I have a feeling that this is going to be a long post so do grab a cuppa and join me while we have a good old chat. It does feel like it’s been a long while since we had one of these.
Before you read on, this is unedited sweary Laura, and I’ll also be talking about some things that could potentially be triggering to some of you. If that isn’t your thing click away now.
So I’ve pinched the title of this post from one of my fave podcasters Jess Lively. She sometimes does podcasts with the same title as a way to share the stuff that’s on her mind honestly with her listeners. In her last one she spoke about feeling a disconnect with her listeners and that’s kind of how I’ve been feeling myself.
I’ve done a lot of reflecting on Wholeheartedly Healthy lately and how I feel about it going forward. I know that some time after I had Finley I seemed to lose the confidence to really share myself and my feelings here and on social media. I really can’t put my finger on what it’s been that has caused this, but I think this is where I’m feeling that disconnect. Maybe just with having a child, I feel more protective of sharing and a lot more vulnerable when I do share, there’s definitely been a ‘turning inwards’ phase I’ve experienced over the last 18 months or so, which I feel is just now starting to shift.
Connected to that loss of confidence and protectiveness I’ve been feeling like a lot of what I want to share is kind of pointless. I look at Instagram and Facebook and other blogs and really wonder what I have to add to the conversation. I used to feel like I was more ‘original’ – whatever that is these days – but now whenever I want to post something that I feel is profound – to me at least – I feel like it’s already been said by people who are so much more popular than I am. The blogging scene has changed vastly since I started Keeping Slim Getting Stylish (I can’t believe I called it that way back when lol!) and now although I get a lot of visits to this site – I hit almost 200k views a month at the start of the year – it’s just to about 5-6 really popular posts that have gone viral on Pinterest. Obvs I’m not complaining about that, but alongside the shift in how people consume information online (fast paced), I just don’t share that much personally here anymore and that’s kind of sad for me and something I now feel like I’m ready to change – I know a lot of long term readers miss those posts.
At the same time, I just don’t have the capacity to blog more than once a week. I looked back at when I’d only just had Finley and I was still blogging 2-3 times a week! With a premature sick baby! I can see why that pull back happened eventually when I look at it like that. And then, running this as a business isn’t always easy – although mostly it’s amazing but more on that in a sec. I’ve made SO many fuck ups in the years since I started blogging. When I started doing sponsored posts I was just fumbling my way though and making many, many mistakes along the way. Some of you might have noticed that the number of sponsored posts has vastly reduced over the last few months. I’m not saying I’ve totally figured that side of business out, but I am a lot more picky with who I work with than I once was.
And then another thing that comes up for me is worrying that many of you reading this will think I’m a stupid, self-centred blogger who’s completely out of touch with reality. I know some of you will hate that this is run as a business and I’m also sure most of you couldn’t give two shits about the blogging scene and sponsored posts and now I feel stupid for even talking about it (as I’m sure you can now tell I’m also rather good at beating myself up – some things you have to keep working on).
But the truth is my life is amazing. I feel so much gratitude everyday for what I have, my beautiful adorable little angel who for so long I didn’t think I’d ever meet. My house, which after living in our little flat and being landed with several thousand pounds worth of negative equity, I also never thought I’d ever have. My husband who is so supportive and loving and my friends and family who are the same. This business, which is just amazing – literally amazing – I get to work with the best women ever and do things I love every day and it’s all flexible and I can work as and when I need to – it’s like magic. Even my relationship with myself and my body is a million times better than it once was. I have gained weight (facing up to the fact that this might just be my body’s happy weight), but I don’t really care that much unless when I have the odd wobble. I used to think I got here by luck, but it’s not that. If there’s one thing I can own with confidence it’s that I’ve very conciously worked on making this happen.
However, all of this combined sometimes makes me feel like I’m out of touch with everyone else and totally un-relatable, like I’m only interesting when I have something shit happening in my life. I also know that I’m just not as passionate about ‘healthy living’ in the same way I was. To be honest I just don’t relate to healthy living in the same way that I did, I’m not even sure I could call this blog a healthy living blog any more really. I can see how self care and mindset type stuff link in with wellbeing, and it’s more wellbeing and woo woo (spirituality) that I feel connected to rather than this ‘healthy living scene’ we see in magazines and online, I know I’ve spoken before about how much I don’t resonate with that anymore. Self care, mindset and general wellbeing is so much more where I am right now. Even when it comes to recipes I’m not passionate in the same way I was. I used to fetishise food, now I still love food but I’m not obsessed about it in the same way.
