That's the Sound of My Worlds Colliding

I had always intended to blog anonymously.  Heck, when I started this venture, I didn’t even use my name.  But I also didn’t have any expectations that anyone would be reading.

My, how times change.

A few people in my real life have known about my blog almost from its inception.  For different reasons.  My husband.  My mom.  One of my sisters-in-law.  Sometimes it impacted what I wrote – made me feel censored.  Mostly I forgot that they were reading and wrote for myself and for you.  Mostly.

But just over a year ago, shock waves struck.  I almost fell out of my chair when I got a Facebook message (to my personal account) from a “real” friend and neighbor, who wrote:  “… so I was crusin’ the web… and what did I find? I found Waisting Time! … What a surprise to find it!”

What a surprise indeed!  I was flabbergasted.  I was scared.  If she found me, anyone could.  And who might she tell?  Eek!  I might be walking down the street (okay, not really, but maybe walking down the aisles of the local grocery store) and the person who waved as they passed might have just read my blog.  Or even worse, might be examining (and judging) the contents of my shopping cart.  Aaack.

Eventually I calmed down; came back from my freaked out place; asked myself, “What’s the worse thing that could happen?”  And continued blogging.  In my sort of anonymous fashion.  Maybe for a moment the fear of discovery impacted what I wrote.  Mostly I forgot about it.

And a year passed.

With more posts and more readers and more exposure in cyberspace.  With me ignoring all the warnings I had given my sons to be careful what you put online because you never know who is reading and because it’s there forever and because you are giving up control.  To think twice and not post things you wouldn’t want your mother to read.  Parenting caution in a dangerous new world that, for the most part, I had not myself heeded.

Those warnings came back to haunt me.

There I was, in my son’s new apartment, halfway across the country, no thoughts of blogging in my head, heading out the door to a late dinner, when my son asked, “Mom, what’s the name of your blog?”  What!?  Why is he asking?  Why does he want to know!?  “Just humor me,” he said.  So I told him.  And then he told me… something I never in a million years expected to hear.  Facebook, once again, was the vehicle for my outing.  As a “friend” posted on my son’s wall that, “I found your mom’s blog accidentally while searching for a quote from the commencement speech…”  And for just a fleeting moment, he posted a link.

And just like that, my worlds collided.  And I freaked out.  Just a bit.  Okay, maybe a lot.  According to my son (from what he told me AND from what he posted on the Facebook thread), my reaction was “hilarious.”  Funny to him, maybe!

Let me just tell you that it was the longest restaurant meal ever!  All I could think about was getting to a computer and performing damage control.

(And in case you were wondering, other “friends” did comment and “like” the post on my son’s wall.  I don’t know if they ever saw my blog though because the person who originally exposed me to the world realized that maybe my son wouldn’t be “cool with everyone having the link” to his mom’s blog.  Long Facebook conversation story short, the link is gone but the thread remains.  Hmm… maybe I should ask my son to remove THAT from his wall.)

I’ll be totally honest and tell you that my initial over-reactions thoughts were to shut down this blog immediately!  Permanently.  And I did.  Sort of.  Removed the “offending” post so that it wouldn’t be there for anyone to search and put my blog into “maintenance mode” while I thought things through.

I’m still thinking.

About the potential loss of all anonymity.  About my sons and the people in their lives and the people in my life reading what I’ve written.  About what I still might or might not have left to write.  About whether or not I care who reads my words and who connects the real me to the blog me.  About calling it quits.  About what I might regret if I keep going or if I stop.  About maybe even starting over, fresh, with or without anonymity.

Because, coincidentally enough given the timing, maybe Waisting Time is wasting time.  Maybe my blog has run its course; served it’s purpose.  Maybe I’ve run out of things to say and creative juice and the need to say anything at all.  (I actually had a blog post drafted about that already!)

Maybe I’m done in cyberspace.  For now.  Maybe I’m not.  Maybe I don’t even know the questions to ask myself to decide what to do next.

Maybe for once, over-thinking is a good thing!

So for now, I’ve shared this part of my tale with you, and had a chance to at least let that resonate in my brain while putting words to keyboard.  And I realize, with the initial shock worn off, that I should go against my action-oriented nature and give myself some time to think this through.  To see where it takes me.  To be flexible.  To be patient.  (Stop laughing, family.)

And I’ll admit to you, that there is much that I haven’t shared in this long-winded but much shortened story, because of exactly the issue at hand – I don’t know who is reading it and there are just some things that I can’t or won’t put out here because, well, for reasons that are exactly the problem – too private, too revealing, too embarrassing to share.

And that, dear readers (and cyber-snoopers) is exactly what led me to freak out in the first place!

Photo credit: [Cody James]

 

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91 Comments

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91 responses to “That's the Sound of My Worlds Colliding

  1. Miz

    ahhh are you in my house?!
    I was writing and thinking “will I ever post this?” about something not the same (kindermoms…so not people I “really” know) and yet the same (crappers. how did you find me?!)

    it’s a little awkward and shocking and 100% why Im just still trying to blog as tho no one is reading.

  2. Miz

    may I link this in my post…whenever it runs? 🙂

  3. Holy moly…this is the second post I’ve read today with the same title and basically saying the same thing! As I was never trying to be anonymous in the first place, I can’t relate, but at the same time I know I have censored myself a bit from time to time. I hope you don’t stop blogging, but I would also understand if you did.

