How many times have you been scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and seen a person/place/thing and thought I want to be like that/be there/have that?
Could be a car you’ve seen. Or a holiday destination. Maybe a watch.
You’ve set the bar high and you feel like you won’t be happy until you get there. The idea is that you think when you reach this landmark (if you ever do) you’ll be happy.
But don’t kid yourself. That won’t be the case.
Regardless, when it comes to your fitness or aesthetics, social media has changed our perception of how people should look.
The Curse of Social Media
Instagram has to take much of the blame. Since it came out in 2008, it has become increasingly saturated with topless guys and bikini wearing women.
You can’t flick through Insta without seeing some female wearing tight leggings doing an RDL. It’s always an RDL! Wonder why?
Of course women that see these stories understandably want to look like that, without taking into account airbrushing, photo shop and flattering camera angles.
I’m not saying you can’t have inspirations. It’s great to have people to look up to, but unless they’re giving you something (advice, workouts, diet plans) then all you’re doing is comparing yourself to them.
Admittedly many of these Instagrammers do actually look great, and I’m sure they put massive effort into their training.
But why wouldn’t they? It’s probably their job!
The Trouble With ‘Influencers’
There’s a whole job description related to these people; ‘influencers’. Some haven’t worked a day in their life; just flog some quick fix s**t, or push yet another fitness apparel.
So how can you, as a woman with a family or busy career, compare yourself to them? You’re not being paid to look like that?
I’m not saying don’t have big lofty aesthetic goals, all I’m saying is be realistic. Be realistic about the body you can achieve with the schedule and effort you’re able/willing to put in.
Getting into that sort of shape requires a huge amount of sacrifice. You’re going to have to miss nights out with the girls, lunches with your work colleagues and perhaps even time with your partner and kids.
Willing to Put In The Work?
There’s a pro and cons side of being in that shape. Yes you’ll look fantastic and get lots of compliments but you also have to weigh that up with the previously mentioned downsides.
If you’re like me, you just aren’t willing to put in that effort.
I love a night out with the lads, a cheeky chipper with my girlfriend and I’m not a huge fan of spending 5 days in the gym (doing a workout that is).
You could be making significant progress in the gym. You might be getting stronger, losing inches, losing weight etc., but the fact that you don’t look like ‘them’ still might be getting you down.
If this causes you to give up and lose hope, then you need to have a check in with your thoughts.
Remember Who You’re Competing With
Something I always keep in mind is the fact that the only person I’m competing with is myself. Not to give a s**t if I’m not as lean as this guy or as muscular as the next.
As long as I’m a little bit better than I was a few weeks or months ago, I’m happy. That mightn’t even be in terms of body shape but in some aspect of my life.
I don’t struggle with comparing myself to others. I think that’s because I understand the hard work and sacrifice it takes to get there.
At this moment in my life I’m just not willing to put in that effort. I’ve just started a business, I enjoy my social life, I love spending time with my girlfriend and I LOVE food.
I’m in not bad shape and I don’t work crazily hard. I’m happy with where I’m at.
So you’ll either be at two points in your journey.
Number 1; you want to change how you look (so understand the sacrifices it will take to get there). In this case do not compare yourself to others, only on the person you were previously.
Number 2; you’re pretty happy with where you’re at (for now) with the effort you’re putting in. If you decide down the line you want to be leaner or more muscular, then understand what it will take in terms of training and nutrition.
Again, I’ve nothing against finding inspiration from social media, just don’t let these people set your expectations too high for the effort you’re willing to put in.
If you’re interested in taking part in a program with me send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org