I am so excited! I woke up to an e-mail from Ryan at Chasing Daylight letting me know she was moving into an apartment that is LITERALLY 2.0 miles from my house!  Ryan is a really sweet girl, and I’m super pumped to have a new neighbor!

 

It made my morning!

 

So did this bowl of oatmeal:

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My oatmeal contained:

 

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • Toppings:  almonds, strawberries, and blackberries

CIMG5543

Twas a delish bowl of oatmeal!

CIMG5545

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Food Blogs

 

So, obviously "food blogging" is kind of a strange hobby.  I get a lot of weird looks from strangers at restaurants when I photograph my food, and when I tell friends I  have a "food and fitness blog," I find it difficult to explain the concept to someone who is unfamiliar with this (huge) niche of blogging.

 

Way back in November, I asked what everyone thought about the relationship between food blogs and eating disorders.  There was a variety of responses, ranging from "Reading healthy food blogs is helping me get over my ED" to "Food blogs are totally triggering for my ED" to "I don’t have an ED; I just really like food!"  Ever since that post, I’ve tried to be extremely careful with what I write and say, because I don’t want some careless or thoughtful comment to negatively affect someone’s recovery.

 

"Food blogs" can be good, bad, or ugly. 

 

So many good things have come out of blogging for me — I’ve made so many new real-life friends, and I’ve met a lot of electronic ones that I actually feel close to (strange how that works).  It’s given me a creative outlet.  I’ve became a better runner and now I’m a better cyclist because of blogging.  I’ve learned a lot about healthy eating, and I feel better than ever.  I’ve gotten to plan an AMAZING Healthy Lifestyle Summit that is going to be awesome (more information to come very, very soon — we’re signing contracts right now!).  And hey, I’ve even earned some money.

 

But blogging can be bad— as Veggie Girl and Angela’s recent posts about negative commenting reveals.  Yes, negative comments are just part of the game; fortunately, I don’t have a big problem with negative comments because I have a strict deletion policy (or cuss-out policy on the boards… yes — I do that sometimes, if you haven’t caught it yet! It’s pretty amusing) and that probably deters the trolls.    Negative commenting really affects the bloggers.  I cannot tell you how many negative comments have forwarded to me from other bloggers.  You know, we’re human.  I don’t think any blogger minds ‘dissent,’ but nasty comments are so unnecessary. (PS – We can tell who you are even if you sign in as "anonymous").

 

And blogging can be downright ugly -  and I think this goes back to the eating disorder question.  Some of the most popular bloggers openly admit they are recovered/recovering from an ED, and that’s totally cool — I love to read their blogs, and I think they have a special insight about health.  But sometimes, I come across blogs that I think are triggering for other readers, and it’s painful to see.   I’m not sure if blogging can "give" the writer an ED, but food blogging does make you hyper-aware of food and other people’s opinion, and it forces many bloggers to try to maintain this weird sense of perfection

 

Overall, I think blogging is a very rewarding and positive experience (or I wouldn’t be doing it nearly 1 year later!).  But, like all things in life, I think it’s important to assess why we do it and what we want to achieve.

 

What are your thoughts on the purpose of food blogs, the responsibility food bloggers have, negative commenters, and more?  I’m curious!

{ 87 comments }

 

  • healthy ashley May 28, 2009, 4:32 am

    I’m moving to Orlando, Ryan is moving to Orlando… šŸ™‚

  • Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 28, 2009, 4:33 am

    How exciting for you and your new neighbor!

    As for the food blog thing… It has taken a lot of strength and thought to not have a “keeping up with the runners” attitude. I’m not a runner, I never will be… but I have found that venting a little bit about my non ED food issues on my blog is very helpful!
    Happy Thursday!

  • Thinspired May 28, 2009, 4:34 am

    Caitlin, you are awesome for addressing this issue and being so real and honest in all of your posts. YOU make blogging a positive experience for me and other readers!

    When I get down about blogging I turn to the blogs I know will be positive, honest, and supportive. I agree that the downside to blogging is there and it can be dark, but I think that like anything else that is worthwhile, we have to look past the bad and keep going if we want to get to the good. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it šŸ™‚

    I don’t think the negative people realize that there is a real human behind each blog and that that person is taking time out of their day to share a part of themselves with readers. Most of my negative comments have come from non-bloggers and I don’t think that is a coincidence…if they had something nice and productive to share they would do it on their own blog, but since all they have is negativity, they just blast it on ours. Not cool. NOT COOL!

  • Catch Me If You Can May 28, 2009, 4:36 am

    I think the right blog is very helpful. I have learned about so many amazing foods and recipes from bloggers. Plus running tips etc. I think the good outweighs the bad.

  • itsawrapteacher May 28, 2009, 4:51 am

    I read blogs for the purpose of finding new recipes/food combination ideas. I have discovered so many new products (hello Vita tops or tempeh) that I would have never tried on my own.
    As for ED, we have our ups and downs and helps me to read other’s struggles and their positive thinking.

  • Anonymous May 28, 2009, 4:51 am

    Caitlin,
    I have been in recovery from an ED for over seven years. i have read many food blogs that can be extremely triggering. Your blog has helped me in many ways. Seeing the importance of healthy balance and moderation in your life, has taught me to loosen up on my own strict and sometimes restrictive eating habits. Thank you again for being aware of others that are in recovery and their triggers and feelings.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 28, 2009, 4:53 am

    anon – thank you. you and others recovering from EDs have taught me a LOT about life, too!

  • Balance, Joy and Delicias! May 28, 2009, 4:54 am

    so agree with you about “like all things in life, I think it’s important to assess why we do it and what we want to achieve.” nothing is perfect and we need to be certain/strong about what we do and not be affected by everything others say about us.

  • Amanda @ Fake Ginger May 28, 2009, 4:55 am

    I don’t think bloggers have much responsibility. Most blog readers are adults (yes?) so they should be able to make a good decision on whether they should read or not read a blog. If a blog is crap, I don’t read it. If it’s a trigger, I don’t read it. Does that mean that the blogger should stop blogging? Absolutely not. It might be a good outlet for them, but for me it’s not healthy to read it. Delete from reader, exit page, whatever. It’s not the bloggers problem if I don’t like their stuff.

    I think the negative people are just out to ruin someone’s day. Whoever gets on their nerves on that particular day is going to have to deal with it. And that’s sad, but a lot of time that’s also life. I think posting about it and looking like it really did bother you is feeding into the negativity. The negative Nancys see that it got to you, feel powerful, continue to do it. I think your way is best. Cuss ’em out and move on. šŸ™‚

    I think the food blogging community is great and my life would definitely be a lot more boring without it.

  • Katherine May 28, 2009, 5:01 am

    I agree that food blogging can be kind of a mixed bag – while I only started blogging more recently, I have actually appreciated my increased awareness about food and I’m trying to frame my choices around healthy decisions and eating what makes me feel best – these are tips I’ve learned from reading other blogs!

    I am very glad you remove any negative comments you receive (and I’m sorry you receive them!) because I think it maintains the positive personality of your blog, which is so important. Feeling like part of a community and like you won’t be judged can actually really assist in recovering from an ED, since many people with EDs feel so alone and isolated. I know it’s certainly helping me!

