Hello and thank you for reading!
In this post, I want to talk about the masses of Fitness Influencers on social media and why I’m different!
Where does this all start? 2014. The year my partner and I moved in together, which lead me to become very comfortable with what I ate and how inactive I became. In just 6 months I managed to put on 30kg thanks to poor nutrition and a complete lack of physical activity.
In 2015 my partner proposed and this was the turning point for me. We were set to get married in 2016 and I knew that if I wasn’t happy with the way I looked and felt, our wedding photos would disappoint me for life. At this point, I desperately searched all over the internet for some kind of guidance to help me shape up and lose weight. I searched far and wide for programs, challenges, regiments and subscriptions. I tried about 4 or 5 different avenues, all of which had one thing in common.
The girls who assumed the face for the brand of these businesses had the fittest, skinniest, most perfect bodies I’d ever seen in my life. With hindsight, I should have seen this as a warning. How could I relate to someone who literally covered the entirety of their social media with their toned and tanned six-pack!? Heck, I just wanted to lose weight, let alone reach the level of these angel-like models! I felt as if they didn’t know how hard it is to start from where I was. How could I relate to someone who literally covered the entirety of their social media with their toned and tanned six-pack? I just wanted to lose weight and looking at these incredible people only left me intimated. (I was too embarrassed to even get to the gym!)
After every program and method failed me repeatedly, I gave up completely. Pretty much every brand or business over-charged me as well. One subscription even repeatedly took money from my bank account without my permission after cancelling. Before losing all hope, I decided to give it one more shot. I spent weeks researching different forms of exercise, different diets and nutritional information. I came up with my OWN workouts and fitness routines; I made my own meal plan and stuck to a clean and healthy, well-balanced diet.
Within only a couple of weeks, I started to notice a difference. I was losing weight! I was toning up, slimming down, feeling more energized and I became more motivated to lose weight and stay active that I ever had before.
About 7 months later I weighed myself at 53kg, coming down from 83kg. I had lost 30kg in total purely from my own methods, research and hard work. In fact, the wedding dress I tried on in May of 2016 was a size 10 AU, I ordered a size 8 AU – only to have it altered down to a size 6 AU in September!
At the time of my wedding was also about the same time I began sharing my weight loss journey to my friends and family on my Instagram page. Before too long, I began to become inundated with dozens of people, asking me how I lost my weight. Dozens became hundreds and this resulted in my partner and I launching our very first fitness program! Fast forward just over a year and the hundreds of people interested in my programs has grown to well over one-hundred-thousand!
Now that you know how this all started, back to the topic of this blog post; Let’s get relatable! The point of this post is to follow people who TRULY inspire you. I started to share my own story because back when I was looking for help, I had no idea if these fitness influencers had ever been in my shoes before.
One thing I struggled with starting out, was the nature of the woman promoting their fitness and weight loss programs. They were all stunning don’t get me wrong! I’m sure they’re all wonderful people, however, I genuinely struggled to relate to them and their programs, when I had no idea if they had ever been in my shoes before.
I remember thinking, “If I can’t relate to a fitness model who’s probably 50kg or less, how can I commit or relate to their teachings?” I was just so far away from where they were and their bodies that they shoved in my face were so unachievable. Have they been fit and skinny their whole lives? Have they gone through the struggles that myself and so many other girls were going through?
At the beginning of 2016 I had released two more programs, a gym based program and also my first Clean Eating Program. It was at a similar time that my social following began to grow and I remember the same comment from a number of girls among the hundreds of messages I receive and responded to. “Hayley, I chose to try your programs because I can see you were once in my shoes.” Or, “Thank you for being honest and posting unflattering photos of yourself, this just proves you conquered your own weight loss journey and this motives me beyond any other sales pitch I’ve seen on Instagram.”
This enlightened my partner and I to a massive factor in our now significant social-presence that had been staring us in the face since we launched.
That fact being: What other fitness influencers have actually lost a large amount of weight or gone through their own weight loss journey?
The answer I soon realised was in fact, not many.
I assure you, I don’t want to take anything away from other influencers, nor do I want to write anything controversial or in a negative tone. But honestly, how many fitness-focused girls in social media with a large following actually have their own weight loss journey? Here in Australia, I’ve only found a couple. Compared to the hundreds of well-known names who expect paying clients of all shapes and sizes to do as their told, with no personal journey or (known) struggle of their own.
My message to all who read this blog is to think twice about the people you take advice or inspiration from! It’s a horrible thing to compare yourself to another person with a different body. Doing this used to bring me to tears! Everyone is different and everyone has their own unique situation. I implore the girls that are looking to make a change in their lives and better their bodies to find guidance from someone RELATABLE!
My fitness programs are built from REAL RESULTS and REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCE.
Thank you for reading! Xx