That's it. I've had enough. I've tried my damnedest to sit down and write anything but this post, but it keeps showing up on the damn keyboard.
Last week, in a fit of pique over inspiration for design, I joined Pinterest. I wanted to look at pretty pictures and hopefully, get some creative juices flowing for a client job. Within moments of signing up, I was so annoyed, I had to walk away from the computer. I wanted pretty pictures to look at, ideas to spur my brain into working. What I came away with made me so upset I had to seriously rethink my relationship with the internet.
It wasn't Pinterest that bothered me so much. (Although, the fact that even getting to what I was looking for was not very intuitive.) It was after I linked my Twitter to my profile. What popped up had me seeing red.
Any time you decide to lose weight, there's always going to be this lofty goal in your head. The ideal of perfection that you're striving for; whether it be the size jeans you want, the hips, the flat stomach. There's always something. And as soon as my Twitter linked, I was bombarded with the virtual scrapbook of all of those things.
Headless women with the words "no excuses" typeset over hard abs. Jeans in a size nothing with the word goal plastered all over them. Right next to all that, pictures of beautiful food. Not beautiful healthy food. Food like cupcakes, cake, pastries, candy. Sure, there's a few dinners in there, but more often than not it was junk food.
I closed the Pinterest tab and never looked back. I could feel something stirring in my bones and it wasn't nice. I started to get the little pinpricks across my eyes that meant something very, very bad was going to come out of my mouth.
Are you fucking kidding me, Pinterest?
Those little boards you have of fitness, abs and cupcakes? Those are not inspiration. Those aren't even goals. Those are unrealistic and quite frankly, idiotic. And you people are smarter than that. Why on earth do you want to spend your free time looking at abs that aren't physically possible without severe dehydration and makeup? Why would you set this as a goal for yourself and your body? And what's more, what the hell are you going to do when you don't get those picture perfect (PHOTOSHOPPED) abs?
That's right, you're going to cart yourself right over to your pretty food board and go make yourself some cupcakes.
Um. NO. You're being stupid, people.
This is no better than anorexic girls posting pictures of their "thinspiration." You want nightmares, go google that shit boys and girls. You're just like them. You're banging your heads against virtual walls trying to fit yourself into a picture that's not real.
You hear me out there, interwebs? I know you're fake. Posting all this garbage inspirational crap all over the place is utter shit. Oh, it's harmless, I hear you saying. It's anything but.
You know better. You really do. You'd no more fill a board with beautiful thin girls that have been photoshopped and send it to your middle school age niece, would you? You wouldn't want her to compare herself to those girls. You wouldn't send overly skinny models to a woman recovering from an eating disorder.
So, why are you doing this to yourself?
I don't care if the women are headless, or if they have "inspirational" quotes over the photo. It's still making a comparison. It's still saying if this anonymous person can get up and do it, so should you.
Don't get me wrong, you absolutely should get off your ass a move as much as possible. And eat heathy every chance you get. But putting these up as inspiration and then wondering why you feel like shit, or worse, why you don't look like they do is just downright stupid.
I'm sure there are those people that can keep it separate in their heads. This obviously doesn't apply to you. But let's be honest, we're all on this weight loss journey because we got fat. There's lots of different ways here, but being kind to ourselves and conscious of our actions was probably not one of them.
Do yourself a favor and get rid of the "inspirational" images and boards on Pinterest. There's better ways of getting motivated by real people. Facebook, forums, hell… maybe even office mates. Some headless chick with 8 pack abs is not going to do it.
Real people. Real goals. Real progress. That's where you'll find success.