I am so so SO excited to be bringing you this topic as this issue is really close to my heart and part of the reason nogreensmoothies was created. My whole reason for blogging is to stand up against health fads and I believe that this is something that we really need to talk about:
fit-spiration (#fitspo) and how it DOESN’T EXIST.
It’s a ridiculous trend that we need to abandon, or at the very least be very very selective about the people we chose to follow on social media for our fitspiration.
I’m going to make a sweeping statement and say that the vast majority of #fitspo out there is not designed to motivate you. It’s not about you at all in fact, its about the person posting the picture. It’s about validating them, making them feel good about themselves so when people look at their pictures they think, “wow they’re HOT.”
It is only after all the dozens of photos have been taken and the photoshop and filters have been applied that a picture is allowed to be seen by others supposedly to “motivate” us to be just like the person in the picture.
And this is supposed to motivate us to go to the gym. What bullshit is this?!
I want you to be really honest with your self right now. When you look at a picture of a girl posing in her underwear, six-pack and boobs on display, how does that make you feel? Does it make you feel empowered to make positive, lasting changes to your health? Or does it make you feel inadequate? That maybe your healthy eating habits aren’t good enough and maybe the only difference between you at the girl in the picture is that you lack the discipline to get there.
In a lot of these type of pictures, health is not being promoted. Restrictive and disordered practices are being promoted. The line between #fitspo and #proanna (pro anorexia) is nearly invisible and it is alarming to me that many young people are turning to these people for nutrition and fitness advice, despite these people not have the qualifications to do so. Disordered eating is not uncommon among elite body builders and fitness models.
If after reading all of this you can still honestly tell your self that these images genuinely inspire you, then I’d like you to ask your self WHY. Why do these images inspire you? Why do you want to look like this? Will you be happier? Will your life be better?
From a general health point of view, the levels of body fat achieved by these woman and fitness models in general is not healthy for most woman. Fitness models aim to keep their body fat at 8-10%. The average woman has 23% body fat. This is natural and healthy for woman of childbearing age. Low body fat percentages result in decreased fertility rates, loss of periods (amenorrhea) and poor bone density. So your quest for defined abs or a tiny figure could have lasting impacts on your health.
And here’s the thing: this sort of figure just isn’t achievable for some people. For some people it won’t matter how hard they work out or how “clean” they eat, they will not look like these pictures, because, genetics. Some people might be able to get themselves smaller, but at what cost??
In our selfie obsessed culture it’s important to remember that these carefully edited pictures are mostly there for the poster’s own benefit, not yours. There are plenty of ways we can offer support and encouragement to others starting their fitness journey and none of them require visible abs. Instead of that yoga pose on a beach, what’s wrong with just the beach, or park or forest that you happen to be exercising in? Or a simple shot of a yummy breakfast without so called “super foods?”
If someone you follow on social media makes you feel inadequate or crappy about your body, food choices or lifestyle, don’t be afraid to hit that unfollow button! After all, your worthiness as a person is not determined by your weight, appearance or by whether or not you have a visible six-pack.