Saturday, June 6, 2020 10:32 am
Mr. Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin turns 67 today. The former Chairman, Badagry Local Government Area and prolific film maker, was born on 6 June 1953.
Not a few Nigerians wondered how he dealt with his heavy weight. In an interview with Tolani Abati, then of Encomium, which was published on 21 Sept 2015, he narrated the dangers he faced and how he fought his obesity from 350 pounds to 190.
He started on a humorous note by saying his weight loss was a form of “rebranding”!
On a serious note, however, he narrated that at that time, he was weighing 350 pounds and he was dying. He continued: “I had sleep apnea. I would not be able to sleep throughout the night. I could not climb steps. The highpoint was that I had two massive cardiac arrests and it was only God that used former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan to help me to get the best of medical attention timely in LASUTH. After that, I went for treatment in Medic Clinic in South Africa every three months. Later, I went to Thailand to get herbal treatment. Later, I went to Florida.
“The long and short of it was I knew I was dying because I was excessively overweight. But my fear was not about dying. My fear was about being vegetative. You will see people now they will be paralysed for years, may be half of the body. Some even lose their voice for years. Some you see them dripping saliva on their bodies, some people are changing diapers for them. Some that die go to rest. But when you see people suffering from stroke, then you will understand that is higher punishment when you don’t even die. I tried to face fact that if I wanted to live in good health I had got to drop that weight.”
He explained how he accumulated flesh: “You know over the years, I acquired a lot of bad habits, no exercises, I drink alcohol a lot, I eat excessively. Even soda alone -all these Coke, Fanta and all that, you just killing yourself. So, immediately after my 60th birthday, I have a friend who is in medical field who approached me and asked me if I have done my Will. I said why would you ask me about my Will? He said, you know I am medical person, what I noticed about you is that it can happen anytime. That you can just drop dead. Because you are so over weight that when you sit down beside somebody you will be snoring openly and yet you are not asleep. You can’t climb one flight of staircase you will be sweating excessively. It was then I realized that I have got to save my life.”
He went further: “I walk average of six, seven miles every morning. I exercise a lot. I go to swim. In any society I am, I must make sure I find a place for my walk or swimming. My eating habit became totally radical. In fact, it got to the edge of anorexia, where you can’t even take in food. I mentally programmed my brain to hate food. Yet before I would fill a whole table with stockfish, bush meat, cow leg, I was a glutton. But at a point, I told my brain it is not what you eat now that you have to celebrate, it’s what you don’t eat. So, it’s a change of life.
“Then, I stopped alcohol entirely and stopped taking soda. I bought a scale because somebody told me a scale is what will tell you whether you are doing it right or not. I check my weight every week and enter into a book. The basic thing is that you must burn out what you put in. It’s been wonderful.
You didn’t do any cosmetic surgery like liposuction?
Did he do cosmetic surgery? He was asked. “No , this is my stomach (removes his cloth to his stomach). Liposuction is just cosmetic. If you do lipo and you still go back to your old lifestyle, you don’t do exercise, a few months time you are back. I remember what Oprah Winfrey said. She said I have succeeded in everything in life except being able to drop my weight. And she has the best experts in the world.
Whatever surgery you do, it can only remove what is in body as at that time. The body will continue to grow. So, if you still cannot cultivate the lifestyle that will keep your weight down you go back. The discipline is in your brain. I read some scientists that we only need 20 per cent of actually what we take in for a good health life. That the rest 80 per cent is poison or chemicals that belabour your organs that are working so hard to dispel them.
He therefore sounded a note of warning: “The message that I want to put out there is that what we considered sweet life might be the surest route to your grave. The day I was able to cross my legs like this in Florida, I had tears coming down from eyes, because I had not been able to cross my legs in 10 years
About what he he eats, he replied: “I eat a lot of fruits, a lot of greens. I have a cook who understands how to do a lot of green stuff and my wife is an expert too. She is a registered nurse in the US. She understands all the nutrition things you need to do. Our home is a green home. When I have to eat meat its white meat like snail, fish. Even at this you have to take very little portions. Portion control is very vital. Eating too much of the right thing will still come back to the same thing.
“I am just 190 pounds. I actually succeeded in removing 50 per cent of my entire body mass. I sleep very well now. My wife will tell you that I now do certain things better than I used to do it (general laughter). It’s so funny. I have never linked libido with weight. I never knew I could be a superman (another round of laughter). Now everybody is happy in the house because I am at optimal performance level.