My Own Worst Enemy

I wrote this post a few days ago and was afraid to share it on here because I want my blog to be a positive place and not somewhere that I come to complain. After I came across Hillary’s post, I realized that reading about her struggles made me feel so much better about my own. To know that someone else is driving themselves crazy on the inside the same way I do was relieving.

So much of my life revolves around creating healthy meals, keeping up on the latest in nutrition and exercise, and reading other blogs, that I felt it just made sense for me to start my own. I viewed it as a fun way to connect with people who share similar passions and hoped to make some new friends from it.

I also thought it was a great way to keep family and friends back home connected to our life here in California.

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Most of the other healthy living blogs I read share so many details of their everyday lives and truly open themselves up to the world. On a daily basis, I just don’t think my life just is that entertaining.

On the other hand, some bloggers are more reserved with a larger focus on food, producing creative recipes with beautiful images every other day.

I guess I’ve always envisioned myself fitting in somewhere in the middle but lately, I’ve been struggling with this.

I truly enjoy creating delicious meals and photographing them but honestly, it is a lot of work. And I am starting to pressure myself to learn more and to take better pictures.

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I am not home during the weekdays and when I’m not working at my second job,the majority of my weekend is spent trying to take advantage of the daylight for pictures. If the recipe doesn’t turn out as planned, then I am devastated and feel like my day off from work has been wasted.

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Fail

It seems so much easier to just write about my daily personal life but that causes me to ask myself, who really cares? What if I turn someone off? What if I bore them to death? And how comfortable am I putting myself out there for the world to judge? (Not like the whole world is reading my blog, but you get the idea)

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Besides fearing how I’ll be received, I cannot stand pictures of myself. I often think I look too goofy or my nose looks too big. On the weekend, I usually don’t blow dry my hair or wear makeup and I look like a freaking tornado hit me.

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This is an old picture (I was making homemade soft pretzels-yum!), but a good example of a sloppy, sans makeup, weekend look. My hair is more tame here than usual but I still think I look incredibly goofy (um…can we say, bobble head?) I would not typically want to show a picture like this.

Another thing about sharing pictures of myself is that I have a really bad habit of closing my eyes in them.

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The most embarrassing one:

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I hate this one. Confused smile  Not sure what happened there but I promise, I am completely sober!!

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See? I don’t know what it is about the count of three that makes me close my eyes but I end up looking drunk in most of my pictures. I much rather post pictures of appealing food than of me looking tanked.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to keep up with the blog consistently and decided five posts a week would be reasonable for me. It turns out that it is reasonable, but not with the type and quality of content I want to publish.

It’s actually pretty silly that I put so much pressure on myself but I want my blog to be something I would want to come back to and keep reading myself. I guess I didn’t realize how much work it would turn out to be.

Since I have started blogging regularly, I stay up later, exercise less, and have less free time to just unwind. The added stress has recently made me feel run-down. I joke with Brandon that I should rename the blog, “Taking Thyme Away from My Health”.

Needless to say, I need to figure out a balance that fits into my current lifestyle a little better. I don’t want to post about a bunch of randomness with subpar photos all over the place. At the same time, as much as I love it, I can’t find the time to photograph new recipes multiple times a week.

I haven’t decided whether to post less or just include more personal, daily life content but I do know I can’t keep pressuring myself the way I have been. Even if the quantity of my posting eventually lessens, I am hoping to gain better quality with time and to continue to make new friends and connections through this little space.

And if all else fails…hug the dog.

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By the way, TGIF!! Party smile

How do you find balance in your life?

Are you afraid to share your struggles on your blog and find yourself censoring how you truly feel?

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{ 25 comments… add one }

  • Taylor @ greens & chocolate March 15, 2013, 3:50 am

    Sarah, I struggle with the exact. same. things!! Except the closing of the eyes in pictures…I don’t tend to do that :) Between recipe developing, cooking, baking, taking pictures, then actually blogging about what I make, AND the other aspect of social media, networking, blah, blah, blah, it can get SO overwhelming! All of that on top of a full-time job…it’s a little crazy. Maybe too crazy sometimes. I just try not to compare myself to other bloggers (easier said than done) who do this as their full-time job and remind myself that it’s MY blog, no one else’s, so I can hold myself to whatever standard I want. Thanks for this post – it was so refreshing to hear exactly what I’ve been feeling from someone else!
    Taylor @ greens & chocolate recently posted…friday favesMy Profile

    Reply
    • Sarah March 15, 2013, 7:19 am

      I appreciate you sharing your feelings, Taylor. It makes me feel so much better to know I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed. It is hard to not want to put your all into something you are passionate about but at the end of the day, it is unhealthy to do too much. That is great advice to not compare yourself! I think that is where I am selling myself short- through comparison. It was refreshing for me to hear how you feel too, thank you!

