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Alter that Mirror Image!
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By Nawaz Modi Singhania  

Isn't it ironical that on one hand there are millions on this planet who do not get enough to eat, & then there are others who grossly overeat their way through life? They zoom head-on into the dangers of obesity, which both dent the quality & thwart the life span of an individual.

Andy Rhine from California weighed all of 480 kgs when he died at the age of 35. He was found in his apartment on the couch, unable to walk anymore due to the tremendous weight of his own being. A crane had to be called for to lift him out of his apartment. He was transferred to hospital where he died, where his internal organs were crushed, as a result of his body weight. His tired heart could not cope anymore with having to pump blood to every nook & cranny of his gigantic body. It simply stopped beating.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

- I CORINTHIANS 3: 16- 17

Obesity adversely affects one's social life, personal life, sex life & career. Fat persons are often the target of ridicule, fun & gossip among friends & in society.

Obesity is also the cause of numerous health problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, some forms of cancer, diabetes & arthritis. In short, the plight of an obese person is truly pitiable.

The upside? None! Except that you do not have to live with obesity! The age-old combination of a well balanced, controlled diet & exercise can truly turn your life around.

  Get Going!

"The human body was designed to walk, run or stop; it wasn't built for coasting."

- Cullen Hightower

Firstly, be honest with yourself. Recognize your problem areas, & observe your body type in order to figure out your goals.

Don't bother embarking on a programme until the burning desire to change for the better is really your own, not your mother's or your husband's. That'll never work.

  Where's the Time?

Even when you're motivated, there's always the problem of time.

We all have to prioritize, & then shove exercise onto what seems like an already overburdened schedule.

The answer to your list of obstacles is always the same- you have to make it happen. Some ways of weaving it in could be using the stairs instead of taking the elevator, carrying your own books & bags, exercising during your lunch hour, stopping of at a Fitness Centre on your way to or from work, using the time when your child is in school, or allowing your in-laws to baby sit your child for an hour.

We have to remember, that a man who is too busy to take care of his health, is like a mechanic who is too busy to take care of his tools!

There's really no reason why exercise can't be a part of your life. Do it like your life depends on it, which, in a way it does!

  From Here to There.
  • Get organized. Plan your work, & then work your plan. Combining a well balanced diet with regular exercise is your only long-term, effective & safe answer.

  • Eat smart! Did you know that it takes your brain 20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full? So, if you eat slowly, putting your fork down after each bite, taking your time to chew well, you'll feel full with having eaten less food! Eat till you're full, not stuffed! Most people don't know when to stop! Take in more fresh fruits & raw vegetables, & go easy on the refined sugar, aerated drinks & oil.

  • Combine aerobic activities like walking, jogging, swimming, dance exercise classes, stair climbing, etc, with resistance/ strength training activities, so that you both burn fat, & tone up.

  • Start with 3 times a week, & once you've adjusted to this, to speed up your progress you might want to slowly increase the frequency to 4 or 5 times a week. Don't however, workout more than 6 times a week. The body needs at least one day off per week to rest & repair itself.

  • Warm up & cool down, always! This goes a long way towards injury prevention.

    The warm up aims at gradually getting the heart, lungs & muscles ready for the rigors of exercise, & ought to include stretches for the back & lower limbs, limbering exercises & whole body moves.

    The cool down slowly brings the heart rate back down closer to pre-exercise levels, & stretches & relaxes the muscles that you have worked so hard. A series of whole body moves decreasing in their range of motion, & stretches will achieve the same.

  • Invest in a good pair of sneakers which will keep you light & sturdy on your feet. Your feet need adequate cushioning to minimize the harmful effects of impact-based activities such as running, jumping & rope skipping.

  • You should be reducing at the rate of 1"- 1.5" per month.

    Track your progress every 3- 4 weeks using a measure tape, &/ or a body fat monitor which will give you a reading of your body composition, that is the ratio of body fat to lean body mass.

  • Don't set over-ambitious targets, or have idealistic expectations of yourself, or you'll most likely end up disappointed. We all occasionally miss a class, & indulge in a cube of cheese. Don't be too hard on yourself. If you missed working out in the lunch break, walk home from work instead. If you binged on chocolates all evening, maybe you could stick to a smaller, lighter dinner to compensate it.

  • Notice when your clothes begin to fall looser & better, & when family & friends start commenting on how much fat you've lost! Be aware of seeing more muscle definition, where earlier there was none! Or when you start feeling more energetic & healthy than before. The benefits of exercise are really endless.

So get your act together, because if you don't watch your figure, you'll have more figure to watch!