I recently read an article stating that those who post their fitness routine to Facebook have psychological problems. A study showed that individuals who post when they work out tend to be narcissists and that they are primarily just trying to brag about how much time they invest in their looks and because they need attention and validation.
Are you kidding me?
I regularly post fitness related pictures or statuses on Instagram on Facebook, and guess what?
I don’t need attention or validation from you and I am not bragging. I have other reasons for making those posts, and they are completely valid.
Starting with, I am proud of my accomplishments.
I hated gym class in high school. Some saw it as an easy credit; I saw it as literal hell. There were some aspects I liked. Badminton was always fun and I wasn’t actually terrible at it. The days we had to run the mile though? Seriously? AN ENTIRE MILE?! No sane person would ever want to run that far. I would begrudgingly do it, mainly because I didn’t have a choice, but there was a lot of walking and grumbling involved.
Now? Lately, I’ve been walking/running a minimum of 5k roughly three times a week. I have been participating in races (real and virtual) for over two years now and actually find running to be relaxing and enjoyable. I even have some PB’s (personal bests)! I will share a picture on social media if it’s a virtual 5k and I earn a medal. Part of that reason is that the medals are just awesome, but another part of that is because I am proud of what I just did. I’ll sometimes even post if I’m just really feeling great after my run!
This isn’t just about running, though. This is about every type of workout. This is about when I did Aerial Hoop and during the first class, I couldn’t even get into the hoop, much less do any of the moves. You bet I’m going to be posting pictures of what I was able to do as the classes (and I) progressed. It was a huge accomplishment and I was proud when I could finally get in the hoop and learn some of the moves.
I was proud when I had a really hard workout at Orangetheory Fitness and yet my heart rate didn’t go as high as it did in the past, or I was able to do more reps before I needed to take a break.
Pride and narcissism are often grouped together but they are not one in the same. Pride is outward. It’s the result of something that you or someone else has worked for. Narcissism is inward. It’s solely about you and nothing else.
Just like a proud parent posting a picture of their newborn child or their kid graduating or getting married.
Just like that young adult who just bought their first car or house or just landed their dream job.
Just like that student who just got a great grade on their paper or test in school.
Are they just looking for attention? Do they want you to validate them and tell them how great they are?
Or maybe they worked hard to get where they are. Maybe they studied constantly, saved money from working endless hours. Maybe they focused on their goal and set out to accomplish something great.
Not one of my accomplishments has happened by happenstance. They have happened because I have put in time and effort to get myself to that point. You better believe that I am proud of what I’m able to do due to the effort I have put in.
Want to know why I put in all this effort?
I’m working hard towards a goal.
I want to be healthy. I want to live a long life. I want to be able to play with my future children. I want to be mobile when I’m older. I don’t want to deal with health problems that could have been avoided just by making smarter choices.
That doesn’t mean that I’m always on my A-game, my life is not just about fitness. I have many lazy days when I just sit on the couch, watch TV and eat chips. Or days when I just really want a greasy burger. I’m not ashamed of those days, and I will post about those without even thinking twice about it, just like when I make my fitness related posts.
There is one thing I can always count on to re-motivate me if I have a few bad days: the fitness community.
I feel inspired by it.
I love going on Instagram and looking at other people’s progress pictures. They remind me that change is possible. That hard work does pay off. There are millions of people out there right now striving for the same things I am. Why not support each other? Why not motivate each other?
I love when someone tells me that I inspired them to start running or working out again or to start eating healthier. Other people do that for me and I want to do that for others.
I don’t care if you ‘like’ my picture. I don’t care if you even pay attention to it. Those posts are not for you. The posts are for me. They are to keep me accountable, to keep me focused. They are for people like me. They are for the people out there who are inspired by seeing others being active. They are for people who have their own goals and need some extra motivation. They are for the people out there who get joy from seeing others be happy and work hard.
I don’t need your validation. I don’t need you to care whether or not I’m being active. How about we stop assuming the worst about people? How about we stop making assumptions about peoples desires, interests and personalities based on what happens on social media. How about we use it as a way to build each other up and encourage those around us.
I am not narcissistic. I am not bragging. I do not need validation.
I am active and I am lazy. I like healthy food and I like junk food. I want to be inspired and I want to inspire others. I am going to be real with you, even if you don’t like what I want to say.
If you want to judge me for it, then I’m obviously not for you.