Every year we have workplace biometric screenings where they check height, weight, waist, body fat, blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol. Participation and results determine insurance rates. Every year this causes my brain to go somewhat crazy. I feel pressure to "win" the biometric screenings. (?!) Several years ago, I would attempt to game the results by eating primarily weeds and beans in the week before the test, shifting to very low-fat and low-carb the day before. I'd fast longer than necessary, sometimes I'd exercise in the hour beforehand to bump HDL.
This year brain started in with the crazy talk about two weeks ago. "Oh, noes! The tests are coming! Must eat perfectly!" I really don't have any patience for that anymore so told brain to sit down and shut up. I was determined to eat how I normally eat, do what I normally do, enjoy myself, and accept whatever results that produced. This week I have had steak & eggs, cheese, chicken skin, a fast food burger and fries, frozen pizza, and Ben & Jerry's Candy Bar Pie. I've also consumed plenty of fruits and vegetables, lots of fiber, quality protein, whole grains, and healthy fat, along with regular exercise.
My numbers were the same as always, deep into "ideal" territory, nothing even borderline. This is forcing crazy brain to fully accept something I've always suspected: It's the big picture of an overall healthy lifestyle that counts, and also genetics I'll bet. It is NOT that you eat one french fry and have your arteries jam up with plaque, or eat ice cream and catch the diabetes that night, or salt your vegetables and have your blood pressure skyrocket. All of the alarmist rhetoric on the internet would have you believe that if you eat one wrong thing you're going to suffer serious and immediate health consequences. Drink a chocolate malt and get fat. Eat an M&M and get hyperactivity and ADHD from the artificial colors. Have some wheat bran and catch leaky gut and grain brain. That's not how it works. OMG. I'm relieved to be finally untangling myself from the last of those beliefs. I'm going to be one of those 90 year-olds eating cherry cobbler for breakfast.