Tuesday, June 06, 2006

It's Hard to Stick to a Diet When This Could Be Your Last Meal

All my life I have 'battled the bulge'. I keep telling myself that round is a shape too, right? And after all the classes and groups...not to mention books I've read about diets and why we eat, I have come to the conclusion that food is the only addiction that you can't abstain from. So for some of us it's a losing battle.

During the intifada I watched the fatties get fatter and the skinnies get emaciated. Nu, all right...they got skinnier.

They ate nothing. They drank gallons of coffee and chain smoked all day.

Well, that didn't work for me because on one idiotic day, October 4, 1994 to be exact, I quit smoking. It was by mistake. I had been smoking since I was a teenager. We all did. Who knew? I guess in 'the good old days' we were not as smart as we are today. And we smoked.

I quit because I threw out my deodorant. Really. I had just come back from a trip to Canada and the States. I hadn't been back in eleven years and my Dad wasn't doing well. So I took my youngest son and off we went. I was one of the few who were still puffing and I found myself out in the backyard or on the porch of everyone's houses. I didn't care. I'm Israeli. I'm tough. We smoke.

When in Boulder visiting with my brother David and his wife Annie, I loved going to the Lighthouse Bookstore on Pearl Street. What a difference between Pearl Street and Ben Yehuda Street. Maybe I'll write about that later. Anyway, at the time the big deal was aromatherapy. Oils and stuff and you cure what ails you without taking pills. I bought a great almanac and little bottles of exotic sounding stuff...patchouli...tea tree...lavendar, I couldn't resist.

Well, to make a long story short, when I got home and started to read the almanac there was a little article on one of the pages that said something like this...'If you have aluminum in your deodorant, it may cause lumps in your breast or alzheimer's.' OY. I ran to where I keep my deodorant, and sure enough it was full of aluminum!

Shocked, I walked into the kitchen, opened the cupboard door and threw the dangerous stuff into the garbage! Then I lit a cigarette.

Hold on. Idiot, I said. The deodorant is in the garbage and you're smoking? There was nothing left to do. I had to get rid of them. October 4, 1994 was the last cigarette I smoked.

Two years ago this month, I was sitting in my Learning Center with my staff and students when the bomb went off. My daughter was teaching that day and we looked at each other. My 'school', my mom's apartment, my husband's office, my mother-in-law's apartment, my brother-in-law's office, and my daughter's apartment, were all in the triangle...Jaffa Road/King George/Ben Yehuda. And we were being bombed there at least once a week.

When the dust settled and we could see the burned out bus in front of us, the first thing that I did was automatically grab one of my daughter's cigarettes. She, bless her, looked at me and took it away. "Imma, you don't really want this," she said and hugged me.

So instead we ate. The chubbies ate comfort food. My personal favourite was cream of wheat and/or spagetti. You can't get thin on a diet of carbs. No one knew what the next minute would bring, so we ate like there was no tomorrow.

As I gazed at my Boticelli figure in the mirror, I thought, 'Who cares? I could be killed any day now." And then, the little voice who has had a running conversation with me since I learned to talk whispered, "Yes, but what if you live?"

So, here I am, grateful that I'm still standing and still fighting to take off those nasty pounds I gained when I stopped smoking.

My doctor, bless him, said, "Marallyn, I don't care what you weight, just don't smoke."

I smiled up at him and answered, "Will you write me a letter for my Mother?"

Have a great day...stay safe...and thanks for dropping in.


At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quit smoking Feb. 4, 1982, the night before surgery for lung cancer! Good enough reason? Never wanted to pick the nasty habit up again. However, I too can't seem to shed the few (like 90) lbs. that have crept onto my hips and bichel! There are only 3 reasons why people lose weight. Being sick, (ptu, ptu, ptu) dieting OR taking a lover. You're so busy wondering where/when/how, who has time to eat? I'd have an affair, but I can't find anyone to cater. Again with the food!!!!!


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