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Posted on Oct 23, 2012 in Weight Loss 101 | 43 comments

Rx for Advice

The internet.

A floppity jillion bytes of Facebook posts and Tweets and reblogs and fanfic and Wikipedia pages and pirated torrents and, of course, porn — all zooming around at the speed of web. (I promise that link isn’t as NSFW as it seems. It links to a Youtube video of a song from the musical Avenue Q… though, actually, the song lyrics themselves probably ARE NSFW. Lulz.)

In today’s day and age, we have unfettered access to pretty much anything you can imagine on the net. But of course, not everything out there is necessarily going to be of value or interest to you. You have your niches. Your interests. Your bookmarks. And for some of you, perhaps this very blog is part of that list (and thanks!). And for some others of you, infinitely more dangerous sites may also be part of it.

It may not be a surprise when I tell you that I am totally addicted to the internet. I check my phone approximately 80,000 times a day. I am on Facebook and Twitter pretty much nonstop, and, of course, I write this blog (almost) daily. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s almost at Tom Haverfordian levels. And to some of you, that might seem insane. (Of course, as I type that, I realize that’s probably not true, since if you found my blog, you probably also heart the internet.) But as “damaging” as all the time I spend online now might seem, I know for a fact that it used to have a far more nefarious impact on my life.

When I was in the deepest throes of my eating disorder, I was a frequenter of the internet in very different ways than I am now. You see, the internet is like a proverbial (sugar-free) candy store for dieters and people who are looking to lose weight. It offers endless diet and weight loss websites, with everything from Weight Watchers Online to personal blogs like, oh, hey, this one. And that can be a great thing. You can find healthy tips, support, camaraderie, and more within the very loosely designed walls of the interwebs.

But you can also find a lot of not-great things, too.

I used to spend hours surfing the web for diet tricks, weight loss tips, and (God, I hate this word so much) thinspiration. I was desperate to find that quick-fix, that one, somehow unknown trick that would finally net me the size 4 body I always dreamed of. I think some of you may already know where this is going. It took about .0003 seconds for me to stumble upon pro-ED sites. Sites that not only showcased, but actively promoted anorexic and bulimic behavior. Ones that provided tips for how to hide your eating disorder, how to trick yourself into thinking you weren’t hungry. Sites that posted picture after picture of beautiful, thin, photoshopped women as “thinspo.”

It was a dark time for me. You all know this. And I don’t think that any moderately self-aware woman would find a site like that and not be instantly aware of its influence. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she still won’t succumb to it. “Skinny” still has a lot of power. I’ve spent over 2 years writing this blog, and trying to promote HEALTHY weight loss. I know how taxing and wearying years of crash- and yoyo-dieting has had on me. I still bear the emotional scars of my disordered eating behavior, and I have come a very, very long way from that. My journey is still not perfect, I still have flashes back to my disordered thinking and eating, but I work to promote the fact that being healthy IS more important than being thin. I do believe that. And even though I am still trying to lose weight, I no longer do so at the cost of my health.

But, if tomorrow someone were to approach me with a pill that would magically make me thin through almost no effort of my own, if I was shown proof that it worked… even if it had side-effects, even if it wasn’t healthy… would I still be tempted? Of course I would. There’s absolutely no question. That’s the kind of power that being thin still has on those of us who struggle with being overweight.

So to be honest, I didn’t actually start this post to talk about pro-ana or pro-mia blogs. I tend to get a little carried away because I know they can be incredibly damaging, especially to young people. But I also think that most of you guys are probably (hopefully) beyond the reach of sites like that. I actually wanted to talk about those other sites out there that engage people who are interested in healthy living and weight loss. Sites like — gasp! — this very blog.

My blog is literally accessible by anyone with an internet connection. And whether you’re a 35-year-old woman who just had her first baby (congrats!) and is trying to shed a bit of baby weight, or if you’re an overweight teenager, like I was, who just wants an idea of where to start, you have equal chances of finding me. With that in mind, I feel it is my responsibility as the blogger behind this site to stand behind my words and actions. I promote myself as a healthy living blogger, as someone who is trying to lose weight “the right way.” So I need to make sure that while I try to lose weight, I’m doing it “right.”

