Are bloggers role models (giveaway post)?

It’s funny.

The longer I blog the more I realize, in a way, this blog is a book.

Not so much that I yammer in book-length posts (which I do)—–but in that we have our own language.

Chickenbus (for those of you who have been around a while).

Ren Man.

That sort of stuff.

It’s the same reason why I cant just cut & paste posts for my gig at Yahoo! Shine.

In stand alone posts methinks I come off like a crazy person.  When read with the backdrop of all this chickenbus (wink) I like to think that I do not.

It was with that in mind that this comment:

OK I have to ask as Im a new reader.

What is the unapologetically myself thing?

made me realize I might have some ‘splaining to do for new readers.  It’s all actually pretty simple:

People often asked me what the philosophy was behind MizFit.

They want to know why I do what I do & what overarching message I’m trying to impart.

Initially this question stumped me.

I knew what my mission statement was, but a “message” eluded me.

Until it didn’t.

I realized what I wish for my readers is no different than what I desire for myself & for my daughter:

To embrace and love whom you already are.

To be wholly comfortable in your own skin.

To realize that, by virtue of BEING, you are enough.

To be unapologetically yourselves.

image 251 300x240 Are bloggers role models (giveaway post)?
(seriously, how freakin CUTE is Fitarella’s daughter?! She’s Unapologetically Myself personified.  And this COOL BLOGGER? She put the image/button on her blog’s sidebar. how nice is that?!)

**awkward segue back to last week and the BlogHer Conference**

Thanks to Marste I have a link to a kindasorta transcript of the Blogs & Body Image panel.

I say kindasorta because Im not sure all the quotes are attributed to the proper people, but you will at least be able to get a sense of what we talked about.

I know for me the session was only a fraction of the conversation & that much of the dialogue took place as I bumped into bloggers over the course of the weekend.

I know for me the session was on the the beginning of the conversation as I was left with the question of what, if any, responsibility do we bear when blogging?

If one’s blog is created as an outlet to bitch, moan & vent about life in general (and health/fitness/weightloss etc being part of that) should we feel compelled to watch the negative self talk?

Or should readers simply know that it’s OUR PLACE and what we say about OURSELVES is ok?

Is it the readers responsibility not to take anything we write about ‘personally’ or carry away any self-loathing we may share with them?

Or should we be aware, every time we hit PUBLISH, that there are, indeed, impressionable readers out there to whom we may be serving as role models (whether we asked for this position or not)?

And, as role models, should we censor what we say about our selves & our feelings?

I have to admit Im torn.

Im a firm believer in blogging as a pivotal tool for healing & healthy living.

In my opinion it’s a step up from journaling as it allows one to receive both feedback and encouragement.

From that position I dont think that censorship is necessarily a good thing at all as it would either encourage less blogging or more ‘pretending’ that everything is ok.

Yet I do admit that Im torn.

It makes me sad to read negative self talk on people’s blogs (though I entirely respect the fact that’s how they feel on a given day) & I wonder, at times, about the young & impressionable (hell, the old & impressionable) & what messages they may take away from certain posts.

WHEW.

I know.

Please to refer back to the beginning and cross-reference under yammering.

You make it all the way to the end?  There’s a small treat in store.

For the lowlow price of a(n honest) comment below you can be entered to win your own Unapologetically Myself ANYTHING.

Whether you made it to our panel or not—what are you thoughts on blogs & body image?

Have any insights into blogger responsibility you wanna share?

Please to hit us all up in the comments.

(Winner announced tomorrow. Entire universe eligible.)

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Comments

  1. says

    Well, I must confess to a little self-censoring going on on my blog. I use it as a motivational tool for myself, so I avoid negativity in it and I hope that it in some way goes towards helping someone else feel more positive.

    There are times though, when we do feel down, when we are struggling with a certain exercise or weight plateau when only a good old-fashioned gripe can make you feel better especially when there are so many great bloggers out there who have been there, done it offering words of comfort and wisdom.

    But really, so long as you aren’t advocating dangerous practices, a blog is your own to do with as you choose!

  2. says

    Like Fat[free]Me my blog started as a motivational tool for me, and is still that, but I have been told that others also find it useful, and the “inspirational” word has been used once or twice (I still find this hard to believe).

    I think the only responsibility a blogger has (and I’m sorry but this is stolen) is to be “Unapologetically themselves”. If their words, experiences are useful to others, then others will read, if not, they won’t. There are enough blogs out there, that we can all just skip past those negative ones.

  3. says

    Eh, I think people take away from a blog/person/magazine/television show WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR.

    As the Simon and Garfunkle song goes: the man hears what he wants to hear / And disregards the rest…

    Despite the fact that I talk about how hard weight loss is, and how frustratingly slow it can be, I still get people who come onto my blog, read my before and progress pictures page and want to know “what my secret it” without reading anything else. It’s not like my weight loss has been secret, heck, I blog about it once to twice a week, every week… it’s all there for someone to look at… and still, what’s “your secret” comes up.

    I don’t generally self-censor.

    I mean, for starters, I’m not that person who “conquered a cookie craving by walking around the block.” And I don’t like feeling like I *should be* all happiness and light. If nothing else in the world is mine, my feelings belong to me. I reserve the right to be grouchy, negative, and sarcastic. Some days I hate myself, some days I think I’m pretty damn nifty.

    Second of all, very little exasperates me more than someone who is saccharine sweet and always “encouraging.” The ones with the bags full of pithy quotations… weight loss, getting healthy, becoming active… all these things are more than a bunch of pithy quotes. Maybe the pithy quote gets you pointed in the right direction, but it’s not the entire journey. Eventually, you’re going to need something more than someone else’s words. You’re going to need something inside of you, and I don’t know that anyone is ever going to get that soley from someone else’s blog.

    Third; I hate being considered any one else’s role model, or “Inspiration.” I don’t want to be an inspiration… to me that places unfair expectations on me. I’m no longer doing this for myself, but so that X Y and Z people that I don’t even know won’t be disappointed in me. Argh! Admittedly, I know I take it on myself, but that’s still responsibility I don’t need and I don’t want.

    Fourth, and perhaps most important TO ME… I think I’m funnier when I’m being snarky… that being snarky and sometimes bitter and frustrated is more amusing than being all happiness and light. I think it helps my readers feel more normal when things don’t go 100% according to plan, that they have someone who’s not going to give them the whole “enjoy the journey” pat on the back, but someone who can honestly relate that well, there is no gravity, the earth just sucks.

    Heh!

  4. says

    Hey Miz,
    I write to let a voice out that is so much easier for me to put to written word. And what I’ve found along the way, is that it helps me too, in the process. I’ve also come to believe, and this is just me, that my words can impact other people. In good ways or bad ways. I am trying to choose good. And leave others with messages of hope and inspiration. I’m not sure I always get it right. Blogger responsibility then – for me is defined as knowing that the words I write CAN impact others, and my responsibility is to leave them with a message that I believe in. No being fake.

    You do good work here Miz. You have a gift of connecting with others in meaningful ways and shining your light into this world in some very amazing ways!

  5. says

    i think bloggers do serve as role models, whether we want to be or not (i want to be a positive voice). therefore, i think we have a responsiblity to be thoughtful and purposeful with what we type. :)

    pick me!

  6. Carrie says

    How do we get the button for our blogs?

    I do think that we are role models whether we like it or not when we blog.
    We assume a responsibility to at least ponder who we are impacting with our words and for that very reason I have a private blog!!

  7. says

    I kind of think it depends on how many people read you…. and what kind of blog you have. Some people have blogs that they started just to chronicle their thoughts and journeys (like me) and some people have blogs that they started in order to somehow help other people (like you). If I talk about my bad day and how sometimes I hate the choices I made that day, it’s fine because my blog is a journal. But if you fill your blog with negative self-talk, how are you helping your readers? There’s a difference. My blog is for me to vent, and yours is for other people to read and try to glean some knowledge… I don’t know if I’m even making sense, but my opinion is it depends. On who reads you, on what you started out to be, etc. Just like Roni’s recent post talking about how she had a bad day, and she immediately felt she had to defend her decision to write a post about REALITY… her blog has always been there to chronicle her experiences, but she’s also there to help those of us out there… and maybe that sort of thing does help because it shows that she’s relatable and not perfect… I don’t know. I really just think it depends.

