April 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM

It’s All About Food: Week 1

A novel-in-progress about friendship and food

By Mary MacIntyre

Poetically Hungry

Mary MacIntyre writes incessantly, is an avid photographer, and a classic health food nut.


Weather changes quickly in New Mexico and sometimes commitments do, too.  Mary McCormick has a reputation of being a health food nut, with emphasis on food. Melina quickly followed through with the products that she offered and a free guide explaining the diet too. Mary hated diets, but loved to read diet books. Go figure.  She understood well that given her age, her weight and her temperament,  the odds were stacked against her successful weight loss.  Lately she had been struggling to keep a healthy diet plan for simply one day.

The women had agreed to meet threetimes this week just prior to the group support meetings.  Mary also hated support meetings. She liked people but disliked making commitments. However she had agreed to meet on Monday afternoon, in less than a hour.  She felt trapped.  She had no excuses.  Once Mary did make a commitment to friends, she did keep it. She got dressed, and drove her 20-year-old Subaru to Melina's house.

Melina had been a hardworking woman all of her life. A few years ago, her mother gave her the family house on the east side of Santa Fe. Mom had moved into a condo after she divorced Melina's dad.  He had moved to Florida.  Although the house was old, it was gorgeous.  The yard beautifully landscaped by Melina's husband Paul added to the impression that one was entering a mystical dwelling of an old-time Santa Fe.

Alice had already arrived.  Mary thought that she was early being 20 minutes ahead of their appointment. Alice glowed as she apparently does each time she starts a new diet. This different diet every week would be perfect for her energy and mental health.  Melina graciously invited them into her home.  She mentioned that her mom had left most of her furniture from three generations with the house. The three generations seemed to have prospered well. Looking at Melina's new slimmer shape provided Mary with a glimmer of hope. Her skeptical self automatically dismissed that this diet would work for herself.  She would fail again as she always had. "Smile", Mary told herself. After all, Melina was so generous.

The meeting went well. The three women would start tomorrow morning with the new plan.  They would meet again next Monday.  Alice gave a blessing for the group of three and the larger support group.  She also brought three friends who signed up for both the networking and the diet.  They were excited because they all had big families, who were very big people.  Mary prayed silently that Alice would create a great business.

The blog:  Forever hungry. I started a new diet this week.  Three of us will try a new diet for 10 weeks.  The first week of any diet is always the hardest.  Imagine 10 weeks! Could this be at all healthy?  It is Day Three already. I am supposed to drink one shake for breakfast and lunch. I can eat a snack bar for two snacks. Dinner is suppose to be light with an emphasis on protein.  OK, I confess. I eat a good breakfast with three servings of vegetables. I drink half a shake.  At lunch I eat what might be a dinner, not as healthy as I planned. Mid-afternoon I drink half a shake. I work short shifts in the evening. I eat fruit and half a snack bar on break.  When I get home I drink the shake and munch on whatever.  Hmmm...is my normal eating style that healthy?

Monday night. Mary had attended all three support group sessions. Seven people from reading the blog signed up under Alice.  Mary did not have cash to sign up to get credit from her referrals.  This was the test. The infamous digital scale would declare the results.  Melina lost five pounds. Alice lost eight and a half pounds. Mary just stared at the scale for one whole minute. The silence was deafening. She finally stood on the scale.  She lost a whopping 10 pounds. "How did you do that?!" the group exclaimed. "I cheated." Mary replied.

Week Two diet plan:  Eat five servings of vegetables a day, move an extra 10 minutes, and have fun. "How can that ever work?" Melina asked.  "You still get to eat other foods too.  Just no shakes for one week." Mary explained.