Did you know we spend an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on social media?
I am sure you are all familiar of aimlessly scrolling through stories and seeing highlights of people’s lives, home schooling, workouts, fakeaways, dinner inspo, home gyms, working from home set ups, long country walks and those celebrity images that just seem to have life so wrapped up. You know the ones… never a messy house, their perfect metabolism, and their post workout selfie looking so flawless - did they even break a sweat?
How do they only do 10 minutes of exercise per day and look that good?
Yet they are living it up in Dubai, drinking sugary cocktails round the pool, sipping champagne in the high-rise buildings, and eating out in luxury restaurants most nights. No, we aren’t blasting them for the holiday lifestyle right now, but, the unrealistic expectation they give us all with their body image.
Exhibit A - Alexandra Cain.
A gorgeous, curvy girl, who found fame on Love Island. A healthy size 12, who most women could really relate to, she had cellulite, lumps and bumps and was HAPPY.
Until, 2020 hit and she started the “happy body project” size 12 quickly became size 10, then 8 then 6. With the daily updates of healthy-looking meals, 10-minute workouts daily and she managed to get to that size…
What she didn’t show you, she was living off 500 calories a day, exercising 2-3 times a day and becoming obsessed with exercise to burn calories. She lost her periods.
Yes you read that correctly.
Her body stopped creating hormones that made her female, she stopped having a monthly cycle to look like that.
Yet hundreds of women all looked at her “ transformation “and saw that with only 10 minute workouts on her brand new app, they too could look like her.
In my own professional opinion, it angers me that it’s taken 18 months since these photos were released, for her to come out and say now she was completely obsessed with exercise, injured from over doing her high intensity training, malnourished and completely out of control.
She had lost her way from wanting to feel good in her own skin, to becoming someone with suck low body fat, that she became depressed, battled insomnia, had lost her menstrual cycle and was starving.
This is what those 2 hours and 24 mins a day does not show you.
You see, the before and after pictures that are posted, are mind games to sell you a quick fix, a training plan, or a tailored approach, to making you look just like that celeb.
But, the reality is, we must understand the things that we do not see and look at the bigger picture. We need to see the things that they don’t share and the elements of a transformation, that are quite honestly so unhealthy they can’t show you.
Exhibit B - Yasmin Oukhellou from Towie.
Another gorgeous curvy figure. Healthy and active but with “stubborn” mid-section fat “that no exercise could ever shift”.
This one makes my blood boil.
Look at her, absolutely stunning. An inspiration to women to train regularly and live life to their best life.
I’m sure most women will join me in saying they would kill to look like her.
But then… she goes and does this…
Liposuction and BBL. A surgical procedure which includes taking fat deposits away from “stubborn areas” and placing it into others.
Welcome to the world of fake bottoms and the unachievable flat stomach – the huge rear body shape that seems to be gracing our screens at the moment.
Yasmin has stubborn fat, because women hold more fat generally than men. Especially around our middle.
In simple terms, due to protecting our reproductive hormones and allowing us to safely carry a child, our lower abdominal area is actually our uterus, an area to grow a foetus.
This naturally expands around your time of the month, when our uterus swells due to preparing a safe space to grow a human being.
So you are effectively removing protective fat tissue from your abdomen, and putting it somewhere else, purely for aesthetics.
Many women, won’t even realise what they are doing scientifically, as will be focused on the visual outcome.
A big bum is the new ‘in look’.
Please understand, to grow a muscle, there is no amount of hip thrusts, glute kickbacks or bridges, that are going to grow the booty unless you apply the following principles…
- Consistent, overload training
- Using heavier weights to strengthen and grow the muscle
- Eating in a calorie surplus to increase overall body weight and energy needed to grow a muscle and create “gains” like the bums we see all over Instagram
Ladies, I hate to say it, but, it’s either you want to be smaller or you want to be bigger. There is no magic workout plan or diet that ensures that we can become smaller round our waist, but bigger on our bums.
Unless you choose to pay to have this body made for you...
It’s simple as that (sorry to tell you, all those programmes you’ve paid for, were probably marketed by a girl who was genetically blessed with a great natural booty from her mumma, who’s fat deposit was naturally higher in the glute region)
Let’s just get something straight…
I feel for any women who is in the public eye. The comments and pressure must be horrendous, and we often see these acts of drastic measures and determination of change due to the pressure they feel.
However, both these examples are complete extremes of how unrealistic weight loss, transformation photos, and stories can be.
Unfortunately, these 2 examples are some of the most common we are seeing in today’s lifestyle – One extreme choice of lifestyle resulting has resulted in damaging health changes, and the other in permanent modification surgery. Both, unrealistically achieved by you or I if we are to follow their workout plan and eat their suggested diet…
Let me stress, this article is not to slate these women, but to bring you awareness of what you are being exposed to.
You will not look like Alexandra if you join happy body project.
You will not look like Yasmin unless you go under the knife and receive the same surgical process she did.
Understanding how to effectively “transform” your own body takes time. There is no magic pill, quick fix or diet that will give you these results.
A calorie deficit and effective exercise regime is the only way to achieve fat loss and see your body change.
Don’t be fooled that it will be a quick process either. The safest and most effective way to achieve this is to lose 1-2 lbs per week and apply the 80/20 approach to dieting.
If you want to grow an area of your body, you must be ready to overload it, train hard and use weights. Alongside, potentially needing a calorie surplus (so you eat more).
Remember, to gain muscle takes more energy.
The same way we can’t focus on an ab workout in the hope it will give us a flat stomach…
We live in an age where we spend 2 hours 24 minutes a day influenced by people that can pretty much say whatever they want, and we fall for it and buy it.
It’s time to fix up, stop playing comparison to these stars and start to look through the tinted glass of Instagram and remember, with good balanced nutrition and solid exercise you will become the best version of yourself.
Stop wanting to look like them, start focusing on the reality that you are the only person in control of what you are influenced by and most importantly, it’s your journey, your process.
So, enjoy it, keep your eye on the goal and celebrate the small wins. You matter, you are beautiful, you are unique and you will do this.