Speaking of, bloody hell I feel so stupid for how obsessed I used to be. You guys who have followed me for a few years will no doubt be familiar with ‘fucked up skinny Laura’ as I sometimes think of myself back then. I’ve been working hard on forgiving myself for how I was but mostly I feel like a fool, I also feel extremely guilty that I was sharing how I was back then online and how I could have impacted other young women negatively. I’ve thought about deleting those old posts but haven’t yet done so, I guess they show me how far I’ve come.
As good as things are right now, I still have a few things that I need to address. I’ve realised I’m carrying around a lot of deep-seated guilt and trauma around Finley’s heart defect (as well as some energetic stuff around losing children which I believe is a past life trauma), I still beat myself up a lot of the time with negative self talk, I’m working very hard to handle my money better (SO many links between money and food you guys) and as I said, I do still have the odd body image wobble.
Mindset-wise my weight has interesting links for me – I know I have a subconscious thing going on that makes me link weight loss with infertility and losing control like I did the last time. My conscious mind knows that would never happen again and I’m working on releasing that old negative programming so I can move forward – mindset work in action! I’ve also realised I have some internal conflicting needs that have led to self sabotage in the past and I’m working my way through those as well.
Whew, it feels good (but also scary as hell) to share all of that stuff with you!
Going forward I think I have some decisions I need to make. It’s clear that what this site is about is not ‘healthy living’ in the typical sense. I want to share more of my journey with you all again, as well as the self care, mindset and general wellbeing topics that light me up. As much as I sometimes feel like I have nothing helpful to say, I know I still do and I know that my voice, just as everyone else’s – is needed in this world. One other thing I have to mention that is my biggest passion right now is the woo woo spiritual stuff, I find so much empowerment in it – I am seriously as woo as fuck – and it’s a massive part of my wellbeing I couldn’t not share it. I wanted to share most of my musings on that over at lauraagarwilson.com (which I haven’t yet started to share, other than biz related posts) but I feel like I can’t separate out my version of what ‘Wholeheartedly Healthy’ is for me anymore. This might mean that this blog (and if you’re a subscriber, my emails) just aren’t relevant for you now, or just don’t jive with you in the same way. What’s clear to me now more than ever, is that I need to ‘do Laura’ as hard as possible and it’s ok if me as I am now isn’t your cup of tea. I’m really hoping that I still am though :-)
I know this post was heavy going so thanks for reading! I’d love your thoughts on any of this stuff in the comments….
I’ve been reading your blog on and off for a few years and I just wanted to say that I have always loved your honest approach to the whole ‘Health/Wellness’ sphere. Some other blogs make me feel so guilty that I’m not ‘keeping up’ or being perfectly healthy all the time and I have to admit that I have always turned to your blog for that sense of relief and reality. I’m a single mum with two jobs and what I have learnt recently (also through getting more woo in my life) is that we just need to give ourselves a break and show ourselves the compassionate love that we often give to others but not ourselves. I salute you for being so honest and yourself!!
Thanks so much Nair, you sound like a total superstar! You’re absolutely right we really do need to give ourselves a break don’t we xx
Thank you for being you ????????????????
Thank you Nicola ???? ???? ????
Thank you for your very honest post. I am very interested by more personal articles a and you sharing more of the woo woo ????
Thanks Pauline, I will definitely be doing that in the future x
What a great post and so refreshing to read an honest outlook, so many bloggers to
me are going through the motions but i’ve
always enjoyed your posts due to your openness. I’ve read the blog
for years and i’ve always thought you were great and a lovely person so don’t worry about what people think of you!
Thanks so much Jacqueline!
Laura, continue being you and thanks for your honesty. If anything I hope putting that all out there helps you realise we are all developing – nothing stays static and that includes you. You are simply human – and an amazing one at that !