    Anyhow, this is a rambly comment, but I guess I just want to say THANKS šŸ™‚

    Have a great morning!

  • jewels May 28, 2009, 5:06 am

    I love food blogs, especially to learn recipes! I think negative comments come from those with jealous feelings or else they would politely disagree or share their view. There is no excuse to be intentionally hurtful to another person,

  • Stacey May 28, 2009, 5:10 am

    Great topic!

    I have been blogging for over 3 years in a private community website, but just went public with my food blog. No rude comments yet, but with that being said I LOVE to blog!

    I feel like it is an outlet and a way to share my healthy lifestyle with others, in hopes of encouraging them to do and be all they can!

    Blogging has helped me find myself and it gives me a way to connect with others that are just like me šŸ™‚
    I go by the motto “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Everyone has their opinions, but there is a way to get it through without being rude and just plain mean!

  • erineats May 28, 2009, 5:22 am

    Hmm, interesting. I’d never really thought about the whole ED thing; for me, blogs are definitely more likely to make me want to eat everything in sight than they are to make me obsess about food. But I guess I do that already in my own way – my relationship with food is constantly evolving and being repaired after a lifetime of overeating. Blogs like yours and the multitude of others that I subscribe to inspire me to eat better, and to exercise more.

    I’ve been a blogger for many, many years, but have just got back in to the food blogging thing. I really hope I can stick to it, because it certainly makes me think twice about what goes in my mouth!

    What I do wish is that there were more Aussie girls doing the same thing. You guys seem to have an amazing blogging community! And that’s certainly one huge positive to come out of the whole food blogging phenomenon.

  • Neely May 28, 2009, 5:25 am

    Hi Caitlin,

    Here is my perspective on the comments section, as a non-blogger…

    I read a few food/fitness blogs pretty much for entertainment sake, and for breaks during my work day. I am not going to lie, sometimes it would be more interesting to see comments other than “Oh my golly goodness that oatmeal looks fab” or “Awww, you are the sweetest and best person in the world, you go girl.”

    I don’t think comments left for the sole purpose of being nasty should be left on, but I think when a person has a blog (again this is an outside perspective from a non-blogger) they open themselves up to feedback, whether it be positive , negative, inquisitive, supportive, etc. I guess it is up to the discretion of the author on what to accept or not but sometimes I think they can be a little too heavy with the deletions.

    Does it make me a “bad” person if I comment that a blogger who wants to be an author could use some help with their grammar skills? What if I think that a blogger who punishes themselves for having a cookie clearly has an unhealthy relationship with food? What if I think Twilight sucks? (That was for you; and I don’t think it sucks, btw).

    My point is, I think that having a blog puts your “business” out there, much like people who are on reality TV, for example. And what fun would it be if I couldn’t talk about Kate Gosselin’s questionable hairstyle because she’s a “real person?”

    I don’t have a blog because I am a more private individual. If I did, however, I would definitely expect to see, and would hope to see, dissenting opinion if I asked for feedback (which is kind of what having a comments page is).

    Just my opinion.

    Oh, and for the record, I do believe you are the most forward and honest blogger out there (of the ones I read, anyway).

  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) May 28, 2009, 5:33 am

    I enjoy food blogs for the different perspectives it puts out there, the recipes I get, and being able to enjoy what other foodies and active people have to say about different things. I learn a lot.

    However, I totally know what you mean about the bad and the ugly. I can see how some blogs would affect those recovering from an ED in a negative way.

    The thing is, we’re all human. And no matter how “good” the blogger in terms of their attitude towards health and fitness, I feel like we need to be somewhat consistent and firm with what we already believe in terms of our own health.

    We’re all different…we each have different activity levels…each of us has a different metabolism that demands less or more food. Food blogs, in my opinion, shouldn’t be used as a “eat exactly what I eat and exercise exactly as I do and you too can look like me.” Sadly, some blogs do just that. šŸ™

    That being said, I *love* your blog because you’re so honest and full of GOOD advice, recipe ideas, and you have a healthy outlook on food and activities in general. I really enjoy it. šŸ˜€

  • amy. May 28, 2009, 5:34 am

    Caitlin, you are one of the most positive, enthusiastic blogger out of everyone I read! I always look to you for insight and a realistic outlook on life. You definitely serve as a healthy role model for me, especially in terms of my ED recovery. Thank you for always being HONEST and real!

    Love you!

  • calabazapie May 28, 2009, 5:39 am

    Caitlin,
    I love your blog, especially for your honest approach to issues that I think a lot of people can relate to. I just recently started a food-related blog because I thought it would be kind of a fun outlet. At first I started writing about all of my meals, but I found that it made me way too self-conscious. So then I sort of shifted the focus and am made it a little bit more based on recipe and my experiences abroad. I think it’s really brave of people to go ahead and show all of their eats. I tried and just didn’t feel comfortable. I guess it just depends on the person šŸ™‚

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) May 28, 2009, 5:49 am

    Ooo that’s weird, I just asked about negative comments the other day! I love food blogging and have learned a ton. People I see in real life don’t get it either. In fact one person I told thought I was making a scrapbook because he (and his wife) have no idea what a blog even is. So strange right?

    I was going to do an article on this very topic! I will have to link to your post and check out the others as well.

    What’s a no cuss rule? No swearing in the comments?

  • spicygranola May 28, 2009, 5:50 am

    For me, food blogs have inspired me to be more realistic about eating and exercise goals. In fact, I have been so impressed by the supportive community that I started a blog myself. I haven’t had many comments yet, and no negative ones, but I know that it will happen eventually. Thanks for addressing that topic.

  • Cassie May 28, 2009, 5:51 am

    Caitlin,

    Thank you for posting this. I only recently started blogging too, and like katherine up there in the comments, appreciate the new outlook i have on food and exercise. but i never realized this flip side of blogging, and i appreciate you bringing to my attention! i need to be more aware of my blogging approach to food now šŸ™‚

    Thank you for all the inspiration you bring to so many people!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 28, 2009, 5:55 am

    andrea – no i meant i literally tell someone to fuck off sometimes in the comments. if you’re going to be mean, i can be mean right back LOL. but mostly i just delete them because i dont think downright nasty comments have a place on my blog.

  • Susan May 28, 2009, 5:59 am

    The way I see it, I have always had, and always will have an abnormal/strained relationship with food. I’ve never had an ED, or any ED tendencies. But I’ve always been obsessed with what I’m eating, both pre and post weight loss.

    I think food blogging has actually helped me get rid of the extremes. Before my weight loss, I was eating and drinking ridiculous amounts, and then started restricting myself too much to lose weight. Now I’ve found that perfect balance, and blogging what I eat is a healthy way (for me) to channel my obsession with food. No more crazy calorie counting, just a few snapshots of the yummy things that make my day that much better šŸ™‚

  • Robyn May 28, 2009, 6:02 am

    I only recently started food blogging (we are talking like one week here!) so the true results remain to be seen, but I have found that by reading others’ food blogs, I have learned so much about nutrition and simple ways to eat healthy. You mean I can drink spinach? And I can put almond butter (oh sweet, sweet almond butter) in my oatmeal? Such simple revelations, but so meaningful to me and my health.

    I have read Self Magazine’s Eat Like Me food blog for years, but only started reading food blogs written by us common folk. I enjoy them more because they seem more experimental with food than Eat Like Me (again with the drinking of the spinach!).

