Feature Article of Friday, 21 September 2012
Columnist: Essel, Kojo Cobba
My Dear body fat,
I need not ask you if you are doing well because I can clearly see you are having your way.
I remember several years ago I felt that people who had protruding bellies were not only gluttons but lazy as well, but now you have put me to shame. My belly sticks out like a sore thumb, which makes dressing up so difficult. I have been doing a thousand crunches everyday but all to no avail. I am desperate. Clothes keep “shrinking” yet I sincerely thought I was doing a great deal of the now in vogue healthy life style. You see it is now fashionable to say you have adopted a healthy lifestyle. Hmmmmm, sometimes I sincerely think some people just like me consume more than we budget for. I realize that anytime I actually write down everything I put into my mouth over a three day period I am immensely surprised by the quantity and content. Maybe I should have strict meal times and take nothing in between except for my healthy snacks that will actually be a part of my meal plan.
Why did I even refer to you as dear in the salutation? You cause me so much embarrassment. I sacrifice so much yet you do nothing to show the world that I have “repented” of my bad eating habits and lack of physical activity. Over the past six months, I have skipped breakfast every single day all to no avail. After all the less I eat the fewer the calories and by my calculation I should lose weight since in addition to that I walk and jump in my room for ten whole minutes every morning before taking my bath. Take note of that, I said every morning!!
The ten minutes of “room-walking” is so intense that it leaves me breathless so I have to park as close to my office as possible and I have sworn never to use the stairs at work lest I over-exercise. These days I find it so difficult to concentrate at work and I have been making mistakes. Headaches have become a daily battle and I need to leave work early because I feel so tired soon after lunch. Lunch has been so boring lately – six fingers of banana on most days with just half a litre of clean water. That makes up for the much touted fruit intake. After all these you just seem to be sprouting from all angles; arms, thighs, midsection and even lately my face looks so full.
Body fat, today I am issuing you with an ultimatum, if you do not leave my body by the end of the year, I will embark on a hunger strike. I will not even drink water. I doubt if you can survive such harsh conditions but if persuasion fails I will need to apply force.
Kindly respond promptly. I need to start seeing changes by next week. One more unfriendly comment by observers and I may end up taking medicine to “melt” you away.
My Dear “Landlord”,
I had to respond to your letter promptly because I think though you are trying hard to get rid of me; you have adopted the wrong methods. Fortunately for me, your system makes me feel so cozy; I cannot help but invite more of my like to enjoy. We have managed to take so much space on your outer body and recently we have had to send some of our relatives to cushion your heart and all organs in your body. Frankly as I write now the breathlessness you have been experiencing is only the tip of the ice-berg. You have also developed diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure at such a tender age. The truth is you are racing to your grave.
I was so touched because you referred to me as “dear” so I will help you out of your predicament. Adopt the following changes and I am certain overtime you will see some of my colleagues flee. Since I was first in, I will be the last out. Surely you do not want to rid your body of all fat. You need some of us but as little as possible.
1. Eat at least three meals a day. You should never skip breakfast. A lack of “fuel” from food is causing you to be less productive at work as well as giving you headaches. Skipping of breakfast is also causing you to pile on the fat and also making you tired.
2. I apologise for the embarrassment but I thought a hanging belly was a sign of affluence. Am I still living in the past? A thousand crunches a day is a crime. You still have muscle underneath that mound of fat, and exercising the same muscle everyday is counter-productive. It needs about 48-hours rest in between for best results. Three-days a week of effective abdominal exercise is good. Also bad eating habits will make it almost impossible to rid your abdomen of fat. You keep eating kenkey well past the late news on your television. That is bad! STOP IT! Ten minutes of half-hearted jumping and walking in your room and what exactly did you expect to gain from that? That is a joke, right? With the sort of fat you have acquired you will need about an hour of moderate intensity physical activity to make headway. Get out of your comfort zone and do something more realistic. Start with a few minutes and build on it gradually till you are doing about an hour a day. Your current strategy will only leave you with a big hard belly. REPENT.
3. I think you gain extra points by parking as far as possible from your office and walking. Use the stairs always. Join a gym if possible.
4. I am bursting my sides with laughter; you eat six bananas for lunch. Even too much of a good thing is bad. Moderation is key. Banana is very high in calories. You should have two small ones or one large one especially since you are too lazy oh, sorry too busy to do the corresponding physical activity.
I am convinced that the few points above will set you on the right path to reversing the zoo of lifestyle diseases you are currently courting.
I hope that you will be able to wear your clothes properly again and stop wearing lose fitting batakari to cover your “assets”.
I wish you the best in your quest to win the war. It was a good idea to write to me since we have seen clearly that you have been doing the wrong things.
All my love,
Your premiere body fat.
PS. Do not take medicine to “melt” us; after all you did not invite us with medicine. It was mainly due to your sedentary life and poor eating habits.
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel, MBChB, MBA