By Claire Harlin
Local women may have attended her reformer pilates classes at Solana Beach’s BodyROK Studios, or area residents might have met her at Delicias Restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe, where she bartends several nights a week. But her local following is nothing compared to the thousands worldwide who visit her health and fitness blog, “The Skinny Confidential,” each day.
Del Mar native Lauryn Evarts is 26 years old and in one year has amassed a readership that many seasoned authors and publishers would be envious of. She gets some 35,000 page views a day and is ranked at the top of the fitness category on the site www.bloglovin.com, which keeps a registry of all the world’s most popular blogs.
A 2005 alumna of Torrey Pines High School, Evarts got the idea to blog about health and fitness while studying broadcasting at San Diego State University.
“I would get lunch at school and couldn’t believe how horrendous the options were,” said Evarts, who has modeled for several brands and publications, including Rusty Swimwear and Maxim magazine. “With 40,000 students and tons of sorority girls at SDSU, I was thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go online and modify each restaurant’s offerings to make them healthy?’”
Evarts decided to start doing the research herself. She gathered carbohydrate and calorie counts on all the fast food offerings on campus and started making up her own meals. She removed the bread from a breakfast sandwich at Starbucks, for instance, and she used hummus as salad dressing at Daphne’s California Greek. When she graduated, she embarked on earning her nutrition license, and was poised to get her blog up and running.
“At first I just wanted to start a blog on modifications and substitutions,” said Evarts. “But it turned into being about so many things — lifestyle, balancing health and relationships, working out, eating. There are only so many hours in the day and to do everything and manage health is hard, so I am just trying to make things easier.”
What has really propelled Evarts’ popularity is her sense of humor, which is dry and sometimes even racy, she said.
“I just talk to readers like they are my girlfriends and I’ll talk about anything,” she said.
One of her most popular posts, for example, was about having a healthy hangover. In it, she urged people just to drink water and pull their [expletive] out of bed and get to the gym, even if it’s for 30 minutes.
“I try to present topics in a funny, approachable way,” she said.
The most interesting part of blogging, which has nearly become a full-time job for Evarts, is reaching out to people from all over the world.
“I am talking to girls in Sweden and Australia. I am talking to girls in Hong Kong — one girl didn’t even have access there to cucumbers,” she said. “We all live in different places, but at the end of the day, people are concerned about the same things. At the end of the day, all everyone wants is happiness.”
Evarts spends much of her time on social media and reaching out to big brands that will help connect her with the world.
“Companies have liked my blog and they help me promote it,” she said, adding that sponsorships and partnership, as well as advertising, has made the blog profitable. “I’m very close to making this my full-time job, and I hope it will eventually be my career.”
Another thing that has made her successful is the surprisingly low number of fitness bloggers, she said.
“There are so many fashion bloggers out there, and you’d think there would be a lot of health and fitness bloggers, but there aren’t,” she said.
Next month, Evarts will be launching a YouTube Channel featuring tutorial and tips, and she said she would eventually like to publish both a recipe and fitness book. She also dreams of having her own TV show, and starting a delivery service for healthy foods, similar to Jenny Craig, but geared toward young women in their 20s and even teenage years.
“I talk to girls through the blog who are 15 years old and struggling with weight,” said Evarts. “That’s tough for girls who aren’t on their own and buying their own food.”
Evarts’ own fitness crusade began early in life, simply from growing up in a health-conscious family and health-conscious city. She was introduced to working out when her godmother invited her to a spin class, and she later fell in love with Pure Barre, a dance-inspired aerobic workout. Now, she says she’s “obsessed” with reformer pilates.
But Evarts says that working out is not just about her body — it’s also about how she feels. And when it comes to blogging, Evarts gets the most satisfaction out of helping her readers.
“I return every email I get, and I get 150 a day sometimes,” she said, adding that she recently received an email from a girl who said she lost 25 pounds by reading “The Skinny Confidential.”
“A lot of people are just not educated about health and it’s not their fault, so I just want to help.”
For more information, visit www.theskinnyconfidential.com.