Your Fitness Journey Online
How does documenting your fitness journey on social media affect YOU?
This is a question I have asked myself many times… I always wondered whether continuously sharing your highs and your lows at such an intimate moment of your life could cause you any good. Let’s face it; whether it’s a weight loss journey, a weight gain journey or you’re simply just trying to tone up ready for your holiday, it’s hard. It’s really hard. The internal pressure you put on yourself is enough to make you combust, then there is the dreaded pressure of telling everyone else around you.
Right now, they are blissfully unaware of your goals, therefore they won’t even be thinking about how your body looks, but as soon as you tell them your goals they are a part of it. They will now be commenting on your body whilst it’s morphing (whether you like it not) and they will also be trying to help you stay on track (although, this may feel like hindering). This feeling is overwhelming, even when it is just your significant other, never mind every single one of your followers. So, why do we share such personal aspirations with people we barely know? Will the pressure help us to succeed?
So, you’ve taken a leap of faith and decided to change your life for the better? Perfect. What motivated you? Have you got an important date coming up? Have you finally had enough of not being happy with your body? Or is it the fact that every time you go onto Instagram you see airbrushed insta-models with six packs in bikinis? Yeah, I thought so, me too actually.
So you’ve bought a gym membership and you’ve planned out your meals, you’re ready to go. What more do you need? Oh, you need your phone, 3 social channels and a camera… right? Why is it that we feel we need to share these private moments with, well, nearly everyone?
Is it a purely innocent way to make ourselves accountable by putting it out there to everyone. If you’ve tweeted to say you’re going to the gym, that means you actually have to do it, right? So, this way it keeps you on track and it’s like a very public diary where everyone can peer into your day to make sure you are sticking to your goal. This will shame you into doing what you have so publicly stated therefore helping to you to stay motivated, meaning you end up getting results? Sounds perfect… But is it? Have you done it because you wanted to or because you felt pressure to succeed because you don’t want everyone to see you as the one that gave up? As soon as you reach that goal, get that amazing before and after picture to share with your followers will you carry on? That will show you clearly whether you did it for them or yourself.
Let’s now look at this from other point of view… now you’re the follower. You see the person mentioned above on your timeline, you see the picture-perfect shots of her new healthy recipes, her new gym gear and her amazing new figure. This gives you the kick up the behind that you always needed, so you start your fitness journey and start to post it on your social channels. This then starts a health kick ripple effect, which is certainly NOT a bad thing. I mean, who’s complaining that everyone is eating healthy and exercising? That is a very good thing. But again, who are you all doing it for? Did you see her six pack and look at yourself with disgust? Are you checking in on her social channels daily just to compare yourself? That is the moment you need to click off and focus on yourself.
It may allow you to reach your physical goal and you may be feeling amazing on the outside, but are you straining yourself mentally to continue to get the likes and the praises from your peers, because in the long run that will cause a deeper darker fatigue than any marathon.
Document your fitness and health journey, take all the photos in the world, take videos and even write about it, but do it for your personal progress. Look at your pictures daily and think ‘WOW I have come so far’ and share the message of focusing on yourself and your journey.