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May 06, 2007

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Meowzer

I know I'm late to this, but I just discovered your blog. I know this is a long post, and if you don't want to approve it, that's fine. But I thought you, at least, might want to know about my experiences.

I had psychotherapy for years, without meds, to treat my major depression. It worked great -- as long as the therapist was in the room with me. If I could have lived with her 24/7/365 and not have to have gone to work or dealt with the rude people in the gas station whose ugly stares alone could send me to the bathtub with razor blades, I'd have gladly stuck to it. I didn't want to take "drugs."

But eventually, of course, it became obvious I wasn't going to find my very own Eugene-Landy-without-a-scrip pad to help me post minute-to-minute boundaries. So I wound up on meds. Pamelor. Zoloft (which I was on for seven years and gained 70 pounds on). Wellbutrin (which I went on for a year, lost 15 of the pounds on, and had my depression come back with a vengeance on since it wasn't working on my serotonin). And finally, the dreaded Effexor, which they put me on while I was institutionalized and which I stayed on for five years.

On this drug I could function semi-normally, yes. But I also needed a killer amount of sleep, and I was also starting to get disturbing involuntary movements in my face and hands. I saw a chiropractic neurologist (a CN has specialized formal training in nondrug treatment of neurological disorders, in addition to chiropractic schooling), who had me take a urinary neurotransmitter test while I was still on Effexor and told me that I had "critically low" levels of dopamine and serotonin. (My dopamine levels, after 12 hours of sleep, were what most people's levels were in the middle of the night!). He prescribed a battery of directed amino acids (L-tyrosine, 5-HTP and acetyl-L-carnitine) and some vitamins/minerals to enhance the amino acid function while I withdrew, very slowly, off Effexor over a period of six months, from 150 mg to 112.5 to 75 to 37.5 to zero.

Everything went fine until I had to make the final leap -- from 37.5 mg of Effexor to zero. In preparation for total discontinuation, my CN had me bump up the 5-HTP slightly and added DL-phenylalanine, plus magnesium. About a week after total discontinuation, I got the worst brain zaps you could imagine. For about a month after that, I couldn't drive a car, I could barely work, I was completely disoriented, and spent inordinate amounts of time "sleeping off" the effects. I wondered if it would ever go away.

Eventually, though, it did. I'm still on the amino acid therapy, six months later, and I haven't had a major depressive episode yet, plus I need a lot less sleep than I used to when I was on the pharmaceuticals. And no more twitching, except when I'm very tired.

Why don't more people undertake the same treatment I do? Well, for one thing, it's more expensive -- a $35 copay of Effexor on my insurance covered me when that was all I needed, but now I need a battery of supplements that, even after I found a supplier that gave deep discounts, still costs me somewhere in the $100 a month range. (Buying all my stuff at retail costs at least twice that.) And since they are considered "vitamins," they are not tax-deductible or purchasable with a health-savings account.

There probably also aren't many practitioners who know about this kind of treatment, and those who do know about it tend to be very cynical about its efficacy. My psychiatrist actually told me flat-out that neurotransmitter testing was worthless because of the blood-brain barrier, but if that was the case, then why did the testing results so strongly match what I knew to be true about my own brain? The people who ran the tests didn't know anything about that at all; all they had was my urine.

However, I will say this: when I first began treatment for depression, this type of treatment was unknown and unavailable to me, and I'd gladly have taken drugs rather than continued to "go naked" if that choice and only that choice had been presented to me. Maybe therapy would work better than drugs for people who are mildly depressed, but until you've experienced it, you can't possibly know what it's like to be depressed the way I was. My only other alternative would have been to go on disability and spend all day, every day, crying and crying and crying, while "talk therapists" tried desperately to keep me away from sharp objects. (Forget "loved ones," who can possibly love you when you hate yourself so much? I hardly had so much as a date for the first 27 years of my life, and the few relationships I did have were absolutely nightmarish.) And I certainly understand why others would make that choice, too.

Peggy Elam, Ph.D.

Thanks for posting about your experience, Meowczer.I'm glad you found something that helped you. And you've introduced something new to me....I'd never heard of a chiropractic neurologist before! VERY interesting.

Your post reminds me that it's important to engage the body in the healing process as much as possible, even with (or along with) "talk" therapy. Yeah, I know, talk alone often won't work. I think one reason some therapeutic modalities like EMDR do work for many people is that they engage the body as well as the mind (& the emotions) in the process.

Your mention of the chiropractic neurologist also reminds me that some professionals have reported craniosacral therapy to be helpful in healing (or facilitating healing) of PTSD and other "chronic" conditions.

Jennie

Hello, I am currently going down in Effexor. My allergy medication (Zyrtec) is helping tremendously with the withdrawal symptoms. I have read elsewhere that Benedryl will also help with these symptoms. I don't know why or how, but it is helping a LOT. I hope this note helps someone else out there.

Jennie

The comments to this entry are closed.

