BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Who Are You Strange Men, and Where Have You Come From?

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In the past two weeks or so there have been a number of new followers to BulgingButtons. This makes my little blogger heart happy, since a follow generally indicates that the reader has enjoyed something he has read.

Yes, I used “he” on purpose there. You see, I’m a fat middle-aged American woman writing about earth-shattering topics like cleaning up my house and trying to get healthy. Yes, I also write about education, and you’re a fool if you don’t think that’s an important topic, but generally this is a mostly self-indulgent little blog about me trying to get by in the world, doing the best I can. So why, then, are most of these new followers men?

I’m not sure, to be honest. Maybe they’re all fake; you know, the spambots people are always warning us about? But I’ve gone to their sites, and they look pretty legit. None of them tried to sell me time shares or sign me up as a mail order bride. Maybe, just maybe, they read something they liked?

I do try to follow some of the golden rules of blogging, but I’m not always successful. What I try to do:

  1. Provide something of value to the reader. Maybe it’s a good idea I’m sharing, or inspiration, or just the knowledge that the reader is not alone in whatever foolish thing they’ve done.
  2. Keep my blog posts easy to read. I know I tend to ramble, so I work to keep it under control. I also use paragraph breaks and lists to help make text easier to get through.
  3. Write about things I care about. If I’m inauthentic the reader is going to pick up on it instantly and stop reading. I may sometimes be raw, but at least I’m real.
  4. Polish my work. I try to put out blog posts that are carefully checked and as error-free as possible. Yes, sometimes mistakes slip through. When I catch them, I do go back and edit. I think readers deserve to read error-free content.

Still, there must be something. I would love some enlightenment. New followers, you are certainly welcome here. We’ve been doing this thing for about four years now, and we’ve built a terrific little community here. Feel free to join the conversation, and if you’re willing to share, tell us what brought you here in the first place.


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Travel Time

I’m about to hit the road for some much needed R&R and while I’m away I thought I would revive a few old posts for your reading pleasure. Many of you have been with me since the beginning, three years ago this month, but many of you are new friends, and since there are well over 500 posts in the history of this blog, I’m certain you haven’t read them all! Think of it as an extended Throwback Thursday.

I hope you enjoy some of these posts from the past, and I also hope you’re enjoying some R&R of your own.

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Six Months of Blogging

THANK YOU on speech bubble price labelsI had no idea when I started what this blog would look like or feel like or how its very existence would impact my life. I just knew that I needed to make some positive changes in my life, and I felt that by documenting what I was doing through a blog I would be more accountable. I knew it wasn’t going to make me fit and fabulous, and in the back of my mind I figured that I might put up a few posts, get busy with life, and move on. I’m happy to report that hasn’t happened.

Before BulgingButtons was born I was involved in a writing project. We had the assignment of writing ourselves a letter. The letters were collected and I quickly forgot about mine. That is, until yesterday, when it arrived in my mailbox. I didn’t even recognize my own handwriting on the envelope. It wasn’t until I opened the letter that it clicked. Right there, in the letter, I outlined my idea about this blog. These were my thoughts before I had even the vaguest idea of how to create a blog.

I want to create a blog with a fabulous name that will inspire a sense of hope and use humor but will also show a serious side of how my weight affects me. I don’t want it to be the typical blog about how great veggies and exercise are, but more essays on what my life experience has been like and will be continue to be like, whether I get healthy or not.

That was my jumping off point, and a good place for me to start. It was only a start, though. A start of something much greater than I ever expected. Here are some of the things that blogging has accomplished for me:

1. I have gotten in a groove with my writing. I write far more, and, dare I say it? Yes, I dare. I write better because I’ve gotten into an almost daily habit.

2. I have written a novel. WTF?! I NEVER would have expected that, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been blogging. Sure, it’s still a rough draft, but c’mon, it’s a novel.

3. I have joined an international community of bloggers and have learned so much from them about so many topics, not the least of which is writing. So many intelligent, compassionate, interesting, and kind people are bloggers, and I’m humbled to be a part of their community.

4. My blog has been visited nearly 8,000 times, has 365 followers at last count (one for every day of the year!), and has been seen on every continent (minus Antarctica) in countries I didn’t know existed (New Caledonia, anyone?). How amazing is that?

5. I’ve received awards from other bloggers, which confirms that some of those people who are visiting are actually not only reading the content, but like it! Actually, the likes and comments give that feedback too, and for those who take the time to weigh in (pun, get it?) I thank you. Even if you don’t agree with me, I appreciate hearing from you. This is a nice blog with nice readers, we don’t get ugly here. I’m proud of that.

6. I’ve branched out to include all sorts of different posts, depending on what’s on my mind at the moment. A blog is a great ADD outlet (which I don’t think I have, but who knows?). I have written to many prompts, I’ve interviewed my dog, I’ve played with photo collages, I’ve flashed back to my youth, I’ve listed things that make me happy, and I’ve shared many essays on health, fashion, exercise, and life in general. And all along the way you’ve given me support and encouragement.

What I have not accomplished through this blog:

Getting fit. Dammit.

1. I still dislike exercise.

2. I still procrastinate.

3. I still overeat.

4. I still eat the wrong things.

5. UGH

Ah well, I’m not a quitter. I’m going to keep on keeping on, and I’m going to keep on blogging. Maybe 2014 will bring some unexpected surprises. 2013 certainly did. Thanks for reading, you have made my year.