If you caught my last post, you saw me mentioning this amazing new diet I’m on. It’s already been a couple of months now and I have had NO trouble sticking to it whatsoever. I feel better and better as each day passes, I’m more confident, I feel lighter, more at peace, I’m happier, and my body/mind/soul feel feel a-mazing!
So what exactly is this miracle ‘diet’ you might ask?
Well, it all started back in August of last year. I initially began having minor back pain, but tried to work through it and continued to train as much as I could. However, it quickly progressed to the point where I was in constant daily pain. Most days it hurt so bad I could barely walk or turn over in bed. During this time, I usually spent my days on the couch feeling sorry for myself and pissed off at the world. I lost interest in doing most of the things I had been doing on a daily basis. What made things even more difficult for me was opening up Instagram and scrolling through my feed. Seeing all of the fitness people I follow being able to do what they/we love, hitting PR’s, progressing in their programs, and talking about their training really just made me sad and upset.
I missed being able to lift (let alone walk) and I was ticked off that my DUP training was taking a nose dive. More often than not, I would only be able to scroll for 1-2 minutes at a time before I ended up in tears. Posting was even further and far between because I felt like I would only adding a picture because I felt like I ‘had’ to post, not because I genuinely wanted to post anything. So by default, I automatically stopped most of my activity on Instagram all together for days at a time, sometimes even a week at a time.
Once my condition was actually diagnosed, EVERYTHING in my life changed. After the initial shock wore off, the first thing I knew I needed to do was come to terms with the fact that I would in fact never again be able to lift and train as I had been. My powerlifting and strength training days were officially over and the sooner I began to think about my health and body in a different way, the better off I would be. I’ve never been the type of person to dwell on things, no reason to start that now right? Luckily it didn’t take me very long to accept all of my new limitations. I was much more focused on what I would eventually be able to do and finding a new “normal” for myself and my family. At that point, I could scroll through Instagram, see everyone killing it in the gym and setting new goals without even a flinch. OK, maybe it stung a bit, but I was honestly OK considering the circumstances. I was in a good place as far as that was concerned.
Then I simply got to a point where I was seeing almost everything differently. I began to see a pattern with nearly EVERY single female I followed (non food pages)… ass after ass, half naked in their bikini’s or even their underwear. Typically, the caption would include some profound life quote or text that had NOTHING to do with the fact they were basically naked. More often than not, I could click on any of these girls profiles and look through their pictures and see that 99.9% of them were in fact other naked selfies. Prior to this health stuff coming up for me, I could look past all of that and just scroll right on by their pics (why I followed them in the first place, I have no idea). However, now that I have more than enough time to reflect about everything a bit differently, seeing these young “fitspos” post what they post just made think a bit deeper about everything.
Now before someone calls me a hater or jealous, I assure you… I’m pretty confident with myself, my body, my age, and where I am in life. Even if I was 20 years younger with rock hard abs and the perkiest of butts, I still wouldn’t be posting half naked pictures of myself every single day. This has nothing to do with not being “proud” of the body I have. It’s just a matter of looking at things from a different perspective. I’m a wife and mother FIRST.
The majority of the women I was following on Instagram are half my age AND in a totally different place in their lives’. I doubt many think about the future and what it holds for them. You know… the future where they have a husband who would prefer to be the only one seeing their ass and other unmentionables, the future with a teenage son who doesn’t want to hear his friends talk about his mother in a sexual manner (let alone follow them just to see their mothers 1/2 naked selfies), or even the future thats not based on fitness… you know like a real life job/career where they have a boss to answer to and a company to represent? Yeah, I don’t think the majority of these girls are thinking about that kind of future. Or maybe they do and don’t care? Either way, it was no longer something I wanted to see in MY feed or have to explain to my 10 year old daughter who would catch glimpses of the girls in my feed if she was walking by or sitting next to me. I’m not ok with posting pictures of myself like that, it’s going to be a cold day in hell when I think it’s ok for her to publicly post her body like that. Yeah. No, this has nothing to do with me being jealous. Pinky promise.
So my Instagram ‘diet’ began. Initially, I was not physically or emotionally able to click my IG app to scroll and I already began to feel better, positive, and more uplifted. Then I realized the majority of pages I was following didn’t offer me anything anyways except boobs, abs, butts, and promoting of products & other pages they certainly didn’t care about themselves. I naturally began to post less and less and eventually got to a point where I didn’t feel any pressure to post OR scroll through my feed. There was no desire to jump on the app and stalk people, no feeling bad about my inability to train, no comparing myself to anyone about anything, and MOST importantly, the time I was spending on social media was given back to the people who deserved it in the first place… my family and myself.
At that point, I decided with the new year here I should take things a bit further with my social media’ing and Instagram ‘diet. I figured it was time to take this phase into high gear so to speak and hit a PR if you will 🙂 These are things that I have just implemented or plan on doing indefinitely.
