He thinks / She thinks – A Bloggers unspoken responsibilities

Welcome to the second instalment of the He thinks/She thinks series. The pilot post was about the clean plate club and it was so interesting about how different many of us were brought up regarding finishing food on our plate- irrespective of gender. Check out the comment section to see some interesting discussion.
This weeks topic is certainly a very controversial one in the HLB  community- it is the unspoken responsibility bloggers have to their readers. I am stoked to have seasoned blogger Sam provide the female perspective and experience on this issue.
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| SHE THINKS… |
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Unfortunately, there’s no test you have to take to be a healthy living blogger. There’s no requirements, no set standards…basically, if you can figure out WordPress or Blogger, you can have your blog. This means that there’s a LOT of HLB’s out there, and not all of them are really all that healthy. While I accept that health looks different to different people,some bloggers put out an image that is just plain disordered.
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The majority of HLB’s keep disclaimers on their blog, warning readers that what they do and how they approach eating or fitness may not be the best fit for their readers. This is pretty damn necessary, I think. A lot of bloggers with no training (or have received ‘certifications’ that no qualified gyms, training, or health facilities would take seriously) try to portray themselves as experts on certain subjects. They tell readers (maybe not in so many words) that how they approach fitness, or how they eat is the best way to go about it. When the person extending that message has an unhealthy or disordered relationship with food and/or exercise and are promoting that as healthy…that’s when we run into problems.
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To be honest, I struggle with where responsibilities really lie with this subject. Obviously, disordered bloggers should not be promoting their lifestyle as healthy – there’s a lot of impressionable people out there, and reading those sorts of falsehoods and misrepresentations can send them down a really negative spiral. But blogging is a form of media, and I strongly advocate media awareness. It’s the same situation as when we view a photoshopped picture of a Victoria’s Secret model – we have to remember that what we see isn’t a true representation, and bloggers can be the same way with how they portray health.
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For that reason, I try to avoid giving direct health or fitness advice. If someone wants advice on ED recovery, recipe ideas, or wants to know about my experiences, I can happily provide that. As for fitness or diet plans, or even what diet would work best for them? That’s where fitness and health professionals come into play, and they are much more qualified than I am to provide that sort of advice.
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 So do I think bloggers have unspoken responsibility to readers? Absolutely – if a blogger is not qualified to be giving advice, then they really need to direct readers to someone who is qualified to do so. But readers have an unspoken responsibility to themselves to question and be critical of what bloggers present to them. Remember that in this part of blogging world, disordered eating habits are plentiful despite claims of “OMG you guys I’m so healthy!” and “I eat soooooo much!”, so remember that you shouldn’t always believe what a blogger alleges.
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| HE THINKS…|
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When I first entered the blog world, I can confidently say my bloglovin’ reader was close to 100. Now, coming close to the 5 month mark, I hesitate to say that even half remain.

The reasoning behind this as through getting to ‘know’ the blogger through their posts- the more disgust builds up internally. Why? Lets break it down.

Firstly, how many blogs have you come across where you’ve been alluded to follow a specific way of eating? A cult style of working out? Or foods labelled as ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’? I most certainly have.

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Secondly, how many times have you subconsciously been influenced by said blogs and questioned your own choices regarding diet and fitness? Guilty as charged.

Not all of it is bad. There are some blogs out there whose advice in fitness is completely warranted- as evidenced by their qualifications and clientele. There are several blogs of registered Dieticians I regularly learn new information from and am inspired to try new things to improve my health.

However, there are some blogs out there who constantly preach fitness routines and provide dietary advice- yet their highest qualification is personal experience. I’m not saying personal experience is bad- its good- for the BLOGGER themselves. But to use that as the right to provide advice to readers- it can be detrimental.

Furthermore, bloggers need to realise certain pictures they paint on their blog is not reality- its not all rainbows and butterflies and what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Posting minuscule portions of food, excessive exercise routines and self images of clearly emaciated self is damaging- to themselves and their readers- especially those who have experiences or are experiencing disordered eating.

