What’s Wrong With Fitspiration?

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?
    Nike's Make Yourself Campaign

    Nike’s Make Yourself Campaign: beautiful, fit and commited elite female athletes who dedicate their life to training.

  • 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.
    Park Soo Hee

    I’m sure Park Soo Hee has an amazing body but I’m sure there’s also a lot of bronzer on her abs!

  • A lot of fitspo you see contain really stupid and senseless messages such as this stupid one:
    No Days Off .. you idiot.

    Take rest days, you idiots.

  • 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?

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    Friday Notes

    • I planned to ride to work a lot but I haven’t been… because I can’t get up early enough in the morning (I like to go extra early so I have time for a gym session). The rides that I did do felt awesome though!
    • I can’t believe how fast time is going by because it’s about time to cycle without leg warmers and shells. Which also means tanlines. Ugh.
    • I’ve been trying to tone down my workouts this week because my legs are tired and my hamstrings have been very sore. I’ve also been stretching and foam-rolling A LOT more than usual. Sometimes I’ll go take a break from work and if my co-workers are wondering where I am, they should know I’m in the studio lying on a foam-roller or a ball for myofascial release. It doesn’t look as awkward as doing it in the middle of the office. Plus I want to be in the best condition for a huge ride this weekend!
      ifuckinglovefitness.com
    • A couple weeks ago, we did a LOT of dancing at a music festival (x2) and I injured a muscle on the bottom of my left foot which gave me a lot of practice in walking gracefully and trying to look normal even though every step meant shooting pain. Dancing counts as execise so it’s totally a fitness related injury. That’s what you call beastmode okay.
    • I bought a heartrate monitor a couple months ago and I still haven’t used it yet. Why. Am. I. So. Lazy. See? Just because you’re fit doesn’t mean you’re not lazy. Unless it comes to cycling, burpees and wall balls, I’m uber lazy.
    • The last few weeks have been extremely taxing and full of sweat, breakdowns and pigging out but I still haven’t missed a workout session… because exercise is just a part of the daily routine and it’s my therapy.
    • I’ve been eating semi-clean…
      Clean Eating

      Meal-prep is fast, easy and convenient. And when I feel lazy, I just buy a rotisserie chicken and I have lunch for 4 days.

    • …but cheating every day. Living a balanced lifestyle is very important to me.
      Goodies from our bike ride to Trader Joe's in Bellingham. We did 96k that day so I had to be mindful of what I bought back because Boyfriend was carrying it the entire way. I know right! What an awesome girlfriend I am.

      Goodies from our bike ride to Trader Joe’s in Bellingham. We did 96k that day so I had to be mindful of what I bought back because Boyfriend was carrying it the entire way. I know right! What an awesome girlfriend I am.

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      Healthy Black Forest Cake

      Black forest cake is one of my favorite desserts and I’ve been constantly craving it, no thanks to my best friend. Here is a recipe for a healthy black forest cake I made the other night and it’s filled with lots of protein from… black beans!

      Healthy Black Forest Cake

      Ingredients:

      • 1/2 cup black beans
      • 1/4 cup egg whites
      • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
      • 2tbsp almond flour
      • 2tbsp almond milk
      • agave nectar (or other sweetener) to taste
      • a pinch of salt
      • pinch of baking soda

      Directions:

      1. Blend all together until batter is smooth.
      2. Pour into a greased mug
      3. Cover with saran wrap (if you don’t, watch out for an explosion in your microwave!).
      4. Microwave for 3-5 minutes.
      5. Take out of mug and cut the cake into thin layers.
      6. Layer with cherry filling, whipped cream and enjoy!

      For the filling:

      You can either use fresh or frozen cherries and heat up in a small pot with sweetener of your choice OR use canned cherry filling (although this will probably be high in sugar and add extra calories).

      For the whipped cream:

      Beat your own with full-fat cream or you can be lazy like me and use full-fat whipped cream from the spray cans. Do not use fat-free because it’s filled with sugars and chemicals to make up for all that fat.

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