What’s really happening in 5 Instagram photos

My favourite Instagram trend is HONESTY.

Not that #nofilter bullshit. I’m talking about how people are pulling back that “perfect life, perfect moment” veil that’s so easy to cast on the ‘gram, and coming clean to talk about what’s really going on behind their photos: both why they are posting them, and what they were doing/thinking/feeling when they took the photo.

I find this incredibly refreshing. I can’t even count the amount of times I have found myself shame-scrolling on beautiful people’s pages (and eating chocolate chips straight out of the bag) hating myself and thinking they are so beautiful! So fit! So productive!  At one point, I even made myself follow these accounts because I thought it was motivational.

As soon as I realized that living an Instagram-perfect life is truly not where my interests lie, a weight sure did lift. Especially after I did a Insta-cleanse.

I first came across Olivia Muenter, an editor at Bustle who lives in New York, in 2014 when she wrote What I Instagrammed Vs. What Was REALLY Happening, or My Entire Life is a Lie. I’ve followed her on Instagram ever since, and she’s one of my favourite  people who keeps it real.

In real life I’m 100% real and open, so why shouldn’t my social media reflect that?

Here are five photos, and what I was doing and feeling and thinking when I posted them.

To give you some back story, before this race I’d only run 10K once before and I lost my voice for three days after doing that, so yeah, I’m not exactly a “seasoned runner” with a fanny pack and energy gels.

This particular run f*cking SUCKED. I had done zero training to prepare for it, so I felt like I was going to die about 6KM into the race, and I pushed myself to register less than a week before the race because apparently I like self inflicted torture. I initially wasn’t going to include my time in the post because I was freaked someone would look at it and go “wow, she thinks that’s something to celebrate?” meanwhile I’m over here like FUCK YA I RAN IT IN LESS THAN AN HOUR AND ALSO DIDN’T DIE.

I also ate as if I had ran a marathon for the rest of day, even though I didn’t (I asked my boyfriend to make me a frittata the size of my head), so yeah, I guess you can say I’m really embodying everything about the marathon runner lifestyle without the actual endurance.

January was difficult because I decided to cut out a bunch of shit all at once (that’s a blog post in itself). What came after is what you see here: my month-long rebound binge that included every kind of carbohydrate known to mankind.

Did I feel all light and energized after that diet? No not really. I wanted to murder someone and I also wanted a glass of wine.

My body absolutely HATED ME when I fully reintroduced junk food, and I had horrific stomach problems for two weeks straight. Doing that month was some of the hardest shit I’ve ever done (Note: not harder than running that 10K race) and when I caved a few times I was sent into a shame-spiral that I wasn’t sticking to my regime. It kicked off three months of struggles with my body, that I had been pretttttyyyy ok with before I did this whole diet.

Also: Sugar is crack. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I am *definitely* flexing my leg muscle. I’d probably be flexing my calf muscle too if I knew how.

Eric and I were biking through this beautiful forest and I almost didn’t want to stop, but I thought it would make for the perfect adventure photo. In reality, my palms were actually scraped up because crashed this bike the day before in front of a mob of families because a dragonfly latched on to my finger, making me react by closing my hand on my break and making me go over the handlebars. Classic.

Isn’t nature great?

Based on this photo, I look like I own fancy stationary, have at least 10 Bath and Body Works candles backstocked at all times, remove my nailpolish when it gets chipped, and go to brunch regularly.


I removed everything off my desk, rearranged it all, put a nice desktop background on my Macbook, and took about 58 photos.

Please come to my apartment and feast your eyes on the graveyard of dirty half-full mugs and empty Tupperware containers and you’ll see the truth. I am a grub.

No caption — v. bold move. Who do I think I am, Beyoncé????

But in all seriousness, I was a bit drunk in this photo and was feeling quite ballsy because I was wearing a new (and very fancy) dress. I briefly considered not posting this picture, but I went for it  because it’s one of the few photos of me where I’m smiling and my eyes are actually all the way open. It’s basically a miracle I’m not squinting.

I also remember tapping out HARD at like 1am this night and begging Eric to stop for pizza on the way home. I have the exuberance of a 14-year-old hopped up on Selena Gomez and energy drinks, trapped in the body of a 23-year-old with IBS who needs her ssssssleeeeeeeep.


I’ll just leave this here in case you want to leave me a comment or send me a message telling me you knew all of this already, and I chronically overshare. You’re probably not wrong.


— RJ

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