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The Dark Side Of The Fitness Industry

Many fitness pictures on social media feature people trying to be role models by seeking to inspire us to live a healthier life. They tell us what they consider a desired physique, through sharing images and footage on their Instagram pages and TikTok accounts. They focus on mirror selfies, defined and toned bodies as well as before and after photos. They post what they eat in a day posts too which I can not stand!

As someone who has struggled for more than 20 years with certain unhealthy patterns in food restriction and over exercising. I want to help others to know we should not be looking to social media, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for inspiration and advice on our health.

Social media CAN be a powerful tool if used properly. We can watch live workouts and exercise for free if we can't leave our house or are budgeting. We can hold ourselves accountable, swap healthy recipes, get ideas on workouts, practice self-care, meditation, and be inspired in a healthy way. There are so many health and wellness and fitness influencers on Instagram that offer daily or weekly workouts, nutrition tips, inspirational quotes, health and wellness tips and advice, and encouragement to others. I don't want you to think I am bashing them all. I only follow the ones that inspire me.

The most important thing to remember is that most of the influencers offering health and fitness tips are offering just that, tips. They’re not guaranteed to show you the results you may be looking for, so be sure to put your own health first and avoid practices that can result in injury or other negative results.

Body Image

Most of the social media personalities and influencers do have good intentions.

Despite the attempt at promoting self-love and body positivity, the fact remains that there is a huge disconnect between the images being posted and the inspirational quotes that accompany them. Many of these celebrities or fitness personalities will encourage you never to compare yourself to others including them, while displaying a photo of their flat stomach. Let's not forget that most celebrities can afford personal trainers, nannys to watch the kids, nutritionists, and chefs to help them look this way.

Things Social media influencers don't tell you:

Being healthy does not mean being thin. We need to remind ourselves of this. As long as we are healthy on the inside and have proper nutrition, the number on your jeans doesn't matter. Restricting a whole food group and practicing the ever so popular fasting can start out healthy but start to spiral into unhealthy eating patterns. Food can become a point of stress. Instead of restricting food add more fruits and veggies to you plate. I call this crowding out your plate.

Start treating your body with care. You should care about the quality of food. Where it comes from, if it has chemicals, additives, and is processed. Look if it is non GMO, organic, and not fake artificial substitutes. EAT REAL FOOD!

Stop punishing your body with restricting food and or working out too much because you over ate the day before or over ate on the weekend.

But what if you do need to lose weight or want to lose 5-10 pounds?

The key is to not restrict. Eat what fuels your body. Don't call food bad or good. Use portion control and portion your sizes. Keep in mind moderation, variety, balance, and always choose whole foods.

Move you body to what feels good for you and energizes you. Exercise is supposed to make you feel good and be uplifting. It gives you those feel good endorphins. Use it as a way for stress relief and to keep your heart healthy.

MOST IMPORTANTLY - look to your doctor, a certified health coach, or a registered dietician for help, not a celebrity or an unqualified social media influencer!

Instagram accounts I like that are positive influencers on social media:

  1. Myself - Nikki Lanigan Yoga and Wellness

  2. Melissa Wood Health

  3. Thevidabonita

  4. Chalene Johnson

  5. Andrea Rogers Xtendbarre

  6. Jerrica Sweetnich - jsweetnichnd

  7. Lisa Gianvito

  8. Katy Schuele

  9. Kristen McGee

  10. Lauren Egger - Healthy Mom Project

  11. Julia Garcia-Deveni - Julia Garcia Coach

  12. The Tone It Up girls - Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn

  13. Megan Roup

  14. Jessica Seinfeld ( Healthy recipe ideas)

  15. Kerri Verna - Beach yoga Girl

  16. Sadie Nardini

There are more but these are my favorites for health, wellness, inspirational posts, tips, recipes, and ideas.

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