What I’ve Learned from Blogging

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I came late to the blogging party.

I didn’t start to really read blogs until I came across a weight loss one while searching for kohlrabi recipes one day. That started a chain of events that led to Season It Already! 

I discovered that I could learn from and be inspired by others looking to improve their health. Before that kohlrabi recipe search, I didn’t know that this outlet was even available to me! I didn’t realize that healthy living blogs existed.

And what these bloggers were writing about had nothing to do with new gimmicks, quick-fixes or perfection. Their words reflected real life. They illustrated real struggles by real people with real feelings. Sometimes the bloggers succeeded in finding solutions. Sometimes they failed. But they always got back up. And isn’t that what life is really about? Perseverance.

I found that because of their realness, I can relate to what is said online in the blogosphere more than I can relate to any highly researched how-to book. And who would have thought that other people’s real words would inspire me and give me more motivation than I’ve ever had before?!

Still, when I decided to start my own blog, I didn’t have the intention to write one about weight loss. Instead, my husband and I wanted to account for all of restaurants we were trying with a whole slew of Groupons we had accumulated. You see, we often eat out and forget if we liked something. If it’s been a while since our last visit, a dish’s name may look familiar and we can’t remember if it’s because:

  1. We tried it and loved it.
  2. We tried it and weren’t a fan.
  3. We wanted to try it next time.

I know, I know. If we totally loved something, we shouldn’t forget it right? But we aren’t getting any younger. This blog would document our experience for us, saving us money and calories. That way, we didn’t spend either on something we didn’t enjoy. It would also give insight to other Twin Cities residents or travelers on where to dine and what to expect. We often look for reviews on restaurants before we dine out. {My husband found one of our favorite restaurants that way!} It’s our way of giving back.

In addition, I wanted to share my love of wine with the world. While there are so many wine blogs out there, I knew I didn’t want to make it my entire focus. But I did want to incorporate it somehow. And since food and wine go hand in hand, it was only natural.

Still, while I already had a sense of the the wealth of knowledge I gained from reading blogs, I really had no idea how much writing one would benefit me. So here’s a list:

  1. Reflection – Because I’m often thinking about what to put next in my blog, I reflect more often on my day. I really hone in on what I’m experiencing and I try to put things in perspective. Whether or not I end up blogging about it, this introspection has helped me learn a lot more about myself.
  2. Positivity – Blogging has helped me see things in a more positive light. While I do share struggles and negative experiences on this blog from time to time, I’ve learned how to frame things differently. This helps me work through internal struggles. When I’m feeling down, trying to find the positive lifts me up thinking how I will have to describe it to someone else. Think of those friends on Facebook who are always posting something negative. Who wants to read that?! Instead, I try to find a positive angle or determine what positive results can come from something difficult.
  3. Gratitude – When I’m feeling the bouts of negativity, I try to think of as many things as possible for which I’m grateful. I may write a list of 100 or say 100 things out loud to myself in my car. Similarly, it’s wonderful how thankful I feel after writing a blog post on a passionate topic.
  4. Accountability – Blogging holds me accountable. Or rather, it helps me hold myself accountable. I make a statement of something I will do publicly and I know I must follow thorugh!
  5. Enjoying the Moment To me, this always sounded cliché. Then, the day that I was searching for kohlrabi recipes, I found the Escape from Obesity blog. The blog had a section entitled Habit-A-Week Challenge. I loved this idea of making small changes and I planned to follow the challenge to have something to focus on each week in order to make lasting changes. That was until I got to Week 5: Slow Down. As a busy person, this was something that was very hard for me to do. Even when I have time, I’m in the habit of inhaling my food and not being very mindful. Lyn indicated that one way to do this was to stop and give a moment of thankfulness. Then, she suggested taking time to really look at and smell the food. I always thought I did this to some extent, but it wasn’t until I started blogging that I realized that I never had. For my blog, I began taking pictures of  meals – mostly meals when dining out, but sometimes when eating at home, too. Before digging in, I now stop to take pictures of our food. I’m forced to pause, really look at it and give it some attention. It’s amazing what trying to capture a photo of what you’re eating will do! Hint: It will slow you down and make the experience more meaningful.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be giving our Restaurant Impressions of places where we dined while on vacation in Michigan visiting family and friends. I’ll intersperse these with local Twin Cities Restaurant Impressions and other healthy living and Wine Wednesday posts. If you aren’t from Michigan or don’t intend on traveling there, please stay with me on these posts anyway! You might learn a thing or two that you hadn’t expected.

From these Michigan Restaurant Impressions, you may take away:

  • Tips on healthy eating while dining out or on vacation.
  • Inspiration for creating your own dish.
  • Your own sense of gratitude.

Gratitude and perseverance – those are the real lessons in blogging.

What’s one important thing you’ve learned from the blogosphere?

Name one thing you are grateful for today.

Cheers~
Carrie

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4 responses »

  1. Pingback: Northern Espresso – Gladwin, MI « Season It Already!

  2. What I am grateful for today: Self-compassion. What I’ve learned from blogging? It makes me a nicer person to be around. Really.

  3. Pingback: Mr M.’s Pizza & Lounge – Gladwin, MI « Season It Already!

  4. Pingback: You can still get an A without all the correct answers… « Season It Already!

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