Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vintage Dieting and My Sveltification Project.

I've mentioned before that I have three little boys that are the apples of my eye. Unfortunately, I let these three apples do a number on my figure.  It doesn't help that I'm Mexican and if there are three things Mexicans know how to do well it's cook, eat, and drink.  The Holy Trinity, if you will.  Pair this with an aversion to physical exertion and you have yourself a recipe for disaster. I tried not to beat myself up too much about it, that is, until, I watched Jayne Mansfield in Promises! Promises! and realized she made this movie after birthing and breastfeeding three kids.  

That is some black magic/voodoo right there.

Oh well, I figure what has been done can be undone, and what can't be undone can at least be covered up with Spanx, girdles, corsets, and assorted ropes and pulleys.

But that got me thinking.  I've always loved vintage clothing but can rarely wear it.  Even though the tag says size 12, unless you are a modern size 6, that circa 1956 lavender tulle prom dress is not going to zip up.  DAMMIT JANET! Why were women so tiny back then?  Argh!  All my old cookbooks call for whole milk, butter, eggs, cream, organ meats, and fatty cuts of beef.  So what gives? Obviously, portions were smaller and Cheetos didn't exist.  Also, I'm assuming young women in the 50's grew up during the Depression when food wasn't always plentiful.  There are exceptions.  My Mexican Grandma is 5'10 with a size 10 shoe.  Her sisters were all about 6 foot with size 11-12 feet.  They often sewed their own clothes and according to Grams, they took the train to Los Angeles to have their shoes custom made by a father and son team that knew their shit.  They grew up during the depression and WWII but I'm guessing the difference, besides genetics, was that their dad was a vaquero and resident vet on a ranch, so food was never an issue in their house. 

When noting the size difference between modern women and women from 2-3 generations ago, people always point out that Marilyn Monroe was a "size 14" and "hefty" by today's standards.  Bullshit.  Anyone that knows vintage clothing knows that 50's era sizing bears no resemblance to modern sizes.  When Anna Nicole became famous, everyone drew comparisons between her and MM, which was misleading.  By all accounts, Anna Nicole was one big bitch.  Marilyn was downright tiny.  Curvy, but tiny.  For most of her career Marilyn stayed between 115-120, which is pretty slender for 5'6.  During times of stress, her weight temporarily "ballooned" to 140 *gasp.*

Still, I find Ms. Monroe's fitness regime intriguing.  She dabbled with weight lifting and stayed generally active (I'm assuming while not on a bender.)

I often workout in jeans and a bikini top, too.
Oh, hai!  I didn't see you there.

Plus, according to The Bombshell Manual of Style, Marilyn's defluffing diet doesn't exactly sounds like that of a petite little dewdrop.  It seems like she just ate normal food.  Except for "sweetbreads." Wtf?

8:00 A.M. Orange juice or stewed prunes
Cereal, well cooked
Toast (white), 2 slices, crisp, with butter
Milk or weak cocoa, 1 cup

10:00 A.M. Milk, 1 cup, and 1 cracker

Lunch or Supper:
1:00 P.M. Choice of:
Egg, 1 (boiled, poached, shirred or scrambled)
or cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons

Choice of:
Potato, 1, baked or mashed
or spaghetti, boiled with tomato or butter (no cheese)
or noodes, 1/2 cup (boiled), add milk (no cheese)
Toast or bread (white), stale, 1 slice, with butter
Jell-O or cooked fruit

3:30 P.M. Milk, 1 cup, and 1 cracker

6:30 P.M. Choice of:
Lean beef (boil, broil or roast)
or chicken
or lamb chop
or sweetbread
or fish
or chicken liver
Potato, 1 (any way but fried)

Choice of:
1/2 cup tomatoes, beets, carrots, spinach, string beans or peas, pureed or strained
Bread (white), 1 slice with butter
Dessert: junket, custard, tapioca pudding or rice pudding or baked apple

11:00 P.M. Eggnog

Who knew eggnog was dietetic?  I'm sure it just boils down to calories in and calories out but I commend MM for eating well and enjoying food.  It beats eating baby food and air.

So that's where I'm at.  Trying to get back in shape and zip up those vintage cocktail dresses.  If my project fails, I can always use feathers to hide my double chin.

Plan B.


  1. Don't forget the lethal underwear those woman wore back in the day, the hideous 18 hour girdles and whalebone corsets. That's what I tell myself when I crack open a packet of crisps and a can of lager. xxx

  2. Haha. True! But that still doesn't explain Jayne Mansfield. She prances around nude in that entire movie and at most, she has a sexy jiggle. Sorcery!

    I'm thinking though, that lethal underwear is a good trade for crisps and lager. I might trade my gym membership for good set of cinchers.

  3. que bella eres,sabes que you can use a faja while doing housework.

  4. hm. i have basically the same height and weight as marilyn monroe, yet i look like steven cojocaru.

    that's fucking unfortunate.

  5. La Dama - Gracias :) And I do need a faja. Lots of them. I found out much too late that they actually prevent your body from getting lumpy in all the wrong places.

    You're Lucky - Callate. You know you look good.