People often hear me say “you have to do what you have to do to be what you want to be.” This applies to all facets of life but is easier said than done.

The 95/65 heading applies to my weight when younger, compared with now. I was a very obese child, often called Fatty, and as a consequence I was not the happiest chap around. To this day, nothing and nobody can convince me that I am not overweight (save your child from that!)

My father, a doctor, watched my food intake, put me on different diets, substituted sugar with artificial sweeteners, and had his friend (a physician) prescribe appetite suppressants for his obese son.

Meanwhile, his mother, my grandmother, fed me all the chocolates cakes and bread he denied me, at every opportunity.  Besides this I would eat behind his back, with the result that as the kilos of food entered my stomach, my body grew by a similar amount. Food was my crutch! To shop for clothes was a most unpleasant experience and embarrassing to say the least.

Years later, in my 30’s, I decided to take responsibility and a LIFESTYLE CHANGE was pursued.  I lost 30 kilograms over a period and MAINTAINED this weight loss to this day (not without effort) and being disciplined.

A change in eating habits was accompanied by the commencement of an exercise routine, spending 6 hours a week in the gym, at least a half of which is spent doing cardio exercise. It is pointless going to the gym, having a sauna and eating a muffin – one has to work.

Do I indulge? Yes! Do I eat chocolates and pastries?  Yes – BUT only on occasion and then in limited quantities.

Unfortunately too many people abuse their bodies and expect a tablet to put things right while they think that sitting in front of a TV eating junk food exercises their jaw muscles so classifies as exercise.

We as pharmacists are often asked whether diet pills work. They certainly do! For our profits! As a very short term solution, by reducing the appetite, they could be useful but generally diets don’t work.

Unless there is a physiological reason for being overweight, FAT PEOPLE ARE FAT BECAUSE THEY EAT TOO MUCH, LIKE TO EAT UNHEALTHY FOODS in abundance AND DO NOT EXERCISE ENOUGH.

On a personal level, food is my crutch. I am a “chocoholic”. I love bread and other sweeties and have a genetic predisposition to being obese. I hate the word diet, which to me is another word for unenjoyable eating. Rather, replace it with LIFESTYLE CHANGE or BALANCED LIFESTYLE! The bulk of my food intake (which is not in excess) consists of vegetables, salads with olive oil as a dressing, fruit (especially berries which contain a lot of anti-oxidants) and protein – particularly grilled chicken or grilled fish.

I eat starchy potatoes and rice in limited quantities and a little NON FATTY RED MEAT.  I no longer eat copious quantities and generally replace chocolates with healthy nuts such as almonds.

Before eating ANYTHING from a bottle, such as sauces and dressings, I read the label, especially focusing on the sugar quantity. Manufacturers often hide that which we are not intended to see. Fizzy cool drinks and even sugar containing fruit drinks are replaced by water and decaffeinated coffee, and my consumption of wine is limited to less than a glass a week. Fortunately, being active in the pharmacy – always on my feet and walking up and down the stairs for at least ten hours a day, assists in the maintenance of my size……and fitness.

Due to the above, living a balanced lifestyle and being disciplined (including getting enough sleep) I am a healthy, happy 77 year old man.

Potentially you do not have what it takes to maintain good health but at least give your children the opportunity! Starting almost after birth, we all make the mistake of teaching them that they require nourishment each time they cry. As they grow up, cultivate correct eating habits. Your child’s lunchboxes need not be filled with bread, there are many healthy alternatives.

In conclusion, I, my partners (Gillian Watson and Leigh Hershaw) and many of our professional staff share my sentiments and attend gym regularly. We will be only too happy to assist you and your family to become healthy citizens.


Hylton Mallach(Mr M)