SCREENSAVORS: Losing the Hanukka love handles

Honestly, we're so worried about you, we might have to set you up for a session with the toughest little Asian since Chiang Kai-shek.

menorah 88 (photo credit: )
menorah 88
(photo credit: )
HEY YOU! We know it's Hanukka, but have you checked out the doughnut you're carrying around your middle lately? Honestly, we're so worried about you, we might have to set you up for a session with the toughest little Asian since Chiang Kai-shek. That's right: Dr. Una, of Turn Back Your Body Clock. While she may sound like a character out of a James Bond novel, there really is a Dr. Una, and in the new health program airing on YES Stars Tuesday nights at 8:30, Dr. Una Coales doesn't take any crap from those who are eating or drinking themselves into an early grave. For as the program's announcer - who has great lines, as is often the case in British self-help shows - points out, the program's purpose is to show you that "by working on the inside, the outside can be miraculously transformed." Before Dr. Una meets our first patient, however, we get to know him a little, and boy, can we feel his pain. Steve Barratt, a nice British bloke, age 36, moves from pub to pub as the cheeky announcer notes that "Steve loves the booze." Indeed, a little calculation leads to the amazing fact that in the past 10 years, his alcohol consumption is the equivalent of 3,200 bottles of wine. Steve also sits most of the time at work (when he isn't driving), and downs fast food at an alarming rate. No wonder he's supersized. Dr. Una spares no words when examining Steve, who's down to his skivvies in her office. Poking his "man boobs," as she calls them, she notes that Steve can't even touch his toes, then does tests that show he has a "sluggish" heart. And it turns out that he's shooting blanks in the bedroom, where he and his wife are trying to have a second child. Coupled with a bad family history, his life expectancy, which should be 85, is only 65. This alone should get you at home to skip that doughnut at the kids' Hanukka party. But there's more - a little guilt, of course. We watch as Steve hears the grim news, and wipe away a tear as he says: "I just want to be around to see my son grow up, get married and have his own kids." Sob, sob, honk! Well, get off your butt then, lardo!! That's pretty much Dr. Una's prescription - that and a serious diet - to get Steve back into shape, with the help of fitness expert Tim Bean, a bald badass who soon has Steve pumping iron. The metamorphosis has begun. "Steve Barratt thought he was just an ordinary bloke with a fondness for beer, kababs and his sofa," says the narrator. "Dr. Una has become Dr. No: No more booze and no more junk food." We get to watch Steve's transformation, of course: eating five or six healthy meals a day, working out to increase muscle mass, eating oysters to produce more active sperm, and getting some sex tips from the Good Doctor. With lots of willpower and weight training, along with regular encouragement from Dr. Una ("Hey, Steve - you look fantastic!"), our hero drops from 110 kg. to 91, with the doctor, Steve and his wife marveling that he has "no more drooping tits." Even his swimmers are livelier, and his life expectancy is now…77. "You've turned your body clock back by 12 years," Dr. Una notes, touching on the theme of this self-help program. Of course, we're not 100 percent sure this will work for us. Until the wife puts a different combination on the refrigerator, the kids hide the remote again and you feel too stupid about not being able to pick up the car keys you just dropped on the floor, it might not work for you, either. But as self-help shows go, this one from the UK's Channel 4 is harmless, and we can all pick up some tips. While the workout, get-better sessions drag a little, there's enough good humor around to keep us watching. Plus there's the extra thrill of knowing that it's them and not us who are doing all that harsh dieting and grunting. Still, turning back the clock on our bodies wouldn't be a bad idea if it means a few more years with your loved ones and a little more self-respect. Catch Turn Back Your Body Clock once a week to keep you on the wagon. And remember, the doughnut you lose may be your own.