1977 Diet Advice: Stop Drinking Milk and Ride Your Bike 2 Miles a Day

Photo by Thought Catalog, Unsplash

My life is dotted with fat memories.

I remember my dreadful 3rd grade public weigh-in.

I remember being made fun of for my weight.

I remember not ever being the thin one.

And I remember not being able to fit into my bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding because I had gained 9 pounds. The zipper wouldn’t zip all the way up.

I was 15 and assigned to wear a long, daisy yellow dress, but somehow I had gained enough that I didn’t fit into the dress anymore when we picked it up. Now I don’t know if that’s why we actually went to the doctor, but I remember the advice he told my mother.

Don’t give her milk anymore (save the calories), and have her ride her bike 2 miles every day.

So in the grand scheme he did understand calories in, calories out, to achieve weight loss, but my mother was horrified about the milk advice. Milk is her church, probably not believing in anything quite as much.

Sidebar: She’s 84 and in spite of her milk religion and daily walking, still has severe osteoporosis. Go figure.

Milk stayed on the menu, because mother knows best, but that was the beginning of eating half sandwiches. How depressing. I can remember eating a half of tomato and mayo sandwich on white bread. It was a sad, but tasty 150 calories.

And thus the notion of calorie counting and conscientiousness began. And I suppose it’s never ended really.

I remember riding my bike. Two big loops around our neighborhood made the 2 miles, so I ate my half sandwich with my milk, and hopped on my bike. Ride or die.

Ride or don’t fit into the dress.

Ride or don’t fit into the world, fit into society, fit into the damn dress and every other dress for the rest of my life.

Ride or die.

I did lose the weight as prescribed because I did fit into the dress when the wedding day came, but that was officially my first diet.

And certainly not the last.

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On a writing journey to somewhere. I like talking about life lessons and self-awareness. Proud mom, happy wife, just trying to leave something behind.

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Della Jennsen

Della Jennsen

On a writing journey to somewhere. I like talking about life lessons and self-awareness. Proud mom, happy wife, just trying to leave something behind.

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