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. WIAW … round fourteen .

August 10, 2011

Hi friends! 😀

I hope that you’re having an awesome day because it is an awesome day. Not only is it the tastiest day of the week, thanks to the beautiful Jenn over at Peas and Crayons, but today also marks the three month anniversary of my little baby [read: blog]. I have no idea where the last three months went, but let’s hope that the next 36 days (EEEEeeeeeEEeeeE) go by just as quickly.

But enough talking. Let’s start celebrating.

Actually, scratch that. There is something that I wanted to talk about today…

While browsing food blogs, have you ever caught yourself trying to guesstimate how many calories were in a specific meal that a blogger was eating?  This is something that I used to do all. the. time. Someone would post a picture of a delicious looking bowl of oats saying that they used:

½ cup of oats, 1 banana, 1 Tbsp. of PB, etc.

… and I’d be sitting there thinking “Okay, that’s… 150 + ~80 + 90…“. Food was nothing but a number, and the blog world nothing but a playing field for comparison. I would feel safe as long as I was eating less than so-and-so, and guilty when I was eating more.

But how accurate was I in my estimations, really? Probably not very. Heck, I can barely even keep track of how many calories I’m eating myself, much less try to accurately analyze someone else’s eats over a medium as unreliable and limited as the Internet.

Take my breakfast, for instance. Would you be able to guess how many calories were in it?

How about in my pre-workout snack?

 

Or my post-workout shake?

Would my lunch be any easier?

My guess is… probably not. And if you could, then I’d love for you to share that information with me, because I don’t even really know, myself. In any case, calories aren’t the point of today’s rant, comparison is. Comparison and judgment. It’s far too easy to look at the way a blogger (or anyone) eats and pass quick judgments.

Oh, she eats too little.

Oh, she doesn’t eat enough fat.

Oh, why is she eating A and B instead of X and Y?

Why this, why that. Why does it matter? I’m me. You’re you. What I have for breakfast isn’t going to determine how much energy you have throughout the day, and what you have for lunch isn’t going to help me to get through my mid-afternoon slump. More importantly, you will never be able to see the entire picture from the confines of a computer screen, so any judgement and assumption that you make are always going to be based on faulty and limited evidence, leading you to faulty and limited conclusions.

I enjoy looking at what other people eat for inspiration and new ideas, but that’s it. I’ve reached a point where I’m comfortable enough in my own choices to not be influenced by the choices of others, and I no longer feel the need to calculate and compare. When I was fighting with guilt and uncertainty over my own eating habits, then I was constantly nit-picking the eating habits of others, but I’ve come to realize and accept that what other people eat is their own business, because they’re the only ones who get affected. I know what works for me and what I need, and today I really needed one of these bad boys…

[/end rant]

It’s been two days or so since I’ve had a cookie dough ball, which is probably the longest that I’ve gone without them since I started making them. Crazy, considering how addicted I am. But I was hit by a mad craving this afternoon, and it was bye-bye sobriety. Chocolate pudding and a good book (I highly recommend The Shadow of the Wind) were enjoyed on the side.

When dinner time rolled around, I kinda sorta had no idea what I wanted. I say kinda sorta because I wanted something like sweet and savory oats, but I wasn’t feeling the oat part. Solution? Use a similar but different grain…

 

Those would be spelt flakes, and they’ve been sitting in my pantry for far too long, so I decided that today was as good a day as any to give em a go, and this is what I ended up with…

A sweet and savory spelt bowl! Which is just a fancy way of saying that I replaced the oats with spelt flakes, added a harboiled egg, a banana, some cottage cheese, and a glob of hummus, and called it a meal. An incredibly delicious meal, at that.

And with that comes the end of today’s post and a take-home message: When you compare, judge, and assume, you only make an “ass out of “u” and “me“, so don’t do it 😀

. – . – . – .

No questions today, really, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of judgment and comparison. Why do you think people do those kind of things?

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97 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2011 5:11 pm

    Amen sista! I totally agree with everything you said, pictures may be worth a thousand words, but they aren’t worth all knowledge!

    I love spelt flakes! Your dinner looks interestingly delicious 🙂

  2. August 10, 2011 5:13 pm

    ugh you are amazing. seriously.. i HATE When ppl do that to me on my blog.. and im sre a LOT of ppl do it… also when i post pics of myself theyre probs comparing themselves to my body and all of that.. i honestly cnt control it tho so if they need to/want to then they can, but im secure enough and i love my life that i dnt need to worry about others!

  3. August 10, 2011 5:13 pm

    I sort of read an article today that talked about “counting” in general (http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/counting-00100000062753/index.html). It really hit me on the noggin today. It doesn’t really matter. Numbers don’t mean a gosh darn thing. They don’t make me happy in fact they’ve ALWAYS made me miserable. I’m working on trying to stop with the numbers and stop comparing. It’s difficult but I know it will make me happier!

  4. August 10, 2011 5:14 pm

    It’s a vicious cycle… trying hard not to compare so much.

