It looks fun, doesn't it?
We get to cook instead of sit in an office, restaurants offer us free food all the time and brands send care packages of granola bars and coconut water that'll easily last over six months.
Those were the thoughts that kept me going as I ran my successful food blog, TheWholeTara, for several years.
Unfortunately, when you're actually a full-time food blogger, it doesn't always look like this.
There's an entire other side to it that isn't spoken about outside of the blogger circle, and no amount of free food could make up for it.
Here are a few reasons why I decided to switch career paths:
1. You're around food all the time.
When I say all the time, I mean all the time.
I specifically remember when I was developing my app a few months back, and my team and I were indulging in every single dish with no set meals.
We ate our way through the entire day, recipe after recipe, until we were beyond stuffed.
You have to try it all, don't you?
Even if you're not working on an app, you're planning recipes for your website or trying to get a perfect Instagram shot at a restaurant.
You go from meal to meal, losing structure of what a day in food should actually look like because it's also your job.
Think about artists. They're around art all day, and then they leisurely break for food.
Us? Food is our job.
2. You order things with no intention of actually eating them, but then...
I didn't have the intention of eating that rainbow cream cheese bagel after lunch or a box of cupcakes at 9 am.
But once the photos are finished and you have food like this sitting on the counter staring right at you, it becomes quite difficult to pass it up.
I know it's a major first-world problem. But, it's the nature of being a food blogger.
3. It's way more than a 9-to-5 job.
My office is my kitchen.
When work is "over," another round of emails come rolling in, and we'll most likely end up answering them.
Cooking, recipe testing and posting on Instagram don't have a stop time.
They happen at all hours of the day, and you'll probably get caught up in it, even after regular work hours.
4. Social media starts to rule your life.
"How did her runny egg get more likes than my avocado toast?
Maybe I should make a runny egg sandwich tomorrow morning, and then #EEEEEATS will repost it.
Or maybe, I should just go to [enter best egg spot here] tomorrow morning to get that shot and post it."
This is just one of the thoughts that runs through a food blogger's head.
Maybe it sounds productive at first, and in some ways, it is.
But when you're scrolling through Instagram at 11 pm and letting your likes, followers and comments dictate how you'll be spending your days and what you'll be eating, it becomes unhealthy.
5. Food becomes an obsession.
We often forget we're meant to eat to live, not live to eat.
This was a big problem for me.
It felt like every meal was another opportunity for a food photo, and I had to stop everyone mid-meal to get that perfect photo, regardless of whom I was with.
I thought about how I was going to make my breakfast bowl perfect, where I was going to get the ingredients and how I would photograph them.
Plus, what'll taste the best? Because you bet I'll be eating it afterward.
And it doesn't stop there.
Right after breakfast comes recipe testing for the website, and before you know it, it's lunch time.
See what I mean?
It never stops.
While I feel very fortunate to have been able to have had the option to cook and write about food for a living, I also feel that it wasn't the best career choice for my mental and physical health.
There's no one right way to be a food blogger, but if you do find yourself in one or more of the above predicaments, take a step back.
Remember why you started your blog, create set work times and don't let social media rule you.