Why I Love My Fitness Instagram Account and Tips For Starting Your Own
I created a fitness Instagram account to document my progress, both physically and mentally, while training with the BBG program. At first it was about getting a little attention and kudos for my hard work. But it goes soooo much deeper than that now, on so many levels! Having a “fitstagram” account has been such an amazing, positive experience for me that I think everyone should have one.
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My fitness account has legit changed my life for the better. Here are the biggest reasons why I’ve kept my fitness account on Instagram for 2.5 years. I have no intention to delete it anytime soon – or ever, for that matter. Keep reading for tips on how to create your own.
This is a big one. Even when I had no followers or instafriends, I felt accountable to myself. Participating in my own lil fitness Instaworld, I was driven to workout and eat mindfully. Just putting myself and my goals out there, to absolutely nothing and nobody, kept me focused and moving forward. Writing down your goals makes you 42% more likely to achieve them. Identifying goals are great. Writing them down is better. Sharing them adds a whole other level of accountability and drive.
Now you’ve gotta prove it to someone other than yourself. As individuals, it’s easy to make excuses and allowances to ourselves sometimes. It’s a lot harder to do this when you feel like you’re letting someone else down. This has been ingrained in us over years of society teaching us that people-pleasing is of utmost importance. Might as well use this sad fact to our advantage through a Fitstagram account!
On top of posting my workouts, wins, and challenges on my grid, I eventually started sharing the food I eat throughout the day in my Instagram stories. Is my food diary boring as sin for anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across it? Maybe. Probably. Certainly. But it’s keeping me honest and mindful. It’s keeping my head in the game, which is exactly what I need to succeed. At fitness and, to a larger extent, nutrition.
Now that I have a few more people watching than I used to, I feel accountable to them, too. My goals and daily habits are being watched. Whether people are silently observing or actually leaving comments and sending messages, it doesn’t really matter. I mean, I enjoy connecting with people. But what I’m saying is even if Instagram is a vast, black hole, the mere act of putting yourself and your goals into the universe makes a difference in how you carry on, day in and day out.
Accountability partners in real life can be hard to find, and personal trainers can be expensive. Instagram is free. It provides just the right level of accountability for me. It keeps me killing it during the ups, and trucking through the downs of my fitness journey. I’m currently in a “down” phase, but because of my fitness Instagram account, I’m still here. I’m still going. I haven’t given up. I haven’t quit, and I’m confident I never will.
Almost immediately after my first post, I had other “BBG Girls” leaving encouraging comments on my posts. Overall, I’m kind of a cynical, pessimistic person. So in the beginning, when I would get super nice comments on my posts cheering me on I would think, this bitch must be selling something. But ya know, most of the time she wasn’t. She was just building me up for no other reason but to build me up.
This absolutely blew my mind. Women supporting women, empowering women, and cheering each other on. We live in a crazy society where this is actually a rare thing. So it took me a minute to accept it and realize that we can just be kind to complete strangers. Just because. Who cares if they live in the opposite end of the world, and we know basically nothing about them? There is EVERY reason to do this! I love watching people I’ve connected with online grow, learn, and change through all seasons and challenges in life.
The support I receive through my fitness IG account is incredible. Just like in real life, there are some people you connect with more than others. Some IG relationships grow from strangers who follow each other and comment on each other’s posts. They become real friendships through sharing personal information, thoughts, and experiences in private messages.
I cherish the friendships I’ve made through my fitness account. Whether through sense of humor, goals and dreams, or relatable motherhood woes, I’ve connected with these women on so many levels. I know the names, phone numbers, addresses, and birthdays of a handful of these women I’ve never met. I’m honestly getting a weird little tickle in my nose, and THERE’S SOMETHING IN MY EYE right now, just thinking about how much these ladies mean to me.
I’ve had my fitness account for 2.5 years, and these connections have been blossoming for just about as long. And though we are like-minded when it comes to health and fitness, we are more than “fit friends” anymore. I’m hoping to meet them all in person someday.
Sometimes I lose sight of the purpose of my Instagram account. I have a relatively low number of followers, so it’s silly that from time to time I get caught up by low numbers of likes or lost followers. Sometimes I need to consciously remind myself that my fitness account is mine and for me. I didn’t create my account for anyone else. I wanted to document my fitness journey. And that’s what I’m doing. Through thick and thin, through injuries and seasons, how I eat, what I weigh…this is about me.
It’s nice to have a place to refer back to when I’m wondering when I started this program or that. Or when I conducted this experiment with my nutrition. How I proceeded when I hurt my knee, or how my body reacted to time off with a back injury. And of course, the progress pictures. I can go back and see exactly how my body changed from one point to another. I can compare the changes to my habit tracker and see how and why my body did what it did.
Having your journey documented and dated, in chronological order, is a fun thing to have. You can reflect back on it, and use it to propel you forward. I enjoy seeing my past posts and captions. I like being able to relive how I felt in that particular moment in time. It helps to keep things in perspective. We all start somewhere. Sometimes we start over, over and over again. Progress is not linear, and it’s all part of the process. Despite how difficult it seems at the time, progress is being made. Progress is being made with every short workout and small healthy choice along the way.
Keeping my personal IG and my fitness IG separate was an easy decision, as I didn’t want people I knew to see my flab and panties. Honestly, now I don’t think I’d care so much – I’m proud of my hard work, dedication, and progress. Maybe some of it was out of shame over letting my physical health get to where it was when I started, and fear that I might fail miserably at weight loss and embarrass myself beyond my panty-clad flab.
Regardless, I liked not having all the fitness influencer accounts clogging up my personal Instagram feed. My personal account is to see and connect with my friends and family. My fitness account is to see fitness-related posts and content. I also sort of think my friends and family who follow my personal account would much rather see photos of my children than videos of me doing burpees. Honestly, I feel like I’m being considerate by keeping them separate. haha
Check out my Instagram feed for workout video posts.
