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It's later than you think…WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO BE SLIM and young and good-looking. I wish I could wave a magic wand and transform all of you into glamorous, radiant creatures of twenty-one. But like the witch in John van Druten's Bell, Book and Candle, my wand is useless, and my broom, good only for prosaic, utilitarian tasks, stands idly in the closet. However, if you are overweight, I believe I can show you how to become comfortably thin, look and feel younger and healthier—and have a good chance to live longer, too, if you'll put your mind to it.
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The New Mental Outlook to Help You Lose Weightby Thyra Samter Winslowwith a foreword by Sidney M. schnittke, M. D.
to everyone connected with the manufacturing, distributing or publicizing of,
Cheeses, the rich kinds,
Frozen fruit, with added sugar,
Jellies and marmalades,
I love you all, serve your products to my friends, recommend you to normal-weight people, and hope that this book will enable all overweights to think themselves thin enough to enjoy your delectable products.
by Dr. Sidney M. Schnittke
The majority OF patients who consult their physicians primarily because of obesity usually do so because they are confronted with a physical disfigurement. The dress that no longer hangs correctly and bulges in the wrong places, the pair of slacks that won't button around the waist comfortably; these are mute reminders that the body is acquiring excess poundage. The medical practitioner attacks the problem of primary obesity with great vigor—;and usually with as great a lack of success.
This failure to secure results in reducing human obesity stems from two misconceptions. The patient considers his weight a cosmetic tragedy, and when he is told by his medical advisor that obesity is a disease fraught with perilous repercussions, he is wont to assume that the physician is trying to “scare him into reducing,” and thus never considers the problem in its true light.
The physician errs when he approaches obesity simply as a disease process—;an evidence of a disordered metabolism—;and nothing more. Basically, it is such a pathological process, but it has superimposed overtones of addiction which take it out of the realm of ordinary illness. Just as a narcotic addict makes repeated vows to abandon his enslavement and attempts numerous “cures,” so does the obese patient continually back-slide after self exhortations, and imposed injunctions have produced a temporary recession in the mounting weight indicator.
Let us consider another facet of this addiction; the patient who consults a doctor secondarily for obesity, i.e. a complaint wherein the overweight condition complicates a primary disorder such as hypertension, diabetes, etc., should certainly prove more amenable to the admonitions of the medical adviser. This patient has reached a terminal phase of the dire prognosis held out to the individual who consulted the physician simply for obesity—;he or she now has visible evidence of the deleterious effects of the excess flesh. This state of affairs does not require foresight on the part of the patient to comprehend the eventual outcome of the disorder. He or she must lose weight in order to maintain life; yet a walk through any of the medical wards in a hospital will show the majority of patients afflicted with hypertension to be overweight. In this connection it is interesting that almost 65% of 200 practicing physicians over 40, examined for heart trouble, were obese, as revealed in a study released in May, 1951, by Dr. Arthur M. Master and Dr. Kenneth Chesky, both of New York City.
These individuals can see both by the scale reading and their comparative feeling of well-being that a loss of weight is accompanied by a corresponding decline in blood pressure. However, a goodly percentage of these addicts will go off their diet regimens repeatedly, re-elevate their blood pressure and commence again to suffer the tortures of the damned.
To my mind this book represents a great advance in the struggle against overweight. The author has set herself the task of acquainting the obese reader with the known facts concerning his malady; why he is overweight, why this excess poundage is dangerous, why it is really never too late to cast off the superfluous tissue, and lastly, how to achieve the desired reduction in a safe and sane fashion.
Since the therapy of obesity requires a reorientation of the mental outlook, it can readily be seen that the physician must enlist the patient's cooperation in order to achieve results. This book serves as an admirable adjunct to the office visit in that it expands upon and carries forward the idea that the patient must reduce. The physician who recommends this text to his patient is then assured of a continual flow of therapy much akin to that of a repository injection, and with the same effect.
This is not a spectacular book. In discussing obesity, Mrs. Winslow steers clear of the temptation to discourse concerning constipation, fatigue, faddist diets, etc. She means the text to apply only to the reader interested in losing weight. She makes one point quite clear; the obese person must watch his or her diet from now and for-evermore. This is a simple truism and yet is as necessary as telling a reclaimed alcoholic that in the future he cannot imbibe with impunity from the cup that cheers.
