Marion Shaw published such an interesting post on her blog – i.e. The Toilet Function of Blogging on her blog – that I wanted to discuss it on my own blog in length. If you haven’t read her post, you should.
Marion’s post is about weight loss bloggers who are caught in a cycle of complaints, rationalizations and fruitless attempts at weight loss, and what to do about it as a reader, commenter and blogging buddy.
I’ve especially been thinking about the following part of Marion’s post.
I’ve been blogging for a long time now. I guess it took me quite a while before I got fed up with this. But this needs to be said loudly–When blogging friends are full of excuses and complaints about everything and everybody, do not send “((Hugs!!!))” to them.
When they eat 7 donuts in a row and blame it on stress from work, I repeat, do not send “((Hugs!!!))” to them.
I have to say that if you take Marion’s definition of enabling, then I’m probably guilty as charged.
I’m an enabler.
However, I don’t know if it is a bad thing or not. Or to put it better “I don’t know how much of a bad thing it is”.
If someone is really stuck in some self-destructive life pattern (I have been), whether you make enabling or un-enabling (?) comments doesn’t really matter. The person who is caught in the pattern may not be able to make use of your constructive comment any more than he is able to make use of the “enabling hug” you send their way.
I also think everyone is allowed to use their own blog any way they want – if their blog is their dumping ground, so be it. If following the blogger is too hard for you, you need to make the decision to stop reading the blog.
Another thing I wonder about is how much we can really expect to influence anyone’s life by making comments on anyone’s blog.
I doubt blog commenting is going to make a lot of difference if the blogger isn’t already receptive on some level. I’m thinking in the lines of “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”.
Marion’s post made me think very hard about the topic and I suspect I will think about the issue for a long time.
This is also something that everyone will probably face in real life friendships and relationships sooner or later. I’ve disengaged myself from a couple of friendships that were going in the wrong direction. I’m not interested in mutual pity parties nor being the fixee in a fixer/fixee relationship.
Marion’s post made me also think about my own pattern of “stuckness” regarding my weight loss attempts.
I started this blog almost three years ago and one of my goals was to chronicle my weight loss. It was a good plan, except that the weight loss didn’t happen. :-) I have had several half-successful attempts at losing weight but sooner or later they fizzled out and I gained the weight back.
At some point I started seriously wondering about what the problem really was. Last fall I pretty much came to the conclusion that my life is broken. If I don’t fix my life first, I probably won’t manage to lose the weight either.
I would’ve rather come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with my weight loss “technique” because that would’ve been much easier to fix than starting the laborious process of fixing my life from the bottom up. I’ve managed to lose some weight lately, and at the moment I’m starting to hope that this might not be just another downswing in an endless process of ups and downs. Only time will show.
P.S. Last fall I also jokingly remarked to one of my friends that according to my body composition meter I’m half made of fat. My friend then asked me what I’m going to do about it. I was a bit taken aback and I didn’t answer her at all, because then I would’ve been forced to explain at length that I had already tried losing weight for years but have only managed to put on more weight. How do you explain that to someone else?