April 05, 2023

The Most Vulnerable Parts of Me

This picture is old (2020?) but I don't have that shirt anymore

Like I said yesterday, I'm not going to weigh in today. After being gone for a week and totally out of my comfort zone, it wouldn't even be a fair representation of my weight. I'll continue my Wednesday Weigh-Ins next week.

I want to write about something that I always assumed was pretty obvious, but perhaps it's not to some people: I don't write *everything* about me or my life on my blog. There are a LOT of personal things that I just choose not to write about for whatever reason. I do share quite a bit (probably too much) here, which is why I'm sure some people feel like they know me (and I love that! I feel like I know a lot of you, too.)

However, when I'm going through a tough time, sometimes I don't want to write about it (or it's not my story to tell). And I don't feel like I owe an explanation to anyone (even if I want to "defend" myself from the criticism). I've been going through a very rough patch over the last year or so and some things I choose to share, while others I choose not to. I experienced something rather traumatic last year and it's not something I feel comfortable opening up about. I am still working on getting past it, but that is one reason I have been feeling so emotional.

When people don't have the full picture, it's hurtful when I am judged for simply what I choose to write about. I write about all sorts of things--good and bad--so it's not like I'm cherry-picking only the best parts of my life to share. (That's for people to do on Facebook, hahaha)

This is a personal blog, and I'm aware that I open myself up to criticism for posting it publicly (and constructive criticism is fine!) but I also ask that the rude judgment be reserved for the whole picture and not just snippets of my life. I do downplay a lot of my emotions here because I try to "stay positive!" and "look at the bright side!". However, when I do write vulnerable posts such as this, I am always honest in what I choose to share. 

My blog has changed so much, especially over the last eight years or so. I used to be very candid and I wrote lots of personal things; but over time, my writing has become more and more vanilla. I try to avoid certain topics that I know people will read too deeply into; I don't write much about mental health anymore, even though it's a huge part of my life; I quit writing about budgeting, because people don't know our whole financial picture. I could write a whole post about why I don't share food logs anymore! And parenting? That's just opening a huge can of worms.

I don't have thick skin--I never have--and perhaps blogging was the wrong choice for me. I never thought my blog would gain so many readers; when I started writing, there were a handful of people who had been reading my "online journal" for a decade. (I started blogging in 2000, only it was on a different platform; I switched to Blogger simply because it was easier to share pictures in posts! I didn't realize how much more exposed it would be.)

When people are mean to me, it hurts! Even when they are complete strangers. I wish I could "brush it off" like all of my friends and family tell me to do, but it's not that simple for someone like me. I take everything to heart; when I do my best to be kind and it's received poorly, I feel like there is something wrong with me. Then I overthink it to death.

Over the last several years, people (not necessarily my blog readers, but just people in general) have gotten so sensitive to everything--I constantly wonder if I'm saying something that might offend people. Or using a word that is no longer politically correct. Or making a joke that people may not realize is a joke. I always have good intentions when I write and I never mean to offend people. Most of the time, it's easier to avoid certain topics altogether.

People that know me in real life know that I'm a genuinely NICE person. I'm shy, but I'm always polite and I do my best to make people feel comfortable. I try to see the best in people, even the ones who don't like me. I'm generous--with friends, family, and strangers--and I don't post about those things because I don't do them for recognition. I just like to make people happy!

Not everybody is going to like me, just like I'm not going to like everybody I meet. However, I do my best not to judge people (and if I do, I usually catch myself quickly and change that thinking). I'm extremely empathic (to a fault, for sure) and I always try to put myself in someone else's shoes before judging.

I recognize that everybody is different and I respect others' opinions (even though I don't always agree). I don't think there is a "one size fits all" for a multitude of topics--diet, exercise, parenting, financial decisions, etc.--and I make sure to keep that in mind when chatting with others.

So, when I say that I feel overwhelmed (and have felt this way for going on a year now), I'm keeping quite a bit of it to myself. Sometimes I don't want to open myself up to criticism about certain topics and sometimes there are some things that I'd just like to keep personal.

Because of my hyper-empathy and that I always want to make sure people are happy, I put a LOT of pressure on myself. And when people aren't happy for some reason, even if it's something that has nothing to do with me, I blame myself for it. (I know this isn't logical, and it's something I've discussed multiple times in therapy, but I think it's just a part of who I am.)

I want to do what I can to "fix" it and make everything all better so that people are happy again. Since I don't actually have the power to do that, I feel like I've failed--as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a niece, an in-law, a blogger, a pet-mom, a neighbor, and probably other hats I fill.

