For the most part, I consider myself a “feel good” blogger. I mean, every day at 7:00am, I’m here checking in with all of you to see how you are doing and providing you with (what I hope) is some daily inspiration. I like to keep things light and happy. I love sharing healthy living tips, workouts, recipes, and little slices of my life. I love motivating you to be the best you can be.
But you know what?
Sometimes I am just not in the mood to be cheery and write a feel good post.
When I read other blogs, there is nothing that turns me off more than hearing about how amazing every part of life is. You guys must know what I mean. The bloggers that say every workout is THE best one, the people who never binge on anything except lettuce (please), and the ones that give off the vibe that nothing ever gets messy. Of course when I read other blogs, I consider that I’m reading someone else’s highlight reel, and there probably aren’t a lot of bloggers out there who actually WANT to share too much of the negative. I mean, I guess bloggers who complain all the time and are negative are ones I want to stop following too, so there’s definitely a fine line between over-sharing/being a negative nancy and also keeping it real/being transparent with your readers. I’m all for sharing the personal stuff if it’s done in a real and tactful way that people can relate to, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s a tough balance sometimes. And I never want to give off the vibe that I lead a perfect life.
Because nobody is perfect. And bloggers have bad days too.
Yes, you heard me. Bloggers are not perfect. I have less than ideal workout sessions sometimes. I f*ck up in the kitchen (a lot). I get in arguments with people, sometimes for stupid reasons, and sometimes (gasp) because it’s my fault. I worry about finances and my future. In fact, I over-worry (shocker). Usually I over-think everything too (another shocker). And I can’t reign it in when I get like that (sorry co-workers… and family… and friends… and Tim…).
Yesterday was just one of those bad days for me. Usually a bad day in my book is when multiple aspects of my life are stressing me out. One thing? No problem. Two? Annoying, but manageable. It’s when I get overwhelmed by several things at once that I feel like I’m losing control. And I hate not being in control of things. When this happens, my time management skills go right out the window, and my anxiety levels go through the roof. Oh, and then I eat. A lot. <—not lettuce.
A couple of things I’m dealing with right now:
1. An extremely stressful situation at work that’s challenging my patience and motivation levels.
2. Family issues. Nothing new, just the same type of things resurfacing and the continued issue of being helpless and having no solutions or services available. Not exaggerating. How can the mental health system be so EFFED and leave SO many families out to dry? Probably a post topic for another day.
3. Finally, my ankle is still bothering me from when I rolled it in class last week. This makes me SUPER cranky because I know I should rest it for it to get better sooner. But resting also equals not being able to do my number one stress management strategy (exercise). CONUNDRUM because now how am I supposed to deal with #1 and #2?
An extremely miserable Athena ensues. One that just wants to do THIS:
I hope you guys appreciate my honesty today and aren’t annoyed by it. I’m never going to post multiple cranky or complaining posts a week. But I also never, EVER want to give off the vibe that things are always happy. I want to be authentic without boring you of every single nitty-gritty detail of the things that may go wrong in my day-to-day, behind the scenes life.
What I CAN say is that despite the negative, I do still try to look on the bright side.
So I will leave you with something I am feeling really happy about this week. And that’s how many of you have emailed me or let me know that my post on Sunday about heavier lifting has inspired you to increase your weight, go out and buy new weights, or try something new for strength training. That keeps me going, knowing that at least in one area of my life, I can make a difference and am not helpless.
To anyone else out there not having such a great week, I hope this post helped you feel like you aren’t alone. And I encourage you to find that one silver lining. It helps.
Thoughts on the “perfect life” perception? Anyone else having not such a great week? Are you someone who tends to get overwhelmed when there’s a lot going on at once? What are your tips for snapping out of a funk?
Hey Athena, I hear yah. I’ve heard people talk about bloggers having a “perfect life” who bake all these beautiful little things and eat well because it’s easy for them. It’s something I strive NOT to do because like you I always F up in the kitchen or want to skip workouts sometimes. I get overwhelmed too and when I feel myself getting into a funk I just the writing prompt, “I do NOT want to write about _____.” In fact, I think I’m going to write a post about that next week haha. But it helps me pinpoint what’s really going on (in usually a very lengthy rant). Hope you have a splendid weekend despite your week!
Thank you! While I do love seeing all the beautiful little things people bake, I do like to see a slice of real life every now and then. I like your writing prompt idea. My week is already better!