    So it’s only been a short experimental period for me, but I feel like I have already learned so much and feel healthier because of food blogs. Oh, and they do provide a nice break from work every hour or two as well šŸ™‚

  • Jenny May 28, 2009, 6:02 am

    as someone who is recovery from an ED – i really try my hardest to make my blog a complete trigger-free zone and focus on other aspects of life other than just my food and calories and ED realted thoughts, etc.. so for that reason i HOPE my blog isnt one of the triggering ones you are referring to! haha.. but there are defintely ones that i simply can’t read – they are painful.. and it saddens me that i don’t have the strength to reach out and help some girls – but it’s just too difficult to read..

    thank you for posting this girl – its good to know i’m not crazy!

  • Brandi May 28, 2009, 6:04 am

    I love that you tell people off in your comments šŸ™‚ It’s YOUR blog after all and you have the right to respond.

    I think it’s such a mixed thing – I love reading food/fitness/trashy gossip blogs and others, and the food/fitness/healthy living blogs have made a big impact on my life over the past year that I’ve been reading and the almost 6 months I’ve been blogging. I like reading them for food ideas, creative recipes, workout tips, health tips,…it’s like I have a group of friends I’ve never met that are all interested in the same things I am!

    I don’t like getting harsh comments, and thank goodness, I haven’t had many yet, but I’m sure they’ll happen. Unless they are completely ridiculous or vulgur, I probably won’t delete them, but I will comment.

    As much right as I have to blog about everything I do, other people have the right to say what they want. That’s what I’m opening myself up to by having a public blog. I have to accept that. But mean just for the sake of mean is never good.

  • kirsten May 28, 2009, 6:06 am

    this is a great post!! I think that some blogs could be “triggering” for someone with or recovering from an ED but yours is definitely not one of them. You are a real girl with a healthy balanced life and reading blogs like yours really helps keep me motivated to eat healthy and exercise. I have occasionally come across blogs that made me feel like I eat way too much or that I don’t exercise enough so I immediately deleted them from my google reader šŸ™‚ The reason I read food/fitness blogs is because I am in the process of becoming a nutritionist and personal trainer and these blogs have fantastic tips that are very helpful.

  • HangryPants May 28, 2009, 6:23 am

    I can only speak to my own blog and my own experience reading blogs. I’ve never had an eating disorder and reading blogs has taught me so much about the dark world of eating disorders. It’s down right scary and I am thanful that I’ve never been there.

    I always try to be careful about what I say on my own blog because I would never want to encourage that behavior or make someone feel bad about herself. I think of my blog as a place for me to talk about my recipe creations and great things I’ve eaten, but also as a place for me to encourage healthy behavior, which includes eating well, being active and loving and accepting yourself THE WAY YOU ARE! I will never talk about feeling guilty or fat. I am neither of those things!

    Honestly, if I stumble across a blog where the author seems to me to be battling something and is in denial (i.e. not in recovery or talking about recovery), I move on. It makes me nervous and uncomfortable as a person and fellow food blogger. I don’t want food blogs to be associated with abnormal behavior because I think many are positive examples of healthy living, or simply have great recipes!

  • seesaraheat May 28, 2009, 6:36 am

    Such great points, Caitlin. I totally agree that us bloggers need to every once in a while take a look and assess why we are blogging and who we are doing it for. I know I was doing every single morsel that went into my mouth for a while and for me, that became an unhealthy, even obsessive behavior. Now I just blog when the mood (or inspiration) hits me or I have a product/restaurant to review, but still trying to crank out at least a few posts a week so I don’t completely lose people! I no longer feel the pressure to blog every day or more than once a day just to keep up with others, which is what I think I had been doing. Its good to be back in control šŸ˜‰

  • Nicole (anotheronebitesthecrust.wordpress.com) May 28, 2009, 6:41 am

    I agree with what you wrote about the good, bad and ugly of blogging.

    I have a history of an ED, and I find that it is my responsibility to delete a blog from my Reader if it becomes triggering or influencing me negatively in any way. I don’t place the blame or anything on the blogger, but simply just stop reading the blog for my well-being.

    With that said, there is so much good in the blog world that it out weighs any of the negative! I have made so many friends (real life and internet) and I believe the blog world has had a really positive impact on my life!

  • SuperDots May 28, 2009, 6:45 am

    Hi! I personally enjoy reading the food and fitness blogs. I do NOT always read the comments. If I see something I don’t like, I don’t read and I sure as heck do not reply! There are way bigger fish to fry than worry about virtual negative comments and people šŸ˜‰ I,like you, would delete, delete, delete the nasty comments!

  • Quinn May 28, 2009, 6:47 am

    At the end of the day, I do my blog for me. It’s an added bonus that some things I do inspire others, and it’s also an added curse that some things I may say may negatively impact my readers. But, it’s my blog, my journal. It has brought me friendships, given me new ideas, allowed me to cultivate my culinary skills, and consider running a half marathon. Just as in “real life” you have to take the good with the bad. When you’re driving on the road and someone flicks you off based on something you may or may not have done whilst driving – or how they interpreted you to be driving – it’s all how you deal with it. Do you chase them down and flash your lights? Do you flick them off back? Do you slow down and let them pass? Do you let it bother you all day? Not sure if that’s a great analogy or not – but regardless, I love this blog community and embrace it, warts and all.

  • sarahdbelle May 28, 2009, 6:57 am

    Caitlin,
    This question is really great and really interesting. I’m quite honest about my past issues with an eating disorder on my blog. I debated for a long time whether I should start a food blog or not. I was worried about whether it could be triggering or not. In all honesty, I think it has greatly helped in my recovery. It makes me accountable, but it also allows me to share my story with others. One of the hardest things about an ed- at least for me- is that you feel very, very alone and very guilty for having the disorder. It’s so wonderful that there are girls out there who understand what you’re going through and can help you see things that maybe you’re unaware of concerning your disorder. I also love that I can show others that recovery is possible- that even though you are struggling, it does not always have to be that way.
    I also think food blogs ignited my desire to get better. They taught me that I wasn’t eating nearly enough and that I needed to feed myself. That’s why I think food blogs are wonderful and incredibly important outside of their tendency to share new food ideas and to promote healthy lifestyles. In some cases, I think they help save lives.
    I love your blog and your honesty, by the way.
    Take care!
    Sarah
    p.s. As far as negative comments go, I’ve had a few about ridiculous things from the same girl. I kept blocking the girl then wrote her an e-mail asking her to either stop being so nasty or to stop commenting because I would continue to delete her comments.

  • J May 28, 2009, 7:02 am

    I don’t have a food/fitness blog but I like reading them, in part because it’s nice to see people doing the same things I do. Not that I eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning, but it’s made me more aware of my food choices and given me some great ideas! (like spinach in smoothies, yum yum)

    I usually don’t read the comments (simply because I don’t have time!) but nasty comments are everywhere in the blog world. I’ve only gotten a few, but some of my blog buddies get them all the time! I don’t understand why people think they can be assholes just because they can hide behind a computer.

  • Leanne May 28, 2009, 7:04 am

    I agree with Neely… having a blog opens you up for whatever opinions people may have. HOWEVER, there is no reason for personal attacks that have nothing to do with the blog.

