Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lost Bloggers

At the suggestion of a noted weight-loss blogger who didn’t want to take credit for the idea, I spun my wheels for quite a while trying to craft a song parody to “We Are The World” that centered around the idea of helping those weight-loss bloggers who have dropped off the radar over the last few months, never to be heard from again. The gist of it was to have different guest bloggers “sing” the different parts, urging these people to return to their online weight-loss journey.

We are the wide, we are the distressed.
We wanna be the ones who look a little better
When we get undressed.


I couldn’t seem to bring it home to my satisfaction, but I started thinking about it again as I was going through the blogs I’m following and hacking out the ones that haven’t updated in forever.

It was kind of depressing, to tell you the truth. There were so many “This Is It!” and “Never Give Up!” posts that were immediately followed by… crickets.

I was surprised to find that there were quite a few whose stories I was really into for a time. But out of sight, out of mind, I suppose, and new, more active voices tend to fill that void.

The sad thing is that I suspect that these folks haven’t just dropped the ball on their blogging. If they’re anything like me, they’ve lapsed into that mindset that says if I’m not thinking hard about what I’m eating, the calories don’t count. If I’m not weighing myself regularly, I’m not gaining weight.

I’m afraid that they’re going to wake up one day and realize that they’re lost a lot of ground on their journey, that they’ve slipped back down that slippery slope where climbing is such a slow, tough trudge but sliding back can happen as quick as a hiccup.

I don’t have a lot of weight left to lose, but I’m still blogging like my weight depends on it… because in a very real sense, I believe it does.

“There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives

It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me.”

67 comments:

  1. You are so right (as always...doesn't every man love when a woman tells him he's right...I know it doesn't happen often...I digress). It's so easy to slip back into the frame of mind where the half bag of cookies don't count, and the fact that you haven't exercised in two weeks doesn't matter. It's so much easier to slip out of good habits than it is to slip out of bad ones.

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  2. another great post, one to think about.. I agree, we need to blog/track as if our lives depend on it.. as it truly does for me and I know many others..

    thanks for the thought...

    Anne

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  3. Great post. I think I will go post to a couple of blogs that I follow that have gone quiet right now. Maybe we need to let some folks know that we are waiting for them to get back on the horse.

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  4. and when you hit goal..I hope that you don't stop blogging.

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  5. If u ever stop by my blog and pick up that I dont care anymore, please please give the the wake up call as I dont want to gain the weight back - x

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  6. Thanks for the new mantra, I will blog as if my life depends on it, because you're right - I think it just might.

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  7. I've often wondered what other bloggers do when people disappear like that. I recently decided to off mine as well. BTW, I know for a fact that you follow me but I don't see my blog in your blogroll...

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  8. You are realistic about slacking off on the good routines, thanks for reminding people.

    Secretia

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  9. I know when I've been quiet (on personal blog since my WL one is new) it's when I need that push...

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  10. You are talking about me, and I don't think you even read my blog. "Lost Bloggers" was a great post. It made me realize that the slump I am in happens to everyone. Just yesterday, I felt like that 'throw my hands up and stop trying' feeling. Then this morning, I read this. I know I won't give up. It is not that want to give up, it is just that I am SOOO frustrated! Thanks Jack.

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  11. Great post Jack. I'm missing a couple of folks right now - one in particular who I've even sent an email telling her I miss her. You never know if they're fighting the eating monsters or if something serious is going on in their lives. But I send positive vibes for them and keep checking their status.

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  12. Hellyeah. But it's not just to lose the weight, it's keeping it off as well. That's equally (if not more) difficult and equally easy to fall off the wagon if you're not keeping an eye on it.

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  13. Jack if you ever disappear I would hunt you down and find you, I expect nothing less from you :-)

    Great post as usual!

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  14. It's like Sisyphus. At least my life is. I keep rolling that rock up the hill and it keeps rolling back down.

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  15. Great post! I noticed a huge drop off of bloggers around Christmas. Where are they?

    And youre right, just because we may not be focused on losing weight anymoret this is still a wonderful way to stay accountable.

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  16. Right as rain, Jack!
    When I took a break from blogging,
    I still kept Low Carbing.
    But I think I was an exception... unfortunately!

