Last spring, I decided to create a "Fit-stagram". An account that I would exclusively dedicate to healthy eating, exercise and mental health.
The first picture I ever posted onto my account was one of me eating a donut. I promised that it would not be the last, as I was never trying to create a perfect image of myself. I was never trying to make this my reset button. I was acknowledging the need for balance and the need to share my story. The need for more greens in my diet, but also the need for donuts.
Switching out the treadmill for some ~fresh air~
In the beginning, I followed about 15 of my close friends, unsure of what I wanted this account to become. Today, I have 104 followers and more support from people than I ever thought I would have. Whether it's sharing a new recipe or non-scale victory, the amount of support I receive from the people in my life, has really changed everything for me. It keeps me accountable, it makes me excited about fueling my body with good things, and I've been told that my account has inspired others to progress on their own fitness journey.
With New Years coming up, a lot of people will be "starting over". There will be many clean-slate Mondays and Sunday Scaries. I think that it's important to begin your journey, but equally important to realize that you never really stopped. The failing, the bad weigh-ins, too many Christmas cookies, they all have to be apart of it. We learn from these things and I promise that one more glass of eggnog is not going to kill you. You will not gain all of the weight back. You will not spiral.
Buying a smaller size in jeans this past summer!
Creating this Instagram account has allowed me to live in this head-space, where I crave fresh fruit and vegetables, where I switch out my medium iced caramel swirl for green tea, where I love myself through imperfect moments.
Deciding to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and to keep going, is not something that I gained from Instagram likes, but is something that I gained from loving myself. It's something that I gained from a community of people who love me and support me, who care if I reached my step goal, who care what I cooked for dinner, and who will still love me and support me even if I didn't meal prep that week.
Life is busy and can not be measured in how many times a week I post on Instagram. But I will say that especially in those busy moments, when I haven't posted, when I feel a little lost, looking back at the posts I've made definitely remind me of how far I've come. It reminds me of the good choices I've been making along the way and that the "small" things definitely add up. (And that I should probably make that couscous dish again sometime soon....)
I call this recipe: "That couscous dish"
Managing this account does not make me a fitness guru by any means. I'm always learning new things and am trying to share them with my friends and followers. None of us can do this alone and we shouldn't have to. I've been learning the power of numbers - no matter how big or small.
Modifying meals at certain restaurants (I will never give up Blaze Pizza), staying strong in social situations, and learning to enjoy myself in a way that is not dependent on food - are just some of the many victories this account has led me to. It has emphasized the importance of balance and community and that life can not be quantified by calories.
Go forth, collegiates, and don't be afraid to start a Fitsta of your own! Don't wait for Monday, and decide to be your own inspiration today.
...And while you're at it, feel free to follow @flangetsfit on Instagram!
Cover Image Source: @Flangetsfit_