How Blogging Helps You Reach Your Goals

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/5/2011 2:00 PM   :  98 comments   :  14,789 Views

Before joining SparkPeople, I thought blogs were kind of silly.  I mean, why would you want to lay your life out for everyone to read?

But, I discovered, blogging is a great way to get your feelings out.  It gives people a way to anonymously, sort of, vent their feelings of joy, anger, grief, and whatever else they may be feeling at the moment.
 
Often times, those same emotions lead us to eat in isolation.  We feel like nobody will understand and that we are alone in our feelings.  Bloggers find that there are other people in situations just like their own and that they are not alone, they are part of something bigger.  When I blogged about weighing 460 pounds and being bed-ridden with fibromyalgia, herniated disks, pinched nerve bundles, bad knees, arthritis, and clinical depression, I honestly felt like "I’m the only one with this many hurdles!" 
I was so wrong. 
 
People who have read my blogs have shared their unique but similar struggles with me, and it feels like we are kindred spirits.  
 
Now, when I feel "hungry," I try to feel out whether it is head hunger or stomach hunger.  Believe it or not, I’m still learning the difference, even after losing 150 pounds.  If it’s stomach hunger, I eat a nutritious snack or meal.  If it’s head hunger, I ask what my issue is.  If I’m feeling emotional, often times I will log on and blog.  I may not be specific in my blogs because I can be a very private person sometimes when I feel down.  I’ll ask for prayers and give a few details, but it always makes me feel better.  I sometimes change my status to fit my mood, as well.  That gives me a short but sweet "Blog experience."
 
How would blogging help take weight off and keep it off?  The answer is that it helps quell the emotional storm raging inside of you if you are an emotional eater.  If you aren’t an emotional eater, it distracts you and gives you time tor the cravings to pass.  It also gives you a platform to think out loud about why you want to eat and what your long-term goals might be.  Others can learn from your blogging, as well.  You never know how many people are going through the same thoughts or will go through them by the time they read your blog.
 
By taking the time to write out your thoughts, the events, and emotions, you may find a solution to a problem that would otherwise leave you holding a bag of cookies.  Cookies are a quick bandage when I don’t want to deal with a problem and I have to just cope and move on quickly.  If I take a quick break to write something instead of eat, I might actually do more good for myself and my situation.  I could write a few quick brainstorming ideas down for my issue at hand and put them in my purse for later.  So even in a situation where I have to hold it together fast, writing it out can help.
 
Distraction and water are great hunger stoppers.  Hunger and thirst are sensed by the same part of the brain.  Sometimes we get the signals confused and you think you are hungry when you are actually thirsty.  Trying a large glass of water before trying food to quench your needs makes sense.  It helps to decide whether it is really hunger or thirst that has you in a dither.  It goes back to what I mentioned earlier about head hunger versus stomach hunger.  Head hunger responds very well to water.  The distraction of writing can keep you busy until the water has had time to do its job of quenching your thirst.  If you still feel hungry after 20 minutes, odds are you probably do need a snack or a meal.
 
Keep a notebook handy wherever you go for any writing you need to get out of your system.  You could even type it up as a blog later.  As you look back at all the writing and blogs you have done, you will be amazed at your personal growth and all you have learned.  You will also be amazed at how much more resolve you have to reach your goals.  You may even notice your goals have evolved into bigger and better things.
 
 
Do you keep a journal or blog? Why or why not?


