Don’t hate me because I’m thin. Crohn’s disease might have taken the weight off my outside, but there’s still a fat girl inside me. I know this because she won’t shut up.
She piped up when the doctor put me on the infamous low-residue, low-interest diet.
“What, no chocolate?” she said. “This is a joke, right?”
“Sorry, chocolate’s off the menu for now. So is pizza, cheesecake, fried foods—“
I clamped my hands over my ears. “No more, please. Don’t you know stress is bad for my health?”
“This will give your intestines a rest. Trust me, you’ll feel better.”
Maybe my intestines felt better, but my Inner Fat Girl didn’t. Oh, I tried not to listen to her, but it wasn’t easy. I’d spoon my gruel and try to feel virtuous, but the Fat Girl was bored to tears. In an attempt to take my mind off my problems, I turned on the TV. All was well until the commercials started.
It was like watching a showcase for every food the doctor had forbidden. Before my starved eyes were pizza, fried chicken, hamburgers, rich, sinful desserts.
“You want it,” my Inner Fat Girl whispered. “You know you want it.”
It was true, I’d have killed for a fast food burger. I didn’t even like fast food burgers, but it didn’t matter. Anything remotely chewable sounded like heaven. I’d have been happy chewing blubber in an igloo.
Yet the day came when my doctor announced my condition to be improved.
“You still need to put on weight,” she added.
“So I can start eating normal food again?” I asked, my skinny fingers crossed.
She nodded. “Just don’t go overboard.”
I did a little dance as I walked out of the office. “Woo-hoo!” my Inner Fat Girl said. “It’s cheesecake time!”
For the next few months my Fat Girl had free reign as we made up for lost calories. Whatever I craved I pigged down, and who could criticize my eating habits when I needed the extra weight? My Crohn’s bothered me less, and all was my Inner Fat Girl’s dream come true.
Several pounds came slowly back, and on my next doctor visit I sat on the table feeling sleek and pleased with myself.
She looked down at my records and frowned. “Your latest blood test shows your triglycerides are too high.”
“Triglycerides?” I had no idea what triglycerides were, or what I had done to them. All I knew was the little suckers were out to get me.
“It’s a kind of fat in your blood, like cholesterol.”
“You’re telling me I have fat blood?” All this time I’d been trying to put on weight and it had been hiding in my blood? Why couldn’t it have migrated to my breasts? It was embarrassing to be the only woman over forty in a training bra.
With a dry mouth I asked, “How am I supposed to bring these triglycerides down?”
“Oh, just cut down on the processed, fattening stuff.”
My Inner Fat Girl nearly strangled the doctor with her own stethoscope.
“What? How do you expect me to get back my figure when I’m eating like Oliver Twist? Last week when I went in for my mammogram they called me ‘sir’. Woman does not live on soup alone.” I stood and raised one fist dramatically. “As God is my witness, I’ll never go—“
“Now, now, don’t get your training bra in a bunch.” I glared and she went on hurriedly. “You can still eat some of the fattening things; just don’t stuff down so much at once. Make sure you eat plenty of nourishing foods, too—lean meats, cooked veggies, that kind of thing. Do you think you can do that?”
“I can try. Speaking of that, isn’t it about lunchtime?”
She checked her watch. “I guess we can finish up now.”
“Good. There’s a place nearby that makes huge burgers. I’m going to pick up a couple.”
“You don’t need to be eating that much at one meal.”
“Oh, I’m not eating them. I’m going to stuff the buns down my bra. One way or another, it’s time I got satisfaction out of my food.”
On the way out, my Inner Fat Girl said, “I want fries with that.”