There was this guy whose eyes were as round as his stomach, and behind his back people called him “Bentong,” after the Filipino comedian. Nearly all the members of his family can be called “fat”, if not “obese”.
Anyway, this guy knew the necessity of exercise. He played basketball after work, but being a boss, his idea of the game was to walk up and down the court and wait for a pass, then shoot. Did not play any defense whatsoever. Everyone was shocked when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer—he was only in his early thirties, but his was a lifestyle that led to an early death. Less than a year after being diagnosed, he was buried.
People who are overweight are vulnerable to many diseases. When we reach middle age, our metabolism slows down. When that rate drops, all the fat that remains would spread inside the body: restricting the vessels of the heart, or smothering intestines. Diabetes is another probability for people who are already overweight. For those who’ve made a conscious decision to lose weight, here are some practical steps you can take:
1. Set a realistic goal for yourself. Actors like Jake Gyllenhaal and Christian Bale lost weight to portray characters in movies: Nightcrawler and The Machinist, respectively. Do not go and pretend that you are an actor who can undertake such a makeover between films. Be content with minimal noticeable improvement after weeks of exercise and diet. Set yourself a goal, tell yourself that in a few months, you should have lost a certain reachable number of pounds or perhaps even fit enough to play basketball competitively.
2. Choose an exercise that you are comfortable with. You could opt to take 150 shots during every basketball practice you take, even if that same number of shots entails only a warm-up for fit persons. You could go for a more “geriatric” form of exercise like walking. If you feel like running instead, the best way is to start slow, then jog for around 5 to 10 minutes, and do some stretching afterwards. That way, you don’t pull a hamstring.
3. Diet. When you Google “diets,” you are likely to get over a million related results. There are many popular diets: Dukan, Scarsdale, Atkins, South Beach, Glycemic Index, The Zone, Alternate Day, etc., etc. Some might say it is not a matter of choosing a diet but sticking to it. Be committed. There was this guy whom I was helping to lose weight. What should I see in his hands one day but a big bag of Mexicorn? Nobody ever said it would be easy. Dieting is a herculean task, as imagined in Lionel Shriver’s 2013 novel, Big Brother, which features a character whose morbid obesity causes his undoing in the end.
4. Use Fat Burners. Yes, fat burners can be effective when combined with Numbers 2 and 3 as they are mere supplements. Expect a side effect, such as seeing your stool turn as soft as baby food. Do not expect instant weight loss. After you have been taking the fat burner for about two-and-a-half weeks, it is normal if you have lost a mere five pounds.
It can be a very long road to eventual weight loss. Sometimes you feel as if you are taking one step forward and two steps backwards. Just think of taking that long road as a means of extending your life.