In a split photo on her page, Wilson reflected on the importance of setting realistic goals — and knowing when one’s fitness expectations are not attainable.
Beginning the post with a bold message, “UNFOLLOW YOUR INSPO,” she explained what lead her to share this interesting note — and questioned who her followers were looking to for fitness inspiration in the first place.
“Who is your gold-standard inspiration for your physique, the one you are forever idolizing and comparing your body to?” she wrote. “For me it was Jaime Eason. When I started out she was all over every magazine. I’d stare at the thin skin on her arms, and her midsection devoid of muffin top. I couldn’t wait to look just like that.”
However, she soon realized that comparing her body to Eason’s wasn’t healthy, or smart.
“Inspiring as Jamie was – and still is — what I didn’t realize is how unhealthy this goal was — at least for me. Her body is her living, it’s also way above average in conditioning compared to most fitness standards. For as long as I’ve been lifting, and the 20 lbs of muscle I’ve since added, to match this level of body fat would take pretty restrictive calories and a steady use of cardio to match AND maintain… no thank you.”
She makes it clear to Yahoo Beauty she doesn’t feel Eason’s physique is unhealthy — just the idea of some women trying to achieve it. Eason’s body, she says, is “hard to reach and a lot of work to maintain, absolutely. But I have a general idea what her training and diet entails, and while it’s rigorous — it’s still within healthy limits. However I think most ladies would find this lifestyle quite restrictive to follow long term, especially when they are not fitness models themselves.”
In her Instagram caption, she noted that fitness models and competitors like Eason are often paid to look the way they do, unlike regular people who work out to stay fit.
“People like her are making five, six, seven figures off of their bodies. Their above average image is their full time job,” she says.
Wilson found great inspiration in Eason’s look and set goals to accomplish her own body transformation. “I’m 32 now and I first started training at 22. As someone who’d never been at all athletic or fit, nor confident about my body, seeing someone like Jamie who was — and still is — this unique combination of femininity, poise and muscularity was so inspiring,” she says. “She was a huge catalyst to my confidence to go after a fit physique, but at the same time, it accidentally caused me to set this unbelievably high standard for my goals from day one.”
But measuring herself against Eason made her insecure.
“I’d always had a thin, frail body, but still carried a muffin top. No matter how much progress I made, or how my physique evolved, in those early years I barely appreciated it because I was comparing myself more with her than with my former self,” she says.
She decided that she needed to alter her own fitness expectations and make a change in her workout goals. “After a few years I began to realize that I was so focused on comparing myself to her and so many ladies like her, that I was holding myself to a standard no one else was expecting of me. It took time, but I gradually started adopting a more reasonable standard for my appearance and lifestyle. I started looking back at how far I’d come, rather than only forward, and appreciating the work I’d put in.”
Despite reprioritizing her fitness standards, she still very much looks up to Eason in her life. “I’ve learned to adjust my goals to be more healthy, sustainable, and in keeping with an average person,” she detailed. “I’m still inspired by physiques like hers; however, I realize that she and I are not on the same level. Of course being in this industry I should always lead by example, but that example should be what I teach my clients — physically healthy to reach, mentally healthy to maintain.”
Wilson stayed on a good path, and learned what worked for her — and what didn’t.
“I always kept an overall healthy — albeit overcritical — approach to my goals even early on. I will say though that I was lucky to get into fitness and establish my confidence before things like Instagram and Facebook took off,” she says.
Social media can be detrimental to both health and body image, believes Wilson. So be careful who you follow, and take what you see with a big grain of salt.
“Everyone with an ego and a six pack is propping themselves up as some kind of fitness guru with the answers to all your problems,” she says.
Being fit isn’t about a number on a scale, but about long-term health.
“Your goal shouldn’t be so ‘end-focused’ because if you are doing this right there is no end,” she says. “You should keep improving your body for years on end. The true goal is constant progression. If you do that, you’ll actually end up with a uniquely fit body that people will envy no matter if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond.”
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