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How we define ourselves: Tinder, Facebook and Kung Fu Panda

Chris Hunt Pilates WellnessAfter a week of writing (quite) serious articles about subjects like Action Bias and fitness, and why I think Pilates has been influenced too much by some Pilates educators who were former dancers, it’s the weekend so it’s the time when I talk more personally about life (and clearly write very long sentences…)

Before I begin, how many song titles did you get in my post last week?

Today I want to write about how we perceive ourselves, and how we present ourselves to others.

Social media and online dating has given us previously unknown ways to present ourselves to the world, and it fascinates me how some people do it. Maybe in a simple picture we can see how an individual portrays them self, what they think defines them.

For example, Tinder Man has recently had a lot of publicity. If you do not know what Tinder is, it’s a simple dating app where you are matched with people close to you by using a very simple set of criteria, and whether you accept the matches is pretty much determined by one picture and a simple swipe left for no or right for yes. Tinder Man has become famous by copying in his own style some of the funnier pictures that people use. And believe me people use very funny pictures of themselves. But it’s not just the strange pictures that people choose that I find interesting. I think it can be pertinent when people use pictures of their children, friends or their pets. As a way to introduce yourself to a potential partner, I think that a picture of anything or anyone that is not you is a rather interesting statement to be making to the world about yourself.

People define themselves by using very different things. It can be their children or dog, or it can be a club they support, a pop star they idolise, and sometimes by their partner. I am not criticising anyone, all I am suggesting is that my profile on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is my profile, so why would I use for my profile picture anything other than a picture of me? That’s not being conceited or ostentatious, it’s simply my profile. My passport does not have a picture of a dog. :)

Whilst you will tell that I’m not being totally serious about the profile picture discussion, I have said before that for me the important question is “am I someone” not “am I with someone”. I meet a lot of people and I know lots of people are with someone, but I’m not sure they are someone.

Those immortal words uttered by Tom Cruise “you complete me” only serve to perpetuate the popular myth many people have that we need someone or something else to somehow complete us. Of course this is not and never can be true. The only person or thing that can “complete” us is our-selves. Even Kung Fu Panda learnt this with the Dragon Scroll that contained the secret of limitless power being a reflection of himself. Any other “fix” is a temporary band-aid to try to cover our inadequacies or issues. As we know, after a few showers, a band-aid will lose its adhesive and fall away to leave exposed the wound we are trying to hide, and so it is in relationships as well.

It also interests me how we create an image of our life using social media which is not always a true reflection of the life we are living, it’s only a glimpse. Often it an image of the life we want to have, but is not always the real life we are living. Of course it’s true as well that for every picture we post on Instagram, we live through 10,000 other life experiences that we chose not to share with the world. Would be get so many hits if we posted a picture of us crying or feeling sad, bored or lonely? No, let’s go for the one of us on holiday holding a cocktail and laughing with friends on the beach.

Talking about online image, having just flown from Barcelona to London, it always makes me smile at airports to see people standing next to the VIP lounge so they can post and tag themselves as being in that lounge. But then again, it’s also a little sad when people who are actually in those lounges post their location as some sort of status symbol? Well I’m here to tell those people that you are impressing no one, and if by chance someone is impressed, then they are probably not worth impressing.

People have lost their job, not new jobs, lost relationships and much more seriously caused upset and even suicide by using social media. Some people have also met their partner and shared a lot of love and happiness with their pictures.

We have power at our finger-tips like never before. I hope we use it wisely for good, never forgetting who we are.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Madonna’s Crotch: That Instagram picture


Madonna's Crotch Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

So what is all the fuss about? It’s nothing new for Madonna to create some controversy with pictures, but she shows this week that she can still do!

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

Chris pays 50% of all money made from this BLOG to his charity partners, the other 50% covers the costs. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness and selecting his “charity partners” tab.

Bikini Body using Pilates? Jennifer Hawkins knows better

778202-jen-hawkins-cozi

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‘Tis the season for Pilates for Bikinis posts and articles. I cannot seem to open my inbox or look at the net without seeing yet another “5 Pilates exercises to get you into bikini shape” article.

I wrote previous about the claims that Pilates claim give you a flat stomach (see Does Pilates create a flat stomach?) and if you read that post you will know how I feel about people who make such claims. So is “bikini Pilates” any different?

Let’s use Jennifer Hawkins as our example today. She has never been shy about her love of working out, and at the weekend she posted on her Instagram account some nice pictures of her doing Pilates with the comment “Fave toy. Ohhh, lil bit of luv/hate for sure!! #caddy #workout.”

Jen

The 30 year-old is an Australian beauty queen, model and television presenter best known for being crowned Miss Universe Australia and later the same year Miss Universe 2004 in Quito, Ecuador. She is currently the host of Australia’s Next Top Model. She previously told Vogue that early mornings were her favourite time to exercise in between her hectic schedule. ‘I’m definitely a schedule person so I’ll get up really early and do a Pilates class or go for a run. Pilates I love. If I could do that three times a week I would but I just don’t have the time.’

So back to Pilates for bikinis articles. Of course such an evocative claim is not far from the truth. We all know the benefits of a regular Pilates exercise regime. Such benefits can and will be increased by integrating other exercise systems (including cardio) into a weekly practice, and by eating a healthy diet. For sure the body will respond over time and for sure you will look better in a bikini. What gets my goat is the headlines about “5 Pilates exercises to get in shape”. This for me categorically goes against the principle that Pilates is a holistic practice, especially as typically those “5 exercises” will focus on abs and butt. Such headlines and articles are simply trying to grab attention, and as is typical in today’s culture, give the impression that you are only 5 exercises away from the body you want.  Jennifer Hawkins has achieved her body thanks no doubt with a little help from genetics, but also hard work over a sustained period of time.

The other dangerous thing is that it is now, in spring/early summer that these same old articles and miracle cures do the rounds, clearly suggesting that you only need a matter of a few weeks to achieve that wonder-bod for the summer. Such claims, in keeping with other “New Year” diet nonsense (see my blog “Another Year, another new diet….) only serve to fuel the misconception that there is a quick fix, and of course this only leads to failed diets/exercise regimes and ultimately disappointment.

The simple truth is that there is no quick fix. Any lasting changes we seek to achieve in life usually take time and lot of dedication and sometimes sacrifice. Whilst “Get a bikini shape in 12 months” might not get me many clicks, it’s a far better target to be aiming for next summer and be able to maintain a body shape change than it is to con people into thinking change is easy.

And as a final point, why do I never see “exercises to get fit for your swimming trunks” articles?!?! I can feel another blog coming on….

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnivals, Pilates conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. Read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? for more.

Margot Robbie Pilates Pose

Margot Robbie

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Margot Robbie is the latest in a string of celebrities to join the Pilates craze of sharing an image of herself flaunting her new gravity defying skills on Instagram.

Following in the footsteps of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Taylor Swift and fellow Australian actress Phoebe Tomkin, the Wolf of Wall Street star used her newly created social media account to document her workout at the Los Angeles fitness studio.

Legs outstretched in vertical splits, the stunning 23-year-old posted a photo of herself by a Cadillac machine.

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