Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

Bloggers as an Influence. {VLOG}


Good morning!

So, I had a lot to say last night/this morning. Instead of writing it all out, I talked to the camera for a while.

To sum it up:

  • I’ve been reading blogs for years, and while I’ve gained so many positives from it, there have been some negatives too.
  • even if bloggers don’t realize it or don’t intend for it, their blogs influence people. If the image they’re presenting is a false one, this could cause a lot of problems for viewers who stumble across their blogs.
  • I love blogging and being an active member of the HLB world. But there are a lot of issues in it that need addressing.
  • It’s very easy to start a blog. There’s no screening process and there are no credentials to ensure that bloggers actually have a healthy relationship with food. So what a blogger may display as healthy, may not be.
  • What works for a blogger is not the be-all, end-all of health. Do what makes you happy and healthy.
  • Take everything you see with a grain of salt. If a blogger seems to have an unusual relationship with food, there’s a good chance there’s some disordered patterns there.

I’m not trying to point any fingers, it’s just an overall trend that I’ve been noticing in the HLB blog world that I really think deserves attention. A lot of blogger friends I have are amazing runners and I admire their abilities, and they recognize the need for proper fuel and do the best they can to ensure that they do so accordingly. I also have friends that are openly in recovery from an eating disorder, and make a point of saying so when they are struggling. It’s one thing to be honest that you are overcoming issues with an eating disorder and don’t always reach your goals intake-wise, it’s entirely another to portray what you are doing as healthy, normal and best for you (just realized I should have clarified that).

With that rant out of the way, enjoy your Tuesday!

<— Do you think that you’re influenced by blogs?

<— Have you noticed the same disturbing trends that I have?


50 thoughts on “Bloggers as an Influence. {VLOG}

  1. Yes, I have noticed the same disturbing trends and often times have thought about getting “out” of the blog world because of this. However, it is then that I remember that for every disturbing and distorted blog out there, there will also be one recovery focused blog (mine) that readers can have access to. The same goes for yours! The more recovery focused and REAL honest blogs out there, the more access readers have to reading truth. I get so sad when other bloggers get disturbed y these so called “HLB” and leave the blogging world. I support their decision to stop reading such facade blogs but we need their real blog in the HLB community! Thank you for your honesty!

  2. Love your “top-down honesty” approach! Being newer to the HLB scene, I’ve still noticed some disturbing trends! I guess it’s up to us to censor what we read & send positive encouragement to those who need it most!

  3. I agree 1000%. This is something that I really wanted to address through freEDom!
    Thanks for being so honest, and I love that you did it in a VLOG! I need to do another one soon.
    You’re awseome Sam!! Have a great day!

  4. Bravo girl! I’ve been reading blogs for years, as well, and found myself influenced them to a certain extent but not as much so until I joined it last year. Then I noticed pretty quick how easy it is to fall into the comparison trap and the “I should be doing this too” way of thinking…thankfully, I caught that early on (for me) and have been making a point to do what’s best for me….which includes lots of desserts and not such “healthy” meals…and I couldn’t be happier…I love your blog, darlin. I truly look forward to reading it each day because of your honesty and down to earth attitude! Thank you for this 🙂

  5. YES! You know I agree with every word you said. 😉 Thank you for having the guts to put it out there instead of just ranting to people in private like me haha. It scares me that so many bloggers these days are obsessed with shaping their bodies and are so rigid about their diets – how is this a good message for readers?!

  6. Yes yes yes! Firstly I am so glad I stumbled across your blog, Sam! You might not be an expert but you keep it real! Like you said, there are no prerequisites for starting a blog- lifestyles being portrayed as healthy are sometimes unhealthy. While I’ve learned so many fab recipes, there are also some which scream ‘orthorexic’. If you want ice cream, eat a small bowl instead of blending up frozen fruit with protein powder and try to convince others it’s an alternative. Over the years of blogging, the blogs I read have changed tremendously. I want to be inspired by others who lead a healthy lifestyle in the midst of having other priorities, not those whose lives are soley based on being “healthy”.

    • I’ll blend up frozen banana and ice cream, but it is a smoothie. It is NOT ice cream and I would never try to pass it off as such! (that I keep in the freezer at all times :-p)

      And I’m glad you stumbled across my blog too! 😀

  7. Love this post, Sam, and I definitely think that this issue needs to be addressed way more in the blogging world. I love the community as a whole, but there are a lot of things that drive me crazy about it as well. I’ve noticed all those unhealthy trends, and fell victim to a plethora of them myself… It took an extended break from the blog world for me to figure out what’s best for me, and while I’m now in a good enough place not to really feel the influence of other bloggers, I do worry about girls who are trying to develop opinions about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle being influenced by bloggers whose lifestyle really isn’t healthy at all.

