During that long summer of inactivity, I became that ugly three-lettered "F" word we do not let our kids say. I gained a little more each year until I turned sixteen and Daddy took me to an old country doctor in Dover for advice on losing weight. Dr. Lane was short-spoken and all business. He smoked a pipe and brought his german shepherd to work with him every day. His fee for an office visit was five dollars. After a quick exam, which thankfully did not include removing my clothes, he brusquely instructed me to step up on the scales. My aversion to that ever sliding to the right measuring block began.
I should probably post Dr. Lane's diet on the internet in one of those little pop-up ads that say, "guaranteed to lose forty pounds in three months." I could probably make a tidy little sum from it as well. But I won't. Here it is.
DR. LANE'S DIET
- EAT ALL YOU WANT OF THE FOLLOWING FOODS:
- LEAN BEEF, CHICKEN, OR FISH. BAKED OR BROILED WITHOUT FATS OR OIL
- BOILED EGGS
- GREEN VEGETABLES EXCEPT ENGLISH PEAS OR LIMA BEANS
- FRUITS – FRESH, FROZEN, OR CANNED
- SUGAR FREE DRINKS
I stayed on this diet plan all summer and did lose a lot of weight. But I stayed strictly with it. If I did not have something from the list, I just did not eat. I drank a lot of Tab soft drinks. I think they were probably ten cents a bottle and tasted pretty darn good with a saccharin sweet taste. They said later the saccharin was giving lab rats cancer but then "they" recanted that claim.
I maintained that weight loss until I was expecting Laura. All day long morning sickness prevented me from gaining much with Greg. But since I felt great during my second pregnancy, I gained quite a bit more than the doctor recommended amount. From time to time I would go back to eating the green vegetables, fruits, and lean meat but never enjoyed the same success I did that summer.
Although Dr. Lane delivered babies in his office, I used obstetricians for my deliveries. My family did continue to use him over the years from time to time for the common sore throats, rashes, ear infections, and bumps and bruises. On one of my visits for some malady, I asked Dr. Lane why I could not lose weight like I did back then. His as-always curt response was:
"Because you're not looking for a husband now"