Warning: Honest/Rant-y post right here.
I’ve been kind of pissed off/frustrated/upset with our little blogging community the last few months. It’s impacted the way I read blogs – in that I’ve basically stopped, save for the occasional link on twitter or checking some of my blog besties sites. It’s also impacted the way that I blog – in that I’ve basically stopped blogging myself the last few months.
It’s been something I’ve discussed with many of my blog besties and found several people who feel the same way as I do. So I finally decided yesterday that it was time I said something about it.
This post isn’t written to incriminate anyone, to point fingers, to mention anyone’s blog in particular. It’s really just a generalization of what I’m seeing/reading happen and how it makes ME feel. If it doesn’t make you feel the way it makes me feel, I’m glad to hear it. But don’t think I’m hinting at anyone in particular or talking in code. I’m just putting my feelings out there in a hope that it inspires me to blog differently, and hopefully some of you too.
I’ve started feeling like certain bloggers/blogs are moving in the direction of anti-inspirational content that is making some people feel bullied into being healthy. How does this happen? I’ve noticed a lack of the blog world talking about balance lately. A lack of talking about REAL LIFE and how we all miss workouts, we all have splurge meals and we all need that balance between healthy living and indulgence/slothdom.
I originally typed out a long list of the stuff that I’m seeing that is driving me crazy, but it turned into me preaching and ranting. So I want to give you some broad examples of what I am seeing, and if you don’t understand why these things have been bothering me, email me and we will talk.
Briefly, I’ve seen an increase in content of the following (again generalizations) on twitter/instagram/facebook:
1. Posting a picture of you working out every single day. 90% of the time, you look the exact same.
2. Posting inspirational comments/emails someone left for you.
3. Making your own hashtags/challenges with hashtags and then making graphics for these things and posting them over and over day in and out. Because frankly, that makes you look like you are WAY too into yourself in my opinion. Have a challenge any day, but don’t make it seem like you are the only person that could be sponsoring that challenge because you are SO healthy.
4. Only showing the “healthy” things that you do, but never posting a splurge meal, a night on the couch, or showing that you have any sort of balance in your life when it comes to healthy living.
5. Having a “healthier than thou” attitude and scoffing at anyone who chooses to not have a healthy moment or indulges a little too much. Or doing so yourself, but never sharing that with anyone else and going off the radar when you go through a tough time or have a bad day.
6. Never showing your real life and how healthy living fits into that life.
I don’t even have to read blogs to feel bullied by these things. It’s all over our social media networks.
In my mind, there is a clear distinction between what motivates me/inspires me – and what bullies me/leaves me feeling guilty. We ALL compare ourselves to others, it’s human nature and it happens. When I see these bloggers moving towards this “healthier than thou” or “look how I’m SO HEALTHY ALL THE TIME” – it makes me feel down on myself.
None of the above 6 things are “real”. None of them are relatable to someone, like me, who has a really busy crazy life right now. And others have definitely expressed these same opinions to me, so I know that it’s not just me that feels this way.
How are these things inspirational? How are you inspiring others by only posting the perfect things you do and not showing people how you unwind? We aren’t showing the world how we have a healthy life IN BALANCE with everything else we all go through in life. When people post the things I listed above (and many others) – it just breeds this obsessive and compulsive obsession with being healthy.
I really think a lot of these things come along with having a bigger blog. I’ve seen several bloggers have their readership grow, and these habits started to increase. I feel like it’s anti-inspirational to all those newbies and people just starting out to not show them balance. To not show them that this a lifestyle and here’s how I fit these healthy habits into the rest of my life, in a world (and country for us Americans) that doesn’t value health first. This is especially true because when people first start to get healthy, they are already obsessed with it. Then following others for motivation that are OCD themselves (or broadcasting to the world that they are OCD about being healthy) – we are just making these people crazier by not showing balance.
Furthermore, for us seasoned veterans who do still struggle daily (because we ALL struggle with something daily), these bloggers are ousting us from the community. We feel belittled and frustrated and guilty that we aren’t doing the things others are showing that they are doing. And for me personally, I stop producing content on my blog, because my life can’t compare to others. I can’t workout 2 hours a day right now. I can’t do a 3 minute plank. I can’t develop new recipes every weekend. So I clearly feel like anything I have to say isn’t worthy compared to what others are doing.
I don’t think people realize that they are being bullies. I know a lot of people don’t do this on purpose. And that’s why I wanted to write this post to encourage you ALL to look at your content and look at the message you are sending out to others. Are you preaching balance? Are you preaching healthy but sane living? Are you acting “healthier than thou”? Are you acting like you are the most healthy person on this planet and everyone should follow in your footsteps?
I want to end this with one more request. Healthy living ebbs and flows, as my beautiful blogger friend Chase said a few months ago. At some point, we will all ebb when another is flowing. IF you are feeling bullied by someone, you should un-follow them – it’s as simple as that. So if someone un-follows you, don’t take it personally. Don’t confront them about it, don’t bully them into re-following you. Don’t think that they hate you. It’s not YOU, it’s them. They will re-follow you when they are ready.
This is why I haven’t been blogging. This is why I stopped posting my meals/groceries several weeks ago. I don’t want to be this person. I’m doing the best that I can right now to balance healthy living along with my internship – and some days I slam dunk, other days I fall on my face.
Writing this post has inspired me to go back to my favorite types of blogging – random shit that I think is cool/funny that I want to show y’all. Things that my FRIENDS want to read. If a post doesn’t have pictures, you’ll get over it. And if you won’t, don’t read my blog.
I just want to blog about my life again, and not try to compete with what everyone else is posting. SO I make that promise to all of you and I hope we can all move back to a place of balance, rather than competition in our community.