Pearlsong Press books

  • Félix Garmendía: Flying On Invisible Wings

    Félix Garmendía: Flying On Invisible Wings
    Félix Garmendía's poems narrate his life as a gay activist in the face of illness and intolerance, from his early years in conservative Catholic Puerto Rico of the 1960s, '70s and '80s to his arrival in Manhattan, New York City in 1988, his experiences as an HIV+ survivor, and current disability due to Inclusion Body Myositis.

  • Barbara D'Souza: If We Were Snowflakes

    Barbara D'Souza: If We Were Snowflakes
    In a U.S. in which chocolate is a controlled substance and fatness is taxed, a teenage girl tries to find out who turned her father in for trafficking chocolate while she deals with the challenges of FatSchool.

  • K.C. Littleton: Violet Crown: A Dr. Hedy Villarreal Novel

    K.C. Littleton: Violet Crown: A Dr. Hedy Villarreal Novel
    A forty-something criminal psychologist with the vocabulary and nerd tattoos of a well-education sailor goes into protective custody at a black ops site deep in the Texas Hill Country, and quickly finds out her world is not as she thought it was.

  • Maria Fama: Other Nations: An Animal Journal

    Maria Fama: Other Nations: An Animal Journal
    Poems taking us into the hearts and souls of animals, who are, as naturalist Henry Beston saw them, "other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."

  • Pat Ballard: Once Upon Another Time

    Pat Ballard: Once Upon Another Time
    Candace had always thought she'd been born in the wrong century.

  • Pat Ballard: Something to Think About: Reflections on Life, Family, Body Image & Other Weighty Matters by the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

    Pat Ballard: Something to Think About: Reflections on Life, Family, Body Image & Other Weighty Matters by the Queen of Rubenesque Romances
    Pat's homespun wisdom shines in this inspirational collection of short essays, quotations and poetry.

  • Bette J. Freedson: Soul Mothers' Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother

    Bette J. Freedson: Soul Mothers' Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother
    A clinical social worker shares insights identified through years of workshops, counseling sessions, and her own self-examination as a single mother.

  • Pat Ballard: Adam & Evelyn

    Pat Ballard: Adam & Evelyn
    Evelyn hoped to start a new life in Nashville far away from her abusive ex-husband and without the help of any man on Earth. Then she met Pastor Adam Singletary.

  • Mary Saracino: Heretics: A Love Story

    Mary Saracino: Heretics: A Love Story
    In the 1480S, twin sister healers in a remote village in the mountainous Barbagia region of Sardinia encounter a heretic-obsessed Spanish priest.

  • Frannie Zellman, Ed.: Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly

    Frannie Zellman, Ed.: Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly
    The poets embrace their lives as fat women in a thin-loving culture, writing with gusto, passion and yearning about navigating different, sometimes dangerous worlds.

  • Pat Ballard: ASAP Nanny

    Pat Ballard: ASAP Nanny
    This nine-chapter novella from the Queen of Rubenesque Romances also contains the first chapters of all of Pat Ballard's previous books.

  • Leslie Moise: Judith

    Leslie Moise: Judith
    In the ancient Middle East a pious, wealthy young widow risks her life to save her town from a besieging army in this novel based on the apocryphal Book of Judith.

  • Frannie Zellman: Fatland: The Early Days

    Frannie Zellman: Fatland: The Early Days
    Vol II of The FatLand Trilogy reveals a hidden history -- & the bravery, determination & treachery of FatLand's founders.

  • Lonie McMichael: Acceptable Prejudice?: Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice

    Lonie McMichael: Acceptable Prejudice?: Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice
    Explores the explosion of fat prejudice & the experiences of fat people in American society. "Fat Acceptance 101."

  • Lynne Murray: A Ton of Trouble

    Lynne Murray: A Ton of Trouble
    In Book 4 of the Josephine Fuller mystery series Jo grapples with murder in the California wine country, a gun-toting would-be charity client & plus-size porn.

  • Judy Bagshaw: Kiss Me, Nate!

    Judy Bagshaw: Kiss Me, Nate!
    In a small Canadian town romance blossoms between a BBW schoolteacher and coach during a community theater retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

  • Bonnie Shapbell: Hiking the Pack Line: Moving From Grief To A Joyful Life

    Bonnie Shapbell: Hiking the Pack Line: Moving From Grief To A Joyful Life
    A widow's practical advice and workbook for re-creating a nourishing life after devastating loss.

  • Lynne Murray: At Large

    Lynne Murray: At Large
    The 3rd book in the Josephine Fuller mystery series finds Jo a suspect in the death of the woman who broke up her marriage.

  • Tracey L. Thompson: Fatropolis

    Tracey L. Thompson: Fatropolis
    Most of her life Jenny has felt she's not good enough, not attractive enough, because she's fat. Then one day she stumbles through a portal between a world that values thinness and one that values roundness. Sometimes falling can wake you up.

  • Louise Mathewson: A Life Interrupted: Living with Brain Injury

    Louise Mathewson: A Life Interrupted: Living with Brain Injury
    A collection of poems chronicling the author's recovery from a brain damaging car accident, with a list of journaling therapy writing prompts and other resources she found helpful in transcending trauma.