    • Thanks for sharing her post, Karen. Funny how coincidental it was in so many ways. Just one more example of the commonality we find through blogging!

  4. I remember telling you that eventually people would find your blog. As you tell your kids, nothing on the internet is private. I always assume too that if I write it in an email it might see the light of day. Personally I think you should stare your fears down and accept that is OK for other people to know these things about you. You never know. The people around you might be struggling with the same issues and you’d have someone close to talk to about it. My townhouse mate always tells me when she is on a diet (she has struggled with weight all her life even as a kid), which is good. I know when to share a cookie with her. Or when to bring the extra snap peas for her to snack on.

    • You make a good point – and we do never know who in our lives is going through something similar to us, unless it comes up. But I’ll be honest and say that I kinda hate thinking that the people I know are ever looking at what I eat or worrying about what they should/shouldn’t serve because of me. “Oh, Karen’s eating a bagel. Isn’t she rather addicted to those?”

  5. Well, you know my thoughts… I go back and forth… again and again. I do think you might miss the word play… you’re so good at it. I love the question of whether Waisting Time is wasting time. I vote for a new blog — not anonymous but rather one where you can write about whatever you want and not feel tied to a food/weight theme. It might crop up from time to time, but it won’t be the focus… and that demonstrates a well-rounded, real person and not just the microcosm of a consistently themed blog.

    • That’s what I am thinking, if I go with a new one. It could be about anything that pops into my head! And maybe I’d talk about this stuff there and maybe not. But it wouldn’t be defined by it and I probably wouldn’t link back to this in anyway so the stuff that I’ve shared already that makes me feel exposed wouldn’t be there. Unless, of course, someone figures it out:(

      Still thinking. And part of that is trying to decide if I have enough to say. And what I’d call my blog!

  6. I love your thinking process, and relate to your freak out process! I understand exactly what you’re talking about. You’re much more “networked” than I am, but I am still aware of the potential for people I know to find the blog, and then know what I weigh…for starters. I’m also thinking about what blogging is really accomplishing for me at this point.

    I think the world of you, Karen. You’ve reached out to me in ways few others in this venue have, and I truly appreciate it. I’ll understand whatever you ultimately decide, (or don’t!), but as long as you’re here I’ll be one of your fans, readers, and friends!

    • “I’m also thinking about what blogging is really accomplishing for me at this point. ” – this is a biggie for me right now and I am actually working on a “follow up” post about this. I know I would miss your blog, your humor, your writing, if you stopped. I wonder if I will miss MY blog, the laughs I get from my readers, the writing process, if I stop myself.

      And, Leslie, as you know, I have many times felt so connected to you, that we had so much in common despite very different stories. That has been one of the great and unexpected gifts that came from blogging.

  7. My intent was always to be anonymous. Unfortunately, I opened my big mouth after only a few days and let the cat out of the bag by telling my husband. I was in the middle of telling him about a comment when I realized I’d blown it and now he would know. I ALWAYS feel censored because he reads every post I write.

    My daughters know about my blog and are totally uninterested. I just recently told my Houston weight loss buddy (we’ve never met in 10 years of communicating through email)and she never acknowledged I mentioned it which made me wonder if she thought it was crap. And you thought you were the only “over thinker.” 🙂

    • I could never have done this without my husband knowing. He’d have figured it out pretty fast! But he also was my sounding board as I tried to work through the technical aspects. And then there were so many things that I found myself wanting to talk to him about as I was writing them. He knows way more now about me and my eating than he’d ever have known if he hadn’t read my words and thoughts, but so do I, actually.

      My boys found out by osmosis, I guess. Casual talk around the house. As I once shared, my younger son actually found and read my blog. I have no idea if my older son, the one in this post, read it or not after the “incident” last week.

  8. Oh…I can SO relate to this…
    have been in those freak out moments SO many times…have shut myself up, shut myself out of social media stuff, I clearly remember the freak out when jacksht found my personal facebook page and sent a friend request….which set a second one in motion.

    but, for me, it always came back to finding and believing and trusting my own voice. My blog is a BIG part of who I am. My truths. and those that find me…either follow me because they find something they need or they don’t read continuously…
    finding their is NO shame in being who I am…or how I feel…yes, I still filter and sometimes worry about who might be reading my often personal struggles..but I have to do what is best for me …its a choice every time!

    • He found mine too! How does that happen?! Facebook scares me a bit and I am really thinking seriously about shutting down my blog’s profile.

      I love your attitude about this:) But, honestly, there is a big part of me that does feel embarrassed by a lot of the stuff I’ve shared. I’d rather people in my life think I’m “normal.”

  9. I was recognized at Target a while back by a reader – my first thought? Thank god I put on make up! Yes, shallow…but gah. What a shock. I completely understand your freak out – I may have a lot of followers, but hardly any do I know in real life, and I like it that way. I already self-censor since I talk about my family (and they know about the blog); figure it wouldn’t be all that hard to find them, and I don’t want them to resent my blogging. Sounds like a lot of us are in the same (leaky) boat, though. I hope you don’t stop blogging.

