We are surrounded by websites, facebook pages, groups and people who are telling us how to live our lives and be the best we can be. But, is it actually working? 

Are we learning how to make sustainable changes? Are we understanding what the processes are behind why we make choices that may be negative, or are we simply learning what new fads, new beauty products and new foods are being advertised by these people and groups? 

What is good and bad motivation?

We love empowerment when it comes with positivity. If a simple post of a beach makes you strive to get outdoors and take a moment to yourself then in our world, this has worked in a positive and empowering way. If seeing an image of a green smoothie gives you the inspiration to go make one for your afternoon snack, then great! This is what the power of social media in health is designed for. 

On the other side though, you've just seen your favourite trainer put their 4th new pair of shoes up in a single week. You feel just a little self-conscious that you've had a dental bill come in and a car fail its warrant of fitness while your old training shoes are still surviving... but only just. Then the Bali beach body photos come in for the third week in a row, from the champagne popping health coach. It's causing you to ask why after 6 months of not drinking and a great diet, you don't have the same body.

Is our addiction to following these pages and people becoming more negative than positive? Is it time to cut away some of the excess baggage?

If someone posts about a lifestyle that makes you feel bad about yours, this often creates guilt and doesn't encourage self-worth. 

We obviously want to feel great for others and when they nail life, we hope it encourages us to do the same, but the image versus reality of motivating people must extend beyond product placement and a gym selfie don't you think?

So who do we look to when we need some motivation?

It really does depend what level of motivation or coaching you're requiring. If you're on the right track for the most part, have enough cynicism in you to check the person promoting things and their ethos match yours but not too much cynicism that you're being ignorant or judgemental, then it doesn't matter who you follow or what they post. Some days they'll encourage you to buy that extra salad when you're out, and other days you may find you happily run the stairs in the rain when you saw them post the new shoes they couldn't get wet or dirty.

If you question your self-worth or often struggle with guilt (regardless of your weight) then you really need to look for people who will encourage you with their posts, and potentially teach you how to make your own changes in a positive way. If you compare yourself constantly against the fashionable insta-famous figures, or spend your hard earned but not unlimited money on products you're even sure they're right for you because your inspiring-figure does so, then we see negative trends here that may need a little re-focus.

The underdogs and new generation of motivation! 

This is a short list of some people we're loving right now who may well be the underdogs of social media. They are building their brand, but they're doing so without selling out, and while encouraging others to do the same. We're pretty lucky to have people like this inspire us weekly. 

Butterbean: David Letele

This man has dropped over 90kg since March 2014 (it wasn't an overnight diet, it was hard work and long hours) and is on the frontline with the people who matter, giving them a helping hand and proving he will stick with them all the way. We love people who lift while they climb, and this man is proving to do just that.

The H + H Lifestyle

This amazing site is run by superstar Abbylee who is not only great at what she does, but her ethos is clear, her lifestyle is sustainable and it is full of other encouraging women. Driven by more than publicity, they really do believe in what they do and share their motivation without guilt. 

HeyDot

This new app is a big fish, but we still love their philosophy. They have a great balance of opinion pieces and of professionally researched advice. It's not just about how someone fixed their own issues, it's about well-researched advice from qualified professionals to help people understand and create change that is sustainable. 

Renee Leonard-Stainton: Renee Naturally

Qualified, intelligent and with a beautiful soul. The perfect combination of real food, real life and an ethos that supports people from the inside out. No product placement unless it's good for you, and accurately tailored advice where needed. 

Bonnie Delicious Blog

Writing her first official cookbook which will be a must have in every kitchen, Kelly inspires through her true love of food and her undeniable desire not to be something she is not. While she is more knowledgable in nutrition than most, she is so humble and helpful on social media to all who follow her. 

How to choose who you follow

In simple terms you should only ever follow others who make you feel better, more encouraged, supported or just a little extra driven. You're allowed to ask questions of these people too. Is their ethos the same as yours? Do they promote products and brands you support, or does it appear they're simply being paid to post? Are they qualified to talk about what they're posting?

You should only ever feel positive about the people you have chosen to inspire you and you have every right to remove those who don't create that positive feeling.