It really saddens me when I see some of the comments that people leave for each other on social media. I no longer use Facebook (well, maybe I'll look through the feed about every 2-3 weeks); I rarely use Instagram, although I do find it to be more positive than Facebook; and I don't use Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, or any of the other platforms that people use to say mean things. I know of at least two teens (through my kids) that recently took their own lives, and the comments they received on social media played a huge role in their suicides.

Wow--I didn't intend to make myself quite so vulnerable in this post, or make it this somber. The short version is that none of us knows the whole story of what other people are going through. Judging someone based on a short snippet of their life isn't fair to them. In a perfect world, we would all be kind to each other and if we didn't have something nice to say, we wouldn't say anything at all.

It's obviously not a perfect world, but it doesn't hurt to do what we have the power to do. We have the choice to decide how to treat others and I think the way we choose to do that speaks volumes of ourselves. As much as I want to rant about a comment I may get on occasion, I choose not to engage in that sort of behavior. To be a genuinely kind person, I have to act like one--and if more people did that, maybe we'd be on our way to a perfect world. Hey, I can dream ;)

Note: I want to make sure that those of you who have been kind to me in some way--whether through comments, cards, gifts, emails, phone calls, texts, donations, well-wishes, or in-persons--I appreciate every last one of you. I would have quit blogging eight years ago if I didn't fall in love with so many nice people! I want you to feel this very heartfelt thank you <3 


  1. I'm sending hugs your way. I've been following you for more than a decade now and I think you're amazing. I started following because I was interested in your weight loss journey and skin removal, and stayed reading because I think you're an interesting and lovely person and I've enjoyed following your journey, your family etc. You don't owe us anything here. Those of us who follow you do so because we choose to, not because we're forced to, and if you choose not to share the most sensitive or difficult parts of your life, that's absolutely your choice and no-one should expect more than we're given. You do you Katie, and I'll still be here supporting you silently from afar.

  2. Thank you for this! Reading your blog is always one of the best parts of my day. Your special kind of genuine "nice" comes through. Now who do we need to get after for hurting our Katie? JK. Seriously though, you know that I too have a "platform" and feel the pain when someone lashes out. It's hard for me to remember that they too (just like me) are probably going through some things. OOF!! Why did we get into this business (blogging - you, writing books - me) anyway? Hang in there and I will too. Big hugs always.

  3. I cannot imagine how many people your blog must help when you are so open with weight loss and mental health topics.

    I hate that people go out of their way to make negative and non constructive comments to you.

    Thank you for your years of blogging. Sending positivity your way 💕

  4. Katie, there are so many of us out here who truly enjoy and are thankful for your wonderful blog. You are who you are and we love you exactly that way. Don't let the unkind people who choose to lash out with unnecessary negativity behind their keyboards dim your shine. And yes, everyone is going through their own issues, but that is never an excuse to be cruel.

    The older I've gotten, I have recognized a correlation in people who are unkind to others being that they are individuals that haven't grasped the concept of being grateful for even the simplest things. I notice that people who are most ungrateful can be the cruelest. So mean people don't get a pass no matter what they're going through in my eyes because I think anyone has the capacity to learn how to be grateful if they just try.

    Thank you always for your blog. Virtual hugs to you!

  5. Katie, I am a long-time reader but a very infrequent commenter. I love your blog and read it almost every single day. I'm older and have watched as people have become increasingly - well - mean. Honestly, I think this a relatively small segment of the population but a very vocal one and they hide behind screens. While we in all likelihood, these individuals are hiding their own insecurities and hurts, it doesn't mean their words don't hurt others any less.
    I'm so sorry for the hurt you have experienced but I think what you say is so very, very true - everyone is fighting a battle. We need to be kind. I love that you share your struggles and difficulties and choose what you put out on the internet. I also appreciate that your blog isn't one attempt after another to sell us something. You genuinely share. I really appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable. Keep being you. There will always be haters. How sad for them!

  6. It's so hard to understand why people choose to be cruel to people in general, let alone people they actually have never spoken to. As a hyper empathic person myself, I see you, and I cannot imagine how hard it is to put yourself out there for so many people you've never met. You have this reader's love and respect and unconditional support for whatever you have been going through - what you share, and what you don't.

  7. I feel very similarly, I have very "thin" skin so to speak. Words hurt and I try to brush them off or not let other's judgements get to me but it's so hard! Definitely something that's easier said than done. I for one am so glad you're still blogging! I tend to relate with a lot of what you share and it feels nice to have someone in the same corner as me! Social media has definitely taken a turn for the worst in recent years. I personally think smart phones have created a bigger issue. Social media used to be fun and lighthearted and simply just a way to catch up on friend's lives. Especially back when you weren't tethered to a smart phone and couldn't log in until you were back at a computer. It's so easy for people to be "keyboard warriors" and shout out their opinions and harsh words when you know they would never say such things in person.

