a Women Writers' Showcase
by C J Mouser

Dear Dianne,

Please don't be mad at me. After all your hard work e-mailing me the info on the fat flushing diet, I failed you. I feel terrible. I went to the health food store, armed with crib notes.

I had no idea what I was doing and it showed, so I was immediately at the mercy of a health guru in granny glasses who proceeded to talk me out of everything I went for. I am a sucker for an aggressive salesperson, especially one with big hair and Birkinstock sandals. Between her interference, and pressure from your two nieces, I ended up with all the wrong stuff.

Dianne, this woman pushed her glasses up on her nose, not with the eraser end of her pencil, but the point end. That frightened me. I was intimidated so I let her have her way with my wallet. All I could think about was the fact that if her aim was that accurate, it must also be deadly.

She talked us into a liquid vitamin, which we never even tasted, as it was putrid and horrible and clearly not fit for human consumption. The smell alone would knock a buzzard off a body wagon at a hundred paces.

She talked us into a whey based meal replacement powder. Two actually, one an Atkins that tastes like chalk (and I know as I have eaten chalk - not lately, but I doubt it has changed much since the first grade) and the other a Max + something or other that is actually very tasty. I bought 1% milk, all kinds of berries and bananas and peaches to mix with it and the girls and I have agreed that until we have more money to play with, we will take our vitamins, and forgo sodas, pizza, chocolate and ice cream.

Starting tomorrow.

No really, we made it through the whole weekend. We may not have had our fat flushed at the end of the month, but what fat we still have will be healthy fat.

We traded the liquid vitamin (I sent Jill...I didn't think this woman would hurt a child) for a well-rounded woman's daily vitamin that appears to be keeping me up nights. I'm supposed to take one with breakfast and one with dinner and I know that it's the dinner time one that has me sitting bolt up right in bed at three a.m. with an overpowering desire to clean closets.

I am learning that being healthy is really hard work and I'm wondering if it's really all worth it as I know of no one in the annals of history that survived indefinitely, good health or not. We have only a short time on this earth...do we really want to invest the majority of it choking down pills and reading label after label? Remember those two poodles that we had as kids? They lived twenty years on Gainesburgers and water. That's a long time for dogs to live, 140 years in people years, and they would have lived longer if Mama hadn't had them put to sleep.

I may try the fat flushing thing again, although I'm not sure when. But please keep me updated on your progress, and don't be mad? If you had been with me, I know I would have stayed my course, because I suspect that with your knowledge of all things healthy and your ability to adhere to these regimens, that you might be a worthy adversary for the lady in the health food store. With your help, guidance (and protection) we might be able to go in there and get what we want without spending half a years salary.

So, in the meantime I will stick to the vitamins, horse pills that they are, watch what I eat, and until such time as you are able to come to Florida to visit, I will stay out of the health food store.

All my love,

Your sister, Cindi

C. J. is a freelance writer living in west central Florida. She writes a column for the local paper, and the subject matter can range anywhere from current events to raising kids. Her stories chronicle the everyday humor, and occasionally perilous adventures, of life on the small family farm. She and her husband have lived in a rural setting off and on all their lives, and they have now settled into raising oranges and swine in sunny Florida.

"I have no formal education. In fact, I'm forty-three years old and haven't finished high school. I am a prime example of 'don't let this happen to you'."

C. J. shares with us the antics of life on the newbie farm, the joys of raising teenagers in a rural setting, and insists that she has nothing to teach anyone beyond how not to do things! 

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