Increase Your Confidence
As a personal trainer running your own business, building your Instagram is a must-do. Especially with all the social media gurus like Gary Vaynerchuck claiming that if you’re not posting on a regular basis, then you’re not doing enough. Last year, I started to make a solid attempt at posting valuable content and slowly building my followers. Like anything in life, I needed inspiration and I started to follow successful fitness Instagram accounts. I reviewed their feed and noticed what posts received the most likes and comments. As time went on, I noticed that the most-liked posts had some similar things in common — unrealistic, sexualized images of enhanced body-types. There was no doubt in my mind that these fitness experts worked like beasts in the gym, but they has also paid for their physical enhancements.
Now, I know it’s not my place to judge what anyone chooses to do with their body: however, after a few months of Instagram posts and business as usual, my fiancé brought something to my attention. In a very compassionate way, he told me he had noticed some changes in my personality over the last few weeks. Some of these changes included:
- Putting myself down more after he would compliment me, i.e. always replying with “I could look better”;
- Spending so much time passively looking at Instagram and then complaining that there “wasn’t enough time in the day” to achieve my goals;
- Spending more time getting ready and fussing over my appearance more than usual but never being satisfied;
- Not wanting to dress up because I just felt fat or ugly all the time.
I was shocked when he told me these observations and I dismissed them at first. I told myself that “all girls do that”. Now, there is probably is some truth to that, but after a few days of self-reflection, I realized that there was a lot of merit to what he had said. I started to think, what was I *doing* differently? Then BINGO, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was spending countless hours viewing UNREALISTIC images of fitness “experts" on Instagram. I decided for my own mental health that I would do a social media purge. I made a simple checklist to decide who would stay and who would go. *Disclaimer, this is my checklist and it represents my values; it might not represents yours*.
Unfollow anyone who
- Posts sexualized images of themselves, i.e. if it would make my mother raise her eyebrows, you’re gone. Buh-bye!
- Has body enhancements (no judgement, but not in-line with my values)
Simple enough, right?
What was the result? I saw a DRAMATIC increase in my self-confidence. I didn’t even need to lose a single pound and I already felt better about myself. I used to train really hard and eat healthy but once I saw those images on Instagram, I would always feel like no matter how good I was looking, I would never measure up to those girls. Well, NO MORE. The honest truth is that those girls don’t even look like that all the time. Plus, they’re crafty with angles and filters. Also, I stopped wasting so much time on social media and I had more time and energy to work on my business, workout, and prepare healthy meals.
Some people will say that following those types of accounts actually motivates them to go to the gym and to you I say, keep doing what works for you. For those of you that are struggling with gym motivation and like to follow fitness accounts for tips, I say, don’t settle! There are so many great inspirational gym-folk out there that I personally follow, like: Jillfit, Joyoushealth, Toneitup, Camillelbaz, Negharfonooni, Jensinkler, just to name a few. These women all embody strength, knowledge, beauty and post things that WILL ACTUALLY HELP YOU.
So, I am giving you permission to create your own Instagram-purge checklist and then start deleting. What you feed your mind is sometimes MORE important then what you feed your body. One of my favourite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy” by Theodore Roosevelt and it could not be more accurate. I challenge you to think about what you’re feeding your brain on a daily basis and question whether if these types of inputs are actually helping you to accomplish your goals.
If you’re looking at images of unrealistic body types to “motivate” yourself to get to the gym, realize that there are two kinds of motivation: motivation to satisfy a deficiency and motivation towards growth. I urge you to choose the motivation towards growth. Growth motivation posts should inspire you to keep training hard to develop strength, endurance and lean muscle mass, to keep hitting personal records with your lifts, or posts that provide you with helpful lifestyle tips and healthy recipes. I promise you that you will be blown away with how changing something as simple as who you follow on Instagram, can have a dramatic positive effect on your confidence and overall health.
If you found this useful or enjoyable, please like or share or both — woo!