I really like Instagram. I like its simplicity and I like its reach but mostly I like to quietly judge the people that put themselves and their lives right out there in the public.
I admire them as much as I sometimes pity them.
I also follow a lot of cat-based accounts, but that's another story.
Having been a keen Instagrammer for 4 or so years, there are a few accounts which have managed to engage me without even so much as a whisker of a kitten.
The "Healthy" obsessives.
The men and women who have reached the lows of morbid obesity and are now reaching the highs of #goals, #gainz and #strongnotskinny.
Every Tuesday we take the journey back to the beginning, to see where it all started...100lbs ago, 200lbs ago, 250lbs ago...some of these transformation pictures are literally jaw dropping.
And they are my favourite thing to obsess over on Instagram.
Why? Well I'm not overweight, but I'm not exactly Millie Mackintosh either. When you are confronted with literally abs everywhere and Topshop seem to strongly believe that clothing should finish a good 3 inches above your belly button, there is always room for improvement.
So naturally these accounts prey on something in me, which makes me want to download a Macro calculator and buy a waist cincher off eBay.
And believe me, none of these things last.
Like many, I'm a fair weather exerciser and a yo-yo dieter; I'll quickly move on to the next fad if I don't look like Nicole Scherzinger in 3 days.
My rational brain is acutely aware of my obsession with all things #fitspo and having been a semi-health conscious woman for many years now, I know that if you stick to something long enough you'll see results.
But these accounts I follow, these healthy obsessives, they make it look too easy. And that's really what it comes down to.
I'm looking for shortcuts.
Because I'm not rational at all, none of us are.
We're all guilty of looking for the easy way out, especially when it comes to our health. Just look at the diet industry; a multi-billion dollar market built on the foundation that people don't want to put the time and effort into something that might make them fundamentally happier and potentially live a lot longer.
It seems a bit shocking when you think about it like that.
That's one of the fundamental principles of behavioural economics.
We are constantly looking for shortcuts in our decision making process. Whether you're trying to choose a brand of coffee in a sea of hundreds in the shopping aisle or you're leafing through an eight-page menu at your local Thai restaurant.
Our brain is wired to look for anything that will help us get to where we need to be, with the least effort possible.
So when I see a Transformation Tuesday photo, I see a fat and a thin version of the same person side by side.
I don't see the 2 years of sweat, tears and determination.
I just see an instant transformation.
And immediately I think if they can do it, then I definitely can.
This should be a piece of cake...
And then I eat the cake whilst watching Kayla Itsines' latest arms & abs workout. Does that count?
Tash Walker is Founder of The Mix London
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