Social Media Overload: How to Manage Your Social Media Addiction

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With the latest social media addiction called Periscope, I have already seen the downside of how social media can cause some negative habits creep into my life, personally. I actually did “scope” about it on Monday. Oh the irony! But people said it helped them. And even just talking about it helped me immediately. So let me give you some pointers.

A quick word about Periscope: It’s basically Twitter with video but you have more than 140 characters to deliver your message. Think YouTube video with live comments. Or like a Google+ Hangout but only one person’s face is visible. Some say Persicope won’t last or that it’s not THAT big of a deal but I have heard differently. I can see firsthand how this will change the way we watch TV actually. Some TV shows, like home improvement and makeover shows, are starting to broadcast from Periscope. Yeah the video quality isn’t as great as your HD TV, but it’s LIVE. And we love LIVE content. It’s like we are right there with them. And we can TALK BACK to our “TV” this way! Very interactive and fun…and, yes, addictive.

But here are some things I’ve learned from just being a “Scopeaholic” after one week. And these tips can be applied to FB and Twitter as well.

1. Be selective with your following/friends. Good old Facebook gave us the gift of “unfriending” people but they also added that lovely feature, “Unfollow” and “Hide from timeline.” Ahhhhh, relief. We no longer have to see that friend of ours vent about the latest candidate running for office or Aunt Sally posting pictures of her latest crocheting project (Isn’t that what pinterest is for anyways?) or look at all our high school friends become engaged/married/pregnant/divorced. Best of all, we can unfollow that “guy who always posts every detail of his life.”  With Twitter, you can “Mute” people and “turn off Retweets.” That’s one of my favorite features. Some of my tweeps just RT all day and it really clogs up my timeline making it hard for me to seek out those that I really want to see.

As for Periscope, the big thing is “Sharing.” We are constantly bombarded with requests from our followers to “Watch this scope!” when the last thing we want to do is get back on our phone and sit through a boring broadcast just because the broadcaster told you to share it! Unfortunately, the only answer to this problem on Periscope is to turn off notifications all together. But I found the next best thing which brings me to point #2.

2. The Do Not Disturb Button is your friend. I don’t know what Android users have but iOS devices have this lovely feature that puts your phone essentially asleep. YAY! No more sound effects altering us that someone is “scoping.” Or someone replied to one of our status updates or some replied to one of our tweets. Relief! The downside is that now you won’t know when anyone calls or texts you until you check your phone. Bummer.

3. Schedule Your Social Media time. Put it in the calendar if you must. For someone like me who depends on a lot of the internet to drive my business and get me some new clients, I can’t afford to just deactivate all my accounts. One of the perks of cross-pollenating on all major social media networks is that I am highly accessible. So I have learned to schedule my scoping time. I also have my Tweets from my blog match up with my Facebook Personal Trainer page so no worries on having to double up on that. My “personal” Facebook page is a whole other story. It’s touch to schedule something like Facebook when that’s where I get a lot of my news. But, I resolved this problem by subscribing to The Skimm. They send out an early morning newsletter daily that literally is just the headlines and a few sentences so you can sound intelligent when someone asks you “Whats the latest news with Yemen?”

5. Stop Getting Sidetracked. I was noticing that during my short time of being addicted, that I neglected my usual morning routine. I had it down pat for practically 2 years and then this darn thing came along and I was totally thrown off my game! I have a usual routine that consists of reading the Daily Scripture Readings (oh there I go talking about my faith again, sorry) and thanking God for a list of things I’m grateful for and then I end with a prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas. Well…I forgot to do these things for just 2 days in a row and boy was I a mess. It would be like if you had gotten on a fitness kick for 2 years and then one day you woke up and the gym you used to go to every morning was replaced with a diner that served all your favorite foods. “Oh…well I can find another gym. Everyone needs to eat breakfast and it’s not so bad! Oh yummy, is that French toast?”