    • Wow! Being recognized would be so weird. There is at least one person that I know of who has read my blog who lives in the same area and I’ve wondered if we’d ever run into each other and if she’d recognize me. Not sure how I feel about that. I think okay if she didn’t then turn to everyone and say, “She’s Waisting Time.”

  10. This is a real issue Karen, especially if you truly do want to stay anonymous. Only you can decide what is right for you and your family. I for one would miss your blog, but would understand if that’s the course you decide to go. You could always go private and just allow “approved” members.

    • True. I didn’t really think about just privatizing. It has been interesting for me in the past week to think about other bloggers, like you, who share so openly. I think one of the differences, at least in my mind, is that you and others are “success stories” who I see as blogging to inspire others. The more exposed you are, the more people you can reach and positively impact:)

  11. KarenJ

    I’ve often wondered how I would handle this situation when I start my own blog. I have gone from someone very open about my life to someone who has become a bit more guarded about what I share, and I don’t know whether I would censor certain things to protect the identity of certain people. I think I probably would. I enjoy reading your blog, but you must decide for yourself how comfortable you are with your exposure, lest you lose “you” in the process.

  12. I went private a couple months ago for all the reasons you posted.

    It was an interesting turn of events.

    I had posted pictures of a quilt my mother had made for me and had used the name of the quilt pattern. My mother sent pictures to many of her friends, also using the name of the quilt pattern. I happened to google the name of the quilt and realized my blog was the first thing that popped up. So any of her friends looking for more information on the quilt pattern (likely) were going to find me. and they were going to know it was me immediately.

    Also, I had never kept track of my numbers. When blogger did their recent upgrade and my numbers were smack in front of me – the same week I decided to go private – I had a ‘who are ALL these people?’ reaction. I had posts with hundreds, like nearly a thousand, views. And that only tracks (I think) the people who actually click on a specific post, not the ones who just open the blog in general.

    So, it was a signed, sealed delivered decision. No regrets. I had the most open, going private I think there ever was. I gave a week’s notice. I set up an email so people could contact me. Anyone who requested an invitation got one. It was a lot of work, but I moved everyone with me. I am still get contacts through other bloggers. People who missed my going private and pass the word they would like access.

    I saw your note on Jen’s blog and came over to leave you this message. I also saw the note from Shauna saying she misses her old days of being able to write uncensored. I miss her old days too. I wish she were able to write as she used to. And that is a lot of why I went private. So my blog was able to stay the same. I write on a lot of personal issues and a wide variety of topics. I did not want my writing to change. I have been blogging, posting every day, since 2006. I am now able to post pictures of my kids and talk about them a little more freely than I did before going private. I am enjoying that option.

    And for those just occasional private topics, some bloggers make specific posts private. That is a good option. I did not want to do that as even the most innocent topic (like the quilt post) had the potential to out me. I am well over 3000 posts. With that volume, it is just a matter of time.

    • Thank you for sharing your story and ideas. In my mind, if I did start a new blog, I’d also be announcing it and inviting people over, but I could also choose who to give the URL to and who to NOT give it to:)

      • I had no concerns about anyone in blog land having access to my blog. I moved all weightloss/maintenance people, who contacted me, with me. My worry was someone from real life accidentally finding me. And I am now protected from that.

  13. Breathe…..
    Wow, I recognize your mental blender. I get it.
    I wonder though, why you have a moments worry. You write very high quality posts. You don’t over-share personal things and you resonate with so very many people that I would hope you are just proud of your persona here.
    Maybe this is an opportunity for you to embrace being seen. I have struggled with that issue my entire life and I believe that the part of me that wants to stay “anonymous” is the part that keeps me seperate from all my potential in some ways.
    Maybe it’s totally different for you.
    I have also been thnking about hucking the whole blog thing, coincidentally. Do I need to be doing this? Am I wasting time I could be spending actually writing? Am I over-sharing Melody’s life? Why am I doing it? and on and on.
    I decided to slow down. Maybe keep doing my Gratitude posts which also share what’s been happening. And then see how it feels.
    I love the relationship you have with your sons.
    This is a very interesting time for you. I hope I get to hear what happens next.
    Maybe you can start a special newsletter if you terminate the blog, so that we can still get our Karen fix in.

    • Love – “mental blender!”

      I think, Teresa, part of it is that since I have never been obese, I like to tell myself that people who know me don’t know THIS me. That outwardly I look normal, even though on here it is apparent that inwardly I am not. Still, actually. Funny thing is that before this blog even I didn’t realize how very disordered my relationship with food is! And the idea that I’d be at dinner with friends and have them looking at me take a second piece of bread (yes, that happened recently) all the while knowing that I’m rather a self-proclaimed bread addict who has so little control around it that I just don’t keep it in the house… well, I hate imagining that kind of potential judgement and observation.

      One thing very different about us is that you want to write to write. If I didn’t blog, I wouldn’t be writing. But then I have to go on to say that the writing has actually been one of the things that I have (sometimes) liked about blogging. Except when I feel pressured to get a post done or have no creativity. So maybe I’d miss that.

      I’m actually sort of glad there was no internet when my kids were young because I never had to think about what to put out here about them.

