Sometime in the past few years, the term “fitness influencer” became thing. These are typically people who may or may not be certified trainers or registered dietitians, who have amassed many thousands if not millions of followers on various social media channels, and who likely hawk their version of a fitness app, nutrition/fitness guide or workout method. They impress us with their chiseled bodies, always-on positive attitudes, never miss a workout discipline and artful morning smoothie bowls.
Procrastination and avoidance is something I'm really good at. I prefer to put things off until tomorrow or until a more opportune time. It will NEVER be the perfect time, so why not start now!? If I have a goal then I have to commit myself to it by actually STARTING and not putting it off. Tomorrow becomes the next day and the next day becomes next week and before I know it a year has passed! Making changes usually takes me out of my comfort zone. It's hard to do things that don't provide me with instant pleasure. That's why I feel one of the reasons why we give up on things is because we don't see or feel instant results or gratification. Getting out of our comfort zone is always the first step once we determine what it is we want. By postponing things we're only delaying facing them to a later time, but it might be harder to face then. Knocking things off now prevents the stress of having an accumulation of things we have to do. We may think that procrastination is harmless but a lot of the time it's not. Putting things off creates higher levels of stress and sends all those stress hormones soaring through our body, making us feel exhausted and we're more susceptible to illness when in a stressed state. If I feel like giving up I always ask myself: How bad do I want it? Will I be happy if I don't try to achieve it? What am I willing to do to achieve it? Am I happy with the way I am right now, or do I want more for myself? I either learn to accept myself and be happy with myself the way I currently am or I get out of my comfort zone and start making changes. It's about making a choice, taking action and committing to it. There are things in life we simply can't control but there are plenty of things we can. I choose to be my best and I'm going to keep going with living a healthy, active and positive life so I can maintain feeling my best. Just ask yourself: "What do I REALLY want and how bad do I want it?" X Em. . . ________________________________________ 🏋🏽 My Meals & Exercise Programs: www.emilyskye.com/program . .🎥 Workout vids: @emilyskyefitness . 👻 Snap chat: emilyskyefit 👻 . .
Some offer such unique fitness inspiration, accessible expertise and fun wellness engagement that their loyal followers develop healthier habits and even make dramatic, long-lasting wellness transformations. This is definitely not a bad thing.
However, there’s a darker side to some influencers. These are the ones who hang their hat on maintaining and promoting an unrealistic body image, unsustainable (read: unhealthy) diet and an image so perfectly and unrealistically curated that even the most self-confident person can start to feel like a lazy, out of shape piece of crap. These influencers are more focused on their own growing celebrity, follower base and lucrative brand partnerships than on providing solid advice. And many don’t actually have the expertise or training to safely guide their fans’ health and fitness decisions.
To be fair, there are plenty of influencers who stay away from the dark side: they portray an inspiring yet realistic image and lifestyle, yet have the expertise to back up their advice and work hard to develop an honest, supportive community of like-minded followers.
But it can be tough to discern who’s legit and who’s just obsessed with their own abs and follower count.
So here’s a thought … what about the everyday fitness influencers who are a part of your real (versus online), life? You know, the ones you can actually talk to without going through a PR rep or submitting a never-to-be-answered comment on their Instagram?
Lately I’ve realized that I have so many people like this in my life. They inspire me to push myself and try new things. And better yet, we can exchange advice and (reliable) resources, chat about our obstacles and share our successes. All without having to buy a $69.99 workout guide or subscribing to their YouTube channel (although if they had one, I’d follow).
Here are just a few examples from the past month:
- My sister took her love of climbing to the next level by meeting up with a new group of kick-ass climbers who introduced her to the first pitch of El Capitan in Yosemite. Wow, she rocks. I can’t wait to chat with her about the experience, how she faced any doubts/fear, and what she learned.
- A friend who visited us in Big Sky achieved a marathon personal best the weekend before. So cool. Not only did he inspire me to look into doing a half marathon this summer as part of my fitness spring cleaning, he was a great source of advice and information (and I hope he won’t mind if I bug him for more later). And because I know he’s a super smart guy and has already run several marathons, I trust his advice.
- This same friend and his wife are also great skiers/snowboarders. They started doing more ski touring this season, and we all had a good time sharing tips on gear, safety and touring routes in Montana and Northern CA. They even gifted Tim and I a book of all the famous Big Sky routes. Their stories and pictures motivate me to want to get out there, improve my skinning/touring techniques and learn more about avalanche safety.
- Yet another visitor this past weekend talked about how much a regular yoga practice helped him to focus and cope with stress while studying for an important test (just his medical boards … NBD). We chatted about all the physical and mental benefits we’ve experienced with yoga, and that conversation sparked motivation to schedule a few yoga classes this week.
In addition to these recent examples, I can think about so many other friends and acquaintances who are an incredible source of fitness inspiration. My group of fiercely competitive yet super fun tennis friends. A former colleague who decided to become a Dailey Method instructor on the side. A new friend who’s training for a triathlon. My Dad who upon getting a Fitbit now walks for miles on the weekends. The list goes on and on.
I’m not saying that fit friends and family replace coaches and counselors like trainers and nutritionists, but they will probably offer you more good vibes and support than the bikini-clad model/yogi doing contortionist poses on the beach while hash tagging Buddha quotes.
So the next time you find yourself looking for inspiration, try looking in your own small world. Chances are, there are people in your life who are sources of big motivation and reliable information. Plus, they’re a lot more likely to meet you for brunch than that Instagram star with 1.5 million followers.