Self-doubt, serving sizes and Snickers

With Tuesday being a national holiday – German Unity Day if you’re curious – and my whole office given a bridge day on Monday, I’ve been entirely confused about what day it is this whole week so far.  Tuesday was my Sunday and today feels like Tuesday when – hooray! – it’s Thursday already. Weekend, I can smell you already.

Some thoughts I’ve been having lately that didn’t seem to legitimate their own blog posts for today’s Thinking out loud. I had no plans on posting today but then dared to let my thoughts run free so this is indeed very random. Might also be because I’m running on too little sleep …

Serving sizes. Just a little reminder that they’re not to be taken as set rules. So many people seem to feel bad for eating more than the recommended serving size of certain foods [and; judging from Instagram posts; try to play it cool by stressing how they ate more than the serving size because #badass – well, no, just a normal human being following his intuition]. Truth is, neither food companies nor bloggers, cookbook authors or restaurants know what a serving looks like for you. Case in point: the cooking date turned four-hour chat/cook/eat session I had at a friend’s house on Monday. We tried this recipe for Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowls because said friend had never tried burrito bowls and the dish sounded intriguing. But: serving four people? Or: four people with our – if you’re asking me pretty normal – appetites? Definitely not and we already used more ‘rice’ and guacamole as well as yoghurt on the side. Between the two of us and my friend’s husband having a small bowl, there was barely anything left [and only because I wanted to be polite leaving her some leftovers plus my stomach signaling no]. Post-lunch snacking needed to happen after I returned home. It was really delicious either way, though my stomach really really hated me for both the bell peppers and the onions in the dish. Major ouch.

Cha cha Hamburg fried noodles

Maybe it’s just my subjective impression or are once popular blogs disappearing/slowly dying by the dozen these days? Browsing some German blogs I used to visit more frequently just a couple of years ago, I found a lot of these bloggers no longer being active and some of the blogs even deleted. The same seems to be true for some formerly very popular international bloggers. Seeing the posts of people who used to receive dozens of comments per post now get a mere handful makes me sad. Genuinely sad. Sad because theirs are/were among the blogs I’ve been following for the longest time. Sad because they deserve more readers valuing their posts. The quality of their content, creativity of their recipes hasn’t decreased so: what is it? Where have the readers gone? I’m figuring Instagram plays a role in people gravitating more to it but … to this extent? really? If you are any wiser than me here, share your thoughts. And while we’re on the topic …

Over the past few months, I know it must have looked like my blog was dying or I intentioa. Posts became more and more rare, infrequent and the whole blog less personal. To say this saddened me a little would be an understatement. It wasn’t intentional, either.  If you’ve been reading for a while, you might know I’ve been working in a field different from my originally chosen one and looking for one in the latter. For a long-ish time now. Anybody who has been in this situation before will know how hard and disappointing the searching game can be. It definitely is for me. What else it brought, though, and increasingly so, has been doubt. Doubt in my abilities as writer. Doubt if I’ll ever find a fulfilling job again. This eventually lead to me doubting my blogging skills, too. If you saw my drafts folder, you’d shake your head at the amount of posts lined up yet not making it to the blog. I’m writing these lines late on Wednesday night. and hope I won’t regret pouring my heart out here tomorrow. And I’m not looking for sympathies. Just trying to explain and at that maybe even understand myself a little more. Sometimes it takes writing things out to truly figure out your life.

Admitting to a problem is said to be the first step to overcoming it. So this is my first step. While I don’t have another post lined up for this week – even the one you’re reading is a very spontaneous one – I’ll make a bigger effort to get back into the game.

Ending this post on a happier note because amongst all the self-doubt in my head, a colleague’s request brightened my day a little. She’s getting married and asked me to make a few batches of my healthy Snickers Truffles to serve after the ceremony in the registry office [the actual marriage isn’t until next year]. The fact alone she still remembered these – it’s been quite a while and she was on maternity leave for a year, only returning in September – made me smile and I’m feeling honoured to contribute to her wedding in even such a small way.  Okay, that feels too much like self-promotion so over to you:

Tell me what’s been on your mind lately – the good, the bad, the in-between!