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The blog world is an open space for anyone to be apart of- and that is something that readers need to affirm to themselves. There are no strict guidelines in place regarding content and no ‘blogger police’ to monitor what’s being posted- regardless of how inaccurate or detrimental it might be. Bloggers need to realise that they have an unspoken responsibility to their readers to ensure they are fully aware that what they blog about.

Not naming any names and being honest here- I have received emails from a number of readers asking for diet recommendations or workout advice. I’m more than happy to give my experience with workout programs I’ve done in the past, however to provide an actual program? No dice. In fact, what I’ve been doing is linking them up with Tara’s blog who is actually qualified to do so. I post updates on my workouts and random recipes I think readers might like. However, I will never ever dictate or suggest my ways are effective for anyone else out there. I have no qualifications in fitness nor do I have qualifications in nutrition or dietetics.

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Being a reader to ANY blog, whether it be fitness, food, fashion or film- at the end of the day, it is your choice to continue to read them or your choice to follow their advice. However- unless they are have actual qualifications- should be taken with a grain of salt.

Do you have a topic in mind or want to give your point of view or experience on something? Feel free to leave a comment below with it or shoot me an email at armanthebigmansworld@gmail.com and we can organise a post! 

Are there blogs out there you once read religiously yet now avoid due to any of the above reasons?

General thoughts or opinions on the topic? 

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Comments

  1. This is such a huge problem in the blogging community in my opinion, since many readers are so easily influenced. I definitely agree that bloggers do have a responsibility to acknowledge that and the consequences that may come as a result. And I am seriously loving this series!

  2. This subject is such a touchy one for a lot of people. I think there is definitely a divide between where someones responsibility lies and where it ends. Its a fine line because anything on a blog could potentially be a trigger for someone in a negative way but the flipside is that it can also have a very positive effect too. I know when I was reading many blogs where they gave up calorie counting it made me have a good hard look at myself and end up changing my behaviour to something more positive but I know that doesn’t always happen with ppl reading blogs.

    Very interesting topic and one that I know will bring a lot of discussion. Well done on Week 2 :D

  3. This is such an interesting topic to discuss and I love both yours & Sam’s views. As a blogger, I definitely think that we maintain some level of moral responsibility. Many impressionable people are reading and even just a handful of posts can trigger a disorder. Even though my business does involve advising people on their dietary needs, I refrain from doing so on my own blog- diet is much too personal and without knowing someone’s background, it’s almost impossible to advise accurately.

    However at the same point, blogs are each bloggers’ space on the internet so I think it’s unfair for the entire burden of responsibility to fall on to them. While we have to be careful with what we post, readers need to read/avoid bloggers with equal caution. The blogs I read now are significantly different to those which I have read over the years. I love reading about food and fitness and even if a certain approach doesn’t float my boat, my curious nature is still interested to learn more about it. However the minute a blogger starts to portray it as a way everyone “should” be living, it’s time to click the little X on the corner.

    This comment has turned into a huge ramble but ultimately, I think we all need to remember that blogs are (or at least should be) based on personal experience. If you want hard facts/theories which are reliable, there are plenty of credible websites to find such information.

    • That is a very good point, Khushboo-

      I actually was going to link your tofu post as an example (except the post would have been a short novel)- it could have been so easy for you to say ‘yes, I agree, don’t eat soy, its bad.’ But you didn’t- you merely provided your thoughts and left it as that- even though it is your industry as you’ve mentioned. We do need to be incredibly wary- just like in real life with these situations.

      PS- you can ramble anytime!

  4. Thanks for another great edition of he thinks/ she thinks. I’ve stopped reading quite a few blogs for the exact same reason. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about the eats and fitness routines of other healthy living lovers. But, some seem to exist for the sole purpose of putting down anyone who doesn’t follow their highly unrealistic lifestyle. Thankfully, there are many awesome ones, like yours, in the blogosphere to keep my blog reader filled with fun and informative posts. :)

  5. Such an interesting topic. I second Khushboo’s opinion. It IS a fine line and I truly think that as a blogger, we do have a responsibility. I wouldn’t dare to give any fitness advice – I may have some tips in store which work for ME, but I wouldn’t preach them nor telling people to do so, cause I am not a trainer nor a nutritionist. I can only say what worked for me and in my experience. Also, I always underline that I am in RECOVERY and NOT recovered. I am aware, that I still have several disordered habits and I want my readers to see that I am working on it and that I don’t preach them as healthy.
    As Khushboo mentioned, on the other hand, I also think readers need to be aware of triggers and take responsibility on what they read. Some things can be triggering without the blogger’s purpose. I am aware enough to know what blogs have a positive influence to me and which do the opposite. This took a while to find out, but today I can say that I am responsible for what I read and what not.

