Have you ever wondered why #fitspo accounts are so popular on social media? It’s because of you. Well, maybe not you exactly, but it’s because that’s what the majority of society want to see.
Sport bra selfies and workout videos could be what you need to finally stick to your workout routine. For some, these accounts keep them motivated and on track with their workouts. However, for the majority of people, they empower them to workout for maybe a week or two then cause them to feel guilty for “being the fat disgusting mess that they are.”
I would never call someone a “fat disgusting mess.” I’m simply sharing, word for word, what followers of these account refer to themselves as.
How would I know?
For four years, I was that #fitspo account you loved to hate. I was the girl sharing bikini selfies telling you to workout. I shared my impossibly hard workout videos and encouraged you to join me.
I built a following of 420,000 people from being that girl.
While being that girl, I received thousands of desperate messages from women referring to themselves as lazy, or useless, or disgusting simply because they couldn’t stick with a workout routine or diet plan.
These messages were one of the main reasons I decided to stop being that girl. With that decision, I lost over 70,000 followers.
I traded in ab selfies for makeup-less selfies.
I traded in text motivating one to workout for text motivating one to love themselves exactly as they are.
I started to encourage my following to accept the shit out of themselves, instead of telling them that they’d’ finally be happy if they worked out and ate well.
Why did I lose so many followers? While I can’t know for sure, I believe it’s because I no longer distract people from their life and their emotional baggage. I stopped promoting the idea that happiness is a burpee and 50 pounds away.
I started telling my following that you can be happy, exactly as you are. To access this happiness, they simply have to turn inward and connect with themselves.
I didn’t start promoting eating like shit, never working out, or never striving to be better. I’m simply encouraging people to connect with who they are and understand that they’re enough simply because they showed up for life.
But guess what? The idea that “your inability to workout is what’s keeping you from happiness” is a much more favorable belief.
It’s easier to blame your lack of dedication to exercise and clean eating than it is to accept the fact that you’re the one who’s blocking yourself from your own happiness. It’s not your love for donuts or dislike for squats. It’s simply…you.
This can be a hard truth to hear. This truth is especially hard to hear through social media, a place we turn to be distracted. We watch hours’ worth of cat videos and follow meme accounts. We also distract ourselves with pictures of fit bodies and fuel the belief that we need to be thinner to be deserving of happiness.
By no means is this true for everyone. You can love yourself unconditionally and love memes. That being said, the countless messages I received from women beating themselves up for not being enough of something made it clear we’re allowing these distraction to fuel our lack of love for ourselves.
As a society, we are deeply disconnected with who we actually are. We have been told from birth that we need to be something other than ourselves to be deserving of love and acceptance. We need to have a fitter body, a bigger house, a better paying job or a higher education. We’re told we’re never good enough as we are. This belief makes it difficult to connect with ourselves and tune in because we have a lifetime of never being enough to work through.
Breaking free from limiting beliefs, whether it’s never feeling good enough or that your presence isn’t needed, is hard. It’s hard to tune inward, take responsibility for the way you feel and explore why you feel that way in the first place.
It’s difficult to face how you truly feel about yourself.
I understand why I lost so many followers. I stopped being a distraction and I started reminding people of their own dislike for themselves. My makeup-less selfies remind people of their own insecurities regarding their skin. My candid posts about anxiety and depression prompts one to look at their own mental health. My vulnerability with my experiences remind one of that time they cried themselves to sleep.
Either that, or people just really don’t like me with a shirt on.
Either way, I want everyone to know how deserving they are of their own love and acceptance. We are good enough exactly as we are. We are smart enough. We are pretty enough. We are successful enough. And yeah, I mean YOU, too.