For about a year now I have been posting my after-workout sweaty selfie pictures in the Mama Exercises Motivation Group. There’s no perfectly done make-up or hair (ha, okay, there’s never that!), but what there is is a lot of sweat and, most days, smiles. In fact, “exercise and post picture” is on my daily to-do list. Do I really think that all of the sweet women who belong to the group really want to see my hot mess of a self after working out at 4:30 in the morning? Of course not. So, why do I do it? Because consistency matters, friends.
Proof in Consistency
When I first started getting back into fitness and exercise it wasn’t because I had someone pushing me to do it. First of all, that would have totally backfired, because you can’t tell someone they need to exercise and expect them to be thrilled with your announcement. They know they need to exercise; they just don’t want you pointing it out. What got me going though was watching a friend consistently post about her workouts.
On her good days, her bad days, and her meh days, she posted about the workout. To her it may have been part of her self-accountability, but for me, it was an example of consistency. She wasn’t asking people to join her, she wasn’t touting that she was in fabulous shape, she just worked out and posted pictures. Publicly.
You know the saying that consistency will eventually wear anyone down? Well, it’s true. In this case, it was in a good way. Her show of almost daily exercise was the catalyst that pushed me to get off my butt and start living a healthier lifestyle.
Seeing is Believing
Scientists use something called the Health Belief Model (HBM) to determine a person’s readiness to change some health-related aspect of his or her life. “The HBM is rooted in the individual’s belief that the recommended intervention can be achieved successfully” (Coleman, 2015). In the case of exercise, that belief is shaped by proof that an exercise program can be successfully maintained and completed. Hence, the power of consistent posting about progress and activity.
Basically, when you see others achieving the things you want to achieve and they consistently post about how they achieve them, you begin to believe that you can achieve them too. There’s power in proof and that’s what hundreds of sweaty selfies provides. Seeing is believing, right?
But seeing is just the first step. You can see all of the sweaty selfies, watch the exercise routines on YouTube, save a million workouts to Pinterest, and follow every fitness person you can find on Instagram, but that’s not going to make you lose weight. You have to act. And only you can do that.
When you commit to taking a sweaty selfie of yourself each day and posting it to a motivation group, on your Instagram account, or even just a private folder on Flickr, you are committing to consistency. You’re committing to giving yourself the visual proof that change can and does occur when you take it day by day, workout by workout. Consistency is powerful.
So, snap a sweaty selfie and start making the change today. And, if you’d like to have a safe place to share your picture, simply request to join the Mama Exercises Motivation Group. Together, we’re changing our lives one sweaty selfie at a time.
Coleman, A., Hicks-Coolick, A., & Brown, A. (2015). The role of perception in developing healthy lifestyles and community engagement. Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association. Retrieved July 12, 2016 from http://www.augusta.edu/institutes/ipph/documents/45.pdf.