Why I Won’t Be Posting Posed vs Relaxed Pictures

The Instagram fitness community is seeing an overwhelming trend of body positivity and self-love at every stage of the “get fit” process. While I love that being BoPo is SO hot right now (it should always be in style, IMO), I’m not on the Posed vs Relaxed bandwagon — and won’t be jumping on it at all.

This isn’t to put down anyone who has posted a selfie of the like, with one side showing you posed at a good angle and good lighting next to a picture of you non-posed, relaxed, just like you are in “real life.” I do believe these posts were all made with good intention. They were posted in an effort to be transparent in the fact that the majority of Instagram feeds, especially those of Social Media Influencers, are posed + curated to increase engagement and follower counts. To show the people that are following that you aren’t always working with a good hip-to-booty ratio pose, your abs aren’t always flexed, and the lighting isn’t always flattering.

The intentions are good. And honestly, I love the transparency! But, if the message that is trying to be conveyed is “Don’t compare yourself to my highlight reel because I don’t even look like my highlight reel all of the time” wouldn’t it be more beneficial to our followers to just simply post more non-flexed, relaxed, natural selfies?

Most of the posed vs relaxed pictures have captions that reiterate that the person posting the picture does not see one as good and one as bad, just different. But… if that’s sincerely the case and the relaxed isn’t a picture where you think you look bad, why aren’t you posting that picture?

The comparison of the two, in itself, implies to your followers “I like this posed one and always post selfies like this, but I typically look like the relaxed picture, and despite the fact that I don’t look bad in the relaxed picture, I’d still rather post the one where I’m posed.” And if you’d rather post one over the other (as you do according to your feed), then your followers would infer that means you DO prefer one over the other.

Instead of making it a comparison, why not just post a picture of you looking like… you, in all of your beautiful, non-posed glory?

Instead of prefacing the caption with “Not flexed and not posed”, why not just post it without feeling the need to vocalize to your audience that you are not flexed or posed? Making it known that you are not doing those things is almost as if you are saying “I know I don’t look as great as I do in most pictures, but that’s because I’m not flexing or using my angles.”

If the message we really want to convey is, “I’m not perfect, I look normal when I’m not contorting my body to show my best angles,” then why not just share more pictures where you aren’t contorting your body to show your best angles?

I read a post the other day, from a woman who is clinically obese and uses her Instagram platform to promote Body Positivity and self-love. Her post conveyed a message that she was not pleased with some women using their thin privilege to convey how “we all have rolls when we sit down” (I’m sure you’ve seen these posts on Instagram, too). Even with the stomach standing vs tummy “rolls” sitting trend on IG, I believe the intentions were good — the way of conveying it just misses the mark. It’s almost as if you’re saying, if you sit down and have tummy “rolls” it’s okay because I do, too. But what about those people who have tummy “rolls” no matter if they sit or stand? Are those rolls okay, too? OF COURSE THEY ARE! But that isn’t the message that’s being sent.

My intentions here are not to criticize those who have made these posts, because I do believe they came from a place of good. I believe they came from a place of love and wanting to promote body positivity to followers. I’m just wondering if we should think more critically about the way these comparison pictures are perceived by those who aren’t “fitness models” with relatively low body fat percentages all year-round.

As those who are promoting fitness, we must understand that there will be people who look up to us who are NOT considered to be at a healthy weight, and the way we speak and talk about our bodies reaches women of all ages, shapes, and sizes. So if you’re a fitness model or fitness influencer with a really large reach, I urge you to keep promoting self-love, body positivity, and fitness… but I also strongly urge you to look at how your messages may be perceived by the women who look up to you.

I think we can all do better in the transparency department. More non-posed, non-flexed pictures will be gracing my Instagram feed.

 

Xo,


Leta

5 Tips to Stick to Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution

The new year is the perfect time to turn a new leaf and make a fresh start. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions that are health and fitness related (I definitely did). Whether you’re trying to start a new diet or commit to working out, it can be hard to start a new lifestyle from scratch. Here are some tips to help you keep your New Year’s fitness resolution.

1. Drink More Water

One of the quickest ways to eliminate unnecessary calories and sugar from your diet is to simply drink more water. Try to drink 1oz per pound of body weight each day. One gallon is 128 ounces, so if you weigh 128 pounds, shoot for one gallon. A lot of people mistake dehydration for hunger. Keeping a water bottle full and with you throughout the day can help combat hunger pains as well as keep you hydrated.

