With 2020 just getting started a lot of us are making goals for the new year. This is also the time of the year where gym memberships increase. A lot of people want to either “get their sexy back” or add to their fitness goals. There’s so much pressure of everyone else around you going to the gym. How can one not go or seek out a gym buddy to break a sweat with at the gym? It is definitely healthy to “get it in” with an intense workout at the gym. But with social media fitness influencers who look close to if not perfect to some of us, our efforts in fitness can feel a bit unattainable. How can you combat the Instagram influence?
The reality behind social media celebrities and their fitness goals
Basing self-worth on appearance is not uncommon in today’s world. The validation we want to receive from it on social media is the damaging part. It directly impacts our self-esteem, and ultimately our personal health and well-being. Instagram fitness celebrities desire to curate the perfect self to get the attention of followers for their brand. But is what they are portraying really attainable and healthy?
Instagram’s fitness celebrities post lots of photos of themselves. Photos of their whole bodies, abs, thighs, buttocks. They are the creators of the exercise plans they sell. It only makes sense that their bodies are living proof of the results, but this creates a dark side of fitness culture. Yes, we see these celebrities or influencers positing daily workout routines and meal preparations. In order to keep up with the fitness culture they are promoting, we must look at ourselves first and ask if this is practical.
An influencer that we follow might only have the job that we see them do on social media. Maybe they aren’t a working single-mom or have a hectic business schedule. So what if you don’t have rock hard abs or quads of steel? We do not know what that influencer does behind closed doors or the sacrifices they make to get the body that we think is perfect. Each body type is different. So first, let’s figure out the positive way to follow a fitness guru or enthusiast.
Keeping it real with your fitness goals
The number one thing we need to keep in mind is that these fitness professionals are marketing themselves! This is their job to promote fitness and provide us value. They are going to take high-quality photos and use editing apps to make photographs more appealing. In addition, they may have a style of their own or one that emulates that of another fitness professional. While on the topic of style, this is what will keep our following choices healthy. Sticking to a style that best matches our goals. If a fitness professional has a style of posting, whether it be sticking to a color scheme or certain photos, why can’t we have a style or plan in mind to stick to when choosing to follow them? Finding that style or that voice can be the challenging part. Let’s start with laying out your fitness goals and identifying your body type so that those goals can be made practical.
When talking about physical appearance, it is only fair that we dive into the history of the physical attributes of body types. Essentially, that is what we are following on Instagram. According to a Healthline Magazine article explaining body composition, there are three somatypes and combination body types. These determine skeletal frame and body composition: mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph. American psychologist and physician William Sheldon came up with this pragmatic influenced theory in the 1940s. The characteristics of a mesomorph include a medium frame and easily developed muscles, and more muscle than fat. An ectomorph has a small frame and little body fat. An endomorph has no definite frame, higher body fat, and fewer muscles. You can also be an ecto-endomorph or pear-shaped. Your fat storage is more in your lower body, or an endo-ectomorph or apple-shaped meaning more fat storage is in your upper body. I know you are probably wondering, what does my body composition have to do with who I follow?
How To Choose The Right Instagram To Follow
Body composition can have a lot to do with who you follow. Take me for example. I am a cross between mesomorph and endomorph. I am more prone to fat storage in my lower body. Following a fitness professional who is an ectomorph, or has a small frame and little body fat, may not be the best option for me. They already have little body fat and the exercises they do may develop muscle mass quicker for them rather than for me. For someone such as myself, I would want to follow a fitness professional who values HIIT or high-intensity training to blast some of that lower body fat storage. I would follow a professional such as Kelsey Heenan (@thedailykelsey) who may not have the same body composition as me, but her fat-blasting tips and tricks, diet guidance, and positive vibes match my goals.
There is no one person to follow. When picking a fitness professional or enthusiast to follow, it should be practical and healthy for you! Learn more about yourself before following a transformation program. Then, research what this professional or enthusiast stands for. Really pay attention to the before and after photos of their clients. Do they look real or edited to draw in the 901 millionth follower? Don’t fall into the dark side of social media culture with unattainable fitness goals from someone who doesn’t match anything about your style. If you can’t find social media inspiration, check your local gym out for a trainer that trains the type of client you are, whether you are a woman that is young, middle-aged, or elderly. Act from a place based on your own standards, not society’s.