  5. August 10, 2011 5:14 pm

    I feel ya, i used to be the same way- and used to pass a lot of judgements in my head- mostly along the lines of “They eat too little! They don’t eat any carbs!” etc…it’s exhausting and useless comparing since we’re ALL DIFFERENT with different needs and circumstances after all.
    And wow the caloric math used to be a crazy automatic mental equation…for what I was eating or a friend was eating, etc…totally useless way to spend mental energy- if I find myself tempted to start adding up I divert my thoughts, I don’t need to know anymore and with times it’s stopped mattering. I also prefer to buy foods that don’t have caloric information on the packages because I don’t want that to a play a role in my decision of if i should eat it and how much of it I should eat 🙂

  6. August 10, 2011 5:16 pm

    Well said! It can be really frustrating when people go hog wild with assumptions, there’s so much more to life. I mean why waste precious time fretting over someone else’s calories? Beat’s me.
    Your eats are nomtastic!! I’ve never heard of spelt flakes before, but they look extremely good 😀

    • August 11, 2011 8:07 am

      i agree! what do the spelt flakes taste like? do they taste like oats?

      • August 11, 2011 9:46 am

        Not really, no. They have a wheatier taste, whereas oats seem to almost be… sweeter? They’re also a bit tougher than oats, and don’t get all goopy and gel-like when they cook. Still good, but definitely not an oat replacement.

  7. August 10, 2011 5:21 pm

    I think we’ve all fallen into comparison traps. Like ‘oh, she only eats sandwich thins- should I not be eating my bread?’, or ‘she has protein shakes every day, does that mean I need them?’. Things of such nature. When I first started my blog and was still finding my little ‘niche’, I always felt… weird. You know- wanting oats twice a day. And everything being sweet. Yeah.

    But now I just post what I post and if people like it, hooray! I love making people happy. If they don’t, then boo for them. They can go on and read something that appeals to them! I eat what makes me happy and write what makes me happy, and people will do what they will with it.

    I’ve found myself thinking many bloggers eat too little and the like, but I stop myself and think ‘well I’m in no place to judge because I’ve NO idea what they do and do not photograph and what their life is like.’. I surely wouldn’t want someone to judge me based on the things I photograph. There’s bunches that go on behind the scenes. Especially with things like oats and all! It’s nearly impossible to guess the numbers on something. My bowls may be small, but my numbers are surely high enough, and them some. HAHA!

    They must just be jealous of your radiant confidence.

    Love you, girlie. ❤

  8. August 10, 2011 5:24 pm

    What an interesting dinner! I’m not really one to mix the sweet and savory too much. I have fallen into the trap where I try to estimate how many calories a certain dish has but it’s just too difficult! lol I just make whatever I want and that’s the end of it 😉

  9. August 10, 2011 5:24 pm

    I love the book The Shadow of the Wind! Enjoy!

  10. August 10, 2011 5:31 pm

    TOO RIGHT!!! I used to do that with EVERY single blog post, but I’ve realised that we’re all different, and that is AWESOME!! I sometimes get comments about what I eat, but it works me and I love it!! 😀

    Oh, and Shadow of the Wind is an AMAZING book!! You have great taste in EVERYTHING: books, muffins, breakfast toppings…. 😉

  11. August 10, 2011 5:37 pm

    Calories don’t make a person. I probably eat more than most bloggers, but I’m a guy with a fast metabolism 🙂 I think people just need to eat what THEY need.

  12. August 10, 2011 5:37 pm

    Amanda i love your rants and here’s why. i still think that way sometimes and when you talk about those issues and kind of “mock” them (i mean that in a good way) you actually kind of help me through my recovery process. because you SAYING it. outloud. and me actually having to hear it. (well ok you’re typing and i’m reading) it makes me realize..she’s right. i do that. i shouldnt. so maybe i wont. as i said i’m still in the process of recovery, but it’s nice to know that it is possible to live a life and not have those thoughts anymore.

    so preach on sister! or errr something like that. you know what i mean.
    lots of love to you. ♥

    • August 12, 2011 11:24 am

      I second this. Ive been in recovery for over a year, and although I dont always act upon my disordered thoughts, I do still unfortunately think this way (far too often than id like). If it werent for your posts about these issues, Id most likely go upon my day thinking that this way of comparing myself to others is ok…and it TOTALLY ISNT! Thank you so much for bringing these issues to the surface Amanda.

  13. August 10, 2011 5:40 pm

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone feels the need to compare themselves to other bloggers or judge the things they eat. Writing mean comments about someone else’s food choices or lifestyle is in no way productive and I really don’t understand the point. You keep being you, Amanda 🙂

  14. August 10, 2011 5:40 pm

    I love how thought provoking your posts are!! People shouldn’t compare what they eat to others. Everyone requires different foods & calories to live!

    Oh and happy blogaversary lady!! :))

  15. fabulousemily permalink
    August 10, 2011 5:43 pm

    I’ll be honest, sometimes I’ll fall into that trap. But you can’t accurately calculate the nutrients in somebody elses meal over a picture. And whos to say they even ate it all? And they might not work out as hard, so maybe they need less?

    This was a great post. Thanks for putting things into perspective.

  16. August 10, 2011 5:48 pm

    oh God, I used to live for counting calories in other people’s posts. Which is why I just stopped food blogging all together.

