July 08, 2009

Weight Loss Blogs: Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

"Inspiration" Back Before There Were Blogs
(Vintage ad photo: lobstar28)

Cranky Fitness is not actually a Weight Loss blog, though we write about lots of similar things. Our editorial stance: healthy living, eating reasonable portions of nutritious whole foods, getting lots of vigorous exercise, avoiding too much junk food and slothfulness--these are all really important things to do! And yet they are also total pain in the ass.

As it happens, the same tempting but unwise behaviors that cause health problems (hello, comfy couch and yummy pint of Ben and Jerry's!) also tend to cause weight gain. So we cover a lot of the same ground as a weight loss blog without technically being one. (And this is not to say that we have never counted a calorie, climbed on a scale, or noted the snugness or looseness of our jeans. We just try to keep the focus here on health.)

However, I thought it was time for a post in praise of weight loss blogs, because I think they are so inspiring and awesome!

And I'm also hoping you folks will help me collect a big ol' list of Cranky Fitness Reader favorites so we can do a follow-up post. You always find the greatest stuff out there on the web and I'd love to hear what you think some of the best ones are. I'm only mentioning a few random ones myself to get the ball rolling--if I tried to be all-inclusive I could be at it for weeks and still forget some of the best ones!

So what are my top reasons for loving weight loss blogs?

1. Before and After Pictures!

(Photo: practicalowl)

I love to see the evidence of physical transformations, especially when these transformations are accomplished by hard work and wise choices--and not via scammy "one rule for a flat stomach" shenanigans.

A personal favorite is Pasta Queen's 3-D page, but there are lots of other great "before" and "after" and "during" photos out there. (For example Shelley has a nice 1 year comparison shot featuring a flashy pink bike over at at A Forty Something Weight Loss Journey, and Bella at Feed Me I'm Cranky has some labelled "before and forever," because what does "after" really mean, anyway?)

Got some before/after pictures yourself? If you do, please feel free to email them in (with a link to your blog, if you have one) and if we get more than one or two I'll add them to the follow-up post.

2. Honest Ups and Downs

Some days, I just don't think I can take one more stupid women's magazine at the grocery check-stand screaming silly promises like "Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Weeks Without Dieting, It's Easy!" Well, it's not easy to lose weight and keep it off. And I hate it when the perky people in the magazines try to imply that it's just a matter of finding the right "solution" and then, presto! Steamed chicken and vegetables is all of a sudden more appealing than chocolate cake? Setting the alarm for 4:3o am to get to the gym before work is going to become a fun new part of the daily routine? Reeeeally?

Well, fortunately, weight-loss bloggers aren't media-created alien beings, they're real people. They sometimes sleep through shrieking alarm clocks dreaming of Krispy Kremes instead of boot camp, and hit all kinds of other road blocks.

Whether it's Lyn from Escape from Obesity trying to regain her focus; Vraz60 of Just for the Hell-th of it suffering through a golf game in suffocating heat; Moonlight Dancer battling hormone induced weight gain; or Larkspur at Am I Really That Fat trying to hang in there despite confronting an unflattering photo, they keep it real! There's a refreshing lack of fake magazine cheerfulness in weight loss blogs. Some days just suck! Honest weight loss bloggers don't pretend otherwise.

3. They're often Really Funny!

I don't know why people who are blogging to lose weight seem better at the whole humor thing that people blogging about, say, Search Engine Optimization or Quilting or Composting. But dang it, they are! And it's not just the famous ones we all love like Shauna at Diet Girl. There are plenty of other funny blogs like Jack Sh*t, Getting Fit, or Chunky Monkey Mama. And so many of you who contribute comments to Cranky Fitness are totally hilarious!

