The Perfect Score

The 100th number has never been more relevant to me than in the last few weeks. There is indeed something special about it. Imagine your child coming home with a 100% score in a test paper! 100% represents perfection, a zero margin of error, no impurities in a product …

Did you know that the 14 Pauline Epistles have a total of 100 chapters? The Parable of the Lost Sheep had one stray sheep out of a hundred and Isaac who obeyed God’s command to stay put and sow seeds during a famine, had a hundred-fold yield. Father Abraham was 100 when he fathered Isaac….

A century is a period of 100 years and for lovers of Cricket, it is always a special moment when a batsman hits his 100th run and gets a well-deserved ovation from the crowd, his bat raised in acknowledgement.

There are 100 Senators, two from each State in USA and in the UK there is a very special birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen to everyone who turns 100. It is true the boiling point of water is 100o Celsius but did you know the sum of the 1st ten odd numbers = 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 11 + 13 + 15 + 17 + 19 = 100 (of course!) and the sum of the 1st four cube numbers 13 + 23 + 33 + 43 = 1 + 8 + 27 + 64 = 100 ( I bet you didn’t!)

So the number 100 is relevant in so many ways but none of these examples hit the home run as well as the day I went on the bathroom scale and for the first time in my life, the indicator went beyond the 100kg mark! Thankfully, I was alone in the house. I took off my heavy shoes, my jacket, car keys and wallet…. down to my underwear. The scale stopped at exactly 100kg. Just me, one man …100kg.

Before Y2K, I had never been concerned about my weight. The combination of sun, stress, sports and street walking meant that for the five years before I came to UK, my weight was 75kg. So why have I gained 25kg in body weight in the last decade?

  1. Driving everywhere

  2. Working long hours

  3. Keeping late nights

  4. Eating late in the night (not new)

  5. High calorie ‘chopping’ (not new)

  6. Minimal exercise

The combination of a sedentary lifestyle, hard work and compensatory high calorie diet has brought me to that perfect score of 100kg and a BMI of 30, officially ‘Obese’.

With a Masters degree in Health Promotion and a career that involves telling others to be more active and to watch what they eat, would you say I am ignorant? Of course, not!

Last year, I had a patient who travelled from faraway land to come to UK for a Comprehensive Health Check and find solutions to a myriad of health problems. After a whole day of tests the verdict was that she was grossly overweight and was advised to lose weight. She left with just lifestyle advice.

These days I hear the occasional creak of my knee joints. My wife and children hear my snore from the kitchen. Thankfully, my blood pressure and occasional pin prick blood glucose check are both normal. The reality is that it is only a matter of time unless I match words with action.

So this Christmas, I will clear the junk and reclaim my treadmill. I will walk, then jog indoors and when Spring comes, venture outside and do a bit more. I’d love to eat just enough and not stuff myself as I listen to carols …. did I hear you laugh?

I may not succeed (just yet) but I’ll give it my best shot, for if my health fails, I can’t blame the government, the health services or the manufacturers of disease. I have only myself to blame for the perfect score.