My Love for an Annual Physical

Hi, my name is Brittany and I have a problem. I love going to the doctor. LOVE it. Call it mild hypochondria, but I love getting told that the funny bump on my scalp is nothing serious, that heart flutters can be completely normal and that it’s ok that I need 8+ hours of sleep to function.

That’s why I’m a fan of the annual physical. I recently had my blood work drawn and just received the results. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing I’m in the healthy range. Well, one thing bring me more joy- comparing my numbers against… my numbers.

health history folder

Please tell me you have a folder with your health history, too?

I pulled out my physical results from 2006 and 2010 and decided to compare. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention that after graduating from college is when I decided to focus on getting healthy instead of jumping on another diet. I graduated college in 2006. Check out how things have changed since then.

  ideal 2006 2010 2012
Cholesterol 125-200 171 129 138
HDL > 46 69 57 69
LDL < 130 82 59 62
Chol/HDL Ratio < 5.0 2.5 2.3 2.0
Triglycerides < 150 101 64 37
Glucose 65-99 79   82


I won’t pretend I’m a medical expert and know what all the numbers on my print out mean, but I do know that I’ve more than cut my triglyceride (fat found in blood) level in half. I also know that LDL is the “bad” cholesterol, and I’ve lowered that by 20 points, while bring up my HDL “good” cholesterol.

My blood pressure is 112/70 and my doctor told me I have a low resting heart rate, which is why I probably feel the PVCs.

My Vitamin D level, however, is low. I know most people are vitamin D deficient, and it’s time for me to admit I’m one of them. Though I’m not big on supplementation, I’m now taking a 1000 IU Vitamin D supplement every morning to get my levels up from 24 into the 30-100 range.

Overall, I’m thrilled with my progress report. It proves to me that I don’t have to be perfect, just to focus on whole foods and stay active.

Do you get annual physicals?

Do you take any supplements? Which ones?



  1. says

    I definitely take more supplements than I need – but I blame it on being a vegetarian! My main one’s are a multi and St. Johns Wort (started taking when I quit smoking last yeary). I’ve recently added Iron and a few others but I don’t know if I’ll stay with them.

  2. says

    I don’t get an annual physical, but perhaps after baby # 2 is born I’ll start. My OB has basically been my GP lately since I’ve been pregnant for the better part of 2 years. He’s run tons of blood tests, so I feel pretty good with where I stand now. It would be interesting to track my levels over the years, though. Good for you for keeping your blood so healthy! :)

  3. Hanna says

    Wow you are healthy! I envy your numbers for sure. My cholesterol is a little high, which scares me! Looks like I need to start putting more effort into eating whole foods. I take a prenatal vitamin every night since I’m nursing.

  4. says

    I thought this said physics at first glance, and almost ran away, haha!
    Look at those #’s, Brittany! Good for you :) Did you get a blood test done for any vitamin/mineral deficiencies? I just had that done (but for other reasons) and it was fascinating!

    • says

      I didn’t get it done for vitamin deficiencies but that would be so cooooool! I just went with the basic physical that is covered by my insurance. What reasons did you have to get that blood work done for?

  5. Paulina says

    I haven’t had a physical in years! I plan to get a full physical when I find a new doctor. My own MD is great but she is retiring soon and I don’t like her partner who will take over the practice. I take a few suppliments, including a daily multi-vitamin, probiotics, omega fish oil, and I just started taking vitamin D.

  6. says

    Great numbers! It was nice to see your progression from 2006 to 2012! Vitamin D is something so many of us are lacking! I don’t have a health folder but I think its great that you do because we all need to take charge in our health!!

  7. says

    I had my first physical in years when I enlisted in the Navy, though they didn’t run a lipid panel or anything. You’ve got some great numbers! High cholesterol runs in my family so even with my diet and exercise, my numbers are still on the higher side. Hopefully you passed your good genes on to Hailey!