In closing, I would remind the reader from my own experience of some ten thousand obese patients that there is only one cause for overweight—;overeating I The causes for overeating are legion; and the identification of the reason why you continually cram more food than you need into your stomach is a prime requisite for the “cure” of obesity. The author of this work does not try to cure obesity—;that the patient must do for himself—; but she does offer a helping hand to the sincere seeker for aid in combating his problem.
We would all like to be slim and young and good-looking. I wish I could wave a magic wand and transform all of you into glamorous, radiant creatures of twenty-one. But like the witch in John van Druten's Bell, Bookand Candle, my wand is useless, and my broom, good only for prosaic, utilitarian tasks, stands idly in the closet. However, if you are overweight, I believe I can show you how to become comfortably thin, look and feel younger and healthier—;and have a good chance to live longer, too, if you'll put your mind to it.
There are nearly one hundred and ten million adults in America, and it has been estimated that, of that number, over twenty-two million weigh too much—;and would be better off if they didn't. When twenty per cent of a population suffers from a serious defect, something should be done about it. I'm not optimistic enough to believe that I can influence the weight and health of that great a portion of the population—;but if I help even a few, I'll be mighty happy about it.
I'm taking it for granted that you weigh too much, or that someone you're interested in weighs too much.
Otherwise you'd be pretty foolish to waste your time over this book. Of course, you could gloat over the overweights and what they have to put up with! But this book is not for gloaters. It is for those who are too fat and who want to do something about it.
I could make definite promises that you'll lose weight—; and look and feel better if you follow the rules you'll read here; I could guarantee that you'd weigh less and improve in health—;but I don't dare. Not because you won't lose weight if you follow the rules, but because too many readers can't or won't read.
A few months ago, I wrote an article for the monthly magazine, Your Life. It contained rules for a simple self-analysis, based on the writing of a news story. I did not tell the readers to send me their analyses—;but a lot of them must have thought I did, because they sent them in. And in practically every case they disregarded every rule I'd given, and seemingly forgot why they were writing or what they were writing about. And the other day a man I'd thought most intelligent said to me, “Weight reduction is all nonsense! I'm trying to reduce and I'm gaining, instead.”
“What are you doing about it?” I asked.
“I'm following the Hauser rules and I've gained five pounds.”
I asked for details.
”I just follow my regular meals,” he said. ”I haven't got time to diet. But each morning I have a glass of milk with blackstrap molasses mixed in it—;and I tell you, I gained instead of lost weight.”
Now, Gayelord Hauser's books are good. He's written three: The Gayelord Hauser Cook Book, Diet Does It, and Look Younger, Live Longer. I shall have more to say about them, and about other excellent books on diet. I believe that anyone who wants to lose weight should read a number of books about it—;and get something out of each book. Of course, I think I've got something here that the others haven't got—;or I wouldn't be writing this! Mr. Hauser recommends black molasses, but nowhere does he say that milk and black molasses, consumed in addition to a too-generous diet will take off weight. An eight-ounce glass of milk with several table-spoonfuls of black molasses will add about 250 calories to the daily intake—;or almost a third of what is usually recommended in a strict diet for a whole day's rationing. So you see what I mean?
Of course, you aren't that kind of a reader! You understand what you read. And in order to get thin, you're going to follow, to the letter, exactly what I recommend. If you do, you'll find you'll lose weight easily and satisfactorily. Otherwise I don't want to hear from you, because it will mean you haven't followed the rules.
Why should you get thin ? You may know the answers as well as I do. Or you may not know all of them.
First of all, but far from the most important, is vanity. The average overweight person is awkward. Of course! Who wouldn't be awkward, with ten or twenty or fifty superfluous pounds strapped around his body! The average fat person does not look well in his—;or her—; clothes. You have to wear large sizes, so that, to begin with, the cut is not too youthful, and the result is a shapeless bag, more than likely. Three years ago, I found myself going from size 18 to size 20. The size 20 dresses had no style. They required a lot of alteration. And after they were altered I still looked like what I was—;a short, squat woman with a bad figure. I lost twenty-five pounds. Now I wear a size 12 dress. Because I'm short (I couldn't do anything about that) I have to have hems turned up two inches—;but that's the only alteration necessary. And for the first time in years I get compliments on my figure. I weigh no, but my bones are small, so I'm not thin. But I'm no longer a tub, thank you!
But it isn't just vanity that makes weight important. It's health, most of all.
