Thursday, September 13, 2012
A Look Inside the Mail Bag...
Since making the sudden decision to change my web address two weeks ago, there's no doubt in my mind that things have been a lot more quiet around here. The old web address has had almost 1500 hits since that day, but less than half of those hits moved traffic back to this new address. I knew that was the chance I was going to have to take in order to create a blog that fit me. While the comment section has been a lot quieter, my email inbox has received several emails. Some offering there support, some offering their disappointment. I try to respond to all of my emails as long as the original email was of good taste.
So, I decided this morning to bring some of the emails to light. The majority of the emails I've received are from concerned followers... maybe the same questions and concerns some of my other followers have been asking themselves, but haven't asked. I figured I'd pick a couple sent to me with the responses I sent back - and share them with you. I will keep the sender's names private - like always. And hope that there are still people out there reading what I have to say...
I woke up this morning and started looking for my morning blogs to read and was completely shocked to discover that your blog has disappeared. I have been reading your blog for several months now and was always pulling for you to get through the slump that you seemed to be in and find the motivation to start losing weight again. That's why, I have to admit, I was a very disappointed to see that you've now decided to give up on the weight loss and change your blog to a regular diary.
I understand that your new job is something you're very excited about, but I have to be honest when I tell you that your "new" blog just isn't the same. You are a talented writer, but I don't get that as much with what you're now writing about. Writing about your weight loss, regardless of how well you were doing or how much you weren't doing, was interesting. I could connect with a lot that you said. I often laughed at your thoughts and feelings. But now, I just feel like I've been reading a private diary of your day to day life. Not so funny or inspirational anymore.
I wanted to post a comment on your blog telling you this, but I didn't want to hurt your feelings. I don't want to sound mean with this message. It's more to let you know that I miss the old you, and really hope that you find her again, soon.
Best of luck -
Dear Concerned Follower,
Thanks for the email. I'm sad to hear that you think my writing has changed since redesigning my blog. But, I guess in a way, I have changed. I don't look at the change as "giving up on weight loss", but rather adding more variety to what I can talk about. I guess in a way, it is my private diary now - just not so private. I don't think I've lost the old me, just gained more insight and desire to discuss other things. I will try to find my more wittier side as I move on with the change - and hope that you will stick with me as I work out all the kinks. Getting feedback from my readers is very important to me.
I'm happy to see that you've finally decided to change the blog to a name more fitting to what you write about. I've been wondering for a long time why you still wrote a weight loss blog, because there sure hasn't been a lot of that for a long time. No offense. Some people are able to completely change their lives in amazing ways by losing weight, and others spend their entire lives trying. It seems that you've decided you don't want to be one of those that spend your life trying. You were always talking about excuses, and how stupid they are, but I often wondered how come you weren't taking your own advice. Sometimes I would just come to your blog to make myself feel better about cheating or giving up on my weight loss. I know that sounds bad. It is bad, I guess. But you and I both know that this time was going to come eventually. Your head just isn't in the game, anymore. I hope that one day you do decide to revisit the weight loss thing - I think that it was important to you at some point. I also understand that you have stuff going on that is more important now. Good luck in your new job, and I hope things work out for you. I'll try and drop in from time to time to see if anything new has happened.
Wishing you the best,
Dear Truth Talker,
No offense taken. You're absolutely right. I wondered for a long time why I was still writing a weight loss blog, because my head most definitely wasn't in the game. It seems as my new blog has sent out the mass message that I no longer care about weight loss, and have no desire to lose weight anymore. That's really not the case. It made me a little sad to read that you used to visit my blog just to make yourself feel better about cheating or giving up. That wasn't my intention, and I guess that's really a good reason for me to make the change that I did. I don't want people looking to me as an easy out. The desire to lose weight is still with me, and I don't think I'll ever fully give up on that. I just don't want to waste anyone's time talking about it - when I'm not fully committed to doing something about it at this point in time. That doesn't mean that I won't eventually. I will be happy to spend my life trying. Quitting just isn't in my vocabulary.
The decision to change my blog didn't come from losing my weight loss desire, it came from wanting to share more about my life - and feeling that what I had to say just didn't fit with the theme of my blog. At the end of the day, my last blog was a weight loss blog. Not a successful weight loss blog, but that was the original intent. Now, I feel more free to talk about whatever I want to talk about - and at some point that will be weight loss, again... but mixed in with my life in general and my new job.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me,
Dear Mad, Fat Woman a/k/a Future Thin Girl a/k/a Jo,
What the heck? You change your blog so much I think my head is going to explode. First you're a mad, fat woman. Then you're a future thin girl. And now you're just Jo. Who cares what you call your blog? All I know is you're just hurting yourself more by pretending and changing it everytime you get a little whim of defeat.