      • oh my gosh, you got me with the out to dinner thing. I absolutely get it.
        It’s just human nature but that would be unbearable.
        I would probably do whatever it took to get anonymous again.
        I hope you find the right way for you.
        It’s really an interesting dilemna… that you live a sort of double life. So different from the things that we experience as people who are obviously dealing with food issues.
        As long as I can always stay in touch with you…
        xoxo

  14. Although my blog has never been private I didn’t exactly want to announce to everyone we know that I had a blog. But my husband was spreading the word and telling business associates, our dentist – what you told our dentist? Then I wondered, has my dentist every looked at my blog- has he read that I have issues with food? I have to admit that it was strange to think about certain people in my real life reading about my personal struggles with food and weight issues.

    What is done is done, once we hit publish it’s out there in cyberspace for anyone to find. The only way to be completely private it not to blog. I hope you keep up blogging Karen but if you decided it’s no longer for you I understand.

    • Exactly – people would then know I have issues with food!

      But the funny thing about you saying that is that your blog, IMO, is soooo not about food issues and not even about dieting, despite what you sometimes share about the plan you are on (or WW points). Your blog reads like a food blog. And the recipes and photos are great.

  15. My blog was never private, but only my husband new about it. My mother found it accidentally when she was on a weight loss forum and someone posted a link to it. She was quite surprised as I had been blogging for a couple years by then. I sort of felt a bit like I lost the ability to really talk about some things. Now a lot of my family and relatives know about the blog. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes I don’t care.
    I think you just need to take a good look and see what value the blog brings *you* and if the price of losing anonymity is worth it for whatever it is you get out of blogging.

    • I think a difference between us is that you are a long-term success story. I don’t ever read your posts and think you are struggling still. I am impressed with how you eat and your amazing bike rides:) And, well, you are rather famous now:)

  16. I like the idea of taking time to think before making a decision. Blogging is funny in that some days I can’t wait to share a thought, other days the blog seems to be a waste of time. I can understand your desire to remain anonymous, yet I suffer from the other extreme. I blog under my real name and totally in the public view with videos. Neither my wife nor my kids read what I write lol. I never was a clever writer like you, Karen. I would hate to see you go.

    • I agree, Paul – it varies day by day. Although now it is more days of not having anything to write than it used to be. Interesting that your wife doesn’t read. Mine does. The good thing about that is he sometimes finds typos or grammatical boo boos and then I can fix them:) Thanks for your kind words.

  17. I totally get where you are coming from! I arrived home last night and to my surprise, my mom has my blog bookmarked on her tabs…I was wondering why she never said anything. She must have found it through my pinned recipes on pinterest.

    I’m glad you didn’t rush into closing down the blog and gave it some thought. I do hope you continue though 😦

  18. It is scary! I was anonymous for the most part and then I started getting more traffic and started including it on my facebook…and it spread! I eventually got over it (although I do censor quite a bit of stuff that I write about).

    What I found MOST uncomfortable was when I was on the cover of a magazine a few years ago and on the local news this year–suddenly EVERYONE at work knew. And knew I had a blog. And it was VERY uncomfortable!!

    • I didn’t realize you started anonymously, Lisa. To me you are a very visible role model for weight loss success and maintaining. And maybe that is part of what makes it seem different to me – I am NOT a role model for that same kind of success. Maybe 4 years from now, if I manage to maintain finally, I’ll feel different about this:)

  19. Karen, I know a bit of your back story so I can only imagine how you felt!!! 😉 Like you, I censor a lot & don’t share some very personal things that I just am not willing to share right now or maybe never. So many share much more than me – like Carla who is thinking about posting or not posting something & to me she is an open book! Yes, like you, some are embarrassing or private or I have not even dealt with them yet.

    I am glad you are sticking around for now!

    • Ah, but you are an amazing inspiration with what you share! Look at your photos! You have done what so many of us haven’t even yet aspired to do. With such consistency. And success. Your blog IMO is so different from mine; I’ve shared my struggles as I’ve been working through this process and you share how to live a healthier life.

  20. I’ve explained to people that I don’t normally tell real-life people about my blog, and they think it’s weird that I’m blogging if I don’t want the world to read it. So I know exactly what you mean. We want this avenue of expression, but I don’t necessarily want everyone I know in real life reading it. I guess that could sound weird to people who aren’t bloggers, but I enjoy the bloggy community and don’t want to give that part up.

    • I enjoy the community too:) I was just actually emailing with a fellow blogger and saying that very thing. And telling her I wonder how much I’d miss it if I stopped blogging. Funny thing is I NEVER expected it or even realized it existed when I started blogging.

      Sometimes it was hard when someone said, “What do you do all day” to NOT tell them about the blog!

  21. This hits home. All my sibs, some of my kids and my husband read what I write. I’m not comfortable sharing some info (like my actual weight!) with them. I’m much more likely to be frank in comments on other people’s blogs as I suspect none of them read health/weight loss blogs except mine. That said, I’d miss it if you disappeared! Maybe we could all start over with “secret blogs” and vow not to tell anyone! All of my “too close” readers are reading because I told them about the blog. Of course you’re in the Big Leagues and more likely to have run-ins with unknown readers who connect thru your sons or something.