Your weight has a definite bearing on how long you are likely to live. Persons who weigh too much have a far greater mortality, physicians have proved, than people of normal weight. Dr. Louis I. Dublin, Statistician of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, in an article in Human Biology, entitled “The Influence of Weight on Certain Causes of Death,” shows, through a study of 200,000 cases, how dangerous overweight can be. The death rate for men and women of normal weight is 844 per 100,000. In the overweight group, the rate jumps to 1,111 per 100,000. In other words, the fat person has an excess mortality of from 14%, if you're very young, to as high as 86%, as you grow older.
You don't want to die! Of course not! Being alive can be a lot of fun. Well, the overweight person shows up pretty badly in all of Dr. Dublin's findings. Over-weight folks constantly jeopardize their chances for a long life. Fat people practically commit suicide! They die by their own fat. An exaggeration? Just look at the statistics. Deaths from cardiovascular diseases are 62% above average for the too-fat population. Diabetes claims 167% above normal—;yes, 167%—;that's not a typographical error. In cancer, only 10% above average is the rate of death of the overweight—;but even that is something to think about. 12% above average is the fat person's rate for accidental deaths. Fat people move and think a bit more slowly in emergencies, you see.
Have I frightened you? Well, that's what I've tried to do. In fact, I mention the very worst first of all, to jolt you into seeing the seriousness of too much fat. But, of course, you are not going to die because you're overweight! You're sure of that! Even so, it is just possible that you may become ill because you weigh too much. I don't mean that diseases are always brought about because of overweight. I do mean that you have a better chance of living longer if you are slim, and your health—; the health of everyone—;can be improved by the correction and prevention of obesity.
Some of the diseases on which obesity has an adverse influence are hypertension—;high blood pressure to you—; pulmonary emphysema, diabetes, various forms of heart disease, cancer, acute and chronic nephritis, venous thrombosis and embolism and arteriosclerosis. In pregnancy, the obese woman is susceptible to various types of illness. Many other diseases may be ameliorated to a great (degree by treating overweight—;diseases for which, up until now, no actually successful treatment has been found.
Operations are far more dangerous if the patient is overweight. Doesn't it stand to reason that it is dangerous to cut through fat—;which does not heal as quickly nor as well as healthy, non-fat tissue? In their excellent book, Obesity, Dr. Edward H. Rynearson and Dr. Clifford F. Gastineau, of the Mayo Clinic, both obesity experts, show the dangers of overweight and give many rules for getting back to normal.
Dr. John Joseph Lalli, whose specialty is arthritis, wrote me about overweight:
“In the city of New York alone, there are approximately 12,000 people in whom chronic arthritis has reached maturity in complete or partial ankylosis. Of greatest importance is the prevention of those particular manifestations which result in deformities. The unhealthy soil in which the seed of disease readily grows argues for early use of systematic methods of treatment before the joint segments or adjacent muscles and tendons are affected. The onset, manifested by painful soft-tissue swelling, as in atrophic-rheumatoid arthritis, can be successfully combated. In this disease, prevention is better than cure. Hypertrophic osteoarthritis, due mainly to the wear and tear of life, is also a problem of prevention. Overweight, when present, may be likened to a wagon-load of stones being drawn up a hill by a horse. The loadis too heavy for the horse to pull. Either the horse mustbe whipped or the load lightened. Often overweight breaks down the metatarsal arches, causing them to become flat and painful, with accompanying backache and other forerunners of chronic arthritis. In both types, systematic manifestations such as abnormal weight, nervousness, restlessness and excitability, loss of mental vigor, neuritic sensations, varying pulse rate, constipation, muscle atrophy, flat feet, nervous twitchings at night and general weakness are present.”
Drs. Rynearson and Gastineau feel that other illnesses may be caused by, or exaggerated by, obesity, increased incidence of gallbladder disease, earlier appearance of varicose veins, more frequent fractures, increased fetal mortality and greater difficulty in obstetrical delivery are further reasons for the correction of obesity. It is probable that obesity increases the chances of development of both hypertension and diabetes. It has been suggested that since one action of insulin is to convert carbohydrates to fat, a process of considerable magnitude in the development of obesity, the demand for insulin is correspondingly great and may exceed the capacity of the pancreas to produce it; thus diabetes may result.”
Drs. H. L. Smith and F. A. Willius, writing on ”Ado-posity of the Heart,” show that cardiac enlargement in obesity is proportional to the increase in surface area, and that some of these otherwise normal enlarged hearts may fail. So—;if you're fat, the fat around your heart may cause serious trouble. Or fatty infiltration—;droplets of fat—;may appear within the cardiac muscle cells.
