Sylvia’s Mother

Before I had children, I thought Syliva’s mother was a bitch.

So we’re all on the same page, give a listen to Bon Jovi singing the old Dr. Hook song:

When I was young and rebellious and didn’t trust anyone over 30, Sylvia’s mother, Mrs. Avery, was the symbol of repression. I mean, who did she think she was not letting our hero caller talk to Sylvia? Sylvia had the right to know he was on the phone and to decide for herself if she’d talk to him or not. Sylvia wasn’t some wallflower princess locked away in a castle tower, and if she was, our hero’s phone call just might save her.

I was such a romantic nitwit back in the day.

Today, as the mother of two grown children, you can bet your last Hershey Kiss I wouldn’t let that caller talk to my daughter. The big jerk probably hurt her more than once and left her crying on several occasions, as her mother watched helplessly while her child suffered. Sylvia’s mother saw the opportunity to keep her daughter from further pain and misery and she took it. Bravo!

The further I get into this weight-loss/weight-maintenance journey, the more I realize and appreciate my own inner Mrs. Avery, the one who won’t let me talk to the Mississippi Mud Pie callers, the peanut butter callers, the “just one bite” callers, the potato chip callers, and all the other food seducers who have my number. My inner Mrs. Avery knows that whole foods – that metaphorical fella from Galveston – are going to treat my body better than any of the other callers would. They treat my emotions better, too. By not inviting a lot of processed foods or sodas or other kinds of empty calories into my life, I no longer suffer food guilt, as in “I shouldn’t have eaten _____.”

My inner Mrs. Avery isn’t a complete tyrant. Notice she didn’t say ALL empty calorie foods were never invited to call. I don’t believe in complete abstinence from foods I’ve learned to eat in moderation. But as Michael Pollan says in his book, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

No food is worth eating too much of, feeling guilty about, or gaining weight over. No food is worth the emotional equivalent of a broken heart.

I was ever so grateful to my inner Mrs. Avery yesterday as the scalloped potatoes and chocolate bunnies were passed around and they were singing, “Please Mrs. Avery, I just gotta talk to her, I’ll only keep her a while. Please Mrs. Avery, I just wanna tell her goodbye.” Mrs. Avery knew they weren’t just wanting to say goodbye – seductresses that they are – and so took it upon herself to tell them, “No, she won’t be talking to you today.” The result? No food hangovers, no food guilt, and a steady number on the scale, which leaves me time to obsess…I mean think…about other things. Like, if Jon Bon Jovi ever called me and my mother didn’t let me know? Yeah…Lynn’s mother would be in big trouble.


This week, Charlie Hills (author of the blog Back To the Fridge) kicks off a two-week virtual book tour to promote his latest book, “Why Your Last Diet Failed You (And How This Book Won’t Help You On Your Next One).” Lynn’s Weigh will post an interview with Charlie on Thursday. Join me then for your chance to win a copy of Charlie’s book!

Here’s the schedule of Charlie’s book tour:

Monday, April 13: Slim Shoppin (Book Review)
Tuesday, April 14: Peanut Butter Boy (Guest Post)
Wednesday, April 15: Roni’s Weigh (Reader Q & A)
Thursday, April 16: Lynn’s Weigh (Interview)
Friday, April 17: Pasta Queen (Interview)

Monday, April 20: Biggest Diabetic Loser (Book Review)
Tuesday, April 21: Ecstatic Days (Guest Post)
Wednesday, April 22: The Alcoholian (Guest Post)
Thursday, April 23: The Wonderful World of Wieners (Review & Interview)
Friday, April 24: Cranky Fitness (Guest Post)

8 thoughts on “Sylvia’s Mother

  1. I sat at my end of the table (so I don’t have to be surrounded by all the food) and looked down at all the dishes yesterday – with a great deal of satisfaction. (A vegetarian or a vegan could have sat down to eat with us and found plenty of food! And almost nothing processed!)The table was beautiful – lots and lots of colors – very appealing. Not one dish to make anyone (me) wish they ‘hadn’t’ later. It wasn’t me picking and chosing carefully – we all ate what I ate. No one thought this was odd – this is how we now all (mostly) eat. We have come a very long way.Kids got lots of gum in their baskets and clothes (at 11, 15, 19 the right kind of clothes and gum are both VERY good things). I bought one package of dark chocolate eggs and split it between the 3 baskets. NO one complained – they were too busy modeling the clothes.

  2. “No food is worth eating too much of, feeling guilty about, or gaining weight over.”LOVE THIS! Putting it into my “quotes to remember” file.Glad you had such a wonderful and successful Easter!

  3. Lynn,

    Thanks as always for your insight! I had never thought about my Mrs. Avery but she is definitely here with me more and more as I lose weight.

    I have to second Shelley’s comment.

    “No food is worth eating too much of, feeling guilty about, or gaining weight over.”

    I am keeping this quote…it is soooo true!

    Finally, obsessing about Jon Bon Jovi is definitely a better use of our time:-)


  4. Lynn, as always your chords were ringing on all tones. If only I protected my heart (both literally and figuratively) the way I protect my daughter’s hearts. Food for thought, har har.

    And thanks for the blast from the past.

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