Can a Fat Man be an Award Winning Fitness Blogger?
Google “Fitness Blogger” images and you’ll notice a pattern. Long hair, tight abs, bikinis and the obligatory instagram friendly butt selfie.
I know that the scene is much more diverse than this, but this is sadly the perception of many and as an overweight, balding and bespectacled 43 year old man, I am as far removed from the archetypal fitness blogger as you can get and you will be relieved to know that as much as I love selfies, I tend to keep them confined to my butt ugly face.
So, when I discovered that I had been nominated for the UK Blog Awards in the Sports and Fitness category, I saw it as an opportunity to address this misconception and to hopefully further raise my profile as a blogger (like my Man V Fat Reviews, I am honest).
How Many Miles has seen a lot of traffic and posts in the past 12 months, but I am not an overnight success.
I first started blogging back in 2011 with a small workplace feature that grew as my confidence grew and as my weight reduced. Soon, How Many Miles was born and it wasn’t long before I was blogging for Tribesports, Spogo, the Men’s 10K and Paths For All.
In 2014, I hit the Big Time. Or so I thought.
Great Run made me their blogger and a wee sporting event in Glasgow picked me to be one of their special Games bloggers. I also started writing for the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) and Man V Fat. I then ended the year with what I view as the pinnacle of sports and fitness blogging.
No, not the bloody Huffington Post, but my first British Medical Journal Blog. For as long as I blog (or live) my BMJ blog posts will rank alongside my greatest writing accomplishments.
For two years, I focused on my Great Run and FSEM blogs with regular guest posts for Man V Fat and others. I attended a few sports medicine symposiums and Great Run gave me the VIP treatment at all of their events. I wasn’t well known and I didn’t really care
Well, that wasn’t quite true.
I love blogging. I love knowing that my words sometimes entertain, inspire and sometimes even educate. I love the opportunities that blogging brings and I do love the occasional gifts from partners. I also genuinely love putting my thoughts on paper (even if it is only Google docs). However, I will be totally honest. At Great Run, I didn’t feel in control of the blog and it soon became clear that my role there wasn’t developing as I had hoped.
I wasn’t reaching as many as I wanted to and I also wanted to write about more than running. Great Run were indeed great, but my run with them was coming to an end.
So, I decided to leave Great Run and to resurrect How Many Miles and for the past year, I have focused my main efforts on my own blog. I redesigned the theme, added new categories and I even got myself a wee logo.
The UK Blog Award nomination is a wonderful honour and culmination of an amazing but also difficult year . It hopefully reflects my efforts, but I nearly didn’t accept it.
The fitness blogging industry, much like the fitness industry, is largely driven by aesthetics and carbon copy blogs that all seem to review the same boutique London gyms or the same fashion lines. It has became too focused on product and brand placement and over the past few months, I have unsubscribed from many. I have become a little disillusioned.
However, I still have my favourites and I am up against some of them in the UK Blog Awards.
I like to think that we share a common approach. We tell honest stories and we are open about our struggles as well as our accomplishments. For us, blogging is about sharing our experiences in the hope that we can inspire others to step out of their comfort zones. I also like to think that we offer hope to people not unlike ourselves.
I unfortunately feel that we are a minority and there is obviously a market and demand for the Instagram famous bloggers and their photo led content as I enviously watch on as they go on yet another sponsored island retreat or parade in their latest sports gear, but I do hope that the public and judges of the UK Blog Awards prefer stories. I know that I enjoy writing them.
I’d love this story to end with myself (or even one of my favourite blogs) in the final, but to do that I need your vote.
Vote for How Many Miles at :
And let us show that sports and fitness blogging is about more than bikini clad athletes attending the latest VIP fitness launch in London.
Can a fat man win a fitness blog award? Only time will tell.