But even that isn't all. Obesity may cause a diminished capacity for breathing because of restricted respiratory movements caused by deposits in the abdominal and thoracic walls. You should be able to breathe deeply, for health.
I could quote dozens of other authorities. But their findings all boil down to the same essential facts. Obesity can actually cause serious diseases. It can cause other diseases to become more serious. It is, in itself, a disease. And the longer a person is too fat, the harder it is to overcome the damage that the fat has done.
You wouldn't knowingly eat poison if you knew that the poison would hurt your system—;and perhaps kill you. You wouldn't carry around a huge lead weight, if the weight were unbecoming, tiresome and dangerous—; and kept your lungs from functioning properly, your heart from beating the way it should. You wouldn't want to have high blood pressure, arthritis, gout, a dozen other ills that obesity can cause or encourage. You surely would go out of your way to avoid, rather than bring about, diabetes.
This is the unpleasant part of what I have to tell you. I wanted to tell it to you first, not so you can forget it—; because I don't want you to do that—;but so you can realize how serious obesity really is. It isn't just something that keeps you from being attractive—;though it may do that, too. It's a very serious disease—;and you have it in your power to get rid of it.
Why not avoid serious illness, if you can avoid it—;get rid of a burden that can only be an annoyance ?
Are you satisfied that being slender is the only course for you ? Good! Then you're really on the road to thinking yourself thin.
If you've been thinking about all the horrible things that can—and easily might—happen to you if you are fat, I'm sure you've decided to become thin. And to live a long and, I hope, contented and useful life. Ready to think yourself thin?
You realize, of course, that, like all other seemingly easy things, there's a catch to it. Yes, you're going to think yours. If thin. But you're going to do a lot of other things besides. Thinking is part of it—a big part. But you've got to do a great deal more than just sit and think. Your telephone, the chair you're sitting in, the clothes you're wearing, these words that you're reading— they were all thoughts, first of all. But the thoughts were translated into action before they became material things. So your thoughts about getting thin, if you really want to be thin, will have to be translated into action, too. And the result will be you—the way you'd like to be.
You'll have to make yourself over! Your overweight has been caused by wrong thinking—by a wrong way of life—for you. The same way of life might not have caused overweight for a lot of other people but, face it, it has caused overweight for you. That means that it is wrong for you. So you must acquire a new viewpoint, an entire new outlook. And with this new outlook you must follow through until you look—and are—the person you'd like to be.
You know dozens of people, as I do, who have started diets, and never finished them. They've been enthusiastic, and lost ten pounds, or eighteen pounds. And then, within a few weeks, gained all of the pounds back again— and maybe added a few more for good measure. I know one man who did even better—or worse—than that. He went to an expensive doctor, who examined him and gave him a diet.
“Have you started your diet?” I asked him.
“No,” he said. “I'm going away for a five-day weekend. When I come back I'll start.”
I talked to him two weeks later.
“How is your diet going?” I asked.
“Oh, I haven't started yet,” he told me. “You see, it's very difficult for me to diet because I'm not too well. In fact, I must have an operation, but the doctor doesn't want to operate until I lose weight. But I have to sort of work myself up to get into the mood to diet. I'll begin any day, now.”
He hasn't started yet. But then he weighs only 233 pounds! The poor dear looks like a football, never feels well, and is still suffering from an injury to his leg, which happened three years ago, because his weight keeps it from healing properly. He'll never get thin until he learns about obesity—and he refuses to learn.
In the last analysis, you're all you have. Your family, your friends, even your earthly possessions, are yours in a far less realistic way. You can do a lot about developing your mind and your soul. But without a good body, your mind and your soul, things being what they are on this earth, will be in a pretty difficult spot. To become thin, in the way you should be thin, you must learn to have a disciplined mind, to be a responsible person. Instead of rationalizing your indulgences, you must realize your potentialities. You have the opportunities for discipline and, though the word may seem out of place here, for culture. You can become physically and mentally the person you should be only by putting thought to it.
Now you can't get thin unless you understand your body. And your mind, too. Otherwise you can dip into fifty diets. Some will reduce you. Others will leave you about where you were. Some will be helpful. Others might not be so good. But there will be no permanent change unless you know where you're going, and know what to do about it. You may get on a bus and ride and ride. It may be most interesting along the way. But unless you know where you want to go, and take the bus that will get you there, at the end you won't be much better off than you were when you started. Good luck may land you at your destination, but it isn't at all likely. Usually, you'll be worn out, far from home, and a little mystified because things happened the way they did. Any good diet will reduce you. But unless you learn about obesity, and learn why you, yourself, are fat, and then apply the right remedy for you, you won't reduce properly—and you won’t stay thin.
