Like a lot of women, I worry about my weight constantly. I was a chubby kid and no matter how many pounds I lose, I always have that chubby ghost lurking in the back of my head.
Mama never had to worry about her weight when she was younger. She was a skinny kid, all elbows and knees. As an adult, she was thin, probably because nicotine and coffee were her two major food groups.
When I was an awkward teenager, and by awkward, I mean chubby and wearing miniskirts, she tried to help me by saying we would go on a new diet together.
It was the '80s and SlimFast had just come out and Mama bought a canister of the powder and a gallon of skim milk, our new breakfast and lunch.
Granny, who was in charge of anything that happened in the kitchen, offered to make the diet shake for us every morning. After all, it was going in her precious blender that no one else was allowed to touch.
"We can lose up to seven pounds the first week," Mama announced on the first day. Good, I thought, after a month, I'd be unchubby.
Granny made the shakes every morning and had our glasses waiting on us. The old gal even indulged in a little, even though she wasn't on any diet. She said they were just downright tasty and she liked the idea of a shake for breakfast.
A week went by and we weighed. Mama got on the scales first and cussed. Something I still do to this day every morning when I weigh.
"Something's not right," Mama said.
I got on the scales. Mama cussed again and I wanted to cry. Did I really gain five pounds instead of lose?
Mama ran to the kitchen to make sure she hadn't gotten some muscle building protein powder.
Nope, it was SlimFast.
We had done everything the way it prescribed. A shake for breakfast, one for lunch and then we ate something light at dinner, like baked chicken and some nasty concoction of broccoli.
There was only one answer.
"Mother," my mama began, "did you follow the directions on the can for this?"
Granny scrunched up her face, giving Mama - her daughter - the evil eye for even questioning anything that happened in Granny's kitchen. "What are you accusing me of?"
But back then, Mama was younger and tougher than she is now. She put her hand on her skinny little hip and tossed her long red hair back.
"I am not accusing you of anything; I just want to make sure you followed the directions. We both have gained weight this week instead of lost. Did you use the skim milk I bought?"
Granny blinked, her tell of being busted.
"Not exactly. I did the first batch. I tasted it, and that was the most God-awful mess I have ever put in my mouth."
"So what did you use?" Mama inquired.
"Well, I put whole milk in there. I poured that skim mess out; the dogs didn't even want it on their Purina. And, that made it taste a little bit better, so I figured it would be even better if I put a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in there. That made it taste really good too. More like a milkshake."
I thought the top of Mama's head was going to explode. Or the button on my Guess jeans that were too tight.
"You put ice cream in the SlimFast?" she exclaimed.
Granny nodded. "Sure did. Made that mess fit to drink."
Mama grabbed up the can of SlimFast and bought our own blender that afternoon, along with another gallon of skim milk. They sure weren't as good as the way Granny made them, but we did eventually lose those five extra pounds we put on.
Mama's been trying to find a diet recently, not the tall, lanky girl she was those years ago. We were talking about possible diets just the other day, when I reminded Mama of this colossal fail. She decided SlimFast was good - with a meal.
"You think there's a Krispy Kreme diet?" Mama asked wishfully.
If only there were.
We may not get skinny, but at least we'd die happy.
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.