Do you open Instagram -like every day- and find yourself scrolling through images of perfect fitness females eating fanciful (yet non consequential) things like ‘Argentinian Peanut Butter Pancakes’? Does it ‘press your buttons’ and make you feel guilty enough to feel inferior? Well, this is for you, read on to unmask these 5 Big Instagram Stereotypes and Myths.
1. Those ‘Strategic’ Poses
Shall we start with something graphic? Something’s we all notice but someone must shout out loud about it lest, we don’t fully believe – strange. You’ll often find models posturing themselves in tactical poses that make their hips seem very tight and their backsides rounded and toned, or they may stand somewhat on tip toes to accentuate thighs and calves. I think these samey samey poses perpetuate a feeling of distrust and often times, frustration in those who look at them because they’re not dedicating their entire lives to the appearance of their physical bodies. Don’t reach for goals that are unrealistic, no, you are not fat, a lot of these models are unreal, their cellulite has only been hidden (ah the advanced wonders of Photoshop!). Also, look at their lips – and think what else have they ‘had work’ done on?
2. Cardio to Burn Calories
Let’s clarify one thing: cardio can certainly help consume the calories you’ve eaten, but it’s naivete to think that significant physique improvements will happen whilst doing zero weightlifting (or bodyweight training) whilst your grandma’s lasagne is still sitting in your belly. Sorry to disappoint the treadmill supporters but do you want to lose weight? Then pay attention to your diet, honey, pure and simple. Moreover, I also still hear phrases like “weights make women bigger” (as if it’s so easy for women to build muscle?) and “Women who use barbells look like men“. Then should it not follow that men who don’t do weight lifting should look like women?
3. Those “Neutral” Oats
Okay, protein powder, we can understand. Every time I see a “fit recipe” that I would like to try, it often starts with “Today I wanted to prepare a simple snack, the ingredients are: 1/2 cup caramel-flavoured oatmeal, 10 oz of egg white, 1 tbs of matcha powder”…but hold on! I asked for food, not to blindly copy and follow a trend. I just wanted to make what looked like a well-fortified pancake. Instead, what I’m actually reading is the recipe for 3 cupcakes at 10 pounds each! It seems that without strange, industrial products we cannot “be fit” and that the yolk has done something wrong to each of us. Is it because it’s fat? Well, it seems like everyone’s ignoring that value on the peanut butter label then!
4. The Six Pack
If you lift your shirt and don’t reveal wonderfully sculpted ‘cubes’, then apparently you haven’t done enough, you haven’t worked out enough, you didn’t follow the diet, you skipped the training session last Thursday that singularly would’ve gotten you shredded. Truth is, abdominal muscles also depend on genetics. Of course, they will never be seen if they are buried under innumerable layers of fat. You need to have a certain percentage of body fat to get a perfect six-pack, but an extremely low percentage of body fat is not healthy if stomached for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Even if you can get very lean, your abs still might not be that well pronounced or even noticed at all. Don’t cry about it, there’s far more to life than abs – be grateful that you’re alive and healthy.
5. “Eat Clean, Train Hard” (or Fail Miserably)
Wrong. Respecting your training schedule and eating well, make for a solid foundation, but food is just food, no need to fuss endlessly about it. Eating a cookie every now and then won’t vaporize you and pizza doesn’t magically increase body fat overnight, that’s just water retention. If you miss a workout every now and then because you are too tired or because you want to go out with a friend you haven’t seen in ages, that doesn’t suddenly render all your gym efforts worthless. Take a bigger picture view, consistency and balance in the long run will help you get the results you want, whilst enjoying your life and smelling the roses along the way.