Saturday, January 19, 2013

I'm Afraid to Post this Blog




None of us wants to admit that we don't have it all together.  We want to appear as perfect, smart, calm, and successful as possible.  To the outside world, we want to portray that our marriages are perfect, our jobs are perfect, our kids are perfect, and of course, we walk around everyday the happiest versions of ourselves.

The truth is, none of us are even close. We all make mistakes. We all slip up. We all have our issues. We all have problems. We have ups and downs. In this life, we have great successes and great failures. We are human, yes, even health and fitness bloggers.  Shocking, I know. (Where is that sarcasm font when I need it?)

So, what's my point?

If you don't know me, you might read my running blog, look at my skinny pictures up there in the header, read about my workouts and my diet, and assume I have it all together.  If you feel like you don't have it all together, this could inspire you to try harder, or more likely, it might make you feel a little bad about yourself, because you are comparing your insides to my outside.  You can only see what I choose to show you and tell you about me, but you know all the dirty little secrets about yourself.  You can't compare the two.

I do exactly the same thing.  We all do.

You may read health and fitness blogs and thousands of bloggers are working hard to show their best side.  "Look at me. Look how perfect I am."  It is not even intentional.  I am certainly not judging, I am guilty as any.  It is human nature to put our best face forward.  It is our egos hard at work.  We wouldn't dare expose our insecurities and admit our faults on the (gasp) internet.

Don't compare your insides to everyone else's outsides. 


Well guess what?  Big shocker (sarcasm font needed again) I am not perfect.  Not even close.  I have my own set of struggles, just like the rest of the entire human race.

I want to share this with you and I want to resist the great temptation to delete it all before I have the chance to hit publish on this blog post.

My name is Lea and I have an obsessive personality.  It has been something that I have been working on for a long time.  Moderation is really hard for me. I completely understand and agree with it in theory, but it is something that has always been difficult for me to apply.  I either do something too much...or not at all.

I've even written blog posts about how I felt I conquered my problem.  I haven't.  It always eventually rears its ugly head.  

Sometimes for very long periods of time, even years, I feel like I have it under control, but my version of "under control" is obsession.  Sometimes I feel like I have to be that way in order not to lose control all together. It is a little like alcoholism, but with food and exercise. I can't allow myself to have a treat, because one treat, leads to two, which leads to over indulgence.  I can't skip a workout because I might never do it again (or be off for months.)  This is almost worse than alcoholism, because one can swear off alcohol forever, but we all need to eat food and exercise in order to survive and be healthy. 

I'm either obsessed with running...or I don't run at all.  I've never been the person who runs 15 miles a week.  It is either 40 or 0. (If you follow me on Dailymile, you will see I am working hard at improving.)

I sometimes do double work outs in one day...or don't do them at all.

I either work out 6 days a week with an active recovery on the 7th...or I do nothing at all.

I either eat really healthy foods with little deviation, except for maybe a single very controlled indulgence meal a week...or I can't control what I put in my mouth at all.

I either am obsessive about saving money, not wanting to part with $5 for a new bottle of shampoo,...or I am addicted to shopping and buying new things.

I either weigh myself once (or twice) a day...or I don't weigh myself at all, ever.

I either weigh 120 lbs...or 140 lbs, depends on which end of the spectrum I am on. 130 lbs is probably my ideal weight. 130 is usually something I visit only briefly on the way up or the way down the scale.  I have skinny years and fat(ter) years. I can look at old pictures of myself and usually can pinpoint the year based on my weight, "Oh, that was a fat year, it must have been 2008."

I won't drink alcohol at all for months on end...then sometimes I drink wine (or beer, let's be honest) every night.

So why am I sharing this with you? Frankly, it is embarrassing to admit.  I am a striving to be a successful health and fitness blogger.  I am here to share my journey and hopefully motivate and inspire you on yours.  How can someone who swings the pendulum so far back and forth motivate others?  Hopefully the inspiration comes from sharing my real life struggles and experiences.  You can relate, because you have your own struggles, whether or not they are the same as mine.

The truth is, I suspect that it is not just me.  I suspect there are others that suffer these same internal struggles (or totally different ones.)  Maybe getting it out there, admitting our flaws, and working through them will help us, or at the very least make us realize that imperfection is totally normal around here on planet Earth. 

