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The Right Reasons, The Wrong Reasons

Posted May 15 2010 1:40pm

Katie posted recently after taking a break to think about her reasons for blogging. I haven’t taken a formal break, but it’s something I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately. Not just with blogging.

I write because it helps me to look at things from a different perspective. Putting my thoughts into words, entirely uncensored, and reading them back again often shines a new light on my thoughts. Most of the original drafts I write never get published- they get torn apart, returned to hours later and turned into something different. Variations on a theme, but the variation is the thing that keeps me focused more on the things I want to have my attention drawn to.

I photograph my food because otherwise, I start eating the exact same things every day. When that happens, I start to cut back. When that happens, I cut back further…just because. I don’t know why this happens, but it’s all too easy when every meal is the same to see corners to cut, things to omit. Forgetting that once I start minimising my meals, suddenly everything I eat seems excessive and unnecessary.

I go to the gym for two reasons: 1) to prove to myself that I am not as lazy as deep-down I believe. It doesn’t matter how often I go, or how much I do when I am there- no amount of exercise is going to shift this belief because it’s based on how I feel about myself, rather than actual evidence. 2) I workout is to justify eating. It’s really hard for me to just…eat. It sounds so simple in theory, but it’s not. Again, this isn’t anything based on actual facts- just that deep down, I can’t rationalise eating if I am not eating for a purpose. It would make sense that just eating to live and because food tastes good should be enough, but for me, it’s not.

I guess what the last two really come down to is that I don’t believe that I need (or deserve) to eat. It’s so hard to give myself permission to eat- regardless of what my rational brain would dictate. I don’t apply this ‘logic’ to anyone else which makes me feel strangely disconnected from the rest of the world. I live by my own rules, dance to the beat of my own drum.

I think about “normality”- it’s something that I talk about as being an urban legend. There is no such thing. Everyone is different, with different goals and different ways of pursuing them. But honestly? I yearn for ‘normality’. To just eat because I am hungry, without having to make a mental pros and cons list of why my body needs food or why I need to eat ‘X + Y’ when I would be happy to just eat ‘1/2 X’. It’s like I need permission to eat- maybe that is why I have ended up in hospital so many times. It’s safe there. I can relax. I have no control over what food I have to eat- it’s not optional. I have yet to figure out a way to give that permission to myself.

For now, blogging gives me that permission.

Which is where the post title comes in. Am I blogging for the wrong reasons?

I could look at this from two different points of view.

  1. If it’s helping me to eat enough and feel better about it, what’s the harm? In an ideal world, I would be doing this regardless of whether I blogged or not, but short-term? It’s fine. It keeps me healthy(ish) and keeps me sane(ish).
  2. I need to invest more time and energy into recovering for me- for my body and my life. Because ultimately, I need to start doing this for myself. I have been blogging for a long time (over two years) and blogging about food for over a year…it has helped me more than I ever thought possible in terms of branching out and trying new things. But deep down, those same beliefs and behaviours stand as firm as ever.

But is there even a right way to blog? I don’t think so. Everyone has their own reasons. Whether it’s to share ideas and recipes, or to hold themselves accountable with their goals. Or just for fun. I guess I just feeling really stuck right now with where I am at in terms of food, exercise, weight, behaviours- the whole hoopla. As much as I LOVE blogging, I am questioning whether or not it is a good thing for me. But then I am faced with what would happen if I stopped, and that isn’t a risk I want to take. I love all the people I have ‘met’ and have been so thankful for every piece of advice/support I have been given. (Seriously, every comment I get means the world to me.)

But is this sustainable? I need to find a way to stand on my own two feet and figure out how to start doing this for myself…and using blogging to write and photograph (all the things that I love) but for the right reasons.

Maybe it’s like learning to ride a bike. You keep the stabilisers on for a while until you are confident to take them off and ride freely.

Question: Why do you blog?

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