I Want to Tell The World

Tell The World by Dave Dobbyn, one of my favorite singers

(Of course he’s from New Zealand!)

Dear Friends,

I want to tell the world about two memoirs I loved reading…

I want to tell the world about my new favorite dessert…

and it’s not chocolate! 

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(Be grateful for my restraint – I resisted posting 10 more pictures of adorable animals!)

I want to tell the world that since I started using the free Lose It! app I’ve lost over twenty pounds! 

I’m no longer carrying the equivalent of this barbell around & that definitely agrees with me.

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When I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder at thirty-seven, I began compulsive overeating to self-medicate. I went up and down with my weight depending on whether I was depressed or manic.

Medications played a part in my weight gain as well – I tried 25+ meds and some of them played havoc with my metabolism. Repeatedly losing weight and gaining weight is a vicious pattern, but I’m trying harder than ever before to break that cycle.

I have a unique combination of reasons motivating me – some are old, but others are new. They are:

1. To feel better about myself

2. To serve as a positive role model to my children

3. To have more energy 

4. To be kinder to my knee joints. Lugging around the equivalent of a toddler every day has taken a serious toll on my right knee. I had ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction done in 1991 after ripping my ACL playing  basketball at the tender age of 16. I had a 2nd surgery in 2007 only a few months after Rilla was born to repair torn cartilage. 

5. I’d also like to show that it’s *possible* to maintain a healthy weight despite taking meds that get a bad rap for weight gain: i.e. lithium and my  MAOI. I’ve heard of people who won’t try a medication if it means weight gain, even if the med could lift bipolar depression. Of course weight gain can be a totally legit side effect (God knows I found that out with Seroquel!) but it’s not always the case. 

And I’ll admit there’s a superficial reason lurking beneath the nobler ones:

6. I want to feel great when I take my author photo next year! Perhaps I’ll emulate this saucy unicorn’s expression.

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Strike a pose 

 

The power of bibliotherapy has strengthened my resolve. Two new weight loss memoirs inspired me, and I want to share them with you, even if you’re not out to lose weight. Anyone could benefit from reading about these extraordinary women’s journeys.

These well-written books have depth; they are much more than about weight loss. The authors’ intentions are clear: they want to help others along the same agonizing road. (There are no nice, neat, saccharine happy endings either!) 

Memoir #1

The Latte Years: A Story About Losses, Gains and Life Beyond the After Photo 

by Philippa Moore

Twitter: @philippa_moore Websitephilippamoore.net

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Book Description: At twenty-four Philippa Moore is overweight, unhappily married, and still living in her hometown of Hobart, Tasmania. After a wake-up call in a department-store changing room (DYANE RELATES TO THAT! 😉 Phil suddenly realises that she is on the wrong path. With determination she starts to shed the kilos, and makes a confronting discovery: she is in charge of her own life.

Starting over again in Melbourne, she launches an award-winning health and fitness blog, Skinny Latte, and finds the courage to leave her marriage. She then sets out on an international odyssey, travelling the length and breadth of North America and throwing herself into every new experience she encounters. An intuitive friend predicts that true love is in her future but, still scarred from her failed relationship, she can scarcely bring herself to believe it. When she arrives in London, though, she finds the life she has always been looking for, coming to realise that excuses for not doing the things you dream of doing are just that: excuses.

The Latte Years is the brave story of a life restarted, of the battles still to be won once the ‘after’ photo has been taken. Told with humour, insight and a great deal of coffee, it shows that we have the power to change anything, and inspires us to live our best, most authentic life.

Read Dyane’s Amazon review here.

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Memoir #2

Fat Girl, Skinny

by Amye Archer  

Twitter:@AmyeArcher  Website: www.amyearcher.com

Amye lets loose where other authors would hold back, but not for sensationalistic reasons. Her writing rings true and her candor is compelling. I admire her for “showing us the warts” the way she does. I discovered Amye’s book through a National Association of Memoir Writers (NAMW) tweet. She’ll be speaking about writing and her memoir on June 9th for free at the NAMW Roundtable:

http://namw.org/2016/05/june-roundtable/

“Inventing the Memoir: Truth Can Be Stronger Than Fiction” 

4 PM PDT   5 PM MDT 6 PM CDT 7 PM EDT 

Amye explains, “When I first started writing my memoir, I was nervous that it wasn’t interesting enough. After all, I was only 33. What life experience could I possibly cobble together to create a memoir? Mine was a story about being unhappily married and divorced and fat, and nothing else really.  There’s no big plot twist, no tragic deaths. So when a publisher showed interest and asked me to change my story to fiction, I didn’t hesitate…What I realized was this: people stopped relating to the material as strongly as they did when it was memoir. As memoir, when I would read excerpts, I would have women and men approach me afterwards and tell me that they too have felt the heft of Fat Girl, Skinnyweight on their chest, the worm of self-loathing in their brains. As memoir, I was embracing the reader. As fiction, I was holding the reader at arms length.”

