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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Two boxes - Telling Her Story of Unplanned Pregnancy

“Here, take these,” she says to me, handing me two boxes.  “I can’t do it.”

I take the two boxes out of her hands.  

She won’t give me eye contact.

“Everything is in there – my journal, the ultrasound pictures, the adoption letters, pictures,” and her voice trails off. I don’t know what to say.

“What you’re doing is really important,” she says, encouraging me to continue in my research.  What she doesn’t realize is collecting stories of unplanned pregnancy has opened my heart up in a way I never expected.  Yes, I feel pain, their pain, but I also feel their strength, even when they think they are weak.  Those who are members of the “unplanned pregnancy” club are my new heroes.  They are the strongest women I know.

“My kids don’t know they have a 14 year-old brother.  I’ve kept this quiet for so long.”

She turns back to her car and opens the door.

“Thank you,” I say, but what I really want to say is “I’m in awe you have trusted me with your heart and soul.  I will reverently look through these boxes with love and respect.  I will do my best to tell your story, to tell your son’s story.”

Once inside my home, I open the lid of the first box and see several ultrasound pictures.  Underneath that is a newborn photo of a beautiful Asian baby, with spiked black hair.  His little hands are beautiful and I can almost feel how soft his skin is.  Newborn babies smell like the blossoms of a bloomed apricot tree and my senses pick up on the sweetness of him. 

How did she do it?  She placed him for adoption that very day, most likely just after this newborn photo was taken.  I peer into the box and I see it underneath some lose papers – a photo of her holding her newborn son.  She’s wearing a hospital gown and lying in bed, holding her baby just as tight as she’s holding back her tears.  The pain in her face is unmistakable, like a scar that might never go away. Who took the photo? Perhaps her mother, a friend? They say a picture says a thousand words, for it would be impossible to write how she felt at this moment, knowing her son was soon to be placed with another.

I pick up the loose papers of her journal. She starts by writing how she used to be a good girl, but once she befriended the wrong crowd she started making choices that took her on a different path.  Her self-esteemed suffered, as did her relationship with her parents.  She started college, but moved back home within a year.  Because of her lifestyle she couldn’t keep up with work and school.  Eventually  she moved in with her boyfriend, whom she’d known since elementary school.  They were together for three years when she became pregnant. She thought he’d marry her, but instead he said, “I don’t think I really love you.”  

She writes - I’m 22 and pregnant.  To most people, this would be a very exciting time in their life.  For me it has to be one of the hardest and saddest because I’m placing my baby for adoption.

She turned back to her faith, back to her parents and back to what she knew to be true.  When she first met with the social worker, she knew adoption was the right answer for her. A feeling as true as a flame burned through her when she saw a photo of the family that would soon adopt her son. What a gift to know with such certainty that these were the right people. 

 I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to be immoral.  It started way back in 10th grade when I tried my first cigarette.  After that, one thing led to another and I ended up hanging out with the wrong crowd.  Growing up, I didn’t see my life this way and looking back, I can’t believe I let it happen.  I always wanted freedom, but I guess I allowed myself too much freedom.

She is married now and a mother of four more beautiful children.  I see her in the carpool line at school.  Her family is exceptional, her children are darling and she smiles as she takes them into her arms.  She is an athlete who works each day to be strong.  I used to think strength came easy to her, but now I see how she’s had to work for it.  She doesn’t know me very well, but she trusts me with this experience. She has given me two boxes full of memories of the child she had 14 years ago. He is being raised by beautiful people, his hair is still spiked and he smiles just like his mom.

WHAT HAS YOUR SISTER DONE - Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy is in its final stages of edits.  If you have a story, there is still time to submit it by March 31, 2017.  If you'd like me to help you write your story, please message me on facebook at My Dear Trash or email me at  It takes about an hour and I can interview you over the phone or in person. If your unfamiliar as to why my blog is called My Dear Trash, please read here.  I will spend a lifetime searching for, collecting, listening to and validating these incredible experiences of unplanned pregnancy.
To read about my personal experience with overcoming sexual abuse and how a pregnancy scare changed my life, my memoir Starving Girl is available on Amazon.  Click here to read more.  

To watch my podcast of Starving Girl on youtube, click here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Favorite Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Jen Reviews ( is a blog from New Zealand and author Jess Miller reached out to me after reading my blog posts about #intermittentfasting and how I wrote my book Starving Girl– My 30-day Experience with the Miracle of Intermittent Fasting and Prayer.
The research is incredible and Jen Reviews lists 15 health benefits. If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting, the article is a wonderful resource. To read more, click here.
Although I started practicing daily fasts for spiritual and personal reasons; specifically to overcome the harsh reality of sexual abuse I suffered as a teenager and young adult, to understanding the medical benefits makes me so thankful I've had the opportunity to practice intermittent fasting. 

