One Person, Many Dimensions

A photo I took some years ago while walking on Mackworth Island
Some people talk about not taking personal freedoms for granted, in particular, freedom of speech. It's possible to appreciate something in spirit but still neglect it in practice. 

My ex-husband is a former United States Marine, and I spent three years living in the south while he was stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC and in Louisville, Kentucky while he was on recruiting duty. It was then that I deeply considered the true meaning of the First Amendment and how many sacrificed and gave their lives to defend it. I came to recognize that living in a "free country" didn't liberate my mind and personal decisions. That was my war to wage against the inner saboteurs known as shame, self-doubt and low self-esteem. It was very powerful once I really got it, because to this day that lesson has become integrated into my entire being. Yet, that doesn't mean it's not a struggle or ongoing practice, because it truly is.

Had I not had that experience, I may have never written American Women Didn't Get Fat in the 1950s. I knew that the subject was controversial and that it would anger some people despite the fact that it was a labor of love. What I had to say went against most everything we are told today about our bodies and relationship to food. It was my deepest hope that it would help people the way it had helped me. Writing it accomplished both--I received lovely personal messages from people whose eating had changed because of it, and others had less than favorable things to say. They, too, have a right to express their thoughts.

In the end I was true to myself. I had something to share with the world, and I did. I lifted all self-enforced gag orders.

Since I started this blog (originally based around my first book), my desire to write about other topics grew which led to my integrating it all into one blog with a new address (here) and name change to Outdated By Design. When I made that initial change a few years ago I received more than a few messages from people asking me if I would return to writing about the 1950s diet. It was no longer my prime focus. I wondered if I would lose readers, and was I making a mistake?

I lost some readers and gained some new ones.

Once a place for me to mostly share my experience with my retro diet and recipes, I no longer want to limit myself in that way. I want to make this more of a personal space to include even more topics. The beauty of having a non-monetized, independent blog is that I don't have to cater to any commercial interests. You, my readers, yes, I hope you will find my new directions interesting. I will still write about my retro diet and share recipes, but it's no longer my main focus.

So what kinds of things do I want to explore here?

Food sobriety! Sobriety in general! My almost twenty-two years of abstaining from alcohol one day at a time, quitting smoking in 1999, kicking junk food to the curb in 2010 combined with my clinical training in counseling at the University of Vermont has armed me with many practical applications and insights to achieving personal freedom from debilitating practices.


Fashion! I love vintage and retro clothing.

Ageism and feeling good about the body I'm in! I've touched upon gray-shaming, but I'm going to take it further because it's still open season on hating our bodies because they age.

The Divine! It means different things to different people. I'll share my own meanings.

My memoirs! I've witnessed a lot over the years and love to write about it.

I don't know what else I'll feel inspired to share here, but it's all coming from one unified place: me, my love of the outdated and classic whether in thought or form and passion for healthy, sober living.


  1. Thank you Averyl! You give so much inspiration and motivation. You don't even know how much. It's a joy to read your words - and everyone loves pictures. It takes me to a place where I feel at home = a dose of peace and wisdom, and humor!

    Have a great Sunday Averyl :-)

  2. When were you in Camp Lejeune? We were there in 2001. We were stationed in Cherry Point in Havelock.
    I found you a couple of years ago doing my own research on calories in/out. You were the only modern day book I found! Everything else was from the 1900s to 1919! My other favorite book next to yours was by a news paper editor who wrote a tiny book called "The Fun of Getting Thin". You open the book and it says it isn't fun getting thin. I'm a news paper man. I used the title to get you to buy the book.
    He may have tricked people into buying the book, but his advice was golden.
    Now my kids and I are learning about where liberalism comes from, and why personal responsibility is a dirty word. Guess what? They were writing about that in the '20s as well. I'm still startled when I pick these books up and it's like reading about today.
    I guess what I'm getting around to saying is, Averyl, you've let yourself become a block in the wall that's preventing the total collapse of our society into barbarism. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

    1. Oh, wow! We just missed each other! We left in early 2001!

      That book sounds kooky and great. I just found it online so I'll read it.

      As far as being "a block in the wall that's preventing the total collapse of our society into barbarism," whoa! Thank you! That's quite a compliment, and somewhat funny the way you put it. Yet tragic. I have to think about this. ha. I am very grateful that you are encouraged by my writing!!

  3. I definitely look forward to your expanding topics with your blogging, Averyl! You've had a challenging voyage and obviously gained much wisdom along the way. What you are is the Divine's gift to you. What you do with it, is your gift to the Divine. Keep doing it :-)

    1. That's a lovely way to put it! Thank you!

  4. I look forward to whatever you decide to write about - I think I'll enjoy it and find it very thought provoking.

  5. Averyl, I love the way you've been opening up. You are an interesting person. Your love of vintage and retro, of eating clean and being healthy has really pulled me in over the years. Physically it's difficult and I'm still not where I want to be but you give me alot of inspiration. I'm also delighted that you're moving in a spiritual dimension that, although a bit different than mine, is nonetheless another aspect of your growth that I'm glad you feel called to share with us. Keep doing what you're doing! :)

    1. Aileen, thank YOU for your encouragement and inspiration. I appreciate that you've been a part of my blog for years, now!


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