    I sometimes wonder why people feel the need to comment on every person’s blog they read, every single post, every single day. Especially when it’s something generic. I would rather have thoughtful comments, once in awhile.

    To each their own, I suppose!

  • Krista May 28, 2009, 7:04 am

    Hey Caitlin,

    I blog for fun, pure and simple. For that reason, I stay away from heavy topics and issues and try to be very lighthearted in my writing. Luckily, I have’t had to deal with negative comments, but I don’t get the volume of commenting that some blogs do. Blog reading and writing has inspired me to make healthier food choices and to be more committed to being physically active. At one point I did realize that I was trying to keep up with a lot of runner’s which is not all bad but I have to remember that I’m a 35 yr old mother and wife and my schedule just dosen’t permit the time I need to keep up with the younger gals.

    All in all, blogging has been a positive experience for me so far and I hope to keep it that way!

    Thanks for the great post.

  • Neely May 28, 2009, 7:09 am

    Adding…

    I think it is also important to note that about 8 people commenting just on this post alone so far have said they have/had ED or obsessive feelings about food.

    This seems to oftentimes be a big number in the food blog readership. So when bloggers are counting calories and going on 5 mile “short” runs, I would imagine it would be extrememly dangerous for them (the readers with ED tendencies that want to recover).

    I know blogs could be helpful or could hurt someone with an unhealthy food relationship, but I think in an ideal world those with ED tendencies/history would try to occupy their time in other ways than reading food blogs. I think it would be much like someone struggling with alcoholism working for anheuser-busch or something. Too close to home.

  • jenngirl May 28, 2009, 7:17 am

    I agree with you about food blogging. It can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on who is doing the reading and who is doing the blogging.

    For me, it’s a way to find new ideas for both workouts and meals, but also it’s nice to connect with an entire community of people who have the same interest in health that I do. I hate seeing people take blogging to an unhealthy extreme, and my main goal is to always keep mine open, balanced, and honest šŸ™‚

  • Jenny May 28, 2009, 7:22 am

    This is a great discussion – thanks for starting the conversation Caitlin!

    In my opinion what it comes down to is everything giving some thought to what role they want “food blogs” to play in their life and how the blog world is affecting them. In other words, don’t be a mindless consumer! Be choosy about which ones you read and which messages you internalize. I think there can be a positive place for all blogs, but I have noticed the ones I like to read/ find the healthiest and most inspiring talk about things OTHER than food too – it’s more like a daily window into the lives of people who you come to see as friends. On the subject of people with EDs… I have noticed several bloggers with recovery blogs stopped blogging after they reached a certain level of health – it was like they got to the point where they wanted to focus on other things besides food finally, and that was awesome to me. Not saying that will be the case for everyone at all, but it was an interesting observation I made…

  • Anna May 28, 2009, 7:26 am

    Caitlin-
    I’m so glad you addressed this topic- I feel like it’s often the elephant in the blogosphere room, so to speak. I enjoy blogging because it’s an outlet through which I can share my passion for food and health, and connect with like-minded people. I’ve only been at it for a couple months but I already feel like I “know” so many of my blog friends and have picked up tons of new recipes and ideas.

    That being said, I try to stay away from blogs that don’t project a healthy outlook on life and food. I don’t have an eating disorder, but I just don’t need that sort of negativity (nor does anyone else).

    On the other hand, there are a lot of AMAZING blogs written by people recovering from eating disorders. You’re right, they do have a special insight into health. Their positivity, courage, and grace in the face of a serious mental illness is truly inspiring.

  • ellie May 28, 2009, 7:33 am

    so cool for you and your new neighbour! I’d love to live near some other bloggers šŸ™‚

    as for food blogs… I am very open about my recovery and my blog is about an all together healthy balanced lifestyle rather than specifically about food. I have been reading blogs for a really long time at different stages of my illness- I don’t think food bloggers have ANY responsibility for someone else’s health/recovery. As longs as they are honest about not being health professionals and just speaking from their own experiences, then there is no reason for them to feel like they have to censor what they write or tailor their blogs to a certain population. At the end of the day, blogs are prety public and open to a lot of feedback, both negative and positive- I’ve had some nasty comments and bizzare questions from clearly quite unwell people, but I just delete them…it’s my blog and all I can do is speak about what is going on for *me*- take what I can from other people’s experiences if it works for me, and if not…power to them. We all find our own way in this world and blogging is just a form of expression the same way speech/fashion is- as long as bloggers are expressing their own opinions in a way that isn’t offensive, it’s all cool šŸ™‚

  • Jennifer @ His N' Her Health May 28, 2009, 7:39 am

    I feel like if I was a recovering ED food blogger, it wound hinder me in recovery. Obviously, It helps at lot of people in recovery. It is also really hard for me to tell others about my blog, other than close friends and family. No one seems to understand and they probably think it is a little obsessive, but I don’t feel like it is, so I guess that is all that really matters?

    Blogs have opened my eyes and really encouraged me to not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. However, I wonder if people think I don’t eat enough (I am only 5′!) or I don’t work out enough, or eat too much, etc. etc.

    Also, When I take pictures in a restaurant and get weird looks, I wonder if people think I am a food critic and maybe I will get better service šŸ™‚

  • fitforfree May 28, 2009, 7:42 am

    Caitlin, thank you for this refreshing post! Reading blogs has helped me SO much in the quest for health without food or exercise obsession. Seeing people eat balanced, regular, healthy meals and exercise moderately gave me insight into a lifestyle that I never thought I could have. And now, I’m closer than ever to getting there, largely thanks to to you and my other fave bloggers. I worry that my own blog is too focused on my struggles, but honestly, I started it as a way of sorting through the baggage and moving on, and it’s helped A LOT!

    I think if I started reading food blogs 4 years ago, it might have been triggering, because I’d try to copy someone else’s habits rather than develop my own. At this point, I’m in it to figure out what works for me.

  • Amanda May 28, 2009, 7:44 am

    Caitlin,

    Thanks so much for this post. As someone who has recovered/is probably still recovering from an ED, I find food blogs to be helpful in coming up with fun recipes that stimulate my new foodie passions! I also love to run, and I decided to run a half-marathon upon reading blogs like yours.

    That said, I avoid blogs that could be triggering in any way and I do not have my own blog, because I do still have mixed feelings/occasional guilt and I don’t really want to put that out there.

    I don’t find it so hard to believe that food blogging would conjur up some nasty comments from other women because look at how critical some women are of themselves/others in the “real world” when it comes to eating! I’m sure a lot of this has to do with their own food insecurity, which is unfortunate.

    I always appreciate your honesty and just overall good attitude toward healthy living! Thanks!

  • ellie May 28, 2009, 7:45 am

    also want to add to my comment that I have moments when I feel ‘inadequate’ because I don’t run X miles a day or eat ‘clean’ all the time, but if anything it has pushed me a lot further in recovery because I am now understanding how important it is to find what works for ME which is never going to be the same as for somebody else…

  • Wondering K May 28, 2009, 7:46 am

    As someone who is in recovery from an ED, I can tell you some blogs definitely are triggering. That’s one of the reasons why I loved yours. Your recent posts on stopping fat talk is a great example. I started reading a few food blogs as a way to try and get a more healthy perspective on what to eat. There are a few I have stopped reading because the writers seemed hell bent on being perfect, and all the frowny faces over minor indulgences was driving me crazy. Food is something we should never have to apologize for. It’s not something we should allow to take so much power from us. I appreciate that you encourage healthy eating, while celebrating your beer and anything else that might be considered not so healthy!

