In light of the recent article “The Hunger Diaries” which negatively spotlights a handful of food bloggers and the underlying platform in which we all stand on, I thought I’d take some time to discuss my views on ‘healthy living’ blogs and why WKA jumped from being a photo dairy of meals to something much more balanced.
“Healthy Living Blogs” changed my life. I poured over recipes that included real food and I gathered tips on how to incorporate vegetables into my day. I learned about setting fitness goals and I started to grasp the concept that you could lose weight by eating a balanced meal instead of resorting to calorie counting.
When I started WKA I became a member of a community that was supportive and compassionate. Photographing each meal and snack provided me with a sense of accountability and I started to make friends in the blogging community.
Although blogging provided me with support it left me constantly feeling like I needed to do more, to be more. I needed to train for a marathon. I needed to drink Kombucha. I needed to blog three times a day to get readers. And I needed to only have one serving of ice cream. After a lifetime of being overweight I started to feel the guilt consume me.
After stepping back from the internet for the summer and attending the Healthy Living Summit (no, I did not meet Katie) I decided to re-vamp What Kate Ate. Aside from finding a daily food diary boring, I found it obsessive. I felt guilt when I wanted a Dairy Queen blizzard for dinner instead of Brussels sprouts. I spent more money than I needed to on expensive items that other bloggers received for free and I was leaving out things that I ate throughout the day due to embarrassment.
For my own sanity and health’s sake I needed a change. And I also needed a huge wake up call. The truth is that I am not ever going to turn down going out to ice cream with my friends. I don’t like to run. I love French fries and I still think Kombucha is disgusting. And I am overweight. And guess what? That is the beauty of it.
Healthy living is not one size fits all – it’s about balance. Aside from holding each other accountable we need to be working on being a balanced blogging community instead of one that celebrates cookie cutter images. And readers who dive deep into the healthy living waters need to know that there is no absolute, not one way or the highway and certainly never a time where you should be comparing yourself to a person who makes a living off of their blogging image.
And so it leaves us to ponder and mull over what we stand for as a community.
But I think it raises some great points.
What we put out there is permanent and open for interpretation.
Whether or not we are an expert or not some people read our blogs and expect role models out of us. Britney Spears doesn’t like having the paparazzi surrounding her car, but we all agree that it’s part of the territory.
Disordered eating does go on in the blog world. And despite its intention it influences people. And because we don’t want to ruffle the feathers we look past it.
The top tier of bloggers set the tone. They represent the rest of us. And sometimes it’s hard to be objective of them.
Not all of the blogs that we read are examples of the ‘average’ woman. The average woman in this country is not a fitness instructor or a vegan so it flies in the face of reason to fall into the comparison trap. Right?
Although I think the issues could of been brought to our community on a different platform, they are here now. And they need to be addressed.