Practicing yoga in the morning.

Of course weight loss, improved tolerance of glucose, longevity and others are great, but the number 10 on her list discusses the spiritual benefits of intermittent fasting. It says fasting improves spiritual well-being.
"Fasting is practiced by almost every religion around the world – it’s no surprise, then, that a lifestyle that includes intermittent fasting could lead to a deepened sense of spirituality. Regular practitioners have reported feeling at peace during their fasts, and studies have proven that fasting can help regulate mood by reducing levels of anxiety and stress. In fact, fasting is recommended as a natural treatment for a variety of emotional and sexual problems.
Whether or not you fast for religious reasons, intermittent fasting will help you feel more connected to nature and the world around you, and you’ll benefit from having a clear mind and a positive outlook." Jen Reviews

I know this is true. This is exactly what I experience. Nature became alive to me and I started connecting with smells, time, sunsets, wind, trees and more. I was so present.  You can listen more about this in my recent podcast here.  

I don't know how it works, but fasting is an untapped power that is truly a blessing and a resource given to us by God.

I did not start 16-hour daily fasting without what I call my food crutches.  I wrote about how I started here
Intermittent fasting with prayer is a daily commitment with God.  During my first 30-day fast, I prayed for people who I loved, I prayed for our country, I prayed for my enemies, I prayed for the walls of my home, I prayed for neighbors, my kid’s school teachers, even strangers who were suffering with health or emotional issues that I was connected to through social media.  After my 30-day fast, I had to get creative.  Who should I pray for?  I fasted for authors I love, humanitarians, public figures and more.  I fasted for the little girls I love so much from India, for girls in China and North Korea and other parts of the world where woman are oppressed.  My mind came alive with all the blessings I experience and how if I ask God, He would let me play some part in helping others in the world.  I prayed for the poor and hungry.  I would cry as I felt them all around me.  I prayed for different parts of the world and the land.  I prayed over current events, police officers, members of Black Lives Matters, I prayed for girls and women considering abortion that their minds would be open to how amazing their unborn child was.  I prayed for researchers’ of cancer, for doctors, judges, journalists and more.  Seeking out who to pray for each day made me so aware of others.  God loves us, this I know.  God is real.  During my last day of my 30-day fast, I had an experience that still leaves me in tears.  I felt impressed to write about my fasting, so from day one I kept a journal which is now my memoir.  Going back and reading it is still very emotional for me. 
I am a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  In my religion, the members of my church are asked to fast one day a month, skipping two meals.  I do not think you need to practice a 30-day fast to have a testimony of fasting.  I know God speaks to each one of our hearts and we know what we need to do to improve our relationship with Him.  My goal in sharing my experience is not to promote a dieting technique or even start a trend of intermittent fasting, it's to share how I have healed and developed a more meaningful relationship with God.  I know more then I ever have, that I am a child of God.

After my 30-day fast, I felt impressed to give money to the poor.  This is something encouraged in my church.  It's called a fast offering.  The amount that came to my mind was $1000.  My baby was seven months old and Derek and I had yet to pay off the hospital bill for his birth.  My husband is so supportive, he encouraged me to write the check to Rising Star, an outreach to children in India.  This was not easy for me, but giving money to the poor was essential to my fasting experience.  After losing 30 pounds, I’m so happy to give money to the hungry instead of to a diet company.  I’m so thankful God gave us the law of fasting.  

Starving Girl book trailer:

To see it on youtube, click here.
Staving Girl is available on Amazon or Kindle.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How Many Shoes Does A Girl Need?

Have you ever accidentally donated something to the thrift store only to realize you’d made a mistake?

That happened to me in a big way, or at least I thought. 

Several months ago I was cleaning out my closet.  Preparing to sell our home, we had new carpet put into the bedrooms and everything was being shuffled around.  

Typical night in our home.

Piles and piles of clothes, toys and other miscellaneous “how did I acquire so much junk” items ended up going to Goodwill.  It felt great decluttering, a task I could have never accomplished without the amazing skills of my determined husband. 

Through this process, we would fill the truck with “I’m never going to buy that again” items and off my oldest son would go to Goodwill.  He got pretty good at that, picking up giant black trash bags filled with “way too much stuff” and dropping them off at the donation center. 

