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“When I couldn’t bend to tie my shoes laces, I knew I had to lose weight”---- DESMOND ELIOT

Source: Ekerete Udoh -
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Desmond Eliot is a major Nollywood star and a bankable name. He has starred in hundreds of movies and lately, has become one of the industry's most accomplished directors. As a successful actor cum director, the trappings of success and stardom are all present around him.

Desmond it has been observed over the years had morphed from a chiseled and toned physique to a slightly chunkier frame which was not lost on his fans. I recalled teasing him about two years ago that his wife, who happens to come from my home state of Akwa Ibom – a state whose citizens are famed for their culinary expertise and hospitality, was feeding him with all the nourishing delicacies, hence his increasingly expanding waistline. He had jokingly told me I would be shocked the next time we meet that he would have peeled off the extra fat and return to his lean and lethal frame.

Well…he has kept his word. Last month, I was shocked when Desmond walked into the Tropical Grill restaurant in Queens, and I almost did not recognize him. I was amazed. Desmond had lost almost thirty pounds and was looking toned and fit. “What happened and how did this happen”? I had asked looking stunned. “That guy right there” (he pointed at a gentleman he said was his inspiration – his personal trainer and friend.) “I knew I had to do something” he had continued. “When I could not bend down to tie my shoe laces, when I would be panting whenever I climb few steps on staircases, and when I felt I could lose my swagger, I had to do something. I knew what my weakness was: eating heavy meals at night and going to bed afterward. I also was not exercising well – no thanks to the grueling schedule I maintain.” Desmond credits his friend and personal trainer as the motivation for his new look” I would look at him, and see all the six-packs and I remember nostalgically that I once used to look like that. I decided there and then that I had to change my eating habit.

These days, I don't eat ate at night, and I eat lots of fruits and vegetables and I exercise regularly and I love the energy and my new feeling of wellness.”

As we ate dinner that night, the new discipline was in full display as Desmond would not touch any lavish spread that was before us – “no way, you won't get me to touch that “he had protested as I urged him to eat the specially prepared dry fish that was very delicious – a delicacy his personal trainer even said was okay for him to eat. “I had an obsession to fried and specially made meals and they made me look the way I did before.

I am not about returning to those old ways” Desmond had said as he watched us demolish the fish and other delicacies.

It was refreshing though seeing how determined he was to stay healthy – a way of life that seems to have created a wave among Nollywood stars. From Segun Arinze, who used to be chunky, but who now look pretty trim when I ran into him last month in Abuja, most stars are doing all they can to avoid looking fat and unattractive. “It is a welcome development” says health and wellness expert Mkpouto Egwunye – a columnist with this newspaper.” Looking fat and unhealthy brings with it a lot of health complications and reduction of things that bring happiness. Obesity as I wrote in my column in this edition not only affects the body but it can affect the capacity to be sexually fulfilled which may cause problems for couples; so it is a good thing to be conscious of one's physical well-being.”