The SparkPeople Blog

How Blogging Helped Me Lose 50 Pounds

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/22/2012 2:00 PM   :  37 comments   :  16,331 Views

When I started my weight loss journey, I thought the process would be pretty cut and dry. Thanks to the amazing resources on SparkPeople, I was well-educated on what I needed to do. I knew exactly how many calories I needed to eat, what I needed to do at the gym and what tools I’d need to be successful. It seemed like the process of weight loss would be linear. A + B = Weight Loss. And partially, that was true. But as I dove further into my journey, I discovered there were many emotions, thoughts and fears that came along with losing weight. The process wasn’t so linear anymore. Suddenly, fitness and nutrition weren’t the only two things I had to focus on. I had to tackle the emotional journey, too.

Once I got about ten pounds into my weight loss, I began struggling with a lot of self-doubt. What if I fall off the wagon? What if I never hit my goal weight? What if my knees give out? What if the people at the gym laugh at me? What if I fail? I was so paralyzed with these fears that my resolve to lose weight began to dissolve. After all, the status quo of being overweight was a lot less scary than the unknown of losing weight. I quickly realized I needed an outlet before I wrecked my healthy momentum. I needed a place to talk about all of the feelings and emotions that go along with losing a sizable amount of weight.
 
So I started blogging.
 
I had no idea what I wanted to say, but I still clicked the "Make a Blog Entry" link on my SparkPeople start page and let my mind spew every feeling and emotion into the blank box. I wrote about my fears, my goals and my struggles. I wrote about my weekly weigh-ins, my favorite healthy recipes and my non-scale victories. My writing wasn’t polished and my concepts weren’t clear, but I was always writing from the heart. Just getting the thoughts out of my brain and into a tangible form made me suddenly feel like my fears weren’t so scary.
 
Besides the ability to get my worries out there, blogging also gave me a forum where I felt safe, understood and supported. My SparkFriends encouraged me and offered suggestions and advice. I met amazing men and women that had incredible stories of success that motivated and inspired me. All because I put myself out there. Those bonds with SparkFriends kept me going on those days when all I wanted to do was quit. It was so much easier to face my fears when I knew that my SparkFriends were facing those same fears alongside me.
 
After a few months of blogging regularly on my SparkPage, I was named a SparkPeople Motivator. I don’t think I’ve ever been so honored in my life! It felt amazing to know that just by talking about what I was going through, I could help others. Getting my Motivator badge sparked something inside of me that I didn’t know I had: a love for motivating folks and talking about health and wellness.
 
After much encouragement from my SparkFriends, I transitioned my blogging to a more public outlet. I am now a professional wellness blogger, posting twice daily at my virtual home, Back to Her Roots. I still have the same content: I post my healthy recipes, I write about my feelings and I talk about my workouts, but now I’m blogging for a much larger audience and loving every second of it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing opportunities to write about my journey for major brands and companies, and I owe it all to my start on SparkPeople.
 
I can say, without a doubt, that blogging is part of the reason I've been successful in adopting a healthy lifestyle. I lost over 50 pounds in a little over a year and have kept it off for nearly two. I ran a half marathon. I’ve had my healthy recipes published in magazines. And all of it happened because of putting myself out there on my SparkPage blog. Now, blogging in such a public way helps keep me accountable and on track with my healthy lifestyle. I have a responsibility to the readers of my blog to paint a truthful picture of my life and that inspires me to make healthful decisions every day.

I know that all the various aspects of weight loss can be daunting, and certain parts tend to fall to the back burner. But I encourage you to make your emotional journey a priority. Find your outlet and figure out how to work through the feelings and fears that come along with a major lifestyle change. Blogging was what worked for me, but you might like to draw, make collages, talk with your friends and family or speak to a therapist. Whatever way you find to work through your emotions, make sure you dedicate yourself to it just as much as you dedicate yourself to your nutrition and fitness plans. I’m a big believer that the emotional work is just as important as the work you do in the gym.


 
  By day, Cassie Johnston is a higher ed marketing expert, but after hours, she is obsessed with all things health and wellness.  After gaining the Freshman 50 in college, Cassie had a lightbulb moment at a doctor’s appointment and left the office ready to change her life. Fifty pounds later, a new-found passion for the healthy living was born. This love of all things health and wellness led to a second career in food, fitness and motivational writing.
 