But wait!  Where were my shoes?

When I cleaned out my closet, I put almost every pair of shoes I owned in a giant black trash bag, the same bags we’d been using for “get that junk out of here” donations.  I got busy again and that night, looking for my flip-flops my heart filled with dread.  Where was my bag of shoes?  I asked my son Chandler and he insisted he hadn’t seen any shoes when making his daily “Holy heck, Mom has a shopping addiction” drop off to Goodwill.  I had hope.  I had faith, but after looking high and low that bag of at least 20 pairs of shoes – running shoes, boots, high heels, sandals, slippers, flip-flops – many of which were still new, was gone. 

Sometimes, an unexpected life-lesson comes when all your shoes are lost.  Not quite a depression, but I did some deep soul-searching over this.  Why had I acquired so many shoes?  Did I really need that many?  Could I be happy knowing they at least would help someone else in need?  I’ll admit, I thought of going to the thrift store to see if I could find any of my shoes on their shelves, but I had to let it go.  I wasn’t going to grovel.

Somehow, in the dark corners of the home, almost like the ghost of shoes past, I did find an old pair of TOMS, my pink running shoes, a pair of black books and a pair of sandals that had never fit me quite right, but they would do.  I could get by on four pair of shoes, right?  I mean if a man can go to the moon, I could do this.  To make matters direr, I’d made a promise to myself and my all-supportive, loving, decluttering husband that I wouldn’t bring anything else into the home until we moved.  

Funny, looking in every picture I’ve posted on social media in the last three months, and you’ll see me in one of those pair of shoes.  

Those black boots weren’t meant for many of the outfits they were worn with, but if the shoe fits . . . I’m not sure if this analogy really fits here, but you know what I mean.  

Eden said to me just last week, “Mom, are those shoes old.” Yes, TOMS do not hold up that well if you wear them every day, but desperate times call for desperate matters.

Well, we decided not to move (you can read about that here), but we still had one more clean out to do.  It’s like our “I need serious help” junk was breeding.  Our garage was still full of “I just might need that later” stuff and we started one more decluttering project.  Honestly, I couldn’t face it.  I was so burned out on going through trash, I gave Derek the green light to just get rid of whatever.  My defeat was a victory to finally parking a car in our garage when later that night, I noticed a big black bag in my closet.  Yes, my friends.  This story has a happy ending.  In his greatest moment of chivalry, my husband like a knight in shining armor found my shoes and like a kiss on a sleeping princess, he slipped those shoes in my closet in the stillness of the night.  Has there ever been a more romantic scene written? 

It’s been three days since all my shoes were returned and I haven’t even opened the bag.  I’m wearing my holy pair of TOMS.  I call them holy because they have holes.  I did learn a valuable lesson.  I don’t need that many pair of shoes, black boots can look pretty good while wearing a silk dress (please tell me you're picking up on my sarcasm)
and uncomfortable sandals eventually mold to your feet.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Asked My Brother To Help Me – My Podcast on Intermittent Fasting and Prayer

Have you ever wanted to do something, but weren’t sure how to make it happen?  This is what I love about coming from a big family.  I have four brothers and four sisters and enjoy the relationships I share with my siblings tremendously.  When I was growing up, I always had a friend.  I was the second oldest, so many Friday and Saturday nights when I was home I was in the company of two and four year-olds, but that didn’t matter.  I love my siblings, big and small, young or old, boy or girl. 

When I wrote Starving Girl, I had lots of emotional support from my family and my brother Tadd became very interested in what I was doing.  He noticed a change in me.  In his own words, “There was a change in your posture and there seemed to be a light in your eyes.  Something in you was different and I wanted to know what it was.”  It’s easy to see why I love my brother.  He's always been a dear person.

Here he is with his little baby.

And another baby.

And lots of his babies.

He's a great uncle.

Plus, I love his wild side.

But, this is how I'll always remember him.

When it came time to make my podcast, I knew he was the one to help me make it happen.  He has a master’s degree and loves to read and learn.  He had many questions about fasting, overcoming, writing and more.  Last week, Tadd and I spent some time together and we made a podcast. 

I walk 4-5 miles a day and love listening to books on tape, lectures, spiritual leaders, interviews, TED talks, inspirational discussions and more.  If it wasn’t for those who’ve shared deep experiences of there life, I don’t think I’d be an avid walker.  I need to hear your stories, your books, your ideas and be inspired (I wrote about that here).  In my podcast, I hope to return the favor.  Those of you who like listening to interviews while walking, driving or working around the house, this is for you.  Tadd asked great questions and we had a very meaningful discussion.

