Scroll through Instagram and TikTok and we are inundated with fitness influencers, fashion influencers, xyz influencers, wearing barely there clothing, in a seductive pose, most often with beautiful scenery or in beautiful home. For anyone it can get hard always seeing these "perfect" bodies, perfect homes, perfect aesthetics. For females its even harder and for our adolescent girls/tweens/teens its detrimental and extremely harmful.
The global health and wellness industry is now worth over $4.5 trillion. And like with most viral trends, a dark side soon develops.
Instagram's fitness and wellness culture seems to promote healthy living, positive affirmations, mindfulness, and more. But research says it might be backfiring, experts in nutrition, weight loss, and disordered eating have said that the social network's endless stream of fitness imagery has the potential to be harmful.
Dr. Marika Tiggemann, a psychology professor at Australia's Flinders University, suggest that even briefly looking at Instagram has an immediate negative effect on self esteem.
Don’t skip a Monday, no days off, hustle for the muscle, no pain no gain, no excuses, summer bodies, the higher the heels the thinner the thighs, if you rest you rust, insert more # here. We hear this rhetoric all the time. It’s meant to motivate us and help us committed to fitness on those days when motivation is tougher to come by.
However, these phrases and mentality can do more harm than good. Injury, exhaustion, illness... these might seem obvious, and you might think those things are natural assumptions, but the truth is, not everyone has a neutral relationship with exercise, and because the wellness industry glorifies these phrases and listening to influencers over listening to our own bodies, it’s actually pretty common to take these phrases to heart, and ignore what your body needs.
Too often, diet culture centers around weight loss as the primary reason to move, and in the process of doing so actually encourages behaviors that are detrimental to both your physical and mental health.
I’m all for fitness and exercise but in a way that makes me feel good in body, mind, and soul. Taking days off when needed and not counting how many calories I burned while working out are some ways I have changed my fitness routine. Along with doing mostly Pilates, yoga and walking theses days sprinkled with cardio in here and there.
I have done my fair share of posting things I regret now, looking back putting emphasis on waking up every morning at 4 am, making a warm water with lemon and having a green juice which now green juice is literally the symbol of this new-age version of wellness.
The wellness and fitness trends have come to reels, posts, TikToks of green juices, avocado toast, skincare products, overnight oats, face masks, squats and home workouts on their Lululemon yoga mats, with their hair in a messy bun, make up on, and aesthetically perfect bedroom or kitchen.
The thing they all have in common?
The women are all beautiful and skinny in their “insta-worthy” set-up in their houses and bedrooms. I hate posting in my house and constantly compare my kitchen and bedroom to these mega huge influencers. Just imagine how are kids are comparing themselves if we are as adults too.
How can you protect yourself from the negative side of "wellness" culture?
Remember that we exercise to stay healthy
Stop counting calories
Focus on healthy relationships, regular physical activity you enjoy, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice, do things that fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life.
Unfollow anyone on Instagram that makes you self-conscious or feel down on yourself.
Stop comparing yourself to others
You can still have a morning routine, practice meditation, EFT, breath work, and journal. Do things that feel good to you and help you to be a better person in body, mind, and soul.
I recently joined Gabby Bernstein's Miracle Membership to get monthly coaching and daily meditations. I also joined to do her brand new Body Love Program launching on July 1 ( I am not affiliated and will not get anything from talking about this. She has no clue who I am haha.) I want to be able to fully heal all my judgment I still have bubble up with self criticism I have with myself, I want to be able to help my daughters fully love themselves, every single thing about them, especially their bodies and minds! I want to help my students and clients love themselves and have body positivity. This is the main reason I started teaching yoga, fitness, and holistic health coaching, I want to help others with their mental and emotional health, not just "get in shape" it has never been about that for me when I decided to be a fitness instructor and health coach. It is soooo much more. I hope to empower women to say yes to their health and happiness with simple mindset shifts.
To me wellness is how you feel on the inside. Are you getting enough sleep, are you emotionally and mentally healthy, do you feel burned out? Are you eating foods that fuel you and give you energy or is it making you feel sluggish? Are your workouts helping your stress levels and giving you an energy boost? Is your morning routine setting you up for success each day or or does it feel like a chore and adding more stress to your life? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. We are all individuals and when it comes to wellness, and becoming “the best version of yourself”, there is no one size that fits all.
Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you're thriving. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life in body, mind, and soul, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
** Remember Wellness is about how you feel inside, we are all individuals and I believe in bio individuality. My morning routine works for me and brings me joy, peace, and helps me set up my day for success and stay calm and grounded. For you it might look different. My workouts work for me and energize me, helps boost my mood and release stress.
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