Cassie currently splits her freetime between blogging, recipe development, photography, and culinary arts school. Her recipes and articles have appeared on websites for major brands and in the pages of glossy food magazines. She blogs twice daily about her daily fitness and food adventures (and misadventures) at Back to Her Roots.


Have you ever blogged about your weight loss experience?



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Comments

  • 37
    THANKS, I NEED TO DO SOMETHING. I AM A LITTLE STUCK RIGHT NOW. I THINK I WILL BLOG RIGHT NOW. - 2/23/2013   8:10:01 PM
  • 36
    Bookmarked your back to her roots blog! That mac and cheese looked soooo good! Thanks for the courage to maybe write my own blog. Still haven't committed to putting it ALL out there.. Take care! - 3/8/2012   1:46:24 AM
  • 35
    Thank You!!

    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us. - 3/1/2012   8:22:23 AM
  • 34
    awesome blog, keep up the great work. - 2/26/2012   6:06:38 PM
  • DENNYJO25
    33
    Thank you, I found your blog very helpful and inspirational - 2/25/2012   9:20:38 AM
  • 32
    Blogging is the best part of my day. Pat in maine down 40 pounds and healthier than ever at 68 years young WooHoo Way to GO!!! - 2/25/2012   7:54:20 AM
  • 31
    Girlfriend ... now that I'm being more active on SP and talking to folks and recording things .... and with the GREAT assistance from my calorie counting bracelet, I have lost about 15 lbs in a 3 month period!!! WOO HOO meaning I'm stepping it up to another 35 if I can, but 25 is original goal (40 total) - 2/24/2012   10:36:27 AM
  • 30
    I checked her daily blog and it had her recipe for a shake that contains half a cup of chocolate chips per serving. Half a cup of chocolate chips, per person. Wow. - 2/24/2012   1:41:38 AM
  • 29
    Great blog! I realized the same thing a few days ago just after I started on SP and I have been putting lots of energy and effort into dealing with this aspect of weight loss and living a healthy life. Thanks for sharing. - 2/23/2012   10:47:51 PM
  • 28
    It is definitely an emotional experience to blog about weight loss, but it definitely helped me too. Thanks for the inspiring blog!

    - 2/23/2012   9:35:57 PM
  • JOOFARK
    27
    Thank you, Cassie.

    You are definitely right about the emotional obstacles that go along with weight loss. I have been battling them for years as I gained and lost and gained and lost sometimes as much as 70 pounds each time. In the process of comparing myself to others and shrinking back when I saw that they were more successful...more "put together"... I ended up with a near social phobia.

    Right here, right now, I vow to myself that I will blog my weight loss journey and i will let the fear wash over me when it comes, and then blog anyway.

    Thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one out here who battles with these fears. Thank you for showing me another weapon to put in my arsenal for the battle ahead.

