Matt Heath: Tough time quitting the roast and gravy

Publish Date
Monday, 20 August 2018, 11:18AM


Shamed by BMI but busy with work and family, what can we do?

I was fat shamed last week by the Heart Foundation. Everyone knows being fat is bad for you. We all need to get our BMI (body mass index) in the right zone and right now or terrible things will happen!

Well, I do anyway. Apparently.

In a 3am mortality panic I sat up in bed and entered my figures into the calculator at the heart foundation website. I was shocked to discover that I will be dead soon. The results read 'your BMI is 28.09. You are classified as overweight. Your risk of obesity-related diseases is high'.

I thought, screw you Heart Foundation and your judgmental body mass index propaganda. I'm not fat. I'm big boned and or maybe I have a high muscle ratio from riding my bike up Auckland's steep hills every day. My thighs carves, arse and breast muscles are huge from pounding up Nelson Street. These BMI levels are lies, a conspiracy, scare tactics!

The next morning, in a more rational mood, I looked down at my gut in the shower and I had to admit that the Heart Foundation has a point. I am a bit disgustingly fat. Bummer, I used to be so trim.

How did this happen?. Well, obviously it's all my fault. It's up to the individual to take charge of these kinds of things in life. No one made me ram so much food in my mouth for years.

So I'd decided to make a diet and stick with it. A simple one. I committed to the eat nothing at all for 5 days diet. Nil by mouth. Get my BMI down in under a week and teach that smug heart BMI calculator a lesson.

I lasted 7 hours before ordering a large lamb roast meal on my Uber Eats app. Extra gravy. It arrived at my door in 15 minutes. So good. Rated it 5 stars across the board. Washed the massive plate of meat and carbs down with three delicious beers and headed back to the drawing board.

In retrospect, the no-food-at-all diet was too challenging. Maybe the best way to get revenge on the heat foundation calculator is to get as fat as I can. Move up the BMI ratings.

But what about the kids? Weight isn't only a vanity issue. Most of us are keen to look good. Fewer chins are great for selfies, but mainly we want to be around for graduations, weddings and grandchildren. To get steamed and embarrass our children at their twenty firsts.

All this is put in jeopardy if the Heart Foundation online calculator gets to keep slagging us off ''You are classified as overweight. Your risk of obesity-related diseases is high". Bastards.

Feeling vulnerable I sent a heartfelt plea for help to four of my best mates. We run a txt thread. We share everything. Jokes, ideas and support.

So I reached out with "Hey guys be honest am I overweight?". The answers came back within minutes Scotty - "Yes", Jeremy - "mainly around your neck", Joe - '"you should be dead", and Mike - "obviously". Turns out my mates are about as supportive as the Heart Foundation BMI calculator.

But what can you do? In the last couple of years, I've tried the no carbs diet, the beef only diet and a bunch of different fasting schedules, The only thing that gave me any solid results was the beer and pie July diet and that was in the wrong direction.

I ride 45 minutes a day, lift weights and even do a bit of humiliating solo Yoga With Adrienne. (She's great, an absolute breath of fresh air. BTW). But no matter what I do, I stay the same weight.


There gets to a point when you despair. What happens when you don't look that fat or feel that fat but BMI says you are fat? What can we do? For many of us hitting the ideal kgs is just too hard. All our available discipline and strength is burnt on work and family. We carry so much responsibility we have nothing left for ourselves. In a 50 hour working week, who has the time to sort out their fatness?

In the end, most of us are good people who deserve delicious rewards. We deserve the large lamb roast meal with extra gravy and three beers. So what can a man do? What can any of us do?

Maybe try the soup diet?

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.