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Now reading . . .

"Body Wars"
by Margo Maine, Ph.D

by Jane Austen

August 11, 2011

The Cat Food Diet

There have been a plethora of diet books for many years. I don’t remember people dieting when I was young. They probably should have but I didn’t hear about it. My grandmother was obese and some of my aunts were obese but my mother and many of my aunts were slender and trim. I think part of the reason people were more slender was that they worked harder physically and worked longer hours at this physical work. My mother would often say to us, “I didn’t sit down all day.” We hated to hear that and would think to ourselves, “Well, then – sit down!”

The ever helpful internet tells me that The first diet book was written by an English physician, Thomas Short, and was published in 1727. This book, titled “A Discourse Concerning The Causes And Effects Of Corpulency”, was published with a second work, “A Method For Its Prevention And Cure”, and were the first examples of diet guides that specifically discussed the problem of being overweight. ( It sounds like a catchy title to me.) In these books, Dr. Short offered helpful suggestions for losing weight, such as those who wished to drop a few pounds might want to consider moving to barren, desert-like areas, because he concluded that the highest numbers of overweight people tended to live near swamps. ( Hmmm, I wonder why his suggestions didn’t catch on.)

After this book was published, the idea of weight control and diet books did begin to catch on. William Wadd, another English physician published his book, “Comments On Corpulency, Lineaments Of Leanness, Mems On Diet And Dietetics”, in 1829. Following this work, Dr. William Banting published his diet guide, known as the Banting Diet, in 1863, which was the first book that actually proposed a specific diet that could be followed by each person. These works ended up sparking a diet craze all over the world and today, the craze is still in full swing. There are literally thousands of diet books, guides, and programs on the market today. However there are there are more cases of obesity across the world than ever before. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of thirty or more, or exceeding the recommended maximum weight based upon height by more than thirty pounds. Individuals who are one hundred pounds or more over their recommended weight are considered to be morbidly obese. I have to confess that I am, by this definition (and probably every other definition) obese. I hate the thought but not enough to stop eating.

There are literally dozens of diets out there including these popular favorites:
3-Hour Diet
8-Minute Diet
The Abs Diet
The Biggest Loser
The Blood Type Diet
Cabbage Soup Diet
Flat Belly diet
French W omen Don’t Get Fat Diet
The Grapefruit Diet
The Hamptons Diet
Jenny Craig
The Mediterranean Diet
South Beach
Suzanne Somers
Weight Watchers
The Zone

All these diets are obviously not working for everybody because it seems that nearly every month there is a new diet. One of the latest is the 14 Day Diet which supposedly fools your metabolism into thinking that every 14 days you start a new diet or something like that.

I have by, accident, discovered a new diet that causes you to lose 20 percent of your body weight in six months. Yes, you heard me correctly - Twenty percent of your body weight lost in six months. I have before me an example of the efficacy of this diet – Ms. Callie my cat. She went to the vet about three months ago and the vet was very concerned because she had lost two pounds in six months. She went from a healthy 10 ½ pounds to 8 ½ pounds. Of course the vet was concerned and so was I. I didn’t want to lose my furry little companion. I started thinking about why she was losing weight and I traced it back to six months previously when the vet changed her food to something that was supposed to help her mobility. She obviously didn’t like it and ate just enough to keep herself alive. We had some communication about the subject and I decided perhaps going back to her old food would help. I also fell for the advertising that Fancy Feast was putting on television. I decided that those little cans wouldn’t smell the kitchen up.

Ms. Callie’s respond was, “Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, MEOW!!” Translated, that means “Now you are talking! This is what I have been waiting for all my life! Yum, yum, yum. May I have some more please!”

When I come out in the morning she immediately says, “Now you are talking! This is what I have been waiting for all my life! Yum, yum, yum. May I have some more please!” She has gained back most of her weight, jumps around like a young cat, is awake much more of the time and is like a new cat. She probably feels as though she has been rescued from the cat equivalent of a concentration camp. She seems to have forgiven me, however.

I have toyed with the idea of going on the Cat Food Diet but since Gluttony is probably one of my favorite sins, I may have to choose one of those diets listed above or perhaps just portion control. How boring is that? Galatian 5:22 tells us “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” I guess the self control option would be the best.

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