And how many of us check our phones first thing in the morning? How awful is that? Or what about the radio station we put on when we get in our car? The songs you listen to can definitely have an effect on your mood: “Damnit if I hear Sam Smith whine one more time about Staying with Me I’m gonna puke!”

What about if we check social media first thing in the morning? Ugh. Talk about setting the tone for the day, yikes! Don’t let what someone posted on FB interfere in your life and ruin your day. Don’t let a tweet you saw this morning bring you down. Of course, checking your phone first thing in the morning can also set your mood in a good way if you read or hear something uplifting. It all goes back to rule #1: Be careful who you follow.

Sidenote: I ended up creating a secondary Twitter account where I only follow positive tweeters. I check that more often and my day is immediately brightened. And no I will not reveal the name of my screen name. My little secret happy world, get your own. 😉

4. Is this a waste of your data? Before you comment, tweet, post, or scope, ask yourself if this is going to be a good use of your time. Pretty sad it has come to this right? But I always think, “Would this be something I would be able to say to someone’s face?” If you don’t have the guts to post something because you think it will offend someone or cause a conflict, and you’re legit concerned you could get fired or get reprimanded for it, by all means don’t post it.  But if you’re posting or sharing something to generate a discussion, I’m all for it! Educate, spread positivity, but try and keep it brief. Time is something we don’t get back and you don’t want to waste it by being on an electronic device all day.

Scope Safely, Tweet Wisely and Post Smart Everyone!

-Michelle

Periscope – Get On Board!

Have you heard of Persicope? If you’re on Twitter, you probably have by now. Sounds like Twitter created this video app that allows you to “broadcast” from your phone whatever you want. Then your followers can view what you’re recording and add comments/ask you questions.

Think Chat Room meets YouTube is probably the best way to describe this.

What are people broadcasting? Well, it depends on who you’re following. Just as on Facebook or Twitter, people post whatever interests them, their opinions, photos of their kids/dogs, etc., You have the option of unfollowing or “hiding” them from your feed. Persicope is the same way. Currently I follow a variety of people like comedian Jim Gaffigan, personal trainer and fitness model Gregg Avedon, and then a slew of people that I found through just searching “Who to follow.”

So far, I’ve watched “scopes” (broadcasts) of everything from a Memorial Day Parade just a few towns over from me, to Jim Gaffigan hosting a party, to a woman in Montreal showing us a canal built in 1812, to a man in Melbourne Australia discussing his preworkout routine, to a woman taking a hike in the mountains of California, to Chris Hardwick (from The Talking Dead) show us a concert in Vienna benefitting HIV/AIDS research.

As you can see, the possibilities are plentiful for whatever you wish to broadcast. And if no one is awake when you decide to broadcast, if they follow you, they can watch what you “scoped” for up to 24 hours. Right now I’m watching a woman in England walk around a park and show us some castles.  Yesterday I watched a man take a trip somewhere in Boston Massachusetts in his plane.

This got me thinking: What can I scope? What would people care to see from a personal trainer? Would I limit it to just fitness or could I scope what’s happening around town? If it’s just fitness, what do people want to HEAR and SEE as opposed to just READ? I posed the question to a woman who has just started scoping and she did a scope specifically addressing my question which was super nice. She suggested things like meal prep tips, a Q & A on health and fitness in general, an actual WORKOUT that people can do along with me, simple cooking tips, etc.

With that being said…I’m developing some ideas on how to use this newest app. We all know in this day and age, these apps come and go sometimes. What is popular one day could be obsolete the next. So in a year I could be saying, “Remember that time I thought Periscope was the coolest things since sliced bread?!” 🙂

I really hope not. If this takes off, I think it has a ton of potential to connect people in a more meaningful way.

If you care to follow me, my screen name is the same as my Twitter: @FromFitToFigure.

Stay tuned….literally!

What a Shame!

I see the internet is abuzz once again with the latest “No Excuses” photo making the rounds on Instagram.

