During my pregnancy 15 years ago, I experienced tremendous difficulty keeping any type of nourishment in my body for more than a few minutes. A range of treatments, ranging from wrist bands (don't let anyone tell you that they work), to medication, and finally, to IV therapy, kept me on the couch watching daytime TV for the better part of four months.
When the fog finally lifted and I discovered that food could actually travel through my digestive system without making a return trip, I celebrated with a host of highly nutritional items that would certainly benefit both my baby and me. I am talking, of course, about the vitamin-packed extra large 7-11 Slurpee, chocolate donuts, milkshakes, and, for toppers, an entire box of oreo cookies!
Eventually, Melissa decided she had had enough "nutritional" food, and she begged to leave the tiny place she had called home for nine months. So out she came, on July 1, 1997 - also known as the day I stopped eating all of that "good for you" food, and focused on losing the baby weight....NOT. For some reason, even though my body no longer played host to another person, emotionally, I still longed for any and all excuses to eat for two, or three, or 12. As a result, two years after my daughter entered the world, I weighed more than I ever had. But the unfortunate trip back to reality came during a work day when someone asked me if I was, "expanding my family".
NOTE TO ALL READERS: Do not ever, ever, ask a woman if she is pregnant, unless you can visibly see a child emerging from her innards!
The offending comment, coupled with my husband Bob's recent diabetes diagnosis, gave us both the kick in the pants we needed to take control of our health.
A few days later, Bob and I found ourselves sitting in the office of a local nutritionist. She promised to help Bob develop an eating plan that fit into his lifestyle, and assured him that this disease could, indeed, be controlled. After Bob stepped on the scale and the nutritionist recorded his weight, she briefly left the room to get some booklets for us to read.
I gave the scale a look of pure loathing, knowing that it stood there, taunting me, just daring me to step on. I took off my shoes (every ounce helps) and timidly placed one foot on the dreaded apparatus, then the other. In the meantime, I tuned out the nutritionist, who had come back into the room and resumed chatting with Bob, so that I could focus on the horror awaiting me. Not content to rely on a cheap bathroom scale, the nutritionist made sure her
I had made it this far. Now I only had to move the metal bar so that I could get an accurate confirmation that I had, indeed, evolved into an elephant. I slid the bar to the number I thought might be accurate. Nope. I slid it over some more. Nope. Ok, a few pounds more. Nope. With mounting anxiety that my status had moved beyond elephant and into the killer whale category, I slid the bar over even more. NOPE!
At this point, with sheer terror in my heart, I turned around to face the nutritionist and screamed,
"YOUR SCALE MUST BE BROKEN!!!"
That is when I looked down to discover my husband's foot, strategically placed on the scale, diabolically adding those extra pounds.
He took pure joy in his practical joke, even though for those brief, terrifying moments I had been convinced I had become the largest person on the planet.
Not a jury in the land would have convicted me.
Wait, let me rephrase that.
Not an all female jury in the land would have convicted me, right ladies?
Happily, Bob and I both followed the nutritionist's advice, and 12 months later, had returned to a healthy weight. In in the intervening years, we have watched the numbers on the scale seesaw too many times to count. In this ongoing struggle, whenever I get up the courage to get an accurate picture of my weight, I make sure....absolutely sure, that before getting on the scale, my husband is nowhere in sight!
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