I've decided that I was going to attempt to start a blog to use as a sort of open online journal / diary of how I got here and what I'm doing or not doing to contribute to my weight loss success or lack thereof.
If this helps anyone who takes the time to read it, great. Some of you might find it a good read or facinating, or humorous at times or maybe inspirational or a source of motivation, while others might find it to be a boring bunch of crap. Either way is fine with me.
I guess if I'm going to do this, I might as well start at the beginning, or at least what I consider to be the beginning.
I was born and raised in Connecticut in an Italian household where food was more than just sustanence, it was a means of showing love, gratitude, hospitality and probably a million other things. As soon as you walked in the door, my grandmother would see that as a signal to head for the fridge to find something, anything....even leftovers to spring on you. And God help you if you said no thank you or "I'm not hungry".
To Gram (as I called her) everyone was ALWAYS hungry, or was supposed to be! If you were a friend, she'd just ignore you as she was preparing something for you to eat (I always thought she did this because if you said you didn't want anything, she figured you just didn't know what you were talking about....of course you wanted to eat!) and if you were family, you might get a slap across the back of the head, followed by a meal in front of you and a "shuddup and eat". One thing which we seemed to always have was gravy (we NEVER called it sauce) and meatballs, whether fresh made, which was every Sunday, or leftover. Sadly, Gram passed away in 1984 at 76 years old, but I swear to this day I have never tasted better meatballs by anyone, including myself, who was taught by her how to make them, or any restaurant EVER!
She even taught me how to make homemade pasta, including ravioli, from scratch. I can remember clearly the day before Easter in 1983. We were in her kitchen until 2 in the morning making dough, rolling dough, making the ricotta filling and making the ravioli and cavitelli for tomorrows Easter dinner. We'd lay them out on a sheet on her bed to dry so we could cook them the next afternoon. I was the one grandson (she had 6 of us who all lived either on the same street or around the corner....a REAL Italian neighboorhood!) who took an interest in how she made stuff, and to her I was gonna be the one who took over after she couldn't do it anymore. Little did we know, she would sadly be gone the following year.
Let me say here, even though I haven't yet mentioned my mother, she was no slouch when it came to cooking either....after all, she was Grams daughter and she was right in there with us most of the time, and her "gravy" was the best!
My mother and father (he was Irish) were divorced when I was 8 and my sister was 2, and we were raised by my mom and Gram. I don't think there was any joint custody in those days...the kids always went with the mother and personally, I am glad it was that way.
So, as I mentioned earlier, we had relatives all around us so no matter whose house you went to, there was usually something waiting for you to fill your face with. If I went around the block to my aunt's house to see if my cousins could come out and play, the usual answer was, "Sure, but get in here and eat something first".
As a teenager, our Sunday routine was 9 o'clock mass, then home for some fried meatballs (they were always fried in olive oil, never baked) of which a 1/2 dozen or so were left out for us while the rest went straight from the frying pan to the now boiling pot of gravy to finish cooking. Some already browned Italian sausage (or sau-seege) as she called it was also left out. Me and usually one of my cousins would wolf those down with a couple of cups of coffee before heading out to the Italian bakery for some fresh Italian bread and grinder rolls. We loved this because the bread and grinders were always right out of the oven! We didn't even mind standing in the line that formed outside the bakery and sometimes halfway down the street because we could smell the bread and socialize with the other kids and neighbors who were in line also. (It wasn't just OUR Sunday ritual!)
Then, after a stop at the Italian import store for some pepperoni, cappicola, provolone and whatever else Gram, my mother and aunt wanted we'd head back home where we would immediately start tearing off hunks of that fresh Italian bread and dipping them in the gravy until we either got yelled at for almost eating all the bread (after all, it was for Sunday dinner for the family) or chased out of the house by Gram or my mother wielding a wooden spoon at us like it was a broadsword.
There was one thing about my childhood which wasn't so idyllic as far as food and eating go. There were a few things I wasn't particularly crazy for like homemade soup, canned asparagus, and over easy eggs for example. I can remember being around 10 or 11 years old, and perhaps younger when I was "forced" to eat that stuff. I'm 56 now so we're talking about the early to mid 1960's here, in a household where you ate what was put in front of you. We were by no means even middle class then so the menu wasn't very diverse and you didn't waste food because; one, we didn't have the money to cater to everyones particular tastes and two, according to them wasting food is a sin.
So, not only did I have to eat this stuff (funny how in later years I grew to love homemade soup, grilled or sauteed asparagus and eggs!) but I had to finish everything in my bowl or on my plate. As if that wasn't bad enough, there was a little timer on the kitchen stove which they would set if I seemed to be stalling with my food. If that timer went off and I wasn't finished, they would REFILL MY PLATE AGAIN!
Now, on this point I want to be clear. This wasn't done out of any type of abusive mean behavior, it was because they wanted to make sure I ate because believe it or not, I was a skinny kid. But this instilled 2 things in me which would become demons of mine later in life:
1. Eat everything on your plate.
2. Eat it fast.
Next Week - Teens and 20's - Sports, Late Night Eating and a Wife
I have waited over 14 months for my sleeve day to get here. I've been through a lot of emotions over this time period as well. Approaching the mandatory counseling with a lackadaisical attitude -- not even sure if surgery was right for me. Even got to the point of quitting and then realized that if I ever wanted to consider the surgery down the road, I would have to go through this all over again. I discovered the sleeve (was looking into g-bypass) and that peaked my interest. TI became a sponge and tried to read everything about the VSG. Got super nervous that the insurance company wouldn't approve me but they did. Then changing doctors because I didn't like the first one. Once I got my approval at the beginning of May, I was able to select my own date since I knew I couldn't have the surgery until June due to work logistics. Then waiting for June 14 to get her and now I'm almost there!!! My hat goes off to all of the forum members who had to do more than one day of a pre-op diet. I only had to do it today and I'm freakin' starving!! I've just been keeping my mind busy -- tying up loose ends at work.
I went through the panic stage over the last month, thinking to myself, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING??" I just kept the reasons I'm doing this, in the forefront so as not to lose site of the reason I started this journey. My BFF and my daughter also kept refreshing my memory as to why I'm doing this. I am 55 years old and I truly wish this was an option through my insurance 10 years ago but, hey! whaddya gonna do? LOL
Tomorrow at 9am I will begin the first day of the rest of my life and join all of you kind people on the infamous losers bench!