Do you believe in signs?
For the last three months, I’ve been doing some deep thinking about what’s next for me and also what’s next for this blog.
Basically, trying to answer two big questions:
WHO AM I? + WHAT DO I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE THAT’S MEANINGFUL?
All caps felt appropriate given the subject matter.
I’ve been pondering those big questions more deeply because after 10 months of recovery (high five to me), I’m ready to invest my time, energy, and creativity into something beyond myself that feels equally meaningful and rewarding.
For someone who is so accustomed to achieving and letting external indicators define my self worth, it’s been humbling and very restorative to let that part of me go dormant. It’s also provided a chance for me to get to know myself—who I really am—and be myself, unapologetically. #curlyhairdontcare
As I’ve grown to understand the root cause of my eating disorder and rediscover who I am without it, I’ve been thinking about what I’m good at and what I truly enjoy doing.
Journalism, editing, and content creating (i.e. blogging, photography, styling, editorial projects, etc.) have always been my jam. It was what I studied in undergrad and led me to pursue a fabulously rewarding career in magazine writing/editing. I’m also quite talented at those endeavors.
Thus, a few weeks ago, I started exploring job postings in the writing/editing/content-creating realm. I found not one, but three amazing opportunities right here in Asheville, North Carolina, and it felt like a sign.
As began the process of applying, I found it to be more challenging than I anticipated. Reflecting on my previous work history and experiences stirred up some MAJOR feelings.
On the one hand, I felt immense joy and pride when I considered my previous accomplishments like having my editorial content and recipes published in nationally distributed magazines and the opportunities to create content with wellness brands on my blog and elsewhere online.
On the other, I couldn’t help but feel sad thinking about all the time and energy I invested to become a dietitian only to end up with an eating disorder.
What was the point of all that work? Did I do it for nothing?
Suffice to say that I felt a little lost.
Even as I applied for jobs that I was legit excited about pursuing and definitely qualified to do, I felt really down about ending up here.
I felt guilty that I had created light-hearted, evidenced-based content intended to guide decision-making on the path to vitality and wellness, but unknowingly developed and promoted a totally unhealthy obsession with healthy.
I felt sad that I had to stop blogging last fall and get treatment for said unhealthy obsession with healthy because at that time the blog’s traffic was surging and opportunities to collaborate were abundant.
That said and despite all the turmoil I’ve been feeling, the process of applying for these three jobs has been immensely therapeutic and productive.
It’s helped me gain clarity around what I love doing and made me realize how much I miss writing, editing, and creating content.
It made me realize how much I miss blogging and connecting with you.
TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG
After taking a major hiatus from blogging and anything nutrition related (outside of working on my own food shiz, obvi), the application process reignited my passion for sharing my expertise and experience through content creation.
I started seriously thinking about how I could use my expertise and passion in a way that HONESTLY (pun intended) helps others live healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Because despite what’s happened, I’m still an editor-turned-dietitian (read: grammar geek and nutrition nerd).
At heart, I’m still a storyteller with a wellness spin.
What’s changed is that I’m back to practicing what I’ve long preached and believed about living honestly nourished mind-body-soul.
What’s changed and evolved is my definition of “healthy.”
So why wasn’t I sharing that here now? Why haven’t I blogged about anything in three months?
I think I’ve been afraid to share what I’ve learned because I’m still recovering.
I thought, I can’t help anyone until I have my shiz completely together first.
What I’ve realized though is that if I wait until I have everything wrapped up in a nice, pretty package with a big bow on top, I’ll miss a chance to have an impact right now.
My hesitancy was no longer about whether or not to blog—TO BLOG!—rather when to start given that I have yet to hear about one of the job opportunities, which would entail writing content for a local organic, natural food company.
What if this company doesn’t embrace a more holistic, revised definition of healthy, which for me includes both organic chia seeds and definitely-not-organic rainbow sprinkles?
Should I not blog about recovery right now?
I decided that if getting that job (which I would love) means I have to hide who I am and what I believe about healthy living, I risk falling back into my ED.
