I Have To Address This

Posted: September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Oh, goodness. I had a fun little post scheduled for tonight…but instead I feel the need to address something else. At least we had some light-hearted fun this afternoon with some good FRIENDS favorites sharing. Can I just say I love that that post is quickly becoming one of my most popular? So reflective of me and my blog. Red heart

Now, moving on to the issue at hand.

This morning I sent out the following message on Twitter:

It annoys me that a review program is discriminating against people who are open about their faith.
@TinaFFF
Tina Reale

Before I go any further, I must clarify two things:

  • This does NOT represent BlogHer. I adore working with them and the limitations on this review program were not from them, but the company itself.
  • For confidentiality purposes, I will not disclose more of the company involved.

That tweet got a bit of a reaction. I sent it out hastily, but can now form a bit more of a thoughtful response.

When I created my blog, I battled with myself on how much of my faith I would include in it. I knew I couldn’t keep it completely out, because it is such a huge part of my life, but did consider what prevalence it would have. If you’re a regular reader, you know preaching isn’t my style. I knew it wouldn’t be something I would write about explicitly as the focus of many of my posts. I wanted to share my life and hope the expression of myself would reflect my faith.

I took the start of this blog seriously. I wanted it to accurately reflect me and the message I hoped to share – aka making the most out of life in whatever way that fulfills each individual differently. At first, I planned to call my blog simply by my tagline – More Than Diet And Workouts. But something felt missing. I tossed around other ideas – More Out Of Life, Fun and Fit Living, Fulfilled Fitness, and probably more I’m forgetting. They all felt wrong.

I had to have my faith openly visible as part of who I am and that I believe having faith in something more than ourselves can provide a higher quality of living. Enter Faith, Fitness, Fun. As soon as that name popped in my head, it was the only one I could imagine calling my blog. I transferred my old sporadic and horrible competition blog over and started Faith Fitness Fun in January of 2010 to truly begin blogging about “more than diet and workouts”.

image
Old FFF look!!!

I am more than thrilled with the paths and direction my blog has taken since then, but deep down I know that the faith aspect can sometimes impact my blog. I know there are people who don’t visit my space solely because they see faith in the name. Some of my favorite blog friends have openly told me they thought the same for awhile. The fact I don’t get as many readers because of having faith in my blog doesn’t bother me. I only wish those who don’t give FFF a chance knew I would never judge them for their beliefs or force my own on them.

This morning I read an email about applying to a review program…but the program requested not applying if political or religious views were a main part of a person’s blog. I understand the company wants to remain neutral in regards to these powerful and very personal viewpoints. And I am not judging them for that. I don’t frown on the company for doing so. They must have their reasons and I respect that.

source

I simply felt shocked at seeing something I feel so strongly about be viewed as a limiting factor in a possibility for my blog.

With all that being said: I am not angry and I wouldn’t change having faith in my blog for anything. I knew going into blogging that my faith could put some people or ventures off because it is such a personal thing. Every person or company has the right to feel that way.

I’m not sorry for sending the tweet, because I will not apologize for standing up for my beliefs. However, I need to acknowledge that if I wish others to be more understanding of where I’m coming from in including my faith…then I also must be understanding when others feel the need to omit faith/religion for whatever reason.

Final gist of this wordy post?

  1. No hard feelings.
  2. Agree to disagree.
  3. I will stand up for my faith.
  4. Sometimes it bothers me the faith aspect can turn people away…but that’s okay because I remain true to myself.

Well, I could have made this post a lot shorter than I did, huh? Winking smile

  • What is something you will stand up for no matter what?
  • How did you come up with your blog’s name?

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85 Comments to “I Have To Address This”
  1. Danielle says:

    I just wanted to say that I’m not religious per se, but I read (and love) your blog. I think that there are some universal truths/messages to be learned from religion-regardless of what religion you observe. So keep on doin’ what you’re doin and hold true to what you believe in and (as you know) other opportunities will open up for your blog, perhaps ones that are an even better fit.

