I’d like to introduce a dear friend, Peggy Frezon. Peggy and I met at a Guideposts’ writers’ contest workshop in 2004. We both won spots to attend. After five days of learning and growing as writers, a few of us formed an online writing group. Peggy is a member of this group.
Peggy’s first book, Dieting with my Dog, just came out. Peggy and her dog Kelly went on an adventure together. They lost weight and got healthy. I’m honored to interview her.
Welcome, Peggy. Tell us about your wonderful book cover. Is this really you and Kelly?
Yes. The picture was taken in my living room by photographer Ric Easton. The pose was actually my own idea, although we wanted to use slim sexy legs (not my own! haha!) and the publisher wanted fat legs. I wore some baggy sweatpants because I’d lost the weight by the time we took the pictures. We posed in front of a white sheet. The photographer did the Photoshop work, adding in the checkered floor. And the publisher did all the rest of the design work, title, and background color.
Dieting with My Dog is full of so much love. You even have Kelly’s autograph alongside yours. Could you have lost the weight without her?
I’m glad that people feel the love in the book. Often, we do something for those we love that we wouldn’t do for ourselves. I started out losing the weight FOR Kelly. I never would have made the effort if I hadn’t made the connection that my lifestyle, my eating, and sedentary habits were also hurting her. But we ended up supporting and motivating each other.
My favorite thing about Dieting with My Dog is your honesty. Did you struggle with writing so openly?
As you and I have learned by writing for Guideposts, the only way to truly connect with the reader is to get nekkid: be open and vulnerable. I didn’t have any trouble opening up–the only times I wanted to be careful was not to hurt anyone else. Before the book came out, I had to tell my mom a few things to soften the blow. I said, “Mom, I hope this doesn’t hurt your feelings, but I said we were both short and round and fat like two apples that fell from an apple tree.”
Your relationship with Kelly seems divinely orchestrated. Have you experienced this deep inner connection with each of your dogs?
I’ve always felt a deep connection with my dogs. I’ve written about my first dog, Happy, in various Sweet 16 stories and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. He was a once in a lifetime dog. Each dog has had its special place in my life. Kelly joined the family and helped fill the empty nest, and ended up as so much more. She loves to jump on the back of my living room chair and curl around my neck. She’s always right here at my feet when I’m working. That’s one reason why I take walks during the day–so we both get some exercise. And that’s an important part of the book. When I just sat at a desk all day, my dog and I had health issues. Once we both got up and got moving, we become became healthier.
Thanks, Peggy. Blessings on your book! Congratulations on your weight loss–both yours and Kelly’s. Does anyone have a dog like Kelly–the sweet kind who wants nothing more in life than to love and be loved by you?