Humans Hate Weight Loss - Its a Bitch
I think we have evolved to know that weight loss is a sign of ill-health and in our HIV-infested and AIDS prevalent age, visible weight loss is a cause of alarm and it makes people uncomfortable, worried and concerned. Weight helps our species in selection of healthy mates and in general most illnesses, like cancer (chemotherapy is hell), diarrhea, cholera, AIDS, Tuberculosis, Pneumonea and so on are characterized with the patients losing weight. So its a mark of questionable health and we have evolved to be careful around such people lest we get whatever disease is cleaning them out. And that is fine but this is largely a third world perception. In the developed world, fat is bad (obesity, bulimia etc), just like very thin (anorexia) is bad. Skinny is not bad. Bony is bad.
Sample the interactions below between ordinary mortals in planet earth.
"Why are you losing weight?" A colleague asked me yesterday, fixing me with an accusing and betrayed look as she limply shook my extended hand.
"Because I want to" I replied to her demand, smiling easily as I surveyed her blood-red lipstick and remembered Sarah Palin's pittbull-in-lipstick slogan.
She did not bother to ask me why I wanted to lose weight. Instead, she stormed "You are so annoying!" and she turned away from me. I didn't know what to make of that. Annoying her for losing my own weight? Please. Plus, she is married. Why would she give a rat's ass whether I lost weight? And don’t get me started over whether she had tyres jiggling or not. It would be rude and insensitive and you know how sensitive women are about their weight. Was I supposed to seek her approval before starting to lose weight?
"Me [sic] I can’t go out with a skinny boyfriend" a girlfriend quipped as we were talking about weight loss.
"That’s enough, stop there. If you go beyond that, you will look terrible!" another female colleague told me recently.
"Ne kaka koro idhero!" the same colleague told me yesterday with a big-eyed, sad, pitiful, puppy look. That is translated to mean "Look how thin you are now!" This was delivered in the same tone of voice a mother would tell a child who has been playing in mud and is all covered in dirt except for his two innocent eyes.
"I wish you would stop now" My sister told me recently "You now look fine"
"Omera wiyi ema odong!" a friend told me when I was 85Kgs. That is translated to mean "Only your head is remaining!" I told him I have 6 more Kilos to go and he remarked that he can’t imagine how I will look like when I am 6Kgs less.
I am still overweight yet I am being assailed regularly with comments like the ones above. What if I lose another 5Kgs? (Which, by the way, I need to lose in order to reach my ideal weight – but I need to lose only a Kg to achieve normal weight). Will they start planning my funeral? Will they start to helpfully explain to me that stepping on a live wire does not mean the end of life? Will they start encouraging me to take walks near VCTs and give me booklets on how to live positively?
My mother should not see me now. She last saw me in July when I was 92. If she sees me now, she will automatically start losing weight and become my problem. First of all, she would never understand why I would want to lose any weight when according to her, I looked healthy at 92Kgs. Secondly, she wont ask me: she will ask my brothers what is stressing me so much. They will mumble inane answers which wont add up according to her arithmetic then she will proceed to conclude that it is because I don't have a wife that I am stressed and now wasting away. She will wonder quietly why God gave me education and money but denied me a wife. After that, she will proceed and conclude that the fees I am paying for my sister's college education is too much burden and it is the one clearing me. Then she will lose appetite worrying about how her poor son is suffering and she will lose weight faster than me as she starves herself in some weird form of penance. She did that last year when I was 84Kgs. Now I am 80Kgs. Quietly consider the catastrophic effect my "skinny" frame would have on her failing health. I may even have to wear three trousers and five coats just to stave off the disastrous consequence of her seeing me in this state.
Getting Skinny 101
Welcome to Getting Skinny 101. Getting Skinny 101 will help you deal with snide sound bites like the ones above when you are trying to lose weight and succeeding. You will be threatened with divorce, abandonment, threatened, inquisitioned, probed, innuendoed, ignored and ridiculed. If you are not prepared, you will give up and become one with the fatness. It is important to remember that 98% of people try to lose weight and fail. Or they succeed for 36hours only. Most of them join the anti-weight-loss mob. And they are quite vocal and defensive. Getting Skinny 101 will help you weather the shitstorm.
Getting Skinny 101 is about losing weight and keeping it off. One foundational maxim of Getting Skinny 101 is that, There is no point losing it if you cant keep it off. Now write that down and wrap it tightly round your brain. We will learn more maxims and develop laws as we go along. In a nutshell, it is not about dieting; it is about lifestyle.
Losing Weight is Not for Everyone
Losing weight is not for everyone. Some people are fat but don’t know it. GS 101 is not for them. Some people are fat but they don't care. GS 101 is not for them. Some people want to lose 5Kgs for their wedding or to participate in an event. GS 101 is not for them. Some people are fat but they are in denial with garbage excuses like "Its genetic, even my parents are fat." GS 101 is not for them either. Some people think they cannot live without ice creams and French fries (chips) and burgers. GS 101 is not for them. Some people are overweight but think its sexy and frigging classic to have a pot belly and tryes. GS 101 is not for them too. And if you don’t know what a tyre is, consider yourself fortunate.
Is GS 101 For You?
GS 101 is for people who are overweight or obese and want to gain normal weight. It is not about dieting: it is about changing our eating habits. It’s a change in lifestyle. For diets, look elsewhere. I was 12Kgs overweight two months ago and now I am 1Kg overweight so I think I can say a thing or two about weight loss that can help one who is interested in losing weight. After all, plenty of girls get married and think they have experience after their wedding and proceed to open wedding planning companies and make roaring business. Right? So, why not me? I could start some weight loss program and publish a potboiler with a title like “How to lose 10Kgs Every Month Without Excercise!”
Seriously though, hundreds of keyboards have been banged senseless and plenty of ink spilled over paper over weight loss programs, Atkins diet, diet pills, veggie diets and so on and so forth. Most of them is good but not necessary. The bulk of it is manure with different schools of weight loss trying to tear the other school down. I will stick to the basics and don’t care which weight-loss cult you subscribe to. I don’t care which brand of weight-loss you like, al just stick to the basics of how to lose weight in a third world country.
First of all, weight loss is a "rich" person's problem. Poor people are generally not fat. So if you are fat, you must be one able to get a excess supply of food regularly and must be enjoying a fairly sedentary lifestyle either crouching behind a monitor all day or generally having your butt in a seat for more than six hours daily. Maybe watching some football game or some other inactive past time like reading newspapers or chatting.
Losing Weight Saves Money and Brings More Joy
One thing you must realize is that weight loss can and will make your lifestyle cheaper if you want it to. For example, you can ignore public or private transport and walk home if your home is less than 10 Kilometers from your work place and you will thereby burn calories. You will forego buying certain unhealthy snacks (which are normally expensive) and thereby save money etc etc. But we will come to that later. Those who insist on enjoying their hard-earned comfortable life needn't worry too much about that.
Why Lose Weight?
Your life will also be cheaper because you will be less susceptible to getting injured (sprained joints, injured backs, broken bones, swollen legs etc), you will be less susceptible to suffering from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease, stroke, and sleep apnea. Because of the latter, your life will be happier. Better sex, better moods, less health problems, better performance at work etc etc. The benefits are countless. Any idiot knows so I won’t bore you with them. And one that doesn’t know them can Google and stop expecting me to teach them everything.
I think this is enough for a start. We will go into specifics in the next installment.