Good In Bed

Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Book: Good In Bed by Jennifer Weiner Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jennifer Weiner
Tags: Fiction
We went around the table, introducing ourselves. The blond girl was Bonnie, the black woman was Anita, and the very large woman was Esther from West Oak Lane.
    “I’m having a flashback of college,” whispered Lily, as Nurse Sarah distributed booklets full of calorie counts, and packets of printouts on behavior modification.
    “I’m having a flashback of Weight Watchers,” I whispered back.
    “Did you try that?” asked Bonnie the blond girl, edging closer to us.
    “Last year,” I said.
    “Was that the One Two Three Success program?”
    “Fat and Fiber,” I whispered back.
    “Isn’t that a cereal?” asked Esther, who had a surprisingly lovely voice— very low, and warm, and free of the dread Philadelphia accent that causes natives to swallow their consonants like they’re made of warm taffy.
    “That’s Fruit and Fiber,” the blond girl said.
    “Fat and Fiber was where you had to count the grams of fat and the grams of fiber in every food, and you were supposed to eat a certain number of grams of fiber, and not go over a certain number of grams of fat,” I explained.
    “Did it work?” asked Anita, setting down her Palm Pilot.
    “Nah,” I said. “But that was probably my fault. I kept mixing up which number I was supposed to stay below and which one I was supposed to go above… and then I found, like, these really high-fiber brownies that were made with iron filings or something”
    Lily cracked up.
    “They had a zillion calories apiece but I figured it didn’t matter because they were very low in fat and very high in fiber”
    “A common mistake,” said Nurse Sarah cheerfully. “Fat and fiber are both important, but so is the total number of calories you take in. It’s very simple, really,” she said, turning back to the board and scribbling the kind of equation that had confounded me in eleventh grade. “Calories taken in versus calories expended. If you take in more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.”
    “Really?” I asked, my eyes wide.
    The nurse looked at me suspiciously.
    “Are you serious? It’s that simple?”
    “Um,” she began. I suspected that she was probably used to fat ladies sitting meekly in the chairs, like overfed sheep, smiling and nodding and being grateful for the wisdom she was imparting, staring at her with abashed, admiring eyes, all because she’d had the good fortune of being born thin. The thought infuriated me.
    “So if I eat fewer calories than I burn…” I slapped my forehead. “My God! I finally get it! I understand! I’m cured!” I stood up and pumped my hands in the air as Lily snickered. “Healed! Saved! Thank you, Jesus, and the Weight and Eating Disorders Center, for taking the blinders from my eyes!”
    “Okay,” said the nurse. “You’ve made your point.”
    “Damn,” I said, resuming my seat. “I was going to ask if I could be excused.”
    The nurse sighed. “Look,” she said. “The truth of it is, there’re a lot of complicating factors… and science doesn’t even understand all of them. We know about metabolic rates, and how some people’s bodies just seem to want to hang on to excess weight more than other people’s do. We know this isn’t easy. I would never tell you that it was.”
    She stared at us, breathing rapidly. We stared right back.
    “I’m sorry,” I finally said into the silence. “I was being fresh. It’s just that… well, I don’t want to speak for anybody else, but I’ve had this explained to me before.”
    “Uh-huh,” said Anita.
    “Me, too,” said Bonnie.
    “Fat people aren’t stupid,” I continued. “But every single weight-loss program I’ve ever been to treats us like we are— as if as soon as they explain that broiled chicken is better than fried, and frozen yogurt’s better than ice cream, and that if you take a hot bath instead of eating pizza, we’re going to all turn into Courteney Cox.”
    “That’s right,” said Lily.
    The nurse looked frustrated. “I’d

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