Health

Ask a Health Coach: Enable Social Media


Hi guys, Erin Power Board Certified Health Coach is here to talk about social media triggers and tidying up your feed. If you find social media is taking a toll on your health, we’ve got strategies, tips, and prevention! Do you have a question to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.

Annie asked:
“I switched to Primal a few months ago, and it went pretty well. Before that, I had a long history of repetitive dieting and calorie counting. FINALLY, I started to feel like I could just eat real food and let the weight watch (without gaining weight in the process). Problem: Part of the reason I keep Primal is following hashtags on Instagram like #paleo #primal #keto etc. This really helped me stick with it and feel a part of it. community of people who eat this way and love life. BUT lately, I’ve noticed that I’m getting triggered by certain posts. Usually these are super skinny (possibly anorexic) women using the hashtags palo and keto. While I’ve come a long way, I don’t look like that. It causes old habits around food and body image. How do I solve this problem while still keeping the good parts of social media inspiration? Sorry for the long question lol. “

People who check social networks on their phones and laptopsFirst, welcome to the Primal dining group and congratulations on your conscious efforts to surround yourself with supportive messages and communities. Creating a supportive environment is HUGE when it comes to implementing and sticking to habit change and healthy change efforts.

I also want to credit you for noticing what does NOT work when it comes to social media and your health. That realization is the overlooked first step of self-care. In the end, we are our #1 carers. By recognizing what works and what doesn’t, you can take steps to choose what really nourishes you.

Tidy up your feed, organize your mind.

As you mentioned, social media can greatly assist with Primal’s eating and living. In a world where too much texting (online and IRL) has NO impact on health, it’s great that you can go online and see or even connect with more people with healthy and happy lifestyles on the road. Go. Good for you to find the community when you make support changes.

That said, social networking is a mixed blessing. You never know who or what might enter your feed. This is when you follow certain hashtags, or if the platform offers you “recommended” or “recommended” posts and ads based on your previous activity.

As an Original Health Coach, I work with many clients with a history of eating disorders or other patterns of failure related to food, eating, and weight loss culture. One of the first things I do is advise them to take a close look at the content and messaging they are using every day — including on social media. Is it useful? Or not too much?

Occasionally, I notice this on Instagram and take immediate, proactive steps to correct what is triggering or not serving my best interests. I even have a saying: Tidy up your Instagram feed. Clear your mind.

If Instagram is suggesting posts that you find triggering and unhelpful, make sure to flag them as “Not Interested”. You do this on the post itself, by clicking the three dots in the upper right corner to see your options. Of course, if you follow an active account, unfollow! You can do so on the person’s profile page, or just click those dots at the top for the “Unfollow” option. If a particular hashtag seems to bring a lot of trigger posts your way, unfollow that tag. If the post is “sponsored,” you’ll see an option to stop seeing ads.

It’s simple: Anytime anything or anyone makes you feel bad about yourself or derails your efforts for healthy change, take back your strength and simply make it go away. We’re focusing on Instagram, but this applies to all social media as well as other content you’re using online or in person. Unfortunately, you’ll have to do it again and again because these things always seem to come back. But there’s something purposeful and empowering to this exercise! If you do this often enough, your feed does NOT change.

Say no thanks, be careful.

The current beauty ideal has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. A lot of content on social media tries to convince us to be as neat and light as possible (whether through public messages or through what is implied in images and captions).

Since you have followed the Primitive lifestyle, you know that achieving a particular size or shape is not what we are aiming for. Yes, many people achieve their ideal body composition by eating a nutrient-dense diet that includes real, whole, minimally processed foods; high-quality protein; healthy fats; fruits and vegetables; and high-fat milk. But the bigger picture is enhanced health, longevity and inner vitality, no matter how we look on the outside.

This is true, AND, as long as there is no underlying health condition and as long as the 10 Basic Rules of the Body are generally applied with at least 80% consistency, desired changes in body composition tend to direction happens naturally – no calculations or struggles.

As an Original Health Coach, I consider this the norm with my clients, not the exception. I also see it as something that helps many people break free of old, useless stereotypes around food: In the long run, they can eat delicious, plentiful food and not have to worry about gaining weight. unwanted or trying to cope with their body and biology. For most, this is the definition of food freedom.

I want to mention this, in part because we can never know what people posting on social media are really going through. I suspect that many of the people who post “aggressive” content about weight and dieting are actually suffering from their own sufferings and struggles. They didn’t find the kind of “random food freedom” that accompanies Primal’s approach to eating, moving, and living.

Instead of blaming or shaming them (or leaving bad comments), I try to send compassionate thoughts, remove them from my feed, and move on. I’m NOT saying this is easy or that I don’t get agitated or even angry at times. Honestly, as it may be, it’s hard to get an image, caption or comment to trigger.

But the more we try to remember that these are people too, with their own hurts and struggles underpinned by popular diets and beauty ideals, the more actively we can contribute to change the current culture.

But back to you, Annie: You are your #1 carer and need to take care of you first. I’ve just found that looking at the broader context is helpful in easing the power of triggers, taking empowered action, and moving on.

Social Media Strategy & Support

Summary:

  • DO follow accounts and hashtags that support your health, lifestyle and food choices. They are a great source of inspiration, motivation and community!
  • Consider following reliable sources. Mark’s Daily Apple, for example; or Primal Health Coaching Institute!
  • DO NOT follow accounts or hashtags that make you feel bad about yourself or sabotage the healthy, empowering changes you’re making.
  • Edit your social media feeds regularly, keep what’s useful, and delete the rest.
  • Remember our shared humanity and proceed from a place of compassion and kindness whenever possible. We don’t know what others are going through behind the filters of Instagram and other social media channels.

For anyone who needs an extra backup between diet culture and unhelpful messages, consider working privately with a health coach. Imagine if you could take all the tips in a post like this and all the information you’ve gathered over the decades… and deploy them reliably and consistently. That’s where the coaches help!

External accountability is truly a game changer, and we can help you stay on track with your goals and navigate complex social situations online and offline. Visit myprimalcoach.com to learn more and get started!

Do you find social media helpful or harmful in your wellness journey? Have any tips to share? Let us know and drop your favorite, most supportive Instagram accounts in the comments!

myPrimalCoach

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Erin Power

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