As I write this article, I see that there are over 8.6 million posts with the #GymSelfie tag on Instagram. Let's not even attempt to add the number on Twitter and Facebook.
Welcome to the year 2016. In our selfie-obsessed world, we spend more time pulling a duck/fish face than actually carrying out the task at hand. Furthermore, the #GymSelfie is hardly ever a true representation of what a person looks like when they're actually working out—sweat-laden, limp hair, and pit stains!
Most #GymSelfies seem to feature people with perfectly slick hair and their booty aiming at the camera, or someone posing in a manner that's befitting an Equinox gym ad, at best.
Whether you choose to take a #gymselfie or not, this rather fascinating activity does have its pros and cons. Let's review.
Could Selfies Help You Lose Weight?
Breathe in, grab that dumbbell, and pucker up for your #gymselfie. According to new research
by the University of Alicante in Colombia, gym goers' full-body photos and waist-to-hip ratio were the biggest motivators to sticking to their weight-loss program. The fact remains, seeing is believing, and when participants began to notice a difference in their physicality and track changes in their bodies, they were motivated to keep going. So maybe a #GymSelfie will help you to stay motivated. Better get your gear together. Read more about our favorite fashion finds
We're all about maintaining a balance, and with the positives, come the negatives. Here's how your mandatory selfie can be detrimental.
The Truth No One Speaks About
If you're someone who cringes at something like #sweatyselfie or #fitspiration, it could be that #Fitspiration posts have an adverse effect on you. Those pictures make you feel body conscious, which can be extremely destructive to your relationship with food, body acceptance, and body image.
The fact remains, #Fitspiration posts aren’t always inspiring. The envied #thighgap, #bikinibridge or #waisttrainers are unfounded gimmicks that endorse all the wrong things. Also, remember that no one is projecting their true image. With Instagram filters, croppping, Photoshop and mobile editing apps, seeing should no longer be believing. Remember that before you bubble over with envy and insecurity the next time that you see your bff's #gymselfie.
Are We Becoming Narcissists?!
While too many selfies can have a negative impact on people with serious body image issues, the negativity is not limited to those with low self-esteem alone. Apparently, if a person cannot refrain from posting a #gymselfie, they could be dealing with some serious psychological issues. According to research conducted at Brunel University
, people who cannot stop discussing their weight loss progress or increasing levels of fitness are considered textbook narcissists
. Narcissism is a psychological abnormality in which an individual believes that the world revolves around them. Instagram likes and comments inflate their ego, and they thrive on that attention. So, yes, you could just be going mental! (No offense.)
In the end, the truth is that there’s nothing wrong in tracking one’s weight-loss progress, but the whole world doesn't need your daily updates. For those who share your enthusiasm, these nuggets of information might serve as healthy competition and you're better off finding them on weight-loss blogs, groups, and web programs. And if you love sharing your gym journey with the world on Instagram, don't let it become your whole workout!