Fitspiration or fitspo is a double-edged sword. While it’s great for motivation, it can make you feel pretty awful about yourself. Getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle is a journey and takes time for you to really get into it and getting caught up with fitspiration maybe detrimental to your mental health because while it can make you want to hit the gym at 2am, it can also make your life extremely miserable.
Here is what’s wrong with Fitspiration:
- You see a lot of beautiful people in fitspo photos— athletes, competitors, models and just the normal committed people but you do not see the full story.
- Fitness competitors competitors go through rigorous training and strict diets before their competitions. This is not sustainable in real life and that’s why in their off-season, they tend to look like normal people with a healthier body-fat percentage.
- Athletes dedicate their life to training and are sponsored by huge names. How realistic is that for your lifestyle?
- Models are paid to look beautiful and “toned” …but that doesn’t mean they’re happy and don’t have a multitude of problems such as depression, self-confidence issues, bad health due to unhealthy diets, drug and alcohol abuse and many other problems.
- I’ve read many experiences about fitness competitors and how great they look but how miserable they are because of exhaustion and extreme diets. Again, this is why it’s NOT sustainable. Why would you want to live with deprivation? Everyone needs a treat here and there.
- Images you see in magazines are 99% Photoshopped.
- A lot of fitspo you see contain really stupid and senseless messages such as this stupid one:
- Everyone’s bodies are different. YOUR abs will not look like your friend’s perfect washboard abs.
- Chiseled abs and rock solid arms are seriously not the norm. If you have it, good for you. If you don’t, do not obsess over it! These gains usually only mean short-term happiness so concentrate on living a healthy and balanced lifestyle instead.
Personally, fitspiration has had nothing but a positive affect on me possibly because of where I am in my fitness journey. I’ve never resorted to “fitspo” when I began and wasn’t as fit as I am today because I resorted to forums and blogs and fitspo wasn’t as big back then. If I didn’t have the motivation and commitment I have now, I suspect it may make me feel terribly guilty if I ate that giant slice of cake [like I had for dessert tonight... along with a banana split].
But I love fitspo because it inspires me to be stronger, eat clean, train mean and become a better and healthier me. Fitspo makes me excited to get up every morning because I know I am going to workout that day and exercising makes me happy.
While fitspo is great for me, you should question whether it has any negative impact in life your life (and if you are smart enough to ignore the senseless ones) because if it does, you may want to limit your exposure towards it.
How do YOU feel about fitspo? Has it always been inspiring to you or has it ever made you feel awful about yourself?