  2. I absolutely love that you are so open about your faith with your blog. It’s one of the few blogs out there that do and I admire and respect that you’re not afraid to show your love for God. It’s what actually attracted me to your blog in the first place since I consider myself a christian as well. So while I sometimes feel that putting your beliefs out there can turn away readers who feel differently about religion, just remember that there are others out there who actually seek blogs like yours. You’re an inspiration when it comes to health and not being afraid to portray who you really are. I’m glad you’re not letting this bother you!

  3. Haley says:

    I don’t blog, but I’m so glad that you do and that you’re outspoken about your faith! The Lord will bless you for your faithfulness and obedience!

  4. Lauren says:

    I think the faith aspect of your blog is one of the best parts! Even if you don’t write about faith directly that much, your faith comes through in your posts and experiences you share. Good for you for standing up for your faith! My faith is a strong part of me, but standing up for it is hard sometimes.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks! That’s what I hope. That it’s evident without coming across in a forceful way. I think living by example is the best way to live for Him anyways. :)

  5. Ally says:

    I love the fact that you stay true to what you believe in. I hate when people pretend to be something they’re not because they want to “fit in” or “be popular”. Honesty is the best quality (cheesy, eh?). But seriously, thank you for being so honest, I’ve learned so much from your blog just in the last couple months I’ve been reading it!

    I literally just started my blog so it’s a little bare right now but I got the name because I’m learning to love running (training for my first half marathon in January) and I live in Arizona where we get 330 sunny days a year. I love being outside, I love the sun and even *love* the 115 degree weather (although I am sooo ready for the fall weather).

  6. Are you sure they meant you? I think the fact that you are not preachy puts you in a category that they hopefully weren’t targeting with the comment. I have read COMPLETELY faith-based blogs, and I would think THOSE are the ones a company might shy away from.
    I usually won’t say something unless I believe it. So, if someone were truly attacking it, I guess I’d defend all my decisions. But mostly Jesus and family, and children’s rights.
    I changed my blog’s name from Cook Read Run because I thought it limited me to those three things. I think a teaspoon of life captures that I talk about food A LOT, but other things too :)
    I love that your blog balances life, food, fitness, and so on with a sprinkle of faith on top. It’s not like a faith sandwich in your face. I did wonder at first if you would be preachy, but it only takes one post to realize what you’re about <3

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Allie! And no…it wasn’t geared directly at my blog and actually the representative from Blogher said she included me because she believed I would be a good fit for the program. It was still shocking though which is why I sent that tweet…and some of the response from it called for this post to clarify a few things. :)

  7. Carly says:

    Faith is not a big part of my life – I’m not sure how or why it got that way (my grandfather was a minister), but it just isn’t. That being said… I love your blog! I look forward to your daily posts no matter what they are about. Truthfully, if it is a more faith focused post I just scroll through without reading carefully and look forward to the next post. I respect that you have a strong faith, and even though it isn’t a large part of my life, I love that you feel confident enough to share yourself and be true to who you are regardless of the topic. I mean, some people were probably offended by your fart post… haha… I loved it ;) Keep on being you, because you are fabulous!

  8. ginger says:

    I am not religious but enjoy your blog and reviews. that is all :-)

  9. I like that you have the Faith aspect — and to be honest I don’t think you include it specifically so often, but to me it comes through in your actions and in your posts, which I think is a great thing!

    • Tina says:

      That’s what I hope for most. I don’t feel comfortable writing posts like that. I prefer just to talk about my life, my thoughts, my experiences…and let the faith part of my life fit where it will.

  10. Heather says:

    When I got that same revier e mail in my inbox this morning I was slightly offended by it. Basically Telling me I may not as well apply because I talk about my faith on my blog…def. took me aback. Its their company, and I respect that they can do whatever they want, but I def. don’t see how my faith would impact a review of this product.
    I too try not to be preachy and hope my actions speak louder than my words, but it still stung a little to feel “left out” of the review.
    I too know some people choose not to read my blog due to my faith but that is ok! Can’t please everyone, right?

