Why I Hate Blogging

Maybe hate is an excessive term, but I think a lot of bloggers can relate!

I have been blogging for over 4 years, it started as a hobby, at some point I started making a small amount of money and receiving products in exchange for reviews. I liked it, I felt like I gave real reviews, I shared when I wasn’t 100% happy with a race, product, or company, but I also shared when a company had an outstanding product, race, or customer service. As I got more involved with that part of the blogging world it seemed to be a lot to try to keep up with the blogging world, especially the fitness and healthy living blogs. I started taking less on, I basically stopped blogging regularly after my miscarriage, and really started taking inventory on the products I LOVE.

I find that a lot of bloggers, big or small, don’t have any company loyalty, they will blog for this apparel company one month and a month or two later rave about how another company has the best apparel…how am I supposed to believe either review. I’ve definitely reviewed different gyms, studios, shoes, etc… so I am not innocent of this either, but I do cast a side eye when I see the same blogger review multiple brands shoes over the course of a few months.

Those are of course the companies that I will continue to work with or will try to showcase on here. I don’t regret any of the reviews that I’ve done in the past, but I don’t want to feel any pressure to come up with these pinterest perfect images and to compete with someone who does this for a living. I don’t want to get burnt out again. I am finally back at a place where I am loving the posts I am putting out there, and I don’t want to move away from that.

I think another large part of why I got so burnt out on blogging is because of the expectation of how a HLB (healthy living blogger) acts or eats or works out. Maybe part of this is because of pregnancy hormones, ask Nick they are real right about now, but I think I would feel this way regardless. When I first started reading blogs (5-6 years ago) bloggers wrote real posts, ever link wasn’t an affiliate link, it didn’t seem to be nearly as shady, but maybe I was just naive.

When you are a HLB there is an expectation that you will be BEAST MODE all the time. You see the phrases “the family that sweats together, stays together”, #fitpregnancy, #noexcuses, I could go on.  I won’t lie, I love working out, it is a stress reliever for me, but when I read these blog posts about how so and so went a whole month without a rest day or an excuse, I kind of just roll my eyes, and then I think, is this such a great thing? Why is no one else questioning these types of behaviors?

Not all families or significant others can work out together. Their might be babysitting logistics, disabilities, you just might hate the same type of work out. I am 99% positive I could never get Nick to a barre or yoga class. We’ve done two races together, and have had a lot of family walks, but all of these things were for fun! I LOVE the alone time or girl time that I get when I go to class!

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I feel a lot of anger towards the posts that are all about how the best thing you can do when you are pregnant is to work out. I am not arguing that working out is bad, I have been working out regularly since I was cleared to do so, but that is not the only thing that is best for your body or baby. Eating a balanced diet, taking vitamins, seeing a medical professional that will monitor your progress, getting your home safe and ready to being your baby home, etc… those things are all just as important.

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I don’t however like feeling guilty because I choose sleep over a workout, or resting over a workout. In real life, so many people have been supportive of this pregnancy and my workout regime, especially the instructors and staff at Pure Barre. Then I look at social media and I am overwhelmed by all the posts and images of #FitMoms. On top of it all, these women are sharing exactly how much weight they have gained or lost in their pregnancy. I’ve been what some would call “lucky” because with both this pregnancy and when I was pregnant with B, I was so incredibly sick that I ended up losing weight in the first trimester and was able to gain a healthy amount as the pregnancy went on. Some women gain 50 pounds, that doesn’t mean they ate cookies and donuts the whole pregnancy. Again, I feel like it is weird that these women share their weight amounts each week they recap their pregnancy or post-baby recaps. I like reading about how these women get fit after pregnancy, it gives me ideas, but their weight doesn’t help anyone but them, it just doesn’t seem important or relevant.

Now, lets talk about food. Every recipe is a super food or will give you super powers or something like that… Baking beans in brownies will just make me want to eat 5 of them, I’d rather have one really decadent dessert than have a dessert that doesn’t satisfy my craving.

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I know we all talk about the 80/20 rule, but where do those black bean brownies fall? It seems like a grey area to me. It feels like a lot of these people aren’t actually eating 20% indulgently.

It would be easy for anyone to say, well stop reading these blogs, but some of them have content that I actually love, or blogs that I have been reading for years, and so it is hard to just turn that off. In the past year many blogs have definitely been taken off my feedly list, but these posts seem to be popping up even on my favorites.

I’d be remiss to end this post on such a sour note. There are many things I wish I could change about the blogging world, I am sure a lot of people wish they could, but there are also things that I would never change.

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I’ve met some of my closest friends via Twitter or this blog! There is a group of moms who all had babies around the same time and we all met via Twitter/Instagram, none of us live near each other, but we are able to laugh, vent, cry, share all via a private group. It has been so helpful just to say is your toddler doing this exact behavior or is mine just a little crazy lately?

