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Do I Eat Enough? Tricks Bloggers Use...

Every once in a while I'll get a comment or email from someone who questions one of two things:

a) Whether I eat enough
b) Why I feature so much unhealthy food on my blog when"clearly" I don't eat it.

I guess I find it kind of comical because those are basically opposite ends of the spectrum, right? I mean, it is possible for me to be eating too much unhealthy junk and at the same time not be eating enough?

I guess cookies confuse me too...

The jury is going to have to stay out on what I eat or don't eat and whether it's enough. The bottom line is that I don't want to talk about every single thing I eat and don't plan to start anytime soon.

I don't want to make this some lengthy defensive diatribe. What I DO want to say is that no blogger is telling the full story. Honestly. Even those ones who post three times a day and send out 64 tweets an hour! So here are some things to keep in mind:

-Dinners aren't always what they appear. That big plate you see in the photo? That portion could belong to the blogger...or her husband. After his long run. On a cheat day. You never know.

-The "handful" of candy? Could mean 3 M&Ms....or the entire family size bag. It happens

-Eating donuts and staying skinny doesn't mean a person has a crazy metabolism. It means they ate 400 calories of donut that day instead of 400 calories of quinoa. It's science - calories in, calories out. 

-Professional bloggers often have time to create entire meals/desserts that never even get eaten. It's their job to whip up that batch of cookies, but not their job to eat them all. 

-Not everyone runs "for fun". Sometimes it's to not be embarrassed on race day or just because the jeans are getting snug. 

Not every run can be this fun.

It's no secret I love reading blogs. I prefer the smaller ones though, just because I find everything to be so much more genuine. In the spirit of honesty, I'll admit three things that rarely get said in the blog world:

1. I care about my weight. There. I said it. I'm a little vain. I don't eat everything I want every day in massive portions because if I did, I would gain weight.

2. I do try to eat healthy foods. A lot of my more exciting dinners out are what make the blog, but 80% of my intake is healthy and made with good ingredients. I don't shy away from carbs or anything but I make sure there's some protein and greens on almost every plate.

3. I'm not in control 100% of the time. I eat sugar/dessert at least once a day but it is generally controlled - i.e. one or two portions of something. However, sometimes those treats aren't planned and I go overboard. Case in point - today. It was NOT in my plan to have hubby pick up a twelve pack of conversation hearts on sale yesterday. It was NOT in my plan to start eating them at 10am this morning. It was NOT in my plan to eat ten boxes throughout the day. But in happened. And I'll get over it.

My photos are garbage. Literally.

 I'm curious to know how people view this subject. Do you know that bloggers only reveal part of their lives? Are you are a blogger who tries to be honest about everything?
I will be the first to say that while I wouldn't lie to your face (ok, to your computer screen) I keep plenty to myself with this blog. It's a small part of what I choose to show to the world, and I'm okay with that. 

Why do you think it is so rampant today for women to not only need to be in shape, but also to appear as if they don't work for it?
This is something you see in the celebrity world a lot ("How do I stay in shape for Hollywood films? Oh, I'm just so busy I eat hamburgers on the go and stay a size 0!") I'm always happy when I see someone admit they yes, they eat healthy foods and workout every day. That's the "magic secret"!



  1. People are crazy. I mean I'm crazy too but I'd never ask you such a dumb question. LOL

  2. I think it's way more inspiring when bloggers are honest (10 boxes of conversation hearts, for example). I also think its great when bloggers talk about how HARD they worked for their health. Anyone trying to live a healthy lifestyle knows it's really frigging hard. Everyday is a challenge. And if you're making a huge lifestyle change, ever decision is hard. No one is perfect oatmeal, and eggs, and kale every second. that's crap.

    I don't put a lot of food on my blog, because I want to eat it, not talk about it. I also don't keep my blog for the internet, I keep it for me. If I wanted the entire world to know my life, I'd go on reality TV or something equally lame.

    People who think your blog is the whole of your life, need to get one, pronto.

  3. LOL! blunt and real. Yep, that explains all of us. Fear factor maybe?

    Truth is, who cares what you eat, how you eat, when you eat, AS LONG as you are HAPPY and HEALTHY with it. For me, i am happy being a wino. so cheers!

