Thursday, 23 January 2014

I'm proud to wear my cupcake!

A couple of days ago, on Twitter, someone posted a status that said: 'So next time you're starring [sic] down a cupcake maybe ask yourself if you'll enjoy wearing it later.'

So I unfollowed her.

But I wanted to do the polite thing and tell her that she'd just lost a follower. So I tweeted her to say 'and for that, buh-bye'.

She replied: 'Wow. Was just trying to help people who are trying to cut down on sugar.'

For a moment I felt bad. Was I being harsh? Unreasonable? Hysterical? Then I thought better of it and felt fine with my decision.

I don't use Twitter to be an advocate for anything, it's my utterly unscientific opinions and ramblings you'll find there. And recently I've not even done much engaging with the Twitter community because I got a bit bored with spending all day long on my phone, checking what people I don't actually know have to say.

I do realize, however, that others use Twitter for their business, whether they are PTs or nutritionists or diet gurus and so it becomes their medium to dish out advice and motivation.

Tomorrow I'd like to look a giant chocolate chip peanut butter cookie, cause that's just the mood I'm in right now.

But let's be honest, was that tweet really helpful in cutting out sugar? I don't think so. There's a whole lotta sugar in a healthy fruit smoothie, yet she didn't tell us not to go for that. Hey, don't drink that smoothie unless you want to look like one tomorrow! I'm pretty certain that this was about food and about weight, even if she won't admit to that.

I'm sure we all make comments about food here and there, to remind ourselves or perhaps a close friend or family member that maybe, just maybe we shouldn't go for that fourth helping of chocolate cake and no, it's probably not wise to eat the entire box of Jaffa cakes in one go. I've done that and I'm grateful when G reminds me that five large chocolate chip cookies in one sitting is not an acceptable amount of cookies to eat on my own. Mostly because I'll spoil my appetite for dinner and might even manage to make myself feel sick. Then I'll be hating on chocolate chip cookies for the next year and that's just not fair to the cookies. After all, this was all my own fault!

Using a public platform like Twitter to make these types of comments, in my humble opinion, only encourages an unnatural and unhealthy relationship with food and the way we see ourselves. As a fitness journalist and trainer, with over 17k followers, and using Twitter as a professional platform, shouldn't she have a responsibility to her 'followers' and promote a healthy weight-loss message instead of contributing to, what is probably already for most people, a fraught relationship with food in general and treats in particular?

Maybe I'm overreacting but I'd love to hear your thoughts about all of this.

For now, I'm off my soap box again! And don't forgot, if you'd like to be wearing some coconut & date bars sometime soon, check out my giveaway over here

What are your thoughts? Am I over-reacting or was that just not necessary? 


  1. I see far too much of this type of thing on twitter and it makes me sad :-(. When people try and guilt-trip me about that extra biscuit or that second helping, my general response is to politely suggest they go eat a mars bar and have a right good shag!

  2. There's a lot of this kind of 'motivation' going on on Twitter. Most of the time I don't mind but if someone does it all the time, I do unfollow as well. Sometimes I have the urge to get preachy but when I start blogging with that tone it just feels wrong and awkward straight away so I always just write about what works for ME and if someone wants to be motivated by that, good for them :) I don't think I've ever actually said everyone should or should not do what I do (I hope I haven't!)

  3. Interesting view. I read it as a little nudge. A little reminder. For me a reminder that I don't actually want a coca cola (23rd day without after 29yrs 5/6 cans a day!), that beans on toast is the economic, speedy, healthier choice (rather than a kebab when late in from work) and I'm not hungry for the bag of crisps at work (see cupcakes for some) I'm just bored. I need reminders. That's only how I saw it. Top blogging btw!

  4. This is really interesting because I quite often get angry about this. Most people see cupcakes etc as a treat and most people understand that eating them all the time isnt best for their health. Pointing that out on social media in such a horrible way won't stop people eating cupcakes but will make them feel bad when they do. I have had a love/hate relationship with food FOREVER but now I understand that a little bit of what you fancy is good for the soul especially if you offset it with exercise and eating healthy as well. 1 cupcake doesnt make you fat but creating an unhealthy obsession over food certainly makes you unhappy.

  5. Like you I use twitter for my ramblings, but I also use it to share about the two chronic conditions I have. I used to live on my phone, but more recently have pulled back. Twitter is a snippet of my day, not the only part of it. I like to use it to find interesting links, and to keep up with the positive/funny/interesting folks I have found on Twitter.

    At the end of 2010 I had had enough with following people who demonised food. So I unfollowed many accounts. It caused ruffled feathers, including some really abusive emails, but hey - the simple fact is that what I read is up to me. And frankly, I just don't want to read about people hating on cupcakes.

    Focus on the positive and uplifting, fill your life and your Twitter feed with folks whose tweets give you the same. No guilt needed.

  6. Well said! I think I might just go eat one of those donuts someone brought to the office for a birthday celebration today! :)

  7. interesting view. I personally take comments like that with a pinch of salt, but I'm also not following a lot of people that post things like this and I'm sure the more I saw it, the more it might bug me.

    As someone who's lost 123 lbs, I've never ONCE looked at any food in that way and I enjoy cakes/sweets/biscuits during my daily lifestyle with no issues.

  8. Ah- very intersting debate! I think it's totally a form of food-shaming, which doesn't make anyone feel good about themselves or their choices! I think so much of social media is about that- just take a look at 'inspirational' quotes on Pinterest! If I want to make an unhealthy choice, I'm going to do it regardless of what a message says. I might feel bad for it later, or I might feel great for satisfying my craving!

  9. Absolutely agree with you Jen. Slagging someone for one treat does not take account of their diet as a whole. The fitness 'community' on social media can be quite brutal and shaming rather than taking on board what people do generally. I don't believe in completely denying myself treats but I think it's about balance. Food and emotional health are interlinked for so many people and obesity has many more aspects to it than over eating. Yet on social media the PT's and health promoters take a very simplistic view of it. If people do have issues with food in any form then my feeling is that they should speak to their GP or a dietician/nutritionist, not someone who is just trying to get their business. That to me is a very unhealthy and unbalanced relationship.

  10. Do people really get annoyed about being unfollowed? Bonkers!
    I enjoyed this, other than the Jaffa cakes bit, don't speak ill of the mighty Jaffa. Food is fuel but it's also there to be enjoyed. The trend of food and guilt is very worrying.
    Shag and a Mars bar, now that's a proper duathlon!

  11. Hi Jen,
    I saw this post a couple of days ago and I’ve been thinking a lot about you’ve written here.

    It’s never nice to be criticised and it made for very difficult reading for me, but I’m hoping we can make this little encounter into something positive.

    The overwhelming feedback I receive is that my tweets/programmes/book/etc help people develop/reinforce healthy eating habits and a positive body image - even though you think I got it wrong with that tweet, I hope you realise that’s what I’m generally about.

    I suppose I’ll never be able to hit the right note with everyone all the time, but I’m very interested in your point of view and I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on this. As a fitness coach and writer, there will always be more for me to learn and scope for me to “grow”. Perhaps there’s an opportunity here for me to learn from you.

    Would you like to meet for coffee sometime? If you’d like a cupcake to go with it, that’ll be on me too. ;-)

    Here’s my email address: Julia [at} Juliabuckley . co . uk

    Hoping to hear from you soon,



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