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More Stories - The Way We Were

Frequent contributor Bev Avery wrote this gem: 

Fat, Foolishness, Frenzy

Since probably 1952 until today, my sister and I have lost and gained 1,000 pounds between us.  We have been on every conceivable diet published, made some up ourselves, did Weight Watchers (the original - when tomato soup was ketchup mixed with water,) Atkins, Beach Diet, Suzanne Summers, Juicing, and on and on into infinity.  Are we thin?  From time to time, yes.  Are we healthy?  Heck, no.  When you believe that if you toast bread, you burn the calories out of it, where do you think we are?

Enter Doug Avery. In 1972, I married this guy, and have not looked back.  He runs/walks 8 miles a day, is 6 feet, weighs 160-165.  He does EVERYTHING in moderation that goes in his mouth.  I asked him one time how he knew when he should start watching the amount of food he eats, and he said "when my clothes don't fit anymore".  When I personally discover that, it's way too late.

Doug has snickered at all the exercise equipment I have bought.  He will get on them, or whatever you have to do to use it, and roll his eyes around, or pick it up and look it over real good, or ask the stupid question, "Now tell me, what is this supposed to do for you?"  For the life of me I don't understand why SOMEONE hasn't gone into the business of renting out all this equipment, for the purpose of letting you try it out first to see if this is really what you want to punish your body with this time.  They could call the store "Today's Answer", "This Is The One", Exercise Clothes Racks for Rent", or anything else along that line.  Doug finds all this very amusing.  Yet another one, Bev? "I'm going to say it again"-- oh, shut up!

With all this playing around with diets, it all comes down to this: Less intake, more exercise. God, how I wish that wasn't true!  I have wished for a surrogate that will go out and walk for me, do the videos, life the weights, and I reap the benefits.  Who could you get to volunteer?  So, at age 62 and 3/4, I have to admit that moderation in all things is the only thing that works, along with exercise (curses).

In 2001, I was asked what I got for Mother's Day.  My sorrowful answer was Durham Regional Hospital and Diverticulitis.  Now this is a real cute thing!  Intense pain in the left side, fever, and the best of all, a liquid diet for 4 days, IV's, and antibiotics.  A side effect of the antibiotics is the advantage of having Cipro on hand to ward off Anthrax, should it come along.

Surprisingly, I did not get much advice about diets, etc.  The house doctor that treated me told me "Bowel Hygiene" was the only answer.  Well, what does that mean?  Does Fuller Brush sell a cleanser or brush for this?  What to do?  Enter Doug again.  Him and his constant MODERATION.  There are a lot of foods I don't go near , EVER AGAIN.  Nuts, popcorn, cheese, excessive fat, chocolate, and sometimes Kiwi Fruit.  My main diet now is grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, chicken, beans and fish, and lots and lots of water (keep that colon nice and wet!)  When I deviate from this, the doctor and I both know it.  I now have a stash of Cipro and Flagyl, and have learned over this period of time to refrain from stupidity.  Beside the cost of a hospital stay, roughly about $5000.00 in 2001, there is the liquid diet. So I take my stool softeners, Wal-Mart's idea of Metamucil, and Lipitor.

Family history brought me to blood pressure medication and Lipitor, and lousy eating habits.  My mother kept a coffee can of bacon drippings at the back of the stove, and that crap went in everything.  Fried cornflakes would have been eaten if she could have figured out how to do it.  We ate everything fried.  I come from a long line of people who leaned over in the morning to tie their shoes, and never came back up.  Strokes, heart attacks, Colitis, Diverticulitis, bad eyes (just thought I'd throw that in) and a giant love for all the wrong things that we now know we shouldn't eat.  End result?  High cholesterol, Lipitor, and High Blood Pressure medication.  It might have happened anyway due to family history, but I sure didn't stand in the way of the onslaught.  My sister has fared a little better than me.  She takes hormones to keep from hurting people, and is dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.  We're both still overweight, and still fooling ourselves to some degree.

I have learned: THERE IS NO MAGIC REMEDY!  Walking 4 miles a day, eating for fuel, and beating Doug once a week is holding the body fat down to a dull roar.  I still like wedding cake, hot bread, and fried chicken.  I don't eat 2 of those any longer.

I have nailed a placard over the inside of our front door that is a quote of Mark Twain's:

The Only Way to Keep Your Health is to eat what you don't want---- drink what you don't like------ and do what you'd rather not.

Good advice?  I don't know.  Ask Doug or my sister.

Copyright Bev Avery 2004

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