    • That is why your blog is the perfect example of honesty- You’re not claiming your recovered nor are you preaching to others how to eat/exercise.

      Readers do need to be incredibly wary, and take responsibility for the overall tone of the blogs they read and what to dissect from them.

  6. This is so spot on! Some bloggers really get under my skin with their excessive miles (10 a day or more!) and no grains, gluten, sugar, meat or dairy etc diets (for no substantial reason) just whack :) I think honesty is also important in blogging (of course a lot of these bloggers need first to be honest wih themselves) enjoy your life- Don’t obsess and google chronic cardio lol stay balance Sam as Arman Peace

    • Thanks for chiming in, Lana. Some blogs out there really are not portraying the right message, but ultimately, if your a reader and you follow their excessive exercise and menial diet accompanying it- you’re just as much in the wrong as the blogger is too.

  7. This topic has always been the deal breaker for me when deciding whether or not I’ll continue following a blog. I don’t need someone telling me THIS is the way to eat/workout.. basically how to live my life. I’m such a strong believer in Bio Individuality (what works for one person may be another person’s poison) that I honestly don’t even bother reading the post. Is that mean?

    • EXACTLY- that is why my bloglovin is constantly decreasing- once you see a bloggers true colours and underlying messages in their posts- its such a turn off.

      That is definitely not mean at all- that is the perfect belief to encompass. Bravo, my friend.

  8. I believe it is the responsibility of the blogger to be as transparent and honest as possible, yet I also think it is up to a reader to determine what they adhere to. On one hand, I like reading blogs where the blogger is passionate about their lifestyle/food/fitness choices, take Angela at Oh She Glows. She is a food blogger, that posts delicious recipes which just happen to be vegan. I don’t feel as though there is an agenda behind it, or that she is pressuring anybody to be one.

    Alternatively, there are other blogs (which won’t be named here) where the blogger implores there way is the ONLY way, and criticize anybody who differs. The enthusiasm which I admire in other bloggers seems militant from them. But who is to say I only think it because I don’t believe in their health/fitness approach?

    But in the end, I think it is up to the reader to decide if the blogger’s posts have any resonance with them. They can choose not to read if they believe they don’t subscribe to the same philosophy.

    Unfortunately though there will be readers who are unsure and easily misguided. It’s a really slippery slope, with many factors determining who we listen to and why.

    The best advice would be to keep an open mind and listen to your gut instinct to truly feel if something is right for you. Gather information carefully and critically. Not such swell advice, but the best I would be able to give.

    Great post :)

    • Mitchell, that is such a great example- Angela has some of the best recipes on the web, all vegan but not once does she preach this method of eating on anyone!

      There are a million and one opinions online- readers need to be wary of what they dissect from them and utilise.

  9. Such a smart post – I think it’s a responsibility as a blogger (and a person in general) to caveat what you say with ‘in my opinion’ or ‘this has what’s worked for me’ – remembering that not ‘one size fits all’ is so important. I do this all the time in conversation IRL, and I try to remember to do it in blogland too – it’s easy to forget and get carried away in your own opinion. But that’s exactly it – opinion!

  10. Great, great topic Arman and amazing contribution Sam :) This is definitely a huge factor in the blogging world and something that as a blogger I take very seriously. I think a blog’s message is huge and I am trying my very best to promote one of positivity and good health. But who am I? I’m some 22 year old gal who like to eat, likes to run, lift some weights and sit at my computer and write about it. Well I was certainly hesitant at first but I came to realize that many of the bloggers I read I read for their personal stories and experience because I can relate. We are faced with an information overload and filtering this information is a tough thing.