    • Ah, Big Leagues – that cracked me up. Funny thing is that at times I have certainly wanted to be “big” and wanted lots of readers and lots of comments. And with that comes more exposure and more risk. Sigh. I also have sometimes been more open in what I’ve said in comments on someone else’s blog. Funny. Of course, once upon a time my husband used to go read the blogs of people who commented here!

  22. Hi Karen,
    I for one will be hugely disappointed if you stop blogging. I know there are different reasons that initiated our blogs. For me my blog is a means for me to process my road to better health in the open and to finally face my denial of my own obesity. In the very beginning I had some concerns about who might read it. It was fear that I would be found out. I kind of smirk at that fear now because it is not like I could hide my obesity: that in itself was out in the open way before I started to blog. It was evident to everyone that I was obese. I was in denial.

    Blogging has been therapeutic for me. Over the two years I have discovered a great deal about what was underneath my desire to eat and drove me to overeating. I am finding my way to better health every day and I know you are too. I know you do not have a problem with obesity, however, you do have other concerns around food. I also know from your last posts that you have maybe licked your yo-yo diet lifestyle for good. That is wonderful and actually quite inspiring. Health and weight issues come in many flavors: my obesity, you as a yo-yo’er and other folks with other concerns. I know others will speak to this, but, your blog inspires people to know that they can lick their own problems around food, including me. Plus you have a humorous and dignified style that makes it a pleasure to read what you have to say.

    I can not take your fears or concerns away, they are yours and you will have to decide what to do. Just keep in mind that there are many, many people who learn and are inspired by reading your writing. I would hate to see your voice become silent in blogging land.

    • You hit the nail on the head! For me, I’ve never been obese and I think that outwardly, no one would have realized how very NOT-normal I was! Heck, even I didn’t realize it, except for the weight ups and downs, until I started blogging. And also through the process discovered a lot about myself and my relationship with food. I didn’t expect that.

      Have I licked this? I think that I can maintain. But I was just sharing with my husband that I very much do NOT yet have what I have defined as a normal relationship with food. I am constantly battling, and maybe always will. I have learned a lot and been able to make changes based on that, but I think there are just some things that will never become automatic for me. Maybe I need to write a post about that:)

      Thanks for your kind words, Michele, and your support and friendship.

  23. You have articulated well concerns I have. I’m only partially anonymous. I feel like anyone that really wanted to find me could, even though I think I’ve put controls in place. I know those controls aren’t 100% effective. So far, however, I haven’t been outed on facebook.

    I’ll miss you if you decide to go, but I’ll certainly understand.
    Lori

    • I’m laughing as I consider the notion of being partially anonymous. I guess I’d describe myself that way too. But it makes me think about the old expression that you can’t be kinda pregnant – you either are or you aren’t.

  24. I had one friend find my blog after I posted a link to a post on someone else’s wall – forgot it would show up on my stream. And, I think my mom found my blog when she was looking up race results. Those are the only two people I know have found me. My big concern is that I need people to find my work blog and work writing whem they google my *real* name, and I’m not sure I need clients to know what I had for breakfast, but I do sort of keep the possibility in the back of my mind when I’m writing. There are a few posts I’ve written and deleted ….

    • Oh, I didn’t even know you had a work blog! When my youngest son found my blog last year I thought about the post I did about my hair going gray. If you missed it, it wasn’t about the hair on my head! And just yesterday I was thinking about a post that has been in my mind to write for so long that I am so glad I never got around to that was about a part of my body that I would not want my boys and their friends to be imagining.

  25. Oh gosh, try and take this though as a good thing. I wish I had the guts to collide my world more so, I kind of have but not really. Your blog is something to be proud of, not hidden. Remember that.

  26. I haven’t tried to be anonymous, but I also haven’t told anybody about my blog. I do have posts that I make private, primarily when I’m teed off at one of my kids. 🙂 I like to blog, but I’m not sure what I’d do if I was faced with the situation you are. I think it’s a good idea to take some time and weigh the pros and cons. As someone else said, you can have your public and private posts all on the same blog. I hope you’ll find a way to keep in touch, though. I’d miss “talking” to you.

    • This reminds me that I did once actually start a second, anonymous blog, that I never published, in part because I did want to be able to vent about certain close family members. I’ve tried to be very careful not to say too much. But then there is all the stuff I’ve exposed about ME. And, if I remember correctly, your name isn’t really Siobhan. Or am I wrong about that?

  27. I do not care much about who reads my stuff – mostly because I only blog what I would not mind my family reading. (I know my parents sometimes read my German blog to find out what is going on here if I forget to call) It is a bit different with my stories – some of them are rather personal, and I squirm when I think too hard about family reading them. And then I shrug and ignore it and keep on writing.

  28. My blog has never been private- but I always keep in the back of my mind when I am posting- would I offend anyone. I try to remember why I am blogging. It is tricky. I really hope you continue to blog- but you have to decide what is best for you and what you can handle. Why do you blog? What do you get/need from it? How would you feel without it?

  29. I have my two blogs so I can keep Diet Schmiet private but, as I go to some blogging things I’m meeting people who know about it and it’s harder to keep it all separate.

    I overshare A LOT in my dieting blog – just today I cringed as I pressed ‘publish’ wondering if / how people would judge me. Like you I mostly tend to forget that others are reading my posts – I write them as if I’m talking to someone – it’s cathartic for me.

