Dr. Kathleen Baskett was thrilled to see her profession in print for the first time last month.
Baskett, the medical director of the St. Vincent Healthcare Weight Management Clinic, recently published her first book, "Moving Forward: The Weigh to a Healthy Weight."
"When I saw a copy, I looked at it and thought, 'I can't believe I did that!' " Baskett said.
For Baskett, the book was about four years in the making. It was a project she started working on, then stopped for a while, then resumed two years ago. At that point, she really picked up the pace.
"The difficult thing was finding the time to do it. I needed to process it and decide just how to put it together," Baskett said.
Baskett, who has worked at the hospital's weight clinic for the past five years, said what motivated her to finally put "Moving Forward" together was seeing all the books on the market about diets that don't work.
"Diets don't work," she said. "They don't work because they aren't long-term changes on a daily basis."
Baskett said many diets are based on a very narrow range of food - something like grapefruit, maybe - that a person might eat and lose weight. But once the normal meal regimen returns, so does the weight.
"My book is a common-sense approach to getting to a healthier weight and staying there," Baskett said. "Lots of people have tried all these crazy diets and still really don't know how to go about losing weight."
Baskett likes that "Moving Forward" is fairly simple and easy to understand. She began by developing an outline and then fine tuned that into different sections, later deciding how to divide those up.
She spent a year going back and forth with a self-publishing company, iUniverse, making revisions and changing the chapters around.
Baskett explained that after she submitted her manuscript to iUniverse, representatives there made suggestions to help make her vision into a marketable product.
"It was a lesson for me, too," she said. "I would definitely do it again.
"It was a lot of work and time-intensive, but I really enjoyed the whole process."
Baskett said that although lots of genetic and metabolic factors contribute to weight problems, she hopes her book will take a lot of the mystery out of it for readers.
"In our country, 66 percent of people are obese or overweight, and the incidence of obesity continues to skyrocket," she said.
Obesity is linked to diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, high cholesterol and fertility, among other things.
"Even a 5 or 10 percent weight loss can help someone's overall health," Baskett said.