This is a post that’s been at the back of my mind for quite some time now, and I feel like I’m ready to take a stab at trying to put some of these thoughts together. You’ll have to forgive me if things wind up all over the place, but it’s just how my brain works most days.
So the big question that I’ve continued to ask myself…am I really a healthy living blogger? And have I ever really been?
Some days I’ll think yes, sure, of course I am. That’s what I started out as just over 5 years ago, so it must be what I am now…right? Then other days I’ll think, well, the person I am today is so incredibly different from the person I was 5 years ago…so maybe I wasn’t then, but I am now?
For those of you who haven’t been reading since the beginning (which I’m sure many of you have not – and if you have, I really cannot thank you enough), let me give you a little recap. I started the blog in April 2010 after having spent about a year silently reading other blogs. I began by emulating what many of them did, by blogging 3x a day, documenting all of my meals (usually a breakfast post, lunch post, and dinner post) along with my workouts. I used the blog as an excuse to choose salads over French fries and berries over ice cream, just so that I’d be able to portray the “healthier” choices.
Looking back, blogging that way was a LOT of work. And I’d be lying if I said that there weren’t times where I was hesitant to go out and actually do something for fear of missing a blog post. But the more I worked at it, the more I continued to see my blog grow, and it was something I just couldn’t pull myself away from. I was hooked.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but when I look back and read some of my old blog posts, I cringe at what I see. The restrictive meals, the excessive workouts, the “safe” foods, and the need to justify any sort of indulgence. Random little memory…I can even recall one evening, after receiving a comment that was calling me out for always having to justify “bad” foods and larger portions, and saying things about needing my “fat pants.” I asked Jay about it and he said, well actually yeah, you do say that stuff a lot. And I think that really stuck with me and got the wheels turning. What was I doing??
Here I was calling myself a healthy living blogger – which sure, I did have some healthy habits – but was what I was advocating for really healthy? I’m sure some would argue yes, but I’m more inclined to say not really.
Sure, there are some people who thrive on multiple workouts a day and have no problem restricting their food choices; and if that’s for them (or you) then it’s not my business to say otherwise. But eventually I came to realize that that’s not what worked for me, and after some soul searching and the push of some medical advice, my definition of healthy changed.
Fast-forward to today, 5 years, multiple career changes, and 1 child later, and I consider myself to be in such a better place. It’s kind of crazy to see just how much has changed since the beginning of STSL, but I can tell you that I don’t regret any of it. I did a lot of growing up on this blog. And I still adore blogging the way I used to before, but it’s certainly not the unhealthy addiction it once used to be, and its content has changed significantly. I know that because of this, I’ve both lost and gained readers, and that’s 100% okay (and expected!).
And this, again, is where I began to question whether this is a “healthy living blog” or not. I thought, okay, can I fall under this category if I’m not sharing pinnable workouts every week? Or choosing the French fries over the salad? Or creating recipes that aren’t paleo/gluten-free/vegan/whatever specialty diet, but rather, creating and sharing recipes with real butter and sugar? And, on top of that, what if I’m polishing off said batches of recipes over the course of a few days (which yes, Jay and I did demolish an entire batch of cookie bars in 4 days)? And drinking alcohol a few times a week. Is that “healthy living?”
Because many of the other blogs that I read DO make super “healthy” recipes and are working out all the time (and I think many of them do a great job at it, which is why I enjoy reading), I struggled with this for a while, thinking that I needed to do all of these things too. It seemed as if this was the “norm” for living, so I assumed that’s what the picture of health looked like.
But as I’ve become less immersed in the blog world and have focused more on life outside of blogging and doing what feels best for me, I’ve slowly begun to realize that this isn’t necessarily the norm for everyone. And it’s okay if you fall in that category or you don’t. As long as you’re living YOUR healthy life.
Okay, well, I’m getting to the point where I feel like I could keep going in multiple directions with this post. So to keep from losing you all to my ramblings and not making much sense or getting totally off track, it’s probably best if I try to wrap this all up.
I guess the purpose of this post today is to say that at the end of the day, I am still going to call myself a healthy living blogger…and that’s because it’s my healthy living. I’m not saying that what I do is what you should do, and I’m not saying I always make the healthiest choices. But I think that in and of itself is healthy…and ok, I am already getting sick of the word healthy. Sheesh.
So for me, I can tell you that calling this a healthy living blog means:
Not overthinking things.
More about feeling good than looking good – but I won’t try to lie and say that looks mean nothing to me. I’m human. But I have touched a bit on this subject before.
Not being perfect.
Trying to live each day as a great mom to an amazing little boy, knowing he’s watching my every move.
Working out when I can – whether it’s 5x a week or 1x a week – because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.
Trying my best to eat fresh, colorful, healthy produce every day, but accepting the fact that it doesn’t always happen.
Being okay with the fact that while I may enjoy eating healthy foods and meals, I enjoy eating sweets and desserts even more.
Accepting the fact that if I go to bed after 11pm because I was up spending time with Jay, that I’m going to skip a morning workout and that’s okay.
Acknowledging when I’ve gone a bit crazy on the sweets/alcohol/etc. and taking a step back…without having to make a big ordeal about it. Identify the issue, work on correcting it, and move on.
Making no foods off limits, but practicing moderation with everything (including moderation itself).
Being okay with the fact that I buy and eat some processed foods, even though I know they’re likely full of stuff I really don’t need.
Reminding myself that just because somebody else is eating “x” or exercising “x” days a week, it doesn’t mean that I have to.
And while we’re at it…it’s also reminding myself to just stop comparing myself to others. Period. In all facets of life. We’re all different and fabulous in our own way and we’ve all got so much to be grateful for.
So there’s healthy living, for me, and there’s where the blog stands. And for those of you who chose to continue to stick around and come back to read with me, regardless of my blog having a “healthy living” status or not, I can’t thank you enough. You’re all amazing.
And now, after typing it 2,592 times, I think I’m okay with avoiding the phrase healthy living for a while.
Thanks for sticking around with me today. <3