While this is mostly directed towards friends and family who constantly ask, (insert nasally voice here) "why do you only post food pictures on your instagram???", I'm sure plenty of my readers can also relate.
Eventually, I started to post, explore and interact when I realized what a #hashtag was. I had seen them popping up everywhere and found them to be obnoxiously entertaining. Kind of like personalized license plates that you try to sound out and get a little happy about when you successfully decode it. I remember updating my status with #ifinallyunderstandwhatthismeans when I figured it out.
What I learned was that it was a search engine... click the hashtag and you're connected with everyone else on Instagram (worldwide!) who's posting about the same topic as you. So when I started getting into a #paleo lifestyle, I could connect with others who were, too. When I embarked on my #whole30, I could get some great ideas on what to eat that day. Then when I was fed up with my weight and ready to drop it, I could connect with others on a #weightlossjourney to find support and inspiration from other people's photos of their progress.
In fact, now that I think about it, it was one of my bucket list items to one day be one of those "before and after" photos that inspired someone else the way they had inspired me. Because at the time, I thought there was no way I would EVER bare my flaws for the world to see, much less openly talk about my weight and struggles -- now look at me!
So why do I love Instagram and why do I constantly post photos about food that most my friends and family could care less about? Accountability. It's really as simple as that. Now I've never claimed to be perfect about my dietary choices, I'm very open that I still like a good beer, find it difficult to resist tortilla chips and all that real stuff everyone else goes through. But I can honestly say that while I've never been perfect with my dietary choices, I have also remained consistent for the first time in my entire life. No more lifestyle and dietary yo-yoing here!
Instagram has allowed me to journal my food logs through creative pictures, give others something to learn from and given me the opportunity to connect with others and give/get support. It sounds crazy at first to "meet" people virtually online, but I've made connections with people from all over the country (many whom I've met in person at various book signings and events), Canada and even Europe. Call me crazy, but I think this community/network has been a big factor in helping me stay consistent even when my health declined due to stress and my weight loss stalled.
Most recently I decided to embark in my own n=1 ketogenic experiment for one month starting September 3rd. I'm not great at challenges, hence why I've only done Whole 30 once and barely finished the 21 Day Sugar Detox. So I announced in a post today that I would be attempting this and logging my progress to report about in a blog post come early October. It already got some response from inquisitive followers, so now that it's out there for my support on iG to see, I kind of have to do it! So sign up for my newsletter and stay tuned.
If you're not already following me on Instagram, I highly encourage you do so here-- @highonfat It's where you'll find me most days.
How about you? Have you dealt with similar experiences and found support via a social media platform that helped encourage healthy habits? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!