Based On My Own Experiences

Posted: May 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Last night I had to make the saddening decision on whether or not to watch the Glee season finale or The Biggest Loser season finale.


As I have my weekly tradition with my sister, TBL won out. Besides, the finale is the best episode to see the changes people made all at once.

Before watching the show, we had a simple dinner that I prepped before her arrival. I won a coupon for a free package of Purdue Shortcuts chicken from Heather. I normally don’t purchase products like this (simply as personal preference in the meat we do buy), but free wins out in this house. And after wanting to get back to my normal eating habits, I knew it would make a great addition to a ginormous salad.

chicken strawberry salad 2

I included a mix of spinach and romaine lettuce, topped with a whole slew of yumminess.

  • 1 whole avocado, diced
  • 8 large strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/3 package white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  • 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 package Purdue shortcuts grilled chicken
  • 1/4 c Annie’s Lite Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.

chicken strawberry salad

The only downfall of the salad? It used up all those ingredients so I couldn’t make this all too incredible omelet Courtney posted this morning. It’s all good though as I needed veggies in my life. Just like I need my weekly sister time in my life!

sheesh I look tired!

And this week was extra special with our extra guests – the boyfriend and the pup!


Although I don’t know how into our choice of entertainment they were. Lucky for the men in our lives, TBL may not last long as our weekly tradition anymore. Did you hear about the new trainer?


Say WHAT?!!? I’m sorry but I do not agree with that decision at all. I have a hard time getting behind someone who does not have personal training certification or ever worked with people in the fitness condition in which the contestants will arrive. It doesn’t seem safe. Plus, in my honest opinion, she didn’t even look all that healthy herself.

The reaction I had to this announcement did get me thinking a little bit about us bloggers, though. Anna will train “based on her own experience”…and that is something I know we claim as bloggers. In fact, I mention that the information I share on FFF comes from my own experiences and personal knowledge. Does that make me just as in the wrong?

I know that readers could very well take what I express on the blog as advice. In a sense, I am giving out advice when I share suggestions on different workout ideas, foods I eat that I view as healthy, or ways I worked to improve my relationship with my body and food. I do hope to motivate others, whether in fitness or personal struggles. I do like the idea of inspiring new workout ideas or meal creations. However, I simply share my life. That is the basis of this blog. I do not put information out there for others to follow as a training plan, diet regimen, or anything of that nature.

I really enjoyed Tina’s post on blogger responsibility she shared earlier. I agree that readers have a responsibility when reading blogs to know and understand that most material presented bases itself on the personal life of the blogger. I personally will forever have gratitude for blogs and the ideas and motivation they provide me. And I like to think most readers think the same way – great source of inspiration, but not a professional source. C’mon…thinking readers view blogs as professional sources sounds a little narcissistic anyways! My desire to put myself out there for my readers prevails. I think that is my biggest responsibility as a blogger -  to let others see someone relates to them or that if I can live a healthy, balanced, joyful life, then they can too. Beside, it’s not like I’m a tennis star parading as an expert qualified to teach others how to overhaul their lives.

  • What show finales have you been watching? Watching Glee on DVR tonight!
  • What are your thoughts on blogger responsibility?

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40 Comments to “Based On My Own Experiences”
  1. I appreciate what you said about why/how you blog Tina and that’s why I read. Any blog that feels like it’s doling out unsolicited advice or even advice in an area that is so new to them is crazy to me.

    I recently read a blogger offering advice to a woman who just gave birth telling her to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. That is not what the doctor may say and there was no caveat. In many cases women who just give birth are told not to do *any* exercise for 6 weeks. The carelessness upset me a bit.

  2. I watched glee last night! Not that impressed with the musical choices but still enjoyable 🙂 I definitely think we all have a responsibilty to be sensitive to our potential audiences buy theres a big argument for reader responsibility too.

  3. I think we have a responsibility as bloggers and readers to state and understand that some of us are not certified in these areas and that these are personal experience. I can’t stand the direction BL has taken. It just makes it all for show and that’s not why I originally started watching.

  4. I just finished watching the Glee finale myself. Enjoyed it, didn’t absolutely love it, but that’s okay. I gave up on TBL a few years ago – but now I have to go read about that new trainer! I do think a trainer on a show dealing with people should be very experienced. With blogging, I think all of us should read other people’s words and advice and just see if it feels right to us. I wouldn’t do anything that I read on someone else’s blog that if I thought it would harm me in anyway, but I’m older and more seasoned, I’m not sure some younger readers might be influenced more. I’m not sure what the solution to that is, though! Use your best judgement, always.

