Part 1. In the beginning there was ignorance, and ignorance was bliss.
Ever since I can remember, everything in my family revolved around the kitchen. We consumed lots of protein and carbs, although I called it “beef and sweets”. Between my sweet taste buds and my sweet tooth, I ate homemade cakes, pies, cookies along with potatoes, rice and pasta. If it tasted good, I ate it. My belly would be full and all would be right with the world! Ah, such bliss – I was a happy child!
I started helping my mother cook when I was about six years old. My mom liked that I wanted to be in the kitchen. Mom had 3 boys and no girls, so she was determined to teach us everything she would have taught her daughters. My brothers and I learned how to cook and clean house, wash and iron and sew clothes. All my friends joked how I would someday make some lucky woman a good wife.
My mom loved to bake – cakes, pies, brownies and cookies. I would pull on the sleeve of her blouse, asking her if I could “shift the flour”. She would correct me by asking “Don’t you mean – sift the flour?” I would respond “That’s what I said – shift the flour.” My speech impediment disappeared by the third grade, but I was already becoming quite the baker. I had progressed from licking the beaters, to shifting the flour and finally to making complete recipes from scratch!
At home, we always had a lot of carbs in our meals and snacks. Foods that were delicious to the taste but were bad for the body (ignorance was bliss). We would eat all the comfort foods (baked potatoes, macaroni and cheese, breads and desserts) that made us feel good. They would also add weight to our bodies in the form of fat. My fat was controlled by my activities – I only weighed 175 pounds playing football as a senior in high school.
After college I started work with Nabisco as a sales rep. Anytime I had a damaged box of cookies while working in the stores, I would start eating the cookies one at a time and before you knew it, the package was empty. Can you imagine what it was like to eat an entire package of Oreos in about an hour? Can you imagine the calories or the carbs?
If it tasted good, I ate it. Ah, such bliss – I was a happy 30 year old! My belly was getting fuller and all was still right with the world! I weighed 220 lbs. and was in great shape from all the physical labor I was doing. I was stocking store shelves during the week and clearing scrub oaks off 3 acres of land by myself on the weekend to prepare for our first home.
“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” – Benjamin Franklin
I was about to take the next step in my life – Going from “ignorance is bliss” to “just plain stupid”.