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  17. You've written my biggest fears, Jack. That I will be lulled back to sleep, and wake up 30 pounds heavier. The blog for me is one major tool to keep me awake and honest. Great post.

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  18. Im still around Jack. Posting nearly every day! Just changed the name of my blog......I refuse to give up! No matter how bad a day/week I have! And YOU inspire me to keep going! Thank you!

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  19. I plan not to stop and have noticed I need to go through and empty my blog roll. You keep us in line though!!

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  20. That is a great post and a fantastic idea to think about.

    It is true, so many bloggers are confident and then they stop blogging. Some keep on the journey, most fall off.

    It is not fair. They put their lives out there. they get us interested. They make us car, and then poof. They get busy, they make excuses, they do not think it is worth it anymore.

    It is always worth it. You do not have to have a great idea to write a great post. you do not have to be a great writer to be a great blogger. We are all in this together.

    Weight Loss bloggers are weird because it is a community like no other. It has its little groups, yet we are all out for one goal, to be as healthy as we know we can be.

    Sorry for the rant, it just seems like that blogger who did not want to be recognized seems like a really intelligent guy...I mean blogger.

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  21. Great post, Jack. I must say I'm a little surprised that you haven't called ME out on the fact that my weight loss blog hasn't really been about weight loss in a while. You may not hear crickets chirp, but there's certainly been enough filler the last few weeks.

    Thanks for the wake-up call.

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  22. It's very easy to blog when losing weight is shiny and new and easy. It's a lot harder when you struggle - and that can be the time you need to reach out the most!

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  23. There are a few blogs I read that I wonder the same thing about.

    Although I've struggled the past few months I am proud of myself for still blogging and not giving up. I don't want my blog to become...crickets!

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  24. It's always depressing when someone I've been following stops updating, but luckily I'm new enough at this that I'm still finding more and more blogs everyday.

    I've had a few blogs before (blogger, livejournal, etc...more randomness than weight loss though) but I always forgot about them after a few months. I don't forsee that happening this time, as I love my site (even if I'm not the best writer) and my followers :)

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  25. There have been some times since I started my blog back in 2006, where there may have been some crickets chirping where motivational posts should have been displayed. But eventually I always come back because I know it's the only way I'll win this battle and keep it up.

    BTW, The song was beautiful. *sniff, sniff. Tear*

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  26. I've started, blogged, left and came back four times now, and yeah, the ending of the blogging was because of an increasing of the eating. (whoa verb attack).

    My blog is a naked stark reality of my obese life and the journey to end the obese part. So when I fall off the wagon (or when I break through its wooden bottom), my blog is more like a shame that I care to avoid. But I come back, because I know its good for me to be honest with myself and anyone else on the road with me.

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  27. Thanks for getting song stuck in my head once again.

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  28. I am afraid of crickets...no really! They jump at you and you can hear them sometimes and not see them....eewww!

    If you do finish the WATW song can I please sing the Cyndi Lauper part? I always liked her high pitch section of the song. lol

    :)

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  29. Great post. I'm fairly new to blogging and have noticed this phenomenon already...I'm like, hey..where'd you go?? I miss you! LOL Lesson for me to remember.

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  30. Great post Jack and so true. I've had people I really connected with disappear, it just makes me sad. I wish people realized how important they are to others even if they don't think they are important enough.

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  31. We former "lost" bloggers have an award for you!!

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  32. So so so true.

    Often in blogging you can only hear your own voice. Though you may hear other people, it's hard to reach out and say "Hey, I think you're slipping, need help?"

    You're a touchstone for a lot a lot of people. Thanks for the reminder that this is a larger community :)

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  33. I know... there are one or two bloggers I truly miss.

    I've been blogging officially for 4 years now, but for 2 I disappeared, funny how they also happened to be the two where I gained the majority of my weight.

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  34. Hey Slim, Sunshine here. ;)

    I know better than slip off the radar for too long. There's no way I want to go back to where I was. Yeah, I've not been a very good 'flogger' lately, but I'm trying.

    One question...

    I've looked on the blogroll over there ----> twice or maybe ten times now and don't see me there. What's up with that?

    :)

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  35. Never mind. You must have just added me within the last 10 seconds. HA!