  • Lonie McMichael, Ph.D.: Talking Fat: Health vs. Persuasion in the War on Our Bodies

    Lonie McMichael, Ph.D.: Talking Fat: Health vs. Persuasion in the War on Our Bodies
    The "war on obesity" has increased profits for those perpetuating its rhetoric while increasing prejudice & decreasing health in the very people targeted for "help."

  • Michele Tamaren & Michael Wittner: ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End

    Michele Tamaren & Michael Wittner: ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End
    "In this deeply moving & inspiring account, Tamaren & Wittner share the life story of a man close to their hearts....Readers can expect tears to flow as Herman's life inspires them to be better." Publishers Weekly

  • Leslie Moïse: Love is the Thread: A Knitting Friendship

    Leslie Moïse: Love is the Thread: A Knitting Friendship
    Sustained by the metaphor of knitting, Love is the Thread traces the way one spiritual friendship can change all our relationships. The memoir centers on the friendship between a woman snared in a lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder and another woman reweaving her life after an abusive relationship.

  • Lynne Murray: The Falstaff Vampire Files

    Lynne Murray: The Falstaff Vampire Files
    Sir John Falstaff is undead & misbehaving in San Francisco. Kris Marlowe doesn't believe in vampires, but when she's attacked by a horde of murderous monsters she must seek help from the most famous rogue in history.

  • Lynne Murray: Larger Than Death

    Lynne Murray: Larger Than Death
    Meet Josephine Fuller, a sleuth of size who doesn't apologize. Full-figured & full of attitude with abundant sleuthing skills, Jo takes time off from her new job and walks into a murder case. Her best friend and early role model, a plus-sized clothing designer, lies slain in her own apartment. Was she the victim of a serial killer who targets voluptuous women, or is the murder personal? In the first of a series being brought back to print -- & ebook -- Jo copes with her friend's murder, an unexpected romance and bizarre neighbors as she races to find the killer before becoming the next victim.

  • Lauri J Owen: Blowing Embers

    Lauri J Owen: Blowing Embers
    Book 2 of The Embers Series (sequel to Fallen Embers) continues the saga of Kiera, transported to an alternate Alaska in which those who have the power to control the elements -- now including Kiera -- have ruled over those who cannot, including the shapeshifting indigenous peoples. The Fairbanks slaves struggle to maintain their newly won freedom, which is threatened by a force that will also shatter Kiera's heart.

  • Pat Ballard: Dangerous Love

    Pat Ballard: Dangerous Love
    New romantic suspense from the Queen of Rubenesque Romances! Ava Manning saw some research she wasn't supposed to, and now someone wants her dead. As if that isn't complicating her life enough, she has to deal with charming LAPD detective Ricky Don McKinzie....

  • Karen Blomain: The Season of Lost Children

    Karen Blomain: The Season of Lost Children
    In a small college town in Pennsylvania the lives of a bigamist's wife, a Polish orphan, an ex-priest and his wife -- a former nun -- and a mute teenage runaway intersect.

  • Charlie Lovett: The Fat Lady Sings

    Charlie Lovett: The Fat Lady Sings
    Young Adult fiction. Sassy, irreverent Aggie Stockdale should have gotten the lead in her high school play. But she isn't just a talented actress, writer, and athlete. She's also the fattest girl in the senior class.

  • Ellen Frankel: Syd Arthur

    Ellen Frankel: Syd Arthur
    Love, Laughter & Enlightenment! A middle-aged Jewish woman is soon in over her chakras as her spiritual search takes her from yoga studio to meditation hall to ashram gift store to the pages of Zensational catalogue. Her Mah Jongg group insists it's merely a midlife crisis. But nothing's going to stop Syd's journey toward Nirvana -- not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom's.

  • Lauri J Owen: Fallen Embers

    Lauri J Owen: Fallen Embers
    Kiera and her nephew are transported to an alternate, feudal Alaska during a strange dog's attack. The icy land is ruled by decadent mages who have enslaved the shapechanging, indigenous peoples. Kiera soon finds herself fighting -- and, to her astonishment, summoning fire. Before she can find her way home she must learn about the local systems of magic and her own powers. Kiera's path leads her deeper into Alaska, to romance, joy and heartbreak. Choosing to follow her heart may cost her everything.

  • Lynne Murray: Bride of the Living Dead

    Lynne Murray: Bride of the Living Dead
    Big, beautiful & rebellious, indie film critic Daria MacClellan is most comfortable in a monster movie poster T-shirt & blue jeans. Yet when family drama hijacks her engagement, she's trapped into a formal wedding with her perfectionist, anorexic sister, Sky, planning the whole thing. Daria adores her fiance, but her wedding seems to be spiraling into a horror film. Will the spectre of a picture perfect wedding turn her into the Bride of the Living Dead?

  • Rebecca Brock: The Giving Season

    Rebecca Brock: The Giving Season
    To have the life she's always dreamed of, Jessy must fight her insecurity and learn how to let Michael -- and his family -- love her just as she is.