*You are never too young to write a memoir; everyone has a story buried somewhere inside.
*The strength of memoir lies in our ability to tap into the universal truth that connects us.
*Tips for writing that universal truth, finding truth in identity.
*Why memoir is different than fiction.

Book Description: After her husband leaves her for a skinnier, blonder, younger woman, Amye is forced to confront the food addiction that has been holding her back for most of her life and has left her weighing two hundred and sixty-five pounds. With the help of the gang of girls of Weight Watchers, and their fearless leader —former fatty and community college dropout—Pantsuit Pam, Amye spends the next year losing weight and learning to live in a skinny (er) woman’s body. Only being skinny is not as easy as it looks, especially when inside, she will always be a fat girl. Fat Girl, Skinny is Amye’s story, but it’s also the story of anyone who has ever been told: “You’d be pretty…if”.


Thanks for reading this lengthy post!

I appreciate your support and comments so much. Oh yes – that new favorite dessert? Slices of an organic Granny Smith green apple dipped in almond butter. Heaven. If you told me I’d fall in love with such a treat, even preferring it over my typical pint of double chocolate gelato, I would’ve scoffed at you. However, life is very mysterious. And on that note…

I wish you a great day!

lots of love, & see you next week,

Dyane

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p.s. I’ll keep posting this blurb in hopes that some of you will join us if you’re interested. I started a  Lose It! Wondrous Writers Weight Loss Group.  The intrepid blogger Bradley of Insights From A Bipolar Bear is a group member. His encouragement has helped me more than I expected it would – it’s far better than going it alone! I’ll send you an invite if you include your email in a comment, or you can sign up for free at www.loseit.com and find us under Groups. 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.

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These Boots Are Made for Walkin’…Pneumonia

 

I started getting sick late last week with what seemed like a standard cold. Both my girls had recently suffered bouts of walking pneumonia, so to rule that out, I went to see my doctor on Monday.

She’s a great, down-to-earth physician and she has the perfect doctor name: Dr. Riddle. True to her name, she solved the riddle of what ailed me...

Lo and behold, I had walking pneumonia too!

My type wasn’t nearly as bad as Marilla’s. The poor thing had high fevers and was bedridden for days. Avonlea’s was a mild case, thank goodness. I was in between – I had a cough and fatigue, but I was able to function. While I obviously wasn’t going at full speed, I was able to take the girls to school, stop by the market, and care for Lucy and the chickens.

That was a good thing because my husband came down with walking pneumonia on Monday night, and he was bedridden. He usually does a million things a day, so it was unnerving to see him that way. When I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder in 2007, I was the helpless, bedridden one, and he was the caregiver. Talk about a role reversal…

Yikes!

The silver lining out of this was that I was reminded how capable I could be even when I was under the weather. Bipolar depression no longer ruled my life. But I’m no fool (Well, some people think I am, but that’s for a different post.)

What I’m trying to say is that if I needed to reach out to others for help, I would’ve done it, but I didn’t feel it was necessary in this case.

To decimate the bug, I immediately went on azithromycin. As long as I took it easy and didn’t run any ultra marathons, I wasn’t going to get worse.  

While the girls were at school, I did a lot of this:

 

I didn’t binge my frusrations away with daily and/or nightly pints of gelato as I usually would’ve done when sick. I continued eating well even though my appetite diminished because I wanted to keep my energy up. I continued my routine of drinking lots of green tea and water each day. 

When I read Dr. Riddle’s online summary of my visit, I saw that my weight dropped down from 166 lbs in March to 149 lbs! This wouldn’t be the case without my Lose It! plan. I wrote about my new commitment in the last few posts. I’m back to wearing my Target Denizen jeans, which were hidden away in a drawer the past year, and that feels really good.

Today is the first day I’m feeling my strength come back, and I’ll be catching on responding to some of your comments, blog posts, emails etc. over the next few days. Please forgive me for dropping the ball – now you know why!

Wishing you a healthy week!

love,

Dyane

p.s. Want to be healthier and shed some extra adipose tissue? Why don’t you join our  Lose It! Wondrous Writers Weight Loss Group? Please include your email in a comment below, and I’ll send you an invite, or you can sign up for free at www.loseit.com and find us under Groups.

The groovy, inspiring blogger Bradley of Insights From A Bipolar Bear is a group member, and his constant encouragement has helped me  – it’s far better than going it alone!

These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ was featured in the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. If you haven’t seen this clip before, please note it’s on the wild side & not “appropriate” for your tater tots. 😉

Want to join our fledgling Lose It! group Wondrous Writers Weight Loss Group? You can try it and if it’s not for you, no worries. Please include your email in a comment and I’ll send you an invite, or you can sign up for free at www.loseit.com and find us under Groups. The awesome blogger Bradley of Insights From A Bipolar Bear is a group member, and his encouragement has been a joy.

 

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.