This is the message that fitness Instagramer Shannon Michelle - AKA @caligirlgetsfit – is trying to drive home to her 315 000 followers.
Shannon, a blogger from California, doesn’t have a six-pack or the perfect butt but she is definitely winning when it comes to inspiring her fans to be the best version of themselves.
She has been sharing pictures of various fitness influencers, of all different shapes and sizes, on her Instagram feed to show that anyone can be a fitness inspiration, regardless of their size or shape.
Last week, I wrote about my experience being called a "fitness model" and initially feeling like physically I don't embody that, since my body doesn't look like a Jillian Michaels clone. But I realized that no matter where you are in your journey, you are a FITNESS ROLE MODEL, and I decided to keep this series going. WHY? Because we are all FITNESS ROLE MODELS, and no matter where you are in your journey, you are inspiring others! You don't need chiseled abs, solid arms, or a butt that would put Kim Kardashian to shame in order to be a fitness role model. YOU all are so amazing, and this week I want to introduce you to two more people who inspire the heck out of me and keep me going. _ In the middle, meet @julieanakim, one of the #fitspo girls in my life who motivates me every day. When I'm having a bad day, just her smile picks me, up and she has gone through so much on her journey to health. She decided to take charge of her life, and I met her about 2 years ago at a BBG meetup. What draws me to her is her strength (she does push-ups like a boss), her honesty, her genuine kindhearted spirit, and unwillingness to give up even when faced with challenges. I couldn't be more proud of how far she's come since we met, and proud to be her friend. _ On the right, meet Nadine @house.of.huber. She is one badass chick who is strong inside and out, and overcame an eating disorder through fitness. She inspires me to get stronger every day and keeps it real on her page; while she has rock solid abs in this picture, she shows that girls don't have "flexed" abs every day and it's ok if you don't! Under those flexed and toned abs is a kind person who in addition to her eating disorder has overcome body shaming and has gained confidence through fitness. It truly takes a strong woman to overcome adversity, share her journey online, and inspire others. And she inspires me so much! _ Remember that you are amazing. No matter if you have abs, no abs, baby abs, etc, you are a fitness role model. I gain my strength and motivation from so many of you, and thank you for inspiring me every day! #fitnessrolemodels #strongwomen #womensbest #inspire
She was inspired to start doing this when one of her followers called her a fitness model. At first she thought was ridiculous because she didn’t have the typical “fitness” body type.
“Last week, someone called me a ‘fitness model.’ I laughed and said ‘Girl, I ain’t no fitness MODEL, I don’t have a six-pack, I’m still working on growing a booty, and my gun show is more like a tiny toy gun. Pew pew!’ But then I thought about it more and decided I was all wrong. WE ARE ALL FITNESS MODELS. Yes, that means YOU too.” she wrote.
If you think I'm vain for saying "fitness model," please read the caption. We are ALL fitness models! _ Last week, someone called me a "fitness model." I laughed and said girl, I ain't no fitness MODEL, I don't have a six-pack, I'm still working on growing a booty, and my gun show is more like a tiny toy gun. Pew pew! ?????? But then I thought about it more and decided I was all wrong. _ WE ARE ALL FITNESS MODELS. Yes, that means YOU too! No matter where you are in your journey, you are a fitness ROLE model who inspires people around you. We are all our own heroes who have made the choice to become our best selves. Fitness may look different on all of us, but we all inspire those around us. _ I want to introduce you to two of my role models. Brooke @excessmatters is my irl friend who made a commitment to herself to adopt a healthy lifestyle. So far, she has lost over 100 pounds, but more importantly she has lost a lot of her ???? insecurities and gained ?? self-love and acceptance. Hailey @haileybettencourtfitness is real af, has come so far in her journey, and has stepped out of her comfort zone to compete in ?? bikini competitions. She may physically look like a fitness model, but she's so much more than chiseled abs! In the process, she has learned discipline and dedication. _ You see, fitness looks different on all of us, but we are all fitness models. You don't need the abs or the buns of steel to be inspiring others, growing in your journey, and getting #strongereveryday. Even if you already have those things, your journey still isn't over; we are all changing and evolving. So if you are reading this, remember that you don't have to be the physical stereotype of "fitness" to be inspiring everyone around you. #youarefitspo #bodypositivity #bodypositive #caligirlgetsfit #confidence #loveyourself #confidence #happy #fitgirls #fitness
Shannon’s aim is to encourage her followers to understand that they can all be role models, no matter where they are in their fitness journey.
