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. a dose of reality .

June 4, 2011

Happy Saturday sweetlings! ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope you’re enjoying a sunny one. We, unfortunately, are not. I think June is experiencing some kind of an identity crisis and has itself confused with, oh, March maybe? Needless to say, I wasn’t all too pleased when I woke up this morning to temperatures like this…

Gah! You’re kidding me…

BUT, I felt much better after cursing like a sailorย getting some breakfast in my belly…

Eggified steel cut oats, banana, blueberries, cinnamon, almond butter.

Mmm comfort food, there’s nothing you can’t cure. Well, except Mother Nature’s moodiness… and maybe cancer. But for everything else, you’re an absolute godsend.

After satisfying the beast that lives in my belly, I decided to brave the elements and try to be at least a tad bit productive. I made it to the gym and the grocery store before calling it quits and coming back home. I don’t know about you guys, but bad weather puts a serious dampener in my desire to do anything – all I end up wanting to do when the clouds come out is to curl up on the couch with a blanket and immerse myself in a good book. So, after whipping up a quick and tasty breakfast lunch, that’s exactly what I did…


Salad beast; vanilla tofu protein pudding with trail mix and puffs; toast with cream cheese.

… except that the book was actually a laptop, and I immersed myself in the blog world instead; which, when you think about it, isn’t all that different from getting lost in the fictional/fantasy world of a book.

The blog world is like an alternate reality – a separate world that closely resembles the one we live in but that also differs in some pretty significant ways. If we’re not careful, it becomes all too easy to confuse the two – to look at what we see on blogs and believe it to be an accurate representation of the “real” world, when in a lot of cases, it’s not.

Baked sweet potato with maple syrup, cinnamon, cottage cheese, and almond butter.

Healthy living bloggers are a specific type of people – a small subset of the general population. They eat healthy. They exercise regularly. They’re passionate about their well-being.ย And that’s fine; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with leading a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it’s far better than the alternative.

Unfortunately, people forget that there isย an alternative. When someone spends all their free time browsing through the pages of healthy living blogs, they begin to believe that everyone lives on superfoods and runs 8 miles a day. This, then, can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy…

Why am I craving sugar and pizza? No one else eats it…

Why am I only running 3 miles a few times a week? I must be lazy…

News flash. Notย everyone lives that way. In fact, the majority of people don’t. Take a look around. Do you see everyone running marathons and eating chia pudding? (I’m sorry for hatin’ on you so much, chia)ย No – you see plenty of people who call taking the stairs instead of the elevator a good workout, and who have no problem eating burgers and fries on a regular basis. Now, I’m not suggesting that this kind of lifestyle is a good one, but it isย the most common one, believe it or not.

And I know it’s easy to forget. I know that it’s easy to become blind to the rest of the world, and therefore to reality, when you spend all your time surrounded by the blog bubble.ย You start believing that what you see on blogs is the norm, and then feel pressured to live the same way. So you go out and buy all these superfood powders when you really have no idea what they’re supposed to do, and your pantry becomes stocked with 15 different types of flours when you really only use 2.ย Believe me, I know

And that’s not even half of it. But even worse than the hit that your wallet takes, is the hit that your self-identity and self-esteem take. You compare yourself to what you see on the computer screen, and instantly feel a tad bit worse because… well… you feel crappy on some days… you feel too tired to exercise on some days… you crave sweets like crazy on some days… and you feel all the more guilty for it because other people don’t seem to be dealing with that kind of stuff.

But I’ll tell you a little secret – they are dealing with it, they just don’t let on.


My nightly noshings! Vanilla oat bran with Greek yogurt, flaxmeal, maple syrup, and cinnamon; vanilla almond butter protein frosting.

Most bloggers put up a happy front – they talk about the good without ever mentioning the bad. And it’s not as an attempt to be intentionally deceitful, but to give people what they want. Let’s face it, no one really likes reading struggling and depressing posts – they’d rather read something positive and uplifting.

That’s fine. But again, that’s not reality.

Reality is waking up with a big zit on your forehead, craving chocolate like nobody’s business, a day (or several) spent sitting on your butt, and sometimes being in such a bad mood that you want to kill everyone you see. At least, those are the kind of days that are a part my life, and if you don’t experience anything like that, well then… consider yourself lucky and don’t rub it in.

Potato rounds baked in olive oil and rosemary; steamed asparagus, scrambled eggs and veggies.

I guess what I’m really trying to say here is don’t forget to keep yourself ย grounded in the real world. Don’tย feel pressured to act/eat a certain way because of what you read on blogs, and don’t feel guilty for the deviation. Remember that not everyone eats superfoods and runs marathons. If you do, then great; more power to you. If you don’t, then that’s great too; neither does the majority of the rest of the world.

What I think the blog world could use is a bigger dose of reality.

. – . – . – .

Do you feel pressured to live a certain way because of the blog world?

If you’re a blogger, do you feel pressured to portray yourself in a certain way?