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Comments

  • 98
    I am a new blogger since coming back to SparkPeople at the beginning of August. I agree that the support I have received, especially when things have not gone well, is a big help to me. I also find that putting something "out there" for several thousand people to read at will is a major motivator for me. I've never thought of myself as someone who was really concerned about other people's opinions, but knowing that I have told that many people my goals makes me feel that I really HAVE to do it now!! - 8/21/2011   6:27:35 PM
  • 97
    Keeping journals of various types has never been a problem. Blogging? No so much - until SP. Blogging here has been such a joy. When I have times, I'm simply too tired and have asked Bob to keep up for me about me, he has come to enjoy it, too. He feels how much our fellow sparkers feel for one another and how they understand on-line friends are just as "real" as any friend. It all takes me back to days when I would have pen pals from around the world. So whenever I am physically and/or mentally able, blog is something new I truly enjoy.
    (As dictated to hubby Bob by Ev (EVWINGS) - 8/11/2011   11:51:06 PM
  • PRAYERANDPRAISE
    96
    I like your idea blog instead of eating my emotions now I have a reason to blog its an outlet! - 8/11/2011   1:38:09 AM
  • 95
    Thank you for motivating me to start a blog! I also have multiple health issues: depression, diabetes, high BP, high cholesterol, Charcot foot, ulcerative colitis. There should be some kind of natural law that when you have one major disease, you are immune to others! - 8/10/2011   7:25:41 PM
  • 94
    I usually write letters when there are issues that I feel need to be addressed or to just let someone know how I am feeling. I like the terms head hunger or stomach hunger better than emotional eating. As usual you are a very wise person and thank you for all your good advice. - 8/9/2011   11:20:20 PM
  • CHRISTA90
    93
    Love your terms "head hunger" and "stomach hunger". It amazing the things and places that trigger "head hunger". Something as simple as walking into the kitchen can trigger it for me. I also thought that blogging was a silly idea, but now find it very useful and have added it to my regular activities. Thanks for the "blog". - 8/9/2011   5:36:04 PM
  • 92
    I am trying to blog once a week and journal the other days. It does help to keep myself motivated. - 8/9/2011   4:09:10 PM
  • 91
    I like your "head hunger" or "stomach hunger". That is a big issue with me in eating when I'm not really hungry, so maybe your descriptions will help me. About blogging..I do but not very often. I do carry a clipboard around with me that logs my food and fitness and notes throughout the day. - 8/9/2011   3:08:25 PM
  • 90
    I journal but I am not consistant. This is something I am working on this time around. I can agree that when I have written in my journal, my emotions and hunger all settle down, odd I never really thought to tell anyone else about it. Thank you for taking the time to share another helpful hint with all of us, to help us along the way. - 8/9/2011   1:40:54 PM
  • 89
    I journal but I am not consistant. This is something I am working on this time around. I can agree that when I have written in my journal, my emotions and hunger all settle down, odd I never really thought to tell anyone else about it. Thank you for taking the time to share another helpful hint with all of us, to help us along the way. - 8/9/2011   1:40:42 PM
  • 88
    I keep a journal on my SparkPeople planner when I don't want to share with everyone, and my blog is available for anyone to read when I don't mind sharing my thoughts, feelings, and insights along the journey and adventure we call life. - 8/9/2011   8:55:44 AM
  • VWILEY2886
    87
    What you have said makes perfect sence. I will have to step it up and try this. I've just never been great with words. You have quite a following. Thanks for sharing. - 8/8/2011   10:00:31 PM
  • 86
    Thank you. I may just try blogging now. - 8/8/2011   2:58:10 PM
  • 85
    Thank you for this! I also have hunger/thirst confusion, but never thought to try the blogging as a distraction. I've used a blog for years before finding *SP, and definitely think it helps me work through the emotional clutter.

    Namaste! - 8/8/2011   2:19:16 PM
  • 84
    YES ! YES ! YES!

    I had been on Spark on and off for a few years, losing and
    regaining the same 18 lbs over and over. Then last year I
    started posting and a little blogging.
    THAT has made all the difference.

    We get LOTS of extra support from it. Even if we choose
    to not be public, it helps us vent and keep track of what
    works for us and what doesn't.

    WE can do it!

