There seems to be a recent trend of female bloggers/fitness personalities making posts about how recovered they are now (which, in itself, is often highly debatable) compared to one, two or five years ago.
I have no problem with that. Many of us have histories of disordered eating, and I believe it is important to open the dialogue surrounding it. We should always feel free to celebrate our progress on our own personal blogs.
What annoys me is that these women claim to be healthy only now, when a year ago they were also proclaiming that they were indeed very healthy and recovered. What separates the lies they told then from their claims now?
Writing about your personal nutritional approach will always open you up to criticism. I have been blogging for almost five years (!) and I have faced my fair share of backlash. But it is part and parcel of the gig.
I have always tried to be as honest as possible about my own personal journey, whether that be through periods of restriction or emotional times of bingeing. When I first started this blog, my attitude towards food was still very disordered yet I have never removed any of those early posts, as I think it is helpful to show exactly where I have come from.
The difference between my old, clean eating-obsessed self and the women who fill my newsfeeds today is that I was not using my position to make money off of vulnerable, impressionable women. My readership back then consisted of my mother, my husband and a couple of friends from my hometown. My blog was purely personal, and I did not offer any products or services.
Yet, there are women out there, reaching audiences far greater than mine, who have been offering coaching services for years – during times that they only now admit were difficult.
They reflect that just a year ago they were afraid to consume sugar/carbs/fat/alcohol/poison of choice. Funnily enough, they have often already made a similar post a year ago stating that they are so much more recovered than they were during the previous year. Huh.
These women write entire blog posts devoted to the fact that they successfully ate a bread roll, ate 100g of carbs over the course of the week, took a week off exercising, or didn’t bring their own pre-prepared meals to a family gathering for the first time ever.
These are normal things. Although they may be noteworthy for someone in the early stages of recovery, they should not be worthy of whole blog posts for established fitness professionals. It is frightening that these women have been collecting thousands of dollars from other women (who are likely dealing with their own food issues) when they are not recovered themselves.
I have been in France for one month. I hope that, based on my past documentation of my meals in London, Italy, Croatia, Guatemala and so on, it should be obvious that I’m enjoying the food without me having to constantly talk about it.
I eat a croissant and a hot chocolate every single morning. I order steak frites regularly, drink wine often and eat baguettes and cheese almost every day. I don’t think any of this is noteworthy, so I haven’t mentioned it, but in this messed-up world of food restriction and condemnation, maybe it is. It would certainly give me a great deal more blog content.
In my opinion, I am simply living normally and enjoying my time in one of the culinary capitals of the world. I don’t know if anyone who has struggled with disordered eating behaviour can say that they are ever fully recovered, but I am pretty close.
However, if I was to write blog post after blog post telling you how normal and recovered I am, I think it would send the opposite message. If you have to reassure your audience that you are recovered every other day, methinks you are only lying to yourself – and your audience will see straight through it.
Sharing every morsel that passes your lips on social media while justifying that you ate half a cookie because you were “honouring” your body and its cravings screams disordered to me. Normal people eat their food and move on with their lives. They don’t spend hours analysing it, journaling it and sharing those thoughts with others – who honestly don’t care.
If you do not have your own shit under control, you should not be doling out advice to others. It is completely unprofessional and dangerous. When you can eat a piece of cake without documenting it for the world to see, then you can start helping others.
I’d love to hear what you all think, so please share your thoughts below!
PS. If anyone is interested in sane and sensible coaching, I am currently accepting registrations for my next online group training program. Spaces are filling up fast so please sign up via this link!