Rewind: Fitness enthusiast Maria Kang posted this picture of herself on Facebook way back in the fall of 2013.

Maria Kang was accused of “Fit-Shaming” for posting this photo

The internet exploded with half praise for Kang for being “fitsporational” but many others accused her of bullying and “fit-shaming,” making people (specifically women) who have had kids thinking they are just sitting at home on the couch eating chips and bon bons when they have plenty of time to exercise and eat healthy.

So was she bragging or motivating? Kang said on her own website “I felt that if others can overcome incredible challenges to be in shape, why would my story be any different?”

So we’ve had a break with the fit-shaming since then…right? I guess the internet was overdue for another one.

Enter Abby Pell. Pell frequently posts pictures of herself on her Instagram page with motivational sayings, apparently. She posted this picture almost a year ago but it’s making headlines now because she recently won a fitness/bodybuilding competition.

Look familiar?

Her intent seems to be the same as Kang.

 “The message I want to portray is for all the women/mums/girl who aren’t happy or confident with themselves and the reason they don’t try to do anything about it is because they think it’ll be too hard or even impossible to get results.

Everyone could make excuses, too many people think it’s easier not to try than to risk failure. It’s not the case. I don’t want to make other women feel bad about themselves, I want them to look at me and think, if she can do it so can I. Because you can!”

Is this message being portrayed in the best way?

If we are trying to tell Mommies everywhere that having kids is no excuse for getting in shape, does baring your six pack stomach really inspire anyone? Or is it just making people angry enough to comment and post about how much they hate these women?

I definitely don’t have an answer. But I think the REACTION is interesting. Perhaps the picture brought out some…Jealousy? Envy? Sensitivity?

I honestly felt none of these. I immediately thought, “Good for them! Okay…so what else is going on in the news?” I didn’t give it more than a second or two of attention. It wasn’t until almost every fitness person I follow started Retweeting and sharing it that I noticed the “outrage.”

What’s Your Excuse Reason for Getting in Shape?

As for me, several things inspired me to get in shape for the competition.

I don’t have kids and I’ve mentioned on here in the past, I had been a personal trainer but just hadn’t pushed myself as much at the time. I had felt soft and lazy. I didn’t like the way I felt but had become so complacent that I kinda didn’t care all that much. I could have stayed soft, lazy, and kinda average looking but I KNEW I had it in me to look and feel better.

Taking a look around me, I was surrounded by fit people at the gym I worked at.  I saw how hard they worked and wondered, “Why don’t my workouts look like that? How come my muscles don’t look like hers?” Well, the answer was easy: I wasn’t pushing myself. At all. I was just coasting.

I had looked at pictures of some of my former co-workers from back in Chicago, one in particular was incredibly inspirational for me. She pushed and trained and dieted for a competition as well and I thought, WOW. I want to look like that! I want my workouts to kick ass and I want to look like these people when I’m done!

I don’t have kids so maybe training and dieting for the competition would have been challenging for me if I did. But there are plenty of mommies who compete. Maybe they aren’t all pros but they are out there.

So it wasn’t one picture or one person in particular who lit the fire in me to get off my butt and start taking fitness more seriously. It was several people and my current lazy flat butt* that got me going.

*It’s not flat anymore. Thank you deadlifts and split squats and lunges and more squats!

15 Minutes of Fame

Did these women just want to be in the spotlight for a period of time? Maybe. Attention seeking? Perhaps.

But I think what is interesting is these women are real people (i.e. not celebrities). Can you imagine the audacity if Madonna or Britney or Heidi Klum posted a photo with the same caption??? Can you imagine the outrage and the comments???

“Easy for you to say, you’re a millionaire!!!”

“You have 3 nannies and probably a personal chef and a personal trainer!!”

“You get paid $ to look that way!!!”

“You’ve probably had liposuction!!! All your photos are photoshopped anyways!”

