You Don't Have to Become a Motivational Icon

It feels like I keep getting smacked upside the head with a whole lot of this lately!



And depending on how much social media you consume, you may feel like you're getting beat to death with it too.  I hesitate to admit that a cringe a little when one of my Facebook friends begins a fitness journey.  I think we all know what comes next:  locker room selfies, motivational quotes, food selfies, and the like.

So what's wrong with that?  Nothing really.  They're just excited about their new journey, and I'm excited for them.  My issue lies in the individual's motivation.  Are they doing this because they really want to share their journey with others?  Or is the behavior motivated by social pressure?

Have you ever felt pressure to share your health journey publicly?  It comes in many forms.  Maybe the people at work suddenly nominate you as health guru because you recently started working out.  Or you see your Instagram followers posting before and after selfies, and you think, "Guess I need to do that too."  If you're feeling the cultural pressure to become a motivational or fitness icon (and you don't like it), then I'm here to tell you that you don't have to be any of that!!  Have you ever not started exercising for the fear of letting others down?  The fear of being nominated health expert, but then falling flat on your face afterward.  Well that's what I want to help you avoid.

Your journey is between you and no one else.  You can share as little or as much as you like.  People have been sharing the intimate details of their life long before you started exercising, and they'll keep sharing it long after you've lost 100lbs.  The likelihood of you bringing something new to the table is very slim, and it's more likely you will continue to stuff more junk into the already jam packed "fitspiration" feed.  And in my opinion it's mostly junk.  The pictures and gifs designed to inspire typically create unreal standards of beauty, unattainable goals, and gives impractical advice.  

So how do I wrap this entire message up in love?  Here goes...I love you, and I want the absolute best for you.  If sharing your journey helps you feel accountable and more loved, then do it.  But if you're becoming the world's motivational icon through some sense of obligation or social pressure, then don't!  You don't have to, and others may respond more positively if your journey stays low key!  Leave the motivation and diet advice to the experts (or the ones who think they're experts), and you just keep pressing on toward your goal.  Best of Luck!

-Vinny