I remember the first workout selfie I ever took. I pretended to be washing my hands in the gym bathroom, casually looked around to make sure no one was watching me, and snapped a photo of myself flexing in the mirror.
I imagined what people would think if they saw me:
“Are you really that into yourself?”
“You care more about how you look than what you’re doing in the gym.”
“Why don’t you actually work out instead of taking selfies?”
But the truth was, it wasn’t about how I looked. I knew I was working hard, and I was proud of my progress. So the next time I went to the gym, I took another workout selfie… and another… and another. I even started sharing my workout selfies on Instagram.
At first it felt silly. But the more selfies I took, the more empowered I felt — and the less I worried about what other people were thinking. Here are a few reasons it’s perfectly okay to embrace the workout selfie.
1. Workout selfies are a reminder of your hard work.
Taking a workout selfie forces you to take a moment to acknowledge your hard work. And you should pat yourself on the back now and then! You work out to feel strong and healthy, and a selfie adds tangible proof of the work you’re putting in — and the gains you’re getting from it.
2. Workout selfies can help you track your progress.
It’s easy for me to feel like I’m not progressing in the gym sometimes. My day-to-day progress can get overshadowed by emotions — if I have a bad workout, I feel like I’ve hit a wall. My past workout selfies show me I really am progressing, and they’re a symbol to me to not give up. It’s been extremely motivating for me to look back at how far I’ve come in my fitness journey.
3. Workout selfies can inspire others.
When you share a workout selfie, you never know who might be motivated by it. When I first started working out, I followed a bunch of fitness accounts on Instagram, and it was inspiring to see their progress. Their posts not only taught me about healthy eating and workout tips, but empowered me to feel like I could achieve progress, too.
Scrolling past a workout selfie on social media can be a reminder to put down the phone and do something active. And sharing your fit goals on social media is a great way to keep yourself accountable, so you don’t get into the habit of skipping workouts.
4. Workout selfies are all about you (and that’s okay).
It’s okay to focus on yourself while you’re working out — that’s the point! Don’t spend energy worrying about what others think, and don’t spend your energy judging someone else. Everyone is putting in the same hard work, and no matter where you are on your fitness journey, you should feel proud of your workouts.
So don’t feel like you need to sneak into the bathroom or peer around the corner before taking a workout selfie. Stand tall, snap that picture, and enjoy the well-deserved confidence boost.