October 21, 2010


Since my family lives nearly nine hundred miles away, our main modes of communication are phone calls and video chatting. With all the frustrations that come with modern technology, I have to say, I'm still glad for video chat. I get to see my family every now and then, which helps me feel less homesick during the six months between visits. We can catch up on daily life - my brother tells me about school (and, invariably, the latest Lego creation he's made), my sisters talk about friends and how work or school is going, my mom complains about my dad, my dad complains about my mom, and I miss them all. I even miss my mom when she shows me the spinach bread she just made, or when she eats a cupcake and describes just how delicious every single bite is. Jerk.

a family portrait, of sorts
I tell them what I am up to with work and the things I've done around Chicago. I try to tell them about healthy recipes, but that's usually met with a "Oh, that sounds good - you know what would make it even better?" and then a list of four or five things I can't be touching with ten-foot poles. I tell them a few things about exercising and losing weight, but not much. They know I walked the 5k and that I did the stairathon, but I haven't updated them on numeric losses in about twenty pounds. It's apparent when they see me that I've lost weight, but I haven't given specifics. One of the worst moments of the past week was when my mom and my sister Lisa were chatting with me, and Mom says I look good but the first thing out of Lisa's mouth is "Your boobs look smaller." *sigh* Don't remind me...

One of the things I was talking about a few weeks ago was how much I love blogging and the community that I have found here. My mom first asked what a blog was (she's not the most tech savvy lady on the planet), then asked if she could read it. And it took a lot for me to say no. I want my family to know that I am doing well, but I feel very conflicted into letting them into this little corner of my life.

This blog is very therapeutic for me - it's a space to clear my head, and I feel safe here. Sometimes it surprises me how honest I am about things here, because in real life, I'm a fairly secretive person. I have a few close friends, and I feel I can tell a lot of things to my family, but in general, I'm very guarded. I don't usually let people get very close - which I am certain is weight-related. I've always felt weak because of my weight, so being very private and closed off makes me tough and strong ... or at least, I have always justified it that way.

Lately I have wondered if I should let my mom read it, or my sisters, or friends. I want them all to have the healthiest life possible, and maybe seeing my progress might help them? Someone on the Twitter Fitblog chat Tuesday night expressed it perfectly: I can't motivate my family/friends, but I can inspire them. And I think that is just what my family needs. I don't think they even own a scale, and the last time my mom said anything about my weight was in sixth grade maybe (I remember it very clearly - we had a talk in the car after my yearly checkup, and she said we needed to get healthy as a family, and we were going to McDonald's for lunch as a "last hurrah.") If they could see that big, glaring 345, maybe it might hit them just how bad the problem is? My parents are sweet and loving but very blind to how serious the weight problem is in our family.

may 2010 outside shedd aquarium
I'm just so worried for them, that's all. I want my dad to live long enough to meet his grandkids. I don't want my mom to have diet-related heart problems like her mother did. (I don't think I ever saw my grammy eat anything besides grilled cheese or chocolate chip cookies.) I don't want my sisters - or anyone, for that matter - to end up as big as I was. I want my brother to grow up and take every opportunity he wants without feeling restricted by his size and without being picked on for being fat.

What about you - do your family/friends know you blog? Do they read it?


Jessica said...

Tommy(my husband reads)reads know I have a blog, but I don't think he reads it. Occasionally, I'll have him read a comment someone leave. My RLF Crystal reads it. But other than that, I don't think anyone knows I have it. And, I kind of like it that way.

Amy said...

Great post!!
My answer is yes and no.
And quick word omission! I think you meant to say you don't want your mom to have diet-related heart problems! :)

I was secret for awhile... but I live with my boyfriend and that was really hard for me to keep it from him, because I was exposed to this new exciting world and he had no clue. So I told him. I never wanted to tell him because I weighed so close to his weight and I was afraid he would think differently of me. The number means a lot to people. He is super supportive, but he never reads my blog, which is fine by me. I also told him so I could use his pictures.

I then told my aunt who has had the same journey as me in her weight, so I knew she could relate to me... and then my best friend who is starting to struggle with her weight.

I told my cousin but never told her the link.

