Stop Falling for Deception and Lies with Social Media Fitness
With new year around the corner, people will inevitably be looking to get to healthier places in their lives.
You may notice your facebook feeds getting flooded with people who are beach body coaches or other money making schemes where anyone can become a certified personal trainer, dietitian and life coach in just a few easy steps.
Before I continue, I am not here to take away any of the goals they have achieved or any confidence they have gained. I think self-confidence is vital to living a healthy life.
However, I also believe in two very important concepts in life. That is self-awareness and transparency. Unfortunately, most of these programs are neither of those things and it pisses me off to no end.
I have always been a believer in self-awareness in all areas of life. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who lack it. It is important to be confident in yourself without compromising truth to your strengths and weaknesses.
For example, I am not a model of professionalism. I like to have fun in whatever I do and that could mean making inappropriate jokes at times. I don’t have much of a filter. However, if someone comes down on me for it, I am not going to be the guy who says “oh, I didn’t know.” Anything I do and say, I understand the reactions that may follow.
When I make some sexual innuendo or whatever the case may be, I know exactly what I am doing. I also don’t do these things around people I am meeting for the first time.
In the workplace and at home, one of the things I always get fussed at for is not noticing things out of place. So if my boss came up to me and said, “you get a raise and promotion but your job is to organize ________,” I am not taking it. Because in the back of my mind, I know I am not qualified.
The other day on my podcast, I ripped some indie wrestling promotion because the founder went on a Facebook rant bashing wrestling fans for spending top dollar for Wrestlemania, but not paying the $10 cover to watch his promotion. That would be like me ripping or holding a grudge on someone because they chose to watch, listen or read something from ESPN or Fox Sports instead of my blog.
I am not those things. I don’t have the access those companies have so it is not even a comparison as to who has the more in depth content. I can only go by stats and what I see vs talking to the people in charge and/or the people playing the games. Therefore, I choose to be a vulgar asshole with my blog. It is not for everybody, I get that.
Some people are turned off by cursing and that is ok. I am not holding a gun to your head and telling you to read it.
Self-awareness goes hand-in-hand with transparency. I like to know where I stand, what I am facing and total honesty in work, life and everything in between.
I can think of a number of people off the top of my head who would act like my best friend if we crossed paths, but in the back of my mind, I know they are a snake in the grass. That is not ok with me. I see right through it.
My feelings won’t get hurt if someone doesn’t like me. I would rather know where I stand. If you think I am an arrogant asshole, that is ok. If you think I am a dork, that is ok. I will still acknowledge you and say hi and we go on our way. No hard feelings. Just don’t be that guy who tries to buddy me. Homie, we don’t talk. Let not make this something it isn’t. Then, I will just find a way to troll you.
It is a lot like being in car dealership. Most cases, there is NO TRANSPARENCY. When my wife and I tried to purchase a new vehicle, the salesman laughed at us about the price we asked for. After asking for our keys multiple times and trying to leave, the fuckboy cunt bag came back with price after price. Eventually, he got it down to what we originally asked for. Guess who lost that sale? That fuckboy. For the record, it was Best Chevorlet in Metaire. Don’t got there. We bought our car from GMC on Napoleon because the guy was up front and honest. Transparency goes a long way for me.
Now I bet you’re wondering how I can relate all this back to the people posting on social media and popping up in your news feeds.
Let’s begin with the self-awareness side of it. First and foremost, these people are not professionals of health and fitness. Being that my wife is a dietitian, there is nothing worse than coming across someone who is trying to set up a meal plan for someone. You are not qualified LEGALLY to give that advice, in some states anyway.
Despite being great at self diagnosing myself through Web MD (diagnosed my torn PCL no big deal), I am not going to tell someone with knee issues that they tore their ACL. I am going to tell them to consult a medical professional because I am not qualified to diagnose someone. Just like these ponzi scheme buyers are not qualified to tell someone what to eat.
The same goes for working out, what happens when one of your “team members” or whatever the fuck you call them has two slipped discs in their back or has had a knee replacement? How are you going to adequately modify the workout you’re following to help them work the same muscle groups?
I will go ahead and field this one, you’re probably not. Because again, you’re not a professional who has the proper training or knowledge to do this. Workout advice should be coming from a certified personal trainer (one with a legitimate certification) or a physical therapist. You are neither. You’re just another person with a blender bottle taking selfies.
