Lost 10 Pounds

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:

Sunday, March 29, 1914: Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Attended church, which isn’t very often since we don’t have a regular preacher as yet. Besse and Curt were here, when I got home. Am rather tired of dieting by this time. Have lost ten pounds.

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Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma lost 10 pounds in 18 days– and, her weight has gone from 140 pounds to 130. She must not have been eating very much to lose so much weight.  Is it healthy to lose so much weight in such a short time?

She got her tonsils out on March 11, and had difficulty eating. Two days later, on March 13, she wrote:

Weighed myself this morning. I had lost six pounds. My tummy is flat you can bet. Ate solid food for supper.

Then on March 23 she wrote:

Got a streak of sewing today. I get the streaks quite often in many variations. Another one is to get rid of some of my superfluous fat. 140 pounds (January) is entirely too much for a girl of my age. I don’t weigh that now, since I lost six and gained about three. Intend to take advantage of the other three and fight for dear life.


Besse and Curt Hester were Grandma’s sister and brother-in-law. They lived in nearby Watsontown.

25 Responses

  1. I hate to think about Helena worrying about her weight–she seems so harsh on herself, like the 21st-century girls who are trying to conform to unrealistic standards. Was 140 pounds really “fat”?

  2. I’ve always heard you shouldn’t lose more than 2 pounds per week, although I’m sure it happens. And Grandma lost most of hers after her surgery….

    • That’s probably why she lost so much–though I was surprised when only a week earlier it sounded like she was only down 3 pounds.

  3. I wish I would get a “streak” too! Never heard that term before but I think I like it.

  4. ‘Get a streak’ go ‘on a tear’ as in tare. Old expressions.

  5. I guess the real test is whether she’ll slow down to 2 pounds a week now.

  6. Slightly depressing that women were worrying about their weight 100 years ago too. Think I’ll get a bar of chocolate to cheer myself up.

  7. Good for you Helena!

  8. I had no idea people 100 years ago thought much about weight control, but obviously they did. Very interesting post! My my.

  9. She sounds quite pleased and determined to lose weight.

  10. It will be interesting to know if she tries to lose more in the ‘future’! Jane

  11. I love the way we are all growing with grandma, as if her future is unknown.

  12. Oh my! My patients (women) always talk to me about weight gain and loss. I had hoped this was truly a modern thing!

  13. The infamous 10 lbs. if I knew how she did it without starving, I’d take note. Odd that it was on the radar even then.

  14. […] he left Grandma occasionally mentioned that there was no church because there was no minister. On March 29, 1914, she […]

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