Why I hate the Fitness Industry on Social Media
Since becoming a Mum I have had a new perspective on living a healthy, fit life. My opinions and inspirations have completely changed. My eyes have been opened to the absolute garbage on social media, and the image it gives to the Health & Fitness Industry.
For those who don’t know me, I love anything fitness. I grew up a gymnast, tried Flamenco dancing (yep, I was a little uncoordinated), I have tried my hand at soccer, I have been to commercial gyms, Crossfit gyms and Powerlifting gyms. I have completed True Grit, climbed and ran Mt Lofty multiple times (on a regular basis there), was even one of these people that would go out running for a while – shocking I know. I have gone down the road of weight loss and lost 7kg.
Before I had my son, I was always inspired by these “fitness models” on social media… You, know the ones, perfect abs, fake boobs, fake tan, butt hanging out of their short and spouting inspirational quotes like “Nothing tastes as good as Skinny feels”. The ones who I can now clearly see photoshop their images before posting them so there booty looks fuller. I am actually ashamed that I looked up to these people. It didn’t matter what I had physically achieved, I never felt my body was good enough. I blame a lot of this on the portrayal of the Fitness Industry on social media. In most cases, there is nothing healthy about these women, nobody is in that kind of shape 365 days of the year – plus do you think they are ever happy with their body? Of course not, they are women working hard for their IG likes and it’s usually creepy guys liking their posts – always read the comments section, lol! All it does is make women feel insecure, not inspire them to do better, and add to the bigger issues of distorted body image.
My perception really started to change once I started Powerlifting and I was taught to eat a lot more to fuel my workouts. I still obsessed over the scale, but it was where it all started to change for me. I started to be inspired by fellow strength athletes and marvel at what their bodies could do, not how they looked. And you know what, most of them look AMAZING but healthy. (While yes, Powerlifting involves cutting weight in sometimes not so healthy ways, it is where my perception started to change).
It wasn’t until I had my son, so I had a break from my usual fitness routine, watching what I ate and my weight (sort of) during pregnancy and relaxed a little that I started to see through the B.S. I now am a healthy weight, I don’t have an ab in sight, but I am happy. I still eat healthy, but I don’t stress about going out for coffee or a meal with friends, or even that sneaky donut – it’s about balance. I am now focussing on regaining my strength, and being amazed at how muscle memory works – I am a lot stronger than I thought I would be.
As soon as that tiny baby was placed in my arms, everything changed, people told me it would and I didn’t believe to the extent it did. I now stay fit and healthy for him, to give him a good example, to be able to run around with him, to be able to be the Mum who goes on the waterslide or on the boogie board with him. I no longer feel the need to look a particular way and I can confidently say I am the happiest I have ever been right now.
Since starting my Kangatraining classes, I have developed this amazing community (or I like to call Tribe) of Mums who are also there to just be healthy and get back to feeling like themselves, and that community has really just gotten stronger since introducing boxing and strength classes. We don’t focus on “Getting our Pre-Baby bodies back”, if anything that is rude and offensive. That’s not to say that weight loss shouldn’t be a goal, I’m happy to help in any way I can and let’s face it we all probably wouldn’t mind losing a couple of kgs here and there, but try to focus on the small physical achievements and the weight loss will come. Focus on staying fit, meeting new likeminded people, getting your stresses of the day out through fitness, during this process you will inevitably eat better and your weight loss will come. THROW AWAY THE SCALES and just go by how you feel.
Stop following “Fitness Models” who keep trying to sell you Pre-Workout powder and follow someone truly inspirational (Might I suggest Revie Jane Schulz – a Mum, gym owner, who is nothing but genuine, check out her recent YouTube video on her post natal recovery). Don’t buy into the weight loss shakes and gimmicks, just eat real food – lean meats, fruits, vegetables, etc. Live and love a healthy life – it’s what it’s all about!