These past weeks, several people have written and started food blogs because of me. (Woah.) I figured I should share some thoughts on one of my best tools for healthy living.
Part of the reason why I love my food blog so much is because I’m not only tracking my food with it, but I’m also tracking my life. Every day I write a bit about what I did and how it related to what I ate. It’s my life through food. This blog is where I tend to write the meaty stuff, the stuff I think about, the big ideas that come along with this process of getting healthy. It’s where I sort through my mental junk in order to live a healthier life. It’s awesome and has changed me so much in the last three years, but sometimes it’s just heavy. Food blogging? It’s light and it’s fun, and what’s more is that it’s a version of food tracking that works for me.
If you are trying to lose weight you’ve undoubtedly heard the advice urging you to track what you eat. “You have to know what you eat to change it!” “You have to keep track of your food for success!” I heard these things for years but never could track my food. I did Weight Watchers for a couple weeks before but my food tracking lasted all of three days. I tried various methods – the WW pamphlet, post-it notes, notebooks, apps on my iphone – and all of them failed. I would do it for a few days then the habit would fade away. I knew that tracking was probably an important part of weight loss and becoming healthy, but I sucked at it.
Then I had an idea. I had been following healthy food blogs for a while after someone left a comment on my blog and sucked me into the healthy food blog vortex. Most of the bloggers I found were people that didn’t have a weight loss problem – most of them seemed to be trying to be registered dietitians or other health related professions. None were using their food blogging as a means of weight loss food tracking, but it sparked an idea in my head that I could use it for that purpose. I mean, if thousands of people were posting everything they ate online just to post it, why couldn’t I try posting mine to help me out and get a little accountability for my actions at the same time?
What Food Blogging Has Done For Me
After six months of food blogging I’ve determined it’s the best way of tracking for me. The fact that I’ve done it for six months almost every day is huge for me. For six months I’ve taken the time before each meal and snack to think about what I’m eating long enough to take a photo. For six months I’ve sat down at the end of the day and looked back over what I ate as I blogged, determining how certain foods made me felt and how they affected my body.
In the time that I’ve been food blogging learned that I actually enjoy cooking and more than that I ENJOY trying new foods. As a formerly extremely picky eater who only ate bland foods, I’ve drastically changed the way I eat and live. I love trying to make new healthy things that I can enjoy and share on the blog. I love trying new recipes that I find online and friends send to me. Cooking is something I once thought I could never enjoy but now absolutely adore.
I also learned that I don’t really like snacking. Food blogging gave me the methods to effectively try different things with my eating habits like trying to eat six small meals a day. I absolutely hated that way of eating because it never gave me a chance to feel hungry. Eating according to a schedule isn’t my idea of being happy and free from eating issues (which is one of my main goals) and my food blog helped me realize that. Tracking my food each day helped me realize I like eating my three meals a day with one (or no) snacks.
The best thing about this form of tracking is that you are forced to think BEFORE you eat. Most methods require you write down the food after you’ve consumed it. When you have to take photos you are forced to look at the food first. It gives you a chance to ask questions about what you are going to eat. Is it balanced? Is it colorful (good both for the photo and for your body)? Are the portion sizes in check? Generally I think about these things and consider my food much more carefully than I ever did before. From someone who once struggled with secret binges and compulsive eating this has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in regards to health and eating. Sometimes the answers to those questions will be no – you are eating “junk” and that’s okay. I haven’t found that food blogging and the accountability that goes with that completely stops me from enjoying things that aren’t necessarily healthy. It does however make me be more selective about my indulgences and what I choose to eat in those situations.
The Down Sides To Food Blogging
Food blogging isn’t for everyone. It’s entirely time consuming between taking the photos, uploading them and blogging. I admit that some days I just don’t do it. I wait until the next morning and a few times on this trip I haven’t even bothered (it’s a vacation after all!).
It’s also pure accountability. I might only have 80 followers for my food blog, just a small fraction of you read it, but I know that each day some of you are checking out my eats. That means I have an accountability that previously was lacking. For some people that accountability can be overwhelming and feel like pressure (I find it encouraging!).
Additionally, food blogging is a very vulnerable task. You are showing everything you eat and in a way inviting judgement on it. Some people may consider it political or even religious because what you say says a lot about you as a whole. That judgement might not be something you want to take on
Who I’ve Inspired
Lately my adventures in food blogging have inspired quite a few people to try creating their own food blogs. I honestly never expect anything I do to have an impact that inspires people, but sometimes it does by accident. Food blogging is something that I started and will continue to be just for me. It’s my way of tracking and sorting through my food issues on both a nutritional and emotional level. I’m grateful for all it’s helped me learn about myself and glad that these other awesome ladies have decided to follow suit with their own food blogs:
Maybe it will inspire you. Or maybe it’s not your thing. I just know that it’s something I tried that worked for me. Make sure you check out my food blog too!