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
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 email@example.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?
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