Sep 1, 2009

Of active taste buds and obesity

I had a big and sumptuous lunch this afternoon. I feel guilty of having gone a little beyond my intake capacity even today. I think you understand this uneasy feeling you get once you have consumed a baby elephant’s share of food. When it comes to eating, I give a big fight to my friends, but last week one of my old friends proved me wrong. The waiters in the hotel were taken completely unaware. They might have thought here is a man whose appetite is unmatched. No person that I know could possibly challenge him, unless you are talking about a sumo wrestler. I was speechless. But you should have seen him physically also.

The moment the food was put in front of him, he started his task. And even before I was halfway through with the first serving, he already had his third share. When I uneasily went for my second serving, he was for his fourth. I thought he was gone crazy. But he claimed he was extremely hungry. One waiter had to be deployed just to serve him. And this waiter, to our utter disappointment, continued standing near the table fully equipped. I thought that was completely unnecessary.

Now talking about eating, is obesity a serious problem in Bhutan?

Our forefathers and their forefathers were good eaters. But matched with their consumption was the amount of work they carried out then. They drank cups and cups of ara and ate as much. And today there are people who feel guilty of having eaten a bit too much and having nowhere to transmit that excess energy.

This happens to me always. Before I sit down for any meals, I promise myself I will eat less only to end up eating so much because some food can really activate my active taste buds. I don’t know somehow with food some of us can hardly keep our promise. But that’s that. Obesity is a disease of rich people; say some sources on the Internet - sounds true. And the cost of heavy eating is heavy even to the government. More and more Bhutanese are now suffering from the so-called lifestyle-related diseases. The move to reduce that bulge in your tummies is too painful. One would rather choose to watch TV than do some belly exercises and running.

I want to remove this bull’s hump. I have nightmares and these suffocating feelings at nights. But somehow my determination fails me. Every night I promise myself to wake up the next morning and go for a nice jogging. And the next morning, I postpone it to that evening only to be postponed to the next morning, and so on.

While I appreciated my friend’s superb appetite, I should choose here - I must either eat healthy and do some jogging, or lower the amount of consumption to that level where I can watch TV comfortably, never feeling guilty of having eaten too much.

Now that’s a lot of work. You know it. And that’s why you and I continue to carry humps on our bellies so unlike a bull that carries his on his back.


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