Monitoring how one breaths is one of the health screenings. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

I knew I had gained weight, but I didn’t know I was obese. This was not what I wanted to hear, especially considering I was on vacation and was in Utah to compete as an athlete.

One of the bonuses of the Huntsman World Senior Games is the opportunity to partake in an array of health screenings. They are free, or better put, come with the entry fee.

For someone who has not found a health care provider since moving from Tahoe, this seemed like a good opportunity to get some basic things checked like cholesterol and blood pressure.

(Earlier this fall I looked into getting a provider; the one that sounded OK isn’t seeing new patients until August. Maybe I should get that appointment to follow up on my obesity.)

The obese description—and it’s in writing as my “physique rating”—was based on weight and height. I don’t know what else was taken into consideration. I was standing barefoot on a scale that had a metal feature that made me wonder if it could calculate other things.

The vertical jump proves Kae Reed barely can get over a dime. (Image: Becky Darrow)

Also on the obese printout was my muscle mass, bone mass, metabolic age, body mass index and more.

When I see my doctor that I don’t have, I’m going to be sure my height is measured again. The folks in Utah say I’ve lost an inch. I didn’t think I had started to shrink. Maybe everyone around me is getting shorter so I haven’t noticed.

My degree of obesity, again, written in black ink, is 8.8 percent. Ideally, I should lose 12 pounds, according to the analysis.

I’m determined to lose it. Gradually. No silly diet. Just a few less snacks and little more pedaling on that new bike I brought back from Utah.

The good news out of the tests is that I don’t have oral cancer, my carotid arteries are not clogged, my grip strength in both hands is better than average—and the left one is stronger (I’m right handed), no issues with my balance, I’m a chest breather (would be better to be a diaphragm breather), I’m not much of a vertical jumper (no surprise there), and my cognitive ability is just fine (but, boy, did I have a hard time drawing the time with a little and big hands of a clock—shows I read digital clocks all the time).

Students from various universities in Utah volunteer to administer the health screenings. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

So, I don’t actually think I’m obese. But I could lose a few pounds. I like to gauge my weight by how my clothes feel and not what the scale says. The clothes are telling the same story as the scale.

It was easy to get into this predicament. I’m back to mostly sitting all day at a computer and there is food in the kitchen to snack on. Less activity, more food=weight gain. It’s that simple.

I may go back to the Huntsman Games next year just to get a new reading without the word “obese” on the printout.

Here are some of the health screenings available at the event:

  • Aerobic fitness
  • Balance
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood glucose
  • Body composition
  • Cognitive wellness
  • Carotid artery screening
  • Functional testing
  • Flu immunizations
  • Grip strength
  • Hearing screening
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Retinal screening
  • Visual screening
  • Vertical jump.

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