74 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2011 5:43 pm

    LOVE this post! I totally agree that healthy living bloggers are one of a kind ๐Ÿ˜‰ A bit obsessive at times too…

  2. June 4, 2011 5:53 pm

    This post is a great “wake up and smell the coffee” reminder. Speaking of coffee that is one thing I often feel pressured about. I find many healthy living blogs that talk about how they are cutting back on coffee or not having any caffeine and I think “oh my goodness maybe I should cut back the cup of black”. It never works out though because I always have one cup (okay fine…several cups) of coffee in the morning.

    As for writing, I try to only portray myself the way I truly am, because my blog is where I feel truly free to be me. Sometimes I worry that I will write something that could be misinterpreted, so I always try to edit my post from every angle.

    Loved this post Amanda, it really got me thinking ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. June 4, 2011 5:53 pm

    Oh, YES, I love this post! I find myself sometimes getting a bit too lost in the blog world and then when I close my laptop and come back to reality I realise that NOBODY around here even knows what chia seeds are! (I hate them too.) While reading “healthy living” blogs I’m always comparing myself to them and thinking, “Oh, maybe I should start running again,” or “I’m not eating clean enough,” and then I think to myself, “When I WAS running and eating clean like that I wasn’t happy at all. I became very very ill, in fact. I eat and exercise the way I do now because it makes me happy! I’m the happiest I’ve been in YEARS and I credit that to living life the way I want to and trying not to be heavily influenced by trends on the internet. Although I *am* incredibly grateful for the blog world introducing me to the likes of almond butter. That is a trend I am willing to follow ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I eat so differently to the way people do on most blogs. I eat takeaways and milk chocolate and my night time noshings include hot chocolates with marshmallows and sugar filled cookies that make my heart skip a beat. I want none of this carrot and hummus nonsense. (Just to clarify, I’m not hating on carrots and hummus. They are a match made in heaven. But I tend not to choose them over milk and cookies, ya know?)

    Oh my, what a comment. You always get my thoughts going ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • June 4, 2011 7:30 pm

      That’s what I’m trying to do ๐Ÿ˜‰ And don’t worry, I usually won’t choose carrots and hummus over cookies and milk… unless that’s what I happen to be craving at the moment.

  4. June 4, 2011 5:56 pm

    YOU ROCK! I sooooo agree with EVERYTHING you said! We have to remember NOBODY has a perfect life and that we should NOT compare ourselves to others, we are not them! We are our own , unique, and different person!

    Hell yeah I have bad days, but Im not going to blog everytime I do or blog when Mike and I have a fight, but damn I am just ME, nobody else, I do not want to be anyone else or try to be, I like who I am and how I live my life!

    Love you!

    • June 5, 2011 11:00 pm

      I wish I could “like” this comment as if it were one posted on Facebook, haha.
      I think sometimes the blogging world gets wrapped up in what they feel “should” be their way of life or what they should find appealing to eat/post/do. It’s refreshing to see you ladies being super proud of who you are and not afraid to show it. :]

  5. June 4, 2011 6:11 pm

    First of all, I am so sorry about your weather! I could never live in the cold. I pretty much live in a dessert so soon it’s going to get to be about 110*! I wish I could send some sunshine your way. My ideal weather is about 80*

    and second, thank you for this Amanda.
    Until you started posting I didn’t realize how much I was pressuring myself to be like other bloggers. It doesn’t mean I’m going to STOP blogging it just means you have to be more careful, blog about REAL life too.
    I also realized, wait, I’m only 16 years old! I mean I like the way I eat, I truly do enjoy eating fresh and real food! But Is this really how I want to remember my life? Avoiding restaurants with my family because they didn’t have any vegan options I would approved of? or because I couldn’t read their ingredient list? and having all these weird food rules? No, it’s not.

    While a lot of my decision to go vegan was based off of food sensativites the more I think about it also was another chance to isolate myself. It feels more ED driven than anything. And the big thing was it was me trying to recover “perfectly” or have a perfect diet. That’s just impossible (I kind of want to a post on the good and bads of veganism for me, because they’re have been some positivies! But I’m scared the bads might offend people..)

    It’s been really hard for to keep eating dairy. Is it because of the blog world pressures, I don’t know. The crazy thing to me is that only 1% of the entire population is vegan so does that mean only 1% of the world is healthy? NOPE.
    ED tells me I can have one serving of dairy every OTHER day. Which is ridiculous cause me and cream cheese have become hommies . ๐Ÿ˜‰ I miss my yogurt messes and goat cheese on toast with sliced almonds and basil!
    I know I can beat that though because not long ago I had the same problem with nut butters and now I have no problem consuming several servings of that in a day. I’m just not there.

    Phew, another long comment. I probably could have kept going.. but I realized I started rambling off subject ๐Ÿ˜›
    Your posts always leave such a good topic for conversation!

