I've been thinking a lot lately about peoples views and perceptions. Specifically how society views health, fitness, nutrition, etc, especially on Social Media. A lot of topics have really been spinning around in my mind and I wanted to get them out. So congratulations - you are the proud winner of reading my screwed up thoughts.
I'm an avid user of social media. I have family and friends all over the world so I enjoy interacting with people across the globe. I enjoy seeing anyone from someone I want to high school with to celebrities and their thoughts. Perhaps "enjoy" isn't always the right word but I appreciate it. That being said, I have come to wonder how we've got to the point we're at with Social Media regarding health, fitness and nutrition.
I saw a post the other day making fun of people who post things about being at the gym. This post and many others I've seen seem to specifically take issue with people who do Crossfit. It was a video called "people who brag and post about their fitness." I've often seen meme's about marathon runners like this.
When did it become an acceptable thing to do to make fun of others posting about bettering themselves? Have you ever run a race? Did you train, and sweat and take time away from your family to improve your time? Did you feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment as you crossed the finish line that first time? Do you remember the first time you didn't walk at all in a race? Improved your time in your next 5k? Ran your first 10k? Trained for a half marathon?
I've run a number of races in the last 3-1/2 years. I was never a runner, so that very first race when I crossed the finish line I felt a great deal of pride. I still remember that moment. Since that very first 5k where I walked a considerable amount, I've ran longer harder races including a Battle Frog Mud Run and a Half Marathon. Each new adventure in running has brought me a lot of pride.
I share a lot of my health and fitness journey here with the people of Spark People. I have a designated Facebook group specifically made for nutrition and fitness. Sometimes I feel like we hide in the shadows. We share with other like minded people because we know that if we post out in the open that we will be judged and sometimes persecuted. When friends post these jokes and memes about things that I do (posting check-ins at the gym, new recipes, race times, training activities, etc) do they stop to think that someone they care about spends a lot of time and effort in their life on these tasks? Do they realize their words hurt?
Add to that that apparently it is acceptable for people across the globe (primarily women) to spend time and money to sell "miracle" wraps, pills and powders that promise weight loss and I get a little miffed. When someone makes these claims they get attention and affirmations. People want to know how they do it. (even though none of these products are actually proven to do much of anything other than give you some extra energy and drop water weight) Why isn't it the same when we show weight loss from hard work and healthy living?
And my biggest question - are we adding to this issue? Celebrities get paid and feel okay about posting to millions of followers about these magical cures but do you ever see them posting about their hours with trainers or their strict and difficult diets? As I said - do we hide in the shadows instead of proclaiming our successes from the rooftops? Who does that help?
I wish I had more answers than questions. I welcome your thoughts. Maybe I'll start being more brave, posting more on my social media about my fitness and nutrition - both the struggles and the wins. Maybe today is the day...