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  36. hahahaha, you so funny...
    Love
    Nana..x

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  37. I've disappeared a couple of times as well and wondered if I was "missed." This time I'm sticking to it, though, and if I don't I hope somebody shows up to kick my ass!

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  38. How true! I was inspired to create my blog after another blogger, and she's hasn't updated for weeks now.

    I really find blogging helps a lot and keeps me motivated! It's too bad others can't stick with it. It sucks to have to keep trying to climb the steep hill and slide right back down.

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  39. I've emailed a couple of bloggers that I really like...I hope they come back. More importantly, I'm doing my best not to join them! This is an excellent post. It really touches me that you keep on letting us know that you care about each of us succeeding. Thank you Jack.

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  40. despite the stressfull shit (and it's a lot of it) that hit me this weekend, I'm still trying to keep grips on this weightloss journey, so don't count me out....EVER!

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  41. Great post. I've often wondered about some bloggers I follow that have suddenly disappeared. There really is no way to reach out to them to let them know I still care other than leave a comment or maybe send an email but if they've really stopped blogging then they probably won't see either.
    You're right about the little communuty here in blogland. We do care about each other and we are interested in what everyone is saying.
    You may think you are blogging like your weight depended on it but you are also blogging because OUR weight depends on it!

    Yes, it would be a sad day if there was no more Jack Sh*t.

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  42. I think sometimes people reach a point where so much is happening in their lives that they feel they can't wade out of it. Pounds pack back on and so does stress. It's hard to reach out sometimes. Especially when you feel like your whole blog has been built on such a positive and energetic platform.

    Hopefully they haven't gotten too far off the beaten path and hopefully they will come back and resume. :o)

    ~Kellie

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  43. I have been on this path a long time although I have only recently discovered blogging about it and this wonderful supportive spiderweb of a community here. I can say I did let the crickets chirp for awhile... mainly because I was doing all of this all by myself and my loved ones were tired of hearing it, strangers thought I was obsessed (I am for good reason) and worst of all I stopped preaching the possitive influence getting healthy is to myself. Now that I am back 120 lbs down and 120 to go... I hope to not go silent until I have the maintenence of a healthy weight, once I reach my goal, down.

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  44. I was at the precipice myself recently and I have to say that every day I didn't blog I felt myself sinking further into the abyss. The people who started this journey with me have long since dropped out or are "keeping up appearances" except for my husband. I was over whelmed and a little depressed. In the end it came down to me not wanting to gain the 54lbs I have lost back. Ever.

    The silence is cyclical though I believe. I'm sure I will be taunted by it several times before I finish losing 250+lbs. I hope no one ever gives up on me.

    Good post.

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  45. My biggest impediment to weight loss is always gaining some of it back, and then giving up. You are right, you must continue to be diligent. Just because the weight is gone now, doesn't mean it can't come back.

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  46. I did not begin blogging until I had lost most of my weight - 2 years ago. I'm not sure I would have kept it off as successfully these past two years withoug bloggerland. I don't think I would have kept growing and learning. I don't think I would find the constant inspiration to try something new.

    I have not lost a heap of weight as a consequence. But I feel healthier over all. Leaner, meaner, more confident.

    I hope the drop offs are just on to pursuing other things and not regainng or giving up. I know, I am probably being too optimistic. That was a discovery I made during my blogging.

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  47. It makes me sad when bloggers disappear for several months. It's almost like you know exactly what's going on with their weight, and you want to help, but they're too embarrased to come back. At least that's usually how it goes. Makes me sad. :(

    Hope

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  48. dang Jack, you sure have a ton of comments these days. I had to scroll down to the basement over here ;) I like to think I knew you before you were famous.

    I have wanted to give up in the past but I can't be of those people who just disappear from the blogosphere. There is real help here and you are one of the MOST helpful. Thanks!

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  49. I attribute keeping on track to blogging. There are days when I don't know what to write, but I still read other blogs. I can't imagine what a blogging community would be like if YOU disappeared Jacko! No pressure....