  5. I don’t agree with that trainer EITHER! She really isn’t a trainer and has no professional training!

  6. I think this is a classic case of networks doing whatever than can to boost ratings. If they brought in “some trainer” that wouldn’t get new viewers, but a big star will. Sad!

    That’s funny – as soon as I looked at your salad (which looks SO refreshing), I thought, wow, her and Courtney are thinking alike!

  7. Lauren says:

    I understand a friend or a blogger telling people this worked for them, but I’m not sure someone who isn’t a trainer should “train” someone else, especially for the show. Bloggers usually post workouts and say this is what they do, but I never see bloggers really telling people to “do this workout for results.”

    • Tina says:

      Exactly. There’s a big difference in sharing an idea and telling someone to follow through with that idea.

  8. I heard the news this morning about Anna taking over for Jillian. And, ooh, that gets me fired up. I AM a certified strength and conditioning specialist with a degree in Exercise Science. I don’t always feel comfortable providing workouts/information on my blog just for the fact that I don’t know exactly who is reading it and if they are healthy enough to be doing the exercises I might suggest since I am not personally testing their start point. (Thus, a disclaimer on my blog.) Yes, you can motivate people based on personal experiences, but to train them to lose that kind of weight… I’m not too sure.

  9. Who is she??? (I don’t watch TV much, can you tell?! ha) She doesn’t have a certification?! Then why oh why is she going to parade around telling others what to do?

    I hope no one gets hurt on TBL…… :()

  10. First of all, DH and I agree that AK does not look healthy. He had his laptop out during and pulled up some “older” pics of her (in her tennis prime) and he pointed at the screen and said “That is NOT the same girl.” (I did explain the wonders of airbrush to him, but still…)

    Secondly, I think one of the things we’ve (collective TBL fans) is that Jill has always maintained (although never providing photographic evidence) that she struggled with weight as a child — therefore, she (even through her yelling/hard ass attitude) could still connect with the contestants.

    For a show like TBL, I think it’s important to have someone who can relate to the plight of the MORBIDLY obese. I don’t think someone who has probably qualified as underweight most of her life can relate to the struggles those contestants go through.

    I’d rather see someone who’s fit – but has been there – who’s really trying to give back. A former contestant (i know several of them have gone on to be PTs) – another fitness professional — anyone but a washed up tennis star who’s experience with training is VERY sport specific…

    • Tina says:

      I love the idea of a former contestant. That would have been a really cool way for them to take it if they had actually thought for a moment past big star ratings.

      And I think Jillian did show an old photo of her bigger size in one random episode. Pretty sure at least. Only time I ever saw it thoguh.

  11. Emma says:

    I’m with you on the new trainer. I guess they were going for name value but I totally disagree with choosing someone to help people with serious health problems that has no education or formal training. It’s not that I doubt she has great experience and has learned a great deal. And teaching tennis lessons and conditioning to go along with that is great. Just don’t think she is the right pick for this type of training. And I agree I thought she looked rather unhealthy last night, although I try not to judge that kind of stuff.

  12. Looks like SOMEbody has to make an extra trip to the grocery store then!! 😉
    You NEED to try that omelet!

  13. Definitely a fan of The Biggest Loser! I also watched the season finale of Gossip Girl a few days ago 🙂
    Thank you for your input in this post. I think it’s important to put a disclaimer on your blog, because then people can choose whether or not to read your information. I believe it’s also the readers responsibility to use the information they find in a healthy, safe way

  14. lindsay says:

    I agree, really? Anna? What is she gonna do? flirt? I’ve met her in real life too. sheesh!
    Yes, blogger responsibility is HUGE> take it with a grain of salt, right?

  15. Parita says:

    I didn’t understand the decision to hire Anna as the new trainer either.

    And I honestly thought about my responsibility as a blogger until now – after I read Tina and your posts. Now that I think about it, I think our #1 responsibility is to be honest in our posts. I am of the belief that we live in the 21st century where information (oftentimes conflicting information) is everywhere. It’s the consumer’s (of that information) responsibility to discern what applies to them and what doesn’t. With that being said, I don’t think bloggers should dish advice they aren’t qualified to give, and that’s where the honesty and realism come into play. I don’t know if I articulated my thoughts in the best way…sorry!

  16. Lauren says:

    That salad looks amazing!!!

    Wow, I had no idea she wasn’t certified. I don’t know how I feel about that. I mean, I claim not to be a profession and I even have a certificate in personal fitness but I still don’t think it warrants anything justifiable in order to try and change someone’s entire body and life.

  17. jobo says:

    TOTALLY AGREEE!! I am NOT happy about Ann being on the show. Totaly downer for me. feels like theyre selling out. The finale WAS amazing though!! Loved that it was all women and the two sisters were final two!!