    BLESSINGS!
    - 8/8/2011   2:05:37 PM
  • _SPARK526
    83
    Oh, mama...look at you! I so enjoy your writing, but haven't seen anything but face shots for a while...you look absolutely fabulous!!! Have a great rest-of-summer :) - 8/8/2011   1:00:34 PM
  • 82
    I also felt that it is kind of silly to put everything out there on a blog. I have done it a few times but you have shown me a different way to look at it! - 8/8/2011   10:33:35 AM
  • 81
    I am just starting to blog. Did not realize how much I would enjoy it. - 8/8/2011   9:44:49 AM
  • YOYO200983
    80
    Oh thanks. - 8/8/2011   5:05:40 AM
  • 2CATS2LOVE1
    79
    I love to blog too. I see it as a sort of "visit" to all who read my blogs. The only thing missing is coffee between friends. Blogging helps others to get to know my likes and dislikes; to get to know me as a person. It is a distraction too from eating; much like a hobby. I love to blog. Good blog, Beth. - 8/8/2011   12:51:03 AM
  • 78
    I also love to write. I don't do it enough and I am going to start! I have been blogging and do love the comments I receive! :) - 8/7/2011   11:27:03 PM
  • SADENRA54
    77
    Love your story. It belongs to so many of us! - 8/7/2011   11:14:44 PM
  • 76
    Thanks for reminding me. I write in my journal on and off. - 8/7/2011   8:49:07 PM
  • 75
    I started keeping a journal about 25 years ago, and have found it to be a great help in processing thoughts, feelings, decisions, etc. However, I have never blogged before. Thanks for the ideas for dealing with emotional eating; that's an area I struggle with as well. I'll have to give blogging a shot. Thanks. - 8/7/2011   8:31:08 PM
  • MISSMARCYB
    74
    Thanks for such a great reminder! As a part-time writer, I often find myself focusing on writing only the jobs that pay immediately rather than taking time to keep up on my blog or working on my more creative projects. When I tap into my own creativity and am able to express my feelings through emotions, I find that I am more balanced in life and take better care of my self. Keep up the good work! - 8/7/2011   8:01:44 PM
  • 73
    Thank you! - 8/7/2011   6:10:05 PM
  • 72
    this is one heck of a motivation for blogging. i have to admit, like one of the other posts i was reading, i only did it for the 3 points. now only being with sp for less than 2 weeks, i've written 3 blogs!
    congrats on all you have achieved dispite the hurdles that were chucked in your way :) - 8/7/2011   5:26:02 PM
  • 71
    I have never been consistent either about blogging or journling though I have several friends who have said that journaling and blogging were center to their achievements. Thank you for the reenforcement of the idea. - 8/7/2011   5:24:29 PM
  • DSSCHINNER
    70
    I've been shy about blogging for the 2 1/2 years since I joined SparkPeople, but your blogs have been really inspirational, & I greatly appreciate that you have shared your journey with us. I just wanted to let you know that I've been been praying for blessings for your financial situation. Hugs, Debbie - 8/7/2011   2:53:30 PM
  • 69
    This is my first BLOG ever. I'll just be reading for a while to see how all this works.
    Joy - 8/7/2011   2:04:23 PM
  • CIRANDELLA
    68
    Count me as another who feels too vulnerable to blog...plus, what's on my mind now is a potentially serious problem unrelated to food or eating. A public blog is just too public for airing some of my inner struggles, I guess... but if there's a food-related concern, or an eating-related concern, this really is a great place for it (and Beth, you use it ESPECIALLY well - thank you!!). - 8/7/2011   12:44:23 PM
  • 67
    I've been blogging on and off and I have noticed that on the weeks that I do enter a blog or even 2, I actually end up losing weight.

    After having gone through infertility treatments for 2 years in order to have my first child and another 8 months when I was trying to have my twins, I can tell you that it's been tough. The treatments messed with my thyroid and the past 2 years have been a constant struggle to take off the weight.

