There are many misconceptions about weight, and the sooner these misconceptions are recognised, the better it will be for all concerned.
Years back, pregnant women were under the impression that they had to eat for two if they wanted to stay well when pregnant, and have a healthy baby.
Recently, a man told us that when he married his wife she was a slim, petite, beautiful girl, weighing 109 pounds, but because of this mistaken idea she had permitted her weight to climb to 149 pounds during pregnancy. The more she spread out, the more of her charm and youthfulness were lost, and before long she was just another ordinary, middle-aged housewife. This old superstition is gradually fading away, but there are still many who cling to it.
Another superstition that still lingers among many mothers is the idea that the heavier their children are, the healthier they are. This leads to constant stuffing and overfeeding, which not only makes their children fat but also lays the foundation for many diseases.
The well-known humorist Sam Levenson, himself rather heavy, once mentioned that his mother believed that children had to eat plenty to grow big and healthy, and that as a result his brother had become so healthy that he couldnt even walk.
His mother, who herself was heavy, was persuaded at one time to go on a diet. She was happy at first, but couldnt overcome her fear that she might be hurting herself. She would keep looking into the mirror, repeating again and again that she was beginning to look like skin and bones.
Many persons realise that excess weight is harmful but lack the will to control appetite, and therefore keep looking for short cuts. Many doctors will still prescribe thyroid extracts, which often cause great harm, and others prescribe other hormones, or laxatives of various kinds; it is well known that none of these remedies accomplish its objective.
At a meeting of the American Medical Association at which the question of obesity arose, Dr. Stromont stated that the drug dinitrophenol, at one time used for reducing, raises body temperature so that the obese are literally frying in their own fat.
Some believe that long walks or heavy exercises will work off their excess weight. As a matter of fact, long walks and strenuous exercise only increase the appetite and invariably induce overeating. They also overtire the body, which may actually require rest rather than increased activity to rebuild normal glandular functioning.
While more rest may be necessary, this does not mean that exercise or activities are to be omitted. It merely means that we must guard against an indulgence in exercise or activities that overtire the body and weaken the functions of the glands still further.
We were told about one woman who was young and beautiful, but extremely overweight. She ate constantly, and never knew when to stop. Finally she decided to go on a diet.
One time, while on a trip with some of her friends, she suddenly remembered that she had to make a telephone call. Well never know whether she actually had to make the call, but those who were with her in the car had no doubt that her real reason for going into the candy store was to gulp down several pieces of candy.
Many fool themselves this way, and then keep on complaining that they do not know why they are not reducing. They are just not honest with themselves. The most important factor in reducing is to eat less. Begin by cutting your food intake in half, and eating very little or none of the foods you crave most. Discontinue white bread, white cereals, cakes, cookies, candy, creams of all kinds, sauces, and use more of raw and stewed fruits and raw and steamed vegetables along with a small quantity of your favorite protein, once daily.
Exclude all sugars and all fat foods. Discard the use of condiments and spices. Table salt tends to put weight on by retaining fluid in the system, and should therefore be eliminated from the diet. Furthermore, do not be afraid to go without a meal or two. An eliminative regimen for a day or two, or even several days at a time, will work wonders. It will hasten the reducing process and benefit you immensely. Our task is not only to reduce weight but to rebuild the body to the point where the glands and the digestive organs function normally. After the correct weight is attained, this program of living must be continued if you are to maintain your gain or, to say it otherwise, to hold down what you have lost.
When a person says that he cannot reduce, he merely means that he hasnt yet reached the point where he is willing to try hard enough. In almost all cases, results are attainable if we are willing to apply ourselves diligently to the job. The problem is merely how to go about it most efficaciously. Determination is the surest way to surmount this problem.
People often eat too much without realising it. Others eat too much because they have too much time on their hands and dont know what to do with it. For some, eating is an emotional outlet.
If you have too much time on your hands, find something of interest to do to divert your mind from food. Perhaps a hobby or some such outlet as music, literature, gardening, the outdoors, or some social interest, anything that diverts the mind and counteracts boredom is helpful, v
When confronted with a problem, some fall into the habit of compulsive eating, but it is well to realise that not only does this not solve any problem, but it adds another one. Analyse your problem, discuss it if need be with one who may be able to advise you properly, and make the necessary adjustments. But do not seek an escape in overeating.
Some persons claim that they hardly eat anything, and yet keep on gaining weight. If they would only make a list of what and how much they eat, what a surprise it would be to them! They simply do not realise how much they eat.
By following the suggestions on diet outlined in this encyclopedea, and by cutting down to half the quantity of food usually eaten, effective and lasting reduction will be inevitable.
And make all these changes cheerfully! Dont act the martyr, and dont feel as though you are doing somebody a favor or making a great sacrifice. You are doing the only thing that will help you gain renewed health, increased strength, new vigor, and with it, a new look, as well as an entirely new outlook on life. Aim high and do it graciously, joyously, and under your own power. Your reward will be commensurate with your efforts.