Happiness-inducing today: The somewhat odd remark/compliment (?) an older client gave me upon leaving the office. It’s those little things …

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No questions today but just any thoughts you have on the topics above.

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19 thoughts on “Self-doubt, serving sizes and Snickers

  1. Ellie says:

    I enjoy your content so I keep you in my blog feed no matter how often you post. I also find that sometimes if you don’t have anything to write about or are busy with something else, blogging falls away. I experienced and continue to experience this myself. Last year I wanted to make my blog bigger, it was fun learning all the stuff, but honestly, I don’t have the time to devote to every aspect of social media to make it big. I like writing about running and budget friendly meals and the things I’m interested in, which change often.

    In regard to serving size, that’s always a suggestion anyway. In doing some cost per serving analysis for some of my meals which I am posting on my blog, I’ve had to measure how much cereal I put in the bowl or how many tablespoons of peanut butter I use. It’s actually cool to find out how much money my breakfast costs. Rather than conforming to a RDA, I’m turning the serving size into MY serving size.

    Have a great weekend 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      A week late but: thank you, Ellie! Your comment truly meant a lot to me in this weird in-between blogging phase where the desire to write collides with life getting in between.
      Ah, yes, I saw your post but – in true bad reader fashion – didn’t comment on it yet. It’s definitely very interesting to figure out the cost of our meals; I’ve done that before, too, but usually just for desserts.

  2. mylittletablespoon says:

    Diddo to Ellie’s first line.

    The blog thing. Okay I’m somewhat relieved I’m not the only person who seems to have noticed a decrease in the blog world lately. Though, I’ve also thought this was just me as – I, too – have decreased in my overall reading/writing. I now have my small pocket of blogs I always read, but that collection has definitely shrunk and I find myself seeking out new blogs and posts much, much less. I like this though. It’s nice to have a small “family” to focus on, if you will. Now of course a big part of this is my own life transitions and being too busy (for even my own blog these days) but it is also cyclical. The less I feel there is to read… the less I spend time reading.

    So regardless of where my own blog goes and how much I continue to read others, you are part of my “family.” No matter how sparse you post I will always read and want to share what we have going on with each other.

    Also. I have zero idea where serving sizes even came from. It would be interesting to talk to a food technician to see if there is any kind of science/economic reasoning behind them. Otherwise…. *psssh*

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you so much, Cora! Your comments and mails always make my day; especially the fact you’re still sticking around despite my flaky responses. I very much hope you won’t quit blogging anytime soon because you definitely are part of my “family”.
      It’d really be interesting to know where serving sizes originated from. And why some of them are so ridiculous. I might investigate a little there ….

  3. Emily Swanson says:

    I totally almost never measure serving sizes, and I 100% agree that it’s so sad when a blogger stops blogging; it makes me sad when one of the ones I regularly read doesn’t blog anymore or has to let it go. However I totally understand that there are seasons too; that’s why I haven’t really made blogging a full time thing, because I wanted to be able to do it for a long time if the Lord wills.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Absolutely agreeing with you, Emily. While I could imagine running something like a company blog, I’m glad my own isn’t my job but a creative space allowing me to share what I want and when I want/have the time.

  4. Claire B. says:

    I’ve been sad to see some of my favorite blogs quiet down/disappear as well, although I’m in the same boat as you–I only posted twice last month *cringe* and have a ridiculous number of unfinished drafts of posts. Meh! Some periods of life just are not conducive to blogging often!

    Good: I’m excited to travel to Colorado for a wedding this weekend! Bad: California doesn’t have a REAL fall and that’s such a bummer, coming from the Midwest. In-between: my appetite has been through the roof this week! Not a bad thing but I had to make an extra grocery run midweek when I ran out of snacks!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      “Some periods of life just are not conducive to blogging often.” <- You worded this so very well, Claire. Better than I did in my post. Right now is one of those unfortunate times in life but it might very well give space for a better blogging time sometime sooner or later for both of us. Fingers crossed!
      If I could, I'd send you some of our very autumnal weather. Monday was cold but today it's actually been pretty nice.

