When my bathing suit showed up in the mail last week I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to share how far I’ve come in my journey towards fitness and living an active, healthy life, which in turn has given me a body I’m proud of. The only way I could really think to show the change was placing a photo from a year ago next to one today. As I was finishing up my Instagram, I hesitated whether or not to share it on Facebook because there is definitely more of a filter for what’s socially acceptable in your Facebook news-feed than on your Instagram feed.
As my Instagram starting blowing up I waited for someone to like my photo on Facebook and while more time passed without any “likers,” I seriously considered taking the photo down. I felt a little bit embarrassed, wondering if maybe my transformation really wasn’t as good as I thought or that people didn’t want to be associated with a girl who puts a picture of herself in a bikini on the internet to show off. I also wondered if I sounded like I was fat-shaming and if I was going to offend anyone. Definitely not proud to admit that I lost sleep over that post.
But that’s absolutely insane. Why am I letting other peoples’ opinions bring me down or lift me up on such a large scale? Falling into the deep dark pit of determining how awesome I am based on the number of likes I get on an Insta or FB post is a legitimate problem. It was never something I put conscious thought into at first but then I began to compare myself… if this girl has only this many likes on her profile picture and I have three times the amount I must be prettier. And that’s absurd…because who cares?!
The funny part about all of this is that I used to be the most insecure person I knew and that has really changed in the last year. Of course I have moments where I feel less than adequate in many categories, but that’s okay. Social media has made me feel less secure in a lot of instances. The solution here isn’t to stop using social media tho, because let’s be real I’m a blogger and I’m gaining more followers and having more popular posts and that’s so cool! The ability to get my opinion out there and talk about the things I’ve learned and things I’ve done with people who actually are interested in what I have to share is an awesome feeling especially coming from a blog where my original intention was to sell Avon online. I just have to remember to keep myself in check when it comes to not getting the desired number of “likes” or looking less than perfect in a picture.
Let’s back up for a second though because I bet you’re wondering, if it doesn’t matter what people think of me, why did I post that picture? Let me tell you. I did it because I’m proud of my accomplishment. That transformation was a big deal to me. I have always had a tendency to set goals so high that I can never reach them and I have been working so hard for years to get in shape – and I did it!! That is something to celebrate and I genuinely wanted to share that with my friends and family as much as I did the day I graduated from college. Health is important to me, I’m working towards obtaining my credentials of R.D. and eating well and being in shape is part of who I am and who I want to be, I’m at my best when I’m taking care of myself by eating good foods and working out. And I think if you’re proud of your body you should show it off! I used to be a lot more focused on modesty and a statement like that would have offended the tiny little close-minded girl who graduated high school five years ago, but I’m a lot more relaxed post bachelors degree. I think college does that to some people.
I don’t mean show your body off so that you become the object of an inappropriate someone’s desire though, just so you feel good. And I want to stress that that is in no way me fat-shaming or saying that I am better because I lost weight and got in shape. I love all people and to help others be the best, happiest versions of themselves they can be is what I’m all about. Through healthy eating and exercise and any bit of my crazy past I can share to give someone a laugh or feel better for even a few minutes just because they are truly not alone. I think that is our duty as people – to be the best we can be and for me, I am my best when I can run around in a bikini during the summer feeling confident in my body and as the person I’ve fought so hard to become.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” Just let that quote simmer for a hot second. I want to have goals and role models but comparing myself to someone else has never turned out to leave me feeling positive unless it’s putting someone else down and eventually I think that’s worse. I don’t want to get bogged down by who liked what. I’m just going to do me, the absolute best version of me that I can and work hard every day to not let any other person’s negative opinion or lack-there-of cause me grief. Cause at the end of the day, the social media show we put on isn’t the one that really counts and our happiness should never dwell there.