The Saratoga Sun -

Violating Squaker's Rights


The Tuesday before last was Valentine’s Day. As is the tradition, a group of gregarious women from the Valley Service Organization visited businesses around town singing off-key tunes (hence the name “Sweetheart Squawkers”) until they are paid to leave. Normally I am receptive and amused by this gaggle of women’s antics. I am a known contributor to this valuable organization’s efforts at fundraising for good causes.

But they showed up right at 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. This is really not a good time for me as that is our deadline to get the paper to the press in Cheyenne … and I was already late.

So as I furiously tried to get our paper in the correct format to send (which takes concentration—I have screwed this up before) … in they walked.

Without even really looking up from my desk, I unceremoniously shooed the ladies off.

If you happen to know this particular group of ladies, you are probably keenly aware I am extremely lucky to not have been lynched on the spot for Violating Squawker’s Rights (a hanging offense in Wyoming).

The ladies seemed not to be too upset and promised to return for my comeuppance.

I agreed and told them “about a half hour would be good.”

So I got the paper out.

… and waited.

I got my $5 ready to send them to an undisclosed location—there to amusedly annoy my selected victim.

… and I waited.

Eventually I decided they must have been scared off by my overt editorialocity and the fact that since I have lost about 50 pounds I cut a fine figger of a man (yes, figger. I wanted you to say it that way in your head—please do not confuse it with another word).

Eventually I was amused enough with the phrase “Squawkers Rights” that I began to write this column.

I never did see the Sweetheart Squawkers again, which is too bad because it would have made a pretty good photo in the Sun.

That’s enough of that.

Let’s change the subject.

Weight a second …

You may have noticed I said I have lost about 50 pounds.

Everyone who has known me for a while asks, “How did you do it?”

It’s not funny (sorry), but I’ll tell you.

I went to the doctor for a checkup in May of last year and among the things he told me when he came back (from wherever it is that doctors go when you are waiting on test results) that my A1C was really high.

In case you don’t know, A1C is a test that measures glucose levels in your blood. As such, these numbers are a telltale for diabetes.

The doctor gave me some glucophage to manage my blood sugar levels.

I was supposed to take it twice a day … and I did for a while.

The doctor also recommended I get a glucose meter and check my blood sugar regularly.

To do this check, you have to prick your finger, take a small amount of blood (not even really a drop), put it on a test strip that is jammed into a cell-phone size machine that then displays your blood sugar levels.

I did that for a while too.

It was a pain in my … well … fingers.

The solution I came up with was to just cut the sugars completely out of my diet.

I got rid of about two cases of pop.

I cut bread, pasta, pizza and anything bread related out of my diet.

I started losing weight … and I wasn’t even exercising!

I ate more vegetables and meat in an Atkins-esque way.

I found out that quite a bit of fruit and fruit juice has way too much sugar.

Did you know they give oranges to diabetics whose blood sugar is too low?

They also give them candy bars, so that should tell you something.

I ate about an apple a day and I ate tomatoes. These are about the limit of fruits that don’t overload you with sugars (I hear pomegranates are good too though).

I lost more weight.

I started taking the glucophage once a day. As I lost more, I began taking it once every other day.

I added cinnamon and GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor) chromium to my dietary supplements. Both of these are supposed to aid in regulating sugars.

Some of the other things I did were limiting portions and exchanging foods.

For example, I used to think four egg rolls were an adequate lunch. Now I only eat two and am still pretty satisfied.

I also replaced all that pop with water and unsweetened tea. If I want something sweet I find myself adding sugar-free flavor packets to my water. I have found some I really like.

The other question

The second question(s) right after “how did you do it?” is “Do you feel better? Do you have more energy?”

For the most part I feel the same. I can, however, tie my shoes now without my gut coming up into my chest—so that’s a win.

I also got to use the phrase “fine figger of a man” (even if I really only about half believe it) earlier which I found funny.

Was it Hard?

The answer to this query is yes … and no.

It suddenly becomes much easier to watch what you eat when your health is involved—but that doesn’t make it any less challenging to turn down fresh cinnamon-buttered rolls with your nice steak. Also, sugars are in everything which has turned me into one of those guys who reads labels.

I hope have helped you think about making some simple lifestyle choices that will keep you in better shape —If you need to … If not, at least I got to squawk about it.


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