When I was a little girl my mother took me to the doctor. Our family doctor was CW Cooper. Ya’ll remember him right? Do you remember leaving and him saying “2 dollars please”…. then “4 dollars please”….. Lord have mercy. There’s a blog all by itself, right? Anyway, during one of my many episodes of tonsillitis (nobody ever called it strep) I was in Dr. Cooper’s office getting my tonsils “painted” …… what was that red stuff anyway? On this visit sweet, southern Dr. Cooper made this statement to my mother. “don’t let this girl get fat, she’s too pretty”…

Ya’ll, I was a little girl but those words stung.

It would be easy to blame mother and my Smith family ….Irene, God love her, was always chasing the next diet. I remember her having those little chocolate candies calls Ayds with her coffee in the afternoon after school. They were suppose to curb your appetite but I think they just tasted good with coffee.

Descending from those short and wide people is truth. We are short and for the most part wide, ha… but blaming anyone for my love of cooking, great food, entertaining is not fair…….unfortunately it’s my fault.

Ya’ll I’m just hangry!

Looking at pictures from those days I think I looked pretty dang good but I fought every pound.

When I was in 7th grade I bought a book by this fella Dr. Akins. I didn’t know a carb from a hole in the ground but I followed the book’s instructions, had mother buy those Keto sticks and proceeded to lose weight and get sick.

Then I stopped.

In high school I was busy and active and didn’t worry that much about my weight. As long as I could fit in my cheerleader uniform I was ok, ha.

College rolled around and weight control was easy because we were too busy to worry about eating. A food plan was included in our tuition and the dining hall was a walk across campus. I enjoyed sleep more than going to breakfast and General Hospital more than lunch so I was on the one meal a day plan. And of course during those cold Missouri nights and snow days we skipped dinner and opted for popcorn in the sorority house. Efficient albeit unhealthy…

After graduation I started teaching in Van Buren Missouri. I didn’t cook, didn’t want to! Again no breakfast or lunch. I had several single friends who were teachers and we met for dinner every night in the local restaurant. When I gained a few pounds I started this liquid diet a co-worker was selling. Magic Bullet…ummm no. After losing weight with the “yummy” drink it started to make me gag. I couldn’t even tolerate the smell! But I did lose weight, ha. Gagging will do that.

During this time I started dating Jack and decided to move back home and teach at Couch, my alma mater. Dieting was easy then. I just didn’t eat. No breakfast and no lunch. I was the cheerleading sponsor so I went to bb games 4 nights a week, during which a drank a coke and had a candy bar for dinner. How’s that for healthy? But hey, I had a size 6 wedding dress and didn’t embarrass myself in a swimsuit on my honeymoon, ha.

Moving to Jonesboro was exciting. Living in a new place, meeting new people, cooking for a husband…a bakery at the end of the street…. get my drift? So now I thought I’d do Weight Watchers. I know it’s better now but back then it was like an AA meeting where you weighed in and had to talk about your failures like eating your kid’s Halloween candy and chocolate Easter bunnies. I followed the plan, ate liver once a week (can you believe that) and cooked fish for dinner (poor Jack)…..Then woo hoo I got pregnant with Chase. It was like I had permission to eat anything I wanted. This freedom left me with a 50 lb weight gain and a beautiful 5 lb baby. How fair is that?

So back on the WW train…..

Then another precious little baby and lots of not precious weight gain. But wait!! A new miracle drug called Phen Fen was the diet of the day! It worked beautifully! Of course it was an amphetamine so there ya go. But I lost so much weight! It was fabulous until I was tested and had heart damage.

Dang it.

I remember clearly that in 1997, while wearing my cute red 2 piece Land’s End swimsuit, I received a call from the doc that I had breast cancer. Ain’t that a kick in the pants/swimsuit.

After that battle I didn’t really care about my weight, I just wanted to live. And praise the Lord I did.

Of course I gained again and I couldn’t let it go……… so I did a hospital plan with frozen meals and shakes. Great plan for about 3 weeks. Once again I started to gag with every bite and drink. My body was rebelling and apparently wanted ice cream.

After a skin cancer on my back (I blame the sunbed), and a hysterectomy …. I again quit worrying about weight.

Years of normality ensued then boom another breast cancer. More lovely drugs that cause weight gain……………but hey, I was alive and my boys were married to beautiful girls so no real worries about my weight.

Everything was good until 2019 when the ole cancer devil bit me again. This time it was lung cancer and it scared the heck out of me, still does.

And suddenly Covid hit on top of the lung cancer…..fear fear fear

I don’t know about you but I survived by cooking and eating everything in sight. I was pretty sure that my days were indeed limited…………. so let me tell you that I did not worry one bit about my weight. Bring on the snickers. “frankly, my dear I don’t/didn’t give a damn”

But…. then my hip gives up the ghost. I had been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hip years ago and the pain was always manageable with over the counter drugs. But all the standing and teaching had taken its toll. The last year I taught I could barely get on and off the bus. Sweet Mallorie Mitchell had to help me climb the steps to the Capitol when my kiddos sang and I joked that I only made it to the Dillard’s home store and a comfy chair when we took the choir to the mall. I enjoyed the furniture for the rest of the field trip.

Sad but funny…

So here we are. 3.5 years of steroids and chemo and covid later and I need a hip replacement. I need it bad. Bone on bone bad……..Just what every 64 year old cancer patient needs, right? The hits just keep on coming.

I decided to go to a highly recommended orthopedic surgeon in Little Rock…..who, after seeing me, says, “hold up” you’re too heavy for me to do the less invasive surgery deemed best. The half my age, tanned, bleached teeth, body builder surgeon smiled as he said it shouldn’t be hard to lose the weight. Probably in a month or two.

Had I been able to lift my leg I might have dropped kicked his beautiful self.

So, as we speak, I’m doing intermittent fasting trying to get the *&^%$ weight off. I’m doing it slowly and trying to be healthy about it, but honestly the coke and snickers plan doesn’t sound so bad at this point.

I’m hangry.

“don’t let that pretty girl get fat”……..hangry indeed.

Published by swcall58

I'm a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother....a retired choral director living with stage 4 lung cancer. My faith sustains me and my writing is therapy. Day by Day.

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