  17. August 10, 2011 5:50 pm

    I think insecurity is the knot that ties the comparison trap. If you doubt yourself, you’re going to look to others to guide you. The problem is that we can’t be anyone but ourselves. We’ll never be good enough if we dub someone else the ultimate human being, or the spitting image of perfection. I eat a lot of calories. Right now, I’m actually making an effort to eat a lot of calories because I want to be able to exercise a lot without wearing myself out. I’m not going to look at someone’s breakfast of dry toast and skim milk and think, “Oh, crap. There are more calories than that in two bites of MY breakfast.” Haha! And who’s to say that person didn’t end up gorging themselves later in the day because their breakfast was so pitiful? They’re not going to post that on their blog. My point is that–like you said–we can’t tell a person’s life by their page on the internet. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to emulate anyone based off a blog. Even if I COULD see every part of a person’s life from their blog, it wouldn’t be reason enough for me to compare myself to them, because we’re all different. We need to honor our own bodies, and not anyone else’s. I love that you wrote this post. I’m me. You’re you. The end. Who you are isn’t going to change who I am. Although…I might have liked to be you while you ate that lunch. Holy colorful deliciousness!

  18. August 10, 2011 5:59 pm

    I loved this post! I like what you said about food being a number! It totally used to seem that way for me. Now, food is life 🙂 I love how WIAW is NOT about food judgment or comparison! Great eats and happy WIAW.

  19. sarah permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:01 pm

    I don’t think I use blogs as a comparison- more for inspiration to fill my tum with yummies(especially your blog!). Yesterday you gave me the BIGGEST rice cake craving e v e r. I got some & have been toppiing them with nut butter&jam/ honey or cottage cheese& jam like its ma job- crunchy deliciousnes.
    Its Awesome you have become much more comfortable with your own eating habits.
    LOVE that spelt bowl, & just how there is like an egg plopped on top. I’m going to be trying that SOON(like my next dinner), again YOU have inspired my meals!
    Xxx

  20. August 10, 2011 6:07 pm

    Happy blogging anniversay!!! Im so happy that you back to blogging – i truly love each of your posts because they are always so though provoking and inspiring!!!
    Im not sure why we tend to compare ourselves to others – i guess it may be due to lack of self confidence in some cases – but i hate comparing myself to others – especially when it comes to food. We are all unique with different tastes, body types and energy needs – i think as long as we listen to out bodies they won’t steer us wrong!!!
    similarly i too like to read blogs to get new food ideas rather than compare what my meals look like as compared to others.
    Love your eats for today – the spelt flakes look quite interesting!!
    Happy Anniversary!!!!!! :)aimee

  21. August 10, 2011 6:10 pm

    Yes, I think not only do many count numbers, but also I have found myself looking at other workouts. How can they do this much and be sane? Do they work full time and still manage to work out that much? I wish I had that much speed or endurance. I think what it comes down to is the fact that everyone has a different story. Some trying to lose, some trying to gain, some training, some just like to workout for fun, etc. If you compare yourself to others you will make yourself crazy in my opinion.

  22. Jessica permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:13 pm

    I fell into the “judgment trap” and essentially overanalyzed and questioned your eating habits because, as someone who is having a hard time recovering myself, I wonder how reachable TRUE recovery is when I read people’s blogs who claim they are recovered yet their actions SEEM to show a different, rather sad and hopeless picture.

    I didn’t comment or judge in malice, just observed. I do know that regardless, you’re still light years ahead of me in finding balance!

    • August 10, 2011 7:11 pm

      I thank you for your honesty 🙂

      I’m not too sure that a concrete definition of TRUE recovery even exists. Eating disorders are such a complex and deep-rooted thing. Physical recovery is easy enough to measure objectively, but mental recovery? A little tough, and I’m assuming that it would be somewhat different for everyone. In any case, actions are only a small part of the equation. What really matters is the intent and motivation behind those actions, which only the person performing them can be 100% sure of, and all other people can do is trust.

  23. August 10, 2011 6:18 pm

    So true, and I’ve read some pretty angry comments towards people about how much they’re eating. It’s really not fair for anyone to judge.

    Plus, I always think about how we never really know about some bloggers. They may not post everything they eat, they may use plates and bowls that look bigger and smaller than they are, they may, as you said, need different amounts of food for energy.

    I hate the comparison game…it makes me kind of curious about the Healthy LIving Summit I’m attending next week. I hope people stay relaxed.

  24. August 10, 2011 6:18 pm

    I used to do this all. The. Time. And it just got old and tiring. I decided that if I don’t want other people to judge me, then I shouldn’t judge others. Everyone is a completely different person with different needs and we shouldn’t change who we are and what we like to “fit in” or whatever.

  25. August 10, 2011 6:19 pm

    We are all so different and all require a different amount of calories and exercise to feel our best. I used to be self conscious about eating every couple of hours and sometimes eating lunch as early as 10, but then it occurred to me. “why does it matter?” If I’m hungry at 10, I’m hungry at 10. Why be miserable until Noon to eat during “proper lunch hour”?

