Fitness Selfies – Inspirational Or Just Depressing?

In the last few years there seems to have been an explosion in the use of fitness-selfies (or gym-selfies). Looking online there are millions of pictures of healthy, muscular and toned individuals (of all ages) who are happy to post their pictures of themselves in their gym gear on social media sites, particularly on Instagram or Pinterest. The prevalence of smart phones means it’s a piece of cake to snap and post in an instant. Of course many of these people are happy to post their pictures because they’ve achieved a toned and muscular physique – a body to be proud of. The idea behind some of these fitness-selfies is no doubt to brag, but in fact for many it’s to act as inspiration. If I can achieve this, you can too.

I have to say I’ve come across a few of these gym selfies online and actually felt slightly more inspired to work that little bit harder in the gym. Is there just something about looking at pictures of people who look  like regular folks, but who clearly have achieved great physiques, quite inspirational? Or do they harm or dent our own self-esteem? Do they inspire others or just discourage us?

Certain psychologists say that these fitness selfies can actually harm those with low self-esteem or low self-image issues. There’s also the view that some people posting these selfies may themselves be becoming obsessed with their self-image, never quite happy with how they look and always striving for perfection. This in itself can of course be equally harmful.

There is no doubt that self-photos are useful when it comes to fitness. Personal trainers regularly take photos of clients as they progress throughout their fitness program. Week 1, Week 6, Week 12 and so on. But the reason they take these pictures is that most of us don’t notice changes to our own bodies on a day to day basis. We don’t notice gradual changes in our bodies. It’s only when we look over photos (side by side) that we can see how far we’ve come. Think of it as a log of your progress.

So what’s your thoughts on this. Have you ever taken a fitness selfie? Are these fitness-selfies you see online, images that inspire you to get in shape or do they simply put you off? Do they motivate you to want to get fit or do they make you feel slightly depressed? I want to hear your views.

5 thoughts on “Fitness Selfies – Inspirational Or Just Depressing?

  1. Honestly, it really depends. I take pictures every week for progress but post maybe 1 every other month, and there are no abs to behold, but there is certainly progress. I follow MANY Instagram accounts however and there are some of these extremely fit individuals who post selfies once or twice a day! They are already at their top shape, but I do get the impression that they must post one everyday now and justify it with an ‘inspirational’ message…no doubt about being proud of your progress and to keep going. I am more impressed by progress…but by no means am I always inspired by you smiling and flexing…that is your body, but by no means am I inspired by abs with implant boobs in an outfit given to you free by your ‘sponsors’. I say all in all, if you’re choosing images to inspire you, do a little digging about the person you choose to look at before you want to be inspired by them. Beauty is only skin deep…and it’s character, not body that lasts forever.

  2. To be honest, gym selfies don’t motivate me nor do they make me depressed. I don’t look at other people’s achievements, I look at my own. When I see that exact body I want to achieve, I go woah, I wanna look like that! But it doesn’t really motivate me. The thought of being stronger, healthier and tougher motivates me!

  3. I take photos to notice those changes you wrote about. It’s really helpful and this really is motivating. As far as others’ selfies are concerned, I sometimes even look for them on Instagram to find motivation. I used to set some of them as wallpapers on my mobile. I found them helpful, but I’m sure some other people don’t.

  4. For a person posting the photos to measure their progress and remind themselves what they have done, can do, and can continue, I’m all for it.There’s a beholder principle at work here, I’m sure.

    As for inspiring others, it is hard for onlookers to know how people they don’t know arrived at the physique depicted, i.e. is it natural, boosted, or some hybrid? Sometimes the “selfie” comes off as something a person does because no one is around to take the shot for them. There’s a lonely aspect to that, however, may in appearance only.

  5. I have been looking for different fitness blogs to follow and I love this one! Not only do you give great workout advice, but the post about “Fitness Selfies” has me both cracking up and actually thinking. Some of my Instagram followers post their fitness journeys and some days I am motivated by them… while others, I’m annoyed. One post every once in awhile isn’t too bad but when people post selfies at the gym 10 times in a row.. it gets a bit excessive! For the most part… I think people should use their “selfies” as SELF motivation.

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