Two weeks ago, I shut the door to my childhood home for the last time. I lived in this home for eighteen years. From four years of age to twenty-two years of age. These were my formative years. People asked me if I would miss it. Some asked if it makes me sad to sell this house? My response was always a definite “No”.
I hated going home to visit my parents after I left. Now I realize why. It was that house. I have not a single happy memory of living in that house. When I walk into the bedroom I spent many years in I remember shoving furniture against the door. My brother would have fits of rage and I was the recipient. If I shut and locked my door he would take the doorknob off. I would shove furniture against the door and hide in my closet. He always managed to find his way in. Rage is a powerful motivator.
The dining room has many memories for me. The wall in the dining room is where my father pinned me against the wall and told me to take it like a man. This was the same room my father told me he was going to kill me and then chased me out the front door. The dining room was where my father threw a heavy object at me when I placed it the wrong way on the dining room table. It was also the place where I took my final beating from my father, the day I finally told him it was going to be me or him and I didn’t care which.
My bedroom was where my father sent me when he could no longer stand the sight of me. It was my refuge. The place I cried, the place I dreamed of my future life somewhere I was safe. The place my secrets were kept from the world.
When I left this house at twenty-two years of age I knew I would never live there again. No matter how bad my life got, I knew without a doubt, I would not come back to live in this house.
So, no, I won’t miss the house or what it represents for me. Shutting the door for the last time was shutting the door on my little house of horrors. The place where I was never safe and no one protected me from evils. The same place mental health issues went ignored and untreated. I am not angry or holding grudges. I am relieved I am finally free to move on and heal. Now when I go back to visit my mother I can stay in a hotel and maybe, just maybe, enjoy my stay.
This Monday I will be joining the Facebook community of Fit Men Cook https://www.facebook.com/FitMenCook?fref=ts for a five-day no sugar challenge. I am ready for the challenge and I believe I will do well. I started my anti-sugar journey by trying the Paleo diet. I did not lose any weight but found I no longer needed sugar. As a positive side effect, I also did not need my acid reflux pills. My memory improved and I no longer had uncontrollable cravings. The next step was the plan I found in Jorge Cruise’s latest book about keeping sugar at or under 100. (Link on the right of the page) Again the weight loss is not there but the benefits outweigh the lack of progress.
Sugar is a powerful, addictive drug. It gives us a rush and then drops us when the insulin kicks in. Still we keep coming back for more, because it makes us feel better. Sugar is no different from any other addictive drug. It is not an illicit drug but it’s addictive powers are equally impressive. Sugar releases the calming hormone serotonin. It’s no wonder we reach for the ice cream when stressed out. Often times addicts will have triggers which will set them right back into their addictive behavior. How many times have you attended a birthday party at work when you are on a diet. How easy was it to walk away from the cake? Or did you?
Sugar will add inches to your waist, mess with your insulin and metabolism and impair your brain function. The last one is the scariest to me. Research is showing a strong link between diabetes and dementia. Research out of the UCLA, suggests that sugar forms free radicals in the brain’s membrane and compromises nerve cells’ ability to communicate. This causes issues with memory, ideas and moods. Brain fog is not normal and it is not a part of the again process. I was amazed at how much sharper my brain was the further I got away from my sugar addiction.
We have to work really hard to cut the sugars out of our lives. There are sugary products just about anywhere you look in a grocery store. Go to get a cup of coffee and you will see a plethora of pastries yours for the taking. If you dare to read labels, you will find sugar in almost every processed food. The next time you are in a grocery store, look at a can of tomatoes or even green beans. You will be hard pressed to find one without added sugars.
I am looking forward to strengthening my resolve to say good-bye to sugar once and for all. If there are any of you out there that would care to join me I would love to hear how you week goes. More importantly I would love to hear how you feel and the effects your sugar-free week had on your mind and body.