There’s no other way to put it: we are letting ourselves down. Our bodies are dying and we have no one but ourselves to blame. Gone are the days of pointing fingers at school bullies, blaming “eating for two”, genetics, or anything else for our lustful desires. Inasmuch as I have had my days of being petite and sporting a Coke-bottle-figure, I just cannot fathom rewinding the years, “un-birthing” and returning to my youthful days. Simply too much life has happened. I wouldn’t want to go back – it has nothing to do with going back. On the contrary, it is about eating healthily and incorporating a flexible lifestyle that will allow one to go forward.
That’s it. Let’s do something about our health to give ourselves the chance to move forward into an unknown future with our earthly vessel well-maintained. If you knew me at all, you would know that I am an African. My curvy hips and dark pigmentation, the curls in my hair… they define me and connect me to my motherland. Regardless of your physique, a positive self-image is key. What I am calling for is a recalibration of the mind, a renewal in the way we view exercise.
We cannot just be complacent and comfortable with being overweight. The reality is that we need to take care of our bodies in order to give us a fighting chance at being there to watch our children grow up. Large bodies are not just expensive to maintain for both babies and adults; they are also vulnerable to disease and the negative side effects are numerous. It’s not ‘cute’ to expose your child to teasing, diabetes, chest and heart problems. Now is the time to build an active and fit society. This does not mean paying for expensive gym memberships; rather, let’s create awareness and value our vitality by consuming fewer processed foods, drinking more water and incorporating a walk into our daily programmes.
These simple steps will have healthy long-term effects. Familiarise yourself with the nutritional index on the food items you purchase and read up on the calories you consume. Our insightful Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motswaledi said, “Increased life expectancy is a key to the country’s development”. Let us answer our minister’s call to combat and lower the harmful effects of alcohol, poor diets and obesity. We owe it to our country, our children and to ourselves to be the very best that we can be, and in doing so we need to be mindful that the seeds we plant today are nurtured to produce a fruitful harvest that will shelter us in the not too distant future.
One such leader who is ever mindful of planting today to reap in the future is our esteemed Madiba. His vision of parenting a nation gave birth to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s concept of our “Rainbow Nation”. One needs look no further for a role model, as we have watched our former president open his heart and extend his hand in unconditional love to the most vulnerable members of our society – the children. From him, we have learned to love and protect not only the children of our loins, but also all the children around us as if they are our own.
I am pleased to announce that M&P is one of the media partners that has taken to heart the task of helping to spread word of the building of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital for Southern Africa, a hospital of ground-breaking change for the children of our continent. I would like to extend an invitation for us all to become walking billboards for this fundraising drive. The power of change is in your hands. It’s possible – we can do it!
I love my healthy lifestyle...