Now, that being said, I know that I’m not a dietitian, nutritionist, personal trainer, or medical professional. I have my own experience, and that’s it. I do offer my own set of advice on how to do so, but I always encourage those who might consider taking said advice to do so with a grain of salt. It’s not as if I have the credentials to prescribe weight loss advice, and I don’t try to pretend that I do. Now, as it happens, I do believe my advice is relatively sound, but that’s kind of moot. The bottom line is that I would never actively try to encourage my readers to sacrifice their health for the sake of weight loss.

My concern is that I feel there are others out there who, while they may promote themselves under the same label as a “healthy whatever blogger”, they don’t feel the same responsibility. They preach things under the wrong heading. You can’t label yourself a healthy living blogger, or a healthy weight loss blogger, or a healthy anything, and then offer scores of blatantly unhealthy advice. Well, perhaps my wording is off. It’s a free internet. Technically, you CAN do whatever you want. But that doesn’t mean you should.

Yes, pro-ana and pro-mia sites are undeniably dangerous and toxic. But people who follow those kinds of sites probably know what they’re getting into. They’re probably looking for it. On the other hand, those who Google “healthy weight loss tips” and stumbles upon a series of recipes for things like shredded carrots embedded in sugar-free jello, might not really realize what kind of “advice” they’re really getting.

“Hmm,” they might say. “Well, that doesn’t seem too healthy, but it clearly worked for this girl, and look how great she looks! Look how much weight she lost! Look how much healthier she looks now that she’s thin.”

I should probably put it out there that this really (really!) is not meant to be a smear campaign against anybody in particular. I just feel like there is a lot of interesting discussion to be had behind wielding the internet responsibly. It just bears a little thought, both from a blogger- and from a reader-perspective. I find the implications of both sides to be endlessly fascinating. There was a panel at the 2011 Healthy Living Summit that touched on this concept.

Buuuuuuut, since I’ve already waxed serious for 1,300 words, I think I’ll cut myself off now, and hand over the reins to you all.

Do you feel that bloggers — healthy living bloggers, especially — have a responsibility for the advice they offer? Or do you feel the onus is more upon the readers to vet the kind of blogs they follow?

43 Comments

  1. I’m probably in the minority with this, but I really do sort of feel like it’s the responsibility of the readers to not take everything they read at face value and to do some more digging and investigating.

  2. I had to stop reading Perez Hilton a few years ago. His body shaming fueled my ED. I try not to read celebrity gossip now or magazines…Britney Spears life is none of my business.

    • There are still times when I have to mentally check myself when I’m doing something as innocuous as reading a magazine, because suddenly I’ll start looking at the models or whatever with the wrong thoughts behind it. In an instant, it can go from “Ooh, that’s a cute dress” to “I’ll never be able to wear something like that, she’s so thin, aughhhh my life”. Slippery slopes are everywhere!

    • I’m so with you! I stopped reading tabloids because they made me hate my body and because I couldn’t support the toxic, sexist nature of tabloids and celebrity culture anymore…I just felt so gross reading them. I so do not miss them.

  3. There are so many of the big girl bloggers out there in the HLB arena who are very disordered in how they approach every aspect of life and sadly many people follow right off the cliff. I have lost over 200#s and I blog does that mean I need to disburse daily advice or a barrage of photos of what I stock my pantry with? No. Although my weight loss was gradual, safe, and natural (meaning exercise and portion control) I do not feel comfortable putting it all out there for everyone to see because I believe that if you are on a slippery slope already ANY advice good or bad could be just enough to send someone into a tailspin.

    All I can offer my readers (and there are not many) is support in knowing and understanding where they might be in their journey.

    I believe that people have to find their own way and make their own success and STOP reading people who may trigger issues for them.

    • I think it’s definitely a fine line. I’m sure there are tons of people out there who are desperate to know how you achieved such an amazing feat, and would LOVE to be able to straight-up copy your meal plans or whatever. But, that being said, we all know that what may work for one person might not work for another, so it really can be tricky. :)

      • Exactly. I think the biggest thing that sets people apart is their conviction to it. I am not tooting my own horn because I am not that girl but the thing I have always tried to explain to people who ask is it was not pretty everyday all day. I made “mistakes” but I never threw in the towel and said well I will get back to this when X Y and Z calm down. I lost the weight, I worked hard and was in a gym 6 days a week and still am. I did all of this with a full time job, a baby in the mix and the biggest obstacle is/was I am a cancer patient. I have a LOT of days or “outs” to say I don’t want to do this….. But overall it has helped in my fight against illness. I think if the HLB community could show their audience that there are obstacles, there are life events and not all of it is networking and parties that it gets pretty gritty people would be better off.