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  50. Everything about this attempt was a last gasp throw for salvation for me.
    Everything...
    Including making a public Blog.
    Making my weight and face public knowledge.
    Telling everyone I know and people I don't.
    As you know I have read every self help hook on the planet and one thing that stuck with me was something Tony Robbins said, he said...If you want to change,you have got to give yourself leverage over yourself.
    So I took a picture and wrote a letter stating how I was 262 lbs. That if, in a year I had not lost at least 40 lbs, I was giving my friend Amber permission to take the picture, this letter and publish it in a half page spread in my hometown paper back in michigan, the clare county review. Everyone I grew up with would see these words.
    Christina oursler (formerly Carpenter), Farwell class of 1992 is morbidly obese and remains so...she doesn't care enough about herself, her children or her husband to change. She has failed again.
    I even wrote an undated check.
    It worked.
    If I would tell anybody anything, it's this:
    Get some leverage going.

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  51. So true Jack! I have seen quite a few come and go in the last 11 months. I try pinging them on comments or email saying "Yooohoo are you alive?" but hasn't worked very well. I thought I was getting a little jaded about it because I do care about the people and then they up and bail and it makes me mad but I can't control what others do, I can only change how I handle it.

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  52. From my own experience, when a blogger has stopped blogging it usually means they've derailed. That's what happened to me. I was in denial until I visited the scale.

    That's why I try to leave comments on inanimate blogs to ask folks to come back. Blog! Accountability does wonders for a person.

    I'm a blogging fool lately and I've lost 6.2 pounds in 2 weeks! :)

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  53. The more you blog, the more you lose. :D

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  54. Jack, very real & I hope not all of them gave up on their health goals!

    Me, if I ever decide to stop, I am going to post why & with an explanation & it will have nothing to do with not challenging myself or not trying to be better. It will be cause the dust in my house took over the computer room & the keyboard & the bathrooms are no longer a place that you want "to go"! :-)

    PS: NuNaturals was going to send out the winner packages this week so hopefully soon!

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  55. So true and yes, so sad.

    Glad you're still gonna be sticking around!

    BTW, I gave you the 'Happy 101' award on my blog.

    You are a true inspiration and definitely deserve it! Be sure to check it out and accept it! (And I know you just burned a bunch of blog awards, but you still deserve to know about them)

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  56. If I'm not blogging I'm not losing. It is really sad when a great blog does dark.

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  57. Yeah...there are a few blogs that I follow that haven't updated in several months. I should stop following them/take them off my blog roll. But I hate doing that. It feels like I'm giving up on them. Lol. I guess I keep up hope that they'll come back, 'cause I truly do like seeing people succeed.

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  58. This really resonated with me as I hope never to be one of those lost bloggers but I know the possibility is very real. Thanks for the on-going motivation, Jack!

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  59. Amen, Jack. I have vowed that I will continue my blog no matter what. If I dive head-first into a pint of Ben & Jerry's, I will own up to it. If I struggle for 6 months with the same 5 pounds, I will continue talking about it, trying to find a way through the maze I make for myself. My blog works for me because it's mental, and SO much of this process is in the head! Thanks for talking truth.

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  60. It's called FDS (or Fat Denial Syndrome). I wish I knew how to get those bloggers out of FDS. I guess they could look at themselves in the mirror naked like I do every morning. I sure as hell motivates me to not give up. I sure as hell would rather see the fat rolls disappear instead of reappear.

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  61. Jack,

    This was the perfect post to come back to. So, so, so very on point. I almost feel like I should start singing "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see . ."

    Thank you for the welcome back. Here's to hoping more of us who lost our way return to the fold.

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  62. I know! Those blogs make me sad. I'm always happy when they come back (if they do) oh so many never do...

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  63. This is a very sweet post, Jack. I was thrilled to see the return of a 'missing' blogger just today and really celebrated the fact that they were back on track.

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  64. It's always a challenge to consciously remember my weight loss and health goals. But I try. I used to be one of those Lost bloggers. But now, I'm coming back and getting on track. Blogging does help build my support system when the people in my life don't understand what I'm up to.

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  65. Yes, I'e wondered what's happened to a few bloggers myself. Some have not posted in 2 months... I hope they come back to blogging. There is so much support here in bloggyville.

    Weight loss for me is a journey filled with challenges. Ups and downs. There's no judgment here... It's abou being real and finding your mojo... I'm still hoping a few of my favorites return.

    Great post as alwasy Jack

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  66. It is sad when our blogging friends disappear. I'm glad you're still here--even though I'm always desperately behind, I read you through bloglines and you still always brighten my day!

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