  11. I love that you can be open about your faith, your blog is one of my favorites because you have faith and are not ashamed or scared to be open about it. Dont let them get you down.
    I’m usually not one to voice my opinion everywhere but the place I have to stand up is for my kids and there education. My daughter has ADD and my son is on the lower end of the Aspergers(sp) spectrum and to get help for your children you have to attend too many meetings to “discuss” what needs to be done. After they said the next meeting things would be set up for my daughter, I came in to hear the same thing, thats when I found my voice and let them know exactly what I thought, thing were set up right away. With my son I wasnt shy at all.
    I came up with my blogs name because we have a joke about if something happens you need chocolate, but also because my last name is Brown and my family is my brownies.

  12. I love that you have your faith. I am not very religious to be honest, but there is nothing that you ever post that offends me in terms of your beliefs. I respect everyone’s various beliefs. To each his own. Besides, it’s your blog, you really have every right to post whatever you want right? Your beliefs are part of who you are – what makes you so inspirational.

  13. Amanda says:

    I’m much the same way about my faith, I don’t necessarily talk about it all the time, but I write about my life and it’s a major part of my life so it comes through :) My blog’s name is a quote from Gilmore Girls!

  14. I am somewhat religious and I love the faith that you bring to this blog, like in your Irrational Fear post. I never feel like your preaching and the way you intertwine some faith into your posts is very inspiring and I love reading it :)

    I got my blog name “The Good Life” from my hubby. It’s always been his motto in life (when things get hard in life he always strives for the good in it) and it’s mine now too – he even has it tattooed on his right forearm :)

  15. Rebecca says:

    I can kind of understand where they’re coming from, but it does bother me that they’re discriminating. “Religion” of any kind is (or should be?) what defines a person and makes them who they are. It definitely makes you who you are, and I love that. And they’re missing out by not allowing “religious” folks to participate, I think! Oh well, their loss.

    I like to combine words. :) My blog’s name came about (and you can read about it on the blog itself) after deciding that I wanted to give God what He deserves—I read a quote a long time before I started blogging that has stuck with me: Give God the respect He deserves and watch how absolutely GORGEOUS you become. (I paraphrased, I think.) I wanted to be able to see myself the way God sees me, and be respectful of His guidelines, y’know? Thus, Respectfully Captivating. Which I shortened to Respectivating mostly for typing purposes, lol. :)

  16. The “Faith” aspect of your title is what got me to click through to find your blog and now it’s one of the only ones I still keep up with :D So even though some people might not click through because of the title, just think that there are some out there that will click through because of it!!!

    And I am not sure where my blog title came from?? It just popped into my head and I could not think of anything else I liked better :D

  17. The reason I first started following your blog was because of the faith aspect! Although that’s an aspect of your blog, it’s very balanced.

    I started my blog last fall in grad school. I got my blog name, “Textbooks and Cookbooks,” because cooking was one of the few things that kept me sane among the piles of textbooks I had to read :)

  18. I admire the way you incorporate your faith in to your blog. Maybe I’m not the best person to comment on the subject since I’m a Christian too and obviously because of that am generally on the same page as you as far as spiritual things go, but I find it inspirational. I wish I could find an eloquent way of incorporating my faith into my blog, because it’s a huge part of who I am. I just don’t feel like it comes across in my writing, and that bothers me.

    I came up with the name for my blog while running! Well, kind of. I wanted to call it Accidentally…, but accidentally.wordpress.com was already taken. Boo. So then I tossed around all sorts of ideas involving the word Accident. I realized I didn’t want to come across as a completely accidental person though: there are things I do intentionally in my life. Hence the name Accidental Intentions (plus the domain wasn’t already taken, so win ;) haha).