    • That is so true, Amy. That is why your blog is one which I read each and every post because you are relatable, have similar experiences and admit your faults or struggles- no constant rainbows and butterflies, and no preaching of diets or fitness. The filtering really is tough- over time its easier to click the delete from the bloglovin pool.

  11. Arman, you are such a sweetheart! FWIW, I have less than 10 HLBs in my feedly reader – and you and Sam are two of them, so you can imagine how happy I was to see that you had paired up on this post ;)

    When I first started blogging, I looked at the way other people ate and worked out, and it made me doubt myself. Once I had built up a decent following, I stopped following most blogs and just wrote for myself. I aim to keep things as real as possible on my blog – what you see is what you get. And just because someone doesn’t seem to be disordered, doesn’t mean they aren’t. I have met a few bloggers over the years who scare me. They portray a certain image of eating allllll the food and barely working out, when it’s not the case at all. I admit I eat like an animal, but I won’t lie and say that my training is a quick walk in the park. The sad thing is blogging builds a certain level of trust between author and reader, and it is the blogger’s responsibility to ensure they are not misleading their readers. I will happily live up to my name by out-eating anyone I meet ;)

    • Thanks so much Tara. That is so true- there are many bloggers out there who don’t come across as disordered, but beneath their exterior, there are signs of it. It is especially interesting in seeing some bloggers after a year or two finally admitting they have some disordered habits- after preaching rainbows and butterflies beforehand.

      That is why your blog is a gem amongst the others- you give your point of view, personal experience, admit struggles yet take on the opinions of others.

      I will find an eating champion to out eat you ;)

  12. I have mixed emotions on this one, although I think at the end of the day, the responsibility needs to be with the reader. Obviously because I refuse to take responsibility for my own actions. I kid, sorta. If people listened to me, they would be self-diagnosed OCD, ADD, veggie loving, clean freaks who really enjoy mad monkey love. Wait…that might not be a totally bad thing. Hmmm.

    My light hearted bit is over. I think anyone, anywhere could find something triggering. I’ve done a post about Beet Juice Mimosa’s and I suppose an alcoholic could take issue with that. At the end of the day, I want to be me, write me and share me. I don’t want to delve into each post and worry I might be triggering someone. At the same time though, I wouldn’t preach that my method is the only way, and I don’t promote or push anything low-fat, low calorie or low sugar because I don’t think that sustainable. I wouldn’t tell you to eat an entire bag of chips either. There has to be some kind of happy medium and when I don’t see one, I stop reading.
    Great post, although the images…shudder. I hate seeing women that skinny portrayed as anything other than sickly.

    • Thats a great point, Megan. Readers do need to be incredibly cautious of what they absorb from blogs and realise that often, there could be an underlying facade.

      I love how you brought up the alcoholic example- through our posts we may be subconsciously triggering others- and there is only so much we can do. There really does need to be a happy medium.

      Don’t even start me on some of those photos…my friend works for a magazine here and the amount of photoshopping is ridiculous.

  13. Thanks again for including me in this Arman – this is definitely a subject that I’m passionate about and I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s comments! I’m the same way when bloggers gets ‘preachy’ about their lifestyle or habits…that’s when it’s time for me to stop reading them.

    • no, Thank You for giving your point of view- You can really tell its an issue you’re passionate on, and it should be- your blog is one of the ones which discuss fitness/nutrition/etc but NEVER once have I read a post where you preach it as the ideal.

  14. This is such a great topic and Sam really nailed it. It is such a taboo thing to talk about in the blog world but there really are a lot of dangerous behaviors that go on and it needs to be recognized. Thanks for sharing :)

  15. Great topic, Arman — loved the points raised by both you and Sam. As for my thoughts… I go back and forth on where the responsibility lies, but ultimately I think it’s up to the reader to read with a critical mind and not take everything they come across as truth. Yes, there’s a LOT of bad advice out there, and a lot of unhealthy habits that are masked as healthy ones, but it’s not hard to spot when you’re thinking with a healthy mindset. That being said, a lot of people are struggling with disordered thoughts, and that’s what draws them to the bloggers that exhibit them. I know that when I was in the worst of my ED, my favourite blogs to read were the ones that I knew would help me lose weight and eat as little as possible. Looking back at those blogs now, though, it’s not hard to see how messed up they are. So yes… I think that bloggers need to include a disclaimer about their lack of qualifications, but a bigger responsibility lies on the reader to be careful with what they read.

