The manner in which a midriff (among others) can trim itself without one’s overly bending over backwards

PART Three

How a school of music can help one to get behind the eight ball and keep in shape

MY dream of rock stardom that I ended my say with last week died young, alas, although the embers still glow, albeit on a backburner.

But to have turned into a portly old fart (or fogey, if you prefer) in my near dotage just had to be the last straw to break that camel’s back. Which is why, as you can well imagine, I was more than a little disappointed at letting myself go to seed, as it were.

After all, in the world of pop music, there can only be one Fats and that’s the Domino effect; though principle would be more like it.

So, you see, my past fling with rock ‘n roll helped to make the turnaround recovery from fat to lean, in that it served as a spur to keep me on the straight and narrow, which is rather ironic given the disreputable track record of the genre.

What you eats is what you gets to be, if you can ignore the bad grammar but catch my drift

THE second step on the ladder to weight loss entails a whole scale but wholesome change of diet. To paraphrase the famous aphorism: the way to a man’s weight is through his stomach. There’s no escaping that altered state but —to come clean— I cut corners or, to call a spade a spade, cheated.

You know how fitness gurus insist that all junk foods bar none are to be abjured. Well, for starters, I bent that rule a fair bit, to the extent it went out of shape and past all recognition.

That obvious weakness aside, I took the Middle Path of the Master, in that I didn’t cut out the bad bits root and branch, but merely cut them down to size. Moderation is the name of the game and, as a book title on the subject goes, The Big Fat Surprise is that even butter, cheese and meat have their merits and deserve their pride of place on the table at meals!

So, while I slashed my intake of the toxic four least-wanted whites (sugar, salt, rice and flour), I still tucked into them but within limits.

On the credit side, though, I made the dietary red shift to brown rice and sugar, mixed ata with maida (three is to one) and quit my nocturnal liquid diet of whiskey and drank wine with a light dinner instead.

Switched to a lighter cooking oil as well, while butter (esp. in suja, my soft spot) became a rare rather than a regular treat. Turned veggie too did I (well, almost); meat went the once-a-week way of butter tea. Still indulged my sweet tooth though, but offset the usual suspects with more fruit than not.

Now some may swear by that old charm against vampires, garlic, and others by a more recent cure-all, cordyceps, but there are two magic potions, a la Getafix the Druid, that I’d plug: the first to be taken at dawn is a cup of water boiled with a bay leaf and a dash of turmeric with a quarter lime squeezed into it. The second tonic that’s downed like clockwork at dusk is the usual cuppa tea but mixed with cinnamon, ginger and honey.

And there you have it: that’s about all I did to drop ten plus kilos and shoot down the scale from close to 90 to a shade shy of 70.

Impressive but not quite up to the Ripley mark or to feature on Discovery channel!

The third prong of the trident charge against the calorific forces of sugar, fat, bad cholesterol & etc.

WHICH brings us to the last, but far from least, of the three factors to weight loss – medication from and the workout; in a way, the most intrusive of the trio, as it calls for a bit of a shakeup of one’s default lifestyle, most likely a sedentary one, else one won’t have to deal with such issues.

As luck would have it, I’ve been a yoga buff since the turn of the ‘70s, thanks to a teacher I’d found in Thimphu: a Jewess, of all people, and from New York City, of all places.

Yet, in spite of the daily practice, I still put on weight and could not keep it down. That called for some tweaks to my set routine. Now yoga, as even its aficionados would admit, is not exactly strenuous; one barely breaks out into a sweat after a bout. The asana (yogic exercise) is all to do with bend, stretch and breathe, wind and unwind, and always relax betwixt.

My DIY called for some muscular input. What I did in effect was to slip in between the asanas some calisthenics (like sit-ups, squats and other such gut-wrenching drills and, of course, the surya namaste to start and end sessions). In so doing, my usual stint was stretched from 20 to 30 minutes a day (save for shopping Friday, which is a full pack walking workout in its own right).

And that was it — sans trainers, gym, treadmill, or aerobics — my very own homemade regimen. And, going by visible results, it seems to have worked all right and then some.

All’s well that ends well — except that you can’t please all the people all the time

THOUGH the hard work’s been done and I’m back to lean and mean, I still have one bug to bear. And that’s this: when I used to be rotund (fat, to be blunt), folks around these parts would always tell me how healthy I was looking. Some would go so far as to say I looked good!

Now this warped point of view, I fear, happens to be a typical local way of looking at weight. It’s wholly misleading and can leave one complacent, with a false sense of security about one’s fitness.

Fat is fit is the long and short of it!

And now that I’ve shaped up after the pain and gain, what do I hear from these well-meaning types I meet now that I find myself in ‘reduced’ circumstances?

What’s wrong with you, they ask, are you sick? You’re looking so weak.

Please have a check-up, they advise, you look like you could do with one.

I tell you, it’s enough to make a fella turn fat all over again!


Contributed by John M Chiramal