For me it is hard, because I can be super disciplined and do all the right things, but then almost my every waking minute is spent thinking about what I am going to eat next, obsessing about getting my next workout in, calculating how many miles I ran last week, or how many calories I consumed...it takes over my life and my mind.

When I tell myself to give myself a break, to not be so strict, to let myself miss a workout, I ultimately end up missing every workout, eating unhealthy foods all the time.  It is a slippery slope, if I am not super strict, I lose all my self-discipline.  It is the dreaded "all or nothing" mentality.

All I can do right now is make a conscious decision to be aware, but not be obsessive, eat whole healthy foods most of the time, but not restrict any foods from my diet at all.  I'll exercise because I want to, not because I have to.  I won't allow myself to feel guilty for not being perfect.  I also won't allow myself to be lazy and over-indulgent.  I think the key to success is the awareness of my tendencies and keep them in mind when making daily decisions. I'll ask myself, "Is this obsessive behavior?" Then I will adjust accordingly.  I'll find that balance, I know I can.  True balance may not allow me to be 115 lbs with visible abs, but it will keep me healthy, mind and body.  Of course, the latter is much more important.

Living a healthy lifestyle also includes a healthy mind, and living a lifestyle that includes over-exercising and disordered eating is not (in any way) healthy.


If you are a blogger, especially a health and fitness blogger, I invite you join in with me on the "I'm Afraid to Post This Blog," mission.  What are you afraid to share with your readers? I think it is important to portray a transparent, real world, real life, fitness journey complete with our faults and struggles.  Even the most famous, most fit, most compelling blogger has some areas of imperfection in their lives. When we share our imperfections, it goes a long way in showing others that perfection is not the goal, or even reality.  I believe that steady progress, growth, and a well-rounded healthy lifestyle is the goal, complete with all internal struggles that go along with being a human being. 

Who is in?  I'll link back to your blog posts here if you decide to share your own, "I'm Afraid to Post This Blog."  Just submit your post to runningfordummies@gmail.com

Click here to read my round up of "I'm Afraid" posts.

What about you?  Can you relate to my struggles? Do you have any of your own?

Keep Running,

Lea

Ways to (legally) stalk me:



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78 comments :

  1. Omg, I love this! You are such an inspiration! THANK YOU for writing this, I KNOW this will help others!!! Very brave to share...I love you BFF!!!

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  2. Absolutely dead on! I felt like I was reading about myself (minus the 40 miles a week sentence). I'm an all-or-nothing-obsessive person also. Thanks for a great blog post.

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    Replies
    1. thanks! I really helps to know it is not just me. :)

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  3. This is a great post! Glad you didn't delete it. I think you are like a lot of us! I definitely do that.... Working on it as well! Great job!

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  4. Great post!!! I really like the line about exercising because you want to not have to.

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  5. Everyone has issues. It takes bravery to come forward and lay them out for the world to see. Bravo. Keep your chin up.

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  6. You kind of just summed me up, besides the multiple workouts a day (I'm truly too lazy for that) I'm an all or nothing girl with food for sure.. Thing is it is HARD to struggle daily with whats good for us and our bodies and health and what we want to do or eat - the balance is so easily upset and we (or rather *I*) can be so insanely hard on myself when I upset the balance; I'm not someone who can have just ONE biscuit :-( I keep plugging on and trying to find MY wellness balance.

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  7. Abso-friggin-lutely. GREAT post. I go down the perfect or nothing path, and sometimes I feel like a bad blogger, or not relatable, or something. I have no problem with motivation I don't try and lose weight. Why the hell would people want to read about a neurotic runner who wants unhealthy thinness and tries to avoid it. It's like the opposite of the rest of the world.

    Go Lea - keep being you. Keep bloggng, keep being honest, and enjoy the ride.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this! I feel that this blog calls out to me by name! I love that you were completely honest with us here! Everything to me seems that I either
    don't do it, or like you said over indulge on every aspect... Thank you!!!

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  9. being transparent and real allows us to relate more to each other and be an encouragement when we need to. I'm quite the opposite. Learning to be less rigid in health and fitness. too much stress can do the opposite on my body and i don't handle it well, yep. That;s okay, we live, learn.

    Cheers to YOU friend!

