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.
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.