How Blogging Put Me In The Poor House

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

me.jpgHi there Carrots ”˜N Cake readers! My name is Melissa and I write the blog MelissaNibbles. I’m very honored to be guest-posting for Tina today. My blog, MelissaNibbles, is a lazy girl’s guide to health and fitness. I give my readers realistic workout tips and recipes that they can fit into their busy schedules or lazy lifestyles.

Today I’m going to tell you about how blogging put me in the poor house. A cautionary tale to new bloggers and something other bloggers might relate to.

When I began blogging, I was overwhelmed with all the food, gadgets, running clothes, fitness dvds, etc…that I never even knew existed. It was awesome! Who knew there was such a thing as a tofu press?! I never knew you could wear a Garmin on your wrist that tells you how far you’ve run! And running skirts?! Adorable! The whole time I’d just been doing my thing, running, eating, and dressing like normal. I felt like I had been doing it wrong the whole time! Was I supposed to be wearing a Garmin? I eat all natural peanut butter, but what is almond butter? Is that better for me? Gah!!!

The peanut butter, oh the peanut butter. That’s where it all began. My go to PB had been Smart Balance. It’s natural, has omega 3’s, and is $2 a jar. Well, after seeing peanut butters like White Chocolate Wonderful, Dark Chocolate Dreams, etc… I felt like I was missing out. I hauled ass to the grocery store and stocked up. At $5 a jar! I spent $20 on peanut butter. That’s a tank of gas! I told myself it was okay because it was probably healthier for me (uh…no). I received free samples from other companies after that to try their products, but free samples don’t last forever and I was hooked. It wasn’t long before I was ordering peanut butter, almond butter, pasta, and fancy oatmeal online. You can’t put a price on your health people! Plus, free shipping!

Then came my fancy, new fitness wardrobe. I saw bloggers sporting running skirts and fabulous sports bras and t-shirts from Lululemon. What the f*ck is a Lululemon?! I’d never heard of the place. I was running in Hanes t-shirts and Target sports bras. I clearly needed to get myself together and look fabulous. I had no idea where the heck Lululemon was, but they had a website…oh boy do they have a website. I ordered sports bras, t-shirts, running skirts, and a $30 headband off their website. More than once!!

Gadgets. Oh, the gadgets. Bloggers have the most insane gadgets for their food prep and fitness. $200 blenders, Magic Bullets, peanut butter makers, drying racks for drying their food (WTF?!), the list goes on and on. The fitness stuff is even more out of control. Compression socks, foam rollers, Garmins, Nike footpads, $50 yoga mats with $100 carrying bags… I wanted a handheld blender so bad to mix my shakes like pudding. The one I kept seeing everywhere was $250. No way in hell I was paying $250, but I found one for $100 (WTF?! is wrong with me!!). I wanted a Garmin so I could see how far I was running. Those things run anywhere from $200-$600! I researched buying one, I thought of ways I could afford it. I rationalized the expense…I need to know how far I’m running!! Why? I never needed to know with a digital read out before? was working just fine, but I NEEDED THE GARMIN EVERYONE ELSE HAS ONE!!!!! GIMME!!! My boyfriend thought about buying me one for my 30th birthday and that kind of woke me up a little. Did I really want his gift on my 30th birthday to be a freakin’ piece of exercise equipment? How thoughtful and loving. I told him, “Hell no! Trinkets and baubles please!!”

So that was a wake-up call of sorts. The big wake-up call came when my credit card statement came in the mail. Now, I have to tell you I am VERY responsible (normally) when it comes to money. I only have two credit cards. One has a high limit and a zero balance. It’s only for emergencies and is locked in a small safe that I keep things like my birth certificate and the one piece of expensive jewelry I own in. I don’t use this card and never used it to purchase anything I’m talking about here. It might be expired actually…The other card is an American Express with a $500 limit. I requested that limit so I won’t be tempted to go spending crazy (yeah, that worked) and it’s an American Express so I have to pay the balance every month. So the AMEX statement came and it was OVER the limit. So not only had I spent $500 on a bunch of sh*t I saw on blogs, but I had an over the limit fee. GREAT. I was so pissed at myself. I think I punched myself in the face actually. I couldn’t believe how irresponsible I had been and how I let something like blogging affect me like that. I couldn’t afford the bill so I did what I had to. I returned everything I could. I couldn’t return the food I ate, but I had some I hadn’t even taken out of the box yet that I was able to return. I waved goodbye to the handheld blender (a few months later I ended up getting a free one from a vendor so that worked out. I still haven’t used it though), packed up all the Lululemon clothes that I bought (most of them still had the tags), boxed those up and sent them back too. In the end, I had to pay about $200 on my credit card statement that month. It was better than $500 and the reality slap was well needed.

