I’m taking my normal “gear myself up for the week” post a different direction today. Let’s talk about some of the harmful motivation on Pinterest and Tumblr and then how we can better evaluate the images we share.
1. Pain and guilt
The problem here is obvious. Pain tells you “hey, something’s wrong here, I might get injured.” Not listening to pain is how I’ve damaged my knees and pulled muscles. Learn the difference between pushing through a tough workout and ignoring serious signals from your body.
And know that breaks are good! We don’t need to feel guilty about a rest day or rest week, or time off to heal from injury or to recover from illness.
2. The wrong reasons
I could get on a very large soap box here and write about how I cringe each time I see the thousands of images like these, but I’ll keep it brief. To make someone like you more is pretty shitty motivation. To play upon someone else’s insecurity and/or make them jealous is even worse.
These also fuel the idea that we have to attain a certain type or level of fitness to be “hot,” attractive or worthy of jealousy. Absolutely nothing about this message is positive or motivational.
These images encourage body hatred, plain and simple. Just look at that list! Collarbone, hip bone, thigh gap. The final “do it for yourself” point looks thrown in to make the image not that horrible. Or the top right: cry over a body you hate. And the bottom left image is a plain lie. Many of us can never be that in months because our bodies aren’t built that way.
I don’t want to judge body hatred itself. It’s a real emotion many of us – myself included – face every day! “Motivational” images that play on those insecurities do not help us work through body hatred in the least.
As much as Pinterest and Tumblr are full of unhealthy “motivational” posters, there are plenty of great ones as well. I just encourage you to take a little time to evaluate before sharing:
My plan going forward is if I can answer “no” to any of these questions I won’t share the image. Please join me in a commitment to sharing positive messages and encouraging healthy views of our bodies. 🙂