    Oh and thanks for the link love :-D

  8. says

    Hmmm….so many thoughts on this. I definitely think that I see other bloggers as role models, your good self included. It’s that ‘aspirational figure’ thing, the whole’well they did it so why can’t i?’ sorta thing – at least that’s how it is for me.

    I would say that it absolutely rests on the part of the reader to take responsibility for what they are reading – surely that’s just a good principle to take with you through life? And blogs kinda fall into different categories for me, some I support because ifeel from readign that the author needs support, some I take challenges and ideas from, it alls eems to depend on the vibe of the writer and his or hers security in themselves. I think I am only just beginning to think thru what i want my blog to be – at the minute it provides me with what i need and I am so falttered that anyone actually READS it. It’s the perfect vehicle to get stuck into ideas and theories behind diet and weightloss and the mroe i write, read and interact with other bloggers, the more i am learning about this often alien concept of being unapologetically myself. I live in HOPE!

  9. Nancy says

    I SAY HELL NO!!

    For me the internet is the last place where I can vent (weight loss, family, friends, work) and not give a thought to who is watching or whether I am hurting anyone’s feelings etc.

    People need to take more responsibility for their own actions in today BLAMING SOCIETY.

    I don’t wanna be no stinkin role model :)

    Online anyway.

    GREAT POST, MIZ.

    lovelove the tees etc.

  10. Evan says

    I don’t have a blog so I am more of a blogreader (may I still chime in?) BUT I have never thought of words I read on the internet as anything more than other people’s thoughts which I can take or leave!

  11. runnin4fun says

    ooooo I Want one of those shirts sooooo bad-I have already shown my husband and gave multiple hints. I began reading blogs 3 yrs ago (when I quit smoking!) and it evolved into my own little support group.I feel like all the bloggers I visit each day are friends,even though I’ve never met any of them!LOL! I would never censor my friends. Blogs to me are like one sided,sit -down -and -have- coffee -with -me conversations. I like that about them, and I want them to be authentic.

  12. says

    Oh man.

    I feel that many of us started out only writing for ourselves for that purpose – to “heal,” and our sites morph into writing for others.

    But for me, the moment I stop sharing my reality, it’s not believable, all of a sudden it’s all sunshine and butterflies? No. It’s a process. I would probably have a lot more of a reader-ship had I started with sunshine and butterflies and kept it up, but it would be a outright lie. But, I just didn’t care who was irked by my reality, it’s just that, mine. People shouldn’t take advice from the net anyway, not from a total layperson with no professional skills as it is <– me.

    I have a feeling that many bloggers in my category DO fib, just to avoid any negativity from the internet, and eventually quit writing.

  13. says

    For me personally, I started my blog to try and inspire others that you can not only lose weight, but keep it off for years and years.

    So, mine is about my 150 pound weight loss journey, and as such usually has an uplifting, encouraging tone.

    For those blogging about their weight loss road, some of those blogs are obviously personal musings, and others do seem to be inviting the reader along.

    I enjoy reading all different kinds. If a blog seems offensive to me personally I just move on.

  14. says

    Life happens…I blog about it. Even if I am bitchy….I usually try to be positive by the end of my post. More for myself then for any responsibilty I feel towards my fellow bloggers. SELFISH, I know. That’s how I roll I guess…..lol

    thoughtful post. thanks

  15. says

    Interesting topic and great discussion!

    I try to keep self-censorship to a minimum, because I think the wonderful thing about blogging as opposed to mainstream media outlets is the huge variety of different voices, views, and takes on life that are available. From the title of my blog, it’s pretty obvious that there is going to be a fair amount of negativity! And that’s because I think healthy living is HARD for most people and I think acknowledging it and having a sense of humor about it is important.

    However, I also believe that there is a ridiculous obsession with physical appearance in our culture, particularly among women. And to the extent I ever fall victim to that myself I will self-censor as I refuse to add my voice to that destructive chorus saying that women must be “thin” and “pretty”at all costs. I always frame my struggles in terms of health, not weight, even if I might occasionally fall prey to vanity myself in terms of nutrition/workout goals.

  16. says

    I do find that I tend to internalize what I read.

    I don’t blame the bloggers though I take responsibility and do not read blogs which might trigger me.

  17. says

    I have to say that the negative blogs are a real turn off for me, but I don’t think they have a responsibility to blog any differently. The readership of the blog is an indicator to the success of the negativity. Sadly, there are a lot of people who choose to live in the negative, whether it is their own negative or someone else’s. I choose to not wallow in the mud of negativity. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get down – I do, but I try not to stay there long.

  18. Janie says

    I definitely find myself infulenced by the blogs I read. I have a blog, but I never write in it b/c I don’t feel I really have anything of worth to say. I think it would be a good thing for me to be more unapologetically myself. Right now, I am very much apologetically myself.

  19. says

    I started this as a continuation of my rant I had a few days ago about never needing to censor, blah, blah, blah. But, I don’t think it’s entirely true.

    If you set yourself up as a public service type of blog, then I think you do have a responsiblity to your readers. If you rally to help people, then that needs to be youf focus and being a role model probablly is something you’ll need to do.

    If your blog is a personal blog (as you kind of described), then it’s YOUR blog. You have every right to say what you want when you want. For better or worse. How can you truely overcome what you’re trying to overcome if you can’t be completely honest with yourself (and subsequentlly your readers)? Hiding the emotions, IMO (so take it with a grain of salt if you will), will only lead to futher damage. Just be prepared to lose readers or recieve negativity for anything semi contraversial I guess. Too many bloggers get blindsided…too bad we can’t all be supportive and nice.

  20. Miz says

    so so many thoughts.
    Please to refer back to yesterday’s video as that’s where I am right now.

    For moment SITTING on the swings and furtively thumbtyping.

    SBS for me —-and I’m now curious about others—-I wasn’t even thinking about negative in the ‘I HAD A SHITTY DAY. I’M IN A BAD MOOOOOOD’ sense but in the (to paint with a broad thumbtyped brush) ‘I FEEL LIKE CRAP ABOUT MYSELF. I’M FAT & WORTHLESS BECAUSE I’VE GAINED 2.58 POUNDS’

    And Janie?

    Its a process.

    I love your comment because step one for ME was realizing I wasn’t unapologetically ME.

    Only then could I begin to work toward change.

    More when I’m not schvitzing @ the playground.

  21. says

    For me, a big part of my blog is to serve as a way to monitor any changes in feelings about my body. Sometimes it’s a good change (like when I began to be able to do one handed push ups), and sometimes it’s bad changes (like when I couldn’t fit into my ED jeans).

    I do try to use I statements when using negative self-talk. However, I also try to see the silver lining and mention that it’s something I need to work on (not the reader of my blog). From another standpoint, when I made my blog a positive thinking only place, I didn’t want to write it, and since I’ve started talking about how difficult it is for me to reach my happy place, more people have started reading. It’s possible that, beyond all else, people want to think that they’re normal, and negative self-chatter, whether about work performance or pants’ size, makes it easier to relate to the writer.

  22. Ava says

    I am a firm believer in ‘write from your heart and the readers will follow…and if not? Fu*ck em’ ;)

    If I want to write about fasting for a few days in an effort to lose weight or binging or anything it is 100% my perogative.

    If someone fasts or binges as a result of a post that is their responsibility.

    I have locked my blog for other reasons entirely.

    I love that you’ve started this discussion.

  23. says

    I think people being impacted by what they read/hear/see on a daily basis is inevitable. The messages received from certain posts are the same (or very similar) messages received from hearing someone complain in a dressing room about how fat they are, etc. Different place, same story. I’m not sure bloggers have a responsibility to protect unknown readers any more than the common responsibility we all have to not be idiots to each other.

  24. NoWeigh! says

    I signed on to be a role model for my son and that’s it.

    I don’t yet have a blog (no time) and when I comment I say what I think and never censor a word.

    Great discussion.

  25. says

    Like you MizFit, I struggle with this question. One the one hand, I am newly pregnant – and there are days where the hormones get the best of me and I really do feel bloated, fat, and just plain miserable. And I feel that I should be able to share that with my readers. However, as a recovering bullimac, I know that words can trigger disordered behavior in people, so I try to limit my negativity.

