Longtime residents in Fairfield
County may be familiar with the
name Palmieri.After all, Filomeno
(Phil) came to this country from
Italy with his family when he was 15 years
old in 1930. His father returned to his
native country, but Filomeno remained here
to shift for himself. He worked at any job
he could, including working in a mill in
Soon he was farming the land and eventually
he married his wife Josephine and the
couple had six children, including Carl,
who as a youngster growing up worked in
the family business, Palmieri’s Nursery on
Main Street. The nursery is still run by
Carl’s brother Frank and their mother, now
Carl retired last year and sold his business
Computer Resolutions, which is now
run by one of his sons. However, for more
than 40 years, Carl has enjoyed writing
down little bits of advice that he would hear
people say, whether they came from his
parents, his brothers and sisters, other relatives,
friends, acquaintances, and even
famous people and authors.
In recent years, he has taken these bits of
advice and has categorized them into subjects
and ultimately into seven small paperback
books, which he has self-published
through BookSurge with availability
Some of the books focus on the advice
and philosophy that his parents expressed;
others are collections of inspirational sayings.
In recent years, Carl has published
two books, “The Food Contrarian: Quotes
for People Recovering from or Dealing
with Eating Issues” and “Off The Wall
Contrarian: Quotes for People in
Recovery.” Palmieri has complemented his
book writing and publishing with his
hands-on approach to helping addicts, especially
those who have food issues, address
their problems. On Thursday, March 6 he
will participate in a 12-step program at
Norwalk Hospital to help people with their
food issues, an addiction he is familiar
He has had his own personal battles with
addictions, whether they are alcohol, food
or even gambling. Two of his three brothers
died from health issues resulting from
being overweight. His brother Joe died at
age 58 in 2003. Nine months later, Vinny,
died at 62.
Today, Carl, at age 65 is proud that finally
after years of struggling with his own
weight (topping 211 for his 5’8” frame) he
has managed to maintain a weight between
160 and 170 lbs. In 1990, when his daughter
announced she was going to get married,
Carl was determined to get his weight
down to 180 lbs. He accomplished his goal,
at least through the marriage ceremony. At
the reception, he picked up his old habits.
Carl says the key to addressing addiction
is to first admit “you are powerless and
can’t do it alone.” He wants people to know
that they don’t have to be alone, nor should
they be alone to combat their addictions,
especially food addictions. He understands
the problem After all, he grew up in an
Italian household where food was king.
He also grew up inWestport in an immigrant
family. During his teens felt the
shame of his being part of an immigrant
family that struggled to feed six children.
He never had a bicycle. He was “pigeonholed”
in school. As the son of an immigrant
inWestport, a school official told him
not to waste his time going to college.
Fortunately, Carl did not heed the advice.
He earned a bachelor’s degree and became
a successful businessman.
Finally, through recovery programs, he
realized that while his parents were humble
immigrants he was raised with a value system
richer than anything money could buy.
He learned the importance of a good work
ethic. He learned the value of honesty and
integrity. So, when he came to such realization,
he embraced his heritage.
He began to let go of the emotional baggage
that he had dragged with him into
adulthood and for which he sought refuge
through his addictions. Others have helped
him through the 12-step programs and he
now he enjoys the personal satisfaction in
“We’re eating over our emotions,” said
Carl, explaining why people overeat. He
said the values that his parents had given
him became crystal-clear to him in the 12-
step program. He saw a connection
between his eating habits and his relationships
with his parents.
Carl praises Norwalk Hospital for its
efforts in hosting 12-step programs. He
says the hospital has been a phenomenal
resource. With the programs offered at the
hospital people can address the spiritual,
emotional and physical aspects of their
problems with the help of others.
With two of his seven published books
about recovery, Carl has a third book on
recovery planned for this year that will
focus on relationships and addicts. He finds
relationships at the core of many problems,
whether it is the relationships that people
have with themselves or with others, especially
parents and other family members.
“Basically, what worked for me was
going to a program that got me support, not
only with my eating, but also the reason I
Anyone who would like more information
about upcoming 12-step programs,
including the March 6 program at Norwalk
Hospital, should call Carl Palmieri:(days)-
383-0445 or evenings at 255-6065.
Rita Paappaazzian is a freelance journalist who
has covered Norwalk issues extensively. Email
can be sent to her at ritapap.
© Tuchy palmieri permission is granted to reprint any and all of this
"The Food Contrarian" http://tinyurl.com/3d4hnnb