Part of working with someone like Mat is setting goals. In the beginning, it was obvious what my goal was: "lose weight, get stronger." While I'm still working on both - always, it seems, working on both - he recognized that I needed some new goals. Including non-weight related ones. I had been thinking about blogging for awhile, when he brought up the idea of sharing my story in a wider way. His suggestion was to be a "fitness ambassador." To talk health, happiness, and fitness with people in general. To share my story and struggles with those on a similar path (including some of his clients). Truth be told, I think the poor dude just wanted me to find another outlet for my writing and musings. His email inbox was piling up.
But it made sense to me. It's what I was already doing. I had been writing and reflecting on the weight loss journey for quite some time, both in personal journals and as testimonials for the YMCA. I used bits from that writing over and over with friends who would ask me about my journey. It was important to me to share my story, because I believe that in life, we are all in this together. Sharing over coffee or via email, one on one, will always feel the most natural. Yet, I follow other bloggers who are just like me, and who've been successful. It helps to know that other people have done it, and that they've struggled along the way. It helps to know you're not alone. In fact, there are so many similar blogs and sites out there, I was hesitant to start. Who would want to hear yet another fat girl talk about trying to lose weight? It was Mat, one of his clients, and another good friend who collectively convinced me to do it anyway, because it's not just another story. It's mine.
Fitness and Health have become so dominant that they're always on my mind, even if it's just on a back burner. Eating. Exercise. Obesity. Health at Every Size. Body Image. Eating Disorders. Nutrition. Diets. I read about it all. I research it. I write about it. I reflect. I share anecdotes and motivational quotes. It's becoming a pretty major part of my life. Why only share it with one person? Or just a handful of people? If I'm already putting in the effort to figure out fitness for myself, why not put it out there for others?
The truth is, this is a sneaky way of keeping myself motivated and accountable. When I first started to lose weight, I denied it. I didn't talk about it. I didn't want anyone to know, just in case I failed. Again.
It was nearly a year before I realized that I could no longer pretend that I wasn't doing anything to lose weight or be active. The tentative "are you losing weight?" question became a statement from people: "you are losing weight." Still, I would talk about swimming and be casual about trying to eat better. I still didn't want to publicly commit.
I'm over that, now. I need the public accountability to keep myself going. And I need a place where I can quickly go to when I need my own motivation. One of the problems with reading and researching as much as I do is that I lose the references. It all starts to jumble in my head. When I say to someone, "yeah, I'll send you the link" it takes me forever to find it again. With the blog, I'll have a better record of the information that resonates and which I want to share. When I have those days when I question it all, when I ask "is this really worth it?" I'll either have a place to read my own words to remind myself why I'm doing this, or I'll have a place to work it out in writing.
Ultimately, I'm blogging for myself, to unravel a lot of misinformed beliefs and to sort through a lot of confusing information that is out there. Putting it in writing is the best way that this librarian knows how to keep herself going, to learn to listen to what my gut tells me.