    • August 10, 2011 7:18 pm

      Gah. The countless hours I spent in misery because it wasn’t yet the “proper” time to eat. I’ll never understand why I forced myself to endure that. I mean, I know why, but I’ll never do it again.

  26. August 10, 2011 6:19 pm

    Great great message of this post. I think everyone has judged/been judged in the blog world about what was eaten for the day. I think it’s important to realize that as readers we don’t see the full picture!

  27. August 10, 2011 6:31 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this post.

    There was a time where I would obsess over portion sizes, number of calories in, number of calories burned. I wouldn’t listen to my natural hunger cues and guess what, I was miserable. The second I let go of control and started listening to my body, I felt completely and utterly relieved.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m immune to comparisons. Sometimes I’ll look at someone’s blog and think “wow, she only eats that much?! I eat 3x that!” and insecurity can start. But then I remember, like you said, I’m ME! As long as I do what’s right for ME and MY body, it’ll all work out. Have a great night!!

  28. August 10, 2011 6:37 pm

    Hey Hey Hey WIAW Warrior!

    I need to jump in again sometime, it is fun to do!! I love Jenn too, she rocks, so that makes it better!

    Oh girl, some people just judge, its human nature I suppose, I think all of us have judged before, I really try not to judge a book by its cover, I just say live your life, don’t worry about others judging, its going to happen ; )

    Love you!!!!

    Thanks for the comment on the train of my dress!!

  29. August 10, 2011 6:44 pm

    I use to post pictures of what I would eat and I felt bad when people started to judge me. The main point is…my goals and what I eat and how I workout are for ME to reach MY goals. I share new food ideas or new things I try from time to time but I don’t share my workouts or my foods. What’s good for one person is not good for another.

  30. August 10, 2011 6:48 pm

    Love your post! I still compare myself with others sometimes…I’m trying not to. I absolutely hate that I do it and I consciously understand that there is absolutely no point in it either- it’s not going to make me feel any better. I think people judge and compare because they aren’t 100% comfortable with themselves and what they are doing. I totally know what you mean about seeing foods and counting calories too…I have done that before and it’s no fun. Not worth it at all!

    • August 10, 2011 7:26 pm

      Mmm I definitely think that comfort, confidence, and security with oneself play a big factor in the comparison game. I noticed that the more comfortable I became with my own eating habits, the less I became interested in the eating habits of others. And it’s frustrating too because, like you said, even though you KNOW it’s illogical, you can’t help but do it. I think it just takes time.

  31. 2tightlywound permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:54 pm

    Thanks for posting about this! I really have to limit the blogs I read because it only throws my ED-fueled competitive nature into overdrive. I have enough trouble worrying whether I’m eating more than my coworkers, my roommate, or my friends without analyzing what every blogger is consuming.
    I must say though, I love reading your blog because I don’t know exactly how much your eating, and you aren’t obsessed with the numbers. (And I hope you don’t take this the wrong way–but you seem to eat a lot and be totally okay with it) So thanks again!

  32. August 10, 2011 7:08 pm

    You put this so perfectly! What I think people sometimes tend to overlook is that we’re all different. Heck, we’re even different from ourselves on a day to day basis! Some people might snack more, with smaller meals…others might prefer large meals and few snacks. I love carbs, and there’s plenty of people who are all for pumping up with protein instead. It’s what works for you, not Joe Schmoe 🙂

  33. August 10, 2011 7:09 pm

    i always tabulate calories in my head when looking at my food and others too. i just try and remind myself that we all have different metabolisms and body types and will react differently to calories/working out/etc. it’s hard to adjust my mindset–but i really shouldn’t care!

  34. August 10, 2011 7:12 pm

    This is an awesome point when you wrote:
    “When I was fighting with guilt and uncertainty over my own eating habits, then I was constantly nit-picking the eating habits of others”

    So true!

    I once saw a comment on another blog that was like “Why didn’t you use oil in that stir-fry?”

    Um….because she didn’t want to? She was out of oil?
    Who cares!

  35. August 10, 2011 7:13 pm

    Completely agree. We are our own person.. and should eat what we want without the fear of being judged.. compared.

    The one thing i never did through my eating disorder… was count calories. I may have eaten next to nothing.. or purged everything I ate.. but never counted. I can imagine it must be a terribly hard habit to break!

  36. August 10, 2011 7:15 pm

    Amen to everything you just wrote here. You seem to bring up a subject that I am contemplating posting about all of the time! Stop reading my mind 🙂 But in all seriousness, I find myself looking at what other bloggers eat and yep I do it, I compare myself and judge what they eat. But judge in the sense that I am concerned…that it could potentially trigger me? I don’t know my exact feelings on this, but I think I am going to post about it in the near future.
    I am so motivated by you…that you don’t count calories, don’t compare yourself… truly amazing lady

  37. August 10, 2011 7:22 pm

    simple enough: because they’re uncomfortable with who they are.