    Here in Oz a lot of mummy bloggers have been coming under fire (negative comments, negative media stuff) and it’s perceived as being deserved because they’re the ones who put themselves ‘out there’ in the first place.

    I can’t think of anything I’ve read in your posts that you could / should feel self-conscious about. Indeed I always find your posts such an inspiration.

    Deb

    • Interesting that you say that because I think of your blogs as connected. But maybe that’s because I know you from the Schmiet one. I do think that when anyone puts something out in public they are opening themselves up to judgement. It’s the nature of the beast. I hate that we do that to each other and that people are negative, but it is what it is.

  30. Thanks to a couple of mainstream media mentions and proud co-workers who put magazine copies in the breakroom, I have ‘real life’ readers, too. It’s a very odd sensation to be at a social gathering and have someone come up and ask how my pickleball knee is doing or to comment on a recipe I’ve shared. I feel a bit…invaded, even though I’m the one who posted the information.

    The bottom line is if it makes us too uncomfortable or we don’t get any pleasure out of it, we should stop. Life’s way too short for so much unnecessary drama.

    • Oh you are always so wise:) And I do think of you as very public in your blogging persona. But in my mind a key difference is, as I described with some other bloggers above, you are writing from a very different perspective – that of a success story. You lost a great deal of weight and have kept it off for a long time. You are a role model for the rest of us:) And here I am, struggling, sharing all the ways I’ve fallen off the wagon over the past years and slipped up over and over:( I hate the idea that people in my real life who might never have realized I had an issue would now realize how very not-normal I am on the inside.

  31. Once again, I find myself being the innocent, naive, somewhat radical soul who began blogging two years ago not having a clue what I was doing just knowing a lot of other people were doing it and thinking I might find some encouragement and support. IOW, I hoped people WOULD find it and WOULD read it. I didn’t tell anyone IRL at that time, but always knew it wouldn’t be hard to find. In never mattered much to me one way or the other.

    After deciding to integrate my travel blog (which I told everyone about) into this one, I have realized how freeing that has been and that I’d written very few things that mattered one way or the other who saw them. I am so glad I made that decision.

    Bottom line is, my blog is a reflection and an extension of who I am. I don’t put info out there naming people or saying hurtful/offensive things about people EVER, so if people can’t accept it, that’s THEIR problem, not mine.

    Your blog is wonderful and serves as an encouragement to a LOT of people. I think it would be a shame if you stopped blogging or even took it private. Your writing is always fresh, humorous,creative and IMHO, you’ve found just the right balance between sharing too much and not sharing enough. Your absence in the blog world would be evident. As your friend in both the Blog World and IRL (which is all BECAUSE of the blog), please keep on writing!!

    As Cammy said, “life’s too short for so much drama,” and by your own admission, I’ll add, “stop overthinking!!”

    • Well, first I need to thank you for your support, kind words, and friendship. If I hadn’t blogged I’d have never met you! And you and I have shared some “conversation” and thinking that has been both illuminating and comforting. One great thing about blogging has been finding people like you who can understand me!

      I was thinking about your merged blogs recently. I think a big difference is that your focus now is not as a “diet” blogger but really more as a travel blogger. Who just happens to sometimes talk about the other stuff. I’m glad to hear that for you it was a positive experience to bring those pieces of your life together.

      As for stopping over-thinking, it would kinda be like telling me to stop thinking about blinking! Try it.

  32. Hi Karen,

    I have to tell you, my friends that know of my blog are not regular readers. Other people who I think would be interested in my blog, don’t bother to check it out.

    From the beginning of my blog, my intent was to be completely anonymous, but write as if I’m completely public. Most of my friends and lots of my family know about my blog, but I haven’t told my parents about it.

    Neither of my parents are social media people, so I’m doubtful they would see a link and if they did, know that I’m the author. But, I do write as if my Mom will read any of my posts. She is very sensitive.

    It was a big deal for me to add a picture (and my first name), but I picked one that will be difficult for people who already know me to say for certain that it’s me.

    I hope you keep blogging Karen. Many people that you know share (who don’t already know about your blog) the same issues as you and would benefit by knowing that you understand. If you do decide to go private, please let me join!

    • It was a full year before I put my picture on here. I had not intended to do that, but the more I read other blogs, the more I appreciated “seeing” the other bloggers and knowing their names and faces. Somehow it made it more real. So, there I am:) I think if I had not had my photo on here, the friend who found me would not have known it was me. Same with my son’s friend – since that post I actually had photos of him. So, I guess the pictures are what did me in, now that I think about it.

  33. Jan

    The selfish part of me would hate to lose your voice. It’s hard to find interesting, well written, intelligent blogs that keep me reading for 2+ years. I do understand the desire for privacy, however. So, instead of screaming, “Don’t go!” I will be more adult and supportive. Take the time to decide why you chose to blog then perhaps the content (and title) will emerge – or not and you will write a book.

    • Smiling, as I read, Jan:) And, yes, that’s what I’m trying to do right now. Think about why I blog and what I get from it now and what, if anything, I still have/want to say.

