Blogging–What is it Good For?

How old are you people?  Who remembers the next line to that song?  

“ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!”  

Well, thankfully, that’s not what I really think about blogging.

But I have been thinking a lot about whether or not blogging is helpful for those of us trying to lose weight or maintain a weight loss.  This is such a dicey subject.  I never want to discourage anybody or heaven forbid, insult someone.  But does anyone else think about this?  All that information out there.  So much of it conflicting.  So many are SURE that they have found THE WAY to succeed.  If you are doing ANYTHING OTHER THAN THEIR WAY, you are doomed to fail.  Leave out this food group.  Don’t forget to include that food group.  Get on the scale.  Stay off the scale.  Lift weights.  Only do body weight resistance exercises.  People eating cupcakes and losing weight–DOGGONE IT THAT IS NOT FAIR.  Don’t weigh or measure your food.  Count calories.  Don’t count calories.  Be sure to journal.  Be intuitive.  Don’t be intuitive, just be mindful.  Your body has a set point–a weight it wants to stay at–don’t bother trying to weigh less than that, you’re bound to fail.  The body is extremely complex, and there are factors working against weight loss that we don’t even know about yet.  And so much more.

The thing about most of this stuff is, it is all theoretical.  Almost everybody presents their point of view as FACT.  This kind of drives me nuts.

Then, there is the whole never-ending cyclical nature of the thing.  Here’s what I think.  90% or more of people blogging about losing weight are never going to reach and/or maintain the weight goal that they have set for themselves.  Its difficult to watch people hitting their head against a brick wall day after day.  Sometimes I think I should switch sides–go over to that HAES side of town.  But those people scare me!  They are so angry about how fat people are treated.  I never ever felt that way.

Oh I can hear you now.  “Well debby is just [frustrated/bitter/angry/sad/fill in the blank] because her weight is up and she can’t lose it.”  Possibly.  “Well, gosh debby, no one is holding a gun to your head and making you read this stuff.”  Ah, excellent point.  I even wondered today if all this negative thought was an extension of grief that I am not even aware of.  Could be.

Well, the thing is, when all is said and done, blogging has enlarged my life.  My circle of friends extends all the way across the United States!  Truly, there are many of you I would love to meet in person and would feel very comfortable spending time with you because I already know you so well.  In fact, I have had the opportunity to meet two of my blog friends in person (waves to Shelley and Pubsgal) and that has added another dimension to our relationship.  I have seen a waterfall I never would have seen and it was truly one of the delights of my life in the past few years, thanks to Loretta.  Which, BTW, Loretta is one of my true weight loss
heros. Starting out with  a tremendous amount of weight to lose, she has lost more than most of us already, and still has a ways to go.  And though it is a struggle, she continues on.  Her blogs are honest and inspiring.

Then there is my BIF, good buddy Jill.  Our friendship has extended beyond the world of blogs–SO FUN!

Miz inspired me to take my art seriously with her probing questions (what would you do if you knew you could not fail?)

Shelley recommended a swimsuit for me to order, and then ‘held my hand’ when I was intimidated to wear it in public.

Lori is always giving me ideas for dinner LOL.  Since she lives in NY, I usually check her blog at 4pm, and if I don’t have an idea for dinner, she usually has something healthy and tasty on her plate.  Check out her dinner here, and then look at what I had the same night.

Barbeque chicken salad with avocado and laughing cow, and a fresh peach.

Then there’s the whole personal introspection thing.  I have enjoyed chronicling my life through pictures.  Dare I say I have become a better photographer through challenging myself to provide for the blog?  (Hey, they’re not all art…)  I think I enjoy my dogs more because of the personalities you have assigned to them.  And I do believe I kept my sanity and Noah possibly kept his life by blogging about the trials and tribulations of raising a BIG WHITE DOG.

I probably get carried away sometimes, but I really like trying new recipes, trying to healthify some of my favorite foods to share with all of you here on the blog.  Here’s my latest creation:

Blackberry frozen yogurt!  2 cups fresh blackberries, 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt, 1/4 cup agave nectar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  EXCELLENT!  Very refreshing, and if you divide it into 5 large servings, only 120 calories each.

Lastly (at least for tonight,)  I have had a captive audience to share my artistic creations with.  Here is a quilt that I challenged myself to quilt and finish in  two days (the top was already pieced.)  Did I tell you guys about the church that promotes the arts (also known as the froyo church) and that they had a quilt display, and had about seven of my quilts on display for the month of June?  That was so fun.  I think the best part of creating art is sharing it with others.  Anyway, this church is going to have a special evening to celebrate the arts and spirituality, and the woman in charge asked if I had any other quilts that they could use.  I had this top, and that is why I challenged myself to finish it in two days.  It started out as an abstract color block experiment, and then it looked to me like an empty tomb in the middle, so I finished it that way.  I really love it, and I enjoyed quilting it.  Many times I feel tortured when it comes to the quilting part–decisions, you know.

"He is not here"

Close ups:

And just so ya know, I am exercising more than ever, eating really healthy stuff most of the time, even choosing salads when I go out for dinner (SCORE!) but for now I’m  not doing enough to lose weight.  I feel better than I have in ages, mostly due to my back not hurting.

Well,  this post was all over the place.  If I was a professional blogger, I would take the time to develop my ideas more carefully.  But I’m not, so you’ll just have to muddle through with me.  Last note, I did not include all the bloggers that I enjoy and that have encouraged and cheered me through the years.  My apologies, I hope you know how very much I appreciate you.


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16 thoughts on “Blogging–What is it Good For?

  1. Awww, what nice things you said, thank you!

    And yes, come read my blog… I have THE answers… JUST KIDDING!!! mwa ha ha ha..

