Monday, October 29, 2007

One leg longer than the other

Now I know you are all dedicated followers of health issues: non smokers, fat-reducers and possibly even closet vegetarians; so let me share my secret with you. Go on, let me.

Given that some hospitals are now denying surgery to patients who they consider are aggravating their own ill health, you’ll know that a reduction in Body Mass Index (BMI) is something very desirable. If you have a BMI over the current “goalpost” max settings, your chances of getting NHS treatment are becoming a little slim (pardon the pun).

I have recently achieved an unexpected reduction in my BMI.

Some of it is entirely down to me; I’ve spent nearly a year limiting my intake of fatty or sugary foods, upping my vegetables and fruits, and taking longer walks. I’m now 17 kilos lighter, and have a BMI that is 6 points lower, than at this time last year.

However, in the past couple of weeks I’ve also discovered a neat trick that augments the effect: my BMI depends on which leg I stand on to be measured.

On my right leg, I’m 1 metre 61 centimetres tall. This gives me a BMI of 34.4. On my left leg, however, I’m 1 metre 62 centimetres – which gives me a BMI of 33.9. Neat, yes? Half a point shaved off just by standing on one leg.

As soon as the hospital repeats the resurfacing operation on the right hip, I’m told I’ll “grow” back to the same height on both legs! When the surgical team told me that resurfacing would be my best option, they explained that because my bones are strong and thick, they have only a small inner space; this meant that a full joint replacement would have allowed me only a slender prosthesis with a small bearing-head, but for the same reason resurfacing was the perfect solution. I just smiled smugly. You see, I’ve told the weight-critics for years that I have heavy bones.

Ah … now I think this is where we came in; I suppose my BMI can’t rely on surgery every time. Would you class it as a catch-22?

Oh well. Stay off the chocolates and buttery shortbread, and try not to bite your fingernails.

3 comments: said...

Claim 1. I have heavy bones

Claim 2. I have a stocky build.

Claim 3. After all this exercise , muscle weighs more than fat.

Complaint : no bugger believes me


Mary Witzl said...

Damn it, Sue: you've just stopped me from going into the kitchen and helping myself to sticky toffee pudding. Our neighbors have gone on holiday and before they left they brought over THREE entire trays of sticky toffee pudding -- and very good stuff, too. I've resisted all day long and was about to give in. But when I read that bit about your losing 17 kg, I was filled with such admiration and envy that I have decided that I must be strong.

And I'm definitely going to try that trick with shifting from one leg to the other. Wonder which one of my legs is the 'light' one?

Sue Millard said...

It's funny that in humans nobody routinely takes bone mass into account, like they do if you're a horse!