  19. I find religion and faith deeply personal. I like that you don’t push your faith on anyone – you’re just sharing what YOU believe in and what drives you. Definitely nothing wrong with that – and nothing that you should be discriminated for. Boo on them!

    As for my blog title – my “nickname” (more like teasing) in high school was “Crazy Legs” because I definitely have some crazy legs (runner up was “Go-Go Gadget Legs”)! It used to bother me, but I spun it into a positive. Unfortunately, Crazy Legs was taken – so Crazy RUNNING Legs it is!

  20. Lauren says:

    I love you and I love your blog and one of the main reasons why I do so much is because of who you are, inside and out. Your faith is beautiful and such a part of who you are. Wear it proud girl! We all love you for it.

  21. peacebeme says:

    I think it’s great that you shared this Tina. I think that by telling other people that you don’t judge them about their faith, those readers that may have been turned off won’t be anymore. I don’t have the exact same views about faith as you, but I don’t feel like that is anoverpowering element of your blog. I think that if it is something important to you, you deserve to let it be part of your blog because it’s a big part of your .

  22. yowwwzzaaa you strong woman, mind reader you!! :P hahahaha. It’s sooo crazy you’re writing about this!! The reason being is that often times i find myself wondering if talking about my relationship with God really does affect others who read/don’t read. Also, I did wonder if this would affect “reviews” or anything like that, if there were even any possibilities. I know that everyone likes certain blogs for personal reasons, and I understand that not everyone will like me, my writing (I don’t think I’m gifted at that), nor my process of thinking. And to be honest, from the get-go I already determined that no matter what, my faith goes with me, and I go with my faith in the Lord! It is NON-NEGOTIABLE. ;)

    And I pretty much knew that it would turn some people off, but still with the hope that there may be a slight chance to change somebody’s life, or help someone in need. You know? I love that you love this and that you were even open to talk about it! Thanks Tina!! I looooooooove you so much! :D teeheee.

  23. I appreciate your heart—it just warms me up!

    Originally I started my blog when I first went on staff with a college ministry to share and connect with others. Then, as my passions grew, I realized my gravitation towards healthy living and how my faith could be part of that.

    After name changes & scripture passages, that’s how mine came to be :)

  24. Good for you girl!

    I stand up for who I am. I will not compromise on many many things even if could gain me more popularity.

    My name came about because it’s how I explain how to pronounce my name in real life ;)

  25. Liz says:

    I read other blogs that aren’t faith based, but I love that I found yours as someone I can relate to on many levels. I have been reading yours more because I feel like I can identify with you, so THANK-YOU!

  26. I love how you integrate faith into your blog. And it’s okay for you to have opinions about other companies.

  27. Tina, thank you for posting on this! I absolutely love that you stand up for your faith. As you know, faith is extremely important to me as well. I think it should be respected that you blog about, and stand up for something so important to you, no matter what others beliefs might be. I hate to hear that people were not reading your blog simply for the name, they are truly missing out.
    You are wonderful and God is clearly blessing you!

  28. Emily says:

    I admire you so much for including your faith so openly with your blog; it has made me feel so much more comfortable talking to you in the comments and through email. I am sorry that our culture has stigmatized strong faith so much, but in the end it’s about you and your belief and the way you choose to celebrate it and live your life.

    My own blogs name is a reminder of how I want to live my life, mindfully and gratefully; its a challenge every day but my blog helps me to re-center and focus :)

  29. I love that you have a faith component, I think it is a topic that need to be openly talked about more! I don’t think you force your views upon anyone, but I love that I feel that connection and agree that the Lord play such an important role in our lives and clearly yours that it would be silly for you to pretend that that isn’t part of your daily life.

    Why does it always have to be one extreme or the other?

