How to Blog Your Way to a Healthy Weight

I am very intrigued by the habits of people who have lost a great deal of weight through healthy lifestyle (and kept it off!).  One healthy habit that I’m seeing lately in a lot of successful “losers” (read their stories here) is blogging about the weight loss journey.  Blogging is one of the most powerful yet underused weight loss tools.  Why might it help?  First of all, narrative is one of the most effective ways to learn.  We learn about ourselves from our own narratives and we learn from others by reading theirs.  Think of your blog as your story, in segments.  Writing your story down is also a way to keep yourself focused on progress and goals, and to solidify your commitment.  You can think about or talk about a goal, but putting it to paper increases the likelihood that it will happen.  Finally, by opening up and connecting with others you will build a community of support. Support from other people is the scaffolding of any weight loss journey.  We need it.  We can’t do this alone.  Recent research has even shown that the more people you connect with during your weight loss journey the more weight you will lose (Ma et al 2011).  So blog off those pounds… here are 7 suggestions for getting started.

1. I’m Not the Techie/Blogger Type.  This is a barrier for a lot of people because the assumption is that blogging must involve a high level of technical skill. Not true! These days just about anyone can set up a blog.  I suggest Blogger, a free user-friendly blog tool made by Google.  Just follow the step-by-step instructions and you will be blogging in an hour.

2. Be You.  When you put yourself out there, it is hard not to worry about how other people will perceive you.  I urge you to be your authentic self; meaning, don’t try to create a public persona or project a different personality than your own.  It is much easier to write when you write from your own voice.  You are the easiest person you can ever be.

3. Blog like nobody’s reading.  Keep in mind that a blog is for your benefit, not somebody else, although others certainly may benefit and that is a huge bonus.  At first you won’t have many or any readers so it is important that you don’t focus on building a certain size audience or trying to please an audience.  Think of your blog as public letters to yourself, a public journal.  If someone happens to stop by for a read or a comment, then that is one more person who might benefit from your story.

4. Toughest days are the most important ones to put to pen.  The most compelling weight loss blog posts that I have ever read are the ones that tell the stories of hard times. I remember reading a post where a blogger wrote a raw account of a day of binge eating.  It was heart wrenching to read because she detailed the true struggle, emotions and all, of someone trying to get in control of her eating.  In her follow-up posts it was clear she felt a tremendous catharsis by writing about that day.  The support that flowed in through comments was incredible.  Normally a binge day could cause your whole week (or longer) to be engulfed in shame, regret and depression. By putting it all out there, the blogger disarmed her demons, letting them fly right out the window.  She set herself free.

5. Write regularly.   To really develop the blogging habit, write a few (at least 3-4) posts a week.  This may seem like a lot of work, but keep the posts short.  Spend no more than 30 minutes to an hour on a post.  Every post doesn’t need to contain a life-changing revelation, just write what you’ve been thinking about that day, how you dealt with a challenge, a new strategy you used, a recipe, a frustration, how you felt while exercising, a personal victory, a fear, etc.  Blogging will force you to be more mindful of your experiences. You will find yourself thinking about what to blog about each day and this will make for some powerful reflection time, something we could all use!

6. Connect to other blogs.  A great way to get started is by first checking out other weight loss blogs.  You can start by being a reader, commenting, and interacting.  Most bloggers have a Facebook page or Twitter feed, which can allow for even more interaction.  If you aren’t ready to blog, take this first step to see what it is all about.  Once you start blogging, you can link to your favorite blogs and let them know you are blogging too.  The blogging community is a friendly one, don’t be afraid to connect and interact. Everyone is on the same road and everybody will be happy you joined.  A few blogs to check out are:  A Lifetime Loser , Cubicle Dad Runs , The Weightress, The Fit Bee , Weight Off My Shoulders , The Business of Losing Weight.  There are many, many others too.

7. Perfection is the Key… to getting nothing accomplished.  I’m a fan of the beautiful mess. That’s life, isn’t it?  Blogging is not like writing a literary masterpiece, it is a journal.  Do not worry about heavily editing and rewriting each post to get it just right as this may slow down your progress.  If you frequently experience writer’s block it may be because you are thinking too much about what exactly to write.  Just move your fingers to get something on the canvas. You’ll be surprised what corners of your mind you can explore if you don’t think, don’t edit, just write.

Calling all bloggers!  Please give us a one-liner of advice about weight loss blogging (and link to your blog!) in the comment section!  We would love to hear from you!

 

References

Ma, X and colleagues (2011).  Understanding weight change behaviors through online social networks. International Journal of Computational Models and Algorithms, 2(3), 46-69.

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12 Comments

  1. Often I am putting into words thoughts other people are feeling also. It’s a great way to find your motivation 🙂

  2. Daniel says:

    Blogging about losing weight has helped keep me accountable. Share everything (that you’re comfortable with)…you’ll be surprised at how many others you will find who have gone through, or are going through something similar.

  3. TrueLifeDiva says:

    Dr. Sherry, my website is not showing. I think my last post went to spam. Please add me to your blogroll 😀

  4. Angie says:

    I think this post may have pushed me over into the blogosphere after contemplating it for over a year…. Yikes!!! Am I about to become a … (gulp)… BLOGGER??!?!?!?!

  5. I made a tab to keep track of my weight loss and workout. Once I started writing about my journey, people started asking questions and encouraging me.

  6. What a great idea, to share ideas of what works. I’m fascinated in the motivation side of things, having seen how nagging and negativity doesn’t help. I am usually pondering this is my blog, also generally noticing what doesn’t help in getting people to click. But because i’m also interested in a wide variety of things wellness related and because it’s my blog, dammit, I blog about whatever’s on my mind.

    http://thelondonmom1.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-this-doesnt-work-when-you-want-to.html

  7. Millie says:

    I’ve discovered that talking to myself on a blog lets me be honest about what I’m doing and what I’m hoping for. Life-changing stuff.

  8. Latest post “Workout called off due to rain… http://wp.me/p24zqC-1e via @TrueLifeDiva1″ with a #Plankaday shout out 🙂

  9. Jacey says:

    I just started blogging and whenever I think about what I’m eating and how I’m treating my body I remember that I will blog about it later so I want to make decisions that are healthy 🙂

    Holds myself accountable, even if nobody were to read it!
    I like your “blog like nobody else is reading it” tip.

    littlemissjacey.blogspot.com
    @jacey_tiu on twitter

  10. Warwick says:

    I’ve just recently started blogging about my #LessWaz “project” on my blog. Only have one post about being overweight up at the moment, and a second one that’s nearly ready to publish, but I’m having trouble finishing it.

    I was daily vlogging for a couple of weeks on YouTube when I started, but I’ve gone to a weekly weigh-in vlog, because I felt like I was running out of things to say every day.

  11. I like to engage my readers (aka my mom) by asking questions at the end of the post. Something that is either thought provoking or to generate response. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn’t.

    I also post the link to the latest post on Twitter and Facebook.

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