Sure, healthy is sexy and beautiful. A strong, fit body looks as good as it feels. But the most valuable rewards of good health and fitness have very little to do with rippling muscles or thin thighs. You’d never know that by looking at both conventional and social media, though.
All those sensationalized headlines, sexy images, and instant-results promises may get our attention and appeal to our vanity, but they can also make getting healthy seem like a self-indulgent undertaking or a trivial, out-of-reach fantasy.
Worse, the unrelenting focus on largely unachievable ideals has a way of playing to our body-image insecurities.
The media has a profound effect on people and the way that they perceive themselves and their bodies. Thanks to television, the Internet, and movies, media has a strong hold on one’s personal perceptions of what beauty is supposed to be.
A study conducted by Florida State University and published by the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that a group of women who were asked to browse Facebook for 20 minutes experienced greater body dissatisfaction than those who spent 20 minutes researching rainforest cats online.
These superficial obsessions can also distract us from the deeper, lasting motivations that matter more.
So if mass media is messing with your mind or sapping your self-esteem, tune out the hype and turn your attention elsewhere – like the reasons being healthy matters to you.
Maybe you have your heart set on six-pack abs and buns of steel; maybe not. Either way, connecting with your own authentic healthy version of you is the best way to start.
TAKE ACTION: RAISE YOUR SIGHTS
Don’t get sucked in by obsessions with six-pack abs and buns of steel. Don’t play “compare the bodies.” Fulfill your best-self vision.