a brief history of grace living well
sweet grace's life (2013-2016)
those who know me in real life will remember the "sweet grace's life" days. this was the wordpress baking blog i started when i was in 7th grade back in 2013, before instagram was the happening app that it is today. i'm pretty sure i remember pinterest being the place to be for foodies back in the day. this was a happy little website that never gained much traction, but kept me busy during middle school summers. i remember having a jar on my desk where i saved up my babysitting money to buy the domain name one year. as you can see, the last post there was from july of 2016, going into junior year of high school. while sweet grace's life never got off the ground, i think it goes to show how i've always loved the combination of food, photography, and copy.
@cakeandkale (january 2018-august 2018)
this was the first iteration of my instagram account. i started the foodstagram, if you will, because i decided to do whole30 my senior year of high school. i figured if i was putting all of this work into prepping my meals, i wanted some way to document it, ya feel? if you scroll waaaaaay back in the archives, all of the #cakeandkale posts are up. i originally ran the account with my best friend, who was really good at supplying the "cake" portion of the account ;). after whole30 ended, i wasn't great about consistently posting on the account.
@collegelifeinbalance (august 2018-june 2019)
flash forward to the start of my freshman year of college in august 2018. my mom had the great idea to revive the food instagram to promote healthy eating in college. it got lost in the frenzy of first semester, but second semester it definitely picked up some steam. i was posting more regularly, though looking back, the user name feels ironic. despite being called "collegelifeinbalance", mine was anything but. my restrictive eating and compulsive exercising habits intensified over the course of second semester, and i think my posts at the time are reflective of that.
@graceliveswell (june 2019-present)
one afternoon last summer i began to toy with the idea of changing the name of the account. i wanted it to be more reflective of me, as i was increasingly putting my voice into my posts instead of just detailing what was on my plate. this was also when i was starting treatment for my eating disorder. having a username that was so counter to my reality felt inauthentic, and more than anything i just wanted to be honest about what i was going through. the purpose of the account wasn't to put myself on a pedestal as preaching *the* way to live a balanced college life. instead, i wanted to make sure that i communicated that what i posted was true only for my experience.
part of recovery for me was separating a genuine love of food and cooking from the eating disorder, and rethinking my account was a big part of that. i went through and unfollowed accounts that were unhelpful and sought out inspirational content. i actively worked to create a positive corner of the internet that was honest, collaborative, and creative.
these days, i like to think that's what the foodstagram has become. it's my platform of choice for sharing my thoughts. i know there are thousands of other accounts run by girls my age with similar stories and better-looking breakfasts, but all the same, it's here for what it is. it has become an incredibly happy space on the internet full of inspirational people, aspirational content, and i am grateful for my space in the insta foodie community. i have no doubt that i change and evolve as a person, the 'gram will, too. thanks for coming along for the ride!