super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others

A compendium of my fitness/health blogging pet peeves



Do you ever find yourself practising the fine art of hate-reading? Sometimes, when you’re down? Sometime when you’re happy? Only all the time? Is reading this blog your ultimate hate-reading moment for the day?

Don’t tell me. I’d rather not know.

Anyway, sometimes I find myself doing the odd bit of hate-reading. It’s not even hate-reading at its finest – as in, I don’t actively go to a website or blog to get annoyed. But there are certain blogs on my reader that, whenever there’s a new post, I am always almost certain there’ll be something annoying about it. And yet, I still click through and read them. (Don’t worry, if you’re reading this, it’s not you. People who choose to read SGG are, according to statistics, pretty damn awesome).

I’m not sure why, whether there’s something cathartical in releasing bad energy on the internet like that instead of aiming it at the people around you. Maybe – and this is the most widely accepted theory – I’m just a little bit mean. But aren’t we all?

Anyway, I made good use of about 15 minutes of my day yesterday unsubscribing from a handful of blogs that I realised I had been hate-reading. Digital decluttering is kind of a big deal for mental sanity (plus, it beats actual decluttering since it requires zero physical effort). It was surprisingly liberating.

While I was going through this virtual clean-up (a great way to procrastinate on actually cleaning up), I noticed a certain pattern on the fitness/health blogs that I had been hate-reading. There is a short list of things that annoy me about these and, of course, for lack of something better to write, you get to read about those here. In no particular order, here are my 6+1 health/fitness blogging pet peeves (the +1 bit is because the last one is actually a general blogging one, not exclusive to fitness bloggers):

1. I’ve got no problem with your self-portraits where you look super pretty and your hair is all straight and your makeup is all in the right place. But if you have a really nice photo of yourself and then a caption that says something like “sorry about the bed hair!” or “I know it looks like every day is laundry day here!” and “ugh, I look so ugly!”, then we have an issue here. I mean, bitch please! We can tell you straightened the hell out of your hair before the photo and we recognise an expensive and impeccably ironed top when we see one (even if we don’t often find them in our closets ourselves). Don’t get me started on “post-workout photos” that include zero sweat, no red puffy faces and instead show straight hair and makeup that isn’t dribbling off their eyes.

2. Descriptions of every single one of your meals. This point kind of branches out into a range of directions. First, you have those people who will invariably take a photo of their breakfast every single day even though they have the exact same thing for breakfast every day of the week. We get it. You love peanut butter on toast. And you have no other plates in the house. No need for another photo. Just assume that we already know what’s for breakfast and what it looks like because you’ve posted the same thing for the last 300 days. Also, I don’t need to have meal reports of what you eat every single day. As shocking as this might be, I don’t really care. And then there are the snacks. Some health/fitness bloggers will show you a photo of themselves holding three peanuts and say that they just couldn’t control their cravings, or they’ll be holding a square of chocolate and caption the photo “couldn’t help myself – had to have some dessert!”. Love, sweetie, honey, darling, a square of chocolate is not dessert. Three peanuts do not constitute a “snack”.

3. Photos that include immaculate houses in the background and then say stuff like “excuse the mess”. Dah-ling, puh-lease. We know you polished the hell out of that table before taking that photo. And I know a cushion that’s been carefully placed on the couch to look like it was casually thrown on there when I see one.

4. Remember the popular girls in high school everyone wanted to hang out with and then they loved mentioning it to everyone else because hanging out with them made them super cool by osmosis? The health/fitness blogger version of that stuff is name-dropping brands. Sometimes in inappropriate and clearly artificial ways. You don’t need to tell me your headband’s brand 5 times in the same blog post. You love it and it’s snuggly and they sent it to you for free but it wouldn’t matter if it cost $500 you would still buy it and wear it because you love it so much and totally not just because they sent it to you for free. Whatever. Wearing Lululemon Athletica from head to toe does not make you a faster runner. It makes you a rich runner who overspends and it makes me a jealous hate-reader. Either way, it’s not a good look for any of us (well, except for you, because Lululemon does make some pretty cute things).