    • June 4, 2011 7:32 pm

      I had the same experience with veganism. I TOTALLY did it for the wrong reasons, and it was hard to break out of the mentality that I can only eat this much of X per day, or every few days. But once you do it, and start doing it more often, it gets a lot easier. I can’t imagine going back.

  6. June 4, 2011 6:38 pm

    Hahaha love your crossed out “cursed like a sailor” – you and I are a lot alike ๐Ÿ˜€

    Nope, I don’t feel the pressure anymore since I have a better handle on myself and my own life. No blogger influences (the negative ones, anyway). I portray myself 100% real on my blog – this is why I don’t even add special effects or editing to my (longwinded…) videos – it’s all me, all real, all candid.

  7. June 4, 2011 6:47 pm

    Wow, this post is exactly about how I’ve been feeling lately.
    As a teenager, I sometimes wonder if the way I live is normal. Obviously not many go to gym and workout with kettlebells, eat goji, chia-oatmeal, and eat sprouted grains and legumes. I have to admit all these were picked up while browsing through hundreds of blog posts by other “healthy bloggers.” On the other hand, I believe there are good parts to it too. It really got me to be interested in the field of health – not only food, but actual human health and how diet and genetics are related to it. Luckily, I realized the more I focus on ‘myself,’ such as ‘my’ limits in running, buying organic etc, I can obsess less about what other bloggers do.
    Living in Canada, I totally used to have the frustration that I can’t get those US goodies (e.g. Fage). Now, I just don’t care. Millions of people live well without it – why should I care?
    But still, I really do love caring about myself and my body as I truly believe it’s immensely related to my health and performance in many things. (which is why I choose to mix my sugary cereal and chia seeds together for a snack)
    Anyways, I really love your post Amanda; thank you so much! I’ll end my long comment with a quote I found yesterday: “To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. – Buddha”

    • June 4, 2011 8:10 pm

      It’s all about finding the balance that works for you ๐Ÿ˜€ There’s nothing wrong with wanting to live healthy, but not at the cost of having fun and enjoying food.

  8. Laura permalink
    June 4, 2011 6:54 pm

    I’m not a blogger, but I do read blogs a lot and I completely agree with what you’re saying. Sometimes I wonder when these bloggers go out and enjoy a completely “unhealthy” indulgent restaurant meal with friends, or buy a box of nonorganic cookies, or have a blah day. It was really good to read this post.

  9. June 4, 2011 7:03 pm

    Amen sistah friend!!!
    (But I still find it hard to believe that you eat food that doesn’t look amazing. You probably do it in your sleep (0:)

    Blog-o-sphere = weirdsville.

  10. June 4, 2011 7:12 pm

    I love you! Thank you for this post. It definitely spoke to me. Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve definitely tried to portray myself and my posts as positive and upbeat. But, the last few days have been rough and I’ve been in such a funk. I’ve been having this struggle and haven’t posted in days because I just didn’t know what to write about. I didn’t want to admit I’m feeling shitty right now and totally change the vibe of my blog. But then I realized, hey! I’m human! And I’m not perfect. I shouldn’t feel pressure or obligated in any way. I just gotta be real and be me. Besides, people like to read about stuff they can relate to, right? And everyone has shitty days sometimes. Thank you for being awesome Amanda. I love your posts ๐Ÿ™‚

    • June 4, 2011 8:14 pm

      I noticed that you’ve been MIA, and I hope that everything is okay for you โค I think other people definitely like it when bloggers portray themselves as being human as opposed to some insanely happy, always optimistic who-knows-what. Don't be scared to be you.

  11. June 4, 2011 7:18 pm

    This is nothing but the truth. I feel that so often we tend to lose sight of what we really want, thinking that we want it when and because everyone else does. Chia seed pudding? Of course that sounds delicious. Massive amounts of veggies? sure! Give me a smoothie in a bowl, don’t bother with the cup! I’m not bashing these foods at all, I eat them too, and realize that they DO taste good, but honestly would I have found myself suckered into them without the help of the blog world? no way. I sometimes need to step back, especially in my recovery, and think about what I want, what Hannah wants. Not what blogger X or Y wants, because that’s their business. Perhaps we like the same things, but just because they eat pumpkin whey chia almond flour protein mess for breakfast, doesn’t mean I have to like it to if I really don’t. I’m no less of a person for the choices I make. If I choose to eat fish after being veg for awhile, this doesn’t X me out. If I can’t run more than 3 miles, this doesn’t make me less of a person. Heck, I’ve begun to realize that I am more of my own person because I allow myself to draw the line. The fact that I make my own choices, whether they line up with the blog world or not, is what makes me a strong, unique person.
    thanks for always inspiring me to think ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Anne permalink
    June 4, 2011 7:38 pm

    so i’ve been lurking on your blog for a while now, but this is the first time i’m commenting. thank you for confirming what I couldn’t confirm on my own. ever since I started reading blogs, i’ve gotten addicted to things like quinoa, nooch, flax, etc. things that i’ve never eaten before. i started exercising like it was my JOB and ended up losing 20 pounds when I had nothing to lose in the first place. my parents blamed my blog-obsession…but i kept denying it. this post seriously woke me upppp. i’m young. why am I obsessing over eating only sprouted bread and making things SO complicated when going out to eat with friends?? will I seriously DIE if i eat a burger with a white bun once in a while??thank you, SO much Amanda. seriously.