Thanks so much Ruthie, I love the way you’ve put it there, we really all are developing all the time :-) Thanks for the support x
Laura I just sent you an email to say thank you for this post and let you know how much you’ve helped me. But also wanted to share the love and support here too. It’s such a courageous thing to share all of those levels thinking. I cannot wait to see all of the future thoughts and wisdom you have to share. Rebecca. X
Thanks so much for that email, will be replying very soon, thank you for such lovely kind words x
Hiya! That’s so nice of you to say. No rush at all- you must get millions of emails! :) X
Thank you Laura I love your honesty, I find you refreshing compared to the whole get thin health blogs! I know most of us who follow you relate to you in many levels. The fact that our mindset need more is 100% fact xxx
Thanks so much Emma :-)
I applaud you for your honesty Laura – it takes real heart to share what you are truly feeling on a public platform, like this blog. I for one am looking forward to the woo woo spiritual Laura posts – go for it! I have a little blog and I am very guarded about anything personal. I rarely post pictures of myself unless it is a photo from a musical/play I have been in, and then I am in character with stage make up and a costume and not being me. I keep my blog happy and fluffy and full of pictures of lovely fabric and vintage loveliness – I even blog under a pseudonym to protect myself more, until more recently. But, in sharp contrast, the blogs I like to read best are the more personal blogs – the ones that allow you to get to know the blogger and their view of life in a more meaningful way. Here’s to the woo woo in you! xx Sharon
Thanks Sharon, it’s a funny old world blogging isn’t it? I think I started out sharing lots and then pulled back – but I totally agree, I love reading posts now where you really get to know the person and that’s what I feel ready to do again here :-)
Hi Laura, similar to others, thanks for sharing something so personal. You can’t be anyone but yourself so I particularly liked that you aren’t apologising for that. What struck me the most when reading was learning and growth. I have so many moments that i look back on and have a cringe, but I know that this was what felt right for me at the time and helped me to get where I am today. I hope that you can celebrate your journey as it sounds like it has been an adventure! All the best x
Thanks Hannah, you’re so right, a good reminder for me that I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t experienced that :-)
I love this! Reading it, it didn’t feel heavy – it felt liberating! The sense of freedom that pours out of your words – that’s contagious, missus, and that’s the good stuff that definitely needs sharing! Thank you for being vulnerable, and be assured that it encourages the same in each of us… so you’re doing a good thing. That’s what the world needs – that’s what you’re bringing to it, and we love to hear your voice speaking out through the myriad of confusing and downright troubling messages coming from elsewhere. Keep going! xx
Thanks so much Kathryn, this means SO much to me, I’m glad that my words came across like that and it’s a good reminder for me to do more of it!
Having read your blog for a long time I have witnessed the ebbs and flows of it, I’ve always enjoyed your opinion on different matters. You have such a lovely down to earth personality, whether the subject matter isn’t unique your stance and the way you write about it is so don’t be put off in that respect. Though I’m not really that interested in the “woo woo” subjects you mention I enjoy your take on them. I’m less excited by mindfulness and meditation but that’s just my personal interests!
And don’t delete or think badly of your older posts, it just shows how far you’ve come and the learning curve. God I cringe at my old blog posts (not that I’m comparable to your league of blogging at all!) but it’s who I was and what made me I am today.
Just blog when you can and don’t stress!
Thanks so much Anna for all your continued support :-) It’s all about us being different at the end of the day isn’t it, and you’re right, I need to remember that those old posts show me how far I’ve come :-)
Laura, I haven’t commented in ages, but I have been reading :)
I have lots to say on this so I am going to email you :)
But just quickly now…Your voice is absolutely needed in this world and please be as Laura as possible. After all, you are here to be who you really are xxx
Thanks so much lovely, looking forward to that email! xxx
Laura I first came across your sites & posts & groups when I had decided that 2017 was gonna be “the me year” .. time to care for myself .. about my likes & dislikes .. my needs .. my joys ???? .. You my dear have opened a whole new world to me thru your blog .. your balance club .. your mini challenges .. all of it ❤ .. it’s natural that our interests change & evolve as we grow .. follow & develop what feels right to you .. self care, woo woo, etc .. but please keep sharing yourself .. so many of us look forward to all your posts & ideas .. I may not be the most vocal of your fans but I look forward to every email .. every fb post .. every balance club idea .. you truly have sparked a renewal for me .. and I am incredibly grateful to have found you .. evolve, change direction, grow .. but just don’t go away ❤
Oh Anne thanks so much for this, it’s made my day! This is all I ever want, to help women like you in some small way, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hey Laura, what you say is important, even if someone else has posted about the subject you approach it in your own unique way and tell us about it in your own voice (swear words and all) keep telling us how you see the world
Regarding sponsored posts, its what you have to do; we buy magazines and newspapers, watch TV by subscription or with adverts or BOTH. There is no shame in seeking payment for your work and sharing a resource you have built up (us) you should be proud of your words and proud of your readers. I am sure the majority of your followers know this.