        Gretchen I think you do a great job of showing all facets. It’s hard to do.

  4. I feel like its shared responsibility. The bloggers have influence over many readers and should definitely consider the content they are putting out before spewing advice–particularly potentially health-related advice–to those who may take their words with much reverence. At the same time—readers should pick and choose what they believe and what philosophies they subscribe to. My mother once told me “If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?” This is along the lines of the same idea. Just because a blogger suggests something, doesn’t mean you should do it.

  5. I swear Pinterest is filled with “thinspirating” posts that either motivate you or make you feel inadequate.

    Great post. I also think it’s a shared responsibility. The internet offers a lot of solutions but it’s hard to differentiate what is safe versus what is not. What works versus what is a scam. I normally think if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. This doesn’t just mean weight-loss but get-rich schemes …etc :)

    • The “Health & Fitness” section of Pinterest is pretty much the least healthy place on the internet.

      • One of the only times I’ve ever commented on a total stranger’s Pin was when I saw one of those “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” pins making the rounds. I was like “UM, hate to break it to you but FALSE. Have you ever even had cake?!”

        Except, you know, I was actually serious. Hahahaha.

  6. I think it is shared responsibility. I think it is important for readers to understand that bloggers are just people with problems, neuroses, and issues like everyone else. But I also think, as a blogger, you’ve GOT to understand that people are looking up to (or at the very least, emulating you) and you have to be aware of that.

    That being said, I think there are some bloggers (read: a lot) who are too worried about this and aren’t real. They blog an airbrushed version of their life. The version they think people want to see. The leave out the occasional Mountain Dew or that week they went without exercise. And I think THAT is more damaging that anything.

    • Side note: when Tommy Fresh was explaining his morning internet routine, I logically realized it was supposed to be outlandish, but emotionally thought, “Hey, what’s wrong with that? I do that!”

      • RIGHT?! Hahahaha, oh man, it’s so bad. I have legit panic attacks when I think I’ve forgotten my phone somewhere.

    • You make an EXCELLENT point. Hiding the “real” stuff, not admitting to when we gain, when we falter, when we backslide, or just generally trying to project perfection, that absolutely is the most dangerous part. Because even though it’s not blatantly saying, “Omg, I can live my life so perfectly, don’t you want to be like me?” that’s what we think. We think, “If she can do all of that, why can’t I? What’s wrong with me that I can’t/don’t?” And thus begins another shame spiral.

      • Love this discussion! I absolutely agree – it’s so important for healthy lifestyle bloggers to be honest to their readers and not hide the “real” stuff a la enjoying a burger & fries, gaining a few unwanted pounds or struggles with body image. It’s easy for readers to admire from afar and not see the real person behind the blog if you don’t show it. I’ve made this the foundation of my blog’s message since eating whole, real foods (lots of fruits & veggies with the occasional full-fat cheesecake, cheeseburger and french fries dipped in mayonnaise)and being active HAS worked and continues to work for me. What works for one certainly does not work for all but if the real truth is hidden, how are readers to know any better?

  7. I am also totally addicted to the internet…
    While I think bloggers should be able to post their own thoughts, I also really appreciate when bloggers place a disclaimer in their writing. So many people take what they read at face value and it is important for bloggers to remember that their words have great power over their readers and can really affect them.
    Thoughtful post-really well done! I’m glad you share that responsibility!

  8. Hi Gretchen. I stumbled upon your blog a couple of weeks ago…I can’t even remember how. First, I’d like to say that you are an encouraging and motivational blogger who seems to have her head screwed on straight. :) So, there’s that.
    I was actually thinking along the lines of your post the other day. I saw a blog that was pinned and re-pinned about a billion times on Pinterest. People said “check this out for HEALTHY eating and diet tips. She has lots of great ideas.” I decided to check out the site because I’m always looking for dairy and soy free meal items because of an allergy and most diet blogs tend to have just that. Anyway, the blog that was said to be so healthy was actually very unhealthy. The blogger prescribed (from what I saw) about a 1,200 calorie diet, if that, and working out two and sometimes three or four times a day.
    All of this to say, after seeing what people seek out and what people believe about diet and weight loss on the internet it left me saddened. On the flip side, I look forward to your posts because you seem to have “the lifestyle” mentality rather than a quick fix or even obsessive mentality. So cheers to you and your inspiration! Thanks for the thoughts.

