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fitspo myth

If you’re not familiar with fitspo, the condensed version of “fitness inspiration,” it’s a social media-sustained, selfie-fueled phenomenon wherein people post their “body goals” or show their own bodies off as aspirational evidence. On its own, it’s way less nefarious than its evil twin thinspo, but as used and shared on social networks like WeHeartIt or Instagram, fitspo still largely perpetuates one “ideal” of fitness and body type for people of all sexes.

Now, it’s worth underlining something from the get-go: Thinness and fitness aren’t directly correlated with each other. The illusion that the only way to be fit is to get skinny is totally bogus; in fact, when you put the world’s best athletes side by side, it becomes clear that peoples’ bodies come in an amazingly diverse array, and take on totally different shapes and builds to do very different things.

Fitness blogger Sophie Kay decided to put fitspo on blast, and what better way to do that then play its image-centric game? So, she did just that, writing a blog post debunking the “fitness myth” and showcasing these photos:

A classic before-and-after working out pic, right? Not at all — these images were taken three minutes apart.

Kay explains, “All I did in the 3 minutes between the two photos was to turn off the overhead light, put on underwear that fit better, twist my body slightly to the side to show off my best angle, flex and, of course, add a filter. So don’t pay much attention to those ‘before and after’ shots!”

Along with decrying the idea that selfies are showing the whole fitness picture, she also tackled the idea that to be fit, you have to have a six-pack (false), that you can’t enjoy anything delicious while being fit (false), and that exercise should be effortless (again: FALSE).

Her whole post is worth reading, as well as the rest of her site’s blog, where she details triathlon training, junk food obsessions, and leaving weight-based fitness ideas behind. We salute Kay for her dedication to exploring fitness as a personal journey versus any set goal. Because it’s easy to compare yourself to a figure on your screen — but when you seek instead to understand and explore your own body’s capabilities, that’s when change, both outside and inside, happens.

(Image via.)