    • Tina says:

      I hate that about so many things – one extreme or the other. I always ask myself the same thing. ;)

      • It just bugs me when people assume that anyone with a faith or any relationship with God is some how automatically extremely closed off, or even worse “crazy.” I mean could they make Christians appear any worse or weird on television etc. I just hate that stigma that just because I am a Christian, I am one of “those people,” I mean I don’t look at other blogs or people who don’t believe or never talk about it and say well they must be a horrible person because they don’t believe.

        Not to get preachy or anything :) haha

  30. Meg says:

    I feel that your faith is such a part of who you are and I’m glad that you stood up for yourself. You come across in such a non-judgemental this is who I am but you don’t have to be the same attitude that I love! I saw a twitter quote that said:

    “Judging a person doesn’t define who they are, it defines who you are.”

    I think that pretty much says it all. <3

  31. Katherine says:

    Tina, one of the many reasons I love your blog is because it talks about FAITH. Such a huge and important part of my life! I commend you for being so open to your readers about your faith, keep it up girl!

  32. Truthfully, I would not consider myself to be a ‘person of faith.’ Quite honestly, I *was* initially turned off by your blog name because organized religion is not a big part of my life. Actually, it’s not a part of my life at all. (This is not to say that I’m not spiritual: I am.) BUT, I, like most people, I assume, kept seeing your name and seeing you referenced on other blogs and eventually came on by and saw what you are really all about. Moral of the comment? I don’t think you lose many readers *at all* by being open about your faith. And that company’s resttriction is just a little bit ridiculous.

  33. Jess says:

    Amen. I am so proud of you for standing up for your faith. I’m right there next to you. Always.

  34. Right on Tina! I am a new reader to your blog and I love the faith that shines through in your posts. I am Mormon, and I feel that I have to stand up for my faith on a daily basis. But I love it. I love that I stand for something, that I have strong beliefs, and good standards to be an example of Christ in my everyday life. We are not here to judge people and I think you do an amazing job at letting people know what you stand for without being in your face and preachy, that is exactly how I strive to be with my own faith! Loving your blog!
    I got my blog’s name because I’m trying to lose weight. It was easy to come up with and I lucked out that the URL wasn’t taken, ha!

  35. lindsay says:

    i think you just put my every thought into words Tina. And that is why I love you! Thank you for being BOLD in your faith.
    :)

  36. I’m not religious at all, but I totally respect that your faith is such a big part of who you are. You wouldn’t be Tina without it and I like Tina!

    I originally wanted to call my blog Healthy Hungry Happy, but it was already taken. I wanted something that reflected all that I am right now. And while I feel fulfilled now, I know I’m not done getting there fully, so I hope my blog reflects my journey toward continued fulfillment while I stay fit and eat good food.

  37. jobo says:

    I think faith scares people, so they shy away from it. I LOVE your blog for all that it is, faith included. It inspires me and gives me a new perspective (I am a believe in faith too). If some don’t dig it, that’s their problem.

  38. I LOVE your blog! I read it because you inspire me not only in the fitness area but in the Faith area! Thanks for sharing your heart! Keep it up!

  39. Good for you! I will stand up for my faith no matter what too. I admire you even MORE for including it in your blog.

  40. TINA! I LOVE THIS :) SO YOU! I love you and your beautiful honesty! One of my favorite things about you. Your faith is a part of who you are, and that can not be hidden! If people don’t like that, then they can go elsewhere! LOVE YOU!

  41. I struggle with discussing my faith on my blog and even at work. At my previous job, my faith was a laughing matter for my coworkers. It was a small company (me + 3 coworkers), and they were non-church goers. I taught RCIA at my parish so it was uncomfortable. With the blog I’m just unsure because part of me feels like it’s private (maybe I should keep some aspect of my life off the blog?), but then I feel like I’m not living my faith because I don’t share it. Tricky.

    I admire your strong faith and your ability to talk openly about your faith. You are a strong Christian woman and example for me! I hope that I reach a point where I can be as open about my faith on my blog.