So if you’re a blogger or a new blogger. Take it from me that you don’t need fancy foods, gadgets or clothes to lead a healthy lifestyle. None of these things made my nutrition any better, made me run faster, or made me feel better about myself. It was just a big waste of money and made me feel insecure about myself. I got caught up in wanting to be like everyone else and thinking what I was doing wasn’t good enough. I learned to have confidence in my abilities and not to try to “keep up with the bloggers.” I think it’s great that people are able to afford these things and if you can afford it, hey go for it! If you can’t, don’t feel like you’re any less healthy or any less of a blogger.



  1. This post had both a great sense of humor and was really interesting to read. A good reminder that you don’t need a bunch of stuff to be healthy – and that not everything on healthy living blogs is necessarily healthy (like coconut butter etc). 🙂

  2. I loved this post. Thanks for your honesty. You had me cracking up quite a few times! My experience, however, has been completely opposite.

    I must be in the minority here, but reading blogs actually helped me SAVE money.

    I used to spend way too much, then I quit my job and have been jobless for the last few months with VERY limited funds. It’s an
    ‘essentials only’ situation currently (food, car insurance, gas, rent, bills. THAT’S IT).

    I scoured blogs for tips on how to save – like stocking up on pantry essential when there are two for one deals, shopping around until I found the best prices (found my favorite PB for two dollars cheaper, which adds up) etc. KERF even helped me create a monthly budget – if I have a plan you’d better believe I stick to it.

    I do own a garmin, but it was a graduation gift from a family friend who I consider to be a mother. I own a good amount of lulu clothes, but I’ve been collecting for five years (they do last FOREVER), got lots of it as gifts, and am lucky enough to live in a city with an outlet.

    As for a vitamix, the blender my boyfriend and I were given for Christmas works just fine. It even has a food processor attachment which I is super loud but gets the job done (ok so I spent five bucks on earplugs…).

    If you can get past all the fancy gadgets and expensive food there are A LOT of tips on how to save money, indeed, Tina’s got a ton right here on this blog.

  3. Oh. My. God. Thank you. I’ve felt intimidated to even chronicle my running/fitness (I’m a newb) because I don’t have all the gadgetry, food and clothing. It feels like if you’re not hardcore enough to have the “real” equipment no one is interested. I simply can’t afford to have all the specialty food shipped here (I live in Missouri) and I definitely can’t afford to spend grad tuition money on Lululemon and Vibrams. And why would I want to? I sweat in this stuff. Why would I want to in something more expensive than my winter jacket? Wife beaters and Nike shorts for me please.

  4. OMG! I could relate to this blogpost out the frame!

    I’ve had to stop myself from ordering some crazy stuff… I almost ordered $40 worth of dried dates to make the homemade LaraBars recipe from OhSheGlows website. I stopped myself before I went too far. takes all my money! 😉

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! Excellent post!

  5. What a great post!
    I am not new to the blog world, but I’m a new bloggER, and this is a nice reality check! I don’t mind spending a little more on food here and there, but that could be a slippery slope.
    It sounds obvious, but I’m glad to hear you don’t NEED any of this stuff. I’m glad to know it’s not just me 😉

  6. This is awesome… I’m a very new blogger & I didn’t know what the hell ALmond butter was until I started reading these… now, I’m hooked of course! 🙂
    Great post.

  7. This is a really great post! I’m so glad to see this. Sometimes, I do feel like I need so many fancy things just to blog. I already had a juicer & Vitamix before starting mine. But I see so many great things I’d like to try and should spend more time focusing on creating new posts instead of buying stuff I can’t afford. Thank you for your realistic view of things. It helped me gain some great perspective.

  8. I’m not a blogger, but read quite a few of them and I have to say this is hands down the best post I’ve read. Your honesty is just refreshing!

  9. What a great post! It shows the dangers of wanting things just because other people have them – a trap many fall into! But – it’s never possible to have enough if one is always looking at others…

    This post can be an allegory for many things in life!

  10. I second the girl crush. And I TOTALLY AGREE. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one running in promotional t-shirts and pants from Target. I don’t ever go into Lulumelon because I know my credit card will cry. I figure it’s easier to just stay out.

  11. Word! It is like being “green.” Since when does it make sense to replace stuff you already have with “green” living items?! WTF?! Didnt it take oil, energy and effort to build the “green” item too? The old stuff works just fine!

