getting health inspiration from pinterest: the good, the bad, and the ugly

So we're almost DONE with the 4-week pre-summer clean-eating challenge! How exciting is that?! If you've joined, I hope you're feeling the benefits like I am. This has been such a great way to start the summer, if you ask me... healthy, confident, and cleansed.

Ryan and I are headed to St. Augustine, Florida on Saturday for an entire WEEK! We so desperately need a vacation and I couldn't be more excited. We have no plans whatsoever. Well, besides sleeping in, laying by the pool, going to the beach, and eating good food. Yeah.... perfect.

So... I won't be blogging for the next week, but I do have a guest post or 2 scheduled :) Look out for these and get excited!!

Today, I wanted to talk about some of the health-related pins I've run across lately on Pinterest. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Don't get me wrong: I like Pinterest. It's such a great way to find inspiration and organize ideas. And it can be a great place to find exercise tips, healthy eating ideas, and health information. However... I occasionally run into pins on there that make me CRINGE. Some are misleading, some are completely inaccurate, and some are downright dangerous. While I think Pinterest can be great, we should be mindful that people can and do put whatever they want on the internet -- even things that are totally wrong. Just because you see it, doesn't mean it's right!

First, here are just some of the pins that I've seen lately and liked.

1. Simple, accurate inspiration. Buy healthy foods. Have fresh foods available. Don't buy processed foods. Voila! Source.

2. Good way to estimate portion size from prevention.com.

3. Visit this page for tips on choosing your protein sources. Nice, simple comparison of calories, fat, and protein: 

4. Examples of super healthy foods from womenshealth.com.

5. This is one of my go-to exercise routines when I don't make it to the gym. I add in some tricep dips and go through it 3 times. Takes less than 20 minutes and it's a great combination of cardio and strength exercises that works the whole body. Sometimes I'll even do it once in the morning and once in the evening! The source, tribesports.com, also has some great exercise challenges to check out.

And now... a few pins that make me cringe. 

1. I've seen several versions of this "advice", always accompanied by a picture of some super thin woman. Guys.... the fact that I've seen over 1500 repins of this makes me want to cry. Drinking water with cinnamon and honey in the morning isn't necessarily BAD... it's fine! But it's not going to magically make you look like this girl, somehow reduce the weight of "even the most obese person," or "not allow the fat to accumulate in the body." I mean, this is just complete BS that has zero scientific backing. 

2. Inspiration to get healthy or fit should be positive. It should be about trying to be the best person you can be. It should NOT be about body-bashing, self-deprecation, or stigmatization of "being fat." Shame and guilt isn't helpful, and these pins make me sad. 

3. I am so tired of seeing "thinspiration" pictures that imply that if you only eat less or work out more, you'll have these women's bodies that are... let's be real... very rare and difficult to attain. And due in large part to good genes. I'm not going to have this woman's body or that woman's body, I'm going to have my body. It may not be perfect, but it's mine! 

Notice how both the first and third picture cut off the woman's head? There are SO many "thinspiration" pictures on pinterest that just show a woman's abs or skinny legs or butt or "thigh gap" with some words that are supposed to be motivational and make you want to go work out. These images objectify women and reduce them to a body -- an often over-sexualized and unrealistic body -- and imply that we should look like this if we want to be hot.

Instead... let's aim for health. Let's aim for being a good person. Let's aim for loving ourselves. Let's aim for being strong and well-rounded and kind.

What do you guys think? How is Pinterest helpful for you? Have you seen pins that make you cringe?


  1. So, what are your feelings on fat free milk. Doesn't it have more sugar? Thought the whole version was actually better for you...

    1. I actually don't drink regular milk... I use almond milk or coconut milk in oatmeal and coffee, but I get most of my calcium from leafy greens, beans, etc. If you are going to drink milk though, I have heard that having some fat in it (1 or 2%) is best for absorption of calcium. Also, the sugar in milk is lactose, which is natural, not added. My non-medical advice would be to get calcium from sources other than milk and to drink lowfat milk in moderation if you enjoy it!

  2. And have a great time in FL! When you get back we are getting together...took my parents to Dudas for crab cakes and they loved it.

  3. Love this post. I definitely like pins with quick, easy workout suggestions - helps mix it up at the gym! And then, there are those that make me roll my eyes...

  4. LOVE This post! Sometimes I can't even stand Pinterest because my feed seems to always have those "thinspiration" things pop up. UGH! It's frustrating! But I'm learning to love my woman's curves :)

  5. perfect post, T - so thankful for this. Also, can't wait to try that non-gym routine you posted - I could so use something quick like that lately!!!



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