  42. Ah, leave it to you Tina to address such a prevalent issue! When I first started my blog (yeah, like 2 months ago) I was back and forth about how much of my faith to include as well. It was something new to me, and a necessity towards my “balance”, so I quickly made the decision that it needed to be included.

    Finally, in my post about coming to Christ, I kind of laid it all out on the line for my readers and it was the most satisfying feeling to me. I feel kind of like I let it all out and put it on the line for everyone to see– and I really do admire you for doing that in ALL of your posts.

    Anyway– that annoys me too about that company, but whatever. It just means they missed out on one awesome review ;)

  43. Erica says:

    The Faith part of your blog is the part I look forward to the most, actually! There are so few bloggers out there in our healthy lving circle that share their faith (at least that I’ve found), and everytime I sit down at the computer to read one of your posts I feel an instant connection to you- not only because you are also a wife, mother, and runner, but because you are a fellow sister in Christ. I appreciate you sharing your faith, and know that God will bless you for it girl;-)
    “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” Mark 5:36

  44. JJ says:

    To me, the word faith in your blog title is so much more than religion. The way you live your life and the successes you’ve had clearly come from the faith you have in yourself and the people you surround yourself with.

    Yes, it is clear that you have a strong connection to God (and that your faith in yourself comes from your faith in God). I respect it and admire it and am always inspired by it. However, as a person who doesn’t have that strong connection, I take so much from your blog without feeling preached at.

    I didn’t write that as eloquently as I had imagined but I’m distracted by House Hunters on HGTV! Main point is, you rock! :)

  45. Gules says:

    I think that by simply including the word ” faith” in your blog should not limit you to be included into programs or associations that you’re generally interested in. I may not know you as well but have come here time to time and have never felt “preached” upon in any way. My blog is about completing a marathon and sometimes i feel like a failure because it hasn’t happened yet, so I struggle with either changing the mission of my blog or keep on with what I started with. It is a hard decision to make but I think all bloggers come during the course of their blog change their mind so I’m very open to that possibility. I may have just confused myself even more! who knows!..haha

  46. Danielle says:

    It’s awesome that you stand up for your Faith. I would do the same. Being a Christian is such a huge part of who I am and feeling as though I was being excluded for expressing it would really bother me.

  47. Becky says:

    I almost did not start reading because of “Faith” in your title, but only because I have been proselytized to in a very negative way for a very long time by some people…

    Anyway, I love your blog, I love your joy in your faith, your fitness, your family and your fun. I don’t think I could get through a day without reading something from you :)

    I got the name for my blog because I use it to chronicle my journey from flabby, unhappy, unhealthy and un-me, to being healthy, happy, and fabulously me :)

  48. Amy Lauren says:

    I’m a Christian, although I don’t regularly attend church (I did for years and was very involved when I was younger)… and I love your blog :) . I love how it’s not preachy or religious, it’s about faith. I think people of all backgrounds could read and enjoy it, because a lot of your faith posts, like the ones on Sundays, aren’t necessarily about a religion, but more about showing people that there is “something more”, whether they think that’s Christianity or not. And I totally admire you for standing up for your faith :) .

  49. Khushboo says:

    Tina to be honest, initially I wasn’t enticed to read your blog because I was expecting a heavy emphasis on religion and your beliefs. The more I read it, the harder it was to stop. Faith plays a big role in your life and you should address it. Especially in the way you discuss it, I think you strike a perfect balance whereby your posts appeal to both people who are and aren’t of the same faith. Your blog is a positive place and I am confident that as a Hindu, if I ever raised opinions of my own faith, you would be 100% respectable. The fact that you are sticking to your faith regardless speaks a lot about your character!

  50. I find your references to faith refreshing in a blog, but also part of a real-life experience that my friends and I share. You’re not “in your face” about your religion, but we all know that it takes a lead part in your life. I respect that, and would like to think that any sponsorship organization would want to have your participation as a result…

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