Staying thin, you know, is as important as getting thin. No use getting thin, having all of your clothes made over, and being proud of your figure and your appearance, if you don't understand the principles underlying it—and get fat again.
The new way of life which you must adopt, if you wish to get thin and stay that way, must be different for you— and once you've started it, you must keep up forever.
There are two schools of thought on losing weight. One says that you must do it in secret—or talk about it only with people who are reducing too. A sort of fat peoples' Alcoholics Anonymous. In fact, there have been a lot of attempts to start societies called Fatties Anonymous and Gluttons Anonymous and Dieters Anonymous. I don't believe in secret dieting. And I don't think you need any sort of “Anonymous” society. I think that you should tell people that you are trying to lose weight. Simplest thing in the world! Saves a lot of annoyance, too. Hollywood stars don't mind admitting that they are on diets—and most of them are, because everyone knows that it is their business to keep their figures trim. Isn't it your business, too? You needn't keep the entire conversation buzzing around your figure or your diet. Eat and drink the things you should eat and drink. Whenever anything is offered that you should not have, don't accept it and then waste it or mince it on your plate— eating a bit too much the while. Just smile and say, “I'm sorry I must refuse—that's not on my diet.” Smile when you say it—and don't weaken! And be as strict with yourself when you're alone as you are when company is around. Remember that the things you eat in secret between meals are every bit as fattening as the things you order in restaurants or have on your plate at dinner. The subject of obesity has always been a fascinating one. Early stone statues show that in 2,000 B.C. fat women were considered most desirable. They were popular, too, in savage tribes. The fact that they didn't live very long didn't seem to make much difference. The life span of the warriors of the tribe wasn't a great deal longer. By the time the Greeks began to find out what civilization and culture were really about, the wise men had begun to find out about obesity, too. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, found out that fat people were far more apt to die suddenly than were thin ones. Galen, too, was against obesity, and when he discovered that fevers reduced weight, he even thought it might be a good idea to induce fevers as weight reducers. In Greece and Rome, obesity was desirable—for their enemies, and Roman horsemen actually forfeited their horses if they gained too much weight.
In Elizabethan times, obesity was frowned upon. And Shakespeare, who introduced abnormal psychology quite a while before the modern boys thought of it—a sort of a pre-dated Freud—wrote,
"Make less thy body hence, and more thy grace,
Leave gormandizing; know the grave doth gape
For thee thrice wider than for other men.”
There have been, of course, famous fat men through the ages, but they have been the exceptions. Chesterfield wrote, “Obesity and stupidity are such constant companions that they are considered synonymous.” Napoleon grew fat only as he grew older—after his retreat from Moscow.
Our modern therapy for obesity was initiated in 1863. A man named William Banting started it. He was an undertaker, and, when his weight reached 200 pounds, he consulted an English doctor, William Harvey, because his hearing was affected. Banting was put on a diet which did not allow carbohydrates or fats. Banting gave up bread and butter, sugar, potatoes, beans and beer. His water intake was limited. On rye bread and meat and a few other things, he lost nearly fifty pounds. He wrote a book about it—and to this day a lot of folks talk about “Banting” when they mean dieting.
In Victoria's day, a plump woman with a well-rounded figure was considered quite an eyeful. And even here in America, at the turn of the Century and later, the well-developed actress was the one who received the most admiration. In A Pictorial History Of The AmericanTheatre, by Daniel Blum, which covers a fifty-year period, starting in 1900, the illustrations show that the actors and actresses of earlier times had figures which to-day would cause obesity specialists to start writing prescriptions immediately. James O'Neill, Delia Fox, Marie Cahill, May Irwin, Lillian Russell and Ada Rehan were all too fat, by modern standards. On the other hand, Fritzi Scheff, Nance O'Neill, Lionel Barrymore, Grace George, Evelyn Nesbit, Blanche Sweet and Ethel Barry-more were all quite slender in their youth, and the fact that they are alive as I write might well be the result of their lack of fat.
During the Flapper Twenties, the thin girl came into her own. Reproductions of John Held's drawings— typical of the period in their smooth sophistication— show flat-chested, small-waisted girls, living rapidly, if not too wisely.
