Most of us spend quite a bit of time on social media… which is why we know how much seeing perfect bodies can make us feel bad.
People tend to share posts where they look absolutely beautiful and flawless, so it may be hard for us to realize that not everybody is like that.
That's why one of my favorite suggestions for those who are struggling with their body image, is this: Unfollow people who don't make you feel good or even worse, make you feel like a piece of crap, because it seems like they look so awesome and you don't.
Yes, unfollow them even if it's not their fault. A lot of people like to constantly show off their bodies and perfect make ups, and otherwise perfect lives. But a lot of people don't do it on purpose. They may just share their workouts, and they have no intention to make you feel bad.
But if they still do, unfollow them.
Find The Right People to Follow
If you're into fitness and what to follow fitness people, but don't want to see all the ripped abs, believe me — there are plenty of different fitness accounts to follow.
I think what we all want is to feel understood, to be able to relate to someone. When we're putting on weight, or we notice cellulite or dimples on our thighs, we want to know that we aren't the only ones. Because it can easily feel like we are.
We really aren't to only ones. It's just that the number of pictures of perfect bodies that are posted on social media, is much higher than the number of regular, “imperfect” bodies that most of us have.
You can still follow fitness people, but they don't have to be the ones showcasing their perfect bodies.
Fit people come in so many shapes and sizes. Someone had posted a picture in our gym the other day, that showed six different olympic athletes. There were men and women from marathon runners to rowers to shot put athletes. They all had different body shapes. They are all strong and dedicated to their goals. I doubt they're obsessing over their looks, because they have big dreams.
Following super lean bodies on social media is not your only option. Remember that two fit people can look very different.
I have my moments when I'm having a hard time accepting my body. Here's what I keep in mind when that happens.
I have a lot of cellulite on my thighs but not only — I also have it on my belly. My belly has been the hardest body part for me to accept since my weight gain.
Couple of months ago I took a workout video of myself. I looked at it and I thought it was awful. It seemed to me that the fit body that I once used to have, is completely gone. I saw so much jiggles and cellulite.
Yep, I have these days, just like most women do.
I was so miserable and just went to Instagram and simply searched for the hashtag #cellulite. I wanted to find some sort of evidence that I'm not alone with my jiggly stomach. Of course, I knew that I'm not alone, because over 90 percent of women have cellulite. I just needed someone to relate to, see that there are other people out there.
When you search a hashtag #cellulite, you find a lot of before and after pictures that show how successfully someone was able to get rid of cellulite. You find a ton of beauty products that promise you to help to get rid of this “nasty” thing.
All that is a perfect example of how the fitness, diet and beauty industry are trying to get us pay them money. We're all victims of this kind of marketing. Keep your eyes open and you see it everywhere.
But then you also find some honest pictures that you actually can relate to. Pictures that actually make you realize that you're a totally normal woman with a totally normal skin that includes some totally normal cellulite.
You find several reverse before and after pictures, reverse in a sense that in the “before” picture, there's a woman rocking a totally cellulite free body, and in the “after” picture, where there's the same woman with some cellulite. In the caption, there's often a story about overcoming compulsive exercise habits, or an eating disorder, or hypothalamic amenorrhea… finding real health.
You see super strong powerlifters or crossfit ahtletes, who have decent amount of body fat.
You see women who aren't ashamed to show their post pregnancy stretch marks and cellulite, and they aren't hitting the gym two weeks post partum to get rid of these “horrible” things.
You don't see this kind of honesty very often, but I would say that it happens more and more. I love it because it makes us all understand that health truly comes in so may shapes and sizes. And hopefully we realize: I am really not alone, and there's nothing wrong with me or my cellulite.
Show Who You Really Are
Following women with not-so-perfect bodies — by that, I mean not so perfect in our society's eyes — will hopefully help you to be more honest in what you post on social media too.
How are you showing up on social media? If it takes you 400 shots to take a selfie that you find good enough for posting, maybe there's some work to do.
Maybe you're still trying to look perfect, hiding things that you see as flaws? Maybe you still don't post that picture where your belly rolls show, because you don't think that's okay…
Exactly this happened to me last week. I was in the gym, working out. I took a few videos when I was doing kettlebell swings and deadlifts. When I looked at the deadlift video, I was NOT happy with it. Here it is:
I have gained a lot of weight and never been this big in my entire life. All the belly rolls were showing. I was NOT going to post this picture on social media.
But then I came across of a post by Rini Frey who follow on Instagram… Which looked like this.
I read the caption and I decided instantly: If I don't post that video, I'm not honest. If I just delete this video from my phone and pretend that it never happened, I'm not practicing what I preach.
There are plenty of other women like Rini who I follow, and who would have posted this video because they are real. How could I not do that? If I only show pictures where I think I look good, it's not going to help other women to accept their bodies and be honest and real either.
We're not in this world to hide from it. Although social media can absolutely make us feel like we have to hide, we really don't.
It's really refreshing to see that there are more and more people who are honest in what they post and how they show up. So click unfollow and remove the accounts that don't make you feel good. Find people who lift you up and get inspired by them.