2. Prepare your meals in advance

I know the idea of “meal prep” seems extremely tedious, but trust me it beats the alternative of going into “oh sh*t, I don’t have food, what am I going to do? How am going to stay on track?” panic mode. Make preparing your meals a scheduled event in your weekly routine. Whether it’s cooking food in bulk on Sunday afternoons or preparing all of your meals for the next day at the same time each night, making it a routine and scheduled activity in your day or week will make meal prep easier to complete. (Need meal prep ideas? Check out some of the recipes I’ve posted in the Food section of my site.)

3. Eliminate trigger foods from your house

Everyone has that food (or foods in my case, yikes!) that if it is in arms reach, it will be devoured before the night is over. Maybe it’s flavored peanut butter (guilty!), candy, or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s… whatever it is, don’t keep it in the house! You know you have no self-control with this food, so why put yourself in a position to a) be constantly tempted and tortured looking at it in the cabinet or fridge or b) set yourself up for failure. Does this mean you should completely cut this food out of your life completely? Heck no! Have it in moderation, of course. But that is much easier to do when you don’t have the food at home. If you’re trigger food is ice cream, make a trip to the nearest Coldstone for a cone, but don’t buy a tub of ice cream so that it stares you in the face every time you open the freezer.

4. Stay Ready

It is so easy to make excuses to not stick to your diet or skip the gym. These days it’s almost too easy… long day at work, too tired, too sore, didn’t have time to prep your meals, your commute took longer than normal, etc. Preparation is key, fam! Just like you have your meals ready for the day, make sure that your gym bag is pre-packed and that you have your workout planned in advance. Knowing exactly what you’ll be working out (or what fitness class you’re taking) will save you time at the gym as you won’t be lolly-gagging (does anyone say that anymore? Can I bring it back?) around the weights and machines because you’ll have a plan to stick with.  Having your bag ready the night before means you can just grab-n-go in the morning, whether you’re working out before work or after work, you won’t need to worry about running home to change. This will also combat the “I went home after work to get ready for the gym and I just decided not to go” occurrences.

5. Schedule Your Day

It’s already been alluded to, but scheduling your entire day is probably the best advice that I can give you when it comes to sticking to a new fitness and diet regimen. A healthy lifestyle change can seem like it’s too much to manage at first, but if you sit down and schedule out your week in advance, you’ll see how much time you really do have to dedicate to yourself. Fail to plan, plan to fail! Every Sunday afternoon while my food is cooking, I’ll get my planner out and look at my week. My workouts are meetings that cannot be cancelled or skipped, so if I have after-work activities to attend, I’ll make sure to move my rest day to that day. I’ll also review my workout split to make sure that I have enough workouts scheduled to match my split (i.e. if I have 4 workouts to do, I schedule for 4 days, if I have 5 workouts, I schedule 5 days of my “gym meetings”).

If one of your new years resolutions was to jump back into the fitness game, use these 5 steps to stick with it and get the results that you want. You deserve it!

Happy sweating, #fitfam!

Xo,

Leta

This or That | Macro Comparisons: Halloween Candy

Trick or treat!

It’s that time of year again. October and fall weather has officially hit us here in Chicago, which can only mean one thing… Halloween is EVERYWHERE! Walk into any grocery store and you are bombarded with marketing for those oh, so scrumptious bite size treats for your trick-or-treaters! (Who am I kidding? We all eat out of that candy bowl!)

With candy temptations surrounding us already (seriously people, we are just DAYS into the fall season), I decided to do a little macro comparison for a few typical Halloween treats, so you have a better idea of what you should (or shouldn’t) grab the next time you have the urge at home (or at the office) to dig into the candy!

Here are the different treats that I looked at. With each treat, I consider the macronutrients per serving, the serving size (vs the actual serving size you’ll actually eat), as well as the sugar per serving.