    • June 4, 2011 9:08 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Anne! Definitely make sure to enjoy your life. 10 years from now, will you want to look back and only be able to remember being completely consumed by thoughts of food and exercise? Naaaah. Life is about so much more than that.

  13. June 4, 2011 7:42 pm

    Yet another great post Amanda! I totally agree that healthy living blogs can definitely let off a “reality TV” type of mentality. I have definitely felt the guilt of “not doing well enough” after reading someone’s blog, but really – do we know if they’re happy or not? Absolutely not!

  14. June 4, 2011 7:51 pm

    Yes, the blogworld sometimes looks just too perfect to be real. The healthiest food all the time, the perfectly portioned meals, the exercise plans that usually take at least two hours a day. Perfect jobs, perfect homes, perfect boyfriends… I read and ask myself “What am I doing here?”. I don’t have any of these. I eat junk food when I crave it (as well as when I don’t if I don’t have time for anything else), sometimes I use a knee supporter even for walking and I am an emotional nightmare whose longest relationship ever lasted just a little more than a month. Do I feel the pressure? Hell, yes!

    I hope the weather gets better soon and lets you enjoy the real world again ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. June 4, 2011 8:11 pm

    Uh, I would cry if we had that weather. Thank you for making me feel foolish for ever complaining about how cold it is ๐Ÿ˜›
    And also thank you for the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚ (but don’t hate me for loving different flours :X ) I can’t really say I feel pressured to live a certain way or put up a “front,” but sometimes I do think maybe my posts come across as too happy-go-lucky all the time. It’s not necessarily intentional, or me hiding anything…but if something upsets me in the morning, I’m not exactly still upset when I sit down to blog! And if it does, well, then it might make the blog. I do often remind myself that it’s okay that I don’t work out anywhere near as much as the majority of bloggers, though! And I’m okay with that, but sometimes it’s all too easy to forget ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. June 4, 2011 9:21 pm

    Okay your weather is crazy.. and I’ll gladly trade with you. And I am someone that would eat pizza. And post about it. Hopefully that encourages more people to think that eating that is okay.

  17. June 4, 2011 10:24 pm

    Love you AND this post! SO very true! It’s so easy to compare yourself to seemingly “perfect” bloggers but in reality we have NO idea what goes on behind the scenes…
    Your weather? Ew. I’m sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’m on the other extreme!

  18. June 4, 2011 10:24 pm

    This is a great post and what you’re saying is true, but I have to ask do you ever eat anything that’s considered unhealthy? Not trying to ask in a rude way just curious ๐Ÿ™‚ .

    • June 5, 2011 6:40 am

      I think that depends on what your definition of unhealthy is. ‘Cause these days I’m not too sure where the line is anymore… Some people consider chocolate and cheese unhealthy, while for others unhealthy means fast food and colorful candy.

    • June 5, 2011 7:28 pm

      I meant like the things that people would typically consider junk food like cookies, cakes, donuts, chips, candy, fast food, etc. ๐Ÿ˜›

      • June 6, 2011 5:44 am

        Cookies, cakes, candy yes. Donuts, chips, fast food no. Just don’t find myself craving that stuff.

      • June 6, 2011 10:21 pm

        Well as long as you listen to what your body is craving, that’s the most important part. I’m also glad that you don’t only eat things that are considered healthy, because, you know, they’re considered healthy, and allow yourself treats. That’s what having a balanced diet and lifestyle is all about ๐Ÿ™‚ .

      • June 6, 2011 10:24 pm

        I also find that if you substitute the “junk” food that you are craving with the healthier option, your body doesn’t feel satisfied because that’s not what it really wanted, and people shouldn’t punish themselves like that ๐Ÿ˜› .

      • June 7, 2011 5:50 am

        Amen to that ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. czechvegan permalink
    June 4, 2011 10:31 pm

    I really do agree with all you said on this post (and I wrote a little about this subject on my yesterdayยดs post as well ๐Ÿ™‚ I have never run a marathon a I would probably never do it. I have never tasted chia seeds/maca powder/spirulina/chlorella/hemp seeds/etc. (aka superfoods) and I am probably not going to buy them any time soon. But I donยดt miss that. I love to have my normal regular oats with a plain old banana in the morning and I like to have my rest day spent on a couch with an interesting book (BTW currently I am reading The Shadow of the Wind by C.R.Zafรณn and I like it a lot). But seeing all those “superfoods” and marathon races recaps and healthy living posts is sometimes very challenging for oneยดs calm mind, sometimes I am asking myself if I am doing enough, if I shouldnยดt try to be more healthy and do what others do…But the answer is NO! I donยดt need to do what the others do. I need to do what works for me and what I like and enjoy:)
    Thanks for the post, enjoy your Sunday and I am sending you some sun light (we have 17 degrees, so it is a bit better:)!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. June 4, 2011 11:15 pm

