Nordstrand’s Hudson book signing is Thursday, Aug. 12; Ellsworth Aug. 16Local author Burt Nordstrand has scheduled a book signing Thursday, Aug. 12 in Hudson at Second Street Crossing from 4 to 6 p.m. (Ellsworth, Monday, Aug. 16 at the Holiday store/station). A successful local and regional businessman, Nordstrand took on a book-writing project with his “tell-all” book “Living With the Enemy.”
By: Doug Stohlberg, Hudson Star-Observer
Author Burt Nordstrand has scheduled a book signing Thursday, Aug. 12 at Second Street Crossing in Hudson from 4 to 6 p.m. A successful local and regional businessman, Nordstrand took on a book-writing project with his “tell-all” book “Living With the Enemy.”
If there is anything you want to know about Burt Nordstrand – this book has it all – the good, the bad and the ugly! Nordstrand, president and CEO of SSG Corp., tells his story of various addictions -- the most prominent being his lifelong battle with eating disorders, including compulsive overeating. Despite his slim and trim appearance, Nordstrand has battled overeating, combined with fasting, diet pills and frenetic exercise. He has been active in Overeaters Anonymous for nearly 30 years.
The public has always pictured Nordstrand as a rich, happy entrepreneur and most readers will be surprised at the inner battles that Nordstrand has faced for his entire life.
Eating wasn’t the only battle he has faced. The book talks many other issues in Nordstrand’s life. The book’s back cover describes it this way:
“The very qualities that defined Burt Nordstrand as an addict also made him an entrepreneur extraordinaire. He hit ‘bottom’ when, for all appearances, he was fit and happy. No longer willing to live a double life of outward success and inward devastation caused by multiple addictions: compulsive overeating, diet pills, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, irresponsible sex, gambling, over-exercising, etc., Nordstrand pursued recovery at age forty and his personal life began to turn around. At age seventy, he reflects back on the distance he traveled in pursuit of serenity and peace of mind. Most addictions can be addressed with abstinence; however, that is not possible with food addiction. Burt Nordstrand must continue ‘Living with the Enemy.’”
Nordstrand called the writing process somewhat therapeutic.
“Writing a personal inventory of my life has been rewarding,” Nordstrand said. “I discovered a lot about myself.
“For instance, when I stopped all substances and had my eating somewhat under control, I really had my most productive business years in the 1980s. What I discovered, however, is that I had changed addictions – closing the deal was my new ‘high.’ That was a real eye-opener for me.”
Nordstrand said the talking about his personal stories of stimulates a healing process.
“I also wrote the book to leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren. I wanted them to realize what I went through. Wouldn’t it be nice to know something about my grandparents -- their feelings and inner thoughts? Also, I hope my story can help other people facing addictions in their lives.”
He is also working to develop an eating-disorder clinic at The Retreat in Wayzata, Minn. He’s hoping the book will assist that effort.
Readers will also be intrigued with Nordstrand’s accounts of his childhood issues while growing up in a poor family in Ellsworth; his rise to fortune in the gasoline and convenience store business; his personal account of successful and broken relationships; his long list of business dealings -- good and bad; his battle with various addictions; and his account of bringing a dog track to Hudson in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Nordstrand said he has received positive response from family members.
“There is always a danger when you are looking at other people’s lives through my eyes,” Nordstrand said.
Nordstrand also said that eating disorders are seldom associated with men -- in fact, he claims it is the first book that addresses the issue written from a male perspective.
“A normal person can open a box of chocolate and eat one or two pieces – I would eat the whole box,” Nordstrand said. “The bad thing about an eating disorder is that you can’t abstain from eating. For instance, a person can quit drinking alcohol, quit smoking or taking drugs -- a person can’t stop eating. That’s why this is a lifelong battle that will never end.”
The book has already received some national acclaim including accolades from Mike Schiks, a 21-year veteran of the Hazelden Treatment Center, and Mike Mann, M.D., founder of the St. Mary’s Treatment Program and developer of programs throughout the U.S. and abroad. The foreword was written by John H. Curtiss, president and co-founder of The Retreat Chemical Dependency Center and former Hazelden executive for 19 years.
Nordstrand was assisted on the project by author Carol Pine, but still found the task to be monumental.
“I found that writing an autobiography is like climbing a mountain,” Nordstrand said. “However, writing a personal autobiography is like climbing the Himalayas.”
Nordstrand will have two area book signings.
The first is scheduled in Hudson Thursday, Aug. 12, at Second Street Crossing from 4 to 6 p.m. The second is at the Ellsworth Holiday Monday Aug. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. Nordstrand grew up in Ellsworth.
The book is available through several distributors including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book stores. It is also available at any of the 40 SSG-owned convenience stores throughout the area. The cover price is $16.95.