    Your quilt is stunning! Before I even read what you wrote, I could tell the theme. You have such a gift for color and design. I’m glad you are pursuing it now that you are a Lady of Leisure. 😀

  2. just remember not all your readers are from the usa ,some from over the pond.

    love your quilt and the dogs.

    jenny

  3. Haha, I knew the rest of the song, but it didn’t make sense, because I do believe that there is a lot of good that has come from blogging. Of course, now I see where you were going with your post…I agree with you that when some bloggers write about their way being the only thing that works, it gets a little weary. Because we are all different. (Although I’m thinking that we are more alike than we realize, as I started writing a similar post on this subject Friday afternoon – it will be posted tomorrow, and you can see how our twin powers activated, lol!)

    Anyway, I’m glad you blog your story. I’ve learned a lot from you – how you lost weight, how you’ve maintained your loss, how you work exercise into your life through many different and enjoyable activities (“liking” to exercise was not in my stratosphere when I first began my journey), and how you manage to LIVE LIFE and still keep your healthy living lifestyle in the forefront.

    Also? I’m so glad we’re friends. Just seeing an email or comment from you always brightens my day. :):):)

  4. Debby – I think blogging is wonderful on so many levels. Once you weed out the “reality TV” of blogs. I take bits and pieces of all blogs and try things because of things I have read or think about stuff in a different way because of what I have read. We can become very insular in our little tribes if we aren’t careful, though. One could read only low carb blogs, or only organic blogs, or just HEAS blogs. That doesn’t necessarily help one grow.

    My blog is fairly fluff with some deep thoughts in there from time to time, and I guess that is just me in a nutshell. I wish I wrote better like Lynn does or was more motivating like Miz is.

    I hope we can meet in person some day.

  5. Debby I LOVE how wonderfully eclectic your blog is. I love to hear about your trials and tribulations with weight loss and exercising, your life with dogs as i have none, your quilts, your experiments with recipes………..you always inspire me to do a little more with my life. Hugs! deb

  6. I knew the song lyric too! And I LOVE the new quilt. Congrats on pushing yourself to finish it. 🙂

    I enjoy reading your blog, hodge-podge or not! Just keep sharing your honest thoughts and we’ll keep reading.

    PS Completely unrelated, but new Chloe pics are up on my blog.

  7. I know where you are coming from and you know I totally understand. I think that you are right that you probably are more sensitive to what others write, and that is sometimes hard to deal with. I think that maybe you should go through your blog list and be VERY selective about who you read – a blog diet is a very good idea!! 😉

  8. HI Debby, what a fantastic post. I’m so glad to be part of the blogging community, and am VERY glad I found your site!!!! (I’ve also had some weird browser issues, so have been reading, but commenting wasn’t working for me) All sorted, so I’m glad I can leave this note)

  9. Ah, the mixed feelings. I do get that! I feel that way about Facebook too. With Facebook, I have found that I feel best when I visit about once or twice a month, and just let go of what I miss, and apologize to real life friends when I miss their important Facebook announcements that I was supposed to have seen. I let go, and I feel much lighter. When I was conscientious about Facebook, it became a burden. Likewise the blogs. I read only a few. I know I’m missing some good ones (simply because I won’t add another one for the time commitment) but I’m also, apparently, saving myself some aggravation. You aren’t the first person I have read who has complained of blog fatigue and described the symptoms — the conflicting know-it-alls who make it feel like our arms are being yanked out of their sockets.

    I suppose I can be a guilty party too. Especially when I started my blog last fall. I hadn’t heard views like mine, or seen them on the internet, and I was so fearful when I began that I might be trolled and verbally kicked in the pants for being so, I don’t know, anti-inspirational, so I came out with barrels blazing, and I shielded myself with scientific studies. I have since calmed down a bit, and I feel like my blog has really helped me get more stoic about the whole weight maintenance thing, and more forgiving of those on different paths. And I have made such a broad variety of internet friends (a special kind of relationship), who teach me so much: maintainers, size acceptance proponents, and even research scientists and medical doctors. The common denominator: none of them is dogmatic and each acknowledges how complicated this all is.

    Lori, above, talks about weeding out the “reality TV” of blogs. I really like that analogy. One thing I do, on those rare days I’m blog tasting, I leave a blog immediately (within seconds) if the writer really isn’t pretty deep into maintenance. It’s not that they’re bad people, but if they’re still on the down-hill slope of weight loss, or they’re in the coasting phase, and they haven’t started the swoosh and trudge of the cross-country trek and hit a few boulders under the snow, then they’re going to say things that will make me shake my head, and I might be compelled to say something, er, anti-inspirational, and that’s really not my goal, though it’s probably looked like that at times.

    I love that you talk about dogs and quilts and really gorgeous food. I’ve read your cookbook “cover to cover,” and someday I WILL do more than freeze banana goo in ice-cube trays. I’m glad you’re not too “professional.” You make me think, but you don’t beat me up. That is very nice.

  10. Just stepped away from the computer for a yogurt break, and it occurred to me: your blog has helped me, over the year, move from anti-inspirational to non-inspirational. I think that most psychologists would call that progress. And it answers your question: What’s blogging good for? Little blessings.

    • As always. Debra, I want to keep your comments and read them again and again! LOVE the analogy of weight loss/maintenance to the two kinds of skiing. Having done both (in both areas,) GREAT analogy. And darn it, down hill skiing was SO MUCH FUN, and cross country was a pain in the butt.

      Laughing at the being compelled to say something anti-inspirational–been there, done that.

      Your blog tells me the truth, and while it might not be traditionally inspirational, in the rah-rah cheerleader kind of way, the truth is the only thing that might possibly help me to become an accomplished ‘cross-country skier.’

  11. Pingback: As Fearful as I Ought to Be « Debra's Just Maintaining

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