      Reply
  • Natalie March 15, 2013, 5:13 am

    Great post! It IS a lot of work keeping up but I like when I come across blog’s that are not updating every single day with photo’s and recipes, its great to have post’s about other things in life and sharing photos of your closed eyes lol you look great with and without make up :)

    Reply
    • Sarah March 15, 2013, 7:22 am

      I agree, it is nice to feel a connection to bloggers through their normal life sometimes. I’m just having a hard time getting comfortable with that part of it, I guess. Thanks for the encouragement though! :)

      Reply
  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 15, 2013, 6:29 am

    Cooking, picture-taking, and blogging can certainly be SO time-consuming! I have found it all to be a bit overwhelming to me, at times, lately. I am actually considering taking a mini blogging break for a week sometime soon to just step back from it all.

    By the way, you look gorgeous in that red lace dress! :)
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Who Needs Corned Beef When You Can Have Cabbage?My Profile

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    • Sarah March 15, 2013, 7:23 am

      It really is a big commitment! The funny thing is that we are only committing to ourselves and no one else and that’s what I need to remind myself. If you need a break- take it! I know I will keep reading your blog as soon as you come back! :)

      Reply
  • Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies March 15, 2013, 8:25 am

    I always think it’s pretty interesting when people post personal stuff, but I too feel like my life isnt that interesting and I’m not really comfortable with exposing that much of my life just yet. [Though, I’m kind of a crazy cat lady… So I imagine they’d mostly be stories about my cats ;-)]

    Posting 5 times a week is a CRAZY amount. Like full time job amount. I post 3 times a week and only do half of the work myself (my boyfriend does all of the photography, photo editing, and general internetting)– and this still feels overwhelming at times! Don’t push yourself too hard. You’ll make a hobby turn into no fun and you’ll come to resent that you *have* to post something rather than take some time for yourself.
    Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies recently posted…Fruity Breakfast Cornbread Two WaysMy Profile

    Reply
    • Sarah March 15, 2013, 9:15 am

      LOL about the crazy cat lady part. I love kitty’s and would enjoy those posts! :) That is awesome you have your boyfriend to help you and 3 times does sound a little more realistic for us bloggers who work full-time. I really do enjoy blogging, but I think I set my expectations for myself too high. I appreciate your advice and will keep that in my mind- I don’t *have* to post if I need some time off!

      Reply
  • Josie March 15, 2013, 8:26 am

    First of all, Sarah. Sans makeup, rockin’ pony tails in your sweatpants and caught in the moments make the best photos, I think. Ookay this will sound a bit cliche (and creepy… maybe?) I think you’re BEAUTIFUL and these candid photos are a big reason why. I don’t even know you in person but those photos are just so genuinely you in the most beautiful way possible. :) BUT I understand that we (especially women) are the harshest critiques to ourselves! Myself included, yup. And for that, I thank you for your beautiful honesty via sharing your words AND photos. You have an audience that understands you for who you are, not what your goals set up to be. If anyone is “turned off”, well, maybe that’s not a bad thing. You now can focus in more on finding your unique voice and stand out from the rest of the other blogs. I often wonder about my blog like that as well. To this date, I can think of a bunch of reasons why I don’t have any readership but mostly I know mostly lack of dedication and efforts on my part. But YOU are absolutely trumpin the efforts and dedication part! And I totally believe in balancing yourself—sometimes that means stepping back, doing less or nothing! Quality > Quantity. People can tell! My mantra these days on blogging (or anything in life practically!) is focus on doing what makes me feel good and happy. That’s it! :)

    Reply
    • Sarah March 15, 2013, 9:10 am

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words Josie! I am so lucky to have people like you to read and reach out to me. I love your mantra and will take it to heart. Yes, being happy is what matters most! :)

      Reply
      • Josie March 15, 2013, 2:01 pm

        Sarah, you’re very welcome! Also I’m back to reply, and then see if your “comment back email notification” works ;) I do see that you have two option checkboxes now about “Notify me of follow-up” etc options, so that should do it! P.S.- thanks for your comment on my last post today~ xoxo
        Josie recently posted…May I be honest and vulnerable for a moment…My Profile

      • Josie March 15, 2013, 2:29 pm

        Oh I forgot to mention… I sent you an email earlier today after I commented on this post. :)
        Josie recently posted…May I be honest and vulnerable for a moment…My Profile