    Samantha
    http://flavorator.blogspot.com/

  38. August 10, 2011 7:23 pm

    love this topic! It is such a good message that needs to get out there to people; just be yourself and don’t try to mimic anyone else! You’ll only fail, where as you’ll always win if you be yourself. simple as that. 😀

  39. August 10, 2011 7:32 pm

    Yay! Happy 3 months to you and your amazing blog!! 🙂
    I used to do that all the time, the whole guessing calories thing. Actually I still do it, but just for the kick of it I guess because I’ve realized I don’t actually really care. I’ll still eat it if it looks good 😛
    Those spelt flakes sound interesting! Do they taste similar to oats?

    • August 10, 2011 7:39 pm

      Erm. No not really. They’re more… wheaty tasting? Lol. And they don’t give out that same goopy gel-like stuff when they cook. Ha! I’m such a winner at describing how food tastes. Bottom line: they’re definitely not oats, but they’re still good in a different way 😀

      • August 11, 2011 7:39 pm

        haha, you’re better at descriptions than you think. I totally get what you’re sayin! 🙂

  40. August 10, 2011 7:40 pm

    No comparisons is right! I never tried to calculate the calories of bloggers meals before. I never really fell to the comparison trap as far as food goes, thank goodness for that. My problem comes as far as exercise go. I get competitive, I’m not gonna lie. But I know I need to do what is best for me, not them. Some people are faster, some people are slower. Some people have more time to devote to exercise. Some people can go further. I have to take care of myself and not worry about what they do! It’s silly and I could wind up injured. Not fun!

  41. babyvanilla permalink
    August 10, 2011 7:55 pm

    Oooh, I hate it when people are comparing themselves…I used to do this, like ”Aaaah, I’m eating more than her…”. Mmmh, ok, so what? That doesn’t make me a bad person. It’s a FACT. After a while, I just got used to it, because I’m eating more than most people I know.
    *When we go to Subway, everyone gets a 6inch…I don’t know how they do that. I always get a footlong!

  42. August 10, 2011 8:28 pm

    “What I have for breakfast isn’t going to determine how much energy you have throughout the day, and what you have for lunch isn’t going to help me to get through my mid-afternoon slump. ” LOVE THIS!!!! SO TRUE GIRL!!
    And I bassically love everything you said in this post!!

    I give you props for eating eggs, banana, and humus together! That combo is just a little to adventurous for me 🙂

  43. August 10, 2011 9:24 pm

    Happy 3 Month Anniversary!
    This post speaks 100% truth, counting calories/comparing/competing is a waste of time, and not fun at all. I hate having numbers fly through my head, I want food to be nutrition & nourishment for my body, NOT a number.

  44. August 10, 2011 9:36 pm

    Loved this post.

    “When you compare, judge, and assume, you only make an “ass“ out of “u” and “me“, so don’t do it :D”

    Can I just say… Best quote ever?!

    It’s so true though, when I read food blogs, I always find myself comparing my intake to theirs, and planning what I can do to make mine more like theirs. Crazy much? I’m so grateful for this post and I agree, we all need different amounts of food to function at OUR own best. Food blogs can be great for finding inspiring new recipes or foods, but should not influence how much or little you eat. Only you, by listening to your hunger and cravings, are the best judge for what and how much you eat. End of story.

  45. August 10, 2011 9:56 pm

    Hehe you rock!!

    I so used to do this. In fact, I shamefully still do from time to time when I’m having an off day. Not that I ever counted calories myself nor am I ever planning to. Even though I know that calories are bull crap, I can’t help but be swayed by them sometimes. This is why I prefer not to know the calorie content of my food. I especially hate buying things in packets for this reason.

    Why do they do it? Because they want to feel better than the person who’s blog they’re reading. “Oh, I can eat better/less then them so I’m waaaaay more superior to you.” And all that jazz. I used to think I was the bees knees when I could eat less and more cleanly than everyone else around me. Now when I think about what I used to think like it makes me shudder. Eating disorders make us EVIL!!!!!!!!!

    xxx

  46. Lenna (veganlenna) permalink
    August 10, 2011 10:50 pm

    Well, people compare themselves to others, because it lies deep in their natur to do this. It can be helpful sometimes, but when it comes to things like (disordered) eating, it can be really harmful. I don´t do the counting-calories-thing, because I really don´t know how many calories are in oats or apple or anything. Eating should be fun and even though I love maths, I better leave counting outside the kitchen 🙂

  47. August 10, 2011 10:51 pm

    Insecurity makes people do stupid things. Comparing is one of them because we all have our personal needs and if someone is OK with having a cup of coffee for breakfast or just a salad for lunch, it doesn’t mean that our own bodies will agree. I eat huge amounts of food and it has always made me feel guilty but maybe that’s just what I need and I shouldn’t fight it.

    When I look for recipes on food blogs I still automatically reject some because my “calorie alarm” goes off but I am much less likely to try to mimic other people’s behavior regarding portion size and “value”.

