Tuesday, January 17, 2012

HOW I LOST 150 POUNDS IN 30 YEARS: The Third Dieting Decade

Cooking for other people has always given me much pleasure. As my children got older, they started to have favorite things they liked for me to cook for them. They invited their friends to come to our house for a meal so I think they were confident that I could serve up things that they all liked.

It also forced me to practice perfecting many recipes that I had set aside while they were little.

No more spaghetti-os or colorful sugary cereal or chicken noodle soup. Their tastes were becoming more sophisticated.

During the school year, they were involved in sports. Practice or games were after school or in the evenings. Being a teacher at the school they attended, I stayed in town to watch their practices or games and would take them to eat in one of the restaurants in town. We rarely got home until late at night, long after mealtime.

HD and Rica never had practices or games at the same time, of course. Often I would take one to dinner while the other was practicing and then take the other to dinner, always trying to fit homework into the schedule.

I tried to make a point of not taking them to get “fast food” but giving them more of an option for a healthier meal in a sit-down restaurant.

They learned how to order and eat in restaurants very well. If we  would get home late but still hadn’t had dinner, we would walk across the street to Molly Butler’s Lodge. The children learned to eat Prime Rib, steak, and fried shrimp, Special Steak with Mormon Gravy, and, to order the fried chicken with a side of Mormon Gravy for dipping the French fries. One of my tall skinny friends used to manage Molly Butler’s and she had taught me this special tip. So-o-o-o good.

Molly’s was our special occasion place. No matter how often we went there, we never tired of it. All of the children worked there at different times over the years as their school and life’s schedules would allow.

Many times I considered the advantages of moving to town. Somehow it just never made sense. Our life in Greer was too perfect. In the summer, they worked and played in the village. I worked in my real estate office just across the driveway from our cabin.

The children always knew where I was and I usually knew where they were. They were safe in Greer….and happy.

There’s something about driving up and down the mountain that gave me a sense of peace. On Friday afternoons I absolutely couldn’t wait to get home to our cozy cabin. I would encourage the children to have friends visit and I always cooked up a storm on the weekends for everyone.

My friends from my previous life in the desert would also come for visits often, usually on holiday weekends. We had to go to Molly Butler’s at least one time during their visit and I would plan to cook a big meal for another night.

On one memorable Memorial Day weekend, when I was right in the middle of being skinny again, something happened that gave me a reason to cook for someone else on a full-time basis…hopefully for a very long time.

Mi amigo Pedro (MAP) came into my life.

Two of my friends, the tall skinny ones, had come for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. They left me in my office working while they meandered up the street to check out the First Annual Greer Memorial Day Art Show.

Well, they checked it out all right.

They came back with urgent news.

“We’ll watch the office. Get yourself down to Greer Lodge and check out the artist in the first canopy on the left. He is tall, dark and handsome and is wearing a brown hat.

I bought two paintings (that got his attention) and we were married a year later.

I had prepared my favorite Memorial Day meal for my friends’     visit. The children like it as well and there are always lots of leftovers.

MAP got to eat some leftovers and I guess he liked them. I think it was the ribs. He decided to go back to Tucson, quit his job he’d had for 23 years, get a real estate license, and get hitched to little ol’ me. Whoa!

Of course, it did take a year to accomplish all of that, and, he did visit periodically during that year to make sure I knew how to cook more than one thing.

Contentment and love carried me off into the land of “fat and happy”. Boy, did I ever “bulk up”. Tent dresses became the norm and MAP seemed to remain his svelte and handsome self. He didn’t seem to mind that I had changed my body shape by tasting everything I cooked and eating the leftovers after his visits, with HD’s help of course.

Lalalala...Here comes the bride....(you know the rest). Not funny. I should've worn black.

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