  34. Karen, this is a tricky situation. Your blog is a positive force for people interested in wellness and you’ve provided encouragement and enlightenment for so many people while also having this terrific outlet for yourself. Don’t let fear of someone else’s reaction turn you off writing if it continues to give you joy. If you’ve still got a lot to say, I would love to hear it.

    • I’m trying to figure out, Shira, if I do still have a lot to say. I’ve actually been working on a post about THAT as a follow up to this one:)

  35. We live in a crazy world today huh? I never worry about who reads my blog because it’s really not that interesting. Just my life and kids, there are many more fascinating blogs out there.

    • I wonder if I’d have blogged about my family and kids if the internet was around when mine were young. It sure would have been nice to connect to other moms.

  36. I must admit I never really considered private vs public blogging when I first started. I use my first name when signing my posts…and I believe there is a head shot of me on the sidebar. However, I did not tell family (outside of my ex) that I was blogging. Especially not my mother…because sometimes things about her get posted. I would hate to not be able to blog the whole truth (IE. censor myself). The problem is that recently (within the last week) one of my aunts started coming to bootcamp. My trainer reads my blog, and sends her clients to it, all the time. She loves my blog. So, when my aunt became one of her bootcamp clients, what do you think happened? Yup. She sent my aunt to my blog. I am sure it is only a matter of time before my whole family is reading along, which (unfortunately) will cause me to censor…at least a little. I admit I freaked out a little. I left bootcamp, drove straight home, and searched my blog for family-related posts. I wanted to make sure I didn’t say anything too horrible on there. There are a couple questionable remarks about my wacko (seriously) family, but I decided to leave them. After all, my blog is supposed to be my point of view…so what if they don’t agree (or don’t like it). I have never posted anyone else’s name on my blog (nor would I), so just because I may not be 100% anonymous, doesn’t mean they aren’t.

    As far as being afraid of people (family, especially) realizing I have issues with food… For me this was never an issue, only because I was over 300 pounds when I started. Clearly, they already knew I had issues with food. LOL I would have liked to avoid them knowing how much I used to weigh, though…and even how much I weigh now. Sigh. Oh well…the Internet certainly isn’t private, right? 😉

    I hope you do keep blogging, but will completely understand if you don’t.

    -Erica

    • I do that the fact that I have never been obese does make it different for me. I think that my issues, mostly uncovered through the blog process, are things that someone looking at me from the outside wouldn’t realize.

      I had never intended to tell my mom about the blog because I didn’t want to share this stuff about myself with her. In my eyes it is embarrassing and a weakness and I didn’t want her to think less of me. But when I started blogging it was such a HUGE part of my life for a while, that it was impossible not to want to share with her how I was spending my time and my new hobby. And my SIL knew (because I asked her for blogging advice) and it was hard for her to know and not say anything to anyone.

      There are times I’ve alluded to family drama. But I’ve been pretty careful to leave it at that.

  37. Here is what happened to me: when I was a hotel supervisor I interviewed a job candidate together with my boss. At one point the candidate mentioned the 24-hour shifts that we used to do and then said that he had READ ABOUT THEM ON MY BLOG. I was mortified! My boss had no idea about my blog and even though I did not often write about my job I had occasionally vented about the exhaustion I felt because it was a very tough and demanding environment. She later assured me that she had decided to not read it but I know that eventually she did.

    This experience was my worst nightmare come true and it once again brought up the paradox dilemma I’ve been struggling with ever since I started blogging: while I have no problem sharing intimate details with a whole world of strangers the thought of certain professional contacts and casual acquaintances reading my blog makes me very uncomfortable. I feel like I am constantly walking a fine line between authenticity and “too much information.” If you met me in real life you would soon know that I am pretty open and direct, and that I love a deep analytical discussion about anything really. But the reality is also that I do draw boundaries with people, especially in my professional life, and those boundaries are much harder to mantain on my blog, for the simple reason that anyone can read it.

    I for one am glad that you haven’t given into the knee-jerk reaction of shutting down immediately. You’ve created a wonderful space here and it sounds like so many people benefit from it. I only just found you and if you do decide to continue I will certainly be very happy about that 🙂

    • I started a job a few months ago. I have not told any of my co-workers about my blog, nor do I intend to, and I’d hate for them to accidentally find it. They see a “normal” person:) Someone who knows where I work actually sent me a link to a great blog post about my company and it was so tempting to share it with my boss but then I thought about how, if at all, that blog could connect back to mine, and decided to say nothing.

      I think I am like you in trying to walk that fine line. But maybe over time I’ve gotten more comfortable here, in cyberspace, and loosened up a bit. And that, I think, is what leads to being found. At least for me.

      Funny how we can be so real with people who don’t know the real us:)

  38. I am also contemplating stopping/ removing/ taking the blog private.

    I have good reasons which I will discuss privately.

    I think you should do what works for you. Meaning what if someone did find it. Are you self censoring to the point of banality? Can you explore more things privately? Do you let anyone in who wants to read it?

    Sigh.

    • You are? Maybe we need to “talk” 🙂

      • Hey, just a small note to tell you that I REALLY appreciate your thoughtful comment about going private. Not that your other comments are not squeezable, but I needed someone who had thought it out well.

        Alas, I am still undecided. I look forward to see what you will do. I also want to know whether now that you are settled into work whether it is providing good distraction from munching and whether you got your calf massaged.