Here is what I did:
#1 Clean & Purge
I went through the accounts I followed and UNFOLLOWED everyone that didn’t offer something positive to my life. I got rid of any accounts that blatantly posted S4S (share for share) every single day (so annoying… I mean really, are we that thirst for followers?!), girls who posted those naked selfies far too regularly, and pages that preached their way of eating/nutrition is the ONLY way to eat (as well as preaching that xyz will make you fat, cause Cancer, and processed foods are made by the devil). I narrowed down the people I follow to:
- real life friends & family
- delicious food porn pages
- women (and a few men) who promoted overall health & wellness
- women who empower other women
- people I find interesting
- companies I love
- other food bloggers
When I looked at accounts and they didn’t make me feel positively ‘some kinda way’… unfollowing commenced without giving it a second thought. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow. There is NO reason why anyone should scroll through their feed and feel bad about themselves, their bodies, their training, their abilities, their nutrition, or anything else in their lives’.
#2 Post for YOU
Over the past couple of years, I’ve definitely realized I’m guilty of this. There were times I wanted to post something on my Instagram account or pin on my Pinterest account, but didn’t simple because I didn’t think anyone wanted to see it. My accounts and I had become so focused on fitness, training, flexible dieting, and I felt like I needed to stick with those things for the sake of keeping my ‘followers’. On more than a handful of occasions, I would want to share something personal about my life and refrained. My pages were no longer being filled with EVERYTHING that I loved. I wasn’t being true to myself at all. Yes, I posted food and workout things because I do feel passionately about them, but even at the top of my fitness obsession those things were still such a small piece of who I was, who I am. I had started my social media accounts as a place to share my life and to get inspiration, but I was really not doing/getting either.
More of me as a wife, mother, sister, fitness lover, AND food lover is exactly the direction I will now be going with my social media’ing. No more worrying about followers (getting them, keeping them, or making them happy). I’ve spent far too much time not sharing the bits of me that make me “me”!
#3 Be Present
The most important thing you can take away from this Instagram ‘diet’, is pushing yourself to stay OFF of your phone and social media’ing. Granted, I know a lot of fitness people are younger and don’t necessarily have families, however even these individuals MUST have relationships that are important to them. Instead of having your eyes attached to your phone, tablet, or computer how about being present for those people in your life that truly matter? Instead of feeling like you need to take a picture just so you can post it on social media, how about taking a picture, printing it, displaying it in your home, and ENJOYING it? Not posting it with the hopes of getting a ton of “likes”? When you are out with family or friends at a restaurant, how about putting your phone away? I promise you that picture of your food you are about to eat can wait. How about when someone says something to you, instead of saying “Wait wait, hold on. Give me one second!” you simply turn OFF your smart device or computer to answer or better yet… converse with them?
Cherish your time with those you love. Appreciate every moment you have. Be present and attentive. And as with ANY diet or way of life, practice moderation and flexibility. I’m not saying to stop your social media activity all together, but rather…
Look at who you are following, why you are following them, what you are posting, why you are posting, how much time it takes to catch (and edit/filter) that perfectly posed picture, how much thought goes into posting that could be better spent on those you love, who follows you, the kinds of comments you get, what you want your message to be, and how you want people to view you when they see/hear your name.
Whatever you decide, Instagram ‘diet’ or not… just make sure that your social media time is bringing you more happiness than frustration, that the pages you follow truly inspire you for the right reasons, and that the content you post are meaningful to YOU today, tomorrow, and next year! Scrolling through your Instagram feed should NEVER leave you feeling bad about ANYTHING! Social media should be adding to your life in some way, NOT taking away from it!!!
JamiFebruary 24, 2016 at 11:49 pm
Just stumbled on your website from your Instagram. Love love love this article. I’m going to clean up my Instagram (something I’ve needed to do) right now. I like you am a mom (of 3), 35 & have just recently started lifting heavy & am hooked. But have also struggled with it all. Starving myself, not seeing results, busting my ass, counting macros (but never knowing if they are right or how to tweak) & bulking/cutting. So much info out there. Trying to soak it up but with good/healthy info without just constantly feeling bad about yourself & what your doing. Love you….lets be besties. You have inspired me to keep going & work on me. It really does impact the way you parent & are to your spouse. More women NEED to hear this & love their journey. Thank you
JenFebruary 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm
Do you think reverse dieting is a good starting point for someone looking for an overall lifestyle change and weight-loss journey? I have an approx. 80lbs weight loss goal and I’m looking to put together a diet and exercise plan since i currently do not have one. since my early 20’s I always had that extra 20lbs that i needed to lose, but unlike my first pregency(lost baby weight plus 20 lbs) my second left me unable to lose the “baby weight” and put on another 30lbs over a 5 1/2 year period. I’m overweight and tired/ depressed and ready to get my life back. I don’t see myself when i look in the mirror and I cant believe I’ve allowed that to be the case.
Is reverse dieting and an aggressive workout plan that first step I need to take?
corinaSeptember 8, 2017 at 4:25 pm
Hi Jen, sorry… I didn’t see this comment. Please let me know if you need any help still!