So, I read somewhere between five and a gazillion “healthy” blogs. They range from everything from food pictures/food diaries/thinspiration to some pretty awesome ones like NutritionistaÂ and Shedding It, who have lots of “real content.”Â I’d like to think my blog is somewhere in the middle, and that’s actually right where I like it.
Rachel from Shedding It had a guest post on NutritionistaÂ this morning, and I think that post is a good springboard for some things I’ve been thinking about lately. I read that post and thought “Oh snap! I do half of that…” (And I will say that the inspiration for my Spring Shape-Up absolutely came from Nutritionista’s Winter Shape-Up. I loved what she did, and I wanted to continue it.)
I started this blog with dual intentions — partially to chronicle (for myself, and anyone else who was interested) my weight loss journey, to keep myself accountable. The other piece was as another writing outlet and to develop some more Web skills so I could show my chops when looking for jobs. I chose Tumblr as a platform because I loved (and still do) its interactivity. I follow a good number of other healthy blogs and probably, an even bigger number of blogs about other things and other people. What I love about some of my favorite blogsÂ is the heavy dose of the writer’s personality and a glimpse into her life.Â
A part of the reason for my blog is definitely to show editors that I pitch that I have written about health topics before. I’ve been toying, for a while, with the idea of either introducing more planned out/scheduled content (most of the stuff I write now is pretty much written on the fly) on this blog or starting a different blog and keeping my Tumblr as just a fun Tumblr where I post links and photos and respond/reblog with other people.
Who knows? Maybe it’s not possible for me to accomplish both objectives on one blog. I want to stay authentic to me and my readers without boring them — either from my posts being omg-oatmeal-everyday or from my posts actually being *too* planned.Â
I’m still relatively new to blogging, and I’m still trying to figure out the best way to connect with my readers and different ways to present information. Sometimes that will be planned out and written ahead of time, sometimes I’ll come back from the gym and omg-have-to-write-about-my-workout-or-something-I-thought-of-while-at-the-gym.
Will I continue to post pictures of almost everything I eat? Absolutely. This has helped me tremendously in my weight-loss journey. I still want McDonald’s sometimes. What stops me? Thinking, oh, I will have to put a picture of that on my blog. Do I *have* to? No. But that’s what keeps me honest, so that’s what I do. I like to think that I’m a professional writer and strive to creatively describe my meals and the reality of staying healthy is what keeps people coming back.
I think a lot of what keeps people connecting with blogs is personality. I remember GeorgieÂ asking on her blog relatively recently what it was that readers wanted to see more or less of. I remember the answer resoundingly being her personality. Georgie is pregnant and about to pop any day. Do I care about the cute baby stuff she writes about? Not in the least. But do I love her writing style? Absolutely.Â
At the end of the day, would I love a book deal or to make money off my blog? Sure. Absolutely. But what I love the most is connecting with the people that read my blog. I love getting e-mails from people saying that I’ve inspired them. That definitely inspires *me* to keep going down this healthy road. I think of my readers when I’m running a race. I want to push myself as hard as possible so I can tell you that I just PR’ed my half-marathon.Â I’ve made some real-life friends from my blog, and I know some of my real-life friends have learned from my blog.
Sometimes I think my posts are too puppies-and-sunshine-all-the-time! Yay!
Weight loss is hard. I’m not going to sugar coat that. Not in the least.
But losing 50 pound and running two half-marathons and thinking about preparing for my first marathon (omg) is so incredibly rewarding. I ran my half-marathon four days ago, and I am *still* glowing every time I think of it. There’s plenty of negativity on the Internet, and we all struggle enough every day to keep healthy. I try to show you that I do fall down sometimes, but I get up the next day and just try harder. I’ve learned over the past year or so that I have so much more strength deep down (both physically and mentally) than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve seen that I can do it, and I want to help show you that you can do it, too.
I still have a lot to learn — about blogging, about weight loss, about myself, about other people. But I’ve also learned a lot over the past year of so. Maybe this post will come off as a bit defensive to Rachel’s post, and I didn’t intend it as such. But I always aspire to be better, and I have the same aspirations for this blog. I challenge myself to figure out how many ways I can describe the same breakfasts. I challenge myself to figure out how to describe a meal that is not all that exciting. I challenge myself to do something *totally different*.
I’m a regular girl who’s lost a lot of weight, and I’m showing you how it’s possible. Maybe someone has just started reading who never thought to put sunflower seed butter in her oatmeal because she’s allergic to peanuts. (If you *are* just tuning in? AWESOME idea.)
So anyway. This is where I am coming from when I write, and this is where I am going. I’d love to hear your thoughts.