Two weeks ago, I stopped following anyone on social media that I compared myself to. In total, there were at least 100 people or groups that I hit the unfollow button on.
This was part of an exercise Dr Katherine Iscoe (Dr Kat) got me to do in one of our private sessions. I met Dr Kat just over six weeks ago when I signed up to her eight-week body confidence course, ‘The Forever Approach.’ For years, I have suffered from negative body image issues and obsessed over quick fixes and diets.
At the beginning of 2017, I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to keep obsessing and I was going to start living. I just didn’t know where to start. Luckily, I happened to stumble across a friend’s Facebook post about Dr Kat and the course she offers. Straight away, I loved everything about her! Dr Kat’s body confidence course is structured around her own experiences, which made me feel more confident in what she has to offer. I signed up straight away.
I can honestly tell you that I didn’t think un-following all these women and groups on social media would have an effect on me at all. For years, I have been following pages that I found inspirational and funny, which featured body confident and happy women, but I had no idea they were having a negative impact on my mental state.
Lifeline WA were a HUGE support for me when I opened up about my anxiety & Im stoked to tell you I’m running for them @lifeline_wa in @hbfrun that’s if this knee is better! Otherwise it’s a walk! ???? you can too, make sure you raise your cashola & run for #lifelinewa & support the great work they do! ❤❤❤❤
When Dr Kat originally asked me how I felt about the images posted by these pages I followed on social media, I said I was inspired. That isn’t a lie. I really am inspired by these incredible humans! However, when she made me write down my thoughts about five of them as an experiment recently, I realised they weren’t just inspiring me, they were also sabotaging me.
I had been scrolling over some of these pages more than 10 times a day and, although their posts impressed me, there were more negative thoughts swirling through the back of my mind than positive ones. I’ll admit it, I was jealous. I found myself feeling envious, judgmental, even ungrateful, and I compared myself to ALL of these women.
As Dr Kat explained to me, it is completely normal to compare these pictures to our own, but it’s important to give our self-confidence a break sometimes too. “Comparing yourself to others is natural. But while we do it, because we know we will, we must remember to put things into the right perspective,” she said. “However, putting things into a positive perspective is easier said than done when thin, tanned and perfectly toned bodies are being flashed in front of our eyes 24-7.
“After attending the #ForeverApproach workshop yesterday by @dr_katherine, I feel like it was exactly what I needed for the soul to help me in the next direction of my life ???????????? It couldn’t have been more perfect timing ???? Time to start implementing everything I learned to have a better relationship with myself and those who I share my life with ✨????✨” – @ashleighjade05 ???????? . Just love hearing how people have benefitted from the half day workshop! It couldn’t make me any happier. My goal from the day was just to help one person feel a bit better about themselves, I’m so glad I reached that goal and more! Feeling so blessed ????????????
“Just like we need a holiday from work to reset our over-thinking brains, sometimes we need to have a vacation from social media to reset what we think about ourselves.
“We need to reset reality by taking a break and focusing on our own lives instead of someone else’s.”
I explained to Dr Kat today that my social media has been a bit of a bore since I unfollowed these particular women and groups. In fact, my time spent on Facebook and Instagram has probably cut down by half. I really have noticed that the negative has calmed down, and the comparing is pretty much non-existent.
Previously, I had an obsession with weight loss and fitness pages that consistently post before and after pictures. At the time, I truly believed they were helping me achieve my goals, but now I see they were hindering my mindset.
Let me just say that I bloody love these women. It’s not about shaming them and what they do, what they look like or what they stand for, I’ve just decided that I don’t need them anymore at this point in my life.
They have done nothing wrong and it’s nothing personal. For some women, they really are source of positivity and inspiration. I wish them all the very best, but right now it’s all about me and so I have decided NOT to hit the follow button on them again.
This goes both ways. If you’re feeling inspired by this article and by Dr Kat’s thoughts, I back you 100 per cent to tidy up your accounts. If that happens to mean you unfollow me, then go right ahead. I’ll miss you but I promise I won’t be offended. Remember, right now, it’s all about you too.