NYT Best Selling Author Visits

by | Feb 27, 2023 | The Walking Book Club

Have you started moving and listening to The House of Eve by NYT best selling author Sadeqa Johnson?

She’ll join us for a Heart and Soul Book Chat on March 14th! Save your seat here.

Also, please consider supporting Heart and Soul Programs by grabbing a copy of The Walking Book Club e-Magazine filled with 15 pages of audiobook extras and inspiration for Healthy-Body Happy-Mind. Your support keeps our community alive and supports women and children in need. This quarter benefits BlinkNow.

he House of Eve, by Sadeqa Johnson

The House of Eve

by Sadeqa Johnson, international best-selling author, and USA Best Book Award winner.

Register for the Heart and Soul Book Chat on March 14 here!

Audiobook release date 2/7/23

Soulmate, by Sally Hepworth


by Sally Hepworth, author of seven New York Times best-sellers.

A Heart and Soul Book Chat will take place in April 2023!

US release date 4/4/23

Glow in the F*cking Dark

Glow in the F*cking Dark

by Tara Schuster

US release 2/28/23 Pre-order today and receive Tara’s super cool e-journal.

A Heart and Soul Book Chat with this best selling author will take place in May 2023.

The Perfumist of Paris, by Alka Joshi

The Perfumist of Paris

by Alka Joshi, New York Times best-selling author. A

Heart and Soul Book Chat is in the works for June 2023!

Audiobook release 3/28/23

End of the Hedonistic Chapter

Gulp, I think it’s time to phase out my hedonistic period. The scale (which, as much as I do NOT want to give it the power to set my mood, absolutely does) hit a new high today. Not a stellar achievement, but I wonder if anyone else can relate.

How did I get to this point? I’ve been giving it some thought. Here’s my hypothesis.

The past few years of stress rebounded with hedonistic culinary abandon – in other words, if it tasted good and I wanted it, I ate it. So, unfortunately, it’s caught up, and I feel yucky.

The hedonistic chapter began with six months of an experimental medication for high LPa, (genetic cholesterol which diet and exercise can’t impact – aargh). Unfortunately, the drug didn’t work and left me with ten pounds of weight gain. Turn the page, and COVID hit. Although there are good bittersweet memories of having all my adult children home and happy hours with neighbors sitting in beach chairs on opposite sides of the street, there were many times I sat on the front stoop and sobbed.

I know everyone dealt with COVID in their own way, but I’m on the worrywart, high-anxiety side of the spectrum to begin with, so the stress of a global pandemic put my cortisol level on overload.

Before the world comfortably returned to in-person, I enrolled in a PhD.D. program for mind-body medicine. Ironically my mind-body wellness took a nose dive. Hence, I stopped the experiment of graduate school.

Finally, add to the mix two oral surgeries with gum grafting. (I’d rather have another hysterectomy than another round of THAT.) When the world finally started to calm and my mouth healed, I went all-in feel good, a full-on hedonistic culinary rebound. At one point realized what was happening AND that I wasn’t ready to change.

After today’s small act of courage (stepping on the scale), I AM ready for change.

Aaargh… he’s right.

I hate to admit he’s right, but when my husband suggests I use some coaching on myself, he’s usually spot on.

Last week I shared my desire to find better balance after realizing that it was time to close my hedonistic culinary chapter. I always encourage my clients to give themselves grace, patience, and self-compassion when faced with hurdles. It’s easy to say but harder to do. I am upset with myself, but guilt and shame don’t help (thank you Brene Brown).

So I’ll take a deep breath and begin my self-coaching effort. (Click here to get an email from me with a Self Coaching Worksheet.)

When I coach clients, I like to use the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. First, we dump out the pieces and then flip them over to get started. Here’s what I realized as I began to flip my own pieces over – maybe you can relate to some of it too.

Medical and genetic are real factors that impact overall wellness. For example, as much as I want to stick my head in the sand, I have this pesky genetic sticky cholesterol that is a risk factor for heart disease. (It makes me mad just to write that cause I don’t want it!) It also means moderating every other factor is critical. So when I coach clients, we include medical and genetic factors in overall health and happiness goal.

When I pull back for a broad-lens look at the big picture of the last three years, I can understand what got me here. Punishment for the “how” is not going to help. I never encourage my clients to punish themselves. In fact, I encourage them to talk to themselves as if they were talking to a good friend. (Easier said than done.) How do you talk to yourself?

I was not ready for change. Now I am. When I work with clients, I listen to where they are in the stages of change. In the coaching world, it’s known as the transtheoretical model of behavior change. The stages start with pre-contemplation (not ready), contemplation (getting ready), preparation (ready), action, maintenance, and finally, termination when individuals are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habits. Honestly, I think it was only in hindsight that I realized I was in a free-for-all, feel-good stage that probably wouldn’t have even counted as pre-contemplation. Eventually, contemplation hit when my jeans got super tight, but I still wasn’t ready. 

Closing the Hedonistic Culinary Chapter

Everyone is different from the cellular level up. We are different in our experiences and needs.

I also value the shift to body positivity. (Cue the Lizzo ballad – love her!) But I also know I’m uncomfortable and not at my happy-healthy weight. So now what? Here are my self-coaching insights. Maybe you can relate?

Motivation: I want to get grounded in my internal motivation. Feeling healthy helps me thrive. (When I hear clients say “need or “should” instead of “want,” I throw a symbolic red flag. Is the goal imposed by others or driven by you?). I want to thrive.

Curiosity: I looked at what has worked for me in the past, proven strategies, and tools that can help. For me, journaling food for mindfulness and commitment to daily exercise are essential. When I work with clients, I respect that everyone is different and their answers and motivation are unique. (That’s one of the many reasons I love my job – the curiosity of finding what works for each person).

Plan: It’s not enough to want change. I have to prepare for real-world hurdles. (Does loving food and wine count as a hurdle?) Living in Charleston is a bit of a challenge – the restaurants are outrageously good! I remind clients that eating out tends to result in higher calorie intake – sigh – so maybe it’s time to cut back. And when we do go out, employ the tools to help. One that jumps out is eating bread that’s not absolutely delicious (because freshly baked sourdough or baguettes are a must in my world.)

I want to be accountable, and sharing this with you helps, so thank you for taking the time to read my notes. I also hope that if any of this resonates with you, you realize you’re not alone.

We all deserve to thrive.



Are you in the Charleston area?

Join us on September 28 at Colonial Lake for a picnic in the park and the first-ever in-person gathering of The Walking Book Club®.  

I would really love to meet you in person!

PS: Please consider supporting Heart and Soul Programs by subscribing to The Walking Book Club e-Magazine or buying a single copy. Your purchase counts as your donation to the quarter’s charity and helps keep The Walking Book Club alive. Plus, it includes 15 pages of audiobook extras for group selections and tons of inspiration for Healthy-Body Happy-Mind.

Hi! I’m Julie

I help women live their happiest and healthiest lives. Learn More >

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