#47: The Effect of being an "Influencer" & an Announcement!
Nothing about my workout routine or eating habits has changed since I started sharing my life on social media, but I’m well aware that I voluntarily put my life under a microscope. I used to hate the people that posted about their workouts and gym selfies because it can come off as bragging and attention-seeking when it's inauthentic, and I never want to be one of those people. My goal is to represent myself and my struggles as accurately as possible.
I hate that many fitness influencers are aesthetic and appear perfect all the time. I understand that gets views because that’s what people want to emulate, but it feels fake and toxic. It makes me feel terrible when people brag about how well they eat or complain that they had 5 cookies. I’m like… I just ate 15 cookies and that’s totally normal for me (during certain times). I wish it wasn’t normal for me, but it’s important for people to know that it happens and feeling bad about it just makes it worse. It’s embarrassing for me to share those things about myself, but it’s important for people to understand that it’s part of me. Influencers like to say that they aren’t perfect and they’re just a normal person—which is true, they are normal people—but there’s probably still parts of themselves that they hide. I don't hide any part of myself (outside of my dating life), since this blog is my fitness diary, which means it’s even more important for me to share the times when I didn’t stay on track so that you can hold me accountable and we can get better together.
Interactions can feel like a competition of who can eat healthier, workout more, etc, but it absolutely shouldn’t. Each person is on a unique path with vastly different goals. There’s a thin line between genuineness or setting a good example and misrepresentation. I hoped that showcasing my life on social media all the time would force me to set a better example… and maybe stop eating the whole box of Oreos and a Domino’s pizza, but it didn’t. I do my best to force myself to show those moments of vulnerability so that other people know that things happen and the only thing you can do is get back up.
It’s tempting for anyone to show off thinking they’ll get instant credibility and recognition, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead, ingenuity, whether it be through content or conversation, makes people run in the other direction. I want people to follow along with me and come to their own conclusions. I will to invest the time and energy for people to understand what I’m about and how I get there, and I hope to develop a genuine connection on the way. I’ve spent years learning about this, but I still have plenty to learn from everyone else.
This week was the first time that I felt true impostor syndrome. A girl came up to me in the gym and said she was training because she wanted to look like me (not actually me, but you know what I mean). That meant more to me than she will ever know—I've spent my whole life wishing I could be the way that I am now, but I still feel overweight most of the time, especially after I’ve eaten a few cookies. I take selfies of myself in the gym mirror thinking, why do I deserve to do this? I hate calling myself fat because I don’t want to make anyone else feel bad. How I feel about myself reflects my insecurities, NOT how I think of anyone else. I don’t walk around judging others the same way I judge myself, and I need people to know that, just as much as I need to recognize it in myself.
Back to the point. I love the progress I’ve made, but sometimes when I’m stalling I wonder if it was a fluke. I know that I’m so far from perfect that I wonder why people would want to listen to me. On the surface and deep down I know how I’ve gotten here and what I’m capable of, which is why I’m doing this, but somewhere in the middle it gets lost. If you read this and don’t want me as a coach because of it, I have to be okay with that. This is how I feel and this is who I am. If I can’t be honest about how I feel now, the impostor syndrome will only get worse as time goes on, and I’m not being true to you either.
The idea of this post was to say that I try to convince myself to set a better example every day. I can’t mess up with 500+ people watching, right? Maybe I’m too comfortable, because I definitely can. Which is part of the reason for my upcoming 30-day challenge… Details on the way, but starting March first I have a 30-day reset and declutter challenge for all of us. I’m designing specifically for those of us who struggle to find the extra time and energy in the day for an additional task. I’m going to ask you to commit 30 minutes-- they can be nonconsecutive. These 30 minutes are an upfront investment to increase your health, well-being, and productivity to get more than 30 minutes worth of daily benefits in the future.