The Pressures of Being a Fitness Blogger

Fitness Blogger at Cosmo Blog Awards 2015On Thursday night I went to the #CosmoBlogAwards as I’d been shortlisted in the Best for Fitness category all thanks to your nominations – but I very nearly didn’t go. You see, I was and still am extremely excited and honoured to have been shortlisted for an award, but the pressures of being a fitness blogger almost got the better of me. I was scared, scared of being judged on my physical appearance and dismissed as a credible blogger because of it.

I’m sure we can all relate to this, you get invited to a night out and you’re excited to go but you have nothing to wear. You go shopping for the perfect outfit but whatever you try on makes you feel bigger than usual. The unflattering lights and multiple mirrors show your lumps and bumps from all angles. You walked into the changing room confident but walked out completely deflated and seriously considering not going to your night out. This was me, except I wasn’t just going on a night out, I was going to my first ever awards ceremony with hundreds of other bloggers. I was scared that as soon as I said what category I was in people would instantly scrutinise my body and think to themselves ‘Fitness blogger, really?!’. I was scared about standing next to the gorgeous girls in my category who have amazing bodies, I’m talking sculpted arms, toned backs and abs. I was scared of how I’d look in the pictures and that they’d be online for even more people to judge me. In the lead up to the awards ceremony all of my insecurities intensified and I seriously considered not going.

But of course, I couldn’t not go. Firstly, you guys had taken the time to nominate and vote for me, it’s all thanks to you that I’d been shortlisted in the first place. Secondly, hiding out in my bedroom and missing out on an amazing night wasn’t going to solve anything or make me feel any better about myself. I found a dress that skimmed over my wobbly bits, bought a gold belt to highlight my waist, did the best I could with my hair and makeup and off I went. Once I was there I almost forgot about my insecurities, or at least, I chose to ignore them and I had an amazing night. I got to meet all of the lovely fitness bloggers in my category again, we were all so happy to be shortlisted and were so supportive of each other. I got to have my eye makeup done by Makeup Forever, I had my nails done by Barry M, I had a few curls added to my already curled hair by Remington and then it was awards time…

Gymbags and Gladrags, Highly Commended Fitness Blogger at Cosmo Blog Awards 2015Guys, I won Highly Commended!!!! Your votes did it! I came second to the amazing and well deserving winner Carly Rowena! I got to go on stage and collect my framed certificate! I still can’t believe it. I am so, so thankful to you all, I wish I could hug each and every one of you.

Sometimes I struggle to find my place as a fitness blogger. I started this online space with the intention of showing you my during, taking you on the journey with me from my before, to my after. But then I compare myself to other fitness bloggers who are Personal Trainers, or have beautiful Instagram feeds of perfectly arranged porridge toppings, or rarely miss a workout, or those with amazing bodies and I feel lost. Let me be clear – this has nothing to do with other fitness bloggers, everyone I’ve ever met or spoken to has been absolutely lovely, they’ve never made me feel like I don’t belong, or that I’m any different to them. The fitness blogging community is a wonderful one and I’ve made some lovely friends along the way. What I’m trying to get across here is my own insecurities and problem with comparison. Because that’s the point with insecurities – they’re internal.

Imagine if I’d let my insecurities get the better of me and I hadn’t gone to the Cosmo Blog Awards. I wouldn’t have been presented with my award. I wouldn’t have been able to catch up with the lovely bloggers. I would have missed out on a great night. The night of the awards I told myself that I’m not going to let my insecurities hold me back from anything and I want you to tell yourself the same. I reread my Positive Body Image post to remind myself to love my body. I’ve written myself an exercise plan so that I can get back into a routine because I feel my best when I’m working out, feeling the endorphins and getting stronger. I’m going to stop comparing myself to others. And I’m going to look at my framed award up on my wall to remind myself that I have you guys with me, my amazing readers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much! It’s motivated me an incredible amount and I want to make 2016 a great year for all of us so I’ve been planning some exciting things for us! Make sure you subscribe via email to be the first to hear about what’s coming up.

Let me know in the comments below what your tips are for dealing with insecurities and not letting them hold you back from anything. Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others?

20 Comments

  1. Esskay
    November 22, 2015 / 11:19 am

    Wonderful, honest post. Carly Rowena is gorgeous but she too has body confidence issues. I’ve heard/read her say that she doesn’t like her height or the way her ‘abs stuck out so much’. As a 5ft tall chubster I’m thinking ‘I’d die for her abs and long legs!’. My point is: everyone has things they don’t like about themselves that someone else would kill for.

    I’m very glad you went and many congratulations for your award!

    • November 22, 2015 / 8:43 pm

      Thank you so much. You’re so right, we all have our hangups. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it’s important that we don’t let them hold us back from doing things. Thank you lovely! xx

  2. Emma
    November 23, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    Congratulations Cantara and thank you so, so much for sharing this honest post! Personally I love reading your blog because of honest posts like this. I’m not a PT either, I have a full time office job and non-fitness hobbies to fit around my love for fitness.