    And that said, in the end, we with EDs are responsible for our own choices. I appreciate that you try not be triggering, and while we can’t always control what upsets us, we can choose to walk away when something does. We are responsible for our own actions, and you shouldn’t change something to protect someone else! Whew, I’m long winded this morning! Anyway, thanks so much for this post, and all your posts. I look forward to them and think you’re doing a great job. Take care!

  • Matt May 28, 2009, 7:48 am

    I think this is a complicated subject, but I think that having a food blog would actually hinder someone from recovering from an ED. An ED is all about an obsession with food, even if it means eating very little of it.

    I try to stay away from those blogs, because they can in fact be triggering to me (I have a slight history od it).

    There are alot of healthy blogs out there though, and they do give me a lot of great meal ideas! Yours is awesome by the way!

  • Graze With Me May 28, 2009, 7:49 am

    Oh I love this topic. First off, I think everyone has their own opinions and if you want to start a blog – it’s YOUR space.

    I know putting yourself and your food (such a personal topic) out there is scary but I think negative commenters have no right to bash you for a hobby that you enjoy. Who is forcing them to read it??

    I love the blog world, I’ve discovered so many new foods and recipes. I feel like I have girl-friends for the first time since high school (although I’ve never actually met them in person.) I love the support and the fact that 99.9% of them are so sweet and helpful whenever I ask a question and I try to do the same for my commenters.

    I’ve struggled a little with the whole “Is this meal balanced enough to post? Maybe I should add some whole grains to it…?” but I’ve realized that it’s MY blog and MY food and if I want to just have a bowl of fruit or a bottle of champagne (true story) for dinner then I WILL not worry about what others think…

  • Olga May 28, 2009, 7:52 am

    This is SUCH an interesting discussion! I loved reading through all the comments on this post because I’ve also been thinking a lot about my reasons for blogging, reading other food blogs and more specifically, my food blogger responsibilities to my audience, if any.

    I definitely have trouble explaining what a “food blog” is to those who are not familiar with it. It is difficult to explain what I do and then WHY I do it. I feel like there are so many benefits to it that I can spend hours trying to explain! Often, I just end up showing them the food blog and then some other blogs to show what I mean.

    I started my blog last summer, after I stumbled upon this amazing, supportive and informative community. Since then, I have developed wonderful relationships with fellow bloggers, found numerous recipes, exercise tips and ways to spice up my eating habits to be more exciting and healthy. In addition, it is a personal tool for me to keep on top of my attempts to lead a healthy and balanced life. As an over-involved college student, I sometimes prioritize responsibilities over my personal health and needs. The blog helps me keep in check. I cannot even begin to explain the daily dose of inspiration I derive through reading other people’s blogs.

    The question of responsibility is particularly interesting. I was going to write a post about this soon…One of my journalism professors, who knows about the blog, recently forwarded me an interesting piece on “Food Blogger Ethics.”

    It is written by 2 food bloggers and has caused quite a bit of controversy and debate. You can find it here:

    http://foodethics.wordpress.com/the-code/

    One of my favorite points has to do with “civility.” Although the freedom of speech is acknowledged, they state that “our experiences with food are subjective.” Therefore, being mindful without being offensive and degrading as a way of a personal attack on the blogger, is vital.

    I’ve gotten some negative comments in the past, mostly like “did you eat ALL of that?” but I decided to post them and answer because like many others have said, I put what I eat out there, with an understanding that someone might not like it and judge me negatively. However, I am not sure how I would respond to more negative comments and I think personal attacks are unfortunate and disgusting.

    This community is unique and special to so many people. And the fact that we can have conversations like this says a lot about our motivations: it is so much more than just a post of daily eats.

  • hemp jogger May 28, 2009, 7:54 am

    negative nancys can eat it! *pun*

    honestly, this post was fantastic, as are most of yours caitlin. i love this blog and how you address issues. as someone who delved into distorted eating habits, i find it refreshing and helpful to read the healthy blogs. there are some that trigger regret and guilt, so i just quit reading them. i have found tons of great ideas on new recipes and food which has been wonderful.

    all bloggers do their job, and if someone doesnt want to read what they type, then dont! that easy!

  • Katie T May 28, 2009, 8:01 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now because yours is EXACTLY the kind of blog that I need, as someone recovering from ED. You are always SO positive, inspiring, and balanced in your approach to food, exercise, and life. I love finding new healthy recipe ideas on your blog, but what I love just as much is how open you are about the fact that we are all human, and nobody is (or should be!) perfect with regards to eating and exercise. Your blog, and others like it, have been incredibly helpful to me as I develop my own healthy relationship with food, fitness, and my own body. Thank you for being such a positive role model, and for being aware of issues like this one! You rock!!

  • Dori May 28, 2009, 8:14 am

    I sent this post to my boyfriend. When I read food blogs, he goes on and on about how they are a sign of an eating disorder. He feels that anyone who photographs all their food has some kind of ED. I disagree. I think yes, some do. But others, like you, are just trying to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle and motivate and encourage others to do the same — and show them how easy it can be, and how you don’t have to give up the food you love.

    I don’t think he will ever change the way he sees it though! I do see some blogs where the author clearly has an ED and might not even admit it to herself, and those are the ones I try to avoid. Yours is just about a healthy balance!

  • Ryan May 28, 2009, 8:17 am

    Yayyyyy!!! I can’t wait!! šŸ˜€

  • lilveggiepatch May 28, 2009, 8:33 am

    I think the food blogs can be all things at once: a trigger, an aid, and an inspiration! Sometimes if I can’t decide what I want to eat, I surf the blogs to see if anything looks good.

    OH! Guess who was at Borders here yesterday? The entire cast of Twilight!!! I should have taken a picture for you… I’m sorry!

  • Beezus May 28, 2009, 8:54 am

    It is awesome to see this issue addressed in the food blog world. From my personal experience, following food blogs has helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle. But I have been really disturbed at the reactions some food (weight loss) bloggers have to eating something they “shouldn’t” have.

    If I ever go back to school and continue on an anthropology/sociology/psychology track, I think it would be incredibly interesting to dissect the relationship of food blogging to eating disorders. Maybe a little research/writing in my spare time?

  • Julie May 28, 2009, 9:08 am

    When I first started reading food blogs I was obsessed! I’d bookmark any and every new blog I came across. I loved looking at how girls my age ate and how they exercised. However, I feel like recently it’s taken a toll n how I see myself. I wonder how all your ladies can eat so much (not that you eat lot, just more than me) and maintain such a slim figure and positive self image. I work out like a fiend and watch what I eat, yet sometimes I feel terrible if the scale goes up, my pants feel tight, I’m bloated, or I can’t run as far or as long as some bloggers. It’s like I look up to you, and when I don’t live up to your lifesytles, I get discouraged. I know comparing myself to others will get me nowhere, and I should be happy with how I am, sometimes it just gets to me you know? I suppose having underlying issues with food has a lot to do with this, but my eating isn’t as restrictive anymore because I see how you ladies incorporate treats without feeling bad. I guess I just can’t do it as often because it certainly shows on the scale.
    I feel like some bloggers set such high standards and I feel like I need to live up to them myself.

