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How Weight-Loss Blogging Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Blog Away the Pounds!
  -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
To some, "blogging" may seem confusing or somewhat intimidating. Heck, even the word “blog” itself sounds a little sci-fi. But I’m here to tell you that blogging is actually quite easy, and it can be immensely helpful in setting and achieving your health and weight-loss goals.

First, let’s break down the word blog. “Blog” is just the contraction of “weblog.” And a weblog is just an online diary. Think of the written diary you kept in your nightstand as a kid. It’s like that, only it’s online. And your little brother is probably no longer trying to break the lock to read it. Many SparkPeople users have blogs on their SparkPages, and these blogs can either be public to all SparkPeople users or viewable by only your SparkFriends. It’s totally your choice! To learn more about setting up your own blog, check out this helpful article.

So, why and how is blogging beneficial to you? If you’re already blogging, read on to be inspired to keep blogging, and if you’ve never even read a blog (let alone written one), read on to be convinced to start one. There are five awesome reasons why you should be blogging about your healthy lifestyle journey. As a blogger myself, I can personally say that every one of these is absolutely true.

Blogging Keeps You Accountable
Unlike a simple nutrition or fitness journal that lists what you eat and when you work out, a blog can help you set and achieve goals. Whether it’s dropping 10 pounds over the course of two months or cutting junk food from your diet, a blog is an online journal about you, your life and your achievements and setbacks. And what better way to stay on track? You know your SparkFriends are reading about your progress.

Last year, I committed on my blog to running a half marathon. Believe me, when the training was tough and I didn’t want to run another mile, I remembered all of the people who were reading my blog and following my progress. I couldn’t let them down! They all believed in me, and that feeling was contagious.

Blogging Helps You Tap into Your Feelings
We all know how stress and emotions can influence what we eat and whether or not we make it to the gym. Taking the time to sit down and write about your day and your feelings can be really cathartic. It’s cliché, but many of us don’t talk about how we feel often enough. Especially if your blog is restricted to just your friends, a blog is a safe, non-judgmental place for you to go and write about your feelings.

Blogging Uncovers Patterns
When you're writing about your pitfalls, plateaus and positive steps, you'll start to notice trends. For example, many find that their motivation to work out wanes after a stressful day at work or that an evening with the in-laws leads to ordering dessert (or one too many cocktails). Writing about those issues and brainstorming ways to overcome them—either on your own or with the help of your readers—is a huge perk of regular blogging.

Blogging Provides Support
It's funny. Even when you think you’re having a problem or a setback that no one else can understand, I guarantee that by blogging about it, you’ll have a SparkFriend or two share a very similar story with you and how they got through the same ordeal or, at the very least, receive an outpouring of support and compassionate comments. Losing weight is a tough process, but you’re not the first or only one going through it. Visit other blogs or SparkPages that inspire you, and ask them to check out your blog, too. There is power—and support—in numbers.

I recently blogged about my experience with emotional eating and was overwhelmed with the response from readers. The comments and emails I received about it were so uplifting and encouraging—not to mention that I hopefully helped some other people in the process. Believe me, you get back what you put in when it comes to blogging.

Blogging Celebrates Your Success
Reaching your goal is great, but reaching your goal and being able to share your accomplishment with your SparkFriends or readers is even better. There’s no better reward to all of your hard work and regular blogging than sitting down to write the big post that you did it. You set a goal, and then—with the help of blogging—you reached it!

When I crossed the finish line of my half marathon, I was already excitedly thinking of what I’d write in my race day post. It was the culmination of months of running—and blogging—and I knew that my readers were psyched to hear about it. And I was psyched to share my news with the world!

The journey to a healthier life isn't one that you should start alone. Unlike journaling, which keeps your thoughts private, blogging on your SparkPage provides you with feedback, ideas, support and--maybe more importantly--accountability, from the world's largest and most active weight-loss community.