We were merely freshmen.

There are times when I feel like the blogger community is like a high school. There are the ‘cliques’ – the weight loss bloggers, the mommy bloggers, the design bloggers, the sports bloggers, etc. And just like in high school, people can be in multiple cliques. The seasoned bloggers are like the upperclassmen, and the new bloggers are like the freshmen.

Right now, I am the freshmen, looking up to all of these upperclassmen. I want to be taken under someone’s wing, to learn what to do and what not to do. What’s appropriate, what’s not.

Often I find myself reading blogs and wishing that I could be friends with the person in real life. I really don’t mean for that to sound creepy. And don’t get me wrong…I have a lot of wonderful friends. But none of them blog. I doubt many of them read blogs at all. If I brought up dooce or The Pioneer Woman, I am pretty sure I’d just get blank stares, even though they are both wildly popular web sites.

When it comes to weight loss bloggers, I especially find myself longing for that connection, that friendship. Here is an entire community who knows what it’s like to be overweight. They share their experiences, their successes, and their failures. I find it all incredibly inspiring.

Here’s the thing: I’ve never really had a fat friend. That’s not necessarily because I didn’t want a fat friend; to the contrary, I think it would have been nice to bond with someone over weight issues. Instead, I always had thin/average friends. Friends who could eat normally. Friends who didn’t understand what it was like to struggle with their weight. Friends who could cross their legs, shop at the Gap, fit into an airplane seat comfortably.

I rarely, if ever, talked about my weight. I didn’t want it to define me. And obviously, my friends don’t care that I’m overweight. I doubt most of them even realize how much I hate being fat or how insecure I really am.

I’ve always been the funny girl. I don’t know how much of that personality was developed because of my weight, but I do know that it’s a pretty common thing. Fat girls are either really quiet and shy and try to blend in to the woodwork, or they are outgoing and funny and everyone’s friend. I don’t know why I became the latter. I don’t know if I would have been that way even if I wasn’t overweight. I do know that I tried to be nice to everyone because I didn’t want to give anyone a reason to be nasty to me. If I pissed someone off, I knew that being fat would be the first thing that would be used against me. In my youth, it happened a few times, and I wanted to avoid that embarrassment at all costs.

I tried hard never to be self-deprecating about my weight. Not so much for myself, but for others. You can tell that it makes thin people uncomfortable when an overweight person starts making comments or jokes about their weight. I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable enough for everyone.

I remember when I started reading a few weight loss blogs a few years ago. I remember feeling like I had that “a-ha!” moment. Oh my God…I wasn’t alone after all! There were other people who binged. There were other people who tried every diet to no avail. There were other people who understood what it felt like. There were people who had been successful in losing weight.

I began to realize that I could learn from them. That their experiences could inspire me, help teach me tactics that I could use to start living a healthier life.

It seems strange and somewhat unnatural to feel connected to someone you’ve never met or spoken to. But I feel that way with a lot of bloggers. I check their blogs, I know what they ate for dinner, how much they exercised that day, what the name of their spouse is. I sometimes feel like I’m a voyeur into this person’s life. But I guess that’s kind of what blogging is about. I guess that’s why I am blogging, too.

None of my friends or family members know that I’ve started this blog. And I’m not sure when or if I’ll tell them. Part of me would like for them to read it, to try and get a glimpse into what it’s like to try to lose 150+ pounds.

On the other hand, I don’t want them to know how much I weigh. My weight has always been my most closely guarded secret. And I know it seems silly. It’s just a number, and it’s a number that’s going to go down over the coming months and years. But right now, I feel that if anyone I know in real life saw that number, I would panic. I find myself wanting to talk about my weight loss on Twitter, but I’m too afraid. There are people that follow me who know me in real life. I’d love to announce when I write a new post or bring more traffic to my site. But right now, that is just too much for me. I hope that, in time, those feelings will change. I don’t want to have to hold things in any more.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel like a bit of an outsider right now. And that’s understandable – I’ve been blogging for what, 3 weeks? I know it takes time. I just hope that eventually I can become friends with some of these people who I know so much about but have never met. People who are tremendous inspirations to me, people who I can learn from.

I swear I’m not creepy. I just want to feel like I’m part of something.

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4 Responses to “We were merely freshmen.”

  1. Becca Says:

    Erin – I found your blog about a week ago and couldn’t agree more with this post. Blogging is very much like high school!

    PS. I don’t think it sounds creepy at all 🙂 Stop by my blog if you need a bloggie friend!

  2. theplumpvegan Says:

    I enjoyed your post tremendously!
    ~ a fellow freshman 😉

  3. Jenn Says:

    This is the most honest posting I have EVER read. You nailed it right on the dot – every single thought. I had to read it twice!

    I’ve been feeling the same way recently. Sad, alone, nervous, intimidated.

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