But the minute a real woman posts it, all of a sudden the reaction is “Fit shaming! Shame on you!!  Who are you to tell me what I should be doing?!”

Newsflash: These women never ordered or commanded any of us to listen to them. They are merely trying to help. And quite frankly, you don’t need to listen or click or comment if you don’t like the message.

Think of social media as a hobby, not your job.

Some of us respond well to yelling and barking in your face type of personal trainers, some respond well to calm and collected and others listen to no-nonsense types (I put myself in this category). I think the same is said for the type of people you follow on social media, real or…ummm not real (famous people).

Maybe you like the hardcore, in-your-face types who might curse once in awhile and post videos of themselves kicking their own butts in the gym. Maybe you like the fitness geeks who show you how to move better or always have a post about how to keep good form while working out. Or maybe you like just regular good old fashioned easy-to-follow instructions and black and white “I tell it like it is” types. As long as they get you off the couch and ignite a little fire in you, keep following them. But be careful, because sometimes the best sources of inspiration, are right under your nose.

I for one, like to follow and look up to REAL people. As I mentioned earlier, my friends, my co-workers who train hard, my clients who follow their plans. Those people are my “fit-sporation.” Sure I follow plenty of fitness people on social media, but I like following my actual friends who I see everyday even more.

Turn Around

So take a look around you.  Try actually looking up from the phone and the computer. Who around you has the best healthy habits that you would love to adapt? Who has a workout regiment that you think you’d like to try? Who seems to have their act together?

Talk to them. Ask them how did they get to the point where they are now with their physique and fitness level.

Guaranteed the conversation might go something like this:

“I make it a priority. But I wasn’t always like this! It took me a long time to prepare all my meals and get my workouts in.”

or

“My gym is right around the corner from my job so I go right after work. Otherwise I don’t think I would ever go.”

or

“I have the energy to deal with my job and the kids because I don’t eat crap like I used to. I don’t always work out. Sometimes I just can’t get it in, but at least my meals are pretty good 80% of the time. It also helps that I learned how to cook after I got married.”

or

“Oh it’s takes a lot of work to stay in shape but I’m addicted to it! I signed up for some endurance races to hold me accountable. At first it was hard, but I just made it a point to put it in my schedule. Like an appointment that I can’t miss.”

Do you see what the consistent message is here? “It’s not easy but I made it work for me.” “I’m not always 100% consistent but I try.”  “It took me a long time to get this way.”

I promise, this is the only secret that there is.

Some day, everyone will stop with the quick fixes and diet pills and crash diets. People will see the celebrities on magazine covers and condemn the latest Hollywood cleanse. Women won’t tear each other down. We’ll stop trying to one-up our transformation story as being better or “because I’m a Mom I had to work harder than you!”

Some day this will happen. They’ll understand there are no excuses. There’s just hard work and desire to succeed.

It’s a shame we still don’t get it.

 

 

Pray for Those Who Won’t, Those Who Can’t and Those Who Don’t

Spend time praying for 10 things that don’t benefit you. – Dale Partridge

Dale Partridge of The Daily Positive posted this status update on his Facebook page the other day.

I shared it on my own Facebook page with the subtitle  – “A great 2015 resolution!”

Quite the challenge for all of us. Not only to pray for others but to pray for things that will aren’t necessarily going to benefit us. Of course, any type of prayer is always good for us but Dale’s point was for us to see that prayer doesn’t always have to be all about us. It’s quite selfish to always pray for circumstances to benefit ourselves, although that’s what prayer is sometimes – a request for help.

But I think Dale’s point was to get us to stop thinking of ourselves for more than a few minutes a day. Think of others. Think about ways to help someone else for a change.

I admit it was challenging for me to think of 10 different things to pray for that don’t involve me. At first, the first few were easy to write down and pray (a friend of a friend who is ill, a family member looking for a job, a parishioner who recently had surgery) but then I really had to stop and think about more people and events that did not directly affect me. Of course there are always people out there who need our prayers. But do we really stop and think about them? These complete strangers?  These unknowns?

