In the past two years, I've become a passionate follower of many weight loss/healthy living blogs, such as Roni's Weigh, Lynn's Weigh, Escape from Obesity, MizFit, Diet Girl, A Merry Life, Fat Bridesmaid, Questions for Dessert, Mama's Weeds, Joania's Journey, Pasta Queen, Healthy Tipping Point...really, the list could go on and on!
I find all these women amazing and inspirational, however I often fall into the trap of comparing myself to them. I know, I know--comparing yourself to others is usually a horrible idea. But as someone trying to figure out what sort of healthy lifestyle will work best for, for someone trying to get to it again, it's sort of unavoidable. These blogs offer a wealth of information and better yet, they offer the personal perspective of a real, live person that has likely gone through many things I have.
I typically divide these bloggers in my mind--the ones I can relate to and feel inspired by, and the ones that generally leave me feeling bad about myself. For example, I completely relate to Roni from Roni's Weigh, Lyn from Escape from Obesity, Mary from A Merry Life, Miranda from Fat Bridesmaid, Shauna from DietGirl and Jennette from Pasta Queen. These women seem to approach healthy living in way that feels attainable for me. They live busy, normal lives. They enjoy treats often and in moderation. And they slip up frequently, but always get right back on the horse. These women have shown me that it's completely possible to lose and maintain weight by balancing everything and never stopping. They inspire and motivate me.
Then there are the group of bloggers that keep to lifestyles that sound really rigid. I completely support these women and absolutely respect their decision to choose the lifestyle that works best for them. But personally, it sounds impossible. Bloggers like Lynn from Lynn's Weigh and Joania from Joania's Journey seem to have willpower of STEEL. They very, very rarely deviate from their food plans, almost never miss a workout, and make no excuses about their decision to live their lives this way. I find it AWESOME and completely empowering that these women have taken complete control over "calories in and calories out." All the bloggers I follow have most certainly claimed completely control of their lives and are very strong women, but the second group seem to exhibit a level of self control to their diets and exercise regimes that seems almost fanatical. I say this completely from my own perspective, as it's up to every single person to determine what works best for themselves.
The problem I run into is constant self doubt. One the one hand, it feels more comfortable to take a moderate approach to my healthy living journey. I'm trying to make small challenges that add up over time. I let life intervene--a lot, I'll admit. I skip the workout if I'm exhausted or sick. I grab takeout if I've cooked all week and need a break. I have more than one glass of wine if I feel like and the rest of my day has been good.
But then I read these blogs of other people with enviable progress. I begin to wonder if the super slow approach will even get me anywhere. I contemplate getting up at 5 a.m. to exercise every day. I ponder cutting my calories down to less than 1000 a day and quitting coffee and tea. I feel guilty I don't use more organic products. I watch The Biggest Loser and constantly say to my boyfriend, "How can that woman lose 12 pounds in a week and I haven't lost that in a year??"
On the one hand, maybe I should set a program and just stick to it, never giving it another thought. But doesn't that limit the potential benefits of all this blog exposure? Isn't blogging essentially an attempt to connect with and learn from anyone out there who can relate to what you're going through? However, can't it be detrimental to your overall progress to constantly doubt your efforts and consider switching to another plan altogether?