A study done by psychology researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia recorded how 322 women responded when they viewed fitspo pictures of skinny women or athletic women working out.
The results showed that participants who viewed the pictures ended up feeling insecure about their bodies.
Psychology lecturer Dr Kate Mulgrew told News.com.au that she was surprised by the results but believes that women reacted this way because just like in fashion magazines, these fitness images still represent one, uniform standard of what’s considered attractive.
This is why Shannon’s message is so inspiring.
The blogger began posting her favourite influencers who do not neccesarily fit the stereotypical fitness models. She featured instagramers and bloggers such as @house.of.huber -- who has overcome anorexia to become the picture of health -- and @julieanakim, who doesn’t look like your typical fitness model but has lost loads of weight and promotes fitness on her page.
??Skinny Shaming Is Just As Inappropriate As Fat Discrimination??. .“Oh cry me a river, skinny girl going to complain about being skinny” is surely running through some readers’ minds. Welcome to skinny-shaming. And yes, based on the title of this post alone – I'm fully prepared for the hateful comments and dm's to spam my inbox. But first, hear me out. . . I just read a couple of comments like “Skinny-shaming is not the same as fat discrimination.” One even went as far as calling being skinny a “privilege” which means that skinny people can't complain about it. What is skinny-shaming though? It's an individual or group actively using someone’s weight to make the person feel like sh*t. Is that not by definition the same thing as fat discrimination? . . These people proceeded by saying “Not that I condone anyone making fun of skinny people, no one should make fun of anyone” but then go on to preach just why it is that it's better to make fun of a skinny person about their weight than a fat person. Hypocrisy. . . I was 54kg and 1.83m for most of my life. And this is the part where readers immediately start forming assumptions and opinions about me (“That’s disgusting,” “Did you not eat?” “Jesus, eat a f*cking cheeseburger.”) Yeah, I always ate like a pig to compensate for those very comments. . . So yes, I had an eating disorder. But, not everybody does. For some people it's literally just genetic. The same argument about how some people can't control being fat, some people are predisposed to it, etc., newsflash: it’s the same thing for skinny people. It is how their body is, they have no control over it, and they are not this way for the sole purpose of making you feel like sh*t about yourself. And simply because someone is skinny, does not mean they are somehow not entitled to feel hurt by people’s comments, or they have no clue what it’s like to be fat and thus can never speak about the “taboo” topic of weight. . . Quit the animosity. Quit trying to say everyone likes one thing better than the other. To each his own, as they say. But at the end of the day, no matter what shape or size you come in: There's no excuse for being rude!#stopbodyshaming
Speaking of @julieanakim, Shanon wrote, “What draws me to her is her strength (she does push-ups like a boss), her honesty, her genuine kind-hearted spirit, and unwillingness to give up even when faced with challenges,”
“I couldn't be more proud of how far she's come since we met, and proud to be her friend.”
Been super consistent with my workouts but I can feel myself slowly losing motivation. I don't know what it is. I haven't had the same drive as I did before my vacation & it sucks. I feel so frustrated with my progress, whether it's related to PCOS or not I still feel like a failure at times. I think we all see ups and downs with our journey but I have to remember why I ultimately started which was to be healthy. I noticed that my weight was starting to effect many aspects of my life- relationships, job, social life, health, etc. I changed my lifestyle and I was able to enjoy life again. I know this journey isn't going to be easy and I've had bumps in the road like this before. I just have to keep pushing. Luckily I have amazing people in my life like you all to keep motivating and encouraging me. Let's keep looking forward!
Shannon reckons that fitness is different for everyone and that you don’t need rock-hard abs or buns of steel to be an example to others.
“You don’t have to be the physical stereotype of ‘fitness’ to be inspiring everyone around you,” she said.
Great advice from a gorgeous woman!