Instagram is an integral part of my day.

As much as I hate to admit it, I probably open the app at least 40 times throughout the day because hey, long nights in the library get really boring and maybe someone posted another picture within the four minutes I last checked?

Instagram is a way for people to update others on their lives, post their photography, and as of recently, create workout accounts for their exercise progress.

When I’m scrolling through the Explore page on my Instagram (usually when the gram game is slow and I need to entertain myself somehow during those long homework filled nights), I come across probably a thousand pictures of different girls posting a photo of their healthy breakfast or how great leg day was or a body transformation picture.

And while sometimes that is incredibly amazing to me to see and for 2.4 seconds I am inspired to go jump on a treadmill and go for a 15 mile jog and finish it off with a 30 minute ab session, sometimes, it just ends up making me feel lazy and unmotivated.

These people on the social media accounts are incredibly motivated and strong and they’re proud of their progress, so they have every single right to upload that picture. I am all for self love and feeling confident enough to post that picture of yourself, your outfit, your body, whatever. As long as it makes you happy, do it.

However, I am here to say that if these pictures end up making you feel more unproductive than they do motivated, you are not alone. It’s okay to feel that way. It is 100 percent okay to not feel like you are working your hardest to get to where they are. Because sometimes, where they are is not where we need to be ourselves.

You do not need to have a super flat stomach to be happy. You do not need to have toned arms or perfect calves or muscular thighs to get to where you need to be in life. Everyone has their own goals. You should applaud these people that work out and have their ideal bodies because yeah, they did work hard to get there and that is an amazing feat in itself.

But do not beat yourself up for not being at that same place as them.

If you are unhappy after looking at these pictures, you can make a change to your lifestyle, but do not feel like you have to.

Do not feel like you need to start exercising every single day for countless hours and drink only protein shakes in order to get to where they are at in their lives. If they look happy in the pictures, you do not need to do exactly as they do to be happy as well.

Don’t let these pictures discourage you. You are alive and breathing. You do not need to be them to be happy. You can exercise or eat better, but just do it because you want to. Not because you want to be happy like the fitness gurus on Instagram seem.

Be happy for you. Do things for yourself. Do not do it to achieve an image portrayed on social media.

Applaud these people but do not lose sight of your life and your priorities.

Whatever you choose to do after looking at these workout accounts on social media, be sure it's because you want to. Not because you feel like you have to in order to be happy.