Health, Fitness and Wellness Events.

There's More To Life Than Likes

We live in a world where young people now grow up wanting to get more Instagram followers. There isn't a day that goes by when we don't check our social media. Wait. Who are we kidding, some days there isn't an hour that goes by when we aren't constantly responding to comments and messages, posting a picture, chatting on Stories or just regularly refreshing our feed. What is it about social media - Instagram in particular - that can give usually rational women anxiety and paranoia. With the recent change in the Instagram algorithm everyone has been receiving less love and how to grow your Instagram following authentically has become more important than ever before. The Instagram shadow ban and the changes in social media got us to thinking,  do we even enjoy using social media anymore? Then we spotted a post by the gorgeous LJ last week and we realised we weren't the only ones to feel this way. LJ is a West London based personal trainer and fitness instructor and has a following of over 15,000 people on Instagram alone, we asked LJ to share her thoughts ...

There are a few things in life that I'd call a "necessary evil" - foam rolling, hill sprints, doing my tax return.... but a year or so ago I never thought I'd put Instagram in that same category. And yet over the past couple of months I've really been developing a love/hate relationship with social media sharing. I would always advise my clients to cut anything out of their life that causes negativity, so why don't I just delete the app from my phone and be done with it? Because as much as it pains me to say, I need it. As a self employed freelance trainer, instructor and blogger Instagram does actually open up conversations for me with potential clients, gyms to teach at and brands to work with. Not to mention a platform for sharing my message of hard work and determination when it comes to anyone's fitness journey. But when does sharing a healthy recipe or your top tips for lunging go for casual networking to generating feelings of insecurity? 

I had to start thinking of all of these things recently after my Instagram account was hacked and I was locked out of it for a couple of days. I was of course worried about what someone may have access to, which in turn made me start to think about everything I have shared with my followers - was it too much? Then came the worry that I might actually never get my account back and the sadness at losing over 3 years of my life documented in photos. But then the embarrassing part - I actually started to hate not having access to Instagram. No way to see what my friends are up to on their stories, and no way to share what I was up to - but as a 30 something business owner and fitness professional, why on earth should I be panicking about 2 days with no Instagram? It really made me stop and think hard about how much emphasis I had been placing on IG and, as horrible as it was at the time, it actually gave me a much needed wake-up call that there is far more to life that a cat face filter and sharing a tiny snapshot of my day in a square picture. 

Leading up to this incident, I had actually been suffering from what I guess I’d call social media anxiety. I’ve met an awful lot of people through Instagram - some of whom even came to me for advice when they first started their account, or who had a relatively small following to start with - but many of whom now have quite literally over 10 times the amount of followers I do. I see other Personal Trainers working out in the worlds best gyms, training celebrities, being sponsored by huge fitness brands and whilst I’m always happy for people who have worked hard to be where they are I couldn’t help feeling a little jealous, and insecure as to why I wasn’t getting these opportunities. With Instagram engagement plummeting in the past few weeks thanks to the new algorithm my likes, views and comments are dropping, yet a quick scroll through my feed brings up workout videos with tens of thousands of views, or transformation photos with pages of comments afterwards. I couldn’t help but compare. What am I doing wrong? Do people not like my content? Am I even any good at this, because if I was surely this would be me travelling the globe and landing lucrative sponsorship deals? Instagram had sadly blinded me to the truth that was actually in front of me. Being forced to take a step back made me realise that I had started to become obsessive about it, the exact opposite of what I wanted my account to be about when I set it up. I wanted to start an Instagram to help motivate and inspire people to live their best active life by sharing my story, my tips and my experience of fitness, health, weight loss and nutrition. My exact ethos was that if I could help even one person, then it was worth it. Yet here I was stressing about “only” getting 300 likes

The reality is, I’ve worked in fitness for over 8 years. I have lost nearly 4 stone in weight to get to the point I’m at now. I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. I ditched my steady, well-paid corporate career to work in fitness full time because I was so passionate about working with people to help change their lives as fitness changed mine. I now run a successful London based Personal Training business and work with some incredible clients on a daily basis. I teach group fitness classes across the City, many of which are waitlist only. I’m married to my best friend and we own a lovely home that we worked hard to purchase. I have an incredible group of friends who have my back no matter what and make me cry with laughter when we get together. 

None of this has anything to do with Instagram. I’d forgotten how lucky I actually am, and how hard I’ve worked to create a life I love because I was so busy worrying about my dropping social media engagement. Taking a step back and looking at the situation I can see that social media really is only a small part of a much bigger picture for me, and that is the way it needs to stay. When I stopped and though about it I realised that actually the vast majority of people I look up to in the industry, instructors who’s classes I happily pay to attend, trainers who are smashing their work day in day out, people who just work hard every single day to be the best version of themselves - none of these people are “social media famous” - but it doesn’t make me respect or admire them any less. 

I’d urge anyone experiencing social media FOMO or jealousy or insecurity to actually do exactly what I had to. Take a break from the screen. Don’t look at your Instagram for 24-48 hours. Live your life. Go for brunch without photographing it. Have a super sweaty workout without the after selfie. Spend time with people you love without having to document it with a princess crown filter in your story. Be thankful for what you have right here and right now - your family, your friends, your home, your job, your health, the opportunity to work out and eat well because you can. 

I’m not saying stop using Instagram, and I very much plan to continue to use it - but for the way I originally intended to. To inspire, motivate and educate. To meet like minded people. To discover cool new dinner spots, scroll though photos of adorable sausage dogs and watch make up contouring tutorials. Instagram is a tiny little bit of the bigger picture. Not the whole picture itself - no matter what filter you use. 