I thought of 3 categories of the people who need prayers:

Those that don’t pray: Non-believers, or just anyone who makes it a point to tell you that they just don’t pray. They might even believe in God and maybe go to church regularly. But, these people just don’t pray. Maybe it’s just not their thing. Maybe they don’t think prayer works.

Those who won’t pray: The people who refuse to acknowledge a higher power. The ones who perhaps believed in something or someone at one point but have left the church or had a bad experience with faith. Maybe they think God hurt them in the past.

Those who can’t pray: Those who are physically or mentally unable to pray; someone with a debilitating disease or condition who can’t speak or communicate in any way; those who have passed on (yes they need our prayers too!).

So those are the people and their unfortunate circumstances that I’m praying for currently. And of course, this challenge isn’t just a one-and-done type of endeavor. I plan on trying to do this everyday. Let this be a challenge for all of us in this new year. To give and to think about others. To cease our selfish ways for a moment and pray for others.

Fit in Your Faith Today: Challenge yourself and pray for 10 things that don’t directly benefit you. Write them down and pray for all 10 things every day for a week. Then start a new list the following week and continue for the whole year. What a tremendous accomplishment and what an amazing number of answered prayers to be thankful for at the end of one year.

 

Just a Taste…

Ahh sorry, this post has nothing to do with food as the title so blatantly suggests.  I know, I know, I just continue to disappoint.

No, when I say “Just a Taste” I mean getting a taste of Personal Training. One of my very intelligent clients (hello Lisa!) suggested that just one complimentary consultation and workout is sometimes not enough to get someone to truly appreciate the benefits of having a personal trainer.

They need a little more..just a taste…right?

I tended to agree with Lisa. After all, training is a big investment for most people. Some might say it’s a luxury to have a Personal Trainer. Although I wouldn’t like to classify myself as being something only luxurious or lucky or well-to-do people have, I suppose it’s true that I’m not exactly cheap. I wouldn’t WANT to be seen as cheap!

When I think of cheap in terms of fat loss or nutrition, I think of Slim Fast or Raspberry Ketones or those body wraps. Ya know, garbage. And I am most definitely not garbage. At least I don’t think I am. I might smell like garbage sometimes when I don’t shower right after a workout. But I swear that’s only for a couple hours and it’s only when I know I’m not going anywhere in public afterwards.

I digress…

So in an effort to promote this taste of me (ew, please don’t taste me) I’m offering a Try Me Before You Buy Me type of promo.

Alas, it’s only for people who train with me in person so sorry to my online friends. However, as I have mentioned previously, I offer a variety of affordable packages for Online Training that you can read about here if you’d like to still train with me virtually.

So for my Cleveland friends, here’s a little deal for the month of January for newbies: Buy 2 Sessions get 1 FREE! 

A 3-bie if you will. Three-bie. Like Freebie, get it?

So if you’d like to purchase this awesome deal, click this link and then click the link in there where it says “Buy Now.”  (Sorry I’m not savvy enough to put the HTML code in here directly.  Deal with it.)

So 3 sessions PLUS you still get a complimentary consultation so technically, it’s like 4 sessions for the price of 2.  Like a Four-bie.  4-bie. Okay no, that wordplay doesn’t work so well, does it?

Anyways, if you’re still not convinced that training with me would be a totally life changing experience, just read some nifty reviews about me on Thumbtack or Trainerize. And of course, if you want more information, I’m always available via email at FromFitToFigure@gmail.com, I’m all over Twitter and Facebook. And YouTube.

I am everywhere.

You cannot escape me.

See you in 2015, slim!