I’ve been able to attend amazing events, and I am incredibly grateful for every single opportunity! Like I said, I will continue blogging, but it’s going to be more about things and items I love and are an important part of my life (with or without this blog). I also want to be able to be more engaging with those that read (and comment). I haven’t responded to comments in far too long, and actually plan on doing that soon. I am hoping removing the HL part of blogging part for myself allows me to be more me and less traditional blogger!

What is your favorite and least favorite part of blogging or reading blogs?

Little Miss Sunshine Award!

Recently, Caroline from the Trendy Trainer nominated me for a sunshine award. This award is given to those who inspire and bring ‘sunshine’ into their lives. I am grateful that she though of me, I love Caroline’s posts, check her out if you’ve never read her bog before. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a fellow Boston blogger.

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Rules:

1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
2. Link to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Here are the questions that Caroline posted for me.

1. What’s your favorite city in the world?

Hands down, Boston. If I had to pick one outside of my own, it would be San Francisco for the West Coast and Washington, DC for the East Coast.

2. Apples or oranges?

Apples all the way! I love the fall, and I love baking with apples. Can’t wait to go apple picking this year, probably very soon.

3. Bacon or sausage?

Sausage. I usually only eat these with a special breakfast, although I will say that I prefer the patties. With my new discovery of baked bacon that might be a front-runner.

4. Are you an early riser or a late to bed (er)?

A little bit of both. 90% of the time I go to bed early, but since I do have the flexibility to take a nap during the day, if I have something going on, I don’t mind going to bed late.

5. If you could only do ONE exercise for the rest of your life would it be mind/body
(yoga, Pilates) or cardio/strength based (spin, crossfit, etc.)?

I would definitely pick cardio/strength based. I have barely done any yoga or pilates ever so that was kind of easy.

6. Last movie you saw in theaters?

The newest Star Trek, I actually really liked it. Nerd alert.

7. Favorite part of your body you like to train?

Arms & Back. I’ve never felt strong in those areas and now that I do, I love training them.

8. Worst date you’ve ever been on?

Probably in early high school, I went on a date with a guy to the movies, he fell asleep, didn’t talk to me after and started dating one of my friends a few days later.

9. Would you rather attend a fancy cocktail party or backyard BBQ?

A fancy cocktail party. I spend a lot of my time in gym clothes and at the park or home and it is nice to get all dolled up every once in a while.

10. I’ll finish on an adventurous note. Bungee jump, skydive or swim with the Great Whites?

Probably, skydive. I would take a boat to go see great whites…I am kind of a baby.

Here are my sunshine picks!
1. Caitlin at Cait Plus Ate
2. Elizabeth at On Tap for Today
3. Linz at Itz Linz
4. Becki at Fighting for Wellness
5. Leslie at And Her Little Dog Too
6. Kaitlin at For Love of Carrots
7. Maria at Pappa Don’t Preach
8. Amanda at Sistas of Strength
9. Betsy at The Everyday Warrior
10. Kat at Sneakers and Fingerpaints

11. (because I am a rebel) Jane at Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week!

My 10 Questions!

1. Favorite breakfast food?
2. Biggest guilty pleasure (tabloid magazines? reality tv?)
3. If you could only have 4 meals for the rest of your life what would they be?
4. If you could only have 3 beverages for the rest of your life what would they be?
5. Favorite musician or band?
6. Favorite running distance?
7. If you had an unexpected night free, what would you do?
8. Are you more city or country?
9. Best date you’ve been on?
10. The craziest thing you’ve ever done. I am hoping for some great stories!

For everyone else, pick one of the 10 Questions I asked and answer below!

Summer Craziness and Running Updates

I know that my blogs have been inconsistent as of late, and I want to apologize.

These summer months, and the nice weather lasts only so long, I like to spend the majority of my weekdays with B.

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Fill me up with gas please

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You’re taking to long, let me handle it

He received a bunch of wonderful outside toys, and before you know it, it is going to be brutally cold, so I want to make sure he has ample time to play with them.

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It’s also only about 8 weeks until the Zooma Half Marathon (by the way you can still get 10% off with the code: CCAMB9) and I don’t think I have had a great training so far. I am getting the miles in but I feel slow, and my last long run was supposed to be 7 miles and I had to tap out at 4. My left hip, right leg and left heel were bothering me and instead of hurting myself I decided to take a break.

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I am still doing a ton of strength training and metabolic conditioning at Achieve, so I am hoping that I will be able to log some serious miles these next few weekends, I really want to PR at Zooma, but I know that I need to set myself up for success.

I know I will be out and about the next 3 or 4 weeks so I need to make sure that I make training a priority.

How is your summer training going?

