Senior social media influencer guides others’ fitness journeys, as well as her own

Senior+Gabbie+Metz+uses+her+social+media+platform+to+post+recipes%2C+workout+plans%2C+eating+disorder+recovery%2C+and+overall+wellness.

Gabbie Metz

Senior Gabbie Metz uses her social media platform to post recipes, workout plans, eating disorder recovery, and overall wellness.

On Dec. 31, 2020, senior Gabbie Metz hit “share” on an Instagram post that took her love for wellness and shared it with the world. Her fitness account, @gabriella.metz, has since grown in activity with more than 3,500 followers on Instagram. This account allowed Metz to be a beacon of inspiration for others that are on or beginning their fitness journeys.

Metz’s account is a reflection on all aspects of life and wellness from her perspective: food and recipes, eating disorder recovery, fitness and workouts. Many fitness accounts today fabricate the creator’s lifestyle; however, Metz intends to create an authentic look into her fitness journey.

“I started my account after I went through some pretty serious health issues, and I wanted to be a voice online that I didn’t have when I was struggling and needed it. So, I was motivated to make social media a safer and more positive place,” Metz said.

While Metz made this account to be a guide for other people, it has also been an influential part of her own life and her fitness journey.

“I’ve also gained a new knowledge of how I look at things and look at situations with a more positive mindset. It also helped me heal my relationship with food and with myself,” Metz said.

Metz’s older sister Franchesca Metz is a junior at Morton College, and she recognizes Metz’s efforts at making social media a safer place.

“The best way to put her account’s influence into words would be to say that she is real. She doesn’t only show the positives, she doesn’t care what she looks like in her posts, and she isn’t doing it to be cool or get clout. She has made it a safer place by showing her battles, but then showing how she recovers,” Metz said.

Part of keeping social media a positive and safe place has to do with the creator being honest with his or her followers. Metz accomplishes this by openly sharing her experiences of her eating disorder and the accompanying recovery process.

As many voices that can share as possible, the more welcoming the community becomes. So, talking about my experience with my eating disorder and recovery is one of my favorite things to do on that account, and getting messages saying I’m helping people means the world,”

— Gabbie Metz

Metz acknowledges that a prominent role in her eating disorder recovery process was the online friends that she made through her fitness account.

“The community I found myself in online is one of the most rewarding things that I’ve found through this account. I met a group of girls on there, pretty early on a few months into it…All of those girls, in some way or another, were recovering from an eating disorder and had social media accounts, so we just helped each other; we created challenges for each other to push us forward in recovery,” Metz said.

One of these people is Senior Alice Dean, a health and wellness influencer, who goes to high school in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Dean discusses the role they both had in each other’s fitness journeys.

“[Metz and I] both care so much about balance in our lives and have faced mental health challenges which led us to the journey we are on today. Gabbie is just so motivating because she has such great balance in her life and on her journey. She’s also so motivating to me, though, because she has a great balance with social media and her day-to-day life: she posts when she can, but doesn’t force herself to film daily… a reminder many need,” Dean said.

Dean recognizes the importance Metz’s account has had on her, as well as Metz’s followers and others in the recovery and fitness community.

“[Metz] has reminded everyone how important balance is, how important health and wellness is, but how it’s also fun. She never promotes diet culture, which is one of the things that make this side of social media the most toxic. She also promotes rest which is something many don’t emphasize the importance of,” Dean said.

While going to the gym is seen as a controversial topic amongst the recovery community, Metz has found it to be a beneficial aspect of her wellness journey, and frequently shares this with her Instagram following.

“Going to the gym showed me that I can be strong and I can move my body in a way that feels good, that isn’t forced. I do believe that going to the gym, for me personally, was a real driving force in recovery that helped me realize what movement can do for your body and healed my relationship with exercise,” Metz said.

Metz reflects on the importance of new influencers reducing the toxicity that exists on social media.

“I truly think [being yourself] is so important with social media nowadays because I find myself struggling against comparison a lot, and I think that is such a toxic thing that’s present in social media. But if you can find a way to trust in your own capabilities, and appreciate your individuality and everyone else’s as well, then that comparison becomes less present and your own talents can help lead you forward,” Metz said.

Gabbie Metz

Metz’s account has been a guide for many of her peers starting their own fitness journeys. Senior Maura Raftery is a close friend of Metz and discussed the impact Metz’s account has had on Raftery and other teenagers in both fitness and non-fitness-related ways.

“She has made it a more positive place just by being a relatable figure… You see a lot of real stuff which can be beneficial for people to see in places they normally wouldn’t see [these] things. And also the positive messages she spreads about lifestyle, and giving insight about how to pursue a more healthy lifestyle towards an audience or target that might normally make different choices,” Raftery said.

Franchesca Metz reflects on Gabbie Metz’s overall journey thus far, and how the account has impacted it.

“[Metz] has weathered many wars that she shouldn’t have, so when she began this account we were all interested to see where it would go. Both her and the account have flourished… I think the support and friendship she received and is still receiving from [her followers] is one of the best impacts her account has had on her recovery,” Franchesca Metz said.