    • says

      I have a friend that has high cholesterol in the family and it’s crazy to see just how much genetics affect those numbers. It certainly creates more of a challenge. Good thing you live such a healthy lifestyle :)

  8. says

    LOVE getting my annual check up and getting back blood work results. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I love seeing if I’ve made progress and figuring out what I can do to improve for the next time. And I take a multi vitamin and a fish oil supplement. Thanks for sharing your results…I hope your post motivates others to pay more attention to things like this!

  9. says

    Yay I’m not the only one who shares this love! Ha ha, not only do I have a folder, I have a whole binder of all my health stuff. I am such a nerd. I’m a total hypochondriac, it’s slightly embarrassing. I’ve been to the hospital way too many times for the most minor of things. I’m such a drama queen. Oops. You results are excellent, that is such good news to hear your health is in top notch!! Way to go!

  10. says

    I love going to the doctor too and seeing my “numbers”. It’s been a while though since I’ve been, so I’m probably due for another blood test to make sure everything is a-okay. Last time I went, my doctor wouldn’t check my cholesterol though – she said I was in good health and too young – that it wouldn’t be necessary. I was a bit disappointed to be honest, because I wanted to know and believe that you can never know too much about your own health.

    You’d probably LOVE to do the personal genetic testing that my husband and I did a few years ago called 23 and Me. It’s a spit test that tells you about your ancestry, traits, and your health risks based on your genetics. Fascinating stuff!

    • says

      oh my gosh I’d love to do that!! David hates it though. He thinks I’m constantly looking for something to worry about. He’s kind of right 😉
      What did you find out about your health risks?

      • says

        It showed that I had higher risks for lung cancer and glaucoma, but only if I smoked. Phew. Don’t need to worry about those. Most of the percentages are low for disease risks, but interesting none the less.

        The most fascinating part though was the ancestry. I found out that I’m 10% of Asian descent! Who knew? It also showed that I have Native American descent as well. I’m just a mixed bucket of ethnicities :)

  11. Kaley says

    My vitamin D is super low, so I have been taking a supplement as well- it’s a massive dose (50,000 IU but taken 1x week). Just an fyi, it’s not always easy getting it up to a normal level. The last time mine was checked it was 24 (in May) and I just had it checked in September and it went down to 13.. and I had been taking 2000 IUs daily + a prenatal which has a little. You might have yours rechecked just to make sure it’s going up!

    • says

      I’ve heard it’s tough to get your levels up. Since I’m only taking 100o IUs I know it might take a while. I’m due to be retested in about 4 months.
      I wonder what makes it go down? What id they suggest they do for your’s since it dropped?
      Thanks for sharing!

      • Kaley says

        I actually asked my OB to check it when I saw her in Sept because I was worried it might be low and knew that could cause problems when trying to conceive- I was exhausted all the time and just felt off, and sure enough it was low! She put me on a prescription Vitamin D which is 50000 IUs 1x week for 10 weeks. Once that is finished I will go to 4000 IUs daily until I have it rechecked in January.

        I think the easiest way to get it is from direct sun exposure..but I am a sunscreen freak so that along with avoiding dairy (was not a milk drinker but am trying now) was probably the reason I was so low. And I can’t help but think that recently being pregnant has something to do with it. I think it’s common for levels to drop during pregnancy, and I am wondering if mine just couldn’t get back up with the lack of sun and dairy.

  12. jodie says

    I have to take Vitamin D too. Id rather just buck up soon and drink cows milk fortified with D but I go more the cottage cheese and yogurt route.

  13. says

    Totally not weird for you to love physicals ~ I love getting my stats, too!! The whole waiting for hours in the waiting room does kind of peeve me, though 😉

    I do take a few supplements but so far I’m in great health, so I’m not stopping anytime soon! Women’s multi, Calcium+D, Fish Oil+Omega-3, Vitamin C, Biotin {my nails were so brittle before starting it!}.

  14. says

    I’m a bit of a geek that way, too, I always get a copy of my lab reports and scan them in to my computer to save. My numbers have all stayed excellent even though I’m 50– I guess the close-to-vegan diet with lots of fresh produce plus figure skating for exercise does something for me! I don’t take any supplements.
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