In the wake of last year’s physical, my doctor and I conferred at length about my long-term health objectives. While I was curious about how to reduce my waist size, her focus remained steadfastly on my cholesterol.
As she put it, “one must make aggressive lifestyle changes to improve one’s health.”
I’m fairly certain that all schools of medicine require their students to take a course in which they learn to refer to their patients as “one” rather than “you.” This is because using the singular form of the pronoun is not only more formal but also more sympathetic than the singular form (“Stop eating like a starving bovine and you’ll drop the tonnage, honey”).
It’s been almost a year since my last appointment, and I haven’t made any major changes to my lifestyle besides putting the remote on the other side of the coffee table so I have to get up to use it.
Aggressive lifestyle change becomes more difficult to achieve with age. (See? Although I did learn quite a bit from watching old episodes of “Medical Center” and “ER,” I am also capable of saying “one” without having attended medical school. I have some time left before my next consultation, so I’m going to use it to try to implement some more alterations. Subtle shifts, nonetheless a shift none the less. For instance:
I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast on a daily basis. , if you prefer, an oatmeal cookie.
-Increasing one’s water consumption. I was curious about Tom Brady’s diet out of curiosity, because he doesn’t look his age and either has an ageing self-portrait hanging in his locker or studies a spell book in addition to a playbook. It seems that TB does follow a strict diet, perhaps too strict for the rest of us, but the fact that he consumes 25 glasses of water daily caught my attention. A cubicle in the ladies’ room would be more appropriate for me if I drank that much water throughout the day. Nevertheless, I made a decision to increase my water intake and see what happened. To be honest, I know it’s wishful thinking to try to change my lifestyle based on the advice of a professional football player who is now in his forties, but I know I can at least increase my water intake.
-Taking a walk instead of snacking on Pringles during my lunch break. If working out was more enjoyable, like swimming in the Aegean Sea with the promise of a glass of retsina at the end, then maybe more people would do it. However, one must face reality, which is a brisk walk around the block through the snow and ice for the promise of a cool drink of water at the end of the ordeal.
Reducing one’s level of pessimism. This is especially challenging when you’re on the road and everyone else seems to have taken a hallucinogenic that makes stop signs disappear. I give myself the benefit of the doubt and tell myself, “They must be in a hurry and that’s why they drive like a bat just released from hell.” I give it lip service and wish they’d run into a snow bank, but I usually end up being pessimistic.
-Keeping calm and not worrying. It’s not something that should be on the passive’s To Do list, but I think everyone’s health would improve if they could avoid stress altogether by not dealing with things like work, taxes, and the opinions of others. I haven’t quite figured out how to approach any of them yet, but I’m trying.
After my next physical, I may graduate to more aggressive changes, such as bringing pork rinds, which are acceptable on the ketogenic diet, to work instead of brownies when it’s my turn to provide treats. Then, perhaps, I’ll be ready to implement those radical alterations. And then, well, I have no idea what comes after aggressive, but let’s hope it’s something positive and beneficial.