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  10. LOL No it is DEFINITELY not just you!!! Not at all!! I struggle with this in so many ways ---- and as superficial as it may sound, one area is clothes. I love great clothes but for a variety of reasons including hubs's two years of unemployment, the current options are not at all fashion plate-y. And somehow that always takes me back to wearing homemade (with love, but still homemade) stuff back in 6th grade. I'll think about doing one of these posts and linking it up ...... if I can get up the nerve AND find the sarcasm font. :-) In the meantime, my most recent post about having trouble trusting myself kind of relates: http://biggreenpen.com/2013/01/17/trust-a-mama-kat-writing-prompt/ Thank you again for being so candid!

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    1. thanks for sharing your post. I loved it. :)

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  11. You have no idea how much I can relate to this. As a matter of fact, yesterday I had a total binge and never got off the couch. And I beat myself up for it. Before that I hadn't missed a day of working out or eating healthy in weeks. Now I'm finding it hard to get up and move today. This post is just what I need. Thank you for sharing and opening up and showing that I'm not alone.

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  12. There are SOOOOO many if us out there like you! I have found that sharing my swings has helped me to become less obsessive on most fronts. Thanks for sharing! It means a ton to know I am not the only one who struggles with this :)

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  13. I am a little obsessed (lol) with the idea of transparency, laying it all out there the good, the bad and the ugly in this world where we all pretend to be perfect. Definitely scary though.

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  14. Wow...I think you just described me to a "T" ...I can relate to every single thing you said (how obsessive of me!) Ha! Seriously, a joke that my friends have about me is that I am either always "on" or "off" about any given thing. Completely obsessed or utterly disinterested. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. that is exactly me... "completely obsessed or utterly disinterested." :)

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  15. Many of us manage a variety of "personality traits" and other emotional things on a regular basis. Like Cotter said about "being transparent", the more you share like this, it helps all of us remember that we're not alone in this world. Thank you for opening up!

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  16. Nicely worded. I think when we FINALLY admit, outloud, that we aren't always who WE think we are....there's more room for change. Talking and voicing your feelings take them to the "outside", so we aren't internalizing them so much. I think this post will help YOU (a lot),but maybe others reading this will voice their struggles "outloud" too.

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  17. This is a great post and thank you so much for sharing it. I think that it's so important to share our real journeys, to be open and honest about it. Like Lindsay said, it allows us to relate more to each other and create that connection so that we can better support and encourage each other. You are definitely not alone in this and I definitely can relate to much of what you write about in terms of be obsessive. It is hard for me to moderate too but working on it. I wrote something along the same times last week about feeling like a hypocrite sometimes - http://www.lovelifesurf.com/2013/01/am-i-a-hypocrite.html. Again. thanks for sharing this.

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    1. I really liked your post. thanks for sharing it!

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  18. Great post, thanks for sharing! I've been struggling lately feeling like everyone else is faster or is doing more workouts than me - why should I bother continuing to train. This puts it in perspective for me.

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  19. I love this. I especially like the reminder not to compare your insides to someone else's outsides. I've got pretty good balance with exercise (although I do feel worse than I should when I miss a workout) and have gotten better with food control issues, although I still tend to fall into the "if I've had 2 cookies I might as well eat 2 dozen" trap.

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  20. Great post, Lea! This is something SO many people can relate to! I would definitely describe myself as having an obsessive personality as well! Maybe not in the exact same ways you described, but the same general idea... it can be exhausting. It was refreshing to read this post and the comments!

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  21. You pretty much wrote MY story - only my weight swings in a different range and I am much older than you. BALANCE? That's a brand of protein bar isn't it? Really, I am very IN or OUT too and I never thought about it being a problem to FIX. I have accepted that it is the way I am built.

    Loved your post Lea. Good for you for being so honest, again!

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  22. I have been on the journey toward moderation for almost 18 months. All or Nothing is how I lived my first 40+ years...exactly as you descibed. It has been incredibly hard to take it one tiny change at a time, watching results come slowly, leveling out, being mindful but not overly-critical. Accepting that it's a process, one that will need to persist for the rest of my life, is the hardest part of the journey. I'll be following your blog thanks for posting this!

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  23. Awesome post girl! Thanks for being so honest! And I think we ALL struggle with this...I know I do!