  4. I actually feel like I eat healthier than my blog puts out there. I share a lot of meals that are what people want to see. I do eat these meals but as you can see I don't blog about food as much because most of it is boring, or what I would imagine people would think is boring to share. I also eat a lot of sweets. I love sweets. I am like you. I will have a cupcake for 400 calories but then a smaller dinner to make up for it. The number on my scale very much so matters to me. I pretty much run for the improvement it makes on my body and mind.

    No one has really asked me anything about what I eat through a day or wrote anything negative about what I post other than swear words...but fuck...I'm human and I do swear.

    For the record, when I make sweets of any kind, I send half of them/it with my sister on her way to work. I can't keep it in the house because I have a major lack of self control to certain things. Chips also being one of them. I do not buy chips ever. Mike hates me for it.

  5. I baked cookies today and broke my 'don't eat them' rule... groaning... they were too good. So, I laughed when I saw your boxes of candy!

    I get so bored by the What I Ate posts, so I never read them, but if someone wants to share something special once in a while I like that... like you do, for instance!

    So really, Vanessa, do you eat enough? :)

  6. I LOVE YOU so much right now! Thanks for being honest and transparent. As a runner and blogger and someone who reads others' health and wellness blogs often feel like there's something wrong with me because I care about #1 mentioned above and #2 happens most of the time and #3 happens sometimes (like yesterday when four cookies magically disappeared during a moment of work related stress :). Anyway, I think there are a lot of weird pressures and false expectations floating around in the blog world and it's so refreshing to see you putting it all out there. Keep it up...and enjoy those sweethearts.

  7. I could never be a "what I ate every day" food blogger. For one, sometimes I eat the same thing for two meals a day for three days. Also, I don't eat breakfast, which makes me a pariah in the HLB world. Plus, it will all be poop soon enough.

    Mostly, though, how I eat has very little to do with how I look. I have been given an amazing metabolism by my parents. If I eat like shit and don't exercise I don't look THIS good, but I don't get overweight. And I can eat like shit and work out and look this good (just feel awful). So, I don't "earn" how I look with good eating habits.

    Oh, and I'm a terrible cook. The only time I make something awesome is when I follow someone else's recipe to a T.

    My "food blog" would be:

    for lunch I had this recipe [link] [picture of something in a tuperware container that looks like shit or vomit]

    for dinner I had this [link to lunch post] [picture of same catshit, now splattered on a plate, kind of blurry]

    for breakfast I ate pop tarts, pork rinds, and diet coke [picture of some wrappers in the trash]

    I skipped lunch because I was lazy and kind of felt queasy [link to breakfast]

    for dinner I had a bowl of cereal, a bite of an apple that was too mealy to finish, some swigs out of the orange juice container, a frozen tamale, some stale caramel corn, another bite of another mealy apple [picture of the dog]

    1. Rose, please start a food blog. I would read this every day. :)

    2. Rose, please start a food blog! :) I would read this every day too!

    3. ohhhhhhh myyyyyyyyy lorddddddddd


    4. this original post and then this response are why i love both of your blogs.

  8. I dont like the "effortlessly in shape" thing- I'm damn proud of the hard work I do to maintain my body shape!

  9. I love this post SO much!! I actually stopped posting what I was eating on Facebook. I first did it to hold myself accountable and make sure I was getting enough protein and veggies...but then I started to get a lot of emails. I deleted all of the pictures and will just upload some here and there of yummy things I eat. There are somedays that I don't eat a lot, but it's enough for ME. There are days where I eat way too much, but like you said, it happens. I don't want to give people the wrong idea because what works for me might not work for them.

    I try to be honest about things but there is a lot I don't talk about on the blog. Like the four red velvet cookies, one pastry, and one ice cream sandwich I ate yesterday after my grandma's birthday dinner ;) I'm not a big fan of blogs that post their 6 meals of the day. I can take the whole WIAW thing because it gives me ideas...but not every day.

    This was such a great post, Vanessa! Thanks :)

  10. I find anyone who says they are effortless in shape (of course you can be thin without working for it, but who knows if you are healthy) to be so annoying, because it takes work, period! I don't think you are anorexic or a pig, just a normal healthy girl. Love your posts and all your goodies!!

