I am absurdly pleased to have been asked by my friend Byron Ballard to write a blurb for her new book, Embracing Willendorf. It has arrived in my mailbox and said blurb is indeed included. I truly enjoyed reading this book, as it followed pretty closely my own journey with a new body shape, similarly motivated by a wake-up call to health. Eight years ago, my doctor said I could either start taking medication to get my blood sugar under control, or I could lose weight and modify my eating habits. Having just attended two funerals of dear friends who did not manage their health, I opted for the latter. After a year, all my numbers were back in range, I felt a bit like my younger self, although with plenty of creaks and aches to belie that, and was ready to sing the praises of better health. I never really did though, and now Bryon has done it so well and so entertainingly, there was no need for me to tread that way.
“Byron Ballard’s Embracing Willendorf is a welcome return to the home of the body temple. As a priestess of the Great Goddess, she will introduce you to ‘your deep earth self.’ She teaches radical self-love, beginning with how to stop bullying yourself by choosing one thing to unreservedly love about your body. In her friendly conversational style, Byron offers a quick course in Pagan 101 (a little altar, a few affirmations, sitting quietly for a few minutes a day), then moves on to the idea of trusting your own body, served up with a side of self-love that might make you blush. She is uniquely qualified stand against our body-hostile culture, so permeated with a religion of guilt and mortification of the flesh. Non-dogmatic and with plenty about the pitfalls of losing weight (yes, you will miss your old shape), this may be the only ‘diet’ book with a recipe for Cherry Yum at the end, because loving yourself always means enjoying life.”
Byron’s other two books are pretty darn interesting too, full of lore and Appalachian magic. I met Bryon in the ethers and we became fast friends before actually meeting in person, which we have done for the last two years at Pantheacon in San Jose. It is absolutely charming to like someone as well in person as you do from their written persona online, but I believe that was the case for us. What a strange and wonderful thing is the internet for writers!