    I am so sorry to hear you had to suffer through a traumatic event! I hope you are healing from this, whatever it may be, and know that I am keeping you in my thoughts! I've really enjoyed getting to know you over the last 10 years!! (I know I've been reading AT LEAST 10 years because I remember submitting my Motivational Monday post from a triathalon I ran in 2013! Crazy!!) Sending you all the love! <3

  8. Also a long time reader. I share your struggles with mental health; including with my daughter. I share weight issues and appreciate how candid you are with your personal journey. I don't understand how people have become so undone; unkind; seems like the veil of the internet is an excuse for vitriol. I am in awe of you DIY attitude... the projects you tackle and the time and effort you devote are well out of my comfort zone. Your results are amazing. Lastly your love and devotion to your animals (including your squirrels) is a testament to the person you are. I appreciate what you do with your blog; it's sometimes the best part of my morning!

  9. This post touched home for me. I share so many of the feelings you shared. I am very sensitive. Like you I have come to realize it is I cannot change it. What I try to do is be kind. I know what it is like to be hurt by people so I really do try put myself in someone else shoes. It is a shame that such a wonderful invention as the Internet could lead to such hatred & cruelty. I enjoy your blog. I read it often & appreciate you sharing several topics. Most that I myself have experienced. I am sorry you've had to deal with Trolls. You don't deserve that.

  10. Thank you for sharing Katie, I love reading your blog and can tell what a kind person you are, sending good thoughts your way.

  11. I just want you to know how much I enjoy your blog. I've been reading for almost 10 years...my son was a baby and I was diagnosed with "binge eating disorder". A search of those words led me to you, and I am so glad to "know" you. Hugs!

  12. Katie, I've been reading your blog as long as I can remember and even though we've never met, I've always rooted for you. As a fellow blogger I hear you about agonizing over every word we write. I look back at my own posts from a decade ago and cringe at some of the things I wrote! Intent is important, and your intentions have always been good and it shows. I look forward to reading your posts with my coffee each morning and was so sad when I saw the comment that was left on yesterday's post. I don't know what it is about a comment section that can bring out the worst in people!

  13. Very sorry for whatever unkind comments you've received. It says WAY more about the person that wrote the comment than whatever it was they felt the need to criticize. And it's so true that hurt people hurt people, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

  14. Hi Katie, first thing first, you need a hug (hug)... I've been reading your blog since ~2010ish and truly appreciate all that you share. When you write about your MH struggles it gives me some insight on how to relate with my teens as they both have a MH diagnosis. Thank you for sharing.

  15. All the most narcissistic people I know brag about being "empaths"

    1. All of the most ass-holey people I know troll blogs and make rude comments to people they don't know, saying things they would never say to someone's face due to the resulting slap.

    2. Like you're doing right now?

    3. You're right. That was rude. Katie wants us to be kind, always. Apologies for slapping back. I'm sure we've both had bad days and said inappropriate things, and this was one for me. Thank you for calling me out on it.

    4. There often is a certain arrogance in fixers/helpers/empaths; For example, thinking you know someone better than they know themselves; helping/giving to others but being difficult about accepting it in return because that feels like failing or whatnot (what does that then say about the people receiving your help); the idea that you're so great so you can or should be able to help everyone or everything. Nobody's perfect right? All we can do is learn/reflect and try to keep those ugly bits in check.

  16. I’ve been reading your blog for several years now. I like reading blogs as it gives me insight into the lives of people in countries different to mine. Your writing has helped me in so many ways. Your blogs about zero based budgeting kicked started me into addressing my own shaky finances and I am now 4 years into maintaining a budget, in better financial shape than ever and living in a bigger house. Your honesty regarding your weight loss and the ups and downs of your journey has helped me in my own journey and encouraged me to keep positive that I will reach a healthy weight one day. I don’t presume to know you, or expect you to share everything about yourself but I enjoy hearing from you and your family and my life is better for it.

  17. i don't comment very often, but i've been reading your blog for a very long time. thank you for writing this. it is all so true. people hide behind a computer and say the most awful things that i doubt they would say to one's face. it makes me so sad when i hear of such young people taking their lives because of the meanness of others on social media. i'm a huge proponent of "be kind." i post a lot of it on fb and even have a shirt that says it.

    you (and anyone else on social media) don't owe us anything you don't want to share. i'm sorry that something traumatic happened to you last year. i don't have to know the details to be sorry that you are going thru something hard. i can care just knowing that much.

    i have enjoyed your blog to date and know i will continue to. you share a lot of good information that has been helpful to so many. thank you for that!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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