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  24. Great post Lea!! I feel I am pretty honest with my readers about my shortcomings and imperfections, as you said no one is perfect. This year it is all about finding balance in my entire life because I tend to be an all or nothing person too!! Thanks for your honesty!

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    1. one of the reasons I like your blog so much is that you are very honest. Thanks!

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  25. This is a wonderful post! So often we try to put our best face forward without sharing any hurt or darkness. It's refreshing to read something from someone who is putting themselves out there...it gives us all confidence that not everyone is perfect and we need to all share our faults so we support each other and help each other through them. :)

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  26. You are exactly like me! I've shared on my blog how I used to play world of warcraft but had to stop, because of Obsessive personality disorder. I cannot just play for "fun" or for "an hour". I played for HOURS. Once I played all day. Seriously all day.
    Fitness is my life, I made it my career. I had to, all or nothing remember! I love it. My eating is the same as you. When it's on track it's great when I'm off track I eat everything (beer the same!).
    Accept it, it's who we are :)

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  27. Thanks for being honest. People need to know that not everyone is perfect and that we are all on a journey to try and be our own best selves.

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  28. Girl,I am right there with you! Thanks for the honesty and openness! I am finding myself at a crossroads now as I just accomplished a major goal, am sick and need to define who I am and be all or nothing, It is tough.

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  29. You're so right... we very often unintentionally try to put our best face out there, when the reality is that we can be so much more helpful to each other if we post our struggles as well. (And more "real" or "human")- thanks for sharing!

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  30. You inspired my post today :) http://www.fromcouchtoironwoman.com/2013/01/lets-get-real-here.html

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  31. You probably read my post on Friday about being good enough, that was a hard one to write but I had to keep it real. I wrote one in Dec about being an athlete or an addict. I think we all have obsession issues if we work out a lot. I know you subscribe to my blog but here is the link if others want to read it. Today's post is rather funny, hope you liked it.
    http://runningawaywithmyself.blogspot.ca/

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    1. I missed your Friday post, so thanks for the reminder to go back and read it. I really enjoyed it. We certainly all have these struggles! Thanks for sharing. Do you mind if I link to it here?

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  32. I adore this post. Absolutely.

    We're all imperfect. We're all human. We all struggle.

    Thanks for this healthy reminder.

    I may take the plunge soon too.

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    1. let me know if you do. I'd love to read it and share it here. :)

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  33. Thank you for being willing to be so upfront about what it is that you struggle with. I think that it is MORE inspiring to see someone with issues that is working hard and being successful in their life than someone to whom it comes easily. So kudos to you for metaphorically baring all for your audience and openly throwing off the "Healthy=Perfect" illusion. I will definitely be taking on this challenge on my own site. I love it. Thank you!

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  34. I have no idea what you're talking about.
    Love,
    Your Husband

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  35. Love it! I'm often the same way.
    I'm linking to this tomorrow at my "Monday tip"

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  36. Yes, yes, and yes. I am one of the people that eats chocolate while watching the Biggest loser :) I make myself feel better knowing that each day is a new chance to make better choices,...thank you for the reminder.

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  37. Very open... kudos for putting it out there. Sending the most positive vibes your way on maintaining your "awareness."

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  38. Awesome post Lea. For sure, I've been this way most of my life. I think I'm doing way better now. My struggle was eating enough food, which I have already blogged about this month. Thanks to Amber of GoKaleo (which YOU helped me find), I've now found balance.

    onelovelyrun.wordpress.com

    This was a brave thing to do - I think you've probably said it for a 100 women who will read it. It's not about comparing, but really about finding out that you're not alone and it's so hard to be consistent sometimes.

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    1. Hi Jen -- I also love Amber from Go Kaleo, I learned A LOT from her as well. Thanks for your kind words! - Lea

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  39. Awesome, awesome post!! I imagine that every single person who read this can relate in some way, I know I sure can. So glad I found your blog, nice to follow someone in this area!

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  40. I can so relate! I don't have it all together and I have a hard time being perky and perfect on the blog. I don't care if I talk about things other bloggers don't. I use my blog to document my running journey which is good and bad. I got to a point I respect bloggers more who are more "real" and honest then those just trying to make others jealous with being too "awesome."

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  41. You. Are. Awesome.

