Everything in moderation, including moderation.

by Holly on October 4, 2010

in rambling,seriousness

Healthy is a funny word.

By definition, it means “the condition of being sound in body, mind or spirit.” That’s just a bit vague, no? It clearly leaves itself completely open to interpretation. I mean, isn’t everyone’s body different? Mine likes beer, but that doesn’t necessarily make gulping gallons of beer a day healthy. Don’t our minds all think differently? While my two-cup-a-day coffee habit saves me from completely failing at my job, there still can be too much of a good thing. And most importantly, aren’t our spirits beholden to a diverse multitude of interests that leave us feeling personally fulfilled at the end of the day?

Jake Gyllenhaal movies, anyone?

In other words, healthy is relative term.

I would like to remind Katie Drummond, the author of the much-hyped about Marie Claire article regarding the inside world of healthy living bloggers, of this fact.

However, it’s not for the reasons you might think.

While many people have jumped to the defense of the six bloggers singled out in this article, I am not going to do that. I will not defend the article nor will I condone it, because, if I am being completely honest, I believe the real truth lies somewhere in the middle.

As someone who has been blogging in this funny lil’ world for more than 1 1/2 years, I feel like I’ve seen and experienced the food blogging culture first-hand – including the downsides of this amazing community. And may I reiterate, it IS quite an amazing community. I firmly believe that.

Originally inspired by the likes of Kath, I was infinitely excited when I started my own blog in April of 2009. It did not take me long to quickly get joyfully sucked in to the blogging community. Before I knew it, I was an Everythingtarian eating raw goat cheddar, oat bran and soy milk on a daily basis.

Guess what? I think those things taste like butt.

Yes, butt.

Not like I would know what butt tastes like, but you get the idea.

But I ate them. Not only that, I ate them for a good six months before I finally realized one important thing: they weren’t healthy for me.

I didn’t like them; my digestion didn’t like them; and I wasn’t honoring MY body by consuming them.

Whether I realized it or not, reading blogs subconsciously had an unhealthy effect on me. I obsessed about how many hits I was getting. I neurotically checked my blog every five minutes for a new comment. I commented on blogs like nobody has ever commented before. Blogging came first; life second. I started eating things I didn’t like and doing things to compete with others, because I thought maybe it was the tar-paved road to health I was so desperately looking for. It was as if somehow eating and doing these things was going to help me shed those last five pounds, conquer those lifelong social demons taunting me to “Look sexier, look skinner in 10 minutes flat!” and find that elusive sense of happiness I undoubtedly wanted and eternally deserve.

Luckily, I did find happiness, but it wasn’t due to identically following the lead of a more popular blogger. It was 100% due to listening to myself. I started eating all the foods that made me feel good, blogging on MY schedule, pursuing the exercise + life goals I’d always wanted to accomplish, being myself, and most importantly, I loosened my grip on the strict notion of “healthy living” and instead had massive amounts of fun.

Quite frankly, Katie Drummond could easily take several of my drunken shenanigans out of context and put them in a negative light as she took other’s healthy habits, doing the same.

Don’t believe me? Refer to this post.

What’s the point of this ramble?

Remember that healthy living blogs (there are LOTS of them!) offer tremendous amounts of foodie + life inspiration, but keep in mind the old, slightly cliched adage: everything in moderation.

Don’t listen to everything someone says.

Listen to yourself.

Popularity is overrated, almost as much as food fads.

Do what is best for YOU.

Don’t be afraid of drunken shenanigans.

Drink champagne and eat vegan cookie dough for dinner.

Laugh, a lot.

And remember, Jake Gyllenhaal movies can cure all.


Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum October 5, 2010 at 8:11 pm

THANK YOU!! I love your blog because you are so honest. I should probably read this once a day.

Katie October 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

While I was reading this post (and looking at your wordless weekend pictures) – I decided that we need to be real life friends. Like, we need to meet because I really like you.

Lynn @ The Actors Diet October 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm

well said, holly. esp. the part about jake.

Rachael October 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I believe there’s a reason cliches are, in fact, cliched. They stick around ’cause there’s some truth to them!
I realized today that out of context, my eating habits must look pretty dangerous. I don’t post a lot of pictures of my plated food, and I believe I may have published a portrait of a skinned and roasted squirrel. Roadkill, my friends. Hence, the context is key, and while most folks are competent and healthy enough to understand that, some are not. And while many people have attested to reading blogs as a means of recovering from an eating disorder or disordered eating, I’m going to be unpopular and suggest that there’s no way in hell anyone who’s been diagnosed and/or is in the early stages of recovery should be anywhere near a food blog. Diversification of interests – moving away from recipes and all things edible, is so key.
That’s all i got. Less sarcastic then usual, but I bought a buffalo-printed blanket at Goodwill today for $3 and life is pretty supreme as a result.

mamaeverythingtarian October 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm

i will speak words of wisdom from a man that had alot to do with your opinionated stubborn and humorous personality. TERRIFIC!!! and as the Strongs now say Harrylarious

Dana October 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

I’m with Katie. I think I need to meet you and seriously become friends.

Extremely well written post Holly. I agree with much of what you had to say and I’m glad you put your opinion out there. I think it will be healthy for a lot of people to hear.

Jenna October 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

Amen sister. I’m with you. At first, I tried to follow in other bloggers footsteps and eat and exercise like they did (negative impact). But then I took a step back, cut back on blogging because hey, I’m not super woman, was honest to what I liked and not just what was the newest ‘must try’ in the blogging community, and in the end, this has turned out to be a healthy community for ME.

While I think the author took many pieces out of context for this article, and I do believe she was unfair to these wonderful bloggers, I do agree that we have to look at both sides.

Lorna October 6, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I like that you listen to your body instead of your mind, and that you advocate having FUN. That says healthy balance! Good post Holly

Sami October 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm

i’ve got to work on listening to my BODY more than my mind…i HATE trying to figure out exactly how i should eat everyday rather than letting my body figure it out. great encouragement, holly :)

Nic October 6, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I wanted to comment that I love your humor… but didn’t want to take away from the serious side of your post. Then I saw your “filed under,” ramblings and seriousness. It made me chuckle cause that’s exactly how I read it :)

Sarah October 6, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Love this post, thank you for an even tempered and well written post on this issue!!

Jessica October 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Preach woman, preach! Loved this post. So honest and relatable! I’m so proud and excited for you–you’re living the life you want, taking care of yourself and looking damnnn fly while doing it! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– you have amazing curls and your bod looks rockin in that dress! Looove you. promise I’ll try to comment more since I love yo blog! let’s meet and drink champagne together soon, please? xoxo

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete October 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

I loved this post, lady. Amen! It’s kinda funny b/c the longer I blog, the more apparent these facts that you laid out become.

Stay warm out there!

VeggieGirl October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

Holly, I heart you. Much. You rock.

glidingcalm October 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

I love you. Great post.

kate October 7, 2010 at 11:36 am

I couldnt relate more to this post! Well done, sister!

Mara @ What's For Dinner? October 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Love this, and LOVE your perspective. I might not always comment, but I always read… My mom wrote a response on my blog about the same issue.

annie October 8, 2010 at 7:05 am

thank you! what an inspirational post. thank you for being a good influence – good to see an example of the UPSIDES of the foodie blogging community :) :)

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