    Whilst I’m inspired by beautiful porridge photos, knowing other women are trying to find balance like I am really makes me believe I can do it :)

    Emma xx
    http://www.FitFoodEmma.com

    • November 24, 2015 / 6:27 pm

      Aw Emma, thank you so much! Sometimes it feels like a battle to juggle your hobbies and passions with your everyday life. You can absolutely do it! We both can xxx

  3. twinsintrainers
    November 24, 2015 / 8:35 am

    What a lovely, honest post! Bex and I feel like this all of the time. We were actually talking about it on the way to the awards as well, but luckily we had each other for a bit of moral support. I don’t think we look or always behave like stereotypical fitness bloggers but we are who we are! Was so nice to meet you- let me know when you’ve moved to your new flat and and we can hit the gym! Jess xxx

    • November 24, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      Ah you guys are so lucky you have each other :) I’m always so nervous going to blog events on my own and the awards were just 100% more nerve-wrecking! I’ve just got the keys to our flat today (yay!!) so I’ll be in touch once we’re settled and then we can set up our workout and brunch date xxx

  4. Sarah Sue
    November 24, 2015 / 7:03 pm

    Oh Yes, I am one of the few that really could say that I have nothing to wear and no money to spend on a new outfit, including shoes etc.
    I do not own a dress that comes close to fitting me anymore. Some how I don’t think my only pair of jeans would be appropriate.
    I would have had to CHARGE everything and that doesn’t help balancing the budget.
    Every time I go out, I feel frustrated. Only a few years ago, I was proud of how I looked for my age. Now, I am heavy. I know the struggles I have had to face to get to where I can just walk again after being bed ridden for a long time
    It’s hard wanting to exercise and having it hurt . Just walking hurts. I use to walk for miles a day. Just because it felt good. Not I am lucky to make it out of the yard.
    Sorry about the ramble.
    Congrats. You have earned your award. You are an inspiration to many of us. Have a wonderful Holiday season.
    Sarah

    • December 29, 2015 / 11:50 pm

      Wow Sarah, what an inspiration. By the sound of it you have come such a long way already! I can’t imagine being bed ridden so I won’t pretend I know what you’re going through. I just hope you keep going, keep pushing, keep progressing and that one day very soon you’ll be able to walk for miles a day just for fun again. Good luck Sarah, I believe in you! I hope you have had a lovely Christmas and have a wonderful New Year xx

  5. November 24, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    Congratulations! I love your blog, and I appreciate your honesty in this post. I often feel the same way in the blogger community, and not because anyone gives me the stink eye or says anything, but because of my own self doubt. Thank you so much for your candor, and for writing such a great blog. And P.S., your photos are amazing!

    • December 29, 2015 / 11:48 pm

      Thank you so much Lex! I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way but we really are our worst critics. Ah thank you, so much for reading my blog and for sticking with me, I really appreciate you. I’ve been working on my photography to try and improve it so thank you xx

  6. November 28, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Congratulations on the award! And thank your for sharing – I think that in an ever expanding world of fitness bloggers it’s hard not to compare yourself to the thinner, more toned, better qualified people and feel like a fraud. You look stunning in your dress by the way, and absolutely deserved to be there – in a weird way, it’s nice to see that the category was represented by people from different backgrounds who are all equally loved by the readers :)

    • December 29, 2015 / 11:37 pm

      Thank you so much Beki! I completely agree, I love that the fitness community is represented by different people, different approaches to health and fitness and different backgrounds. In real life one size/diet/workout routine does not fit all so it shouldn’t be like that in the fitness world. But at the same time it is really hard not to compare yourself xx

  7. November 29, 2015 / 9:07 am

    I’ve been a health and fitness journalist for magazines and newspapers for more years than I care to admit and never felt what I looked like mattered, but as a blogger it almost seems as important as your ability to convey information. I ended up in tears after one event after the way I was treated by a brand – and it was the whole reason I renamed my blog. I was thinking I was the only person who felt like that so thanks for the honesty – and huge congratulations on the award.

    • December 29, 2015 / 11:35 pm

      Oh Helen, that is awful!! I’m so sorry to hear that, I hope that brand are ashamed of themselves!! I hope you were able to pick yourself back up and not let their words and treatment deter you. We have a right to be different and we have a right to be ourselves! Thank you so much Helen, sending big hugs your way xx

  8. Sarah Harradine
    November 29, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    First up, a big congrats on the highly commended! Well-deserved, you put so much work into your blog, I think of you more as a mega-brand now :)

    Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in the fitness blogging world (I eat a lot of crap and I’m not really fussed about what I look like, more fussed about how much I can deadlift) but I think the beauty of the fitness world in general is that you can be anyone from anywhere and you’re still welcome. An interest in fitness is a big leveller and I feel everyone is welcome.

    Sad I couldn’t go to the awards but hope to see you soon! xxx

    • December 29, 2015 / 11:33 pm

      Sarahhhh, I was sad that I didn’t see you there on the night! Huge congrats on being nominated and shortlisted!! Ah thank you so much, I’ve been working away behind the scenes earlier this year but life has been so busy this year that I’ve let things slip lately. Onwards and upwards in 2016! You’re strong and powerful and I love that you eat and workout more for performance than how you look. And you look great btw! Let me know when you’re next in London xxx

  9. Caroline
    December 3, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    *Sorry for the late-ness* … But, massive congrats to you!
    You should be very very proud of yourself. It’s well deserved. If ever there was a time for a confidence boost, now is it. Live off this moment and remind yourself of it.
    We all have down days, anyone that says they don’t is a liar. It’s how you deal with them and move on from them that makes you stronger. We are, as they say, our worst critic.
    Onwards and upwards. Keep it up! :)

    Caroline.x
    http://www.notesfromcaroline.com

    • December 29, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      Thank you so much Caroline, that was such a lovely message! I am definitely my worst critic and so many of us are. It’s so true, that it’s how you deal with your down days that counts. I’ve taken a break over the Christmas period and I’m now feeling more inspired and motivated thanks to lovely messages like yours. Thank you again, I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas and I’m sorry for replying so late xx

  10. Diana
    December 21, 2015 / 8:14 pm

    Congratulations. And don’t ever feel inadequate as a fitness blogger. Quite honestly, REAL people with REAL flaws and REAL lives make for the best inspiration!

    • December 29, 2015 / 10:21 pm

      Thank you so much Diana. I’m going to remind myself of that sentence whenever I feel myself getting lost in blogging – thank YOU for the inspiration and motivation x