An Instagram fitness star has shattered the illusion that social media influencers live perfect, charmed lives with a candid post about her struggles with mental health.
Alex Silver-Fagan has over 79,000 followers on Instagram, as well as a popular workout website and her own book. Images on her page spotlight her fit and flexible body, glamorous vacations, and plenty of also-pretty friends.
Yet despite all that gloss, the 25-year-old personal trainer and fitness spokesmodel revealed in a post last week that she faces challenges, too, and has struggled with depression for quite some time.
Fitness star: Personal trainer and fitness spokesmodel Alex Silver-Fagan has over 79,000 followers on Instagram
Happy face: She comes off as outgoing and upbeat in her posts, which showcase her busy, active lifestyle
Getting honest: However, she revealed in a recent post that she has struggled with depression for a long time
Alex shared the honest words alongside a video of herself doing yoga.
‘I’ve been battling depression for a long time,’ she began.
‘I have good days, good weeks, good months… and then every so often, everything feels cloudy. It feels even harder to pull myself out when I’m under the impression that I must be extroverted and share my life and day on this little app when really I’m an introvert at heart.
‘But it’s more than just my own thoughts,’ she went on. ‘In a society where we’re told to find our passion and seek happiness in every moment, it can almost feel paralyzing. And especially with all of the hate going on in our world, it’s hard not to be affected.
‘You’re not alone. Now more than ever, so many people feel some sort of dissatisfaction with their lives because of the incredible expectations we’ve placed on the definition of “happiness.”
Facade: The 25-year-old’s pictures focus on the happy parts of her life, like beach vacations
Best foot forward: She admitted that ‘every so often, everything feels cloudy’
‘In a society where we’re told to find our passion and seek happiness in every moment, it can almost feel paralyzing,’ she wrote
She said that her best advice for others who feel like she does is to concentrate on the happy feelings brought on by small things, rather than ‘over-generalizing’ about life. She noted that this is a process that takes time, but it has been her focus to live that way.
‘And there’s always going to be the bad days,’ she said. ‘But maybe you can turn the bad day into just a bad hour or thought, rather than letting it take over.’
Since she shared the posts on Friday, it’s become one of her most-beloved ever with over 50,000 likes and lots of supportive comments.
‘You are such an inspiration. I love your spirit and what you are doing for so many people,’ wrote one. ‘This really touched my heart because sometimes my thoughts go there,’ said another.
Not easy: She talked about the pressure to live up to certain ideals on social media
Making the best: She said that her best advice is to concentrate on the happy feelings brought on by small things
Thankful: Followers applauded her for her openness and shared words of encouragement
‘This is my favourite post of yours! So genuine. You are constantly inspiring me to be better, work harder and get stronger. Your words really hit home and made me feel so much better about my own bouts of depression. Thank you!’ chimed in one more.
Though this is Alex’s first time speaking openly on social media about her depression, she did get honest about some unhealthy eating habits.
In April, she uploaded a snap of herself at a bikini competition from years before, saying that while she certainly did not regret doing them, it also encouraged an unhealthy way of life.
‘It taught me discipline, introduced me to a style of fitness, and connected me with amazing companies and people,’ she wrote. ‘But it also developed a lot of unhealthy habits. Obsessively tracking macros, constantly worrying about the state of my abs, wondering if I worked out enough during the day, comparing myself to others on IG, etc. etc.
Flashback: Earlier this year, she shared a throwback photo from her days as a bikini competitor, about three years ago
Good and bad: She said that while it ‘taught me discipline, introduced me to a style of fitness, and connected me with amazing companies and people,’ there were downsides
Too much: She said it also taught her ‘a lot of unhealthy habits’ like ‘obsessively tracking macros’
‘Did it teach me how to live a healthy lifestyle? Not at all. I figured that out later on with the help of social media and a lot of trial & error.’
She said that she still struggles with maintaining healthy — and not obsessive — eating, and she needs to stop herself from measuring out each and every meal and tracking every last thing she puts in her body.
‘Everything is a journey, and my relationship with food is a big one,’ she said. ‘I’s time to slowly let go of the obsession, the addiction. Unless you are prepping for something (a show, a competition, or a photoshoot) and want to be truly dialed-in, there is no real reason to track your macros.
‘It’s time to start living, without obsession. To eat real food, to move because it feels good, and to truly enjoy life.’