I discuss intermittent fasting, intention, prayer, how sexual abuse destroyed my self-esteem and how I over came this, food addiction, unplanned pregnancy, how I felt God spoke to me while I was fasting, why writing/journaling has been important and more.  I hope there’s something of value for those out there who take the time to listen.

My next project with my memoir Starving Girl will be putting it on audiobook.  

I know I rarely have time to read.  Unless it’s book on tape, I don’t have time to get around to it.  In the meantime, here’s the first podcast on Starving Girl and I appreciate my brother taking the time to create this with me.  He’s the best. 

So, here it is.  I hope you enjoy it and if you have other questions please message me off facebook at My Dear Trash and Tadd and I can work on another podcast.  There are so many fascinating aspects of intermittent fasting and prayer and I don't think we covered nearly every beautiful thing I was able to experience.  

Click here to watch it on youtube.

Friday, March 10, 2017

My Accidental Giant Wedding Photo

I never know what to get Derek for Christmas.  In years past, I’ve gifted him cologne, clothes, gift certificates and chocolate.  We’re way too practical for me to surprise him with a trip or large purchase.  Anyway, I’m the worst at surprises and spill the beans the moment I get an idea.

This last Christmas, we were preparing to put our home up for sale.  With all our kids turning into giants, we'd outgrown it.  

We’d spent weeks and months decluttering, repainting, re-carpeting, rearranging, re-plastering the pool and cleaning up the back patio.  

The kitchen cabinets were removed, sanded, primed and painted, the laundry room re-tiled and we were waiting on putting everything back together again.  We’d found our dream home and once we finished up with a bit more staging, our current home would be up on the market.

What should I do at Christmas time when the goal was to get as much out of the house as possible?  Every room needed to look clean and spacious.  I had stopped my furniture restoration business and no longer spent time digging through trash at thrift stores.  Everything was gone and all that was left standing were the essentials.  In the past, I’d gone all out at Christmas time, but I needed to minimize purchases and get just a few good things.  No clutter, no broken throw-away toys and no waste.

I’d recently purchased a laptop and told Derek this was a great Christmas present for me.  I didn’t need anything, but what about him?  We were trying to save money, but I had to get something to show how much I loved him.  That’s when I had an idea.  Our wedding photo had been misplaced nearly two years earlier when I’d done some redecorating in our living room.  When I found it later, it had water damage. That’s when I had an idea: I’d order a beautiful new wedding photo for Christmas.  I went on the Costco website and decided to make our wedding photo a canvas.  What size?  I wasn’t sure and I had no idea where my tape measure was, so decided on 24x32.  That sounded about right.  A few weeks later, I received a call it was ready to be picked up.  I asked my friend Jann if she’d pick it up next time she was at Costco and I would hide it in the garage until Christmas morning. 

A few days, Jann comes walking up my front path with this giant box.  She’s a small woman, just 5 ft tall and she was barely able to carry this thing. “Here’s your wedding photo,” she said with a huge grin on her face.  What size did I order?  This thing was huge!  I carried it into the garage and opened it up.  Did I really order a larger than life giant wedding picture?  It was big and bold, that’s for sure.  Um, a bit unorthodox for a wedding photo, but there it was, bought and paid for.  It would have to do.

Christmas morning, Derek peered into the giant box.  This was the big moment.  Would he like it?  He pulled out the wedding photo and he and the kids oooohhhed and aaaawwwed over it.  Really?  I thought it was a bit tacky.  Most people’s wedding photo wasn’t the size of a living room television, but there it was.  Because they loved it, I decided to take on the same attitude.  It would be great. 

Because of an unsuspected leak behind our refrigerator, our kitchen floor flooded three days before our home was going up on the market.  Until we gutted and replaced our kitchen floor and cabinets, we would not be placing our home for sale.  The news was upsetting at first, but as the weeks went on, we made the best of if and even decided with a new kitchen, our home would be better than ever.  It felt right to stay in our current home and not move.  After months and months of being unsettled, we settled right back into where we’d always been - our home. 

Our bedroom had been recently painted and not a thing was on the wall.  Now that I knew we were staying, I decided to hang that giant wedding photo.  

It dwarfed in size up on that clean freshly painted wall. I guess I ordered the right size after all.

