As we know, it's 2017 and following as many "fitspo" (fitness inspiration) and lifestyle pages on Instagram is all the rage. As a college student, I truly understand how influential social media can be on an individual and how much pressure there is to try to meet this beauty standard that the media has created. Trying to look like some of these famous fitness professionals we see on Instagram seems like the perfect goal, right? Wrong, according to wellness guru Sophie Gray. It's all about learning to love yourself.

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw an eye-opening post from Sophie Gray (also known for her wellness page @WayofGray and her lifestyle page @GraysDay). Sophie reposted a photo from a "fitspo" page, which showed an older picture of Sophie in a sports bra with a caption that read, "nothing tastes as good as being fit feels." Sophie, however didn't agree with this statement at all. She commented on this photo saying, "actually, from experience and seeing as I'm the person in this photo.. I know that pizza and cookies taste way better" (for the record, I couldn't agree more).

For those who aren't familiar with Sophie, she's a self-love enthusiast who has created workout and diet guides, holds online wellness workshops, and posts about her daily life. However, in the past few months I've seen Sophie evolve through her social media platforms. The biggest change Sophie openly talks about is no longer posting pictures of her body on social media. Why? Because according to Sophie, "you no longer see pictures of my body this way [in sports bras] on @Instagram for this reason. Having a six pack and thigh gap doesn't make you happy. Pizza and cookies are delicious. And I'm sick of women being told they have to be anything other than themselves to be happy." 

I went from simply enjoying her workout videos and admiring her fit body, to actually loving the the role model that she's become. I no longer feel the need to look like Sophie (although, she is beautiful– flaws and all). I now feel the need to become a more positive person by learning to accept my own body because of Sophie, flaws and all.

Don't get me wrong, it's totally okay to have a fitness inspiration in your life. I'm definitely guilty of following other fitness experts and models that show off their workouts and their body. However, it wasn't until I started reading all of Sophie's recent posts that I started to realize something: working out shouldn't be a punishment and a way to shame your body. You also shouldn't try to look like someone else. You should work out because you love yourself and strive to be the best version of you that you can be.

"Regardless of whether you look like the "girls on social media" or not, you are absolutely and completely perfect just the way you are. Pimples, and all. End of story." – Sophie Gray

If more fitness role models on Instagram and other social media platforms spoke more openly about their own struggles and flaws and ways to still love and accept yourself, we may see a positive change happen throughout that industry. For now, I will stick to following Instagramers like Sophie, to remind myself that I don't need to look like someone else to be happy.

I will not sacrifice my love for food to meet unrealistic body goals. If want to treat myself, I can. If I want to work out, I will. I can do both and still love myself.

If you're interested in learning more about Sophie Gray, visit her webpage: where you can find free guides that teach you how to accept yourself. You can also follow her on Instagram at @WayofGray or @GraysDay.