I think everyone has to have some level of fitspiration – whether it’s reading about health and fitness or looking at pictures of fit people or people being active.  I think when people read about health, they learn the why and how of things, and that can be incredibly motivational.  Knowledge is power, so when you feel armed with information about your health you feel more in control of your choices and thoughts that influence your well-being. (photo credit)

When people see pictures of fit people they automatically compare. This can be extremely motivating, but is it motivating in a healthy way?  It’s really completely dependent upon the person and how they view themselves, view others, and view their outlook on life.  Some people see an image of a fit person and feel motivated to work out and eat well to look their best.  Others see that image and feel motivated, but they might think they will never “look like that” so they look down on themselves. They feel that image is the ideal figure, and since they don’t look that way, they are not ideal.  There are also the people out there who are extremely jealous and try to speak negatively and degrading about the person in the fitspo image. The latter responses can be extremely intimidating or defeating and have a negative effect on the viewer.

I think the issues that can come about with fitspiration images are self-esteem and perspective.  I don’t see fitspiration images as harmful, but I do think the way some people view them is harmful.  Someone with low self-esteem and self-worth will likely have an unhealthy perspective of fitspo images, whereas someone who has high self-esteem and self-worth will have a healthy perspective.

A healthy perspective, in my opinion, is to view those fitspo images as achievable goals.  Every man and woman deserves to see how strong and fit their bodies can be. Physical appearance does not determine self-worth, though. No one should compare themselves to anyone else and wish to be them. This comes down to self-esteem and feeling comfortable in your own skin.  See the greatness in other people, but also see the greatness in yourself!  View that fitspo image with the attitude of, “Look at her abs!  Look how toned they are!  I can do that.  I want to see how toned my abs can be!”  Instead of, “Look at her abs!  I want abs just like that.”

What do you think? This is a heated discussion for many, so I want to hear from you. Are fitspiration images harmful or motivating?

To read more, check out Do Photos Of Fit Moms Inspire You?