Eat And Grow Thin - The Wrong Way
( Originally Published 1914 )
IT is a melancholy fact that one is what one is born to be. One's destiny is written more or less clearly on one's face. Thus, statisticians aver, out of a hundred persons who die of consumption, ninety have brown or fair hair, a long face and a sharp nose. This calculation may not be scrupulously exact, but there is less doubt as to the assertion that out of a hundred who are corpulent there are ninety with short faces, round eyes and blunt noses. Young and beautiful a girl passes she is dainty, rosy, alert, with roguish nose and adorable cheeks; but one knows that a little further down the road of life she will be seized upon by the Occult Powers and muffled in fat for that destiny is written in her round, young face.
And is there neither cure nor palliation?
There are on the assurance of a distinguished statesman who has tried them all-at least one hundred obesity cures. One may boil out the fat or bake it out or drug it out; one may resort to the more natural and more economical method of the hibernating bear, and live on it. Unfortunately all these methods have two irremediable defects:
In the first place, they are not permanent;
And, secondly, they are injurious.
It is evident that a fat man in tolerable health he is never in perfect health, for a fat man is an ill man---can boil out a great deal of his fat in a Russian bath, but the cure is neither lasting nor safe. There was a Parisian banker, a few years ago, who may serve as an illustrative warning. He had grown very corpulent, weighing awful hundreds of pounds; and, naturally enough, his affairs went to the bad. (There is a strange kinship between obesity and financial crime almost all embezzlers are fat.) With what funds he could filch from the bank he fled to a provincial town. There he spent every day in a Turkish bath, going stealthily to his lodgings at dusk. At the end of six weeks his own wife would not have known him.
The fat hid sluiced from him like melted butter from a colander. Confident that no one would recognize in him the fat banker, he walked the streets boldly. And at the first corner the police arrested him. They did not know him; they arrested him simply because he looked as though he should be locked up he looked like a man who had stolen a fat man's skin and was running away in it. The skin hung and flapped in dry folds on his cheeks and neck; when they undressed him the sight was more awful still. The detectives '(the French detectives are the shrewdest in the world) fed him carbonaceous food and in a few weeks he puffed out to his former dimensions, when they had no difficulty in identifying him as the runaway banker.
All the violent anti-obesity cures are touched with this defect they work no permanent result and, in addition, though they may destroy the fat they leave the body shriveled, wrinkled, uncomely. One might as well be fat as to walk the earth in a fat man's misfit skin. And one had far better be fat than ruin one's digestion with drugs, weaken the body by fasting, and strip it of all symmetry by undue exercise and devastating baths.
Excessive fat is a disease, but violent cures end in deadlier diseases.
And is there no cure, at once suave and certain ?
There certainly is; and to make it known this little book has been written by an expert in food values-Doctrix doctorum.