  • Rebecca Fox & William Sherman: Measure By Measure

    Rebecca Fox & William Sherman: Measure By Measure
    A robust, comic romance fleshing out the truth about soap opera: It's not just for the rich and slender. Taken from the online cyber-serial, it's a Tales of the City for the fat and fabulous.

  • Kathy Barron, Anne S. Kaplan, Corinna Makris, Lesleigh J. Owen & Frannie Zellman: Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society

    Kathy Barron, Anne S. Kaplan, Corinna Makris, Lesleigh J. Owen & Frannie Zellman: Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society
    Smart, sassy, sensual and soulful -- five fat women share the poetry and process of fat embodiment. The Fat Poets' Society was born during a poetry workshop at the 2006 annual NAAFA convention. The poets are donating their royalties to NAAFA.

  • Frannie Zellman: FatLand

    Frannie Zellman: FatLand
    In the near future the Pro-Health Laws of the United States of America have become so oppressive that people seeking freedom over their bodies have established a new country. In FatLand, life is good and scales are forbidden. Free from the hatred and discrimination of the Other Side, FatLanders have built happy, productive lives. But not everyone is flourishing.

  • Pat Ballard: 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are)

    Pat Ballard: 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are)
    The Queen of Rubenesque Romances shares the steps she created -- and used -- to heal the damage of years of dieting. Join her in celebrating size diversity, self esteem, positive body image, and health at every size.

  • Charlie Lovett: The Program

    Charlie Lovett: The Program
    A new weight loss clinic in New York City has an offer for you -- given them $5,000 and they'll make you as thin as a supermodel. You can eat whatever you want and never gain an ounce. Tempted? Fledgling journalist Karen Sumner would be -- if only she had $5,000. When Karen finally walks through the blue and gold doors of The Program, however, she's on the trail of the hottest story of her career. If she and her friends are right, The Program is doing something even worse than creating an army of unnaturally thin women. Library Journal calls The Program "a lively first novel. Highly recommended."

  • Linda C Wisniewski: Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, and Her Polish Heritage

    Linda C Wisniewski: Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, and Her Polish Heritage
    Even before she was diagnosed with scoliosis at 13, Linda Wisniewski felt off kilter. Born to a cruel father in the insulated Polish Catholic community of Amsterdam, New York, she learned martyrdom as a way of life. Off Kilter shows her learning to stretch her Self as well as her spine as she comes to terms with her mentally deteriorating, widowed mother and her culture. Only by accepting her physical deformity, her emotionally unavailable mother, and her Polish American heritage does she finally find balance and a life that fits. Maureen Murdock, author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir & Memory, calls Off Kilter "a courageous, insightful book, particularly relevant for anyone who grew up feeling physically 'different.'"

  • Pat, Ballard: The Best Man

    Pat, Ballard: The Best Man
    Sparks fly the night Lana Clarke meets to plan her sister's wedding -- and not just because curvaceous Lana announces she's stopped dieting and doesn't care if she's fat as maid of honor. The strong-willed sister of the bride attracts the attention of the groom's devastatingly handsome best man, Anthony Angelino. But when the sparks become flames, Lana's in trouble. Tony's first wife died mysteriously. Will Lana be next?

  • Judy Bagshaw: At Long Last, Love

    Judy Bagshaw: At Long Last, Love
    Big beautiful --and in some cases slightly more mature -- heroines grace the pages of this collection of romantic short stories by Judy Bagshaw.

  • Jack Adler: Splendid Seniors

    Jack Adler: Splendid Seniors
    An inspiring ensemble of 52 people whose accomplishments after age 65 remind us that creativity, passion & influence can not only flower in later years, but bear delicious fruit.

  • Mary Saracino: The Singing of Swans

    Mary Saracino: The Singing of Swans
    "The Singing of Swans is a remarkable narrative calling--even compelling--us to connect with our own ancestral roots, to seek our own inner wisdom, and to reclaim our own inner voices!" --Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman With the Alabaster Jar & Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile

  • Ellen Frankel: Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth

    Ellen Frankel: Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth
    "If you have ever measured your height or your weight and felt good or bad about yourself as a result, you need this book. In its pages, Ellen Frankel makes an important contribution to human liberation by telling the most fabulous story that can be told, the story of a person coming fully into her own. This book is thought-provoking, heart-rending, and a genuine solace for people of all sizes." --Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO?

  • Pat Ballard: Abigail's Revenge

    Pat Ballard: Abigail's Revenge
    Injustice, romance and suspense smolder in a small Southern town. Romantic suspense from the Queen of Rubenesque Romances, Pat Ballard.

  • Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.: Taking Up Space

    Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.: Taking Up Space
    "Thomas's incisive blend of sociological inquiry and personal narrative amounts to a provocative treatise on fat oppression in our culture. Taking Up Space is a kind of roadmap through the minefield of the 'war on obesity,' and it offers protection to the reader ready to fight for cultural change surrounding the meaning of fatness." --Kathleen LeBesco, Ph.D., author of Revotling Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity.

  • Anne Richardson Williams: Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under

    Anne Richardson Williams: Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under
    Shattered by family tragedy in the early 1960s, an upper-middle-class Southern teenager finds solace in art and literature. Decades later she is called to the continent whose literature once comforted her, and to a magical connection with an Aboriginal woman transcending race and half a world.

