Don’t Get Healthy for Instagram, Do It for You

Don't Get Healthy for Instagram - Do it For Yourself (photo by sunny forest)

There’s a trend I am seeing in this social media obsessed world. People spend a lot of time and effort letting the world know how healthy they’re being. Whenever someone hits the gym or goes for a run or picks the salad for lunch, they blast all their followers to let them know. Of course, it can be inspiring. But healthy living doesn’t have to be about virtue signaling; it can be a graceful and personal pursuit.

Here’s the thing: I can see the benefit of sharing the positive choices you’re making. It makes you proud, and maybe sharing even helps hold you accountable. But I think the major downside is that it creates pressure for yourself and others and offers an unrealistic view of fitness and health. Someone browsing instagram might think to be healthy you need to head to Equinox in the latest Lululemon gear. Sure it makes a great picture, but it gives the impression that fitness is cute and perfect and inaccessible to normal people.

I’m not trying to be the Instagram police. Share what you want to share. We’re all guilty of trying cultivate the best version of ourselves for social media. I’m just trying to tell people that the image of healthy living you see online isn’t necessarily the reality. Take pride in the personal wins. Go for a walk. If you have to stop for fast food, make the best choice you can. Don’t feel like you’re failing just because your life wouldn’t rack up the likes on social media.

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12 thoughts on “Don’t Get Healthy for Instagram, Do It for You

  1. Laurie Dinunzio

    I love this!! I see both sides of sharing your wellness journey on social media, and have experienced the support and also discouragement that can occur. Thanks for putting it into words, Andie! I always enjoy your perspective.

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  2. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss

    I’ve said this same thing about people who insist on checking into their gyms on Facebook – but I do understand why. If it helps them feel accountable or perhaps motivates someone else to continue making healthy decisions, then I say all the better. I do see how Instagram has made working out and healthy living seem unattainable and perfect all the time, which is the exact opposite of how I look after a good workout!!

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  3. Juliette @ Namastay Traveling

    This one is so important to me. I want to high five everyone who finishes a run or makes a green smoothie on my insta…but I also wanna continue my healthy choices because I feel great, not because my insta *looks* great. I’m all for whatever helps you sleep at night, but like you said, if we sugar-coat (pun intended) the pictures on our feeds and make it inaccessible, is it really doing any good?

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  4. Elizabeth

    I love this message and I think it’s super super important not to judge yourself by anyone else’s instagram because 99% of fitspiration instas are an ideal and not reality. At the same time though, I use my instagram account as an accountability tool (I like to think that if it’s not worthy of going on my instagram, it’s not worthy of going inside my body either!) and I also like the inspiration from other people’s accounts. I think that as long as you take people’s social media lifestyles as a part-representation of their true lifestyle (ie it’s the bit that they want you to see, not the fish and chips on a Friday followed by a family-sized chocolate bar … that’s not just me right?!) then it can be useful, but it’s a question of using it wisely.

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  5. Sabrina

    very important advice, especially because when it comes to health, no one really cares much except for you, so why care what anyone else thinks about your health in the first place? Not saying they simply don’t care, but not enough to notice or worry about every trip to the gym, as you write, and yes virtue signaling is really, really annoying, about really any subject, best just to do what’s best for yourself and let your health speak for itself! After all, talk, or instagram-ing is cheap!

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