According to recent studies (as proliferated in an article by: Katherine Schreiber), most fitspiration is largely very useless in gaining what it attempts: inspiring people to exercise more and lead healthier lives. In fact, those
who already have “disordered eating” thought patterns are hyper-aware of these ads and usually take a hit to their self esteem when viewing what Pinterest fondly refers to as “fitspo”.
So what? What if taking a hit to someone’s self esteem -in essence- gets them to get their tookus off the couch and into a gym?!
Well, while self hating your body into exercise is a feasible option, it is often short lived once the working out and eating right part gets hard, and you have nothing fueling your actions but a bucket of self loathing. In fact, self loathing as a mechanism for change is either short-lived orWORSE leads to retraining your brain to use negative stimuli as motivation, and in essence, disordered thinking.
Author and vulnerability guru Brene Brown puts it this way, “To the extent that something moves us closer to serious addiction, nags at our conscience, depresses us, or gets in the way of our joy– they become problematic.”
That being said, if looking at pics of people in spandex telling you “fitness guidelines” makes you feel good? Then rock on that fitspo. But if it only makes you feel shamed into making your way into the gym–you’re better off reading something that makes you feel inspired.
Also, there’s this awesome buzzfeed article, that edits fitspo into more realistic (and slightly humorous) ads here.
Enjoy! And love that awesome bod of yours.