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June 12, 2009

I’m wondering why I keep writing this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very interested in the topics I blog about and I’m still losing weight and probably will be for a while.

It’s just that when I started this blog back up I did so in order to try a be a voice of moderation, reason and body-positivity in the diet world. These days I feel mostly filled with negativity. I feel like people don’t want reason, they want magic. They want ‘easy’ answers (it’s funny because a lot of the ideas people follow are much much harder than maintaining a mild deficit and staying active.) In my more cynical moments, I wonder if people just love the drama of constantly riding the dieting/fitness rollercoaster.

I just wonder what good this blog can possibly do. It has very few regular readers. My most popular post so far is the one I wrote on Tracy Anderson and most people who read it end up clicking over to her diet advice. I had hoped to be a kind of meeting place where science, self-respect and a smidge of the personal could hopefully help others who, like me, weren’t interested in self-flagellation or starvation diets.

I’m not looking for reassurance here. This is just where I am with this blog. Before I restarted this blog I started one called evidence-based weight loss that I intended to be a sort of even mix of personal weight-loss blog and straight up blogging on the science of weight loss. I decided it wasn’t what I wanted. I was too angry when I started it. I had just ‘left’ fat acceptance and the pendulum had swung in the other direction in a big way. I’m not happy with the harshness of some of the tone of the blog, but I do want more of that kind of directness.

Eh, I don’t know. I just know that if I’m going to have an unpopular blog, I at least want to write posts that interest me.

Enough navel-gazing, I’m off to dinner (Mexican. Yum!)

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2009 5:42 pm

    For whatever it’s worth, your posts usually interest me.

    Not to be reassuring or anything. 😉

  2. June 12, 2009 5:58 pm

    I love your posts, I don’t know why your blog isn’t widely read. Maybe you say too much about what people don’t want to hear, or maybe you just need to leave more comments on other blogs that get people interested enough to click on your link? I can’t understand why people are so interested in every morsel a person ate and how much they hate themselves for not exercising enough, but that’s what many people like, apparently.

    • June 15, 2009 10:29 am

      I’m terrible about networking. I read a bunch of different blogs, but I never know what to say unless I’m arguing, then I’m extremely verbose.

      Yeah, the super-detailed food and exercise blogs mystify me. Maybe people just like to diet vicariously through others.

  3. Carrie permalink
    June 12, 2009 6:10 pm

    Um, hi. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but now seemed like the time to do it. 🙂 Your blog is one of the few I subscribe to through Google’s feed reader.

    I started out in the fat acceptance movement…then I decided I wanted to run a marathon. I started exercising and eating better, and I lost about 45 pounds. And I felt AMAZING. My posture got better, I got more energy, my period, which had been irregular for years, actually started to come monthly, and all of my knee and back problems went away. And the thing was, people started to treat me like I’d betrayed them. I couldn’t talk about how much better I felt without being called a sellout. Friends I’d had for years were suddenly giving me dirty looks and ignoring my calls.

    The thing is, I still way 230 pounds. And I’ve never dieted. My views on body image haven’t changed at all. I don’t believe everyone needs to be a certain size.

    When I found your blog, I felt like–finally, someone who doesn’t go to the extreme in either direction, who doesn’t believe that losing weight is evil or impossible, and who also doesn’t believe it’s some kind of magical key to health and happiness.

    So, for what it’s worth–I’ve said all of this just to say–your blog has probably helped and interested more people than you know. Your voice is needed out there. 🙂

    • June 15, 2009 10:45 am

      Thanks.

      I hear you about losing weight, feeling great and still being fat. I have no idea where I’ll settle into a comfortable weight, but I wouldn’t be surprised one little bit to still be officially fat when I’m done losing weight. Nor would I care.

      I’m sorry to hear that about some of your friends. IME, ‘hardcore’ activists of all kinds tend to lose the ability to see nuance when it comes to their issues (hardcore vegans often being a stunning example of this.) What they often fail to realize is that by appointing themselves as movement-purity police, they lose far more people for good.

  4. June 12, 2009 7:04 pm

    I subscribe to you on my RSS reader. So I don’t know if that shows up on your stats or what. But I’m here, though I don’t often comment.

    • June 15, 2009 10:47 am

      That’s really nice to hear. I check out your blog (blogs, now) quite a bit too. I’ve always enjoyed what you have to say.