      • Josie March 15, 2013, 2:30 pm

        Oh I forgot to mention… I sent you an email earlier today after I commented on this post :)
        Josie recently posted…May I be honest and vulnerable for a moment…My Profile

  • Nicole @ FruitNFitness March 15, 2013, 9:32 am

    You look great sans makeup! If you see my post today you know that I put up horrible pictures of myself, and I don’t really care. I like reading about other bloggers daily life and I like writing about mine. It’s kind of like my online diary i guess. I love your recipes and you always have AMAZING pictures but you shouldn’t feel pressured to post more, or about other stuff if thats not what you want to do!
    Nicole @ FruitNFitness recently posted…Fantastic FridayMy Profile

    Reply
  • Sonia the Mexigarian March 15, 2013, 10:08 am

    Do what works best for you and doesn’t add more stress for your life. Your blog is yours and no one elses. Sure, we might hold our personal standards pretty high, but when it comes to our own sanity and health, it’s time to make time for life.

    I am still trying to find a balance. One, I am sure, I never will, but the blog is an outlet for me and my life and it’s just another piece of the juggling act I’m working on.

    BTW, I really enjoy your blog and no worries if you decide to lessen frequency of posts. Do what you want as long as YOU are happy. You don’t have to please us, your readers.
    Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted…Guzzle the salad dressing and hydrating a run. . .My Profile

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    • Sarah March 18, 2013, 8:00 am

      Thank you so much Sonia, I truly appreciate it. You are totally right that we still need to make time for life and not get too caught up in the world of blogging!

      Reply
  • Jan @ Sprouts n Squats March 15, 2013, 10:09 am

    I definitely struggle with how much to share of myself and only recently put up a profile picture but def am not comfortable posting multiple pics of myself.i think as long as your posts remain real and true that’s all that matters if that means less recipe posts I don’t think that’s a bad thing as it shouldn’t be stressful and not fun anymore. I personally don’t just come here just for the recipes and I don’t think your other readers do either.
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats recently posted…Friday Favourites #2My Profile

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  • Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run March 15, 2013, 12:30 pm

    Yay, I’m so happy you found the courage to hit publish on this post… and to think that I might have made a small impact on that decision makes me smile inside. This was a very honest post, and I think many new bloggers deal with this struggle. I, personally, think the best posts and recipes are produced when you aren’t stressed about hitting a deadline or quota of “x” posts per week, and just let them happen naturally. I’d love to “see” more of your daily life, including photos of you. Who cares if your eyes are closed… it makes you, YOU, and that’s what readers come for.

    Happy Friday to you, too! :)

    Reply
    • Sarah March 18, 2013, 7:54 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Hillary! Your willingness to be open about your feelings did inspire me and I appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Ashlee@HisnHers March 18, 2013, 9:27 am

    Totally agree, and I’m so glad you shared it! It can certainly be time consuming and stressful. Dont put so much pressure on yourself, your blog is great! And YOU are so beautiful that I think you’re nuts for not liking pictures of yourself :-) I have to say though that my family is realllllly bad about closing their eyes in pictures too!
    Ashlee@HisnHers recently posted…Lots of RandomnessMy Profile

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    • Sarah March 18, 2013, 11:13 am

      Thank you for your sweet comment! I feel better knowing I’m not the only one with the eye closing problem, haha! :)

      Reply
  • Dana April 16, 2013, 10:24 am

    This was a wonderful post! And I can totally relate. I have felt more stressed about my photos than anything else. They have gotten better over the past few months, but for now I use daylight and a canon point and shoot. Currently, there’s no room in our budget for a $400-1,000 camera, but i’m okay with that. Most of my food shots are really close-up and so I think they look best like that especially with wonderful daylight. One day I’ll get a better camera…

    I’m a pretty honest and open person, so sharing certain things on my blog, no matter what the content, I am okay and comfortable with. I like being as honest as I can be for my readers. You are a gorgeous girl…I really wouldn’t worry so much about ‘bad shots’. Balance is key, but that’s just for life in general I think. I also utilize my weekends for recipes and taking photos of my food in daylight. Lately, I almost never put makeup on and my hair is the last thing I think about. I do too much around the house and worry about fitting in exercise and this blog to also worry about making sure my hair looks good. lol.

    All in moderation :) I’m new here but loving your blog! Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply
    • Sarah April 16, 2013, 12:41 pm

      You couldn’t be more right. I struggled finding a balance but feel like I am in a better place now and have stopped pressuring myself so much. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! :)

      Reply