Healthy or Harmful? Where to draw the line on #Fitspo

Posted in Health
on June 22, 2016


You’re having a day where you feel more fat than normal, and while aimlessly scrolling on Instagram, you search #fitspo. You’re in a sea of 120-pound bodies that are lean, beautiful and every other adjective you’re not, you begin to feel more sad and disgusted with yourself.

You think to yourself, “I’ll eat what they eat.” “I’ll work out more.” “I’ll be better than I am today.”

Sooner or later, the obsession with searching #fitspo on all social media platforms becomes an all time high. It’s all you think about. You’re constantly weary of whether or not you’re eating healthy enough or if you should work out a little longer. This harmful desire to be like these women spirals out of control, and you’re left questioning your self worth altogether.

Or there’s the alternative.

You’re ready to make a change. You’re ready to give up the cookies, the chips, the beers. You want to eat better and work out so that you feel good. It’s not about body image for you. You simply want to live a healthier lifestyle so that you can feel better.

You search #fitspo on Instagram and Pinterest for motivation: learning about quick, 10-minute workouts, or easy, vegan recipes to make for less than $5. #Fitspo becomes your daily motivation to keep track of your fitness and health goals. It’s a positive reminder that you are strong and capable of living a balanced, healthy life.

Social media has such a large impact on our self esteem and our lives in general. Whether we want to be inspired with beauty, fashion, and lifestyle information or motivated to make a healthy change to our diet our fitness routine, we tend to use social media as our end-all-be answer for what we need.

Although it’s great we have the ability search workouts on Instagram and healthy recipes on Pinterest, there is a line where fitspo can become harmful to one’s life. In a world controlled by social media, women are questioning their worth and comparing themselves now more than ever. Fitspo is adding to the low self-esteem women already have in addition to adding to the obsession of achieving unattainable body standards.

But where do we draw this line on when this is healthy or harmful? I would love to know your thoughts on this in the comments, so make sure to share your thoughts below!

Ki Signature



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  • Abby

    I love this. The danger is that “fit” looks different on everyone, and people lose sight of being fit in pursuit of being skinny. I love that you’re talking about an important topic like this.

    • YES! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. Fit definitely looks different on everyone and everyone interprets it differently as well! That’s so important to consider.

  • Justine Y

    Loved this post, so agree that you need to keep things in perspective, and love yourself above all else! My friend is a women’s fitness specialist and has a large following, but most about what she posts is about loving yourself and funny memes. πŸ™‚

    • Sometimes, it’s nice to have that funny, light-hearted content on the Internet! Thanks for your comment!

  • Yes! Social media can definitely impact us in so many aspects of our lives. If you’re not careful, it can really hurt your self-esteem. You just have to remember it’s only people’s best parts, not their entire lives…which can look totally different.

    • Couldn’t agree more! Social media plays such a huge part in our lives, so it’s easy to see how it can negatively impact our self-esteem.

  • I agree with some of your thoughts. However, I feel social media is also a tool that should not be to blame. Social media is there as a guide to researching various topics. Often times, social media gets a bad name, because people misuse the information they come across. I am not saying that social media is not an in your face kind of research, but rather, people using social media to research things, such as fitspo, need to be careful. I feel social media can be extremely helpful when people go into the research with the right mindset. If a person is not happy with their body image and research what they believe is a perfect body, of course they are going to feel worse about their body. I used to be so guilty of this, but I started researching before and afters that way I could see that they did not start out with a perfect body, but worked hard to achieve it. I hope this comment is read as an optional perspective, because I really enjoyed this post, as I do many of your posts! πŸ™‚ I think it is great that you are writing about things that help people think!

    • I completely understand where you’re coming from on this, Erin! And I can’t thank you enough for your comment on this! I definitely see your perspective on this. If we’re having a “bad” self-esteem day, we shouldn’t go out on social media and go out looking at these toned, beautiful bodies–of course it’s going to make us feel worse. And I love your suggestion about the before and after photos. That could help a lot of people to know that no one starts with that perfect body.

  • Can I say that I totally love you? (Haha.) I’ve struggled with body image for YEARS. And I’m part of the whole ‘go to the gym, do yoga, get fit’ crowd. But I don’t have the perfect, toned, no body fat on my belly body. I go just to stay healthy. But there is SO much pressure to look a certain way (a very narrow, super lean, super fit way) that is very hard to avoid when you’re just trying to get healthy and stay healthy. If we could all just love ourselves more and shut up about other people’s bodies, I think the world would be a slightly better place. (Less hurt feelings, at least.)

    • Exactly! I think it’s so important that there is less judgement involved with this topic and more self-acceptance and self-love. Plus there’s just the idea that people can accept and love others for how their bodies are built as well!

  • Social media nowadays makes me lose a little bit of my self esteem. But then, I can always ignore the jealousy and choose to love my own body. πŸ™‚

    Renee |

    • Self-love is the most important thing! I’m happy to know you choose self-love over jealously!

  • Interesting thoughts! I’m back and forth on this haha.

    • Thank you for your comment on this! I know it’s difficult to talk about!

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