 Lisa-Jane Holmes aka Wild Cat Fitness - follow Lisa on social  @wildcatfit

Lisa-Jane Holmes aka Wild Cat Fitness - follow Lisa on social @wildcatfit

The photos in this piece are curtesy of LJ and taken by Anna Jackson and Tom Miles

A recipe for success

Have you ever wondered why some people are successful and others aren't? It's all down to a person's ability to believe in themselves and their abilities.

Put it another way, all too often we jeopardise our own success. We quit before we've even started, "I could never do that" or "my body isn't built that way". We place limiting beliefs on ourselves but why? If a friend were to ask us what we thought of their chances of success we'd give them our full support and guidance of how to improve. Why don't we do that for ourselves? Habit. For 25/30+ years our mind has developed to respond in the same way. If you always think you can't, then it goes without saying that the next opportunity to come along, you'll think you can't do that too. We need to stop berating ourselves and limiting our own abilities and start being our number one cheerleaders. But how?

Practice. Seriously. You can't think that if you've been living in a certain way for 20 years that poof overnight your mindset will change. Unfortunately it doesn't work like that. Instead of putting yourself down practice picking yourself up.

Say your goal is to feel good in a bikini when you go on holiday in 3 weeks time. For 99% of people we are not going to look like Pamela Anderson, ever and definitely not in 3 weeks. That's not us being mean but realistic. But stop, don't put yourself down, you are where you are and getting mad for not starting earlier won't get you anywhere. It's totally normal. But you must be rational. As much as we'd all love to look like Pammy it isn't ever going to happen so don't put that out as a comparison and then see yourself as a failure before you've even started. Get realistic, in 3 weeks you can fit in 6-9 workouts. That's 3 a week max that's realistic. Commit to that. Schedule the workouts in your diary like you would a client meeting and make them happen. Take an honest look at your diet - by which we mean what you eat, not that you should be on a diet - and be sensible about the changes you can make. Don't cut out everything. Choose one or two things to cut out and focus on sticking to that.

What do these two approaches have in common? You're setting yourself up for success. You're giving yourself a chance to be successful which means you're already more likely to succeed. Which means when you start off succeeding and hitting your goals you get the feeling that you're doing well and you'll want to keep at it. Success breeds success. That's why we're told that you become a product of the 5 people you spend your most time with.

If you fancy joining other women who are looking to set some massive goals and then smash them then give this little link a look and clear your diary for 19 August, we've got a feeling it's going to be incredible.

Lucy - Fitfluence

Friday Feeling

We’ve got that Friday feeling!

This week has been a busy one over at Fitfluence HQ with the announcement of an engagement, the launch of a new fitness concept business (not ours but still very exciting) and the best news of all .. the return of our protégé from Hong Kong for a week this summer!!

Even though all of the Fitfluence team love their jobs we can’t help but get excited about the weekend. It’s the time when we get to kick back, relax, have the odd glass of wine (yes we love fitness but we know how to relax too) and spend some time with our nearest and dearest.

A message we are really keen to promote is that if you’ve been dreaming of this coming weekend since 9am last Monday then something has got to change. Yes you should be looking forward to doing the things you love but not in a desperate or depressed way.

Do you want to know a secret?

Almost two years ago, just before Fitfluence was born, our founder Lucy used to cry on a Sunday night because of the thought of going to work on a Monday morning. She had a corporate job, the kind you're told to get at school, the kind you work your ass off at university for to find out that when you get there it's pretty soulless and soul destroying. But hey, when you've worked so hard to get there you're not going to give it all up right away. After the years of sacrifices and financial investment you've got to stick with it, right? Wrong. If you feel like crying on a Sunday night or your heart sinks on a Monday morning then something has got to change and do you know what, we're here to help.

We're here to show you that life is for living. No we aren't recommending that you instantly give-up the day job and retire at 30. As much as we'd love to hang out at a beach bar drinking daiquiris all day we don't have a secret trust fund to support us. However, we don't believe you should compromise your happiness just to make money. Keep your eyes on the blog and we'll be showing you how you can live a life you've always dreamed of, without giving up the day job.

Until then have a fantastic weekend

Team Fitfluence x

Just Jump

Have you ever wanted to do something but even the thought of it was too scary to give it a try? We have definitely been there, pretty regularly if we're honest.

It's really great to have HUGE dreams but what good are they if they stay as dreams? What is it that stops us from taking the first step? Fear? Time? Money? All three?

When we held our first event, we were petrified that it would all go wrong. That no-one would show up, that people wouldn't enjoy the event or even that there would be a fire in building and the event would be cancelled. In the planning stages we were worried about what people would think. Would they understand that we weren't just another fitness company and that we were trying to educate people to and work on mindset not just the physical aspects? Would people understand that talking about health and fitness was just as important as going to the gym, perhaps even more so? 

We need not have worried one bit because the event was a huge success. We immediately went on to sell out for our next three events and the feedback was incredible.

But how do you get from dreaming to dream come true?

How do you throw yourself off the edge of the cliff and go for it?

If you've got a hurdle you need to break down your fears and categorise them as rational and irrational. Factors such as technical glitches and class instructors not turning up are rational, get a back-up and contingency in place as these things can and will go wrong but they aren't insurmountable. What about the things you can't control like whether other people will like your idea or enjoy themselves? When you stop worrying so much about what other people think and start thinking "who cares?" that's when you'll start making waves. There's never going to be a perfect time and the planets are not going to align. Instead, make a plan, take a deep breath and jump.

Team Fitfluence x