more of a challenge, but when you begin a brand new career in your fifties you simply have to get over it and get on with it. I’ve now completed the first week in my new job and although there’s been times when I’ve felt totally out of my depth, and have even questioned whether I was the right person for the role, with the help of my extremely supportive co-workers I’ve finally gained some much-needed confidence.
I was thrilled to find out that my office is full of house-plants, my desk has dual screen monitors and I can help myself to as many hot drinks as I can physically consume throughout the day. This is certainly worlds apart from anything I’ve ever experienced before and it’s amazing. I’ve also enjoyed a leisurely lunchtime stroll through the nearby meadows with my colleagues, watching massive, red dragonflies and pretty little butterflies, before sitting beside a lake in the sunshine for some girlie banter.
I know that there’s going to be plenty of challenges ahead, but I’m sure that if I can take the plunge and start a brand new job at the age of fifty four then anyone can!