The Balance of Fitspo – Follow-up to my Mail on Sunday article

August 16, 2015
Celia Learmonth Fitness Shoot
©Gary Morrisroe

I write about health and wellbeing because, and as I said in my article, “Encouraging others to live a balanced, active lifestyle is a good thing. If you do too little exercise you run a greater risk of suffering from heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and poor posture, and are more likely to be overweight.”

However, being in the fitness blogging industry, I see some dangerous trends which affect girls on a serious level. I see girls who are breaking down from exhaustion and malnutrition, those whose periods have stopped and those who struggle to get through the day. The NHS has a long waiting list and too much of the time these girls feel they have nowhere to go.

Obviously this is the extreme end of the spectrum and it does by no means speak for everyone. Of course it doesn’t. I know countless fit and healthy girls who are fantastic advocates of what a healthy life should look and feel like.

However, it’s not obvious to me that there is such a thing as a “perfect” lifestyle. Surely it’s a question of balance, and what suits one person may not suit another. Nonetheless, we shouldn’t ignore the instances where some fairly obvious alarm bells are ringing.

As I said in my article, Celia is brave and honest in sharing her struggles. And she is not alone. She spoke up in an attempt to help other girls who are suffering and I’ve already received emails from these girls, saying thank you for sharing and it’s encouraged them to get help.

So now I want to hear from you. Have you come across any fitspo’s who take it to an unhealthy extreme? Who do you know who gets the balance right? Who should we take a lead from? How can we get the perfect balance of fitness without sacrificing health? What’s too much and what’s not enough?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts.

For the full article I did for the Mail on Sunday click here.

Image by Gary Morrisroe

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  • Reply Anon August 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    By having portrayed herself as a healthy, fit and extremely slim fitness blogger, while actually indulging in dangerously unhealthy practices in order to achieve this look, she has sent out an unfair and harmful message to so many followers who aspire to be like her, when in actual fact, she herself doesn’t want to be like her anymore and is finally seeking the help she clearly needs. The illusion of health has made people aspire to be like her, but the truth is, she is unhealthy and its dangerous. Perhaps this is too harsh, but I have been in recovery for awhile and always felt like her account was a fraud and that she was exercising way too much. I purposefully didn’t go to the gym classes she taught, as I knew it would be a trigger for me.
    I am proud of you for getting help, but in order to truly recover, you should probably get off social media, stop teaching gym classes and finally start to heal your body and soul. Good luck.

  • Reply Sandy Robson August 16, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Hello Poppy
    Just reading your interesting article in today’s Mail on Sunday , and agree with all that you say . It may be of interest to you to check out the recent Blogs by Jamie Robson Academy of Edinburgh in the very same subject . I should add that Jamie is my son .
    Kind Regards

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  • Reply Tasha Bermingham August 17, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Wonderful article, thank you for sharing. I work in the health industry and am passionate about helping people find the right balance of how best to move, eat and be. I have found most success by working holistically and with the intention of helping people tune in to to what it is they truly need as an individual. Tiny little steps slowly reprogram new more nourishing behaviour patterns. It is absolutely possible to be healthy and happy in your own skin.

  • Reply Shining the Light on: Eating Disorders | L August 17, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    […] For readers who are interested in what was said, you can find Poppy’s original article here, Zanna Van Dijk’s response here and Poppy’s follow-up blogpost here. […]

  • Reply Chelsea August 19, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I’m glad it’s known that some people do take it too far. I think it’s quite easy to do though. You can get addicted to working out and eating ‘healthy’ until it becomes more of an obsession. I think it’s hard getting the right balance, either end of the spectrum.

    30 Min Home Workout | MissyRed

    • Reply Poppy August 21, 2015 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks for your comment Chelsea. I totally agree – it is hard to get the balance right especially since health advice is ever-evolving with science. I think we need to become more in-tune with our bodies to know what works for us – as opposed to following a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Take advice from experts but ultimately, do what feels right for you. What do you think?

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  • Reply The Dangerous Downside of the 'Live Like Me, Look Like Me' #Fitspo Bloggers - Nutrition Unplugged August 25, 2015 at 1:51 am

    […] Guardian.  Now there’s another tremendous article in a UK publication, the Daily Mail by Poppy Cross, a health and fitness blogger based in London.  Both articles point to a similar problem created […]

  • Reply gina August 25, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    just read this having followed celia for a while, isn’t it a terribly deperssing situ, and i actually don’t think these accounts on social media help at all.. i’m actually worried about her based on her posts today, such a shame as she should be a happy, healthy young woman following her dreams of being an actress :(

  • Reply The Dangerous Downside of the ‘Live Like Me, Look Like Me’ #Fitspo Bloggers | Vitamins For Energy September 5, 2015 at 9:26 am

    […] Guardian.  Now there’s another tremendous article in a UK publication, the Daily Mail by Poppy Cross, a health and fitness blogger based in London.  Both articles point to a similar problem created […]

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