i've been thinking about writing this post for a while. i'm not sure exactly how it's going to go and it's possible that i'll be deleting it without publishing it, but i'm going to give it a whirl. as most of you know, i took a little break from blogging over christmas. i genuinely missed being in touch with so many people who i've come to "know" through blogging but i didn't actually miss blogging that much. i started thinking about why that is and around this same time i had some pretty hard-hitting conversations with some people in my life (both "real life" and blogging friends) that kept me thinking about my own motivation for blogging/exercising regularly/eating healthily.
i've written a little bit before about my own body image struggles and the comparison trap that so many of us get caught in as a part of the "healthy living blogging" community - i think despite my consumption of giant alcoholic beverages and burgers i'm still going to consider myself a part of this community ;) - and it's all been coming to a head for a while now. over christmas i spent very little time on my phone, on twitter, reading blogs, exercising and snapping pictures of what i ate. coincidentally, i didn't worry that much about what i was eating or how much i exercised. it was like knowing that i wasn't going to post it on the internet meant i could be a lot more relaxed about having a few more cookies than usual or skipping out on a day at the gym in favor of spending time with my family. and you know what? i still ate healthy foods (part of the time - it was christmas after all) and i still made it to the gym or out for runs several times. go figure. instead of worrying about everything i put in my mouth, i ate what i wanted and tried to still incorporate some vegetables.
don't get me wrong - i really love reading all of the blogs i read, tweeting with all of my blends, posting food pics on instagram, etc. what i don't like is that doing so made me feel this pressure to only eat the right things, exercise ALL THE TIME and do it all with a huge smile on my face and lots of hashtags. i started feeling like if i took a rest day i was doing something wrong because all of the people i follow on twitter were out there running and i wasn't. if they can do it, why can't i? it took taking a step back - and a conversation about what normal really means - for me to realize that nothing i was doing was normal, or at least not for me. and when i say normal i mean it very loosely (i am in no way normal - just ask tex) - what i really mean is i wasn't doing what worked for me at all. i was pushing myself to try to fit into this model of "what a healthy living blogger should be", and without even realizing it, i had started to become a totally different person - and not one who was healthy mentally at all. i was consumed with what i was eating (there might have been a moment where i flipped out on my mother for putting butter on green beans at dinner) and i was obsessed with fitting in workouts (running at 10:30 pm when i wake up at 4:30 or 5? yeah - not okay).
in a lot of ways, the past year has made me a better version of myself. i eat much better foods - because i have to admit, even if i did think about it too much, decreasing the amount of wendy's i was having was a good thing. i have made some huge decisions about where my life is going and i'm excited about all the changes that are coming. however, i think i'd started to lose a little of who i was in the process of trying to achieve this lifestyle. i couldn't stop thinking about the food i'd eat or the workouts i needed to do - the fact that i even felt like i "needed" to do them indicates to me that i should have taken a step back sooner. rather than eating what i wanted or doing whatever i felt like in terms of exercise, i'd obsess over what i "should" be eating or how i "should" be working out...and that is absolutely not normal nor is it what is right for me. and who was telling me to do this? no one, except for myself and the pressure i was unnecessarily creating. though a lot of it stems from what i see on social media and blogs, i needed to remind myself that there are people who can work out 7 days a week and survive on less calories...i'm not one of them.
SO this is a long winded way of saying that i'm switching up the way i blog a bit. i'm not going to document everything i eat because i don't want to think that much about what i eat. yes, i'm still going to post pictures of food, yes i'm still going to post workout schedules (at least during bootcamp) because i do like the accountability of it and i also am type a as hell and need to plan, but i'm not going to obsess over it. it's past time for me to realize that real "healthy living" isn't a mold that you can fit yourself in to - it's about figuring out how i'm going to feel like the best version of myself, not someone else's version of me.
(yes - this version of myself will still armpop, sorry i'm not sorry)
i read lindsay's post the other day (which feels eerily similar to this one and had a lot to do with me deciding to finally write this post that's been in my brain for weeks) and i want to concur with what she said - this is in no way a knock on blogs that write about what they eat and document their workouts. i love those blogs - they're most of the ones i read. i also am still going to get in on what i ate wednesday's because i like linking up and seeing all the things people eat. it gives me ideas and i've found lots of my staple meals that way (katie's sweet potato with egg anyone?). i'm not sure exactly what direction my blog is headed but i'm hoping it's one that is much better for me and maybe for you readers too.
that was long. i apologize. clearly some things might be changing but my wordiness is not.