Progress report

Four-odd months ago, I commenced a process to lose weight. As I stated previously, I was not obese, or that I had a problem with my ‘image’ (some image), or indeed that my Body Mass Index was too high; I simply was too damn fat for my own good, and decided to do something about it. I had some ‘previous’ with various diets, but had a good look around, and plumped (ha ha!) for the one which made sense to me, a mere neophyte in medical, process and chemical changes within my body; and also because of the inescapable truth that I was now definitely ‘elderly’. I also exercise every weekday morning, which is similar to belting myself with birch twigs, without the sado-masochistic satisfaction.

So, some 140 days later, I have reached the magic figure of 38 pounds off, or just over 2.5 stones in weight loss; which is half my weight-loss target. It hasn’t been easy, as I still consider the lack of Danish pastries akin to a natural disaster, and chocolate biscuits to be on a par with at least cocaine in addictive potential. But I shall progress, and as I am already feeling the benefits from not having to cart the equivalent of a sack of potatoes every time I walk, I shall continue to do my bit for my heart, my general health and well-being. My beloved wife depends upon me, and as I could never contemplate being without her, I shall do my best to stay with her for those years allowed us.

But the real reason to tell regulars of my small battles and triumphs is to lay bare the truths about the many and varied slimming and diet claims in news columns, magazines of all shapes and persuasions, and of course the plethora of diet, food and health advice websites on t’Internet. You have no doubt read as many headlines as I which all carry the pick-and-mix words we are so used to reading. ‘Lose a Stone in two weeks’, or ‘Get that beach body ready for the holiday of a lifetime’, or my own personal favourite, ‘Lose that belly fat faster’. What all of these diet sites promise, and of course it is just a promise, is that you too will have the enviable body silhouette featured on the shiny diet page, providing that you eat Brand XX, or Solution YY, or a half-dozen bottles of pinkish-coloured Gloop ZZ. Most diet advice sites and pages also routinely denigrate everyone else’s ideas and products, consigning them to a shade just above child abuse, which is pretty low itself.

The one thing which most routinely forget to tell you is that, in order to lose weight, you have to accept that it is and ‘should be’ a long process. The human body retains many of the defence mechanisms built up over millennia, and one of those mechanisms is the ability to store energy against a time of hunger or famine. The Pygmy Bushmen of Namibian fame are a typical example of this body action, where they gorged on food after a hunt, and their bodies store the excess in their buttocks, and draw upon that excess during the long days between another kill, so that whilst they might seem to be almost without sustenance, their bodies are routinely replenishing from their energy store.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss, if you have built up a fat reservoir over months or indeed years, and you wish to return to a better level of health, whichever diet regime you adopt must be tailored to the finite ideal of slowly and steadily. The diet advice which I adopted stated that the total time needed to come close to my ideal weight loss was nine months, and what the man wrote has so far come close to my own knowledge of my progress.

I would not presume to advise anyone on the efficacies of my diet, or any other advice, regime or product; that is again an individual choice; I do not preach, I don’t say ‘eat this’ or alternatively ‘don’t eat or drink that’. The only thing I would say is that the best method of weight control is a full length mirror, and if you don’t like what you see, don’t you think that you owe it to those who may depend on you to maybe do something about it?

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