A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fitspiration!! What is YOUR opinion? I'll tell you mine!

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**Note: The blogs I read were swarming with posts about this topic yesterday. I purposefully wrote this blog before I read the other posts. The reason was, I wanted to write my true opinion on the topic before I started reading other opinions. I can be easily swayed...**

The picture above inspired my blog post today. This Fit Momma (Maria Kang) got a lot of flack when she posted this picture of herself on her Facebook page. Many people said she was fat shaming. You can watch her appearance on the Today Show here and decide for yourself!

Pictures like this are called "Fitspiration". Funny story. I asked my husband if he knew what Fitspiration was and he said, "No, but it sounds horrible." Haha! Anyway, Fitspiration (or Fitspo for short!) is messages or images that are supposed to inspire one to exercise or be fit. It stems from "Thinspiration"... You know, those pictures of super skinny girls that are supposed to motivate you to not eat!

Fitspo can feature simply an image of a model 
with a bangin' fit bod!

Some Fitspo images have a message attached...

And there is the whole "No Excuses!" campaign.
That's where the Fit Mamma comes in!

Logic would assume that THINspiration is bad- because being super skinny is not healthy. But being FIT and EXERCISING is healthy. So what's wrong with Fitspo? Why is it getting so much hate? Well, a lot of the Fitspo images feature fitness models whose physiques are unattainable for the average person. So, for some people, the image produces positive feelings about exercise and eating healthy. In others, (for any number of reasons) the image conjures up negative feelings.

I think I am going to be in the minority when I say Fitspo actually DOES inspire me. Pictures of super skinny girls posing in bathing suits do not inspire me. But a picture like this...

 ...makes me want to KILL IT at the gym!!!
To me, this picture does NOT say,
"You SHOULD look like this."
It does not say, "You are worthless if you don't look like her."
To me, the image says "Wow! She is working really hard. She looks really strong.
 I am excited to work hard and be strong."

But, that is what the image says to me. To someone else, it could easily say something completely negative. That doesn't make me right and the other person wrong. It just IS. We can't help how a picture makes us feel.

I think the reason Fitspo does not bother me is because I am deciding what is MY Fitspo. If it makes me feel positive and motivated, it's my Fitspo.

 There are a lot of images out there that motivate me and a lot that don't. I guess the key is that I am not letting the images tell ME what I should look like or aim to achieve. I am deciding that on my own!

For instance...

Not Fitspo to me. I am working on building muscle,
so this picture is not what I'm working toward.
(I'm not bashing her body. It's just not the body I am looking for.)

Not Fitspo to me.
It's more of the message I have a problem with in this picture.
It just doesn't conjure up positive feelings in me.
And her legs look Photoshopped.

I like this picture! It does motivate me!
She looks fast and lean. It makes me feel like running.
The only ridiculous thing is the cleavage poking out of her sports bra.

So in conclusion, the reason I don't mind Fitspo is because my definition of Fitspo is what makes ME feel good when I see it. If something makes me feel negative, it really isn't Fitspiration to me. And I should just ignore it!

I'm not letting someone else tell me what I should strive for. I am determining that on my own.

Does that makes sense?

Oh by the way, please don't think I search the internet for pictures of muscular women and hang them on my refrigerator or make a dream board out of them. Obviously I searched the internet for the images I used in this blog, but normally pictures like this just show up in my Facebook news feed or in the blogs I read. It would be easy to avoid these images if I wanted to. I'd just hide the person posting them or discontinue reading the blog!

Oh, and as for the Fit "What's your excuse?" Momma? Well, I think her heart was in the right place. I think she did want to motivate women. I don't think she meant to say "You should look like this" or "You're lazy if you don't look like me". But I think that's what some people say to themselves when they see that picture. And that's sad! Because you need not look like that woman to be fit and healthy. She is indeed beautiful, and she surely worked hard for the body she has. But she is not the definition of beautiful.

Also, what is the difference between Maria Kang's "What's your excuse?" picture and the other ones? You've got double amputees running marathons, 72 year olds lifting weights... No one is mad when it says "What's your excuse?" under their pictures!

One more thing... and I must mention I am adding this part AFTER reading a few blogs on the Maria Kang topic. Many people are commenting that it rubs them the wrong way that she is posting pictures of herself and posing proudly. But what is wrong with being proud of hard work?? Are we to wish her to be uncomfortable in her body? I felt that way for way too many years- I wouldn't wish that one anyone. If she is proud and feels good, then good for her!!! She posted the picture on her Facebook page. We all brag on Facebook about our accomplishments! That's what 70% of Facebook is. (The other 30% is pictures of food, pictures of kids, and Buzzfeed links.)

