I really was surprised that my most liked post – by about double – was not at all what I would have thought it would be. I think you’ll be surprised too. Let me give you some context first.
My career and lifestyle as the founder of Barre Body and Bende means that I am deeply embedded in the world of health and fitness. I eat well, I exercise regularly, and I do lots of things to make me feel (and ultimately look) better. I drink lots of water. I meditate. I move my body every single day. I get 7-8 hours of sleep ever night. I take probiotics and collagen. I don’t overdo it, but I live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
I have been actively prominent in this industry for almost 10 years, since I founded Barre Body, and I have experienced the full spectrum of body awareness from self-shaming to complete and total body positivity, to joyful body neutrality. There were some years in the middle (especially after having my babies) where I really felt I had to look a certain way to hold up the ideal of a fitness founder/business owner and “influencer”. I use the term influencer really lightly here because I don’t have a huge number of followers and I’ve never really believed myself to be one, but I imagine that other people probably do, so it’s an important role to acknowledge and one that is full of responsibility – for myself and for others’ emotional wellbeing.
As I get older (I’m 41 now, gasp!) and much, much wiser, I am more focussed on how I feel as opposed to how I look. I still do all of the things (eat, drink, sleep, move well, etc), but I do them for how they make me feel rather than how they make me look, or more accurately, how I used to worry that I “should” look.
So, I was absolutely delighted when, in December last year, I chose to post a less flattering version of a pool-side photo I took on a mini-break with my husband, and it was liked like crazy on Instagram. I had wanted to post something (because: content) and so my husband had taken several photos of me beside the pool at different angles. I chose to post the most real version because it represented how I want to present myself to the world and the message of body and movement joy that I want to share. I also consciously chose not to post a comparison shot of a better angle (“look at what angles can do”) as that feels pretty self-indulgent and disingenuous if you ask me.
And it was a big hit. As I said earlier, I don’t have a crazy number of followers so 600 likes on a post is pretty huge for me. Most of my posts get between 200-300 likes. The caption read:
I’m v proud of this imperfectly perfect body. It has birthed two babies, it gets me from a to b, and it allows me to move with JOY every day.
We had such a good time this weekend (sans kids on Saturday night – heaven) at @calilehotel in Brisbane. If you haven’t been to Brisbane yet, do it! If I had to move back to a city, it would be Bris in a heartbeat.
PS. I’m all about being SunSmart in my 40s and so my tan is thanks to @byronbaybronze.
622 likes and 48 comments is definitely a record for me, and I think it’s worth celebrating that the content of the post was all about loving your body and not trying to present it in the best light all the time.
I hope this inspires you in some way.