About Fogdog's Weight Loss

Don't Focus on the Goal...

If you've followed this blog you know that I've struggled for many years with improving my health. I've finally reached a point where I've managed to maintain a small amount of success. Now it's time to take the next step, but I believe it requires a new way of thinking.

Instead of trying to get healthy, why not shift focus toward learning how to build healthy habits instead. Follow me as I try to teach myself how to Engineer healthy habits that will allow me to take my health to the next level. Let's see where this experiment goes!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Do We Blog About Weight Loss?

I recently read another blog where the blogger was reflecting about his 6 year anniversary as a blogger.  He wrote about writing from the heart, and being authentic and genuine.  He wrote about making sure you always write for yourself and no one else and how therapeutic it can be.

I agree with all those statements, most people can spot someone who’s not being authentic a mile away.  Usually their blogs are overfilled with drama and excuses.  Quite often they cater to the masses offering no real value.  I also agree you should write for yourself and no one else.  However, I believe that the only way to do these things, the only way to be genuine and to write for yourself, is to understand why you blog in the first place.  What is your primary motivation?  Is it to hold yourself accountable? To reflect?  To keep a record of your progress?  Or is it something different like being part of a support group or to seek fame and fortune (better go get some lottery tickets)?

Below you’ll find a few different types of weight loss blogs.  Now to be up front, all blogs are different and will display characteristics from any and all of these categories.  This is not meant to be a “pick from the list and blog this way”, but rather, something for you to think about.  We are all unique and there is no right or wrong way.

Dear Diary…

The primary motivation for a lot of bloggers is to have a journal to capture their thoughts.  These blogs are usually filled with daily activities, choices made, and a general expression of how the blogger is feeling.  Blogging is sort of like a therapy, a place where they can go to escape with their own thoughts for a while.

The dear diary bloggers don’t need a large audience; the act of blogging is their support structure.  They do visit other blogs and they do make comments but not as much as some other types do.  These bloggers also tend to blog quite regularly; usually every day, again, because it’s a form of therapy.

In my opinion a lot of blogs start out this way and then fail because it’s not the really what they needed to get from their blog.  If you find yourself constantly craving for more followers, pageviews, or comments, then you need to ask yourself why (see other possibilities below).  If you find yourself making exaggerations to add drama or writing things simply to get a reaction from others, then you are probably doomed to fail.  Journals are meant to be full of truth and personal emotion.

It is also quite ironic that these types of blogs can actually end up with quite a following if the blogger actually succeeds at losing a lot of weight.  Why?  That’s simple, because everyone loves a happy ending and we all want to believe we can do the same.  Because these blogs are so full of truth and emotion they are also quite inspiring!

Ultimate Accountability

Another primary motivation for weight loss bloggers is the need to be held accountable.  If you tell the world your story and you continue to provide updates on your progress, it can be a strong motivation to not want to fail.  These blogs usually contain a lot of numbers and facts, before and after pictures, and progress reports.

These bloggers need followers and pageviews.  They will comment and follow other blogs but largely to the extent that the want those blogger to follow them.  These bloggers are also very quick to point out when they fall.  They want you to see how they are doing and they need people to tell them they are doing well.

The one big problem with blogging for accountability is that you can always choose to stop blogging.  If you are blogging for accountability, then you need to maintain that commitment to post in both good times and bad.

Community Chest

These bloggers want to be part of a community.  Quite often they don’t have a strong support structure in the real world and they want to be part of something that will help them get better.  They are willing to share some personal stuff, but mostly they just want to interact with others.

These bloggers spend as much time at other blogs as they do on their own.  They don’t care so much about quantity of followers or pageviews; it ‘s the comments they want the most.  Community bloggers also post a lot of comments on other people’s websites and get email follow-ups in case someone responds and they can get a thread going.

Community bloggers have a tendency to post more about topics than their own personal journey.  Their goal is to get others thinking and engaged in the conversation.  The community is their support system.  They tend to post less often than the other types because they spend a lot of their time on other blogs instead of writing content for their own.

The big watch-out for community bloggers is that often they get caught up so much in being part of the community that they forget to focus on actually losing weight.

Don’t take my Fruitloops!

There's one more group that I call Wildcards.  Wildcards are unique, they don’t really conform to any style.  They tend to be very polarizing, some you might enjoy, others you can’t stand.  There’s not really any point to discussing a wildcard’s motivation because, after all, they are wildcards!  Seriously though, these folks entertain and quite often exposing the lighter side of things in a topic that's often depressing.  It doesn't have to be serious all the time!

Why I Blog… Confessions of a FogDog

When I started this blog I was searching for accountability.  I didn’t need support because I was very arrogant and already knew everything!  I followed other blogs and commented but only to the extent of trying to get followers and pageviews, I didn’t value what others wrote.  I did incredibly well losing weight for about 3 months and then I started to falter.  I had already built a reasonable following and I was ashamed to admit I was failing.  Since I am a truthful person, the simplest solution was to just stop.  See ya all later!

I came back almost 2 years later.  This time I was going to be a bit of a wildcard.  I was going to focus on writing about stuff you don’t see anywhere else.  I was still doing it for accountability but just with a little twist.  That lasted for about a month and I didn’t even have any good results.

Before I started again I decided that I needed to truly understand why I wanted to blog.  I already said that I love to write and I now also know that I blog to be part of a community.  I learned through coaching youth sports that I find it very rewarding to share my knowledge with others, but more importantly, I also found out that there's a lot to be learned from those you share with.  With this epiphany I learned that my true path to being healthy was never about using the limited knowledge I had, but rather about finding new knowledge and sharing it all with anyone who wants it.

