When you have three Instagram accounts to keep up with things can get a little bit... messy. I have a personal that I seem to never be on, the TIA account which I keep as my main account and the TIA Active account that kind of sits there and I have to remind myself that I need to continue trying to grow that account as well as the TIA one.
More often than not if I click on the Instagram app I will be scrolling through the TIA feed, in terms of the content that comes up in my news feed (ie. the people that account follows) that is my favourite to mindlessly scroll through.
I use Instagram as a few different things.
Firstly, it is a marketing tool for TIA and for Active as well, it is a platform for me to share that "hey! we have a new blog post live, find the link in the bio."
Secondly, it is a tool for me to connect with new and existing readers of the blog, people can easily find and message me through our Instagram if they wish too and people do tend to want to share after realising how open I am.
Thirdly, it is a place where I go when I feel flat and unmotivated, where I can scroll through and see the amazing things that other people are doing and find the inspiration to pick myself back up and keep on, keeping on.
What I didn't realise was how much of an influence the content I was consuming was having on my behaviour, my thought process and my mental health. I tend to follow a lot of health influencers, you know people who only post whole food recipes, to people who are an online trainer with these incredible communities to bikini model world champions who share their day to day life.
My biggest downfall came in the form of idolising and wanting to look like these incredible bikini competitors that I was following. I mean I don't think I could pull off the actual incredibly toned and fit look, but I was striving to "tighten up" and live more of the lifestyle that these girls were sharing.
It started with...
Changing my training to be more like what I was seeing on Insta stories. I was seeing these girls lift weights five, six times a week and do no cardio- so that's what I did. HIIT? No thank you, I'll be over here lifting weights every day.
It was bound to happen, I started tracking my foods and wanting to be in a calorie deficit. I couldn't put something in my mouth without logging it and knowing exactly how many calories were in it first. I tried to cut out anything that wasn't a "whole food", and a serious restrictive pattern was formed.
After a recent mental breakdown, it was as if I had a sudden moment of clarification. Why the fuck was I doing this?
Why was I making my self so damn miserable?
I don't want to lift weights every day- so why am I?
I want to eat foods that make my soul happy and sometimes that is a Friday night with take away on the couch- so why am I telling myself that's bad for me?
Why am I standing in the shopping aisle comparing the number of calories in the foods I want to buy?
Why am I walking past the Cadbury Coconut Rough and staring at it longingly but then commending myself on my self-control for not putting it in my basket?
What the fuck am I doing?
If the chocolate is going to make me happy- shouldn't I be eating it?
If I want to some HIIT on a Tuesday- why the hell am I not?
I am not training for anything, I am not aiming to change myself or the way I look, I simply want to feel good on the inside and the outside. I want to enjoy life and the food I am eating, the exercise I am doing- I want to enjoy being alive.
I didn't understand where my behaviour was coming from until I noticed myself by triggered by one girl I was following in particular. She has always been so open and honest about her lifestyle, she counts macros, she trains hard- but she does this because she is a competitor. Why was I trying to imitate her lifestyle when we have completely different goals?
So I unfollowed her, and I unfollowed everyone who had similar content. Not because I no longer liked the content they were producing, not because I didn't like them anymore, not because they weren't interesting or they did something wrong. I unfollowed because I knew it was what was best for me. I knew that removing the content from my feed would help me to heal my relationship with food and exercise. To not have that type of information and content in my face every time I scrolled would be what is best for me.
I love that people share their journies, much like those girls do- they share their macros, they training, the food they eat and for some people that can be SO helpful and inspiring. But, as it turns out, for some people like me, it can also be extremely triggering for unhealthy behaviours.
And that my friends is why I had to unfollow health and fitness influencers.
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