Last weekend I did a ‘cleanse’.
Not the type of cleanse you’re probably thinking (if you know me at all, you’ll know that ‘detoxes’ and food ‘cleanses’ are not exactly my thing 😉 ).
A social media cleanse.
As a fitness professional, blogger and freelance writer who’s fairly active on social media, I subscribe to a lot of fitness and nutrition websites. I also ‘follow’ a ton of Facebook pages and Twitter and Instagram accounts. Mostly to stay on top of the latest research and trends in my field but also because I too, seek motivation and inspiration from other fitness mentors. (Trainers need trainers too, right?).
The thing is, despite the daily deluge of emails and the speed with which my Facebook news stream updates with ‘fresh’ material, only a small proportion of the content delivered to me actually serves its purpose; to educate, motivate and inspire.
Instead, I found myself confused by contradictory and misleading information. Should I run or lift weights if I’m trying to lose weight? fasted cardio; yes or no?
Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of exercise and nutrition advice. Everybody’s an expert (with or without credentials) and no two experts ever seem to agree…
Shamed and angered by the “what’s your excuse?” memes. If my priorities differ from yours does that make them ‘excuses’?
And weary of seeing photos of chiseled and buff 25-year old abs-in-training for a fitness competition. After three pregnancies, this almost 50-year-old will never see abs like those again and doesn’t believe they have anything to do with her level of fitness or self-worth. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with fitness competitions or bikini shots, if that’s your thing 😉
I realized that much of the content I was seeing was not written with me in mind. An intelligent, educated 47-year old mother of three who works both in and out of the home, enjoys exercise as much as she enjoys chocolate and craft beer and aims to fit fitness into her life, rather than life around the gym…
It didn’t address my goals. To remain strong, healthy, vital and energetic and be able to enjoy the physical activities I love for a long time to come.
It didn’t jive with my fitness philosophy. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and do it consistently and progressively, with just enough intensity to move you toward your goals.
It didn’t support the body image mindset I’ve worked hard to cultivate. Exercise and eat well because you love how it makes you feel, not because you hate the way your body looks.
So I purged. And cleansed. And deleted. And un-followed.
Until I was seeing just the things that lifted me up, made me laugh and generally, reinforced my worldview.
My own personal list of fitness mentors for over-40 females.
Below you’ll find seven of the women that made the cut (there were many more; I’m not that ruthless.. 😉 ). I hope that you find a little motivation and inspiration in this list AND will share your favourite health and fitness mentors in the comments section at the end of the post.
- Fun and Fit twins Alexandra Williams and Kymberly Williams-Evans – Using wit and wisdom, Alexandra and Kymberly share their life-long love of movement and exercise, uniquely tailored to mid-lifers and baby boomers (AND they teach group step; what’s not to love?).
- Meg Root of Wellness Feels Good – Meg’s whole-person approach to fitness and wellness and her focus on making small choices to help move you towards your goals resonates with this busy mom (who sometimes is challenged with prioritizing herself…).
- Go Kaleo’s Amber Rogers – Her tagline says it all, “Sanity in health and fitness”. Strong and outspoken against ‘fitspiration’ photos (#takebackfitspo ), Amber is a woman I’d LOVE to work out with!
- Josie Maurer of Yum Yucky – Any woman who has four kids, loves to cook, bake and eat and still finds time to create and share fun workouts with her followers is a woman after my own heart. Her Facebook posts almost always brighten my day; thanks Josie!
- Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone both individually and more recently, as co-authors of the soon-to-be-released book “What You Can When You Can – Healthy Living on Your Terms” – #wycwyc is more than a hashtag, it’s a movement, a mindset, and a lifestyle aimed at harnessing the power of small steps (small but CONSISTENT steps, right 😉 ). And the trailer for the book? Too fabulous not to share…