the great “healthy living” blog debate.

by Melissa on August 20, 2011

I’m going to have to tell you how long it took to write this post at the end…because with how much “controversy” might spring up and trying to write without offending a shitton of people…it’ll probably take a while to write.


In the past 5 minutes, I’ve read one blog post about why a soon-to-be-chef doesn’t consider herself a “healthy living” blogger anymore, because her miles have become fewer, but she still runs. She doesn’t work out 6 times a week…but still works out 3-4 times a week. She eats meals a little differently, because she’s learning to become a chef. She has dessert and takes naps. A comment from another blogger on this post said something about how she doesn’t consider herself part of the “healthy living” blog community either…because life without butter and cream are torture.


Hold the freak up.

What in the world makes ‘healthy living” bloggers, well, “healthy living” bloggers?

Is there a prerequisite? Is there a book o’ rules I don’t know about? Is having a little dessert once in a while considered breaking the rules? Is there a logbook where we’re supposed to jot down our 4-5 mile runs or major workouts 6 times a week or we’re kicked out? Am I missing something???

A while back I wrote a post about WHEN “HEALTHY” BECOMES DISORDERED because I was seeing an unbalanced pattern in a few blogs I used to follow. I’m still so confused…I see this almost every day where someone is either really imbalanced (and yikes!, is considered a more “popular” writer in the “healthy living” community) or there’s someone living a happy, balanced life and doesn’t feel like she “fits in” with the “healthy living” blogging community.

Do we need to start a revolution here? Do we need to take a long, hard look at what the “healthy living” blogging community seems to be these days and start focusing on what it actually should be? Why am I seeing this so much??? It kind of worries me…

These girls shouldn’t at all be backing away from a great blogging community just because they feel as though they aren’t living up to a set of “healthy living” standards. There are so many blogs out there in the HL community that are amazing! Shoot, I’ll even throw a specific blog post out there, because many of you know her, and I absolutely, positively loved this post: why Susan is no longer a healthy living blogger. But wait…to me, she is a healthy living blogger. Again, what am I missing?

To me, “healthy living” is not at all about fitting into some clique. It’s not at all about comparing myself to a set of standards that other people seem to set or think are “healthy living”. I’m setting my own standards of wellness and balance.

To me, “healthy living” is balanced living. Healthy living shouldn’t be just about miles and calories and reps. It’s about loving your life…not stressing out about how many miles you’ve put in or what bite of what food you’ve put in your mouth. I’m sorry, but living life shouldn’t be about a gazillion  calculations. Living shouldn’t be so…”mathematical”.  (Side note: I do understand that if you’re really learning how to lose weight, you do need to understand the calories in, calories out deal.)

I want balance in my life…I don’t want to be so obsessed with how many workouts I’ve done that I have to post them all day every day. I don’t want to take pictures of every single morsel of food I put in my mouth every second of every day. How boring. I don’t want to obsess at all.

I want to spend my days playing with my little girls, because they bring me joy that’ll last until the end of time. I refuse to miss out on that. I want to spend my days running through a park, not beating myself up if I don’t hit a mileage goal, and accepting myself for the imperfect runner I am. I want to take walking breaks if I need to. I want to stop to take a picture of the beautiful Virginia wildflowers that are blooming this late in the summer. I want to live a fabulous, happy life not wasting hours of my days focused on “my numbers”. I want to have a blast building a fence for my home with my awesome husband, high fiving every ten minutes over how awesome of a team we are…and forget to eat lunch. Woops. My bad. I lost track of time and forgot to eat. How unhealthy. 😉 (OH! I didn’t forget the water…5L today.)

I want to live my life knowing that what I do put in my body is healthy and balanced and that what I do to exercise makes me happy and leaves me feeling alive. What I don’t want is to live by a checklist someone else thinks I need to live by.

(Need an example? I’ve been following my own “set of rules” recently…with the help of a great mentor and someone I hope to network with as I move into the wellness industry myself…and I’ve never felt better. I’ve lost 5 pounds NOT BEING “NORMAL” in two weeks and increased the mileage in my runs without beating myself up to get there.)

My point is this…something needs to change if the increasing opinion of “healthy living” blogs is that it’s actually quite imbalanced and obsessive: that there are a set of rules. I am a healthy living blogger, dagnabit, and despite the few extra pounds on this frame of mine: I can run miles. I’ve birthed two beautiful girls with two uneventful pregnancies. (And I feel BLESSED for that.) I can hop, skip, jump, and cartwheel for hours. I don’t feel guilty when I eat a slice of Papa John’s pizza…with a big plate of kale, peppers, tomatoes, and red cabbage.

Here’s what I think: you don’t have to live up to others’ standards just to be considered a “healthy living” blogger. I know so many beautiful people in the “healthy living” community that aren’t obsessive or imbalanced, and I was hoping to get the chance to meet them at HLS this year. But, the SAHM-for-now budget doesn’t fit that in.  “Healthy living” is being okay with having that butter and cream sauce without feeling guilty. “Healthy living” is living for you. Not anyone else. If you’re feeling otherwise…it’s time to search out some real “healthy living” blogs.

Hhhrrrm. I may or may not have stirred up a huge mess with this post, but I don’t care. :) I’m not about conforming. I’ve never caved to pressure. Ever. I’ve never followed anything just to be cool. This is my life. That is your life. One’s healthy living is not someone else’s healthy living. So…if you’re not eating a protein pancake every other morning, running only 10 miles miles a week, or just happened to enjoy that slice of tiramisu…fret not, friend: I’ve never seen a set of “healthy living” blogger rules and so far, I still haven’t been booted out of the club.

Yet. 😉

So tell me…do you ever find yourself feeling out of place in this “healthy living” blogger space? How do you define “healthy living”?

Hope you’re all having a beautiful Saturday! (PS: I hope everyone’s having a blast up at the HLS! Maybe next year for me!)

OH! And it took me an hour to write this. 😉

EDIT!!!!: I need to make something very clear here for those that might think I’m being negative toward the bloggers I mentioned. I’m, in my own little way, “standing up for them”. They should know that I absolutely, 100% think they’re “healthy living bloggers”!

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