  • Pat Ballard: A Worthy Heir

    Pat Ballard: A Worthy Heir
    When Pam Spencer sees the newspaper ad seeking "a worthy heir" to Fiona Bainbridge's millions, she jumps at the chance to get her brother the medical care he needs after a job-related accident. But Reese Bainbridge, Fiona's handsome grandson--and jilted heir--rushes home in anger when he hears his grandmother has moved Pam and her brother into the family mansion. Sparks fly--and Pam is up to the challenge.

  • Pat Ballard: His Brother's Child

    Pat Ballard: His Brother's Child
    One party, one silver-tongued, double-talking stranger intent on winning a bet, and Faith Carr ends up betrayed, alone, and pregnant. When Edward Brenner shows up on her doorstep intending to right his brother's wrongs, she's scared and vulnerable. But she agrees to marry this stranger to give the baby a father, although keeping him at a distance. She doesn't realize that Edward fell in love with her the moment he saw her. Will her battered self-esteem allow her to see the truth--and her own beauty?

  • Pat Ballard: Wanted: One Groom

    Pat Ballard: Wanted: One Groom
    Wealthy Hanna Rockwell will lose her home and her inheritance unless she marries by her 30th birthday. She's stunned when Matt Corbett, the faded rock start she worshipped in her teens, accepts her brother's offer to bail him out of financial trouble if he'll marry her. Her teenaged fantasies come to life--bringing a few surprises with them.

  • Pat Ballard: Nobody's Perfect

    Pat Ballard: Nobody's Perfect
    Nella Covington can't believe she's agreed to marry arrogant Samuel du Cannon, even if it IS only a marriage of convenience. He needs a mother for his young son, and she needs to keep her childhood home. If Sam's work keeps him on the road enough, she won't have to deal with him much. Sam's never been attracted to plus-size women, so they won't be tempted to have a real relationship. At least, that's what they keep telling themselves--

  • Pat Ballard: Dangerous Curves Ahead: Short Stories

    Pat Ballard: Dangerous Curves Ahead: Short Stories
    Ten romantic tales pack suspense and sizzle into this collection of short stories featuring amply curved women.

Pearlsong Press books

  • Félix Garmendía: Flying On Invisible Wings

    Félix Garmendía: Flying On Invisible Wings
    Félix Garmendía's poems narrate his life as a gay activist in the face of illness and intolerance, from his early years in conservative Catholic Puerto Rico of the 1960s, '70s and '80s to his arrival in Manhattan, New York City in 1988, his experiences as an HIV+ survivor, and current disability due to Inclusion Body Myositis.

  • Barbara D'Souza: If We Were Snowflakes

    Barbara D'Souza: If We Were Snowflakes
    In a U.S. in which chocolate is a controlled substance and fatness is taxed, a teenage girl tries to find out who turned her father in for trafficking chocolate while she deals with the challenges of FatSchool.

  • K.C. Littleton: Violet Crown: A Dr. Hedy Villarreal Novel

    K.C. Littleton: Violet Crown: A Dr. Hedy Villarreal Novel
    A forty-something criminal psychologist with the vocabulary and nerd tattoos of a well-education sailor goes into protective custody at a black ops site deep in the Texas Hill Country, and quickly finds out her world is not as she thought it was.

  • Maria Fama: Other Nations: An Animal Journal

    Maria Fama: Other Nations: An Animal Journal
    Poems taking us into the hearts and souls of animals, who are, as naturalist Henry Beston saw them, "other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."

  • Pat Ballard: Once Upon Another Time

    Pat Ballard: Once Upon Another Time
    Candace had always thought she'd been born in the wrong century.

  • Pat Ballard: Something to Think About: Reflections on Life, Family, Body Image & Other Weighty Matters by the Queen of Rubenesque Romances

    Pat Ballard: Something to Think About: Reflections on Life, Family, Body Image & Other Weighty Matters by the Queen of Rubenesque Romances
    Pat's homespun wisdom shines in this inspirational collection of short essays, quotations and poetry.

  • Bette J. Freedson: Soul Mothers' Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother

    Bette J. Freedson: Soul Mothers' Wisdom: Seven Insights for the Single Mother
    A clinical social worker shares insights identified through years of workshops, counseling sessions, and her own self-examination as a single mother.

  • Pat Ballard: Adam & Evelyn

    Pat Ballard: Adam & Evelyn
    Evelyn hoped to start a new life in Nashville far away from her abusive ex-husband and without the help of any man on Earth. Then she met Pastor Adam Singletary.

  • Mary Saracino: Heretics: A Love Story

    Mary Saracino: Heretics: A Love Story
    In the 1480S, twin sister healers in a remote village in the mountainous Barbagia region of Sardinia encounter a heretic-obsessed Spanish priest.

  • Frannie Zellman, Ed.: Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly

    Frannie Zellman, Ed.: Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly
    The poets embrace their lives as fat women in a thin-loving culture, writing with gusto, passion and yearning about navigating different, sometimes dangerous worlds.

