I haven't read a book in a while. I do indulge in quite a few psychology articles and such from time to time though. But, I have a story to tell you about a book that has been so good that I find myself lost in my own consciousness while I digest the words as I read. This book has put so much into perspective and it's done something I struggled with for almost 3 years now - finding closure.
One of the people I have come in contact with in the fitness industry happens to have written a wonderful book titled "Sugar Nation". We kept in touch in regards to the happenings in the fitness industry and whatnot. In due time, I scored a signed copy of his book. I have to be honest and say that I thought it'd be a boring book filled with scientific language, mathematical equations and chemistry-like illustrations telling us why we should avoid sugar. What I got when I began reading was the complete opposite of what I expected.
And here's the story.
Both my father and my friend spoiled me to death. They both saw me as some sort of little star that brought light into their darkness. They both constantly talked up my intelligence. They both were workaholics, and ...they were both diabetic.
|One of my favorite photos|
I last saw my father at the age of 13. I had some contact with him up until my freshman year in college. A well-established and wealthy businessman, he made one last attempt at having me in his life by requesting I move back home with him. He promised to take good care of me and make sure I lived the life of the little princess I was. I will never forget when he told me that I would never even have to make my bed (as if I do even today anyways lol) or even wash any clothes...EVER. We had maids for that. I refused his offer and decided to take life by the horns, on my own. Typical Amanda. I was built for that! I knew he struggled with diabetes, but illnesses, especially hereditary ones, are not a topic up for discussion in my family. I had very little touch with him after that--a call here and there, a letter maybe, then the note from a relative on FB letting me know that he was gone.
|Last time I was with Doug, pictured|
here with our Soror Mounira.
|Burying people you love is|
That closure is something I never experienced when my father died. From what I was told he was buried very quickly after being in the hospital for some time due to complications from his diabetes. The information that followed was sketchy.
How does "Sugar Nation" tie into all of this? The author's story-telling, narrative style along with the statement of facts is something that most authors fail to do well. O'Connell has a way with words and is able to do this extremely well. He takes into account the socio-economic and racial variables that come into play when discussing the topic of diabetes with a very conscientious mind. Whenever I read a page, or even a paragraph, I was forced to put the book down and think about my own life and how I am living it. It has helped me think about my children and what I feed them. And more importantly, it has helped me become extremely vigilant about my family health history which will affect my own kids.
And here's the most important thing this book has done for me - without telling you too much and ruining a good read for - the author allowed me to experience a closure that I never experienced with my father's death.
I knew my father had complications from diabetes and I know he was in the hospital for some time. I never got to see him or say good bye. In the book, the author describes his own experiences with his father, while he was hospitalized for the very same reason. He describes his skin, his teeth, his hair, and the drop in his weight. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and absorbed every single word I had just read. It made sense. With the O'Connell's descriptive words of his visit to his father, I was able to envision my own dad, in his last moments. I put the book down and cried. I got what I needed. I got my closure.
This book has made a huge impact in my life and I have recommended it to all my clients. I am urging my Black and Latino, my communities of color, to pick up this excellent read. It might change your mind, a legacy and even a generation of eating habits that need to be changed.