    I also have pinched nerves, herniated disks, and some issues with my left knee and right ankle. Your blog is so relatable. Thank you for posting! - 8/7/2011   12:16:23 PM
  • 66
    When I first joined Spark a month ago today, I truly didn't see the point of blogging and couldn't come close to imagining myself doing it. In fact, I posted my first blog just to get the 3 points! Fortunately for me, several people responded in friendly, encouraging ways. A few blogs later, I was hooked. I totally get that this is the piece of Spark where we all get to be reflective about our feelings and behaviors, and, in so doing, we are helping move ourselves toward our goals. In short, we're becoming better people, physically and mentally, all because SparkGuy had the wisdom to build in this component of the site--and reward extrinsically motivated folks like me with 3 silly points. I blog daily. ;-) - 8/7/2011   12:05:11 PM
  • MA2RML
    65
    Thanks for the inspiration! I just might try blogging now. - 8/7/2011   9:20:35 AM
  • HORTUSPAT
    64
    I've started 3 blogs and ended up erasing them because it still feels vulnerable to blog about the private me. You have made some very good points. I am committing to myself to blog soon. - 8/7/2011   1:48:03 AM
  • 63
    I am not a consistent blogger, when i feel the need to really vent what im feeling and im not afraid of posting it on the 'web' i'll blog. other wise i might just right it down, or pray about those feelings. - 8/7/2011   12:26:00 AM
  • 62
    I was blogging for a while after my breast cancer diagnosis and then here on SP but I stopped....I will restart again since you made several good points! Thanks! - 8/7/2011   12:19:46 AM
  • 61
    I so agree, I am finding my blogs help me to know what I am thinking, to connect some dots, and even though I feel I'm exposing myself in a way i wouldn't normally do, it is so helpful. So the learning is worth risking making a fool of myself. Even though I don't think my blogs are interesting, they are useful for me. - 8/6/2011   11:59:13 PM
  • 60
    Great blog. Thanks for sharing the inspiration and motivation - 8/6/2011   11:03:42 PM
  • 59
    Your story is a beautiful and telling one! I may not be 450 lbs or bed-ridden, but, hun, your story really does hit home. I am a mere 31 years old and I have the following wrong with me: 69 lbs overweight at 209 lbs (all time high of 250), fibramyalgia, un-diagnosed nerve problems, birth defect in both knees, Attention Deficit Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder. - 8/6/2011   10:16:42 PM
  • 58
    Writing is an excellent way to vent your feelings. It's probably best to keep it to your eyes only sometimes. :-) - 8/6/2011   5:39:45 PM
  • QUESTDUCK
    57
    I have felt silly trying to write in my blog, but you are an inspiration! Also I've been moaning about how much weight I need to lose. If you can do it guess maybe I can to. Thanks. - 8/6/2011   5:06:36 PM
  • 56
    Way to go Beth, I'm proud for you and proud of you! Keep on Blogging! - 8/6/2011   4:57:02 PM
  • 55
    So very well said... Thank you my friend. Hugs. - 8/6/2011   3:38:59 PM
  • 54
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your blogging tips. This has helped me to make a decision of to blog or not. - 8/6/2011   3:03:53 PM
  • 53
    I have blogged some, but I don't want to always have people misunderstanding or jumping to wrong conclusions about what I am saying, so I have quit. I try journaling at home, but it never includes my moods because I don't know how to put them in. It just tells what is going on that day. I have also gotten on a site here in Denver that calls for journaling. Most of the time I don't feel connected to anyone anyway. - 8/6/2011   3:02:57 PM
  • 52
    I have kept a journal for many years. I write in it, everyday. I really enjoy doing it. I write all kinds of things down, I find it has helped somewhat with my weight, and exercise. - 8/6/2011   2:31:22 PM
  • 51
    I just blogged about blogging (well it was a short paragraph) but I enjoy blogging on sparkpeople because there is always someone out there that has been there done that. I have worked through many emotions through my blog and feel more content with what I am trying to do. - 8/6/2011   2:15:22 PM
  • DIABETICLADY
    50
    I always felt that by posting in a Journal was enough; apparently blogging is another way to express one's emotional dilemnas. - 8/6/2011   1:59:22 PM
  • DIABETICLADY
    49
    I always felt that by posting in a Journal was enough; apparently blogging is another way to express one's emotional dilemnas. - 8/6/2011   1:59:13 PM

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