Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Fitsperation. Or How to Roll a Shit in Glitter.

Zoe. You read this blog and are always so enthusiastic and lovely and I'm really sorry that what I'm about to write might make you angry or sad. Hopefully you'll understand that me and you have very very different attitudes to food and exercise and that we are friends despite this but I will understand if you find what I think upsetting. 

Fitsperation is bullshit. 

There are people out there that have parts of themselves that are working against them. Little or big voices in their heads that tell them they are not worth enough on their own, that they have to work at being worth anything. This is wrong, we all know it is. You are always absolutely above and beyond whatever anyone could want you to be on your own. You should not have to try to be respected or valued, you should know that you are always enough. That voice though, if given too much power, will try and destroy you. It is addictive and poisonous to listen to that voice. 

I am scared of that voice. It lives inside of me, telling me disgusting things about love handles and double chins. But the best thing about being scared of that voice is that I do not listen to it. Because if you do, if you let it win that is when eating disorders happen. Anorexia has never been a good thing, no one is ever trying make it mainstream. Thinsporation or 'Thinspo', Pro-Ana websites are reportable to your internet provider and treated as 'dangerous to children' by all internet security software. There are girls who try and make it seem controllable or cool but as with any addiction, it rules you. If you let it in, you lose and it will take you. 

But now another threat has arisen and this time its very very well disguised. Fitspo, or Fitsporation is encouraging people to get 'fit'. That 'strong is the new sexy' and 'strong girls look better naked'. Now I know that this seems fine, that encouraging healthy diet and exercise is all doctors ever wanted but what it is doing is the same. Sneaky but the same. It is pushing an incredibly difficult and dangerous body image to strive for amongst (lets face it) young girls, claiming it to be sexy, beautiful and the most awful and infectious normal. When you give someone something like Fitspo, those voices in their head go fucking nuts. They can boast about their progress online without feeling like they are going to be judged and lead normal lives. Its a really high functioning mental illness. You can lead a normal life except for when someone asks you if you want to do something, you don't, you want to go to the gym. When someone asks you if you want to get some lunch or go out for a drink, you don't, You want to eat the food at home that you have calculated its calories and carbohydrate sugars. 

When you're giving a woman, because its always a woman, a body image to aim for you are feeding the voices. Your opinion of your body is a mental health issue, not a health issue. 99.9% of the time, you look fine, brilliant and beautiful. Go for a run, do some yoga, eat healthy thats all brilliant but eat a double cheeseburger and spend the day in bed once in a while. Get a bit of body fat because when the Apocalypse comes you will be the first to die and no one will want to eat you so you won't even be helpful. 

I get a bit ranty when I talk or think or even glance at something like this but its important. Strong may be sexy, can be sexy and is sexy but osteoporosis through bone shock fractures and over use of aspirin is not. Neither is a girl that can't lick chocolate off of you, or gets ill all the time from a low immune system. Anaemia isn't sexy. When you get to the unhealthy levels of calorie burning that come from an intense exercise regime, all the symptoms and side effects are the same as being anorexia. They're also about 80% the same as obesity, interestingly. 


  1. While I understand your sentiment, to a degree I think it's unfair. I use my Tumblr to post my 'fitspiration' posts, automatically done by Fitocracy. I don't follow fitspiration blogs and I don't collect images of trim tums and thigh gaps - I post these blogs because they show me how my fitness is improving week to week. I don't care if I can do a half marathon at the end of this but still have rolls of fat jiggling about. As long as I can walk up the mountainous hill to my house in Sheffield without breaking a sweat after ten seconds, I'll be happy.

    Fitspiration is confused with thinspiration. When it becomes about your image, it is thinspiration. People who are actually into fitspo will not judge another person because they have layers of fat if they're making an effort to get fit. A person who is into thinspo will. You're correct in saying that fitspo can encourage people to become unhealthily obsessed with their body image, but that is because people are blurring the lines between thinspo and fitspo.

  2. To me they are two sides of the same coin. Being healthy is not the same as Fitspo, the same way that going on a diet is not the same as Thinspo. I commend any person who wants to be fitter or wants to be thinner and they may go about their business doing so just as I will go about mine not doing so. Its not the people who use Fitspo that I am criticising it is the way it is presented. That if you are not doing something to make your body look a certain way you should be judged, that someone or worse everyone is judging you because you are not doing enough to make yourself look a certain way. It is about the way you look.

    Also I've googled Fitocracy and I know that talking about that will make me all kinds of angry and judge-y and I'm very tired.