I haven't told my parents, and I want to, but they have never struggled with their weight. My mom is 4'11'' and thinks she's fat at 135 pounds. She was super skinny her whole life, and she just doesn't relate to me. I told myself after 20 pounds loss I'd tell them... I thought I'd be there by now, and it just seems like the longer I wait the harder it will be to tell them.

I don't think I'll ever go public facebook wise... but I'll eventually be open about it. I just don't know when.

Anonymous said...

Let them read it! I say this because this is who you are. Your posts are so well written. Your thoughts and feelings are so clear. It doesn't seem that they are the most supportive when it comes to your weightloss efforts. Maybe them seeing your blog, reading your posts, seeing the feedback you get each day will be a wake up call for them. It might even motivate them to want to make a change in their own lives in terms of getting healthy.

I'm sure they would be nothing but proud of you but at the same time, I can't blame you for being guarded either. It's easy to say what you want to people you don't know. It's a lot harder to let it out there to the people that know you best.

Ann (-50 lbs in -60 lb challenge) said...

Well, SEEING your progress is more inspiration than reading could ever be. The posts in Blogland I love the most are those then/now photos ... I am ALWAYS inspired by those! And, once you open your blog to your "peeps" - you can't close the door again (at least not without offending someone).

I leave my blog private, because I feel I can post more comfortably, without editing or weighing my words. And, selfishly perhaps, this is about MY journey to good health. I have put other people before me - always. T recognize, if I want to get healthy, I need to do this one selfish thing for my own well-being. My family knows I'm dieting, certainly. And if they want to know details, they will ask me.

I blog to keep myself accountable, and to gain insights and inspiration from others. I am doing what works for me.

Retta said...

I have to agree with Ann on this. If we were voting, I'd vote a huge NO.

I re-read your post today, and hear is WHY I'd vote no:

--they already say things that are unsupportive; do you really want them to have access to your private journey, where you are free to be vulnerable, and share your innermost heart? Don't you want supportive, understanding responses to that? How would you feel if you got comments that just "didn't get it"?

--You've already recognized that you are "very conflicted" about letting go of the privacy to this corner of your world. This blog is for YOU, for your health, for your journey first and foremost. Is your motive first to save everyone else even before YOU have safely arrived?

--You said this place is therapeutic and feels safe... will it still be if you are constantly censoring yourself in fear of what "they" will think or say? And you WILL second guess yourself if you know they are reading, it's human nature.

--You are considering making it known to them out of loving motives... but ya know what? You already described their response to a healthy recipe... or to talk of exercise... or "healthy" talk. They don't even own a scale! If they were ready to "hear" it, they would ask! Or, there are millions of health blogs that could motivate them IF THEY WERE READY.

You need to save yourself before you take on saving others.

That's blunt but it's the truth. Maybe I am wrong... maybe losing your freedom to express with totally honesty what you are feeling and thinking won't ruin it for you. Maybe you won't resent losing the real benefit of being totally self-honest here.
Maybe you won't find it stifling to have to walk on eggs with what you say, in fear of offending family members, or even irritating them or being misunderstood.

If they are seeing you on video, then they HAVE visual inspiration already, IF they want it.

Please be very careful about losing something that you have found precious. Once gone, it's gone. There is no going back. You'd have to totally start a new blog under a new name, and re-make all new relationships.

Only YOU can know what is best for YOU. Not a bunch of opinionated commenters (like me, LOL!)

My best to you with whatever you decide. I've read you long enough to know you are intelligent and thoughtful... you'll decide with care what is right for YOU.

SheZug said...

Great blog!

I've been blogging for two years and in the beginning, I kept my blog secret. Eventually I told a couple of people like my husband and my mom and my sister. They started reading a little which didn't bug me until I got a couple of negative comments from my sister. My husband and my mom are 100% supportive. Around that time, I confided in someone at work who had already been through the journey I have been through. I though he might be able to inspire me a little and he has a health topic webpage that I wanted to share on my blog. I also was making youtube videos. The next thing you know, I was the subject at work to gossip about. My videos on youtube started being 'stolen' to promote weight loss products I have never heard of before. I pulled the plug on the blog and deleted all my youtube videos. I started all over again, keeping my face and real name out of the picture as much as possible. I do miss making videos, but I like my privacy much more.
Oh and my husband just recently found out that I am still blogging, but he doesn't read he said. He said he considers my blog to be my diary and private.