    I am not sure there is a “right” answer to this question, rather a vast set of opinions.

  26. says

    What a fantastic post, MizFit. I blog about disordered eating recovery, body image, and the struggles I’ve felt since losing weight and gaining some back. I know that loved ones/friends sometimes are saddened to read about my setbacks, or to realize how I feel about myself or a subject on a given day, but ultimately the responsibility falls on me to determine what I care to share. As a blogger, our primary audience is ourselves … our readers do come secondary. I have censored some of my thoughts (particularly about sex and body image — that’s between my husband and I) but I really don’t censor my thoughts otherwise when I blog.

    I’ve been told I am a role model from my readers, and that is a scary thing because it means if I slip, they see it … but at the same time, it gives me even more incentive to stay strong. And real.

    Love this post!
    Unapologetically Melissa :)

  27. says

    I am writing you super quick before we hit the road!

    I started my blog as a journal for myself! I needed a place to get my thoughts out of my head and I was seeing so many blogs! I loved reading other stories of weight loss and I thought a blog was a great place to chronicle my own weight loss. My blog morphed into a motivational tool for me and (surprisingly) for others. I am able to tell it like it is and people are actually reading & encouraging me! I am telling “it” like it really is and this has been motivational for me & others. I can encourage other people to jump on the healthy bandwagon even though I am not the image of perfect health and I think that is one of the reasons I keep blogging! To tell the real story of getting healthy & losing weight! I can try new things and tell everyone about them! Through my own blogging and reading other blogs (ie the MIZ) I am learning to be unapologetically myself!! SO THANK YOU CARLA!!! for showing me so many new things and showing me that I CAN do it my way! I wan to be real and my blog is a place to do that!

  28. says

    This is funny…I just complained yesterday about my 2.4 lb. weight gain in one day. and you KNOW I WAS NOT REFERRING TO YOU… My intent wasn’t to bring anybody down with it, it was to share, to let people know that yes, this happens to me, it happens to everyone, you’re not alone. Was I feeling down? Yes! Blogging about it helps keep it in perspective and helps to turn that frown upside down (ick).

  29. says

    Love it! I think a lot of us stop blogging when we go through a hard time with our weight loss, but that’s life, that’s real… and we shouldn’t apologize for that :)

  30. says

    interesting, when i think about it, i guess i do kinda sensor what i put on my blog… there’s some stuff i’m trying to work through in my life that i don’t share. guess i thought that being positive on the blog would translate? whether that’s working or not, that’s another story

  31. says

    I’m torn as well. Pretty much exactly what you “said”. Sorry so short, dealing w sick-girl here :( Thanks for the shout out!! We HEART U right back!

  32. says

    I think I’d fall under the “anti-role model” category. :)
    IMO, our blogs should reflect who we are. Readers will either be attracted to that, or perhaps be repelled by it.

    As for me, I tend toward the positive on my blog because that’s what I do for myself. I rec’d a semi-nasty gram from an anonymous “friend” who suggested that I cut the chipper, perky stuff and write what I’m really feeling. HUH? I *am* chipper and perky! It drives my friends crazy, which makes me even happier. :)

    I try to be as honest and authentic as I can be, but if I’m in a bad mood or feeling badly about myself, I’m far more likely to get up and get outside or take to me bed for a restorative nap than I am to sit down at the computer. Thus when I *do* sit down at the computer, I’m feeling all perky again. It’s a vicious circle. :)

    But when the circle gets a kink in it, it’s nice to have a place to offer it up, in hopes that someone can relate and share their own struggles or even better, will share how they conquered the dilemma o’the moment.

    For reading, I’m not likely to continue to follow a blog for very long if the posts are filled with constant self-loathing (as opposed to the periodic “I’m having a big thigh day!”) and the owner seems content to stay that way. That may sound unkind, but I’m not a medical professional and I don’t have enough hours in my day as it is. Okay that moves from unkind to cruel. But I’m just being honest. :)

  33. Miz says

    still thumbtyping but this all has me again reflecting on a ‘family joke’ (phrase?)

    When Ren Man says something which I KNOW I’m hearing NOT in the way he intended (a remark about the house being messy or my writing or ANYTHING but its never, for me, bod related) I say

    I HEAR YOU SAYING I’M FAT.

    And we both laugh.

    It’s our Family Language of ‘I’m hearing what you are saying thru the lens of my own baggage. I know that’s not what you mean to say but tread lightly….’

    Same with reading blogs.

    We do all read thru the LENS OF OUR OWN EXPERIENCE.

    Thank you for all your comments!

  34. says

    Write the truth no matter what it is.
    That’s our only responsibility be it blogging, living, whatever.
    The truth is the only thing that’ll get us anywhere proper.

  35. says

    At the suggestion of my husband I recently started a blog to let go of some of my feelings, frustrations, etc. I’m so not a writer nor a model of anything even remotely positive. I am unapologetically myself.

    xoxo

  36. says

    Definitely feeling a little selfish at the moment…

    As a blogger:

    When I post on my blog, I am posting for ME. Regardless of whether it is a positive post or a negative post, I post for ME.

    I never stopped to think how I was affecting my readers with my positive or negative comments. As much as I try to stay positive, the occasional negative thought haunts my spirit until it finally gets the best of me. (Take away junk food that I once adored and replace it with carrot sticks…Oh yes, there will be negative posts! LoL)

    My main reason for blogging is to keep me on track and focused on my weight loss journey. And trust me, when you take away the junk food I adored oh so much in the past, there are definitely going to be “not so nice” posts, LoL. And I truly hope those brief negative moments I have do not affect the few that do read my blog.

    As for when people say my journey is “inspirational”…I am blown away by this. I’m just an unemployed 24 year old, trying to lose weight so that I can be a better and healthier me. I wasn’t setting out to be an “inspiration”, but I’m not going to lie, it does make me smile when people say I have motivated them or inspired them and in return it inspires and motivates me to keep at it.

    Great post, Carla. Definitely one of those posts that makes me stop and think.

  37. MizFit says

    Definitely feeling a little selfish at the moment…

    as well you should NOT.

    it’s your blog and the place for you to write as you want.

    this entire post was born of curiosity…as to your thoughts on the subject matter!

    (and inspirational? you know you can count me in that chorus)

    the ‘not so nice posts” IMO keep it real..

    I just wonder if, in the not so nice posts, we impact others when we dont even realize…

  38. says

    I’ve never felt like role model before. My blog is more/less me thinking out loud and trying to work through stuff. Yeah sometimes there’s negativity, but getting it out helps me turn it around to positivity, so I don’t censor much. I don’t have a lot of readers, but those who do read always say they appreciate my honesty – and I’m more honest on my blog than probably anywhere else in my life.

  39. says

    I consider my blog the same as an unlocked diary sitting on my nightstand. I write for many different reasons … to remember something special, to motivate myself, to vent my frustrations after a crappy day/week/whatever, to celebrate my accomplishments, etc.

    It’s probably TMI at times but I have an obligation to no one but myself; I aim to be genuine and authentic. And I get to rest easy at night knowing no one reads it anyway. =P

  40. says

    I used to have a knitting blog when I stumbled across a few weightloss blogs. Before that I would have never thought about blogging as a tool to change my life and my health. I wanted what I saw in those blogs – support. Repeatedly, I saw bloggers helping bloggers. That blew me away.

    So I agree with some of the other comments that we each take away what we need and offer what we can. Being true to ourselves is most important.

  41. says

    One question:

    Isn’t self censoring a direct contradiction of being unapologetically yourself?
    >
    Here’s my deal:

    When I write, I write pretty much what I want. Life isn’t all everyday Suzy Sunshine. There are days I feel like crap and am filled with self doubt. Not blogging that denies my feelings, and, if I AM a role model, it also denies the feelings of the reader when they get into that dark place.

    I think it’s more important to be honest than to make everything a fake veneer of life.

    That being said, there IS one place where I self censor, and that’s with regard to my best friend, who has serious medical issues and whom I’m concerned will not survive the year. My unapologetic self doesn’t want her to know how worried I am, and how painful this all is … and she’s reading my blog these days to feel close (we live 1500 miles apart).