    • First, thank you, Abigail! :)

      Second, you know, the more pervasive that Pinterest gets in terms of our society, the more I am starting to fear it. Has it been amazing for wedding planning, finding home decor ideas and makeup tips, bookmarking recipes, and reinvigorating the DIY-trend? Absolutely. Is there a lot of crap out there, that’s potentially harmful? Yes.

      It’s like, when you find a workout plan or diet manifesto Pin, but it’s so far removed from its original source that whatever disclaimers and minute details that the person may have originally included in the post are lost. So suddenly, ALL the resources that a person has is narrowed to a list of exercises scribbled on a jpeg.

  9. I think it’s a grey area, like outlawing soft drinks. Companies (or bloggers, in this case) shouldn’t be making 72 oz sodas, but we also shouldn’t drink them.

    Weight loss is different, though. People tend to find those blogs at their most vulnerable times and cling to that advice. They want to change, see someone skinny promoting a method, and think it works. Skinny doesn’t equal healthy but for an overweight person it often does.

    I love the comments section of this post. I want to be friends with everyone.

  10. I completely agree with you on this. I have a very teeny tiny following on my blog, but still, someone IS reading. And that small audience is the exact reason why I came clean on my blog and admitted that I was recently diagnosed with exercise bulimia. I couldn’t continue to talk about my running and be an “inspiration” to other women (a few had emailed me to tell me that I encouraged them to get fit)when I was going about it in an unhealthy, damaging manner. I came right out and said, “I am not the kind of person you want to emulate. Why my athletic determination is admirable, I am taking it to extremes and overdoing it.” Bloggers are people,too (to the shock of no one)and we crumble to the same pressures and issues as anyone else. That’s why my favorite bloggers are the most honest and genuine (you included in that list). I don’t want to read about Ms. Perfect. I want to read about Ms. Real and her real life struggles to stay healthy and most importantly, be a good person. I’m so sick of the focus on our bodies. It’s EVERY WHERE. And it doesn’t help women like me who already have a myriad of body issues and disordered behaviors. In the pursuit of being physically fit, we can never forget that it means absolutely nothing unless we are mentally and emotionally fit too!

  11. No offense, but carrots in Jell-O sounds even more disgusting than it does unhealthy. Do people eat that? Without vomiting? Un-purposefully?

    I’ve come across a number of recent lawsuits where consumers have successfully sued food products (i.e. Nutella, high fructose corn syrup) for advertising that they are healthy when, in reality, they are not. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that our legal system is addressing this; the Nutella marketing team should know better than to say that 11 grams of fat and 23 grams of sugar per tablespoon IS TOTALLY GOOD FOR YOU SO YOUR KIDS SHOULD EAT THAT FOR BREAKFAST EVERY DAY AND THEN THEY’LL GET ALL A’S AND BE CAPTAIN OF THE SOCCER TEAM YAY AMERICA.

    But shouldn’t we also know better? Shouldn’t we be able to look at a nutrition label in the grocery store and realize that 22 grams of carbs on a spoon is still 22 grams of carbs, despite that commercial we saw with whole-grain toast and a happy, healthy family that appeared to be free of diabetes and heart disease?

    Shouldn’t our adult brains be able to filter facts from fictions? Reality from reality TV?

    Who is responsible–the media or the consumer? The plaintiff or the defendant? The blogger or the blog-reader?

  12. Like several of your commenters, I think there’s shared responsibility. I’m a book blogger, and I get a lot of pitches to review books (from publishers, from authors, etc.) If I accept, I always review the book honestly and make full disclosure about where I got the book from. I would never accept payment from a publisher or author to review a book. Those are basic journalistic ethical standards.

    I think similar ethical standards apply to healthy living bloggers. Imagine you were writing a column like this in a magazine like Self. You’d be expected to back up claims you made (“X organization says X is healthy”), or else just write about your own experience, memoir-style. That seems fair to me.

