Fitness-inspiration (‘fitspo’ or ‘fitspiration’) pictures and quotes have their place. Sure, they can be motivating but unfortunately the majority of them are guilt-inducing, they portray food negatively, they ignore individuality, put everyone in one basket and are frankly often doing more harm than good.
Yesterday I spent some time looking through ‘fitspiration’ blogs and websites and they are left me feeling mad and disappointed. Let’s look at some of the worst I found (and I haven’t included any “thinspiration” because that’s completely inappropriate and makes me even more angry).
Hey Lorna Jane, hey Kate Moss. I’m sorry, but I eat to nourish and fuel my body. I don’t eat to feel “fit” –whatever that means anyway. And why can’t I eat delicious food and be fit? P.s. My friends on Facebook and Instagram and I came up with a whole list of food that taste better than ‘skinny’ and ‘fit, like pizza, french fries, bacon, donuts, cookies, pad thai, nut butter and a million other things.
If I’m working out and I fall, puke, bleed or feel pain, you can be certain that I’m going to stop. And that doesn’t make me weak.
You know what else is not acceptable? Injuries, fatigue and linking quitting to weakness. You’re not weak if you quit sometimes, you’re human. Welcome to the club, there’s 7 billion of us here.
I’ll reward myself with whatever the hell I feel like rewarding myself with. Some people like shoes, others like cars, toys, clothes or jewellery. I love food, I’ll use it as a reward if I want.
Stop trying to link weight with happiness. The two are hardly related. If you base your worth and happiness around a number on the scale, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I know plenty of people who were much happier, much more peaceful and practiced much more self love when they weighed more than they do now. True, lasting happiness comes from the inside and trying to make yourself happy by reaching a number on the scale isn’t going to work. Trust me. You might be temporarily happy but it most likely won’t last.
There should not be regret associated with missing or skipping a workout. As soon as regret and guilt show up in your fitness journey, it’s going to get a whole lot harder. Embrace the fact that your body needs to rest, understand that you don’t need to work out every day to get fit and see results and, in return, when you do get a chance to workout give it 100%.
Hey YOU, you are already sexy as f***, just the way you are. You don’t need to run to become sexy. Not everyone is good at running, not everyone enjoys running and not everyone can run. There are plenty of ways to meet your goals.
I understand where this quote is coming from but please don’t try to shame me for my food choices. I get fit for me, not for the “public”. As a side note, a box of donuts would be a pretty great outfit, just saying!
Actually, everyone should have time for fat. Because your body needs fat in order to survive. Fat isn’t a disease that you need to get rid of; it’s an essential part of survival. And it’s not an adjective.
Just like “S” is the only difference between laughter and slaughter. And the “D” is the difference between bananas and bandanas. And the “R” is the difference between peachy and preachy. Moral of the story is, refer to the picture above. Fit is not an adjective.
Oh, this one is my favourite. Actually, you can. Have a look at some of the “fitness celebrities”; Fake butts, implants, synthol, photoshop, fat transplants, drugs – they’re not a true representation of “fitness” but lots of people characterise those people as fit.
There is no one “face of fitness”. You can be fit at 50kg or you can be fit at 100kg. Nobody has the right to define fitness as being one look. Look at cross fit athletes vs bikini athletes. Who looks more ‘fit’? Who is actually more ‘fit’?
Actually, I’m a whole lifetime away from this. No matter what I do, I will literally never look like this because my bone structure is thicker, I hold more fat and I genetically have a bigger bum and smaller boobs. Stop trying to make people think that “one size fits all” and giving them unrealistic expectations.
The point of this blog is to PLEASE stop sharing these ridiculous fitspiration pictures. Yes, there are some motivating ones out there but most of them focus on guilt and shaming, putting aesthetics before happiness, they often present a body that is unrealistic and unattainable and they’re just depressing to see, especially for someone who is just starting out in fitness. In the end, the people who most need the motivation aren’t going to find it in these pictures; quite often ‘fitspo’ can leave them feeling worse about their current situation and too defeated to actually start to make a healthy change.
I understand that you may think that this kind of post is fairly hypocritical of me as I’m definitely guilty of posting more than my fair share of selfies but I like to think that as my views on fitness have evolved and matures, so too has the content I post and the context of the selfies I upload.
One of the biggest mistakes that I made in my “fitness journey” was believing that looking a certain way would make me happy and would make others think better of me. And at the end of the day, the complete opposite is true. Stop listening to these condescending fitspirational quotes and pictures and realise that happiness comes from the inside; it doesn’t come from looking a certain way. Relying on your appearance to bring you happiness is going to bring a whole lot of negative issues into your life. Trust me.
Fitspiration pictures like the ones above promote that kind of state of mind. Please, ignore them. Stop reposting them. Stop sharing them. Instead, share messages of self-love, self-belief, positivity and the truth that food is fuel, there is no ‘one size fits all’, fit does not equal happy (and looking fit doesn’t actually equal fit), it is okay to quit and that fitness and happiness come in all shapes and sizes – and those are the things the slim, lean girl in the fitspo picture isn’t telling you.
Do you think it’s time to move-on from the “fitspo” trend? Have you ever been negatively affected by fitspo? Or have you, on the other hand, found it to be something motivating? Let me know in the comments below because I’d love to know your opinion.