The First Diet

Lunch for Two

I went on my very first diet when I was only 18 years old and fairly slim.   Because the words “fairly slim” mean different things to different people, I’d like to be more specific, but who wants the whole world (potentially speaking) knowing how much you weigh?  After wrestling with the issue, I’ve decided that unless I do talk about height and weight, people may not believe I ever was or am above the average range.  So there I was, 5’9½” tall and weighing about 140 when I got the idea it would be nice to lose 10 lbs.  

What was I thinking?!  Unfortunately, I can’t remember what the exact stimulus was, except that I had made a new friend who was the same height and weight as I.  At the time, I had never seen a Height/Weight chart, because if I had, I would have known that my weight was proportional to my height. 

But we challenged each other to go on the diet, such as it was.  Basically, we ate our usual breakfast and dinner, but all we got for lunch was an apple.  

In those days, our highschool cafeteria served fresh, homemade bread on Wednesdays, the only day I ever wanted to buy lunch, and I remember salivating as others at our table bit into that warm, buttered bread while I was trying to make my apple last as long as possible.  My stomach growled in class during the afternoon, and when I got home from school, I suffered until dinner.   

My friend and I each lost 10 lbs. in a couple months.  In fact, she got down to 129. By the time I left for college in the fall, I was back to my usual 140, having discovered a weakness for homemade bread.   Fortunately, I also still liked apples. But I wish I had never gone on that first diet.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan (in Edmonds)
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 16:45:19

    Oh yes — I remember dieting, too, when I was a teenager. I gave up butter on my toast and sugar on my cereal. It helped to not gain any more than I was already which wasn’t fat. Now I’m 20 lbs heavier but also 50 years older, too! Oh — to know then what I know now! 😉


  2. Judy Nill
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 19:23:37

    Interesting thought…never to have gone on that first diet. Mine was at age 10. I’d shot up in height and bulk between 3rd and 4th grade. I was probably a bit over 5 feet tall and 119 lbs at age 9 (I specifically remember the weight because the nurse who weighed us all in gym the first week of school literally shouted my weight across the gym to someone who was recording it; naturally, I was mortified and all my classmates gasped because they weighed between 80 and 90 lbs.). My mother put me on a diet between 5th and 6th grades. I lost about 20 lbs. and people commented favorably when I returned to school. But it didn’t last. I regained that weight and more within a few months, outgrowing most of my clothes. And thus, for me, began a yo-yo relationship with dieting that continued for 20 more years, until I discovered that–for me, at least–regular aerobic exercise helped to stabilize me, not at a “slim” weight, but at a proportionally more healthy level. Thanks for sharing, Norma.


    • Norma
      Oct 28, 2010 @ 00:13:14

      Being forced to go on a diet must have been miserable, or was it? Would love to have you as a guest blogger. Thanks for writing, Judy!


  3. veganspoonful
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 00:52:24

    Great post. It’s incredible to think how so many teenagers feel the need to lose weight when they are already so slim, as you were. In college, my roommates and I always thought we needed to lose “5 pounds”…as if anyone would have even noticed! And when I look back at photos of myself then, pre-3-kids, I can’t believe how slim I was. Fortunately, our “diets” usually lasted about half a day…by evening we would all be so starving we’d say, “let’s go to Dairy Queen!” and that would be the end of it.

    (You can call me by name here, by the way…even though I’m logged into wordpress as “veganspoonful”)

    Really enjoying this new blog!


    • Norma
      Oct 28, 2010 @ 04:17:38

      I didn’t realize you’d already felt the social pressure to conform to some ethereal “ideal” body image, although I’ve heard that most women in the States would like to lose 5 lbs. Thanks for commenting, Rebekah!


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