4. Advice and Inspiration

Weight loss bloggers are a great source for advice, inspiration, and, of course, products and recipes! (I am sorely tempted, for example, by Camevil's lentil, brown rice, and onion dish over at 21 Days Later, and I'm going to try it as soon as I can get a hold of some garam masala. And Roni of Roni's Weigh has a whole recipe blog called Green Lite Bites with all kinds of great stuff.) Bloggers like Attrice at Exceptionally Fat, and Lynn at Hungry Little Caterpillar have a great way of putting things in perspective, and sharing those "ah ha" moments that can inspire even the slackers among us into believing that change is possible!

Tell Us Some of Your Favorites!

This post is about Weight Loss bloggers (this time), rather than health and fitness generally, and I'd LOVE to hear who you like to read. And I'll either update this post or do a follow up to make sure everyone gets to hear about the Cranky Fitness Reader favorites.

Geeky Aside: Wanna Leave a Link in the comments to your favorite blog?

Blogger is a really annoying blog platform for trying to leave links in the comment section, and you certainly don't have to. But if you ever want to try it, it CAN be done if you manually put in html coding.

Do the words "html coding" give you a severe case of nausea? Fear not! The reason so few of us bloggers ever tell readers how to do it is (a) it's a pain to do and (b) if we try to type in the code to explain it--the sample html magically turns into a link when it gets published and totally hides the part we're trying to explain.

So, in a weird experiment, I'm putting in the html coding for creating links in here as a picture. So here are the instructions for linking to a hypothetical blog named "Blog Name" that lives at www.blogurl.com. If anyone is feeling brave, give it a try! Or bookmark this page and come back later and try it on another blog you like better than Cranky Fitness. I'll never know. Note: href is not supposed to be underlined; that was my word processing program scolding me for typing in weird-ass nonsense words.

And I won't say "it's easy" because that would be a lie!

Any thoughts about weight loss blogs or any you'd like to put in a plug for? I'd love to hear about more of them!


  1. Oh Flattery will get you everywhere! Ha!

    Actually loving a bunch of blogs you mentioned, Chunky, Pasta, Fit Bottom Girls I also read the following below

    This girl Nancy and her husband did a challenge much like the Biggest Loser, called the Smartest Loser and their journey through it http://nancyandsteph.com/

  2. I tell ya - the biggest help I have had on my diet has been the wonderful blogs out there and the kind bloggers who leave supportive comments.

    A current fave is this one, Shaun Anderson - his whole family are in it and he writes loads every day and is nice and kind and funny - the before, durings and forevers are brilliant too:

    The Diary of a Winning Loser

    This link thing had better work or I will die of embarassment!

  3. I've always thought Hungry Girl was kind of cute. The blog, that is — I've never actually met HG.

  4. What a great post today! Thanks for sharing the other blog posts, they were a much needed laugh this morning to start my day!

  5. Oooh - so many fun links to check out!! Thanks for the round up!

  6. You had me at "whole recipe blog."

  7. Hey, thanks for the "linky" tips. Now if only I had something intelligent to say or link to! :-)

  8. [tangent] I must defend the Humor Quotient of quilters--there's a reason I've been subscribed to the quilt art mailing list for fifteen years even though I don't quilt. : ) [/tangent]

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  9. I really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing all these great blogs to check out!

  10. I like Pasta Queen and Roni's Weight, as well as Lynnsweigh. As a new weight loss blogger can I throw mine out there for consideration? I lost 150 pounds and have kept it off for 12 years. I have some really "bad" before pictures too!

    Fit to the Finish

  11. You hit several on my fav list and I’ll be checking out the ones I haven’t stumbled onto yet!!
    Here’s several more of my must reads, and I am sure I have left out some:


  12. I'd like to throw in a vote for Patty's blog, Fit by my 50th

  13. Ooh, its great to see so many of my favorites showing up on these lists as well a bunch I don't know yet. Can't wait to check them out!

    Fat[free]Me--way to rock the linkage! It totally worked.

    And Mary Anne, did not mean to cast aspersions on quilters! It's good to hear there lots of funny ones.

