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eating like a skinny girlI went to see The Danish Girl last Wednesday, at noon, with a friend (it’s a “must see”, btw). Please, don’t judge–you know you would go to the movies in the middle a work day if you could. Besides, if I had to justify it (and I don’t, so I don’t know why I am) I was in recovery week after my second chemo treatment—and this was one of my first outings. Going to the movies during the week is awesome. Where else can you be absolutely assured of being the youngest person in a crowd?

“I’m starving,” I told my friend as we stood before the concession stand. “I didn’t eat lunch.” If you are like me, with a “normal,” healthy appetite, you know that your stomach actually has nothing to do with whether or not you should eat lunch. We “normal” girls know that noon is time for lunch, hungry or not. By the time the movie was over at 2PM, I would have missed lunchtime.

And I don’t ever miss lunchtime.

“I brought clementines for us,” my friend said.

I looked at her in amazement. She definitely has the look of a naturally skinny person. But really? A clementine? For lunch? That was not going to do it for me. I wished I had thought to bring a turkey sandwich, or at least some almonds, or a protein bar. But I wasn’t thinking.

“I need something besides the clementine,” I told her, as the aroma from the popcorn machine reached my nose. I love popcorn—and the only thing better than movie theatre popcorn, is the popcorn I make at home, with ghee and truffle salt. (I am starting to salivate on my computer as I write this.)

I gave it a good faith try: “Do you have anything healthy to eat?” I asked the lady behind the counter.

“Sure. We have decaf and regular.”

“No, not coffee. Do you have anything healthy to eat?”

“Oh no, nothing healthy to eat here. Really, nothing

“Perfect. Ok then, I’ll have a small popcorn, no butter.”

I looked at the cardboard container she was about to pull out. It was really puny. My friend might want a handful, and I didn’t want to slap her hand away. This was lunch, after all. The medium was so much bigger (thus better) and was only .50 cents more. I ordered the larger size, justifying it by telling my friend we could share (though I am not sure I meant it.)

And then… here’s the weird part. I couldn’t finish the popcorn. Not even close. I put it down after eating about a quarter of the container. I simply couldn’t eat any more. At the end of the movie, I actually threw away a container of perfectly good popcorn. I have never, ever done that before. If you are a “skinny girl” you probably have no idea what I am talking about. But if you are normal, like me, you get it. Who doesn’t finish their popcorn – before the previews are over?

This was weird for me. Totally, and utterly weird. I am a person who eats until everything on my plate is gone, and then I usually go back for more. Full has nothing to do with it, and that is why I am a little dangerous at buffets (don’t get in between me and the buffet table, ever.)

And this mega popcorn disposal? This was akin to throwing away half an ice cream cone. When I see that, I want to rush over and scream, “Hey! Lady, ice cream does not belong in the trash… hand over that cone!”

This was simply not me. What was the chemo doing to me?

I am simply not me for the week after chemo treatment. I eat like a skinny girl. Honestly, it is the weirdest sensation not to be able to finish my food. I eat slowly. I pick. I cannot finish. For days on end.

And then, like magic, one day, it all changes. I am ravenous. I am STAHVING. I cannot get enough to eat. The skinny girl that was inside me shrivels up and dies. I become normal again. And you know what? I hate that skinny girl. For the first time in my life, I am happy to have a healthy appetite. I grab an oversized Tootsie Roll for my snack, and eat the whole thing, without a trace of guilt.

When all my chemo treatments are over, I intend on going to the movies during the day with a friend, and ordering a large popcorn. No more mediums for me. And God help my friend if she sticks her hand in my popcorn– I’m gonna slap it away. Hard.

And I may very well go back for a free refill.

Anyone want to join me?  We will be the youngest people in the theatre….guaranteed.

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