  48. August 11, 2011 12:01 am

    comparison is really silly because everyone is different and has different needs. What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. Calories can make you go crazy a bit… BUT if you are training for a fitness competition then you need to track not just your calories but your macro nutrients too… i.e carbs and proteins and fats. Maybe not all fitness competitors do – they might just know exactly what works for them after many years of experience.
    I used to suffer from ortherexia… which is a healthy eating obsession and one of the main things with that was feeling ‘ holier then thou’ because of how clean my food was. I have all the answers… my food is 100% healthy… etc. THANK goodness I now have perspective! I got a grip and know that balance and moderation are key. I dont care what people eat and I certainly am a whole lot less calmer with myself about what I eat. However I do rigorous training- always have- so I like to keep track of my macro nutrients to make sure I am feeding my body properly. I don’t track every single meal because it gets pedantic and time consuming and I am not competing… but just to get an overall idea.
    food + guilt= not good.
    comparing yourself to others= dangerous territory!!
    Happy day 🙂

  49. buttonss - Cherie permalink
    August 11, 2011 12:07 am

    Ohh spelt flakes aey? very interesting. Looks so similar to oats.
    I will admit sometimes I look at some posts and think, wow, thats alot of food! Perhaps I’m not eating enough.
    But I then I realise most of the people posting these are athletes or are really into weight lifting which means they usually have the apetite of a monster! (not saying that in a bad way!)
    I have been really good at not comparing anymore and realising every one is different, and some days you are hungrier than others.

  50. georgia permalink
    August 11, 2011 12:57 am

    I’m so glad for for your rant, that you stood up for yourself in response to what seems like ridiculous feedback.
    It comes down to insecurity and validation. People make the comparisons, feel uncomfortable about something as a result, so in order to validate themselves and what they do, they attack bloggers about what they do.
    The thing is… who is making them read the particular blog in the first place?? Why follow someone if you have a negative opinion on their lifestyle – just don’t read the blog anymore if you don’t agree! Why the need to voice your negative views?
    I admit while I don’t count calories, I sometimes compare food group serves/exchanges, as in ‘ah, okay, so there was one protein, one carb, one dairy in this meal, one fat, one protein in this snack’ etc, and *cringe* sometimes imagine the total, as I am learning about minimum daily intakes for each food group. But honestly on my behalf it’s not done in a judgemental way, at all. It’s much more general inspiration about how people eat – lots, little, whatever.

    • August 11, 2011 8:59 am

      I don’t understand why people continue to read and criticize blogs that they don’t agree with, either. But I completely agree with you about the insecurity and validation bit. That’s pretty much exactly why I used to engage in so much comparison – because I wasn’t confident in my own choices and needed external validation for my beliefs.

  51. August 11, 2011 1:13 am

    I actually cant tell you how much I love your posts. ‘I enjoy looking at what other people eat for inspiration and new ideas, but that’s it.’–> I couldn’t have phrased it better myself. No one knows the nitty gritty details and we all have different metabolisms. I’ve seen some bloggers who look around my weight eat so much more than me yet others who eat less than me. The main goal should be to happy with our choices, after all we are (or at least should be) our own benchmark!

  52. August 11, 2011 2:33 am

    I love your ‘rant’ and agree with everything you say, I hate comparison in all forms. We are all individuals for goodness sake, we all have different bodies that need different things as well as just having our own preferences! So glad you highlighted this 🙂 I just love blogs for the amazing inspiration!

  53. August 11, 2011 3:02 am

    Happy Blog Anniversary sweetie! Im so grateful for you and your blog- you are such an amazing person!

    Oh yea, I compare! But for me, its been mostly positive! I havent counted cals in years. But I do compare the amont and what kind of food that other bloggers eats. But its been good, becaue it makes me realize that I eat to little, and that girls do eat!
    I hope no one compare themselfs to my eating though :S

  54. August 11, 2011 4:00 am

    Ah girl, you totally took the words right from my mouth. I am so fed up of people comparing each other..I mean, I admit, there was a time when I caught up in that trap with my ED. I’d think ‘omg I ate more than them and they did x amount of exercise whilst I did none’ and it would be in my head ALL day. Now I’m in a healthy enough place to realise that we are all SO different – with different bodies, different metabolisms, allergies and we just can’t compare. What’s more is that we don’t see everything behind the blog. I definitely don’t post everything I eat so that people don’t compare..but then people pick up on little bits that they think I shouldn’t be eating to recover which is so frustrating when it’s kinda obvious that I’m eating enough as I’m gaining! They don’t see the amount of peanut butter and baked goods I eat in just one day!
    Now I’ve figured that because I was once in that position, people who compare negatively have their own problems and don’t feel comfortable with themselves and what they eat so pick up on other people’s diets. Although sometimes I do read blogs and worry about how little they are eating whilst exercising, I just do my best to give a little advice but it doesn’t affect the amount I eat and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest because I’m happy with me and the way I live! 🙂

  55. allthingswholesome permalink
    August 11, 2011 4:14 am

    I hate the fact that people compare themselves to one another, no two people are the saame, even if you are a twin, you are going to have things you like and dislike, where as your twin may not feel the same. I think there was a time where i felt the same when blogging i would compare myself to other bloggers and felt a sense of happiness if i thought i was eating less than them, but i mean that is just craaaazzzzy.

    I hope you have a wonderful day xxx

  56. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance permalink
    August 11, 2011 4:23 am

    First of all, you’ve only been blogging for 3 months!? I can’t believe it– you’re so awesome at blogging I could’ve sworn you’ve been at it for much longer than that!

