Our mother was always on a perpetual weight loss journey. She would read about a special diet (for example, the grapefruit diet) and the next thing we knew the refrigerator was filled with grapefruit and we were told to keep our hands off of them. Now this did not happen one time, it actually occurred on a weekly basis.
Mother would hear that hard-boiled eggs were the key to weight loss and she would have two or three dozen boiled up before you could say”Richard Simmons.”
It was rather disturbing to watch someone reach for a magic food and then be disappointed by the results (or rather the lack of results). All Mother lost during her week long diets was seven days.
The interesting part to me was to try to anticipate the next wild diet program. She was once on the cabbage soup diet and she managed to lose five or so pounds. However, she couldn’t or wouldn’t keep making and eating the soup and so she stopped losing weight. Once she read about avocados and their amazing properties. Well, nothing would do but she had to rush to the grocery store and return with a bag filled with, you guessed it, avocados. She peeled them and cut slices to put in a salad.
Of course, my sister and I were never permitted to try the new food since she had only purchased what she needed for her diet.
Bread is my downfall.
Sometimes a diet would suggest menus for several days and she really enjoyed that. Out she would go to the store to pick up the exact ingredients for her latest diet. But wait, the diet book said “Kale” and she didn’t know what that was and besides the store didn’t have it. She would just substitute “Corn” since they both started with the K sound. Once she started her substitutions, she was doomed.
They said fresh fruit, but she really liked canned peaches. They said salad with rice vinegar, but she preferred her salad with some oil. On and on the substitutions went, and on and on the battle of the bulge went.
Finally, Mother decided that exercise was the missing ingredient from her life. If she would just exercise, she would lose weight. We would arrive home from school to find her on the floor with her hips in the air and her feet attempting to ride a bike in the air. If it sounds like an unappealing picture, well you have no idea.
Unfortunately, the exercise fad was just that: a fad with no lasting power.
When she moved to Iowa, Mother asked my sister to print off the Flat Belly Diet for her. Lindy did so and purchased the food she needed. Unfortunately, Mother had always subscribed to the theory that if a little a was good, a lot was better. She added frozen yogurt and a nightly snack of crackers and cheese. Finally, she asked my sister to make an appointment for her to have liposuction. Lindy refused, figuring that the doctor might conclude that the fat was located in her head as well as on her arms and legs.