Old School Blogging

Remember when you used to do those surveys and send them to everyone that you knew. Now, you can fill one out and if people want to look at it they can. I saw PR’s and Krissy’s, so I thought I would do my own, enjoy :)

A. Attached or Single?
Married, for 5 years on Friday, woah.

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B. Best Friend?
Many, and they know who they are.

C. Cake or pie?
CUPCAKE – obviously

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D. Day of choice?
Saturday – long run days and then I get to relax!

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E. Essential Item?
Uhhh, water? Scratch that – Champagne.

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F. Favorite color?
Pink, Black and Silver. Don’t make me choose.

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Bears. Once I made my mom make me a jello bowl with gummy sharks, worms, bears, turtles, etc… in it – it was disgusting.

H. Home town?
Small town, VT, although I’ve been in MA so long I definitely call Boston home now.

I. Favorite Indulgence?
cupcakes and champagne.

J. January or July?
July – January is just too gloomy and bitter around here.

K. Kids?
one amazing little boy

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L. Life isn’t complete without?
My family

M. Marriage date?
July 5…didn’t we cover this?

N. Number of brothers/sisters?
I have 3 sister, only one of which I am close to. I have 1 sister-in-law, and two brother-in-law’s, all of which I love dearly.

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O. Oranges or Apples?
Apples, all day every day. Preferably picked straight from the tree.

P. Phobias?
Crickets. Don’t even ask.

Q. Quotes?
“Well behaved women seldom make history” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

R. Reasons to smile?
So many!

S. Season of choice?
I really used to be a summer person, but there are so many more fun things to do with kids in the fall!

T. Tag 5 People.
Everyone!

U. Unknown fact about me?
I make lists for everything. Everything. Grocery store, packing for a weekend away, how to organize the house…Nick hates it.

V. Vegetable?
Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts and Peas are all my favorites. But lately I have been digging the parsnip.

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W. Worst habit?
Biting my nails when I am stressed and stress eating.

X. Xray or Ultrasound?
Well I have great memories associated with ultrasounds and bad memories with x-rays so we will go with ultrasounds!

Y. Your favorite food?
Grilled Cheese, melty goodness.

Z. Zodiac sign?
I am a cusp baby, Gemini & Cancer, I will let you decide which one I am more like.

Pick one and answer in the comments! Did anything surprise you?

29.

Start your twenties with a lot of friends and leave with a few good ones. What happened? People faded away into their careers and relationships. Fights were had and never resolved. Shit happens. Ryan O’Connell via Thought Catalog

Holy Balls, I am 29.

I always thought that 30 was SO FAR AWAY and also so OLD, and here I am the last year of my 20’s. My 20’s weren’t perfect, but I had laughs, tears, and I have had some great moments.

I have my beautiful family.

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I have run TWO half marathons.

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I’ve found a family in blogging.

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I am still struggling with other areas, but it is always nice to have something to work towards.

I really want to have a 30-by-30 list, so if you have any links to yours or others – leave them in the comments.

I am spending my birthday with my husband, son and sister. I have a team run with Team In Training on Saturday morning, and then I am having a great dinner with some of my favorite people. (possibly a few drinks as well!)

What do you like to do for your birthday?

Healthy Living Blogger…Musts?

This is another post, all in good fun, not meant to offend anyone :)

I got this great idea from my girl, Cait, to write a post on all the ways I am not a traditional healthy living blogger.

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Photo via Cait

I don’t recap everything I do, sometimes I don’t even take out my camera, mostly on vacations and family time.

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I eat real dessert. A brownie made completely of black beans is not dessert. While I love me some beans, they are still beans, just in a different form.

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I don’t take pictures of every. single. workout and then post it on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

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I am a slow runner and I am okay with that.

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guess I am falling into that stereotype above, huh?

I enjoy eating bread from restaurants.

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I like to have a few many drinks with my friends and not worry about a damn thing.

stolen from Cait!

stolen from Cait!

I love to bake and cook, but I sometimes take the easy way out, pre made burgers and cut veggies from Whole Foods. Time saver!!

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I know that I fall into some healthy living blogger stereotypes as well, but that’s another post for another fun day.

What stereotypes do you break and what ones do you fall in to?

Pin It! Party #1

Lindsay had this wonderful idea for a PIN IT PARTY, that alone sounds fun, where we write a post with five posts (of our own) that we’d love to see pinned on pinterest. Then link up on Lindsay’s blog and see some other posts!

Here are my 5

Flour’s Lemon Lust Bars

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Hands down the best lemon bar I have ever had or made.

Bake it in a Cake’s  Ultimate Birthday Cupcake

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This cupcake was labor intensive but the outcome was awesome and I loved everyone’s reaction.

Joy the Baker’s Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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I am not a fan of traditional angel food cake or bundt cake and I love that this can replace those items for a summer strawberry short cake

Mocha Protein Smoothie

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This smoothie is the perfect afternoon pick me up; cold, creamy and a little caffeine.

