Letter on Corpulence

William Banting

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3rd December, 187 - 3

24th, 184 - 3

14th Jan. 1863, 182 - 2

4th February, 180 - 2

25th, 178

18th March, 176

8th April, 173

29th, 170

20th May, 167

10th June, 164

1st July, 161

22nd, 159

12th August, 157

26th 156

12th September 156

Total loss of weight.. .. 46 lbs.

My girth is reduced round the waist, in tailor phraseology, 12 inches, which extent was hardly conceivable even by my own friends, or my respected medical adviser, until I put on my former clothing, over what I now wear, which was a thoroughly convincing proof of the remarkable change. These important desiderata have been attained by the most easy and comfortable means, with but little medicine, and almost entirely by a system of diet, that formerly I should have thought dangerously generous. I am told by all who know me that my personal appearance is greatly improved, and that I seem to bear the stamp of good health ; this may be a matter of opinion or friendly remark, but I can honestly assert that I feel restored in health, “bodily and mentally,” appear to have more muscular power and vigour, eat and drink with a good appetite, and sleep well. All symptoms of acidity, indigestion, and heartburn (with which I was frequently tormented) have vanished. I have left off using boot hooks, and other such aids which were indispensable, but being now able to stoop with ease and freedom, are unnecessary. I have lost the feeling of occasional faintness, and what I think a remarkable blessing and comfort is that I have been able safely to leave off knee bandages, which I had worn necessarily for 20 past years, and given up a truss almost entirely; indeed I believe I ight wholly discard it with safety, but am advised to wear it at least occasionally for the present.

Since publisliing my Pamphlet, I have felt constrained to send a copy of it to my former medical advisers, and to ascertain their opinions on the subject. They did not dispute or question the propriety of the system, but either dared not venture its practice upon a man of my age, or thought it too great a sacrifice of personal comfort to be generally advised or adopted, and I fancy none of them appeared to feel the fact of the misery of corpulence. One eminent physician, as I before stated, assured me that increasing weight was a necessary result of advancing years ; another equally eminent to whom I had been directed by a very friendly third, who had most kindly but ineffectually failed in a remedy, added to my weight in a few weeks instead of abating the evil. These facts lead me to believe the question is not sufficiently observed or even regarded.

The great charm and comfort of the system is, that its effects are palpable within a week of trial, which creates a natural stimulus to persevere for a few weeks more, when the fact becomes established beyond question.

I only intreat all persons suffering from corpulence to make a fair trial for just one clear month, as I am well convinced, they will afterwards pursue a course which yields extraordinary benefit, till entirely and effectually relieved, and be it remembered, by the sacrifice merely of simple, for the advantage of more generous and comforting food. The simple dietary evidently adds fuel to fire, whereas the superior and liberal seems to extinguish it.

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