    There are times when we censor out of kindness, and times when censoring is doing no one any favors though. Personally I hate to have all agreement on my blogs. I don’t mind an argument (as long as it’s civil) or a disagreement. What really chaps me though is the comments “so true” and “I’m praying for you” when they’re reproduced thoughtlessly over and over and over again.

    I have a friend who used to comment “ZFrog was here” just to let you know she’s reading. That to me seems to be a lot more honest (and I appreciated it a lot more) than some mindless and fake show of support.

  42. MizFit says

    Isn’t self censoring a direct contradiction of being unapologetically yourself?

    YES.
    entirely.
    and yet after a few years of mommyblogging I locked my blog so that I could entirely be me w/out any thoughts of anyone I didnt want experiencing the whole ugly shebang stumbling through.

  43. Me says

    This is why I am not yet blogging.

    Even I do not want to see, read, face the realities of my life.
    I can not yet inflict them on others.

  44. says

    I think that bloggers are definitely role models in some way ….maybe their cooking, or their food choices or their exercise habits or whatever else….
    Honesty is the key, though. I actually think its brave when a blogger admits to a fault/slip-up relating to whatever he or she is often the reader’s role model

  45. says

    I don’t like to do negative self talk in my blog posts because I don’t like to do it in my life. I don’t think of it as censoring as much as know that negativity in my writing reinforces it in my mind. So while I’m not always Suzy Sunshine, I do make an effort not to go there when I know I am not going to a place that’s good for me. Figure it won’t be good for anyone else, either.

    Love your thoughts about comments, Miz. Sometimes I really don’t have a pithy comment to make, but do want “my” bloggers (the blogs I read frequently) to know I appreciate their words. Maybe I’ll adopt ZFrog’s idea. Although what can I call myself….???

    Can see how the Tornado would get Fitarella’s daughter mixed up with you ‘cuz I might even get her mixed up with the Tornado!

  46. says

    Very interesting post! I started blogging because I have a terrible memory, and I wanted to be able to look back and see how hard I’d worked, and how far I’d come – I wanted THIS weight-loss journey to be my last.

    I found other bloggers, started leaving comments and in turn received comments – and that’s when I began to see the support that is out there in blogland. There were so many who had lost 50 pounds or more, and as I had A LOT to lose, I was inspired by them. And to be honest, scared into the reality of what happens when you don’t make a total life change by seeing some of them regain the weight.

    Lately, I’ve been on the receiving end of “you’re an inspiration” comments – and at first I blew it off, but then realized that I HAVE lost a lot of weight, and these people are where I was a year ago. So I accept it, respect it, and yet try to still be the same old blogger, writing about whatever pops into my mind, without thinking of how I *might* inspire someone. Because who am I, really?

  47. says

    I already self-censor a bit on my blog because I now have people I know reading it (my ex and my current!) which means sometimes I feel conversations need to be had before I post, but otherwise my blog is my space in the world. I started it for me and if I completely censor the negative, I’m not using it ‘properly’, if that makes sense.

    I think it depends on the purpose of your blog and your readers need to understand that. If you start off completely honest and get a ton of readers that way, then surely you owe it to yourself and to them to remain honest, even if the honesty is sometimes negative.

    Part of being unapologetically ME is that I’m not always on top of the world and life is not always sunshine and lollipops.

  48. Hannah says

    I’m totaly stealing that “I hear you saying I’m fat.” phrase as a cue to my husband to back away quickly!

    Humor works wonders.

  49. says

    What a great way to start the day today . . .

    I started my blog for the reason that so many have started theirs – for accountability to myself. When I started to get comments on my posts I began to realize that there is this whole world of people struggling with similar issues out there. It also made me realize that, as much as I would like to think so, I’m not the ONLY person in the world that got fat. I’m not the only person with emotional baggage and I’m certainly not the only person who has failed at weight loss 23498273 times.

    So, I don’t think that I censor myself too much. I’m sure there have been times and I definitely have a bit of a potty mouth so I try not to be too ridiculous on my blog for the sake of my innocent readers . . . but otherwise I think that I’m pretty honest as far as feeling crappy for feeling great or feeling like I’m NEVER going to succeed at this.

    I appreciate that honesty and if I am not being honest with my blog, I’m not being honest with myself and then – what’s the point of having others read about my journey?

  50. says

    I do think we all should be unapologetically ourselves on our blogs. I will admit I have pointed out to fellow bloggers when they are making a lot of self hatred comments. I’ve also found myself not reading bloggers that are always negative. I don’t watch the news for that reason so I really try hard to have positive stuff in my life. I do believe what you take in affects you.

    I just think we all need to love ourselves and talking badly about yourself isn’t going to get you there. I do find myself trying to talk kinder to myself on my blog because each step I take in being kind to me is a step into being kind to everyone that comes in contact with me.

    My bottom line is loving myself fully so my blog is a way to help me get there. Sure I love having people read what I say and give me feedback but I also know I won’t apologize for being me.

    I didn’t know you had merchandise *smile*. I found myself almost ordering a t-shirt but then thought would I wear it with those short sleeves and then I realized my arm issues are not being myself they are about worrying what others will see and think. So I’m going to order a shirt (if I don’t win lol) and wear it proud and be unapologetically myself.

  51. says

    My blog has really shifted from blog to journal. I’m less focussed on the entertainment/information deal and more about doing it for myself. I don’t know why, really. I think, because I know I don’t know anything, I can’t presume to give advice on stuff so I just go about my thing documenting, I guess.

    That said, I hate reading negative self-talk so I try not to post any. I hate getting caught up in it because it’s only destructive. I have my down times, and if I feel like sharing them I share them. And I think that’s the crux of my philosophy on blogging. I share what I want to share. If I don’t want to, I don’t.

    As for responsibility, it depends on what the blog is being presented as. If it’s being presented as a source of information and opinion there is definite responsibility. If it’s merely some documenting their life and struggles, etc., they could hardly be charged with causing someone to have a bad day as much as the Wright brothers could be charged with causing 9/11. IMO.

  52. says

    My blog is kind of a venting session for me, though I know that I shouldn’t be so negative all the time. I don’t have a lot of people read my blog, butmy hope is that if people do actually read it, that I could get feedback whether or not my thoughts are okay, or just plain weird! lol

  53. says

    I believe that your thoughts inform who you are. The same, then, would hold true for your blog. I love having a blog where I can beam and be happy and talk about how much I love running and no one can roll their eyes at me. At least not when I can see them!

  54. says

    Hmmmm, lots to think about with that one. For a long time I struggled with who I “should” be. Today my biggest role models are those people, many of them fellow blogger, who are brave enough to just be, whether that’s up or down, negative or positive. Often it’s the “not so nice” posts that inspire me the most, to change, be honest, be real, be me.

  55. says

    My blog is a place for self expression. I feel the most important thing is honesty and being real. I don’t use it as a venue to bitch and moan, but if I am having a particularly tough issue I might vent it there every once in awhile. I see my blog as something people read and think, “oh, yeah, I can relate.” I want people to have a sense of connection to me as just another mom, runner, professional, wife, etc even if they don’t know me personally. The bottom line is that we are all dealing with the same basic issues: wanting to be accepted, trying to cope with our fears, attempting to meet our goals yet being afraid of failing, etc. It’s not about being the best, it’s just about being honest about where and who we are.

  56. Ash says

    I started a blog and found I was instinctively wriitng with an eye to it being read.

    (If that makes sense)

    So now I just journal.

  57. says

    I definitely have this debate in my head all the time. I do think that it depends on a blog’s purpose, though. But for the sake of this discussion I think we’re mostly considering personal and/or health blogs, in which case I do think that bloggers should feel a sense of responsibility to their readers, even if just a little bit. In my mind, that responsibility entails maintaining a bit of balance in the blog’s subject matter–being respectful of one’s audience while saying what you want to say (this is definitely possible, though a fine art), but while also communicating one’s human side (which, if absent, creates too much distance between blogger and reader to create continuing interest, IMHO).

    Do I sound like an expert yet? :)

    Nah, but those are the blogging principles (put into place by me only) by which I abide, and it’s workin’ out ok so far.

