Benefits in being a big loser

PATRICIA VELTKAMP SMITH
Last updated 11:31 27/02/2014
Pat Veltkamp Smith
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

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OPINION: Happy birthday tomorrow to those whose day it is - and to all those who, born in a Leap year, must tag on to February 28 to have a birthday, annually.

Well, heaven knows why, when most of us would think that one every few years is about as many as we would be keen to acknowledge.

Leap-year babes do get the hang of that - eventually.

We have a friend who has been 32 for ever, by dint of having only that number of birthdays.

Neat, eh?

Most people want to be 10 years younger, have 10 grand more in the bank and be 10 kilograms lighter - it used to be 10 pounds but, tough, that's metric measures for you.

Sometimes the 10 is multiplied by two or three.

Out our way, there is a community competition with spot prizes and incentives to find the biggest loser.

It is not he who makes the worst bets, but she who makes the best choices, food-wise. It is run by Claire, of the medical centre. It attracted 10 people last year and doubtless a fresh 10 this year when the next 10-week programme is set up.

That 10 is significant, suggesting like the later six weeks of Lent, that there's an end to deprivation.

But that's probably not so, only long-term endeavour getting, say, 25 centimetres off a waistline or strength and energy to climb 10 kilometres up a mountain or bike 10km faster than anyone else.

Claire has made it an effective tool without any commercial hype, and all for just a gold coin donation.

In the huge business of dieting - surely at its most bizarre when liposuction fat gets sucked out of, say, a bum, and injected back into the same bod's boob to make a better shape, or, weirder, some of it can go into a sunken cheek to give a rounded youthful bloom - Claire's Biggest Loser seems a natural way of giving motivation and support in a community.

Well, it is a start.

How we go back 10 years or zap our IQ up 10 digits - that we don't know, yet. But I'll keep you posted - promise.

 

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