Meridian Star

February 10, 2013

More reasons to avoid sugarĀ 

By Barbara Wells
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — This past week, we had several new classes to begin at Meridian Activity Center, and I found myself doing something I haven’t had to do in a long time: Give directions.

    And you know what? Men don’t like to take directions. I had only just begun to tell them to turn onto 29th Avenue and they’re saying “Okay, I’ve got it ...” and hang up. “But wait ... stay with me, there’s more,” I say. Gone.

    Not that the women were a whole lot better. They kept talking to someone else in the car over my directions, making me repeat over and over ...

    The whole experience reminded me of how difficult Meridian Activity Center is to find! How many people give up, I wonder? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easily found location such as the empty Winn-Dixie store on Highway 19? Just dreaming ... don’t worry. We’re the best scavenger hunt you can hope to win!

    I was pleased that, despite the location, our center attracted the attention of Lisa Camel and Willie Ann Thomas, who are conducting a three- week workshop on diabetes. These two young ladies are representatives of Information & Quality Healthcare or IQH, a Medicare-sponsored group visiting nine states to perform seminars on diabetes. Meridian is the only city chosen in Mississippi.

    Targeting African Americans who have a high incidence of heart disease, diabetes and other related illness and also have a literacy problem with some medical terms, Camel and Thomas use props so people can actually see what they are talking about. (It’s a Dr. Oz show, without the actual human organs under the towel.)

    When asked what they know about this disease, one person said, “Diabetes is something you learn about as you go on.”

    Lisa quipped: It is how to eat what you have in your cabinet and what you can afford at the Dollar General.

    What do you know about diabetes? There are primarily two types. The primary risk factor for Type 1 diabetes is a family history of this lifelong, chronic disease. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can't use the insulin that's produced, a condition called insulin resistance. Though it typically starts in adulthood, Type 2 diabetes can begin anytime in life. Because of the current epidemic of obesity among U.S. children, Type 2 diabetes is increasingly found in teenagers.

    Whatever your risk factors for diabetes may be, there's a lot you can do to delay or prevent it. To manage your risk of diabetes, you should: (1) Manage your blood pressure; (2) Keep your weight within or near normal range; (3) Get moderate exercise on most days; and (4) Eat a balanced diet.

    This valuable workshop is open to anyone with diabetes. Two more sessions are scheduled Feb. 12 and 19, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m., in Room 4 at Meridian Activity Center.

Coming to The Center

    Life Writing class with Steve Owens was postponed and will begin this week on Tuesday at 10:15 a.m.. There is still room in this exploratory four-week class.

    Linda Martin of Columbia will be at MAC to lead a group in "rouging" on a pen and ink drawing on Friday. This is an all day class for a fee, so please call soon to sign up. There is a drawing you will need to prepare for the class. Phone Pat Dean at (601) 774-8354.

    ZUMBA Latin dance exercise has come to the center, and is it ever a lot of fun and fast moves to get your heart rate up! Alba and Freda will be here Tuesdays, from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m., and Thursdays, from 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Our first class we even danced Gangnam style! All that laughing worked on our abs. Come join us!

    Our springtime class registration is the first two weeks of March –plenty of time to consider taking a Wednesday Floral Class or make springtime cupcakes for your afternoon teas in our Cake Decorating Class on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m..

    On March 2, Meridian Activity Center will have a walking team in support of the Make-A-Wish 3-mile Walk-a-Thon that morning. We would love for you to join us! Phone (601) 485-1812 for more information.

    Meridian Activity Center (3300 32nd Ave.) is located off 29th Avenue and 36th Street. Look for our small street signs and then, as you turn onto 32nd Avenue you will see our arched sign at the end of the street as you enter the campus. Computer five-week classes will be starting again soon, Monday night, Wednesday or Thursday mornings. Call for details, (601 485-1812.

    • Barbara Wells is director of Meridian Activity Center. You may e-mail her at