Sabotaging Myself Through My Food Blog

…or how I gained 50 pounds in one year through “blogging”…

When I started Nicole Rates It, I thought that I would use it as a platform to review the foods I love, promote local restaurants, record my travel adventures, and lose weight. Lose weight with a food blog? I have several friends that have been successful with it. It gave them accountability for their food habits, and they seemed to be able to keep their portions in control.

For me…it ended up being an excuse to eat. I spent money I didn’t have to eat foods that were not good for me. Even when I went on blogging hiatus in December, I still caught myself buying foods that I knew were unhealthy. I take dozens of pictures of a decadent meal, with the intent of eventually blogging about the amazing food I just consumed. I would use the blog as a reason to eat gargantuan portions, order desserts and appetizers, and get huge boxes of pastries at bakeries…all for “my blog.” And what has it done for me? It’s given me writers’ block and an additional 50 pounds on my already obese frame.
These are pastries from Schmidt’s Pastry Cottage in Taylorsville, Utah. This bakery catered my high school dances, and eating their treats reminds me of younger happier times. I started the blog post on these treats in January…took pictures, wrote out detailed descriptions, finished off the box, and never published the review. I cannot tell you how many other times I have done this.
As my months of unemployment have dragged on, I have finally taken up the hobby of cooking. I got a great Crockpot for Christmas, and I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of slow-cooked delights. Dr. Pepper BBQ pork roasts, chicken Tikka Masala, Cranberry Turkey, and more. I’ve been eating smaller portions, freezing the leftovers, and trying to stay away from the restaurants and bakeries where I lose control.
My problem isn’t lack of fruits and vegetables. I love my produce, and am anxiously awaiting farmers’ market season. The problem is all the dips, sauces and glazes I eat with my produce. I need to plan out my meals more carefully, journal my food consumption carefully, and listen to my body’s hunger signals more carefully. I need to take accountability for my actions. And I’ve realized that I can’t be successful right now with my weight loss goals with this blog.

In March I auditioned for NBC’s Biggest Loser reality show, feeling that I was a shoo-in. I need to lose 165 pounds, have had some incredibly unique health challenges, and I’ve got that winning personality that TV producers go nuts over. But I didn’t get the callback. And it’s sent me reeling into another depressive episode that makes me want to binge myself into oblivion. I’ve made the decision to step away for a while. Maybe permanently. But don’t fear, I’ll still be around…just not on Nicole Rates It.

  • Don’t beat yourself up over it. I know I’m probably the last person people will listen to for sympathy or empathy when it comes to weight, as I’m considered by many to be “healthy” or “skinny” even at times. But I’ve gained 40lbs since getting married (I blame the fact that I got a car and stopped doing MMA).

    I beat myself up over it for the firsat 2 1/2 years, and have finally stopped complaining and resolved to do something. I still overeat when I cook, and have a problem doing portion sized anything. My solution (and don’t laugh): Subway! Seriously. Even when I can’t workout, I feel like I’ve done at least a little good. I spend $4.60 on lunch everyday, end up eating healthier, and manage to be full 🙂 I’ve even managed to drop 5lbs 😀

    Just hang in there, you can do it! I’ll even be your e-diet-buddy if you need one!

    <3 Heather

  • I’m sorry you didn’t get on Biggest Loser. Being on TV is pretty scary though. You are thrust in the spotlight and can never be anonymous again! I know you like the spotlight, but that’s a REALLY bright light!

    Good luck on the weight loss…I am struggling too. I joined a gym, which is making me stronger, but I know I will never lose weight until I change my eating habits, which is really hard for me.

  • I also put on weight with my stupid blog LOL If I’m not cooking and baking to create recipes I feel like my blog is incomplete and I don’t feel like I can post something without eating it myself (I don’t trust my kids opinions). It’s a tricky thing… I’m sorry you didn’t get a call back . I know you were hoping.

    We need to get together sometime 🙂

  • Awwww, I am soooo sorry to read this post. Its a positive step though I think. If what you say is true, then you are acting in a very empowered way to make proactive changes in your life. I wish you lots of luck!

  • Rachel

    Nicole–you are one of the most determined people I know. I know you can do this! Admitting that there is a problem is the hardest step, and you have more than done that! And the best part is that you already know HOW to do it. I know it’s so hard, but if anyone can do it–you can! Hang in there.

  • Maybe you could turn “Nicole Rates It” into honestly rating healthy food options and tasty recipes that you find. So much that is marketed as “health food” tastes like cardboard, or if it tastes good, isn’t really “health food.” It would be interesting to read about some of those items and such… Take a positive spin with “Nicole Rates It.”

    You should know that you are not alone in your eating habits… I have a problem with not binging on food, especially when I’m stressed. I’m trying to take an active role in what I eat and how much I eat, but it gets more difficult when the hubby is home and wants a big bowl of ice-cream every night just before bed. His metabolism can handle it, but mine cannot.