    • Thanks Amanda- and that is what I reckon too- at days end, the responsibility does lie within the reader. That is such a great example of how many can actually fuel disordered habits- you continue to go back to them because hey, you might pick up some new tip or learn how to burn that extra calorie. The disclaimer is so important but at days end, its easy to overlook that and take what is said as creditable.

  16. Such an interesting topic here! Honestly, I take issue with a lot of “bigger” bloggers for this very reason. This is a generalization, but IMO, the bigger bloggers who’ve had cult followings and highly-trafficked blogs seem to get egos along the way and become delusional about how qualified they are to give advice and promote a certain lifestyle. Just because they attract a lot of readers does not make them experts… in anything.

    Personally, I never pay attention to any blogger who attempts to give diet/exercise advice without proper credentials. I do enjoy hearing about personal experiences with certain things, though. Not all blog readers are as level-headed as some of us and unfortunately they can be easily lead down a dangerous path. I think if a blog reader is in serious need of help with diet or exercise they need to see someone (personal trainer, nutritionist, etc.) OUTSIDE of the internet!

    • Angela, that is a fantastic point you have raised. You know what is ironic about it too? When these ‘big bloggers’ after they have built up a solid readership and have provided so much advice say…oh by the way, I have disordered habits. It can be incredibly detrimental.

  17. This is such an interesting subject! Being fairly new to the blogging community, I’ve definitely found blogs that I love and others that I don’t. I know what I like and want to read about. I like blogger that are relatable and real. I don’t like when bloggers pretend that they’re the experts, get all high and mighty about the workouts they do and how wonderful they are, etc. I’m just not a fan of that kind of stuff!

    In my blog I aim to be as real as possible. What you see is what you get. I talk about the healthy foods I eat and I talk about the unhealthy foods I eat. We’re only human and I don’t want to portray anything that’s false or pretend like I’m some expert because I’m not.

    • Amen! Any blog out there which is preachy, whether it be with their fitness, their diet or even day to day life is a huge turn off and one which requires a click in the top corner. Blogs which are ‘real’ like yours, is evident- some bloggers think that readers have mush for brains and can’t see past that facade.

  18. I think that this subject is a huge problem in the HLB community. I guess it stems from the fact that so many bloggers have struggled with their eating and exercise habits in the past, so a little of that is still reflected in their posts and daily habits. Love the insight!

  19. GREAT TOPIC! My bloglovin list has drastically been cut down because of this. But it’s just another part of being in the HLB world. There will always be people who make their life seem like roses and unicorns…then again I can’t stand blogs that are constant mopefests. It’s a challenge for me to find that balance.

    On of my pet peeves is when people talk about the new diet they are following or foods they are eliminating. No matter how many times you reiterate that this is your diet and your life people make associations. Oh you’re fit? Your diet must be good then! I still read these blogs because I can occasionally be forgiving but it takes a lot for me not to comment reminding them that other people reading may not be bright enough to make smart decisions for themselves. Ok my rant is not making sense and may have to do with the fact that I’m running on 2 hours of sleep.

    Another issue that I think you should discuss is people posting before and after photos. I personally hate it…but maybe that’s just me!

    • Exactly- The blogs I comment on and visit day to day are the ones which I believe evoke a balance- and they truly are a rarity.

      I do follow some blogs who do follow certain diets or fitness trends, but those are the few who aren’t preachy about it- it works for them yet if I said ‘ew crossfit’ they wouldn’t be like… go eat a spade.

      Will be shooting you an email!

  20. This is a great post topic and I’m new to the series but I can already tell that I love them! I do think bloggers have a great responsibility that they need to live up to. Before I started my little piece of the blogosphere, I took everything bloggers wrote as ultimate truth. I guess I was a little naive but I bought specific running shoes and checked out gyms and new types of foods just because a blogger referenced it! I’m with you and get quite frustrated when bloggers portray themselves as healthy and/or recovered and it is quite apparent that they are not.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Becky. I too thought what bloggers said was the be all and end all of anything fitness or diet related, but once I got into the ‘blogworld’ and got to ‘know’ the blogger more, I saw the underlying detriments which surrounded them.

