Too many rules?

<Editor’s Note: This is one of those blog posts I find myself nervous to hit “publish” on but I’m going with my gut on this one and just doing it. I hope this rambly post makes sense in some form or fashion!>

I’ve been thinking a lot about this fitblog community of ours. Both how amazing this community is – so full of support and jam-packed with inspiration. But a teeny tiny part of me also wonders if we inadvertently place too many “rules” on eachother without really meaning to.

Let me explain:
…if you’re a “fitblogger” and you post about anything other than your workouts for the day or week, are you still a “fitblogger?”
…if you’re a “healthy living” blogger, and you write about a bang-up weekend you had that included a few too many indulgences, are you still a “healthy living” blogger?
…or if you’re a runner, and you run by your own pace, your own style, your own approach, are you any less of a runner because of it? 

I guess what I’m trying to get at is this: do we inadvertently place “rules” or “labels” on ourselves based on what others in this blogging community view as “proper” or appropriate based on the labels we place on eachother? 

I was thinking about this in relation to running this morning as I rolled this blog post topic around in my head while making breakfast. It feels like the “proper” approach to running, especially when training for a race, is to run no more than 4, *maybe* 5, days a week to avoid injury and burnout. And for the most part, I totally agree with that. But what if one day I wake up bursting with energy, my legs feel great, and I just want to run even though it’s not a “scheduled” running day and would push me into the 5x/week category for running that week, does that make me a “bad” runner or one that’s going into overtraining mode? See? I don’t think so, but I would guess that some of you might call that overtraining in your own rule-book. And that’s where the little voice in my head says “hmm.” 

To me, I think we should live by our own set of rules that we learn and create by our own unique experiences and what’s right for our own selves. Not just because another blogger (or friend IRL) does it a certain way. Nor should we approach blogging (or our IRL lives) a certain way because we’ve given ourselves a certain label.

Sure, I consider myself a fitblogger. But the sole reason for that? I freakin’ love to workout and writing about that aspect of my life comes so naturally, so fluidly, so from the heart. I would never blog about it if I didn’t feel strongly about it. But I don’t *only* write about fitness. I also cover deeper topics on occasion (like this very blog post, who knew?), and much lighter topics – like my obsession with good wine, good friends, date nights’ with my husband and anything in between.

Same goes for running. I tend to run by my own rules. I don’t run with a garmin. I don’t know what my actual pace is, just an estimate based on how long it takes me to run xx miles. I don’t run with music. Ever. No playlists will ever appear on this blog. I definitely don’t run by a training plan, other than my own. Heck, I barely know the difference between a tempo run and a regular run. But guess what? I’m still very much a runner, I’m still staring down 13.1 in just under three weeks. I run for me, by my own rules. And I blog about it here. And it works for me.

So this is my rambly way of saying – blog for you, blog from the heart, but also live by your own set of rules, always.

Do you guys agree with me on this? Do you find you get sucked into the “rules” and “labels” here and there in this little blogging community of ours? Or am I just making up this whole “rules” and “labels” thing entirely? Be honest! 😉 

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36 thoughts on “Too many rules?

  1. I think that with anything in life, it’s easy to get bogged down by “rules” and “shoulds”. I think that life is a whole lot better if we’re able to do things that make us happy….no matter what the “rules” tell us. Life’s too short!

  2. Hmm now you have me pondering whether I’m a fitblogger, a healthy living blogger, a run blogger, etc. Um, all plus more?! I try not to think too much about labels and just do what feels good for me (and recognize that everyone else is doing what is good for them). While I can get inspiration from others, at it’s core, fitness and health is very personal and individualized. Thanks for posting!

    • See? That’s the thing – you can be whatever kind of blogger you want, and it might differ by the day! I like what you say about fitness and health being so very personal, because you’re right – so the same should hold true for blogging, and staying true to “you.” Thanks for swinging by!

  3. I do tend to agree that in the blogger world, there are some cliques, cliches, and rules that tend to crop up. I guess it boils down to labeling. I think that’s why I refused to call myself a runner for so long. I didn’t run like many other “real” runners. I didn’t do races every weekend. I didn’t get out there and run 10 miles a day.

    But that’s not what running or being fit is about at all. It’s doing what is right for you. Of course, sometimes in the beginning you might need inspiration from others, guidance perhaps. But then you have to learn to trust yourself. How’s that for a rambly reply?

    • I love your rambling reply! It’s exactly what I was trying to get at – labels can be ok, like I think you should wear the “runner” label proudly. But at the same time, I think labels can get us into overthinking trouble here and there too. At the very roots, blogging is about you…who wants to read the same blog 45 times, right? Each blogger has his/her own approach, or should, which is what keeps me coming back for more, and from different bloggers, every single day.

  4. I agree with you Jess – I often wonder, if I write about something other than running or food, am I being true to my blog? But I quickly realize – it doesn’t matter, as long as I am being true to myself. It just so happens that running and food are a big part of my life, and I’m passionate about them.

    I don’t like rules, Im kind of a rebel 😉 haha

    Sometimes I worry that I’m not doing it “right” or I’m “different” than the others – but, I try to squish those thoughts as fast as I can. I’m not here to be like everyone else.

    I guess what I’m saying is – it is easy to find yourself being sucked into the labels and “rules”, but we always have to remember to be true to ourselves.

    Okay enough rambling, make sense? LOL

    • Totally agree with you – and love these rambly comments back to my rambly post! It’s sort of a complicated topic to tackle, I think that’s where all the rambling comes in, ha. I’m so glad you “get” where I’m coming from on this and that you agree that “to each his own” totally applies to blogging, in such a big way.