The thin girl stayed in fashion for a long time. During the years waists stayed small, but breasts began to be fuller and more rounded. Today, with the help of New York nightclub columnist Earl Wilson, and such actresses as Miss Russell—Jane, not Lillian—the rounded figure is in fashion, once more.
The modern girl has gained weight—but she is not fat. Her waist and hips are small. Her back is straight. Statistics show that the average woman is only 5 feet 4 inches in height, and not too slender, but today's girls are thin enough, physically. They are mentally well-balanced. And they are healthy, too.
The professional model is today's ideal, as far as figures are concerned. For style and distinction, she takes the place of the chorus girl of two generations ago, and the show girl of the last generation. Recently, while writing a series of articles for the Hearst Publications' King Features, I interviewed some of New York's most successful models. One at a time, a dozen of these girls, with their hat boxes—practically a symbol of their profession—came to my apartment. I asked them questions about themselves.
Today's models are tall, I found out from these girls, and from studying the descriptions of dozens of other models. The average height ranges from five feet seven inches to five feet nine inches—in high heels. Quite a bit taller than Miss or Mrs. Average American. Their weights vary—weight isn't too important, for the girls realize that bone structure causes a great weight variation. Most of the girls weighed around one hundred and twenty-five pounds.
Model sizes didn't vary a great deal. Most of the successful models, I discovered, have busts which measure thirty-four inches, waists twenty-four inches, and hips thirty-four inches—or the same as the bust measurement. These girls usually wear size 12 dresses—the “model” size—though size 10 can also be worn. The Junior “model” size is one inch less in waist, hips and bust. You may not be as tall as a model, but it would be very nice, unless you're a great big girl, if you managed to get down to model size in most of your dimensions.
Male models, though they do not set the fashions, as the feminine models do, still have excellent figures that could serve as ideal for the male population. Most of them are tall—around six feet—but there are a number of successful male models who are only five feet ten inches tall. The average male model wears a 15½-inch shirt and has a waist that measures 31 inches. I don't say that all men should have those measurements, but both male and female models from the Conover Agency or the Society of Models do manage to stay slim, attractive looking and healthy.
Before you write to me and accuse me of trying to turn all American men and women into professional models—in size, anyhow—I want to tell you that I don't want, expect or advise you to become this slender. I'm not even dangling this carrot of perfection in front of your noses, except to say how pleasant it would be. I am trying to show you how the average figure has changed through the years—and that our present ideal, as shown by the clothes horses who display, professionally, modern clothes, is a slim but pleasantly rounded young woman, or a slim, flat-stomached, broad-shouldered young man.
Life expectancy has increased, during the years, from a potential twenty-three years in Rome to thirty-five years during the Renaissance—with a far shorter life expectancy in the ages before that. In 1900, life expectancy was fifty years, and present life expectancy is sixty-four years for men and seventy years for women. Only fat people have a shorter life expectancy—almost one per cent less for each pound of superfluous flesh—20% less for the man or woman who is 20% overweight, and far more than that for the really fat man or woman. I refuse to look again at the figures for the men and women who carry around a burden of over fifty pounds of excess blubber.
You needn't look like a model. You should look like yourself—your better self, the self that you could be, once your body has sloughed off needless and useless fat. You'll live longer, and have more fun living, too, once your weight has reached normal for your height. Once you've learned to think yourself thin.
What can you do about it? Well, to begin with, here are my first directions: Please order, at once, two good sets of scales. One set is for your bathroom. I prefer the Borg Scale or the Detecto doctor's type scale. Why? Because those scales have readable numbers, and are usually reliable.
I might as well tell you right now that I expect to mention a great many manufactured articles by name— and that none of the firms is paying me a cent for the publicity—or even knows that I'm mentioning them. I don't own a single share of stock in any of the firms who manufacture any articles of apparel, food or kitchen utensils. I wish I did 1 I've refused a commercial offer for the recipe for Magicream—my imitation whipped cream, which you'll learn how to make, later on—so I could give it to you, for free. I'm mentioning things by name not so much to please the manufacturers, though I feel they will be pleased, as to help you get the things that much experimenting has shown me are the most satisfactory.
