Doing a detox

HR-BikoSo what’s wrong with a paunch or a potbelly? Jackson Biko asks the question while he battles with the bulge this month

I’m currently on day 7 of a 15-day detox programme. How it works is that some lady delivers two 300ml tubs of veggie smoothies to me, for dinner and the next day’s breakfast. They are clearly labelled ‘Breakfast’ and ‘Dinner’ just in case I drink the wrong one and throw the programme into a spin. The smoothies contain blended vegetables. Some days they mix them with pineapple, apples or bananas just to confuse my tastebuds (and make them think that it’s fun). I’m expected to eat only one normal meal a day (lunch) and if I feel hungry (which is always) I have to eat carrots, slices of apple or cucumber. You will be surprised to learn that cucumbers taste heavenly when you haven’t eaten in 18 hours. I’m hungry all the time. I’m moody and withdrawn and I’m temperamental.

Why am I doing this to myself? Well, because I want to live a healthy and happier life. At least that’s the party line. But mostly it’s because December was filled with a food orgy and I want to lose this ugly paunch that it dragged to my midsection. Why would anyone care about a paunch? Do I hear you ask? Good question really.

I don’t think my father or my grandfather obsessed about their bodies like I do now. But, then again, they didn’t have girls constantly telling them, “I would so do a man like Idris Elba.” Have you seen Idris? Even when he’s hacking people to death in the movie Beast of No Nation ladies still want him. And every man wants to ‘be done’ – to be desired. It’s a primal instinct that was encoded in our genes from early man. We want to be desired and respected and validated and chosen. But mostly we just want to ‘be done’.

Our fathers were lucky because they didn’t have to read about 54-year-old George Clooney’s slim shape. There were no groups meeting with yoga mats under their arms, chanting what sounds like a human sacrifice song. There was no pressure to avoid meat. Carbohydrates were still cool.

On top of nursing ambition to make more money than our fathers, we now intend to look better than them. Because we want ‘to be so done’, as the ladies say on Twitter. Unfortunately for us, having a large belly is no longer testimony of affluence. It doesn’t mean you have a hardworking wife. Or that you can kill a lion. It just means you can’t be ‘so done’. It also means our women will always poke fun at us at any given opportunity. And who needs that?

So, I’m having a miserable month because this potbelly has to go. Idris, move over.