    I don’t feel pressured to live a certain way because of the blog world, but it seems like a lot of other bloggers are always trying to prove/brag about all the food they eat because they think it will help them. Since I’ve started blogging, I guess sometimes I feel judged if I post what I ate that day and I didn’t eat enough of something. Like if I didn’t eat a lot of fats that day, I feel like people out there are going to be like “wow it seems like he doesn’t eat enough fats.” Luckily I don’t care what anyone thinks or says about me, but I still feel like I’m going to be judged even if I had the “perfect” diet.

  21. June 4, 2011 11:24 pm

    i think i read this blog post three times. it’s something i’ve been coming to terms with – because i’ve begun realizing how much the blog world has affected me, and not necessarily always in a positive way, mainly becuase, like you said, sometimes i get so caught up in it that i think the blog world is the WHOLE world, which it is clearly not. and i think i definitely am still struggling with some insecurities that make it easy for me to compare with others. i don’t think i necessarily feel pressured to live a certain way because of the blog world, but sometimes i do get down on myself because i feel like what im doing isn’t enough or good enough. but thanks so much for this blog post – what a great reminder!

  22. Hedda permalink
    June 5, 2011 12:48 am

    Another great post, Amanda ๐Ÿ™‚
    You are right that the blog world should not be understood as an actual representation of reality. What we read on blogs is a partial representation of somebodys life AND does not represent the majority of the population.
    It is easy to get obsessed with all the products these blogs portray, especially if you are under influence of anorexia. ” See Hedda, that is what you should be eating, not that dirty bar of chocolate. And why are you sitting when these women are jogging? ”

    When I first started visiting healthy living blogs I had just begun my fight to recover, and I know that my mind did not benefit from this reading. It was just out to find a confirmation of an anorexic mentality, and legitimate a lifestyle based on 100% clean eating and plenty of excercise. It got so worse that I had to quit reading them. Period.
    I have not read that kind of blogs for months now, because it is necessary for me to find MY voice. Recovery is about building a life again, discover who you are. I do not blame these blogs, that is not my point, I am just saying that some people are better off without them.
    I want to eat my burger without feeling bad, crave my chocolate without feeling unnormal and unhealthy. I want to be me, life the life that works for me.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, dear. And be proud of yourself for breaking free from your obsession with “healthy living” and for finding out what real living is for you.
    You are a star.

  23. June 5, 2011 12:57 am

    We ALL need reminders to stay grounded in the real world. We are really on the same page with this because I was thinking about this a LOT today.. I spent all day outside hiking with some friends and they are just so NORMAL. Like I was all worried about packing a healthy lunch for the day, and they didn’t even bring any food and then randomly stopped and got milkshakes! I was like wow, you guys are my idols. Haha and then we were talking about food/weight gain randomly and one of the girls said, “As long as my clothes fit I’m happy.” Amen! =P

  24. Teniesha permalink
    June 5, 2011 3:06 am

    So, so true. Like others have said, I sometimes find myself lost in the lives of other bloggers and wishing my life mirrored theirs more. Their photography is so gorgeous that I assume their lives are equally picturesque. I’m just getting my blog off the ground, and I sometimes like to imagine myself becoming as popular as other food bloggers I read, but I need to remember first and foremost that I’m writing for ME–for others, too, of course, but primarily for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. June 5, 2011 3:52 am

    Hehe I love this post! There’s a lot of secrets in the blogworld…I never let on that I was diagnosed with depression in January, was on antidepressants and wanted to commit suicide (thankfully I’m 100 x better now!).
    I feel a lot of pressure to be upbeat all the time on the blog which can be hard (cos I’m a moody biatch), and I feel a LOT of pressure to take good photos. I thinkt hat’s maybe one point you missed about the blogworld – lots of running and healthy eating etc, but I feel the pressure when it seems like everyone is amazing with a camera and a beautiful set up. I don’t get how they do it !
    I’m gonna write a post about all this this evening I reckon ๐Ÿ™‚

    • June 5, 2011 3:57 am

      Ohh and i have to add – my eating / lifestlye had changed massively since I read blogs, but I am truly so grateful for it. It’s in my nature to be a restrictive eater (in terms of variety), to put myself down and to stick to habits all the time. I never would’ve thought I was capable of running just one mile – let alone 26! – before blogs, and I’ve discovered so many new foods and activities and friends. I love it and I’m forever grateful ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. June 5, 2011 5:23 am

