HEALTH. STRENGTH. POSITIVITY.
I love my blog. I love the fact that I once published a really honest post on my experiences of anxiety, and it received over 80 comments of love, support or reassurance that my words had helped other people. I love that I can post a photograph on instagram that leads to comments and DM's from people telling me how I've inspired them in some way, and I love that I can say I am part of a community of people that really respect and care for each other... I am yet to meet a blogger who has been anything other than lovely, and some of my closest friends are people I've met through my blog. But despite how much I truly love this community, and am honestly so amazed and grateful for every single one of my followers, sometimes the "other side" of blogging plays on my mind. The side that shows everything to be so perfect, the side of sitting on an ever growing platform of 14,600 followers that makes you think you can't always say exactly how you feel for fear of letting these people down; people that continually tell you that your journey is an inspiration to them. When your primary aim is to present a healthy, balanced and happy lifestyle, you sometimes feel an overwhelming pressure to always ensure that this is what you portray, even on the days when it is not the case. Sometimes, sitting on this pedestal of positivity that I have created for myself really isn't all it's cracked up to be... everyone has bad days, but very few people would want to publicly admit to nearly fifteen thousand people that they're struggling... sometimes it's easier to stick the ludwig filter on a bowl of porridge and carry on with your day like nothing is wrong. But everything about that ultimately is what is wrong. Sticking a filter on life. Hiding from the truth, for fear that people may actually see that you too, are human, you too have bad days.
I publish a lot of food posts on instagram, but what I don't publish are the times where I panic about this very food. I don't share the days where I don't track my food, binge on Nakd bars and eat peanut butter straight out the jar, and I don't share the days where I eat less than 1000 calories to counteract the previous. Why? Because I don't want all of these lovely people who say I am an inspiration to know that I am not perfect and that sometimes, I still find food a challenge. My problem is, and always has been my irrational fear of being seen as a failure. It sounds unbelievably cliche but for as long as I can remember, there has never been a time where I have not been completely terrified of letting people, teachers, my parents, friends or myself down. I am incredibly lucky to come from a family who have always supported every decision I have made, they have never pressured me to work harder or pushed me to pursue a particular career path (partially because they know I am probably putting enough pressure on myself already), yet there is some inherent part of me which works myself to the bone to achieve better things than the time before and never let people see the internal struggle that may be happening.
But this is something that I am determined to change in 2017. I don't want my followers to read my blog or look at my instagram and see recovery as simply black and white, I want them to know that it is (and maybe always will be) an ongoing battle. I am happy to say that the majority of my days are what you see: me eating a healthy and balanced diet, nourishing my body and training hard in the gym... but I also want you to be aware that failures happen, relapses happen, days where you sit in bed feeling sorry for yourself happen... but that's ok.
One of the hardest things about recovery is learning what is a normal relationship with food. For a long time, I assumed everyone who didn't struggle with food ate the same amount everyday, didn't get cravings, only ate when they're hungry and stopped when they're full... but in reality it couldn't be further from the truth. Health and recovery aren't just about smoothie bowls and tracking macros and photographs of eggs and avocados, they're also about balance and mental happiness, and having another spoonful of peanut butter if that's what you want. You are allowed to have days where you eat too much, you're allowed to have days where you don't eat enough - that is normal and everyone does it.
And then I got thinking... if I truly was 100% happy with the way my body looked, would my lifestyle be any different? Would I indulge a bit more and relax my diet, or would I eat more healthily to nourish the body that I loved? Or is there even such thing as ever being 100% happy? I make no secret of the fact that I want to be strong, fit and athletic, but in 2017 I also want to focus on something that I let slip by the wayside in 2016: balance. Something I've recently realised is that it is far easier to reach your goals if you aren't stuck in a constant battle with yourself... how are you ever supposed to feel strong and athletic if you're still restricting your calorie intake some days?
And so, at the end of this post there is only one thing left to say: I'm sorry for not always being completely honest with you, but I promise from now my platforms will speak nothing but the truth: good day or bad day.
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, and have a fantastic New Years Eve... lots of love,