  • Pat Ballard: ASAP Nanny

    Pat Ballard: ASAP Nanny
    This nine-chapter novella from the Queen of Rubenesque Romances also contains the first chapters of all of Pat Ballard's previous books.

  • Leslie Moise: Judith

    Leslie Moise: Judith
    In the ancient Middle East a pious, wealthy young widow risks her life to save her town from a besieging army in this novel based on the apocryphal Book of Judith.

  • Frannie Zellman: Fatland: The Early Days

    Frannie Zellman: Fatland: The Early Days
    Vol II of The FatLand Trilogy reveals a hidden history -- & the bravery, determination & treachery of FatLand's founders.

  • Lonie McMichael: Acceptable Prejudice?: Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice

    Lonie McMichael: Acceptable Prejudice?: Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice
    Explores the explosion of fat prejudice & the experiences of fat people in American society. "Fat Acceptance 101."

  • Lynne Murray: A Ton of Trouble

    Lynne Murray: A Ton of Trouble
    In Book 4 of the Josephine Fuller mystery series Jo grapples with murder in the California wine country, a gun-toting would-be charity client & plus-size porn.

  • Judy Bagshaw: Kiss Me, Nate!

    Judy Bagshaw: Kiss Me, Nate!
    In a small Canadian town romance blossoms between a BBW schoolteacher and coach during a community theater retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

  • Bonnie Shapbell: Hiking the Pack Line: Moving From Grief To A Joyful Life

    Bonnie Shapbell: Hiking the Pack Line: Moving From Grief To A Joyful Life
    A widow's practical advice and workbook for re-creating a nourishing life after devastating loss.

  • Lynne Murray: At Large

    Lynne Murray: At Large
    The 3rd book in the Josephine Fuller mystery series finds Jo a suspect in the death of the woman who broke up her marriage.

  • Tracey L. Thompson: Fatropolis

    Tracey L. Thompson: Fatropolis
    Most of her life Jenny has felt she's not good enough, not attractive enough, because she's fat. Then one day she stumbles through a portal between a world that values thinness and one that values roundness. Sometimes falling can wake you up.

  • Louise Mathewson: A Life Interrupted: Living with Brain Injury

    Louise Mathewson: A Life Interrupted: Living with Brain Injury
    A collection of poems chronicling the author's recovery from a brain damaging car accident, with a list of journaling therapy writing prompts and other resources she found helpful in transcending trauma.

  • Lonie McMichael, Ph.D.: Talking Fat: Health vs. Persuasion in the War on Our Bodies

    Lonie McMichael, Ph.D.: Talking Fat: Health vs. Persuasion in the War on Our Bodies
    The "war on obesity" has increased profits for those perpetuating its rhetoric while increasing prejudice & decreasing health in the very people targeted for "help."

  • Michele Tamaren & Michael Wittner: ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End

    Michele Tamaren & Michael Wittner: ExtraOrdinary: An End of Life Story Without End
    "In this deeply moving & inspiring account, Tamaren & Wittner share the life story of a man close to their hearts....Readers can expect tears to flow as Herman's life inspires them to be better." Publishers Weekly

  • Leslie Moïse: Love is the Thread: A Knitting Friendship

    Leslie Moïse: Love is the Thread: A Knitting Friendship
    Sustained by the metaphor of knitting, Love is the Thread traces the way one spiritual friendship can change all our relationships. The memoir centers on the friendship between a woman snared in a lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder and another woman reweaving her life after an abusive relationship.

  • Lynne Murray: The Falstaff Vampire Files

    Lynne Murray: The Falstaff Vampire Files
    Sir John Falstaff is undead & misbehaving in San Francisco. Kris Marlowe doesn't believe in vampires, but when she's attacked by a horde of murderous monsters she must seek help from the most famous rogue in history.

  • Lynne Murray: Larger Than Death

    Lynne Murray: Larger Than Death
    Meet Josephine Fuller, a sleuth of size who doesn't apologize. Full-figured & full of attitude with abundant sleuthing skills, Jo takes time off from her new job and walks into a murder case. Her best friend and early role model, a plus-sized clothing designer, lies slain in her own apartment. Was she the victim of a serial killer who targets voluptuous women, or is the murder personal? In the first of a series being brought back to print -- & ebook -- Jo copes with her friend's murder, an unexpected romance and bizarre neighbors as she races to find the killer before becoming the next victim.

  • Lauri J Owen: Blowing Embers

    Lauri J Owen: Blowing Embers
    Book 2 of The Embers Series (sequel to Fallen Embers) continues the saga of Kiera, transported to an alternate Alaska in which those who have the power to control the elements -- now including Kiera -- have ruled over those who cannot, including the shapeshifting indigenous peoples. The Fairbanks slaves struggle to maintain their newly won freedom, which is threatened by a force that will also shatter Kiera's heart.

  • Pat Ballard: Dangerous Love

    Pat Ballard: Dangerous Love
    New romantic suspense from the Queen of Rubenesque Romances! Ava Manning saw some research she wasn't supposed to, and now someone wants her dead. As if that isn't complicating her life enough, she has to deal with charming LAPD detective Ricky Don McKinzie....

