11 years of nutrition storytelling went quickly
Eleven years can go by slowly or quickly. A babe born on Jan. 1, 2000 is now a prepubescent. A car purchased on that day possibly has more than 150,000 miles and some rust. A columnist who has been writing for that long still has topics to cover.
Eleven years ago I began pounding my keyboard, educating newspaper subscribers on nutrition and related topics. I am blessed to have such an avid group of readers. Thank you for your faithfulness.
Many people who follow this column talk to me as if we are personal friends because my stories are often about my family, friends or dogs. I am easily recognized in public because my photo stares back at them each week as they peruse my 500 words.
I have a rhythm to my topics. I write about weight loss in January; chocolate in February; March is National Nutrition Month. During spring, April and May, I stress food safety and parties. June is Dairy Month so osteoporosis and calcium is one of my topics. During July and August I like to write about family and friends. September contains a back to school lunch article. October is back to chocolate and Halloween candy. November is National Diabetes Month and December holds a reminder to bell-ring for the Salvation Army.
The characters in my articles remain anonymous. The names are changed to protect identities and add creative license. Only once have I honored someone by using their given name and my nephew, Joe, a Marine, deserved this honor when he was stationed in Iraq.
My husband is usually identified as Sweetheart or “You Know Who.” My children and their spouses are Jonathan, Gee, Thomas, Laurie and Jane. I started with fictitious names when they were in high school to save them from embarrassment.
Diabetes is one of my most popular topics because I am a certified diabetes educator. Many of the projected cases of diabetes can be prevented with weight loss and exercise.
These articles are usually written before sunrise every Monday morning, even though they are not due until noon. I listen to classical music while typing out these words. I have tried jazz and rock and even rap but classical music produces ideas most easily understood.
I have not exhausted the endless topics in health and nutrition. The theme of each article starts when the last one is sent to the newspaper. I have received ideas at checkout counters, ball games, parties and church. All week I think about and develop the next story. I call this thought process, “modeling,” similar to a cow that ruminates. The topic is chewed up and digested many times before it is produces the desired product.
The art of writing and educating through storytelling is one of my God-given gifts. I give Him all the credit for my words; I am responsible for the typos and syntax errors. Thank you, my dear reader, for allowing 11 years of using this gift. It has gone by quickly.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman Orrville Hospital. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330–684-4776.