Coming home from an exhausting week at work, logging into Facebook and reading posts of your friends enjoying a weekend away. Sitting up in bed after a sleep-in and scrolling past pages that post endless pictures of healthy food and exercise workouts. Does this comparing of lifestyles, and in particular health habits, sound familiar? Have you ever taken a step back to think about this makes you feel?For some individuals, these posts will have a positive impact. They will motivate you to make healthier choices and this is fantastic. But for many, they will make you feel jealous and inadequate. It will seem as though making healthy choices is too difficult, as you cannot see yourself meeting this level of ‘perfection’. In fact, you could become so overwhelmed that you abandon your healthy intentions altogether.
Before coming to these conclusions please keep in mind that most people use social media to post the best parts of their day. A quote written by Steven Furtick emphasises this perfectly, it reads: “The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Most people will write about their relaxing 20-minute walk after work, not their 8-hour day at work. Most people will post a picture of their vibrant looking salad for lunch, not the egg and toast that they quickly made for dinner and did not have time to take a photo of.
So what is the solution? Should you follow health pages or abandon them altogether? The first step is awareness. Like most industries, there is a huge variation in the content posted by different nutrition pages on social media. Turn on your mental filter and only follow social media pages that have a positive impact on you.
To help put reality back into perspective, also keep in mind:
- A single sentence or picture tells you very little about a person’s day or their individual journey.
- Being healthy isn’t about being ‘perfect’ 100% of the time. Focus on eating healthy most of the time.
- The best health changes are sustainable long term. Set small achievable goals.
Sarah, Sunshine Coast Dietetics