    Once again you blow me away with another post that really hits home. I was actually going to talk about this sometime soon because I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently.
    I’ve been sort of comparing myself with other bloggers and feeling like I wasn’t worthy of being a blogger because my meals aren’t always exciting, my photography isn’t that stunning, I can’t run a marathon. But then I looked at the way I was thinking and thought about it deeply. Everyday people see the blogging world as ‘weird’ and I am reminded of that by my parents, my friends and when I was at work even to say I ate an almost vegan diet with a few exceptions, they looked at me strangely and asked about what I ate. And it made me realise, you know what, the blogging world is tiny and not the majority of the world. I’m also reminded of that by being a student. Heck, students here are SO unhealthy and eat junk food all the time, go out drinking their hearts out, get out of bed at 1pm, get a pizza and mooch around in pajamas all day being a slob without even thinking about exercise. I am the exception and I see that by living around these people.
    I sort of feel pressured by both worlds to ‘fit in’ – to be a creative healthy living food blogger and a fun loving student who goes out for pizza and gets drunk and I’m still trying to find my balance and live how I want to. And if people don’t like it, then tough. This is my life.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love healthy foods and always have. I’m never going to be a student who gets drunk and eats takeaway pizza all the time because I can’t cook. But at the same time I need to remember that it’s okay not to eat ‘clean’ all the time because I’ll miss out on so much foods that I’m craving. And my life is my priority – not living up to what other people expect from me.
    The blogging world has truely brought good things to my life though. I’ve found some of my all time favorite foods through blogging – kabocha being number one!! It also taught me how to cook. Which I am eternally grateful for as it is a lifelong skill. It has also broadened my diet. I spent so much of my life restricting my foods and I finally feel like I have so much variety. Even before my ED I was a picky eater and lived off the same few foods. Now my body is thriving with a multitude of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbs that it’s never had before! I feel alive and I cannot be thankful enough for the good things that the blogging world has brought to my life.

  27. June 5, 2011 6:10 am

    slkfjlsdkjkjfds YOU ARE JUST AWESOME!! i do agree with u– i think in some way blogging helped push me to do more things that i know love.. but i def had to get comfortable with myself and then the comparing stopped! i do find it hard tho sometimes to balance blog world and real world.. blogging is a huge distraction and greata procrastination tool!

  28. June 5, 2011 6:38 am

    you’re amazing. I just hope you know that. I agree with you! Some days I find myself saying “well I didn’t run those 8 miles I only walked 2 miles at a slow pace” and it’s like well yeah duh alexis because that’s all you can do. I can’t go out and run 10 miles. I can’t run a 8:30 mile. I probably never will but that’s not who I am. I’m not a runner (or at least not right now) I walk and I enjoy walking!
    I have ended up trying more things because I’ve started my blog like smoothies! I’ve been missing out!
    Regardless it’s still a great reminder of not to compare myself with others. I am who I am ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. June 5, 2011 7:29 am

    Love this post! As a blogger, I feel more obligated to actually be true to myself because I’m putting myself out there. I like who I am and I like what I do/eat/(how I) exercise, so I don’t feel pressure to portray anything other than myself. But sometimes when I’m out with family and friends and I order pizza or a burger and fries they say (without fail) “Ooohh! You can’t put THAT on your blog!” And I’m like “What!? Why not?! It’s just ONE meal.” I think other people are more concerned than I am haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. June 5, 2011 7:30 am

    When I first started reading blogs, I definitely got sucked into the inadequacy feeling…in truth though, when I blog I try to be as real as possible- I’m aware I barely “workout” but I still am active just from day to day routine stuff and just don’t have the time/enough drive to spend hours at the gym or running a course. I think real blogging is a lot more relatable than “charm” blogging.

  31. June 5, 2011 8:00 am

    BRILLIANT Amanda!! So so true!! This actually really hit home for me the other day about how different the blogworld and the ‘real world’ are when someone found my blog and couldn’t believe I was a vegan runner, and they were really shocked! And I was surprised that she was shocked, because that’s pretty normal here, y’know?

    Hmmm, pressure…I definitely used to feel like I was eating ‘wrong’. Like I eat a LOT more, and a lot more chocolate/sweet stuff definitely than most bloggers SEEM to, but you never know exactly what everyone eats and I like what and how I eat anyway! Give me chocolate over chia pudding any day! ๐Ÿ˜€

  32. June 5, 2011 8:05 am

    This is a wonderful post. And it is so true. After reading so many other blogs, I’ve often felt pressure to become a vegetarian or vegan and take up running. However, those things just aren’t me. It is a constant battle to remind myself that I am still a healthy person even if I get my workouts from Zumba rather than training for races.

  33. June 5, 2011 8:11 am

    This is the first post of yours I’ve read (thanks to Katie’s this morning) and it’s so true. I think there is a significant amount of pressure to conform. What I find ironic is that a lot of bloggers discuss having felt this and changed their blogs because of it, but the same amount of bloggers ignore that this feeling could ever stem from this community. It is a wonderfully, unique, and beautiful community in that we all share a passion for health and wellness, but that means something different to everyone and I think people can easily fall into the conformity trap if they forget who THEY are in the process

  34. June 5, 2011 8:56 am

    I love this post. Everything in it I can basically relate to as well. It’s so hard to not feel pressured by what we are reading/viewing in the blog world. That’s not to say that blogging or the people are doing this to make us feel bad!! On the contrary, it’s like having friends with the same interests. But like any friendship, online or offline, we must make sure to not compare ourselves with them, to remember that they are human too and make just as many mistakes and have as insane cravings as we do, and that there is always more than meets the eye or web-screen.

