As a kid I can remember mom getting up at 6am to start the turkey; clean, season, and cook it. The aroma of turkey permeated throughout the house. I woke up longing for the Thanksgiving meal. But, what it meant to me then is so much different from what it means to me today. Turkey, bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, broccoli, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, apple pie, pumpkin pie; all of that was all on the menu and I couldn’t wait to eat it “all.”
Thanksgiving meant love, warmth, affection, and happiness; a change from the name calling and bullying I often was subjected to; sometimes on a daily basis. I always longed for Thanksgiving and began a countdown as it approached. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. When the actual day came I awoke to what I knew was going to be a great day without being subjected to anything that was going to hurt me. The food was the center of it. It gave me comfort and complete satisfaction away from the burden I carried.
I am thankful, not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of my life.Thanksgiving means more to me now than when I was a child. Today, I don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to be an escape, because today I have nothing to escape from. Andrew, my husband, has given me love, affection, and contentment. He provides the support that allows me to be who I am and enjoy the life I have now. I now have a sense of belonging.
Now, I enjoy Thanksgiving, but approach it differently. Now, I eat from a small plate instead of a large plate. The plate overflowing with food has been replaced with portion sizes that are much smaller…more protein and more vegetables. The high calorie pumpkin pie has been replaced with my bariatric friendly pumpkin custard. The stuffing is replaced with a fruit salad. Baked potatoes have replaced the calorie filled mashed potatoes. Now, on Thanksgiving, my complete satisfaction does not come from escaping the burdens I had as a child; but it comes from being who I am and loving myself for it.
I can remember mom ordering stuff from Sears and Roebuck and some of it would have to go back because they were too small. l always wanted Santa to bring me blue jeans; Levis. And, I never got them! Getting a size to fit me was difficult. Jeans weren’t made in my size. Everything had to be with an elastic waist. I could never get what I wanted because in addition to the jeans, all of the other the fashions never came in my size. I wouldn’t let my mother know how upset I was about the clothing because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
Christmas dinner: I couldn’t get enough of the cookies, home made candy, cake, ice cream, creamy mashed potatoes, and gravy. Because I was an unhappy child, Christmas didn’t bring me the happiness I longed for.
Now, Christmas is so much nicer because I can go out and get the jeans I want with the gift cards I get. The gift cards Santa brings also allows me to buy the fashions that I like and was once unable to buy. Now, Christmas dinner is a more pleasurable experience for me. The portion sizes on the plate are smaller and the food is healthier.
Now, I don’t get up from the table 2 sizes larger because now I don’t eat two plate fulls. Now, I have a truly happy Christmas filled with so much more joy than I had before my bariatric surgery. Of course, my Andrew adds to it and having him completes it all.
Violet Wolf, Dr. Neil Floch’s gastric bypass patient with 153 lb. weight loss