I started my fitness facebook page in May 2011. I was bursting with enthusiasm and had all these fabulous words of inspiration rolling around in my head. However, I was certain not all my friends wanted to hear about it on my personal page, so the fitness page was born. (I even got complaints when my Nike+ updated that I went for a run. Some thought I was “showing off”. Well, duh!) The numbers of fans started creeping up slowly and people I didn’t even know “liked” me. It was exhilirating and I was throwing out little nuggets of wisdom like it was my job. I was inspired by the thought that I might be inspiring others.
I posted a contest – working out for 30 days in a row. That’s when it hit me. I was a fraud. All these people who had “liked” my page were checking in every single day telling me their workout and they really did workout 30 days in a row. I did not. I totally flaked out. But I didn’t feel like I could tell them that. I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me since I was the one that was supposed to be inspiring them. I continuted to be their biggest cheerleader and just avoided posting anything about my own workouts. It made me miserable.
I finally gave in and confessed. I got tons of support from the little facebook community that had been built. I also confessed in my blog about falling off the wagon (several times). Ironically the posts where I open up about my own struggles have been some of my most popular. It’s so exhausting being perfect. So, I stopped pretending to be.
I follow a lot of seriously amazing blogs and facebook pages that are related to fitness and nutrition. There are a few that project this image of perfection. And you know, I get that. We are branding ourselves and it’s hard to be vulnerable enough to tell a big group of strangers that you skipped your workout in favor of your DVR and a 5 gallon bucket of ice cream. Besides, no one wants to hear us complain. Here’s the problem…it gives the reader a totally skewed view of reality. I’m pretty confident that every single person on this planet has had a bad day, a set back, fallen off the wagon, ate a big bag of sugar, or something not otherwise considered healthy.
Get the inspiration you need from these people but understand they are human. Just because we as writers, bloggers, and facebookers are able to project a certain image it doesn’t mean we can be or are that way all the time. I’ve caught myself reading certain updates or posts thinking, “man, she’s awesome. I suck.” Guess what? She IS awesome. But I do NOT suck. No one is perfect even if they seem to be. That is a public image. Don’t let these fitness freaks freak you out. And for the love of fitness, don’t get caught up in thinking success lies in perfection. It lies in persistence.