  35. June 5, 2011 9:24 am

    Great post, Amanda. I’ve definitely felt the pressure to run 8 miles a day and never eat processed foods or go to chain restaurants, etc. but ultimately that’s just not a sustainable lifestyle, plus running 8 miles is just wayyyy too much for my body on a normal day! I try to stay positive on my blog, but not because I’m putting up a front, but because no one wants to read depressing posts. That being said, I always try to be honest and share when I’m just not feeling so great. I’d rather come off as a real human being than as someone who’s some kind of superhuman.

  36. Sara @ The Foodie Diaries permalink
    June 5, 2011 10:37 am

    What a great post! Glad I found your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. June 5, 2011 10:39 am

    This is an amazing post! I’m not a huge fan of exercising. I just run just a few miles and do a bit of strength training and that works for me, but when I read about people running marathons and waking up at 5am to do insane workouts I feel like I’m not doing enough. But truth be told, I wouldn’t be happy if I did that stuff and while it makes others feel good, I wouldn’t be happy. So glad you brought up this subject because I think we all get a little sidetracked and compare ourselves when in reality what makes the blog world great is our uniqueness and individuality ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. June 5, 2011 11:53 am

    this is the first post i found on your blog, and i am SO glad i did! i have been reading healthy living blogs for a few months now, and while that may not seem very long, it has had a huge impact on me already. i reworked my entire kitchen, and have found myself feeling guilty for NOT buying 1000 different flours. like i’m doing something wrong, even though i’m not! certain blogs can portray themselves as super human, and i have a hard time remembering that it’s not really the norm. this post spoke to me and affirmed my decision to take a bit of a break from blogging and reading AS MUCH, because the one sided view we get from reading blogs can give a distorted perspective of how things really are from all sides. thank you so much for writing this! it needed to be said ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. June 5, 2011 12:27 pm

    I DEFINITELY used to fall into that trap. Looking at these girls that seemed to eat perfectly and be able to run millessss without thinking twice about it. It wasn’t so much the food comparison as it was the workout comparison. I honestly didn’t see how they could just decide to wake up and run 10 miles one morning…until I did it myself. Then I realized it’s really not that big of a deal. I’m by no means perfect in how I eat or even just because someone else seems like they are, they’re most likely just like me.

  40. June 5, 2011 1:02 pm

    Feeling you on the weather front! I was sunbathing the other day, & now I’ve got the heating on & am snuggling into my duvet catching up on blogs. It’s June; what gives…?!

    & I’ve been dipping in & out of the blog-world for the past 2 weeks, cos I’m too aware of the likelihood of guilt-tripping over the fact I’m eating inorganic foods/ unclean foods & taking it easy. I have to remind myself I’m eating to gain weight right now & that it’s okay that I’m eating more & doing less than these people. Saying that, I sometimes worry that a lot of bloggers are somewhat disordered in their habits & pass it off as “clean-eating”- just look at some of the portion sizes… been there, done that!

    & ohmygod, sweet potato with syrup & nut butter! Did that yesterday & hello comfortfoodtothemax. So warming, filling & tasty! x

  41. June 5, 2011 1:18 pm

    You rocked this post! Everything your saying is right on the money.

    Being healthy means being happy, and if you are making yourself eat foods that you dont even like or suddenly attempting a Marathon just to keep up with other bloggers, then you are not living YOUR OWN LIFE. Do what fits your lifestyle and eat what your specific body craves. It’s ok if you don’t like Chia seeds, or prefer a bagel for breakfast over yogurt. Decaf coffee? Gimmie the caffiene anyday of the week. It’s all about balance and not having to deprive yourself.

    When you get to the point when you don’t even know why are you eating the meals that you are, its time to take a step back and re-evaluate things. Don’t get lost in the blog world and try to be like everyone else. It’s important to stay true to who you are. Life is too short to not eat chocolate ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for writing yet another inspirational post! xoxo

  42. June 5, 2011 2:31 pm

    aw you’re too amazing, honestly, this post helped me a lot. its nice to hear it from another point of view, and know that you’re not the only one thinking it. its sad though, like that i have to hear someone explain or reassure me, etc that its okay not to do something, or to do something, etc. im like that, i guess its a confidence thing, some people can be like fuck it i don’t care what you do, im going to do this and its okay. whereas others are triggered by things one way or another. and i guess im that person. but i love reading your bloggie ๐Ÿ˜› and missed it sooo much last fall/winter/this early spring? aha. and we’re both canadian…thats cool because i love the people i’ve met through this but its nice to have someone else from the same country ๐Ÿ™‚

    i don’t blog too often and never had like many readers, so i guess i don’t feel as much pressure on that account but in general oh god yes like posting certain things or not, i don’t put everything that i have or do, but even that sparks comments like, ‘do you not post x whatever because you don’t eat it?” and im always scared its boring or maybe too triggering or just confusing. because i don’t write in any formal sense, just how i think in my head and its casual (like this message aha which is probably all over the place)…but i don’t want to change that since its just what i do. then i worry if i don’t mention things in my life or recovery stuff, etc then its like, what’s the point jen? its boring..