 Now, every morning I wake up to my giant face staring back at me.  I’ve caught my kids staring at it and Eden wants to talk continuously about my wedding day.  I’ve even caught Derek staring at it more than once.  It sure makes me think a lot about my wedding day, how I feel about Derek and how blessed I am.  Funny, a giant wedding photo was not what I meant to order, but it’s worked out to be a nice addition to our home.   

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

After A Year, I Stopped Intermittent Fasting Only To Start Right Back Up Again

My experience with intermittent fasting and prayer has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life.  I started fasting January 3, 2016 and finished January 3, 2017.  During this time, I did daily 16-hour fasts.  My life needed to change and I didn’t know how out of alignment I was until I had long periods of time without food.  I started to see how food controlled me, my mood, my body, my perspective and more.  Ultimately, fasting helped me with several very important components of my life and I don’t think I could have changed any other way.

First, fasting kept me present because when I was hungry, I didn’t live in the past or future, but in the now.  Living in the moment opened up windows of time and I no longer lived in a state of rush. 

Second, I learned to be more grateful.  Being hungry forced me to consider the millions upon millions of people in the world who live with hunger every day.  I thought of them and prayed for them.  I had the idea to donate money to the hungry and this experience was very humbling.  When I did eat, I thanked God for my food. 

Third, fasting helped stop the negative voices in my mind.  When I was fasting, my physical body became weak.  Somehow, this process calmed my irrational, self-degrading, negative mind.  Fasting was almost like a state of meditation.  My mind hushed and that part of me that loves myself, I call it my soul or spirit, that part of me could rise.  Let me tell you, my spirit LOVES me.  With the love of God (because that’s were I believe my spirit comes from), I was fed love, positive self-talk, beauty, encouragement and more.  My best self finally had a chance to shine and my dreams were in reach.

Forth, I lost weight, 30 pounds to be exact and I kept it off.  Although this was wonderful, of all that I experienced, weight-loss was not the most meaningful.  It was necessary and I’m so thankful I did lose weight, but the other components of intermittent fasting were more essential.

I want to be a good example for my daughter.

I've always got that baby in my arms.

I haven’t written about stopping fasting because my experience has been so very personal and at times, wonderfully strange.  Now, with a bit of perspective, I wanted to write how I felt once I stopped fasting.  I was ready to be done.  The last month of December was difficult.  Every day I wasn’t sure how I was going to continue fasting.  Food had a very strong pull on me.  Many days during the last month, I watched the clock ticking and had my meal ready on the exact minute I could finally eat.  I could feel food become more and more important to me.  Even when I wasn’t hungry, I was thinking about what I wanted to eat.  On January 4th, my first day back in the real world, I was nervous.  Where were my boundaries?  Could I step back into full-day eating and be alright?  Would I gain back the weight I lost?  That day, I was all over the place – thrilled to have such freedom, but unsure if I could trust myself.  I ate very healthy and at the end of the day, was happy to have the freedom.  Second day, much of the same, except one thing – I could feel my mind leave the present, my gratitude was slipping and the negative voices in my mind were like, “Hey, we’re back.”  I tried to ignore this, but by day four, my mind was foggy.  I didn’t like it at all.  I ignored it best I could because I really wanted to be done with fasting.  I wanted food more.  I carried on, but food addiction became more and more present.  I would eat and want more.  I would be full and consider what I could eat next. 

I prayed about it and it didn’t take long before I recommitted myself back to intermittent fasting.  Intermittent fasting felt like a lifeline being thrown to me.  I’ve learned I need boundaries and with all my battles with dieting, feeling fat, food addiction and negative body image, intermittent fasting is the one tool I can’t live without.  I’m so thankful to know the medical benefits of intermittent fasting and that if I pray while fasting, God will use my sacrifice to bless someone else.  Recently, I read about the reported the rapes in Sweden, I committed my fast to pray for the women of Sweden.  This was a very powerful experience and I was emotional the entire day.  I prayed for them and I felt a love running through me that felt like a buzz. I was on a love high.  Even as I write this, I can feel that love running through me and it makes me cry. My passion is to help those who have been sexually abused and as I considered the women that were suffering, my fast became magnified.  I could almost reach out and hug them.

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool. It lifts me up out of the muck.  There is no other way I could manage my food addiction and negative self-talk without it.  Life is too short to spend another day at war with myself.  Intermittent fasting is a gift and I’m so thankful I was led by God to discover how it can help me.

To read more about my experience with intermittent fasting and prayer, click here.  

*Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.*

Thursday, March 2, 2017

How Blogging Has Helped Me as a Writer

I started blogging because I had something to say and I wanted to write about my experiences in a way that was available for others to access.  From the very start, I cared so much about those who would be reading.  I wanted to help others, become friends and share something meaningful.  Ultimately, my hope was to connect with people, so the first time I was recognized out in public, I felt that wonderful sense of the connection I’d been seeking. 

No surprise, I was at Goodwill.  I noticed a woman on the other aisle who kept looking at me.  I had three little kids with me, so I was a bit of a skeptical anyway.  When I had lots of little kids, I feel a bit like a circus performer.  “And for my next act, you will watch as I juggle all my children while they squirm and yell for Cheetos!”  I smiled and the woman quickly walked over to me.  “Do you write on My Dear Trash?” She asked.  Oh, this was so special and we hugged and talked for the while as my kids ran up and down the aisle.  As a writer, this was such a meaningful experience.  As far as I was concerned, I needed no other accolade EVER.

This type of experience started happening more often and I loved meeting strangers and becoming instant friends.  Not only strangers, but people in my neighborhood, at church, up at the kid's school all knew about my eBay business, when after four boys I became pregnant with my daughter, how I felt when I was kicked off eBay and my passion for furniture restoration. 

During this time, I was out at a bookstore and saw a friend I hadn’t seen in over 20 years.  She ran up to me and we embraced in a long hug.  Because she followed my blog, she knew all my kid's names and more.  She loved my writing and found my posts entertaining and humorous.  Oh, she thought I was just amazing.  Now, don’t think for a minute here I let any of this go to my head.  As she was gushing about this and that, my youngest son at the time, Reef, managed to pull books off the bookshelf and as I was lovingly, with affection reaching for him, he managed to slug me in the face, scream and wiggle back out of my arms.  I did my best to maintain some sort of composure, but whatever impression my friend had of me was now blemished with reality.  I wasn’t a perfect mother.  My kids acted out.  I was tired.  My roots needed touch-up and for peat sake, I couldn’t find my car keys. 

Blogging helped me learn how to write about the spilled milk

 and the spilled sprinkles.

From the start, I’ve done my best to be real, to share my up’s and down’s and to mention, “Hey, I still haven’t lost my baby weight.”  It’s been this type of self-disclosure that has inadvertently helped me in my writing.  Looking back, I know the first years of blogging were fluffy and surface experiences.  Nothing too deep, but then I was kicked off eBay.  Most of my blogging persona was about finding trash at thrift stores and selling it on eBay for profit.  Without an eBay connection, what would I write about?  Would I have something to share?  It took courage and I had to dig deep into my internal confidence reserves (which were already pretty sparse) and tell my readers I could no longer sell on eBay.  Would I lose my credibility with those who read My Dear Trash?  What happened next was incredible.  Others started reaching out to me, not only boycotting eBay, but sharing their own stories of disappointment.   It turned out writing about a struggle was just as significant as writing about fun, family and thrift-ing.

My writing eyes broadened and writing about scorpion stings and a serious love affair with Edward Cullen could be funny and entertaining.  Slowly, blog post by blog post I chinked away at my armor and allowed more of myself to speak out and be honest. 

At the end of my 30-day intermittent fast in February 2016 my mom asked “Have you shared about fasting on your blog?”  No, I could never do that, I thought.  After seven years of blog writing, I didn’t know if I could do it.  Talking about weight loss struggles, negative body image, food addiction and overcoming sexual abuse is not easy, but I fell back on my laurels.  If it might help someone, I would share it. 

I’ve been asked by others how to start a blog, if blogging is worth it and how to attract followers.  Just a few days ago, a friend asked me about blogging.  It’s a lot of work getting started and I was just about to talk her out of it, to tell her to focus on her novel writing and such when I realized through the years blogging has helped me to write deep, be vulnerable and poke at myself.  In everyday situations, my writing eye searches for the storyline, the punch line and the angle that can be used as a hook. Doing this has helped me find a meaningful purpose in writing.

So, with that said, yes, I would encourage any writer to start a blog.  It’s an instant gratification that rarely can be found in the writing industry.  I’m in control, I have lots of interaction on-line, have made amazing friends, been featured in newspaper, magazine and even on the evening news.  Most importantly, I would have never been able to write my memoir Starving Girl.  Talk about the big reveal.  I share all that I’ve been holding back for years and I do it in a way I’m very proud of.  Starving Girl is the ultimate guide to finding value in what others throw away.  It’s about finding value in yourself.  I would have never been able to write my story, the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, if I hadn’t started blogging.    

Click here to watch on youtube.