In todays' visual world of Instagram and Facebook, we are inundated with pictures and videos of the fitness elite-often with the hashtag "fitspo" accompanying the posts. And as impressive as these pictures often are, as a way of showcasing the discipline and talent of the athletes pictured, do these pictures that continuously flood our feeds help or hinder the average human to stay healthy, fit and strong?
Today, we have more opportunity than ever before to stay on track with our health and fitness but statistics show we are unfortunately losing the battle against obesity related disease-and even more unfortunate it's often the people who profess to be passionate about helping to change the public's attitudes towards eating and exercise, that are doing the most harm and pushing people further away.
With every #fitspo pic of a green smoothie, ab workout (with said abs on show) or HIIT session where the attendees or trainers have "smashed" themselves-the fitness industry is pushing the overweight, deconditioned individual further and further away. Instead of promoting healthy habits and a change of mindset and lifestyle, we are promoting a sense of inferiority that is leading to higher levels of not just obesity, but also eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and orthorexia (an obsession with "clean-eating").
So, how do we make a more positive impact and inspire those that need our help most? We need to highlight the simplicity of healthy eating and exercise and the fact that small but consistent changes create MASSIVE results! It's not about how pretty you can make your Acai bowl look once a week (made for instagram, purposes/brag rights only), you may have an ugly looking bowl of porridge for breakfast but you have that bowl of porridge most days because it makes you feel good, helps you hit your goals and is simple and easy to make-allowing you to get some breakfast in while still getting the kids ready to go to school in the morning. This is #realhumanfitspo.
#realhumanfitspo takes place everyday -going for a walk when you'd rather sit on the couch, making a good choice at a restaurant when everyone else is having burgers or being able to run with the kids in the park where you never used to be able to keep up. These are the images, pictures and inspiration that need to be promoted to the general public-images that make health and fitness look simple, fun and manageable and most importantly normal!
So, if you find yourself intimidated by the #fitspo posts on social media and don't believe you will be able to achieve your goals because you currently can't find the time to make yourself lunch let alone spend the whole of Sunday "meal-prepping" or you can't run for 1min currently let alone run the Half-marathon that everyone on Facebook seems to be training for-don't worry. Stop following those "Fitness Experts" or friends who make you feel that what you can do isn't good enough and forge your own future by making #realhumanfitspo decisions each day that are small steps towards a bigger goal and that help you love yourself from the inside out.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.