21st September 2016

WE love Instagram and all the other (highly addictive, super distracting) social media channels.

Of course we do. Social media is a fantastic sphere for building business, finding inspiration and making connections in many ways.

But let’s face it, it can also be pretty anxiety inducing. Especially if you’re a mum looking for fitness inspiration, oh sorry, #fitspo.

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You’re already full of social media anxiety because you don’t have the perfect sofa, the pretty shelves, the immaculately dressed kids and the designer wardrobe (oh and a cool wall to photograph the outfit in front of ! What The Actual…Where are all these walls?)…but, whatever, you’re going to follow some popular fitness accounts and become a honed, toned Goddess right?

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Right. So it’s all good, you start following, you’re loving these super fit mamas, with 9 kids each who work out 3 times a day, always eat clean and do it all while wearing the perfect sports kit. They rock and you will soon too. Obviously, you haven’t done any of the stuff they suggest yet and you’ve been following them for three weeks, but it’s a start. You’re even toying with the idea of turning your Instagram account into a ‘fitness journey’ one complete with before and afters of your ‘mum tum’ to six pack.

But then something happens. It’s called reality. You start to realise that, as cool as these accounts are, maybe they aren’t really presenting, a real, achievable idea with achievable goals specifically for YOU. And then they just become accounts that you sort of ogle for a bit, maybe even secretly resent.

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We have been thinking about this a lot lately – about our place within the social media sphere, both as mothers and as a business.

We’re not immune to the bright lights of Instagram. We all get sucked in by the accounts we follow now and then – we drool over perfectly framed, delicately filtered lifestyles that gently whisper to us, day after day, minute after minute to be more like them, be more fashionable, be more healthy, be more organised, be more happy, be a better mum, be perfect. And then the questions begin ‘Actually why doesn’t my home look like an LA beach apartment or a NYC hotel room? Am I a failure? Why is my kid wearing George at Asda when every other kid in the entire world is being papped for Insta in cool, indie labels I have never heard of? And, (and this is the big one) Why is my body not like the mums I see on Instagram? Why am I the one who can’t shift the weight? Why is it taking so long? What is wrong with me? I’m just going to give up because I’ll never look like that..

Well, that kind of thinking is making us a bit cross.

It’s so easy to think that these ‘perfect Instagram accounts’ are the norm. We think that because we spend too much bloody time on Instagram looking at them. It’s a drip, drip, effect. Of course, if you keep looking at something, you see it as real, it speaks to you in a way that says ‘this is life, this is what you should be, come on in, join us’.

But, it isn’t. It’s just a heavily edited snapshot of someone’s life who is not you. Whether you’re looking at their body, their home, their belongings or their business. It’s not real, it’s nothing close to the full picture, it’s a just a Walt Disney filter slapped all over what is really a Shane Meadows production complete with cracks, imperfections, bad intentions as well as good and what you cannot see and never will, just outside the frames of those perfect squares is real life.

Your life is real, you are enough and you’re doing the best you can. You do not need the pressure of social media. It’s a crack den that you’ll never leave unless you see it for what it really is.

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That’s what we’re trying to do this week and we really want to help other mums to do the same.

We don’t post perfectly polished images and videos because that’s not what we’re about. These images don’t exist for us.

It’s important to us to be able to remind all mums that every woman’s journey through pregnancy, birth and post-natal recovery is different so we shouldn’t try to compare ours with someone else.

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Your journey through life in general is your own. It’s fine to admire another’s via social media, but we just all need to remember that we are seeing a staged view of it and we should never strive to attain something that is actually just a mirage.

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Live, experience and enjoy your journey without the pressure of social media.

We really hope we can help the mums we work with to achieve that and that’s why this week we’ve been out and about talking to the mums who attend our classes about real bodies, real goals and real results. This really seemed to strike a chord so we hope it does with you too. Just be you, do what you can and don’t be demotivated into doing nothing by something that doesn’t really exist in your world.

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The pressure from social media and why we're on a mission to get real - Jelly Belly PT