Gifts for runners under $100

 

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This was originally a Christmas post, but with lots of new runners starting in the spring and summer months, I thought this would be a helpful list!

Did you link up with the Pin It Party? What’s your favorite post lately?

 

Inspiring Blogger Award

Before I get to today’s post I want to say thank you to all your kind words on yesterday’s. I got word today that my grandma is officially out of ICU, she is one tough cookie.

I also have some great news, I have joined Kona Kase as an affiliate, join now and start getting your kase of the month. If you have any questions feel free to email me!

Now onto today’s post:

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Here are the rules:

~Display the award logo on your blog
~Link back to the person who nominated you
~State 7 things about yourself
~Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them
~Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

I have a love/hate relationship with these types of things, while I think it is a great honor when another blogger nominates you, I also struggle with coming up with random facts about myself. Thank you to Shanna for nominating me

Seven Things About Myself :

1. I was in a sorority in college and some of my best friends to do this day are from that group of women. I also wish that I was closer to my sorority in general.

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2.  I used to have a pierced eyebrow, I only took it out before I went to Greece to meet some of Nick’s family.

3. From day one my best friend for life has been my sister. She is still my best friend, I love her.

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4. I am independent and rarely ask for help. I hate feeling needy and like I can’t handle my own business.

5. I am always dreaming of the ocean.

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6. I love traveling, I love traveling with these two, and NOLA was absolutely one of my favorite places.

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7. I don’t open myself up to many people. I am guarded and I hate being vulnerable, at least about the “big” things. I won’t even open up unless prodded. I’m a real peach huh.

Instead of naming 15 people, because I could not narrow the blogs that I love to just 15, so I am taking a page from my CT homegirl, and nominating everyone who reads this. Or just tell me a random fact about you in the comments.

 

New Blog & Goal Checking

First things first:

A big thanks go out tos Nick and his business partner Will. They helped me with a fairly difficult migration from Squarespace to self-hosted WordPress that involved all the behind the scenes stuff (export/import, hosting, DNS changes, WordPress install and configuration) as well as a totally new site design and custom header. If you are looking for some help with your own blog or any sort of design work, website, or mobile app, check them out.

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Just hanging out with my TRX

So like I told you in my goals post, I am all about accountability and changing my lifestyle, not dieting.

I have met with Amanda, and so far it is going really well. I am working on changing my diet (as in eating) because I am getting sick of the same things, which means I am venturing into the world of getting new ideas.

So tell me your favorite protein muffins and protein shakes!

I am also working with this great new site called Fitness Glo, which is online video classes. So far it has been awesome, and I will have a full review when I have tried more classes, but the stretching alone, those classes I definitely needed.

How are you keeping up with your goals so far?

2013 & January Joiners

I want to preface this post with something important. I wrote a post last year about “January Joiners” and my feelings haven’t changed, but since I have become more immersed in the Healthy Living community, I am sincerely SHOCKED, by the amount of professionals & fitness minded individuals in the field who are making rude Facebook and Twitter comments about these people. As a community we should be enveloping these people who are trying to change their lives, even if you only help one person become healthier, doesn’t that matter?

The good thing about my blogiversary being January 2 is that I only have to do one recap post, luck for all of us!

I didn’t even do a recap post of 2011, I mean it goes without saying that B was without a doubt the best part of the year. I did however make a what I want to do moving forward posts, but first, if you want a laugh, check out my very first post.

For my goals of 2012 post:

Blogging

Well, I definitely think I became a better blogger, I was constant about posting at least 3 times a week, I however failed at the baking posts…I guess that is going to top this years list, don’t worry, I already have a plan.

Family & Friends

Well, I will always be striving to be a better mom & wife. I made a few solid real life mom friends, and many online mom friends. I have also tried extremely hard to let go of dead relationships, and maybe this year I will finally explain why that is so difficult for me. Patience, definitely still needs work.

Baking

I continued baking, but didn’t document a large majority of it. On this years agenda.

Fitness

I talked about trying Crossfit and with the exception of HLS, I did not, still not in the budget, and I am not sure my heart is 100% in to it. I also never found any fitness classes that fit into our schedule and budget. Gripe: so many gyms do not let you take on a class by class basis, you need to go to a specialized studio like Zumba or Pure Barre, and those are also pricy, dang. I would at least like to try Zumba and Barre this year, there are a few studios nearby.

Life

I failed. We did not travel somewhere new, B did not go in the pool :(, but I did enjoy myself at all the big events. Even if I had some issues with my self-esteem.


So what’s in store for 2013?

The only solid goals I have for the year are to lose 20 pounds and to shave 20 minutes off my half. They both take work and I am willing to work hard for both of them.