Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life Ain't Fair...and Then You Die (P.S., this is a funny post)

Today, while surfing the weight-loss blogosphere, I found a post that prompted a response from me and I thought I'd just share the story with my readers.

My late mother-in-law was really scrawny for most of her life. She did gain weight after her husband's untimely death when she was only in her 50s but managed to get back down to a reasonable weight for her size. During the 20 years I knew her she wasn't particularly skinny nor was she fat.

MIL ate one real meal a day at around 5 p.m. She would have a reasonable portion of protein (often chicken), some veg and rice or bread. The rest of the day she stuck to the major food groups: caffeine, nicotine and sugar. She would have 3 huge mugfuls of coffee with her morning cigarettes and the daily newspaper. Coffee #1 contained 5 spoonfuls of sugar and cream. Subsequent coffees were taken with milk and artificial sweetener. Sometimes she'd have a muffin, a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast for breakfast. I never saw her eat lunch.

In the evening, after her healthy 5 p.m. meal, she'd start in on the sweets. Her living room was a junk-food emporium with boxes of cookies, salted nuts, chips, chocolates and candies strategically placed all around the room. Interestingly enough, though, she did not gorge on the stuff. She needed her fix and that was all. I found it hard not to go overboard myself when we went over to visit.

My mother-in-law passed away last November, aged 82. She had a heart attack in bed around midnight and that was it. She was found the next day, her hand on her chest over her heart.

I hope she didn't suffer. I don't think she did. She lived and died as she had wished, in a home that reeked of cigarette smoke and overflowed with junk food. But she was happy...and she wasn't fat. That's life, eh?


  1. Incredible! My own mother just fell over, and died. She was in her own little house, with the dog licking her face. She drank and smoked till the was 82! Who'd-a-thunk it?!

  2. That's the way I want to go ... in my own little house, and still having fun! (Not sure about the dog though.) But I digress ... I found your blog through a comment on Anne H's wonderful blog (hi, Anne H!) and I am so glad I did. I think we must be sisters separated at birth! I'm making a fresh stat too, it's never too late to get healthier.

  3. Maybe it's all of our worrying & fretting about our health that makes us lose it. All that stress is killer.
    I hear so many stories like this.
    A guy at work's grandpa lived to be 101 drinking and smoking and carousing up till the end. Perhaps the secret is doing what we enjoy and to hell with everything else?
    How many years would they have lived if they'd taken care of themselves???

  4. I agree, stress is a killer. Not that drinking and smoking and candy are healthy, but I think most people underestimate the power of stress. Exercise can mitigate some of the effects. I heard a public radio show recently where a doctor was saying that "stress and starch are killing us" (he mentioned metabolic syndrome, though not obesity, which I suppose is a symptom of metabolic syndrome)