    Anyway, this is an awesome topic– We are sadly part of a society that is based largely on judgments and presuppositions. Originally when I was very overweight and I began reading food blogs, calorie counting was definitely something I took part in. Over time it sort of transformed into a meal idea kind of thing, and now calories don’t even cross my mind. Everyone has a different body, different activity level, different food-intake, and who am I to say whats right or wrong? All I can do is say whats right for me. 🙂

    Again, thank you for posting about this!

  57. Susana permalink
    August 11, 2011 6:01 am

    Hello Amanda,
    I’ve been away from the internet for a while. I see that you keep cooking and eating some yummy food. Geez, those pictures make me drool when I try to imagine how good it tastes, serioulsy.

    I keep on my journey to overcome my eating disorder, and it’s been one heel of a ride… But i’ll be okay, i guess. I’m trying my best. And my BMI is healthy finally =)

    Omg, I’ve read that book already. I totally LOVED it. I couldn’t stop reading it! I’ve read all the other books from the author that are translated to portuguese, and let me tell you, you have to read Marina as well. It’s awsome. Carlos Ruíz Zafon is great.

    Ttyl,
    stay well =)
    *

    • August 11, 2011 9:18 am

      Congratulations on getting healthy, Susana! That’s so awesome and I hope that you’re super proud of yourself 😀 I’ll definitely have to look into more books by Zafon. He really is an amazing writer…

  58. August 11, 2011 6:36 am

    Your spelt bowl looks delicious! Spelt flakes rock, don’t they? Have you tried barley flakes? I love them! They’re chewy and toothsome and don’t get mushy when you cook them. They’re also great for making granola. Happy grain eating! 😉

    • August 11, 2011 9:20 am

      I’ve never tried barley flakes, but I’d definitely give them a go if I ever came across them in the store. I’ve tried kamut flakes, though, and while they’re good, the wheaty flavor is a bit too… strong… for my liking. Maybe granola or bars would be a good way to use it up…

  59. August 11, 2011 6:41 am

    When I first started reading blogs about 1.5 years ago I did the same thing with guessing the calories in other blogger’s meals! But I actually did it because I was trying to get an idea of what a health meal should be. Before that I had been surviving on measly ~250 calorie breakfasts. But when I guessed the calorie count of breakfasts I saw on blogs and realized they were eating 400-500 calories, that helped me realize that I was NOT eating enough. So in that case comparing myself to others was actually a GOOD thing for me. 😀

  60. Maxwell@FreedomRunning permalink
    August 11, 2011 7:19 am

    Wow. wow. Amanda you are so talented! Ugh. I want your writing skills!

    I used to compare, not on the blog world, but at meals. I would look at everyone else’s plate and make sure I had less or something healthier. I haven’t compared in the blog world as much, but sometimes I catch myself judging people other people or feeling bad because I had a crazy amount of sugar in one day. 😛 But I am learning to do exactly as you said: accept what I eat because it only affects me and what they eat is for them. Eating is an individual business 🙂

  61. August 11, 2011 7:31 am

    GAH! That breakfast! And that lunch! And that snack! Seriously. I want to re-do yesterday and have your day instead!

  62. August 11, 2011 7:40 am

    SO SO SO TRUE! The blog world can be very judgmental, yet sometimes eye opening. You hit the nail on the head with this one. I receive alot of emails regarding how many calories I take in a day, how much a burn off at the gym etc etc etc. I get tired just thinking about it because it is something that I used to obsess about. Luckily I have overcome it and if i can help someone who may be on that path, then I jump at the opportunity.

  63. August 11, 2011 7:47 am

    Sometimes it’s so easy to compare and judge because people put their lives out there for everyone to compare and judge! I think we have to remember that bloggers are people with insecurities and shortcomings, just like everybody else. It’s so easy to forget that.

    I’m so glad that food isn’t just a number to you anymore Amanda! It looks like you are doing a fabulous job eating amazing concoctions that are worthy of more than just calorie counts.

  64. August 11, 2011 7:58 am

    Unfortunately, I do the calories count for my own food ALL. THE. TIME. I did it last night actually when I made my pancakes. It’s so disheartening and time consuming. Whenever I see anything… Any meal, dessert, bowl of oatmeal, soup, etc. I try to guest-imate what calories are in it. It’s probably one of the hardest things to overcome. Sometimes I feel like it’s just never going to go away.

    With that said, I found your blog a while ago and read through your old one. (Your story). And I was amazed at how much my thoughts matched yours. Your actions/thoughts/recovery. I’m glad I just re-found your blog because it’s an inspiration.

    Have a good day 🙂

  65. August 11, 2011 8:13 am

    Great post! I think comparisons will always be made no matter what. People need to realise that individuality is a beautiful thing.

