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by Jo McDivitt

D is for DIET. A balanced diet is not a cookie in each hand!

I am muttering while uttering the dreaded "D" word before July requires slipping into a swimsuit to add a connect-the-dots array of freckles to my pale Irish complexion.

You will never know how much I enjoyed eating every extra granule of sugar and heaping serving of pasta in the past few months, adding pounds to my ordinarily slender figure.

I like to yo-yo -- an old-fashioned pastime for playing with a string toy, but unfortunately not a healthy idea for your body. I became an official member of the completely clean plate club in February, and now I have 20 extra pounds to bid adieu.

Here are not so subtle clues leading me to the "D" word with its prerequisite "Diet and Exercise Plan" almost two weeks ago.

Joan, a long time slender friend was camped in my guest house for a weekend visit, having a spot of tea and saying, "You know, Jo, I love food show hostess, Ina Garten, 'The Barefoot Contessa'. She is still pretty even though she is fat. I think you still look good, too."

Ina Garten is at least ten sizes bigger than I, I thought haughtily.

Next stop in the "you are too fat finger pointing contest": My candid, slender, soon to be ninety-year-young mother's kitchen. She said sweetly, "Jo, have you been watching your diet?"

At the time I was cleverly disguised in a loose jacket with a diaphanous scarf draped in front of my waistline. Well, no, I had not "watched" my diet or delved into any of the weight control books promising instantaneous gratification. Later the same week, another well-meaning friend, Elaine, mentioned how easy it is to gain weight, especially for those of us who dine out often and also love to cook. Since we were the only two people on her deck, she doesn't love to cook and is paper thin, I took the hint.

The jig was up. The very next morning, I started on our state's new "Let's Go Walking, Mississippi" campaign. It was great to hear birds serenading as I padded determinedly up and down my long driveway. This "D" word time around, I decided to forego quick-fix diet regimens and fads to try something completely new ... moderation!

Two weeks later, my friend Joan, who compared me to the attractive, overweight Ina Garten, "The Barefoot Contessa" Food Network hostess, invited me by her Jackson home, saying, "Oh, Jo, are you in Jackson? Well, stop by and I will fix us a 'frosty'!"

"What is a 'frosty'?" I inquired fearfully, and just as I thought -- it's a Coke with ice cream, two of my most beloved enemies.

I blurted out, "No, please don't! How about your mint tea with no sugar?"

Whatever Joan serves is always delicious. After four tumblers of sugarless tea with fresh mint, I floated to my little hybrid Toyota, still safely rid of 4 of the 20 extra pounds.

I am content knowing after a mere 8 more weeks of moderation, I will put on my sleek, chic black maillot swimwear by Gottex. (Gottex slenderizes more than any other label.) Perhaps I will celebrate with a moderate half glass of "frosty."

The moral of this revealing column is, "Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork." [English Proverb]



[left] The ravishing Jo McDivitt with Ivana Trump!

McDivitt returned to Mississippi several years ago with the idea of publishing a small newspaper with good news features on the wise, witty, wonderful women in the state of Mississippi. She did that.

McDivitt’s dream has quickly become a reality. The publication is distributed in over 100 locations in more than 20 cities across the state with a home base in Hattiesburg.

Articles in Today’s Mississippi Woman run the gamut – something for everyone. The issues contain stories on people, fashions, sports, recipes, politics, music, travel, as well as decorating and much more.


E-mail Jo: CLICK HERE!

To subscribe to Today's Mississippi Woman, send $36 (for 12 issues) to
TMW / P. O. Box 15343 / Hattiesburg, MS 39404.

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