I received this email last week from someone named “Martha.” When I tried to reply the email bounced back so I’m assuming it’s actually anonymous. I’ve edited the message to remove the name of fellow bloggers — XXXXX is now in place of those names.
Roni…have enjoyed your blog off and on for years; don’t always share your opinions/practices, but certainly have respect for your personal and professional style. I hesitate to even ask my question, however, because I know you can’t/won’t answer honestly or publicly. But here it is: does it bother you in the least that so many of the “fit blogger” community never actually walk the walk? I follow several of them and their blogs are FULL of ads for this “healthy” snack food or this fitness device or DVD or sports bra or whatever…and full of giggly posts about their new gym schedule and cutesy pix of their vitamins lined up on a pretty plate or whatever…and then posts about going out drinking with the girls, eating appetizers, weekends on the couch binge-watching TV shows and chick flicks, rationalizations about moderation, etc. They have a ticker that hasn’t budged in years as they yo-yo the same 10-ish pounds, never actually getting “fit” or losing any weight. You have a certain bunch of them who are all well over 250 pounds, some over 350, who have blogged for YEARS about losing weight and getting fit and have only gained weight — and lots of it — in the process. For every XXXXX, there seem to be four or five XXXXX and the whole gathering itself looks like a bunch of obese and flabby women carrying huge boxes of gigantic donuts and giggling about “fitness!” while eating junk for three days. The talks are about monetizing your blog and getting free merchandise rather than how to live a fit life in a fat world. It doesn’t irk you that, year after year, these people do NOTHING to improve their health or fitness but keep using your conference to promote themselves and some useless products? I mean..if you ran a conference about getting out of debt and I showed up the first year $10,000 in the hole and then came back the next year $9,000 in the hole and then $11,000 the year after that, blogging all the while about my great new plan to pay off my bills alternating with posts about shopping sprees and collection calls…would that be okay? Would I be a positive influence on other attendees? You don’t ever look at XXXXX and think, what the hell? You don’t ever look at the booths full of junky, low-calorie snack packs of mass-market crap and think, this is really not what I wanted this gathering to be about?
Again, I’m assuming that’s your real name. I will answer this honestly AND publicly. I’m not sure why you think I wouldn’t.
My vision for FitBloggin’ was always a place for bloggers who were using blogging and social media to spread a culture of health and wellness. When I look around FitBloggin’ and see people of all sizes moving, participating, learning and being accepted I don’t think “what the hell?” I have tears of joy running down my face.
We live in a world were people are fearful of going to the gym because they are overweight. There is case after case of fat shaming and bullying. As a society we glorify skinny so much so young girls would rather DIE than be fat.
Have you ever been made fun of for your body or size? Made to feel less of a person because you don’t look the way others think you should look?
I have and you know what happened? I ate more. I withdrew more. I gained weight more and more.
Everyone isn’t built the same way and I mean that both psychologically and physically. Others may have the ability to let the body shaming comments and fat jokes roll off their back. I didn’t. I internalized them and they affected me deeply and I wasn’t even fat! I was an average size-12 teenager. I just wasn’t, what I’ll call, “Hollywood skinny.”
At 15 I would cry myself to sleep wishing I would wake up skin-and-bones thin. I cursed myself for not having the strength to be anorexic and then try to binge the problem away.
People are complicated.
So are our bodies.
I’m not here to make excuses for people or even myself, but wouldn’t you rather live in a world where everyone regardless of their size lived just a little healthier instead of beating themselves up for not looking like some airbrushed model in a magazine?
Frankly, I don’t give a crap how much so-and-so weighs or whether he or she “walks the walk” as you say. I have no control over them. However, I do believe change is only possible by creating a healthy, accepting environment and lifting people up, not tearing them down.
Have you known any smokers that took years to quit? Failing time after time and then finally succeeding? How about an alcoholic who relapsed a few times before becoming sober? Look at yourself even — have you ever had a personal goal that was just difficult to reach for you personally? Maybe something as simple as flossing daily or taking supplements or going to bed earlier.
I’m constantly trying to improve myself and I don’t always succeed the first, second or even tenth time around. I’m human and I make mistakes. We all do. Just because it’s easier to see those mistakes on some doesn’t make them any less worthy of a happy, supportive environment. (And I fear calling them mistakes but I’m using it for the lack of a better word)
The conference was always supposed to be about BLOGGING so your comment about the sessions being about monetizing your blog and getting free merchandise (something I’ve never promoted) rather than how to live a fit life in a fat world make no sense to me. The goal of FitBloggin’ wasn’t to teach people how to live healthier. My goal was always for bloggers in the health, fitness and wellness space to learn how to use social media more effectively so they can continue to grow and inspire with their blogs.
Has the conference changed over the years? Yes! Everything changes. I mean Facebook and Twitter weren’t even “things” when we started. Over the years I let the community drive more and more of the content as it is a conference FOR THEM.
Let me ask you a question: Why do you continue to read blogs by people you don’t relate to? Why waste time on sites that don’t inspire you? Why do you care so much that someone else loses weight?
Even if someone is well over 250 pounds, or 350 pounds, isn’t it awesome they continue to share their story and show people you don’t have to be thin to run a race or take a yoga class? Don’t we want more people to care about their health and to be inspired out of their comfort zones regardless of their current size? I’d argue a 250-pound blogger sharing his or her story about finishing a 5k is TONS more inspirational than yet another super-fit model telling us how to get Michelle Obama’s arms or Kim Kardashian’s ass.
As for the “junky, low-calorie snacks” we give out at the expo we try our best to partner with sponsors who are supporting the blogging community and align with our values. Those “junky” snacks are the same ones that started me on the path of portion control and diet change. As I mentioned in this post, everyone starts somewhere. Pre-portioned, mass-marketed snacks maybe someone’s first step in a massive diet overhaul. They were for me.
I’ll end with this piece of advice, which is going to sound snippier than I intend it to be: if the bloggers you mentioned in your email bother you so much, stop reading them. Why waste your time on something that doesn’t inspire or bring you joy?
That’s my honest and public response.
- 7:45 a.m. Grapefruit Breakfast in a Glass with added spinach. I have one grapefruit left! :)
- 12:30 p.m. leftover Asian Almond Cabbage Slaw, ear of corn, turkey, and sausage
- 6:30 p.m. MORE leftover Asian Almond Cabbage Slaw, a leftover short rib and pufferfish cauliflower.
- 8:30 p.m. a small batch of homemade nachos made with avocado, salsa and a small amount of cheese.
- 6 a.m. I was late and missed warm-up! Rowed a quick 500m when I got there and then Back Squatted.
3 @ 33 lbs
3 @ 83 lbs
3 @ 103 lbs
3 @ 133 lbs
3 @ 153 lbs
3 @ 138 lbs
3 @ 138 lbs
3 @ 138 lbs
I did today’s workout as prescribed in 8:29:
Hang Cleans @ 65lbs
Hand Release push ups
- 9:30 a.m. walk to and from Evan’s school with him in the wagon – 1.75 mi
- 5 p.m. walk to and from Evan’s school with him in the wagon – 1.75 mi I snapped these photos on our way. I had to share. :)