 

How to Un-Brand Your Company in Three Easy Steps Courtesy of Experience Life Magazine

Have you ever seen a train wreck? Take a look at this one:It’s a train wreck of a different kind: A Public Relations Train Wreck of Epic Proportions. How do you Un-Brand Yourself you might ask? Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Tout yourself as the No Gimmicks, No Hype Health Magazine. Proceed to put a woman on your cover of your latest issue whose SOLE purpose is to ALARM and CREATE HYPE to the uneducated consumer with outrageous claims not backed by any science or facts.
  2. ACCUSE the naysayers and people who comment negatively on your Facebook Page of being PAID BY THE BIG FOOD COMPANIES to make these comments. Assume these are all robots/fake accounts or paid shills and completely ignore the influx of negative comments because to do so would be to acknowledge that people disagree with you, and that simply can’t be!
  3. NEVER apologize or issue any statement saying how unfortunate and how sorry you are for completely distancing yourself from your audience for accusing them of such a conspiracy and continue to keep your head in the sand and hope this all just goes away. Proceed as if nothing has happened and continue to IGNORE your audience. This is the final step nail in the coffin.

Congratulations! Your brand that you worked for many years to establish is now running itself into the ground. Your magazine will now be associated with words like “hack” “hype” “gimmicky” and “Dr. Oz.” (and no, that’s not a good thing).


On one hand, I can’t feel THAT sorry for a company that makes a ton of $ in advertisers and Life Time Fitness Club members. (The members of LTF get this magazine for free). On the other hand, I feel like I’m watching the reputation of a magazine I really enjoyed reading go down the crapper. It would have been one thing to have this woman (I refuse to even say her name to give her more “clicks”) on their cover and ignore the negative comments. But then they had to go and accuse the negative people of being part of a conspiracy. Just a crazy irrational accusation that clearly was not well thought out. If it was run by the editors or whoever goes through the approval process, I just can’t imagine them saying “Yes, yes go ahead and put that on Facebook. That’s exactly what we should do.” I haven’t been an employee of Life Time Fitness in over 2 years and while I don’t see the magazine having a huge impact on the enrollment there, I do think if I WAS still an employee, I’d have a very hard time standing behind this company for this response. And the fact that they are taking their time issuing an apology tells me one thing: They are not sorry. They actually DO believe that everyone that commented are paid shills and part of a conspiracy and they believe everything FoodBabe stands for. And that is freakin scary. I almost feel like this is break up. Yes perhaps a little melodramatic of a word…but not really. I felt connected to this BRAND long after I quit Life Time Fitness. I read this magazine every month and would buy it even after I wasn’t an employee and getting it for free. I cut out articles and recipes and workouts. I shared articles on my Personal Trainer page encouraging my readers on my blog to subscribe and “read this” and “take a look at this” and “what a great article!” and “isn’t this inspiring?” What a fool I was. I bought in to their gimmick didn’t I? I was just another sucker. I thought what they were doing was game changing. I thought it was “revolutionizing” the way we think of health and fitness. I feel like a fool. If this is the direction they are taking their publication, then I guess there’s no room for me on this train. They will have their followers I’m sure. There will be FoodBabe (I personally like the nickname FraudBabe the best) followers who will pick up that issue and read it and drink that Kool-Aid. Oh wait..not Kool-Aid. That contains chemicals and probably causes cancer, right? But they’ll hop right on board and Experience Life Mag will welcome them with their wide open, fear mongering arms. To add a little humor, here are the BEST comments that you may have missed among the almost 1,000 that they are getting in response to their conspiracy accusation.

LOOOOOL. Coordinated effort subsidized by special interest. If by “special interest” you mean “actual scientific facts” then yes. because going to a four year university to become a dietitian and NOT agreeing with an alarmist makes me ”industry”? Unbelievable response! You should be embarrassed…especially because I was once a fan of your magazine, left a comment on my view of Vani, from an educated person in the field of food science, and all of a sudden you’re going to label me as part of some ”conspiracy”? Really? Major PR mistake!