    anywayyy…that was long. but yes i do love this post very much ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxox

  43. June 5, 2011 2:55 pm

    Amanda<3 This was an amazing post! As always!
    First of all, you are so funny! I love the way you write, I SMILE while reading your blog!
    Second, I want that sweet potato- right now! Ill have to but sweet p`s and almond butters first thing tomorrow.
    Third, thanks for reminding us that the blog world is not the real world. Of course, it is part of the real world, but not nearly all. Its easy to forget sometimes..

    Hope you have enjoyed your Sunday, and that the weather havent been to bad on you!

  44. June 5, 2011 2:57 pm

    LOVE this post! Well said ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. June 5, 2011 3:07 pm

    I loved this post so much! I don’t anymore, but I used to feel pressured like hell by the blog world. That’s why I could relate to this so much! It is so easy confusing the blog world with the real world…I definitely agree!

  46. June 5, 2011 3:43 pm

    So right! I don’t know anyone who eats the way most of the people do on the blogs I read. I do like to read them to get ideas on new foods, and sometimes for a little motivation.

  47. June 5, 2011 3:56 pm

    I loved this post, as usual ๐Ÿ™‚
    I definitely felt pressure when I first started blogging. Especially with the food items such as almond milk, chia seeds, protein powders, nut butters that cost an arm and a leg…
    I now realize that those are great options, but they don’t have to be for everyone! I now make my own nut butter by buying almonds/walnuts/peanuts in bulk and then whipping out the ole food processor and grinding them up. Much cheaper and of course tasty!
    I also have felt pressure to want to eventually run a marathon, and I should probably be training for one now. I do want to finish one eventually, but not because I feel like I have to….but want to ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. June 5, 2011 11:59 pm

    I’m SO glad you brought up this issue, Amanda, because I think the comparison ‘trap’ is something bloggers experience ** Whether it’s conscious of subconscious, reading about what other people are eating, how they’re exercising, what they’re wearing, who they’re meeting, where they’re working etc etc etc really does begin to take a toll. When I first began blogging, I found myself buying every new product I discovered on blogs (I too have 1723874 types of flour!). I tried going vegan, then dipped my toes into raw foods…Next was Greek yogurt everything…oh, and OATS (I don’t even like them). However, after a few months, I’d had enough. I realized that I was spending all of my time thinking about food and about how I could satisfy my readers with amazing new recipes. So I took a step back and made a pact with myself: I could only continue blogging if I promised to be authentic and real–to post when I felt inspired, to not ‘force’ it out. To eat what MY body wanted and to exercise when MY body craved movement. And you know what? I’ve never been happier! My blog is a creative outlet–a place where I can share things that excite me, inspire me, sadden me etc. I don’t post nearly as often as many bloggers, and that’s okay!

    Cheers to diversity and loving ourselves just the way we are! xoxoxo

  49. June 6, 2011 9:57 am

    You just put into words exactly what I have been struggling with the past few days. As someone who is trying to recover from an ED, sometimes what the other healthy living bloggers are doing (i.e. exercising, eating only enough for weight maintenance and not gain) is not what is most healthy for me at the moment. Thanks for putting a voice to my thoughts, and reassuring me that its okay to be “normal” sometimes.

  50. June 6, 2011 11:07 am

    I completely agree! I find myself comparing and I have to make an effort not too!

    Do I eat pizza? Yes! Drink beer. Yes! Get pimples…you bet!

    Here is to more real posts!

  51. June 8, 2011 5:24 am

    Couldn’t have said it better. You are are a phenomenal writer and everything you said was beyond true!

  52. June 8, 2011 10:30 am

    Hey! I’ve been horrible at keeping up with blogs lately, but I was going back through your posts and just had to comment on this one. I completely agree that blogs can give you a distorted view of reality. I’ve never been the type to compare myself to others, so reading blogs never really makes me feel inadequate about myself. That being said, I do occasionally feel guilty when I go out and drink. I’m sure there are a lot of bloggers out there who do drink and just don’t post pictures and/or advertise it, but it’s easy to feel like an anomaly in a community that is so…well…sober. You always hear the health world talk about how “evil” alcohol is and how we should eliminate it from our diets. The health nut in me is always semi-guilty about drinking alcohol (“so many empty calories!”), and the blogging community only reinforces this idea for me. But let’s face it…I’m 20! I’m *supposed* to be making bad decisions and being silly on occasion!


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