He was in his late forties. His hair gelled in a funky, spiky style. His casual shirt covered his extra wide girth, lifting ever so slightly in front. His tracksuit trousers sat comfortable in a crease just above his pubic bone, causing the crotch to hang between his heavy thighs. His face was bright and cheerful. Every so often he would punctuate the end of his sentence by erupting in a very infectious belly laugh.
“I know I must do something about this”, he said with a smile in his eyes, patting his rotund belly with his flat hand. “I used to walk a lot which helps to keep the weight off. Of late I just don’t seem to get into that routine; it does not stop me from enjoying my food! I love to eat. Oooh, lovely sauces and puddings – to die for! Even when I am not eating, I am thinking of my next meal. I plan whole dinner parties in my head. Right down to the last detail of the table setting. Then I put together the menu, thinking of new recipes to try. Oh! This keeps me busy for hours!” With that he rocks with laughter, his face looking happy and radiant. I was wondering with what he could fill his day if he gave up his obsession with food. It seemed to really make him salivate in anticipation!
“Are you serious about losing some of your weight?” I asked. “Very often people go through the motions of making appointments and joining weight loss programmes, either to please someone else or to be able to say that they have tried this and that. Losing weight is a remake of all your thoughts, lifestyle patterns, even friendships. It requires a new approach to how you live life. Is this what you want?” I was earnest in my approach, having been in this situation many times without having success with the patient.