This blog has been on the back burner for far too long, but I’ve thought of it often. I took a break in October with the promise (to myself? to my 3 readers) of coming back in a few days and clearing the air. But I honestly had no idea what to say.

My blog reading began in 2008. I had gained 30 pounds and was trying to jump start a new fitness regiment. While at the local 24 hour one day, I looked at the list of available fitness classes. I saw Pilates. Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure WHAT pilates was. I’ve heard about it (even recalled an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. that mentioned it), but what was it exactly? So to Google I went, and upon searching for reviews on 24 hour fitness Pilates classes, I inadvertantly found Cara’s blog. So I read it, and was hooked. Through her blog, I found “big blogs” like Jenna’s, Tina’s, etc. and from them, other “smaller blogs”. Who knew that there was a whole blog world devoted to healthy living? Fact – I didn’t know what Google Reader was before I started reading Healthy Living Blogs!

So, I read and I read. Eventually I started logging all my meals and workouts on Sparkpeople.com and created a blogspot blog (a web address I can’t even remember) where I blogged for about a month.. I was motivated and I felt like I had found a support system. I considered myself to be a lurker on most blogs, but was posted on various Sparkpeople forums. Eventually, I lost the weight and was living a healthier lifestyle.

Somewhere along the way, I caught onto Personal Finance blogs. I began reading bloggers like Single Ma’s, FB and Give Me Back My Five Bucks and strived to become financially fit as well. Again, I started a blog and promptly abandoned it weeks later.

Eventually, I stopped reading blogs altogether. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but for some reason, I wasn’t drawn to them anymore. I let my Reader fill up and only glanced at it here and there. And then, just like that, I started reading them. I had gained some weight and was becoming too irresponsible with my money. And then, this blog was re-incarnated. I was at a loss,however, with what direction I wanted to take it in. I decided not to blog about PF because I wanted to keep this somewhat public. I wasn’t about to publicize it amongst my friends and family,but I wouldn’t go out of my way to hide it. So I decided to go forward with healthy living. And again, I was stuck. I had no idea what to say. Posting about my food and workouts made me nervous. I had ideas for posts in my head, but failed to blog about them because I kept playing the comparison game. My eats weren’t as healthy ( I don’t eat big salads, am allergic to nut butters and hate oatmeal – FOR SHAME!), my workouts were nothing compared to other bloggers( I don’t run sub 10 min miles, I couldn’t ride a bike to save my life,I don’t have money for a yoga studio membership, I don’t even wear Lululemon). I didn’t have helpful advice or interesting stories. There were so many blog cliques, how could I ever fit in?

Shortly before I stopped blogging again, the whole Marie Claire fiasco occurred. At first, i was fiercely defensive of the bloggers in question (and of the blog world). But, I began to realize that there was some truth in the story, if not necessarily about the “Big 6”. I thought back to my break away from blogs/sparkpeople, and I realized that while I was at my fittest/”healthiest” at the time, I WASN’T HAPPY. I was pushing myself too hard. I was constantly comparing myself to bloggers. I measured/weighed out every single morsel or bite of food I ate. If I slipped up and ate popcorn or nachos at the theater, I would get SO angry with myself. I emotionally ate, and subsequently fell victim to other disordered behaviors.I felt like I had to run races in order to be “healthy”. Thus, I ran a race i wasn’t ready for. I’d go on vacation, and if I didn’t have a gym available, I’d find the nearest Target/Wal-mart and buy a workout DVD to use inside our hotel room. And still, even on vacation, I logged every single bite. I wasn’t enjoying my food, I was feeling guilty about it. I wasn’t enjoying working out, I was pushing myself too hard. I was crying because I wasn’t good enough, or didn’t have enough discipline. I was perpetually cranky. Instead of recognizing how far I’d come (losing the weight, developing healthier habits), I had the mindset that it wasn’t good enough, that if I worked harder, I’d be better. Mixed in with an already low self esteem, I was starting to hate myself. It took me awhile to realize how unhealthy all of this was. I wasn’t myself. I was subconsciously trying too hard to be like everyone else. (The same occurred, on a smaller scale, with personal finance blogs. I tried so hard, but just like healthy living blogs, I would hate myself would I couldn’t be as disciplined as PF bloggers).

I’m much better now, but I still struggle sometimes. Blogs aren’t innately bad. I’ve learned a lot from them (delicious recipes, fun apps, useful websites such as Sparkpeople and Mint.com, etc). I just need to be careful with how they affect/influence me.

Which brings me to today. Why bother blogging if I don’t have anything substantial to say? But I do. I’ve decided to blog for me. If I want to talk about my workouts or something delicious I ate at a restaurant? I will. But I won’t force myself to. I can write about how much I spent here, there or everywhere…but I won’t HAVE to. There may or may not be a million posts about my dog.Or there might not. I won’t cry if I don’t have millions of readers. But most of all, I’m going to try my very hardest to do what’s best for me, without making comparisons to anyone else. I am who I am, without forcing myself into any one box.

Today, I am going to blog for ME. Who that is, I’m not quite sure, but I look forward to figuring that out. For now, I’m ok with having a blog that “lifecasts” rather than “mindcasts”. That could be subject to change later on, and that’s ok also. I’ll consider this a stepping stone into the world of blogging =) Hopefully, I’ll be able to find my voice, and my own niche in this huge community. There’s a lot of good in the blog community, and I would love to be part of that greater good. For every bad thing I’ve experience, I’ve experienced at least three more great things!

For your viewing pleasure – F.R.I.E.N.D.S. “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister” aka the first time I ever heard of Pilates!

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