The Demise of a Weight Loss Blog

January 18, 2009 · 20 comments

While it gives me great joy to celebrate new weight loss bloggers it pains me to think that some of them “won’t make it.” At some point in their journey they will stumble and for whatever reason their new blog will become at best a burden, at worst a lasting testament to their failure (looking at the latest update to my weight loss chart I’m thinking that’s what this blog will soon be). Regular readers will be the first to notice as days and then weeks go by without any posts on their blog or comments on others. Some will stick around and put up a post trying to get back in the game, while others will simply delete their blog and be done with it. Some take the time to explain why they are leaving. Almost assuredly their weight loss efforts follow a similar path.

That makes me sad.

Anybody who has started a weight loss blog has shown they have the cojones to put their lives out in public, for good or for bad, and that is something they should be applauded for. Nobody starts writing a weight loss blog thinking it is going to be easy, and everyone runs into walls on their journey from fat to fit. I’ve been there (9 Tips For Kick-Starting Your Dormant Weight Loss Blog is one of my more popular posts) but I keep coming back here because I know, eventually, I am going to make my goals and this blog will be one of the reasons why.

I’m about to do something that could very well piss some people off and if it does, please understand I do this with only the very best intentions. It is not my goal to call anyone out or embarrass anyone. The fact is I miss these bloggers and I would love to see them write again, for better or for worse.

I occasionally prune my blogroll page of blogs that have not been updated for months or have been deleted. When I do this I don’t delete them, I simply save them as another category that doesn’t show on that page. Assuming I have been good about following people on RSS I usually don’t need to review that page as I will be notified via RSS if someone starts posting again, but I am not always 100% with subscribing to blogs I blogroll so this is just an additional method.

Right now I have 32 blogs in my “Not Updating” link category. Here are some of the ones I really miss and I would like to hear from again:

jfarrlley from 50 pounds in 50 weeks - this was one of the first weight loss blogs I followed and what was really great about it is that it was written by a guy. In case you haven’t noticed this space is dominated by women, so it is always nice finding a male putting their life out there. Hasn’t posted since 12/18/07.

Kiran from The Big Drop - His Top 100 Reasons I Want to Lose Weight sums up much of why I am on this journey as well. Hasn’t posted since 10/10/07.

Alex Costa from Minimize Me - I really liked Alex’s honesty and putting up easily seen pictures if himself shirtless in his sidebar shows he’s got guts. Hasn’t posted since 9/26/2008.

The Pound Slayer - We started our blogs at about the same time. I really liked to read him because he was a professional writer and had a great way with words. At some point he deleted his blog with only the main page remaining.

Mike from Because every kid deserves a healthy dad - His weight loss progress chart looks very much like mine - great initial success and then a long trending up slope. I can understand his frustration and I hope he is breaking through that. Hasn’t posted since 5/20/2008.

On a positive note I found a few blogs that I had marked as not updating that have started to write again. Check out Go You Chicken Fat, Go!, Salad is NOT an Entree and Lose The Chubbadoo.

There are a myriad of reasons why people stop writing on their blogs. The fact is it takes time that many people can’t find! My hope for everyone I wrote about is that they are healthy and happy.

I hope we hear from you again.

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South Beach Steve January 18, 2009 at 9:25 am

John, it is odd to see this post today as it was just this morning that I thought I needed to prune some unactive blogs out of my blogroll. It is sad to see the posts stop because usually it is a sign of weight loss failure. Let’s face it, it is no fun to post when we are gaining and some people choose to not face that. However, some of us look at that as a challenge and move forward.

Great minds think alike I guess!

Skinny Guy January 18, 2009 at 11:10 am

Timing is everything as they say. I’ve been very erratic with my own blog as of late, and as you might guess, my weight maintenance has been just as erratic lately. I just wonder how many lines in the sand I can cross before I cross the one that has me falling off the cliff…

But I’m not there yet, so there’s still hope. Thanks for the reminder, John!

My world will be rocked if you can’t make it Skinny - show us how it’s done!

Joe S. January 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

It seems there are more inactive weight loss blogs than there are active. I’ve been in the game for roughly 4 months now and its been a challenge both on the weight loss aspect as well as my blogging. Ups and Downs are a part of this journey.

I think the key to both is to not set your expectations too high - if you come out of the gate with a goal to write a post every day, that is hard to live up to. As long as you make a post or 2 a week you are keeping active with the blogging. Same with losing weight - you set yourself up for failure expecting to love 2 pounds every week. As long as you can look at the bigger picture you’ll be fine.

Ruthie January 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Thanks for this post, John. It definitely helps to know that I am not alone. I, too, have found myself, abandoning my goals and my blog, but I somehow find a way back, even if it requires me admitting to how I’ve failed.

Lessons learned from those times are valuable.

Merry Mary January 18, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Ah yes. Commitment of any kind is hard and commitment to both being healthy/losing weight AND blogging can be too much. I hate to think that in a few months I won’t see as many people at the gym nor will I be reading and discovering as many blogs because they will slowly drop off the radar. :(

Great point - and of course there are other things going on in peoples lives which make these two commitments even harder. That’s why I hate to judge because you never know what else is going on.

