Parents Save Your Children From Honey Boo Boo and Type 2 Diabetes

The other day as I watched Honey Boo Boo slurp down spaghetti and eat cupcakes on some show or other I nearly threw the remote at the tv. Not just because I hate seeing a child exploited to satisfy our insatiable desire for train wreck entertainment, but also because Honey Boo Boo and Mama June are both overweight. It’s embarrassingly obvious The Learning Channel’s (TLC) latest breakout hit show’s popularity stem mostly from mother and daughter physical attribute.

It was pointed out the two were at a fancy restaurant. After the meal, perhaps before too, I didn’t see the whole thing, Alana signed autographs for other little kids who apparently look up to her. I don’t have a problem with Honey Boo Boo being a role model. What I hate is obviously no one cares about the child’s diet. The mother admits to giving her “Go Go Juice”, a potent elixir of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that supposedly contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, to get her pumped up for pageants.

Normally I’m of the opinion parents should be their children’s role model. However, speaking from the perspective of a Type 2 Diabetic, and knowing that childhood obesity is fast becoming an epidemic in these United States of America, TLC’s offering of Honey Boo Boo only perpetuates the problem.

It is a highly recognized fact that obesity is linked to Type 2 Diabetes, hence the reason it’s often referred to as ‘adult on-set diabetes’. People tend to exercise less as they grow older. The weight gain and other mitigating factors eventually cause the chronic disease to manifest later in life. Believe me I know from whence I speak.

Now days due to a high carb high fat content diet, often accompanied by a sugary beverage, and plain old lack of exercise, Type 2 Diabetes has become more prevalent in children. Type 1 Diabetes, something a child could be born with is one thing, Type 2, is a totally avoidable boo boo.

To make matters worse, recent studies are finding the disease is much harder to treat in children. Often their bodies quit responding to oral medication. Then if it hasn’t already, the big gun, insulin, enters the scene. Make no mistake, diabetes is chronic and must be managed. Type 2 diabetics of the mind they only had a ‘lil taste of sugar’ have suffered the consequences of their naïveté.

Health issues ranging from heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage, amputations, high blood pressure and kidney failure have schooled many a naïve diabetic the hard way. The longer a person has the disease, the greater the risk. So theoretically, people who develop diabetes as children may suffer its complications much earlier in life than previous generations who became diabetic as adults. The thought of children suffering such ailments earlier in life is sobering indeed.

A lot of folks are of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ school of thought when it comes to diabetes. Not me. Knowledge is power. If someone had sat me down and had given me the cold, hard facts, I would’ve fought harder to avoid getting diabetes in the first place. As disease goes, diabetes is chronic – I know chronic sounds so doomsdayish – but diabetes is controllable.

While Honey Boo Boo chugs ‘go-go juice’, sucks down garbs of spaghetti, and eats cupcakes, parents realize you and not TLC must be a positive guiding force for your children. Type 2 diabetes in children is an avoidable boo boo. Encourage children to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.

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Rewarding Yourself With Food Is No Reward and Here’s Why

A daily reminder to live life fearlessly

So,  this time you not only went on a diet. You changed your relationship with food altogether. It wasn’t easy but this time you did it for all the right reasons. You did it for you. You did it because that piece of double fudge chocolate thunder cake doesn’t taste nearly as good as rolling out of bed in the morning filled with vigor ready to take on the world.  And you’re not an idiot. You know you have your food choice and daily exercise to thank. You’ve been diligently at it for months even though Lord knows it got hard sometime. But, it is now a part of your life. Gone is your old sedentary existence and suicidal eating habits. Until… you listen to others who tell you it’s okay to go back to your old ways once a week a month or whatever. It’s called rewarding yourself. Rewarding yourself by eating what you want is no reward and here’s why.

These last fews days I’ve been hearing various sources say it’s okay to basically sabotage yourself. The last straw for me was Paula Deen. She was on The View. As a Type II Diabetic I paid rapt attention to what she had to say. She came out last year or so as a Type II Diabetic and caught a lot of grief for failure to disclose. Anyone who watches the food network knows Paula Deen’s cooking isn’t the healthiest. I’m not sure she’s changed her cooking ways but she divulged  she had lost thirty something pounds. No mention if it was all due to eating less of the bad stuff or combined with a hefty side dish of exercise.