Hang in there Athena! From one Type A to another, when I get stressed or start feeling down I make a LIST (shocker) of things that are going RIGHT or that I am doing WELL. Try it! Worst case scenario, at least you’ve made a list! 🙂 Want me to start you off? You are good at: Being honest, striving for the best, motivating others. Your turn!
Thank you, fellow Type A friend! I love that you make a list. And I have done this strategy before myself. It does work! But sometimes when things seem really bad, they are hard to think of until the next day after getting a good night’s sleep. Thanks for starting my list. You’re too nice! 🙂
Hi Athena. I’m new to your blog and love it. I appreciate your honesty today! Thanks for inspiring us to find one thing .. Sometimes that’s all it takes to turn it all around. Hoping your day turns around. Thanks for your hard work for us readers.
Hi Rachel, welcome to my F&F community! And thanks for commenting. Glad you appreciated me “letting it all out.”
I’m glad you wrote this, I think these kinds of posts allow us as the reader to feel like we know you more than the shining face that we see on the reg. I’m sorry things arent working out for you now, I’m in a very similar boat, and running is my stress reliever. Have you tried swimming for a work out instead? It’s low ankle impact right? It might help.
Hi JC, sorry to hear you are going through a similar situation. Glad you can turn to running to relieve your stress! I’m not a huge swimmer, but in a worst case scenario I would do that to keep active. I think with a good week’s rest from any high impact activities (running/jumping/kickboxing), I will be okay. Trying to stay positive!
Hi Friend! I’m glad you wrote those post. I also feel turned off by complainers, but the bright and shiny everything’s perfect approach also can get to you. It sometimes makes you feel like your efforts aren’t enough. Your blog is one of my favorites (and thats outside of my buyist opinion after working with you and being your friend for so many years). You keep things real (for realz), and it’s nice to strive to relate and follow someone who admits to not being perfect, it makes the goal seem more attainable. JC’s suggestion of swimming is a good one. If you want me to send you a simple pool workout please feel free to ask. Hope things smooth over sooner rather then later with your current work and fam stress.
Hi friend! Thank you for commenting yesterday – means a lot. I would love a pool workout!! I honestly have no idea what to do when in the pool other than flounder around and avoid drowning. 🙂 I feel like treading water would be a good workout?
ahhhh!!! dont mean to add to your stress by not proofreading and making grammar and spelling errors!!!! 😉
I will admit I cringed a little bit at “buyist” opinion. 🙂
I love that you addressed this. It does seem that bloggers have the perfect life, but I can attest to not having a “perfect” life and having issues of our own! I personally love when I see bloggers be real and share things that are going on in their life. It makes them look more real
Hi Athena. AMEN sister! It really turns me away from some blogs when day in and day out you read how great some people are in what they eat and their workouts. Plus, how they get 10 million things done in the day and still have time left over. Thank you for being you and all you put into your blog, I really enjoy connecting to it! Sounds like this weekend you need to take time just for you. Maybe some wine, or a nice piece of chocolate! Hey, I’m only human! :0)
Hi Kim, I have to laugh at the 10 million things in one day part. I definitely TRY to do that… but I barely ever have time “left over.” The to do list is always going to be there. I am definitely going out for a drink tonight! 🙂
Hope you have a great weekend, and thanks for being such a great F&F blog follower.
I heard something at a WW meeting last week, a mantra if you will, that really spoke to me, and it’s now on my desk at work…and on my fridge at home! It’s the idea of “Persistence, not perfection!”
I saw that you added that to your desk! It’s a great mantra, and it can be applied to many situations.
Aw this post is just perfect! I was just starting to feel like ‘man what am doing wrong?!’ how can I get a life like that blogger??? Thank you for being so honest and love reading your blog EVERY DAY! 😉 I’ve started writing in a gratitude journal just to help my day off on the right foot..not sure if it helps but helps me see that not all the day is bad. 🙂
Hi Fiona, you are doing NOTHING wrong. And I guarantee you have the same life as most bloggers, you just don’t put it out there for the world to see. And these bloggers probably aren’t blogging about the arguments they had with their boyfriends or panic attacks or feeling unmotivated. I think it’s great that you are keeping your gratitude journal. Keep it up, girl!
AMEN, Athena! This week has been more than trying for me. It’s hard because I don’t want to portray myself as a negative person on my blog — I really am not! But I can’t help sometimes but get into a funk. When you put your life on a blog for the world to see, you definitely sensor it a bit. I don’t talk about my relationship issues, family problems, or work stresses, but all of these things happen all the time. Life is messy, and I definitely struggle with being honest and keeping my privacy my privacy. I love this post.
