Fitness blogger reveals the truth behind stunning photoshoots and it's shocking
With the rise of Instagram, there has been a new found focus on health and fitness, particularly from millennials and young people. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that none of us can afford a house, so would rather spend our money on smashed avocado and acai bowls. Or, maybe it's due to the fact that as the world around us gets fatter, we want to focus more of our time on ourselves in order to ensure a more prosperous and happy life.
Whatever the reason behind the boom in active living, Instagram is the hub of the movement. It's easy to flick through your Instagram timeline and feel inadequate compared to the never-ending supply of fitness bloggers and lifestyle gurus. However, one personal trainer has spoken out to explain that despite the jealousy, things aren't quite what they seem.
Anna Rhodes is a personal trainer from St Albans, UK. She has a pretty big fanbase on Instagram, with her racking up over 24,000 followers who enjoy her posts surrounding her workouts and food. However, despite looking strong in her latest professional shoot, Anna has revealed that she was, in fact, feeling emaciated and exhausted at the time.
Taking to her Instagram account, the PT shared two images side by side; one of her in a professionally lit environment and the other showing her real physique at the time of the photoshoot. She outlined that her body was the way it was because of 'extreme dieting' and advised nobody to strive for the looks seen in professional fitness photos.
"So I had someone recently say to me “I want to get as lean as you were in your PT photo shoot”. And to be honest, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with that. It’s inspired a #throwbackThursday because it actually it made me feel kind of guilty. These images are with professional lighting, a lot of fake tan, tonnes of makeup, good posing and a physique that looked that way from extreme dieting.
It’s not probably something that a lot of people would worry about in the industry, as the more shreds the better, right? It’s advertising material after all? Selling a dream?"
"But these photos don’t represent what I ACTUALLY looked like in real life being that low body fat - which was kind of emaciated and exhausted looking. I weighed 98lbs and freaked out when I went over 100lb - I’m now 128 for a bit of reference. I look back at me when I was like that and I barely recognise myself.
I had a coach telling me “my legs weren’t lean enough” and I became obsessed with the fact I had big legs. It was essentially an eating disorder under the guise of “fitness” and I’m not afraid to admit that."
In order to make sure that her photos correlate with her message, Anna says that she is going to get her images re-shot by a different photographer.
"Funnily enough I am actually organising getting a new photoshoot done to get myself some PT images looking in shape, but a more obtainable and healthy look. When I enquired with a well known photographer in the industry, he said I should reconsider getting “shredded” and he didn’t want me to look back on the images thinking I looked “not lean enough” or “fat”.
My response: erm you can do one Arseholes like these are definitely a problem within the industry and there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way - and definitely a reason that you might slip into eating disorder territory without even realising."
"Yes I know how to get bikini “shreds”. But actually I want to inspire others to feel good - mentally and physically. THIS is the dream I want to sell. ⠀
So next time your looking at all your fave fitspos images, please remember that 1. They probably look like that for a very short space of time. 2. That look is often not particularly obtainable if you aren’t a fitness fanatic - and even then it’s pretty tough. 3. Tannnnnn".
Fair play to Anna for revealing the truth behind the photos. As said, it's easy to feel slightly inadequate when on Instagram, but when you hear the reality of what looking like this feels like, you realise it is not worth it.