With the uprise of social media dominating our free time, we see the growth in popular “fitspiration” also known as “fitspo.” Accounts of fitness and diet gurus with hundreds of thousands of followers – even millions in some cases – flood the cyberverse with images of their fit bods and workout routines. These are claimed to motivational, encouraging people to get off their couches and burn some fat. This sounds like a good thing right? And maybe it is? At least the intentions are good.


However, this seemingly positive motivation can actually do more harm than good. Not to say it’s bad for everyone, it probably gets some people out to the gym. However, it trails an unhealthy effect.


“There is no research that confirms fitspo’s role in helping people maintain a healthy, sustainable level of physical activity.” In fact, many people start to feel self conscious and make comparisons that just make them feel worse about themselves. It’s a reminder of “what you should be” versus “what you’re not.” It’s defining health goals as having zero percent body fat rather than maintaining healthy internal functioning.


Those who get sucked into fitspo feel insecure, self criticize, and struggle with feeling good enough. Clearly, these accounts of fitness gurus or a gallery of fit people are very popular for a reason. People like looking at them, regardless if it’s out of attraction or “motivation.” For those who struggle with self hate, looking at these images can become an addictive behavior that sends them in a downward spiral of dissatisfaction.


They repeatedly see what they want to be and what they’re not, plummeting their self esteem. So why do they keep doing it? Well, for motivation. They want to be motivated, but their stuck in a daydream of what they aren’t. This is the same for those who actually do get motivated from these pictures. Their results are slow and maybe they just have a different body frame that won’t give them the look they want. That can be discouraging as well. Then there are those who feel like they will never be good enough or measure up to those standards no matter how much weight they lose.


It’s interesting how fitspo can either result in exercise addiction or make someone depressed. Both unhealthy outcomes that stem from something intended to be positively motivating.


If you’re suffering from addiction or struggle with self esteem, please contact a medical professional at Crownview Medical Group. We are located in San Diego, California. We specialize in addiction and therapy.