Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve noticed that a growing number of people are sharing their fitness journey on social media – myself included. You might find this incredibly annoying, or if you’re like me, you find following other people’s successes to be motivating.
People’s motives for sharing their journey can differ quite drastically. Some people will post their journey with a specific product or program in hopes of attracting people to join. Other people post as a means to motivate others to start, or continue with their own journey and others post to help keep themselves accountable. There really is no wrong reason to share your journey online (unless you’re doing it to make other people feel bad in which case you are a truly horrible person).
I started sharing my journey on my Instagram account (@tracysaxy – shameless plug but feel free to follow me), and occasionally post to my facebook page, about 6 months ago. Previously I would post a fitness themed pic maybe once a month when something really exciting or eventful had occurred in a workout, but it definitely wasn’t the central theme of my account. As of probably November, my Instagram page has primarily become a photo blog of my fitness journey. I didn’t choose this date for any specific reason, its of no significance at all. November wasn’t the start of my journey, I’ve been on it for over 4 years now. I actually sort of accidentally started doing it, and just never stopped.
Back in November I started a 2 week fitness challenge that required you to post a photo each day of some aspect of the program (post workout selfie, a photo of you completing a workout etc). I started doing it and found it actually kept me accountable to the challenge. I felt a sense of obligation to post the photo each day – that meant I had to do the workout. So I did. I posted these photos for me (and the challenge), but the response I received from strangers was amazing. People offered so much encouragement and congratulations for working out. I didn’t know these people and yet they were offering kind words about a decision to make my life healthier.
The habit stuck. I post nearly everyday something about my fitness journey; sometimes its a selfie, sometimes its a video, sometimes its a book or a recipe or something that’s inspired me. Getting the positive responses from people, and knowing how their support has given me such positive feelings has encouraged me to do the same for others. Its like having an unofficial online support group and it really is awesome. In a world full of problems and negativity, its a nice bright spot to be kind to people on social media who are taking action to better their lives.
Now, I know posting isn’t for everyone, but if you want to share your journey, I really would encourage you to do so! Its a great way to stay accountable, to learn from other people’s journey and to keep fitness fun. If you’re thinking of starting, I have a few tips (take ’em, or leave ’em):
- Stay positive! – don’t shame yourself, and ABSOLUTELY do not shame other people.
- Be honest – don’t photo shop yourself to look different, and try not to post photos that are a few days old because you don’t have a new one for that day. If you didn’t workout, or you had an off day, show it! A huge problem in this day and age is the illusion of perfection – no one is perfect all the time, we all have “off days” and that’s 100% okay. Own that!
- Keep it fresh – try not to post a selfie with the same angle every day. Use a mirror, take a picture of your outfit or the equipment your using etc.
- Support others! Reach out to other people (click on hastags etc) and support people who are on the same path you are – even a like, or an emoji can really make other people feel good
- Acknowledge your supporters – if people are commenting on your post, like their comment or send them a quick “thank you” message. A little two way acknowledgement goes a long way 🙂
- Don’t be embarrassed – don’t feel “bad” or ashamed or nervous to post a photo. You are doing an awesome thing and its good to share that. People will benefit from what you have to say, and you can inspire people just by sharing your journey. If people don’t like it, they won’t comment, or “like” your post and that’s okay. Everyone is in a different place in their life. But do not be afraid to share your progress and your success because of what other people might think. You’re not doing it for them, you’re doing it for YOU!
- Choose a social media platform you are comfortable with – there is no right or wrong place to share your journey. Pick the platform you are most comfortable with – Instagram, Facebook, Snap chat, a blog, whatever. Also don’t feel obligated to use all of them. Start small, get a feel for the vibes and then go from there 🙂 I chose Instagram because that’s the platform I used, and visited most frequently. It was also the easiest for me to use. Do what’s best for you!
Whether you’re sharing your own journey, or following someone elses – social media is a great way to get inspired and be inspiring. Put yourself out there and stay accountable! You may just find a little (or big) online community of support that you never knew you needed 🙂