  • Julie May 28, 2009, 9:08 am

    When I first started reading food blogs I was obsessed! I’d bookmark any and every new blog I came across. I loved looking at how girls my age ate and how they exercised. However, I feel like recently it’s taken a toll n how I see myself. I wonder how all your ladies can eat so much (not that you eat lot, just more than me) and maintain such a slim figure and positive self image. I work out like a fiend and watch what I eat, yet sometimes I feel terrible if the scale goes up, my pants feel tight, I’m bloated, or I can’t run as far or as long as some bloggers. It’s like I look up to you, and when I don’t live up to your lifesytles, I get discouraged. I know comparing myself to others will get me nowhere, and I should be happy with how I am, sometimes it just gets to me you know? I suppose having underlying issues with food has a lot to do with this, but my eating isn’t as restrictive anymore because I see how you ladies incorporate treats without feeling bad. I guess I just can’t do it as often because it certainly shows on the scale.
    I feel like some bloggers set such high standards and I feel like I need to live up to them myself.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point May 28, 2009, 9:10 am

    julie – i think its really important that you decide what works for YOU. what works for you food wise and eating wise is not necessarily what works for me. the one thing that DEFINITELY works for all of us is having a positive mindset and working on our self-confidence. that is something we all need a little bit more of! i wish you the best of luck. XOXO

  • CeciLiA May 28, 2009, 9:17 am

    oh gosh, I love this post!!

    As for the commenting issue, I do think that everyone has a right to say/point out something – but if he/she crosses a certain boundary (ie attacking the blogger unnecessarily), the blog administrator can by all means delete them.

    And HAH! So true on the anonymous comments!! I think the saddest thing is when you discovered that the person leaving those nasty anonymous comments are acting all nice and sweet when they are using their ‘real name’. psssh!

  • Oh She Glows May 28, 2009, 9:28 am

    I could talk about this topic until I am blue in the face!
    What I have concluded is that each person takes away something totally different from each blog, each post…
    There is no way we can fully ‘protect’ our readers because what we may think is innocent and harmless may be interpreted differently by someone else. I know what you mean though- sometimes I think VERY carefully about what I say and how it comes out.

  • rediscoveringlauren May 28, 2009, 9:51 am

    caitlin, you and your blog never cease to amaze me šŸ™‚ your so inspirational and open and honest and thats one of the reasons why i always look forward to your posts.

    I definetely think there are blogs out there that focus so much on numbers etc that they could be triggering for people with eds, but i think its finding the ones you enjoy and sticking to them thats a good idea for people in recovery.
    Im in recovery from an ed myself and my blog is about food and my daily life and journey on recovery ( so i hope my blog isnt a triggering one your refering to lol) but i always try to be very careful with what i post as im so aware of how easily others can be triggered. I never post numbers of anything like calories etc as i know others with eds do read my blog and that could be too triggering. Theres definetly those blogs out there that are too dark for me to read, so i just stick to the ones i love.
    Ive also found reading blogs of those without eds and with normal relationships with food to be so SO helpful ( yours especially, i think your attitude to food is just amazing and something i strive for…)
    have a great thursday šŸ™‚

  • Jen May 28, 2009, 9:58 am

    I started my food blog because I saw so many dieters thinking they had to eat light bread, fake sweeteners, fat free cheese, etc. to lose weight. I wanted to demonstrate that you can eat real food — food that actually tastes good. And you’re more successful when you love what you’re eating.

    I guess I don’t feel any particular sense of responsibilty. I don’t pretend to be an expert, I don’t preach and I’m pretty much just sharing what I’ve eaten lately.

    As for negative commenters, I haven’t gotten any, but I wouldn’t delete them. It’s an open forum and when you choose to accept comments you choose to open yourself up to criticism. Besides when someone’s really nasty, the community usually takes care of it.

  • Hallie May 28, 2009, 10:01 am

    Great post! I agree with the people that say that if they come across blogs they don’t like, they can just move on…there are certainly enough of them out there!

    I think too that the more popular a blog is, the more the blogger probably has to watch what they say…I have a very small readership, so I feel like my blog is very much for me and I can do with it what I want, keeping things like privacy and safety in mind.

    That said, I try to stay positive (which can be HARD!), because I want to run the type of blog that I would want to read. No one wants to hear me complaining about how fat I feel all the time (uh…sorry about that, boyfriend).

    I used to be obsessed with food blogs, and actually starting my blog helped because it gave me something to focus on other that looking at other people’s eats. I’ll admit it’s often a challenge to not compare myself to those I see as doing “better” than me, but that’s a challenge in my “real” life as well…so bloggers like you who do practice moderation and are honest and real, help.

  • chrissy May 28, 2009, 10:02 am

    Caitlin,

    When I first started reading blogs, I DID get caught up in trying to eat and be just like the people I was reading about daily. I made ginormous bowls of oatmeal, indulged in a morning and afternoon snack, and usually dessert too! I was in the process (very long process) of trying to get rid of those last 10-15 lbs from my initial weight loss years ago and assumed that since the bloggers had such success (you, meghann, kath, tina, etc)and were able to eat this way, I should too! Unfortunately for me and my body, eating this way did NOT help me loose…I might have gained a few!

    In the past few months I have finally been discovering what is right for MY body and MY eating habits. I’ve learned that it is ok to get ideas from you guys, but to try to do everything like you is just not realistic or even right for my body. Once I started figuring out what my body needed to get it though the day as well as adding in some new exercise techniques (hello, Your SHRED challenge!) I have finally lost those 10 lbs and am working on the last 5!

    Weight loss is so personal and specific to each persons body and through trial and error, I have finally found (i think!!) my balance!

    Thank you for being so honest and real as well as giving us a bit more than just “what you ate that day”. I’ve been wanting to start my own blog but have been nervous that I can’t do it quite as well as some of you guys so for now I’ll just keep reading šŸ™‚

  • *One Step at a Time* May 28, 2009, 10:17 am

    I really enjoyed reading this post. For me, food blogs have been both good and bad. In terms of food, it hasn’t really effected the amount I eat rather allowed me to explore new food options. I get GREAT food ideas from the food blogs. In terms of exercise though, it has made me feel like I HAVE to exercise every day. It has made me rather obsessive, unfortunately. I always give myself 1 day off a week, but on that off day, I always feel SO guilty reading about all the exercise that everyone else is doing. I loved Ange’s social comparison on this topic. I need to realize that in all honesty, you don’t NEED to exercise to burn off calories. This is something I struggle with, and food blogs have probably worsened it. HOWEVER, I absolutely LOVE reading food blogs and yours is one of my fave’s! šŸ™‚

  • sandy May 28, 2009, 10:29 am

    You know you have made it big when u get negative comments! Perezhilton (i think u said u like gossip blogs) gets like 90 percent mean comments, but look at him rackin in all that money! That being said, ppl still need to get lives other then going around and writing mean things.

