I really wish I could remember the blogs that made up my original blogroll. I can assure you that they were all written by people I respected--people I felt were decent, honest, truthful individuals who were sincere in their beliefs and kind towards others, even if I didn't always agree with them.
I don't think one of these blogs remains on my blogroll, though. Like the cells of the human body, my blogroll has totally renewed itself. Why?
Well, let's start with the obvious: my original blogroll was made up entirely of weight-loss bloggers. It's not complicated. I saw myself as a weight-loss blogger too, though the path that I was taking was a bit radical compared to my blogroll companions: I was going to lose weight through mindful eating. I had found the ultimate truth. I knew that if I listened with total concentration to my body, blocking out the extraneous "noises" of the world, I would eat when I was hungry, eat what I wanted and stop when I was full. It seemed so simple. My ultimate goal, of course, was to lose weight--in my case about 22% of my then current weight--so featuring other weight-loss bloggers on my blogroll made perfect sense.
Like all people starting a new diet (even if it was far from my first and even if I felt it was the furthest thing from a traditional diet), I threw myself into this new lifestyle with religious fervour. And of course, it worked--but only to a certain extent and only for a limited amount of time. Within about two months, the weight loss slowed to a glacial pace, even though my mindful habits continued. Within about six months, and having lost about half of what I'd aimed for, the inexorable regain began. However, since I was still fairly faithful to my mindful habits, I didn't experience the traditional total regain with a few extra pounds along for good measure. I regained about half of the loss with occasional small swings downward and then back up as is normal for people of any weight. Maintaining exactly the same number on the scale, every single day, just doesn't happen, even for the naturally slim.
Now I'm sure that some of the really gonzo weight-loss bloggers out there--who were never on my blogroll in the first place --would look at my current blogroll and sneer. Actually, if they read me (and thank goodness, they don't), they'd probably launch smear attacks against me on their own blogs, as I have seen happen to others. For such people, I am a lily-livered surrender monkey, looking to other blogs for confirmation that "giving up" is a valid option. Well, I don't agree, though I am over trying to discuss these matters in a civilized manner with some bloggers I still read. Yes, I admit it: I still read a few really nasty characters, just to see how bad the world can be sometimes. It makes me feel like a driver who slows down to rubberneck a car crash.
So, who's on my blogroll now? (Note to those of you who are on the blogroll: I might not specifically refer to your blog, but know that if you're there, it's because I think that you're fantastic!)
Actually, there are a few bloggers whose blogs could belong to the weight-loss category, but they're all extremely nuanced and far from the "rah!rah! I did it, you can too!" school.
There's Dr. Sharma, who would probably be pilloried by the gonzo weight-loss crowd for daring to say that sometimes it's just as good to stop the upward momentum and just maintain the weight that you're at. I love his expression, "the nightmare on ELMM street" (as in: "eat less, move more"). I must admit, though, that sometimes his posts drive me crazy. He has been on and off my blogroll...
There are a number of Fat Acceptance (FA) and/or Health at Every Size (HAES) blogs on my blogroll. Do I see myself in the FA camp? Not always, though I try to follow Ragen Chastain's underpants rule over at Dances With Fat. Simply put, it's none of my business how you choose to live your life (unless what you do will cause harm to others, though even that can be a problematic caveat too--I think the whole "fat people are ruining the health care system and costing the taxpayer an arm and a leg" argument is a load of bunkum). I feel totally comfortable and extremely supportive of HAES, on the other hand. The notion of encouraging people to honour their bodies through sane nourishment and joyful movement speaks to me very deeply. Again, a caveat: "eating clean" (scrubbing one's diet clean all the alimentary horrors "du jour" like gluten, carbs, sugar, etc.) strikes me as yet another pathway straight to disordered eating. For an interesting post on "food addiction"--one that is likely to cause many people apoplexy--read this, by the Fat Nutritionist. Also, read this post, from Fierce, Free Thinking Fatties. It'll knock the socks off the "lose weight-get healthy" crowd, although I know they still won't believe it.
For those of you who don't come around very often, I would like to point out two new blogs I'm now listing: Closet Puritan and Eathropology.Very different in terms of content but both very intelligent and thought-provoking.
And last but not least, there's one blog that has absolutely nothing to do with weight. Egads! I'll let you locate it yourself on my blogroll. There's a specific reason I decided to highlight it: many moons ago, when I still had an essentially weight-loss blogroll, I went over to read one of my featured blogs and clicked on a blog on her blogroll. To my disgust, it was a vile, right-wing political screed that I found nothing short of stomach turning. Needless to say, she was off my blogroll, to be replaced by a blog that I'm sure she would find equally horrendous--but which I consider to be the soul of logical thinking.
So hats off to the bloggers on my blogroll. May you live long and prosper. You inspire me every day!