    • That’s a really good perspective to try to have — what would I really be saying if I were going to have to back up my words? Too often in the sphere of personal blogging do people fall back on the whole “well, it’s my blog and I can write what I want!” thing. I mean, yes, that is true, technically, but that doesn’t absolve the blogger of responsibility should someone take their advice to unhealthy extremes or something like that. Very interesting thought, Jenny! :)

  13. I love this post! Weirdly I have been thinking about the same things recently. I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, through extreme eating – pretty much vegetables and diet coke, and I’d looked at Skinny vs Curvy and thinspo all the time to help suppress my appetite. After struggling to find moderation, I do feel healthy but still obsess about food. When I started reading Healthy Living blogs this summer, they definitely fuelled my desire to lose weight and I obsessively checked authors height and weight against my own to see how I compared. I realise that this is a product of my own issues, and not the blogger’s, but it’s interesting that many ED recovery blogs won’t even mention height weight or particular meals to avoid triggering. Still thinking about this one! Thanks for starting an interesting discussion!

  14. I think the more I blog, the more I try to get away from dispensing advice. I prefer to share what I’m doing and why but leave the telling up to the experts. It really makes me nervous when I see bloggers share workouts with little to no credentials and definitely no instruction as to proper form. Since I began teaching BODYPUMP, I will share some of the workouts I’ve designed for other classes – but only under the disclaimer that I’m not a personal trainer or expert but merely a fitness fanatic (arg – that sounds lame) who has done her reading. I wish that I didn’t have to do that but it’s so easy for bloggers to sound like experts that I can see where it would be hard for the reader to distinguish.

    • THIS! I get asked pretty frequently to post my workouts and want NOTHING to do with that. I don’t want to be the reason someone with a heart condition I didn’t know about keels over in the gym.

      That being said, I do post a lot of nutrition info on my blog even though I only have limited nutrition schooling (but I do research everything I post extensively). But I don’t think anyone ever pulled a hammy by eating a certain food because a blogger said it had lots of Omega-3s in it so I guess I don’t feel like it’s as “bad”. But maybe it is and that’s just cheapening the field of nutrition?

      • I think it is different, if not solely because the effects of someone following a meal plan is different than someone following a workout plan. Even if there ended up being negative side effects of the former (gastrointestinal distress, or some negative reaction to a food combination, or just not losing the weight or whatever the nutrition advice was supposed to get them), it’s the same as the immediate effect of pulling or twisting or spraining or bruising or whatevering yourself.

        Once we get too far into the realm of not dispensing food advice or information, you start going down the path of saying that people who aren’t trained chefs shouldn’t post recipes online, and stuff like that. As long as we put it the limits of our qualifications out there (i.e. “I am not a dietitian but here’s what I think… please confer with a nutritionist if you are looking for more detailed or specified advice”), I think that researched, thoughtful, back-uppable nutrition advice is totally legit.

  15. A-freaking-MEN. As always, we share a brain, lover. You and I are just so much damn alike, it’s freaky.
    I think it’s a shared responsibility- definitely, BUT I am also really careful with what I wrote on my blog. I filter A LOT. I think that the worst offenders are those that write post after post, tweet, etc about whatever “fad” diet they’re doing and how it’s THE ONLY way to live, and judge others who don’t live that way. Bottom line is, we’re all different and what works for one person may not work for another at all.
    I’ve been really careful about how I am wording my “vegan” posts, and trying to not come off as preachy at all- because I know that that lifestyle may not be for everyone. I AM a fitness professional and can back up my information about exercise… but am still careful with that, because again- it’s individualized!
    I always appreciate your insight on weightloss, and think that your writing is so beautiful- and you present information in such a non-judgmental, unbiased way.
    xoxo

    • Exactly. With blogs and online sites like Pinterest, even when you do have the certification and the knowledge-base to back up the advice you’re dispensing, when you’re not able to provide specified plans that are individualized to the person, there are still risks. That Crossfit-inspired workout plan that includes 15 box jumps, when attempted by someone who has a history of weak knees/joints (or something), suddenly is very dangerous — even if the person who posted it has the certification and education to back up the plan, for example.

  16. Hi, Gretchen, thanks for this post! I agree with you that bloggers do have a responsibility to their readers, and readers also have a responsibility to seek advice from a trained professional and not just take a blogger’s word as the bible. I often wonder if I’m project a balanced view of what my life is really like. I try to admit when I falter and I celebrate when I succeed. But I’d hate to think someone is taking what I do for exercise or what I eat as EXACTLY how they should approach their own attempt to get healthy. I’ve gone up and down with my weight, so I’m not a great example! I just try to share what I do and how I feel in hopes that, while we can help one another, we also have to do what’s safe for ourselves in the end.

  17. I really like this post and as a blogger who most likely falls into the “healthy living blogger” category myself I think that responsibility falls on both the blogger and the reader.