      I have to commend you on the weekly link up you have recently rolled out- its refreshing to see one which is NOT fitness or food related- even though I link up to those types regularly.

  21. Really interesting topic. I like this Thursday series you’re doing! I am on the fence about this one. In a lot of ways, I like to read blogs because I feel like I can relate. Sometimes I do find myself asking, “wow, is that all she ate for [insert meal]” because I eat SO MUCH. I look to HLB for workouts and food suggestions, and because I like the blogger. But if I were trying to lose weight, and do it the healthy way, there are definitely some blogs that would discourage me. I’d like to think that I don’t read those blogs ANYWAY, though.

    As far as blogging for me, I want my blog to be REAL. I think there are more people out there than not who try hard to eat well, but who fail sometimes, who want to go to the gym or run every day, but who sometimes don’t do it. I don’t want anyone who reads my blog to think that I’m perfect, because I’m NOT. I think perfect is boring, and I guess if people disagree, they won’t come back to my blog. That’s okay with me.

    • Thanks Amy! Thats the best way to think about it when we choose which blogs we read- whether it be weight loss, exercise, recovery etc- as long as they are real and upfront about it all- I’ll continue going back. Its hard not to do the whole comparison thing, but at days end, we need to remember there’s always a hidden exterior behind most posts.

  22. Great topic! I agree, it is a huge problem & readers can be too easily influenced. My goal is to inspire & motivate, not prescribe or push a certain diet or exercise program on someone. I completely agree with you – what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander. We all have a different chemical make up & what works for one may not work at all or could be harmful to another.

  23. bloggers definitely have an unspoken responsibility but unfortunately many do NOT realize that. i have to admit i didn’t used to…but now i do more and more. i don’t post as many workout photos as i used to, because i used to get comments on my instagrams saying “i wish i could work out as much as you!” and i would always respond and say “no, you don’t” because i don’t take rest days and i struggle against an inner voice that tells me to over-exercise. for that reason i don’t like to post as much workout stuff on my blog/instagram anymore because i don’t want people to take that and go DO it. i try to be honest about my struggles to give readers the filter they need to have when reading most blogs…i know i’ve learned to adopt it. but many aren’t already aware of the need for a filter. my lack of filter when reading fitness mags RUINED me when i got into my ED deep (i wish that all these mags came with disclaimers because while i enjoy them now i read them with the filter i should have always read them with). so i think it’s a blogger’s responsibility to teach it to his or her readers – IF he or she is aware of its need in the first place. i cant fault a blogger who is also reading blogs and falling into comparison traps and not realizing it for publishing content that sparks comparison traps. i can just only hope that he or she realizes sooner rather than later.

    • Thats fantastics that you’ve grown through your blog by being more responsible not only to readers but to yourself. That is why your blog really is a great example- you post about struggles, your food choices and your exercise but not ONCE do you say ‘do this its so good for you’ or ‘eat this its so good for you.’ You respond to others by telling them not to follow your footsteps in some instances- that is extremely responsible.

      At days end, it readers/other bloggers need to have some responsibility too.

  24. Fantastic post! I worry about this constantly, because I am 100% sure that what works for me does NOT work for every single person out there. I try very hard never to say things like “you SHOULD eat __” or “you have to work out in xyz way,” because that’s just not realistic. But I know that people interpret things different ways, and I know how easy it is to compare yourself to other bloggers. That said, if we censor ourselves TOO much, the blog becomes far less valuable – as long as people take my advice with a grain of salt, I think that the whole point IS to share what works for me, or interesting research I’ve read, or ideas I’ve been pondering. All that to say … I think the responsibility is shared, on the part of the blogger (to not be too preachy) and on the part of the reader (to not believe and apply every single thing and to listen to his/ her OWN body).