5. Lists like “the top 10 races in the world” or the “top 10 parks to run in” that only mention races and parks in the US (where most fitness bloggers I read are based). Are you familiar with this strange little concept called “rest of the world”? It’s pretty big. The same goes for giveaways online that don’t specify the rules as far as location of the entrants goes as if it should be obvious that it’s only for US residents. It’s not obvious and you’re alienating a part of your readers by omitting that. Bottom line: you suck and I miss out on giveaways. Uncool.

6. Playing it down. I understand you’re trying to push yourself and self-motivate but, if it’s only about yourself, consider a private journal. Don’t make people who read you feel like losers when they see stuff “super easy 20 miles today, barely worked up a sweat!” or “I was going to do a real workout today but then got lazy and just ran 15 super easy miles instead”. In my case, this has a demotivating effect. Why bother if I sweat my butt off after 3 miles? I’m clearly no good at this.

+1. Captchas. I was just going to say congrats on your latest race. Don’t give me all this extra work to prove that I’m human. I’m human and humans don’t have patience for proving they’re not robots.

(I also thought about mentioning sites that automatically play music but since it’s not 1995, I’m going to go ahead and assume no one’s doing that shit anymore.)

Now it’s your turn. What really annoys you on the internet? Bloggers who write entire posts about hate-reading other bloggers? Bloggers who ask you questions at the end of their posts? Let it all out. Rant away.


34 thoughts on “A compendium of my fitness/health blogging pet peeves

  1. I admit to hate-reading quite a few health and fitness bloggers – not all the time, just when I’m in a particular mood – and one of the things that really irritates me about them is how so many of them normalize disordered eating and health habits. And these are big high-profile blogs, too. I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised as a lot of women’s fitness magazines do the same thing, you know, offering weight loss “tips” like “drink two glasses of water before breakfast so you won’t eat as much.”

  2. Have you heard of GetOffMyInternets (aka GOMI)? They talk a lot about the same stuff you do on the forums.

  3. Phew! I didn’t get the axe! At least not yet!

  4. Love this! I agree on the picture thing, especially when it is “just finished my workout, all sweaty” and everything is perfect in place. No way! Oh and don’t comment on a blog and then in the comment list your blog link 50 times and tell me to come check it out unless it is completely relevant to my post. I typically check out blogs from comments and don’t need the urging!

    Sorry, this was kind of fun to rant πŸ™‚

  5. Haha! Love it! I definitely find myself hate-reading things, but really try not to because it makes me kind of unhappy, and so long as lovely, pleasant, hilarious people like you exist, I shouldn’t waste my time. (Seriously, though – what is up with people who are always posting things like, “I really indulged today and ate two almonds instead of three for my snack”. It makes me feel sad for their life choices.)

    • That compliment has just made my day. And yes, that type of stuff needs to disappear. It’s more than just annoying, it’s irresponsible and it makes all of us “normal eaters” feel indulgent when we’re, in fact, eating perfectly healthily (or, hmm, sort of).

  6. Awesome. #2 is my biggest pet peeve and the main reason I’ve stopped reading so many blogs.

  7. I’ve found recently that I’ll start reading a blog and everything will be grand and then all of a sudden I’ll start to see all of these things (which would mos def be my list as well) and then be mad at myself when I keep going back to hate-read. It’s like the gift that never stops giving…in hell.

  8. I hope I made the cut… but I am guilty of wearing lulu… :/ I swear tho… I don’t do my hair or makeup before working out, or pose for photos. I mean I agree,.. that is just too much!

  9. LOVE THIS. the food and snack thing KILLS me. It makes me feel like I eat too much. Sorry, if I run 6 miles I’m ravenous and need more than 1200 calories and like an apple for a snack. I also like sweets and a treat for me is not a tiny square of chocolate. The post workout thing sucks too. I’m a lady, and I know you made sure you looked okay and took at least 3 photos before getting the one you’re posting haha

  10. #2. #2. OMG #2.

    It drives me bananas. Especially when the 300th steel cut oatmeal post gets 8 bazillion comments. I’m all for being supportive of other bloggers, but sheesh. Higher standards, people!

  11. If I made a list of things that drive me crazy about fitness/healthy living blogs this would pretty much be it. One I would add would be blogs that just become one advertisement or giveaway after another and there is pretty much no actual content.