So I don’t blog for self-reflection (I do that enough already).  I don’t blog for the shock value and I don’t really blog for the accountability anymore because I’ve learned that doesn’t work for me.  I blog to share and to learn!

Followers, Page Views, & Comments… oh MY!

Unless you’re running it as a business, you almost certainly started a weight loss blog for one ultimate reason… to help you lose weight.  Now we all want to be liked and we all want to have friends,   but I truly believe that in order for your blog to help you, you have to understand your motivations behind it.  In order to write it for yourself, you need to know what it is you need to get from it.

Many people that give up blogging about weight loss probably would say they didn’t get out of it what they thought they would.  To those I would ask this question “Is that true, or was it simply that what you wanted out of it and what you needed from it were two entirely different things?” 

Blogging can be a great tool to help you lose weight, but only if you are doing it for the right reasons. 

So… why do you blog about weight loss??

Acknowledgements - Congrats to Sean Anderson on his 6 year anniversary, his post today started my inspiration on this article.  I also wanted to call out Jack Sh*t; my favorite fruit loop.  Glad you're back as you keep us all sane!


  1. Lol I totally recognised Jack Sh*t as the fruitloop behind that category!

    I am definitely a "dear diary". I write so that I know what I am thinking. I do love getting comments though!

    1. I think no matter how "dear diary" a reader is, we all like to get comments! Thanks for reading.

  2. I also like to express my thoughts and frustrations when I blog. I just wish some people I knew didn't occasionally read it too. The feedback I get from many others helps to motivate me. I also realize that many others are going through the same struggles I do.

    1. That's actually a good point, I hadn't thought about using it as a way to vent to the world! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mainly I blog about weight loss to help keep track of how I am doing... so keeping accountable. I'm not monetized and have no plans to be. I post a minimum of once per week pretty much on Wednesdays. It's so great to get support and yes even constructive criticism in the form of comments and to support a small community of like-minded people.

    1. A lot of people use it this way; as I wrote it was actully why I started bloggin in the first place. My biggest problem was that it was too easy to just stop when times got tough.

  4. Not really caring about the pigeon-holing of bloggers, but if it helps you find clarity about your own blog...I guess that's good.

    1. I think you missed the point of the post. If I wanted to pigeon hole bloggers I could very easily have listed out examples of blogs I thought fit into those styles. Other than calling Jack Sh*t a fruit loop (jokingly), I didn't pigeon hole anyone. That was not the intent, and I prefaced those "styles" with a statement indicating so... Now to be up front, all blogs are different and will display characteristics from any and all of these categories. This is not meant to be a “pick from the list and blog this way”, but rather, something for you to think about. We are all unique and there is no right or wrong way.

      When I saw Sean blogging about how you need to blog for yourself, it hit me that in order to do that, you need to know why you are motivated to blog. If you don't agree with my observations about different styles of blogging you see out there, then that's fine, but surely you don't believe that we all blog out there for the same reason?

      My point was that blogging is a tool we all use to help us succeed, but in order to make it work for yourself, you have to align the tool with the job at hand. If you go to the hardware store because you need a hammer and return home only to find that you really needed a screwdriver, you're going to be disappointed.

      Thanks for reading Gwen, and for the comment. I always enjoy your willingness to "call it like you see it".

  5. Does this mean I'm not going to become a millionaire if the same 5 people keep reading mine? I'm devastated lol :). All joking aside, I blog to inspire myself and hold myself accountable. Half the time it's just to distract my brain when it's thinking bad thoughts. If I ever were to inspire anyone that would be an added bonus for sure. I love commenting on the blogs I found inspiring because they "get me" and it's genuinely from the heart. Stay strong!

    1. I think you would be surprised at how you can inspire people and not ever realize it or even be trying to do it. I get most of my inspirations to write from the other blogs I read (including yours).

  6. You have put a lot of thought into categorizing the styles of blogging, wow! Thank you for the congrats and I'm honored my post inspired you to think about your personal blogging motivation. I think Jack Sh*t is everyone's favorite fruit loop!!
    Always wishing you well, FD!

    1. Thanks Sean! After reading your post it hit me that being true to yourself didn't mean conforming to a certain style, it meant setting your style to a way that works for you. Whether we all fit into neat little categories is irrelevant as long as we get out of it what we were hoping.

  7. Can't I be Captain Crunch? I already have the uniform and everything...

    1. You can, but you should know he's not really a captain... http://www.today.com/food/say-it-aint-so-capn-crunch-not-really-captain-6C10378921.

      However, I love your blog so you can be whatever you want

      Blog-a-tize me Cap'n!

  8. HEY FOGDOG!!!

    I can't tell you how much I LOVOOOVOVOVE this post!! I've been wondering why other weight loss bloggers blog. This was great insight.

    Why do I blog?? I lost weight myself awhile ago, and I feel soooo incredibly liberated. My biggest desire now is to help other's feel my freedom and happiness. I blog to inspire, to help others!

    1. Kirtley, Thanks for the appreciation. Congrats on your liberation, may we all get there someday!

  9. I don't write a blog but I really like to read weight loss blogs. It helps me to either get motivated or to stay motivated. It gives me ideas sometimes or helps me to see how I'm doing compared to the rest of the people out there whose thought process is as absorbed by weight loss as mine is. Sometimes I will bookmark a blog that I found something that I can relate to so that I can come back to check on their progress from a distant world like peeking into a snow-globe or simply because I like their relentless effort and hope the same for myself.

  10. I think I'm a cross between a dear-diary blogger and an accountability-need-community-support blogger. I blog to get my thoughts out, but I also stop blogging when things aren't going well or if I am "too busy".
    I certainly love reading other people's blogs though, especially if they have a huge archive and I can read about their journey and how they struggled or found what worked well for them.

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