As the interview progressed, someone wanted to know if Paula missed the old food. To which she responded by saying she still had a buttery biscuit or two. In other words she still rewarded herself by eating the bad stuff. Don’t buy into it and I’ll tell you why. If you’re overweight to the point it has damaged your health, partaking in a certain food or foods is akin  to that alcoholic taking that one drink or that drug addict doing that one line or popping that one pain pill. It’s a dangerous chance to take for a food addict. And if you’ve really been disciplined for months, why take the chance?

For months with proper diet and exercise, I’ve never felt better. Yet I foolishly took the advice of Paula Deen and some of the others and my body punished me for it. First of all I was running on empty when I went to WalMart. I spent about two hours in there. On my way to the cash register, I made the mistake of wandering too close to the cooked food. It had been a couple of months since I’d eaten anything fried, so looking at the fried ranch chicken wings I decided why the heck not. Got a half pound which amounted to about six wings. To even things out, I got a half pound of honey glazed wings or something like that.

The ranch wings I ate right away. They were as greasy and salty and flavorful as ever. To heck with my diabetes, right? Not to mention other than parking on the far side of Walmart and walking briskly to the building and continuing to do so once inside, I had not exercised in several days. To make matters worse, I rinsed it down with a Pepsi Next and followed up with a bowl of Funyuns or whatever. A couple of hours later I ate the honey glazed chicken wings. I followed those with a heaping bowl of spinach, kale, and romaine, all nicely mixed topped with a few walnuts. See, I partially redeemed myself.

Around 1:30 a.m. the chicken and other junk food woke me from a sound sleep. The pain in my gut was excruciating. I won’t go into details but suffice it to say, I ran in and out of the bathroom all night. Trust me in the morning I didn’t roll out of bed with vigor. My day was very unproductive. The feeling of tiredness reminded me food is meant to fuel the body. To give it what it needs to get you through the day. When it fails to do that, more than likely you’ve rewarded yourself with something you never needed and could have done without.

Do you think rewarding yourself with food help or hurt when it comes to walking the straight and narrow?

The daily reminders I keep on my bulletin board to live my best.

The U in Jesus and The Second Coming by Yeats (Blend-Up)

THE U IN JESUS

Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God stuck U in the name of His Son..

And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true,

You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.

You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that’s why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

And this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

“Go into the world and tell them it’s true

That I love them all – Just like I love U.”

So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don’t they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,

He’d like them to know, But it all starts with U.

This poem was emailed to me by a friend. Thanks so much for making my day, by the way. Don’t know who authored it. Not a poet myself so I really love it when someone gets clever with a poem as is the case above.  This poem got me to thinking about the first poem that touched me deeply.  A classic by William Butler Yeats.

This poem is so deep even to this day it’s taught in psychology classes. If you are a smarty-arty in high school, chances are this bad boy has manifested itself in your existence and could be standing between you and college. I, Mary Brown, am even considering using ‘Things fall apart’ as a possible book title. All over the net and beyond you can find some reference to this poem. And yet, put it together with ‘The U in Jesus’ and you still have a beautiful mix or blend of words. Words that may make you think and feel, oh, I don’t know. However, you end up thinking and feeling.

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Steppin’ up the pace

Recently opened Whole Foods Market

June 21 will be exactly a year I walked out my patio door and kept on steppin’. I’d only been out the hospital a few days after suffering a diabetic coma. At the time, I was injecting 20 units of slow-acting insulin first thing in the morning and again between 7 and 8. Depending on my blood sugar reading, I also injected the fast-acting stuff before each meal. Anything over 121 meant injecting the appropriate amount of the fast-acting stuff to keep my blood sugar from going through the roof.

Tired of feeling like a human pin cushion, I took a friend’s advice and strapped on a pair of sneakers. Diabetes, get thee behind me. It would be just a matter of time before triumph was mine. I’d heard how diet and exercise had weaned many off the teat of insulin and oral diabetic medication. I just knew in several months time I would be counted teat-free. Today, I promise you, I can walk five miles at a brisk pace without breaking a sweat. Today, I am still suckling and my weight has barely changed.

I hear you saying, “she probably hasn’t changed her diet.” Well let me stop you right there. I cut out all sugary beverages, pork, fried foods, white bread, white potatoes, white rice, butter, and pretty much every food considered ‘bad’. My main food staples now are: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vinegar, baked fish, roasted chicken, whole grain bread and rice, and lots and lots of kale, romaine, cabbage, cucumbers, collards, etc.

