How to get rid of flab

spectro.patronam asks: I am 13 years old and I have a serious problem which is hampering my studies, my life, and my decisions. I have excessive belly fat and love handles. The rest of my body parts are fit and ok, but I have not been able to do anything about those. I know that you would suggest me to exercise, but I don’t get enough time for that. And my friends tease me. I have stopped dancing (although I am a good dancer and have already received many prizes for winning dance competitions) and I also have stopped taking part in the activities that I am good at. Can you help me by suggesting some ways to reduce my belly fat and love handles?

Hi spectro.patronam –

Your question brings up a lot of issues, but I want to primarily go after one.  You say that you don’t have time for exercise.  I disagree.  I insist that you don’t have enough time to NOT exercise!  Imagine if someone asked you if you had time enough to breathe.  Let’s see, if you didn’t breathe, you’d probably only live for a few minutes, right?  So no, you have to breathe, so you’ll have time to do the other things you want or need to do.  Well exercise is only a little less drastic.

The biggest health problem in the industrialized world today is a mix of eating unhealthy food and lack of exercise.  And as a person (or dog) progresses with junk food and non-exercise, they lose energy, strength, and even brain-power.  So whatever it is that you’re doing that someone says is more important than your exercise… it’s not true!

Now before some of you jump on this and say, “Hey Shirelle says we should exercise all the time and not do our homework,” slow down!  I’m not saying that at all.  But I am saying that daily exercise should be part of your homework.  It can be as light as a walk around the block, or as much as a soccer game.  Or, following your passion spectro.patronam (which is the best way to do it), it could be taking dance classes, or even just going out dancing with friends.

Having said that, of course I also recommend watching your diet, and keeping sugars, fats, and starches low (I know, I love pizza too, and that’s high in all of them!  So it’s not easy!  But the more you exercise, the more pizza you can get away with!).

But also, you might want to talk to a personal trainer, or some other sort of body expert, about those “love handles.”  Often, humans’ bodies develop what looks like fat in that waist area, but it’s really un-engaged muscle that’s flabby there because their spines are so compressed.   And if you were able to find the correct exercises to work those muscles, you’d find those handles disappearing.

It’s clear from your wonderful Pack Name that you’d love it if I’d hand you a magic spell that could instantly give you a magazine-cover figure.  I’m sorry, I only went to Obedience School, not Hogwarts.  But the truth is that exercise and diet ARE the magic spells for this issue.  They’re just not instant.

And hey, even Harry needed Quidditch to keep himself fit!

Good Luck my friend,



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