Seeing your “fitfam” absolutely slaying their workouts day after day is incredible. Watching them fight the good fight, through whatever challenges they’re facing, is inspirational AF. I see super pregnant mamas-to-be being active. Ladies recovering from disordered eating properly fueling their bodies. Women overcoming illnesses and injuries. People just making. It. Work.
It helps me remember I can do hard things, too. I can make it work. They’re amazing, and so am I.
I personally love progress pictures, although I know they get a bad rap sometimes. Their captions hold more importance than the photos most of the time. Seeing someone completely transform themselves, physically and/or mentally, makes me so damn proud for them. I’m impressed by the dedication others have to improving their health. I love seeing people finding the best versions of themselves. In whatever form that takes. A 6-pack doesn’t necessarily make you the happiest, most beautiful version of yourself. Sometimes the freedom and acceptance of a few extra pounds is how someone achieves their happiest, most beautiful self. Both situations are equally inspirational and deserving.
Through my Instagram and blog, I’ve had a number of followers and friends tell me I have inspired them in some way. WOAH. I’m so flattered, humbled, and proud that I might be able to help anyone in any small way. I never dreamed I’d be in a position where people ask me for advice! I’ve sort of been learning and experimenting as I go, but I’m happy to help however I can.
Tips for Starting Your Own Fitness Account
- Choose an Instagram username/handle
Some accounts have clever handles. Maybe they combine the name of an exercise with a junk food or alcoholic drink of choice. Sometimes it’s as simple as their first name or initials. Oftentimes those handles include the word “fitness” at the end. When I created my account, in June of 2018, I was all about moscato. So, after a ridiculously short brainstorming session, I landed on @squatto4moscato. P.S. I still love moscato. Some things are worth squatting for.
- Keep your public account hidden from your real life friends (if you want to)
Set up your account with an email address or phone number your friends and family don’t know. It has to be contact info that isn’t stored in anyone’s phone. This will keep your account from being known among your “real life” crowd. A phone number isn’t required to open the account, but the email is.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know to do this in the beginning, so…people found me. When you create an IG account it will suggest searching your contacts to find friends already on IG. Also, “people you may know” pop up between posts when someone is scrolling through their feed.
That’s how a few people discovered my fitness account. Shortly after, however, I wised up and changed the contact info associated with my account. There’s nothing like your husband’s married, male cousin starting to follow your half-naked fitness account. Ugh. But, whatever, I’m over it now. Everyone, come see my ratty old underpants and muscles. It’s cool.
- Use Hashtags
Include popular hashtags for the program and methods you’re using in the captions and/or comments sections of your posts. This helps others who follow these hashtags on their account find your posts more easily. I hashtagged things like #BBG, #BBGgirls, #BBGmoms, #BBGmums, #BBGprogram, #BBGprogress, #BBGcommunity, #KaylaItsines, etc.
There is a community tab within the SWEAT App itself. But I have found the community to be most active, helpful, and vibrant on Instagram’s platform. Use tags for the specific apps, programs, and trainers. Even consider hashtagging the nutrition methods you use. This way you can connect with the community on a deeper level, and find your people.
- Share within your comfort zone
Some ladies with fitness accounts show their faces, and some don’t. Women might post photos of themselves in underwear, bathing suits, or activewear. Or they might not show their physical selves at all. To each their own. My first “before” picture, and most of my subsequent “progress” pictures were taken in my undies. In the very beginning I felt more comfortable being a faceless mystery chick. Plus my hair and face look like that of a scary, haggard monster most of the time. A couple posts in, however, I went for it and showed my face. I decided to just keep my account a secret from anyone I knew in real life.
One of my friends on Instagram has never revealed her name or face on her public account. Yet somehow she’s become my best friend. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity because you don’t want to expose yourself or your body. It’s not necessary to document your journey, get a sense of accountability, and connect with other women around the world. There’s plenty you can share beyond your body.
- Examples of what you could share/document
Maybe you think sweaty selfies will surely get old, or you’d like to keep yourself off camera. There are still a number of things you can post to your Instagram page. Here are just a few ideas:
-screenshots of completed workouts
-weight graphs from your scale or tracking app
-pictures of food
-meal prep recipes
-the view from, or pictures of, your workout space
-new activewear or tennis shoes
-your hiking trail
-myfitnesspal or other food tracking app summaries
-your smartwatch workout summaries or step counts
-reshare posts from fitness influencers
-motivational quotes you find online
You can expand on any of the above screenshots and photos in the post captions. Include appropriate hashtags to find like-minded people and make connections. Feel free to leave out the hashtags if you prefer to keep your account more to yourself. You can maintain your account as a private fitness journal, for your own reference. This is YOUR account to help YOU on YOUR journey. You’re in charge, so run it how you see fit!
I love being inspired by and connected to so many like-minded women through my fitness account. Sometimes I don’t post for a week and a half, and sometimes I post daily – that’s the beauty of it. It’s always there when you want to share. Or it can be thrown on the backburner when life gets hectic.
Even when I’m not posting to my grid, I’m still updating my daily Food & Exercise Diary in my stories. It helps me keep my shit together when life gets busy. And it reminds me that no matter how much life gets in the way, this is important. My physical and mental health is important. Instagram may seem silly and pointless, but if it keeps me consistently taking care of my whole self, that’s meaningful.
No matter what your fitness goal is, there is a place and community for it on the ‘gram. I will be in your corner, cheering you on. Follow my fitness account on Instagram and shoot me a message with any fitness account questions or for username/handle ideas. Sometimes I can be clever like that. 😉
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