I admit when I get tired of whole grain cereal for breakfast, I eat a couple of eggs and a couple slices of low-sodium turkey bacon with a slice of toast or a packet of instant grits. I hardly eat any ice-cream. Dessert  is now some type of fruit eaten alone or with cottage cheese. I’ve eaten so much non-fat yogurt, I can’t even eat it anymore. If I eat a cookie or candy bar it’s the whole grain stuff, no Snicker or Heath bars, Oreos, or even Vanilla Wafers. Okay, maybe an occasional Graham Cracker, yuck.

Because of the carb counting I sometime snack on pork rinds. Last time I ate pork rinds I got sick. Salt is my achilles heel, of which I’ve cut back considerably. One good thing. I’ve saved more money than ever since I hardly ever eat out. Most restaurant meals have a high-sodium content. After enduring the pain, I don’t understand the lack or very little gain.

Why the walking hasn’t shown any results continues to be the bane of my existence. Feeling exhilarated and  on top of the world after getting back from an hour-long walk/jog today, I asked myself why the weight JUST WON’T BUDGE. The insulin and oral medication I’m on states the side effects of use is a weight gain of 10 pounds or more. At first I just blew it off thinking long as I walked and kept the ‘bad’ stuff out my diet, the weight would come off. Well, guess what? The joke’s on me.

Last year this time nobody could’ve convinced me I would still be suckling on the teat of insulin and oral diabetic medication. I’m still taking high blood pressure pills too. Nothing has changed. It would be so easy to just give up. My son started walking around the same time I did. He has lost over 30 pounds and insist I go ‘raw’. Which basically means vegetarianism on steroids, far as I’m concerned. But after swinging by the pharmacy to pick up more drugs, I started to give it serious thought. The pharmacy is inside a large grocery store. I came out of there loaded down with veggies.

The idea of going ‘raw’ swirling in my head, I checked my emails. Scanning what to read and what to discard, right before my eyes was the answer. An article that read: ‘The Right Way to Walk Off That Belly Fat’. Divine intervention if ever there was. You best believe it became a ‘must-read’ quick fast and in a hurry. It read: Okay…two women go walking. One finishes quickly; the other takes her time. They each burn about 400 calories. So who sheds more belly fat? The answer, according to a recent study, is the person who walked  fastest. The article went on to say by incorporating three shorter walks at a fast pace with two walks at a more moderate pace per week, more belly fat would be lost.

Whew, I dodged a bullet on that one. The thought of eating ‘raw’ flew right out the window. Hopefully I get at least six hours of sleep tonight. Tomorrow I’m gonna do the darn thing. The thought of going ‘raw’ will be all the incentive I need. With a little luck and divine intervention, my next post won’t be about my knee going out.

Here’s a picture of the park where I’ll be trotting along. Wish me luck. Or, feel free to join me.

Get outta the way ducks. Mary B. is on the trails.

I Smile, by Kirk Franklin

Kirk Franklin’s, ‘I Smile’,’ popped into my head this morning as I walked the park. I love that song. So with the spring breeze blowing and the ducks calling to one another across the green lake water, I charged through the trees. My feet crunched through the gravel, shoes digging in and out, making me work that much more harder as I made my way along the trail. Who would’ve thunkit, me, walking and jogging up a sweat?

Anyone who knew the old me would tell you that lady didn’t fool out in the sun. That old girl would circle the parking lot looking for the closest parking space to the building she could find. Exercise was a dirty word.

There are times, like today, I feel old girl trying to seep back in. What with reading essays four hours in the evening, a temporary gig, researching, and writing, and all else I can squeeze in during the day, old girl wrapped herself around me like a warm embrace. But like we use to say back in the day, I thought, ‘I’m hip to your jive.’

Just like when you recognize someone that really doesn’t have your best interest at heart and doesn’t really wish you well, or want to see you prosper, well I recognized that old feeling. So, shrugged it off and climbed on out of bed. Then I walked into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and smiled.

Everyday after I’m dressed, my first order of business is popping pills. Right before breakfast I popped one for diabetes, another for high blood pressure, and a supplement to ward off the effects of neuropathy. My two biggest fans, Tigger and Zoey, hit me up for affection, so I rubbed them and hugged them. Tigger, full of energy, jumped his butt on the sofa, off the sofa then raced to the door like a gazelle. Once he’s out the way, I dragged the blinds up in the their room. Zoey sat there and basked in the sun while I prepared breakfast.

