Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Show Yourself!!

Let me start by saying - I am a huge fan of free speech. I tend to have an opinion on just about everything going, and am very grateful for the freedom to share them. I am also, typically, very interested in hearing what other people think. People, and their thought processes and opinions, intrigue me! I can't vouch for the fact that I will agree with you, or that I won't think you're an idiotic jackass - but I appreciate that you have the opportunity to express yourself as well. 

That being said - I do have one personal requirement to all of this free speech: it should not be done anonymously. If you have an opinion you feel strongly about, you should be willing to put your name on it. I do not value the voice of someone who only seems capable of sharing the truth according to them when they can do it anonymously. Say whatever you want. Have whatever opinions you want to have. As long as you aren't breaking any laws, go to town. But have the balls to own it. Put your name on it, or shut up. 

I first realized how dangerous anonymity could be when my cousin was in his first campaign. He has now gone through two elections to be the state representative of my home town district. During each campaign, people come out of the woodwork with erroneous claims, and slanderous comments. The common link? None of the people writing these things are adult enough to put their name on it. I am talking first and last name. Not "0034TpXY" or "BigTeddyBear". If you believe it enough to write it, then you should believe in yourself enough to take ownership. 

Tuesday morning I was greeted with my first negative comment on this blog. Negative is only part of it. My interpretation was that it was insulting, and condescending. I have pasted it below, to save you the effort of having to go back and read it. Now I am not for one minute going to say that this person doesn't make some valid points. The issues that I have are:
  • While I don't expect everyone that reads this blog to continually blow smoke up my ass, and be non-stop sunshine and butterflies - I don't want to take on other people's negativity. I am fighting my own on a daily basis.
  • The first paragraph is absolutely true. The rest, although it contains some decent points, is written is such a manner that I wouldn't listen to him/her regardless of intent. 
  • I understand that making a blog public to the world leaves me open to others' opinions and emotions. But I'm not trying to fix anyone else. I am sharing my story. What I am going through. I am also not asking anyone to fix me. I think there are people that can relate to what I am going through, because they are as well. There is comfort in realizing you are not alone. If you don't connect with what I am doing, or writing - please feel free to discontinue reading this blog immediately.
  • Please don't ever use the term "unacceptable" when referring to me, or my effort, again.
  • Please don't comment on the support or "cheerleading" provided by the people reading and commenting on this blog. They have created a community of kindness and support, that not everyone is fortunate enough to have outside of this location. If you don't want to be a part of it, or it doesn't satisfy your needs - I wish you luck in finding it elsewhere.
  • If you wanted to help, you would have put your name on this. If you were doing it for any reason, other than to try and make me feel bad, you would have included you own personal information. When you hide behind anonymity, you remove any relevance your words would have possibly carried. Be an adult. Take ownership of your words. 
To those of you that have stuck with me through the motivated, and unmotivated - I appreciate you. I am working to get back to the spot where I can be an inspiration to you, and myself. I will have moments where I need you guys to pick me up, and I hope I can do the same for you. 

Because of my distaste for this experience, I have changed some of the comment settings for this blog. I have it set up so I will have to approve the comments before they post. This is not because I want to edit those of you that leave comments - I want you to be completely honest!! Feeling great? Feeling pissed? Feeling frustrated? Disagree with something I said? Share it!! But I also want you to take ownership of what you're writing. 

If you use the "anonymous" feature, so you don't have to register as a follower of my blog, just put your name at the bottom of your comment and I'll send it right through. Negativity, hiding behind Anonymity, will be rejected. Not only on this blog, but in life.

 Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad

And here is the comment:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I Am NOT The Next Biggest Loser":


In reading your blog, it appears that you already have access to a gym, plenty of time to go to the gym, plenty of friends to go to the gym with you, healthy food options, and knowledge about weight loss. It seems that the only thing that BL would offer to you that you don't have in your life right now is people who really hold you accountable when you slack. Does that seem like a fair assessment? And is that what you need? Because there are probably a few people who read this blog who would volunteer to fill that role.

For starters, when I checked the MYA page, I saw that you've only moved 30 miles in the last 4 weeks instead of the 80 miles that you promised. That is unacceptable. We expect to see a minimum of 20 miles every week (and even that is probably a fraction of how much the contestants move on BL -- if you're not working, you could spend several hours each day on a treadmill or elliptical or in the pool or walking at the mall or around your neighborhood -- do it for an hour in the morning, another hour in the afternoon, and another hour in the evening -- even if you move at a pace of 2 or 3 miles per hour, you could be doing 40 to 60 miles per week).

Also, if you aren't doing it now, you should start calculating the calories that you're consuming each day. You don't need to share that in the blog, but I think it's necessary for you to do the math for yourself so that you realize how much you need to move in order to burn more calories than you're consuming and "slim down."

