It was six years ago today ....

Sometimes, I will step away from writing about hockey. For the remainder of my life, Feb. 18 will be one of those days.

Six years ago today, I had surgery that ultimately changed my life. You can my look back at my past entries on it here, here, and
even here

The true benchmark of bariatric surgery is how the patient is after five years. Given that even now I still wear shirts that go from medium to large rather than 2XL to 3XL, and pants with a waistline that doesn't start with a 5 – or even a 4, for that matter – I can say that it's been a success.

That's not to say that the last year has been difficult.

I rarely get sick from eating anymore, and can now have pretty much anything I want – something all the doctors told me would happen eventually. I don't throw up anymore, instead, there have been a couple of near-instances – spitting up and heaving some; what I call being in distress – but nothing more.

On my last visit to New York City earlier in the month, I went out to dinner on consecutive nights with two women – lucky me, right? – and found one thing still holds true: I continue to eat small.

At one Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side, I had about 75 percent of a chicken dish with mustard sauce, some broccoli, and a couple pieces of tube pasta. The second night in New Jersey, about a half order of a really good Bolognese dish. Thank goodness for doggie bags.

What I have continued to find is I still have a raging sweet tooth, a holdover from my old days. Cookies, cake, ice cream, candy – all these things in moderation, which means not buying a bag and going through it in one shot.

Case in point, the restaurant in New Jersey. Dessert was a chocolate soufflé with ice cream. Maybe half of it was gone. It's enough to taste and savor, but not so much to gorge on.

To this day, though, no soda with sugar in it, and I am trying to cut back on the diet stuff. More coffee. More flavored water.

So what to do going forward? I need to get back into the gym. One of the things I have neglected from year 5 to 6 has been the time taken for myself to exercise, to reflect, to concentrate. Each time I want to go back, I find it too easy to talk myself out of it.

For someone who's gone through all this, and the maintenance, you wouldn't think this is a problem. It is. The mind can play bad tricks, and there needs to be some strength there, a backbone.

I will go back. Soon. I need to, if for nothing else, to make sure I don't ever revert to the way I was. I had this done to make sure I wouldn't be dead by 44.

That's just over six months from now.

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