“Weight loss” is an ambiguous term that could be interpreted to mean 

  • “slimming” (an intentional loss of weight) or 
  • the unintentional loss of fat, muscle, fluid, bone mineral, tissue, etc., (comprising body mass) due to illness, eating disorder, malnutrition, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, etc.

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. A healthy BMI ranges between 19 and 25. Both conditions of weight (excess or deficient) call for correction because both these unnatural conditions are extremely dangerous for the health of an individual.

Women ape what they see as desirable in models with toothpick-like figures, and often resort to forcing themselves to vomit after eating, or purge themselves with laxatives in order to get rid of the food they have ingested. (It is a well-known fact that the late Princess Diana practiced this in order to retain her figure. Models also had to gain a Size Zero figure for their career, until this was stopped by the authorities as many women were succumbing to the outcome.) People also resort to fasting, exercising to excess or going on crash diets in order to lose weight. 

Known as “Bulimia Nervosa”, this irrational interference with the body functions leads to electrolytes imbalance. Resultant low levels of potassium result in a feeling of lethargy, disorientation, irregular heartbeat, kidney failure and even death. A new fad doing  the rounds and being demonstrated to gauge slimness is by wrapping a banknote around the wrist/arms. If it covers the wrist/arm, the wearer is deemed to be skinny enough! Maybe the next gauge for assessing slimness will be a postage stamp wrapped around the wrist. The imagination of peddlers of “beauty” products knows no limits. Anything for the quick buck! And health be damned!

Another equally dangerous condition caused by deliberate manipulation of the body system is Anorexia Nervosa: a product of binge eating and purging, fasting, etc., anorexia nervosa leads to life-threatening situations such as anaemia, kidney failure, heart problems, gastric problems, stoppage of menstruation (amenorrhea), osteoporosis, infertility in men, i.e. short circuiting of the immune system.

For both conditions of over and underweight, a holistic system of diet and exercise must be adhered to. Mind and body must be in consonance with each other as regards the recommended physical training/diet regimen to be followed. Obesity and Emaciation are dangerous for health, giving rise to low self-esteem, - a very potent cause for Depression and its consequences (sometimes fatal). Complete commitment and cooperation with the therapist and dietitian are stepping stones to success. There are no half measures. Diets rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals calculated to restore the patient to maximum health will be prescribed by one’s doctor/therapist, whilst a tete-a-tete with a physical therapist will plan the walkway to healthy interaction with one’s society and environment by eliminating the causes for depression and low esteem. As regards diet, there are excellent non-veg substitutes for vegetarians, whilst non-vegetarians can boost their vitality with Omega 3 fats found in oily fish. Eggs are a good source of nourishment, and the yolks are very rich in Vitamin D, the vitamin that fights depression. Mens Sana in Corpore Sano – a sound mind in a sound body still holds good. There is absolutely no reason to panic. So begin your journey to well-being immediately, and rid yourself of the demons of self-depreciation. You are the sole assessor of your worth.

Finally, and you may also have experienced this, we give you an actual summary of a meeting between two people, one obese (A) and the other emaciated (B):

A: You are very thin.

B: Yes. I don’t know why.

A: I want to lose weight. Take some of my fat. 

Ooh! Unfortunately, Mr. A, our therapists, Shape and Strength will inform you that no matter how noble your intentions, your very liberal physical assets are non-transferable, and barring therapy or, in extreme case, bariatric surgery, there are no short-cuts. 

That’s the long and short, er….fat and thin of the matter.