Why You Shouldn’t Post Your Fitness Progress On Instagram
People love a good before and after weight loss photo series. These may be the most popular types of Instagram accounts. Then you have fitness models and health coaches, posting their daily ab photos and snaps of their healthy meals as motivation (apparently). These types of accounts can gain hundreds of thousands of followers, and many of these individuals end up getting sponsorship deals. For them—sure—posting about their fit life makes some sense. It’s their career, after all. But unless you’re trying to make money off of it, think twice before beginning to document your fitness progress on Instagram. Whether you’re going from overweight to a healthy weight, or a healthy weight to a fitness model physique, posting about your progress on social media changes the process and the experience. Everyone inherently acts differently when they know people are watching. Here is why you shouldn’t post your fitness progress on Instagram.
You’ll feel pressured to overdo it
You know how much work you want to do in the gym for yourself. You know what feels right for your body and how much you can handle. But when you add the question, “What will the caption be on this picture?” things change. You want to boast about the workout you did that day, and you want it to sound good. You may end up overdoing it, just so you can post about overdoing it. That’s not safe.
You shouldn’t do it for the likes
If you become addicted to the likes that roll in each time you post a gym selfie, you have a problem. Why? Because there will be days the likes don’t roll in. You can find yourself only feeling inspired to work out if your last post received plenty of likes. But you should want to work out regardless of whether or not it will bring in the social media love.
You’ll get too many promotions
When you start posting fitness selfies, get ready for the promotions and sales pitches to roll in. Every fitness coach, nutritionist or individual with some protein shake they’re trying to sell will fill up your inbox. Personal trainers will start commenting on your photos, offering to help you towards your goals. You’ll become a marketing target.
Reaching your goal could be a letdown
When you do reach your fitness goals, you should feel excited! It should feel like you’ve turned over a new leaf and received a new lease on life! But if most of the thrill has come from the social media documentary, then reaching your goals can actually be a letdown. All you’ll think about is how you have no reason to post online anymore.
It’s distracting you from your workout
If you’re posting photos every day, then you’re probably spending a decent amount of time choosing techniques and workouts that lend themselves to good photos. You’re probably wasting 10 or 15 minutes of precious workout time trying to get that perfect selfie. And you’re checking the likes-count while you’re on the treadmill.
It always welcomes the creeps
The moment you start posting those fitness selfies is the moment the creeps roll in. You can’t stop it. There are just hoards of men online looking for photos for women in sports bras. They leave one nasty little comment on your photo and it ruins your day. You can block them, but more will come.
It’s driving people nuts
Honestly, it’s not that interesting for your friends. They’re tired of seeing these photos in their feed. Can’t you post about something else? Or just stop posting? They feel like they’re being forced to watch this story they aren’t interested in. This is what they get in exchange for being your friend.
You can confuse fitness and good selfies
You’ll start to perfect that selfie angle that makes your abs look toned and your arm muscles pop. But once you know how to make it look like you have a perfect body, you may stop focusing on actually achieving that body. You should care about how your body looks and feels outside the selfie world.
You’ll buy too many workout clothes
You can’t wear the same old raggedy workout clothes if you plan on documenting your fitness journey every day. You want not just a different outfit each day of the week but a cute one at that. So you’ll find yourself at the designer fitness clothes shop dropping half your rent money.
Real talk: it makes you look vain
I’m sorry. It does. Put yourself in the viewer’s shoes. When you see a woman in booty-lifting spandex and a cleavage-enhancing sports bra, do you think, “Aw. Good for her! She’s so healthy!” You don’t have to tell me your answer. But just…acknowledge what that answer is.
You have more meaningful goals to post about
Should your physical body really dominate the content you put out into the world? Don’t you do things related to your career, helping the community or participating in social justice acts that deserve more attention? It seems a shame that getting abs is taking over your feed when you’re working on some other far more admirable projects.
If you slip up, you’ll be very hard on yourself
Once you know eyes are on you, the pressure is on. If you don’t hit the gym one day, or you eat a meal you’re not proud to post online, you’ll be really hard on yourself. You don’t just have your conscience to contend with, but also all of your Instagram followers.
You could become fitness-obsessed
You can become fitness obsessed. You may even end up developing some unhealthy habits (read: disordered) because you’ll do anything for those likes. Getting those likes can give you the same high that standing on the scale and seeing a super low number gives women with eating disorders does. It can be dangerous.
This should be for you and only you
You shouldn’t develop the habit of associating your health with social media attention. Your health and fitness goals should be for you and only for you. It can be very hard to keep sight of what you want for your body, what feels right for you, and what makes you happy when you’re thinking about the followers.
People online can be mean
Let’s be honest: people can be mean online. The creeps making perverted comments are the least of your worries. Some people may make negative, judgmental comments about your body and your progress. Do you really want to give those a**holes the satisfaction of witnessing this personal journey?