      I’m an all-star lurker who never comments so I certainly don’t expect everyone who reads here to comment.

  5. Marianne permalink
    June 12, 2009 9:05 pm

    I read you through my Google Reader, and I really appreciate the voice of sanity. Like you, I am losing weight after struggling with the fat acceptance movement for a long time, and your approach to health and weight really resonates with me.

    I hope you find the balance you seek with this blog!

    • June 15, 2009 10:48 am

      Thank you!

      I must be the last person on the internet not to use google reader. I’ll have to set it up. The ADD part of my brain kind of enjoys all the clicking and scrolling I do now, though.

  6. June 12, 2009 10:57 pm

    I come here every day, even though I somehow got assigned a crabby face. I really appreciate your viewpoint, even though I don’t leave comments often. You aren’t anti-weight loss, but you aren’t hustling a diet, so you are a “voice between.”

    I really think people want weight loss to be a fairy tale narrative. I am maintaining a weight loss, and people offer me food, tell me to “lighten up” and “live it up.” (and I’m not a Debbie Downer, and don’t comment on or nag anybody). These were people who encouraged me when I was losing, but they treat my maintenance like a brief interruption to real life, when I will “eat normally (i.e., the way of eating and living that made me fat.). A lot of people don’t want reality, but some of us do. You serve a very appreciative niche audience.

    • June 15, 2009 3:53 pm

      I wonder if there is a way to change the faces. I did notice yours always looks particularly angry/skeptical.

      Reality is boring and messy and, when it comes to permanent weight loss, generally not that dramatic. People love the big reveal, not so much the careful maintenance.

  7. Susan permalink
    June 13, 2009 12:04 am

    I recently began reading your blog after discussing good things to read with my daughter. I have been fat and thin. Thin is a full time job I’m not interested in having. That being said a few years ago I started to feel really sick. Really sick. I developed a slew of food allergies and was miserable. I decided to change the way I eat, not in the “fantasy of thinness” approach, but in the “I want to feel better and be healthy” approach. I also incorporated walking to my rather sedentary lifestyle. Have I lost weight? Sure but it’s slow and I am for the first time okay with this. I feel great and when I look in the mirror I find that every day I fall more in love with the fat lady looking back at me. The point of this post is to say that I am really enjoying your blog. I like that you are up front and willing to express your opinions without restraint. Frankly, I come by every day and am disappointed if you haven’t posted. What I’m saying is I really look forward to and am interested in what you have to say. I would be sad if you discontinued your blog. This in no way meant as reassurance, it’s just me saying what you write has value and you should keep it up.

  8. June 15, 2009 12:08 am

    I read your blog.

    I think that HAES and the size acceptance movement are wonderful, and everyone should listen to them. On the other hand, I think that for many people their ideals are unobtainable, for numerous reasons (not related to their internal factors, but to the enormous social reality external to them.)

    I also had weight loss surgery, so I am definitely a traitor to the cause. But, that is looking at it the wrong way.

    Everyone should be taught to love their bodies. And loving your body means treating it right. So what if that falls under the guise of “losing weight,” it means being good to your body. As long as the “losing weight” method does not come with “hate your body” I am generally okay with it.

    (i still agree that if losing weight is ones primary motivation, and once that motivation stops the healthy behavior will stop, then it is a failed experiment. but, treating your body well is a reward that stays regardless of the weight loss is how to approach most things.)

  9. Alexandra Lynch permalink
    June 15, 2009 1:37 am

    I also read you through a feed reader.

    I myself have no interest in being thin. Thin disappears. By remaining what society considers fat, I stake my place and cannot be ignored. But I have a foot injury, and it would be happier if I carried fewer total pounds. And I do not like the fact that my stomach wants to stick out farther than my boobs. Exercise is tricky for me, since I have fibromyalgia, but I am working on it, and I don’t see that deciding to edge the weight downward while remaining committed to being Present and opulently curved is at all a contradiction.

    (laugh) size 20 waist. Bust and hips put me into a 28.

  10. stlwtr permalink
    June 15, 2009 12:00 pm

    I only found your site a couple of months ago and I really enjoy it because it reflects the voice of moderation. I am working real hard right now on making peace with my body while also taking care of it by exercising regularly and most of the time, eating foods that make me feel good and give me energy. That middle ground can be surprisingly hard to find….

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