A Fitness Blogger Got Real About The #FitSpo Photos You See On Social Media

While it's great to have fitness goals and health-based aspirations, it's also important to remember that sometimes, even the people you look up to as #fitspo don't always look perfect.
That's why fitness blogger and psychologist Stacey Lee is getting real about what often goes into those fitness inspiration posts you see on social media.
As a psychologist, she wrote, she often works with patients on body image issues and explores how those issues can affect their self-esteem.
"Self esteem is defined as confidence in ones own worth," she explained. "However when that worth is tied to an image, a number on a scale, the size of clothes, the smoothness of skin, the smallness of a waist, the bigness of a butt, the definition on your abs, or the gap between your thighs, your worth will never me [sic] measured correctly."
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HOW DO YOU MEASURE UP? Psych Stace signing in ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ผ One of the recurrent themes I treat in my profession is body image and its effect on self esteem. Self esteem is defined as confidence in ones own worth. However when that worth is tied to an image, a number on a scale, the size of clothes, the smoothness of skin, the smallness of a waist, the bigness of a butt, the definition on your abs, or the gap between your thighs, your worth will never me measured correctly. One of the reasons behind this is that the measuring stick we use, is based on lies, manipulations and imagined ideals. We are primed to believe a certain standard of 'beauty' is the goal. We are shown images every day which are not realistic, even the small changes to photos or advertisements make a difference. They send subconscious messages saying that you aren't enough, and never will be. As soon as I stopped following accounts that used photoshop, professional images (regularly that is, shit photo shoots are fun I won't knock you for that), constant filters, and altered their images, my self esteem improved. Being able to see real women share their real bodies, which still look incredible! Gave me the confidence to work for my realistic goals, and to measure my progress on a REAL measuring stick. This image was not created to say I don't like how I look in the real photo, it's to say the opposite actually. I love the work I've put in to look like the photo on the left. The point of this image is to show that when something that is already 'good' is altered to be 'better', it teaches people that your 'real' isn't good enough. I don't want to ever perpetuate or encourage that twisted notion. So I post these photos to combat that idea and to raise awareness of the damage it can have. So, what measuring stick are you using? Psych Stace signing out ๐Ÿ’œ #trollstrollsgoawaycomeagainwhenyouhavesomethingnicetosay #keepitreal #psychstace #realityvsphotoshop #dedicated #bodytransformation #transformationtuesday #strongnotskinny #bbg #bodygoals #fitness #inspo #kaylaitsines #progressnotperfection #muscle #training #girlswholift #wellness #psychology

A post shared by Stacey Lee (@psychandsquats) on

Lee posted two side by side images of herself, one "regular" photo, and one that she says was edited to make her appear as though her arms were thinner, her thigh gap was bigger, and to give the illusion of a smaller waist.
"We are primed to believe a certain standard of 'beauty' is the goal," she wrote. "We are shown images every day which are not realistic, even the small changes to photos or advertisements make a difference. They send subconscious messages saying that you aren't enough, and never will be."
Though obviously not everyone edits and Photoshops their photos, and Lee noted that she doesn't look down upon anyone who does alter their images, she wants to be conscious of the effect that edited images can have on a person's self esteem. Plus, it isn't that she doesn't love the way she looks in the photo on the left.
"The point of this image is to show that when something that is already 'good' is altered to be 'better', it teaches people that your 'real' isn't good enough," she wrote. "I don't want to ever perpetuate or encourage that twisted notion. So I post these photos to combat that idea and to raise awareness of the damage it can have."
Lee joins a host of Instagram bloggers who have begun speaking out about the fact that what you see online doesn't always reflect reality. While there's nothing wrong with posting photos of your best angle (we all do it) or even editing your photos, it's also important to remember that everyone else is likely doing the same thing โ€” and that doesn't mean that our bodies are any less beautiful as they are.
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