Since joining the fitness and health community on Instagram, I have seen both the positive and negative effects that social media has on an individual. While this community can be such a great outlet to share your journey and be supported by your followers, it can also be detrimental to your mental health.
I first created my account to keep myself accountable and to find different workouts or healthy recipe ideas to help me start my journey. I started connecting with others on their own journey’s and I started following people who inspired me, but I also started following people because I wanted my body to look like theirs.
While it’s okay to follow fitness influencers and admire them, it is not okay to constantly compare yourself to them. I started to obsess over having a body and life just like theirs. I wanted to live an influencer’s life, I wanted to have a tiny waist and a big butt and I wanted to create content just like theirs. In the end, I was creating content that wasn’t authentic. I was upset about how my body looked and was setting very unrealistic goals for myself.
Instagram became a place where I scrolled mindlessly through pictures of really fit girls who did not look like me in the slightest. I questioned if I was even doing anything right with this whole health and fitness thing. Why didn’t I look like these girls?
I was looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I shouldn’t have been looking for validation or self-love on Instagram. I shouldn’t have been seeking attention with inauthentic content. When I started my fitness journey, I was sad, had low energy and had little to no self-confidence. I hated the way my body looked.
I needed to realize that Instagram is a highlight reel. People post what they want you to see with highly edited photos and not the shitty things that are happening in their lives. After the screen time weekly report came out, I was shocked at how much time I spent on app. Was it really THAT important? No. I vowed to limit my time spent on Instagram. No more mindless scrolling. No more spending time on the explore page and more time spent posting real and raw content. I started setting realistic goals. I want to be honest with my followers because my fitness journey and adapting to a healthy lifestyle is hard! You need support and consistency and SELF-LOVE. It all starts with the love that you have for yourself. If I didn’t have self-love, I would not be where I am today physically, mentally or spiritually.
If you find yourself becoming sad/upset/frustrated while on Instagram or any other social media platform, take a break! Get off your phone and do something that’ll make you feel at peace again. Lean on your offline connections (your loved ones) and the most important connections, in my opinion. They’ll definitely bring you back to reality and remind you that you’re more than just a picture on Instagram. I know mine do.
P.S. Shout to all of you posting REAL and honest content. Keep hustling!
Bliss & blessings,