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.