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19 July 2010


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Number 4!


Honestly, I think the thing that made your perspective uniquely useful is you!

You'd need to be consistent in your "braiding" of the styles and topics, but having them braided together so that the recipes, discoveries, memoirs, and spirituality are all included would be invaluable (and include your husband's post too!). I think the chronology of it would help with the braiding.

Writers nearly never know what of their work touches others or why - so it's always a bit of a shot in the dark. But your work in print is useful on all the levels that make it yours. You've been scrupulously honest with your readers - that's why it's alive enough to speak to us.


I like it all ... I've read them and need to re-read them. Don't cut content, though. It's all helpful, even though I am not Catholic.

Christy Porucznik

As another non-Catholic reader, I will jump in and suggest that the entire picture is what is useful, and that the rest with Catholic context removed would likely be lacking in flavor.


I think the eating-less part would not be as meaningful without the spiritual side, and the spiritual part would not be as significant without the practical aspects you used to put it to work. But the "memoir"ishness of what I've read on the blog gives an idea of where you're coming from. Maybe even a little more of that would be nice, if you don't mind revealing even more of your personal life.

So maybe a 4b - keep all the content, but sort of streamline it a little and flesh out parts of it?


I agree with Rebekka - option 4b (keep the content, just reorganize it to make it flow). Great idea!


I think I'd say #4 - - I like the posts chronologically. That's the way I tend to read them (and re-read them). And I definitely agree with the non-Catholics - - cutting out the "Catholic" parts would cause it to lose its flavor. If we didn't know how to filter out the specifically Catholic things that don't apply to us (though I venture to say I can't think of anything that wouldn't apply in some way, really), we wouldn't be reading your blog.


So here's another question, then.

Who is my audience?

Since you readers are my audience, as well as anyone who you happen to show my stuff to, I thought you could tell me. :-)

Cathie B



I agree that you should write a book and I would vote for 2 or 4. I love your blog and I am guessing that I'm not your typical reader - I am a jewish woman from the NYC area whose children go to public school. What brings me back is your fantastic writing and the "how to" of the weight loss (for example, I can't forget that you only need one egg!). Someone losing and keeping off 40 pounds is much more relevant to me than someone losing 200 pounds - if you're not 200 pounds overweight, it's easy to assume that you are too different from that woman. All the best, C


I agree with those who have suggested #4. I think chronological would be great because you went through a progression, as many of us are trying to go through a similar progression..... Also, keep the Catholic content. It gives a more rounded picture of who you are and your thoughts and 'whys' of going through it. I could be wrong, but gluttony is not exactly a 'sin' in other world religions, but in Hinduism and Islam "[It] is to be avoided.", and it is a sin in Judaism and Christianity... So, I don't think approaching it from the religious (i.e. Catholic) perspective in any way lessens the wealth to be taken from it......
There's my two cents worth.... (or penny worth ;)


I'm not sure I'm very representative of the target audience for this post, but FWIW, I went to your big chronological links post when I realized I needed to do some serious thinking about both diet and exercise (as a result of being told at 31 that I was in danger of having both pre-diabetic blood sugar levels and high cholesterol -- thank you Latino heritage) and found myself wishing that you had a more theme-based set of links.

I wanted to review what you'd done because:

a) I liked that you took a basic approach of eating real food but doing so less and getting lots more exercise, rather than getting into one of these "eat these five magic foods as much as you want" things which so many crackpot books seem to endorse when it comes to healthy eating.

b) I thought you had some very valuable insights in regards to sloth and gluttony which I thought I very much needed to read and find a way to apply to my own situation.

But I wasn't really looking for recipes or (being a guy) pictures or progress on how much weight you'd lost.

However, one of the things that I think makes your approach to this topic so genuine and appealing is that it really is about you -- and thus it has an honesty which a lot of "this can work for everyone if you follow my patented process" kind of writing doesn't.

This might involve a bit of reorganizing or rewriting, but I imagine one structure that would work well for all types of readers would be if you did a semi-chronological themed organization, where you kept the story of your progress as the overall arc, but on that structure hung "chapters" on specific topics.

I would definitely avoid stripping out the faith aspects, in that it seems to me that your religious context in this is part of what makes your approach to the topic seem holistic (if I may use the buzz-word) rather than like so much of the gimmicky stuff out there.

Finally, if several people are talking about wanting some kind of a hard copy, you might see if you could, without too much trouble, make whatever you decided to put together available through one of the self-publishing services like LuLu.com, so people can buy trade paperbacks or some such of it if they want to.


I agree that number 4 is very appealing. I would definitely not edit out the Catholic perspective or your reflections on gluttony. Likewise, I think some value would be lost if the focus was on the gluttony piece and weight loss was just an example. In one of your more recent posts you mentioned that you didn't start writing until you had nearly achieved your goal. As someone who is in the middle of changing habits, losing weight, and getting to the root of my issues, I do sometimes wonder what some of your more difficult days were like and how you handled those kind of days. I haven't re-read everything in your gluttony series, so maybe it is there and I just missed it. I also really enjoy your posts where you share examples of your daily food intake and recipes. If I had to pick two things that I discovered in your blog and have been most helpful in my own journey, they would be (1)It's okay and even good to go to bed hungry and (2)The enjoyment and sustainability of eating full fat food outweighs the benefit of eating a greater volume of lower fat substitutes and it is still possible to lose weight with that attitude.

As far as audience, I'm a 35 year old, Catholic, single, chemist who just crossed over to obese this year, started changing habits in April and have lost 20 of the 60lbs I needed to lose.


I say #4 as well. Pretty much ditto on what Marybeth and Erin said...so I won't repeat.

I'm a Catholic homeschooling mom of 7 who has been wanting (but not trying hard enough) to lose weight for the last year. Your posts, as well as your comments are helping me get moving in the right direction again.


Your audience is the thoughtful woman -- she might have kids, she might not; she has probably struggled in some way with her own relationship to her body that way she treats it; she is probably religious and probably Christian, and she might be Catholic.

The thing is, any deeply honest personal struggle follows the same format as all deeply honest personal struggles - so your audience is thoughtful women pulling the pieces together into a unified whole of a life. That is the process you have been describing.

Have you see the work Blue Zones is doing? They came to the same conclusions via their scientific investigations as you did. It's about a whole person. Yours is a first person account.


Number 4!

And I agree with someone else who mentioned that maybe an added post about how your first days were (since you didn't blog about those so much and we, your readers, are there right now - sort of).

Also, the posts you've made lately about applying what you've learned to other areas of change you'd like to create in your life are amazing. THANK YOU for being so honest about your self. I could relate in an eerie way.

In one way, I'd rather you not work on a diet book b/c it would take you away from the fresh current blogging which is so fruitful for so many of us! Just make it easier for those of us like me who are on the computer little and print to read in moments where it fits.

I am 39, a convert, a mother of three, a homeschooler, an INTJ, a Texan and not-yet obese. I really apreciate your work, Erin.


definitely #4 or 4b as has been suggested. I could see some streamlining or adding additional anecdotes. I love your applying the insights to other areas of your life.

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