  • Karen Blomain: The Season of Lost Children

    Karen Blomain: The Season of Lost Children
    In a small college town in Pennsylvania the lives of a bigamist's wife, a Polish orphan, an ex-priest and his wife -- a former nun -- and a mute teenage runaway intersect.

  • Charlie Lovett: The Fat Lady Sings

    Charlie Lovett: The Fat Lady Sings
    Young Adult fiction. Sassy, irreverent Aggie Stockdale should have gotten the lead in her high school play. But she isn't just a talented actress, writer, and athlete. She's also the fattest girl in the senior class.

  • Ellen Frankel: Syd Arthur

    Ellen Frankel: Syd Arthur
    Love, Laughter & Enlightenment! A middle-aged Jewish woman is soon in over her chakras as her spiritual search takes her from yoga studio to meditation hall to ashram gift store to the pages of Zensational catalogue. Her Mah Jongg group insists it's merely a midlife crisis. But nothing's going to stop Syd's journey toward Nirvana -- not even the hottest sale at Nordstrom's.

  • Lauri J Owen: Fallen Embers

    Lauri J Owen: Fallen Embers
    Kiera and her nephew are transported to an alternate, feudal Alaska during a strange dog's attack. The icy land is ruled by decadent mages who have enslaved the shapechanging, indigenous peoples. Kiera soon finds herself fighting -- and, to her astonishment, summoning fire. Before she can find her way home she must learn about the local systems of magic and her own powers. Kiera's path leads her deeper into Alaska, to romance, joy and heartbreak. Choosing to follow her heart may cost her everything.

  • Lynne Murray: Bride of the Living Dead

    Lynne Murray: Bride of the Living Dead
    Big, beautiful & rebellious, indie film critic Daria MacClellan is most comfortable in a monster movie poster T-shirt & blue jeans. Yet when family drama hijacks her engagement, she's trapped into a formal wedding with her perfectionist, anorexic sister, Sky, planning the whole thing. Daria adores her fiance, but her wedding seems to be spiraling into a horror film. Will the spectre of a picture perfect wedding turn her into the Bride of the Living Dead?

  • Rebecca Brock: The Giving Season

    Rebecca Brock: The Giving Season
    To have the life she's always dreamed of, Jessy must fight her insecurity and learn how to let Michael -- and his family -- love her just as she is.

  • Rebecca Fox & William Sherman: Measure By Measure

    Rebecca Fox & William Sherman: Measure By Measure
    A robust, comic romance fleshing out the truth about soap opera: It's not just for the rich and slender. Taken from the online cyber-serial, it's a Tales of the City for the fat and fabulous.

  • Kathy Barron, Anne S. Kaplan, Corinna Makris, Lesleigh J. Owen & Frannie Zellman: Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society

    Kathy Barron, Anne S. Kaplan, Corinna Makris, Lesleigh J. Owen & Frannie Zellman: Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society
    Smart, sassy, sensual and soulful -- five fat women share the poetry and process of fat embodiment. The Fat Poets' Society was born during a poetry workshop at the 2006 annual NAAFA convention. The poets are donating their royalties to NAAFA.

  • Frannie Zellman: FatLand

    Frannie Zellman: FatLand
    In the near future the Pro-Health Laws of the United States of America have become so oppressive that people seeking freedom over their bodies have established a new country. In FatLand, life is good and scales are forbidden. Free from the hatred and discrimination of the Other Side, FatLanders have built happy, productive lives. But not everyone is flourishing.

  • Pat Ballard: 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are)

    Pat Ballard: 10 Steps to Loving Your Body (No Matter What Size You Are)
    The Queen of Rubenesque Romances shares the steps she created -- and used -- to heal the damage of years of dieting. Join her in celebrating size diversity, self esteem, positive body image, and health at every size.

  • Charlie Lovett: The Program

    Charlie Lovett: The Program
    A new weight loss clinic in New York City has an offer for you -- given them $5,000 and they'll make you as thin as a supermodel. You can eat whatever you want and never gain an ounce. Tempted? Fledgling journalist Karen Sumner would be -- if only she had $5,000. When Karen finally walks through the blue and gold doors of The Program, however, she's on the trail of the hottest story of her career. If she and her friends are right, The Program is doing something even worse than creating an army of unnaturally thin women. Library Journal calls The Program "a lively first novel. Highly recommended."

  • Linda C Wisniewski: Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, and Her Polish Heritage

    Linda C Wisniewski: Off Kilter: A Woman's Journey to Peace with Scoliosis, Her Mother, and Her Polish Heritage
    Even before she was diagnosed with scoliosis at 13, Linda Wisniewski felt off kilter. Born to a cruel father in the insulated Polish Catholic community of Amsterdam, New York, she learned martyrdom as a way of life. Off Kilter shows her learning to stretch her Self as well as her spine as she comes to terms with her mentally deteriorating, widowed mother and her culture. Only by accepting her physical deformity, her emotionally unavailable mother, and her Polish American heritage does she finally find balance and a life that fits. Maureen Murdock, author of Unreliable Truth: On Memoir & Memory, calls Off Kilter "a courageous, insightful book, particularly relevant for anyone who grew up feeling physically 'different.'"

