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Die or Beat This

February 10, 2012

I found out today that I’m pre-diabetic. I have high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. The undesirable cholesterols, of course. I’m six feet tall and barely weigh 170 pounds – not your typical high risk patient.

But then I’ve always wanted to exist outside of the lines. Don’t box me in! has been my battle cry for years. I’ve railed against the unfairness of sociology and statistical studies which force outliers towards the middle. So it should come as no surprise that my health reflects this too.

And it isn’t a surprise. When I was a baby my parents took me to an astrologer / clairvoyant who did my chart and scrawled down a few notes on a quarter sheet of paper. At 18, about to leave home for the first time, my parents gave me that fragment of a scrap. Among other poignant truths it said: “avoid diabetes by a cut in sugar.”

I carefully folded the paper and saved it. At the time I was invincible, of course, like all teenagers. And I’d had the advantage of a vegetarian health food chef for a mom; I figured that foundation would get me most of the way through life.

I’ll be 36 this month. I’ll have doubled my age. If I want to double it again I’m going to have to make some changes. I can see my idealism coming to a screeching halt. Give me medicine. Give me drugs. What do I have to do to save my life?

It seems ironic, doesn’t it, that just as I’m making this push to stand up for my beliefs I get a stark reminder of my mortality. But there’s nothing ironic about it; I hadn’t been to a doctor in years. Mandoe’s Law: there’s a direct relationship between how much you love your life and how well you take care of your body.

Let me pause a second to have a breakdown and compose myself enough to pick up Eva from school, and I’ll get back to you.

There’s something comforting about knowing. Now I’ve gotten over the initial fear and can see that every day beyond this is an opportunity. And if I have to make some culinary sacrifices, I can do that. So no more sugar, no white flour, no pasta, juice or soda. Goodbye Panda Express. Goodbye tortilla chips.

And hello to all you gluten-free folk who’ve been on the bus for years. Now I’m going to ridicule your diet too, because I’m being forced to share it.

The other part of my prescription is exercise. Would you believe I’ve become a lazy ass? The last time I exercised regularly was soccer practice in high school. Oh, I used to bike a lot. Then I played basketball. After twisting both my ankles within a two week period, I bought some heavy duty weight-lifting braces and was able to hobble around the court, but I was hardly mobile. So it was an easy switch to disc golfing, which is a walk in the park – but hardly an aerobic workout.

I’m very lucky, all in all. I found out before my diabetes went critical. I’m not going to have to inject myself with insulin for the rest of my life – if I take care of my diet and cardiovascular system. But how I’m really lucky is that I’ve already made the mental shift. I’ve had that paper with me for 18 years; guess I knew its time was coming. I’m dedicated to my mission in this life, on this earth, at this time; and now that I’m informed, taking the steps to care for my body should be a piece of cake.

Hopefully it’ll be cheesecake, that scrumptious raw kind that takes my friend Beth a whole week to ‘bake’.


From → Journal

  1. Prana permalink

    Hey Bo,

    I like the attitude. Thanks for the email that made it easy for me to get here. And who is Daniel Chernoy who commented on your cover page? Did you know Chernoy is a family genealogy name? I’ll have to look up the exact connection.

    Love you, Prana

    • Hey P – I’m Daniel Chernoy! At first I thought it would be fun to have a pen name. But I’m coming to realize that ‘Bo Mandoe’ is just too good of a name NOT to use.

      • Prana permalink

        Aloha Bo,

        After leaving the comment, I figured it out. But I didn’t expect you to say so online! That’s pretty funny. And Bo Mandoe is a great name!

        Love, P

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