  14. Whta a fab post! I love www.priorfatgirl.com and kerry at skinny me and Dori at dori's shiny blog and starfish 64 and oh LOADS!!! I read a lo-ot of these blogs!

    Love Liz x


  15. I hope it's not too low-class to link to my own blog here... is it?

    Waste the Waist

  16. Thank you so much for introducing me to some new bloggers...just when I'm trying to cut back on blog reading!

    I also love Scale Junkie, The Antijared, Chubby Chick and Merry Mary.

    I hope those all worked!

  17. I got started on weight loss/health blogs when I found http://100lbs.typepad.com/ through the NYTimes article on her - I read the entire archives & started following links to other sites (including most already mentioned in your entry & the comments)!

    Another blog that's been eye-opening regarding all the quoted/hyped studies is www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/

    And then I see my word verification for the day is candhe.


  18. I love these blogger daisy chains! Do try the lentil salad. Not only is it healthy and cheap, it grants super powers--it keeps your poo happy & regular and prevents epic hangovers.

    Those before and afters are amazing. What excellent bloggers!

    By the way, that chair on the left...is that evidence in a spontaneous human combustion case?

  19. Personal plug...


  20. I don't read weight loss blogs because *gasp* I'm not trying to lose weight and I've spent most of my life being told "I wish I was as skinny as you!" even when I was trying to lose a little weight and tone up (still working on the toning up part). So, yeah, I feel like a fraud when I read weight loss blogs. However, I do love a good before and after photo! And recipe ideas are always a plus. So maybe I'll lurk on a few of the ones linked here.

  21. Thanks for all those links! I don't read weight loss blogs, as a rule (not because I don't need to lose weight, but more because I'm too freaking lazy to lose weight, and they just make me feel guilty and jealous and unworthy and like a big, fat failure....)
    Okay, maybe I need to read some weight loss blogs for inspiration... thanks for the links! :)

  22. you've mentioned a whole bunch of my favorites! Love the shoutout to all of these great bloggers.

  23. Many thanks for the shout-out, Crabby! You are too kind.

    I love this post - you've hit on so many of my favorites but I can't wait to sample more. Some of the ones I like in addition are http://www.hkweighin.blogspot.com and http://www.danasafattymcbutterpants.blogspot.com (sorry to be so lame with the links-I'm scared of technology and only just learned how to put pictures on my blog -duh)

  24. Thanks for including me, Crabby! A few of my faves to add:


    (and there are so many i'm leaving out for brevity's sake, sorry!)

  25. aw I loved this post and have bookmarked it for future reference!! I get inspiration from so many blogs - some favorites include Daily Goods, Balance is Best, The Fitnessista, Thinspired and MicaPie!

    thanks for the round up though - and of course for making me laugh on an otherwise crap Wednesday. :)

  26. My blog is a weight loss blog, because I'm losing weight, but it's also about healthy living. I love feeling stronger, healthier and fitter than ever.

    You already mentioned a lot of blogs that I like in your post, and others have been mentioned in the comments.

    There's also The Thrifty Dieter's blog at http://dietblog.evilgeniuswoman.com

    I'll e-mail you my diet blog as I have recently posted before and after photos of what over 100 pounds weight loss looks like on me. (109 lbs lost - 28.5 to go!)

  27. Thank you so much for this great post. I have been on my own weightloss journey since last fall. (-22 lbs and another 23 to go) I have just discovered the wonderful world of blogging adn google reader (I think I have been living under a rock), and these weightloss blogs are awesome. I already went and followed a few and I look forwrad to seeing more!!
    Once again Cranky Fitness ROCKS!!

  28. Wow, so many links I have never heard of. How do you guys keep up with them all! That is my dilemma! Will check them out as I can along with some of the ones in the comments! Course I always love MizFit cause she makes me thing so hard my head hurts!!!

    Wish I head before pics BUT I hated to have my pic taken when I was younger & heavy so pics are few & far between & I can't even find them!

