Lois Roelofs describes herself as a rebellious minister’s daughter, a reluctant nurse, a restless mom, and a perpetual student who eventually became a fun-loving teacher of mental health nursing. During her forty-year nursing career, she cared for patients and taught nursing students in primarily mental health and medical-surgical settings. As a caregiver, she learned the value of caring for herself and did so by changing jobs to suit her interests, going back to school more than once to feed her crave for learning, and seeking professional help when personal and family crises invaded her life.
You will be amused, saddened, and inspired as you read this intimate and introspective memoir. Plus you will learn the importance of faith, family, and friendship—whatever your profession—and come away with a new appreciation of caring for yourself as well as caring for others.
About The Author:
Lois longed to fly the friendly skies but in 1968 minister’s daughters did not become stewardesses. They chose practical careers like teaching or nursing. For the entire first year of nursing school, Lois made weekly calls home to beg her parents to let her come home. Then her instructors decided she had a “bad attitude”. Despite her lukewarm feelings about a nursing career Lois set out to prove those cranky old instructors wrong.
Lois’s attitude, as well as her feelings about nursing, changed radically during her over 30 year career. She retired in the year 2000 as professor emerita from Trinity Christian College with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in nursing. But even that wasn’t enough classroom time for Lois. She recently completed three years of the University of Chicago Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults. She now spends her days writing and being a happy grandma.
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An Obsession on the Way to Living Lighter
by Lois Roelofs
“What if’s” have never bothered me. But since I met Laura Dion-Jones last fall, I’ve been obsessing: What if I hadn’t gained the one to two pounds a year most American adults put on after thirty?
You see, Laura offered me a ride back to the city after I’d been a guest as a nurse author on her radio show. Great, saved me an hour’s train ride, but I didn’t know she’d lost 130 pounds and kept it off for years. Naturally the topic came up as she happily munched on her apple and cheese while stuck in Chicago’s traffic—forever, meaning ample time to indoctrinate me with her mantra of watch carbs, walk more.
If I’d stayed a trim 125 pounds, I obsess about the fun I would’ve missed. Like when my husband, kids, and I moved to a Chicago suburb and I joined a church with a main goal of finding a friend. I surveyed the congregation and spotted the gal I wanted to meet. The next week I was going with her to a TOPS group. She’d said, “You do have a few pounds to lose, don’t you?”
Doesn’t everybody? What followed were weeks of weekly weigh-in’s; a long-dress, fancy banquet when I met my goal of 118 and reached KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) status; and endless sharing of tips with my TOPS/KOPS friends about how to weigh less, down to taking off rings, watches, and earrings. Some weeks, we’d have weighed in naked if that were allowed.
Well, obviously, I did not keep my pounds off very sensibly, because after another move I found myself joining Weight Watchers. Over the years, I worked my way through at least three of their program changes. I earned my WW key for meeting my goal of 127, blew it, and never again retained good standing as a Lifetime Member.
Then there was Atkins—those slabs of bacon swimming in grease for breakfast. After that, there was Nutrisystem with its cute little boxes and cans lined up in my cupboard.
After weeks of obsession, thanks to Laura, I’ve decided that I don’t need ever again to pay someone else to help me lose weight. I can, on my own and with some prayer, choose not to eat more calories than I burn. I can watch carbs and walk more like Laura does. And, I certainly learned enough tricks from my previous weight loss plans. So, what took me so long to figure this out?
I think it may have been the fear of loneliness. My misery loves company, and if I’m passing up desserts, I want someone to pat me on the back, weekly, if not more often.
A few weeks ago, the phone rang on my birthday. My friend from TOPS forty pounds ago. We’d almost lost track of each other. We hooted with memories about our antics to stay at or below goal weight. She’d just rejoined TOPS for the umpteenth time. Her group sounded so fun.
H-m-m-m. Maybe, just maybe, I should rethink this whole thing. Or… maybe, I’ll just give Laura a call.
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