Goodness ~what an accusation! I am only one woman, a 62 year old marathon running grandma with an Oxford PhD. There IS no industry coordinated response, rather a series of responses from unpaid, concerned citizens of FaceBook-land. Many of us have been banned by the Food Babe for engaging in innocuous questions there. Perhaps you might question her about her ‘no-debate’ policy that results in shutting down debate by manipulating her open FB page.

Bad form. It’s called dialogue and healthy debate with your readers. Not squashing them and labeling them part of an industry coordinated response. Paranoia and bullying don’t seem like earmarks of a healthy way of life company or publication. Yeesh. So what you’re saying is that someone created my Facebook account in 2008, added 200 friends, posted regularly and created an entire life just because you would eventually have someone on the cover that people don’t like? How deluded are you maniacs? It couldn’t possibly be that people dislike your cover choice? Shame on you. Conspiracy? No…. It’s a legitimate concern that you’re placing a lady on the cover of your mag who has no credentials to discuss nutrition. She is not a dietician or a nutritionist, she’s a computer major… Her qualifications are nil.

If popularity determined credibility, she’s the queen. It just doesn’t work that way in terms of science, nutrition and health and it’s embarrassing to see someone like her get exposure over many others who preach a healthy lifestyle without the bad science. They have a Senior Editor in charge of FACT CHECKING???? Hahahaha!!!!! If we really wanted to make a freaking killing financially and had no ethics, we’d copy Food Babe’s business model. The “earmarks of an industry-coordinated response?” Seriously?

Oh man, you need to catch up with how the internet works, especially when it comes to science geeks. We run our own blogs, and we talk to each other. I’m a biologist-turned-EMT-turned-nursing-student. No industry ties. And man, I WISH I was being subsidized, because it would help pay my tuition. I get paid for saving lives as an EMT, not for schilling for the food industry. (And actually, seeing as I prefer to grow much of my food and support small, local farmers, the “food industry” probably wouldn’t like me too much.)

No, darlings, I’m just anti-pseudoscience, anti-false-information, and anti-stupidity. I’ve been teaching and tutoring science (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology) for years, and so many people believe all sorts of bogus nonsense because of pseudoscience quacks like “Food Babe.” I know a lot of other very real people with NO connection to any particular industry who are sick and tired of pseudoscience from quacks like Vani Hari.

If you can’t recognize that the flood of comments against Vani Hari are from real people, then you need to catch up with the times.

And here are some epic MEMES: 10632790_10152274713091104_4242161282731127592_n 10650040_10152276100146881_591547837768837249_n 1524987_10153192572988047_11270695186533193_n **Updated: As of today, it’s been over a week and no apology. Their FB Page continued to post random articles from the current issue in the hopes that the “post in question” would travel so far down the page, maybe no one would notice. The comments have been nothing but negative and “We’re WAITING!” in anticipation of SOME sort of response…but they are quiet.

Their Amazon.com rating went down from 5 stars to 2 in less than 3 days. And, as soon as you search for it on Amazon, all the reviews posted are 1 starred. All the posts on Facebook are completely trashing the magazine as well as their sorry excuse for a PR department.  The silence is literally deafening.

The Struggle to Stay Fit

This week I have to share part of the homily my pastor spoke about just this past weekend as the INTRO to this post. I’m literally copying and pasting here as well as filling in the gaps so I sure hope this doesn’t constitute as plagiarism. 😉
From Struggle to Flight:
 
So there’s this family who have two cocoons which were about to hatch. They watched as the first one began to open and the butterfly inside squeezed very slowly and painfully through a tiny hole that it chewed at the end of the cocoon.
It was a struggle to emerge.
 
After lying exhausted for about 10 minutes, following the struggle and agony, the butterfly flew out the open window on its beautiful new wings.
Since it was so painful to see the butterfly struggle, the family decided to help the second butterfly so that it wouldn’t have to go through such an ordeal.
 
