• Tue, Jul 2 2013

30 by 30: On Blogging, Openness, And Honesty

blogger success Why do people read blogs? I think it is because a lot of us are naturally curious about others – their passions, their joys, their struggles, and the big and small things that impact their lives. It’s nice to know there are others out there going through similar experiences or to encounter someone whose life is vastly different from our own.”

-Melissa Jordan, Dear Baby Blog

I have spent the past two weeks soaking up the sun and the ocean air in both California and Florida. Over the course of my time away, there was a lot of solo time which inevitably leads to a lot of life introspection. At the forefront? My weight loss goals. My diet and exercise plans. This blog.

It’s been a few months now, I’ve enjoyed writing this column, but is it affecting anyone? Is it affecting me? Am I affecting change on myself? I’m not always sure and some weeks sitting down to put pen to paper feels like an exercise in painful torture of exposing my darkest parts.

Writing about my body in such a public forum invites criticism and comments, it opens Pandora’s box to a world that I may never have experienced without the wide world of internet readers. And while I love 90% of the emails and comments and texts I get about my columns, there is a sliver of the population that makes my skin crawl.

Last summer, I was working late on a project for work and had to access my intern’s computer to find some client files. I stumbled across countless images, videos, emails and chats filled with pages of insults about me. It was every fear that a fat kid has ever, in plain sight and on company letterhead. And because she was the owner’s daughter, there was not one thing I could do about it. In fact, that same company hired her just a few months later. I’ve let go of most of the things I read, but what kept running through my head most every time I interacted with her was an email she’d sent to another intern, dissecting and mocking one of my blog entries.

It’s been with me every time I go to blog. The particular entry I mentioned was about fighting to not give up on my journey. An admirable quality and effort if you ask me. But no. This girl found ways to make it hurtful and mean and mock the fact that I get up every day with a battle to fight. I sat curled up on my living room floor with a steady stream of tears for the next two days solid.

A friend sent me a link to a website the other day where people submit threads about bloggers who they find annoying. It’s literally thousands of pages of trash talk amongst blog readers. There is even a forum thread for Healthy Living Bloggers. There are people out there who take our words, our most intimate body baring words, and dissect, analyze and judge every single word of them. It hurts my heart. In a million ways. And it makes me want to give up blogging. Or the internet, period.

And then I run across something like sweet Melissa’s quote. We read each other’s blogs to find some semblance of ourselves, a tiny speck of inspiration, a world so drastically different that it compels you to do something daring. I am never going to understand the need to tear down women (or men) who are trying to lose weight. It’s the most personal and most admirable thing I think any woman (or man) works towards. And if she (he) happens to share it publically, she (he) should only be met with rallying cries of support from the readers.

In summary, I’m going to keep writing this column as honestly and openly as the day I started. If only for the fact that it might encourage someone else who is dealing with the exact same struggles as I do, day in and day out.

And oh yeah, I also wrote a plan for the next 12 weeks. It includes 2 pretty drastic resolutions that I’ll share next week. The time for fear and laziness is over. I’m about to kick this summer’s (and my own) ass.

Weekly Drilldown:

+2 in 2 weeks of travel. Not happy but not hating it either. Moving onwards and downwards.

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  • Hannah

    Being open is certainly a double edged sword, because you’re vulnerable to whatever opinions are invited simply by the existence of a comments section. But I’ve read almost all of your 30 by 30 posts, and I think you have a really strong spirit and a sweet heart, and I know you can achieve your goals for YOU, regardless of what some brat puts in an e-mail.

  • Katie

    I usually never comment on blogs, but I wanted to let you know I’ve been reading yours religiously! I’ve also passed it on to friends who are struggling with the same weight issues I am. We’ve discussed several of your entries and its been a great tool in figuring out our own weight loss journey. I love your attitude, and the post you mentioned was a very inspiring one. Having passed my thirtieth I’m finding one of my biggest regrets has been letting my fear of being made fun of hold me back (i.e. afraid to go to the gym and be judged by everyone else). The girl who made those comments is a small, petty, mean person who will sadly probably not change. You, on the other hand, have identified a part of your life you want to change and are being positive. Hang in there, I can’t wait to keep reading and being inspired by you as I continue my weight loss journey :)

    • Kendyl

      Thanks Katie! That means a lot!