  • Stupid NBC doesn’t know what it’s missing! It’s okay if you didn’t make it though… I doubt you could cry as much on camera as that show requires.

  • (( Ms. K. ))

    Glad you still around blogging.
    Don’t give up, keep on going.

  • Nicole, I’m still here; I just didn’t want to bug you about supporting each other if you weren’t ready.

    You can still blog, but come join me in the health and fitness blogging community. They are truly awesome, amazing, supportive people.

  • That sucks you didn’t make it on the Biggest Loser….however those people lose the weight too fast and many of them have gained it back plus some. Maybe you could work on doing your own “biggest loser” type of blog. Making and eating healthy foods with postings. Please don’t take this comment the wrong way. I have lost over 50 pounds and it is hard!!! Anything I can do to help let me know. You see me on Twitter (akean81) and on FB. 🙂

  • Esther

    Nicole,
    First off, I know you aren’t asking for advice. But, you’re getting it anyway… and for FREE! 🙂

    Ok, I love, love LOVE Tripacerchick’s idea! DOOOOOO EEEEEEET!!! Second, you are taking a big step in the right direction by recognizing something is hindering you and choosing to stop that behavior. Also, Hizzeather brings up an interesting point. As amazing of an experience as it could have been, Biggest Loser really is a super bright light!

    I know BL has a very safe and controlled environment that would allow you to focus on yourself and your weight loss, BUT… you still have some control of your environment. Make your kitchen a safe haven for you. Sure, it won’t be AS safe, but you know your trigger foods. Avoid them. Only buy them in small portions. When you want Swedish Fish, buy Swedish Fish. Just a small package instead of a bulk bag from Costco or Sam’s. ‘But it’s SUCH a good deal!’ I know. But do you want to walk around with that good deal on your butt?….. I thought so. 🙂 Reduce your risk of overeating by setting yourself up for success. And remember, small changes lead to big progress.

    Also, give that Inside Out Weight Loss podcast another go. Seriously. She addresses the reasons you might be doing the opposite actions of what you know is going to bring you success. Overeating (and under-exercising) are symptoms, not the actual problem. Oh, and by the way, weight loss and being healthy does not have to be hard. Our society conditions us to think it is. I know when I am internally aligned its super easy. When I’m not, (like over the past year and right now) it’s harder than stapling jello to a tree!

    As you know I have a million things to say on the subject, but it’s because I know how I felt/feel about my experiences. Forgive yourself. Respect yourself. Love yourself. I’ll stop preaching now and go follow my own advice. LOVE YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER!!!! XOXOXOXOXOX E

  • I want to say – thank you for this!

  • The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Keep making the small changes and they add up fast!

  • Oh, I certainly could cry enough…just ask my husband. Or all the girls who called me “Sister Kleenex” at church growing up.

  • I’ve thought about turning it to a healthy food blog…but it’s just one more thing to split my time with. Currently I’m feeling overwhelmed…when I’m feeling bored I might pick it up again. For now, I just need to finish that medical coding course and make money so I can BUY HEALTHY FOOD.

  • Anonymous in Ann Arbor

    Can I tell you something? I need to tell you something. I should have said something a LONG time ago. I’ve been reading your blog for a little over a year now, reading about your travel to and from this and that. And how I “found” your blog was completely intentional…almost freakishly so.

    There is more to come, I just have to find a way to compose it. And maybe I will send you an email if one is available…otherwise the sordid will be revealed via your comments. Pleh.

    I also just have to say that I think you are an awesome person, and I am truly praying for you to come out of your situation (health, weight, depression) successfully.

  • Hey Nicole,

    It sounds like many of us have been in your shoes and they are hard to change! When I got married, I put on a good 30 pounds even to the point that my mom asked me if I was pregnant because I was looking chubby. For the first time in 6 years of being married, I have had the motivation to make a change. I started becoming accountable on my blog (you’ve probably seen it) and have to do weekly weigh-ins. I don’t always succeed and some days you just gotta eat what you love, but it does help me! I also started exercising 5 times a week. My husband and I figured out what motivates me to exercise, date nights! We now definitely go on a date every other weekend and that makes me happy 🙂

    I also eat well most week days and give myself some breaks on the weekend. In reality, on the weekends I usually eat calories in moderation, but they are usually from not so healthy foods like eggos with syrup, corn dogs and fries, treats etc. I try not to overeat but still get to enjoy the not so healthy stuff.

    You can do it, we all can. It just takes time and patience and a strong will which you’ve definitely got!

    Love ya!

  • I am loving your honesty lady! I am sorry this has been a trial, but I just can’t even tell you how grateful I am for your honesty…and pics to boot! If only all bloggers were so honest!

  • Hollie

    Nicole,

    I believe in you!!!!

  • Substantially, the article is actually the sweetest on this deserving topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the extraordinary clarity in your writing. I will directly grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. Admirable work and much success in your business enterprize!

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