I was going to frame this post around the same ideas that most “fitspo” articles do:
However, then I was thinking, why is the fitness community based around perfectionism? I would consider myself “fit,” although I’m not sure if my lack-of-six-pack will lead you to think otherwise. I am in the “ideal” weight range for my height, but why are we forcing ourselves to believe a number range is what defines us?
CAN I BE CONSIDERED A “FITSPO” EVEN IF I DON’T HAVE ABS OF STEEL TO PROVE IT?
I don’t have the self-control to refrain myself from eating a single sweet for 21 days. I try to meal prep, but sometimes my 12-hour work-days leave me too lethargic to do so. I make time to go work out, but I don’t always have time to “go that extra mile.”
I’M NOT PERFECT, BUT I’M HEALTHY.
Oftentimes, what we see as “fitsporation” (the images, quotes, and role models) are so extreme that it leads us down a path of disappointment; a path that says “do more,” even when you simply can’t.
It’s like your fit, but just not “fit” enough. Your healthy, but could be more “healthy” if you tried.
YOU LOOK GOOD, BUT YOU COULD LOOK “BETTER.”
I’m speaking to you as a young 22-year-old woman without a nutrition degree or a personal-training license. I don’t have a “fitness” Instagram, and I’m perhaps the harshest critic of my own body. I’m speaking to you from my own personal experiences and setbacks.
I am an advocate for a healthy mind and body, and I’m going to try and help you get there…regardless of how “fitspiring” you see yourself as.
Rule #1: EAT BREAKFAST.
I know the classic excuse of “If I don’t eat a lot for breakfast I can eat more later.” I can’t stress the amount of detrimental effects behind this thinking. You’re viewing food as a commodity, rather than as something to be enjoyed. You’re more likely to overeat later if you starve yourself throughout the day. Fuel your body in the early hours of the day; you’ll need it now more than later.
Rule #2: EAT POWER FOODS PRE AND POST-WORKOUT.
“Ugh, if eat right before I work out I’ll literally vom everywhere, so I’ll just wait until after.” Wrong, wrong, wrong (unless you’re eating a tub of popcorn chicken from KFC). Carbs and protein, people. There is truly nothing worse than feeling hungry (or hangry) while exercising. I usually grab a banana with peanut butter or slice up ¼ of an acovado and top it on an English muffin. And post-workout? Fuel your body, AGAIN! Even if you’ve technically stopped exercising, your body is still working.
Rule #3: BE INTERESTING.
“Working out is fun!”…says no one ever and actually means it. I can tell you I’d take the beach any day over the gym. However, working out will always be extremely tedious and boring if you allow it to be. I wouldn’t look forward to going to the gym an doing the same elliptical machine every day either, like, duh. Who would? I’m not going to attempt to tell you what workouts you should and shouldn’t be doing, because it’s different for everyone. My friends call me crazy for enjoying long distance running, but I think you’re absolutely nuts for liking Zumba. Sorry? Find a handful of workouts that work for you and incorporate them all into your regime (although, they can’t be ALL cardio-based…that’s cheating).
Rule #4: DON’T BASE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE AROUND THE GYM.
Seriously, I’ve been there. “What are you doing today, Beth? You’ve just worked overtime this week so what are your big plans to celebrate the day off?” “Oh, just the gym, then I don’t know.” Like, really? You have the entire day off and your plans just include the GYM?! That’s it? C’mon. If you allow that to be the only thing on your itinerary, it’ll turn into a chore rather than a daily part of your routine. Keep yourself busy, even if it involves Netflix. If not, you’ll start dreaming about barbells and yoga mats…I’m not kidding.
Rule #5: CHOOSE A BODY PART.
I love my legs. There, I said it. Now it’s your turn.
Rule #6: BE YOUR OWN “FITSPO”
“Love yourself,” “Be your own motivation,” yadda yadda yadda. We’ve all heard it before. But as much as we hate to hate ourselves, sometimes we just do. Stop allowing yourself to view inspiration as perfectionism and start just doing your own damn thing.
You’re not perfect, I’m not perfect, the IG fitness model isn’t perfect. Find something about yourself that is pretty damn cool and run with it (literally or figuratively).
Like I always say, my articles are always inspired by something or someone. Petro Martynuk, a Community Coordinator at Eat the Bear Fitness reached out to me this past week and basically asked me to answer a series of questions regarding healthy living. I was a bit skeptical at first, seeing as though their company sells products that I have never tried.
I have never marketed for another business on my blog, even though monetizing it is tempting at points. Several companies have reached out asking to casually “mention” their business in my post. However, I’ve never truly invested in their product enough so I didn’t feel like it was right to market it to my readers.
Petro had read my blog and was interested in me sharing what “keeps me motivated.” Well, honestly Petro, sometimes I forget. I allow myself to get consumed in the all-too-familiar “fitspo” accounts and it makes me completely disregard all of the progress that I’ve made…regardless of my lack-of-six pack.
Have I tried any of the supplements that ETB has put on the market? No. The only “supplement” I’ve ever used is the $12 Vanilla Protein Powder from Trader Joe’s. However, I appreciate what ETB stands for. Petro reached out to me knowing that I wasn’t any sort of bodybuilder and was all about maintaining the integrity of my blog.
He reached out to me because he knows I have a passion for healthy living…even if I’m not consider an IG “fitspo.”
BECAUSE, DO YOU HAVE TO BE AN IG FITNESS MODEL TO BE SOMEONE’S “FITSPO?”
What keeps me motivated, you ask? I keep myself motivated…because I’m a pretty freaking spectacular human being. And so are you. You can call other people your motivation if you want. You can say “She has my dream body, and I’m going to work to have EXACTLY what she has.” But, at the end of the day, you are your own “fitspo.”
YOU ACT AS YOUR OWN INSPIRATION, EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW IT YET.
Thanks, Petro. And thank you ETB fitness for reminding me of what the fitness community should be all about.