The Thinternet: Tool or Tormenter


Ruh roh. I am getting ready to leave town for a few days, running around packing, watering plants, organizing, you know, all that last minute stuff, and it popped into my head–I should write a blog. And then I remembered, with an awful thud, that our AIM post was due out on Monday. So I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post.

I’ve written several times about how much I am influenced by both the written word, and by pictures. Heck, I’m so influenced by pictures that I can’t even touch a PICTURE of a worm or a caterpillar. I turn the page by gingerly flipping the corner. So you can imagine how much a foodie like me can be influenced by pictures on the internet. Food pictures have been a problem for me in the past. My favorite pet peeve from a few years ago was when I went to healthy living sites, and the super special M&M ads would be prominently featured in their sidebar. Come on, people, that’s not playing fair!

The written word is a whole ‘nother thing. I have read a LOT in the last eight years I’ve been on this journey. The internet allows me to read more widely (not deeply) about subjects I probably wouldn’t have ever heard about. This has sometimes caused me problems. Especially when people proclaim so confidently that THIS IS THE WAY. IT IS SO EASY. THE WEIGHT IS FALLING OFF OF ME. So I’ll get all confused. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m not eating enough fat/calories/protein. Maybe I’m eating too much dairy/grains/fruit. Maybe somehow, someday I will HAVE TO LEARN TO LIKE EATING EGGS. Maybe I am doomed to fail because I cannot live with the EASY RULES that these people are so confident about.

And then I take a breath. I take a step back. I look at the truth of my life. I look at the experience of my life. I use my best critical thinking and remember that not everything everybody says is true. (duh. why do I even have to say that out loud.) I remember Debra SY, who spent way more time than me studying all the scientific papers about obesity, causes and cures. And how she said often, it should be called OBESITIES, because there was more than one cause, and so of course, there would have to be more than one cure. (hope I’m quoting you right here, Debra.)

And then I take the best of all of these ideas I’ve read on the Thinternets, and try some of them. I realize that some of these ideas will work for me, and have been very helpful on my journey. The latest new old thing that I have tried is upping my protein intake to stave off hunger, and adding more vegetables to my daily intake.

And then I try to blow away the rest, and not obsess over their wrongness and shouting.

Overall, the “thinternet” has been a great bonus in this journey. I have met some people who “get me” and who have been a great support in the hard times. The accountability of it has given me that little nudge I needed when I was ready to just give in. And the recipes. Oh my. The recipes! Well, I could go on and on and on about that. I think I’ll save that for another post.

Final verdict: The thinternet has been a great tool in my weight loss, and especially my weight maintenance journey.

To read about how maintenance looks different in different lives, be sure to check out my AIM friends:

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

8 thoughts on “The Thinternet: Tool or Tormenter

  1. You’ve said it all very well, but the thing that mostly comes to my mind in being so very grateful for the internet is that without it, I wouldn’t know YOU!

  2. I love that you acknowledge your tendency to be swayed by pictures and other people’s assertions, and I love even more that you stay true to what works for you. That shows such strength to me. 🙂

    I’m seconding Sharon’s comment – meeting you has been a huge internet bonus!

  3. I love the interwebs and how many people I have met virtually – and hope to meet in person (hint, hint). However, it has its problems since it is a free forum. I do find myself swayed by things at times. I didn’t mind food ads on weight loss blogs (I had them on mine) – I always figured that was better than the ads for diet pills and such LOL!

  4. Nicely written. 🙂 I find myself becoming obsessive which is unhealthy, so I’m grateful that I’m starting to find a balance as of late. The thinternet has been a very helpful tool to my weight maintenance journey, too.

  5. Thank-you for a new word. Obesities. I like it.

    I would really hate it if people did what I do and I blush with embarrassment when I think of some of my comments and recommendations.

    We are all different and we all came by our weight problem via a different route. The broad brushstrokes may be the same but the underlying pattern and the fine lines are exceedingly different. There are so many differences that now, after almost a lifetime, (58 yrs at last count), of weight watching in some form or another I continue to discover things ….. like Obesities:)

    I am now 75 and not necessarily wiser! I am still learning what works best for me and it’s not the same as for you or anyone else I know personally or among my wonderful on-line friends. I’m glad you wrote this piece.


  6. Great post. The internet has brought me friends that I would never have found 10 to 15 years ago. It made my world bigger. As a very down to earth person, I’m not influenced easily by things I read or see on the internet. But I can totally understand that that happens to people.

  7. You are so right. At the end of the day, in my journey and yours, the “thinternet” has been a huge bonus 🙂 I can get as self-righteous and angry at the “wrong” sites as I want to, but when it comes down to what helps me every day, it is the people I’ve “met” and the places I’ve “read” in cyberspace that have made all the difference. Thanks for the reminder, my friend 🙂

  8. Hey, there, Debby. Just got on the internet after an extended vacation — well, a forced vacation. I was writing a 17-page paper for a class. Ugh. At any rate, found a spike at my blog and traced it back to here. Thanks!

    You recall correctly about the word “obesities.” I get disgusted that all people who exceed a certain BMI are treated the same (as lazy gluttons, generally) when we know that someone who carries all her weight in her abdomen has different issues than someone who carries weight in the butt and thighs and another person who is evenly fatted. Some people would just love to make their butt conform to the same “lifestyle” as their waist and chest — or vice versa — but we know it’s not just “lifestyle” that determines fat and fat distribution. We know that genetics plays a HUGE role (my body when I was over 200 pounds was identical to my maternal grandmother’s). We know that some people’s obesity is harmless and they can remain perfectly healthy, while others have a variety of health problems. We know that some people may get fat simply by overeating and undermoving, but the vast majority probably have contributing factors, if not genetic, then metabolic or environmental.

    We know that hundreds of endocrine disruptors have been introduced since the 1960s (the time period most identified with the beginning of the obesity epidemic), and yet women’s magazines just want to be lazy and only report on “lifestyle” issues without acknowledging that maybe there’s something else to it. There are countless pesticides and herbicides that have been introduced in the last five decades. Also hand sanitizers that may be affecting some people’s food-regulating gut enzymes. And too, how can we think that there have been no consequences from injecting our fellow mammals with hormones to make them fat, then eating their flesh and drinking their milk? What about birth control effluent in our drinking water? Or BPA? We’ve seen an increase in early-onset puberty, which we know is not a choice (though some scientists have tried to blame obesity for early-onset puberty, then reduce obesity to an issue of “choices”). Might endocrine disruptors tie in to obesity AND early-onset puberty? And it’s likely complicated. Different people may be sensitive to different endocrine disruptors and their bodies respond uniquely. That’s why we need to think in terms of “obesities” and not one monolithic issue “obesity.” Woof.

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