Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. After a busy week of work travel in Minnesota last week and a super fun awesome time in Chicago with Jen and Ashley this weekend, I’m back to the grind and playing catch up in many areas of my life.

Before I get too far into recapping the fun things I’ve been up to lately, I wanted to share something a little different on F&F today.

My First Blog Tour

One of my favorite Boston-based bloggers, Steph from I Train Therefore I Eat, recently invited me to participate in a “blog tour.” It’s kind of like a chain letter for bloggers, and since I truly enjoy spreading the love for other bloggers, of course I told Steph I would take part. I also thought it would be kind of fun and something different to write about!

Before I get into what the blog tour entails, you guys totally need to check out Steph’s blog if you haven’t already. I often share her posts in my Friday Favorites because I pretty much love everything she writes about. Steph is an athletic trainer who is very honest in her writing, lifts heavy weights, and focuses on positive body image and health and not weight loss or being skinny. I met her in person last fall at a blogger event at Barry’s Bootcamp, and we have plans to meet up for margaritas in a few weeks with our other blog friend, Caroline. I’m excited!

Barry's Bootcamp

Back to the blog tour. Basically the premise is that I answer a set of questions about my writing process and then introduce you to three bloggers who will keep the blog tour going next week. From there they will do the same thing, introduce you to another three folks, and so forth. I always like reading about how other people approach blogging and writing, so I hope you enjoy this too!

1. What am I working on?

This is a hard question to answer right now because I’m scaling back on blogging a bit over the next two months to focus on things like my best friends’ weddings and wedding related activities, Tim’s birthday, and some things at work that I simply don’t have enough hours in my regular work day to get done. That said, now I am just focusing on writing my regular blog posts. However, I do have a thousand different ideas and lists of things to do once my schedule frees up a bit. One thing I’m working on that’s not so much content related is improving the design and layout of my blog. I’m working with a graphic designer who is creating a graphic for me, and I’m in the research phase of exploring options for the rest of it. I really just need to pay someone to “fix” my blog, but not quite sure how to start. If anyone has any recommendations or ideas for how to begin, I’m all ears!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Differentiating my little space of the “healthy living” blogosphere from the thousands of others out there is something that is really difficult to do because “everyone” posts workouts and healthy recipes, you know? I like to make sure that my posts aren’t play by play recaps of every second of my life (because I’d have ZERO readers that way), and I try to balance my regular series (Sunday Sweat Talk, Friday Favorites, Journey to Fit, etc.) with content that keeps people guessing about what I’m going to write about next. I like to think that my approach toward healthy living sets me apart from some bloggers out there, since I do not focus on deprivation, weight loss, calorie counting, or how to be “skinny.” I like to keep things realistic and provide some insight to how I do what I do without coming across as preachy. I also feel very passionately about people putting in hard work and effort to reach their goals, so I hope that comes across in my content.

I guess this could go hand in hand with number one with something I’m working on, but I’m really trying to decide if I should narrow the focus of F&F a bit more. I don’t exactly know how to truly define my niche! And I should be able to, right?

Healthy Living Blogs

3. Why do I write what I do?

I honestly just love it. In a recent post, I shared the reasons for starting this blog, but it’s something I truly enjoy doing. Some people will tell me that they don’t know how I have time to blog, but in the same time they are watching TV, I’m just blogging instead. It’s a creative outlet for me, it’s a great way to discover fitness related products and companies in the area, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people both virtually and face to face. I write about healthy living because it’s my passion. I believe that fitness is not about a certain look, but it’s about a feeling. It’s about that high from crossing a finish line. It’s about the strength felt after deadlifting more than you could the week before. It’s about trying new things, taking pride in caring for your body, and feeling accomplished after reaching a goal, no matter how big or small. I consider a day successful even if only one person has made a change for the better because of something that I said or wrote.

4. How does my writing process work?

There’s a lot of planning involved, that’s for sure. I have a calendar that I keep on my desk at home that has a schedule of when I’m going to post certain content because I want to make sure each week has a variety. For example, I don’t like posting too many product reviews or sponsored stuff back to back or too many recipe posts in one week. Aside from that, I have a ongoing list of blog topic ideas that I want to make sure I remember for future use. I should say I have multiple lists because inspiration comes to me at the most random times. I have a little notebook I carry around or sometimes I’ll email myself so I don’t forget my ideas. I do pre-schedule a lot of posts ahead of time – not sure I’d be able to do it without that functionality!

So who’s up next?

Sarah from Fit University
Sarah is a twenty year student in Boston, and I love reading her blog because I always wish I had realized my passion for fitness sooner! She has an awesome outlook on life, an inspirational transformation story, and she is competing in her first fitness competition in just a few weeks. Plus I think her blog name and page are creative and unique. I recently met Sarah in person at a networking event in Boston, and you may remember her cabbage quinoa fajitas recipe featured on my Reader Recipes series last month.

Alaina from Jogging Concierge
Alaina is another Boston-based blogger who I met last year at a blogger event at City Sports. I enjoy reading Alaina’s adventures in running, and I especially admire her commitment to run “30 Races in 2014” in honor of her 30th birthday a few weeks ago. Alaina also writes about her travels and experiences at Boston restaurants. These posts are always entertaining and a good source of inspiration for day trips or date night ideas.

Maybe you?
A couple of the other bloggers I reached out to responded that life was a little too hectic to participate this week (totally get it), and I didn’t have a chance to follow-up with others during my travel week last week (because my life is also hectic). That said, if you would like to continue the tour next week, let me know, and I’ll add a little blurb about you into the post! This was fun!

Hope you guys enjoyed this little change-up on F&F today, and please go check out the different blogs featured in this post. I’m back to playing catch up now. Have a great night, you guys!