I try to be healthy. I don’t smoke, meet the exercise requirements, and I only speed excessively when I don’t see any cops. Doughnuts are resisted when possible, my teeth get brushed after each coffee, and I limit trips to Buffalo Wild Wings even though I really would rather not.
Despite my efforts, my first major health problem has recently been discovered. I am pre-diabetic.
“I’m not to blame for this,” I said, angrily after I opened the doc’s letter. “Stupid genetics.” I recalled Grandpa talking my ear off about his sugar-free diet at the age of 77 when he discovered he was diabetic and my mom “cutting back” on carbs when she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few years prior.
So while I felt sour towards mom, I scolded myself for not paying more attention to my sugar/carbs intake and began contemplating what brought this on. What did I come up with? A lot. I see plenty of evidence of why I’m threatened with becoming diabetic. Simply put, “pre diabetes” is a less abrasive way of claiming “My parents allowed me to eat way, way too much sugar as a kid.”
1.) Small-town parades. Up until when I found out about my problem (about 6 months ago), filling a bag of candy at parades each weekend wasn’t uncommon, and probably would have happened if I hadn’t forked down every single “Laffy Taffy” and “Now and Later” as it was collected off the streets.
2.) Halloween. Each Halloween the Stoneburner kids were out the latest until my chaperoning Dad saw we had requested candy at each home displaying a pumpkin somewhere on, by or near the house – decoration or real, carved or not… Let’s just say we ended up with enough candy to last a year. In my case, two nights.
3.) Trick-or-treating in the off season. This generally earned me some fairly decent baked goods. I just can’t believe the neighbors continued to answer the door every day.
4.) My mother’s baking. I made a habit out of sneaking raw cookie dough by the spoonful from Mom’s mixing bowl when she turned her back. When she finally caught me, she made it easier by letting me lick the beaters, spatulas and the mixing bowl when she was done.
5.) Attempting young entrepreneurship. My siblings and I frequently set up Saturday morning Kool-Aid stands where, out of boredom, I’d drink the majority of our product (which was carefully brewed by my older brother, who used just less than a half-pound of sugar per pitcher).
6.) Pop. Generally I don’t drink pop. However, shaking up a can, poking a pin hole in the top and letting the stream of pop pierce the roof of your mouth is a lot of fun. As for why it’s fun, it’s something I would have needed to explain when I was four.
7.) Suckers. Every time we would get gas with Mom, we’d run in and grab a handful of “Blow-Pop” suckers. I remember thinking they were there for people to help themselves. As I grew older, the price written clearly on the front of the container indicated otherwise. I technically owe the gas station guy several hundred dollars for all the suckers he watched me steal. Sucker!
While “pre” makes me feel like I should have one last hurrah and load up on sugar and carbs until I step over the edge and rightfully earn the diabetic title, I’ve instead discovered “Pre” is my last chance at preserving the dreadful title.
And so I no longer chug a very tall glass of orange juice in the morning. I try to eat a half an apple at a time, and I limit my Pop-Tarts and bowls of ice cream. I guess the whole scenario could be described in one word.
More specifically, a lot of bitter and a little sweet.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.