You know those posts that just don’t come out right, that could go on for hours, that are written and rewritten thousands of times? Yep, this is one of those.
I told you that in my daily life I set ‘intentions’ which is how I approached this post. My intention is NOT to judge, criticize or call out. Actually, this is more a self reflection, what I need to work on. Even more, it is meant to be relatable because I know feeling alone can be, well, lonely.
What spurred on this train of thought? One, everyone is going back to school. It is so strange that I am not getting ready to re-enter dorm life, reunite with friends and get ready for classes. Honestly, I am happy about this. Don’t get me wrong, I did love college (well parts) but there are certainly things I will not be missing. I am reminded this as I see tweets or messages or posts about how they are getting their body ready, their diet ready for school. How they need to improve physically to be ready for school. Yuck, that I do not miss. The idea that you are not good enough to just go back, you have to be different (in reality all the same as others) as you re-enter.
Second, the blog world has been chirping with lots of different opinions. No need to name them all but I think a lot of it is just questioning, what is a healthy living blogger? If you haven’t, read One Fit Foodie’s post. There have been others either justifying, denying or questioning what truly is healthy living. Heck, I could not define that even if I tried aka why I struggle to see a niche for myself in the blog world.
And there we are. Back to the idea of the ‘in’ crowd. From tenth grade to college I struggled. I went from being unique, independent and different in middle school to all of a sudden hating those labels. I wish I could paint a picture for you. In middle school, I had the best friends ever. We were a group of girl and guys that wore converse when nobody did, wore band t shirts with bands no one had heard of, loved drama and knew the words to every musical, started a day where we wore crazy outfits to prove that even though people made fun of us, we were confident in who we were. Gosh, I loved those years. Then came high school. All of a sudden I joined a new group of friends purely out of sports interest. Because of sports, I no longer had time for drama and had to mold to the athletic friends group I made. Now, I am not saying I hated those friends. They were great girls and guys BUT it wasn’t me. The worst part was, I knew it. I struggled to gain my confidence in all parts of my life, I wasn’t a good enough runner, dresser, eater or socializer. I didn’t have guys coming after me, I didn’t eat healthy, I didn’t shop at JCrew and sure as heck did not know how to be a girlie girl.
College it only got worse. I could not fit in, I could not find a friend group to belong in. I had that expectation that in college I would find that group of friends I would spend the rest of my life with. I did not. Not even close. I tried to adapt to the social scene and my lack of drinking, clothing style and flirting kept me far away. I was lucky to find the Resident Adviser crew or else college would have been unbearable. I would go back in a heartbeat to those people and only for them.
I am not sure why my mindset shifted to having to be in the ‘in’ crowd. I don’t know why I wanted to be one of them so badly I was willing to risk my healthy, lose the Alex I loved and shatter my confidence. I don’t think I will ever know. I spent those years comparing what I did, ate, wore and WAS to the other females. Comparing is my weak point and my nemesis. I still constantly struggle with it. I have developed skills and mantras to keep me grounded, but time and time again it knocks me down.
So where I am going here? Lately, I have been unsubscribing from some of my normal blog reads, even used to be favorite blog reads, even big name blog reads. I realized I was getting so sucked in to the lastest crazes, not that I would do them but that I would feel bad and discouraged that I can’t do them or wasn’t doing them. This is where I ask for your forgiveness, but I am sick of hearing about how I should eat clean, should eat Paleo, should try this new workout (because what I am doing does nothing for me), how my body should look. I get enough of that in the social media. I didn’t realize that daily I was opening my computer to a world of comparison that I think was taking a larger toll than I believed. All of a sudden I saw eating changing, cutting out whole food groups, trying this cleaner way of eating. Eek, I am the girl who eats sugar with a spoon basically and whip cream right in the mouth. I was beating myself up mentally. BUT YOU SEE this was my work – people can do what they want, healthy or not, I can’t live my life comparing to all those around me. A sad existence to say the least. And still I see myself wondering if I could eat like them. I have not seen or met one blogger that eats like me. Hold up – I’m the only Alex here. I eat to fuel my body, to avoid my gluten allergy and satisfy my cravings. Shouldn’t that be good enough?
Even worse, I have actually lost my words in some of the blogs I used to read. Even the blogs I read daily I honestly don’t know what to say when they talk about weight, food or diets. I realized I was commenting on food I actually thought looked quite disgusting and was something I would never try. Or I was commenting on a lifestyle I knew was unhealthy, under eating, or restricting. I see so little food and I am baffled that they eat that little, work out that much – but worse what I ask is why do I eat so much (yes, I know rarely do they actually put everything they eat but really)? Ah! Why Alex why?
Ah, the ‘in’ crowd. I wanted so badly to be in this blog community. I still really do. But I need to have limits. I honestly feel inadequate in this community. I don’t post the way they do, I don’t take good pictures, I don’t have great experiences, I just blog. You know what, there is nothing wrong with that though. People will read if they want and hate if they don’t. I will CONTINUE EACH DAY to reach out to those blogs I love. I will try my hardest to connect with ones I want to and if I get no return so be it.
My intention comes back to taking care of you. Healthy and happiness for me, for the first time, go hand in hand. I blog because I love it. I have some amazing readers, lurkers and bloggers out there. One day I will meet them in person. I hope someone, everyone, one person got something from this. Be who you are and understand taking care of yourself is the healthiest thing you could do. Go ahead, unsubscribe from those that trigger you… it is freeing. Those who are unhealthy can preach they are healthy, defend their health… I promise you, they will find the restriction that they have put on their life.
You know what I will continue to do? I will continue to
- Blog like Alex, pretending I am all cool and stuff. You know how I do.
- Put sugar free jelly beans in the freezer because they taste so much better that way (by the way, sugar free actually taste sweetener, I’m in love)
- Eat whip cream on a spoon when I can.
- Be more conscious about the comments I make on blogs, asking is this really what I want to say? No need to put on a face there.
- Be grateful for me, I may not love it yet, I may not be super confident yet, but I am grateful for all my little quirks.
There you go team, what I had to say. A post that has been in the making for a while for sure.
Questions: Do you feel pressure in the blog world? How do you deal with the blog lifestyles?