I stumbled into a very sad place on Instagram last night…. after following the #fallinlovewithyoga hashtag for the past few weeks, I wanted to explore more hashtags to see what else is out there regarding health and wellness. I found an instagrammer, a young girl, posting about starving herself to be thin. And down the rabbit hole I went. It is not a nice place. A whole community of young girls supporting each other in bulimia and anorexia, with user names like “mustbethin” and “feelingsofat” and posting 10-day (and longer) challenges of their own that are… well… appalling. And sad.
I couldn’t help but comment on a few. But of course my random insistence that health isn’t about starvation, but about strength and vitality and curves, will fall on deaf ears because their problem isn’t the wrong advice, but something far darker and more challenging. It’s an illness. And it won’t be cured by my late-night comments.
This speaks to why my tagline is “Be Your Own Kind of Fit.” I want everyone to feel good, to feel fit and capable, but never to believe that there’s one right way or, worse, one right look.
And then it hit me that “Be Your Own Kind of Fit” isn’t even remotely helpful to those girls, because… well… they ARE striving to be what THEY believe is fit and beautiful.
And it just made me so sad. I had a difficult time falling asleep. And a few of the girls decided to follow me on Instagram, and I hope it’s because they see a flicker of light in the tunnel, and not because they’ll add my workouts to their unhealthy regimen in the hopes of burning yet more calories.
I can’t bear the weight of each person’s sadness on my shoulders. I know it’s not my battle to wage. But it is a reminder to stay the path in promoting health and wellness from a grounded, affirming place. So let me be clear – I don’t care what your weight is, how thin you are, where your curves are, or how your clothes fit.
You are perfect right now.
My workouts are here for those seeking ways to incorporate more movement into their lives. And if they’re right for you, excellent. But I am not here to shame you, or pressure you, or make you feel “less than” if you aren’t on my path.
I felt like I needed to write about this. If anyone has anything to share, I’m all ears. I’m suddenly awash with worry for a bunch of young girls I’ve never met.