    I struggle with finding the middle ground in almost every aspect of my life. I was nodding my head as I read your post, going hey - I do that too. I especially struggle with food, and I always have. Someone told me once that I had a very addictive personality, and it is so true. I think the largest part of the battle is AWARENESS. You can't fight the battle if you don't even know what's going on.

    I think you're super brave to put yourself out there like this (one of the reasons I don't have a blog yet), and I'm so happy I found your blog. I like REAL people.

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  42. I'm so glad you posted this (I apologize it has taken me so long to catch up on things and read it). I am working on a vlog right now talking about this same thing (well, very similar) for me. I say "working on" because I keep doubting whether I should post it. Thank you for your courage and for reminding me that not only CAN I post it, but I SHOULD post it for my readers.

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    1. Thanks so much! When you do decide to post it, please let me know and I will link up to it in my round up post. I hope to post by Friday or Saturday, so let me know. good luck!

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  43. Lea, my whole blog is an "im afraid to post" blog. I dislike journaling, i despise running(right now any way) and i'm never consistent with anything I do. I started this journey into the world of "blooging" and running to raise awareness for Alzheimer's by making a goal of running 13 5Ks in 2013. And so my blog and running endeavor has been born, all truth and pain will be displayed at www.rifflewader.wordpress.com on a somewhat regular/somewhat infrequent basis.

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  44. Again Lea you insure me to take a good hard look at myself. My weight is a battle I have fought so many times. I look at our Disney pictures and think oh that was my fattest year, and my not as fat year, and my oh dear burn those pictures year, and so on and so on! I wish someone could turn the switch in my brain where comfort food didn't taste good anymore, better yet turn the switch where I didn't turn to food for comfort. And really what is so bad in my life that I need comforting? Huh? Thanks Lea you may have given me my answer!

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  45. http://www.carpediemcrystal.com/2013/01/im-afraid-to-post-this-blog.html <---- Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. yay! thanks! I am adding your post to my round up- look for it this weekend!

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  46. I posted my "I'm afraid to post this blog" last summer (and about had a nervous breakdown when I clicked "publish"). Here is the link: http://riserunmomrepeat.blogspot.com/2012/08/thankful-thursday-stretchmarks.html

    You're very brave for posting your flaws, and you're right, we ALL have flaws. Whether or not we tell the world about them, they're still there. Thank you for sharing. :)

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  47. I was linked to this post by other blog, and I'm so glad I took the time to read it. Love it and subscribing to your blog now. I can 110% relate.

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  48. So glad Clare linked to you today -- because it's kind of how I feel about LIFE this week. Like I am pretending that everything is perfect when, while it's pretty good, I'm definitely struggling.

    Hope you hang in there and that by posted, you feel some relief :)

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  49. I was linked from another blog as well. I really like this. I started reading "healthy living" blogs a little over a year ago to help incorporate new healthy foods and habits into my life. I found a whole other world where people over exercised and entire posts dedicated to shame over eating some insignificant bit of sugar. Way on the opposite side of the spectrum from where I am. The funny thing about "perfect" is that we all have different ideas of what it will be. We all have our flaws. I understand why you are hesitant to post this but at the same time I know when someone I know reveals their "secrets" they were usually pretty obvious to begin with. But it helps to get them out in the open. I don't even try to project perfect - as much as I can see through bullshit I know others can too so I would rather laugh off my mistakes (maybe some of them take a little while to get to that point) and get support from others. Kudos for putting it out there.

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  50. This is crazy because I feel like I could have written this post myself. Like, every.word. You are not alone, girl.

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  51. I honestly felt like I was reading about myself in this post. Except my pendulum swung as heavy as 210lbs+.....I'm now at a healthy 150lbs and have been there for a year and a half. Thank you for letting me know I am NOT ALONE. You inspired me and I shared my own I am afraid story at my blog...THANK YOU

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  59. Wow thank you for that. I am the same way and struggle to stay at that happy medium too. It's so relieving to know that I'm not the only one!

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  60. This is beautiful. I mean, it's intense, and it's real and it's happy and sad and all of that makes it beautiful.

    I know it's from a year ago but I am glad you're sharing it again now. It's so so true. We all compare ourselves and it's so hard to imagine that anyone gets it. But that's what I love about blogging. We are able to find the people that are our people - kindred people - and good for you for showing who you are. :)

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