A Book That Doesn’t Do Much

The cover art: Why is the one lady peeking up the other lady’s skirt? The question: “Why Not Stay Fat?” is hardly a question worthy of Socrates and Aristotle. The response is usually the same — “Why not, indeed?” — because to change one’s habits is, for most humans, an excruciatingly painful effort, and one not undertaken lightly.

The slogan: “Be happy with who and what you are.” Unlike the cover designer, we use — correctly — the double, not single, quotation marks. Was the editor taking a nap?

“Be happy with who and what you are.”

The advice offered by the book’s cover is widely agreed to be a legit concept. In one of those weird paradoxes of human psychology, self-acceptance is recognized as the first step toward any possibility of achievable or lasting change. There is no reason to quarrel with that basic premise. On the other hand, the line is deceptively and dangerously simplistic. Surely, a person who self-identifies as a child abuser or a serial killer is not supposed to be happy about it.

More useful is the concept of “Accept who and what you are.” Acceptance sets a much lower bar than happiness. This is why in AA meetings (although it is not mandatory) a speaker will probably stand up and say “My name is Bill Wilson and I’m an alcoholic.” They don’t say, “… and I’m happy to be an alcoholic.”

Some people want to become different. Some want to stay as they are, but quit caring about the fact that others want them to be different. As a vintage television series used to say, “There are eight million stories in the Naked City.” Still, in the field of healing, despite the ubiquitous presence of unique stories, it is almost universally acknowledged that acceptance is the necessary precursor to change.

Run that by me again…

These days, it is very hard to distinguish satire from reality. With all due respect to authors everywhere, sometimes you just have to wonder why a book exists. The one pictured here is by Wayne Lambert, who appears to be a Westerner based in the Middle East. Full disclosure: Childhood Obesity News has not seen the book. Discussion of it is based on the public relations materials, dispersed to the relatable public under the author’s byline.

A good first impression has not been made. That rough draft was not proofread even once. Another self-generated puff piece was replete with grating repetition and regrettable (ranging to woeful) lapses in grammar. The CAPS LOCK key stayed stuck for whole sentences at a time. Some information that was researched years ago has vanished from the internet, like www.wholebodyworkshop.com. So it cannot be proven that there was once a version of this piece that ended… “I have already self published all the books that I have wrote.”

In a piece currently still posted, another simplistic idea appears: “My philosophy is to stick to the basics and the rest will follow very easily with little effort… just focus!” As Grandma used to say, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. Some people are born without the ability to focus, and others have it knocked out of them, one way or another, by the vicissitudes of life.

(To be continued…)

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Pubmatch Profile,” Web.archive.org, 2016
Source: “Why Not Stay Fat?,” Booktopia, undated
Image from Booktopia

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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