  11. I only post dinners (sometimes breakfasts and lunches) and my dinners are never "extremely healthy" but what I ate throughout the day was. So I guess I think it evens itself out? Not sure. But 9 times out of 10, the plate I post is what I stuffed into my face :D

    I think you look fantastic. Not cool that someone would actually imply you are not getting enough nutrition!

  12. omg that first cookie picture is cracking me up!!! i actually have a post coming about why I haven't done WIAW because i don't fully believe what some folks post...some are glamming it up or cleaning it up. But those who do show a cookie i think ok they like me eat pretty well and then eat some crap occassionally..and more on some days!

  13. I LOVE this post - I always wonder what food bloggers do with all of those super fancy cupcakes and cookies. Also, I wonder if they have my address so they can send me awesome care packages....

    Last year, I lost 40 lbs through :gasp: diet and exercise. People ask me what I do, and I always cringe to tell them its no secret - don't lie to yourself about eating crap and working out. no shortcuts.

    this comment just got very rambl-y.

  14. I love this post! People scrutinize every morsel that goes into blogger's mouths. Ridiculous. Never have I thought, "Vanessa eats too much or too little." It's all about balance and I think you do a great job of that. You're real. You don't lie about eating bad sometimes and you post often about healthy foods. That's what it should be! Anything else just seems fake or like people truly are hiding their bad habits. It is crazy how much people care. Unless you said you ate a carrot stick and that was it, then I would never really wonder about your eating habits and if you were being honest.

  15. Thank you for writing this! THIS is why I rarely do "what I ate today!" posts. Well, one of the reasons, anyway.

    I will say that I'm really sick of deceptive photos. Don't use weird angles and take a picture of something on a teeny little plate to try to fool me/your readers. I hate that. Just be honest! If you're going to take pictures of your food, put them on the Internet, and MAKE MONEY off of it, you should at least tell the dang truth about what the picture is of, ya know?!

  16. I really like this post, and it truly is about balance. I think one of the disadvantages about food bloggers is that people often see just the "handful" of M&M's and not the actual entire bag (guilty as charged) that was consumed, and so it makes it seem like these people are flawless, and that flawlessness in your diet is obtainable. Which, let's get real, it's not. There are going to be days where many boxes of conversation hearts or an entire bag of M&Ms is eaten. It just happens.

  17. Yeah people are so crazy how they get so into other blogger's lives, that's ridiculous that people even venture to try to criticize your eating habits. You always post super delicious looking things on your blog, and I would never begin to believe that you are putting only the things you eat or whatever.....

    This is why I never even begin to put food stuff on my blog, because I know that someone everywhere would find some way to criticize me for not getting enough of "x" or "y".

  18. Blogging is like reality TV: it only shows a part of the story and usually the part that people think will "sell"

    I hardly ever talk about what I eat on my blog (other than race nutrition) because I find it pretty boring when other people do. I do know that I eat differently than most bloggers and I'm pretty ok with that. If a blogger posts a picture of a post 18 mile run meal and it's a fucking dry salad and a piece of 80 calorie bread, yeah I'm going to judge them for it. It's just who I am. :) Sure, they might have eaten a ton after that, but I that's even worse because then they are showing a false face. I mean, I would never say "I ran 8 miles today" if I actually ran a different distance.

    1. Kara, I'm pretty sure if someone posts a picture of a fucking dry salad and a slice of bread you would judge them no matter what.

      I know I would.

  19. PREACH sister! LOL. I love that you care about your weight. Geez, who doesn't?

  20. love this post! so true. i try to be real with my readers and things aren't always great. i have good days, i def have bad days too. part of why i started blogging to begin with, i wanted to share my story, my struggles and my accomplishments and hopefully help and inspire some people along the way. we are only human and personally, i don't read blogs that are all cheery, blah blah and perfect...i like the 'real' blogs!

  21. I prefer people who are honest. However, you can only blog about so much. I mean, really if we blogged about every single thing, I would have 100 blog posts per day. So you only get a tiny portion of my real life. I think most people conveniently leave out what they choose to leave out in order to portray who they want to portray online. So what.

  22. Love this post because it's so TRUE. I can totally relate. People think just because I'm trying to stay healthy I can't enjoy myself or I over think every single bite.