 

halloween-candy-by-phanton-kitty

 

Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
Serving Size (1 Piece / 21g)
Calories 110 (115)
Fat 7g
Carbs 12g
Protein 1g
Sugar 11g

Crunch
Serving Size (4 bars / 40g) || (1 bar / 10g)
Calories 200 (206) || 50 (52)
Fat 10g || 3g
Carbs 27g || 7g
Protein 2g || <1g
Sugar 22g || 6g

Butterfinger
Serving Size (4 bars / 40g) || (1 bar / 10g)
Calories 180 (196) || 45 (49)
Fat 8g || 2g
Carbs 29g || 7g
Protein 2g || <1g
Sugar 18g || 5g

Baby Ruth
Serving Size (4 bars / 40g) || (1 bar / 10g)
Calories 210 (209) || 53 (53)
Fat 9g || 2g
Carbs 30g || 8g
Protein 2g || <1g
Sugar 25g || 6g

Starburst Fruit Chews
Serving Size (8 pieces / 40g / 4 stick wraps) || ( 2 pieces / 10g / 1 stick wrap)
Calories 160 (163) || 40 (41)
Fat 3g || <1g
Carbs 34g || 9g
Protein 0g || 0g
Sugar 22g || 6g

Skittles Fun Size Pack
Serving Size (3 packs / 46g) || (1 pack / 15g)
Calories 190 (186) || 63 (62)
Fat 2g || <1g
Carbs 42g || 14g
Protein 0g || 0g
Sugar 34g || 11g

3 Musketeers Minis
Serving Size (7 pieces / 41g) || (1 piece / 6g)
Calories 180 (177) || 25 (25)
Fat 5g || <1g
Carbs 32g || 5g
Protein 1g || <1g
Sugar 27g || 4g

Snickers Fun Size Bar
Serving Size (2 bar / 34g) || (1 bar / 17g)
Calories 160 (168) || 80 (84)
Fat 8g || 4g
Carbs 21g || 10g
Protein 3g || 2g
Sugar 18g || 9g

Snickers Minis
Serving Size (4 pieces / 36g) || (1 piece / 9g)
Calories 170 (172) || 43 (43)
Fat 8g || 2g
Carbs 22g || 6g
Protein 3g || <1g
Sugar 19g || 5g

M&Ms Fun Size Pack
Serving Size (3 packs / 40g) || (1 pack / 13g)
Calories 190 (187) || 63 (62)
Fat 7g || 2g
Carbs 29g || 10g
Protein 2g || <1g
Sugar 26g || 9g

 

My findings…

Per serving:
Fewest calories: 3 Musketeers Mini (also the smallest serving snack at only 6g per piece)
Most calories: Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup (also the biggest serving at 21g per cup/piece)
Least amount of sugar: 3 Musketeers Mini
Most sugar: Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup & Skittles Snack Pack

Of the mini chocolates:
Fewest calories: 3 Musketeers
Most calories: Baby Ruth

Of the snack packs:
Fewest calories: Starburst fruit chews (and you get two!)
Most calories: Skittles & M&Ms TIED!

 

Some concluding thoughts…

  • The snack packs are probably more satisfying as it will seem as if you’re eating more (because you get as many pieces in a pack versus one mini chocolate)
  • If you’re a macro counter and wanting a snack pack, opt for the Skittles if you need a low fat option OR, in reverse, choose the M&Ms if you’re looking to save a few carbs
  • If you’re craving the chocolate, a 3 Musketeers mini is the way to go! Only 25 calories! It actually had the least calories per serving of all of the Halloween candy I looked at.
  • If you just have to grab a piece of candy, you’re better off opting for a mini rather than a fun size bar (that is, if you can stand to only eat one mini).
  • If you feel tempted to grab more than one mini — go ahead and opt for a fun size bar, but keep it to just one!
  • The Crunch, Butterfinger, 3 Musketeers, and Snickers Minis along with Starburst (two-pack) are all under 50 calories! These are your best choices.
  • None of the above appeal to you? If you’re like me, you’ll be more tempted to grab a seasonal Oreo — so I went ahead and added the macros for those below. 😉 You’re welcome!

Halloween Oreos – Limited Edition w/ Orange Colored Crème
Serving Size (2 Oreos / 29g) || (1 Oreo / 15g)
Calories 140 (147) || 70 (74)
Fat 7g || 4g
Carbs 21g || 11g
Protein <1g || <1g
Sugar 13g || 7g

 

I hope this helps! Good luck fighting off the ghoulish treats, friends!

Xo,

Leta

 

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