  12. PS–I have a confession. I bought a Garmin, the big daddy. I have used it once, since most of my cardio is done on an elliptical. Awesome. a $350 paper weight.

  13. this might be the best post i’ve ever seen on this blog. sorry Tina but it’s true. your oats in a jar are not pretty.

  14. So TRUE! Such a great post, can’t wait to check out your site Melissa. I once spent $20 at the store on coconut and peanut Butters, and I don’t even like the darn coconut butter!

  15. ahhh this post is amazing!!! totally true!!! I did however find the garmin to be a worthwhile purchase…but marshalls, tj maxx, and target will do just fine for running clothes :o) glad to know I’m not the only one out there who feels like this. thanks!!!

  16. OMG. This is such a perfect post for a new bloggie like me. Already in my head I’m like I need a Garmin, a Vitamix, all these things. But you’re right it’s not about what you have in terms of material things! Thanks for writing this.

  17. Love this! It sounds just like me. Melissa – I love your writing, and your blog. I added it to my Google Reader! The only problem: I didn’t know about Lululemon before this. Of course I googled it and now I want to visit their store here in my town. Must resist, must resist, must resist…

  18. i’m a 22 year old on a college budget, and i love this post. you can be healthy and amazing whether you’re wearing lululemon or wal-mart brand!

  19. Thank you so much for this article! I feel so self conscious reading other blogs sometimes because I’ve never heard of some of the food or own a Garmin. But what matters is that you’re living a healthy and happy life!

  20. Wow. This is one of the most relevant blog posts I’ve read in a while. I totally need that reality-check too sometime! I’m glad I’m not the only one =)

    Thanks for this amazing post!

  21. This post is SO me! I am so tempted to buy EVERY new product I see on a blog, then I overbuy when I’m at a grocery store, especially pricey ones like Whole Foods. It’s such a bad habit that I am seriously trying to rectify. My new strategy is to buy only what I am going to actually eat for the next week or 2 because I waste WAY too much, especially expensive fresh produce. *sigh*


  22. Great post!! That is so true. It’s so easy to think we “need” all this stuff, when, in fact, we were doing perfectly fine before we knew it existed. I think it’s a lot easier to be susceptible to marketing (intentional or not) on a blog than it is a traditional ad. Because it’s a real person that you “know” who is recommending something. I think my worst blog inspired splurge was twenty dollars for a package of Vita Tops. They were good, but, seriously, that was like $1 for each little bitty 100 calorie Vita Top. I could have made something similar for 10 cents each.

  23. Awesome post! I’ve never seen this issue addressed before, but it’s so true! Once I started reading blogs, my grocery bills went through the roof because of all the nut butters, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and organic cereals I just *had* to buy. I’ve never been sucked into buying any expensive gadgets, but that doesn’t mean I’m not dying to get my hands on a Garmin and juicer! I realize those just aren’t in my budget at this point, so for now, they’re just dreams.

  24. Holy crap. Hands down, best blog post EVAR!!

    I was JUST persing the Lululemon site before I clicked over here, thinking about how sad I was that I don’t have those cute pants and tops… but you saved me! I don’t need it!!

    Stay true to yourself, girl. You are such a hilarious writer and your point of view is a breath of reality.

    Thanks Tina, for the guest post.

  25. PS – I never realized before how many of the commenters on blogs are other bloggers. What up with that?? Why are reader commenters so sparce??

  26. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this brave post! I think that it’s so easy to get caught up in the gadgets and clothes and new foods and trying to keep up with the blogging jonses… This is WONDERFUL reminder to keep it real and focus on what’s most important – living a healthy, BALANCED life!

  27. Great topic! This is something rarely discussed in the blog world, but I’m pretty sure everyone has been tempted to buy everything they see on food blogs. Thanks for a thoughtful post, Melissa!

  28. Ahaha 143 this post. Luckily, I don’t like flavored peanut butters OR coconut OR running, so I’m not as tempted to buy all the blog goodies. Though I always think I’ll run more (um…I can’t run) if I have a garmin. And blend more with a Vitamix. And get hit on more with Lululemon clothing.

  29. Wow! This post is excellent. I am so glad to know I was not the only one struggling with wanting all of the “cool” things on blogs. Love it!

  30. I guess this is one case where I’m lucky – living in Australia, I simply don’t have access to Garmins/Vitamixes/fancy peanut butters. Mostly this has made me feel super sad, but maybe I should be grateful?!

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