    ~jo

    - 2/23/2012   7:38:00 PM
  • 26
    I'll tell you one thing!
    WOW don't ever hide those to die for cheekbones again!!!! You look fantastic! and that's no blarney blog! - 2/23/2012   1:09:02 PM
  • ASINGH527
    25
    I also find blogging helpful for my weight loss journey and the comments are very encouraging. - 2/23/2012   1:02:32 PM
  • MARIONWARSAW
    24
    Thanks so much for sharing I have never blogged or responded to anyone's blog because I was always afraid I would look like I was not all put together. I have been struggling for a while with continuing to lose weight and feel like you stated I am just about ready to quit but I realize now that I have not tackled the emotional part of the journey just the nutrition and the exercise so thanks to you I am going to work on the third leg of my journey. Thanks again for sharing. - 2/23/2012   11:38:24 AM
  • 23
    I didn't know what blogging was when I got on this site. I hit the blog button and wrote in it. I have found this gives me accountability to myself and spark people. A great motivator. - 2/23/2012   11:13:05 AM
  • 22
    Interestingly, yours is the first blog entry/article that I've read here on this amazing website.... and what a wonderful first choice it was! I've been poking around the website and using the Nutrition Tracker, since we have chosen to make "Calorie Awareness" our first step in the change to a healthy lifestyle in our home. It's been surprising at how motivational the awareness, the daily commitment to tracking and those Spark Points have been for me. Our next step is as small as the first one, but it IS a commitment-- to walk "a little bit further than we did yesterday", EVERYday. Looks like I need to set an online goal for that so I can check in on our progress.
    Thanks for your insights! - 2/23/2012   10:42:06 AM
  • 123ELAINE456
    21
    Awesome Blog. You are a very inspiring to all of us. Thank You for sharing this with everyone.This is the WAY TO GO. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. - 2/23/2012   9:55:32 AM
  • 20
    That's really AWESOME!!! I've never blogged. Just been afraid to open up ... didn't think others would want to hear my "woes". Thanks, you journey has given me inspiration to try blogging. - 2/23/2012   9:28:36 AM
  • 19
    Love your story. You certainly have a gift for writing. I visited your site... It's awesome, as well. Keep pouring out those thoughts (and recipes), girl. You rock! - 2/23/2012   9:26:14 AM
  • 18
    Great post. So easy to see how you got your Motivator badge!! You have given me new inspiration :) Thank You - 2/23/2012   8:57:13 AM
  • 17
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I too have turned my lifestyle around since introduced to Sparkpeople. Although I have had many bumps in the road to hurdle over...I am hanging in there and ready to proceed on my weight loss journey. I intend on hitting my goal this year. I have lost 50lbs so far over the last 1 1/2 yrs...and plan on another 30lbs this year! This is a great outlet to share with people achieving the same goals! Thanks again!!! - 2/23/2012   8:36:07 AM
  • JO0926
    16
    Great inspiration! Congratulations to you...thank you! - 2/23/2012   8:20:45 AM
  • PEGSUS
    15
    I really enjoyed your success story. I have never actually blogged before. I am not only weight challenged, but also technologically challenged. Great posting, Thank You!!! - 2/23/2012   7:59:46 AM
  • CURRENCE2009
    14
    Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! This is such an encouraging thing for me to see today! - 2/23/2012   7:55:31 AM
  • 13
    thanks for sharing - 2/23/2012   7:48:10 AM
  • 12
    thanks for sharing your story. I have been thinking about doing some more blogging, and I think your reasons for doing it are the same reasons I need to do it. There are thoughts and fears going through my head, and if I get them out (even though I have therapy 3 days a week) I will be more likely to succeed and stay successful.. I know I can lose the weight, but have never been able to keep it off. I had a different reason for losing the weight all the other times. Now I just want to be healthy. - 2/23/2012   7:03:00 AM
  • 11
    absolutely fab story, thank you so much for this! - 2/23/2012   3:15:16 AM
  • 10
    Very good approach to stay on track...I will have to try that one, I m always losing interest in my well being - 2/23/2012   1:19:06 AM
  • 9
    Great Blog thanks for sharing. - 2/22/2012   10:49:29 PM
  • 8
    Its funny how inextricably interwoven food and emotions are. - 2/22/2012   9:41:20 PM
  • 7
    This is a great blog Cassie! So glad you shared with us and congrats on your success! It was encouraging to me and makes me want to "get out there" too
    as I love helping others as well. - 2/22/2012   9:32:40 PM
  • 6
    Thank you so very much for posting this. I feel the same way you did 50lbs ago and still trying to get through the embarrassing feeling of walking along the street and people looking at me or the terrifying moment when I do finally get the courage to walk into a room full of zumba people! Thank you SO much for letting me know there are others just like me! - 2/22/2012   9:15:37 PM
  • 5
    Way to go!! - 2/22/2012   8:46:27 PM
  • 4
    JIBBIE49, whether it's this economy or our culture, I agree that appearance is important to young women.
    To say appearance is important in this economy as a reason to be slim makes young women into products to be be bought and sold. I do not agree, & am slightly offended by the connotations. I may just take on the veil soon. - 2/22/2012   7:43:14 PM
  • 3
    Here, here!!!! I heartily agree with everything you've said, and I want to "be just like you when I grow up." I've lost 44 pounds and have just begun the maintenance phase of my journey. Spark and blogging and working out and facing demons? All part of the recipe for success so far. Thanks for sharing!

    Sally - 2/22/2012   5:46:08 PM
  • 2
    No young woman should spend the best years of her life being fat, since appearance is to important in this economy. I found reading "WHY WE GET FAT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT" by Gary Taubes' to be a life safer since at 62, I have Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance. Great book. - 2/22/2012   5:21:16 PM
  • 1
    AWESOME blog thank you so much for sharing. - 2/22/2012   5:06:05 PM

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