Health and fitness are all around us, but for some these two words become lost of their true meaning in all the absurdity of social media. For many in the general population, scrolling through Instagram or seeing magazines of fitness models/ athletes brings upon self doubt, hesitation and can lead to their own body dysmorphia because they believe they need to uphold a perceived standard to be “fit”.
These people who are posing in these photos are dieting down for weeks and weeks to get to that point, that shoot and that physique. Although we as the “audience” to their “show” only gets to see the end result and not all the effort and sacrifice put in to get there. As someone who is actively involved in health and fitness and knows this, the general “audience” may not realize that this is not reality, turning them away from fitness because seeing these photos is what they believe you need to look like to be “fit”. Having abs and muscles showing by no means is what it means to be fit and healthy. Being “fit” doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be in the gym 6-7 days a week lifting weights, eating prepped meals of pre-cooked lean protein, rice and asparagus, you have abs and drink protein shakes. Fitness is not one sided and there are many forms of fitness that don’t get the recognition. Fitness to you could mean, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to work rather than driving and making one change a day towards how you are fuelling your body, it does not need to be centred around how you look but rather if it is enhancing your life and longevity.
Health and fitness goes beyond your physical appearance and digs a little dipper, according to Merrium- Webster’s dictionary, health is defined as “the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit”. Myself, I view health and fitness as living in a way that makes me feel good from the inside out through eating well, exercising and taking time to myself to do the things I love to do. If you are spending a large amount of time on one aspect of the body, mind or spirit and not putting enough effort into the others you will lessen your ability to preform optimally. We need to turn our mindset away from the numbers and cut lines of your muscles popping, towards taking appreciation for what our bodies are able to do and thank our body by fuelling it properly by what we are eating and how we are resting and taking appreciation for the little things we love about ourselves.
Exercise for the right reasons, eat well for the right reasons, and don’t fall into social medias expectations, they are false!