fitspo: A popular buzzword, short for ‘fitness inspiration’, most often seen as images of active, strong, and fit women that promote proper exercise and nutrition. May also include images of healthy food.
We all have fitness inspirations. They may come in the form of pictures of other people at the fitness level that we want to be at. Or pictures of healthy meals that we wish we had the time and patience to create. Or even just a motivational quote somehow related to fitness. I think for a lot of us, we see a picture of a really muscular person and we think “wow, I want to look like that” or “wow, I wish I were that skinny/strong/fit”. Which can then turn into us feeling negative about our current fitness level. We look at other people who are in a place that we want to be in and then feel sorry for ourselves, and start to point out our own imperfections. Sometimes we will see those pictures or people and feel motivated to start working out. Which is great. We start going to the gym regularly, and after a week check for progress. And then when we don’t see any progress after a week, we go back to the pictures and we say, “why don’t I look like this girl?”. We start comparing ourselves to our fitspos. And a lot of the time we are not able to rationalize that these people we are idolizing have likely spent years to get to where they are. We think that they just look like that, and we get discouraged from exercising or eating healthy because we don’t see immediate changes.
I know this, because I have been there.
I started my fitness Instagram account in July of 2015. And what I did with it was follow all these women I didn’t know, who were posting pictures of their fit, toned bodies, because I wanted to have a body like that. I started my fitness Instagram to hold myself accountable. I wanted to post pictures of me at the gym, or after a walk so that I could motivate myself to keep going. I posted pictures of healthy meals that I had eaten to motivate myself to keep eating healthy. And I would double tap all the pictures that I saw of the lifestyle that I wanted. At first I didn’t want anyone to know about my other Instagram. I was embarrassed that I wasn’t as in shape as all the people that I was following, and didn’t want people that I knew following my struggles. My account which is now @marg.fitness used to be @teragramtrauts, which is literally my name backwards. I didn’t want anyone I knew to be able to find it, so I didn’t use any hashtags, or tag any of my locations. I wanted this lifestyle so badly, but I didn’t want anyone to know that that’s what I wanted because I was so afraid people would find it and make fun of me.
And now here I am 2 years into my fitness journey…
I am still scrolling through Instagram, but I am not as envious of the other women I see. Now I scroll through Instagram and try to find new and fun exercises to incorporate into my routine. Or I look at the outfits that people are wearing so I can discover new activewear companies. I look at recipes and try to recreate them, or find products that other health and fitness bloggers are trying out and I test them myself. I encourage people I know to follow my Instagram because I want their support! Almost all of my friends follow the account, ask about my blog, and ask me to workout with them.
Something that I have realized I have been getting envious of lately, is that a ton of the fitness accounts that I follow post photos and videos of themselves doing intense workouts in sports bras, and cute matching workout sets. And honestly, before today I thought I would never be able to do that. I have huge boobs, and in my mind I just thought that I would never be able to just wear a sports bra and workout. I had this idea in my mind that it would be too booby. That people would be appalled when they saw me at the gym with no shirt. And I felt the same way about loud prints. I felt like they would draw so much attention to me, and I wasn’t ready for that. In my mind, I go to the gym for me time, I don’t need people looking at me, trying to talk to me, and I don’t need to feel self conscious about what I am wearing.
At the beginning of June I tossed those ideas aside.
I wanted to do something that was out of my comfort zone.
So, I bought this cute as heck matching set from Fabletics. I saw this at the beginning of June, and I told myself I had to have it. I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone, and become one of those women in cute cropped activewear that I admire. And this outfit was the perfect thing. First of all, it’s white. And white is a color that I NEVER wear, I repeat, NEVER. Because I feel that white, and really light colors all together, makes me look a lot bigger than I am. Second, it is a loud print. Something that I also thinks brings attention to areas that don’t need attention. Third, the top is a sports bra, crop top. Now I have never been into the idea of crop tops, because I have always had this idea in my head that I need to have a nice toned tummy in order to rock a crop top, an idea that I decided recently that I needed to chuck out the window.
I had an epiphany.
I realized that I needed to be the fitspo that I admire. I realized that there is no one stopping me from wearing something like this but me, and I should never be my own roadblock. I put this outfit on this morning the second I got it out of the bag, and I was feeling myself to a whole new level. I felt fit, beautiful, and confident. I felt like I finally looked like all those other women that I see on Instagram in their cute workout sets. Sure I may not have a perfect body. I don’t have six pack abs, or super toned arms. My body is muscular, but soft in some places. But this outfit made me feel so amazing. I felt like the fitness models that I saw sporting this outfit on the Fabletics website when I bought it. And this morning when I was all hyped up in my new outfit heading into the gym I realized something. I don’t need to idolize other people in the fitness industry, when I can do exactly what they are doing. I can be my own fitness inspiration by constantly pushing myself to be better. And I can be my own fitness inspiration by rocking a matching set in the gym and exuding confidence during my workouts. I am in control of how I feel. And I think the most important thing when it comes to working out and fitness is how you feel in your own skin. And, let me tell you, I feel amazing. I was telling myself that I couldn’t do things, or wear things that I wanted because I didn’t look as fit as the people I saw on social media. And that was something that I realized I needed to stop immediately in order to grow.
So if you are sitting there idolizing someone else’s journey.
STOP. Stop right now, and find things that you love about yourself. Discover things that make you love how you feel. And just always do your thing, and ignore the haters. You are amazing, and you can be your own fitspo.