  23. Vanessa. You know what I am thinking about? That darn beef wellington! Still. After all these months, I am still thinking about that beef wellington you made in December. :)

    Love this post. I think you look fabulous. The reasons I keep reading your posts? You are honest about what you share. I like the occasional food pictures, the workout pictures, the cat, the "i am lazy" posts and the posts where you were lazy, felt guilty, so did some kind of easy workout. Oh, and the husband posts too. :)

    And really, who's business is it to determine if you are eating enough other than yourself?

  24. Great post! I don't share everything on my blog either but I am definitely honest about what I do share. I don't feel it's fair to mislead readers, you know? In terms of food my whole thing is moderation. I eat junk too, but I work hard to maintain my fitness and weight. Right now I'm just impressed that I passed up buying a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs at Target yesterday. No self control with those!

  25. you my friend are one of my favorite and that says a lot because of what I will say next...

    blogs with lots of food pictures are in my least favorites with some exceptions like you and Lindsay.

    I am not a fan of the wednesday post what I ate blah..blah
    I skip all those usually ..I really dont care what people eat on Wednesday or every day.

    I liked Jason's series The Athlete's Plate. He did a series where guests would take pics of what they eat in one day and I did it. The honest truth.

    I like honesty. For me it does not matter if you ate a pack of candy or long as you are ok.

    I care about my weight, of course I do. I used to be over weight I am not going back to that.

    Of course bloggers only reveals some parts of their lives...THE one they WANT to share. I think that it is 100% ok.

    The hollywood thing I am a size 0 and I eat pizza is BS. The one who is most honest is Jennifer Aniston, she says to all the people who asks...I work out EVERY DAY. No magic pill here.

  26. Love this post! Thank you for your honesty.

  27. I love this post. I definitely think if you met me you'd see that I'd have a bag of chocolate chips - eating them out of the bag, cupcakes would most definitely be devoured and Colin, Logan and I would all make dinner together, workouts would involve my whole family, Rex included coming in to bother me - it would involve me asking Colin 500 times to take a picture ;) I do obviously leave some things out but I do hope to reveal them, piece by piece. I think I'm too honest on my blog....I stopped sharing so much b/c people are mean...but I eventually hope to share all there is to know about me.....even the bad.

    But you're right. The blog doesn't show could it with a "delete" option ;)

  28. Where is the Like button? I totally agree on all this stuff! I often mention junk food on my blog because, well, I like it. A lot. I tend to leave out that most of the food I eat is really healthy. It's all about balance eh? I don't want to be someone so rigid that I can't enjoy some M&Ms.

  29. As I said on Facebook, I loved this post. I definitely don't expect everything someone puts on their blog to be their whole lives. My blog is really one sided- mostly just running- because it serves as a training log for me. I don't post a lot about my family even though they are involved for 99% of my day.

    As for food- I feel like no matter what you will be judged. I am one of those people that doesn't have to work at it to be thin. (Which, after tracking food intake for awhile, I see that it's simply because I don't max out on calories MOST days. Calories in, calories out). So, guess what, people think I'm anorexic. OR a liar. Nope. If you work out and only eat super healthy food then people think you need to live a little! Whatever. You just can't please everybody.

    I am with you on the small blogs. I read the bigger ones OCCASIONALLY, but I don't feel the same connection. They feel like an ad. I hate that.

    And who really wants to know everything about someone else's life? I don't even want to know everything about my own life! ;)

  30. Okay I'm totally laughing at your conversation hearts cause I did the same thing today! They're SO good, aren't they?
    Yup, I keep my weight down too, but I'm always splurging on lattes, chocolate and wine. It works for me :)
    My Running Shortz

  31. Very well said Vanessa! I'm pretty honest on the blog but I will be the first to admit I don't bring up everything I do to friends in real life or in responses to comments. I'm standing right there with you on my weight being a concern. I could write a novel on that topic alone!

  32. OO I make for SURE people know I work for it, and I'm not even that skinny LOL. But when someone judges you no matter what for it sucks. I say keep it real but also keep some things to yourself. I think it sounds like you have a good balance :)

  33. The reason I rarely post what I ate is because of questions like that. At the same time, how do people NOT realize that bloggers are obviously going to exaggerate or not show absolutely everything they ate?

