You ever, just, think about all it takes to be #fit… and are just like… “Okay, how about no.”? Because same.
I’m not sure if you saw my recent story. I had a few words to pick with a fitspo that I once supported: @Desb___… I used to think some of the stuff she would post was annoying, but I would give her the benefit of the doubt, because we’ve all been there, yanno? If you check out her page you will see that she is a pretty blonde with a tiny frame, very little body fat and lots of muscle. A lot of her posts were centered around her venting about how “fluffy” she feels because she ate off plan.
Like does this b*tch know what fluffy is or nah? So… that grinded my gears because I know there are so many girls out there who are young, impressionable, vulnerable and maybe even uneducated about health and fitness… who will see a girl who looks like Des complaining about how she feels fluffy. So is she not skinny enough either? Are any of us?
To social media’s standards, probably not, TBH. Which is why we have to work together to redefine fitness and health. Stop pointing out each others’ flaws and especially what we consider to be our own. I know many fitspos do this in hopes to show that they, too, have insecurities and aren’t as perfect as everyone thinks they are. The intent is good and pure, but I don’t know that the outcome always is as we expect or hope it to be. You will have some girls who see this and think, “If she isn’t skinny enough, I need to be skinnier than her” but you will have other girls see this and think, “What a relief. She has cellulite too. Her tummy isn’t always flat either. I am perfectly fine the way I am.” You can’t please everyone so I understand how difficult it must be to be in these influencer’s positions.
Des posted a message (with good intentions) about how she messed up over the weekend by eating home cooked meals, went out to dinner with friends and family, ate lots of Halloween candy… and how to move on from this without feeling like you ruined your progress. She went on to list some of her methods: drink a lot of water, take a walk, and do not eat (aka fast for upwards of 12 hours to give your body time to digest). This last bullet point did not sit well with me for a few reasons:
- Many of her followers are young girls who are clueless about nutrition and working out
- Many of her followers may take this advice wholeheartedly and not know how to fast properly (or that most of the 12 hours includes SLEEP time)
- She suggests to not eat/fast to balance out the fact she ate like shit over the weekend (which is an eating disorder in itself)
- The context and preface of this suggestion is just wrong
- Why do we need to consider those activities as “messing up” to begin with? That is called LIVING and enjoy your ONE AND ONLY LIFE on this earth.
So, I messaged her. We had exchanged messages in the past and I felt like she was down to earth so I could bring this to her attention. I was so wrong. She was not so open to my criticism and essentially shut me down. So I persisted.
I didn’t do this for myself. I could not care less about the shit I see on social media. I used to. And I know millions of girls still do. I know messages like this are what fuel eating disorders today and continuing to refer to “junk foods” as cheats or “messing up” is what is wrong with the fitness culture. Most of us are just here trying to make healthy choices, stay active and feel confident. We aren’t out here trying to get that pro card. But most of us have started to obsess over counting every single calorie, punishing ourselves with extra cardio after we ate some ice cream, depriving ourselves all week just to go crazy on our one cheat day, essentially outdoing all of our good work by over-indulging and making ourselves sick, only to do it again the next week and the next until forever.
Do you like that structure? Fine. But would you be doing it sans Instagram and your fav fitspos? Be real… probably not. Do you feel stressed about food (what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, what to eat for your next meal, gaining weight from x meal, anxious when friends ask you to go out to dinner)? I have been there and I am not there anymore because I saw the big picture. If you have goals to reach, fine. If you can diet and track and not go mentally insane, fine. Everyone is different and what works for one person is not going to work for everyone, and that is fine. But do not torture yourself trying to follow so and so’s diet/plan/workouts when you are causing yourself to feel more distressed. Fitness is not just physical. It is mental as well. We usually forget that because we only see booties and abs on Instagram.
Your goal does not have to be to have abs or to be skinny. You think if you lose 10 pounds you will be happier. Trust me when I tell you this is far from the truth. I was my leanest and I wanted to be leaner. You will never be small enough. Once you learn to love yourself as you are and take pride in your small victories every day (drinking 80 oz of water, eating that nutritious lunch you meal prepped, eating a couple Halloween candies and not over-indulging because THEY WILL BE THERE TOMORROW, hitting the gym 3-4x a week)… you will be so much happier. You will start to appreciate yourself and your body as it is right now and hence truly appreciate your stable progress over time. Just be consistent and do your damn best. That is all you can do. I encourage you to unfollow anyone who has ever made you feel like you weren’t good enough, even if that may not have been their intention.
I wish these influencers, instead of continuing to keep these disordered terms revolving around food, to try and remind us it is normal… that they would completely stop using them and make it NORMAL to eat Halloween candy. And that’s it. Not have to go into a whole thing about how to balance it out. Not referring to it as a mess up but also at the same time trying to convince you that you didn’t mess up. Just be real. Leave out all the bullshit. The world will be a much better place.
Sorry for my rant, but I feel like it is so so important. Do not starve yourself after a weekend of enjoying yourself. Do not feel guilty for having a donut. Do not hate on yourself for going over your carbs and under on your protein. Just don’t.
If you have any questions, please reach out. I know a few amazing personal trainers who are super realistic when it comes to nutrition and workouts, or I can give you advice from personal experience.