Fitness Instagram can be great for inspiration but bad for information. Let's separate the good from the bad.
When Instagram first emerged I was confused by it. I wondered what was the big deal about looking at other people's pictures all day. Still, I created my profile and posted pictures of my struggle meals and my pets sleeping all day. Eventually, I started following a bunch of celebrities and then it made sense to me. People enjoy having a bird's eye view of others lives. It's the same reason vlogging on YouTube is so popular. It's with that bird's eye view that you felt you were gaining an understanding of how other people lived.
Over time the pictures became more manufactured and less raw. Individuals, celebrities and companies alike began using Instagram as a means to gain large followings. It seemed so natural then that Instagram would largely instigate the boom in the fitness industry. The environment was ripe for fitness gurus to make names for themselves since our bodies are largely our product. Instagram became the perfect fitness marketing tool, and that is precisely how you should perceive it.
From the individual's perspective, Fitness Instagram is the place to go for quick inspiration. Anytime you are at the gym and need the motivation to complete your cardio you can head over to your favorite fitness model's page and check out her lean abs. Or whenever you need the will to drive past your favorite fast food restaurant you can look at a picture of her latest bikini photo shoot. This type of motivation is great, to a degree. If you're using Fitness Instagram to remind you of your goals that's a great use of it. However, if you find yourself on the cusp of comparing your body and progress to that of a fitness model's picture, you're in dangerous territory. Therefore it's important to look at Fitness Instagram objectively and consciously separate the good from the bad... or questionable.
Workout & Food Ideas
Fitness Instagram is pretty awesome for finding exercise ideas, and food ideas. There are a plethora of workout variations that I never considered before that can spice up a stagnant routine. Likewise every now and then I see some fit food recipes that make my mouth water. In fact, I once I came across this sweet potato protein pancake recipe that was a hit around casa de Ri. So when you see cool exercises that you might be into and yummy foods go for it.
Physique Photos & Lifestyle Photos
Fitness Instagram is pretty questionable when it comes to physique photos and lifestyle photos. Therefore, comparing your physique to the images you see on the gram can be detrimental to your overall progress. If you compare your mirror selfie to a fitness guru's mirror selfie. Then you're likely comparing your picture to one that's been taken in the perfect lighting, at their best angle, at their leanest and perhaps with a dash of Photoshop. Don't do this to yourself.
Likewise, a lot of these gurus don't show their off-season physiques....ever. Nor do they show that they're human just like you. When they go through a period of depression they skip workouts and eat loads of chocolate cake too, they just don't show it.
In short, you are a real woman with real goals. Don't get caught up comparing your reality to someone's fantasy. Comparison is the thief of joy and it will rob you of the pride you should have for your progress large and small.