  34. I think I would have a whole lot more traffic if I actually blogged about my entire life because it is way more exciting than the running/kid stuff I blog about now. Yeah, right! Of course bloggers don't share everything. I just want what they do share to be honest and reflect who they are.

  35. I'm not sure how anyone could believe that bloggers tell the whole story. I shy away from most of the big ones and definitely the here is what I ate at every meal one. I don't mind seeing it occasionally but really I'm not going to take the time to do that. If I posted what I ate every day, there would be a bunch of pictures of boxes of crackers and granola bar wrappers. I eat healthy but certainly not all the time!

  36. i want to say thank you for posting this! so many people believe what they read is the whole truth. and i dont think its healthy for a blogger to post every single detail about what they eat. its not healthy for them or the readers. it is so easy to become obsessed with that part of it. but above all what one person's body needs is not the same as another so no one should compare. ok so to sound preachy but no one has the right to judge you.

  37. I don't know why it's so uncool to admit that you need to watch your weight, but that sentiment is rampant in the blog world. You hit the nail on the head - it's so much more fun to act like "Oh, I just look this way but eat whatever I want, tee hee!". Obviously, looking good takes work, and if you actually eat whatever you wanted all the time, no one would be skinny. That's why I'm totally over food blogs, and I only show delicious food that people might be interested in on my blog. They don't really need to see the quinoa and veggies I ate for lunch at my desk every single day this week. I got conversation hearts from my boss and I busted into the little box on my way home, couldn't even wait to get there! If I had nine more boxes, they would have been gone. As it was, I ate two heart shaped boxes of chocolate and then some. I'm not proud, but it happens.

  38. I work out for 6 days a week....for at least an hour and sometimes I have one day where I work out twice! I probably eat more than I should but I think my work-outs help keep my weight in check. I share a lot of recipes and foods I eat at restaurants on my blog and really I don't get too personal either! It sounds like we have a lot in common!

  39. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people judge others. You are so right. We don't share every single detail on the blog and we shouldn't have to. We are all just normal people. Love that picture of you with the cookies. :D

  40. Another big fan of this post. People are in charge of their blog and can create the illusion of what they want. Photos can be deceptive and you rarely see the 'after' photo of whats left on their plate or what they had seconds of. Everything should be taken with a grain of salt. I only put photos of myself where I think I look okay and in real life there are a whole lot of deleted photos. Vain...I also own it.

  41. I think it should be quite obvious that a blog is not a whole, entire look into someone's life. I keep a lot of my personal life to myself. I also don't think what you eat or how much you eat is anyone's business. I would just ignore questions of the sort.

  42. I just found your blog and I LOVE this post! I love your honesty!! I think that a lot of comments people make can be hurtful. The truth is that whether they think you are too skinny or you eat too much garbage, they are just jealous. The people who say you are too skinny are jealous that they aren't as skinny as you. And the ones saying you eat too much garbage are jealous that you can eat like that and be skinny!

    1. Glad you found my blog! Just wanted to say that I don't think everyone who comments about what I eat/don't eat is "jealous" by any means! I just wanted people to be aware that not every blog (and certainly not mine) tells the whole story all the time.

  43. I love it, thanks for this post! Why do people have to so snarky. Eat what you want, workout how you want, and post how you want. You can then enjoy the comments posted by people who jealous!

  44. What a great post! love the pictures! The one of the treadmill...awesome! Oh blogs...they do take on a world of their own and sometimes I'm shocked to talk to some bloggers who only share the good stuff and not the truth or the hard stuff! But I guess to each their own, right! I prefer to be honest and share the ups and downs of training. I agree that not sharing everything is advised!

    Naturally skinny...I wish that was me! It is a shame that celebrities act like it's easy and that don't do much to stay thin...I start to buy into it to...but that's not reality!

    Thanks for a great post...I love it! And by the amount of comments, I think others did too!

  45. LOVE this post! and it kind of came up in my brain today while i was writing mine about body image and all that jazz. i don't post up on my blog what all i eat, when i eat it, how many cal's, etc because 1) it's usually boring or the same and no one would care 2) i don't want to get the same annoying comments u talk about 3) it's so different for each person.

