“I just ate less…among other things…” #105


When I was just a wee little kid growing up on the mean streets of good old Minneapolis, Minnesota…I used to walk with my mom to the doctor’s office.  It was only a few blocks.   (Yes…even when I was sick…)

One car per family in “the good old days”.  Plus my dad left for work at 4:00 a.m. and my mom didn’t know how to drive…

Dr. Peterson’s office was located above the neighborhood drug store…Peterson’s Drug Store…no connection.

The drug store was on one corner, Tommy’s Bar was on another corner and a hardware store and a gas station completed the intersection.   

Surrounding these establishments was a smattering of other businesses…a grocery store, a bakery, a gift shop, a move theater, another bar…The Greenwood and an upcoming boat business that catered to all the Scandinavian fishermen in the area…

It was the 1950’s version of today’s strip mall.  

Now as a kid…I was super skinny.  I was all bones and I ran everywhere. 

Apparently my mother was worried that maybe there was something wrong with me since I was so skinny, so she took me to see Dr. Peterson.  Oh joy.

After a very cursory examination of me…he told her there was nothing at all wrong with me…I was just skinny.

My mom THEN said I never finished eating…I always left food on my plate…

Dr. Peterson turns to me, leans closer and looks me in the eye and says…very stern like… 

“Don’t you belong to “The Clean Plate Club, Tina”?

I had no idea what he was talking about but not wanting this visit to go any longer…his nurse had picked up my file and was starting to open it…so I promptly said, “No…but I did hope to be a Girl Scout when I got older…”  I thought that this would be an impressive answer and he would pat me on the head and we would be out that door.

But no…Dr. Peterson sat back in his chair…pulled out his desk drawer and took out a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes.  (OH I AM NOT KIDDING…).

He politely offered one to my mom…who politely took one.  He grabbed a book of Peterson Drug Store matches and lit her cigarette first and then his.

Then he leaned back in his creaky wooden desk chair and started to  tell me about all the poor, starving children in the world and how I should always finish my plate because those kids didn’t have enough to eat….somehow implying that it was all my fault…

I solemnly said that I would ALWAYS finish my plate from now on.

“Are you going to become a member of ‘The Clean Plate Club’, Tina?”  He asked with a big grin on his face…smoke encircling his head.

“Yes, Dr. Peterson.  I will.  I really, really will!!”  

I would have agreed to anything at this point since I noticed his very efficient nurse, Dorothy,  was starting to flip through the pages of my file…probably looking to see if I needed a booster shot or two…and I just wanted to get the hell out of there.

As luck would have it…no shot.  But as a reward for “being such a good, little girl” I did get a double-decker, French Vanilla ice cream cone in Peterson’s Drug Store to enjoy on the walk home.  My mom smoked another cigarette.  Oh those 50’s…

For about 3 weeks after that appointment, my mom tried to “strongly encourage” me to eat more and to “clean my plate”…to the point when one night  I got so nervous and upset that I threw up spaghetti all over the dinner table. 

And that…my friends… was the end of my membership in “The Clean Plate Club”.

How does all this tie into my current weight loss plan?  Well…for the past couple of weeks, I have been purposely not “cleaning my plate”…just leaving a little…just eating a little less…and…

And…of course…it is working since I currently am still at #139!!   Yay “Clean Plate Club” drop out!!  C’mon #138…

Have a nice day…

1 Comment

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  1. I can’t believe Doctors used to smoke while seeing patients – how times have changed! Cleaning your plate was always encouraged when I was a kid too in the 70’s and 80’s. Having that mindset ingrained really doesn’t help when you’re trying to lose weight (or not gain any). Well done on becoming a drop out – go you! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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