Last week, I went for my annual health check up.
My doctor pointed out that it is not really an annual check up when the last time I saw him was four years ago.
I tried to explain that I am an extremely important man, with an always-packed calendar, and certainly too busy saving the world to attend to trivial matters such as my health.
Unfortunately, the doctor started fiddling with the computer keyboard … tap, tap, tap … and brought up my medical record.
“JD, the last time we met, you confided that you don’t like medical check ups because you’re scared of needles for the blood test. I’m just going to assume that that phobia is still the major reason why I haven’t see you for four years.”
I thought it was terribly unkind of him to throw that back at me, especially as there was a student doctor in the room, engaged in some practical experience. What the heck I was thinking giving permission for Doogie Howser to sit in on my quadrennial medical consultation, I have no idea!
What followed was 30 minutes of having my almost-naked body prodded, pressed and stethoscoped by my doctor, while being hooked up to some machine that went “beep, beep” at the most disconcerting times. As if that wasn’t enough, the student doctor then repeated the whole process again, prodding, pressing and stethoscoping my almost-naked body. Why the hell I got stuck with Doogie Howser instead of one of those sexy-looking female student doctors crawling all over the place in Grey’s Anatomy, I have no idea!
After the examination, we sat around the doctor’s desk with me on one side and Doogie on the other, and the doctor in the middle telling me how I went in the physical and the blood test, while recording all that information into his computer.
As expected, I passed with a clean bill of health.
Then … then the doctor dropped the bombshell.
“By the way, you’re overweight“, my doctor said abruptly and casually, as if tossing a throw-away comment.
The room turned deathly silent.
I was too shocked to react.
I looked at my doctor and he ignored my incredulous stare and, instead, continued typing away on his computer keyboard … tap, tap, tap.
I looked at Doogie Howser and he just stared back at me, blinking his eyes … blink, blink, blink.
Eventually, I recovered from the shock and asked in a very low, deliberate voice: “COME AGAIN, Doc? Did I hear you right, just then? Did you just say I am overweight, or were you talking to your student doctor over there?”
“Oh, don’t worry too much, JD, you’re only about 5% above the optimal weight range for someone your height and age. I wouldn’t get too hung up over it. I just thought I tell you, in case you’re interested“, my doctor nonchalantly replied.
I sucked up three pounds of mass from my waist area to my chest region and protested: “But … but … it’s all muscles, isn’t it?“, while looking at both of them with pleading eyes.
No response from Doogie except … blink, blink, blink.
No response from the doctor except … tap, tap, tap.
Resigned, I let out a big sigh, with the three pounds of mass flopping down from my chest region back to my waist area.
I was so self-conscious by then that I honestly thought the doctor was typing into my medical record: ‘Memo for future reference – this fat fuck is not only overweight, but also very delusional’.
I have lived for 41 years and been called many things. But, overweight? NEVER … until this historic day!!!
For fuck’s sake, I go to the gym 4-5 times a week (admittedly spending most of my time checking out athletic-looking ladies), run 15-20km at a time (admittedly not very fast) and am constantly in training for a marathon or some other crazy endurance events (admittedly so that I can avoid my responsibility for helping with my boys’ homework).
Being classified as overweight is especially jarring for someone like me who spends more time in front of the mirror than the wife, and have often been accused of taking my shirt off too liberally while exercising (or even when not).
Then … just like in the movie Sixth Sense … the flashbacks came to me … flashbacks of all those times when people reacted whenever I was casually wearing some singlet or running around without a shirt.
What I took as admiring glances all that time in the gym or out on the running track from all those women (and men, not that there’s anything wrong with that) … I suddenly realised that they were not admiring glances at all.
Rather, they were glances of incredulity peppered with disgust, along the lines of “Eeeewwww, gross!!! Why doesn’t that old, overweight, fat fuck cover himself?!?!”
So, while not one for New Year’s resolutions, I have decided from now on to: (1) eat less junk food at night; (2) eliminate all beer; and (3) reveal very little of myself for the sake of humanity.
Unfortunately, that last resolution is proving much more challenging than I thought. Why? Because I’m writing this post right now without a shirt on.
Keep on pounding!