woman with smartphone taking mirror selfie in gym

sport, fitness, lifestyle, technology and people concept — young woman with smartphone taking mirror selfie in gym

Social media platforms, such as Instagram, provide me with a great deal of inspiration and creative takes on workout formats.

There are several social media fitness influencers that I follow regularly. These individuals serve as both my personal “body goals” and “fitspiration,” as they inspire me to become a fitter and better personal trainer.

But when I begin to compare myself to these social media fitness influencers, my inspiration quickly turns to discouragement.

To help me stay body positive in the age of, “fitstagram,” I encourage myself to stay focused on my personal strengths and positive achievements.

I follow a few female trainers who regularly post videos performing several complicated pull-ups.

Instead of focusing on the fact that I’m not able to do as many pull-ups as these social media fitness gurus, I highlight the fact that I can now do pull-ups with less assistance than I could previously.

During each workout session, I continue to challenge myself to complete an effective unassisted pull-up, and I’m continuously getting closer to reaching my goals.

While I’d like to accept everything I see on social media at face value, I also keep in mind that some of my Instagram fitness idols may not actually look the way that they’re portrayed online.

Filters and other photo editing software can enhance physical strengths and remove perceived flaws, creating an image of unrealistic perfection.

Instead of striving to look like them, I aim to improve my overall health and strength.

I also consider the fact that my favorite social media fitness personalities may have a completely different body type than I do. Therefore, it may be easier for them to develop lean muscular mass in some areas where I struggle.

Defining what true health and fitness looks like in my life has also helped me to stay body positive in the age of “fitstagram.”

For me, fitness is something that I value, because it’s a way to appreciate my body and make a positive change for my health.

The more I compare myself to Instagram fitness gurus, the more I get away from this sentiment.

Now, I look to these social media fitness influencers as a source of motivation and inspiration, not the physical representation of what health and fitness should look like in my life.

Brittany Baldwin is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Creighton University. She writes regularly for livewellnebraska.com.

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