The 'Legends of the Fork' star had five surgeries to fix his right hand after it was impaled with a metal rod while at his home bowling alley
Buddy Valastro still has one surgery to go following his hand injury in 2020.
The Buddy Valastro Cake Dynasty star had five surgeries to fix his right hand after it was impaled with a metal rod while he was fixing a malfunction with his home bowling alley's pinsetter. Valastro, whose hand is nearly fully recovered, spoke with PEOPLE about the last surgery he’s been putting off that’ll help correct his grip.
“I got one more just to get [my] finger straight," he says. "I can't get that finger over to the other side. But listen, I'd say I'm about 95%, which if you saw the spikes from my hand, you'd be like, ‘Holy cow.'"
He adds: “You can't even imagine how bad it was. I feel very lucky that I'm able to do what I can do, especially it's my dominant hand. So knock on wood, I feel like we're in a good spot.”
With his busy schedule, the Cake Boss star says it’s been tough to find the time to book the surgery.
“I know I’ll need about three weeks of downtime [for post-op recovery], so that's the only thing. But I'm going to make it my business to do it in 2024. It'll be my New Year's resolution,” he tells PEOPLE.
In April, the dad of four revealed to PEOPLE that he lost nearly 40 lbs. in just 9 months after hitting his heaviest following his hand injury.
"After COVID, I was just home — doom and gloom — and eating. I mean…COVID was just miserable in that way," he said at the time.
In March 2022, he said he knew something had to change in his day-to-day routine. "I just woke up and I was like, 'This is almost the heaviest I've ever been,'" he added.
Through intermittent fasting and portion control, the Carlo's Bakery owner is down 35 to 40 pounds.
"It took me nine months to lose weight, and I've been maintaining it now because I lost it nice and slow. It wasn't a crash diet or anything like that," he said. "I just tried to be more disciplined during the week."
Valastro has learned "when to say no" to food — which is not something he was used to doing as a young kid.
"Growing up in an old-fashioned Italian house, you didn't eat until you were full, you eat until you couldn't even move. And you were gorged," he said. "And that's the way I would eat all the time. And once I started to shrink my stomach and stop when it's time to stop, you feel better."
Instead of grabbing "a bag of potato chips and eating half of it" at 10 p.m., Valastro tries to finish eating for the day by 6 p.m. And when his wife, Lisa, makes dinner, he'll eat "one or two" large spoonfuls of pasta instead of "four big scoops."
Despite building several businesses, shows and restaurants surrounding food, the father of four says they're the reason he stays active.
"I have to do tastings and stuff like that, but I've always been active. I'm always on my feet. I'm always flying around the factory. I'm still up 6:00 a.m. on the floor working," he said. "So I'm not an unactive guy."
Valastro added two new A&E shows to his workload: Legends of the Fork and Buddy Valastro’s Cake Dynasty. While the former showcases Valstro traveling the country to explore iconic restaurants, the latter goes behind the scenes of his Carlo’s Bakery business and family life following his TLC Cake Boss fame.
“Cake Dynasty is where my life is now, it's 14,15 years later. My kids were babies at the time. Now they're all older and starting to come into the family business,” he told PEOPLE of the new series.
“So there's the succession part of the business…we don't just make cakes, we have 14 bakeries and seven or eight restaurants and food concepts, 75 vending machines…So it's less about making one giant cake, it's more about how do you make 18 cakes a minute."
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