The good, the bad, the changeable?

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.

The Good

“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.

The Bad

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.

The Changeable

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.

Thoughts?

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “The good, the bad, the changeable?

  1. THANK YOU for posting something balanced. I think a lot of bloggers might feel the same way but fear being ostracized by our community for having an opinion about what really does go on.

    I can relate to your “The Bad” sections 100%. I’m pretty new to blogging but I love the community and the friendship. Living in a world where most people don’t understand or relate to my 100+ pound weight loss is hard. I felt very isolated during my journey.

    As for the “The Bad…” I feel the same way. For awhile I went through lots of negative feelings of inadequacy because I don’t have a super fancy camera, I can’t afford to go to blog seminars across the country. I have a full time job and can’t spend all day trying new classes and running 20 miles. I was spending too much money on products and wondering why I wasn’t like the “Big 6”.

    Then I thought, “Why would I want to be?” I’ve since realized that everyone’s story is different and my story is WAY different than most. Losing the equivalent of a person changes someone. I add value to the community, just like they do, and YOU do Kate. We all have our own story to share.

    🙂

    • i couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve been struggling to “fit in” into this healthy lifestyle blogger profile – taking obsessive pictures of my food (i eat it before i remember, whoops?), running even though right now it just doesn’t fit into my life and feeling guilty when i don’t get in a 5 miler in. I got over that comparison but it is there, and you and I? We ain’t the only ones.

      God bless you for being a voice of reason. Regardless of what you think, there is definitely some issues going on in the healthy living blogging community – regardless of whether these girls have them or not (which i don’t think they do – i find them to be quite inspiring!)

      Glad i found your blog today sifting through the havoc of all the comments regarding this crazy article!

  2. Best response post I’ve read all day. Hands down. I knew you were awesome. 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed reading your response to the magazine article! It was level-headed, carefully written, and really examined both sides of the issue. I agree that there are parts of healthy living blogs that are not great for readers, and I loved that you took the time to reexamine your own blog and figure out what works best for you.

    Way to go!

  4. Love this! I really enjoyed reading your take on the healthy living blogs situation. Keep on keepin on 😉

  5. Great post! I can definitely relate to what you wrote. I view myself as kind of an onlooker to the community. I read a lot of the blogs, comment occasionally, but my blog is about food/cooking/recipes, so I”m not really in the same community. But I just wanted to tell you I think this was great and I like your blog 🙂

  6. I’m loving reading everyone’s responses, and it’s refreshing reading someone who isn’t all up in arms about the situation. I agree that it seems like the author of the article didn’t particpate in completely honest journalism, but it also does raise some good points.

    Like you stated, taking photos of everything almost made me more obsessive about food and guilty if I ate something “bad”. That’s why I recently stopped photo journaling. It was too much, and I wasn’t being true to myself.

    I read 4 out of the 6 “big six”, and they are great at what they do, but sometimes it does make you feel pressured to feel like you need to live up to them.

  7. Your response to the article is definitely one of the best I’ve read so far! Thank you for stepping back and pointing out “the bad” and really evaluating the whole situation. I really like the direction your blog has taken lately and I enjoy being a reader 🙂

  8. Amazing, amazing recap on this topic!!! Healthy living blogs provide so much good, BUT we must each be realistic in the approaches that work best for us.

  9. Hi Kate. This is the best post I have read about this all day. I do not read all of the blogs covered in the article, but I do read some of them. I am a new blogger and did fall into the trap of feeling inadequate because I cannot afford a $500 camera or spend a ton of money on fitness gear or groceries AND I didn’t want to blog 3 times a day (or even everyday). Thank you for opening a discussion about these issues and being true to yourself!

  10. Your response to the article is well-written, honest and level-headed. That article astonished me. All of the food blogs I read seem to be well balanced, and common sensical. People who teach me new ways to incorporate healthier foods and cook with vegetables (and get me to try stuff I never would have otherwise!) but also still definitely indulge. Learning new ways to motivate myself to exercise purely for the health and energy but never getting an obsessive/guilt vibe. I’m sure there are those blogs out there but that article sure made a bad name for everyone else. Keep doing what you’re doing darling, I support you!

  11. This was for sure one of the best recaps of the whole story!

  12. Amazing post, level-headed and comprehensive. When I read the article, I reached the conclusion that it was one-sided and downright unfair at points, however it did make me think because it raised some points that I had also faced (actually my last post was about this issue). And then, I read the rebuttals and everybody was so indignant and everything and I thought that it was just me that saw the other side of the moon. Guess I wasn’t! Makes me feel so much better… 🙂 Once again, congratulations for an amazing recap!

  13. Anne Marie

    I love your response to the article! Thank you for sharing an accurate picture of what blogging can be all about. I was disappointed but not surprised by the article or the behaviors that some of the ‘super 6’ may have as unhealthy (5k, 15k, marathon in one wkend sounds unhealthy). As with all aspects of live there is the ‘good, bad, and the changeable’! You are an incredible!

  14. This is such a great response. Thank you for your honesty!!

  15. Pingback: Stand up for healthy living bloggers!!

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