Take care and keep going. Lots of love.
Thanks for the support Elizabeth, particularly around the sponsored stuff it is a tricky one but I’m glad you can appreciate why it’s helpful in many cases. I’ll definitely keep using my voice – swear words and all!
Your voice is THE one that needs to be heard!
Normally I would counter comparisons to others with a ‘whatever’ but in your case, I don’t mind a comparison as it’s a compliment. I like a fair few other blogs I follow but they tend to fall into a couple of camps (you & 1 other being the exception). Either effortlessly thin, tanned, perfect white teeth etc. Or, a bit self indulgent (sometimes both – note I don’t follow any of the fellow bloggers who commented on here though & there are some other great people out there).
Your blog is real, you are a wonderful unique & honest person. Your outlook resonates so much with mine but I am not as honest or brave as you to admit most things. You learn, we all learn. That’s life.
Thank you for being you & sharing with us – I appreciate the whole you (I like sweary Laura!) & in whatever guise you choose to make your blog, I will follow & enjoy. Please, just carry on being you. xxx
Thanks Amanda, this is just lovely to read – thanks for such kind words and that you like the sweary version of me :-)
I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog as you are always very honest and relate-able too. I think yours is probably the biggest (most well-known) blog that I read too. I did like your more diary-type blog, as I like those sorts of things but I always find that the messages that you put out in your blog more recently tend to resonate with me. And really, the blog is your space on the internet, so put on it what you like!
I see some blogs who post once a day, and I just mark most of them as read as I don’t have time to read something every day- no idea how they find the time!
I know, I can remember when some bloggers were posting 3 times a day! It was crazy. Thanks so much for your ongoing support Maria, it really does mean a lot that you still read :-)
I’m one of those people who fell out of touch with the ‘healthy living’ blogs a good couple of years ago now, so I’ll admit I’ve dropped in and out of your blog a lot as a lot of it wasn’t relevant to me anymore. I also really missed ‘authentic’ blogging (as I call it) in the community in general; some weekends I fire up Bloglovin and all I see are sponsored posts. I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I wrote that blog and did those sponsored posts five years ago (and I’ve addressed that on my new blog last year) and I had to have a completely clean slate to start again on, but when your personal brand is embedded in your blog (or whatever the hispters call it) you can’t just up and walk away to start over.
It feels like you have to learn to give yourself a lot more forgiveness. There’s no shame in evolving into a even better version of you (which is what you are, every day), you’ve just got to be kind to yourself and understand you’re learning – we’re all learning – who we are, where we fit into this world and what we can bring to it.
I’ve closed off a lot of my life online in the last two years, a part of me felt no need to share it any more, but some things I keep talking about because voices need to be heard. Yours is one of them. Don’t stop saying what you feel; it’s a very strange time to be living on this planet right now and if you’re passionate about something then shout about it. Chances are, others need to hear it.
Yeah blogging has changed a lot over the past 3-4 years for sure, it’s become more magazine like I think. Thanks for that though, I think we need to be reminded sometimes that our voices do need to be shared x
Hi Laura! I love your blog and your posts, because you’re real, honest and down to earth. I’ll always read what you say, but please, do what makes you comfortable and happy! Just know you are an inspiration and your voice is always needed :) <3
I’ve been following your blog since 2011 and I’m still here! You’ve changed, I’ve changed, we’ve all changed. It’s natural. I still love reading your blog. I tired of the online “healthy living” bullshit – it’s full of passive aggressive competition: “I can’t believe I’m so full after eating this kale leaf” or “I feel so pure and healthy since I went gluten free” or “VEGANSOFIG”. It’s all nonsense.
You are by no means alone in feeling bad about your career/business! I struggle daily with anxiety about not being good enough at my job (I’m a magazine editor), about fucking up, about getting to the office and opening my inbox to some calamity. It’s not good, it’s not healthy, and I’m looking for a different job. That said, other aspects of my life are a dream – I have a wonderful boyfriend, a gorgeous little cat, two best friends in my mum and sister, and the freedom to travel as often as I can and I count myself very lucky.
Just remember, nothing lasts forever, and it’s natural to change. Don’t feel like a fraud and do what feels right to you. To hell with everyone else. Not sure if this is therapy for me, or a supportive reply to you, actually! Keep up the good work, I for one will continue to read. xx
You are enough. That’s all I have to say :)
Rosie (long term reader, back from Keeping Slim Getting Stylish)