If you don't like her picture, ignore it. Find something else that inspires you!!

Maybe it's this...

or maybe it's this...

or this...



Whatever! Surround yourself with positive motivation that works for YOU!

By the way, I am sure you are sick to DEATH of this topic right now, but before you call it quits reading about this Maria Kang business, here is a hilarious post with some funny "excuses". I didn't read the blog yet... I just looked at a few of the pics and I was rolling!

Please leave your comments. What do YOU think of Fitspo? Is it healthy or harmful??

Is all Fitspo created equal?

What sort of images DO motivate you to work hard??


  1. Hi Megan,

    I got a ping back on your post, and I'm glad you liked the pictures - even though you didn't read the post, you got the joke (and some people couldn't see it even after reading it too). The internet is a funny, polarized place, and this issue seemed no different.

    Although I can understand why people might be upset about the picture, it didn't have the effect on me. I'm not sure she should have needed to issue the appology that she did, but that was the only thing I thought wasn't handled in the best way possible (again, just my opinion). I said in my post that I actually think she should be proud of having achieved the level of physical fitness that she has, and I think it's not unattainable for women after childbirth.

    The point though, aside from making people laugh (I'm a humorist at heart), is that I want more women to be okay with where they are (certainly part of that is taking ownership of your achievements as well as shortcomings)...and although I'm at a healthy BMI, low cholesterol, low blood pressure, I do not make enough time for regular fitness....oh, and as I showed in my pictures, I have a terrible habit of eating cookies in bed. But I own that, and so do the other bloggers in the post.

    I wish you luck on your fitness journey! For now, I'm more of the type to be cheering on my friends from the sidelines :)

    1. Hey girl! I most definitely got the joke. :) And I did read your post but I waited until after I posted mine. I just wanted to make sure I had my own thoughts out before I started reading more. I'll definitely be reading some more of your blog! Ps. I enjoy eating cookies (usually on the couch!) too... and I think anyone who says they don't is lying!!!! :) :) :)

  2. If you noticed, your inspirational pictures were action shots, not women posing for people to covet their bodies. The good shots had intensity and were most likely taken by photographers. I think the skinny ladies have major self-esteem issues, which is why they may likely want to invoke jealousy in their audience by posting pictures so that people will comment (or just think) "I wish I looked like you!" Not healthy! I like the fit photos too, because they DO make you want to kick ass. The selfies make me want to kick them in the face. ;) Anyway, as far as Fitspiration, I looked at the site. Mostly looks like sport porn to me. Lots of done-up hair and make-up, showy-offy selfies, it's mostly young women, and the photos lack what I think most people have - your "ugly" workout clothes! :) Not for me, but I suppose it works for some people!
    :) Amanda

  3. Also, have you read her blog? I like it.

  4. Good point, Amanda about the "action" aspect of it. Because really, I do enjoy the hard work. I enjoy ascetic results from my training as well (not gonna lie), but I genuinely enjoy working out, endorphins, feeling strong, etc. I have not read Maria Kang's blog but I bookmarked it in my "blog" folder now, so thanks for sharing the link!

    1. I haven't read Maria Kang's blog either. The one I posted is a lady I follow on wordpress who talks about feminism and working out and is pretty cool. She also had a post about MK's silly picture, so I thought of you :)
      Endorphins are delicious! I haven't had any in awhile (shaaaaaaame!) but I want to get a membership to the Y soon. I only walk these days - only about 30min a day :( I used to walk all the way to work, and before that, I rode my bike to work. When it was stolen that's when I walked. Then cold weather came + no transportation (car is dead too), and it really allllll comes down to how I have no extra money (literally) from my paychecks. There has been much cheap carb meal consumption...
      Starting a tutoring job next week though, which will give me a few extra spending dollars so that I can work out! (the 3 days a week I'm NOT busy doing evening activities)
      Sorry, this is off-topic, but are you singing with any choruses?

  5. No unfortunately I am not singing with any choruses right now. I really miss it though. I haven't used my "adult" singing voice in quite a long time. I have to sing with kids all day. I remember when your bike got stolen! That is horrible. I would love to ride my bike to work. I would need a better bike, gear, and a shower at work though!

  6. Great post with a sound message and inspiring images. Keep up the good work:)

  7. Hey! to me, fitspiration is awesome.. it's true though that i don't like some of the pictures/phrases i come across, but it's just about what you said and i skip on those because they mean nothing to me