In the first of what I hope is a weekly entry, I plan on linking to a few men in the blogosphere that have made an impression on me this week. Some people might be linked more often than others, and that’s just because some people make impression on me repeatedly.  Since this is my first issue of Views From Strange Men(I don’t personally know these people, so technically they’re strangers. Strangers are strange!), I’m going to highlight a few people who have long been great bloggers that I’ve read for years…or what has felt like years.

The Anti-Jared

He’s a cook, and he’s lost over 200 pounds and kept it off. Apparently he realized later on in life that he shares an ability to write, an ability his brother Joe has excelled at in the field of baseball writing. Tony Posnanski is himself a great writer, in the field of weight loss. I’ve pretty much followed him since his very first post when he had lost 60 pounds.

When you look at that post, where he points out things he wants to focus on to lose another 150 pounds, it reads like so many other blogs do when someone is starting off their journey towards weight loss. In fact, if I took the time, I could find dozens of blogs that have the same sentiment towards weight loss that have  been abandoned after a few posts.

But Tony Posnanski stayed with it. A year later, he wrote about why he blogs, and why he fought back against the weight, and put a focus on his wife. An interesting thing about Tony’s blog is he feeds off the reality of what drives him to weight loss, what drives him to blog, and puts a lot of effort into making his readers aware of how important these things are to his success.

A year after that post, to the day, Tony again reinforced the importance of support. His stress of the importance on support struck a point with me, because you don’t need a rah-rah cheerleader to help you lose weight. You need someone who loves you unconditionally, and supports whatever good things you’re doing for your own life.

Tony lost a shit load of weight because he has a great sense of understanding himself and what needs to be done to reach his goal. I highly recommend everyone who struggles to find themselves in the weight loss battle to read The Anti-Jared, and read the archives. It’s great content, from a great writer.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin’ Fit

I feel like Jack Sh*t is The Anti-Jared’s brother. Two guys who have had a lot of success at weight loss. Two guys who understand themselves and the process of losing a shit ton of weight. They link to each other all the time, and they’re both great writers.

I really like Jack because he’s had an incredibly positive outlook on weight loss ever since his first post. I hope he doesn’t mind my quoting part of it here, but it’s worth reading and I don’t want you to miss it just because you don’t feel like clicking on the link:

“A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One wolf is evil — he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.

The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

Jack decided to stop feeding the bad wolf. He has succeeded to the point that he has lost nearly 90 pounds since he started his journey.

The great thing about Jack, is his hilarious blog entries almost always end with a point worth reading. In addition to rapping, he writes from a place that all people battling weight loss can relate to. One of my favorite pieces is one about his few regrets. As someone who has thought intensely about being a fat groom, Jack gave me insight into where one needs to go to reach the power to make the changes necessary. I’m not getting married soon, but we all look in that direction when we’re with the one we love, and nobody wants to look not their best on what is supposed to be their greatest day.

While I love blog entries like that, it’s the blog entries like How To Get Your Ass Out Of A Hole that can utterly change the way I face any given day.  That and the photoblogging like Jack Sh*t Uncorked. More incredible than that, is his ability to take that and turn it into a community project. The ongoing W.I.D.T.H. (Why I Do This Here) project, with readers submitting photos, struck a cord with me over the last few weeks.

I took a photo. Then I took another. Each one covering more of my face. I took a third. My face entirely covered. I put in an email, all set to send it to Jack. I couldn’t do it. Even though this guy doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall, I couldn’t send Jack a photo of a piece of papering covering my face. The note said, “I Want To Be Able To Show My Face”. I couldn’t even submit it.

It’s part of the reason I started this blog. Well, it’s the reason I decided to go back into hiding and blog anonymously. I’ll get to the point of both losing weight and showing my face, but I believe they’ll happen together.  Addressing the larger problems that go beyond just being a fat ass. These two guys are a big reason for my continued attempts at losing some weight. I implore you to read these guys. Really, really read them. Their next post could change the direction of your life.