Over­weight blues

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIFESTYLE - By OH TEIK THEAM

DAVID did not mince his words when he re­cently told his best friend, Michael, that the lat­ter had gained much weight.

Their meet­ing in a clinic had been en­tirely for­tu­itous. Michael was wait­ing to have a swelling ex­cised from his wal­let. The first words of David were: “ What’s up?” Be­fore Michael could re­ply, he added, “Your weight, ap­par­ently. Your hair is thin­ning but you are not. How much do you weigh now?”

“Eighty-two ki­los,” Michael said. “I think I’m too short for my weight.”

“Why don’t you crack a bad joke some­where else where I can’t hear it?” David said.

Michael smiled po­litely, for David had just para­phrased a line from David’s favourite mu­si­cal, West Side Story.

“I can’t un­der­stand why the west side and the east side of my body have grown so far apart,” Michael said. “I do my daily dozen.”

“You are de­vel­op­ing a paunch,” David ob­served. “Ab­dom­i­nal obe­sity can be­come prob­lem­atic.”

“The Amer­i­can car­toon­ist Tom Wil­son wrote, ‘ The waist is a ter­ri­ble thing to mind,’ ” Michael said. “But when a per­son be­comes ab­dom­i­nally obese, the up­side is that he can’t get food stains on his lap.”

Ig­nor­ing his friend’s lev­ity, David said, “Here’s some food for thought for you – in some coun­tries, the peo­ple who die of too much food out­num­ber those who die of too lit­tle food. May I give you a piece of ad­vice?”

Bor­row­ing a line from Dick­ens, Michael said, “You can’t be more ready to speak than I am to hear.”

“You should have reg­u­lar meals and eat un­til you are about 90% sa­ti­ated only.”

“That is very sound ad­vice,” Michael said. “Per­haps I should also re­frain from eat­ing be­tween meals and con­sum­ing junk food.”

“ Now you’re talk­ing,” David said. “You can take it from me that a weight prob­lem can cause havoc. Two years ago, I was so ab­dom­i­nally obese that when I weighed my­self, I had to hold my stom­ach in so that I could see the scale. To cut a long story short, I’ll never for­get the words a doc­tor said to me that sounded like a cross be­tween a warn­ing and an en­treaty.”

“What words?” Michael asked, his eyes alight with cu­rios­ity.

“If you are over­weight from an early age, you may have a slim­mer chance of reach­ing old age. Don’t dig your grave with your teeth.”

Not mince one’s words: To speak plainly with­out try­ing to be po­lite.

What’s up?: What’s go­ing on?; what’s the mat­ter?

Daily dozen: Phys­i­cal ex­er­cises done ev­ery day on ris­ing.

Food for thought: Some­thing for care­ful thought and con­sid­er­a­tion.

Now you’re talk­ing: (An ex­pres­sion to show agree­ment, ac­cep­tance or en­cour­age­ment.)

Take it from me: Be­lieve me when I say.

To cut/make a long story short: To omit the less im­por­tant de­tails. Write to: Mind Our English, The Star, Level 3A, Me­nara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Se­lan­gor Fax: 03-7955 4039, 7955 4366 / e-mail: english@thes­tar.com.my / web­site: www.thes­tar.com.my/english

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