        I think I want to get a job. Maybe I can be a Walmart greeter.

  39. Sunnydaze

    Boy do I know what you’re saying! Remember how that happened to Anna last year and caused her to delete her whole blog when a family member found hers with all of her embarrassing private thoughts? This is part of the reason that I started fresh with a new anonymous blog too when I came back. Also, this is exactly the reason that I don’t have a FB – I’m too private. I’m here for weight loss support, not for people to cyber-stalk me. Follow your gut, it will never lead you astray. 😉

    • I had not remembered that. But coincidentally I was just thinking about here recently, since she hasn’t posted about her baby in a very long time.

  40. Karen, perhaps you should think of your blog as a business? Your words help others who are fighting with their weight. Yes, it does and can get personal that is one of the reasons I “slowed way down”. It doesn’t help when family stick their noses in and then its like you have to hear their jealousies or concerns…yada yada yada. Anyways, I would hate for you to close your blog I think you still have a lot to say, but only you can know it. Just do it for you.

    • I’m not sure how much I do have left to say, Sheri. That’s a big part of it for me right now. There are a few things, but then I ask myself if those are the things I want my sons’ friends to read if they visit my blog. Not sure how I feel. I’ve never thought of this as a business; that would certainly be a new paradigm. It was always more about expressing what I was thinking.

  41. Don’t stop writing! I love your blog…and so many others do, too, clearly! I started off as anonymous, and only a handful of people knew about my blog, but now I share a lot of my posts on Facebook, and have received a lot of encouragement to keep writing, even if it’s just from friends and family. I completely understand how you feel about censorship – I was actually just talking to my husband about this yesterday – and then he came up with a blog post today that made me rethink the censorship. I’m sharing it with you here, in case you’re interested: http://www.stationarywaves.com/2012/06/courage-and-being-who-you-are.html

  42. Karen, just remember that your blog is an extension of you, and as its a public blog in time anyone and everyone will likely cross paths with it. I’ve always tried to blog as I would speak in a verbal conversation. My simple rule, dont say anything I wouldnt stand up to should anyone come to me to debate.

    Once you say something to someone, they now hold what you’ve said and can take it anywhere, share it, and in time many others including my closest family or friends may hold it too. Blogging is no different, only the time it takes what you said to spread us increased a zillion fold.

    I’m sure you’ve got allot more to share and say. Hopefully you’ll continue to do do no matter who might read it 🙂

  43. This is why I don’t share my blog with people- or why my name isn’t on here either 🙂 But I hope you don’t stop writing 🙂

  44. I completely understand what you’re concerned about, even though my following was and is relatively small, compared to yours. I recently went “private,” because I didn’t want family, friends, work acquaintances reading my blog. For me that would have defeated its purpose, and we do have to protect ourselves. I reverted to “public” for just a short time, and I was amazed at how the traffic drastically increased, which told me there are more people reading my blog than I thought.

    I enjoy your blog, so I would miss you if you stopped blogging. Think about going private. It really does give peace of mind.

    • I actually learned something from you going private – it makes it rather hard for people to read the blog! Since I have several email addresses (real, blog, and more), it gets very complicated to be able to sign in to some private blogs that require and email, particularly any google related, like blogger.

  45. Hi there,

    I have just started my own blog (and reading other people’s) and this post really resonated with me. Mine is also anonymous and the idea of people in my “real life” knowing my fat issues makes me feel like I’m in one of those dreams where you realise you’re naked in public. Only it’s worse, I’m FAT and naked.

    I am a journalist and last week I went to an event where lots of my colleagues were standing around drinking and chatting. At one point, there was a conversation about a guy we work with, who isn’t too popular. The gossip is, this guy has a blog about bodybuilding. And he’s posted pictures of himself online, first with a podgy belly and then with his developing six-pack. Everyone had a good laugh. Except me — I was mortified. Secretly I think, “Well done guy for your dedication to your goals. I hope I manage the same.” I also think: “Oh God, what if…?”

    We’re journalists. It’s our job to be on the internet. Surely at some point someone will see me (though I haven’t used my name) and then it will spread. Oh the shame, the shame.

    The other issue is my boyfriend, whom I live with and who doesn’t know about my blog either. He is starting to get pissed off about the amount of time I am spending online after work. I think he smells affair. Weirdly, I’d prefer for him to think I’ve taken a lover than know the truth: that I am writing to strangers about my love handles.

    That’s got to be just a little bit nuts.

    Yet, despite all this fear of exposure, I’m going to keep at it. A lot of the time I think no one is reading it anyway. But I like to think people are. Not people who know me and who will laugh at me because hey, people with food issues are just so damn funny when you aren’t one of them, but people who know what these secrets are like to bear.

    • Great dream analogy!! I can’t imagine not having told my husband, not because of the content and wanting to “share” with him, but because of our proximity. He’d be on his computer and I’d be on mine, across from each other in the office. And then he’d see my charges when I paid for a domain name and hosting. Yep, no hiding from him. But then it was interesting because I found I wanted to talk to someone about what I was “talking” about. Sometimes I wish he didn’t know quite so much and sometimes I wish he didn’t read this so I could say a thing or two about him:)

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