Obesity: The Trigger For Change Lies In The Mind

Obesity - Sakshi Post

Ravi Valluri,


Do we recall the movie, “Badhai ho Badhai”? The movie featured Anil Kapoor

playing the role of a fat man in the film. It is to the credit of Anil Kapoor that he

took the plunge to essay the character of an obese person on screen. However,

off screen, Anil Kapoor, the trouper is extremely fit for his age with a chiselled

frame. One can quite imagine him footslogging on the treadmill and pumping

iron to maintain his athletic physique.

That was an Anil Kapoor starrer, a movie where dreams are manufactured and

played out for the benefit of drooling audiences. But there are real life situations

of actors and artistes which pan out quite dramatically differently.

This brings to mind the story of the legendary musician Adnan Sami who was

once quite infamous for his avoirdupois body and massive girth; a fact which is

said to have prompted his wife to desert him.

The situation of Adnan Sami’s weight became quite alarming, so much so that

in June 2006, the multifaceted artiste weighed 230 kilograms (506 lb).

Concerted and dismayed, doctors barely gave Adnan six months more.

The multi talented Adnan, born on 15 August, 1971is an accomplished singer,

musician, pianist, television presenter and actor; his genre of music includes

classical, jazz, pop, rock and fusion. His legions of fans and the industry circles

realised that Adnan Sami, though extremely talented was far too obese, which

became the singular reason that he could not even see his knuckles.

The situation became pretty grave for the consummate artiste when he had to

undergo knee surgery, called lymphedema. Doctors treating him advised

complete bed rest for a period of three long months. But the worst was yet to


He was afflicted by yet another medical disorder called sleep apnoea. Whenever

he lay down his extra bulge began to push against his lungs. This compounded

his misery and the complications in life.

It is a tribute to his robust mind that by adhering to a strict regimen of diet and

exercise, Adnan lost 167 kg (319 lb) weight within a period of 16 months.

The series of medical misdemeanours and misadventures metamorphosed and

transfigured the mind of the artiste, most famously known for his song ‘Lift

Karaa De’; maybe the artiste was subsumed by the lyrics of the talismanic


The man fabled for his extraordinary musical talent, achievements and rather

infamous for his obesity, now became an icon and an inspiration for all fat and

obese individuals across the spectrum who were desperate to shed several


There is a popular adage, “Obesity is not because it runs in the family, it is

because no one runs in the family.” Obesity is derived from the Latin obesitas,

meaning “stout, fat or plump.”

Eat badly and be damned. According to the Surgeon General of the

US, obesity today is officially an epidemic; it is arguably the most pressing

public health problem we face, costing the health care system an estimated $90

billion a year. Three of every five Americans are overweight; one of every five

is obese according to Wikipedia.

However, obesity is not a new age disease, as is the general perception. It has

been discussed extensively in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Sthaulya is an Ayurvedic

term used for the medical imbalance or disorder called obesity. This pestilence

is caused by over- accumulation of fatty cells under the skin and around certain

internal organs of the body.

Obesity invariably leads to various other ailments; diabetes, blood pressure,

heart attacks, strokes, different kinds of carcinogenic ailments, reduced

longevity, premature ageing, low sexual drive, reduced sexual performance,

excessive sweating, breathlessness on slightest exertion, heavy breathing

patterns, excessive hunger and/or thirst, loss of vitality and most significantly

low self-esteem.

It should be abundantly clear in the minds of any obese individual that there are

no short cuts to lose weight. The procedure is like a tapasya.

Just as an alcoholic or a drug addict should eschew quotidian drinking or

substance consumption to remain sober and clean, an obese individual needs to

follow a disciplined regimen of reduced food intake and regular exercise to

ameliorate his /her condition. The mind needs to be trained to display

exemplary understanding, will power and patience and unflinchingly follow the

schedule laid down by doctors.

There are several Ayurvedic massages done with herbal oils which expunge

toxins from the body; follow Sveda Karma (sweat bath), regularly partake of the

prescribed medicines. An obese person may be desirous to have a size zero

figure like Kareena Kapoor Khan, but it is more important to be health

conscious instead of being figure conscious.

An obese person would need some dosage of salts and protein, but there needs

to total reduction of carbohydrates, fried and junk foods and other fanciful

items besides reduced intake of refined sugar. An absolute no to alcohol and

smoking (a real taboo) as these substances only complicate health matters.

Obesity is greatly linked to hereditary patterns prevalent in families. To reverse

the process is gradual and painstaking, but worth the effort. It is salutary to take

long walks, eat moderately and attempt yoga, pranayama and the unique

rhythmic breathing technique of Sudarshan Kriya as these techniques expatriate

the blight from the body. However the trigger for change lies in the mind. Only

the human mind subsumes a person towards obesity or helps them gravitate

towards a changed lifestyle.

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to

all, one must first discipline and control one’s mind; if a man controls his mind

he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtues will naturally

come to him,” said Gautama Buddha .

Also Read: Obesity, Smoking Roadblocks In Successful Arthritis Treatment

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