  29. I am MORE then honored to be on that list with all those wonderful bloggers!


  30. Wow, I'm honored to be included in your list - thanks so much, Crabby!

    I think just about all of my favs have been mentioned here...except for:

    Biggest Diabetic Loser and
    The HotchPotchery

    OK, I lied - there are more, but I'm SPENT doing this HTML (which I used to call "hotmail" - seriously) stuff.

  31. Oh, fun! I love finding out about new blogs to read! :D And I am FASCINATED by weight-loss blogs, mostly because it's always interesting to read about how differently people approach the subject!

    Thanks, Crabby!

  32. I will comment soon but later than this comment.
    P.S. Have arm fracture.

  33. Oooo, you mentioned a lot of my favorites, and I'm looking forward to trying out some of the ones you mentioned.

    Lynn Haraldson-Bering's story on cnn.com and her blog (Lynn's Weigh) were my intro to the weight loss blogging world. Other blogs that I enjoy that haven't been mentioned yet are the following

    Refuse to Regain(thinking ahead here!)

    Debby Weighs In

    Fab Fatties

    Baby Tea Leaves

    foodfoodbodybody(another gal with type 2 diabetes getting healthy!)

    The Sassy Pear

    Positively Losing

    and Charlie Hills' excellent Back to the Fridge (He also wrote a very funny book on the subject, "Why Your Last Diet Failed You and How This Book Won't Help You on Your Next One")

    My own blog is not especially exciting these days--I think I get more of a kick in commenting on other blogs--but I do have a pretty good success story, if I say so myself. Here are my progress pictures in my health quest; I've lost almost 80 pounds, but more importantly, feel much more healthy and energetic. (And am whoopin' type 2 diabetes' posterior. :-D)

  34. I read:
    Escape from Obesity
    Fit by my 50th
    journey to fitville
    Lynn's Weigh
    Refuse to Regain
    Smaller Fun Pants

    There are others that I read but I can't think of them right now and my arm is tired and I have to go to a support group for whiners.

  35. I totally starred this post in my reader because I'm in HUGE need of inspiration. I seem only to stumble on the irritating as all get out ones. Where were you with that code months ago? ;-)

  36. I love any weight loss blog that has before and after pictures. That's what gets me hooked!

    Crabby, have you noticed that people in their after shots seem to have gained an amazing suntan along with the weight loss?

  37. Great list! A lot of my faves are already there.

    Here's one more that I absolutely ADORE:

    And come visit me too, she says shyly, trying to put aside any false modesty.

  38. I write a small weight loss blog on my own efforts to shed the pounds and develop a love for exercise called Spud On The Run. There are a couple of progress pictures but I haven't taken any for a couple of months (must do that).

    Also you have mentioned quite a few of my favourites - DietGirl and Fit Bottomed Girls, plus quite a few that I must go and check out.

  39. "Got some before/after pictures yourself?"

    I have a lot of "before" pictures.
    I hope to reach an "after-worthy" physique by the end of this year.

    Great post!

  40. Hah, nice - I love finding new and funky weight loss blogs / sites - here's a few (including mine - "official disclaimer")!

    Low Carb Fight Club

    Mark's Daily Apple

    Castle Grok

    Cheers all!

  41. I tend to gravitate towards weight loss blogs that also involve some of the writers personal life. It just seems more inspiring and intimate that way. Your blog and Charlotte's blog (The Great Fitness Experience) are really the only "professional" grade blogs I read. (Your head is swelling right now, isn't it? So proud you could burst, right?)

    Anyway, I'm bravely and selfishly going to attempt to link my own blog here which deals with weight loss, fitness and my chaotic life in general. Wish me luck....here I go....

    href="http://www.petiteflower.blogspot.com/">Petite Flower

    How'd I do?

  42. Awwww Crap! It didn't work. Guess I'll have to settle for:


    Sigh. Someday I aspire to be as cool as all the rest of you peeps.