  • Betsy May 28, 2009, 10:30 am

    I agree with others that blogging can be a mixed bag and the people reading them should know enough to take them with a grain on salt. These are YOUR thoughts and while you do influence people, you are not socially responsible to watch what you say in order to not influence people on certain subjects.

    Regardless, this is your space. do with it what YOU want! So many people enjoy reading this blog, thanks for writing it!!!

  • Rose May 28, 2009, 10:36 am

    Gosh – I think everyone covered exactly what I wanted to say! I agree with so many commenters above. I do want to add that I think there’s a fine line to negative comments. Sometimes I receive comments that seem strange in tone, but then I realize it’s just a person’s way of writing. I have actually taken these personally – which, over time, I realized was just their style – and nothing hurtful at all. At other times though, it’s clear that the comment is meant to intentionally hurt.

    I have always found the internet world hard in terms of communicating emotion. However, the blogs I do love and read daily – all seem to have that distinct voice, one I trust and believe in. Yours included!

  • Kailey (SnackFace) May 28, 2009, 10:51 am

    Caitlin, thank you for bringing this up! It’s an interesting topic.

    I started to read food blogs my sophomore year in college, when I wasn’t eating my best (or enough) and when I felt lonely. These blogs amazed me with delicious food and, most importantly, incredible personalities. I could turn to your blog, or Jenna’s or Kaths for a huge pick-me-up when I needed it. Now I read blogs because I love the people and want to know what’s going on in their lives! I also just love food SO MUCH.

    As for my own blogging, I’m sometimes nervous to post certain things I eat. I’m afraid they’ll be deemed unhealthy, or not pure enough, but then I think, heck, that’s what makes things interesting! I recently ate Pizza Hut bread sticks for dinner and thought, “the blogettes may not not like this.” But I think it’s funny. It’s just food. We eat amazingly healthy stuff and we eat not-so-healthy (but delicious!) stuff, too. I think it’s awesome to share this with others, and that you can eat bread sticks and not explode (which I once deemed bread sticks off-limits).

    We’re all different, and we all eat differently. That’s why I read so many blogs–it’s fascinating!

  • Anonymous May 28, 2009, 11:28 am

    I LOVE your blog and many others. I eat mostly the same things as you, but I like the different ideas and ways to switch it up.. like my new fave snack is the Kashi heart to heart with a wholesoy yogurt and banana together. Before I never would have thought to put the cereal on top(as sillly as it sounds)

  • Anonymous May 28, 2009, 12:03 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I’m actually a psychologist and recovering from an ED. I started reading your blog because I’m a runner but continued to read it because of how positive you are. I LOVE your blog and have often turned to read it when I’m feeling off-balance. I think what your doing is amazing and you’re so brave to put yourself out there for everyone. For me you are quite the inspiration….healthy and balanced! So, thank you for all your time and effort and for staying positive throughout the negativity. You go girl!!!!

  • jesslikesithot May 28, 2009, 12:04 pm

    Caitlin!!! I could go on and on about how inspiring you have been to all your readers these past few weeks, but I won’t bore you!! You’ve always been such a great example of balancing health, happiness and fitness….but lately you’ve been posting topics that really NEED to be addressed, and I appreciate it! You’re impacting all of our lives in a very positive way, so thank you!! šŸ™‚

  • elliebelle May 28, 2009, 12:05 pm

    I am not a food blogger, but I do blog about my creative endeavors and just everyday life. Luckily, I have not encountered any negative comments.
    I have to say I am very intrigued by food blogs (especially yours!) because they have opened my eyes up to new and interesting foods. I’ve always eaten fairly healthy, but have never really been “into” food. Food blogs have helped me feel motivated to really learn to eat even better and get back into exercising and keeping active. Plus, I’ve always been a believer in positive body image, and you touch on this as well, so I love that!
    I’m not really sure why people choose to say negative things. Don’t they remember Thumper’s mother? “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  • katecooks May 28, 2009, 12:05 pm

    i try to be really honest in my blog. sometimes it might seem like i’m harping on one thing but if someone doesn’t want to hear about that, really, they dont have to read it! i started my food blog for MYSELF. it was really important to paint a picture of what i really eat every day. i try to be honest because i am being honest with myself. right now i am trying to lose some weight and i honestly love looking at a post and seeing clean, healthy eating. it can be a great reminder of how well we are doing.

    i do think that blogging can affect what i eat and when, but i think there are both positives and negatives to that. i also think that we are human and ive come to terms with the fact that i eat decently healthy, homecooked meals most of the time. i don’t want to feel guilty that i use splenda every day, or that i love lean cuisines, because i really dont feel badly about those things.

    as far as negativity on blogs, i just try to stay away from reading ones that prompt a negative response in myself. for the most part, i love the honest, funny ones and try to stay away from ones where people eat a bite of cake when they really want the whole piece. i am trying to get to a point where food is entirely for celebration, not punishment or a detriment, and i think there are lots of great blogs that can help move my mind in that direction!!

  • Anonymous May 28, 2009, 12:22 pm

    Food blogs have definitely helped me! I started out reading one because it had some great vegetarian recipes, but I never encountered the fitness side of food blogging until I read yours, and you’ve inspired me so much! I used to not be able to run half a mile without stopping and now I go on 5.5 mile runs several times a week! I never worked out until I came to college last August, and I find that these blogs help me stay healthy and avoid that freshman fifteen! (Though I did put on some weight–muscle mass!)

    You have made me discover a love of running I never knew I had. I think food blogs are great because there’s an entire network of bloggers and readers who can support each other and share tips (like Gliding Calm’s tofu method or Kath’s amazing oatmeal!). I’ve also become more open to different kinds of food, too.

    So, food blogs, no matter how weird they may seem to other people, are pretty awesome. Screw the negative comments! šŸ˜‰

  • Kristin May 28, 2009, 12:23 pm

    I agree that food blogs are really a strange creature. On the one hand, it’s great to showcase your daily eats so that others can learn what is a “balanced” days worth of healthy food and exercise. This is great, and there is no better community than this to share and learn from. That is why I read, to get new recipes, learn about new products.

    But on the other hand I think that logging each bite of food you eat every day can constantly feed that obsessive need to always be thinking about food.

    I do agree with some others, I think that if you have a public blog you should be open to some criticism. I think it’s hilarious when bloggers openly comment about the negative commenters, or directly address it. However if it is really offensive, then I see no problem in deleting.

    For me personally, I would never be able to photograph each bite of food and write about it. Mainly because I don’t have the time and I’m too lazy to do all that! But I do like to showcase some of the foods I make, or good recipes I stumble across. I’m also not afraid to blog about eating an (almost) entire bag of chips or two huge cookies from Whole Foods. We’re all human!

    I think you all do a good job with balancing it all out, but I guess what I am getting at, is that I can definitely see how ANY healthy food or exercise blog could be a trigger for someone with ED.

  • Julie May 28, 2009, 12:28 pm

    Once again awesome post! I love that you get great conversations started because I love reading others views too!

    I love reading food blogs because I like seeing new foods and recipes that help me stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. I created my blog to get the support from the blog community and to help me stay on track to lose weight. I love the healthy lifestyle blogs that incorporate healthy eating AND exercise.

