Monday, October 30, 2017

The Eternal Diet

By Hamza Shafique

While munching on my regular grilled chicken and green salad lunch in office pit stop, a colleague asked, “Are you still on a diet?” I spontaneously replied, “Yes I am on an eternal diet” and we all had a good laugh. My colleague here was merely referring to the fact that I hired a nutritionist, couple of months back to design a diet as per my needs. That diet was very effective, during that diet period I did manage to lose 14 Kgs but as soon as I left it and came to my normal routine I gained 10Kgs back.
Weight Loss is one constant in my life and just like practical life realities, it’s there since I left University. For most of Desis it’s a constant struggle, we all have Pot bellies and love handles that we want to get rid of. Weight loss feels like marriage these days, you invest into it, you work toward it but you always mess up one way or the other and then again you start working from scratch. Just like marriage it’s a lifelong commitment. No cheating is allowed coz if you cheat your shirt buttons will squeeze you just like an angry better half. Once you get into it, there is simply no way out.
I always wonder what is wrong with me. Why am I always struggling with weight? I remember when my waist was 34 I wanted to be 30 and now I am 40 and I am desperate to even get to 36. One day sitting in my restroom, trying hard to get rid of the chappal Kababs I had a day earlier, it dawned on me, it’s all my ancestors fault. Yes, it is, we belong to agriculture lands and are meant to be farmers. Especially people from North (like me), God has given us long legs so that we can easily walk the mountainous terrains of north and also a furry framework so that we can survive the cold. Thus, our foods were designed by our ancestors as high calorie intakes as a fuel so that we can spend next 12 hours in fields burning them. World changed, Lifestyle changed but what did not change, any guesses? Our food and eating habits did not change accordingly. Even years of colonialism did not affect this part of our culture, we still eat like we are farmers whereas most of us now basically sit in front a computer in an airconditioned cabin for most of the time. Even worse for me as I moved from cold mountains of Pakistan’s potohar region to Dubai’s hot desert which requires even less calories.
Now you will ask, why I am being a whinger and ranting about it, instead of working on to adopt a healthy lifestyle. My answer is my upbringing which is filled with memories of my grandma making me Chori (crushed bread with sugar) of Desi Ghee (Clarified Butter). Why we as a kid are not trained to live a healthy lifestyle. Why sports are the least important thing on the list of desi parenting essentials. I remember when I scored less in Math exams in my ninth grade, my parents diverted all my cricket time to Math’s tuition and now my mom is the first person to taunt on my not so active lifestyle.
I know it’s still possible to switch now but lifestyle change is very hard after 3 decades of Halwa Puri and Rajma Chawal (red kidney beans with rice). We need to understand it’s as hard as going through a drug rehab, with the only difference that nobody will take you seriously. For me it seems like I will be on eternal diet as I mentioned in the beginning but for my Son I am training him to be healthy from now on. As desi parents, we focus only on a wealthier (don’t tell me you want your kid to be doctor or engineer for the sake of mankind) future for our kids, I believe it’s now time to focus on a healthier future as well.

For all those who have accepted the Dubai fitness challenge, I will recommend its high time to club your 30 minutes daily workout with balanced healthy diet, whole Dubai will support you ๐Ÿ˜Š .  

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