Speaking of selfies, this is where the transparency plays a major role. I find it befuddling when people take before and after selfies because there is far too much lying done in those photos that I can stand to take. These people are no better than magazines or instagram models who doctor photos.
While most of them aren’t “doctoring” photos, they are certainly doing their part in deceiving you. I want you to pay attention to a few of elements on people’s before and after photos.
The first is lighting. When shadows hit your body at certain angles, you can look fucking shredded. I was changing in the bathroom at work one day and when I took my shirt off, it looked like I had abs. For the record, I don’t. I wound up snapping a picture of it and sending it to my wife proclaiming my long awaited six pack. For the record, the only six pack I have is the one I drank last night. Because of the lighting, I looked like a greek god. This is the easiest and most classic way to alter your photos.
The second is angles and position. I particularly love the dumbass who take pictures standing further away from the camera and uses that as their “after” picture. Then takes the same picture standing significantly closer. The caption usually reads “look at the difference in my thighs or arms,” the only difference is you moved further away. Someone tried to pull this shit recently on Facebook, I wanted to hit laugh button on it so bad. This fool legitimately was wearing the same exact clothes in the before and after picture saying “look at the major difference.”
There was literally no difference. The clothes fit the exact same. The thighs were “smaller” because you were standing significantly further away from the camera. There was no difference in the definition or tone. Stop lying to everyone. Something as simple as wearing black or a hand on the hip makes a difference. Just like the typical pop the hip out pose that women do. Posture and pose is everything.
The third and final thing to look for pertains to the core, sucking in. Holy shit. I can’t tell you how many people post and say things like “look, my abs are coming along. Yeah no, shit, try breathing. That will give us a real image. I have seen before and after pictures of people pushing out with their stomach and then sucking in. I can do that too and I look like a totally different person.
I am not going to sit here and fault you for sucking in because I do it too in a lot of pictures, spoiler alert. I hate my small beer gut that I have developed because I have fallen off the wagon lately. Fucking dad bod. It happens to the best of us. But I am also not posting how much of a change there is on my social media. That’s the difference.
Another example, I saw someone recently post pictures of four or five different woman and how they lost so much weight and inches by doing said program. Yeah and every single one of them appeared to be postpartum. You forgot to mention that. And of course all the selfies used the tactics mentioned above.
The big issue I have with these pyramid schemes is that they are based off lies and deception. It is irresponsible for something as delicate as fitness.
You can post videos of you working out all you want, but if there is no visible change to you physically, you’re going to let down the people who want to lose 50 or 60 pounds. I don’t like that. As someone who works in fitness, I want everyone I come across the reach those goals…the right way. No stupid diets, no false sense of security, but actual results.
If joining one of those groups helps motivate you mentally, then good. That is awesome. Because if you’re not all in mentally, you won’t hit your goals. I am not going to dictate to you how you should feel. If that group makes you feel better about yourself, I am not here to argue with that.
But if you want results and to hit all your benchmarks, look elsewhere.
I am not saying these workouts and schemes don’t work because I know people who look 10 times better than they did two years ago and there is a noticeable difference, but it is a scam to buy into something based on lies and deception.
Unfortunately, that is a vast majority of the fitness industry especially these online platforms. With some of these programs, the majority of people I personally see on my feed may feel different, but they don’t look different.
If they are happy with themselves, fantastic. I am happy for you. I think the mental part of working out is more draining than the physical part for most people. But save your bullshit about your body changing. Your body didn’t change. The lighting changed.
I know I seem like I am being harsh especially for someone who just said the mental side is ultimately more important. The problem is if the physical needle doesn’t move toward your physical goals, how do you think that person will feel mentally? Probably defeated.
I would love to see the attrition rate of these schemes. How many of these people walk in and then walk out when they don’t see the results? What programs are in place to help overcome physical and mental obstacles?
If these programs were ultimately about helping people, they wouldn’t have representatives using deceptive tactics to get people to buy in. You’re not interested in people. You’re interested in making a sale…major difference.
For those looking for guidance, shop your local gyms, talk to a nutritionist or dietitian, talk to a personal trainer and just buy in. Health shouldn’t be something you have to put a price on when most of us pay hundreds for cell phones, cable and other entertainment services.