Weight Loss Blogs: Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

"Inspiration" Back Before There Were Blogs
(Vintage ad photo: lobstar28)

Cranky Fitness is not actually a Weight Loss blog, though we write about lots of similar things. Our editorial stance: healthy living, eating reasonable portions of nutritious whole foods, getting lots of vigorous exercise, avoiding too much junk food and slothfulness--these are all really important things to do! And yet they are also total pain in the ass.

As it happens, the same tempting but unwise behaviors that cause health problems (hello, comfy couch and yummy pint of Ben and Jerry's!) also tend to cause weight gain. So we cover a lot of the same ground as a weight loss blog without technically being one. (And this is not to say that we have never counted a calorie, climbed on a scale, or noted the snugness or looseness of our jeans. We just try to keep the focus here on health.)

However, I thought it was time for a post in praise of weight loss blogs, because I think they are so inspiring and awesome!

And I'm also hoping you folks will help me collect a big ol' list of Cranky Fitness Reader favorites so we can do a follow-up post. You always find the greatest stuff out there on the web and I'd love to hear what you think some of the best ones are. I'm only mentioning a few random ones myself to get the ball rolling--if I tried to be all-inclusive I could be at it for weeks and still forget some of the best ones!

So what are my top reasons for loving weight loss blogs?

1. Before and After Pictures!

(Photo: practicalowl)

I love to see the evidence of physical transformations, especially when these transformations are accomplished by hard work and wise choices--and not via scammy "one rule for a flat stomach" shenanigans.

A personal favorite is Pasta Queen's 3-D page, but there are lots of other great "before" and "after" and "during" photos out there. (For example Shelley has a nice 1 year comparison shot featuring a flashy pink bike over at at A Forty Something Weight Loss Journey, and Bella at Feed Me I'm Cranky has some labelled "before and forever," because what does "after" really mean, anyway?)

Got some before/after pictures yourself? If you do, please feel free to email them in (with a link to your blog, if you have one) and if we get more than one or two I'll add them to the follow-up post.

2. Honest Ups and Downs

Some days, I just don't think I can take one more stupid women's magazine at the grocery check-stand screaming silly promises like "Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Weeks Without Dieting, It's Easy!" Well, it's not easy to lose weight and keep it off. And I hate it when the perky people in the magazines try to imply that it's just a matter of finding the right "solution" and then, presto! Steamed chicken and vegetables is all of a sudden more appealing than chocolate cake? Setting the alarm for 4:3o am to get to the gym before work is going to become a fun new part of the daily routine? Reeeeally?

Well, fortunately, weight-loss bloggers aren't media-created alien beings, they're real people. They sometimes sleep through shrieking alarm clocks dreaming of Krispy Kremes instead of boot camp, and hit all kinds of other road blocks.

Whether it's Lyn from Escape from Obesity trying to regain her focus; Vraz60 of Just for the Hell-th of it suffering through a golf game in suffocating heat; Moonlight Dancer battling hormone induced weight gain; or Larkspur at Am I Really That Fat trying to hang in there despite confronting an unflattering photo, they keep it real! There's a refreshing lack of fake magazine cheerfulness in weight loss blogs. Some days just suck! Honest weight loss bloggers don't pretend otherwise.

3. They're often Really Funny!

I don't know why people who are blogging to lose weight seem better at the whole humor thing that people blogging about, say, Search Engine Optimization or Quilting or Composting. But dang it, they are! And it's not just the famous ones we all love like Shauna at Diet Girl. There are plenty of other funny blogs like Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit, or Chunky Monkey Mama. And so many of you who contribute comments to Cranky Fitness are totally hilarious!

4. Advice and Inspiration

Weight loss bloggers are a great source for advice, inspiration, and, of course, products and recipes! (I am sorely tempted, for example, by Camevil's lentil, brown rice, and onion dish over at 21 Days Later, and I'm going to try it as soon as I can get a hold of some garam masala. And Roni of Roni's Weigh has a whole recipe blog called Green Lite Bites with all kinds of great stuff.) Bloggers like Attrice at Exceptionally Fat, and Lynn at Hungry Little Caterpillar have a great way of putting things in perspective, and sharing those "ah ha" moments that can inspire even the slackers among us into believing that change is possible!

Tell Us Some of Your Favorites!

This post is about Weight Loss bloggers (this time), rather than health and fitness generally, and I'd LOVE to hear who you like to read. And I'll either update this post or do a follow up to make sure everyone gets to hear about the Cranky Fitness Reader favorites.

Geeky Aside: Wanna Leave a Link in the comments to your favorite blog?

Blogger is a really annoying blog platform for trying to leave links in the comment section, and you certainly don't have to. But if you ever want to try it, it CAN be done if you manually put in html coding.

Do the words "html coding" give you a severe case of nausea? Fear not! The reason so few of us bloggers ever tell readers how to do it is (a) it's a pain to do and (b) if we try to type in the code to explain it--the sample html magically turns into a link when it gets published and totally hides the part we're trying to explain.

So, in a weird experiment, I'm putting in the html coding for creating links in here as a picture. So here are the instructions for linking to a hypothetical blog named "Blog Name" that lives at www.blogurl.com. If anyone is feeling brave, give it a try! Or bookmark this page and come back later and try it on another blog you like better than Cranky Fitness. I'll never know. Note: href is not supposed to be underlined; that was my word processing program scolding me for typing in weird-ass nonsense words.

And I won't say "it's easy" because that would be a lie!

Any thoughts about weight loss blogs or any you'd like to put in a plug for? I'd love to hear about more of them!

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