I was in my 20’s during the cholesterol-screening-everywhere fad. Everywhere you went, there were offers to give you your cholesterol number if you’d give them your finger to prick. (Sorry to all of you who Googled “give finger” and “prick” and ended up on this old lady’s post about cholesterol.)

The free cholesterol-screening center was just one more store in the mall. They’d come to your place of employment, too. I was known as the “Health Food Nut” because I put granola on something a time or two. I was on the 4-12 shift, which meant I would get to work early at 3:55 on occasion. I flew in at 3:54 on this special occasion, amidst the cries of “Here she is! I bet hers is the lowest.”

Mine was 270-something. I insisted that the blood of fried-eating Gloria, who was tested right before me, was the culprit. There must be a mix-up! No, they insisted.

The next day I went to the doctor for the full-fledged blood test. A few days later, the results were in. Yep, high 200 range. Goodnight ice cream, my favorite food. Goodnight meat two out of three days. I was sensible—I food combined to get my complete protein and other nutrients. A couple months went by. I got retested.

My good cholesterol went down so far that my ratio was worse.

F**k it, I said, on my way to Carvel.

This has been my stance for the 30 years since. I eat well, try to keep my weight down, and exercise. But I don’t worry about my cholesterol, because if I cut out high-cholesterol and high-cholesterol-causing foods, my HDL might plummet.

Yes, this has been my stance.

Until yesterday.

That’s when the results of my 64-slice CT scan came in the mail and put the kibosh on the 64 slices of pizza and pie that would have gone into my mouth in the near future.

Soon, I’ll post about this non-invasive test, why I got it, and why I think it’s useful.

Meanwhile, I’m off to my steamed Swiss chard. Lucky for me, I like this kind of stuff