  18. I think that TBL made a mistake selecting Anna…on top of the points you made she has never had a struggle with weight like contestants and I’m not so sure she will be able to connect with them.

    As for blogger responsibility I think you do just fine making it known that you are simply writing what you are doing, not dictating what a reader should do. We all need to be responsible for our own selves…

  19. Ahhh I think it’s pretty idiotic for Anna to be the next trainer. I know that’s very opinionated, but it’s basically the same reasons you said.

  20. I totally agree with the idea of reader responsibility! We just share our lives and experiences and it’s up to them to make informed decisions on their own about what will work best. I do, however, add a disclaimer if I give advice about working out and nutritious eating because I don’t want to ever be “blamed” for giving out information that didn’t work or caused a problem for someone. Yikes!

  21. I didn’t watch BL but I heard about the new trainer! That is crazy! I thought for sure they would have Tara or Ally (or another former contestant) be the trainer. I thought that would have been interesting (but obviously I would want them to be certified and I have no idea if they are or not)

  22. Coco says:

    There is a huge difference between what you do as a blogger and what the trainers on TBL do. Most importantly, they ARE assigned to TRAIN specific people and will be designing workouts specifically for them to follow, with their health and PRIZES at stake. Or, maybe it’s ALL FAKE and She won’t really do anything except follow a script based on a plan that real “behind the scenes” trainers develop?? At least that might be healthier for the contestants.

  23. Lee says:

    I don’t watch TBL so I don’t have much of an opinion but I do think that a trainer should be certified to be working with weight loss patients. I think that’s totally different from a blogger though. I think it’s the reader’s responsibility to take what they want from any given blog. I don’t think the blogger needs to put a disclaimer on every post that talks about what has worked for them.

  24. Colleen says:

    I was shocked by TBL’s decision to include Anna K. as a new trainer. I think this will be a true disservice to the contestants, as training morbidly obese people is a serious manner and should be handled by professionals!

    • Tina says:

      Agreed! I wonder if Bob will be the main one doing the work and she will be there for extra face time. Would be interesting to know how he feels about it…and if he ends up sticking around.

  25. Being a personal trainer, I am so disspointed in their decision. When it comes to training someone it is more than just making them sweat. There are muscle imbalances that exists, injuries that need to be taken into consideration etc. This is an extremely at risk population and to put them in the hands of someone who hasn’t had any training experience is SOOOO wrong.

  26. Mac says:

    I was not impressed with her being the next trainer either… she looked disgustingly skinny and not very healthy… I don’t think that is something that these contestants need around them.

  27. I think there’s a huge difference between a blogger sharing workout and recipe ideas and someone on national television designing a fitness and diet plan that contestants HAVE to follow if they want to win the competition. Given the weight and poor health of some of the contestants when they begin the show, I’d say it’s dangerous to have someone without the proper training or credentials training them.

  28. Heather says:

    OMG, can you believe it?? I still can’t! Plus, they got rid of Brett and Cara, too, so it’s just Anna and Bob. I think it made the show lost a lot of credibility. And I totally agree with you that she doesn’t look healthy – she used to be BEAUTIFUL!

  29. Mandy says:

    I went back and forth between Glee and TBL finales, I couldn’t pick LOL! Glee is really good too 🙂

    I agree with you on the trainer choice–I think it’s kinda a sell out for TBL to be honest. I am not happy about it and I think they are going to lose a lot of fans because of it. And TBL will never be the same without Jillian, no matter how hard they try.

    • Tina says:

      Just wanted to say I MISS YOU! This week has been crazy busy trying to get caught up with things. Love you!

  30. Emily says:

    I finally watched the finale yesterday. Thank goodness for DVR! I too was surprised with the choice for new trainer. Seems more like a publicity opportunity for Anna than a responsible choice for contestants who are truly sick and need guidance to get their lives on track. I really, really hope I still like watching it in the fall. Plus, I hope Brett will still be on it…OMG 🙂

  31. Jess says:

    SO with you on the whole Anna K. thing. I was actually kind of pissed off when I saw that she was the one they chose to be the trainer next season with Bob. I honestly am not sure I’ll continue to watch the show – I think she’s setting a bad example because she clearly does NOT take good care of herself, she was FAR too skinny when she came out on stage. Not healthy IMHO. Really bugs me too since BL is such an inspiration to so many, I”d hate to see the show go down in a ball of flames over one bad decision. Wow – clearly I had a lot to say about this!!

  32. Aneta says:

    I absolutely, 100% hate that anna kounikova is the new trainer. WTF!!!
    i was soooo angry when i found out.

  33. […] been some cogent talk about blogger responsibility recently. See Mara and Tina for some carefully articulated thoughts. We’re sharing our lives, opinions and […]

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