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Entries from June 2011

Star Jones

June 4th, 2011 · Comments

Star Jones is an attorney by trade and a vibrant television personality by practice. She caught the attention of Americans for her no-nonesence approach as a co-host on the View, and today she is a legal correspondent for NBC. When Star encountered some major health issues and had to undergo heart surgery, she reassessed life and got back on her feet by writing and narrating a novel.

I encountered Star at an Audiobook Authors' Tea. I was exhausted that afternoon and contemplated leaving early. But, I had always been intrigued by Star's courage and candor and decided it would be a loss not ask a question. I asked a version of my signature question--What is the most important lesson that you've learned on your journey? Although the question was personal, she answered with her usual candor, courage and honesty.

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"For the majority of my life--from the time I was twenty-years-old until I was forty-one, I was morbidly obese. At my heaviest, on the day that I had weight-loss surgery, I was 307 pounds. I was in the very unique position of having started in television at 220 pounds and then the audience watched me gain seventy-five pounds in front of their face, and then watched me lose 160 pounds over the course of two years. It was an emotional up and down. I gained a lot of problems with the seventy-five pounds and then I lost an entire human being when I lost the 160 pounds. I don't think that I fully appreciated the emotional toll it would take on me. I had to actually accept my shortcomings, accept that somebody who was supposed to be so smart, allowed her health to get so out of control that she needed to have an intervention. I finally got control of my guilt with therapy, because it actually did require someone to sort of say, 'Shut up Star. Get over it!,' Once I got control of my guilt and forgave myself, I started to live again and like life. When I got diagnosed with heart disease, which by the way is the number one killer of all Americans, I said I could curl up in a bed and put covers over my head or I could sort of laugh at the soap opera parts of my life and share them. I thought other women would find joy and sadness and laughter and all of the emotions that I felt, so I wrote Satan Sisters. It is a fun, trashy, featurey novel and if you're recovering from anything, it'll make you laugh and that's what I wanted to do."

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In wine, truth

June 4th, 2011 · Comments

The voice and story of John Patrick Gill, wine maker and Tenba Ridge Winery Owner.

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