Social Media is a great tool for motivation and> inspiration, as a Personal Trainer and> generally a health and> fitness enthusiast I follow a number of fitness accounts on Facebook/Twitter and> Instagram.  I love reading about other people and> their journey, finding new ideas and> recipes. I think using Social Media in the right way can be a great motivator for people.  However I also feel there is a lot of misleading information around which can be detrimental and> lead people to have unrealistic expectations and> goals.  I must point out that this is not true of the vast majority of accounts, and> some are trying to dispel the myths around health and> fitness, but we need to be careful about what we are seeing!

I recently read an article on the BBC News channel regarding before and> after pictures and> how reliable they really are – you can have a read here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-31638187
It definitely shows how any photos we see may not be reality and> are manipulated to show changes that haven’t necessarily take place. Here they have used a few tricks to make you see the people differently and> believe a change has taken place, when really there was only a couple of hours between the photos! And we all know about airbrushing don’t we, this has been around a while. Airbrushing is used to adjust photos and> make the person in them look better, and> so again what you are seeing is not reality! With the technology around these days even the general public can use filters and> good lighting to make themselves look better/more toned, I’ve even done it myself! It is important we understand> this and> so these false ideals do not become goals that take over our lives, especially when they are unachievable for the vast majority of people.

As a woman I do feel the pressure to look “perfect”, have a flat stomach etc, and> I think this is heightened by being a Personal Trainer. Yes I train hard and> eat healthily but I pretty much know I will never have visible abs as I just do not have the required amount of dedication. And that is the truth of it, to achieve these perceived levels of perfection it requires a huge amount of willpower, restriction and> dedication and> frankly I can’t be bothered! I am a healthy weight, I feel good in my clothes and> even in bikinis but I am far from perfect. I eat healthily but enjoy the odd treat well if I’m being honest more than the odd treat but I enjoy my life and> very rarely feel restricted.

I do no want to put you off from following these accounts, or using them for motivation. However I do believe that rather than focusing on looking like someone else, or having the “perfect” body/abs we should be focusing on our own health and> well being. Looking at improving our fitness levels, and> enjoying whole foods. I recently saw a quote that I feel is great to keep in mind, “Strive for progress not perfection!”

So stop comparing yourselves to other, celebrate your progress and> Learn to love your body!!