For the second scales, get a good set for your kitchen. But don't get kitchen scales, because most of them, though fairly accurate, are so arranged that they weigh merchandize up to twenty-five pounds, and while they are fine for weighing fairly heavy purchases of groceries, they are not good for weighing small amounts in ounces— and that is what you'll use them for. You might buy a medical scale, which is expensive, and completely accurate. Or, if money is an object, you'll be satisfied, I'm sure, with a good letter scale, which is not expensive, and can be used for your mail, too. The Hanson scale is a good one, and weighs accurately, by ounces, up to two pounds—and I'm sure you'll not want to weigh anything more than that amount.
Most weight reducing authorities have a definite rule about weighing—yourself and not your food. They believe in weighing once a week—or every two or three weeks. Personally, I go mad if I can't weigh myself every day! Last year, while traveling abroad, I breathed a great sigh of satisfaction when I was a guest at the home of Ambassador and Mrs. Avra Warren, and found, in their bathroom, an accurate scale. The satisfaction of weighing myself almost made up for the fact that I'd gained five pounds.
You certainly don't have to weigh all of the food you eat. Occasionally, you'll have to weigh portions of food, so you might as well have the scales handy in the kitchen. But I do heartily approve of weighing yourself every day in your own bathroom. I know one fat man who said he wanted to reduce, but who told me that his bathroom scales wouldn't work very well.
“Why don't you buy a new one?” I asked.
”I can't afford it,” he told me. And proceeded to spend large sums of money on entertaining guests at dinners and cocktails. He lost ten pounds, he told me, but he couldn't be sure. That inaccurate scale, you see!
He's continued to be fat—and doesn't want to know what he weighs.
If you want to get thin—and I hope you do—please get those two scales right away. And use the bathroom scales every day.
The best—and most optimistic—time to weigh yourself is in the morning, after you've “wrung yourself out.” Weigh yourself in the nude, wearing only bedroom slippers. If you weigh yourself every morning at just about the same time, you'll get a pretty accurate idea of your weight. As you begin reducing, make a note of this weight every day. Even if the scale does not show a daily reduction, because of food you've eaten the day before that may have been bulky, even if not fattening, the daily weighing is the most satisfactory way you have of finding out how you are getting along toward reaching your ideal weight and size.
More directions—and these must be followed if you intend to lose weight according to this Think Yourself Thin method—and I hope you do. Buy a small note book. No, don't use loose sheets of paper and tell yourself they'll be just as good. They won't be! You're going to analyze yourself in a number of ways. The note book is essential. It may be lined or unlined—it's up to you to choose the kind that is most convenient. It shouldn't be too small in size. It should be one that can be tucked into a drawer that is near your bed. The ideal place to keep it is in your bed table drawer, but any drawer that has a bit of room in it will do.
Now, starting today—or tomorrow if that is more convenient for you, but certainly not a minute later— write down every single thing you eat, with the amount of it, as nearly as you can estimate, in cupfuls or half-cupfuls. This need not be absolutely accurate as to measurements. It should be accurate as to foods. Write down what you eat for breakfast. Draw a line. Then all of the foods or drinks you have in between. Write down the number of glasses or cups of liquids you consume— water, tea, coffee, milk. The first day or two you'll probably forget a number of things. Train yourself to think accurately—to remember. You'll need these pages for reference later on, so keep them as neatly and as accurately as you can. Child's play? No, indeed. Only by a recording of the foods you eat can you arrive at any conclusion about your food and liquid intake. You must find out why you're fat before you can be cured permanently.
Don't say, “It isn't the food. I eat like a bird,” and let it go at that. If you are too fat, then you eat too much. That's the basic truth. FOOD MAKES FAT!
Of course, you know that some people do not get fat, no matter how much they eat. We all know of lucky people who can gobble the most fattening viands and gain not a single ounce. I know a lovely young girl with a waist so slender a man can—and does—span it easily with his two hands, and she devours mounds of rich desserts, great fluffs of whipped cream, huge portions of chocolate pie. Disgusting—if you're fat, and can't imitate her. On the other hand, I've known fat people who can gain seven pounds over a week-end of fairly rich living, and not lose an ounce of it when the week-end is over. Food makes fat—-and it makes fat more quickly for some folks than for others. It's up to you to find out why it is making fat for you—to regulate the causes, if possible, and otherwise to regulate the results.