Breakfast was two scrambled egges, pineapple and cottage cheese, and something called apple chicken links I’d picked up at the Whole Foods Market that opened just the other day. I was not instructed on the box of chicken links to place them in the oven, but that’s what I did. While they cooked, I stood in front of the mirror propped against the wall and looked at myself. In sweatpants and a short-sleeve purple shirt, I turned to profile. Old girl whispered sneeringly, ‘you ain’t losing no weight, why do you persist?” I leaned in close, brown eye to brown eye, and said, “Why not?” then strutted away singing,

(I’ll be honest with you)
I almost gave up, but a power that I can’t explain,
fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I’m gonna be when this is over)
I smile, even though I hurt see I smile,
I know God is working so I smile,
Even though I’ve been here for a while (what you do?)
I smile, smile…

I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself and got on out there and did the darn thing. After about 30 minutes, the OJ I had with breakfast kicked in. The closest restroom, well the closest one opened in this particular park, was about 1/2 a mile away. My car was nearer and I thought of going back to it. Old girl did her utmost to urge me back there, knowing full well if I drove off, that would be the end of my walk. My goal was to walk/jog an hour. I’d missed two days, the hour would make up for it. I inhaled, sucked in my stomach, threw up a prayer, and kept on stepping.

I walked/jogged exactly an hour. When I finally reached the car, energized and recharged, I was looking forward to a new day. Sometime we can be our own worst enemy. Even when we try to do a body good, our self can come out and try to sabotage the effort.  I’m 52 I’m not ashamed to say. I don’t know what that’s suppose to feel like. What I don’t want it to feel like is tired and broken down. I won’t be doing any cartwheels and might even emit a grunt before sitting or standing, but even if my weight is being stubborn, I’m going to persist in walking.

Listen to Kirk Franklin’s, ‘Smile’. If that doesn’t help inspire you, I don’t know what will. I know, if that doesn’t work, get a cat. There’s nothing more therapeutic than a purring cat whose paw is pressed gently against your arm while you work. This is in real time folks. My laptop sits on a small table at the foot of my bed. It’s where I work. To be close to me, Zoey has now placed both front paws on my left arm. Her eyes are closed, humming less pronounced, and her belly is making those hunger sound noises. The humming ended. I’m looking at her and can’t help but smile.

Zoey, the fat cat

I feel like springtime

I feel like springtime. I cut off nearly all my hair a week ago. It was so damaged from perms and texturizers it resembled a dying hedge bush. It probably felt like a dying hedge too, dry and brittle to the touch. With Spring fast approaching I figured why not start anew.

Short-short natural hair I know isn’t for everyone. But I love running my palms and fingers across the curly softness and knowing that like me, my hair is also starting over. Also I love having the breeze caress my scalp when I’m out walking in the park or wherever. Last Sunday while I walked in the drizzling rain I felt my scalp actually tingling. It was like the rain was fertilizer and my hair rejoicing flowers. I usually wear a ball cap when I’m out walking to catch sweat. But on that occasion and a couple of others, I decided to set my head free.

Now the artist in me is craving a bit more flair. So, I’m seriously thinking of adding some color. I don’t like the gray tinging my edges. I also don’t like the commercial hair dyes on the store shelves. I was toying with the idea of maybe trying henna. Having only dyed my hair once in my life, I honestly don’t know where to begin. I called a friend to get her take on the henna since she had used it. Surprisingly, she suggested something called ‘Amla’. I never heard of it. I was in my car headed out to get it when I decided to proceed with caution.

Blogs, they say are supposed to offer information, suggestions, and all that good stuff. Trust me, I plan to do just that. But right now I would like to hear from those of you with first-hand knowledge of this ‘Amla’ before I go slapping it on my head. I’ve voyaged out in cyberspace and encountered a plethora of ‘Amla’ information, testimonials and all. Still, I would like to hear your opinion on the stuff.

A hardly used road I walk in my neighborhood.

In the meantime, let me leave you with this inspirational tidbit – at least I hope you find it inspiring. It’s gorgeous here where I live in North Carolina. A word of caution though. The pollen is plentiful as the trees are in full bloom. Unless your sinuses or some other ailment prevent your going out of doors, I say pay the park a visit or simply walk around your neighborhood.

If you opt out of taking a walk, do at least ten minutes of some sort of exercise. Just ten minutes is beneficial if you get your heart rate going. Try dancing, jumping jacks, running in place, or combine them all. Your heart will thank you.

And if you stress a lot like I do, remember you can’t stress and exercise at the same time.  So get moving.

I am diabetic. I have high blood pressure. I am carrying too much weight due to the sedentary lifestyle I once led. But if the Lord took me this very moment, at least I would leave this world

FEELING LIKE SPRINGTIME.

A park where I walk.