Thank you, Sarah!!
Athena, I love this post! It drives me crazy when people portray their lives as “perfect.” I totally get the highlight reel concept, and I understand why bloggers (and practically all social media users—hello, Facebook Newsfeed!) do it, but it’s so refreshing to read that a healthy living blogger isn’t perfect. Reading blogs that are more “real” make me happier, and make me feel less crazy for all of my less-than-perfect days 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!
Thank you, Shannon! Of course Facebook and Instagram mostly are the highlights – why would I want to post a picture of my failed cookie batch or me laying on the couch instead of getting to the gym? But it really causes a lot of “comparison trap” issues for people, comparing the highlight reel of someone else to the “behind the scenes” of their own life. A healthy dose of reality is just what people need sometimes.
I agree – sometimes it seems like a lot of bloggers have the perfect life all the time which we all know is impossible!
I’m sorry that you are in a bit of a funk – I’m the same way when too many negative factors all hit at the same time. I hope that a good night of sleep and a bit of a break has you back to your normal self!!!
Thanks, Kim! The night’s sleep definitely helped. It’s a new day. 🙂
Hey friend… I’m proud of you for posting this. Readers want to read REAL things… whether good or bad. I felt similar to that yesterday, so much so that I didn’t even want to go to the gym (which NEVER happens)… I had to teach so I had no choice, but it was hard. I’m glad to see you put a positive spin at the end because even though it’s hard to look on the bright side when you’re feeling so down, it’s important to think about all the good you have in your life: friends, family, Tim, a JOB (even if it’s stressing you out), F&F… the list goes on. My friend Tim helped give me good advice back in April when I was feeling like you just described. He said to make a list of things I’m thankful for. Which did help! Cheer up… things will get better, but know I’m always here to chat if you need it. I’ll be on G-Chat tomorrow!
Thanks, Monique! Appreciate the g-chat (that’s happening as I comment back on this).
I actually make it a point not to read the really cheery blogs. They’re annoying to no end. I’m not remotely kidding. People don’t need everything nice all the time. Also, it’s not your job to inspire or motivate anyone. It’s a nice thing to do, but you don’t owe anyone anything. And if you work hard and have an interesting outlook on life, people will still like you even if you don’t motivate them every step of the way. Or even some of the steps.
It actually kind of is my job to motivate/inspire (literally – full time I work in corporate wellness and part time as a group exercise instructor), but people’s motivation has to first and foremost come from within or else it doesn’t matter what I could possibly say or do. You are right that I don’t owe it to anyone, but I truly find a lot of satisfaction in it when I do!
yes, I absolutely understand that–and even understand how it is a component of your job. But what you say regarding people needing to be self-motivated is honestly, in my opinion, FAR more key to ending up with successful clients than just being a positive force. There is a difference between empowering people and motivating them. It totally isn’t my place to make any suggestions or give advice, but I’m going to do it anyway because I’m a brash jerk online at least 50% of the time. If you switch your way of thinking about your professional engagement with people from “motivating” them to “empowering,” you may end up being much happier with your job in the long run as well as develop behavior and thought patterns in the people you work with that are more productive.
Most serious and really successful athletes I know don’t constantly need outside motivation. Often, they were or are guided by someone who is passionate about the sport and showed the athlete in question how to excel at it. It doesn’t take that long to get someone running on the fuel of their own passion if you give them the tools to progress in fitness (not just stay relatively healthy or whatever, but really see progress in endurance, strength, flexibility, whatever). The athletes I most admire are the ones who are so confident in their own capabilities that nothing can stop them.
Don’t feel bad if you have an off day. I don’t know how you manage to write such an intelligent, fun and helpful blog every day.
Some mornings I’m amazed that I can drag myself out of bed, let alone get a good workout in!
Thank you so much, Maria. You are too nice!
Honesty rocks. Like many other commenters, I prefer the “real” blogs that show some non-perfect. Now a Negative Nancy would be no fun, but someone who shows a carefully curated blog of only cheeriness starts to come across as disingenuous.
Spot on! Hard to balance both. Thank you!
I like the way you described blogs as being high-light reels…that’s so true! The same thing with most social media accounts..a lot of good and not all the bad. But then there are those who just complain all the time and no one wants that either! It’s all a balance!
Your post is super inspiring to me and I think I will be sharing some of my recent recipe fails on the blog soon! 🙂