Despite gaining lots of weight, Mother was always on a “diet.” She tried a variety of diets–grapefruit diet, hot dog diet, whatever the latest fad diet was, before settling on her favorite: the bologna and cottage cheese diet.
She would slice up some bologna and place it in a bowl along with some cottage cheese and some canned peaches dripping with sugary syrup. That would be her diet lunch and sometimes dinner.
No, she didn’t lose much weight eating that way, but she told herself she was at least trying. As for me and my sister, she did everything in her power to ensure that we developed eating disorders. Whenever we had anything good–like cookies or cakes from the store–we had to eat it right then or there would be none the next time you checked. You learned to grab fast and eat whether you were hungry or not.
Sometimes Mother would show up with a bag of what she deemed “health foods.” One time she had purchased lots of bananas and whenever my sister and I asked for a snack we were directed right to the bananas. As you may realize, bananas have a short shelf life. By the end of the week, she was offering us rotten, black mushy fruit. Not very appealing!