    Thanks again!

    http://strivingforbalance.wordpress.com/

  • meegie lee May 28, 2009, 12:37 pm

    i think that you’re right–there is a good, bad and ugly to the food blog side of things. on one hand–i’ve learned so much information! my own blog has been a vehicle for me to look at my food choices and to express my opinions on food, wellness, lifestyle, etc.

    but you’re right. some -are- triggering. and sadly, too, some of the blogs i read i think–i don’t know, that they’re not eating enough (if they’re posting everything they’re eating), or they work out obsessively. And it’s celebrated as health–but really, is it? Or is it that weird sense of perfection, verging on disordered behavior?

    I’m a stereotrype as well–a food blogger that is recover(ed)(ing) from an eating disorder, so I might be extra sensitive to these behaviors.

    However, on the whole, I think food blogging for health, wellness and pro-food enjoyment is a healthy thing. It’s healthy for people to see and when the information is accurate and helpful it enriches lives.

    More good than bad, I say. The best thing that people can do is look out for their e-pals and perhaps gently challenge them on what seem to be destructive behaviors.

  • Holly May 28, 2009, 1:03 pm

    I love reading other people’s comments on this, too!

    I agree with many others; certain blogs are more helpful and positive, while some could be taken as “triggering” for recovery ED readers. For myself, food blogs have generally been very helpful – not only in new recipe ideas, but seeing food bloggers (such as yourself) who have SUCH a healthy attitude towards food and fitness. šŸ™‚

  • becky May 28, 2009, 1:41 pm

    I have to say as a reader of a few blogs I think that some negative comments keep it interesting and sparks debate. I don’t mean name calling and just being downright cruel, but if no one is allowed to disagree it becomes really silly and boring. (ie.YUMMY SWEET POTATOES!!!)

    Putting yourself out there on the internet is a CHOICE. If you’re doing it for yourself, keep it a private blog. If you want others to read, allow us to respond in the way that we feel/wish/think.

    I will say I do appreciate that you have drinks, eat desserts, and get grumpy. I hate the whole, “I had 2 bites of hubby’s dinner and a sniff of dessert and now I have a food coma!” type blogs. Kudos for that!

  • Allison May 28, 2009, 2:11 pm

    Such a great post!
    I have a blog, that I started because I thought some food blogs were just so dang cool. I found that I don’t have the time, or desire to spend as much time blogging as the truly sucessfull bloggers do. And that is ok.
    But it took me a while to realize that.
    It also took me a while to realize that I am not “less than” because I eat more calories per day, run less miles, have a messier house, etc then some of the “big name” bloggers.

    I love blogs for the food ideas they give me, and the way they have expanded my healthy living horizons.

  • Natalie M. May 28, 2009, 3:05 pm

    Wonderful post Caitlin!
    I think its very commendable that you, VeggieGirl, Angela and others speak up when something in the blog world offends you, upsets you, or makes you ridiculously elated. With food blogs comes great responsibility but it should also be fun and lighthearted. I’ve thought about starting up a blog again (I had one once before but now its gone.. long story) but I don’t think I’d have the patience or the tolerance to update it as frequently as you guys do. Keep up the good work.. I seriously love reading all of the insightful information you ladies post… also the gratuitous R-Patz pics make for a happy lady! Mmm sparkly shirtless vampire.. mmm

  • Kelly May 28, 2009, 3:38 pm

    This is definitely an interestinng topic. I do think that people should not write mean things just because they feel like they are anonymous. I also agree with another commenter who says that when you have a blog you are putting yourself out there to be criticized. You can’t expect for people to not have an opinion about your life if you are writing about online three times a day. I also feel like bloggers can be a hard thing to compare yourself to. Everyone seems so perfect and happy. I know that part of this must be a front and that people have bad days and throw handfuls of random snacks in their mouths without writing about it. I try to remember that when I compare myself to the blogging world.

  • Tammy May 28, 2009, 5:25 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Just got back from Florida and my first eating-disorder free vacation in 15 years! Wow, it was amazing!

    First of all, I think it’s so responsible of you to address and write about this issue. So many people (with or without eating disorders) do not realize how triggering what they say and do can be. It’s something that we all, myself included, must be so careful about. It’s awesome that you do that with your blog, which I don’t find triggering at all. And I’m a person who gets triggered pretty easily.

    I think healthy food blogs are extremely helpful to a person who is READY to recover or almost ready to recover from an eating disorder. I’ve known for the past year that I really wanted a different life for myself, and your blog (plus your advice) really helped me to understand what balanced eating looks like.

    I have been going to an RD for a month-and-a-half now, and I can proudly say that I am eating-disorder free, with a few lingering “symptoms” that I’m working on. I am amazed at how quickly I’ve recovered, and I really think blogs have assisted me.

    Don’t get me wrong, before I was recovered, there were times that blogs were triggering, and not due to anything “wrong” that you or any of the other writers said. It was simply because I so desperately wanted to be “normal,” I was not eating enough, and just seeing all the food made me feel hungry, deprived, and all sorts of other feelings that all stemmed from within me.

    Once I was in the right frame of mind and getting help, though, you and the other bloggers were great role models of balance. I use your recipes and ideas, and I’m eating healthier and more balanced than ever! So thanks, and keep up the great work!

    By the way, I promise my new blog is coming soon!

  • Erin May 28, 2009, 6:05 pm

    Great blog. You are so smart with the way you address issues and I always feel you do it the right way. With any internet portal (ie. myspace, facebook, blogging etc.) people put themselves out there in the electronic world all the time. I could count on both hands and feet how many times I’ve read a facebook status update that was so ridiculous and T.M.I., but I never wasted my time negatively responding to it. Although people may not agree with all the perspectives on these blogs, food choices etc., they don’t have to be distasteful and disrespectful, and downright snobbish with comments. ( I remember the one biotch from Oh She Glows that posted a stupid rude comment about Angela posting about celebrity outfits, like what???) Who has time for that?

    Keep on keepin’ on girly. I love your blog.

  • Annabel May 28, 2009, 6:12 pm

    Being new to the whole blogging world, I had no idea that it could have any adverse effects. but, yes, it’s a strange new world. i have found myself at times feeling inadequate for not eating as little as some of you guys do or working out as much as you guys do. It was those feelings of inadequacy that led to my recent blog/rant. But it was a great, cathartic moment that came from it all. Keep on, keep on, Caitlin!

  • mehorsecrazy123 May 28, 2009, 8:04 pm

    I read food blogs because I LOVE food and I also LOVE to learn about different people and what they are up to. When a blogger goes on vacation I love reading their recaps–food and otherwise. I become more selective in my blog choices (don’t want to clog up that google reader too badly!) but try not to discriminate based on the person’s eating history. However I don’t force myself to eat the same way that a certain blogger does. I may admire a blogger’s creative meals or I may totally hate what they loved at a restaurant–but isn’t that just life? I think that food blogs are GREAT and FUN to read and that’s what the should be. Keep up the awesome work Caitlin! I LOVE your blog! šŸ™‚

  • Lesi May 28, 2009, 8:11 pm

    Great post of course! This is a topic that has been on my mind alot. I just started blogging mainly because a wholesome lifestyle is a big interest of mine that I don’t really share with alot of my current friends and its great to be able to connect to people that do! I’m sure that this community could trigger some bad feelings for some people, but for the most part I find it very inspirational.

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