Every time I meet with a new client, I always ask them two questions; why are you here and what do you want to achieve? There have been countless times when a client responds; ‘I want to look like this’ while simultaneously showing me a picture of a celebrity, professional athlete, or a so-called ‘influencer.’ This is a problem that has been unintentionally drilled into our subconscious.
You see, whenever you scroll through some form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, it’s hard not to compare yourself to the lives of others. A prevalent example of this happening right now is the bombardment of Instagram stories featuring Aussies traveling across sun-bleached Europe while the rest of us get through the Aussie winter. Even viewing these images or videos can lead some people to develop a ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) or in some cases, people may begin to doubt their path in life.
These types of feelings can also negatively impact how we view ourselves physically. If you've seen the new Top Gun movie, then you may recall a scene where a shirtless Miles Teller is playing American football on the beach. Sure, he’s in great physical shape and a top-quality actor, but a lot of people don’t seem to consider the work he had to put in to get to that point. Did the movie director say ‘Hey Miles, I want you to look like The Rock. Time to get going?’ No. Instead, (obviously with the help of a personal-trainer and dietician) Miles put in the hard yards at the gym and adopted healthier habits so he could look his best on-screen - i.e he had his own goal and set out to achieve it.
Now not all of us are A-list Hollywood actors and can afford a full-time PT, but the point I’m making is that you shouldn’t want (or need) to base your goals on somebody else’s life. Run your own race. I didn’t become a fitness coach so I can transform you into a mirror-image of a celebrity or athlete. I do this because I believe in educating and empowering you to live a healthier and happier lifestyle through fitness. Be the best version of YOURSELF.
That’s why I sometimes take issue with these so-called influencers. In a lot of ways, their job is to get people to be like them. Think of it; they get paid to promote some sort of new 'organic cookie' on social media that makes you lose weight, or they advertise some discount code to a boutique clothing brand. Their followers then go out and buy it while the influencer probably typically doesn't even align their own values with the brand, rather, they are drawn in and enticed by the nice commission they make off the consumer making the purchase, Futhermore, Recent studies, such as a 2016 journal article published Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking have concluded that excessive social media use (especially in young people) has resulted in increased body-image issues, eating disorders, and other mental-health issues. You can see why this is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed...
After reading this, you may be thinking that it’s time to quit social media altogether. Instead, I challenge you to restrict or stop viewing things that may negatively impact you and focus on things that might inspire or make you happy; friends, family, colleagues etc. When I post things (such as this blog) on my social media channels, I do not want people to try and copy my life. I want to inspire clients and viewers alike to enhance and do things that they love. For me, it’s fitness. If you also like fitness, that’s great, let’s get in touch. If not, that’s fine too!
Whether you want to start your fitness journey, empower yourself to fulfill your full potential, or simply want to adopt healthier habits, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I hope this has been helpful and insightful.