  8. I love so many things about this post. I’ve done the same thing. I don’t feel it a ton because I’ve always been someone to do my own thing but I totally see how it can become unhealthy. I wish the girls that are making like zero calorie pancakes didn’t promote themselves as “healthy” and protein powder as meals. EAT A STEAK, my god! Haha it’s clearly a pet peeve of mine too. I’m really glad you talked about these negative influences. I’ve fallen into the traps before but I’m pretty good about doing my own thing. Some of the influences are great but others can be not so great. Healthy isn’t black and white, and I think that’s why I liked listening to your post so much!

  9. yep, there is so much I want to say to this, something lately that has driven me up the wall. I think how you addressed it is amazing, major props. you were on point and no bashing, just really what needed to be said. it needs to be said a whole lot. like a whole freaking lot. i could go on…

  10. Awesome vlog!!

    And AMEN. I think it’s actually quite sad how many in the HLB think what they’re doing is okay & healthy, when in fact it’s not–and they have readers who think that’s normal. It’s sad to me. I don’t judge, it just makes my heart hurt. Esp since I know that it’s hard–because I’ve been down that disordered past many years ago. I try hard to be real, but honestly, I blog about what I want to blog about. And I ENJOY sharing info, so my blog is going to be very diff in the sense that it’s more informational & helpful. I didn’t get so many degrees for nothing! hehe 🙂 xo

    • I love your blog Annette, because I know you’re qualified and you have good, sound advice and a truly healthy approach. But that’s not the case for a lot of bloggers and I do find it worrisome. In the past, reading blogs has caused me to take on some not-so-healthy or necessary habits, and I hate thinking that it happens to others.

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more, Sam. As bloggers and blog readers, we need to stay true to ourselves and pay special attention to what works for OUR OWN bodies—not somebody else’s. There’s no regulation in this community, and everything that’s published is merely an opinion and/or an account of a personal experience. When I first started blogging, I was extremely influenced by everything I read. One post would say X, so I’d do X. The next day I’d read about Y, so I’d do Y. I ended up completely confusing myself and my body, which resulted in frustration. It took me a couple months to find my own groove, and now I feel pretty good about staying true to myself. I know what I need to do, and try my best not to sway far from it. That said, I’m definitely still influenced by others’ opinions and experiences—sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The most important thing, is to acknowledge this issue, just as you’re doing, so that we can stay in check. Great post (and vlog!—loved hearing your voice!) 🙂

  12. I’m definitely influenced by bloggers- great workouts, recipes, and tips on fitness and cooking. I’m still kind of new to the blog world so I haven’t really noticed any trends like you were talking about. Hopefully they will find support through bloggers too!

  13. Ha, this is why I don’t read traditional ‘healthy living blogs’. Most of those bloggers are completely unrealistic with their diet and exercise regimes. When I blog, I know that I’m influencing a lot of people so I try to portray the most realistic approach to fitness I can 🙂

  14. thanks for summing up the vlog sam! i’m at work right now and can’t watch a video b/c i don’t have headphones on me so that’s helpful.
    i have to admit the reason i started being more open and honest about my ED on my blog was because i did NOT want to be one of those blogs that you are talking about here. i didn’t want anyone to read my blog and feel like they had to work out every day to look like me or be like me, because i love working out but fail to take the rest days i should BECAUSE of my disorder not just because i like cardio or whatever it is. i myself started reading healthy living blogs to find out what i should do to lose weight so i know what it’s like to come into them with no filter, with no habit of tellingyourself NOT to fall into the comparison trap. i still fall into it now, even while actively trying not to!
    i still get self conscious because i want to be honest so that no one thinks i am going around blissfully unaware of the fact that i need rest days or i may need more fats. but i also am self conscious about sharing the thoughts that i honestly still do get embarrassed by. i especially don’t want people i know in “real life” to think i’m a freak, so i have never had the courage to put forth every thought or my whole story on my blog, like how i am currently in therapy.
    but then again, sharing that i’m still in therapy or my full treatment history may be a GOOD thing so that girls who read my blog can see that i am not perfect, that myr ecovery hasn’t just been blogging for the hope of recovery, that it takes a lot more than that.
    sorry for the wordy comment! you’ve just got me thinking, which is a good thing. there are plenty of blogs out there that have disoreered habits i’ve observed, but i also understand if the blogger isnt sharing them for fear of embarrassment, judgement, ridicule, etc. it’s hard to draw the line between what you shouldn’t have to share and what you have a responsibility to your readers to share, in case they are easily influenced.

    • You do make an awesome point Caitlin – there are some details that are personal and it’s completely understandable that you may not want to post them on the world to see. While you may not post every detail, you do make mention of the ED and that you recognize that your thought patterns and behaviours aren’t necessarily the healthiest sometimes, and you do make that clear. So I find you to be category of “responsible” bloggers – you’re not trying to influence anyone or present yourself as the healthiest person possible. A lot of it does come down to responsibility – should bloggers be held responsible for their readers, or should readers be more weary of what they’re reading?