As the second one began to emerge, they carefully sliced open the cocoon with a razor blade, doing the equivalent of a C-section.  The second butterfly, however, never sprouted wings and in 10 minutes, instead of flying away, it quietly died.  The family asked a biologist friend to explain what happened and this is what he told them:
 
The difficult struggle to emerge from the small hole actually pushes liquids from deep inside the butterfly’s body cavity into tiny capillaries in the wings where they hardened to complete the healthy and beautiful adult butterfly. By preventing the struggle, they inadvertently harmed the butterfly.

 

Moral of the story? Without the struggle, there are no wings to fly.

As my pastor told this story in church this weekend, and went on to discuss why we must go through painful ordeals, I was thinking very hard about what to blog about this week. I immediately thought of the struggle of hunger while dieting and of course, the constant battle of dieting in general and all the messy stuff that it entails. Granted, there are worse problems and things we suffer through than just dieting, but that’s where my mind went first.

I’m currently struggling myself to diet but I’m maintaining my weight, which is a success in my book.

A few of my clients are having quite the difficult time lately and it’s my gut reaction to want to help them of course. When I can’t or when the right words of advice don’t come automatically, I feel like I’ve failed them. I start asking Why? Why can’t I just tell them one thing that they can use and be done with it? Why are they struggling so much and why doesn’t my advice do any good? What’s going on in their head that I can just turn off or turn on to make them follow their plan and get their act together??

And then I laugh and think, I might as well ask myself these same questions! Duh!

I don’t have an answer, really.  More of a theory I guess.

I remember that it’s a struggle for everyone. For every bodybuilding pro or fitness model out there who tweets and puts on Facebook how great they are doing, how many inches they are down, how they just had the best workout ever and here are the sweat stains to prove it…there are many more who AREN’T doing all that great, who DO struggle with their diet, and they actually DO share that information. And it’s awesome when they do because you realize it’s a constant battle for everyone.  Some have overcome after YEARS of binge eating or eating disorders or yo-yo dieting. Others STILL struggle to even maintain their weight. And some haven’t quite gotten back from rebounding after losing a large amount of weight due to bad coaching or losing it too fast.

What would be great is if there were more pro’s out there willing to share the “not so happy” experiences. There are a few I would recommend the next time you find yourself wallowing in self pity thinking “No one knows what this is like.” Because let me tell ya, there are many.

  • The first that comes to mind is Brooke Erickson. Simply put, she’s incredibly honest. She shares a lot. But not OFTEN. In other words, when she does post something, it’s well- thought out, it’s usually pretty short and to the point, and it’s relevant. She is competitor but she isn’t currently competing. She’s a coach, she’s a mom, and she’s a hard worker. I love everything she has to say because it’s from the heart and there’s no sugar coating.
  • Another is Jennifer Jewell Fitness.  She’s a big believer in the IIFYM diet which is fine (not my cup of tea anymore but if it works for you, awesome). But I like that she discusses body image and metabolism and keeps it real. She also shares alot of her clients stories which are always good to read for motivation.
  • I wouldn’t be a very good blogger if I didn’t mention my “boss” Roxie Beckles. This woman is pretty amazing in that she shares EVERYTHING about her journey to the stage. She has had a rough season to say the least and recently put it all out there, admitting that she did the #1 thing we tell all our clients: Listen to your body.  She didn’t listen and it mentally and physically drained her. She’s gotten back on her feet and she is persevering to the Olympia Stage (the grandaddy of all competitions) in just a few weeks.  I cannot wait to see how she does!

Closing thoughts? We all screw up. We all cheat on our diet. We all have the same conversation with ourselves: “I’ll do better this week. I’ll start my diet Monday. I’ll just do some extra cardio tomorrow.”

You’re gonna have to struggle temporarily in order to be successful. I think the key is the take that struggle, take those difficult moments, and learn from it. Suffer now in order to be great later. And later may be weeks, months or years from now, unfortunately.

But, what a moment you’ll have when you get to look back and see where you were…and what it took to get there.

What a story that will be!