I personally love my social media. Facebook for keeping in touch with friends. Instagram to capture beautiful moments in my life and promote my arts, crafts and sewing. Pinterest to gain inspiration around all things creative, culinary and couture. A bit of YouTube here and there for tips and techniques. What’s not to love?
But with these natty little distractions come the things in your social feed which can creep negatively into your consciousness. All thanks to the watchful eyes of these platforms which are collecting your data and streamlining your feed, apparently giving you a menu of all the things you are wonderfully interested in.
Most of the time, your browsing gives them enough information that they actually get it right. Even to the point where you have spoken about something throughout the day and by that night that very subject is popping up in your feed. Spooky? Totally. But worse, what if you start to believe the propaganda that you’re being served up?
For me it was the whole diet and workout thing. I’ve been working on my physical health now for about two and a half years. At 47 I decided to get my head around my weight, lack of flexibility and physical fitness. I got a trainer and started playing a sport. Peri-menopause was also on my radar so there were considerations about energy levels, weight gain, a good night’s sleep and changing hormones.
My social feed quickly came to reflect my interest in being the new stronger, skinnier and healthier me. I consumed, I liked, I pinned, I searched. Like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice the buckets of wisdom about keto eating, recipes, training regimes and booty exercises kept coming. Young nubile women, standing on their heads, featuring washboard stomachs, stared out from the screen telling me all the things I had to do to be like them. They even had bikini sponsorship. Maybe I would also get free swimwear if I followed all the stuff they were telling me.
But there were contradictions with this froth and the ‘do this one thing every day’ promises and it got quite confusing at times. I did try things. Pressure points to push which gave me tendonitis in my arm. Diets which gave me the runs. Training which exhausted me to the point where I put my ribcage out and couldn’t do anything active thanks to the pain. Not a kilo shed to speak of. Just an up and down weight range with a more toned body and flexibility improvements all around.
But I knew my bikini sponsorship may never come. Like ever. I was past it.
And yes, I always knew that I was a unique individual who needed to be considered specifically to understand what was best for my body.
So I dumped Mr Google and all his little social friends and bought together my A-team of people, as well as my own intuition, to work through what was best for me.
I began to actively make decisions about what was needed for my health rather than be lead by shiny promises of ‘no need to ever go to the gym.’ I spent time talking to the experts and here were my revelations.
- Sometimes ailments are not old age. They are fixable things which require a professional to help you. Like a niggling rib which went out of place because I started playing a very active sport much later in life.
- My inability to drop a few kilos was not because of the odd chocolate frog I cheated with but instead because of adrenal fatigue which was creating stress cortisol within my body and protecting me from fading away. My practitioner told me, ‘You could spend every day and night exercising and you’d never lose any weight with this cycle going on.’
- The symptoms of peri-menopause where a result of the adrenal fatigue (they are quite similar in symptoms) and tests showed my hormone balance was pretty good overall.
- I saw a picture of the beautiful and natural Elle MacPherson and realised that I don’t need to be pumping iron. I just needed to be moving and I needed to do something age appropriate. I got myself a great weight bearing exercise program and a yoga app and I am feeling better than ever. And it’s at my own speed. I can do it at home or at the gym and I get to pick my own soundtrack.
- Usually when you are tired it’s your body telling you to rest. I didn’t have to be working out to the point where I couldn’t walk properly for most days of the week. Slow and steady wins the race.
- I could love myself a bit more than I do. Everything from accepting my shape to listening to my hunger cues, thinking to drink water a little more and walking those short trips instead of instinctively jumping into the car.
Yes, as it turns out my data is just a money-making method for these social platforms. They don’t care about me, won’t bring me coffee in bed each morning or cheer me on when I need to find something a little extra to get through the day. They will tell me my butt looks big in jeans and I should be wearing certain types of clothes which they have chosen for me. They are just bullshit and they don’t love me. They only care that I’m clicking on their stuff as some random who makes them cash.
A headache is not often a brain tumour and what worked for the woman who was 300 kilos and now a slender vision of herself after four months probably isn’t going to be the magic solution for you. You are the only version of yourself and because of that alone you deserve the special treatment. One provided by people who can see you in person and look you in the eye. Get your A-team around you (whomever they are) and watch your goals flourish.
Writer, thinker, creator – Libby is interested in the things that make the world turn. She loves to explore modern life, its ironies, complexities and culture. She is currently writing her first book while also juggling a business, her art and her family.