I guess it all depends on how each individual feels and the way they choose to view it, but I honestly feel like if you took 200 people that are trying to lose weight... 100 of them blogged and the other 100 didn't...I would almost guarantee that the bloggers would have greater success. Writing is therapy. And therapy is paramount, I believe, for substantial and long term success.
This is so true. But I'd like to take this a step further and coin a new term: "blogcountability". It's the personal accountability that blogging gives or IMPOSES on us.
What we're doing, we do first and foremost for ourselves (and often, by extension, for our loved ones). However, when we blog, we "put it out there for the world to see". Others start watching. The people who read us are just plain curious, but I would say that most weight-loss blog readers also read blogs to learn, to share, to find support and to give it in return. The result is that we find ourselves becoming accountable to others. We realize that letting ourselves down is no longer a private act. Our friends out there in cyberspace are out there rooting for us. Yes, there is jealousy (Lyn, at Escape from Obesity, has a moving post on this), but we all want to succeed and I sincerely believe that we want our cyber-friends to succeed too.
One of the foundations of success is accountability. The more accountable you feel about your actions, the harder you try. Let me give you a simple example:
The post I made last night ended with my mentioning that I had one more exercise to do before wrapping up my day. It's a simple exercise and the whole thing only takes about 10 minutes. I was really tired after a long day of both work and fun, but how could I not do it, having publicly promised that I would? So I did. Of course, I don't not always live up to the goals I set--no one does--but saying it "out loud" in cyberspace just adds a little extra push, which is really helpful.
I had the same experience with Jack Sh*t's half-pound, half *ss challenge. At the last minute, I decided to sign up and gosh darn it, it worked.( BTW, last night I went back to the same restaurant where I'd eaten during Jack's challenge and once again had mussels...I might be off them for awhile. I didn't feel so hot this morning. I love mussels, but they have to be super fresh otherwise your tummy will let you know!)
I think I want to put myself out there even more, but I'm still a bit shy about setting goals. The intuitive eating approach that I'm taking is probably 80% maintenance and 20% very slow weight loss. So I feel hesitant about saying that I'm going to lose X pounds in X weeks or months. Is this a cop out? I don't think so. If I lose just a few more pounds between now and next January, I will be very happy. I know that for myself, the faster I lose, the faster I gain back. So the 80/20 maintenance/loss ratio is right for me.
And even if I'm not setting specific goals for myself via this blog, I feel that being a member of the blogging community has definitely made me more "blogcountable" to both myself and the community!