So, yesterday evening, I received an e-mail from the Black Weblog Awards. And, while I was humbled by winning for “Best Food/Cooking Blog” and “Best Health and Wellness Blog” from the popular vote – that’s you guys! – I was blown away by winning “Best Personal Blog” and “Blog of the Year” from the judges’ vote.
Like, wow, Blog of the Year?
2011 was a bit of a scary year for me. Lots of attention came to the blog – Essence, Heart and Soul, Michael Baisden, NPR, Dr. Oz, The Root, SHAPE Magazine, Yahoo! Health – and I was, really, overwhelmed. It’s awesome to know that the things you share each day can help someone change their lives the way I’ve changed mine, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it made me also want to hold back a little bit, too. It’s one thing to lay your soul bare to an audience of 12. It’s another, entirely, when your audience is in the hundreds of thousands.
That being said, here are five things I know you want more of in 2012, and how I plan to do what I can to give it to ya:
1) More boot camp! I know lots of people loved the clean eating boot camp, and while lots of people were wondering how/why it ended, many others got the picture. It doesn’t end. You just keep going. You keep living. But, as BGG2WL has picked up a couple new readers since then (yeah, just a couple), maybe it’s time to bring it back. Say… for the new year? Like, next week?
2) More on cooking, food and life in my kitchen! I taught myself how to cook, but everyone is wondering “how the hell do you do that?” You stack cookbooks like CDs – hell, you stack cookbooks instead of CDs! – and you do lots of practicing… and lots of running to offset all that cooking. So maybe we need a “how to cook” series?
Ohhh, and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got in store for February. Can not wait!
3) More food addiction discussion! People always talk about weight loss in terms of will power activity. “Eat less… and move more.” Clean eating proves that to be false, because I eat more now than I ever did at 300lbs, and I’m more certain than ever that will power is a joke. Talking about the components of food addiction that affect will power is an important key to understanding why clean eating is so important to success, and delving deeper into it is key to making my argument so convincing.
4) More about how I fought my demons: It’s hard to admit you’ve been victimized. It’s hard to live with that – it’s hard to be a survivor, even though it’s much worse to not be one – but I’ve come to a point in my life, now, where I feel so free and comfortable with my past that I can cry about it, laugh about what I’ve learned about myself in the healing process, and share how I got to the conclusions that’ve allowed me to lay it all at peace.
I don’t plan to do this all without a trained psychotherapist on hand, though. I’ve got two ready to contribute to the conversation on healthy healing.
5) More about my life, now: I’m a devoted pet parent to two giant fur babies. I’m a Mommy to an incredibly precocious kindergartner, who I’m so happy (and sad) to see grow up. I’m an excited fiancée to a pretty amazing chef. I love music history, can link you from Hildegard of Bingen to Nicki Minaj in about 8 steps, and have an end goal of being a tenured ethnomusicology professor once all my kids are grown. I’ve got goals, dreams and interests that all tie into what I do here that I’d never shared before, but I think it’s time that I changed that.
So many people ask me questions about my personal life – are you dating? how the hell were you celibate for so long? what’s with all the faces? – and though some of the questions are a tad bit more ridiculous, many of them are valid. I shared really intimate parts of my journey on this blog, and stopped because it began to garner too much attention. The fear of being judged or giving fuel to anonymous commenters was too great.
The irony in this, though, is that outside of my blog, I’m intentionally ignoring judgment from others. For goodness sakes, I wear a ‘fro and I lift weights like a grown ass woman. I have to ignore judgment from others… ’cause if I didn’t define myself for myself, I’d be crushed into others’ fantasies of me and eaten alive.
Why wouldn’t I let that apply on my blog?
The moments I was the most successful was when I wrote letters to myself – the sensible side of me writing to the emotional side of me – telling myself to be less afraid, be less cautious, be more daring, be more adventurous, be more of a believer in myself, have more faith… and I stopped that. I stopped that because I was afraid of what others would think of that dialogue.
I have to reconcile that with the advice my mother gave me which was true, but I have to evolve beyond it. She told me “If you’re not ready to hear what other people think, don’t put them in a position to give their opinion.” She’s right – I do have to protect myself, but I also have to grow. It’s not that I should “be ready to hear what people think,” it’s that I need to stop valuing the opinions of strangers altogether.
BGG2WL began as a place where I talk to myself. A place where I share what I learned on my journey. Holding back, here, because it has grown doesn’t do me any good and, really, only stifles my growth as a human being but the energy that I put towards it. It cheats any person who reads it, myself included.
So, dear reader, those are five things I promise you for 2012. What would you like to see more of on BGG2WL in 2012? Shoot, forget the blog – what you like to see more of in 2012 for you?