Motivation & Media

It’s the start of the new year and someone asks you what’s your New Year’s resolution. For most people it’s getting healthy or to lose weight. So, you keep a food journal and start to go to the gym 3 times a week. You scroll through social media looking for motivation and you come across your ideal body type. You see so many slim girls who are selling nutrition guides as well as workout programs. You think that by adding slim, toned and overall healthy-looking individuals, this will be the motivation that will keep you going until you achieve your weight loss goal. But is this really a good idea to use social media as motivation?

Social media can be a great place to find a supportive community, but it can also create an unrealistic snapshot of life. Social media Influencers usually have thin legs, and arms, a toned midsection and a round behind. Their appearance is what helps them get followers, sell products and ultimately makes money. No one would buy their weight loss guides if the Influencers were overweight, so they have to keep up this constant image of perfection. While working out and eating a diet rich in whole foods can lead to fat loss and muscle gain, your genes also play a role in determining the shape of your body. It may not be feasible to get that exact physique of the typical influencer. How do we navigate social media in a way that is respecting our values and getting us closer to our goal in a healthy way?

The first thing is to be aware of what your goals and values are, and how can you create an environment that facilitates change in a positive way. Don’t add celebrities or anyone who endorses flattening belly teas, waist trainers or herbal supplements. Instead, do add registered dietitians who share nutrition tips, Chefs who make delicious and simple recipes or body positive therapists that share books or podcasts. Follow professionals that have a degree and experience in their field not a random person who eats lettuce wrapped hamburgers because it’s keto. The second tip is to be mindful of how much time you’re spending on social media. While it can be a supportive environment, it’s also a great idea to have that support in real life consisting of friends, family and professionals. The bottom line is that we are surrounded by social media and we have the power to choose if it hinders us or helps us blossom into what we want.

Danielle, Degreed Nutritionist