You'll have to diet, of course. But, if you find out why you are fat, and correct the “why,” the results may be far better than you have any reason to expect. There may be purely physical reasons for your overweight. There may be psychosomatic reasons—a combination of body and mind. Or the reasons may be purely mental. Once you know the real cause of your overweight, it is far easier to get to the results. Even your dieting will be far less annoying—and much more rewarding. And diets aren't half bad, anyhow, when you've learned what to eat, and how to order or prepare it. It's the tasteless and monotonous diet, that does not satisfy your hunger, which is bad. You won't have to have that at all. Your diet can be fairly exciting, even if it is strict. And it may not even have to be strict. Of this much, however, I'm sure—if you are overweight you will have to change your eating habits, and your habits of thought about food. Food makes fat. You are what you eat. Those two facts are inseparable. The badly adjusted fat person can gain weight on food that would leave a thin person practically starving. When you've learned to change your food habits, and your food thoughts, you'll grow slender. And you'll stay that way, though you never again can slip back into your old ways of eating and thinking.
So, to think yourself thin, buy the two sets of scales, unless you have them already. And don't tell me—or yourself—that the old, inaccurate ones will do. They won't do at all! Accurate scales are your first “must“ for reduction. The note book is the second. They are your first necessities. You are taking the first steps to thinking yourself thin.
When are you going to begin to reduce? Don't get impatient about it! Sit back and relax—and learn about yourself. When you've learned the principles of sensible living for you, then you can begin to lose weight.
After all, you've probably been overweight for a long time. You're not going to lose weight suddenly, anyhow. In fact, there is no way to lose a lot of weight at one time that is not dangerous to health. Another thing— weight lost rapidly, unless you understand the underlying reasons, comes back just as quickly. When you become slender I want you to stay that way. It's a job, a whole new way of living. But I think you'll find it is worth it. I hope so, anyhow. A firm, slender, healthy body, a youthful face, for your age, and a sensible outlook on living—aren't those things worth waiting for?
In the meantime, you are disciplining yourself. You are weighing yourself every morning, after you’ve attended to your toilet, in the nude and wearing only bed room slippers. Mark down this weight. It may not vary very much from day to day, but it will give you the habit of weighing yourself. And it will give you tables for comparison, as you grow more slender. And, in the note book I asked you to get, you are writing down everything you eat, and, if possible, the times you ate it. This should be done the last thing at night. Discipline and training again, but, far more important, another list that will prove valuable when you start to reduce. These are the first two “musts” on your program. And don't write to me a month from now and tell me that you wrote down a couple of days' weight and a couple of days' menus, but that you got bored and quit. You can reduce by my method only if you write down these two things every day: your weight in the morning, and the day's complete food—and drink—intake at night.
You want to be normal, I'm sure. Normal in health and weight. But what is normal? We must accept statistics for that, unless we have the time and the money to gather our own facts—and I don't know who has. Normality isn't necessarily the 34-24-34-inch slenderness of the average professional female model, nor the 15½-inch shirt, 31-inch waist of the professional male model. Nor is it even the measurements from “Women's Measurements for Garment and Pattern Construction,” developed by the United States Department of Agriculture for the manufacturers of America, which shows the average woman is 5 feet 4 inches in height, and weighs more than 130 pounds. You see, the twenty-odd millions of women who are too fat have influenced these results. These charts show the way women are, not the way they should be.
How fat should one be? Obesity, according to medical authorities, is the condition of the body in which the weight, because of excessive storage of fat, is above normal. People who are from ten to fifteen per cent above normal are considered just slightly fat. Those who are more than fifteen per cent above normal are really obese. According to Ebstein, the classifications of fat people are: “Those who inspire envy, those who provoke laughter and those who call forth sympathy.” Dr. James S. McLester, Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama, in his excellent book, Nutrition AndDiet In Health And Disease, divides obesity into two divisions: simple obesity, which includes alimentary, or exogenous; and constitutional, or endogenous, and the obesity which accompanies other disorders, and includes the glandular types, pituitary, gonad, adrenal cortex and thyroid.
What does this mean? Simple enough, actually. Alimentary obesity results from the indulgence of appetite, plus a good digestion. In other words, eating too much makes fat. Food makes fat! The normal person—the one who can eat a lot without gaining weight—probably has within his own body some form of regulatory mechanism which balances appetite against physical activity. He maintains body weight by eating exactly the amount that the body can take care of. However, the person who has alimentary obesity is not this fortunate. His mechanism does not work, does not synchronize properly. So the person with this trouble eats too much or moves around too little—uses up too little energy— so, for him, his intake of food is too great, and the part that is not used up in energy is stored as fat. The amount of food which would seem to be right and appropriate proves too great, at least for the amount of energy used. We'll go into details about the reasons for this, later on.
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