    I read healthy living blogs for years before starting my own and it’s painfully obvious that a lot of bloggers paint an unrealistic picture for their readers. I hope no one is actually eating jello mixed with carrots (because that sounds repulsive) but it’s the perfect analogy for some of the concoctions people post on their blogs and claim taste fantastic. And it’s clear that a lot of bloggers who fall into the category of “healthy living” should really fall into the category of “disordered eating”.

    Even though readers come across these blogs on the internet in hopes of finding a way to lose weight or tips for eating healthy, they need to take everything they read with a grain of salt. I don’t think there’s any blogger who truly divulges every single thing about their life and it’s easy to only post the positives and leave off that chocolate chip cookie you ate before bed. But on the other hand I think there are so many awesome blogs (and bloggers) whose content can truly help all those people reading! I mean that’s part of why we write all these blog posts to begin with, right?!

  18. I was honestly kind of terrified to start blogging about my journey to figure out what healthy and losing weight meant to me. I mean, there’s people out there like you and Cas who are all kinds of awesome and seem to, pardon my french, have your shit together.

    There is so much in my life that I’m terrified to put onto the blog because I so totally don’t have my shit together, and I don’t want to stray into the ‘dispensing false advise’ category. I don’t want to let my disorders out and feed someone else’s inadvertently. (Been there, read that, did the damage to myself.)

    As a historian, my brain says “Vet your sources!” and I take everything with a grain of salt. But as someone who has struggled with her weight all of her life, with food, with disordered eating, with emotional abuse, I’ve had points where I was so desperate for any kind of help that I didn’t bother to vet my sources, I just ate only cabbage soup for three days without a second thought.

    The internet is a dangerous place. And I totally called the Avenue Q link before I even read the sentence afterwards. :)

  19. I think it is definitely a case of shared responsibility between blogger and reader. As a reader, I am constantly reminding myself that while the blogs I read are informative and entertaining, they are not written by experts and what works for one person may or may not work for me. And just because everyone is seemingly running marathons, doing triathlons, posting pictures of every meal, etc, doesn’t mean that is what I should be doing. Since starting my own blog, I try to honestly share what works for me, always with the caveat that I’m not an expert. It’s hard to fight the temptation to whitewash the setbacks, but I think pushing myself to be honest will be better for me in my own journey.

  20. Hi Gretchen!
    Great post and thank you for bringing this up!

    I have been giving this topic a lot of thought lately because I do believe some of the HLB out there give some pretty questionable or even dangerous advice. I took some time away from reading my usual rota of blogs this summer while I was on my holiday. While I was away, I got up every morning, ate well and ran for enjoyment without feeling guilty for the odd glass of wine or bowl of ice cream. It dawned on me that even though I have mostly come to terms with my food demons, reading some of these girls (and they are all girls) is triggering a need to be ‘perfect’ about how I eat.

    My concern with many HLBs is that there is a preoccupation with food and diet labeling – how they eat is so central to their (and the blog’s) identity. There is so much uncertainty about how and what we should eat, even among actual experts but yet some HLBs present their food rules as absolutes (what does the internet have against potatoes??). It is quite shocking just how restrictive some of these bloggers diets really are.

    Responsibility? I don’t think posting daily eats is a good idea, full stop. It is irresponsible to either restrict your own choices for the sake of appearances or to obscure portion sizes when you do eat for enjoyment’s sake.

    Anyway, thanks for letting us chime in and good luck with your book!
    Cheers,

    Charlotte

  21. Great post!! IMHO, it is a shsred responsibility…but in the end, I am responsible for ME!! I think a big part of healthy living is “don’t be stupid!” Do I always follow this? Ummm, negative! I am 44 and lost over 80lbs this year and fell in love with running. I read WAY too many blogs with beautiful fit girls in the 20′ and 30′s. I love the motivation but I really have to take a step back and face reality that these girls could be my daughters, I am over 40 and I have had 3 kids, and I only got healthy this year! I wish there were more “older:(” women blogs but for now, it is up to me to do whats right for ME!

  22. ”I feel like its shared responsibility. The bloggers have influence over many readers and should definitely consider the content they are putting out before spewing advice–particularly potentially health-related advice–to those who may take their words with much reverence. At the same time—readers should pick and choose what they believe and what philosophies they subscribe to. My mother once told me “If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?” This is along the lines of the same idea. Just because a blogger suggests something, doesn’t mean you should do it.”

    I couldn’t agree more with this^

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