      • Exactly! and I have to say I think a lot of the time, bloggers should take note of how something could be interpreted and use little disclaimers or just at least be wary of it if they see a comment from a reader who is comparing herself to the blogger. It’s the same way I feel about the media and fitness mags. I was influenced so heavily during my ED by these magazines because I didn’t know how to be weary. Until we live in a society that sends more prominent/frequent messages to read all media with a filter, I think some responsibility does lie with the media.

  15. Smart vlog, from a lovely , smart girl :).

  16. Sam I loved your VLOG and it made me think a lot about blogging. The crazy thing is how easy it is to set up a blog – but also to write something and press post without considering the impact your words might have on others. I love your blog because you are real and honest. I hope that my blog is too, I want to show that you can have your cake and eat it and generally enjoy life. It is so hard because I blog to share my life – maybe I should think abut having a disclaimer? As you say, some things work for some people ad others don’t. I would hate to think someone old read my blog and be negativey affected by something I have said. It is do hard to put this into words and you did so perfectly so I’m not going to try and ramble on anymore, I’m just going to say thank you for this, it really made me think.

    • My goal with the post was to make people think about and consider what they come across in HLB’s, so I’m I accomplished that!

      And on the disclaimer – that’s generally a good thing to have, even if just from a legal standpoint.

  17. Awesome vlog, girl! I completely agree! Honestly, I see this a lot even on social media platforms. Girls are promoting “healthy” lifestyles and trying to give advice to others when in reality, they are FAR from healthy and not even eating enough to support their workout demands. It drives me up the wall because other people who don’t know better actually listen to their advice. Ugh, it is just not good. Love this post and your honesty ❤

  18. Someone had to say it! I have been blogging for less than a year now, but I have followed several blogs for years now and at first I was very inspired and jealous about some of the bloggers’ healthy discipline, and motivation. HOWEVER I was pretty critical of myself at first when I attempted to follow in similar “healthy” footsteps. I soon stopped comparing myself to these writers and maintained a loving relationship with food and healthy living on my own terms. Within the past few months, I have learned that these bloggers actually have very unhealthy relationships with food and many of them actually drove themselves to sickness because of their “discipline”. Thank god I stopped following and started living my own way!

  19. This is EXACTLY the reason why I had so.many.tantrums yesterday. I felt like pulling my hair out. Except you said it about a trillion times better than I ever could. Mine would have been just a lot of cursing and finger pointing. Yours was very functional and made conscious and valid point. Applause. Very well done. You took the words right out of my mouth and made them much more eloquent.
    I don’t know what finally opened my eyes to these things … I’ve been reading these posts without problems for ages, taking it at face value. And now, it’s just striking. And frustrating.beyond.belief.
    Also, just wanted to know that I’ve been chatting with one of my readers who doesn’t have a blog and doesn’t comment. She mentioned that you are one of her favourite HLB blogs to read (she’s recently given up reading a lot of others because of all the reasons you’ve mentioned. Power to her, eh?!) because of your honest portrayal of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and not a disordered one. So huge kudos to you for that.
    All this to say — you’re a rockstar and making an impact witha good nature and purposeful intentions. Keep it up!! 🙂 I love it.

  20. I was finally able to watch this (curse you bootleg internet). This is such a great vlog though and I think I’m vlogged/posted about it (in a more vulgar way before). Anyways-it is hard to not fall into the comparison trap but honestly everyone blogs for different reasons. I’m a runner, I like to run. Some people that isn’t their jive at all..some people are great bakers and it’s hard to put that into perspective in all those weekly link ups like “workout posting sunday” or WIAW you know?

    • Thanks Hollie – that is true, everyone has their “thing” when it comes to blogging. My big concern is when bloggers seem to portray that ‘thing’ as being the answer to health. People are impressionable, and it worries me that people can be so affected by what one random person on the internet says.

  21. Excellent vlog! I love that you talk about how easy it is for someone to have a platform for their voice and that it has impact, whether positive or negative. What works for you may not work for me, and we should be clear about that. I believe in the freedom of speech, but with that freedom needs to come the awareness that what you say or do affects those around you. I’m sure I’m not the first (or last) person to agree with you, but major kudos for posting!

    • Thank you Sara! Yes, there is absolutely freedom of speech, but we just need to weary of how our opinions and thoughts affects others, particularly those who are extremely impressionable. Which I personally think a lot of people who stumble across these blogs are!

  22. You are echoing everything I say and think Sam, so I really appreciate you doing this! Plus seeing you on the video is great.. .I feel like I know you better now 🙂

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