  66. August 11, 2011 8:15 am

    i can’t say i’ve never tried to estimate someone else’s calories, but i haven’t done it for a while, that’s for sure. it’s sad that so many people over analyze and compare so much. it’s truly unnecessary and, like you said, detrimental to our mental health. EVERYONE is different. Throughout my recovery, I’m trying hard to not even analyze the way I eat. Like you say, we have to listen to our bodies. Good post! (and appropriate timing, I might add, too! =P )

    xx alexandra

  67. Jessica permalink
    August 11, 2011 8:35 am

    Who cares how many calories?? It tasted good, right!?? (Sure looks like it does!!) I used to look at people’s eats and add up the calories but those days are gone. Comparing doesn’t do any good, not for me anyway. I often get “you have such dainty meals” or “I feel like a monster compared to you” comments … I don’t post all my food. Meals, daily intakes etc can look very skewed on blogs because you don’t know whether people are being truthful when they say: “plus 4 snacks and second helpings” etc.
    In an ideal world we wouldn’t waste so much time comparing and contrasting each others habits all the time. However, to an extent, I think comparing yourself to another is almost second nature. It’s how we make friends – by finding common ground. I guess in the blog world we still do it but it’s virtual and we take what we see at face value.
    Still, the destructive comments from other bloggers about eating or exercise habits is so not necessary. Even if you are thinking it, I don’t think people need to force their insecurity on others or try and knock them down. It’s about the individual and what their body needs. If you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say it.

    Anyway, great post, great eats and happy blogiversary! 🙂

  68. August 11, 2011 9:43 am

    Ah, this post is so great! I think by simply having foods blogs, we put ourselves out there for judgments. But, everyone is different and everyone has a different goal. For example, I lost a significant amount of weight so I eat to maintain that weight loss. Whereas others may be overcoming an ED and thus they eat to gain weight/maintain weight gain. Basically, we are all different and we all eat differently for various reasons. You laid it out so perfectly! 🙂

  69. August 11, 2011 11:22 am

    Great post Amanda! I actually used to do the same exact thing…
    I’d compare what i was eating to what someone else is eating..which isn’t a good thing to do. we all have different bodies. im a teenager, and i need to realize that maybe since i play sports and am still growing i should be eating a little bit more than a grown adult. or the same amount as a marathon runner? ahh im doing it again. i have to see that i should eat my amount and not anyone elses. im totally confusing myself now. 😛

  70. August 11, 2011 12:32 pm

    Happy blog anniversary!! This is too true. Before I made my own bloggy I used to do it all the time. More so with recipes than with just pictures, but still. Sometimes looking at what other bloggers were eating and comparing it to my meals though helped me. I saw that I was restricting myself way too much and eating way too little. With that said I don’t think any other comparing would be good. Counting especially was the most horrible thing for me, or having an exact set meal time. It’s so hard to let go of old habits. I’m still working on it and there are times when I’m totally insecure in my own decisions, but I’m doing my best to go in the right direction :]

  71. August 11, 2011 1:28 pm

    Alot of times it is insecurities. I mean I know I compare myself to everyone because of my insecurities. I really try not to judge people, so that one I cant really say. Either way, I think it is important to just try and remember that we are all so different, and neither judgement nor comparing ourselves to eachother will ever be really beneficial. Getting to know someone and looking at their HEART should be what matters most!

  72. August 11, 2011 2:31 pm

    I love this post. It’s SO hard not to fall into the comparison trap when it comes to the amount of food other bloggers eat in a day. It’s so hard not to compare but we all have different nutritional and dietary needs. I say eat when you’re hungry and as long as it’s healthy, calories shouldn’t be a huge factor!

  73. August 11, 2011 3:36 pm

    I think when I was deep in the ed i did compare myself to others what thye were eating making sure i ate less. but now this doesn’t bother me, we all need different amounts and calories are a waste of time. i eat what i need to stay healthy and what i enjoy eating.

  74. August 11, 2011 5:25 pm

    Its one of the main reasons I started WIAW… for inspiration and celebration and to SQUASH comparison and judgement. I’m hoping it desensitizes people to judging others eats a little and also gives everyone great ideas on how to mix up their fav foods and such when they get bored! or to find new ways of getting protein… or calcium.. or whatever really!

    but the judgement can suck it. i get so mad b/c bloggers are super sweet but ppl in real life are SO JUDGEY of me. i hate it!

    end of my rant 😉

  75. August 11, 2011 8:04 pm

    The last line of this post was simply perfect. (;

  76. Mushroomz permalink
    August 12, 2011 5:00 am

    Ugh. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I sometimes still do that, just to see if I should eat less/more than I do. Even though I am aware of the fact that everyone’s different and everybody’s body needs a certain amount of energy (and calories) to fuel, depending on what they do throughout the day.

    On the brighter side, banana, eggs and hummus? Such a strange combo, I DEFINITELY have to try that!

  77. August 12, 2011 9:50 am

    I swear you just completely read my mind, everything you said was exactly what I was thinking at that moment as I blog-surfed. I think it’s probably because we females are always comparing ourselves to others, like OMG she’s skinnier than I am, OMG she’s prettier than I am, whatever. I do it all the time. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just intraspecies competition, to put it scientifically lol. If you see someone who looks healthier, skinnier, prettier, etc. than you, you’re gonna want to do what they do in the hopes that it’ll make you healthier, skinnier, prettier, etc. when really that’s not the case. You know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess

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