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The Struggle of Social Media and Body Image

How Do I Stop Hating My Reflection?

Be honest.

How many times did you look at social media today and compare yourself to someone else’s body?

In my world of fitness and personal training, there is zero shortage of people with impressive physiques. These days, however, it seems like everyone is supposed to have a rock hard body. Everyone from the dog groomer, the bagger at the grocery store, the dentist; hell, even the friggin’ janitor needs to look jacked or bootylicious! What gives?!

You see, as many of you already know, we live in this distorted world that is *enter spooky music* SOCIAL MEDIAAAAAA. Where we all go to either (majority of the time) scream at total strangers about politics, watch random videos, but most importantly, look at smexy (not a type-o) people.

Oh yes. The smexy ass, people. They-are-EVERYWHERE. I mean, really! You can’t log into TikTok without instantly seeing a woman jumping up and down in a wet t-shirt, or some dude oiled up while mowing the lawn! CAN WE ALL GET BREAK?! DANG!!

*Speaks to self.* Alright, alright, Chase. Settle down.

I’m willing to bet some of you reading this blog probably grew up without social media. Perhaps, even lived nearly your entire life without it. Once upon a time, if you wanted to see men and women with great physiques, you had to watch a certain television show (before the days of Netflix & Tivo), or buy a specific magazine. In other words, you kind of had to put in effort to see those bodies. And let’s be honest. Every single one of you who didn’t grow up with social media still felt self-conscious about the way your body looked long before the days of Instagram. I’m sure every one of you can point to a picture, or magazine article, or actor/actress you saw that made you go back to your room, stare at yourself, and think, “Gross.”

We all know what eventually happened. Those same images can now be easily accessed 24/7. It’s all readily available at the tip of a finger. 

Is there any wonder why self-image and body dysmorphia is at an all-time high? Folks, I know it might be easy for you to say, “Kids are so soft these days.” But again, most of you probably didn’t grow up with Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. Where images of portrayed perfection are constantly thrown at young people’s faces every friggin’ day of their lives! Not just theirs, though. Yours too and you’re an adult! Believe me when I say I’ve been impacted by it too! 

As a matter of fact, I had to unfollow various fitness figures because I was comparing myself waaaay too much to their physiques! It was wearing me down. How could I possibly appreciate myself if I’m constantly criticizing myself? How can ANYONE???

So how do we “fix” this problem? How do we ensure a lesser likelihood of comparing our bodies to other people online? All while appreciating the image we see in the mirror more often as opposed to hating it? There isn’t one, universal answer to this. So, I’ll tell you what I say to my own clients.

Perfection is a myth. If you try to attain it, you’ll never be happy. 

Folks, allow me to let you in on a little secret. I grew up in show business. I’ve been a personal trainer for nearly a decade. People with stunning physiques are often the most body self-conscious individuals out there. Despite most of the world seeing them as “perfect,” they often have trouble finding happiness within themselves due to a constant pursuit of a flawless physique. (Amongst many other personal struggles…) 

Does that mean there aren’t any fitness models, influencers, or entertainers who are happy with themselves? Of course not. However, there are sooo many who just like you, have trouble being okay with themselves! It may sound crazy to you, but everyone struggles with body image.

On that note, here are a few suggestions of how to reshape the way you view your body.

1. Mute or unfollow certain social media accounts

Let’s be real. Limiting the amount of time you spend on social media is a tall order for most people. So instead of me just saying “delete your apps,” my compromise would be to mute or unfollow certain accounts that cause you to obsess over your appearance. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this makes in your daily thought process.

2. Do follow body positive social media accounts

You can find a number of personal definitions of “body positive” from people across the internet. To me, “body positive” means encouraging others to live a healthier, sustainable lifestyle, while making sure to take the time to appreciate themselves. 

If you are going to follow a fit person on social media, the guy or chick with 90+% selfies of them half naked probably isn’t the person you want to follow. However, the certified personal trainer or influencer who encourages you weekly, opens up about their own struggles, and posts factual fitness related content, is definitely someone you want to follow! People like John David Glaude (@obese_to_beast), Jordan Syatt (@syattfitness), Sierra Nielsen (@sierranielsen), Sohee Lee (@soheefit), and Chase Oliver (@chasethetrainer), are a few good places to start!

3. Teach yourself to appreciate yourself more!

Man oh man. This could be applied to soooo many aspects of your life. In regards to how you view your own personal appearance, what does this mean?

I’ll answer that with a question. How often do you focus on the “negative” things about the way you look as opposed to the “positive” things about the way you look? I’m willing to bet it’s around 70/30 or 80/20. Meaning most of the time you’re probably self-deprecating rather than uplifting yourself! 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a major problem.

In order to change this viewpoint, you have to make a conscientious decision to speak more highly about yourself. Yes, I am telling you to literally or figuratively pat yourself on the back! The next time you look in the mirror, say something nice about the way you look out loud. I’m serious! Try it! You’ll probably feel weird about it because you almost never say anything positive! In order to change your attitude, you’ve got to put in effort to lead your thoughts with positive thinking!

And look, folks. Contrary to what others may say, it’s totally okay to want to change your appearance. However, it is imperative for you to train your mind to stray away from the tendency to break yourself down!

If you haven’t heard anyone say this, please take what I have to say to heart: 

You are significant! You are extraordinary! Don’t for one moment believe you aren’t special in your own right! Everybody struggles with their appearance. It’s normal! The key (again) is to work towards altering your way of self-reflection! 

It may sound silly to you, but just like working a muscle group to make it stronger, you have to work at filling your head with positive thoughts about yourself! One repetition at a time!

The bottom line is this!

If you’ve been going for walks recently after weeks, months, or years of hardly any exercise? You’re doing GREAT!

If you recently lost 5 lbs and your clothing feels looser? You’re doing GREAT!

If you just started going to the gym for the first time despite feeling a little awkward? You’re doing GREAT!

If you’ve struggled with body image for years and years, and have started to appreciate who you are more despite the struggle? You’re doing FANTASTIC!

No matter what your fitness goal is or how you want to look, never forget to take a moment out of your day to appreciate yourself! 

If you’d like to work with a personal trainer who can help guide you on your journey, shoot me a message! My fitness studio is located in Las Vegas in the Spring Valley/Summerlin area. Don’t live nearby? I also have online training options.

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