Losing weight is hard, everyone knows that. I thought you knew that, but apparently not. Just because you haven't lost the weight, you just give up? What about all the people that have followed you and pulled for you? You're basically just telling them to move on - and probably just to quit like you did. I'm very disappointed. I've shared many of the same struggles you did - but that doesn't mean I just give up. Each day is a new day, and I just tell myself to start over. Nobody cared that you talked about your new job or your family on your old blog. If anything, that made it that much more enjoyable to read. You were a real person, with real struggles, and people in those same situations had someone they could connect with.
I really had no intention of writing to you, but somebody needed to say something. I'm sure I'm not the only person that feels this way. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if you lose a lot of followers because of this. The weight loss community is always there to support people - regardless of how much they succeed or struggle. But I can't support someone that just gives up. Changing your blog is just another excuse - and another nail in the coffin to you ever losing weight. It makes me angry and sad that you of all people can just throw in the towel so quickly after everything you've been through. I'm sorry, but I won't be visiting your blog anymore.
I normally wouldn't respond to an email that expresses so much anger, but I also hear a lot of hurt in the tone of this message. First, let me start by saying that I didn't just give up. I know that transforming my blog from a weight loss blog to a general blog has given that impression, because you're not the first person to let me know their disappointment in "giving up". To be completely honest, I really wasn't thinking about what my followers would think of the change - I did it for me. I struggled with the mentality of writing about my daily life on a blog that was obviously for the purpose of sharing my weight loss stories. I know that may sound silly to you, but not to me. I'm a firm believer that if I visit a blog that is categorized as being a weight loss blog - that the majority of the content will be about weight loss. With the new job, and lack of commitment on my part to be losing weight, my content just didn't fit with that category anymore.
My hope is that once the "new job smell" has worn off, I will get my head back in the game of losing weight. But, I won't be changing my blog ever again. Now that I've generalized the theme, I can talk about losing weight, the job, my family, and anything else that pops in to my head right on my blog - without feeling any guilt or worry that I'm not writing to the intended audience.
I fully understand that many of my weight loss followers may move on. It may sound harsh, but my blog really isn't for anyone else - it's for me. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE having followers and people that comment and even people that send me somewhat hateful emails giving me their opinions. It makes my writing mean a lot more. But, I have to remember that I didn't start my blog with the intent to get as many followers as possible. In fact, I was/am floored that I have received so much support over the years. My original intent was just to have somewhere to write about my feelings, document them, and revisit my own words whenever I needed to.
I'm sad to hear that you won't be visiting my blog again, but I also wish you the best of luck in life. I really never thought that so many people would care what I did with my blog - but now I understand that's not the case. I apologize for disappointing you, but hope that you can understand how important my blogging is to me - and if I'm not happy with my blog, I just won't want to write anymore. I can't lose my writing. It's a part of me - who I am.
Thank you for expressing your opinions with me - they didn't fall on deaf ears.
I'm sorry that my original email was so angry. I really didn't expect a response. While I'm still disappointed, I appreciate you letting me know how you feel. What you said makes a lot of sense, and I guess I understand the change more now. I often forget when I read personal blogs that they're not written with the mentality of "customer first" LOL. You're right, it is your blog, and you should be able to write or change the name to whatever you want. I really hope you do decide to try and lose weight again.
And the last one that I want to share, today...
Congratulations on the new blog! It looks fantastic, and I'm so happy you decided to follow your heart and make your blog more about you and not worrying about what everyone will think of you. I changed my blog name a few times before I found something I was happy with. Of course, I didn't have any followers so it didn't really matter how many times I changed it. LOL. I've always enjoyed reading what you had to say, regardless of what it was about. You have a great talent in your writing, and I'm happy to hear that will continue with even more stuff to write about.
I was so happy to hear about your new job. I know it's something you've been working hard for, and I felt so upset for you last year when you weren't able to find a position. I've been pulling for you all this time, and just knew that something would come along. It sounds like you were born to be a teacher, and I can't wait to read more stories about your classroom and how your life changes for the better.
THANK YOU!! It's so nice to get a supportive email about my decision to change my blog. You'd be amazed at how many people weren't as thrilled as you are about the new theme. It warms my heart to know that you've stuck with me all this time - and are still happy to read what I have to write. I appreciate the wonderful compliments. I truly feel like there is no further need to mess with my blog. I can now write about whatever I want. I'm just thrilled to hear that I still have at least one follower that will stay with me on this journey.