Health Screenings – What’s “Normal” Anyway?

So I just had an annual health screening and am confused… not because I don’t understand my results, but because I don’t understand our cultures obsession with “normal”.  What is “normal” anyway??  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the benefits of living a healthy life, afterall it’s what this blog is dedicated to, but sometimes I think we all become too obsessed with being society’s version of “normal”, rather than what’s best for ourselves.

So let’s get down to specifics… I don’t mind sharing, especially if it helps someone else out there feel more “normal” like me:

Cholesterol:  155/67.  2.3 ratio, low.  (Great, I’m in “desirable” range.)

Glucose:  70, very low – “normal”.  (Really?  I guess those doughnuts, cake, cookies, and fruit at our breakfast feast didn’t hurt so much afterall.)

Blood Pressure:  98/66, extremely low, as it usually is.  (I guess that explains my frequent dizziness.)

BMI:  5’5″, 140 pounds, waist 26″.  (WHAT???  How did I gain 5 pounds in 3 days?  This dang scale can’t be right. ) BMI of 23, once again “normal”.

So now I’m sitting here reflecting on what should be a very good health screening, but instead I’m hung up on the 140 pounds.  Although it falls into the “normal” range for my height and supposedly my muscle mass is causing that to be inflated, I can’t help but feel bad.  We all have that dreaded weight that we never want to reach and mine is anything over 140.  Several recent comments from TV and magazines stick out in my mind.  There was one imparticular that bugged me – a celebrity had said she was 5’6″, 140″ and a size 6, and all the comments were that there’s no way someone with those measurements could be a size 6 and she should lose some weight.  Seriously?  Those are my measurements too and I can usually fit into a size 6 comfortably, so I beg to differ.  I get a good cardio workout almost every day – running, biking, classes – and lift weights at least twice per week.  I normally eat very healthy, so much so that my co-workers and family tease me about being a health nut.  Only my husband normally sees my ocassional burger and dessert pig-out sessions.  I refuse to give up all deliciously wonderful yet sinful foods! 

So that brings me back to my first question – WHAT IS NORMAL?  Normal is whatever is best for you and you don’t need to conform to someone else’s idea of what is normal.  Too many very young girls (and boys) today are obsessing over their appearance and their weight.  “Normal” is not the airbrushed model we see in magazines, or the actress/actor that has a live-in dietition, chef, and trainer.  No… normal is you and me living a healthy lifestyle, and the sooner we all accept that, the sooner the next generations will too.


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