  12. I really hate captchas. I’ll make one try, then sorry, no comment.

    I have really stopped reading the blogs that annoyed me most. I don’t want to look at someone’s food unless there’s an awesome recipe attached. I don’t wast to know everything you ate and every move you make 24 hours a day. Some of these bloggers post this junk just so they can post 3 times a day. Quantity over quality. Blech.

  13. This just made me sign up for your blog ❀

    I think you covered them all except the, "I'm going to ask for your opinions…then argue with you that yours is wrong" bloggers! Hate that shit!

  14. Absolutely love this. Thank you for publicizing exactly what I have been thinking! πŸ™‚ And thanks for giving me a new blog to follow.. (and hopefully not have to unfollow later.. πŸ˜‰ )

  15. Thank you! That’s all I have to say πŸ™‚

  16. Are you reading my mind today? I was just b*tching about this. Showing me all you ate on wednesday makes to an unbalanced odd eater sorry I’m not sorry. And if I see one more cleanse or diet I’m going to flip. The diets have almost 300 times more sodium than a normal person should be eating. Granted I’m not the worlds best eater but I like balance. I love your list and just a few weeks ago did a similar purge of blogs in my reader. Thanks for the honesty.

  17. I am so glad I found your blog. I can totally relate to everything you have said. My biggest pet peeve is that the same bloggers over and over do product reviews/giveaways. There are so many excellent high quality blogs out there, that everyone should be able to have a share of the pot.

  18. Haha. Going now to unsubscribe to about two dozen blogs on my reader (and start following this one)! You are right, why am I hate-reading?

    YES! Really dislike the questions at the end.
    YES! Really dislike Captchas (Why are they always blurry? And why do I feel like a loser when I my precise transcription gets my comment rejected?)

    Really dislike your those Rafflecopter things that ask you to link all your social media outlets and pimp the blog’s contest to win a protein bar.
    Really dislike the high and mighty “never do [such and such]” and “you should always do [such and such].”
    Really dislike bloggers that you know in real life who are not the cheery, everything-is-perfect face they pretend to be on their blog (this goes for Facebook too).
    Really dislike when there is no subscribe by email link (for non-wordpress blogs).


    This felt good. Thanks for the invitation to vent. πŸ™‚

  19. YOU GUYS. I want to high five you all!

  20. Oh my God!!! I was JUST saying to a fellow blogger that I really want to write a huge rant about BS health and fitness bloggers. My personal favourites include people pretending they are the first to ever hear about some fitness trend (pretty sure you didn’t create Crossfit) or when people preach about a certain diet (I’m vegan! I don’t eat gluten!) and then inevitably, every week, they talk about the cheesecake or pizza that they “just have to have”. And the other blogger comments! They kill me! Anyways what I’m trying to say is that you and I are soulmates. The end.

  21. People/ bloggers that have never participated in a specific type of race giving advice to others.
    i.e. “I’m training for my first (insert sport event here) in X (weeks, months, years).” And then they proceed to advise others how best to achieve that goal. Newsflash- regurgitating something your coach told you that would work for you does not make you a coach and could be dangerous to the person you are “advising”. So shut the Eff up.

  22. this is my first time at your blog, i am going to follow you because now i have an awful case of hate-reading soul sister girl crush. omg. yes. show me your freaking almonds, you disordered eater you.

    and while i might be guilty of some of this (human, i am) i spend more time telling the internet how much i suck then saying i’m awesome. cause i’m not awesome. i am, once again, human. and so are the girls trying to convince me otherwise. an. oy. ing.

  23. I’m glad you linked to this and all of these are huge biggies for me. Especially the playing down long runs. I have become extremely careful not matter what race distance, race, run…whatever I do to make sure it is says 6 miles…versus just 6 miles…or a slow 6 miles. That is also one of my biggest pet peeves. I don’t relate to a lot of food bloggers since I run so much and treat myself to a bowl of ice cream for snacks half the time LOL.

  24. Cracking up and nodding my head the whole way through. I really should get back to work.

  25. Woohoo! I don’t do any of those things πŸ™‚ and I generally don’t read blogs of people that do.

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