May in Texas is a time for celebrating the literary contributions of those who have changed the world with their pen. From O. Henry to Katherine Anne Porter, we love our writers, and this month we’re taking the opportunity to shine some light on today’s writers who call Texas home
Are you a native Texan?
I am a proud Texan and third generation Houstonian who moved to Austin, Texas 10 years ago. I enjoy warm weather and the outdoors and I can count on Texas to treat me right!
Has living in Texas shaped your writing? If so, how?
Five Texas cities rank in the top 25 fattest U.S. cities for 2017. My passion and purpose surrounding the obesity epidemic and the implications it has for Texas and our country fuels my writing and my hope to inspire people to value their health and prioritize self-care. It’s not only better for the individual—it’s for the greater good.
What inspired you to pursue writing as a career?
I want people to value their health. Outside of genetics and dumb bad luck, most of us can have it with better lifestyle choices. The childhood obesity epidemic tugs at my heart and I want to contribute to the solution by sharing helpful information with parents in a compelling and practical way. There is so much food industry marketing power and confusion out there and policies are not going to save us. It is up to each one of us to decide we want to change—and that is true for anything in life. Eating less processed foods and more plant based foods and in the right portions is a good place to start.
Tell us a bit about your latest book. Where did you get the idea for it?
Health Inspires: Your Way to Sustainable Weight Loss is a second edition and is available be on Amazon by the end of May 2017. With 70 percent of American adults overweight or obese, we have a national health crisis that affects our families, military, workplace, and physical, mental and emotional health and all the costs associated with those. I wrote my book to contribute to the solution. It is based on clinical evidence and explains how our belief systems influence our lives and how to reframe your story regarding weight loss and wellbeing. Using the science of positive psychology, I help individuals create a clear vision for their personalized approach to sustainable weight loss and for the life they have imagined. I debunk dieting myths, clarify nutrition advice and differentiate between clinical evidence and food industry marketing. Most people know that an apple is a better choice than a cookie. I could tell you weight loss “is complicated” or “is simple” and both comments are correct, depending on how you look at it, which ad you want to believe and what story you are telling yourself. My book gets people on a sustainable path.
Which books or authors have inspired you the most?
I enjoyed the polite truth telling in Michael Pollen’s In Defense of Food and Marion Nestle’s What to Eat. Both are well researched, fact based and have a professional delivery. For inspiration, I am a big fan of Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and that started when I read his book Real Magic over a decade ago. May he R.I.P.
What are you reading at the moment?
I read health studies every day and I just finished The Lovely Bones recommended to me by my 16-year-old son Luke, who is an avid reader, and I am beginning Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic to stay in my positive and inspired state.
Where are some of your favorite writing spots around Texas? How do these places help you create?
I hunker down in my home office in the dark hours of early morning. It is quiet and peaceful and it is my “woman cave.” I don’t have the cool escape cabin in the country, but I have a cozy office where my kids gather quite often and hang out with me. I love that. This is also why those early morning hours are treasured for peace and quiet!
What do you find most difficult about your writing process? Why?
My curse is second guessing myself and editing for softer words when it might be better to just say it like it is. It’s difficult because it takes time and energy and I have limited time to write with other full time work and a family. One example of this is my belief that society treads too lightly on the personal responsibility for self-care and health as not to offend anyone and to show “compassion” which blurs into enabling. Wow—there—I said it! I am not talking about socioeconomic health disparities and mental health—I understand those issues. I am talking about the fortunate majority of us who have the means for daily choices in diet and exercise and make poor choices. We all need to help each other and create a culture of health.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors looking to give writing a shot, but don’t know what to do?
Just start writing! Keep a list of every inspiring thought you have and dedicate a consistent time to write. Your creative process will keep you happy, inspired and writing more and more. You can make it happen.