If you’re a fitness blogger, you know all about it. Social media accounts full of aspirational yoga poses, artful açaí bowls, bikini competition podiums, runfies, swimfies, high-speed burpee videos, Transformation Tuesdays…
You get the idea. Everyone in the SocialMediaVerse takes those photos and shares them across the internet. I confess that I love the motivation, support and accountability, and sharing with like-minded people who are also interested in similar things: fitness, food, family and travel. Oh, and pugs.
And it can be truly great. I, for one, love seeing what other fitness bloggers and influencers have up their moisture-wicking sleeves. I love victories, results and progress. I empathize with setbacks and sympathize with failures. I drool over gorgeous food pictures and pretty flat lays.
I adore seeing others succeed.
The thing is, there is no one way to to do that. And what is success anyway? My goals are mine and mine alone, just as I assume the same to be true for everyone else out there. And the way I go about achieving those goals is also part of my own journey, which should never be confused with anyone else’s.
Which is why it drives me up a wall to see the “Fitspo Shame.”
I’m decent at ignoring it, as I do most unpleasant things on social media. I’m capable of swiping and scrolling but it grates on me that others feel the need to defend their actions, and even more grating are those who bash others methods as a means to promote their own.
I love running. Not every day and not in every moment, but it’s the activity that works for me. Running fits into my schedule, is something I can do with friends and family, affords me the opportunity to travel and keeps me moving. I’ve met some incredible people, made some amazing memories and become stronger all because of running.
I’ve seen so many posts and received comments about why running isn’t great. How the sport does more harm than good. That it’s not effective for weight loss or that runners are missing out on X, Y or Z. If runners would just try crossfit/tabata/HIIT/enter-other-workout-of-choice here they would see more and better “results” and be better off.
Which is great except I’m not really trying to lose weight and the results I’m seeing are in line with my goals. All sports carry with them a risk of injury, so the scales are a balanced, and I’m doing quite well, thank you for asking. If running isn’t for you, that’s cool. Go do what makes you happy and gives you the results you are personally seeking. Don’t step on anyone else’s moment.
The same holds true for diet. I love ice cream. Who am I kidding? I love all food. And it’s not always “healthy” food. At the end of the day, sometimes only a hot fudge sundae or plate of bacon cheese fries (with ranch) will do. Queue the comments about the devil-nature of sugar and carbs or the evils of dairy or why meat should never pass one’s lips or why meat should be the only thing to pass one’s lips.
I’m not particularly interested in that commentary. Eat what works for you. Be crazy and eat what you want. If keto has been successful for you, that’s incredible. Whole 30 is your jam? Fabulous. Going plant-based has changed your life? Rock on with your veg-self. Everybody is different and every BODY is different, too. We all respond differently to a variety of programs.
Also annoying are comments on those days when I don’t feel like splurging and would rather have a salad, or something less decadent. I assure you, I’m not “being good” or “being boring.” Sometimes, I just crave veggies more than anything else on the menu. No biggie. I’m not making any kind of statement other than “this is what I feel like eating right now.” Promise.
The whole thing is exhausting. More importantly, it’s unproductive.
There is no moral high road to a certain form of workout or preference of eating. What works for one person is absolutely not the right answer for someone else. To imply otherwise is nothing short of disingenuous. One size absolutely does not fit all in the fitness universe.
Unless something you are doing is absolutely not working for you, don’t let anyone tell you your way is wrong. Don’t let anyone shame you into a methodology that isn’t right for you. If you are seeking suggestions and help because things aren’t going quite the way you want, then by all means, reach out for other ways and try something new, but don’t be afraid to stick with what makes you happy.
At the end of the day, happiness is the thing that matters. It’s what will keep you on track and motivated. Surround yourself with the right people who support you and hold you accountable, be confident in your decisions and go get those goals!
We are joining in with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness, so check out that link up and share your week in fitness!
Have you ever felt the pressure of Fitspo Shame?
What fitness choice makes you happiest?