Once again, I take a pause to re-evaluate my "healthy" lifestyle choices as I have done before here. This time it was triggered by an apparently controversial article appearing in Marie Claire outlining the effect various healthy living bloggers could have on their readers.
Now, I will say that I know for a fact that the bloggers outlined in the article were interviewed for this article under false pretenses. The author indicated to them that they would be featured in an article on successful blogging tips but as you can see, there are no tips included in the article.
I will not go on to take sides with either party here, although I do read several of the "Big 6" blogs indicated and enjoy the recipes and personal stories contained therein, and have purchased Marie Claire magazine in the past. But I will say that the reason I read those blogs is to get ideas on making tasty healthy meals. I love the fact that these bloggers photograph their dishes in such beautiful settings as to make me WANT to go out and roast some squash, or put pumpkin and dried fruit in my oatmeal. I don't typically try to mimic their exercise habits. Are we, as readers, responsible for our actions or the feelings we get when we read someone's blog or look at magazines featuring teeny tiny skinny models (which Marie Claire does do)?
The article though did get me to step back and re-examine how I go about being "healthier" and how I keep my body "fit" (both of these terms mean VERY different things to different people). I think it's a valid concern, but are bloggers to blame for telling the stories of their lives, workouts and eating habits included? I mean, women are blasted all day long with images of the ideal woman (in all her airbrushed, surgerized and highly styled glory) on TV, on magazine covers, etc. We openly blame the media for their images of women, are "health" bloggers part of the problem too?
When I look back at my eating and exercise habits when I first started my fitness journey and when I first started blogging, it was a bit fanatic. Too much working out, denying myself the snacks I enjoy even in moderation. But I wanted it all and I wanted it yesterday and there is so much conflicting information out there, and so many gorgeous and thin ladies blogging about their progress! So I'm asking anybody reading today to take a step back and really look at what you do to stay healthy, to maintain a certain weight, or on your quest for a certain physique. Make sure that what you do is making you happy and satisfied and not becoming a burden that makes your feel riddled with guilt if you "screw up".
For me, I recently added back into my diet some of the buttery, tasty treats I so enjoy and am being less strict with myself when it comes to eating. I'm feeling much more satisfied after meals when I allow myself just a bit of something I truly enjoy eating and on those days when I can't seem to squeeze in enough veggies I'm allowing myself to just get over it.
So I guess there's not much point to this post other than that it's been on my mind for a few days and it seems to have sparked quite a debate over on MC's message boards. What do you guys think? Do you think bloggers should be responsible for the actions of their readers after reading their posts as they relate to food and exercise?
And if any one ever takes offense to something I write, or feels it could have a harmful effect on a reader, feel free to comment or email me. Not saying I'd change it, but I'd love to hear your opinion.
Enjoy your weekend - especially if you have Monday off too!!