Be Your Own Fitspo

Type in fitspo, short for Fitness Inspiration, on Google and you’re catapulted into millions of tanned & toned images. Just like us, fitspo comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s your favorite trainers, beachy babes, runway models, Olympic athletes, zen yogis, balanced Insta-personalities, and even… yourself.  I said it, sister. YOU are your best fitspo.

Before we begin, I’m not here to knock fitspo. In fact, it’s a major part of my life! When I began my Fitness Journey, I decided – after much internal debate – to create an Instagram account that would document my personal experience with adopting a healthy lifestyle. What I found was much more than an endless grid of hashtag fitspo photos. I found motivation, encouragement, support, education, and friendship – and I truly believe it had a major impact on my success (where I define success as committing to and sustaining a major lifestyle change).

But, I am here to encourage a healthy relationship with fitspo. that My girl KP wrote an awesome piece on the comparison game, and I’ll let her take it away – read it here. You see, everybody – literally, every body – is different. From physical attributes like height and composition and beyond, like personal goals and motivations. My point? Do not confuse fitness inspiration with attainable results. I admittedly went through a fleeting phase where I thought if I ate kale for a month I would look like Gigi Hadid. Okay. Well, I am 5’2” (did you know that?), short-limbed, pale as all hell, and also hungry (you definitely knew that). Move over Gigi, I’m my own fitspo now!

Engagment in fitspo is positive when:

  1.  It connects you to like-minded individuals
  2.  It promotes total wellness (mental, physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing)
  3.  Your inspiration and motivation is first and foremost self-driven
  4.  It’s encouraging, accepting, and uplifting
  5.  You feel comfortable being fully transparent about your personal successes and challenges

Engagement in fitspo may become negative when:

  1. You constantly measure your progress against others
  2. It focuses solely on aesthetic qualities and attempts to define a beauty standard
  3. You feel guilty or anxious over your specific habits or lifestyle choices
  4. It takes on a negative or shaming tone
  5. Your goals and motivations are driven by others

Channel your inner bad ass role model and connect with your inner glowing goddess with these simple tips:

Measure Your Progress: Before you go any further, I’ll clarify. Measure your OWN progress. Click here for a blog all about progress and my favorite ways to track it. Guess what? Not one involves a scale 🙂 I’m most inspired by myself when I notice progress in weight training, whether it’s going up in weight (ya girl finally squatted her plate!) or going up in reps. It’s so very rewarding. Let’s hear it for the #NonScaleVictories

Playlist: Power up the wireless headphones and let a new beat push you out of your comfort zone. When Beyoncé tells you to “get in formation,” go for the extra rep. For me, exercising is a cathartic and therapeutic activity, and music helps me to draw on those emotions. Yes, I’m telling you I’ve cried uncontrollably to Taylor Swift’s Out of the Woods on the treadmill.

Weight Training (Females Are Strong As Hell edition):
Pass That Dutch – Missy Elliott
Partition – Beyoncé
No Scrubs – TLC
Desperado – Rihanna
7/11 – Beyoncé
Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott
Feeling Myself – Nicki Minaj
Needed Me – Rihanna
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
Survivor – Destiny’s Child

Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
Run the World (Girls) – Beyoncé
Good For You – Selena Gomez
Side to Side (feat. Nicki Minaj) – Ariana Grande
Green Light – Lorde
My Body – Young the Giant
Drunk in Love – Beyoncé
Sleepyhead – Passion Pit
Dancing On My Own – Robyn
I Love It – Icona Pop

Yoga (from power flow to savasana):
Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap
Take My Picture – Filter
Holiest – Glass Animals
Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
Breathe Me – Sia
Halo – Beyoncé
How Far I’ll Go – Alessia 😉
Soul Meets Body – Death Cab for Cutie
Calgary – Bon Iver
Razzle Dazzle Rose – Camera Obscura

Apparel: From motivational graphic tees to photo worthy athleisure combos, an outfit can set the tone for a killer workout. I reserve a tank that reads “Don’t wish for it, work for it” for days when I’m crawling out of bed. It’s a simple reminder that I am in control of achieving my goals, and it really works.

Psst: I am obsessed with these Refocus Bands from La Clé!

Affirm: I guarantee that if you post a selfie on the ‘gram, comments will start flooding in about how gorgeous you are (and its true, you are). Support and acknowledgment from your peers can be a fab motivating factor, but it does not define you. I encourage you to empower yourself through positive affirmations. Build yourself up. Tell yourself how gorgeous (and strong and fast and smart) you are. Tell yourself you can do what you set your mind to. Stop negative thoughts in their tracks and correct them. I challenge you to start each morning with a positive affirmation. Being kind to yourself will become a habit, and it will make all the difference.

Journal: Whether you have an open platform on Instagram like me or a private notebook (also like me), documenting your journey is an amazing way reflect with clarity and honesty. In my previous attempts adjust my lifestyle, I can pinpoint dishonesty as the determining factor that held me back, left me frustrated, and ultimately lead to my defeat. I had myself convinced that I was taking care of myself when, if I had documentation to look back on, I would see a clear pattern that would surely prove otherwise. Using a journal to reflect is an excellent tool to both acknowledge room for improvement and set goals accordingly, and to see how far you have come and how your habits have changed.

3 thoughts on “Be Your Own Fitspo

  1. Alex, thank you for this post! I love the “be your own fitspo” mindset and appreciate how you break down how we engage with fitspo. Everything about this is relatable and important to keep in mind at any point of our journey. And thank you for the playlist recs- I’m about to use your cardio playlist on my run! Keep it up, girl!

  2. Pingback: 10K Top 10

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