I remember being a freshman in college and wanting to try out the campus gym. I’d pass by it weekly on the way to one of my classes, and it was always at least half full. I found myself lingering at times to get an idea for the pace and the people using the equipment so I would be prepared for what equipment might be available and even how to use it. I grew up running (quite casually) and occasionally engaging in sports, but until college, I had never stepped foot inside a gym.
Eventually, I decided I would go—as late in the evening as possible. I didn’t know if I knew “how” to work out, and I didn’t want to be embarrassed if my schoolmates were present as I figured it out. I also happened to attend my university the year that our female sports teams were full of some of the Southeast’s best recruits. Their bodies had a level of tonality I had never seen in real life; I was too intimidated to work out at the same time they did.
Like most millennials, I use social media regularly, and not only do I use it—I love it. Sure, I enjoy the outdoors, playing board games, being face-to-face with family…but I truly love my phone. I use different apps for reading the Bible, writing songs, challenging my husband in Scrabble, documenting our kid’s life and of connecting across various platforms. And as a part of the generation who grew up with the launch of social media, I often hear how it can ruin our lives—particularly in conversations with and about women, surrounding comparison and how what we consume has a negative impact on how we see ourselves.
I know the constant scrolling on any app can cause us to create unnecessary and irrelevant scoreboards, but I also experienced this sensation just walking down the halls of my small Bible college. One glance to my right and there was an instant visual; I’d pass by and look into a rectangular window that framed confident women who hit on every one of my insecurities. As they achieved their goals, lifting weights and running on treadmills, my mind showed me “ideal body types” that only raised the standard of what I thought I needed to become.
Instagram doesn’t make me insecure. Athletes are not the root of my anxiety. When we have work to do internally, almost anything can be a reminder of who we are not. When I have doubts about my body, it can be a social media post or someone at the gym or a verse in a song that I previously loved, it all suddenly feels as though it’s saying I am not enough.
Even still, I choose to lead an intentional life, one that does not feed my insecurities. I have invested hours in curating a social media experience that I can both enjoy and benefit from. Here are a few women who light up my follow list!
- Arielle Estoria is a poet and author.
- Keli Reese is a writer, speaker, and mama of 5. I look forward to her daily Instagram stories as she shares her wisdom and personal anecdotes on motherhood and Anxiety.
- Ashley Pryor is a professional rower & Peloton instructor. I cried happy tears when she was announced as a new instructor because I am passionate about fitness, and I enjoy the reminder that it’s possible for me to do what I love and set new goals I can crush.
- Ilona Maher is a champion. Literally! She’s an Olympic-level rugby player. I started watching her funny videos on TikTok and have appreciated her intentional posts about body and image.
Whether in a season of life when I am confident in who I am, or when I am having challenges embracing change, the choice to be intentional with where I go, what I do, and who I follow plays a role in my everyday life.
Who do you follow that provides positivity to your social media experience?Leave a Comment