  58. says

    I think in a way it depends who the blog is for. It’s usually pretty easy to tell right away when you first start reading a blog whether the author is using it as a diary or as a way to share information and news etc. If you’re using it as a diary, then I don’t think that censorship is really all that necessary… it’s those of us (probably, realistically, most of us) who write blogs specifically for people to read and share ideas and gain knowledge that should think twice about what we’re writing about.

    It’s important to be honest, but it isn’t necessary to talk about every little detail. Writers who have community-based blogs should have some level of diplomacy. In ways I censor my blog by not going into every detail of my life- but I purposely make sure that I DO share my struggles, because that’s an important part about living life, and I don’t want to only write about the good stuff that happens to me because that’s not all of who I am. None of us are perfect, after all!

    When I first started blogging I didn’t intend on sharing any personal information. I thought it would be more professional to remain anonymous. That went out the window almost immediately :D

    Also I remember the first post I ever read when I came to your blog- I was so confused by your writing style, hehe. Took me a couple posts to “get” it. You’re right, your posts aren’t really the stand-alone type! But I think that’s what strengthens the community/familial aspect of it.

  59. says

    There are so many questions in this post I’m not even sure which I am answering.

    I firmly believe if your blog is a personal one, or detailing a personal journey, that your first responsibility is to be honest with yourself. You might have readers, but the blog is yours and exists to help you. If your blog is more sharing your expertise, teaching others, etc, then you can think more of the readers. But since mine is personal, that is the experience I can speak of.

    I censor myself occasionally when I’m feeling like writing something that will affect others besides me. But for the most part I don’t censor. I’ve always blogged (even back when I was on livejournal) with the knowledge that though it is my thoughts and my life I’m writing about someone else will read it. So while I am writing I know I am writing to other people about my life, not just to myself or a diary. I am aware of an audience (even just one person!) without letting it affect what I have to say. With my current blog I try to be a “role model” (hahaha) by showing both sides of my own struggle. Its not all successes and easy riding for me. I have my issues. I have my bad days. I try to honestly convey that as much as I can while still keeping the overall tone of my blog positive.

  60. says

    I censor, believe it or not. I wish I didn’t have to but I have family who read it along with other special people who whom I’d like to slay with my WERDS.
    Love ya! ;-)

  61. says

    Fantastic question.

    The short answer is yes. I do believe bloggers “can be” role models. (They aren’t all.) I do carry myself that way. I definitely have days where I feel self-sabotage come on strong and I censor that. It is especially important to me to uphold myself respectfully and honestly because I believe doing so gives license for other people to also do the same. I believe that being honest about our faults and our vulnerabilities allows those around us to relate to us in a human way. If we all walk around like we’re invincible, our friends and family members will be standing there thinking, “Boy, she has it all together, what’s wrong with ME?” For me, it’s important to be upfront about my gastric bypass, my losing 200 pounds, about my eating disorders, while at the same time maintaining a good body image and positivity toward my sometimes-difficult journey. The truth is we all have our things and by putting it out there in a real way, by being “unapologetically ourselves,” we can address real issues, not just for ourselves, but for our readers and friends. Blogging is a powerful opportunity to inspire, and I’m very honored by every reader that comments and follows to know that for brief moments I may touch their world. I am lucky.

  62. says

    One of the reasons I started blogging was because I had too much to say in the comments! And part of why I blog is because I do want to tell people that it is possible to lose weight, to change your relationship with food, to be healthier than you ever thought possible.

    That said, I do have good days and bad days. And I write about both. And it has been encouraging to me when someone I think ‘has it all together’ will write about their problems or ‘failures’ or temptations.

    I agree with your comment, Miz– “I wasn’t even thinking about negative in the ‘I HAD A SHITTY DAY. I’M IN A BAD MOOOOOOD’ sense but in the (to paint with a broad thumbtyped brush) ‘I FEEL LIKE CRAP ABOUT MYSELF. I’M FAT & WORTHLESS BECAUSE I’VE GAINED 2.58 POUNDS’ “–I do try to self-sensor that second type of thought–I’m self-sensoring it for myself as well as for others.

  63. Miz says

    reading. nodding. APPRECIATING the fact youre making the time to post such thought out comments.

  64. says

    I don’t get the whole role model thing. Why would we want to be one or why do we think we need one?

    It seems healthy to pay attention to positive and affirming influences but what exactly is “a role model?” A person or persons who model how to live your unique life? Does not compute.

  65. says

    SHEW is right!
    I began my blog, for ME. Just to share… all that my life has taught ME, what I have learned and what I am still learning.

    I had another blog which I deleted… I needed an audience I could just be myself with; not one that I had to put the face on for!

    I try and be honest ALWAYS…If I am feeling down, I say so (but I am conscience of not being negative for negativity’s sake)…(does that make sense)??

    I think blogging helps me be a little more accountable with myself too. self comparisons, and judgement and bandwagons… are out there whether you share youself at work, at home, with family or on a blog and I feel we are partly responsible in WHATEVER venue we share …

    what example are we setting anywhere we are! Not just in blogger ville! WE should always be aware of that…AND we need to allow ourselves to be ourselves too… or we won’t grow!

    good (great) food for thought

    oh and PS…I broke out my Res. bands and worked with them here and there last night…in the back yard chasing my tot… after dinner in the play room…

    THANKS for your post yesterday!

    :)

  66. Monique says

    I think that a person should be able to write whatever (S)he wants to on their own blog that is personal and they don’t get paid for (unless they get paid to write what they want) and that anyone who reads it should realize they are writing/saying what they want and if they don’t like it then they shouldn’t read it.

    That being said I think that most bloggers who have any kind of readership DO worry or analyze what they write for the impact it might/could have on their readership.

  67. says

    Goodness, deep thoughts for a Tuesday morning! :)

    I started blogging solely for myself, but the thing about blogging is that it can’t be done in a vacuum. Once you hit “publish,” SOMEONE (even if it’s just your mom) is going to read it. And it’s hard for me not to think about that facet of blogging, but I try my hardest to present an honest picture of myself. Especially as my blog has become more and more about weight loss, I don’t want to only present the happy moments but also the difficult moments of the process because people reading it need to know that losing weight is HARD and requires hard work.

    The positive side to blogging is that it has made me more accountable and helped me reach my goals. It’s one thing for me to personally decide to run a 5k but not tell anyone in case it didn’t work out, but once I blogged about it, I felt even more of a desire to make sure it happened!

  68. says

    Thanks for the thinking this morning! i needed the brain wake up! :)
    I started my blog because I needed to get out issues I was working thru. Issues of my own self negative talk. Issues of losing weight and wanting to fight it every step of the way. I started it to be able to talk. hehehhee!! To talk about ME!! To talk about my life, my experiences, etc… I write whatever hits my mood on the day i’m blogging.
    Essentially on my “crappiest” days… talking it out with myself while blogging always brings me back full circle to a positive. No different than a conversation with a good friend who kicks me into the positive… my brain ends up working all the crappiness out and by the end… i “see” what i need to do, what i need to change, what I need to work on FOR MYSELF!!
    I don’t sensor what i’m saying. i don’t feel a responsibility to others for what i write, for what i feel… ok… unless I’m totally berating the idiot from earlier because of my own colored glasses and in writing I see I’m the one who needs the tongue lashing… then i sensor. hahahaha!! No, i’m myself.
    And in truth, my blog serves as a journal… it’s just a journal i share with this virtual world. I hope along the way, people who read it let me know I’m not alone out there, and even if i find I’m alone… who cares!! I know in the “real” non-virtual world, I’m not alone.

    As for other blogs I read: In the grown up world I have no choice to live in (since well, i am a grown up) when i read others blogs, i DO know what i read is that authors OWN opinion, own thoughts, own mind. I take what i want… and on days I feel like telling them to shut the heck up and quit being so crappy… i just don’t read. :) It’s my perogative to read or not to read. Why some people take it more personally, I’ve never really gotten. Although when i think about it, sometimes a post reminds me of an experience in my own life. And then i have something to work out on my own. But it’s not their fault I have issues is it? Nope… it’s my own. hehehehehe!!

    Thanks for making me think today. Really all I needed to say was…. I’m me and if people don’t like it… well, the whole point of a virtual community is I don’t have to know about it. :) If I become a role model to them… that’s their choice, not mine.

