Healthy living is about the choices we make in as far as what we eat, when we eat and how active we are physically. Public health students will tell you it’s the physical, mental and spiritual capacity to make healthy choices. Here in the United States healthy living is taken seriously by the Americans and it’s evident by the numbers of those you find in the gyms and those you will also see running on the road sides everyday regardless of the weather.
Times have surely changed because I remember the time when it was stylish to put on weight and grow that belly because it insinuated that you had money and people respected you. These were the times of the music legends like the late Pepe Kalle of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was a plus size and we being Ugandans, we thought it cool to wear baggy pants with saggy gold plated wrist watches to look the part. These pants would be fitted just below the rib cage and above the stomach rather than around the waist. Well, for the record I didn’t personally wear like that but it was the trend that I watched with bemusement. So to be able to fit the pants up there, meant growing a belly which entailed taking lots of beer and eating lots of meat. This was my lifestyle too when I worked in Kampala at Nabors Drilling and every Friday evening would be the time to unwind at the local bufundas in Wandegeya and Nakulabye were we would order for lots of beer and meat, huh good times my friends. The end result wasn’t good though as I became a plus size, with a big belly and I was always mistaken for some rich guy and yet I was struggling like everyone else who didn’t work for the government.
Thanks to the Lord I found myself in Boston, but with a weight of 220 pounds an equivalent of 100 kilograms if you put it in the metric system. But this didn’t mean anything to me until I started getting nonstop headaches that landed me in front of a doctor. The doctor on examining me noticed that I was at a high risk of getting high blood pressure with my weight and especially since we had it in the family. So she gave two choices, one she would sign me up for medication to control the risk of contracting the high blood pressure or choice number two I would change my lifestyle completely!. Given that my Dad always told me to stay away from medication whenever I could, I chose the latter and I decided to start working out, gave up on eating full lunch meals and resorted to simple sandwiches. I started having my dinner at a much earlier time of 7pm as opposed to 9 or 10 pm. Today am proud of what I have been able to achieve, my old friends from Kampala can’t recognize me if they saw me and I feel good when I fit into those slim fit clothes, and in case you haven’t noticed, the style nowadays is slim fit and not baggy.
Am also proud of Ugandans that have changed their lifestyles, by eating right and most importantly doing exercises. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services “being overweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. If you are pregnant, excess weight may lead to short- and long-term health problems for you and your child”. These are serious facts that can’t be ignored. We need to change our life styles, I always go to the gym and in most cases there aren’t any Ugandans and I know this because it’s those times when am the only black swimming or using the machines. But even if you don’t have time for the gym, you can always do some light exercises at home, that’s how I started and advanced to being able to afford the gym and also have the time for it. I know of some of my friends that go to the gym out of excitement only to give up after a week and return to their usual routine of doing nothing, this can’t go on. Phillippa Lally a health phycology researcher at the University College London, researched and determined that it took about two months or 66 days for a behavior to become a habit. So if you started working out now and you did it for two months straight, it’s becomes a habit, a part of your normal schedule.
With this article therefore, am calling upon all you out there that only think about working out that it’s time to get started, you could work out to cut down on your weight, for fitness, or/and like in my case, to remove the pot belly that has long been out dated. It’s no longer sexy to have a big belly believe me, you can’t even fit nicely in those slim outfits like the suits, am talking to the guys on this one. The key here is consistence and after two months it becomes a habit but first you have to get started. To those that are already doing their best to live healthy please keep it up, my colleagues at the Radio like Simple keep it up, our CEO, John Mulinde I know by now it’s a habit for you. My brother Mark Kasana keep going, Gordon Ssebuufu I like your style of working out from home, Jerome, Shalto and everyone out there doing their best I got nothing but admiration. Let’s kick that weight off and start looking like we live in the 21st century. As always keep God in everything that you.