    YOU shouldn't have to feel the need to defend urself. i like that u lay it all out there, but i don't think when it comes to a blog u have to disclose every, nitty detail with wat u eat or with ur life...i mean u still deserve to retain some

    i think the parts i like the most are u stating the blunt truths: ya, u do care about ur weight...i think we all do, i mean i'm 'happy' with myself but i know that wouldn't feel happy/healthy/run well even if i gained a bunch of weight too. then the part about feeling pressured to 'eat healthy'...eating healthy includes balance of watever people may deem 'unhealthy'...i think that's another reason i don't like to harp on all i eat...i eat a lot of healthy stuff but i also eat 'junk'...there, said it.

    GREAT post and sorry i just wrote an epic comment. :P

  46. I have never thought that food bloggers only post what they actually ate. I look at food blogs more for ideas for new things to eat not the gold standard in the way life should be. My opinion as a blogger is eat what you like, do what you like, and post what you like. It's YOUR blog! If someone doesn't like it, don't read it!

  47. great post! i honestly try to avoid blogs that do the whole this is what i ate today blurb. because i'm trying to lose weight i find myself comparing and that's just not helping anyone. everyone's different, just gotta find what works for you!

  48. Oh, there's so much I want to say... but I'll try not to write a novel! I think our culture is dealing with some serious issues about body image... We have an obesity epidemic and every magazine cover in the grocery store touts some "lose 12 pounds by next week!" quick cure. As if that would work?

    The truth is, being healthy is a lifestyle. It requires making good choices on a regular basis. Not "perfect" choices all the time, but healthy choices more often than not. (I don't think of that as "work" because I love vegetables and I love being active... but it certainly isn't effortless.)

    The problem is: That message isn't sexy.
    Saying you have to eat healthy and exercise is like telling kids they need to do algebra homework. It's important. It's true. But it's not as much fun as parking your butt on the couch to watch Hawaii Five-0 while reading an article about how to lose 12 pounds by Sunday...

    As for bloggers and honesty - my blog is based in reality. Events are real, even if I choose to leave out key details like my exact teaching schedule and GPS coordinates for my favorite neighborhood 3-miler.

    I try to be honest by posting about both my PRs and my port-o-potty days. But I don't post EVERYsingleTHING I do.
    That would just be...
    ... creepy.

    Are there bloggers who do that???
    Are there readers who EXPECT it??????

  49. Ooo, this smacks of so much goodness I can hardly stand it. I'm so tired of food bloggers and all of the pictures of what they eat. I've started skipping through the posts because I don't know if I can look at another picture of the same bowl of oatmeal or salad or whatever. Plus, I always feel so damn guilty because then I think, "shoot, here they are eating beans and rice and veggies, and I just put back 4 tacos from T-Bell." And, yeah, who knows if that's actually what they eat!

    Two thumbs up!!

  50. wow, this is a fabulous post. Thanks for this! I get so discouraged sometimes by the attitude that is emphasized in some blogs...just be genuine! It's when I can tell bloggers are aiming for a specific perception from their readers that I know it's time for me to take my reading eyes elsewhere. so glad I stumbled upon you!

  51. I LOVE THIS POST! Thank you. I think there are LOTS of things I wouldn't want to say because they're embarassing, even though they're true. Like the fact that I often throw away delicious food because I can't stop eating it and I want to stop, but don't have the willpower on my own. When this was a jar of delicious specialty peanut butter I even had to take the lid off before I through it away because I knew it was protected and could be GOTTEN OUT OF THE TRASH. If that's not the most embarassing thing ever, I don't know what is! So thank you for sharing!

  52. I wrote something similar about online personas recently. We must be on the same wavelength.

    And you always make me laugh with the goofy photos. :)

  53. Don't believe that people actually said those comments to you!!!

    Good on you for writing this response back to them :)


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Most Popular Post: Aside from giveaways (and we know why those are popular), one of my most read and commented on post was about my Weight Loss Journey. It got so much attention, it deserved it's own little tab at the top of my page!

Most Controversial Post: My post Good Person > Good Racer was possibly the most controversial. I talked about my own experience racing with my husband, and whether or not it is racer etiquette (or just plain rude) to pass someone when you planned on running together. Lots of differing options in this area!

Most Helpful Post: One of my earlier posts was titled What's Worth It, and recapped some running extras and whether or not they're beneficial. I go so much great feedback on products like foam rollers, compression sock…