As the creator of fitness programs like Insanity and T25, trainer Shaun T has helped a lot of people to find their own confidence through their fitness journeys – but there are still times when he feels insecure about the way he looks.
On the most recent episode of his Trust & Believe podcast, Shaun speaks about how, as part of his job, he makes it a priority to stay up to date with the latest fitness trends and influencers – but that scrolling through pic after pic of other people's jacked physiques on social media can take a mental and emotional toll.
"If someone posts a photo and they say 'hey, I lost weight, I feel really great, I finally got my six-pack back,' that's cool, they have a journey," he says. "But if someone is making you feel bad because they're literally like 'you should look like this, and this is the correct way to have the best physique,' then maybe that's somebody you shouldn't necessarily follow."
"My rule of thumb is, if they're showing their body and there's a message and a journey attached to that, and it fits what I need for my own inspiration, I'll follow," he continues. "But I definitely need to take control of that algorithm."
He also acknowledges that in addition to Instagram, there is an additional element to this for gay and bisexual men, as physique plays such a big role in queer male dating culture, especially on dating apps. "In the gay world there is this thing where they do like fat-shaming, and you have different types of bodies, it's like the jocks, the bears, the beefy," he says. "You are defined as a body type... I just think that is so annoying, and it works against our confidence."
Elsewhere in the episode, Shaun mentions some of the techniques he uses to boost his own confidence, such as "resetting" his outlook at the start of each day, taking time to reflect and engage in positive self-talk, and take lessons from everything he does.
"Go to the mirror and just love on yourself," he concludes. "And if you have to do that every single day to eliminate those thoughts of 'what do other people think of me' or that voice in the back of your head, 'are other people going to think I'm attractive,' if you have to go in the mirror every single day to get rid of that, please do it... You have the power to make a change and make enhancements in your life so that you feel really great about who you are."
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