A very close friend is in trouble. Here, on this blog, we will call her Sally.
“What is wrong?” I asked.
“Half of my body is paralyzed. I need Sh5 million: to travel to Nairobi and receive emergency treatment,” she answered, sniffing to clear torrents of tears.
It is not the best of feelings to listen to a friend cry out of desperation. I could tell that she was deeply worried: anxious because she needed a lot of money to save her life.
I wanted to ask Sally, “You didn’t see this coming?”
I know; it wouldn’t have sounded good. But, in all honesty, I wanted to find out if she really believed that she could get away with being overtly obese.
Being an obesity specialist I would often tell Sally to watch out that her health doesn’t crumble under the weight she was carrying.
“It is not healthy to live with this weight on your body,” I would tell her.
Often, Sally took my advice as intrusive talk. In fact, she would answer back by telling me that she will drink whatever she wants to; she will eat however she feels like; and even smoke – without restrictions.
Now, do you understand why I wanted to ask that ‘improper’ question?
You see, I know Sally from 8 years back. She would later tell me her story.
Sally has been big since childhood. As she grew into a teenager, then an adult, her body also grew larger.
And now, at 58, Sally’s years living on the overweight side of life have caught up with her.
“I suffered stroke three weeks ago. This is a second one because I had one two months ago. I can’t move my hands and legs. I couldn’t even speak – I only started talking three days ago. I need your help,” Sally said on that phone call.
The ‘help’ Sally needed from me was monetary. The irony in that is that Sally comes from a wealthy family. Her children, now adults, and her husband, all have well earning jobs.
But ill health does not know riches. Ill health can drain wealth at such a fast pace you may be broke in one month.
Talking of finances, if we compare whatever my friend is spending now, it is way higher than what she would have spent on a weight loss program.
A year back Sally had a heart attack. Her blood vessels were blocked.
I would call her just to catch up. Then I would ask about her weight. As usual, she was defensive.
I told her that the heart attack resulted from the visceral fat blocking her vessels. I told her she needed to lose weight. ‘Now!’ is exactly how I put it. She said she would have to think about it.
So, when she called, paralyzed, crying and desperate, I felt both remorseful and hurt – because she never bothered to take my free advice and now she was fighting for her life.
As a friend, I sent Sally what I could manage. My hope is that she will make it. If she does I will still call her and tell her to lose weight.
But you, my reader, don’t need to wait for a stroke or for a heart attack. If you have excess weight or you are obese you need to do something about it now.
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