Blogging Credentials: Losing Weight One Failure or Success at a Time

Happy Monday, everyone! I know that, for many of us, Monday isn’t exactly our favorite day of the week. I will admit that I’ve had a few bouts of the snooze virus, or better known as the “I’m-probably-sick-because-it’s-Monday-so-I’m-sleeping-in” virus. But for the most part I actually enjoy my Monday’s (and even – gasp – Monday mornings!) There’s just something about the beginning of a new week that gives me an extra dose of energy. Now, this might have something to do with my usual morning cup of irresponsibly strong coffee, but I chose to believe otherwise.

So, in the spirit of Monday and a fresh start to the week, I decided that I wanted to sit down and write a new blog post this morning. I was torn between two post ideas, when I realized that they actually kind of work together. I’ll begin with telling you about a conversation I had with my friend Amy last night. The two of us have been health accountability partners for quite a few months now, and last night she sent me the following message:

So I need some juicing help…
I kind of just bought a bunch of random things to juice and now I’m wondering what things go together well and if certain things are better at different times of day.
I bought:
A bunch of kale
An apple
A lemon
A big bag of carrots
4 kiwi
2 boxes of blueberries

I haven’t caved and bought a juicer yet, but I have had quite a bit of experience with fruit and veggie smoothies, so I figured the general principles must be the same. After thinking it over, I ended up sending her a response with a few tips:

  •  Experimentation is key. We all like different things, so have fun trying different combinations
  • All fruit juice for breakfast, then add veggies for lunch and dinner
  • In the beginning, try using a bit more fruit than veggies as you are easing your way into the acquired taste that is pond scum (I promise it’s not that bad, it just looks a little like algae)
  • There are a ton of great websites and recipes online for juices and smoothies if you want specific recipes.
  • If you’re finding that you want a little more substance, try making a smoothie rather than a juice for one meal – it keeps the pulp so it’s more filling.
  • For smoothies, try freezing a base fruit (bananas or peaches work great) and throw in some fresh stuff alongside it. The frozen fruit keeps it cold and much more like tropical ice cream than super thick mush.

This list is far from all-inclusive, but I felt confident in sending her the little bits of information I did know. It wasn’t until she kiddingly thanked me for being her “personal health guru” that I started thinking about how much I actually knew and whether or not I had the authority to share what I did know. So, as a way to clarify my lack of official qualifications, I sent her a final response:

No worries! Though I wouldn’t go so far as guru. More like person-who-has-spent-way-too-much-freaking-time-on-the-interet-and-knows-a-few-things-now, or better known by the acronym PWHSWTMFTOTIAKAFTN

As you can probably tell, there’s a little bit of sarcasm hinted there, but behind it lies something important that I have been thinking about for a while. This is where that second post idea I was talking about earlier comes in: the power of words. One of my professors wrote a blog post about a common issue with blogging. He was speaking to the issue with bloggers writing about Christian theology without the credibility and, more importantly, accountability of an institution or church. I’m not necessarily writing about theological principles, but his post really made me stop to think about my own blog and writing. Whether we are writing about morality, the nature of God, politics, or how to lose weight, there is still one truth that applies to them all: words have carried a power greater than we can imagine since the beginning of time, which is why it is both an honorable and dangerous calling to write.

As I’m writing this blog and trying to share my experience with weight loss, I think it’s important that I am able to recognize that I am not exactly an expert. I’m not a doctor or a dietician or even a personal trainer. What set of credentials, then, do I have to offer? Why should anyone listen to me and my ranting posts about trying to live a healthy life? Why read my blog when you can read one of the other thousands dedicated to weight loss and diet plans?

I’m not sure if this is the right answer, but I hope that it’s enough: I don’t have a medical degree or the right to tell you what you can or can not eat or how you should or should not exercise. Please make sure that you are talking to your doctor about your health plan. I’m just the girl that has worked consistently over the last couple years to lose weight and finally feel healthy. I can not and will not create a six-week plan to lose 20 pounds.

What I will do, though, is share with you what works for me. I will share with you what doesn’t work for me. And I will ask you to help me. I will ask you to share what works and does not work for you. I will keep you accountable and ask you to do the same for me. And in the process of it all, my hope is that we will get to know each other a little better and work together to keep each other accountable. I’m not sure how strong those credentials look next to Jillian Michaels or Jared the Subway guy, but I hope that they at least count for something.

Question of the day: Do you think there is value in accountability for bloggers, or do you think the nature of the internet and blogging calls for little to no accountability at all?

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