I had this site for a long time before it was anything other than a glorified location to link articles that I published for other media outlets. It wasn’t until January 7th of this year that I finally turned it into a blog, at which point it jumped from about 5,000 visitors a month to around 100,000 each month.
It’s far from a media juggernaut, and the pieces I write for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, AskMen.com and Men’s Health etc. get a helluva lot more exposure, but the great thing about blogging is that I get to say whatever the hell I want and some people will come to my lowly site to read it. A number of the pieces sites like AskMen and Gawker paid me to republish, which is also cool.
Here are the 10 most popular pieces on this site for its inaugural year as a blog, and one of them wasn’t even written by me.
1. Fuck Dark Chocolate
I had a pretty good idea this one would be popular, but no clue just how much it would blow up or that it would make a “best fitness article of all time” type of list. It’s interesting that there were people who became most upset over this piece, failing to see that dark chocolate was largely a metaphor for unhealthy eating behaviors. Hell, my wife loves the stuff and liked the article too.
But plenty of dark chocolate lovers got their knickers twisted and made snotty comments about the piece. Nevertheless, about one-quarter of the followers to my Facebook page are there because of this single article.
2. Let’s Call Men’s Rights Activists By Their True Names
These guys really don’t like me much, and that’s cool, because I think they fucking suck.
MRAs are the goddamn worst. I first wrote about them for TIME Magazine in 2014 and that article blew up huge and put me on their radar screen, resulting in much butthurted hate blogging about yours truly. As I learned more about this toxic group I came to the realization about what they really are and wrote about it here.
3. The Caloric Deficit Cheat Sheet
This piece more or less took everything I learned in the process of writing my first book with a co-author who has a PhD in the psychology of eating behavior and encapsulated it down into one article of a variety of tips and tricks to manage your caloric intake to lose weight.
4. Dear Yahoo: Why Did You Decide to Start Killing Children?
I was uncertain about the title choice for this, but many told me to go with it and it sure got the desired results. Last summer, Yahoo, which is the #5 website in the entire world, republished a deplorable and dangerous anti-vaccine piece on their website. This post resulted in that article being removed from the site in less than two hours because of how quickly it went viral.
5. How SciBabe Lost (And Kept Off) 90 Pounds
This is the guest post I spoke of, by none of than my legendary friend Yvette d’Entremont, A.K.A. SciBabe. It’s a great story that goes into the unusual details and odd circumstances surrounding her considerable weight loss journey. It’s well worth the read.
6. The Cardio vs. Weights Cheat Sheet
This piece was many years in the making, as I’ve addressed the various costs and benefits of the cardio vs. weights arguments and exposed a lot of the bullshit along the way. Linking to a number of my researched pieces on this subject, I created what I believe is the authoritative pro vs. con analysis of both cardio and weights.
7. Paleo, Infant Mortality and Dumb Fucks on Facebook
Dropping an F bomb into a title does seem to be a good way to drive clicks. This piece came about because I was continuously amused by the efforts of paleo proselytizers to explain away the infant mortality of the Paleolithic era in the interest of justifying their silly marketing gimmick of a diet.
8. Being a Mom Doesn’t Make You Special
Wow, was I ever nervous hitting publish on this one.
There are mom bloggers a plenty who give out the worst health advice possible, those who say, “I’ve done my research.” And so, an adage has been created that just because a baby fell out of you doesn’t mean a PhD did. The anti vaccine crowd was not at all pleased with this piece.
9. The 10 Biggest Assholes In Health and Fitness
Ah, this piece is one I hold dear because it is what finally got Lyle McDonald to block me. Perhaps if he had actually read the piece he might not have done so, but don’t tell him that. I like not having to read his hateful screeds any longer.
Anyway, it is quite obviously a sarcastic piece and everyone listed was in on it.
10. John Burk: Fitness Douchebag of the Week
This one is not sarcastic. I really don’t like this guy. He doesn’t like me either.
Most know that I am very against body shaming, but Burk seems to think it’s just peachy keen and super helpful. After his horrific YouTube tirade about how much (he thinks) fat people suck, his star momentarily rose and he proclaimed himself awesome, because he can’t understand the difference between fame and infamy.
What a douche.
Read the comments here.
Follow James on Facebook and Twitter.
James S. Fell is an internationally syndicated fitness columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind, published by Random House Canada. He also interviews celebrities about their fitness stories for the Los Angeles Times, and is head fitness columnist for AskMen.com and a regular contributor to Men’s Health.