March 11, 2014

Fitspo vs Thinspo

Fitspo images, are they inspiring or insecurity breeding? Jess Ainscough, aka The Wellness Warrior, posted her thoughts on the hardcore fitness pics and how to navigate the fine line between promoting unattainable thinness and advocating a healthy lifestyle. Snaps of super fit girls tends to make you compare your own physique with these models, promoting feelings of guilt, shame and insecurity. I was glad to read I wasn't the only one who was feeling inadequate.

Exercise is essential for a healthy mind and body but it should be enjoyable, restoring and balanced. If you feel dread at the thought of dragging yourself to the gym, ask yourself why you are going in the first place? If the answer is because you want to give the Victoria's Secret girls a run for their money, maybe your motivation isn't coming from the right place. Don't get me wrong, I totally admire women who can transform their bodies and be athletic, confident and strong. Fit girls are empowering, inspirational and bad-ass. On the other hand, I don't think we need to create horrible amounts of stress, guilt and worry over missing a gym session or pushing yourself when you are tired because you are on the pursuit of perfection. There is other qualities to value about ourselves other than our athletic abilities. Our kindness, compassion, aptitude and creativity are also parts of who we are. We need balance.

I get much more joy out of walking along the beach with my puppies, than sweating until I’ve shed enough of myself that I look like Izabel Goulart. I admire her for the goddess that she is. But I admire the goddess in me more than to beat myself up striving to achieve her shape. 

Bad-ass Izabel Goulart

There’s a bit of a fine line between “thinspo” and “fitspo” ... be careful that these images you’re looking to for inspiration aren’t making you feel like crap in the process. If you can’t look at these accounts without comparing yourself to them, and in turn feeling inadequate, have the self respect to stop following them. Spend more time connecting with and showing gratitude for your own body – exactly the way it is.

We should always surround ourselves with people who lift us higher, and this extends to the images we choose to look at on social media as well. You have the power to create what kind of visual inspiration you’re surrounded by, so choose it wisely. - Jess Ainscough

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