AS I sit to write my column this week, I am reeling from being told off by my doctor, again, that I am overweight, I am obese, I am unfit, etc.
My wife tells me off about my not so secret stack of chocolate that I keep hidden near my desk. She is worried that sooner rather than later she will be a widow and does not fancy the idea.
I have numerous friends who give me advice on weight and lifestyle.
Until recently I had a dietician (who gave up on me) constantly lecturing me on the types of food that I should and should not eat, leaving me notes with menu ideas, etc.
For a while I attended the cardiac rehab unit (medical term for a gym), only to be told to leave as I was making little progress on weight.
Mind you, there are a number of downsides to being overweight, as I have found out over the years. I have fallen through various chairs, much to the amusement of onlookers. I was on holiday last year and went straight through a lounger by the pool. My wife informs people that I snore louder than anyone possibly could and likens me to Pavarotti. I guess I must be fairly loud, as we have actually been asked to leave a hotel after complaints from other guests who were unable to sleep!
Over the past few years, I have had far more friends, relations, etc., die than I care to think of. The majority of those who passed away were described as fit and healthy. How many funerals have you been to where there is the conversation ‘well he was so fit and healthy’, ‘he always looked after himself so well’, ‘he was only playing golf last week’, etc?
I remember seeing an advert in the businesses for sale column of a newspaper that read ‘Health food business for sale, sale is due to owners’ bad health’. Trust me that was a genuine advert, not a joke.
Local authorities now have specific officers and departments designated to look after lifestyle and wellbeing for both staff and public. Who decides what lifestyle actually is? And what is lifestyle and wellbeing?
Adur Council is very keen for residents to be healthy and arranges various activities, including a fun festival for the whole family involving many local health and activity organisations and businesses. These organisations promote their services and activities in an interactive way, encouraging families to take up healthier lifestyles and become more active. Exhibitors create a real carnival feel with a diverse range of fun activities from athletics to Zumba.
I know what the local authority mean by lifestyle and wellbeing, but I like to put my own slant on it. For me, my lifestyle is my choice. If I want to eat a family-size pizza or five burgers, that’s my choice. I am happy in my own skin, I feel well enough to muddle through.
Life is short enough. I believe in enjoying what I can while I can. Why should someone tell me at my age what I can and cannot eat, drink or do? Surely ‘quality of life’ also means something?