To My Readers:
11111112. No I’m not writing this blog in binary. That would have a zero in it I think…math…not my thing. Numerology? Also not my thing. But it’s hard to ignore that I am writing this blog on 1/1 and it is my 111 Tasty Morsels Blog Post and my first blog of ’12. Hence 1111112, and for some reason, that’s just cool.
I wrote my first blog post a year ago after Leftovers To Go’s web designer, Rocky Laber of DSD Interactive, advised that blogging would help generate traffic to the website and more people would learn about and purchase the Leftovers To Go Workbook/DVD set. I had never “blogged” before, rarely read other people’s blogs, and didn’t know how blogging would differ from my past writing experiences. My curiosity was piqued and ready for the challenge, I made the commitment to blog for one year.
I began by commenting on news stories and special events that focused on eating disorders, size discrimination and health at every size®. During the process, of researching sources and topics for blogs, it did not take me long to find that every day in some newspaper somewhere there was something to comment on. I found I was unable to postpone the gratification of commenting long enough to write my blog posts and began adding my voice in the reader’s comments sections. I gathered there was a greater likelihood the authors and other readers of the articles would “hear” my point of view there, rather than trust that the mysterious world of search engine optimization would bring people to the Leftovers to Go website. In doing this, I discovered an entire community of HAES(sm) and size activist bloggers diligently working to educate and offer support to the public. Therapists, Dieticians, Dancers, Doctors, Activists…all blogging away! Who Knew??!! I was so impressed with the mother lode of articulate and sane voices out there that I began using my blog to promote other people’s blogs, webinars, organizations and websites. While this did not accomplish the original goals of my blog (to increase book sales and other commercial endeavors) there was no turning back. I was on a mission and if there was a way I could use my small piece of the “interwebs” to fight size discrimination and promote self-acceptance, then I was all for that! How difficult could it be? There was no scarcity of material to draw from, and it is a controversial and important niche for engaging readers in constructive discourse and active diablogue. Piece of cake, right?
Don’t let anyone tell you that blogging is easy. It isn’t. I know many people think that a blogger just sits down at the keyboard, perhaps free associates or employs a technique of writing their thoughts down in a stream of consciousness as if they were talking to someone, and twenty minutes later they hit the publish button. But it really isn’t like that and I am in awe of people who blog daily. IN AWE! With time a valuable commodity, and never enough of it, I’m lucky if I write one post a week. Writing a blog is labor intensive and each post, a labor of love.
It isn’t easy on an emotional level either. Publically posting personal material puts the writer in a vulnerable position. (Wow, sorry about the alliteration!) There is a bond that develops between a blogger and their audience, a sense of trust and intimacy that builds up as people share difficult material. It is public and private at the same time. Over the year, I have expanded the voice of Dr. Deah’s Tasty Morsels from strictly an op. ed. style to include more personal stories about my work as a Therapist, Professor, Actress, Author, and Activist and it is a challenging balance. Too much disclosure is unprofessional in the therapeutic community, not enough personalization, and your empathy is unconvincing. Too many facts, you are writing a mini dissertation, not enough you are just ranting. Blogging is an art form that is developing as we speak, or write…as it were. As part of their teacher training programs, colleges and universities have developed new curriculum on how to use blogging as a gateway to literacy and a vehicle to facilitate improved social interaction and communication skills. What started off as a radical fringe journalism movement, has gained credibility and wide spread approval and acceptance. The parallel between the successful mainstreaming of blogging and the fight for inclusion that the HAES and size acceptance movements are currently engaged in is easy to see. Perhaps that is why blogging is a logical medium for communicating these “radical” concepts to dispel the prevailing myths about the obesity epidemic in our country.
On January 7th, my year is up. I have written 111 Tasty Morsels blog posts and am syndicated on several websites. I am honored that in a world filled with so many choices and so little time you select a “Dr. Deah’s Tasty Morsel” to savor. I am thrilled when you take time to add your voices in the comments section. Supportive or argumentative, either way, it means I have ignited a thought, a feeling, a reaction and provided YOU the opportunity to find and share your voice and opinions. For me, it has been time well spent, and I may just re-up for another tour of duty.
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