Hungry Haley

it's more than food

The Hardest Part of Blogging

Life, Health, ThoughtsHaley Hansen4 Comments

I love food, but it’s complicated. And I love to write about it. But it’s hard. Not the writing or the website posting or the photo editing or the Google analytics. It was the food.

The hardest part of food blogging has been simultaneously embracing my love for and overcoming my fear of food.

Since the birth of this five-year-old blog, I’ve stuttered each time someone asks why I started this. I can’t simply say, “I just love food”. I do, believe me, but that love is the most complicated manifestation of the word I’ve ever known. So, I’ve just let my answer be that - I love food. And for those who dig deep enough to know more…

… I tell them I haven’t always loved food the way I do now. I started this blog in the thick, painful, sometimes suffocating heat of an eating disorder as an attempt to cover that up, even though it never worked. I wanted my parents - my two best friends and biggest supporters - and all other loved ones in my circle to believe that I was okay. In many ways, this blog has brought healing through food, community, self-connection and self-love, and pursuit of my passion. There is another side, though, that I haven’t talked about before.

The Hardest Part of Blogging

Yeah, the hardest of food blogging has been the food.

I dove head-first into this while still working through a broken relationship with food and with my body. I wanted so badly to whole-heartedly pursue my passion, to chase after it without hitting any road-blocks, but doing so was like thinking I signed up for a nice afternoon run, only to find myself stumbling over hurdle after hurdle. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been infatuated with food blogs and cooking magazines and websites and TV shows, and fascinated and inspired by the recipes they create. I wanted so badly to be able to cook and bake and taste and eat freely, without any restrictions or guilt inhibiting my creativity or shaming me for trying just a bite.

Around the third year of blogging, I began taking this more seriously and recognized the still broken pieces of my relationship with food (and my body and exercise). It is indescribably complex, yet so significant. I felt an exciting and inspiring thrill when an idea for a new recipe popped into my mind, but it was often almost immediately pushed out if that idea was didn’t fit into this exclusive nutritional jail that imprisoned me.

The Hardest Part of Blogging

The difficulty? It’s not keeping track of Google analytics. It’s not managing payments and completing taxes. It’s not creating recipes or editing photos. It’s not even making a living off of an online platform. The hardest part about food-blogging has been recognizing my broken relationship with food itself, acknowledging it without judgment, and equipping myself well enough to overcome that so that I can pursue this passion fearlessly.

As challenging as this work has been, I could not love it more every single day. And if there’s one thing I hear over and over from employed adults giving advice to us young college kids, it’s that if we don’t wake up excited for work most days, we’re doing it wrong. Blogging, cooking, baking, writing, and sharing keeps me more excited than almost anything. I get pretty excited about studying metabolism, too, but that’s another story for another time.