Anyone who follows Sophie Gray—AKA @wayofgray on Instagram—probably noticed a big change throughout the past year: The ex-fitness Instagrammer ditched her bikini-clad shots for inspiring, body-positive messages. And, she lost 70,000 followers because of it.
While #fitspo used to be a go-to hashtag, even big brands like Nike are moving away from that focus, instead casting more attention on body positivity than a perfect set of abs. Ultimately, seeing someone proudly enjoy a doughnut (especially when it’s full of adaptogens!) is becoming way more impactful than those before-and-after bikini photos that might not reflect a healthy or happy lifestyle.
Since what’s meant to serve as inspiration can quickly become damaging, and Gray didn’t want to be part the #fitspo scene anymore—both for her own well-being and that of her followers.
You no longer see pictures of my body this way on @Instagram for this reason. Having a six pack and thigh gap doesn't make you happy. Pizza and cookies are fucking delicious. And I'm sick of women being told they have to be anything other than themselves to be happy. I know I was in the #fitspo industry for years, and I still want you to care for your body – but 🖕 this bullshit. You guys asked for a hashtag – so if you wanted to repost this with #fuckyourfitspo and @wayofgray – that would be amazing! Let's get this out to as many people as possible!
“Today I had breakfast, went to the farmer’s market, had chocolate-covered almonds, lunch, and this doughnut. I also plan to work out, go to the dog park, and have dinner. To some, this may sound like a super average day. And it is. But to me, this is the type of day ‘the fitness @wayofgray’ was having me miss out on,” she wrote in a recent Instagram post. “For her, there was always a photo shoot coming up. What if those chocolate-covered almonds ruined the photos? What if the workout wasn’t tough enough? Bread?! I know this may sound silly. I may be called vain, or foolish, or some other word to belittle my experience. Not understanding this experience doesn’t mean it wasn’t real for me. You may also think I’m encouraging others to be unhealthy, and that’s not it either.”
Instead of enjoying the little things in life, she found herself obsessing over what she could and couldn’t do to maintain her on-brand physique. And, well, she’s not about that life anymore.
“I understand that @wayofgray’s old images may have been inspiring. And, to that I say there are tons of those accounts you can follow for those images. But, I know those images were damaging for many,” she continued. “While I believe we all must take accountability for our experiences, it doesn’t make contributing to others insecurities any easier. But, most importantly, those images made Sophie Gray feel inadequate. Everything I did revolved around those photos. I was constantly worrying about my body image because my ‘worth’ through this channel depended on it.”
“Everything I did revolved around those photos. I was constantly worrying about my body image because my ‘worth’ through this channel depended on it.”
So rather than posting images that seemed to perform well—the ones that were “fitter, thinner, more defined, and perfect”—she decided to take a new stance. One that can help show others no one is perfect, and you don’t have to try to be.
“You, exactly as you are now, are enough.”
“If you can wrap your head around the truth that you are enough exactly as you are, freedom awaits you,” Gray wrote.” Freedom from others judgment. Freedom from your food fears. Freedom from your insecurities. And freedom from needing to be someone or something other than yourself. You, exactly as you are now, are enough.”