  43. Oh! And Mizfit. I read her too. Knew I was missing one. Sorry Miz.

  44. Ooh, ooh! A mention! Now I'm a Real Boy!

    Plus I got a bunch of great new links for my blogroll!

    Merci buckets!

  45. First off, have to pimp my blog: Choosing Losing
    I’m proud that I have a happy, non-emo before picture. So sick of the sullen, sad, looking women in a before and then have them be all Mary Kay-ed out afterwards. I have no “forever” picture yet, still on the journey.

    My regular reads:
    http://www.backinskinnyjeans.com/ (recently retired but still has FABULOUS content in it!)

  46. Hey, thanks for the shout out!! I love a lot of the blogs mentioned in the comments already :)

    There are so many wonderful people out there to "meet" through blogging. I love the supportive community we have. And health/fitness blogs too :)

    Be well!

  47. I really love Kath Eats Real Food and Eat Live Run. Both great ones. They're foodies. I'm not sure if that qualifies as a weightloss blog or not. :) I'm glad I found yours though!

  48. i read allison over at greendogwine.com! She is hilarious!

  49. Happy that Roni made the list! :)One of my faves is greendogwine.com Alli is so fun to keep up with!

  50. I read Allison over on greendogwine.com - she's GREAT!!

  51. OMG as if I didn't read enough blogs, now I have a TON more to look at! This is so great - I'm OBSESSED with weight loss blogs (and weight loss memoirs, and success stories in magazines...)

    May I give myself a shout out? I'm writing away at http://watchmybuttshrink.blogspot.com

    Here are just a few of my faves:

  52. What a fun post! Thanks for giving me more great reads!

    Gotta get some "before and almost afters" up on my blog!

  53. i met a girl online and we became weight loss buddies. Then we decided to start a blog too its http://gettingourskinnyon.blogspot.com

    Its all about our ups, downs, likes, and dislikes that we have experienced. We try to post at least weekly but hey it works. We are still on our journey, but this has been a great experience.

  54. I love weight loss blogs!!! There are sooooo many great ones out there! My favorites have all been mentioned.

    {But, if you want to read another, I will quietly throw mine out there.....
    http://www.icanbearunner.blogspot.com }

  55. ohhhh good old weight loss blogs. I personally like hearing all the success stories and tips but sometimes i just need the straight facts too. For some good summaries of new weight loss studies and health tips check out my fav at blog.naturecity.com cheaaaaaa!

  56. Nice Post! I also read some of your postings. Thanks for sharing-- I learned a lot of things. ;)

  57. Great post here. Sustaining one's ideal weight is a lot easier with a supportive community.

  58. I've tried various low-carb, low-calorie, and low-fat diets for the past couple of years. Although the Atkins diet is very popular,

    it made me feel somewhat unhealthy.

    The diet plan I'm on right now is the Medifast Diet. The caloric intake is roughly 800-1000 calories. However, it doesn't make my

    body feel weak. It is a bit of a pricey diet, but there are plenty of coupons available on the

    internet.http://www.swoopup.com/stores/deals/Medifast-Diet .You should never pay full price.

    My advice is just choose a diet plan which your body reacts positively to. No one knows your body better than you do!

  59. Here's another list of must read blogs:


  60. I'm so freakin excited I found this post !!! So many great looking blogs for me to check out !!! Yaaay !! Thanks for all of this !!!!
    And, if anyone would like to drop by my blog and throw out a few "you go, girl"s...believe me, I'll take them !!! ;)
    thanks !! ;)

  61. There are blogs specifically for hCG weight loss and seems new ones pop up all the time. For anyone who wants to help a new blog that likes the hCG weight loss system, you can go to www.vivacityhcg.com. Help out another person! Tell your hcg story!

  62. Awesome post! Great way to get fit!

    Check out my site teaching people how to lose thigh fat

    Thanks, Sarah

  63. Love the blog. I have been fighting the weight loss battle for what seems like an eternity! *Sigh. What I would give for a peanut butter cup right now...* Your blog and others like yours help keep me motivated!


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