  5. Evangeline Kennedy says:

    There’s pressure to crank out post after post, but in my mind quality over quantity is best. And along those lines, sanity over stress is best too. You have a lot on your plate, so if taking frequent breaks is what you need, I say go for it. I enjoy your posts a whole lot, whenever I get the chance to read them.

    Thanks for the reminder about serving size. My intro to public health class was just talking about the new U.S. food labels and the changes to serving sizes. They’re upping the serving sizes so the calorie and macronutrient counts will be more aligned with what people actually eat. Personally, I just want people to stop caring so much about % of daily value (for calories, grams of fat, grams of carbs, etc), and care more about A) the quality of their food and B) enjoying food because it is such an amazing part of life.

    Mmm those snicker truffles look wonderful. Your recipe is practically famous now. Yep. Food served to celebrate matrimony, definitely = famous.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      You’re a sweetheart, Vangie! Quality over quantity absolutely is the best and part of why I haven’t been posting as often lately. My perfectionism is a beast and unfortunately keeping me from sharing many of those drafts I technically just need to finalise a little.
      Amen to your thoughts on portion sizes. I actually didn’t know about the new US label. While it’d be best if people cared about what you said, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

  6. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar says:

    I sometimes find it amusing how different recipes and recipe authors can vary so much in terms of what they consider a “serving size.” Like I have one cookbook that’ll say, “this serves 3,” and I wind up with enough to serve three people and have leftovers for a week. I’ll have another cookbook that’ll say, “This serves 4,” and I’m like, “What do you think I am, a mouse?!”
    I’m really proud of you for putting yourself out there and looking for a job that’s closer to what you really want to do. And you’re right–that does take a lot of time and energy. Good to see you stopping by to let us know how things have been going, though. 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Oh yes, that’s something I find pretty funny, too. Sometimes, even the sizes within one and the same cookbook are vastly different. I offered to cook for the family this weekend and trying out a new recipe, I’m slightly scared it won’t be enough to feed my hungry folks :D.

  7. Lyss says:

    I feel like more people are just using Instagram now. Which makes me sad… because bloggers have so many wonderful things to say that don’t just fit an instagram post!
    Good reminder about serving sizes- they are just there and we don’t have to follow them. sending love to you ❤

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks for the love, Lyss <3. It really is sad to see blogs with their detailed and very personal posts fade away while Instagram with its quick and sometimes very impersonal style is growing larger and larger. Though there are some people who still share meaningful content, it doesn't feel quite the same as blogging.

  8. GiGi Eats Celebrities says:

    I am definitely NOT one to feel sorry for eating bigger portions. I eat two meals a day and they’re both pretty big, the second one being far bigger than the first, ha! It’s funny. People think I eat a TON… But in all honesty, I eat about the same amount someone might in three meals, I just split it up into two! I do what works for me, and everyone should focus on what works for them!! 😉

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Your final sentence really says it all. What you described wouldn’t work for me – I do like my snacks 😉 – but that exactly is the beauty of life: we all get to play around with this and find what suits us best.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Pfft, we won’t even get started on nut butter portion sizes. I’m eating from multiple jars every day and sure as heck won’t meticulously measure it all out ;).
      Thanks for always reading and commenting, Kristy. I still owe you an email!

  9. katalysthealth says:

    Ugh the portion size thing – I literally have nothing to say on it. You took the words right out of my mouth. Bravo woman.
    I agree with you about the blogging thing. Many of my favorites have reduced their posting, which I understand because running a blog is a lot of work, but it also leaves me scratching my head a bit sometimes. Regardless, I will continue reading yours as long as you are around!! 🙂 [even though I’m horrible at commenting lol]

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