The Hunger Diaries: My (Brief) Take on the Matter

If you haven’t already heard about the major blog drama going on, here’s the scoop: Marie Claire published a rather scathing and one-sided article criticizing “The Big Six” (six popular healthy living bloggers). The author, Katie Drummond, accused the six girls of exhibiting disordered behaviors and being bad role models for their readers. I have lots of things to say, but I’m going to keep it brief and ask for your thoughts.

I happened to blog about what I usually eat in a day today; good timing. Read my “Non-Hunger Diaries: Part 1” if you didn’t check it out already.

The Hunger Diaries: A Second Look

  1. The Big Six have definitely been inspiring for many, including me. If you are struggling with some of the behaviors the article talks about, like overthinking food and exercise, feeling guilty for not eating right, and having poor body image – I know first-hand that these blogs are helpful. These girls put themselves out there and have been incredibly honest and open with their lives; they were role models for me and others. Now that I am in a place of moderation I honestly don’t read those blogs that much because I don’t need them anymore (!), but I do not think that they were harmful. Instead, they were inspirational.
  2. Everyone struggles. Don’t judge before you walk 2 moons in someone else’s moccasins. When someone admits on the internet (the internet is written in INK, by the way, so it is hard to retract things) that she is having trouble with something, that is not an excuse to take that problem and blow it out of proportion. These girls were just being honest and opening up a discussion.
  3. Yes, there are some concerning issues brought up in the article. But instead of attacking the girls, why not offer some constructive criticism or some freaking compassion! If you are struggling, the last thing you need is someone yelling at and condemning you.
  4. Blogs are SUPPOSED to be obsessive. You aren’t going to blog about something you’re not passionate about, so there is going to be a level of obsession in any blog about anything. Do people criticize Stuff On My Cat for being obsessive about stuff on cats? No! Because that is what the blog is about.
  5. Source

That’s basically it.

The reasons that I blog the way I do (not everything I eat, not everything I do at the gym, and not every detail of my life) is because it’s not helpful for ME to blog that way, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad for others to do it. I don’t need to give all the dirty details to set a healthy example. My hope for people reading THIS blog is that they will walk away with some nuggets of inspiration, and hopefully…

  1. Tools to practice moderation in life.
  2. Some yoga tips.
  3. Ideas to be chillax about both food and exercise while staying thin.
  4. Ways to learn to eat intuitively (again).
  5. A bunch of New York healthy restaurants to try.

There are different ways of inspiring people and I think that most “healthy living” blogs out there are just trying to help (themselves or others). See the other bloggers’ responses here. These ladies are beautiful and fabulous.

What are your thoughts?

19 Replies to “The Hunger Diaries: My (Brief) Take on the Matter”

  1. When I read #4 I said “YES!” Excellent, EXCELLENT point. Yes, I obsess about how much tahini goes in my hummus and what the perfect nut-butter-to-honey ratio is for a sandwich. Yes, I find ways to “healthify” foods I like, including lowering the calorie count or upping the fiber. I eat the way I do for ME, and I blog about it because I LOVE that so many others do the same, and we all get to ogle, admire, compliment, comment on, ask questions about, and LEARN from each other’s food – and each other.

  2. Your #4 is basically the point of my own blog post. We blog about what we like. If people get offended, then I’m sure they can find something that’s just their cup of organic green tea somewhere else. 🙂

  3. Well said. Maggie! I think that the article had some valid points, but the reporter went about it in such an inflammatory way that the points are buried underneath all the drama. Love point #4 — that is something no one else has said yet on this topic. Of COURSE someone who blogs about something will be slightly obsessed! Hello me and Core Fusion!

    1. @Dori: I know! It’s a shame that the writer wrote it the way she did because some of the valid points deserve further examination, and now they will probably be swept under the table.

  4. I agree with Dori, the points were valid (sabotaging dessert is, in my opinion, disordered eating) but they were presented in such a distasteful way.

    I had to stop reading them myself because they were triggering, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t helped so many other people!

    1. @Shelby: Yes, that is definitely disordered! Your last point is another one I wish I’d mentioned – it’s the reader’s responsibility to stop reading if they are triggering. I think that the author of the article is probably majorly triggered by those big 6 blogs and unfortunately that came out as a big rant instead of something that could have been constructive and helpful.

  5. to be honest, i haven’t read the article nor the websites mentioned (i know, it’s on my to-do list) so i can’t give a valid opinion. but it’s funny….i know a lot of websites that talk about, and picture, what they’ve eaten from dusk till dawn, yet i never once viewed it as “obsessive”. maybe it’s because I myself am not obsessive, or maybe i just skim those parts all too quickly because picutres of granola bars don’t interest me. who knows.:P

  6. The article disgusted me. I read it, and I was seriously shocked by her judgmental and condemning tone. She attacked, rather than observed, and she grouped every lifestyle into one simple mold, generalizing it all.

    As someone who’s suffered disordered eating for too many years to mention, I’m glad to see so many blogs, including yours rallied against the article. Blogs are obsessive in their nature – I blog obsessively about books…isn’t that the point? Either way, your post hit the nail on the head, Mags 🙂

    1. @Melissa: Those big 6 blogs helped me so much when I was struggling more. Do I read them now? Not really – I don’t need to. But they were not harmful at all for me and they were great role models. I think readers need to know what triggers them towards disordered behavior and if these blogs are triggering for someone then that person shouldn’t read them. Clearly the author (who is a formerly anorexic vegan triathlete) has issues of her own.

  7. I really love number four.

    I think there’s some truth that many health bloggers currently have or have had in the past either weight issues or body image issues or negative relationships with food. It’s not necessarily fair to call out on specific blogs – but the author of the article made some good points about blogging in general.

    1. @Sagan: Yep – I think she could have picked different bloggers that might have supported her point more! There are definitely blogs out there that I avoid because they drive me crazy.

  8. Yes Yes Yes. You are perfectly right. I’m glad you enjoyed my post as well — I also read and liked Sophia’s when you linked to it.

    Mmmmm, fats. 🙂

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