Because the ED wants me to be obsessed with textbook definitions of “healthy” 24/7. The ED wants me to be afraid of Lucky Charms and believe that the shape and size of my body or percentage of my diet that’s organic is what makes me healthy.
To live authentically right now and support my recovery, I need to be able to promote kale without demonizing rainbow sprinkles.
I SAW THE SIGN(S):
WHAT INSPIRED ME TO START BLOGGING AGAIN
As I contemplated the risks/benefits of blogging again about recovery now or waiting until I heard about my application at said organic food company, I got two pretty big signs that there’s no time like the present.
Both of these signs occurred on the same day, too—last Thursday—which is, like, even more powerful (at least to me #woowooforthewin).
SIGN NO. 1
Kylie is a huge inspiration to me on so many levels and I could (and will) write an entire post devoted to the reasons I admire her work as a recovered dietitian and mission to end disordered eating. Her blog and story is a wonderful resource and beautiful example of self-discovery, courage, and perseverance; It’s been a huge positive influence in my recovery.
She generously posts every day and yet…I always wish there was more content.
Far too many healthy living bloggers are perpetuating the seemingly innocuous obsession with “healthy,” watering it down to how much kale you eat and how many burpees you can do in 60 seconds. In the podcast episode, she echoes my sentiments about a lack of bloggers who consistently offer well written, trustworthy, authentic, and compassionate messages about body positivity, intuitive eating, and health at every size AND practice living it.
This REALLY resonated with me.
Especially when she said she wished there were more dietitians and nutrition experts blogging about the dangers of diet culture instead of perpetuating it.
I realized, Wait. I could be one of those bloggers.
I realized that if I want more posts like Kylie’s surely other readers do, too, and sharing my unique experience is a way to use my blog to add insight into disordered eating and exercise behaviors.
SIGN NO. 2
I opened my email on Thursday afternoon and saw the following email in my inbox.
Subject: Thank GOODNESS for you!!!
Email: Hi! Just came across your Instagram as a referral from reallife RD blog. Thank goodness for you!!!! You are so inspirational. I have been struggling with anorexia for -3 years (ugh)…I seem to be stuck in this place right now of still needing to gain some weight. Unfortunately, a lot of the recipes out there are “grain free” “dairy free” or paleo and in efforts to heal my IBS issues I feel tempted to follow those paths – but know what a slippery slope “clean eating” can be. Anyway, I got so excited to see someone who is not afraid to admit that you are working hard on recovery. You go girl!!!!
*Email republished and condensed with permission; initials changed to maintain anonymity.
That email gave me ALL the feeeeeeeeels, y’all. <3
While this isn’t the first note of gratitude I’ve received from a reader, it underscored that sharing my authentic (ahem, emphasis on authentic) experience and wisdom with eating disorder recovery as a dietitian could really positively impact others.
It was the final sign I needed to know blogging about my recovery experience is what I want to do.
Actually. The final sign was hearing Ace of Base’s “The Sign” on my fave Spotify 90’s playlist yesterday as I finished this post. (And yes, that really is my 1993 Ace of Base CD, which is always in our car’s CD player much to Tristen’s dismay.)
Right now, this conversation feels much more meaningful and important than talking about why adding turmeric to your smoothie might reduce inflammation (yawn). Even if it is a whole lot scarier.
Sometimes you gotta jump before there’s a net and trust one will appear in time.
I have absolutely NO idea what’s on the other side of this decision to jump into blogging again. I do know that it’s 100% the right jump for me.
If for no other reason than I can finally look at my longtime laptop case that reads, “Eat Cake For Breakfast” without feeling like a total fraud. 😉
Check back here manana when I’ll outline the type of content you can expect hence forth and how I’m going to update certain sections of the blog to better reflect this shift in subject matter.
Regardless of whether you decide to stick around for Honestly Nourished 2.0 or find another path to wellness that’s right for you, I give you my word that this path on this blog will always ALWAYS be paved with rainbow sprinkles and organic chia seeds.