I had a bit of a wake-up call this week. The image platform that I've been using virtually since it launched and evolved into a curation tool for health & fitness has become a -slightly ironically - unhealthy obsession. Once used for staying in touch with family & friends through the form of pictures, it had steadily become a way for me to connect with likeminded fitness lovers and I've even made some real-life friends through it.
But of late, I realise I've been using it as a source of self validation, seeking the approval of complete strangers in order to obtain a sense of pride in my progress. How empty is that? Is my own delight in my progress not enough?
You see, it has been a source of #fitspo or whatever you want to call it, but that often breeds a need to create the same content to fit in. And do you know what? I realised that's utter, utter bullshit. The world of fitness is full of enough self-obsessed people, without me becoming another. My PT is one of the most down to earth individuals I know; I love her and respect her deeply and she happily leads a life of being fit, being healthy and inspiring others without seeking approval from others.
There's a place and time for Instagram in my life, but right now in this exact moment, I'm on a particular part of my fitness journey where I don't need it as either a distraction or a means of gaining a double-tap from a complete stranger or worse, a bot. The endless numbers of people I compare myself to is becoming a bore too; why isn't my ass as rounded as hers, why can't I deadlift as much as her, why aren't my shoulders as developed as her... *yawn*. I'm exhausted just thinking about it and I'm not even looking at my feed. I have full control of this behaviour and I'm taking control back. Instagram will still be there for me when I can use it responsibly... ha! I want to use it to build credibility and help grow my expertise and client base around fitness and nutrition. I will... but not right now.
I realise this might all sound far more serious than it is, but I just felt the need to document something that might just possibly help someone else out. Or to remind myself how I felt at this moment.
So for now, I'm having a short break. Maybe for a week, maybe for longer... as long as it takes to refocus on accepting that self-congratulations, or that of my PT, my boyfriend or my friends is enough.
I simply should not need the empty congratulations from souls who I do not know.