All of the craziness surrounding “The Hunger Diaries” as of late got me thinkingt: why do I blog? And, more importantly, what keeps me motivated to live a healthy lifestyle? It’s a lot to process all at once, so today I want to focus on why I blog!
going into it.
Back in the spring…May, I think it was, the 2010 Healthy Living Summit was announced. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t know much about it, but it sounded like it would be a great experience. At that point, I read blogs and had contemplated starting one, but kept pushing the idea aside. Now, I know you didn’t have to write your own to attend and there were plenty of wonderful people I met that weekend that are readers. Despite that, it was just what I needed to start my own. Before the registration opened up, I got on WordPress, picked out (what I think is) a clever title and waited.
The night of registration, I had tickets to attend a performance of Rent at a local theater with some coworkers, so I couldn’t be at my computer when everything opened up. I knew my chance was going to come and go, but I put my name on the waiting list and hoped. The next morning, I got an email: I was in!
Shortly after, I was going to Nashville for a long weekend, so I waited until I got home from that trip to really get things started.
I, like I assume most bloggers, started out just writing. There wasn’t anybody commenting on my posts, I didn’t have any subscribers, it was just me and my little ole site. I was okay with that. I am still okay with that. At the end of the day, it is encouraging knowing people read and might even find motivation/inspiration from what I contribute to the healthy living blog community, but I started this site for me and I want to keep it for me. When it gets to be about numbers, I don’t want to do this anymore. Nonetheless, when I did get my first comments or subscribers, it did give me warm fuzzies. They like me, they really like me!
The first couple weeks, I felt completely awkward taking pictures of my food, particularly in public places. What would people think? I got over that pretty fast when I realized how much I loved working on my site. I quickly learned how it makes me feel accountable to myself.
I’ve been blogging for just under five months now and I love it. I think in many ways, I’m still trying to find my voice and the real feel I want for my site. I don’t think that happens overnight. If it did for you, count yourself lucky. The Summit has come and gone, and I’m still here. Why?
Friendship. I have developed so many friendships over the past several months. It was such a blessing to finally meet so many people I had come to know through their sites in person over a couple short days in Chicago. My family and friends laugh because I see my blends as real friends. No, it’s not the same as my best friend who I share an apartment with or the friend who I am standing as maid of honor in her wedding, but friends are friends and I feel lucky to have an enormous amount of wonderful people in my life.
Support and encouragement. Like anyone, I have days where I get too hard on myself. I didn’t eat enough of the healthy, “right” stuff or I feel like a lazy butt because I haven’t worked out in x number of days. Whatever the thought process may be, all I need to do is send out a Tweet or write about it and somebody’s got my back, encouraging me. Sometimes, developing healthy habits is hard, especially after years of the wrong mindset. It can be easy to fall back into old patterns or get frustrated. But, the support I have found in this community is priceless.
Personal growth. Just in the few short months that I’ve been blogging, I feel like I have changed so much in my habits. Green monsters, chia seeds, and hot yoga? I never, ever would have tried that stuff on my own. Heck, I never would have heard of chia seeds outside the context of the Chia Pet if it weren’t for this community. I don’t feel tied to the scale anymore, that I have to weigh myself every single morning…or even multiple times a day. I can rest in the fact that (most days) I eat well and am active. Beyond that, my body will do what it needs to do. I have found an immense amount of freedom in that.
Additionally, I find so many more personal challenges amongst the blog community. People who have run marathons or biked centuries are such an inspiration and it makes me want to push myself further, not just fall into complacency in the routines I already have.
Recipes. Bloggers are so creative! I have discovered so many new recipes as a result of this community! Everything from food combinations to actual recipes, the ideas are always coming! Even new twists on stuff I already try, like new and improved smoothies. This group of people is a fountain of knowledge!
I could go on and on about the ways that this community has inspired, encouraged, and motivated me. Ultimately, I do think it’s important for readers and bloggers alike to remember why they are and want to be a part of it. It can turn into something unhealthy, I will admit that, but like most anything in life, this is all about what you make of it.