Unlike Uncle Quitos’ overnight hair fall, my abdominal flab build up was more insidious in its ambush, and I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.
What I didn’t know was that it could grow unstoppably. I had always believed, nay, hoped, it would stop growing at some point. I was wrong: It defies limits!
Belly fat is neither a superficial nor a purely physical aesthetic concern; it could, in fact, be killing me—as we speak!—and I certainly wouldn’t want that in my obituary!
There is, I’m told, a shortcut solution, but I don’t like shortcuts and this one is, in addition, not something I can afford. As flab has crept up on me, that’s how I’ll deal with it: slowly but surely, and as cheaply as possible. I have seen too many of my rich friends balloon back in spite of surgery or diet, or a month’s confinement in a health farm.
I know I’m up against a tough enemy, so I’m bracing myself for a long, tactical fight. It begins with knowing the enemy.
In this day and age, one can get all the information about anything from all-knowing cyberspace. One click and I am deluged, as well as confused, by information. Meanwhile, I’m getting an education.
There’s bad white fat, which will eventually choke and cramp vital organs—lungs, liver, intestines, kidneys and heart—to dangerous levels of dysfunction. And there’s brown fat, the good fat, which gives us the energy from which the enthusiasm for life springs, keeps the brain healthy and the memory and thought processes going.
Like everybody else, I have both, except I’m laden with an oversupply of white killer fat around my girth.
One program lured me into signing up for a daily diet plan. It consisted of seven meals a day and guaranteed an almost immediate weight loss. It cited medical research and clinical trials on the function of white and brown fats. I paid $39.99 and was eager to begin.
A week went and I hadn’t received the promised diet plan, although other communications kept coming. One e-mail, in fact, asked why I had not yet downloaded my personally designed diet plan for the week. I e-mailed back to say I had not received any diet plan to download. I was told to enroll anew—and pay another $39.99! I decided to charge it to experience.
All of a sudden, a communication came saying I had been refunded, but the refund has yet to show in my account. I didn’t dare bring it up with Vergel, who had been warning me precisely not to get into anything of the sort. If the refund does come, I don’t know, I’ll think about it—over French wine.
About French wine, by the way, research on the Net says it’s one of the best fat fighters—it specifies “French” but not “red” or “white,” and it mentions “not the expensive ones but those available at grocery stores.” French wine, it says, is “designed to torch belly fat and increase metabolism so that you can slim down throughout the day.”
I stumble upon further related information. Research at The Washington University School has discovered that a certain substance in French wine (polyphenols) eliminates the bad fat-promoting bacteria in the human gut, making it easier to “torch” body fat. And, at the Oregon State University, a study finds that the grapes in French wine contain an antioxidant (ellagic acid) that attacks fat cells, and that the same polyphenols are conducive to weight loss.
Victory is only a matter of time. I have done as much as I can for the maintenance and care of the physical and visible part of me. But that is not to say I’m done. Far from it. I’ve discovered I’m a natural aquabella. I didn’t dare do aqua aerobics until I had been assured that, as in scuba diving, knowing how to swim was not a prerequisite.
It’s now become part of my life’s routine, as regular as brushing my teeth, so that I don’t feel right, much less smile, unless I’ve done it.
I don’t remember having stayed on any exercise program for as long. I enjoy doing it and feel good afterward. Alas, I have not lost weight—must be the generous breakfast spread at Annabel’s home, carefully planned by fellow aquabella Linda. But neither have I gained weight, which is victory enough.
It’s good to stay health-conscious and hopefully become less self-absorbed and able to focus better on achievable goals for outer and inner beautification, which I’m told are interconnected, anyway. I am myself working on an inner glow from a contagiously high spirit, and a genuine smile that comes from a transformation of my innermost attitude—from one questioning why certain unacceptable things are happening to one of gratitude for everything, good and bad.
It helps to believe everything that happens is part of God’s plan, so how bad can things really be? And looking back on all my 77 years, I find that it’s been good all around.
Success at lifting one’s own morale as well as that of others is unquantifiable, unmeasurable, but it feels definitely satisfying.