  69. says

    Hey, thanks for the link! :)

    As for censoring . . . sometimes I censor for MYSELF. It’s not good for me to see, “I’m a fat, lazy whale,” in writing. So I try and stay away from that. Personally, I also make an effort to stay away from “I am” statements and embrace “I feel” statements. “I AM a fat, lazy whale” is a whole different thing from “I FEEL like a fat lazy whale.” There are certainly days when I FEEL like that, but I know that objectively, it’s not true. (I can’t hold my breath that long, for starters. ;))

    And as a reader, I sort of look for the same thing. I like reading blogs where people talk about the bad as well as the good, because it makes me feel NORMAL. It’s a good reminder that everyone has bad days, and that they don’t have to derail the whole shebang. But at the same time, I do seek out blogs where writers are writing about how they feel as opposed to stating empirically that they are worthless in some way.

    And if I know I have readers with certain issues (I know a couple of people who read my blog are recovering from EDs,) I do put trigger warnings up if it’s something I’m sure they’d have a hard time with (my weight, measurements, food intake, etc.).

    So I guess the short answer is . . . it depends. LOL.

  70. Ann says

    Many thoughts about this, will try to keep it short…

    I do think people should be careful not only about what they blog, but also by what they say and think. Like it or not, people are affected by you – after all, we’re social creatures. That’s not a bad thing.

    Once I started working to focus on the positive, I noticed how easily I was affected by negative people AND how much I was drawn to positive people. Why does MizFit get so many readers and comments? People want to visit here because she has a positive, healthy outlook on life and fitness.

    I would also argue that blogging or thinking bad thoughts is bad for the blogger/thinker! For me at least – when I dwell on bad thoughts, they just seem to get bigger and bigger.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad people can say, think, and blog whatever they want! But I really think things can be phrased in healthy or unhealthy ways. Criticizing the outward appearance of one’s body is just different from discussing how it *feels* (strong? weak? energetic? lethargic?). I can stomach the latter, but the former just turns me off.

  71. says

    I agree that this can be a thorny issue. I find myself unable to read the blogs of people who are very negative, rant all the time and denigrate themselves. Of course I have my issues and I do write about them, but I’m also quick to “resolve” the particular issue and commit to working on it some more. This is after all a journey of discovery and healing. I think honesty is important, but so is bearing in mind that people are reading.

  72. says

    I self censor my blog. I read it more than others do I think so I want to look back and see when I struggled but also see how I was working towards improving the problem. If all I did was complain I don’t think I would change anything.

    I also agree that blogging is its own entity. I call my husband Hunni in my blog and on Facebook. When I saw a friend who reads them the other day he jokingly said “this must be Hunni.” Made me realize how different we can talk sometime on blogs versus real life. But I don’t think it’s wrong.

  73. Samantha says

    I had a blog and ended it because I found it too tiring to do and I think that’s because I censored too too much.

    It wasn’t all about my feelings and HONESTY.

  74. says

    Ohh I wanted to comment so I scrolled down but I have to read the other comments because this is a great question. I try to keep my blog positive and keep the (ugh I feel so fat, I suck) thoughts away because, well, I don’t really like reading blogs where other people are bummed out all the time, and I want to create the type of blog that I would want to read (uhh…I if that makes sense). I think it’s important to be honest, as in, “I’m not having the best day” because bloggers whose lives seem 100% fairytale perfect seem to promote a lifestyle that is unattainanble, but trying not to dwell on the negative is important.

    I think, though, that the “bigger” the blog is, the more responsibility the blogger has to realize the power thier words can have. Maybe that’s not true, but I worry less about what I say because I don’t have nearly the readership of others. I still try to keep it positive though, going back to what I said above.

  75. says

    I have to admit to some self-censorship on my blog as well. I do so in order to keep from offending others whom may be reading my blog.

    However, I am one who believes in pure, unadulterated honestly. I rather have brutal truth than dolled up, politically correct crap.

    While I know there are some impressionable people out there, the key the being a productive adult in society is knowing when something needs to be taken personally or not. We cannot live in a censored world. If we did, what kind of people would we be? There would be no truth, no honesty, everything would be fake.

    I hate fake.

    So, in regards to people who talk negatively about themselves…if its honestly how they feel, then let them talk. If you come across someone who is always negative and you don’t like it, then you don’t have to read that person anymore. It could go the other way as well…sometimes I get annoyed by people who pretend as if they are always happy, as if nothing bad ever happens to them. Sure, I am happy for others who have good fortune, but the reality is, EVERYONE has bad things happen to them and to portray themselves as always positive, always happy, seems disingenuous to me.

    Again, I prefer people to be honest.

  76. says

    I think that I try to lay it ALL out there (besides too much TMI), process the feelings, and end with the conclusion that offers change… or the correction I desire… or the goal in mind. Sometimes it is okay to have a bitchfest if it is about things that are out of your control- like door dings in the parking lots, mother-in-laws, and broken air conditioners…

    I react immediately when I see people tearing themselves up by using thinspo (pictures of skinny famous people- “this is who I want to look like…”), or talking about eating disorder behaviors. I CANNOT pass that up- even if it is all about free speech, blog ownership, blah. I think that people don’t always realize the impact it can have on others, or even themselves. I cannot tell you how many times I looked at magazines full of trash when I was gaining the fastest… like 325 pounds, on my way up, two pints of ice cream, and a stack of fashion magazines… a recipe for disaster!!

  77. says

    I think there needs to be a balance, for yourself and for your readers. I hate reading those blogs where the blogger is completely negative all the time – it brings me down too. But similarly, the all positive is not realistic, if your blog is a personal tool. Hence my latest post, reminding myself that life is not that bad. Makes me feel better too.

  78. says

    Wonderful post, Miz.
    Like you, I am torn, but I am leaning one way over the other.
    I agree with what others have said that, to a CERTAIN extent, it depends on what type of blog you have/why you started it. If you are just keeping a journal (what my blog started as), I think it’s pretty clear to readers that you are on a journey. If you have mass-marketed and “sold” your blog as a site where you (the general “you”) give advice (RD, trainer, expert, etc), I think there is a small duty there to consider your audience.
    However, at the end of the day, I believe in an individual’s freedom to say what they want to say. Certainly, if someone doesn’t like my blog or how it makes them feel, I hope they move on and read one that does. But I think each writer has every right to talk about what they want to talk about. The responsibility is within each of us to decide what we want to hear and what we agree with. How else can we learn to think for ourselves if everyone is sensoring things for us? I learn more about myself through reading opinions of others, etc, that I do not agree with. It confirms my beliefs. It helps me think of things in a different way. At the end of the day, the only person we are obligated to is ourselves (well, in respect to blogging!). As long as your are honest and do not misrepresent your intentions, of course.

  79. says

    Hi! I’m new to your blog and so happy to have found you! I look forward to reading more and reading all the comments on this post, however, I am at work and duty calls.

    I’m also a little torn about blogging. I’ve been blogging in the adoption community for a few years and my health blog is new. It is primarily and outlet for myself and intended to help keep my motivation and commitment to my weight journey. I do my best to always be positive and an influence on others. However, if I feel the need to whine a little I guess that should be ok too since it’s my place. I’d like to think if I do go there at some point that I will use it as a lesson and spin it into a positive light.

    Oh my…so many thoughts whirling around in my mind. Will have to return later…

  80. says

    Anyone that reads me knows that I’m a role model. It’s a tough burden but who else is going to make off color comments about running/exercise. Oh, and random fart jokes too.

    Seriously, nothing you read should be taken too seriously.

  81. says

    I hate reading books…blogs are not books ;)

    I write only when I have something to say. Usually that’s not very often, but I try to write something that I would read.

  82. says

    Here are my thoughts on this. I love to read other people’s blog’s some of them are offensive to others and not so much to some. If I go to a blog that I do not like what they are saying or that is constantly bringing me down…I DON’T GO BACK. I have noticed there are some that start out on a positive note and end up negative. So again I don’t go back. However just because I don’t go back does not mean other’s do as I do. They may enjoy what I do not like. Everyone has different levels of what they do or do not like, what they feel is appropriate and not appropriate. I like to stay “blog friendly” so that anyone can visit.
    Does that make me right…NO (I will only admit that this one time) but this is not a cut and dry subject.
    As long as a blog is not misleading then everyone should be able to write what they would like to. As far as accountability. If you could possibly harm someone else then DO NOT WRITE IT OR DO IT. To me that is cut and dry.
    Have a great day!