I realize this blog is supposed to be a place of support, but the type of support or cheerleading that you have been receiving here doesn't seem to motivate you on a consistent basis. There have been too many weeks of slacking (both in terms of exercise and diet) and too many excuses, and nobody calls you out on it. Maybe a less warm-and-fuzzy type of support (similar to the type provided by the trainers on BL) is necessary.

If you (or other readers) think this is harsh, think about how harsh it would be to go on BL and have millions of TV viewers watching and commenting about you. My words are nothing compared to being forced to stand on a scale wearing a sports bra and biker shorts while a giant scale flashes your actual weight for the entire world to see.


  1. While I agree with the author that the TV show is sometimes harsh, I don't think it is anyone's place to judge another unless asked and since you don't know the person you could hardly have asked. I totally agree with you. I don't want negative comments on my weight or on my efforts. I am fully capable of seeing my failures and if anyone presumes to preach to me I see it as an a-- being condescending. love to you.

  2. Hey Nat. Normally I don't get over here to comment since I follow you in Google Reader (which is a pain for commenting) but I sometimes give you a shout on your FB posts, and I give my screen the occasional fist-bump for you as well. =)Your "friend" might even call me a cheerleader. That's cool, because I totally am one. I support you, I root for you, I wish you well. I am inspired by you.

    Anyway, this is for him. (Sounds like a guy, anyway).

    Dear Sir,

    A wise person once told me "it is very easy to judge someone for a decision you've never had to make, or a situation you've never been in".

    It would appear from your matter-of-fact dictation to Natalie that you think you've got her and her challenge figured out.
    You don't.
    Even if you have been heavy, or even if you are missing a limb, or have any number of challenges or disabilities or obstacles in your path you don't know shit about shit when it comes to her situation because YOU DON'T LIVE HER LIFE. So do me and the rest of Team Natalie a favor and take your condemnation elsewhere.
    Stopping by to offer "help" in the form of a reprimand is doesn't help anyone at all. In fact, it's unacceptable.


  3. Dear Anonymous,

    Criticism is meant to build people up not tear them down! Apparently your mission was to be condescending, cruel and just a plain jackhole. I pose a challenge to you... Go out there to the world lay out your biggest struggle and challenge in life out there for the world to see, go public with your victories, challenges and failures and THEN read a comment like yours and try to view it as helpful in the least. But alas you won't even go public with your "criticism" so I am going to assume you would never have the courage to do so. We all have our own struggles and I can only hope I would have the courage to confront them like Natalie has shown us.

  4. Wow anonymous - I agree with Natalie - have the courage to show your face/name. Who put you on your high horse? We all struggle every day in some way. Fat,skinny,rich,poor - all of us. Natalie has been courageous enough to share her real self - not many of us can say that. Maybe you find it easy to exercise, eat right, fit in your skinny jeans...but I'm sure there is something that is not easy for you. What if someone anonymously attacked your weakest spot? Was it worth it to be secretly snarky? I think you owe Natalie an apology - and not an anonymous one.

    Jennifer Durst

  5. Natalie,

    Don't let the anonymous sanctimonious commenter get you down. You are working on the most difficult project that you will ever work on and you should not expect to change everything overnight. In my case it took 60 years to build up my bad habits and all my psychological problems and it unreasonable to expect them to
    be resolved over night. And even if I resolve those problems, it will not be an overnight fix to the weight problem.

    After the DFC we know approximately what food to eat and how many calories we should be eating; we have a good idea of what optimal and immediate exercise goals we should have.
    Unless you have an immediate goal to win the Biggest Loser, we know that the answer is not to eat minimal amounts of food and exercise five hours a day. The answer is to find an
    appropriate level of eating and exercise that you can sustain over a lifetime and will keep you at a healthy weight and a good fitness level. If you eat and exercise at lifetime sustainable levels then the weight will eventually come off. Anything else
    and you'll be yoyoing.

    Just as a change of pace try looking at Tim Ferriss' The Four Hour Body. I have found some success what I try following his program (but I can't seem to take it too long).

    Sorry to ramble on but communication is not my strength.


  6. Dear Natalie,


    That is all.

    (I want to say something more inspiring but I think the lovely people above me have pretty much vocalized what I wanted to express)


    OH and one more thing - KEEP WRITING GIRL. dont let anyone mute your voice.

  7. Wow. Fortunately I have yet to deal with the dreaded "anonymous" comment but I'm sorry that you have. As for the writer, she definitely crossed the line in telling you bascially how to live your life. I just found your blog todayso I don't really know anything about the 80 mile promise or anything else..but it's enough to know she had no right to call it "unacceptable." As if she's your trainer or something! Ha! Oh well, it's bound to happen I guess. Just don't let it get you down, brush it off and keep on writing! :)

  8. This person needs to go...clearly he or she has too much time on her hands and doesn't get what a blog is for. Your friends love and respect you, screw everyone else.

  9. This person is an they really think the people who make it on BL don't have the same resources??? Your friends and family love and respect you. Screw everyone else.


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