Friday, March 09, 2007


Recently I toyed with the idea of writing a book that would help people to attain financial freedom. The working title was “Two Steps to Wealth”.

You can read about this flight of fancy on my part by clicking upon this link.

Well, I haven’t gotten very far with the book. One reason is that I have no idea about financial matters beyond the advice to stop spending recklessly.

The other reason is that I haven’t been given an incentive to scribble something down because, to date, no one has forwarded on Oprah’s personal mobile number to me. I had hoped to launch my book on her show.

Lately I have been thinking that the concept of financial freedom may be greatly overrated.

I have two words to explain this hunch. Howard Hughes.

Howard Hughes ended up with an enormous amount of financial freedom. And where did it take him?
Into a self-created prison because of his Obessive-Compulsive Disorder where he faded from public view and became an eccentric recluse.

The most bizarre piece of information I found from Wikipedia was not the bit about him not cutting his fingernails and hair but that the first doctor to examine his body diagnosed the cause of Hughes' death as neglect.

Yep, financial freedom may not be all its cracked up to be.

Now, I would like to introduce to you my latest idea for a self-help book that I hope I can flog on the Oprah Show.

Again, if I am able to make an appearance on her show and “talk the talk”, I expect to sell millions of copies and then find myself with lots of financial freedom.

I know, it was a bad thing for Howard, but I have a lot of family and friends who will pull me into line if I start to go weird.

My new book will be called “My Excellent Tips for Permanent Weight Loss”.

Usually, readers will check the covers of these self-help books to find out what qualifications the authors can produce so that the reader can feel confident that the advice is legitimate.

So let me outline my qualifications. I am a human being who eats food, I am not overweight and I have a university degree in Psychology. So there!

This is just an introduction to my book so I want to be brief and therefore I will list my tips in point form.


This is very important.

Okay, I know that by the time you are born your choice of parents is null and void. But what I am trying to point out to you is that you are a product of your inherited genes.

An ideal parent would be the Australian-born supermodel Elle McPherson. She is very tall and naturally thin. And she looks good in a bikini which is not a bad thing.

With Elle as your parent, there is every chance that you will be tall and therefore you will have lots of places to put your weight.

Danny DeVito is a good actor but he would not be an asset as a parent. He is short and, hence, there is less room on his body to disperse any excess weight that he acquires.

What I am trying to tell you here is that you should take a look at your parents and your grandparents and any other relatives because what they have passed on to you, in terms of genes, is your baseline.

Accept your inheritance and don’t have unrealistic expectations about how you will be able to change your body weight or shape.

Very, very few of us will look like Elle. All we can hope for is a healthy and normal weight version of the body we have inherited.


Eat less if you are overweight. Simple advice.

There are a number of ways to do this. The best advice is to use a smaller plate when you are piling food upon your plate. Remember the old saying, “Your eyes are bigger than your belly” and heed it.

Also use smaller glasses when drinking beverages.

The other crucial tip is to eat slowly.

Wolfing down large amounts of food and beverages may be exciting for your taste buds and your brain but it is going to really piss off your stomach.


Yes, water. That stuff that God gave us.

Stop guzzling down all those “sugary, caffeine loaded and Lord knows what else are in them” drinks.

And don't go drinking some "sports drink" or "energy drink" after walking from your car to the shop and deciding that you are thirsty and you need to become part of the advertising image you saw last night on TV.

The 'sports drinks' are special cocktails that are designed for athletes so that they can rehydrate and replenish elcetrolytes, sugar and other nutrients to compensate for their depleted supplies after strenuous training or competition.

"Energy drinks are designed for people who are energetic. They are meant to give a boost of energy to people who have already spent energy.

'Energy drinks' and 'sport drinks' aren't designed for some sedentary clown.

Water contains no calories. So respect water.

Having said that, red wine is a great source of antioxidants which are good at destroying those free radicals running rampant in your body with a view to possibly causing some sort of cancer.

I don’t know what that means exactly but if it means you can drink wine with your meals then it must be a good thing.


Now this is the most controversial advice I can give you but it is the best advice I can give you.

Why? Because knowing that you can eat whatever you like, whenever you like, frees you from that damaging mindset that says losing weight is all about deprivation.

I am not alone with this theory.

A number of years ago, I actually witnessed a guest (with a book to flog) on Oprah’s show who uttered this very same advice.

When she said it, I called out from my recliner rocker lounge chair, “Right on, Sister!”.

Then I heard a very audible and communal gasp from the audience.

I was so disappointed with them. How little faith they must have in their self control when it comes to food?

It is that sense of deprivation that leads to binge eating and those unrealistic promises to “go on a diet” next week.

You don’t have to “go on a diet”. What you eat IS your DIET.

Restricting your calorie intake by forcing yourself to eat food you don’t like will NEVER work.

Always eat what you want to eat but think about what you eat before putting it into your mouth.

If you want a chocolate biscuit then eat it guilt-free. When you don’t feel guilt you are more likely to only eat one or two.

If you think you shouldn’t eat chocolate biscuits EVER, then you will find yourself guzzling down a whole packet of chocolate biscuits and promising yourself that you will “go on a diet” next week.

Again, and I know I am labouring the point here, my tip is to eat a little amount of those bad foods you like to eat BUT make sure you eat a lot of the foods that you know are good for you.

Simple advice but it will ensure that you will eat sensibly for the rest of your life.


This is my last tip.

Those cantankerous six-pack bearing personal trainers have a lot to say about how often and how fast and how long to exercise.

My tip is to just move you body more than you usually do.

Walk up the stairs instead of taking an elevator, that is, providing that you aren’t heading to the 32nd floor.

Find a remote car park that means you have to walk a bit to go to work or the shops.

Basically, walk more than you usually do.

I don’t believe in jogging. Jogging has to be a health hazard. It must be hurting peoples' feet, ankles, knees, and hips.

And I do believe jogging does great damage to breast tissue.

If you are unable to move your entire body due to being frail and infirmed then simply fidgit. Wriggle your fingers and toes. It is all about burning up calories.

Well, that is enough for now.

Again I send out the plea, does anyone out there have Oprah’s private number?

I am sure that if I knew that I could discuss my tips on her show it would give me an incentive to expand upon my excellent tips for permanent weight loss and come up with a decent sized self help book.

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