    XO

  83. says

    To embrace and love whom you already are.
    To be wholly comfortable in your own skin.
    To realize that, by virtue of BEING, you are enough.
    To be unapologetically yourselves.

    Miz, this is just the best mission statement for me & I think for most of us…. yet the hardest to achieve in my opinion. There are so many people out there telling us we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough & if we can get past that, ah, the magic hits! I am still trying to achieve this.

    As for the discussion of posts. Some get pretty self loathing as you say or depressing BUT I do respect the bloggers right to express her/his opinion. Sometimes there is not other outlet.. you have nobody to talk to, no $$ for counseling or whatever. Many “friends” don’t want to hear this even though they say they are there for you.

    I sometimes to get into my insecurities on my blog but more so in comments to other blogs. I am scared to scare people off because they see a fit person & assume all is great after you lose weight & that is not always so if the emotional issues were never handled.

    I do think people learn from some of it… that just losing weight will not solve all your problems like people think it will, that if you don’t like yourself, it can hold you back. I think honesty to a certain level helps people because they are not alone in the struggle of body AND MIND. That others DO feel this way so for me, I am going to try to do a bit of both & it is so weird that you wrote this today because my post fro tomorrow was gonna sort of do this… expose a little bit about me & my insecurities…

    Thx for this very thought provoking post! I am still striving to get to your mission statement!

  84. says

    This is a very interesting question. I was not at BlogHer, so I didn’t see the panel. My first reaction to this question is that blogs are personal journals, so the writer should not have to censor what they feel they need to write. If the reader is put off by the posts, then they will simply stop reading.
    Then there is a part of me that realizes that women as a collective must support and uplift each other. If that means that we must watch what we say on our blogs, then maybe that’s a good idea.
    I’m going to have to mull this one over some more, and read the other comments!

  85. says

    blogs belong to the blogger. It is the readers responsibility to take what they want away or stay away.

    That being said, written words are interpreted differently by different people based on where said people are at that moment.

    I may make what I consider to be a great, happy post only to get comments consoling me over it!

    Blogs are a unique way to bring a community of like minded people together. And a unique way to unburden ourselves and get support from others.

  86. says

    Unapologetically ourselves – and j’adore your theme btw, I think of it often throughout the day – is who we are. Filtering ourselves changes that and then I think dilutes ourselves.

    Whether we are aware or not, we are role models at all times – when going to the store, when volunteering, when biking around the block. Somehow in some way we may never know about, we may inspire someone.

    I vote for letting our hair down and being who we are on the blogs, if I get a vote. Because I think that’s what makes us beautiful – the diversity and yet a commonality [being ourselves]. It’s really fantastic.

  87. says

    I self censor about work (being that my industry is small and google cache is forever), and always give a double check in my head if everything I’ve said I’m ok sharing with the entire world.

    Then, I hit publish. I think the greatest blogs share both positive and negative posts, inspiration and frustration, and their creators have good days and bad days and they let us in their lives for both.

    I have unpublished posts of useless whining, but it’s usually because by the end of writing them I’m in a different headspace after getting my thoughts together. If I still feel the same way by the end and editing and formatting, it goes up. I’ve posted rants and whines and boo hoos before. I will again. But I always try to learn from them and hope other people can too.

  88. says

    it seems to me that blogs are very similar to books. If I want to read it, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. I think that people, in this case, readers, are capable of making their own choices. So I say, blog what you want to blog. Do you want readers? Then, that may change what you want to blog, but either way, it’s your choice.

  89. says

    I do censor myself in some areas, like protecting identities, but overall, I do find that blogging is much more worthwhile to me theraputically if I am truly myself. That said, every once in a while I have a rough day, and am too tough on myself. But there’s usually a reader or three around to let me know that I’m not alone, it happens to us all, and I’m a generally good person doing the best I can.

    I’ve actually found, after over a year of blogging, that the more authentic I am on my blog (even though it’s under a pseudonym), it trickles over to my real life. Once I’ve hashed it out on the blog and gotten feedback there, it’s MUCH easier to deal with in Real Life.

  90. says

    Wow, wow, wow. I need to schedule myself an hour this evening to read everyone’s comments! :)

    For me & my little blog, staying upbeat and true to my yellow-hatted optimistic nature is essential. Not only do I use the blog to proclaim my love of running, but it is one vehicle for people to get to know my book. My book is the same: an uplifting take on how running builds strong girls and how girls should embrace girlhood and let their inner strengths shine.

    But my thoughts don’t end here. I do need to read more and think more before I finish!

  91. says

    For me, blogging started as a motivational blog to help inspire and encourage those who want to lose weight and find beauty for who they are on the inside and not on the out. I have found myself though not really using my blog to encourage but through the comments I leave on other’s pages. My husband asked me once how I can sit here and comment all day on blogs… it’s because I find joy in reading transparent posts and being able to come along side them and encourage them in times where they need that little push or “blog hug.”
    As for me, I find that just blogging and trying to be transparent shows that it’s not always easy to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. For some it is, but for me, it’s always a struggle. Those that read it will know that they are not alone.

  92. says

    I agree with the comment that people take away what they want from a blog. I am sometimes so positive I sound like Mary Poppins and sometimes I sound like Oscar the Grouch. It just depends on my mood. My blog is very personal and I think that is what makes people appreciate what I write. Or at least I hope that is the case.

  93. says

    I do some self censoring when I blog because I don’t want to come off as a negative nelly who only complains. Sure, I share the good and the bad, the easy and the hard, but I am aware of my words and how I go about it.

  94. says

    I had to add this about bloggers being role models… someone asked why someone should be considered a role model just because they’re writing a blog. Well, I guess the answer is that you aren’t, not just because you’re writing a blog. You’re a role model because you’re ALIVE.

    EVERYONE is a role model to someone… a friend, a child, a sibling, a co-worker. Like it or not, we’re a species that evaluates our role and place in society, and that involves comparing ourselves to others and learning from others. We’re a species that learns from imitation, although we do, as we grow, evaluate the skills and characteristics we emulate to fit with those things that will give us the desired result.

    However being a role model doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, always right, always happy, or in some other way superhuman. Sometimes modeling humanity is the best gift we can give of ourselves, including not only our triumphs, but also our fears and weaknesses.

  95. says

    This is a really interesting conversation. My opinion is similar to Diana’s (59) in terms of the blog genre we are talking about and responsibility. I think there are different kinds of blogs – the total journal format written solely for the blogger and the kind that is interactive. For my blog I don’t edit subject matter – what I want to talk about is what I want to talk about, but I do think about the person who is sad, lost, lonely, hates themselves, food, etc. and finds my blog when I write. It’s a personal choice that I’ve made, but I don’t think every blogger needs to do that.

  96. says

    Great topic! I’m a little torn as well. I try to write knowing that other people are reading. So, I try to write clearly, and in an interesting manner. I try not to ramble (too much) or delve into personal info that other people just don’t care about. But at the same time, I know that my readers are attracted to my blog because I take this perspective, or talk about these certain things. I think it would be way too bland, and probably appeal to no one, if I censored myself to the point where I could please everyone.

    I’m a trained journalist though. The number-one rule of writing a news story is finding the information that affects people and put it at the top. So while my blog is definitely self serving, I try to keep that rule in mind.

  97. says

    Fab post… I think about this stuff to the point of headache:) like many people said it depends on your genre – are you blogging for yourself or to help others?

    But what if you STARTED doing it for yourself and it was raw and painfully honest and painfully self deprecating at times but years and years later people somehow see you as inspiring…. You can’t help feeling you now have somewhat of a responsibility; that negative words would send the wrong message.

    But who then are you writing for, and why?

    In my experience people love it when you let it all hang out and show your deepest flaws. But then you’ll also get just as many people slamming you for being negative or indulgent.

    So that leads us back to “unapologetically yourself”… Whatever your reasons for blogging there is no way you can be all things to all people so all you can do is be true to yourself. Hmmm…

    (tapping this out on phone so sorry if it reads like a dog’s breakfast :)

  98. MizFit says

    DAMN.

    that is all.

    ok.

    it’s not.

