It is no secret that i LOVE instagram. I follow accounts that post beautiful sunsets, birds in mid-flight, iconic travel destinations, and fabulous trainers with a wealth of ideas to share.
However Instagram has opened my eyes to a whole other world of narcissism and misinformation. Over and over again i am “unfollowing” people because I am ambushed by their six pack or pearly whites on a daily basis. Often these pics are accompanied by the hashtags #cutie #gorgeous #beautiful and all i can think is IT DOESN’T MATTER!!
Who cares what you look like when you’re incontinent at 80yrs (or even 20)? Who cares what your six pack is like when you’re organs are coming out your vagina? Men dome too, FYI – is their six pack relevant when their organs are herniating? One search of YouTube will show countless male weight lifters prolapsing and herniating in front of the camera. Is the six pack worth it?
So I have a six pack. I won’t lie, I like it. I achieved it through eating lots of vegetables and protein. I achieved it through working my ass off at the gym, in the most effective manner that I knew of. This has not protected me from stress incontinence, or prolapse. In fact, depending on your sport, up to 80% of athletes suffer stress incontinence before they’ve even thought of having kids. I would include regular gym junkies, cross fitters, and amateur runners in this category.
Now, let me tell you, that in my experience, peeing yourself when you sneeze, or viewing your insides on your outside, or experiencing back pain so severe that you can’t lift your kids DOES MATTER.
We ought to be hashtaging #healthy #pelvicfloor #beatbackpain before #gorgeous on every post of ourselves. We should be glorifying our recovery; because these issues are in the very least preventable and improvable, and in the best solvable! We need to realise that everyone has a start point, and those of us who value our looks over our performance are going to be really really really disappointed one day.
Not only that, but the education of our client’s is paramount. If we go around parading ourselves shirtless like hormonal chickens, we are sending the message that that is what is important. It’s true, being proud of yourself is important, but we are responsible for people’s mental and physical health in this industry, and i want them to take home a very balanced and healthy message from me and my gym. I want them to pass that message on to their daughters. Until we have a whole generation of sassy and confident girls that do no need to prove themselves by taking their clothes off.
When we look at people taking pictures of their washboard stomachs and hashtagging #sexy one has to wonder what is going on underneath all that. Why does she/he feel the need to show this? What is going on in the little muscles that you can’t see? What are they trying to prove and to who? Is this behaviour meant to encourage their clients? Motivate them? Or is the reality just random faceless people are leering at them? In the gym world, only half of a gym’s members ever attend the gym regularly, has anyone asked why?
We can start this new culture of fit, happy, successful, women. They’re self confident, comfortable, and equal with men. And visa versa. We can educate our clients, and show them what we worked for and how we worked for it. It doesn’t matter what that work looks like (or maybe it does occasionally, but not on a daily basis PLEASE!). What matters is that you’re healthy. What matters is that you are physically able to achieve the things you want to. What matters is that you live a long life, and that you live it pain-free. The rest is superficial.