  5. I love your blog because I can tell you blog for you and what you love! I started off mine with the intention of a “healthy living/fitblogger” type deal, but now I just write about my life, which I consider to follow a healthy living style. It’s my online diary, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Run 5 days a week, run 7, do what you want lady:) Can’t wait to keep hearing about your progress!!!

    • aw that is the best compliment ever, Karen! Thank you!! I’m glad you’ve morphed your blog into what works for you, it’s so important to make it your own, or else, what’s the point? It’s your corner of the Internet, do it up!

  6. YES! Totally agree sis. There are WAY too many labels, rules, and by far, cliques in the ‘fitblogger’ world. Probably why I don’t know that I could fully immerse myself in it beyond what I blog about on my blog from time to time. It’s just too easy to get sucked in, worry what ‘those’ types think and worry that I’m not keeping up. No labels, no rules, just run, just eat for you, just DO what you want. Stay true to you.

    • I do love this community and don’t ever want to bash it, so that’s why I was worried about posting this one. I think this is more about blogging in general (at least for me) and not getting sucked into how “others” approach it, but instead, always blog for me, always do what’s right for me, without fear of being criticized by others for my approach. I’m no expert, but I am an expert on ME, and what works for me. That’s all. 🙂

  7. ANARCHY! haha,. Rules suck. Rules stymie and constrain. Rules are meant to be broken. I never know what I’ll run (speed or distance) on ANY given run until my legs have been moving for a few minutes and tell me what they’re up for.
    “Any fool can make a rule, and every fool will mind it”. – Henry David Thoreau

  8. I definitely agree…I’m not super duper healthy and I definitely eat an indulgent something everyday, and sometimes I feel the pressure not to do that or blog about it. I’ve found just to blog about what I want…even though I don’t run and I eat meat, etc.

    • Totally, and that’s kind of my point – that we shouldn’t feel pressured to do a certain thing or act a certain way because of a “label.” To always be true to ourselves, above all else.

  9. I definitely agree that there are quite a few stipulations that seem to go hand-in-hand with the “healthy living blogger” label. But that doesn’t mean everyone has to conform to the same training plan, eating habits or indulgences. And it also doesn’t mean you have to post about it all 😉 I think the line is drawn where you choose to share and how you approach a topic. But with an open mind, there shouldn’t be any “rules” along with the lifestyle, in my opinion.

    • Exactly – because conforming to how “everyone else does it” sort of defeats the very personal aspect of healthy living to begin with. Healthy living is, by definition, a personal commitment to living your best life now. YOUR best life, not someone else’s idea of it.

  10. I just wrote a post on my blog giving my readers (all 3 of them) a heads up that there are other topics I want to write about besides running. I felt like I needed to explain that, I didn’t want anyone to be confused by me switching gears. However, after “publishing” the post I realized that my blog is a lifestyle blog, MY life, MY style and they are both constantly evolving so I really didn’t need to explain myself. Humm, maybe I should check in on my 3 readers and see who’s still with me 😉

  11. oh i feel the pressure but then realize that those rules are only set if you want them. I mean, we all have LIFE blogs and if we stuck to just fitness or just food rules on the blog, we would be LIFELESS!! ya know? I love your LIFE blog, no matter how you “define” it!

  12. I definitely feel like I drink more in real life than I let on on the blog. (On on, that looks weird) I’m not exactly sure why though but I think it has something to do with what you’re talking about.

  13. i totally agree with you! i think we all look for support, but end up sometimes with more opinions from everyone else instead of forming our own to fit US and our goals

  14. LOVE this post & I agree, I HATE labels.

    Being new to the bloggy world, I have to admit, sometimes it’s a struggle to keep up with it all. And while it offers great support, sometimes I wonder if it also fuels some self-doubt. Am I “less” of a runner or “less” fit because I actually enjoy rest days, or because I’m ONLY working out 5 days a week?

    But, it’s my own self of sense that guides me. RULES SUCK!!!

  15. Well said! I think your blog is your own personal space and you should feel free to write on whatever topic you like! You shouldn’t have to stick to a “label.” And as for running – everyone is different! That’s the beauty of it – there are no 2 exact runners and that’s another thing that I love above it. Embrace the diversity – we all have something to learn from each other.

  16. I think if I were more focused on my blog that I would care more about the rules. My blog is a hobby that I enjoy and that I get around to working on when I have time and the inspiration strikes. Sure, it was spawned from a desire to help others who have struggled with disordered eating and exercise addiction (2 subjects I fear writing about so rarely do) but it has metamorphosised into being more just about life and my perspectives on life with a healthy living twist. I try and stay on topic, but if I veer off, no biggie.

    Personally, I don’t read the big blogs of the HLB world because they just don’t speak to me and they feel so rigid and rulesy. I don’t want to see your white-picket-fenced version of healthy living. I prefer a dose of personality, some biting reality and a few chuckles. Positivity too…but not just pretty pictures and “amazeballs” ya know?

    That’s just me.

    • See? That’s EXACTLY why I love your blog. It’s real. No beating around the bush. No “white picket fences.” Just you being you, with a very unique perspective to healthy living. I actually would love to read more from you on your experiences on disordered eating and exercise addiction, I think you could help so many people through your experiences! Even if you made the posts so nobody could comment back (if you really didn’t want anyone commenting on your past, if you will), I’d really dig it. But then, this is YOUR blog,so do what feels right to you, always. 🙂

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