    I fear I may have to print this all out since I read the comments as they arrive and wanna read all at once.

  99. says

    Role models or not, we all have feet of clay and in order to live an authentic life we need to write what is true, not just the nice things people want to hear.

    When I blog about when sh*t happens, I hope that my readers learn
    * that perfection doesn’t exist
    * that sometimes the worse thing that can happen isn’t that bad
    * that good things can come out of bad situations (happy accidents)
    * that there are people with situations the same if not worse than theirs
    * that no matter what happens it is not an excuse to give up

    I think blogging the bad as well as the good also gives my readers the opportunity to offer help and support to someone else. It shows that I actually need help sometimes.

    Spill your guts, I say — life is never always clean, ordered, or perfect. It is a wonderful, interesting adventure including the miserable bits!

    ?

  100. says

    Wow, what a great discussion! So many great thoughts on this topic.

    As a reader, I tend to gravitate to the blogs that I find uplifting. That’s just my personal preference. I like blogs that share the struggles, as well as the successes, and the ones I follow tend to be more positive and not so much self-denegrating. (I’m fine with the “I feel FAT” days now & then. They happen; that’s life.) Like Crabby (#15) mentioned, ones that tend to frame the overarching struggle in terms of health, and not weight. Sometimes, though, I might follow a blog in which the writer seems like he or she needs some encouragement, mainly from gratitude for the handful folks that started commenting on *my* blog, which encouraged me more than I can say. (She-Fit, #94, is so right about the power of a “blog hug.” :-) )

    I think a blog’s purpose is determined by the author. My blog has several purposes: to serve as a record of my health quest, as a form of accountability, and (hopefully) to help others who may find themselves dealing with type 2 diabetes. I’m writing my blog from a personal (vs. professional) standpoint, so I try to keep it real but positive. As far as self-censorship goes, I do somewhat, because it *is* public (and no longer quite as anonymous as I’d originally intended) and I feel protective of my loved ones and their feelings. Sometimes I think my blog suffers from it a bit, though, and seems less personable than ones in which the writers include stories and photos of their families; I’m still making up my mind about whether the include photos of my kids, for example.

  101. says

    That’s kinda why I stopped talking much about weight loss on my blog – though every so often a rant does slip out. Not that I have a lot of readers or anything, but I got to the point where I feel bad about the idea of people reading my whining and complaining. And really, how does whining and complaining help anything?

    Gardening season is so much easier. There’s lots of other stuff to blog about. :)

  102. says

    So many times I have yammered on and on in such a negative way, it is a wonderful release of negative energy. Then, when it is out of my system, I delete everything I wrote and continue with a somewhat sane blog. I do admit, as you well know, that I do moan and whine much more than I would like to. Makes you wonder about the posts I delete, don’t it? But all in all, blogs are our deepest thoughts. If someone reads my blog and it inspires them to try harder, or reminds them that there are others out there who are struggling, perhaps more than they are, then it has done a good thing. On the other hand, if someone reads my blog and makes them hate themselves all the more, then is it my fault for being negative, or theirs? Good question, but, in the true spirit of Unapologetically Myself. I think I’ll just keep doing what I do……being ME!

  103. says

    SOME bloggers are role models.
    This (Mizfit!) site is one where you have to censor yourself because your fan base is so large.

    My blog, although read by others, is not as “mainstream” as yours is. If I had more knowledge to offer others and my site was high traffic, I might be nicer to myself.

  104. says

    I think bloggers use their blogs for different reasons. Some use it as a personal journal, and others use it as a platform. I think the content depends on the purpose. For me, I started my blog to help others, and therefore, I strive to be the best role model I can be.

    That being said, I’m a big believer in It’s your blog. Write what you want.. If the content offends someone, then that person can choose not to read it. There are days when I feel like crap and eat crappy food, and I don’t hide anything from my readers….just makes me a real person, ya know?

  105. says

    Well, I don’t blog so much on my thoughts as on what I want to pay attention to. I call it a collage of things I’m looking at or thinking about. As the poster mentioned above, you have to be careful what you say about your work, and I’m also very sensitive to my family & friends’ privacy. I feel like if I have something to say about my loved ones, I should say it to them, not about them in a blog, although I know people that works for and the loved-one-being-blogged-about is onboard.

    I have a link to my foodlog and some other healthy eating type stuff, but I have at times strayed into “I am a walrus” territory in a post. I disappoint myself when I don’t stay positive, but sometimes i just have to be honest about how I’m feeling.

    One thing I think your blog is helping me with, Miz, is that I am getting over my I-have-to-weigh-myself-every-day-to-stay-on-track neurosis. I’m starting to feel that logging what I eat is helpful, but the weighing not so much. I’ve gotten my weight down into the territory where it doesn’t have to be about what I weigh anymore, it’s just not as much of a health issue as it was, and what’s more important is whether I am nourishing myself responsibly. So I’m going to try weighing myself on the 1st of each month only, and free myself of the daily moodswings of “yeah, I lost” or “dammit, why didn’t I lose”.

    And btw, Miz, I am a total Greek yogurt convert now. I am ruined for regular yogurt for life. Thanks. :)

  106. says

    I’m a little late in my reading today (back to school prep around here this week – woo!) – but this post & all the comments really hit the spot. These last couple weeks of summer, I’m taking a rather critical look at myself. It’s been fun spending the whole summer with my three children, but I’ve fallen into general sloppiness on the “being myself” front. Sleep and eating habits went out the window, along with the daily ride or run I love.

    I feel frustrated, sluggish and generally crabby (not in the good crabby fitness sort of way). It’s going to show in my writing for the next several weeks, but as part of me rebuilding daily routines which I’ve let slide. I can only hope any reader takes away the same message I’m hoping to get across to my kids – Yeah, I feel icky right now, but I’m working on it.

    I don’t censor myself all that much when blogging, but I do think I self-adjust as I type. A really crappy day or week becomes less of a dark cloud as I get it typed out. After getting whatever’s bugging me off my chest, I can focus on the positives. And, blogging also helps me be mindful of general trends in my thinking and behavior. I know a journal would also do this, but I’m more likely to keep up with a public blog… accountability.

  107. says

    I’ve started blogs and let them languish in blog-nowhere…. I learn a lot from others’ blogs, but always fear putting my real self out there (because I know people I know in real life occasionally read it). Logically, I think that’s stupid, but I’m still working on being “unapologetically myself”.

  108. Myra says

    Though I’m really super new to the blogosphere, I must admit I’d like to write one but I don’t know how to get started. I feel you all have to be true to yourselves, but you have to realize that by putting it out there someone will read it. You could become a role model in a positive or negative way. I regisitered for twitter and lost my password info, never tweeted, but get notifications that I have a slew of people following me! ME! So while I need to vent and have lots to say, I don’t know if I’m ready to be responsible for the effect my words or my life might have.
    I am who I am, unapologetically. thanks Miz

  109. Lia says

    I think the responsibility can be related to how much traffic the person gets. Once the blogger makes themselves more public, then they do have a responsibility. There are private blogs and those are for people who do not want to be public with their thoughts. At the same time if people have negativity on their blog, people will see it and be able to chose if they want to follow it or not, so I guess in conclusion, bloggers who go more professional do have a certain responsibility, but if they chose to have a negative vibe at times readers may chose to simply not subscribe

  110. says

    I’m a firm disbeliever in the idea of social responsibility.

    I blog because I want to get it all out, have a spot to share my brain and… honestly, if people like it, that’s awesome. If they don’t, I just say what I say when folks don’t like a movie, television show or radio station. Find another one and check that out instead. ;)

    ~J

  111. says

    Interesting post. Certainly thought provoking.

    I am fairly new to blogs and am fascinated by them all, I love the giveaways, I love the blogger wars, I love it all.

    The blog I have now is the third blog I started. I deleted the first two as soon as I sensed myself “failing.” This blog is here to stay and I write for me.

    I love to comment on blogs and I am always pleasantly surprised when someone comments on one of my posts.

  112. says

    Late to this party but wanted to put my few cents to the ongoing discussion…Hello, by the way!
    Honestly, a lot of times, I will be more upbeat than I feel and I don’t want my crankiness to show up on the blog or on twitter but I know I slip sometimes too.
    It’s a tough call.

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