Rob January 18, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Hrmmm…My blog will not be come apart of your or my hall of shame!

Well I don’t really like that description of this post but I’m glad to hear that it inspired you!

TB--Milwaukee January 18, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I know blogging keeps me in check. May not have all the great insights I once did, but I continue to check in all the same.

I think that’s an important point - it’s easy to get stuck in thinking you need to write a post that includes “great insights” when in fact the little things matter - as does the consistency. People learn from everything as long as you are out there. I don’t think I’ve had any great insights in the last 10 years. :-)

Greg Hayes January 18, 2009 at 7:30 pm

As you may know, I’m new to the blogging scene, but I fully understand the challenges that come with sticking to a weight loss plan. I’ll say this though — I hope you’re only kidding about your blog. I enjoy the read too much… Hang with it.

I didn’t mean to imply I’m going the way of the dodo bird. I’m too stubborn for that. Now, if I could only turn that stubbornness into the necessary dedication and strong will needed!

Roder January 18, 2009 at 8:51 pm

Right on - I was worried that yours was going to go away too. Glad to see you’re more active again. Stay strong man!

No way, no how. You guys are stuck with me!

Jenks January 19, 2009 at 6:57 am

When I started blogging, which is pretty much as soon as I started trying to loss weight, I knew if my efforts stopped my blog would die. Yes I went through a couple of weeks where the topic seemed repetative but I eventually got back on track. I think that knowing if I stopped trying and ‘everyone’ would know is one of the reasons I blog…because this way I have to stay on track.

That certainly is a great motivator!

Flo January 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm

I found your blog via the Pasta Queen. This post is so true. I started my blog 4 1/2 years ago and so many of the ones I started reading are gone now. I’ve hung on and my blog has undergone some changes, but I know I’m going to reach my weight loss goals it’s just a matter of keep plugging along. It is sad to see those that you really enjoy disappear and you don’t know what happened. You wish them well and hope things are good for them.

Hi Flo, welcome! Congrats on keeping it going for 4.5 years, that’s terrific. I’ve added you to my blogroll.

Lucrecia January 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm

We are new to the blogging our weight loss - though certainly not new to trying to lose nor failing to lose. Its fun to blog when the weight is coming off pretty easily, I imagine it will take a lot more strength of character to keep it up when we plateau and begin to find the end seems further away than when we started.

I just found your blog today and am adding it my reader, great inspiration here!

Thanks for stopping by! I added you to my new weight loss bloggers blogroll. Good luck!

Metroknow January 20, 2009 at 12:11 am

John, I have to say I was RELIEVED that I was not included in this cut. I’ve had a bunch of big challenges over the last few months, which has left my blog next to dormant, but I am finally seeing the light of day. And WOW this was good motivation for me to get back on it. :)

Thanks John, for lighting the fire under my butt to get moving!

Your site isn’t coming up right now so I can’t tell for sure, but I seem to recall you writing that you had some other things going on and that posting would be slow for awhile. Looking forward to you getting those things resolved and resuming your great writing!

Chubbadoo January 20, 2009 at 2:16 am

Thanks for referencing me, it’s a kick in the pants. Good luck!

Welcome back!

MizFit January 20, 2009 at 8:39 am

very cool idea for a post.

it’s your, as my people say, mitzvah for the week!!

OK I don’t know what that means but I’ll assume it’s good!

David January 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Well this gets me thinking about the weight loss blog I just started up a week and a half ago. I guess most people just get so caught up in posting about their weight loss efforts that they just decide to stop without warning. It could also be that maybe they just never found time.

It would be nice if they would let you know they’re not posting anymore instead of disappear.

P.S. First time commenter here and I plan on coming back :)

Good to hear from you, thanks for stopping by!

Charlie Hills January 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

Well if there’s a silver lining to the pruning cloud, that means there’s room for new blogs.


Like mine…? :)


Merry January 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm

For the past few months, I’ve been using my little personal blog Sheesh to track my exercise schedule. It’s a great motivator for me. It doesn’t matter if no one else ever looks at the blog; it still helps me to post my schedule to the world. That way I feel like I /have/ to do the exercise du jour, or at least post the reason why not. I set up the schedule at the start of each week, with a quote or a picture or a slice-of-life, then mark off each day with a star.
Sorry for the looooong comment. This has been working for me, so maybe it could work for someone else too.

I see people are starting to read your blog, it’s going to be a full-fledged weight loss blog before you know it. :-)

Josie January 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I’ve been looking for fellow weight loss bloggers, but I keep losing people! One of my friends who started with me already went inactive. It is sad!

Stick around here, I’m not going anywhere! And I added you to my blogroll. Good luck!

GeorgieGirl January 23, 2009 at 11:47 am

Hey there John! Before you go thinking this is the beginning of the end, as you look at your chart, stop thinking that way! Look at it again! Go back and read about how excited you were when the scale was headed down! Don’t forget the goals and the motivation behind the goals!!

I’m missing a few of my old favorites too. I have kept Pound Slayer on my blog roll because I hope at some point he comes back to blogging. He was starting his blog right about the time I started my blog.

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