  25. This is definitely a topic that I’ve been hearing more and more about recently. Meghan and I actually had a pretty in depth discussion on this the other day. We both agree that in the end, it should be the reader’s responsibility to censor the content being given to them and therefore base their decision to read or not to read on how the content is making them feel, BUT we also agree on the fact that there are a lot of young and impressionable readers out there who are just don’t know any better. For that reason, I do think it’s important that the blogger provide disclaimers when posting about specific diet and exercise routines and should remain mindful of their audience when talking about certain topics (as in listing body weight and sizes) to discourage readers from falling into the comparison trap.

    • That is such a great way to look at it- from both sides. At days end, there needs to be a mutual understanding, but unfortunately, there are some bloggers out there who either are oblivious to what they are saying in their posts/pictures in their post (e.g. crossfit workout followed by coffee and an egg white…umm where’s the real food?) or actually need some outside help themselves (saying that in the kindest way). Readers too need to not read all blogs as the complete picture- so many times there’s the underlying reality.

  26. Hey Arman! I’ve just come across your blog today! I enjoyed reading this post and agree with much of what you have stated. Blogs can be so powerful and positive, but you are right. It’s so important that we all read with discretion and not necessarily follow every piece of advice that comes our way. It’s hard sometimes, because we start falling into the comparison trap. It’s perfectly fine to make changes if we think it’s a good fit in our lives, but not if we are guilted into them buy unprofessional advice.
    Looking forward to reading more! I’m a Canadian living in Brissie, and only have a couple blogs I follow here in Australia. :)

    • Thanks so much for stopping by- its great to see another blogger from Australia!

      You raise a great point about making positive changes VS guilty ones- thats very true.

      Looking forward to checking your blog out! Hope your not melting where you are!

  27. Thanks for the great post, Arman! This is a big deal. I just posted a link today about a healthy diet according to the internet (http://thisisnotadiet-itsmylife.com/2013/10/12/a-healthy-diet-according-to-the-internet/) that I loved. You can find so many blogs that supports one diet and even more contradicting it. I support finding the foods and style of eating that works best for you, and being able to live life without wondering what your blog readers will think. Also – glad you refer people to another blogger for workout programs. There are also plenty of RDs out there blogging to provide nutrition coaching/counseling as well.

  28. First – what a great series! I love the different perspectives and great follow-up conversation. Well done! :)

    Second – I don’t think I read many of these types of blogs, since I get sick of them too quickly. I don’t actually want to read about what people eat every single day. WIAW can be interesting, but otherwise give me something I can use. But I think in general, people give out so much unsolicited, unqualified advice every day, that’s it’s bound to spill over into the blog world. :)

  29. I’m very glad I found this post. I have only been reading WIAW posts for the past couple of months and through this i have been introduced to a lot of Healthy Living blogs. I was quite concerned by the number of bloggers who say they had such a bad day food wise or ate so much that day etc and then when I read their post almost the opposite is true! I just hope that people are sensible enough to make their own judgements and not be influenced. To me blogging is about entertainment. I enjoy reading these blogs and get ideas and recipes but at the end of the day if I need diet or exercise (or any) advice I will see a professional.

  30. Awesome point of view (both sides of it) on a very touchy subject. I agree that it can be so easy to get wrapped up in everyones life story and think what is good for one person must be good for everyone out there. I love the ability blogs give us to connect with a variety of experiences as long as you have the foresight to know that at the end of the day a lot of people are sharing nothing more than their personal experience.

  31. OK, so I am totally late to this party, but thanks to Arman for pointing me this way – and having me spend twice as long reading the great comments as the actual post! :)

    I have done several posts where I talk about why you should never take advice from me, and other related topics – and am always making sure to say that what works for me, works for me.

    But I have definitely struggled with follow/non-follow thing … and ultimately my tests are (a) am I ‘hate reading’ more than enjoying and (b) is there were no comments section (in other word, just the author’s content) would I still read? Unless I can answer No and Yes … then it is time to go. There is one teetering on the edge now … which is sad because it is one of my longest read blogs.

    • Off topic, but sometimes the comments are way more intriguing that a blog posts content.

      It really is hard to decipher that- I admit I do ‘hate read’ some blogs, but moreso in the hope that they acknowledge their errors and ways of portraying a false reality…especially to impressionable young ones.

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