  • Pat, Ballard: The Best Man

    Pat, Ballard: The Best Man
    Sparks fly the night Lana Clarke meets to plan her sister's wedding -- and not just because curvaceous Lana announces she's stopped dieting and doesn't care if she's fat as maid of honor. The strong-willed sister of the bride attracts the attention of the groom's devastatingly handsome best man, Anthony Angelino. But when the sparks become flames, Lana's in trouble. Tony's first wife died mysteriously. Will Lana be next?

  • Judy Bagshaw: At Long Last, Love

    Judy Bagshaw: At Long Last, Love
    Big beautiful --and in some cases slightly more mature -- heroines grace the pages of this collection of romantic short stories by Judy Bagshaw.

  • Jack Adler: Splendid Seniors

    Jack Adler: Splendid Seniors
    An inspiring ensemble of 52 people whose accomplishments after age 65 remind us that creativity, passion & influence can not only flower in later years, but bear delicious fruit.

  • Mary Saracino: The Singing of Swans

    Mary Saracino: The Singing of Swans
    "The Singing of Swans is a remarkable narrative calling--even compelling--us to connect with our own ancestral roots, to seek our own inner wisdom, and to reclaim our own inner voices!" --Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman With the Alabaster Jar & Mary Magdalene: Bride in Exile

  • Ellen Frankel: Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth

    Ellen Frankel: Beyond Measure: A Memoir About Short Stature and Inner Growth
    "If you have ever measured your height or your weight and felt good or bad about yourself as a result, you need this book. In its pages, Ellen Frankel makes an important contribution to human liberation by telling the most fabulous story that can be told, the story of a person coming fully into her own. This book is thought-provoking, heart-rending, and a genuine solace for people of all sizes." --Marilyn Wann, author of FAT!SO?

  • Pat Ballard: Abigail's Revenge

    Pat Ballard: Abigail's Revenge
    Injustice, romance and suspense smolder in a small Southern town. Romantic suspense from the Queen of Rubenesque Romances, Pat Ballard.

  • Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.: Taking Up Space

    Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.: Taking Up Space
    "Thomas's incisive blend of sociological inquiry and personal narrative amounts to a provocative treatise on fat oppression in our culture. Taking Up Space is a kind of roadmap through the minefield of the 'war on obesity,' and it offers protection to the reader ready to fight for cultural change surrounding the meaning of fatness." --Kathleen LeBesco, Ph.D., author of Revotling Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity.

  • Anne Richardson Williams: Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under

    Anne Richardson Williams: Unconventional Means: The Dream Down Under
    Shattered by family tragedy in the early 1960s, an upper-middle-class Southern teenager finds solace in art and literature. Decades later she is called to the continent whose literature once comforted her, and to a magical connection with an Aboriginal woman transcending race and half a world.

  • Pat Ballard: A Worthy Heir

    Pat Ballard: A Worthy Heir
    When Pam Spencer sees the newspaper ad seeking "a worthy heir" to Fiona Bainbridge's millions, she jumps at the chance to get her brother the medical care he needs after a job-related accident. But Reese Bainbridge, Fiona's handsome grandson--and jilted heir--rushes home in anger when he hears his grandmother has moved Pam and her brother into the family mansion. Sparks fly--and Pam is up to the challenge.

  • Pat Ballard: His Brother's Child

    Pat Ballard: His Brother's Child
    One party, one silver-tongued, double-talking stranger intent on winning a bet, and Faith Carr ends up betrayed, alone, and pregnant. When Edward Brenner shows up on her doorstep intending to right his brother's wrongs, she's scared and vulnerable. But she agrees to marry this stranger to give the baby a father, although keeping him at a distance. She doesn't realize that Edward fell in love with her the moment he saw her. Will her battered self-esteem allow her to see the truth--and her own beauty?

  • Pat Ballard: Wanted: One Groom

    Pat Ballard: Wanted: One Groom
    Wealthy Hanna Rockwell will lose her home and her inheritance unless she marries by her 30th birthday. She's stunned when Matt Corbett, the faded rock start she worshipped in her teens, accepts her brother's offer to bail him out of financial trouble if he'll marry her. Her teenaged fantasies come to life--bringing a few surprises with them.

  • Pat Ballard: Nobody's Perfect

    Pat Ballard: Nobody's Perfect
    Nella Covington can't believe she's agreed to marry arrogant Samuel du Cannon, even if it IS only a marriage of convenience. He needs a mother for his young son, and she needs to keep her childhood home. If Sam's work keeps him on the road enough, she won't have to deal with him much. Sam's never been attracted to plus-size women, so they won't be tempted to have a real relationship. At least, that's what they keep telling themselves--

  • Pat Ballard: Dangerous Curves Ahead: Short Stories

    Pat Ballard: Dangerous Curves Ahead: Short Stories
    Ten romantic tales pack suspense and sizzle into this collection of short stories featuring amply curved women.